Saturday, December 28, 2013

UPDATE: What's new for 2014

'lo all!

There has been some delays regarding parts 10 and 11 of the Matrix Databank series plus the 8th Doctor companions series but bear with me. The 10th Doctor entry is indeed set to be published thus fortcoming Sunday 01-12. The 11th Doctor entry will also be published soon. There will be some changes and new additions coming in the new year in the Continuity Zone. So here's the following new additions:

  • Season to Season reviews will begin in March starting with the Classic Series episodes (Big Finish included once I get to the 8th Doctor)
  • I'll be jump starting my Bernice Summerfield reviews again for the first time since my History of the Doctor days. The first seven seasons will be reposted on here just in time for the reviews for Series 8-11 and the Box Sets
  • Era Assessment: Looking back on each era of the show's history (including controversies, triumphs, et al)
  • New online polls
  • Matrix Databank: 12th Doctor (coming late in the year once Series 8's finished airing)

Page update:

  • Gallifrey's timeline page will be revised to include every Gallifrey centered story ever
  • Suppliments to recent reviews will be up in the comming months to flesh it out in a more in depth manner.

So, that's the update. If you have further ideas for the blog I'm all ears and post them in the comments section. Ta!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Exit, Eleventh, Enter Twelfth (or Crukity-Bye!*): The Time of the Doctor Review

Raggety Man.....Good night.

You know, it's hard to believe it's been nearly 4 years since Matt Smith took on the role of the 11th Doctor. Reactions to his casting from January 2009 up to the premiere of The Eleventh Hour in the spring of 2010 ranged from severely negative to open minded approval; taking a wait and see outlook to how good he'd be. Now four years later (five next month to the day of his casting), we bid adieu to our Raggedy Man, our Mad Man in a Box. So how does tonight's Chirstmas Special measure up to the previous ones and does 11th go out on a coherent high?...Well...lets cut to the good this time:


  • The intro with 11th and the Daleks (and "Handles") early on was strong; leaving you to believe this will be a very strong send-off.
  • The performances from Smith, Coleman and guest star Orla Brady were on the ball. Plus the scenes in Trenzalore showcased why I like 11th. Going toe-to-toe with the wooden Cybermen whilst rapidly aging through 900 years (rivaling 8th's 600 years on Orbis). The aging 11th was very amusing. By the time we got to the grand finale, Smith's elderly make-up makes him look nearly Hartnell-esque right down to the wig and walking stick.
  • The cameo from from Karen Gillan was one many a fan won't forget. It serves as a right little bookend to 11th's lengthy life. He met Amy in his beginning as her imaginary friend, now she's became his just before he went.
  • Wooden Cyberman....Wooden. Cyberman!. That is all.
  • The expanation to who blew the TARDIS up, but not the why (why is disappointing) apart from the destiny trap the church mapped out for the Doctor.
  • Dat final speech! Now this (while second to Paul McGann's Physcian, heal thyself line) it strong dialogue for Matt Smith to go out on.


  • The sexism is quite evident here just as it was in last November's turkey and even moreso 2011's Let's Kill Hitler. Normally I don't have a dog in that race but it's quite alarming when the showrunner's sexual politic issues run the gammut from mild to flat out hamfisted. Case in point the unneeded mysogynist line or two being foisted on Smith to say which feels more at home from a Terrence Dicks penned Doctor Who novel of old than on TV.
  • The Daleks were not in best use here One forum comment the other day was on point about there not being a single extermination from them since Steven Moffat's reign begun. They're now no more neutered (on TV, anyway) than Saturday Morning cartoons were when parent forced TV programmes to be the parent while the actual one just continue their passive parenting without a single-(Kory. Rambling!). Bottom line, they've ceased being scary and its a damn shame in their 50 year in pop culture. Plus, I can see now we'll never see a proper Dalek agent or a Roboman  at this point or ever.
  • The plot when it comes to the previous baddies used through out the Smith era made the entire special feel like a Greatest Hits complilation but with no bonus bits og new material to shine through to round it off. The late Craig Hinton would've crapped out a better form of fanwank without blatantly gushing about what a genuis he is.
  • Clara, Clara, Clara.....I can't help but think her lack of character development is more in tune with how Susan was written the fifty years before. Only in 2013, sprained ankles and cry spells have been replaced with quips, flirtation and her saving the day a lot whether its a a leaf or her apealing to the Time Lords via a crack to give the Doctor a new regeneration. Speaking of that....
  • Yay for Moffat's latest Kanye moment! Rubbing salt on an old wound by bringing up the Eccleston stand-in (that's all John Hurt will always be to me) and Handy to remind us that the 11th Doctor was the last one with complete disregard for the Valeyard angle to tackle which could've been the best opportunity to exploit it. Ain't he a stinker?....
  • Will someone please tell Murray Gold to turn down the friggin' volume when adding music to every episode?! It wasn't cute during the RTD era and it's not cute now.

Do you know how to fly this thing?!

It's Feels Different This Time...::

  • The regeneration was a lot short this time around; in a same quckness as the Pertwee-Tom Baker regeneration in Planet of the Spiders and, more or less the infamous 6th regeneration in the intro to Time and the Rani. Still the 30 odd seconds with the now incumbent Doctor Peter Capaldi was a real treat. So, it's good to say that everyone has a good reason to look forward to August 2014 (or Easter depending on an odd rumor or two).

The verdict: The Time of the Doctor is indeed uneven and often slow in certain parts. It really shoud've been a stronger send off for Matt Smith rather than the net result. Compared to the hollow Day of the Doctor, the Time of the Doctor is more stable even if its disjointed it's own Moffaty way. On the bright side, Smith didn't go out like whiny child like his pinstriped predecessor...(just saying!). 

2014, ho!!!

*a nod to both the Virgin New Adventures swear word and Capaldi's iconic role of Malcolm Tucker on The Thick of It.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Me and My Shadow: The Trial of the Valeyard Review (Spoiler Free)

"Doctor....we meet again."

It was a matter of time before The Vayelard would be revisited in some form of fashion via Big Finish. Having last appeared in the infamous 2003 Unbound audio He Jests at Scars... one wondered when we've heard the last of him....until now. This December saw the Subscibers Only release follow up to the 1986 14 part Trial of a Time Lord; the highly antisipated Trial of the Valeyard.

Told you, I'd be back, fandom but you didn't listen!

The story was originally intended for 2012's Subscribers Only release only to be pushed back for the 4th Doctor release Night of the Stormcrow (now released to non-subscribers), the 66 minute epic showcases a rematch between the 6th Doctor (Colin Baker) and his enigmatic opponent (Michael Jayston). What better way to kick off the adventure is to set it back to the very space station where the saga began. For the rainbow claded maverick, it's one old wound that didn't need reopening; of course the Inquisitor (Lynda Bellingham) begged to differ. This time around it's not the Doctor on trial but the Valeyard for a crime heineous that the High Council

Colin Baker still shows why Sixy is the reigning Big Finish Doctor right down to the intro scene in the TARDIS to his one-on-ones with Michael Jayston. Speaking of Jayston, he slipped back into the role of the Valeyard with great finesse and ease; just as menacing and wicked as ever. Lynda Bellingham makes her Big Finish return as Inquistor Darkel, rounding off the trio and sending us back to autumn 1986. The music and sound design from Andy Hardwick proves more efficient here than in this year's Persuasion (review at a later date). I tip my hat to Mike Maddox and Alan Barnes for coming up with this suspensul gem; yo can spt many nods to the past and future in a few key scenes and certain topic that's been raging on in the wake of a certain TV Special from last month (which shall remain nameless) Special shout out to the top notch direction of Barnaby Edwards

Fret not, non-subscribers, you'll get to be the proud owners of Trial of the Valeyard next December, Another Subscriber Release winner that will keep you glued to you CD player, computer, iPod and more. Let's see if next year's release can top this, eh?