Sleep No More

Sleep No MoreTARDIS
I loved
Sleep No More. I proselytised about it to my wife, who doesn’t follow   Doctor Who. I made her watch it. I probably dropped horrendous knowing hints to friends – “Next Saturday’s is amazing” – and awaited the happy revelation for everyone that this series was just getting better and better…

This review is from DWM #494. Continue reading

The Zygon Invasion/The Zygon Inversion

The Zygon InvasionTARDIS
I blame me. I genuinely didn’t ‘get’ the Doctor’s speech at the end of this story. And I still don’t. I’ve had another look, and it continues to feel over-written and stagy. Yet I don’t doubt its power, because I’ve since seen so many people  demonstrating how moving they found it, which is truly delightful. But… it  leaves me cold. Perhaps I am cold.

This review is from DWM #493. Continue reading

Under The Lake/Before The Flood

Under The Lake/Before The Flood TARDISFor whatever reason, I haven’t had too much problem this year in starting my reviews. Does that make sense? Coming up with a line or a thought to get it all going. Sometimes I’ll try for an obtuse opener, which doesn’t immediately connect with the story at hand (but resolves quickly – otherwise than can be annoying), sometimes I’ll just jump straight into the main discussion, sometimes I’ll try something cute. Which is what I’ve attempted here, and it’s probably not that great. I’m doing that old, old trick, you see, where the last line of the whole piece dovetails into the first. Again.

This was my last review for DWM #492.

Continue reading

The Magician’s Apprentice/The Witch’s Familiar

The Magician’s Apprentice/The Witch’s Familiar TARDIS
Blimey. Around again. By the time I’d get to the end of reviewing the 2015 run of
Doctor Who, I’d be going slightly insane, continually editing my own prose, in the hope of eradicating  phrases I was relying on  too much, and searching out synonyms for those that have been killed, now, by their repetition in so much online discourse (I  skip any paragraph of anything that talks about ‘memes’ or a character having ‘agency’). Why so agitated? I guess it’s good to keep challenging oneself, but I’m not sure anyone notices.Which is genuinely fine. I’ve always thought it’s stupid to expect any reaction to what I write. So when I do get some – even a caustic remark on a forum – it’s a bonus. 

Also, see below, how I get in yet another dig about ‘spoiler-free reviews’ – journalism’s newest and most redundant form. I need to get over it. It’s not going anywhere, and it doesn’t really matter. 

This review first appeared in DWM #492.

Continue reading

Last Christmas

This piece first appeared in DWM #482 and brings us up to date (but hopefully not for ever) on my current reviews for the magazine. If you’ve ever wondered about the timetable of these things, the preview copy was made available to journalists on December 16th, and I submitted my text on the 18th, the day before Tom and Peter were to close up shop for the year.

Merry Christmas!

Continue reading

After Image…

After Image...TARDIS
I’m not sure when the ‘After Image’ thing became a fixture in
DWM. Or even, actually, why it’s called ‘After Image’. It’s a handy spot, though, for a reviewer. Sometimes thoughts will occur, as I’m writing about individual stories, that just don’t go with the flow. So I think, “I’ll save that back for the ‘After Image’.”

When it came to it, I’d forgotten most of those nuggets.

I did know I wanted to say something about the over-arching storyline regarding Missy (could never make it fit in the episode pieces), and that I felt I had to get to the fact – pretty early on – that I hadn’t enjoyed this year’s run as much as normal. Inasmuch as these things aren’t important, that felt quite important, so that what I’d written before didn’t look in anyway veiled. I also want to try and communicate the point-of-view that, although this was my reaction, it didn’t mean anything profound. I do honestly recognise that for a lot of people, Doctor Who in 2014 was better than ever.

And, genuinely, I do think Peter Capadli is brilliant. Continue reading