Doctor Who by Series | Series 2 – 2006

You can spend the rest of your life with me, but I can’t spend the rest of mine with you.
I have to live on. Alone. That’s the curse of the Time Lords.

Tenth Doctor, Doctor Who, S02E03 ‘School Reunion’

Like with Series 1, I think I only watched bits and pieces of Series 2 – either that or my memory is acting up. From what I remember, and from watching Series 2 back, I did really enjoy it but I wasn’t quite hooked yet. (I can assure you, this changed pretty quickly after this).

As David Tennant’s first series as the Doctor, this was a lot of fun! It continues with Rose (Billie Piper) as the Doctor’s companion, and keeps a similar tone. It also features more of Rose’s boyfriend Micky (Noel Clarke) and Jackie (Camille Coduri) Rose’s mum which I loved.

New Doctor’s First Episode: S02E00 ‘The Christmas Invasion’

As a new Doctor Who fan this was the first regeneration I’d watched and so for the most part (as I remember) I was just as confused watching it as both Rose and the Doctor this episode. Once I caught on though, I remember loving it! With my recent rewatch, I really enjoyed this Christmas Special. It was a little mad, a little far-fetched (in the best way possible), and had some great funny parts too. Sword fights on the surface of a space ship in PJs!? Iconic! Ten’s whole speech after he woke up with the steam from the tea was great, and I think the moment he really felt like the Doctor for me.

I think this episode wonderfully introduced David Tennant as the Doctor with just enough humour amongst the high stakes on Christmas Day. It also set a wonderful precedent for Doctor Who’s whacky Christmas Specials (some of my favourite episodes each series).

Favourite Episode: S02E4 ‘The Girl in the Fireplace’

I really loved the concept for this episode – different parts of a woman’s life all accessible through time portals on a spaceship. Plus there’s a horse on said spaceship! I think one of my favourite parts of this episode aside from the plot line is the gorgeous costuming and the music composed for this episode. It is all beautiful, especially when the episode jumps back and forth between the 51st century space-ship and 18th century France.

The clockwork droids were such fun as the ‘alien’ for the episode – they managed to be beautiful and creepy at the same time. I remember not being able to quite get the ticking noise out of my head for days after that first watch. Also the mad logic they were following interesting to figure out.

Scariest Episode: S02E05/06 ‘Rise of the Cyberman’/’The Age of Steel’

Oh man. The Cybermen, as a concept, I think, are amongst the most scary of the Doctor Who adversaries. They are also one of the most heartbreaking. Their twisted ambition to ‘upgrade’ humanity in this episode I remember finding so disturbing, but it made for a really scary and exciting episode.

Additionally with this episode, it introduced the concept of parallel worlds. Which I think is another reason that this two part episode is one of the ones I found scariest this series. I love the concept of parallel worlds, but the slight changes portrayed sent my brain spiralling. It also added to the tension of the two parter. As did the music! I can’t hear the Cybermen theme without getting chills.

Most Emotional Episode: S02E03 ‘School Reunion’

There are a lot of episodes in series 2 that made me emotional, but there was something in this one that really got to me. (My second choice for this category would have been the Series 2 final two episodes, but I write about those separately, so here I am). Looking back, I do find it strange that this episode made me so emotional – and it is a really testament to the actors and how they delivered the episode that I teared up so much. I say this as my first introduction to Doctor Who was in 2005, so I only knew about Sarah-Jane through the odd Classic Who episodes I borrowed from the the Library or DVD rental places.

This episode though, had me crying over a past companion I hadn’t really got to know, and K-9, a tin dog I didn’t realise the significance of until later. There was something so beautiful about seeing a character come back to the show (even though I wasn’t overly familiar). Rewatching it now, I think it is possible I was getting emotional over the history this show holds as much as any of the more emotional lines in the episode.

Series Final: S02E12/13 ‘Army of Ghosts’/’Doomsday’

Well, where do I even start with this series final? It is a stressful and emotional roller coaster of a two part series which never fails to make me cry. At the same time though it is funny, exciting, and has a good mystery/twist to it. I love how tense the episodes are, and how that tensions builds to breaking point near the end of the episode. Especially with such a heart crushing conclusion.

I think my favourite thing about it would have to be the Dalek vs Cyberman stand off at the beginning of the second episode, a humorous break before the emotional roller coaster which is the rest of it. Though in general, having these two big-bads in the the episode really made for an epic final two episodes for this series.

Thank you for reading! I have now finally worked out a schedule for these, and they will be posted fortnightly on the Sunday.

What were your picks for the above? I’d love to know your thoughts!

Doctor Who by Series | Series 1 – 2005

The ground beneath our feet is spinning at a thousand miles an hour, and the entire planet is hurtling around the sun at sixty-seven thousand miles an hour, and I can feel it. We’re falling through space, you and me, clinging to the skin of this tiny little world, and if we let go? That’s who I am.

Ninth Doctor, Doctor Who, S01E01 ‘Rose’

If I am honest I cannot quite remember If I actually watched all of the first series ‘New Who’ when it aired in 2005 – I was, ironically, 9 years old. Only my Mum had watched a little of ‘Classic Who’ when she was younger. From memory she had enjoyed it but, I am not sure if she was the one who said “here, watch this”, so I am really not sure how I found the show in the first place. Especially in Australia.

What I do know is that I am so grateful I did start watching it – whatever the reason and whenever in 2005 that was. Especially as nearly 17 years later I am still watching the show, and as shown by this writing series, am am (healthily) obsessed.

New Doctor’s First Episode: S01E01 ‘Rose’

‘Rose’, I think, has become one of my favourite episodes. Even if – as mentioned above’ I am not sure if I watched it when it first aired. I do know I watched a lot of Series 1 as it aired though – as you will find out I have vivid memories of some episodes. While I think I didn’t watch this one in particular when it aired, I have definitely watched it a lot since.

I love this as an introduction back into a show that had been running since 1963. The episode introduces a new incarnation of the Doctor with the wonderful Christopher Eccleston (though I wouldn’t be introduced to the emotionally damaging and show prolonging process of regeneration until much later). Eccleston’s Doctor is charming, wonderfully sarcastic, and a little cocky with what I would call a flair for the dramatic. He is also angry, hurt, and emotionally scarred. As titled, this episode also introduces us to Rose (Billie Piper) – the soon to be companion – and the first of the new series to to be taken in by the wonder and charm of the Doctor. As I didn’t really get completely invested in the show until Series 3 (with David Tennant’s 10th Doctor and Freema Agyeman as Martha Jones) I didn’t love Rose as much as others do, but I do appreciate what her character did for the show. She is very much a very normal girl who gets caught up in the crazy of the Doctor’s world. She is a way in for the view, asking the questions, and also keeping the Doctor in check.

The episode itself has a beautiful chaotic energy to it, and I love the humour of it. Watching it again now has me feeling rather nostalgic. Both for the early, simple but impactful story lines, and the the general feel of early 2000’s era Doctor Who.

Favourite Episode: S01E02(3?) ‘The End of the World’

Hands down, ‘The End of the World’ has to be my favourite episode of Series 1 (though I love them all). It is also the one I found most entertaining.

First the episode has the Doctor bring Rose to front row seats to the destruction of her home planet 5 billion years in the future, and then there is the introduction of a whole host of aliens who have paid to see the death of the earth. Including the character Cassandra – the ‘last’ human – only she is a sheet of skin with a face. On the whole the episode is bold, funny, suspenseful and emotional all in one. It also features the best use ever of Britney Spears ‘Toxic’, as a traditional earth ballad, and the soundtrack to the earth’s destruction. You can find this iconic moment here.

The episode throws both Rose and the audience in at the deep end, with the Doctor’s showing off almost having detrimental consequences. Not that this deters her from travelling with him.

Scariest Episode: S01E09/10 ‘The Empty Child’/’The Doctor Dances’

I am not surprised at all that on my rewatch of Series 1, this two episode story was the scariest one for me. Not the ghosts of ‘The Unquiet Dead’ (S01E03) or even my first introduction to the infamous Daleks in ‘Dalek’ (S01E06) – the gas-masked people repeating the haunting cry of “Are you my mummy?” followed me into my nightmares and still (at the age of 26) gives me the creeps.

It doesn’t help that after the episode finished (I can’t remember if it was part 1 or part 2) my Dad decided it would be a good idea while I was still stuck on the couch, to take a glass from the kitchen and walk around the lounge with it over his mouth saying “Are you my mummy?”. As you can imagine, it didn’t help my 9 year old self in the slightest – though there is a chance that Dad did that to try and lighten the mood.

This episode was also a contender for most emotional episode for me, but it won me over for scariest once I had done my rewatch and memories of my first watch of this episode resurfaced. It is a tense episode, with a looming presence that stuck with me for ages after watching it. It also includes on of my favourite dual episode cliff-hanger and resolution pairs. I can’t do the scene justice by describing it so if you haven’t seen it, or just want a memory jog you can find it here.

The second episode of this dual episode story also brings me another of my favourite Ninth Doctor quotes – “You want moves Rose? I’ll give you moves! Everybody lives Rose. Just this once! Everybody lives!”

Most Emotional Episode: S01E ???

For most series, ‘Most Emotional Episode’ will be marked by the amount it made me cry – interestingly, Series 1 doesn’t have one particular emotional episode for me – however I find, especially now, that there are many moments or just lines of dialogue that make me tear up. When I originally watched these at the age of 9 I could say that I hadn’t yet developed the acute emotional tendencies I have when it comes to film and TV but that would be a lie. This only got stronger(?) as I got older, and I am now the type to tear up at an even slightly emotional commercial, or even one that features a dog.

I couldn’t pick a most emotional episode for this series I think because there is an emotional nostalgia to the whole series that gets me at a point in nearly every episode. This is helped along both by the wonderful acting from both Eccleston and Piper, as well as the incredible soundtrack by Murry Gold. There are some pieces of music now that I hear from this series that will have me in tears without the episode itself playing.

Some Doctor Who fans might go up in arms over this, as Episode 8, ‘Father’s Day’ is definitely a high contender for this spot, but I know at the time when I first watched it, the episode didn’t have the same affect on me that it does now. That episode is high up there, but I found other small moments in other episodes in the series to make me more emotional at the time when I first watched them.

Current Doctor’s Last Episode: S01E12/13 ‘Bad Wolf’/’The Parting of the Ways’

Oh gosh, where do I even start with this two episode story? I loved this as a series final for the first ‘New Who’ series. It’s fun, clever, and it’s high stakes in more ways than one. I think having the Daleks as the final villain for Series One was a great decision – especially as the last Dalek seen in ‘New Who’ was a very different Dalek to those we see here.

Oh man, I remember watching this one and being so freaked out by the Daleks, I think it was mostly with them all roaming around and chanting together. Plus with Murray Gold’s music the whole thing is intimating! I really loved the concept for this two part story.

As mentioned above, I am pretty sure this was my first introduction to the concept of regeneration, and oh, was I confused at first! I had no expectation at all that that was going to happen. The lead up to it at the end of the episode was epic though!

Thank you for reading! I should have the Series 2 review up within the next couple of weeks.

What were your picks for the above? I’d love to know your thoughts!

TV Review: Doctor Who S10E12 ‘The Doctor Falls’


So, half a bag of salted caramel popcorn, one glass of icy water, and a mug of hot tea later I managed to compose myself enough to write this review of the Doctor Who Series 10 finale ‘The Doctor Falls’ (more like ‘the waterfalls of Anna’s tears’).

“I do what I do because it’s right. Because it’s decent. And above all it is kind, it’s just that. Just kind.”

Woah. Just, woah. I didn’t think it was possible to fit that many different emotions into one episode of Doctor Who but it is – albeit it was an hour long special. It most definitely is, and I was not prepared. We start this episode panning across idyllic green fields dotted with what look like scarecrows, but on closer inspection you can see that they are in fact ‘early stages’ Mondasian Cybermen. Soon we see a horse drawn cart filled with chattering children roll up outside a large cottage. Here one of the children looks up to the clear blue sky, a look of worry on her face, the numbers in the sky clearly read ‘507’, the spaceship’s floor number. All, it seems, is not well. By nightfall my feelings are confirmed, as rogue Cyberman come to collect the children for upgrading, but in a surprisingly, and possibly even comical fashion, the farmers fight them off with shotguns. By morning the Cybermen have been strung up as scarecrows in the fields, and the village is back to its peaceful state. That is until a spaceship crashes through the floor and falls back to earth in a cloud of dust. As the dust and smoke clears a bulky figure appears: a Mondasian Cyberman steps forward cradling a lifeless Doctor in its arms.

Cue opening titles, as well as much stress on my part.

As if the team being stuck on a Mondasian Cybermen production/colony ship, Bill being turned into a Cyberman, and there being two incarnations of the Doctor’s old foe the Master hanging around wasn’t bad enough. Add these two incarnations of the same evil mastermind working together and you’ll have a solid recipe for chaos, and apparently, some excellent time transcending banter. The Doctor – though now in a wheelchair due to some previous injury inflicted by Missy and the Master – is having none of it. He sits through the pair waltzing together on the rooftop of the hospital, as well as enduring their baiting talk of Bill’s death and their pride in the Cyber Foundries on Level 1056. All the while he is waiting for his fail-safe to kick in. It does so, bringing all the Cybermen coming to their location after he managed to change one piece of data in their system to search not only for single hearted-humans but two-hearted Timelords as well. At this point, though, the Doctor is basically very definition of smug.

“You two, you should know by now, when you’re winning, and I’m in the room, you’re missing something.”

The Doctor’s smug demeanor is short lived as he promptly gets electrocuted by one of the rogue Cybermen, much to the amusement of both incarnations of the Master. Just before the Master, Missy, and Nardole leave in a space shuttle to a lower level he is saved by Cyberman Bill, but only just. At this point we’ve come full circle with what we now know to be Cyberman Bill carrying the Doctor away from the burning shuttle. We spend the rest of the episode trying to save the town, and thus from here on in things go from bad to worse, to even worse, and then, of course, we are left with an almost happy ending.

As far as series finals go, this one has everything. Not only does it pit the Doctor against a single classic villain, but he faces off against two! One of which has two incarnations present, which makes everything more interesting. Including a scene where both Missy and the Master quite literally stab each other in the back only to laugh manically at the hilarity of the situation. In all honesty, it was one of my favourite parts of the episode, and a fitting ending for such a long running character on Doctor Who.

For Bill, all hope wasn’t lost – quite literally – as in this episode, “tears are hope”. Remember Heather from episode one? Beautiful Heather who stole Bill’s heart? Well she found Bill again, to save her, and though I hoped to see more of Bill in future episodes, I couldn’t be happier with her ending. Who doesn’t want immortal lesbian aliens traveling together? Probably quite a few, but I honestly can’t think of anything better for Bill. It is here though that we return to the Doctor’s fate as foretold in part one of this story. In all honesty, I was ready to pack my bags and leave this show for dust if Stephen Moffat (Writer and Producer) were to spring a surprise early regeneration on us. Thankfully, I’m still sitting here, but I have a feeling that whatever happens to the Doctor in the Doctor Who Christmas Special this year, it won’t be good.

Overall, I am all cried out, and in need of more tea and a good night’s sleep. The series finale this year went beyond expectations and really blew me away, I am honestly finding it difficult to find too much fault in it, other than maybe the actual plot of this two-part story. Though it worked well to tie together loose strands of story and connect episode 1 to episode 12, the whole ‘make Missy good’ idea let it down a little, even if that particular plan of the Doctor’s didn’t work. The Master/Missy duo however, absolutely shone! This series of Doctor Who definitely delivered in part, as some episodes were a little lacklustre, but all in all Series 10 has been a blast! I definitely have a soft spot for Capaldi’s portrayal of the Doctor, and as for Bill, I absolutely loved her!

Rating: 9/10

I’ve linked my other reviews of Doctor Who series 10 below if you haven’t read the others and are interested in having a look at those too!

Enjoy your week,
Anna 🙂

Doctor Who Series 10 Reviews:

TV Review: Doctor Who S10E11 ‘World and Enough Time’


So Doctor Who is back, and since I’m neck deep in a film criticism subject at uni I’ve decided to continue this with a ‘Who’ related project! I’ll be reviewing each episode as they air, and posting them here for your enjoyment.

“Well, I am that mysterious adventurer in all of time and space known only as Doctor Who, and these are my disposables – Exposition and Comedy Relief.”

So, the Doctor Who series final time is upon us and they really started us off with a solid first half to this two-part finale. Albeit a little confusing and/or emotional, depending on whether this is your first time watch or if you’re a seasoned Whovian. The episode opens on the TARDIS materialising in a thick layer of snow surrounded by mountains, which would be fine if the Doctor didn’t step out only to collapse to his knees in the snow. If possible, he looks older, and his hair is much longer, or at least much messier than we have ever seen it this series. None of this spells for a good outcome to this series, especially as his hands and face start to glow with regeneration energy (Timelords have the ability to change their body when death is imminent). As the opening credits roll for the second time this series, dread is among my other not so positive emotions which follow me into the rest of the episode.

Moving away completely from the first scenes of the episode, we are back in space. A large cylindrical spaceship is suspended in space, one end pointing directly into a massive Black Hole. To top it all off, once the TARDIS materialises within this spaceship, it is not the Doctor who steps out of those doors, it is Missy. Yes, Missy, villainous Timelord who has been locked away in the vault for most of this series for various crimes. She is followed by her “plucky assistants, Thing One and the Other One”, Bill and Nardole respectively. She claims to have followed the distress call of that particular space ship hovering before the Black Hole, it is seconds before a siren blares though the speakers, and any humour in Missy’s words suddenly dissipates. It is here however that we discover the Doctor is in fact sitting, feet up on the TARDIS console monitoring the situation as a test for Missy. Flashbacks to before the spaceship confirm that the Doctor thinks he can turn Missy ‘good’. At this point, to only make matters worse, a panicked, blue skinned man runs into the room and demands to know if anyone in the room is human. Everyone is too shocked to answer so he pulls out an alien looking gun and repeats the question.

“Are any of you Human? … One of you must be human! They only come up if they detect human life-signs! … They take them away.”

As the Doctor hears this he intervenes, and for a moment it looks like he’s going to tell the man that he is the human one, before Bill speaks up first, and his face falls. Almost instantly, the man points his gun on Bill and the Doctor goes into panic mode while trying to talk the man out of shooting his friend. Then as the lift holding the mysterious intruders reaches their floor and pings to notify they have arrived, the man shoots. The camera pans down to show a gaping hole in Bill’s chest, and then as she falls to the ground the ‘Intruders’ walk in. Telling them to stand away and that Bill will be repaired. This is all well and good, but the mechanical voices are very recognisable though at this point, with the creatures still looking relatively humanoid, the Doctor doesn’t quite make the connection to what they are. As Bill is taken away, the Doctor leaves a message in her head that he will save her and to wait for him. This however, is easier said than done, as time moves slower at the end of the spaceship closer to the Black Hole, so the few minutes conversation the Doctor has with the group before going to get Bill, marks weeks for Bill in what can only be described as the hospital from hell.

I have serious mixed feelings about this episode. Though one level it has been very cleverly written so to slowly introduce the big bad for the final two episodes this series. For those who don’t follow the Doctor Who hype but have background knowledge about the show, the creatures would be still easily recognisable. Plus, there is nothing creepier than a dark hospital where the faceless patients can only speak through an automated voice. Especially when they only say things like ‘pain’ or ‘kill…me”. On the other hand the ‘death’ of Bill is something which I can’t get behind in any way, even though it drives the plot of the episode. Her ‘death’, and what happens as a result at the end of the episode, honestly turned me into a sobbing mess, something which my family questioned wholeheartedly. You can’t spend eleven episodes with such a great character and not feel something. Especially when the Doctor’s reaction is so heartbreaking. In addition, the aim to try and make Missy ‘good’ is a near impossible plan if you ask me – there is no way that Missy could ever be completely good. She may do a good deed, but that doesn’t make her ‘good’.

Overall, this episode is something which though cleverly plotted, and extremely creepy, has much to be criticised. Only if in terms of a characters wasted potential. I highly doubt this is going to be the last we see of Bill, it’s Doctor Who, they always find a way, but there is no ignoring the fact that as a character Bill has not been treated kindly this episode. The reintroduction of both a classic monster, and an old foe will make for an interesting last episode this series. I am interested to see how the last episode of this series unfolds.

Rating: 8.5/10





TV Review: Doctor Who S10E10 ‘The Eaters of Light’


So Doctor Who is back, and since I’m neck deep in a film criticism subject at uni I’ve decided to continue this with a ‘Who’ related project! I’ll be reviewing each episode as they air, and posting them here for your enjoyment.

“That’s the trouble with hope. It’s hard to resist.”

This week the Doctor takes Bill and Nardole to Scotland to discover the truth about what happened to the Ninth Legion Roman soldiers. As according to the Doctor, “she [Bill] thinks she knows more about Romans than me”, which in his eyes is completely ludicrous. So in true character the Doctor sets out to prove he knows more, and thus win the bet. As it turns out, neither of them know as much as they think they do, yet neither are completely right or wrong. This was honestly to be expected (even the Doctor can’t know everything – otherwise he wouldn’t keep traveling). So now, our TARDIS crew start this journey divided: Bill heading towards the river to check for the legion trying to leave, and declaring that she would bring back the Doctor a Roman Centurion; While the Doctor and Nardole go in search of the legion’s last battlefield.

Bill soon comes across one of the locals who is quick to simply turn on her and chase her through the woods. It’s not long before Bill falls down a concealed hole in the ground, twice over the space of two consecutive episodes, is this becoming a habit? Only she is oddly surprised to be met with the tip of a sword, even though a Roman soldier is exactly what she was looking for. In the meantime, the Doctor and Nardole are wandering the Scottish moors in search of the battlefield, and unsurprisingly, are at this point rather unsuccessful. They do, however, come across talking crows (something I am still piecing together, as honestly, I still can’t see what they really added to the story). Leaving the talking crows behind, the pair continue to walk only to be ambushed by a group of young locals and, of course, captured. This “time wasting’ ordeal leads to the Doctor losing his patience, but in his rather dramatic terms, “Does everyone hear that [silence]. Do you know what that sound was? That’s the sound of my patience, shattering!”. Marking the first of the Doctor’s ‘perfect’ moments this episode.

Mirrored, is Bill’s much more, well, relaxed situation with the Roman Centurion, for now. Deciding to now find the Doctor, Bill leads her new friend into the woods only to be attacked by something which at first looks like a glowing ‘land octopus’, alien type thing before they reach safer ground until daylight. Eventually Bill finds the rest of the eight remaining of the Ninth Legion, but not without losing her new friend to the monster. It’s not long before the Doctor and Bill meet up again, but this also means a meeting of the locals and the Romans. This goes as smoothly as you would think. With one group previously out to destroy the other, and those victims of the slaughter rightly hating them for it. As far as well-made plans, this one is a near disaster, or even, some would say a lost cause. Here is where the Doctor comes into his own, uniting the enemy against a common cause. Which in this case, is an alien which devours light to survive.

If anything, this episodes star moment, was the Doctor’s speech to the opposing sides, trying to convince them to unite against the alien which would surely spell the end of them all. Made better only by Bill starting the conversation, not over the immediate problem though, but discussing language. The one thing, which because of the TARDIS translators, is common between all parties. Asking the question that if they now all sound the same, what do they sound like? Answer, “we sound like children”. Through his speech, the Doctor basically asks them all to grow up and start fighting the right battles, as here, everyone has done some sort of wrong. By the end of the speech it is easy to hear the self-projection the Doctor is imposing on their current situation. The seemingly cowardly warriors, all trying to save themselves and those they love. All in all, it is another powerful performance from both Peter Capaldi (the Doctor) and Perl Mackie (Bill). You can’t help but get completely caught up in the emotion of the situation when either of them start to speak.

Overall this episode, was carried mostly by the writing of the script, as well as the stellar use of each character’s unique personalities to fuel the plot. My only fault would be in the actual story line and monster of the week, the latter of which lacking the motive and the fear factor it really needed. Other than that, this episode had the perfect combination of lots of great banter, interesting side characters, and excellent moving speeches. A really enjoyable episode, and definitely a contender to be one of my favourites this series.

Rating: 8/10