strange_complex: (Eleven dude)
And so at last we get to the season finale! New Who Season 7 has been pretty patchy all told, but I really enjoyed this closing episode. It was well-paced, well-scripted, exciting and most importantly has given me lots to talk about! I'll work through the bits which most struck me in roughly the order in which they occurred. You can assume I thought anything which I don't discuss explicitly below was generally jolly good.

Companions and assistants )

Trenzalore )

The TARDIS )

Prophecies and their fulfilment )

Clara's decision )

Good Doctor, bad Doctor )

Minor trivia )

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strange_complex: (Eleven dude)
I am horribly behind with Doctor Who reviews, partly because I was in New York when this (half-)season started, and partly because I didn't find the first few episodes very inspirational anyway. This is an attempt to catch up.

7.7 The Bells of Saint John )

7.8 The Rings of Akhaten )

7.9 Cold War )

7.10 Hide )

7.11 Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS )

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strange_complex: (TARDIS)
I'm now ready to move on to the Seventh Doctor era - but before I do, it's time for a nice palate-cleansing First Doctor story (with bonus discussion of how historical stories 'worked' in Doctor Who at this time):

First Doctor: The Aztecs )

And so I am ready to press on into the Seventh Doctor era. In keeping with the policy I applied for Six, I started with Seven's screen introduction, so that I could get a proper idea of where he was coming from as a Doctor:

Seventh Doctor: Time and the Rani )

In summary, then, a pretty terrible episode, but saved from Twin Dilemma depths simply because it is at least introducing a perfectly likeable Doctor. And thank goodness that's the last P'n'J effort I have to suffer...

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strange_complex: (Chrestomanci slacking in style)
Well, while I have a relatively normal weekend on my hands, I am going to get caught up with some unwritten reviews. I have spent most of the day on the sofa with my laptop writing this, while the TV burbled away in the background. It's what makes me happy.

Multiple Doctors: The Three Doctors )

Third Doctor: Carnival of Monsters )

Third Doctor: The Green Death )

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strange_complex: (Ulysses 31)
With Sarah Jane covered, I'm now taking two parallel approaches to my Who viewing: returning to the early days to watch William Hartnell and Patrick Troughton's stories sequentially, while also joining Lovefilm and sticking all DVDs released to date for the Third, Fifth, Sixth and Seventh Doctors on my request list (well, except for Seven's final story, Survival, that is - I feel that particular one actually does need to be watched last).

When I said 'sequentially' for One and Two, what I'd originally really meant was 'sequentially but omitting those stories that are more than fifty percent missing'. Having watched Hartnell's first three stories back in January, then, that meant I was scheduled to sail right on past the next story, Marco Polo, and pick up at The Keys of Marinus instead. But then [livejournal.com profile] gair pointed me towards [livejournal.com profile] altariel, who had listened to the sound-track with linking narration, and she was so enthusiastic about it, actually ranking Marco Polo as the strongest story in the first season, that I decided to give it a try after all.

First Doctor: Marco Polo )

I'm definitely glad [livejournal.com profile] altariel stopped me from missing this one, then, and plan to continue with audio and / or still reconstructions when I get to other stories for which the original footage has been lost. I do reserve the right to rethink this policy when I get to seasons 3-5, though, where only four stories survive entirely complete out of a total of 26. That could get kinda tedious - at least unless tempered pretty heavily with complete stories from later eras. We'll see.

strange_complex: (Janus)
For at least the last twelve years of my life - possibly slightly longer - I have worn, every single day, the pendant shown below:

Eye of Horus pendant )

If you have ever met me IRL, you'll have seen it. Or if you didn't, it will only have been because I was wearing a high-necked top and it was tucked underneath. I will have been wearing it - I guarantee.

That pendant's history and significance )

Why I need a new one )

Gravitating towards a TARDIS key )

But I liked the idea of the key very much, and I began to feel that a smaller, more feminine version of the same thing, made nicely out of proper silver, would actually be a very worthy replacement for my old Eye of Horus. And this is where [livejournal.com profile] nalsa comes into the story.

Nalsa's handiwork )

It is, quite frankly, awesome. It's just exactly what I wanted - light-weight, and feminine, and in fact able to pass quite readily as a piece of interesting abstract jewellery to anyone who didn't know what it actually was. I can wear it to conferences, I can wear it to teach in, I can wear it out to dinner. But to me, and to anyone else who's geeky enough, it is in fact also a compelling emblem of fantasy, and adventure, and one man's quiet battle to make the Universe a better place. If I can trust any small piece of metal to keep me safe, help me access the past, help me journey on into my future, and help me find my way back home again if I ever get lost - then this is it.

The history and experience I've written into my old pendant can't just be thrown aside lightly, though. Perhaps there are some things it's witnessed that it's best to leave behind now, and stop carrying around with me. It may be time anyway, even if it weren't for the worn old silver, to move forwards, and let the new pendant receive an impression of the present and future me. But the present me has been forged by the past me, and for that reason I need to keep my connection with the old pendant, too.

So, right now, downstairs in my fire-place a candle is burning, and in front of it the two pendants lie, back-to-back - one facing into the past, and one facing into the future, just like the god Janus (see icon). Once the candle burns down, the 'transfer' will be complete, and I'll be able to leave the old pendant behind and move into the future with the new one. I'm not quite sure what I'll do with the old one after that - but as [livejournal.com profile] glitzfrau said the other night in the pub, the right thing will come to me.

strange_complex: (Tom Baker)
For most of this year so far, I've been working my way more-or-less sequentially through the Tom Baker era, largely thanks to UKTV Drama. When the current season of New Who started up, however, they went into temporary hiatus, leaving me hanging at The Robots of Death. I was ready, though. The enticingly-packaged Key to Time box-set was already waiting in reserve. It meant jumping forwards a little - but what with one thing and another there are actually only four stories I haven't seen between Robots... and the start of this season, so it wasn't too much of a problem, and it has meant another six stories viewed (mainly) in their original broadcast order. Now that I've worked my way through not only its six stories, but a solid selection of its myriad extra features, it's time to review it - as a season, and as a set.

Fourth Doctor: The Ribos Operation )

Fourth Doctor: The Pirate Planet )

Fourth Doctor: The Stones of Blood )

Fourth Doctor: The Androids of Tara )

Fourth Doctor: The Power of Kroll )

Fourth Doctor: The Armageddon Factor )

The Key to Time Season )

The Key to Time Box Set )

Overall, then, not every story in this season may be amongst the best. But the box-set itself is a very sound investment. And now I do believe it is time for this week's episode of New Who... *big grin*

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