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Saturday, 30 April 2011

The Impossible Astronaut / Day Of The Moon

This story started where most stories end, for the Doctor. With a regeneration. Not a successful one, unfortunately, but a regeneration nonetheless. During a picnic by the lake our poor hero is killed stone dead by an impossible astronaut. 

Then, back in '69 (I'm assuming you've watched the episodes, I'm not filling in the gaps in the story) a race to discover what the Silence are up to begins and the Doctor meets a brand new friend in Canton Everett Delaware III. From the White House to tunnels below the streets of Florida to the deepest, darkest recesses of your nightmares, this two-parter has blown me away. I don't think I've ever enjoyed 90 minutes of television so much in my entire life.

We have an amazing new enemy (ignore my previous Silence post - unless it is proved true in the future) with a terrifying power in The Silence. Once you've seen them, once you've received their orders, once you turn your back, they never existed to you. The second you look away you forget you've even encountered them! Imagine, you could turn and see one now, then turn back to this post and forget that it's standing right behind you! I find it very hard to believe that this is the last we'll see of this Silent menace. They're too good an enemy with too good a power to just disappear.

But tracking the astronaut to a warehouse, above the Silence's spaceship, and finding a little girl behind the visor is exciting, interesting, even confusing, but it's only the beginning.

The Impossible Astronaut is very much Part One of a much bigger tale. Even the greatest of revelations (Amy's pregnancy, the Doctor's death, etc) couldn't set it as an episode that could be enjoyed alone. This is definitely a movie-sized story that was split because it had to be. It sizzles away quietly, then throws a bunch of massive action sequences at you, then burns quietly away again... Until, before you know it, Amy's shooting a child in the face, at 6.43pm on Saturday night... Doctor Who, in case you hadn't noticed, has grown up a little this year.

Then Day Of The Moon begins, three months after the events of the series opener, and things have changed again! Canton 3 is hunting our heroes - indeed, gunning them down one by one, or chasing them from the high-floors of skyscrapers. Has he turned to the dark side? No. It's all a plan to get the companions - on the run since the Doctor's off-screen capture - all together again! Cue one of the greatest escape scenes (so simple, yet so elaborate!) in Doctor Who history. Inside the "Perfect Prison" at Area 51, the Doctor and the largest TARDIS crew in decades set off once more to continue their mission in peace, without having half the American security agencies chasing them down - again.

Day Of The Moon has, for me, the most exciting pre-credit sequence of any story so far: seeing River dive from that skyscraper, straight into the TARDIS swimming pool, seeing Amy cornered and "killed" in cold blood by someone we have trusted so far, seeing poor Rory face death like a man - there's nothing not to like about it. And you KNOW they're not really dead, obviously, yet that doesn't detract from the excitement and horror of seeing our friends taken out.

Some lovely little "sci fi bits" thrown in, with no real explanation (like those recorders in their palms) and we're ready to visit the creepy orphanage in search of this little girl, the one from the space suit. There's nothing quite like a haunted house and this one doesn't just have Silence on the ceiling but a freaky futuristic woman "in" a door (make sure you remember her). Some of the most chilling scenes ever in "New Who" prove once again that Steven Moffat is at his best when he's creeping us out. 

A really bloody freaky guest appearance by Kerry Shale as the unfortunate Dr Renfrew, "keeper of the kid" at Greystark Hall Orphanage, threw us into horror movie territory and gave Karen Gillan plenty of room to shine, apparently using a talent for emotion and suspense that she kept very well hidden last year (or so some say). The Orphanage scenes are genuinely frightening. Watching in the dark is not recommended for those of a nervous disposition. But watching closely certainly is recommended for everyone! If you didn't see her, there was a cameo from a certain Frances Barber this week. Possible the most unusual, confusing and downright hallucinogenic cameo ever. It's not so much "blink and you'll miss her" as "see her clearly but still have to rewind to make sure you didn't dream it". 

Sinister women peering through doors from what looks like the future aside, what came next in the episode kick-starts a whole new area of speculation! We know that Amy thinks she's pregnant. We know that she's told the Doctor this and that, it would seem, was that. But behind this creepy door (oh, there IS no hatch, by the way, it's not there... I know. Bonkers) is a little girl's bedroom - THE little girl's bedroom. But who is she?!

She has toys and games as any normal kid would. There's a mobile hanging from the ceiling made up of stars planets and moons. And there are photographs; most of them are of the little girl, but one shows Amy, smiling, holding a new born baby. Why would this little girl, in America in 1969, have a photo of Amy and her as yes unborn child? Are they connected in some way? Could that little girl be...? but that would mean... Since... You know, at the end of the episode! But I'm getting ahead of myself.

First our heroes need to get rid of the Silence! And what better way to do that than by using their own awesome power against them?! 

Using a video phone, a snazzed-up Walkie Talkie, a few slight adjustments to the Eagle's video feed, a clever word-game with a captured and injured Silent and Neil Armstrong's foot the Doctor, Canton and the rest manage to trick the Silence into ordering their own termination and then broadcast this to the half a billion people watching the moon landing as well as the countless billions who will watch the footage back, at some point in their life. The Doctor only needed six words to bring down Harriet Jones, but the Silent's order of just one more than that seemed to do the trick when it came to destroying their entire race: "YOU SHOULD KILL US ALL ON SIGHT!" - And so we did. The revolution was led, Silence fell.

And that was that! The world saved, in 1969, with subliminal messages! The Silence were defeated. Earth was safe again and we all did our bit - even if we don't remember doing it. But there are more questions left unanswered than ever before! 

The TARDIS isn't sure whether Amy is pregnant or not - so is she? Who actually is River Song? (That kiss makes guessing easier, as does a throwaway line uttered not long before that). Who was in the spacesuit when the Doctor was killed by it? Why did the Doctor have to die? Where did the little girl figure in the Silence's plan? Who was she, for that matter?! She must be important since the Doctor says "it's all about her" just as they take off for more adventures! 

And how the fuck... HOW THE FUCK did she regenerate?! WHO THE HELL IS SHE?!!!

Best. Doctor. Who. Story. Ever!

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

That Big Spoiler That's Out There! (Spoiler Free, Promise)

So, it seems that it's out there! "Who River Song Is" is no longer a secret to those who know where to look. And if you don't know where to look then the 'Doctor Who Spoiler Site' is a great place to start - Only click THIS LINK if you REALLY want to know who she is - I will not be held responsible for you spoiling it for yourselves... You will only have yourself to blame! And it's a BIG spoiler, so don't click it unless you are really, really sure you want to know who River Song actually is! There is doubt among some - and initially, from me - as to whether this spoiler was genuine or not, but since talking to the source myself I'm pretty convinced it is true. And when you think about it, it makes sense!

Right. If you've seen the spoiler there's a chance that you want to discuss it. I implore you not to do so in any form of public place. Blowing the secret on your Twitter feed is low. There are people out there who really don't want to know, who want to find out when the reveal happens on-screen. So be kind, be thoughtful and please don't spoil it for those who want to remain unspoiled. If you want to talk it over with other spoiler-hounds then you can do so on Gallifrey Base's Spoiler and Speculation thread using the link in the sidebar.

But, wow. What a revelation, eh?!

Monday, 25 April 2011

The Greatest TARDIS Crew In History

I've seen The Impossible Astronaut about 9 times now, each time loving it more and I am now utterly convinced that we are witnessing the adventures of the best TARDIS crew that we have ever had. The chemistry between all four crew members is mind-blowing. In decades to come this crew will be ranked up there with the likes of the Second Doctor, Jamie and Zoe. 

Series Five was great for chemistry too, no question about that, but there was a sense of "special guest star" about both Alex and Arthur. This time, however, both are well and truly the Doctor's companions. 

Rory is my favourite companion in 'New Who' and it seems that he will remain so for the foreseeable future. His clever mix of lovable but clumsy and brave and capable is what makes this ordinary, ordinary man so extraordinary. Played with the perfect balance of humour and heart by Arthur Darvill, Rory is - as we saw during the Doctor's funeral scene last weekend - more than up the the job of taking control of the situation in the Doctor's absence, but knows that when the Doctor is about he is an assistant only. There's no bitterness there. Sure, there's some jealousy over Amy, but when it comes to the crunch Rory is the Doctor's fiercest friend.

This entire crew compliment each other perfectly and I hope to see them travel space and time for many years to come! I fear, however, that this may not turn out to be the case. I have a terrible feeling that Amy and Rory will be leaving us - based on nothing, this isn't a spoiler, just a hunch - and if they do, I will be sad to see them leave. So, here's to the best crew the TARDIS ever had. The Eleventh Doctor, Amy Pond, Rory Williams and River Song. Awesome. Just awesome!

Jim Shelley Doesn't Get It - A Doctor Who Review Review

I don't claim to be a great writer, a great reviewer or the most eloquent of scribblers when it comes to using words. But I am capable of following a children's drama on a Saturday night. I was going to review The Impossible Astronaut but you know I loved it and you know - from my posts previous - what ideas I've had about the questions it has left unanswered. 

So instead of a review from me I have decided to review a review. Not just any review, Jim Shelley's review of the series opener from today's Daily Mirror. I'm not a fan of this paper, I'm not a fan of Shelley's pathetic articles and I'm certainly not a fan of inaccurate journalism, even if it's not really about anything serious. I'm not even going to comment on this bit of nothing from Kevin O'Sullivan!

Entitled "It's Not Quite What The Doctor Ordered" (without a hint of irony) Shelley attempts to get his tabloid brain around the complex and frankly mindbogglingly difficult-to-understand story of The Impossible Astronaut (I'm being sarcastic). He says that Doctor Who is "still not quite delivering" and that it seems everyone is "trying too hard" in the show. Then he goes on to say that it's the best and most innovative British show on TV. 

He praises Matt Smith, Karen Gillan and the rest of the cast, as well as Steven Moffat's "energetic, intelligent ideas" before, in a later paragraph, calling the plot too confusing ("Please don't ask me to explain it - only children can follow Doctor Who" - uh, what?). And it seems that Shelley has not only confused himself over the characters and his own opinions, but also completely missed the entire point of the whole episode. It would appear that he neither followed, nor understood, a single one of the important events in this episode. 

Sorry Jim, I'm an amateur, you're meant to be a professional. Even I know that to review something successfully you really need to make sure your facts are right. There are some glaring inaccuracies in your review - whether because you felt it above you to give the show your full attention or because you are simply too thick to get what was a simple time travel plot - that I'm afraid has made me abandon my own opinions and instead focus on correcting your own.

First off, and I quote, "The Doctor was dead. Amy lay on him, sobbing, and then they pushed him out to see and torched his body, Viking-style. Except of course, he wasn't ... Essentially, he rescued himself". Getting a bit ahead of ourselves here, aren't we Jim? How did the Doctor rescue himself? You are aware that to enjoy something, to understand it, you have to listen and watch, right? I mean, of course you do! You're a pro!

Next up was a little bit about the Silence. Sure, your description of them was fair enough, but not original by a fucking long way. And you're missing, from your quote from the bathroom death scene, the most important line! Clearly you missed the entire point... Shelley writes; "'Why did you have to kill her?' cried Amy, after an old lady was vaporised inside the Ladies at the White House. 'Joy!' it responded. (Bizarrley [sic] The Silence was not silent.)" - again mate, you've missed the point. The Silent's line was "Joy... Her name was Joy!". I've set out my thoughts on this in a previous post below, but it's pretty important to mention, don't you think? And I won't comment on your spelling mistakes.

The bottom line is, I don't think I've ever read such a steaming pile of garbled shit in a long while. Did you like the episode? Didn't you? Do you even know yourself? As for you not understanding it - it's a terrible shame that there is likely to be no more Sarah Jane Adventures. At least the stories in that show would be flat enough for you to be able to follow. Sorry to rant. I don't mean to upset anyone. But then, you didn't mean to upset me. I'm an out of work amateur blogger, I love writing and there are people like Jim Shelley filling pages - in national newspapers for lots of money - with inaccurate, incredibly poor tripe. It makes me very bitter - which is very unattractive. So I'll stop talking just after I've said this:

I loved the episode. I understood it all and I cannot wait for next week and, indeed, the rest of what promises to be a cracking series of my favourite show. Rant ends.

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Silence Is Golden? A Theory...

The Silence, a terrifying new monster in Doctor Who. Murderous, villainous invaders from a world that we will never understand and have no hopes of defending ourselves against. Or are they? There were a number of clues in The Impossible Astronauts, a handful of moments and odd little things they did, that make me think that they are not the villainous monsters we think they are, but instead a sad and sorrowful race, trapped here (their ship won't work, remember) for thousands of years. 

Here are the main moments, listed chronologically as the episode progressed, [with my reasons for noticing this, an explanation of sorts, in brackets] that caught my eye and made me think that there is a lot more to these silent 'foes' than meets the eye. I'm very possibly very very wrong. But it's worth thinking about, at least:

1) The Silent On The Hill At The Picnic - [hold that thought...]

2) The Silent At The Door - [Why did it just stand there? What was it that it wanted? It was there, looking at Amy, then gone!]

3) The Silent In The Bathroom - [It was there, threateningly looking at Amy as she entered, yet didn't attack. When it was confronted by the woman - a seemingly harmless woman, no threat at all - it killed her and, while she was screaming, made a sucking noise/action... I think this was the Silent "stealing a voice" (it hadn't spoken before this point) in order to tell Amy what it needed to tell her; that she should tell the Doctor what she knows she must and what she knows she must not! When Amy says to it "You killed her! You didn't have to kill her!" it replies "Joy. Her name was Joy!..." This reminded me of the scene from Vampires In Venice where the Doctor was disgusted to find that Rosana Calvieri didn't know the name of the dead girl... The Silent DID know and showed itself to want Amy to know that it knew who she was, even though she was really nobody. This is the ONLY death caused by the Silence in the whole episode.]

4) The Silence In The Tunnels - [When River explored the tunnels there were Silence everywhere, skulking in the dark, dank tunnels, looking sad and downtrodden (remember the Natural Ood in Planet of the Ood?). Why didn't they attack? Why didn't they just kill her there and then, kill those upstairs too, kill them all! Who'd know?! In fact, why are they so reluctant to kill at all?]

5) The Silence In The Ship - [When River and Rory were breaking into the ship (the Lodger Tardis-looking ship) there were, again, Silence everywhere - but they didn't attack. They didn't even MOVE from where they were sat until River had triggered their ship's alarm... Think of it from their point of view: Some strange woman breaks into your spaceship... I'd be pissed off too! And if this theory is right, then it's also quite sad! The Silence NEED to kill to get a voice. So they NEED to kill to be able to say "we're not here to harm you!"]

'Silence Will Fall' or so we've been told. OOH! DOOM-LADEN!! But for whom? We've treated it as a threat, as something that needs to be stopped! And sure, yes, if I'm right, it needs to be stopped. Because if Silence Falls then there is another dead race in the universe. They need the Doctor's help. He's the only one who can kick-start their ship (see The Lodger) but in order to explain this to him, someone has to die. They need a voice to explain it to him! They don't want to hurt anyone, but HAVE to in order to explain themselves. Sad, eh?

So what about this: The Doctor, by whatever means, saves the Silence from whatever it is that they're running/hiding from. His death, as we have seen, has to happen. His allies are collected together in Utah to "see him off" - Amy, Rory, River, Canton E Delaware III... AND The Silent On The Hill At The Picnic, there one last time to pay his last respects to the Time Lord responsible for assuring the future survival of his race. 

I'm no longer scared of the Silence. I think they're severely misunderstood creatures, very unfortunately massive, ugly, terrifying and mute and can only get a voice to tell us they need our help by killing to "steal a voice". I've not figured out the "girl in the space suit" bit just yet... Or written my episode review. It'll be with you soon. But... what do you think?

ADDED MUCH LATER: How wrong was I, eh? Ah well...

Saturday, 23 April 2011

The Impossible Astronaut: A Few Pre-Review Comments

Well, what did we all think of that?! Personally, I loved every nail-biting second. I will be reviewing the whole episode tomorrow (after a couple more viewings tonight, even though I've seen it three times already) and that review should be up on this blog before tomorrow night.

But I want to throw a few words around in a more "casual" way. The following post contains spoilers for The Impossible Astronaut, so if you haven't seen it yet, you'd best STOP READING NOW!

First off, that death scene at the lake? WONDERFUL! Secondly, the Rory/River conversation in the tunnels? PERFECT! Thirdly, the banter between River and the Doctor, between Rory and Amy and between Canton and everyone was simply magical!

Ah, Canton Everett Delaware III! Without doubt my favourite supporting character in Doctor Who for ages! He is witty, charming, a bit of a maverick... He's wonderful! I wish there had been more of him, though - since it seems that he's bound to play a pretty important role in the Doctor's life and death (he already has, on-screen) then it's only fair that he gets the recognition! He's amazing. I can't heap enough praise on Mark Sheppard as an actor and the character himself for being just... just... fucking cool! I would welcome him back, as a regular guest star - like Alex Kingston is, or John Barrowman was - with open arms!

I'm a Canton Everett Delaware III fan, for sure! 

Today. It's Today!

Today is the day. If you've seen the "spoilery photos" released last night by the BBC then you'll know a little more of what to expect. If you haven't then I strongly suggest you keep yourself spoiler-free for just a few more hours! At 6pm tonight we get to finally see what all this fuss is about! And boy, are we in for a treat!

Above is the new enemy in action - The Silence have a plan that has been in the works for thousands of years and it's up to Team TARDIS to stop them... Can they? We'll see!

Friday, 22 April 2011

Not Long Now!

In little over twenty-four hours we will be sat down on our sofas, with curtains closed, children sedated and phones unplugged ready to watch the first episode of the Sixth Series of Doctor Who. Matt Smith, Karen Gillan, Arthur Darvill and Alex Kingston all return to fight a brand new threat! The Silence have arrived (well, they've been here a while now) and they are fucking nasty!

Without giving too much away, here's what a few teasers for you: One of the four above WILL die, for real. They all have secrets (Amy has a BIG one) that their keeping from each other. And there are some pretty massive cliff-hanger endings ahead... Brace yourself. Who's back!

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Lis Sladen 1948 - 2011

I wasn't going to write about Lis Sladen's death as there are so many much better tributes to her out there that mine would never be good enough. But I'm writing a little something, just to remember one of Doctor Who's best loved companions.

Beginning her time on Doctor Who in the Third Doctor story The Time Warrior way back in 1973, Lis Sladen gave the character of Sarah Jane Smith something that previous companions didn't have - wit and intelligence and fight!

Sarah Jane was everyone's favourite companion, saving the universe with more Doctors than any other companion in the show! She first met Jon Pertwee's Third Doctor, stayed on to travel with Tom Baker's Fourth, then met the First, Second and Fifth in anniversary story The Five Doctors when she returned to guest-star alongside some of the best known companions in the show's history.

She then returned in the Tenth Doctor story School Reunion, alongside David Tennant, before being given her very own spin-off show on CBBC, The Sarah Jane Adventures. Within this show she more or less became a hero to a generation of children who had never seen her in Doctor Who. Still looking amazing and still with the energy and wit that she had back in the day, Sarah Jane Smith was well and truly back in the Whoniverse. Fighting monsters old and new, with our old friend K9, and meeting some more of the best companions ever - the Brigadier, Jo Grant, as well as the best new companions in Journey's End and the wonderful SJA kids... 

It was on SJA that she got to meet the current incarnation of the Doctor, Matt Smith's Eleventh. And still, countless faces later, there was still a wonderful chemistry, a perfect nostalgia about their brief adventure together.

I'm so sad that Lis Sladen has passed away, but there are no words that I can really say to pay tribute to such a wonderful woman. So this little post is dedicated to the memory of one Sarah Jane Smith, investigative journalist, fan favourite and all round hotty. Even into her sixties. She will be missed <3

Monday, 18 April 2011

Russell Brand On Piers Morgan's Life Stories

I can't bloody stand Piers Morgan - he winds me up, as, no doubt, he does you. But that show he does, Life Stories, is pretty good. I watched it when Gordon Brown was on there and when Simon Cowell was on there and when Cheryl Cole was on there. I threw rotting veg at the screen when Susan Boyle was on there (nothing personal against her... I just don't like her). But the episode I have enjoyed most was shown after Britain's Got Talent on Saturday and featured an interview with Russell Brand.

If you don't know who Russell is, what stone have you been living under for the last decade? Comedian, actor, ex-junkie, author, Mr Katy Perry and all round bloody flouncy clever-clogs - a sort of rock and roll Stephen Fry - Brand is either loved or hated. And ever since the whole "Sachsgate" affair (see below) he's been HATED by pretty much anyone without a sense of humour, especially the Daily Mail! He's their anti-BBC poster boy.

Which is nonsense, because the whole "Sachsgate" thing was nonsense. Two comedians made stupid, childish remarks to an old man - it was funny at the time, no doubt: We've all been there and done that - and realised in hindsight that their comments were hurtful and ill-advised. But don't forget that the show on which this incident happened was pre-recorded and broadcast, not by Brand or Ross, but by a producer. Anyway, you all know the outcome - Brand resigned, Ross got suspended and the BBC became the Big Bad in a PC-War. Utter, utter shit. 

But there we are! That's the world we live in these days... Brand talks about this incident in some detail on Piers Morgan's show, as well as sharing information about other areas of his life - his previous addiction to drugs, alcohol and sex, his marriage to Katy Perry and the horrors of being him. All in all he comes across as a charming, intelligent and likable man. A clever, talented, funny man. An influential man with a real sense of responsibility and a razor-sharp wit. I like Russell Brand. He's a genius.

Sunday, 17 April 2011

The London Marathon 2011

If getting up at 7am for the Formula 1 isn't exertion enough I have also had to sit through the bloody London Marathon this morning/this afternoon. I'm exhausted! Back in 1908 I don't think anyone thought that such an event would make unfit people like me out of breath without us even taking part.

It's boring watching the athletes run it. Really boring. But when the fun runners come out, dressed as bears, washing machines and various other stupid things, it's a lot of fun!

Some of them are doing it solely for a good cause - it's all for charity see! - but some, you can tell, do it just for the bloody hell of it. Those who run in a mankini with no charity attached, or so it seems. That's what I'd do. It's an excuse to dress up as a bit of a bell end and run further than you take your bus to work every day. It'd be fun, I think! And if, like me, you're incredibly unfit after spending far too long on your sofa, then it's a nice excuse to get back into shape.

So I've made a decision: I'll bloody do it. I'll start training, as best I can, starting May 1st. I'll get myself back in to shape, fit again, able to run further than to the Co op... And then, one year from today, I'll run the London Marathon. I will. Don't laugh! I bloody will! You just watch this space...

BGT Returns!

Just a really quick post about the return of Britain's Got Talent. I'll be blogging a lot about it as the series progresses I think... 

Bottom line is this: The show is suffering from a severe lack of Simon Cowell. The new judges, Michael McIntyre and David Hasselhoff are okay, but there's a bite missing this year...

Also, there's a severe lack of talent. I know it's early days and they tend to get the stupid, idiot contestants seen first but there was only one person with any talent at all (I refuse to count the little comedy kid who just told old jokes in a too-big suit).

Michael Collins (not that one) plays guitar and is a bit fat and nerdy and dresses like he's got a day of wanking planned. But he really really can play guitar! He sings too and although his voice isn't world class by any means, he's pretty good. The ONLY person in the entire first episode to show even a modicum of talent. I hope we get more "good auditions" in the shows to come, otherwise we may as well just give the Royal Variety Show gig to Mike now.

Saturday, 16 April 2011

TV To Get Stupid By!

So, this is what happens when you watch Saturday Night Television at your Mum's eh? I wanted to watch the wonderful rhythmic talents of the artists on BBC's "So You Think You Can Dance?". Unfortunately, on my Mum's old Panasonic, this is not allowed! Oh no!

Instead I was made to sit through the new pre-watershed Keith Lemon vehicle, celebrity sing-along gloss-fest "Sing If You Can". Forgetting for a moment that all TV Talent Shows these days apparently have attitude problems - their titles either bullying you mockingly or sneering at you for daring to think you can do something - "Sing If You Can" is just about the most unbearable show I've ever had the misfortune of sitting through.

Basically, a bunch of "celebs" (her who won Nancy, him who done that dancing show, etc) are made to sing songs live while being distracted by stuff that's going on around them. It's like a lighthearted take on a Celine Dion concert on the Gaza Strip. Jodie Prenger (?) was made to sing while covered in snakes, that blonde one from G4 had to warble while balloons were popped in his face. It was like an annoying night at the student's union. And sure, it's funny for a few minutes, like Jackass is, or Trigger Happy TV, but after a very short while the joke just gets very, very old. It's a cross between "Don't Forget The Lyrics", "Distraction" and the list of people NOT allowed in the Groucho club due to them being less famous than my left bollock.

And it's not just the childish OTT ITV audience bray-inducing bullshit that wound me up, no! Interspersed with this nonsense were heartfelt pleas for donations to a teenage cancer charity by Stacey Solomon?! Thankfully, but no less forgivably, "Britain's Got Talent" returns tonight too... So, I'll watch that now, in the hope that there's a fella reading Yeats poems while juggling or something, anything to try to grab back the braincells that died watching what I can only describe as "the worst Saturday Night show ever". If I don't see you through the week, I'll see you throu... ugh, Fuck it.

Guess Who's Back One Week From Today!

I remember more than one year ago I was working in a restaurant. It was Saturday and I was due to finish at 5pm. I wanted to rush home to see the first episode of a new series of Doctor Who starring Matt Smith and Karen Gillan - a new Doctor, a new companion. 

As I rushed breathlessly home, through many of the streets that the very episode that I was rushing home to see was filmed on, I had a thought: It feels like just the other day that I was doing this very same thing; rushing home to see David Tennant kick off his last run as the Doctor in the Easter Special, Planet Of The Dead. 

Now it's a year later, more than that, and I'm once again waiting patiently for the start of a new series of Doctor Who starring Matt Smith and Karen Gillan - no longer the new kids. But last year I didn't make it. Last year I missed the pre-title sequence and the new opening credits. I was angry. So this year I've assured I won't miss a single second of the Series Six opener, The Impossible Astronaut, by doing something rash. I'm starting my wait now, one week early.

I'm sat here, with an apocalypse-surviving-bunker's worth of snack food and sparkling mineral water, tv tuned to BBC One. Okay, that's a lie. But it's no lie that, in one week's time, we'll all be sitting silently, watching Amy Pond and her husband Rory, along with old friend River Song, as they track through the sands of Utah to reach a meeting point, there to find the Doctor once more.

And so begins what promises to be the most exciting - definitely most eagerly anticipated - series of Doctor Who since the show's monumental regeneration in 2005. Brand new locations, brand new friends, brand new, terrifying enemies... We've been promised that Series Six Episodes One and Two will see one of our heroes die. 

Leaks abound on spoiler sites the web over as to who this is - there are incredibly detailed summaries of the entire two-part opener, including a mind-blowing cliffhanger or two. But don't go searching... Sit down at 5.58pm on Saturday 23rd April - one week from now - and watch aghast as Doctor Who goes to America!! Don't spoil yourselves before then, this is an opener that will blow your cock off!

Monday, 11 April 2011

The Silent Menace

You all know there's a new monster in the opening two-parter of Doctor Who this year. You've all seen them, grainy and skulking, or snarling and vicious in the trailers... Now here's a proper promo image that shows one of The Silent, and shows them clearly. And clearly, they are terrifying! I cant wait to see them on-screen!

Saturday, 9 April 2011


If you like Green Wing then why the hell would you have missed Campus on Channel 4 (Tuesdays)? The first episode of this surreal and unsettling comedy starring the wonderful Andy Nyman took me by surprise. It's instantly recognisable as a deformed second-cousin to Green Wing, but it's... quieter. 

The basics are there, even almost-carbon-copies of characters - office-dweller Jonty is the Sue White of the show. Then you've got a Caroline (desired but frumpy), a Guy (all about sex, obviously going to redeem himself), a gang of "office girls" and so on.

But it's a great little show in its own right. Set in fictional Kirke University, it follows a cast of characters throughout their day - staff and pupils - and is filled with enough filth and funnies to keep even the most staunch non-laugher spit their instant coffee across their beige 'TV room'. And I have a feeling that the opening episode is just that, an opener. It was a real "getting to know you" episode with a trickle of story in the background. It introduced all of the staff wonderfully - I think I'm in love with Maths Lecturer Imogen.

But it's not a patch on Green Wing - not for me anyway, not yet. I'll keep watching because all the ingredients are right, they just need a week or two of mixing. It's great, great fun. Worth a watch, definitely.

Tuesday, 5 April 2011


Steady tones,
And still you listen,
Hoping a shrill chirp will replace them,
But they won't,
You know.

And you know,
You think;
"I'll write something awful and
Pretentious about this,
One day".

* This poem is intentionally terrible.

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Old News, But Good News.

Here are all the full-length Doctor Who Series Six Trailers we've been given so far...

Christmas - Coming Soon!

Series Six UK

Series Six USA