Deep Breath

Doctor WhoA live dinosaur in the Thames proves to be quite a spectacle, one that calls for the expertise of Madame Vastra, Jenny, and Strax. No stranger to prehistoric reptiles, Madame Vastra has just the trick for pacifying the dinosaur, but when the dinosaur coughs up a blue and apparently wooden box, Vastra and her entourage instantly know that more trouble will follow. Clara stumbles out of the TARDIS in the company of an older man wearing the Doctor’s clothes: the Doctor’s new face.

As the Doctor recovers from his recent regeneration, Clara questions whether she can continue her travels with him. Madame Vastra scolds Clara for basing her initial impressions of the Doctor’s new incarnation on physical appearance, but before the conversation can continue, the dinosaur in the Thames stirs before spontaneously combusting. The Doctor, having already awoken and gone to the scene, is angered at the creature’s death, and wonders if there have been other recent deaths by spontaneous combustion. Surprised by the question, Vastra admits that there have been. The Doctor, still behaving in an erratic manner, leaves on his own to start investigating.

A newspaper advertisement draws both Clara and the Doctor to a restaurant, each thinking that the other placed the ad, but once they arrive, they are trapped by the restaurant’s mechanical waiters. They are taken to meet the being behind the string of deaths by spontaneous combustion, a mechanical creature harvesting organs and other body parts to keep itself functional in hopes of continuing a mission that was interrupted when it was stranded on Earth. The Doctor has regained enough of his senses the challenge the robot to avoid killing… but in trying to prevent the robot from taking another life, must he take one himself?

Order the DVDwritten by Steven Moffat
directed by Ben Wheatley
music by Murray Gold

Cast: Peter Capaldi (The Doctor), Jenna-Louise Coleman (Clara), Neve McIntosh (Madame Vastra), Catrin Stewart (Jenny Flint), Dan Starkey (Strax), Nigel Betts (Mr. Anderson), Paul Hickey (Inspector Gregson), Tony Way (Alfie), Maggie Service (Elsie), Sean Ashburn (Restaurant Droid), Peter Ferdinando (Half-Face), Michelle Gomez (Keeper of the Nethersphere), Matt Smith (The Doctor)

Doctor WhoNotes: The Doctor, in his tenth incarnation, encountered similar self-repairing robots aboard the S.S. Madame du Pompadour in The Girl In The Fireplace (2006), also written by Steven Moffat. This is the first post-regeneration story in the history of Doctor Who that features a new scene shot with the previous Doctor.

Maggie Service provided the voice of the ship’s computer in the BBC SF comedy Hyperdrive. Peter Fernandino was the Black Knight in Snow White And The Huntsman, and has also been seen in 300: The Rise Of An Empire and Hyena.

LogBook entry & review by Earl Green Continue reading

Last Christmas

Doctor WhoFrom Clara’s roof, there arises such a clatter that she wakes up to investigate, finding a man dressed as Santa Claus…and two elves…and a crashed sleigh and wayward reindeer. If that scene isn’t surreal enough, the TARDIS appears, the Doctor emerges, and tells her she must do exactly as he says. They travel to a research base at the North Pole where the scientists live in fear of crab-like alien beings that attach themselves to victims’ heads and consume them; the victims are kept in a dream state, anesthetized from what’s actually happening to them. The beings attack both the base crew and the Doctor and Clara, but does everyone survive the attack, or succumb?

Order the DVDwritten by Steven Moffat
directed by Ben Wheatley
music by Murray Gold

Doctor WhoCast: Peter Capaldi (The Doctor), Jenna Coleman (Clara), Nick Frost (Santa Claus), Samuel Anderson (Danny Pink), Dan Starkey (Ian), Nathan McMullen (Wolf), Faye Marsay (Shona), Natalie Gumede (Ashley), Maureen Beattie (Bellows), Michael Troughton (Professor Albert)

Doctor WhoNotes: Michael Troughton is the son of Patrick Troughton, who was the second Doctor from 1966 through 1969; Michael’s brother David appeared in the David Tennant episode Midnight. Nick Frost has co-starred with Simon Pegg (the Editor from The Long Game) in a number of movies co-written and produced by Pegg (Hot Fuzz, Shaun Of The Dead, and The World’s End), as well as co-starring in the series Spaced with Pegg.

LogBook entry & review by Earl Green Continue reading

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