Review: Doctor Who season eight

I had the privilege of watching the Doctor Who season eight finale mere hours ago… without knowing it was the finale.

I kind of had a feeling it was the finale, and all the twists and turns in the episode suggested that it was indeed the finale, but seeing as I’m at times daft and unattentive, I was unaware of how important the episode was until I saw that it was indeed “the season finale”. Whoops.

The Eyebrows and the Impossible Girl.

The Eyebrows and the Impossible Girl.

Anywho…

**SPOILERS WILL SOON FOLLOW. IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN THE ENTIRE SEASON AND WISH TO, I HIGHLY SUGGEST NOT GOING ON ANY FURTHER**

Season eight marks the official debut of Peter Capaldi as the Doctor after seeing a glimpse (his eyes) in Day of the Doctor and seeing my beloved Matt Smith regenerate into Capaldi. As I attended the Doctor Who World Tour stop in Sydney, I was privileged to watch Deep Breath before it premiered all over the world on its official date. Deep Breath was a HUGE start for Who, showing just how well-suited Capaldi is as the Doctor, proving doubters that he will have no problem filling the shoes left behind by the likes of William Hartnell, Christopher Eccleston and David Tennant.

On that note, if I may take a moment to self-promote, here’s a clip of Capaldi making his grand entrance on stage at the Sydney portion of the World Tour. At the 1:02 mark, that is when Capaldi spotted me in the audience waving at him… and then he waved back. I died. Just to illustrate my feelings at the moment in time.

I’m going to say it: if Capaldi was the greatest thing about this season, coming in a close second is Michelle Gomez. I thought John Simm was an incredible Master, but Gomez REALLY blew me away as the Mistress. She was absolutely phenomenal in her role and, just like Simm, made it hard to hate her because she was that damn infectious… albeit a cray-cray kind of infectious.

Besides Deep Breath, there were a few other episodes in the season eight that, to me, really shone. The first  that I’d like to mention is Robot of Sherwood, which focused on the legend of Robin Hood (or not-a-legend, if you’re going to go down that route). The storyline in that episode was going okay – not great, just okay – until the massive swerve at the end which suddenly made the episode a WHOLE lot more interesting. Include the humorous interactions between the Doctor and Hood and you’ve got yourself a stellar episode.

Another episode that really stood out was Mummy on the Orient Express. The episode took a kind of old-fashioned “who dunnit” approach, although instead of “who was the murderer”, it was “who is going to be murdered next by a mummy that only the person about to die can see”. Writer Jamie Mathieson could not have capitalised any more if he tried; the episode was a total hit, with engaging interaction, well-placed humour and an attention-grabbing storyline that had me at the end of my mattress for the entire episode.

Along with the good comes the bad: In The Forest of the Night particularly stands out as disappointing. The plot was confusing and the acting on some of the children’s behalf was shoddy, not that I can hold it against them, being so young and all. Especially coming after the mumy episode, it really should have knocked it out of the park but it barely hit it off the tee.

One story arc I really didn’t like during season eight also was Clara and Danny. The story seemed forced together to give Clara another dimension other than perfect and prim companion to the Doctor. Realistically, they had been on like one date and then declared their love for each other. Danny, as a character, was annoying, and I couldn’t find anything really that I liked about him. I wasn’t too big a fan of Clara in season seven but she’s growing on me.

It is because of this story arc that I didn’t completely love the season finale. The fact that Danny saved the world was a bit how ya goin’ for me. Regardless, Death in Heaven was still a fantastic episode, if only to see Michelle Gomez do her thang.

Solst-o-meter
Storyline: 7.4/10
Acting: 8.8/10
Overall: 8.1/10

This was a definite treat for Whovians all over the world, and was a great taste for what Capaldi can bring to the much coveted role of the Doctor. Capaldi is fantastic in his role and I can’t wait to see what else he can do.

– by Noah La’ulu

The Cat and the Love Rat

Here’s my take on the whole Cat-Lawson drama that has been clouding over Big Brother Australia for the past few weeks.

If you have been avoiding anything Big Brother related, I don’t blame you, but you must have your head in the sand if you haven’t heard of the Cat-Lawson saga, like that emu who has its head in the sand. But again, I don’t blame you.

Who are you to stop such a beautiful smile?!

Who are you to stop such a beautiful smile?!

If you’re reading this confused, let me catch you up to speed: Lawson is a mid-late 20 something year old magician who has a girlfriend named Candice. He went into the house still in a strings-attached relationship with the girl. Enter Cat, the stunning 30 something year old midwife who immediately has a liking for Lawson. One night spent in a secluded hut and lo and behold, Lawson and Cat are hooking up like a pair of pelicans. (Terrible, terrible simile, but bear with me) Naturally, some of the other housemates are appalled at their behaviour and many Australians around the world who view that reality program have also shared their disgust.

Since then, both Cat and Lawson have been eliminated from the house – no doubt because they’re both “cheaters” – and have both expressed their sorrow for what they’ve done. In saying that, however, they both went on the record to basically say that “Love is love and who are we to deny those feelings that we had.”

Ooooooohhhhh.

And as any top Aussie blogger would do, I’m here to give my two cents on the Cat and Lawson drama that has plagued Big Brother Australia for nearly its entire season.

My thoughts on this situation can be summed up in four simple words: it doesn’t affect me.

Think about it. How does someone I have never met before cheating on his girlfriend whom I have also never met with a sexy midwife whom I have also never met affect me? It doesn’t. At all. Sure, the act of infidelity is frowned upon, especially if it’s done on national television, but face it, you’re still going to wake up the next day and you’re still going to work or college or wherever it is that you go unaffected. Something that Cat and Lawson may have done does not affect the way I think about them and, if we’re going by the “judge not less ye be judged” path, it shouldn’t affect the way anyone else thinks about them.

Cat was my favourite housemate this year and even throughout this crap, she has still been my favourite. I’ve always thought Lawson was a charming character and I still think he is to this day.

Reading some of the comments on Big Brother Australia’s page has really disappointed me in mankind… so quick to throw judgements and nasty insults around as if they’re totally clean and pure. No one is like that. People are going to make mistakes; it’s just what you learn from them which makes you a bigger person.

Now as a personal disclaimer, I am in no way advocating what they’ve done. I don’t agree with infidelity and think that if you do decide to get your jollies off with someone else, you should have the decency to break it off with your partner before you do so. Or don’t engage in a relationship at all.

But think about it. Lawson didn’t have the opportunity to do the right thing and tell his beloved Candice “Hey, I may have feelings for another woman, can we like take a break so I can pursue these feelings and see what happens after?” No. He was stuck in a small, secluded house with like 12 or so other people for over a month. Surely that is going to play on someone’s psyche after such an extended period of time. Some people don’t take into account the mentality of being secluded in the house can have on these housemates. They don’t have the privilege of going out wherever and doing whatever because they are stuck in that house.

The main point I’m trying to make is this: unless it truly affects you, like, truly affects you, you should probably take a few steps back and think “Hey, I don’t know how these people are feeling, I can’t really comment on their personal lives.” At the end of the day, who are we to get in the way of someone’s love lives if it doesn’t involve us at all?

Yes, that also means if someone is in a relationship on Facebook, it is NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS.

Js.

– by Noah La’ulu

Top 10 Badass Who Villains

Let’s face it; Doctor Who has the most badass villains ever! But who’s the most badassest of them all? Solstice Satisfaction takes a look at the worst of them.

All images from various Doctor Who sources, including The Doctor Who Site.

10. Sontarans
sontarans

The frightening soldier-like race only made less scary by the fact that they look like potatos with bodies, the Sontarans are quite fond of killing and think of it as a type of leisure, so that alone should make even the mightiest Time Lord or human companion wary of these potatos-in-blue-suits.

9. Autons
autons

If you work in retail, I feel bad for you son, I’ve got 99 problems, but a store mannequin turning into a killing Auton ain’t one. These “plastic people” are controlled by the Nestene Consciousness and shoot these really nifty lasers out of their plastic hands. They’re also frightening because people are used to store mannequins and will let their guard down. But you shouldn’t. Rose Tyler isn’t in this dimension to save you.

8. Vashta Nerada
Vashta_nerada

“Hey! Who turned out the lights?” If this sentence resonates with you as a Whovian, then you’ll know why the Vashta Nerada are so frightening. I could only describe the Vashta Nerada as a type of darkness that kills you and takes control of your physical body while replaying the last thing you ever said constantly. If you were in a River Song spacesuit. If you were just wearing trackies and a sweater… I’d say it’d be much worse.

7. The Beast
the-beast

The Beast is commonly referred to as the Devil. Or Satan. Or Lucifer. Whatever you’d like to call it. Either way, he is just as scary as every demonic version of him suggests, although I’m pretty sure he’s like 50 feet tall and lives in the fiery depths of hell. Or whatever your version of hell is.

6. Empty Child/Children
emptych

If there is one seemingly innocent line that can freak out a Whovian, it’s this: “Are you my mummy?” What turned one child with a gas mask on into an entire colony of people wearing gas masks all saying “Are you my mummy?” became one of the most frightening things of the entire Doctor Who universe, or Whoniverse. Let’s just say I can’t look at gas masks the same way.

5. Silence
silence

How are you supposed to take the fight to a creature that you can’t even remember? The Silence, who look like regular stereotypical aliens sometimes dressed in dapper suits, are actually deadly in the fact that as soon as you look away from them, you can’t even remember them. Just make sure you carry a marker around with you to let your body know how many times you’ve actually seen them.

4. Weeping Angels
weepingangels

If there is one thing worse than forgetting a creature, it’s not looking away from it. The Weeping Angels feed off time energy and are the reason why Amy and Rory had to separate from Eleven. Their shtick is simple: they are angel statues when you look at them. You blink, and they’re all of a sudden right in your face. Don’t take your eye off them, because the moment they touch you, you’ve gone back way in time and have to live a life in an era you don’t know.

3. The Master
masterjohn

The one Time Lord who is capable of giving the Doctor the heebie jeebies is The Master. His friend. His rival. His nemesis. Only made less frightening by his unpredictable behaviour, the Master doesn’t have the same kindness to humans as the Doctor does. Although, we can take comfort in that Martha Jones once stopped him from taking over the world.

2. Cybermen
cybermen

“Deleeeete!” If you hear this, you should either duck or roll to the side. Or ultimately give up and surrender. Because that is the word a Cyberman will shout before he shoots you and kills you, just like that. Cybermen were once humans who were convered into this robotic killing machines and are completely devoid of human emotions or feelings. What is worse than having no feelings!

1. Daleks
daleks

What looks like a rolling machine with a rod sticking out of its head to a non Whovian is actually the most deadly Who villain of them all. The Daleks, the rivals of the Time Lords. The rivalry led to the Time War which left the Doctor wandering the world by himself as the only Time Lord left in existence. Of course, if you need a hand defeating the Daleks, the Doctor has several companions who have been known to EXTERMINAAAATE them. Here’s looking at you, Bad Wolf Rose Tyler.

Be glad that all these creatures aren’t real.

Or are they?

Don’t blink!

– by Noah La’ulu

Doctor Who from an Emotionally-Charged Whovian’s Perspective

Because I may or may not have a love affair with the Doctor.

I am an emotional person. There is no way I can deny that. I often think with my heart instead of my head and those decisions often lead to extraordinary consequences, whether that be good or bad. When I watch a TV series, I don’t just “watch” it, I get emotionally invested into the show and its characters. Doctor Who is no different; in fact, I’d go as far to say that I’ve never been so emotionally invested in a TV series as much as I have with Doctor Who.

That crazy brilliant man his blue box. (SOURCE: Rooners Toy Photography Flickr photostream)

That crazy brilliant man his blue box. (SOURCE: Rooners Toy Photography Flickr photostream)

My background with Doctor Who is different to most: I didn’t become a fully fledged Whovian until recent. Previously, I watched the “New Who” sporadically with my father; if it was on, we’d watch it. If it wasn’t, we wouldn’t go out of our way to get it. I knew that David Tennant was the Doctor and he had a beautiful companion named Martha Jones… who all of a sudden was replaced by Donna Noble. I knew Billie Piper was in the series but didn’t know her character’s name. After a little persuasion, I decided to re-watch “New Who” from season one episode one to get re-familiarised with the show that has captivated so many people. And now, I’m hooked for life.

I’ve always had difficulty verbally explaining to my friends just how strongly I feel for this TV series, so as a writer, I thought it’d be better to communicate through the written word. I laugh and I smile and I cry and I cower when I watch Doctor Who; the show is just capable of bringing so many emotions out of Whovians, and I think I’m the worst when it comes to it.

Take regenerations, for example: without fail, I have cried during every regeneration. Why? Because you put so much time and love into getting familiar with this incarnation of the Doctor but at the back of your mind you just know he will leave you when the going gets bad. You’ve become so attached to this incarnation of the Doctor that when he regenerates, it’s just like he’s leaving you and comes back with a new face and personality that you have to adapt to whether you like it or not. Quite literally, it’s a heartbreaking experience… and I’m aware that I may sound a bit insane right now but bear with me. I always feel rather indifferent and quite cold towards the newly regenerated Doctor, and it just takes time for me to warm up to him. Until the cycle starts again. Compare this to having a pet dog who all of a sudden is taken from you and is replaced by another breed of dog that you have to keep regardless. That’s how I feel when it comes to regeneration.

I laugh every time Amy Pond says something in her ridiculously adorable Scottish accent. I cried when Rose Tyler is revealed as the Bad Wolf and mutters “my Doctor”. I felt warm inside when the Doctor referred to Donna Noble as his “best friend”. I marked out when all of the Tenth Doctor’s companions reunited to save the world. Don’t even get me started on the Father’s Day episode.

Doctor Who is more than just a sci-fi show with an unnamed man of many faces who prefers the company of young, beautiful and otherwise “ordinary” women. It’s a show that explores every human feeling possible: it can make you laugh, it can make you cry, it can make you angry, it can even make you hide behind your chair. It’s a show that appeals to all, young and old, nerdy and non-nerdy, male and female. It tackles real life problems while having that special Doctor Who sass to it: unrequited love, heartbreak, loss of a loved one… all real issues that we as humans face every day.

Numbers are just numbers to most people, but the numbers 1-12 represent so much more to us. Five represents a kind and gentle soul with an unusual taste for jacket accessory. Nine represents a cool and collected sass. Eleven represents bow ties and fezzes.

If I’ve kept your attention for this long, I do suggest that you give the show a go if you haven’t already. But don’t say I didn’t warn you when your heart shatters in almost every episode of this worldwide phenomenon.

– by Noah La’ulu