Quick Post: Women can be Doctors too

BBC, Dr Who, feminism, fuck yeah, women

So I’ve just finished the first episode of Season 7 of Game of Thrones and I have so many thoughts buzzing through my brain. Which is why I’m not trying to get an early night ahead of my 7 am start tomorrow morning. Instead I wanted to write a quick post in response to yesterday’s announcement about the new Doctor Who as there has been so much controversy. Naturally, people have a lot of feelings on the matter… but that’s hardly new. Every regeneration has had some amount of hatred. Even the amazing Peter Capaldi still has his doubters as I discovered today when a female coworker proudly proclaimed that she hated him. I really had to bite my tongue at that moment. Capaldi has suffered because of terrible writing but has done wonders with the character. His version of the Doctor is one of the best we’ve had in years but his stories haven’t served him well enough. I have nothing against Matt Smith or David Tennant but Capaldi tried to do something different with the character and I will defend him to anyone. I imagine that the people who dislike him are also the same stupid people that fail to accept that Donna was the best companion. I reckon they’re all fans of David Tennant and Billie Piper and just can’t move on. Speaking of moving on…

After the men’s finals as Wimbledon yesterday, the BBC annonced that Jodie Whittaker will take over from Peter Capaldi and become the next Doctor Who. Yes, the new Doctor is a woman and I’m pissed off. Why? Because I wanted to be the first female Doctor. But I’m not an actor and have never wanted to be so that’s fucking crazy. So, putting those jealous feelings to one side, I’ve decided I’m okay with it… but I have some provisos. As a proud feminist, I’m all for better representation of women on television and better roles for women. As a fan of pop culture, I’m also all for making sure this happens organically and not for the sake of it. I understand why people are so excited that after 50 plus years the Doctor will be played by a women but I also worry about permanently tying the news to some sort of political benchmark. It should be about making sure the transition is handled correctly. Which is where I really worry.

In my opinion, Doctor Who has been steadily declining in quality since the fourth season. That’s not to say before then was all stellar but it’s undoubtedly gone to the dogs since Russell T’s final episodes. I can barely remember anything about Matt Smith’s first two series and the first two with Capaldi were abysmal. Moffat can crank out astonishing one-off episodes but, when it came to his time as showrunner, he’s allowed a lot of shitty episodes to make their way on screen. If Jodie Whittaker’s entrance is handled that same way Matt Smith or Peter Capaldi’s were then we’re in trouble because she’ll fail to make an impression. If the switch is handled for laughs then it will play into the naysayers hands. Whittaker needs to be given a well-defined and new characterisation of this well-known character. It’s going to be tricky.

But that doesn’t mean I don’t think it should happen. I love the idea of a female Doctor and I think Whittaker is a great actress. I’m remaining hopeful that this could be the best thing ever. Even now, as a 29 year old woman, I’m excited to see this character that I grew up watching is becoming someone I can relate to more. The image I have of Doctor Who from my childhood is Jon Pertwee’s face. Doctor Who has always been a white haired, white skinned man. Maybe this is why the show didn’t really stay with me as I grew up? Well, that and the fact that the older series were so rarely shown. When it came back in 2005 I watched it and loved it but it was always lacking. There was no really powerful female presence. I know people loved Rose but she didn’t cut it for me. Especially when she started going ga-ga over Tennant. That’s why Donna, so underrated, is my fave. She’s a genuinely strong and independent female who shows real growth. We need a female Doctor who takes after Donna.

And we do need a female Doctor. The show gets a lot of views and has a young audience. It is right that we show young people that women can take roles like this. It’s wonderful to see the reactions of young girls or parents who are rejoicing that their Doctor is a women. In the same way that we needed someone like Rey to be the hero of the new Star Wars films. It’s important and is everything this show has been about. The Doctor has never been about a specific gender but more about the ethos that has stayed with every incarnation. It’s about this good being who wants to explore and helps people along the way. The show has always been trying to encourage it’s audience into taking an interest in science and the universe around them but it’s always been a very traditional take on that world. The older male scientist and his sexy young assistant. It needed to be changed to reflect the real world.

And, no matter what the majority of angry fans are saying, there has always been room to make this work. The Doctor is an alien being who travels in time and changes his face every few years. If you can accept that but can’t accept that he can change into a woman then you really are a narrow-minded fuckwit.


book haul, books, currently reading, Dr Who, Netflix, recently watched

In all honesty, I had planned to be in bed by now but, thanks to one thing and another, I’m still typing this late into the night. Not only was A Handmaid’s Tale on 30 minutes later than I expected but then I got caught up in finishing job applications. Probably the wrong time to be doing it but I’d mixed my dates up. Still, I’m here now and about to settle down for a bit of reading before I head to bed properly. Though I need to finish changing my sheets first. Today’s lazy Sunday routine seems to have got a bit out of hand if I’m honest. I’m about halfway through finishing loads of things. It’s been a rough couple of days at work so I really just wanted to relax today. I’ll get stuff finished after work tomorrow. Sometimes procrastination can be justified… right?
Currently Reading

  • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by JK Rowling
Still not got any further with this because I was focusing on 7th Function. I feel as though this can take more of a backseat since it’s a reread and I know what’s going to happen. Still, I can’t wait for the fun to start. I’ve always enjoyed Lockhart in this book. There’s a lot I’m less fond of but the new DAD teacher is always hilarious.
  • The 7th Fucntion of Language by Laurent Binet
I’ve actually read some of this this week. I’m amazed. Not only is this book really good and super interesting but I feel as though I’m actually learning too. At university, I couldn’t really get my head around semiology as a tool for literature students but this book has already done what an entire years of literary theory study couldn’t do. Plus, reading the dialogue in my abysmal French accent makes me incredibly happy. As long as nobody else ever hears it.

Recently Purchased
  • Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders
So far, the audiobook of this novel has been my favourite “read” of the year. So I decided it was only right that I actually own the copy of the book. Initial thoughts, it’s fucking beautiful. The end pages look like fucking marble and it’s just gorgeous. I love it.
  • Selection of Vintage Minis
I’ve seen these gorgeous books all over Instagram recently and have lusted after them ever since. I happened to be in my local bookshop yesterday and they had a whole display. As they’re fairly cheap I picked up 4 of the beauties even though I could easily have bought the whole batch. I ended up with: Summer by Laurie Lee, Jealousy by Marcel Proust, Love by Jeanette Winterson, and Psychedelics by Aldous Huxley. I can’t wait to dive into them.
Recently Watched 
  • Netflix Binges: Mock the Week
In one of my weirder binges, I’ve been rewatching old episodes of Mock the Week on Netflix this week. It’s bizarre going back a few years in terms of the news topics being discussed but it never fails to provide some kind of entertainment. Also, I may be more than a little bit in love with Josh Widdicombe right about now.
  • Okja
Watched this today for my review on Tuesday. I’ll see you then.

  • Spider-Man 1 and 2
You may have noticed that I did both a Throwback Thursday and a Frowback Friday post this week. That’s because I couldn’t decide between Toby Maguire’s first or second time in the role of Peter Parker. I mean 1 made more sense given the context but 2 is a much better film. In the end I thought “fuck it” and did both.


Andy Serkis, book haul, books, comic books, currently reading, Dr Who, Harry Potter, J K Rowling, Marvel, Netflix, recently watched, Spider-Man

So my week off work is over and I was back at work yesterday. It’s safe to say I ached everywhere when I got home yesterday and couldn’t face anything. Which, actually, also sums up my week off. Having planned to get some shit done in terms of reading, I actually didn’t get much done. I carried on in my attempt to reread Harry Potter but that was the extent. Turns out, after weeks of not getting enough sleep, your body reacts to a holiday by sleeping a lot. I’m not complaining I just wish I’d done more. Still, I managed to see some friends and do some fun stuff. So I shouldn’t really complain.
Currently Reading

  • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by JK Rowling
The closes I came to reading this week was when I started the second book in the Harry Potter series. I didn’t get too far. I don’t even think we’ve reached the burrow yet. However, this won’t take a long time to finish so I’m not exactly worried about it.

  • The 7th Fucntion of Language by Laurent Binet
Not read any of this in weeks but I’m going to start again tonight. We’ll get there. I promise you, the length of time it’s taking me to read this is no reflection on the book itself because it’s been impeccable so far. I’m just fucking useless at the moment.

Recently Purchased
  • The Answers by Catherine Lacey
I’m meant to be on a book buying ban at the moment but this book, that is on my ‘Most Anticipated Fiction of 2017’ list, proved too much to resist. I’m really looking forward to it. It feels like it might be a lighter read than my current book, The 7th Function of Language. It sounds like it has the potential go further down the chick-lit road than I’d usually like but I’ll keep my mind open.

Recently Watched 
  • Netflix Binges: Dr Who, Various Marvel Films
I rewatched the anniversary episode of Dr Who recently and I still cry every single time. It’s the perfect episode and each other version of the Doctor is perfect in his own way. It is a great celebration of the show and really changed the whole tone of the show. After spending loads of time since it came back brooding, Matt Smith and Peter Capaldi were free to have a bit more fun in the role after this. A game changer. Then I spent my week off watching all of the newly added Marvel films to Netflix UK. I’d seen them all before but it’s always nice to go back.
  • Spider-Man: Homecoming
I managed to get to the cinema and see this the day it was released in the UK. It’s safe to say that I have lots of feelings. See you Tuesday.

  • Rise of the Planet of the Apes
This was one when I got home from work and, lacking the energy to do anything more productive, I lay in bed watching it. It’s the first time I’ve seen it since the first time and it was incredible. Andy Serkis and co are amazing as the Apes. The story is fantastic and it was a really good start to this story. It’s only got me more excited about the third film. I was planning on linking to my own review of the film or it’s sequel but it turns out I failed to do a post on either. I guess I need to rectify that soon.


books, Christmas, currently reading, doctor, Dr Who, Peter Capaldi, recently watched, Roald Dahl, Steven Moffat

It’s Christmas Day and I’m full of food and festive cheer. It’s been a quiet day as we’re not really celebrating Christmas until 27th December when the whole family is back together. So, at the moment I’ve barely opened any presents. It, therefore, remains to be seen just how well I’ve done book wise this year. My family tend to avoid buying novels for each other but I do quite often get something book related. Still, it’s been a lovely day and I’m looking forward to another day of rest before I’m back at work on Tuesday morning. I want to try and be productive but I’ll probably just spend all day in bed, eating and watching TV. But isn’t that what Christmas is really all about?

Currently Reading

  • Losing It by Emma Rathbone
I’ve read about 3 pages of this in the last week. I partly blame Christmas and partly blame the book. It’s just not doing it for me. It’s painfully obvious where we’re heading and any empowering message is just being lost in the same old tired, teen movie cliches. I’m not even sure I’ll finish this one.

Recently Purchased
  • Nothing
All bookish purchases the past week have been solely for gift giving purposes. I bought my two sisters a book each and one for my parents. All just silly little jokey gifts rather than novels. I find it too stressful buying proper books for people unless they’ve given me a list of titles. What I consider readable is not necessarily what someone else will enjoy. I’ve made that mistake when it comes to lending books. I’m constantly trying to convince my friends that Mary Wollstonecraft’s Maria is just as exciting as all of their chick-lit. They remain dubious. I guess not everyone in the world can love Wollstonecraft as much as I do.

Recently Received
  • Sad Animal Facts by Brooke Barker
A present from a friend of mine. I love little miscellaneous books like this and have loads littering my shelves. I used to be obsessed with the rare books page of Abe books and would browse to find random titles. This new book features glorious but depressing animal facts and is beautifully illustrated. As the only present I’ve opened so far it’s my sole book related present and, even if it’s my only one, I’m pretty chuffed about it.

Recently Watched
  • The BFG again
We bought this for my mother’s birthday back in November and she watched it for the first time today. I admit that I probably fell asleep for part of it but I managed to get the best bits. Mark Rylance is still amazing as the Big Friendly Giant. It’s the best casting of all time. 
  • Dr Who
The Christmas special was just glorious wasn’t it? Mainly because it’s been so long since we’ve seen an episode. Last Christmas’ The Husbands of River Song was, obviously, sad but still one of the better festive specials. This year was all about fun after such a tough goodbye. It’s also a must see for any comic book fans and shows that there is definite promise for the coming season. I’m excited to see more of Peter Capaldi’s Doctor. 

Top 10 Wen-sday – Top Ten Episodes of Modern Day Dr Who

David Tennant, Dr Who, episodes, favourite, list, Matt Smith, Russell T., television, Top 10

As I mentioned in my latest Sunday Rundown, I’ve been rewatching episodes from Series 4 of Dr Who. I came to the realisation that, whilst Donna is my all time favourite companion, it is probably series 3 that is the season that I love the most. That’s because it contains a large number of the best and most memorable episodes in the series. There are only a few dull moments and even those aren’t dull in the same way that most of the Steven Moffat era Who series have been. I mean even the fairly awful “Smith and Jones” opener is nowhere near as bad as the fucking pirate episode. And no matter how awful the series finale may be in comparison to the previous ones it is way more memorable than the first finale of Matt Smith’s Doctor. I mean who can even remember what happened in “The Pandorica Opens”/”The Big Bang”? Whatever you may think about Russell T’s writing style in comparison to Moffat’s (even I can’t pretend that Moffat doesn’t come out on top), the former clearly has more understanding of how a series should come together as a whole. Now amidst this soul-searching I couldn’t help but start mentally compiling my top 10 list of Modern Day Who episodes. Just in time for April’s post. Wasn’t that convenient?

    Ten: “The Girl in the Fireplace” (Series 2 Episode 4)

This episode, more than any of the previous Tennat episodes, showed us who he was as the Doctor. His romance with Rose was dull and got a little annoying but his short connection to Madame de Pompadour. It is sweet, poignant and heartbreaking at its conclusion. This episode shows us the Doctor’s need to be understood by someone else and how difficult that it. It shows us his connection to history and his flair for the dramatic. Both David Tennant and Sophia Myles are fantastic in the episode and the clockwork androids are a fabulous villain. This is an episode that really sums up the early days of modern Who and is a triumph of the Russell T. era. Plus, there’s a fucking horse on a spaceship. Who can ignore that?

     Nine: “Amy’s Choice” (Series 5 Episode 7)

If I’m being honest, there aren’t many episodes of series 5 that I would call good. It’s one of my least favourite and least remembered series. The first Matt Smith series and, more importantly in terms of quality, the first that Moffat was running the show. Still there are one or two glimmers of hope within the deluge of shit. It came down to “Vincent and the Doctor” or this one. It was a close call but I felt that “Vincent and the Doctor” worked so well as an appreciation of art and an exploration of depression. However, as a Dr Who episode, “Amy’s Choice” is just astonishing. Not necessarily in terms of direction or production but in terms of storyline. It is one of the most engaging stories of the series as Amy must finally decide who means the most to her: her fiancée or the Doctor. Add that to the superb performance by Tody Jones and you have a winner.

     Eight: “The Doctor’s Wife” (Series 6 Episode 4)

With a script written by Neil Gaiman there was no doubt that this was going to be one of the greater episodes of Dr Who. Gaiman wanted to set the episode that centred on the TARDIS itself which was, up to that point, something not done in the show’s history. After many rewrites, he came up with the idea of the TARDIS’ mind being implanted into the body of a woman and being replaced with the consciousness of an evil, sentient asteroid played by Michael Sheen. This means Rory and Amy have to find their way around a TARDIS that’s trying to kill them whilst the Doctor comes face-to-face with the only companion that has survived his every regeneration. It is a great episode that is both frightening and lovely. Matt Smith and Suranne Jones, playing the TARDIS, are both fantastic and the interaction between the Doctor and his ship is just wonderful. It’s certainly not a perfect episode but it is one you can’t help but love.

     Seven: “The Fires of Pompeii” (Series 4 Episode 2)

After the, frankly, kind of ridiculous opener for Tate’s first series as fully fledged companion, “The Fires of Pompeii” shows us what she will really be like during her time in the TARDIS. It is an emotional story and watching Donna have to accept that she can’t save the people of Pompeii from their inevitable fate. This episode really sets out the kind of relationship the pair will have. Donna is more than willing to argue with him about morality and, at the dramatic conclusion of this story, she stands by him as he makes the most difficult decision one could ever make. She is there for him but also reminds him that not everybody needs to die. She shows him that saving one person is sometimes enough. Yes, the writing is pretty shitty but this episode has me in tears every single time.

     Six: “Human Nature”/”The Family of Blood” (Series 3 Episodes 8 and 9)


This two-parter is one of the greatest things about series 3 and gives David Tennant another chance to show how great he is in the role. There are some great moments in the first episode and the scarecrow warriors are memorable. I also have to say that Harry Lloyd is magnificent as one of the Family of Blood. He’s amazing and terrifying in the role. Although, what makes this double episode so good is the final moments of John Smith’s life. When he starts to realise that he has to give up everything he has in order to save the world. When he has to face the fact that he isn’t an ordinary man and must sacrifice his happiness for a life of death and loneliness. It’s devastating and Tennant is just sublime.

     Five: “The Empty Child”/”The Doctor Dances” (Series 1 Episodes 9 and 10)

“Are you my mummy?” Even more than 10 years on, this question can still strike fear into most fans of Dr Who. This was the first Steven Moffat episode and it made us all realise just how great he could be for the series. Up until this point there had been a lot of silliness in the new series of Who. It was being pushed towards families so was family friendly. There were fart jokes a plenty and the monsters weren’t that scary. Then there was the kid with a gas mask face. The central storyline was amazing and the end result was as satisfyingly emotionally fraught as it needed to be. Although, there was enough light-heartedness to ensure we still have fun along the way. And lest we forget, it is the episode that introduced us to the astounding Captain Jack Harkness. I’ll be forever grateful.

     Four: “The Stolen Earth”/”Journey’s End” (Series 4 Episodes 12 and 13)

How could I not include this double parter on the list? The finale of series 4 is the episode of Dr Who that has emotionally scarred me the most. Even reading the title can manage to bring tears to my eyes. As we should all be aware by now, Donna Noble is my number 1 companion and her departure from the series was the most devastating in the modern series’ history. It is for that reason that this episode is the greatest. Without giving us a moment to celebrate the culmination of Donna’s journey allowing her to successfully stop Davros and saving the universe the writers take all that development away. Add to that the fantastic acting from David Tennant and Bernard Cribbins and I’m in bits every time I think about it. This is still one of the most powerful episodes of modern Who in my opinion. Plus, there’s some shit with Doctor and Rose that kind of happens. Oh and Mickey and Jack come back. It’s quite fun up until the awful final moments.

     Three: “The Day of the Doctor” (50th Anniversary Special)

I could bang on about how great this episode is but I already have once. We all know how great this is. It’s a celebration of everything we love and have always loved about Dr Who with an amazing cast and a great story.

     Two: “Blink” (Series 3 Episode 10)

“Blink” is one of those episodes that has become synonymous with the quality of Dr Who. It is an episode that is beloved by all fans and is appreciated by people who don’t always get the show. With the way I’ve been feeling about Steven Moffat lately it’s always good to revisit an episode like “Blink”; this is Moffat at his best. The writing is fantastic and the it is there is so much going on in a single episode. Even the fact that the Weeping Angels have been overused to the point that they don’t really register any more, this episode is genuinely terrifying. Carey Mulligan is amazing and there is so much emotion and fear on offer that you can’t help but love it. Just take the tiny but incredibly powerful failed romance of Sally Sparrow and Billy Shipton. Argh, so many feels. It so often appears on the top of all best episodes lists and, I have to admit, “Blink” was certainly my favourite episode of modern Who until exactly one series later…

     One: “Midnight” (Series 4 Episode 10)

“Midnight” is one of those overlooked episodes of Who because it is so self-contained and unremarkable. The entire run takes place in a small space and the villain remains unseen and unnamed. I can see why people forget about it but I think it’s an incredible episode of television. Whilst Catherine Tate was off filing “Turn Left” David Tennant was left to his own devices and given the chance to take a trip to the planet Midnight. Along the way the ship is boarded by an invisible foe who takes over the body of one of the passengers. The tension in the episode builds slowly but leads to an incredibly dramatic showdown.  This single episode of Dr Who is more exciting, frightening and tells us more about humanity than the majority of the following seasons combined.

SUNDAY RUNDOWN – that’s what she read

book haul, criticism, currently reading, Deadpool, Dr Who, food, recently watched
I’m ashamed of how little reading I’ve done this week. I’ve not been in the best spirits so have spent my time brooding rather than expanding my mind. It took me most of the week to decide what I wanted to read and then I’ve got about 20 pages in by this stage. Everyone has reading slumps so I’m trying not to be too hard on myself. It’ll pass eventually. On the other hand, my dark mood has meant I haven’t bought many books. In fact, had I not found a book voucher that I was given nearly two years ago and thought was lost, I would have gone the week without buying a thing. However, the free money meant I was able to buy a book I’d been lusting after for a while but also felt was too expensive to justify. It was such an unexpectedly wonderful way to finish my week. Hopefully, things are on the up. 

Currently Reading
  • The Good Liar by Nicholas Searle
This is the first book Ive taken off my ‘Most Anticipated Books of 2016’ list. It’s about an elderly conman working on his final score and the woman he picks who seems more than happy to go along with it. Not got very far with this yet because I really haven’t felt like reading. I won’t say I’m not enjoying it but the book is slow going. Searle’s writing is lush and intelligent but it requires more attention than I’ve been willing to give it so far. I’m on holiday for the next week and a bit so I’m hoping to get through some more of this. Hopefully, it will improve. 

Recently Purchased
  • Better Living Through Criticism: How to think about art, pleasure, beauty and truth by A.O Scott
A.O Scott is one of the film critics for the New York Times and in this book he explores the importance of criticism on art and life. As you may have realised, I love criticism and believe that it’s always good to critically analyse all aspects of life. Really we’re all critics in our own right because we evaluate everything we experience. This book sounds right up my street and I’m excited to read it. 
  • The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science by J. Kenji Lopez-Alt
I first saw this ages ago but didn’t buy it because it’s so fucking expensive. When I rediscovered my old book tokens it seemed like fate and I purchased it as soon as possible. This cookbook takes the art of cooking back to basics and shows that you can create perfect meals without all the bells and whistles. This book discusses the science of the processes we take for granted. I’m hoping this guide will get rid of the all the bullshit that goes along with cooking these days.
Recently Watched
  • Deadpool

Yes, I’ve seen it again and, yes, it’s just as fucking amazing as it was the first time. In fact, I loved it even more. It takes a second viewing to appreciate some of the subtler humour because you aren’t so focused on the story. It’s a very clever and fun film. Here’s to the future. Especially if my current dream of having Jon Hamm play Cable comes true

  • Dr Who/Absolutely Fabulous/Any show I’ve already watched once

Whilst I’m still not watching the massive list of new things on Netflix that I want/should be watching, I’m currently still going through the back catalogue of shows I’ve already watched. Still, they are amazing shows. And rewatching Dr Who has caused me to realise that, whilst Donna is my favourite companion, series 3 is probably my all time favourite series. It’s a close-run thing between series 4, I grant you, but there are some big hitters in series 3 that you can’t ignore. Series 4 has more emotional investment but series 3 is the best all-rounder. Fact.  

Mondays Are For Moaning – Episode 1: The Fan-tom Menace

Dr Who, George Lucas, JJ Abrams, rant, Star Wars, Steven Moffat

So before Christmas I finally got around to watching The Force Awakens and, after months of trying not to get myself too worked up about it, I was super fucking excited. My heart nearly burst out of my chest the second the opening titles started. It was all so familiar and fun. I mean I had some problems with it but, as a whole, it was Star Wars done as we all wanted it to be done. However, I decided not to review the film in my traditional way. The problem with picking something like this apart is that you run the risk of ruining it. So what does it matter that there are narrative issues and underdeveloped characters? It didn’t ruin my overall enjoyment. The film didn’t need to be best ever film: it just needed to be a better Star Wars film than Attack of the Clones. It was. It isn’t perfect but, we have to be honest, neither are the originals… even before Lucas edited them again. The deeper you look at something the more problems you find and that’s okay. Some films don’t need to be flawless to be great. If you came out of the cinema feeling like a kid again then Abrams did his job brilliantly.

The problem with something like Star Wars is the pressure that the fanbase put upon everything. It is a series that has, quite rightly, meant a great deal to a fuckload of people. So much so that they start to mistakenly believe they are the rightful owners of the franchise. That they have final say over decisions made to the series. We, the fans, don’t own shit. George Lucas recently gave an interview on Charlie Rose. A lot has been made of his “white slavers” comment which has meant most of the sentiment has been ignored. Yes, Lucas was a fucking idiot to compare selling his company to Disney with selling his “children… to the white slavers” but the underlying emotions got me thinking. In fact, it left me feeling a little bit sorry for the director I’ve bemoaned so many times of the years.

We all know that Lucas has faced a lot of criticism because of the underwhelming prequels but what has been forgotten in all of this is that Lucas has as much riding on those films as the rest of us. The franchise is like his child and he has spent such a large portion of his life developing it and watching it grow. Just like any other excited parent, Lucas loved his child in a way that only a parent could and had specific ideas about what he wanted it to be when it grew up. Whilst fans wanted the new films to taken them back to their childhood, George wanted them to move people forwards. Deep down, he’s an artist (of sorts). He wanted to push the boundaries and experiment with technology.

Now imagine, for a second, that you’ve spent such a large amount of time creating a piece of art that you love with only to be turned into a demon. As hard as it might be to imagine, Lucas wasn’t making Star Wars for the fans or at least he wasn’t just making it for the fans. He wanted to tell a story and he wanted to do it in his way. The fact that other people liked it too was just an added extra. That’s why he hasn’t seemed to give a shit about fan opinion in the last few years and why he won’t release a Blu Ray version of the theatrical release of the original trilogies. Whether we like it or not, the way Star Wars was before Episode VII was exactly the way George Lucas wanted it to be and he’s in charge. If other people don’t like your parenting style are you really going to turn around and say “oh yes you’re right. I am a shit father. Let me do things your way”? Fuck no,

So imagine again, that you’ve spent time and money nurturing your child, give it up for adoption and find that the new parent is much better at it than you are. Now maybe it’s just me but I feel bad for George Lucas. He was trying to perfect Star Wars and keep it fresh and new. Whenever a new technology came around he got overexcited and wanted to play with it. We can all understand that. Parents are forever showering their little bundles of joy with fucking new toys and clothes and shit. He thought he was doing the right thing. He was following his instincts as an artist, which you have to give him some respect for.

So, JJ Abrams and Disney comes along and take the franchise back to the beginning. Good news for the fans but stab in the heart to the man who was trying to keep it modern. There has been fan backing for this as soon as Abrams was announced to direct and Lucas has had to keep jovial and happy throughout it all. I mean, essentially, all it took for the fans to love the film was a few references to the original, a few new (real) faces and a retro filter. To keep flogging this dead horse of an analogy, it’s like a father telling their child to study programming instead of art because that’s where there’s more security. Then, years later, the father has to look on as his artist child is beloved by everyone and he looks like a fucking fool.

I guess what I’m saying is, George Lucas is King Lear. He’s made all the wrong decision but he was doing it for the right reasons. He was blind to what really mattered. Although, so were the fans. With fandoms becoming so much stronger and crazier these days, it’s hard to remember that we’re not in charge. Yes, films need fans to make money so our opinion matters. However, just because we pay for a cinema ticket or watch a series doesn’t mean we should have ultimate creative control. Now if you’ve read enough of my rants you’ll be ready to accuse me of being hypocritical. You’d be right. I’ve spent enough time ranting about how Steven Moffat has ruined Doctor Who with his awful plot lines and characters. I stick by my opinion on a personal level. It’s not the way I’d have it. However, I have to try and be understanding from a creative level.

I’m not such a terrible person that I can’t see the good in something I don’t like. Just look at my justification for the prequels if you don’t believe me. I still respect Doctor Who and Sherlock as being well-made television series with great moments. Yes, I’m a melodramatic twat sometimes but, deep down, I understand that Moffat hasn’t ruined Doctor Who at all. He’s ruined my vision for what Doctor Who should be but the show remains in tact. Similarly, I really love less than half of the episodes in Sherlock’s history but I still see that it is a beautifully crafted show. I still respect it; I just don’t like it all the time. Ultimately, I’m just one fan and nobody gives a shit about my views.

Fans have been demanding too much of their creators for fucking ages. I mean Arthur Conan Doyle was sick of his great detective so killed the fucker off. He was forced to bring him back from the dead thanks to the endless petitions from his fans. Forcing a man to continue writing a character he resented? Am I the only one who sees that as fucking selfish? Then we have the modern example of George RR Martin. The poor man was writing a series of books for a dedicated group of fans before HBO came along. Then the fandom exploded. Instead of his loyal fans who were willing to wait 5 years between books, Martin was now faced with impatient TV fans who wanted the writer to hurry the fuck up. Give the guy a fucking break. He wants everything to be perfect but that’s not good enough for his so-called fans.

We all just need to calm the fuck down. You’re a fan. We are being given something wonderful by hard-working and creative people. They have their vision and it doesn’t alway fit in with ours. That’s okay. It doesn’t mean your childhood is ruined. It just means life sometimes sucks. Get over it. The next time you’re about to tell someone how much better The Force Awakens is compared to the prequels, think about George Lucas. Think about him staggering around on a misty moor going slowly mad. Think about what he once gave you and give him some fucking credit for a change. If Star Wars really means that much to you then you owe George Lucas a lot more than you’re giving him now.

Top 5 Most Devastating Dr Who Companion Departures (Spoilers… duh)

death, Dr Who, emotional wreck, Russell T.

We’ve known for a while that Clara Oswald was set to leave Doctor Who. So we’ve spent all of the current series waiting for it to happen. Clara has increasingly put herself in dangerous situations and has managed to get herself close to death more times than I can count. It’s getting a tad annoying but I’m actually going to miss Clara. After a few series of hating her, she has really come into her own this series. She and Peter Capaldi make an excellent team. So it got me thinking about the other companions and how much emotional impact their departures has on me. So I present to you, my top 5 most devastating Dr Who companion exits.

          5. Amy Pond/ Rory Williams
I have to admit that Amy and Rory are two of my least favourite companions. I just got bored by the endless love triangle thing. Amy and Rory were the least interesting and stupidest of the modern day companions. Rory became a farcical character who died every fucking week and Karen Gillan is just a shitty actress. She comes from the Keira Knightley school of beauty before talent. I couldn’t wait for them to leave.

So imagine my shock when they eventually departed and I was left weeping for hours. Having spent the entire series going through fake deaths to keep us on our toes, the actual moment was such a shock that you couldn’t help but fall apart. Having successfully created a paradox to stop the Angels, Rory is caught off guard and sent back to the 1930s. Watching Amy decide to follow the love of her life is brilliant but seeing Matt Smith’s Doctor come to terms with that is utterly heartbreaking. Damn you, Moffat!

          4. Rose Tyler
I know that plenty of people will be super pissed off to see Rose’s first departure so far down the list. Quite frankly though, Rose isn’t that great a companion. She was just the first… of the new series anyway. To be fair to her, Rose does go through a journey during her time in the TARDIS and she becomes much stronger and confident than she first was. The problem was the romance. It was getting fucking boring. I want to watch Dr Who because of the dangerous aliens. I don’t want to watch a rom-com set in outer space.

It was getting to the point where the Doctor and Rose either had to get it on or just get away from each other. I’m super glad it was the latter. Still, their final exchange at Bad Wolf Bay is pretty heart-wrenching even for someone as cynical as me. The whole spectacle of it all adds to the occasion: burning up a star just to see her again. It’s the stuff Tumblr dreams were made of. Of course, the fact that Rose has know had more comebacks than a fucking boomerang has meant her first ‘death’ is becoming less powerful.

          3. Danny Pink
Those Rose fans out there may argue that Danny Pink isn’t enough of a companion to count on this list but I disagree. Yes, he and the Doctor didn’t get on but he played a big part in the Twelfth Doctor’s first series. So it fucking counts. Plus, bonus points for the additional Brigadier death. It was about time we got to say goodbye and it was heartbreaking.

The main issue with Danny Pink’s departure is that is keeps getting worse. He first dies a totally unexpected and human death. It’s fucking awful. Start of the episode and BOOM! run over by a car. Devastating. Then he comes back as a cyberman/human hybrid. Double devastating. Then his love of Clara prevents him from succumbing and he sacrifices himself to save the world. Triple devastating. In terms of drama, someone giving their life to save someone else is always going to create the most tears. I’m still crying about this one.

          2. Clara Oswald
So, this has literally only just happened and we definitely haven’t seen the last of Clara. Even if Clara isn’t really dead (and I think it would be a terrible decision for her to come back) this death is still fucking awful. It was so final, unexpected and horrible. She’d been in incredibly dangerous situations and survived. Now she was dying in such an unspectacular way. So many emotions. Up until this series Clara was on my list of most irritating companions. Then she suddenly became a fully fledged character with some real growth. She was fantastic… and she causes major wardrobe envy.

Then she has to go and play fucking games with death. This death is so devastating because of the relationship between the Doctor and Clara. There may have been hints of romance in the early days but the predominant tone was that of friendship. They were BBFs and having to watch your BBF suffer (either through death or through grief) is fucking awful. The final exchange between the pair was beautifully played out by Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman. If I ever watch it again, please, “let me be brave”.

          1. Donna Noble
Donna Noble is, without a doubt, my favourite Dr Who companion of all time. I know that’ll be a controversial statement for many but it’s fucking true. Yes, her first appearance was pretty shit but her series as fully-fledged co-star is still one of the best. Finally moving on from romance and puppy-dog eyed lust, Russell T. was on more solid ground with the Doctor/Donna friendship. They had great banter and really cared for each other.

Donna is also the companion to go through the biggest change. She was a self-centred individual who was doing nothing with her life and she knew it. Then she met the Doctor again and became the most important person in the Universe. Even writing this is making me emotional because Donna had so much potential by the end. She became better and happier. Then it was all taken away from her. It’s not fair. The end of that episode is fucking gut-wrenching. David Tennant and Bernard Cribbin’s are so wonderful at displaying their own devastation at Donna’s situation. No matter what happens in the Doctor’s future, nothing will ever be as awful as this. I’ll never get over this moment.

With great power comes short attention span.

Dr Who, meh, Steven Moffat, television
I know most of my Doctor Whorelated posts mainly seem to revolve around my hatred of Steven Moffat for turning a beloved show into a steaming pile of shit. However, I’m about to turn this around. We’re only three episodes into this latest series but I can honestly say it’s my favouritesince Moffat took over. Peter Capaldi’s first season was pretty good but I didn’t think he got the opportunity to be as great as he could be. There was a major highlight towards the end of the series when the Danny Pink love story (yeah, more like love bore-y ) ended and Missy proved that a female version of a male character is actually the best fucking idea ever. Does anyone know if Helen Mirren is still up for playing the Doctor? I think it’s time.

Although, Capaldi is doing a fucking great job so far. I loved his entrance in the premiere and sonic sunglasses is by far the greatest idea I’ve ever seen. Even Clara is less annoying this season now she’s not in the middle of the worlds most ridiculous love triangle. I also can’t fault her wardrobe… boy that girl knows the best outfits to wear when trying to save the universe. You know what, I couldn’t even fault the Dalek heavy opener. Far from being the desperate display their last appearance had been, I actually found it pretty enjoyable. Steven Moffat, I doff my cap to you sir. Let me just finish eating my words.

However, I’m still me and I do have one minor issue with this series. It’s the fucking double part episodes. I know it harks back to the original series where stories were constantly split into multiple episodes. I also understand that the concept is to create episodes with more scope and have a greater potential for drama. The narratives have seen a major improvement by simply doubling in size and I have no doubt it’s played a major part in my growing love of the show. Just look at the first two episodes; Missy wouldn’t have got a look in had this been a normal stand alone episode. She was the best thing about the entire fucking thing. So I’m a big fan of the concept at work here.
That doesn’t change the fact that I’m one of those people who has become so used to the Netflix way of life that I find it difficult having to wait. My attention span is so fucking small these days than in the 7 days between episodes I’ve probably forgotten everything that happened. I watch such a small amount of real television these days that I’ve almost forgotten that you generally have to wait a week between installments. It’s like being in the fucking Stone Age.
As much as I hate it, the ability to marathon series in a matter of days has slowly started to ruin my life. I demand instant gratification from all my entertainment outlets. These days if I have to wait more than a couple of seconds before the next episode then I’m probably not going to give a shit. I partly blame my work-induced exhaustion but there can little doubt that my viewing habits are slowly going down the pan. The only shows I religiously watch these days are Don’t Tell the Bride, Bake Off and Made in Chelsea (although even that obsession has been dwindling in recent years).
Watching less TV would obviously be a good thing if I were actually doing something productive with my time. I’m not though. I’m not even catching up on all of the great shows I’ve still not seen. I would rather rewatch an endless stream of episodes I’ve already seen than discover a new and exciting show. The amount of times I’ve meant to start Orange is the New Blackonly to decide that watching Red Dwarffor the hundredth time is a much better option. I’ve still not seen Breaking Bad for fuck’s sake and I stopped watching House of Cardstowards the end of the second season. I’ve become such a lazy watcher. If any amount of effort or concentration is required then I’m out.
This general attitude is also having an adverse affect on my reading habits. The amount I’ve read in the past few months is pretty shameful and it’s because I’m finding more solace in YouTube and Netflix. At my current post-work energy levels, I’m just finding the idea of picking up a book and concentrating on the narrative is just too much. To be fair, before my promotion, I never really read a lot at home anyway but it has taken away my key reading time: my lunch break. I’ve got an ever increasing TBR list and an ever diminishing amount of time to read. If this is adult life, then I don’t want it. I’ll relive as many of my cripplingly embarrassing teenage escapades as I need to if it gives me more fucking time to read.
So, to return to the original point. I’m loving that Steven Moffat has managed to prove me wrong. Doctor Whois genuinely thrilling to watch and, so far, I’ve been pleasantly surprised with each episode. However, I wish he could stop reminding me of my short attention span and immense laziness with his double episodes… the dick.

The Day of the Doctor (2013)

anniversary, David Tennant, Dr Who, John Hurt, review, space, Steven Moffat, television

To quote, River Song “Spoilers”.

I’ve made no real secret of the fact that I’m not the biggest fan of Steven Moffat’s time as head writer on Dr Who. I think the quality of the writing has decreased and the focus has become spectacle and viewing figures instead of good characters and well-executed narratives. Plus, his last 3 seasons have included far more complete duds than the Russell T era was ever guilty of and, in my opinion, the vast majority of great episodes come from the first 4.5 series of the rebooted show. However, I was just as excited as the vast majority of the world about last night’s 50th anniversary special and sat in front of my TV praying Moffat would pull it off.

The Day of the Doctor is to Dr Who what Skyfall was for James Bond: namely a completely geeky celebration of the classic science-fiction show. It starts from the get-go with subtle and slightly less subtle references to the episodes of the past. We have the classic Who opening titles, the opening scene, a returning enemy and more than a few familiar faces. It’s an action packed adventure that sets out to reinvent the show as we now know it.
Unfortunately, right off the bat, I find my first hint of disappointment thanks to the unnecessary, just writing it so we can use a lot of green-screen, scene which sees the Doctor hanging out of the Tardis as it lands in Trafalgar Square. Just because we have a bigger budget doesn’t mean we need to use every bit of it, guys. Less is, as they say, more. However, it was great to have UNIT back and the reappearance of Kate (Jemma Redgrave), who made an amazing first impression in the otherwise forgettable Power of Three. Also worthy of a mention is the bescarfed and asthma suffering Osgood (Ingrid Oliver) who I definitely hope to see her return at some point. She’s pretty much your typical fangirl (complete with Tom Baker inspired accessory) and, from the looks of it, has been a hit with Whovians the world over.
UNIT need the Doctor and Clara to help them solve a mystery surrounding something new: Time Lord art. Our introduction to this new section of Time Lord society was wonderful and not only served as a large part of the following narrative but offered breathtaking visuals. Featuring traditional ‘bigger on the inside’ Time Lord technology, the painting on show contains a single moment in history. A very important moment in history as it turns out: The Moment. The last seven seasons of Dr Whohave been leading to this point where we finally come face-to-face with the exact point that this supposedly good man made the decision to destroy his people in order to save existence. Before he pushes the big red button he has to justify his actions so, thanks to a weapon of mass destruction that handily has a conscience, the War Doctor (John Hurt) gets the chance to meet his future self.
Thanks to another flashback we get a glimpse of Number 10 (David Tennant) enjoying some down-time with Elizabeth I (Joanna Page) in 1562 and trying to prevent an invasion by the Fourth Doctors old enemy the Zygons. Our current doctor (Matt Smith) is eventually transported to the same time and the stage is finally set for the moment we’ve all been waiting for. Matt Smith and David Tennant work really well together on screen. They both have a similar way of approaching the character and it is great to watch their dialogue. The two over-grown children are initially wary of each other but, ultimately, have a great deal of respect for their different selves. The pair has a great back and forth and the little bitchy lines are a welcome break in moments of heavy plot development.
Smith plays his Doctor with the same relish and skill that we have come to expect since he took over for series 5. I think he’s done an admirable job and his over-excited child-like nature is infectious and easy to embrace. However, this episode was all about the return of Tennant who, despite a 3 year gap, fits back into the old suit perfectly. It’s always lovely to see an actor to return to a key role in their career and you can tell he had a lot of fun doing it.
That is something that The Day of the Doctor does well. Moffat is at his best when he is writing on a very personal and close level because he can play with language, drama and comedy. In terms of his writing, this episode has to be one of his finest Who episodes to date. Anyone who makes the brave decision to mock large aspects of your own work is alright by me. The Day of the Doctor is self-aware and tongue-in-cheek despite all of the dark themes on show. It is out together very cleverly and, despite all of the jumps through time, it is easy to keep up with the action. Unlike a lot of Moffat’s recent episodes, there is no sense that the drama just peters out towards the end. The action and the emotions are running high from the opening to ending credits. Most importantly of all, because he was preoccupied with something more important, he didn’t make the mistake of going too big. The moments when this episode really flies are in the quieter scenes starring our main three men.
After a brief glimpse at the end of series 7, John Hurt finally gets the chance to show us what he is made of as the War Doctor works up the courage to make the ultimate choice. He is a weary and defeated man who can see no other way out. However, it is only after he comes face-to-face with his youthful future that the sparks really fly. Hurt gets some utterly amazing lines to throw about and fits wonderfully in the role of the disapproving parent. I’d describe Tennant and Smith’s approach to the Doctor as one full of eagerness and
glee. Hurt is calm, collected and totally badass. The younger men hold their screwdrivers aloft in the same manner that a Shakespearean actor would hold a sword whilst Hurt stands alongside and gets straight to the point. It’s an attention-grabbing and completely engrossing performance.

As is the supporting role played by Billie Piper. Thankfully, Moffat decided against attempting to bring back Rose Tyler once again but used her image, or more specifically Bad Wolf Rose, as the interface of The Moment. Piper has some great moments whilst guiding the War Doctor to his ultimate decision and she plays her role with a great deal of subtlety and skill. Considering part of me was dreading her arrival, I found myself rejoicing that she could make it back to mark the occasion.

Rose Tyler may have recently been voted the greatest Doctor Who companion ever by a BBC3 poll but there can be no denying that Clara is well on her way to proving herself. Having spent much of her first series just moving the story along, it was nice to see her make more of a mark here. Unlike Amy (who, as you may remember, I couldn’t stand), she is clever, independent and strong. Jenna Louise Colman is a fine actress and, provided she is given the correct material, she should continue to flourish under Peter Capaldi’s guidance. Just look back at that phenomenal moment where she stood up to all three Doctors and managed to change the course of history.
That is, after all, what Moffat wanted to do with this episode. The narrative of the Zygon invasion is just your run-of-the-mill Who story: shape-shifting aliens, confusion about who is real, confrontation and eventual resolution. Whilst it has some important and clever components to it, the plot is, ultimately, inconsequential and the story is never even fully resolved for the audience. This is about the Doctor and the  choice he made. A decision that has haunted him since well before 2005’s Rose. It never really seemed to fit that the Doctor, as we know him, would accept that there was no other way to stopping the war. He has faced a great many foes and has always failed to accept defeat. The Doctor deserved a second chance and that is exactly what Moffat gave him.
A second chance that led to one of the most extraordinary sequences in television history and the moment that Peter Capaldi’s eyebrows almost broke the internet: all of Doctors to date coming together to save their planet from destruction. I defy anyone to sit through it without feeling like a child again. Any viewer who didn’t watch as all of the familiar faces of the past (and one from the future) flooded our screens and didn’t jump for joy had no right watching the show at all. Similarly, if anyone watched that final scene, where all of the Doctors line up side-by-side, without shedding just a little tear has no heart.
Even the slightly shameful and cringey Tom Baker cameo was forgivable and the conversation between him and Matt Smith was a wonder. He was the man who defined the Doctor for such a long time and it wouldn’t have felt right without some sort of appearance. Plus, the idea that regenerations can backtrack in some way is an interesting one that will of course leave a lot of fangirls hoping David Tennant and his great hair will fall on hard times and find his way back.
There is simply too much to say in praise of this episode and far too many references and moments to discuss that I could write forever. Of course, there were flaws here but the positives more than outweigh them. Even the use of CGI and special effects worked in this setting. If I’m completely honest, the opening shots of the Time War felt a little bit like the flat and lifeless CGI of the Star Wars prequels but there were some scenes where it really worked. Can anything compete with the visual of three slow-mo Doctors facing off against a Dalek in the middle of the Time War before crashing through a painting into the tower of London? No? Didn’t think so.
Ultimately, this episode gave a great deal of closure to a terrible part of the Doctor’s past, it celebrated who he was, allowed him to come to terms with his actions and left him with a new direction. Whatever happens in Matt Smith’s final outing at Christmas, we all know where Peter Capaldi is heading: home.