The 12th Doctor – Series 8, Episode 6 – “The Caretaker” – The Time War’s Mark

The Caretaker Doctor Who

“The Caretaker” ended up being a great episode. It started out a bit choppy but the moments of greatness outweighed the moments that didn’t work. This episode shows us the effect of the Time War and his role further on the Doctor and also gives us some great glimpses into Danny and Clara too. The episode was written by Stephen Moffat and Gareth Roberts and directed by Paul Murphy.

The premise of “The Caretaker” is that a Skovox Blitzer has been attracted to London due to special particles and that if it feels threatened it has enough fire power to destroy the entire Earth, leading the Doctor to go undercover as the Caretaker under his popular alias of John Smith of Coal Hill where Danny and Clara teach. It is here Clara’s double lives are at stake of being revealed and the Doctor’s prejudice against soldiers is fully expressed.

Per usual SPOILERS ahead

Here is the assessment of the episode:

The Pros: Direction and Cinematography – There are some great shots that help with the time where the episode lags. Such as Clara’s reflection being filmed during her confession of her double life of life with Danny and life with the Doctor. Also a Wes Andersonish shot of the school was appreciated, however brief it was.

Courtney Woods – A rebellious kid who reminds the Doctor of why he fights for humanity. She believes him when he says that he’s an alien and isn’t putoff by the TARDIS. Ellis George does great for what little scenes she is in.

Skovox Blitzer – The soldier who is there to take out threats to it’s existence and follow the rules of it’s superiors. It is a great alien and one I hope we see again. Our introduction to it is it blowing up a police officer. The alien is like Garris from “Mass Effect” meets a giant robotic crab.

Coal Hill School – Coal Hill feels like a real school and Danny and Clara actually feel like teachers. It’s great seeing their interactions with the Doctor as the Caretaker and with one another professionally. I hope we get more drama here at the school as the series progresses. It really grounds the series which has never been done before in the new series as characters ended up switching universes (Rose and her family), retconning it happening (The Year that Never Was in regards to the Master arc) or always new jobs and environment ( In the case of Donna’s Life as well as Amy and Rory’s). The school adds a much needed base for the human element.

Clara Oswald – Clara is human, flawed and fantastic. She is tackling the dilemma of her double life in a way Rory and Amy never were and I think that adds a lot of depth to at times a very slow and tonally inconsistent episode. We see how her love for Danny and the Doctor come out and why she was attempting to protect them from one another when she didn’t have to. This episode is her learning to trust and it is done well as aspects of Danny and the Doctor are revealed that she and we hadn’t known before.

Danny Pink – Danny Pink has had a bad experience with officers because he was a soldier risking his life while the officer was safe. The Doctor acted like his officers and there is precedent that he is an officer both in his Children of Time (Rose, Donna, Martha and for the 11th Doctor Rory and Amy) and how he never fully accepted how he made them in to soldiers. Danny hates that the officers he worked with didn’t realize that, and I don’t think the Doctor does yet too since Danny tells Clara that if he pushes you too hard come to him for help. They have a grudging respect for each other at this point since they’ve both disrespected one another to each other’s faces multiple times in this episode. Though Danny respects Clara’s love for the adventure the Doctor offers too.

The Doctor – The Time War…it’s all about the Time War though it doesn’t state it out right. The Doctor commanded troops, he was one of the higher ranking Time Lords and though he was a soldier sometimes he had the privilege of his position which he still does to this day. He’s the thinker and planner who has his companions as the decoys and warriors. He doesn’t use a gun…he just uses others to shoot for him. I hope this addressed as the series progresses. It was dealt with at the end of Series 4 and “Dalek” and “Into the Dalek” but never fully. So much potential here…I’m glad Danny is a regular as I think he will be the one to shine that light once again on the Doctor as he did in this episode. Also he approves of Clara and Danny’s relationship and has a grudging respect for Danny for helping him stop Skovox.

The Ending – The Police Offer died is in heaven or paradise and this time it’s more foreboding as Missy has someone else speak for her and only glares when we see her. If you didn’t realize she was the villain this episode should make it very very apparent. Still good though as it has a haunting feel now added to paradise. The people are dead and may be trapped.

The Cons: The Tone – This episode didn’t know if it wanted to be a drama or a comedy at times which made it really hard to invest in initially. At times it is zany and the Doctor is up to antics…and other times there are character revealing heart to hearts. The extremes are very apparent and that brings the episode down.

Slow Start – The episode starts really slow which is ironic since it starts with Clara and the Doctor chained to posts about to be eaten. The Skovox takes too long to appear given how much of the main threat it is in the episode and how it the initial double life of Clara takes a rough beginning.

This is an episode I’d recommend. The great moments really shine and the bad moments aren’t enough to make me not recommend it. It is a great Clara, Doctor and Danny episode and one that gives us a lot of potential into future development of the Doctor and how he lived the Time War and is dealing with it in his current incarnation who remembers once more.

Final Score: 8.4 / 10.

The 12th Doctor – Series 8, Episode 5 – “Time Heist” – The Reasons to Rob a Bank

Time Heist

“Time Heist,” was a really fun episode. It gave us the chance to know the Doctor better, introduced a fascinating alien and gave us some great guest stars and characters. The episode itself is the 5th one of Series 8 and was directed by Douglas Mackinnon and written by Steven Moffat and Stephen Thompson (this is Thompson’s best episode so far).

The story involves the architect who convinces The Doctor, Clara, Psi (a hacker) and Saibra (a shapeshifter) to rob the most dangerous bank in the universe, The Bank of Karabraxos. It begins with the four in a room together with the mysterious architect speaking to them from a device as Karabraxos security is trying to reach them. From here the story unfolds as they figure out if they can trust one another and what reason they would rob the most dangerous bank, as their minds have been wiped to protect them from the Teller who senses and feeds of guilt.

SPOILERS ahead

Here is the assessment of the episode:

The Pros: The Premise – We’ve never seen the Doctor rob a bank before, in any of his incarnations…so this was something new that gave a great reason to explore the Universe of Doctor who more and his motivations that would drive him to do something this risky and dangerous.

The Bank of Karabraxos – The Bank of Karabraxos was done really well and creatively. From the Teller who hunts and feeds off of guilt and memories, to Ms. Delphin and Madam Karabraxos and all the security agents who are dressed in pretty cool space marine uniforms. It feels like a place that would be difficult to break into, which serves the plot really well.

The Characters

Psi – Jonathan Baily is fantastic in this role, from his critique of the Doctor to Clara (“I can tell you’ve been traveling with him for some time. You keep making excuses for him”). Who is a hacker and whose motivation is to reclaim the memories he deleted as he’s an augmented human who is part computer (glad we have one of these in “Doctor Who” now). He’s arrogant and selfish at times but cares a lot for Saibra and Clara, and eventually comes around to the Doctor after the reveal of how intricate the Architect’s plans were.

Saibra – Pippa Bennett-Warner plays a character who becomes the thing she touches. She is unable to form connections with people because they always see themselves staring right back at them. She is really good in this role and adds a lot of depth to the role and relates to the Doctor’s detachment from others as that is all she’s known all her life. Saibra is robbing the bank to have something to suppress the mutant gene so she can have the possibility of romantic relationships with others.

Clara – Clara feels like more of a minor character this time around, but we do see that she is pretty selfish as when her life flashes before her eyes when the Teller is hunting her she sees only herself. This is interesting in regards to her relationship and her empathy she has for other characters. She’s very much like the Doctor that way.

Ms. Delphin/Madam Karabraxos – These characters are clones who hate themselves. Karabraxos is the main clone but she’s destroyed herself so many times and is so detached from everyone she’s hurt that she makes a great villain. She is changed later though as her conversation with the Doctor at the end pricks her regret and leads her to make a call on the day the Solar Storm destroys the Bank of Karabraxos…as she wants to atone for one of the greatest wrongs she’s done. Keeley Hawes does a good job in the role.

The Teller

The Teller – The Teller is a fascinating species, that I hope we see again. It preys off memories and guilt like a Dementor but is also a prisoner to the Bank, and as we learn, serving the bank to protect it’s mate they have trapped in the private vault. This was the reason the architect robbed the bank in the end, to save a species that was the last of it’s kind. It was imprisoning the Tellers that prompts Madam Karabraxos to call the Doctor in her old age and set the story in motion. I hope we see this species again, in a complicated role of antagonist and victim like this episode, antagonist or protagonist. They have a great design and concept.

The Doctor – The Doctor is the architect and we see the reason behind his professional detachment as doing so protected the victim (the Teller) from making them victims and allowed them to save the species and get Saibra and Psi what they wanted more than anything else. The Doctor is the Architect and it ends with us seeing him lay the briefcases that open up the different doors, and how the devices he used and lied about were transporters to get Psi and Saibra out but believing themselves to be dead when they were being assaulted by the Teller. He really is detached in this but the reason he is is driven for the greater good of saving a species and helping the members of his team. The biggest issue I had was his childishness at the end when he’s grumbling to himself, “Robbing a bank, beat that for a date.” Also he makes a great quote about his eyebrows being the reason everybody follows him. They got to make some Capaldi Detachable eyebrows for “Doctor Who” conventions at some point.

Okay: The “Don’t” Moffat Meme – This is a bit overdone and began with “Blink” and “Don’t blink.” This episode had, “Don’t think.” It’s an idea he tends to use a lot and I was kind of hoping for something different, especially after “Listen” used the concept with “Don’t look.” Considering this came right after “Listen” it’s an okay that’s going to be counted against the episode.

Clara’s Reason for Coming – We don’t fully see Clara’s motivation for coming along, she likes to help others, but I get that…but she never put her motivations to words the way the Doctor did at the end when the reason for the heist was revealed.

The Time Loop – The reason behind the heist was okay, I was kind of hoping the Doctor wouldn’t have been the Architect though, the closed loop (see the River Song arc) with the Doctor knowing everything that will happen can kill suspense. It didn’t quite kill suspense this episode, but thinking on it later, I would’ve liked if it was revealed another Time Lord was involved in some way, especially since there was so much we didn’t know about the Bank of Karabraxos.

This was a solidly good episode. It was great in how it did characters, and the reveal wasn’t bad even if I wish Moffat had gotten a little bit more out of his comfort zone. This is the best Thompson episode though he’s done on “Doctor Who.” I recommend this episode for sure and I do hope we see more of The Teller species. Also, Capaldi is owning this role and I really love him as the 12th Doctor.

Final Score: 8.5 / 10

The 12th Doctor – Series 8, Episode 4 – “Listen” – The Power of Fear

Listen

“Fear doesn’t have to make you cruel and cowardly. Fear can make you kind.” – The Doctor

“Listen,” is a great episode, I’m just going to say that now. It has some of the best Moffat writing and really shows the potential and promise for the rest of the season. Speaking of which, Steven Moffat was the writer of this episode and Douglas Mackinnin directed. They did fantastic.

The story shows us the Doctor’s curiosity as it begins with the Doctor wondering if there is someone or something there under the bed and just out of sight as he’s read about the dream throughout time and experienced it for himself. This also happens when Clara is going on her first date with Danny Pink, and the story unfolds from there.

SPOILERS

Here is the assessment of the episode:

The Pros: The Tone – The tone is one of reflecting and fear. The Doctor is thinking about fear and trying to discover if there is a creature it is tied too. This leads to his usual recklenessness (Clara tapping into the Psychic link to the TARDIS to find her first memory of it) and his actions on the last planet in the Universe.

The Cinematography – The cinematography captures the epic scale of what the episode covers and shows us the personal and universalness of the emotion of fear. Mackinnon did a great job directing.

Danny Pink – Danny is in this episode briefly at the end where he and Clara make up, and during the date where there is romantic tension, but where they both aren’t very socially aware. Fear has paralyzed them rather than forcing them to action. This is sorted by the end as they both learn kindness from their fears of failing each other. We also meet Danny as a child as Clara has a link to him from the date and she and the Doctor help him face the mysterious creature under the covers and letting it leave the room. It’s a great scene and we learn Danny was an orphan.

Clara – We see her awkwardness here in her first date with Danny, her connecting with the their descendant who is also a time traveler who gives her the soldier without a gun that she gave to Danny as a child and that she later gives to the Doctor as a child. She is active in this and reminds the Doctor that fear is important, as his lack of fear and curiosity almost gets him killed on the last planet in the Universe. This is another great Clara episode as she is connected to the Doctor but still her own person, she isn’t the Doctor’s McGuffin like in “Name of the Doctor.”

The Doctor – I’m saying the Doctor as a whole cause though Capaldi is amazing, this story is bigger than him. We get a glimpse into his childhood as he is afraid of the dark and his own fears and demons that haunt him so he chooses to sleep in a barn. The young Doctor is always in shadow, but he has long hair like the 1st Doctor. It is similar to when we saw the young Master, and just as if not more powerful as he chooses later to return to the barn as the War Doctor to make his big choice. We see his curiosity as we visit a young Danny Pink and his ancestor who it implies is related to Clara. The Doctor is the soldier so brave, he fights without a gun. He faces his fears armed only with his mind and in that succeeds.

The Message – Like the quote above, fear can make us kind as we realize what it is that is making us vulnerable and afraid. Fear can make us fight for the ones we love and fear can make us superheroes and make us run and fight faster and harder than we would (as expressed by the Doctor to a young Danny).

The Mystery – Something was under Danny’s bed, so there is a creature or creatures most likely still out there. Not knowing in this case serves the story, like in Series 4 and “Midnight” where we never find out what creature was haunting the train and possessing people and the Doctor.

This is perfect Moffat. He does the tone and mystery and making you scared of what you don’t see and having a bigger purpose. He turns associations of fear on it’s head and show how fear can be a positive. We also get amazing Clara, Doctor and Danny development. I highly recommend this episode.

10 / 10. Moffat at his best and in his element.

The 12th Doctor – Series 8, Episode 3 – “Robot of Sherwood” – Doesn’t Hit The Mark

DoctorWhoS8E3

“Robot of Sherwood” isn’t some of Mark Gatiss’s best writing. It has good moments, great moments in fact…but the bad moments really bring it down. I’ll get into the details in the assessment.

“Robot of Sherwood” as stated above was written by Mark Gatiss and Directed by Paul Murphy. It aired today, September 6th, 2014 and is the 3rd episode of the 8th Series.

The story begins with Clara wanting to see Robin Hood to see if the legend exists as the Doctor does not believe in him. When they arrive in Sherwood Forest they find him and are taken in by him and his Merry Men. We are soon introduced to the threat of the Sheriff of Nottingham who is using Robots to steal all gold from the populace and kill the King. From here the story unfolds.

Here is the assessment of the episode:

The Pros: Clara – This is a great Clara episode, again I ask why we couldn’t have got this in Series 7. We learn that Clara loves Robin Hood and has since she was little, which makes sense we see her reading before the Doctor asks her where she wants to go, and being a teacher she’d be sharing this story with her students. Her relationship to Robin in this is fantastic and we see her put her trust in him when she tells him the Doctor’s backstory. She is also the one who believes in the Legend as folks like Amy believed in the legend of the Doctor. The parallels are great when they are revealed through Clara.

Okay/Good: Robin Hood – Tom Riley does okay as Robin Hood, much better than say Russell Crowe, but not as great as some of the others. He has some good moments with the Doctor and Clara though which make up for it. Part of it is I’m unsure if some of the awkward scenes are from bad writing on Gatiss’s part or Riley not being completely cut out for the part. It’s for this reason I have the okay part.

The 12th Doctor / The Twelfth Doctor – We get the backstory of the Doctor and see him use his mind to defeat the Robots, but he isn’t given much to do and his rivalry with Robin Hood over Clara is childish. I hated it actually, he isn’t supposed to be the 11th Doctor who would pull crap like that, he’s supposed to be more mature. Worth it for the end though which was good and when we learn the Doctor’s motivations were much like Robin’s as he ran away from the wealthy corrupt Time Lord society to help the people of the Universe.

Con: The Robots and the Sheriff – The Sheriff’s motivations are only killing the King and becoming ruler, and the Robots have no motivation at all but to serve the Sheriff. The Doctor references the Robots being similar to the Half-Face Man and Clockwork droids who got sent back in time, but those guys got motivation even it was from doing their purpose of collecting parts and from it finding the idea of “Paradise.” The Sheriff is evil for the sake of evil and the actor who plays him isn’t good. These are the first dud baddies of the season.

Would I recommend this episode? It doesn’t do anything for the overall arc, but the reveal of the Doctor’s past which we’ve got from past Doctors was good, since I think a lot of people don’t realize why the Doctor first started running from Gallifrey in the first place. Jenna Coleman is amazing and this is her episode. The guest actor Tom Riley is okay, as is Capaldi but for Capaldi…this is his worst episode so far. He’s far too childish and Riley’s Robin Hood is far too idealistic. He doesn’t feel human at times even if he does have some good in how he’s played. I’d leave it up to you to watch it. If you don’t mind dud villains and want to know more about Clara, watch the episode. If not, you aren’t missing much here.

Final score for this episode is 6 / 10. Would be an average episode if not for the ending and Jenna Coleman carrying it.

The 12th Doctor – Series 8, Episode 2 – “Into the Dalek” – Of Soldiers and the Soul of the Doctor

Into the Dalek

 

“Into the Dalek” feels the like the sequel to “Dalek,” one of my favorite episodes back in Series 1 where a Dalek was changed by Rose’s DNA and the Doctor is forced to confront his PTSD from the Time War and his Dalek prejudice. I’ll get into more details in the assessment, suffice to say I was impressed though with this episode.

The episode was written by Steven Moffat and Phil Ford, and directed by Ben Wheatley.

The story involves the Doctor and Clara going inside a Dalek in order to help it, since it is the only good Dalek in the Universe. From here the story unfolds as more of Clara’s life at school is revealed and the story of the rebels fight against the Daleks and the Doctor’s relationship to his past and the Daleks.

WARNING – Spoilers ahead 

Here is the assessment of the episode:

The Pros: The New Intro – Lots of clocks and time…the music also fits the theme of the show during the introductory credits. Also introducing us to Journey Blue (our face in the Resistance against the Daleks) by the Doctor saving her after she loses her brother and takes him to the injured Dalek is a great hook.

Danny Pink – I’m glad this guy is going to be a reoccurring character and possibly a new companion. The man is a soldier who is dealing with PSTD from the war he fought in and is Clara’s colleague. He loves reading and dislikes how everyone judges him before getting to know him. He has an awkward relationship with Clara as she brings up his past and jokes about him crying after killing people. Samuel Anderson brings a lot of depth to this role and I can’t wait to see more.

The Rebels – Whether it’s Uncle, Journey Blue or Gretchen, none of the named resistance get wasted. Uncle is there to help Journey through helping heal the Dalek (Rusty) and fighting the enemy Daleks when they board the ship. Gretchen sacrafices herself to help the Rusty find his soul through Clara and the Doctor’s help and Journey Blue defends and fights for them all the way, as well as making the choice to trust the Doctor. They are a great group of characters.

Inside Rusty – From the anti-bodies that are like tiny Dalek eye sockets, to the mixture of metal and organic…the inside of the Dalek is done well and really creatively. It’s a shame “Journey to the Center of the TARDIS” didn’t receive this much effort and creative thought.

Rusty – Rusty is the Dalek who Clara, Gretchen, Journey Blue and the Doctor are shrunk to go inside of in order to help it heal. He is the Dalek who found beauty in life and with it an extreme hatred for the Daleks. After he is healed he represses his memories and summons the Daleks to aid him until Clara, Gretchen, The Doctor and Journey help it get the memories it repressed back. The Doctor than tries to get it beyond hatred of it’s own kind but cannot find anything but hate for the Daleks in the Doctor’s mind so embraces it to defend the rebels before going back to continue the hunt against the Daleks.

Missy – Appears again in “Heaven: after Gretchen sacrifices herself. I’m curious where this is going, so far she’s collecting characters…for what purpose remains to be seen.

Clara – Get’s fleshed out as a person…we see her relationship to her colleagues and students and why she is a teacher. She helps teach the Doctor to look beyond his ego and his limited scope of physical healing and is the one who gives the Doctor the idea of trying to change Rusty back to good through his memories and to make him truly good. She’s honest with the Doctor and more than a plot device, I love it. Why couldn’t we have got this Clara last season? Jenna Coleman deserved this great level of writing much earlier.

The 12th Doctor / The Twelfth Doctor – The 12th Doctor is once again fantastic. We see how his ego and prejudice blind him to the fact that Rusty (the name he gives the Dalek) beauty and he scoffed at it…and when he does get over his assumption it is too late as he has held hatred for all Daleks for so long that Rusty once more latches on to that and becomes the War Doctor of old. He is now a weapon against his people living in self hatred…much like the Tenth Doctor, the War Doctor and the Ninth Doctor to different degrees. It is tragic and fits the theme of the season. Because of this the Doctor doesn’t want soldiers with him, he realized he still carries the war still so close and doesn’t want to have to kill again. Capaldi shows the layers of this, and still having a sense of humor along the way.

Okay: The Daleks – The Daleks are there as a force of nature, but there is nothing to show them as unique, you can’t even tell command positions…they are all just golden. Still an awesome threat in this episode but rank is part of what made the Daleks unique. There wasn’t enough, “I OBEY.”

Con: The Doctor’s Pep Talk to Rusty – It was a great pep talk but how it was directed was kind of awkward. The Doctor is staring right at us, which was meant to be dramatic, but after a time kind of comes off as funny.

Boyfriend – Once again annoying. Stop telling us that Clara has a crush on Danny and that it might be mutual and let it unfold on it’s own. Good God, The Tenth Doctor and Rose had more subtlety.

This episode is worth watching for sure. One of the better Dalek Episodes and a good exploration of the Doctor and Clara’s characters. I’m hoping we see more of the Daleks and Rusty and that Missy isn’t just dropped. Stop having the myseterious woman appear unless she actually gets fleshed out. Madam Kovarian didn’t get any fleshing out and could have been an amazing antagonist because of the mysterious set-up. Moffat you need more than mystery, please deliver this season. This was an amazing episode though and one of my favorites.

Final Score is 9.6 / 10

 

 

The Doctors’ First Adventures – Worst to Best

12-doctors_492px

We end the 12 Days of Doctors Series with rating the Doctors’ First Adventures, Worst to Best. This was a fun thing to do, though when “Doctor Who” was bad it was pretty obvious. I’ll post my original reviews under the summary as well as have some contrasting in the summary on why they are rated where they are. “Doctor Who” is one of my favorite shows and it is great looking back again and seeing how each actor approached the role. So without further ado, lets look back on the episodes from worst to best:

12th Place

Twin Dilemma

The 6th Doctor – “The Twin Dilemma”

This episode is pretty insulting on a lot of levels (The 6th Doctor’s physical abuse of his companion) and there is not really anything good to say about it beyond the fact that it sucks less later on. The villain is also one of the stupidist bad guys in “Doctor Who” and believe me, that is saying something. He doesn’t ever feel threatening and is a complete joke, also we have two Wonder Boy/Wesley Crusher type characters we’re supposed to sympathize with, and who can’t act. Yep…this episode is one of the worst of the worst in “Doctor Who.”

1 / 10

https://cameronmoviesandtv.wordpress.com/2014/08/10/12-days-of-doctors-the-6th-doctor-season-21-episode-7-the-twin-dilemma-everyone-is-terrible-or-boring/

11th Place

doctor-who-96-tv-movie-cast

The 8th Doctor – “Doctor Who the Movie”

So, after the show was off the air, they tried to bring it back with a movie. “Doctor Who the Movie.” It is pretty bad, pretty much the only redeeming qualities of this film are Paul McGann as the 8th Doctor and Sylvester McCoy appearing before he gets killed as the 7th Doctor. The Master is the bad kind of hammy and none of the Doctor’s companions are worth mentioning in this, beyond the fact that they are terrible people. This is a tragedy too given that Paul McGann owns this role and really deserved a series as the Eighth Doctor.

5 / 10. Was a bad action movie elevated by Paul McGann and Sylvester McCoy.

https://cameronmoviesandtv.wordpress.com/2014/08/14/12-days-of-doctors-the-8th-doctor-doctor-who-the-movie-paul-mcgann-should-have-got-a-series/

10th Place

An Unearthly Child 13

The 1st Doctor – “An Unearthly Child”

Things didn’t start out well for this series, they started out okay, but not great. The “Doctor Who” Pilot begins with two teachers talking their student Susan until they meet her strange Grandfather who kidnaps them because he doesn’t want to be revealed to Earth. He is great as the gruff Professor type but the teachers and Susan aren’t very good and the Doctor played by William Hartnell isn’t given enough to do. This should have been a longer episode.

6 / 10

https://cameronmoviesandtv.wordpress.com/2014/08/04/the-1st-doctor-an-unearthly-child-season-1-episode-1-12-days-of-doctors/

9th Place

Robot 4

The 4th Doctor – “The Robot”

Tom Baker is a fantastic Doctor, and Sarah Jane Smith is a great companion…it is a shame the episode they appear in together for the first time doesn’t get to use their talents fully. The episode tries to be a morality play with The Robot of the title but the organization that wants to kill everyone is not fleshed out really well and in the process, the Robot they created isn’t either. There are a lot of good ideas here, they just aren’t fully realized. Seeing the Brigadier in action along with Harry is another plus though.

7.4 / 10

https://cameronmoviesandtv.wordpress.com/2014/08/07/12-days-of-doctors-the-4th-doctor-the-robot-an-attempt-to-explore-the-formation-of-morality-through-a-robot-season-12-episode-1/

8th Place

christmas_invasion-1

The 10th Doctor – “The Christmas Invasion”

David Tennant was my first Doctor and the one who got me into my love of “Doctor Who” as a whole, both the new and the classic. His episode is good but it has a major problem. The companions are useless and the Doctor is a super hero who must save them and the world. I hate this…part of what makes “Doctor Who” so great is the fact that the Doctor needs his companions, if they aren’t used, it would be better if they never appeared in the episode at all. I still recommend this episode though, even with this big problem.

7.8 / 10

https://cameronmoviesandtv.wordpress.com/2014/08/18/12-days-of-doctors-the-10th-doctor-series-2-episode-1-the-christmas-invasion-the-doctor-as-a-super-hero/

7th Place

Castrovalva

The 5th Doctor – “Castrovalva”

This is an episode where the biggest issues are too many companions (Mostly Adric) and the fact that the Doctor is out of it for most of it. The Master is great though with his two plots to try and destroy the Doctor, especially in how his creations are actually interesting compelling beings who are related to the world that is the title. Nyssa and Tegan are great companions too. Could do without Adric though, even though he isn’t as bad as he is in later episodes. Kids who can fly the TARDIS and know everything don’t lend themselves well to good stories…

8.5 / 10

https://cameronmoviesandtv.wordpress.com/2014/08/08/12-days-of-doctors-the-5th-doctor-castrovalva-the-manipulations-of-the-master-season-19-episode-1/

6th Place

Dr Who: Spearhead From Space

The 3rd Doctor – “The Spearhead From Space”

This episode for me, had the same score has “Castrovalva.” What makes it better slightly and why it rated higher on this list is the lack of Adric and a slightly more coherent plot. In this episode we see the Doctor with UNIT face off against the Autons sent by the Nesetene Consciousness to take over the world. It is here we see him with the Brig and Liz having to invent things to stop the Nestene and to investigate to find out that the Nestene is behind all the issues in the first place. It is a lot of fun and well worth a watch. Jon Pertwee is amazing.

8.5 / 10

https://cameronmoviesandtv.wordpress.com/2014/08/06/12-days-of-doctors-the-3rd-doctor-the-spearhead-from-space-the-beginning-of-an-exile-season-7-episode-1/

5th Place

doctor-rose1280

The 9th Doctor – “Rose”

Christopher Eccleston is fantastic and Rose is a great companion on her first outing. She works with the Doctor and we get to see a great Doctor and companion dynamic. This is also the first Post-Time War Doctor, and it shows. Eccleston does the PTSD Doctor so well that you can see how driven he is to save lives. He gives the Nestene Consciousness a chance and he has some great strategies for trying to stop the Auton invasion from the Nestene. Also Rose is a great character and very worthy of the companion role. She embraces the adventure, even with having a life and reasons to stay. I highly recommend this episode.

9 / 10

https://cameronmoviesandtv.wordpress.com/2014/08/17/12-days-of-doctors-the-9th-doctor-series-1-episode-1-rose-the-consequences-of-the-time-war/

4th Place

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The 7th Doctor – “Time and the Rani”

This was an episode that nearly made the Top 3. There is only one factor that keeps it from being there, and that is the consequences the Rani forcing a regeneration into the 7th aren’t fully explored. It is a great episode, and one of my all time favorite “Doctor Who” episodes…both because of the Rani played by Kate O’Mara and Sylvester McCoy owning the role as the more wizard like Doctor (and the costume designs and alien civilizations are fantastic). Her plan is pretty cool and it takes a lot to defeat her in the episode. The thing that doesn’t really help it though is the fact that Mel isn’t all that memorable as companion. She is okay and has personality but isn’t as memorable as some of the ones before. Still a favorite that I very much recommend.

9.2 / 10

https://cameronmoviesandtv.wordpress.com/2014/08/11/12-days-of-doctors-the-7th-doctor-season-24-episode-1-time-and-the-rani-the-rani-is-awesome/

3rd Place

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The 12th Doctor – “Deep Breath”

This is the episode I just saw today, and it is amazing. It makes the top 3 for a few reasons. The biggest being Clara is finally a human being and an interesting companion (we see her trials as a teacher and trials with the Doctor), the Paternoster Gang (Vastra, Strax and Jenny) are great and we get to see more of their dynamic and how they grow with Clara and the Doctor, the villain of The Half-Face Man and Peter Capaldi as the 12th Doctor. There is a lot to love, the only issue is how everyone keeps bringing up Clara and having a romantic partner. How many times does she have to say she wasn’t and isn’t interested? Can’t that be respected and why was that written in? Besides that, great story and one of the Top 3 First Adventures of the Doctors.

9.3 / 10

https://cameronmoviesandtv.wordpress.com/2014/08/24/12-days-of-doctors-the-12th-doctor-series-8-episode-1-deep-breath-finding-the-doctor/

2nd Place

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The 2nd Doctor – “The Power of the Daleks”

This is one of my favorite episodes for a reason, and it’s one that you can only watch via audio, pictures and what little film remains…it is worth it though. In the link I post you can see some of the recreations that fans did. This episode is great because it shows the Daleks manipulating humans against each other and only arriving when they’ve pretty much won anyway…Polly and Ben each help the Doctor in their own ways and the Patrick Troughton is a great Loki like Doctor. He is the trickster who manages to manipulate his way in a position to help by playing the buffoon. This is one of the best “Doctor Who” episodes and one of the best Dalek Episodes as well. This episode really establishes why they are so dangerous. I highly recommend watching the footage and audio of the full episode to really get apprecation for this Doctor, the Daleks, Polly and Ben and this story.

9.5 / 10

https://cameronmoviesandtv.wordpress.com/2014/08/04/the-2nd-doctor-the-power-of-the-daleks-season-4-episode-3-the-daleks-manipulation-12-days-of-doctors/

1st Place

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The 11th Doctor – “The Eleventh Hour”

This is the episode that is the best of the First Adventures. The reasons for this are it establishes the Doctor as a Time Lord and time traveler (visiting Amy as a child and an adult and not being aware of the time change) a great baddie who plays with your mind (Prisoner Zero in the corner of your eye…the boogey man of childhood) and continuity (when facing the Atraxi they can the Doctor and find all his past numbered incarnations in their data bank as defenders of the Earth). It is wonderful and Rory and Amy are great companions. The Doctor isn’t a super hero and actually needs their help since it is only together they win. For people new to “Doctor Who” this is generally the episode I recommend. It is also visually amazing. This Doctor, is pretty cool.

10 / 10

https://cameronmoviesandtv.wordpress.com/2014/08/21/12-days-of-doctors-the-11th-doctor-series-5-episode-1-the-eleventh-hour-the-time-traveler/

“Doctor Who” both Classic and New is an amazing series and many of these episodes capture the good that this show can bring…whether it is wrestling with morality, showing us the good in ourselves or just being fun it is a series that I believe will remain timeless. I look forward to reviewing more “Doctor Who” episodes later on, but until than it was fantastic and I can’t wait to see what the new Series 8 brings to this very rich universe.

12 Days of Doctors – The 12th Doctor – Series 8, Episode 1 – “Deep Breath” – Finding the Doctor

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We end 12 Days of Doctors with “Deep Breath” the first adventure of the 12th Doctor played by Peter Capaldi. So, how did it hold up? I’ll go into that in the review, but the short version…I was inspired and impressed. It’s nice to see Moffat back in form after the terriblish “Time of the Doctor.”

Speaking of which, this episode was written by Steven Moffat who is still the current showrunner, much like Davies was through the 9th and 10th Doctor. Ben Wheatley directed the episode and Nikki Wilson produced it.

This will be a SPOILER review, so warning. It is hard to talk about the Doctor and characters without giving away what happens.

The story begins with the TARDIS being swallowed by a Tyrannosaurus Rex and accidentally transporting it to Victorian England where the story takes place. The 12th Doctor has just went through being given new regenerations and is not all there, and Clara his companion doesn’t know what to make of him. From here the story unfolds as Vastra and her Paternoster Gang (Strax and Jenny) try to solve why people have been exploding all over town after the Tyrannasaurus Rex is exploded too, all while trying to help the new Doctor find his bearing and stop the crimes.

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Here is the assessment of the episode:

Pros: The 12th Doctor / The Twelfth Doctor – Peter Capaldi is fantastic in this role. His Doctor has the manic and egotistical without being hurtful and cruel. You see his heart shine through on multiple occasions, such as mourning the Tyrannosaurus Rex that was killed and his connecting with Clara over the course of the episode. He’s the Doctor who was aware he was young and is also aware that he’s cheated. “I’ve made mistakes, it’s time I start correcting them.” This sums up the 12th Doctor in a nutshell and he is brilliant. Peter Capaldi owns this role and is well deserving of the mantel of the Doctor. Also, he loves dinosaurs.

Clara – Clara is someone who for much of this series has existed as a meme and some of the worst of Steven Moffat’s writing. She’s “The Impossible Girl” whose destiny it is to save the Doctor. That isn’t really a character, or at least not a human one…that is the idea of a character. We finally get to see a Clara that isn’t all whimsical and actually feels like a human being and companion! At one point she crosses into a room where she feels overwhelmed and where Clockwork Droids are around her…you see her as a teacher (which wasn’t established until “Day of the Doctor” really) and her being overwhelmed. We also see her questioning what her relationship is to the Doctor and what it means…and she does great! I can genuinely say I like Clara after this episode, when before there wasn’t much to like or dislike.

Paternoster Gang

The Paternoster Gang – I love this group. Mostly because Vastra and Jenny are such a great couple. They were actually there to show what loving someone who isn’t human is like since Clara was dealing with the fact that Eleven might have felt for her in that way (which the 12th Doctor apologizes for). Vastra is also there in an advising role and she is fantastic! She is one of my all time favorite characters in “Doctor Who” and her story has been handled much better than how Harknesses was butchered in “Torchwood.” All of them have roles, except for Strax who is a good fighter but mostly comic relief, honestly he isn’t needed. At one point we even see them ready to take Clara onto the Team after the Doctor has disappeared. It is quite cool and they have a great character arc. They grow into accepting Clara and helping her accept the new Doctor. The companionship and marriage between Vastra and Jenny is contrasted between the friendship and companionship between The Doctor and Clara. They have a great standoff against the Clockwork Droids too near the end.

The Half-Face Man – Is the leader of the Clock Work Droids (think the episode “Girl in the Fire Place” also written by Moffat) who are trying to fix their ship and themselves and reach Paradise. They do this buy capturing humans and taking their organs, they also do this to the Tyrannosaurus Rex to help repair their ship. He is a great baddy is creepy as he uses his restaraunt as a front and is human, he speaks as an individual and is compelling enough that your left wondering if the Doctor convinced him to take his life since he knew what he was doing was wrong to reach Paradise. I like that. We later see him speaking to a mysterious Mary Poppins lady in “Paradise” who calls herself the Doctor’s girlfriend. It is cool and continues the mysterious creepiness of the episode. I liked him as a bad guy, he was a robot doing everything to fulfill his orders to repair the ship but was seeking paradise because of the humanity he’d implanted into himself. It was very well done.

Okay: The Music – The music is alright, not nearly as memorable as “The Eleventh Hour” soundtrack though. It was more neutral in regards to this new series.

The 11th Doctor Calls Clara – I honestly didn’t know what to think of this. How would Eleven know he’d become Twelve? Did he remember “Day of the Doctor?” This part was confusing, but touching…but because of the confusing bit, can’t really call it a pro.

Con: Clara and the Boyfriend – This point was brought up way too much, from Clara saying that Vastra is jealous of her for having the gall to think she liked the Doctor as lover (When Vastra is questioning her on why she is being so standoffish to the Doctor), to the 12th Doctor saying “Is your boyfriend calling?” When she gets a call from the Eleventh Doctor at Trenzalore….it was annoying. We get it, you don’t need to bring it up all the freaking time. She wasn’t interested in the 11th Doctor and isn’t interested in anyone currently.

I highly recommend this episode. Definitely in the Top 3 First Doctor Adventures (which I’ll write my list rating them all together later). It is fun, the enemy is interesting, the Paternoster Gang is always fantastic, even in episodes that aren’t great and Clara is finally a good companion…Also Capaldi owns this role. It is worth it just to see his unique and fantastic take on the Doctor.

Final Score this episode is 9.3 / 10. Here is to hoping that the rest of Series 8 can hold up as well as this episode did. The 12th Doctor and Clara deserve a great season.

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12 Days of Doctors – A Count up to 12th’s First Adventure

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As a lover of science fiction, creative story and history…Doctor Who both the new and classic took to me pretty quickly. My first Doctor will always be the 10th Doctor with Tennant and Series 2 when Rose was his companion. It was episodes from this that pulled me into the new series and later into the old classic series.

Each of the actors was great at making the Doctor their own, while still remaining mostly true to continuity and core personality traits…though within those core traits certain Doctors emphasize more greater than others. Regeneration changes the Doctor even if he still remains the Doctor and it is fascinating how both the writers, actors and directors tackle this issue.

The things I’m going to be looking at most besides how good the story is and how well it is directed is the Doctors’ relationship to their companions. It is in this that you can really gauge how great a Doctor is as a person, even if the episode or movie sucks. Companions reveal the Doctors’ humanity and that is one of the most fascinating things about the show…besides the alien perspective used to show us the good and bad within our own natures. When the show is at it’s best…it can teach us about ourselves through showing rather than telling and inspire us to be better.

Since the regeneration of the 11th Doctor I’ve been looking forward to doing this (though not looking forward to the first 6th Doctor Episode “The Twin Dilemma,” or the Doctor Who Movie for the 8th Doctor). The rest from what I remember is very enjoyable and solid and some of these introductory episodes to the Doctors are ones I have not had the time to see yet. The episodes that I will be reviewing leading up to 12th Doctor and his pilot episode “Deep Breath,” are:

“An Unearthly Child” – The 1st Doctor

“The Power of the Daleks” – The 2nd Doctor

“The Spearhead from Space” – The 3rd Doctor

“Robot” – The 4th Doctor

“Castrovalva” – The 5th Doctor

“The Twin Dilemma” – The 6th Doctor

“Time and the Rani” – The 7th Doctor

The Doctor Who Movie – The 8th Doctor

“Rose” – The 9th Doctor

“The Christmas Invasion” – The 10th Doctor

“The 11th Hour” – The 11th Doctor

and ending on “Deep Breath,” for the 12th. I will not be including the War Doctor because the 50th Anniversary episode is an episode for another day, and he isn’t one of the Numbered Doctors, though he is a fascinating Doctor nonetheless. Now without further ado and in the leadup to the premiere on August 25th, “Allons-y!”

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