Sunday, October 12, 2008

Forever is a long time coming...

Hello all,
It has been forever since I've posted a new blog. But then again, summer breaks and jobs will do that to you. I know I started reviewing The Sarah Jane Adventures and only did one episode and I apologize for leaving readers stranded in deep space.

Sad to say, senior year is a lot of work and what free time I have is going more to my 360, Rainbow Six, Soul Calibur 4 and Halo 3 than to writing anything. That's going to change though. I really need something to focus on other than writing long ass papers and reading 30-60 pages of text a night.

What I'm getting at is, the Tardis Blog is coming back in full force. My first objective is to finish Series 1 of The Sarah Jane Adventures and quickly move into Series 2, which started two weeks ago. Next, who knows. Torchwood won't be back till next spring and Doctor Who won't be back till Christmas. Still, there are four series of shows I haven't covered. I know I keep saying I will get around to it but never do; but I WILL get to Torchwood Series 1 most likely after SJA Series 2 wraps up or if I'm bored enough I'll review both at the same time. This could work since I will be reviewing SJA episodes as a whole and not in their 2 part format.

Well, that's the plan now and it won't be implimented till next week after I enjoy home for a few days. Prepare for the return of the reviews. And spread the word, I'd love to chat on the comments boards about your views on these episodes. My opinions don't speak for everyone just my own and I'd love to chat (now I'm just repeating myself, stopping now).

A bientot tout le monde!!!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Sarah Jane Adventures S01E01-02-Revenge of the Slitheen

Luke’s first day at school holds many unexpected surprises. Social awkwardness aside, he finds acceptance in a tiny school science club that specializes in impossibly hard equations. Unfortunately, not everything is as normal as Luke, Maria and newcomer Clyde come to expect from school. An old threat has returned to seek revenge on planet Earth. And this time, they’re pulling out all of the stops to ensure the total destruction of the planet.

After the somewhat uneven pilot that was “The Invasion of Bane”, The Sarah Jane Adventures gets off to a more proper start. And what better way to bring in new viewers and long time Doctor Who associates than to have our spunky heroine tackle the Slitheen, making their first appearance since “Boom Town” in Doctor Who Series 1. It’s cool that The Doctor got two big nods here in this episode; when Sarah Jane reveals why, or rather “who”, the Slitheen were stopped way back when; and when Clyde is properly introduced to Sarah Jane’s world. It is pretty obvious to anyone by now that Russell T. Davies and his writing team are doing their best to keep Doctor Who, Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures connected in whatever small way they can. It works well here, but then again, it will be nice to see how Sarah Jane and her companions take on a more original threat later on in the series.

In keeping with the mindset that this is an aimed at children program, the young cast does a good job with their roles. Maria’s character is reminiscent of a Doctor companion a la Rose or Martha, taking in her new discoveries while using her unparalleled wit and calm to help save the day. Luke is your typical genetically engineered smart but socially awkward that continues to bring to thought ideas that this could be reminiscent of The Doctor’s long forgotten youth. Mind you that is only speculative. And Clyde, replacing Kelsey from the pilot, turns out to be a far more interesting character than his predecessor. He is the young audiences real key to accessing this series, reacting probably more realistically to how any youngster would when seeing a Slitheen. Even better, he is not as annoying a character as Kelsey was, something that made “The Invasion of Bane” drag a bit.

And what of Sarah Jane herself? Give Elisabeth Sladen her props, after almost two decades away from the Doctor Who seen, she is still a companion we all love and want to cheer for. Most of this is thanks to Sladen, who infuses real depth to her character, suddenly thrust into the role of mother not only for Luke, but Maria and Clyde in a way as well. And, in the spirit of Captain Jack Harkness, I should say, she doesn’t look too bad for what, 60? Not at all.

“Revenge of the Slitheen” had all the energy of a fast paced Doctor Who story but with a totally different cast. If the show can keep up this pace then it is sure to go far. For the teens who have Doctor Who and the adults who have Torchwood, children now have their access point to the world of The Doctor, and that is The Sarah Jane Adventures.

Next Time-Those aren’t ordinary garden statues, are they?


Sunday, July 6, 2008

What Now?

And now I’m sure there’s another question of everyone’s mind. Doctor Who and Torchwood are done for the time being. Will this blog site go dormant till then? Hell no!!! There are still three series of Doctor Who and one series of Torchwood, and…I guess The Sarah Jane adventures to review. I’ll find a way, be it Youtube, or some other media viewing method to bring full reviews of these fantastic shows and bring those who may have been a bit in the dark over events thus far up to speed.

The rides not over yet folks, trust me.

Doctor Who S04E13-Journey's End

Having barely survived a surprise attack from the Daleks, The Doctor, Rose, Donna and Jack find themselves prisoners of Davors and his Dalek Empire. The Doctor’s remaining companions: Sarah Jane, Martha and a recently returned Mickey Smith and Jackie Tyler, each form alternative plans to save the Earth, but at equally devastating costs. The final showdown is set and more is at stake than ever before. Can The Doctor do what he does best only better? And when the dust finally settles what will the final cost of such a desperate victory bring for the last of the Time Lords?

Be warned…This is going to be a pretty lengthy entry with plenty of spoilers just because I can’t give a proper review without revealing a few things. Stop now for spoiler risk, otherwise continue reading.

Ladies and Gentlemen, let’s all take a quick second to give a round of applause for Russell T. Davies. I have said it before and I will most certainly say it again, he is the science fiction writer extraordinaire equivalent of Ronald D. Moore (Battlestar Galactica, Star Trek: The Next Generation) for London. A man who can skillfully and successfully tie together four years of mythos aplenty and give it a proper send off deserves all of the upmost respect and congrats.

I hope that fans of the series will feel as I did when I finished viewing this episode, greatly rewarded and very sad. “Journey’s End” marks the end of an era for the revived series. Enemies have been dealt with (for now), characters are moving on to better things (and back to their own spin offs), and others are, well, at least making it home alive in one piece.

Incase some were too blind to notice, in this epic two part finale plenty of characters from Doctor Who, Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures got some screen time and all were given something important to do, be it taking the fight to the enemy head on (a la Jack, Gwen and Ianto) or giving their family silent support from the sidelines (a la Martha’s Mom and Jackie). Heck, even out beloved tin dog K9 makes a surprise return to help The Doctor.

Let me at least get this out of the way. I am so happy that David Tennant will be sticking around for more time traveling/space faring fun (he even says himself “Why change?”) He has truly become my Doctor in the last three years he’s played the role. Many may have their own favorite Time Lord persona (be it Jon Pertwee or Tom Baker amongst many, both good choices) but David Tennant has been from the beginning and always will be my most beloved of the ten Doctor’s thus far. And come on, any one who can play the same Doctor with two different personalities, I’m of course talking about the second Doctor Donna creates, has got to be quite the capable actor. Props David Tennant, props all around.

The reunion between The Doctor and Rose was as emotionally filled as we all expected it would be after the amount of time these star crossed lovers had been apart. What kind of sucks is the fact that at the end of the epic, they kind of finds themselves right back where they left off at the end of Series 2. I know there will be many of you who will be down right furious that Rose will not be staying with the real Doctor, but rather trapped again on a parallel Earth with the other, half human Doctor (I kind of fit this category). However, at least she is not without a Doctor she can live to the end of time with. And yes, we do get that little “Does he love her?” question cleared up. The answer…you better believe he does. Oh well, it was good to see Billie Piper back while it lasted.

And then there’s Donna. Donna. Donna. Donna. She finally gets to save the world and now she must forget everything she knows about The Doctor in order to save her own life. It’s a very, very sad ending for someone I never really thought I’d end up liking. We all thought of Donna as that loud mouth and extremely annoying tag along that wouldn’t shut up. But here, Davies does a complete 180 with her, giving Donna a strength she never even knew she had. I never thought I’d ever end up saying this, but she is going to be missed, especially by The Doctor whose look of sadness and despair is hard to look at because we are all feeling the same. Donna Noble, rock on girl.

Throw in the return of the Daleks and Davros (a villain I saw in one of the Tom Baker serials “Destiny of the Daleks”) and you’ve got one perfect recipe for awesomeness. Bringing Davros back cleared up some questions about the Time War such as The Doctor’s genocidal and war like actions which killed both the Time Lords and the Daleks at its climax. And here I thought that only The Master could really push The Doctor’s buttons, boy was I wrong. I haven’t seen The Doctor this pissed off EVER. Great stuff. I wouldn’t count The Daleks out at all. Maybe Davros, but the Daleks will always be around so long as Doctor Who continues to air. And maybe one day we will finally see the Time War itself and get the full mystery of its chaos cleared up at last. Steven Moffat, get to writing man.

I guess the big question now is, what next? Well: Jack will return to Gwen and Ianto (with Martha and Mickey as possible new teammates); Sarah Jane will go back to Luke and his friends; Rose, Jackie and the other Doctor are stuck on parallel Earth again; and The Doctor is on his own again, a position that he never wants to be in, but is. The series will continue in 2010, but don’t think that there’s going to be a big two year wait for more of The Doctor. I’m sure we’ll have Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures back eventually, but don’t count The Doctor out completely. You never know when he’ll turn up again.

Until then, thank you very much Russell T. Davies and crew for a truly amazing finale. Series 4 may have been a bit uneven throughout, but this series wrapped up with all barrels blazing. Again, everyone still reading, a round of applause please.

Next Time: The Cybermen are back…December 25, 2008. C ya at Christmas.


Monday, June 30, 2008

Doctor Who S04E12-The Stolen Earth

In a sudden instant, the Earth vanishes from right under The Doctor and Donna’s feet. As the planet float in a shrouded area of space with several other stolen worlds, the problems of humanity get worse when a vast army of Daleks begin attacking the planet. As The Doctor and Donna desperately search for a way to find the missing planets, the Earth’s last remaining defenders: (Martha Jones and U.N.I.T., Captain Jack Harkness and Torchwood, Sarah Jane and Luke Smith) and one defender from another Earth (Rose Tyler) band together to confront the Dalek threat. But Jack, Martha, Sarah Jane and Rose have faced the Daleks before and know of their destructive capabilities. Without The Doctor and even with Rose’s help, can they stop the Dalek invasion of Earth? And who is the mysterious voice giving orders to the Daleks?

Ladies and Gentlemen, we’ve finally arrived at “The Stolen Earth” and like most two part episodes of the series so far, it does a spectacular job of getting the blood pumping for the inevitable conclusion. With this story we see the culmination of four years worth of Doctor Who and more come together for the end all be all clash of the ages. For those of you who have followed the series since it’s resurrection in 2005 and even before that, this is one big reward for your dedication with characters and lots of series trivia tidbits, so many you will be lucky enough to catch them all. This is the start of a finale that “The Parting of the Ways”, “Doomsday” and “Last of the Time Lords” (the third one especially) could only dream of being.

I’ll try to keep this as short as possible and try to be spoiler free for those of you who haven’t watched this yet. However, there is little negativity to be found with this episode. I’ll start with my amazement of Russell T. Davies bringing Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures under the umbrella of it’s parent series and making them all work together. It was fun seeing Gwen, Ianto and Luke, who have only been mentioned in passing in previous episodes, interacting with Jack, Martha and Sarah Jane, like, well, one big happy family.

Leave it to the Daleks to come back with a bang. It is hard to believe that at one point there was only one left, but as everyone knows, you can’t keep them dead forever. The Daleks will always come back in one way or another to take on The Doctor in a battle of epic proportions. It would be one big spoiler to reveal the reason behind their return and it may even be expanded more next week. I will say, however, that Dalek Caan, the last of the Cult of Skaro has a role to play as The Doctor predicted.

Rose is back as previously mentioned. Like I said in my review of “Turn Left”, last week we saw her at her most clever and this week we saw her at her most bad ass, blasting Daleks to dust left and right with her BFG. While she only meets Jack and Donna she does see everyone else but can communicate with them and feels left out. You can hear it in her voice, her helplessness and do I dare say jealousy of The Doctor’s faith in her successors.

Possibly the saddest moment of the episode is the reason The Doctor’s companions coming together. Harriet Jones, ex-Prime Minister of Great Britain, returns to help out one last time. It is a fitting farewell to her character, sticking to the morals that got her ostracized by The Doctor and yet finding some redemption and providing a way for The Doctor to find his way to Earth. I’ll leave it at that if you can’t guess yet what happens. That’s me trying to be spoiler free for ya.

I’ll stop there so I don’t spoil anything else. If you haven’t seen “The Stolen Earth” yet, find a way to do so immediately and hold your breath for July 5, 2008 when “Journey’s End” brings us to the biggest epic we’ve ever seen.

Next Week…The Journey's hoping this isn't the end of the road for David Tennant's fantastic Doctor.


Sunday, June 22, 2008

Doctor Who S04E11-Turn Left

When Donna goes to get her fortune read, she is transported to a parallel Earth. Here, anything that can go bad has, all because of one small decision. The Doctor, Torchwood, Sarah Jane Smith and her friends have all died saving the world from various threats. And now the biggest threat the universe has ever seen is about to descend and nothing can stop it. When all hope seems lost, a mysterious blonde girl appears who may hold the key to giving another Earth a fighting chance against the coming darkness.

Don’t you just love those parallel timeline stories? Personally, it makes me feel sad to know that every character you love can die at some point. But knocking off all of them at one time for sake of story of the alternate Earth can be a bit depressing. If anyone needs further examples take a look at some of Marvel Comics X-Men and Avengers storylines and you may see what I mean.

But yeah, sorry, I just had to get that off my chest. What an episode this week huh? The perfect setup has been laid for the mother of all finales. And while it was strange to see The Doctor out of the picture for a bit, “Turn Left” did a good job at analyzing just how insecure and a pain in the ass Donna can be sometimes. But, if all is as proclaimed by this episode alone, she is clearly more important to The Doctor than anyone would have guessed.

And how can you chat about this episode without feeling excited at Rose’s long awaited return? God, it was so good to see her on the show again for more than thirty seconds. Billie Piper picks up the character in a bit of a different place from when we last saw her. She’s no longer sad about losing The Doctor, perhaps knowing she was going to see him again put her in a good mood. But she acts more like The Doctor this time around, sort of filling in for our absent Time Lord this week. Just shows how much she’s learned from being with him. This week we saw her as the open minded and clever individual we all love and next week we get to see her at her most bad ass. Welcome back Rose!!!

And hopefully all of you die hard Doctor Who fans caught all of the references to episodes and characters throughout the show, from Sarah Jane to “The Runaway Bride” and “Voyage of the Damned” to the first mention of Gwen Cooper and Ianto Jones from “Torchwood”.

Overall, the setup is ready, now it’s time to bring the noise with the finale we’ve been waiting to see since “Partners in Crime” back in April.

Next Week-Torchwood, Sarah Jane Smith, Rose Tyler, Bad Wolf, Daleks-lots of Daleks, and the end of the world…the episode we’ve been waiting for since April.


Friday, June 20, 2008

Doctor Who S04E10-Midnight

While Donna sunbathes in the pleasure palace on the planet Midnight, The Doctor boards a local flight to witness the beautiful crystal waterfalls of the planet. All is going well on board for most of the trip: the passengers are friendly and the mood is absolutely pleasant. That is, until a mysterious force attacks the ship and infects one of the passengers. Trapped in the middle of nowhere with help a long ways off, The Doctor soon finds himself just as helpless as everyone else as fear and paranoia quickly grip the passengers.

I’ll give Russell T. Davies one thing; if he wants to he can almost absolutely find new and unusual ways to blow an audience away with a Doctor Who serial. And here with “Midnight” he both succeeds and fails in this regard.

First, this is not your ordinary Doctor Who outing. It is more a psychological thriller/horror piece designed to terrify and genuinlly freak out to the best of its ability. Again, as with “Silence in the Library” and “Forest of the Dead”, the supporting characters are typecast in roles that fit such a genre story such as this. Even The Doctor finds himself out of character, a man not in control of the situation but rather the soon to be helpless victim of a paranoid crew determined to use the airlock on him. Props again to David Tennant for showing another side of The Doctor we have never seen before.

However, putting the story in one tiny setting is something that I feel should be reserved for only those seven minute “Children in Need” specials Doctor Who has done in the past. Doctor Who to me is supposed to be above and beyond epic proportions. Keeping the story confined to one tiny shuttle for 45 minutes can be as effective to the horror atmosphere as it was aggravating for me hoping that the story would move elsewhere for a minute or two.

So yeah, this is a mixed episode, both excellent and frustrating as well. Luckilly, Davies must again be given credit for trying something new with the series. I’m sure he will take what this episode did best and be sure to add it to future installments if he opts to stay on as a guest writer in the series future.

Next Week: As Donna’s world falls down around her…Rose Tyler returns to help her save The Doctor and the world. I think the important part is that after a year and a half of waiting…ROSE IS BACK!!!


Friday, June 13, 2008

Doctor Who S04E09-Forest of the Dead

With the Vashta Nerada hot on their trail and their small band of survivors dwindling fast, The Doctor and River Song are running out of time to save the day. As more and more of the mysterious library is revealed to them, so to is a bit more of their mysterious relationship. Meanwhile, Donna finds herself back home with the perfect husband, perfect children and an overall perfect life...too perfect to be real. Can she escape her virtual entrapment and return to The Doctor and when the chips are down and the times are desperate, what sacrifices will have to be made in order to rescue 4022 people?

The heart was defintley racing this week. After a stellar start off last week, Forest of the Dead proved it could continue the tour de force its predecessor started. Spectacular writing, genuine terror and mind boggling mystery all came together to make yet another perfect episode, probably the best one of the series thus far.

As per any real Doctor Who story, the mystery surrounding River Song and The Doctor, who have apparently met sometime in the future, never really gets a clear cut conclusion. Even more of a head scratcher was the fact that she knew something about The Doctor most people don't...his real name. But, as usual, the writers continue to keep The Doctor and elusive character in terms of his shourded past. Nothing is spoiled, and in the end it's probably better that way. It will be interesting to see if Song returns later on in the series and we can finally figure out what sort of adventures she and The Doctor had together.

Donna's story was pretty creepy taking an almost Matrix-esque approach to the real world vs. virtual world. It was sad to see her perfect life fall apart in the end, but it had to be done in order to get the big reveal of CAL in the spotlight. A little girl, centuries old trapped in the Library's control system as it's guardian. So sad. And Colin Salmon was back as Doctor Moon, again giving an errie yet awsome performance. Honestly, the Donna side of the story was kind of distracting from The Doctor's story and the chase going on in the library. But I won't hold that against this episode, not this time because I enjoyed it so much.

Overall, FANTASTIC!!! A true Doctor Who outing for the ages with a "everybody lives" finale that I haven't seen since Christopher Eccelston's days as The Doctor. Again, cudos to Steven Moffat and his spectacular writing. The series is in good hands.

Next Week-On route to the planet Midnight, something lurks in the plane. And one week from that...Rose Tyler returns


Friday, June 6, 2008

Doctor Who S04E08-Silence in the Library

The Doctor and Donna land on the Library, a planetoid that is one gigantic book collection. The Library has come under attack, leaving no apparent survivors. Teaming up with a small crew of archeologists, one of whom seems to know much about The Doctor, the duo hurries to answer several hundred questions at once while staying alive in the process. What are the deadly Vashta Nerada? Who is the mysterious River Song and what is her connection to The Doctor? And, maybe most important of all, how is their current predicament connected to the dreams and nightmares plaguing a small girl back on present day Earth?

After two back to back weeks of somewhat subpar episodes, Doctor Who kicks it back into high gear with a frightful adventure worthy of being part of the saga. This is thanks, in no small part, to returning writer Steven Moffat, who gave us last seasons chilling “Blink”. Moffat knows how to inject any Doctor Who episode he writes with that massive dose of heart pumping adrenaline that drives the show from one point to the next with little time to breathe. It’s no wonder he has been chosen to succeed Russell T. Davies once he exits as head writer at the end of this series.

The story itself works similar to that of “The Sontaran Stratagem” as pulling all of the pieces together slowly in order to set up the massive payoff in part two. As I mentioned in my episode summary above, there are plenty of questions left unanswered at the end of part one of this story. In a way, not knowing those answers is just as frightening as the dreaded Vashta Nerada themselves, something worse than the Daleks apparently, which is something to really worry about.

The new characters introduced in this episode seemed to work off the stereotypical science fiction horror genre such as the “Alien Quadrilogy”. From proper doctors to dimwitted sidekicks, the gangs all here and one just wants to wonder who is going to get killed next and how. I was happy to recognize at least one familiar face in this new crowd. That face is Colin Salmon from the “James Bond” series, who plays the little girls psychologist with some kind of knowledge as to what is going on in the library. I can’t wait to see what kind of role he plays next week.

I loved this episode. It was old fashioned Doctor Who magic and horror all rolled into one 45 minute package. It’s still nice to know that the right combination of writers and actors can still pull things together. This is how you do a Doctor Who episode. Let’s just hope that part two can deliver a proper slam bang finale.

Next Week-The Library is no longer safe…not if The Doctor has anything to say about it.


Thursday, May 29, 2008

Doctor Who S04E07-The Unicorn and the Wasp

The Doctor and Donna arrive in the roaring 20’s just in time for a big dinner party. Among the guests is distinguished mystery author Agatha Christie, one of The Doctor’s most favorite authors. But no sooner does this trio arrive that murder most foul is committed at the party. As The Doctor, Donna and Ms. Christie hurry to solve the mystery two things become clear pretty fast: the perp is among their small group and whoever he or she may be, they are anything but human.

Doctor Who does Clue, that’s the best way I can sum up this episode in a nutshell. The setup for an Agatha Christie themed story was seen at the end of Series 3 when The Doctor mentioned her to Martha, so it makes perfect sense he would get around to her sometime this series. However, this episode turns out to be probably one of the most uninspired and slow to the core episodes that leaves very little to the running wild imagination.

Maybe it’s just me being nitpicky about what to expect from a Doctor Who episode; but this outing seemed to lack a lot of that big scifi element that I watch the show for in the first place, instead trading it for full on mystery. Even the big, really fracking big Wasp from the title failed to do much to keep me interested.

Another thing, this type of story has been done before. The Doctor seems to have a penchant for meeting up with famous writers for a time period (Charles Dicken’s in Series 1’s “The Unquiet Dead” and William Shakespeare in Series 3’s “The Shakespeare Code”) What makes this episode pale in comparison to those stories was that it just doesn’t have the same energy and interesting characters as they did. I knew the name Agatha Christie from someplace or another and I knew she was an author, but I never knew what genre she was known for. For some reason, I never found her as likeably portrayed as Shakespeare or Dickens. Again, my opinions don’t account for everyone. Either you like an episode or you don’t. This just wasn’t my favorite “Who” episode, one had to pop up eventually. I know this review might be lacking in usual detail but it’s been a while and I don’t really want to watch this episode again. Sorry.

Maybe I’m just really getting all too anxious for the last half of the series, which was featured in a kick ass trailer this past weekend featuring a gun totting Rose, the return of the Daleks and the mention of the mysterious “Darkness”, which I fear might be something worse than the Daleks could ever be. That magic I mentioned in my review of “Partners in Crime” is about to come down hard and hopefully it will not disappoint.

Next Week-The galaxy’s biggest library hides secrets in the shadows.


P.S. I’m sorry it took almost two weeks to get this up, but I have been busy with work and family. But I’ll be more up to date in the future.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Doctor Who S04E06-The Doctor's Daughter

When the Tardis is suddenly yanked from Earth, The Doctor, Donna and Martha are thrown onto the world of Messaline. Here, a faction of cloned humans and a faction of alien Hath are locked in combat over a mysterious object referred to as “The Source”. With Martha captured by the Hath and the human faction looking to gun down the pacifistic Doctor, the only hope of halting the escalating violence lies in the quick wit and survival instincts of a the human faction’s newest recruit, straight from The Doctor himself. That hope is Jenny…The Doctor’s Daughter.

The Doctor’s Daughter, while not the most superbly crafted episode of Doctor Who ever, has plenty of saving grace to it. While the potential for action sequences is toned down greatly, giving us a build up with no pay off of Human vs. Hath action, the character moments are what makes this episode great. David Tennant has been my favorite Doctor since he first appeared on screen and he continues to excel in the role by adding a new dimension to it…fatherhood. The way he is thrust into the role of the parent and has very little idea of what to do with his own flesh and blood gives him that bit of humanity that he rarely show, that is he is fallible and not all knowing as he would like to think he is. This is one situation that one simple sentence can’t solve for him. Donna also continues to impress, serving as more and more of the emotional support system The Doctor sorely needs in his life.

But there were some characters that slowed the plot down tremendously. Martha once again faces a similar situation like the one she was in at the end of her Torchwood tenure. Martha is underused and virtually useless in the story, used only as a poor attempt to add a bit of human understanding to the Hath side of the story. This is sad considering how much we all love her. However, we all also know she will be back for the tail end of the series. So hopefully she will have a much larger role then. She shares the role of underused material with the Humans and the Hath that inhabit the story as they come off as no more than two sides that need a quick refresher on the value of life to solve their differences. Needless to say, they were just plain boring.

The real saving grace of this episode is its title character, Jenny. Played by Georgia Moffett (who coincidentally happens to be the daughter of Peter Davidson a.k.a The Fifth Doctor, hence her actually being…well you get the idea) Jenny is a spark of brilliance to the show and I hope that we will be seeing more of her in the future. Not only is she drop dead gorgeous (I think I might be in love with TDD (for sake of the term being overused to the point of annoyance), she is simply fantastic; young, smart, shares her dad’s knack for solving problems quickly, everything you could expect from an offspring of our favorite Time Lord. And considering most of her abilities as a new Time Lord have yet to be fully explored, the series could go off in several directions, but personally I’m hoping she joins the Tardis crew one day soon.

The Doctor’s Daughter lacked plenty to make it an exceptional Doctor Who outing (it may even be the weakest installment of the series thus far) but there’s plenty to make it a worthwhile viewing...if only for The Doctor's amazing offspring.

Next Week-Solving mystery’s with Agatha Christie. Oh, and there’s a giant Bee too.


Thursday, May 8, 2008

Summer 2008 Plans

I’m sorry this review of “The Poison Sky” came so late in the week. However, I am back home now and the internet signal going through my house is one of the worst on the planet. Therefore, my viewing and reviewing of the episodes may be postponed a bit but not by much. Don’t worry though I’ll still be posting reviews to the best of my ability.

And now that I am free from Junior Year havoc, I can also begin to work on my promised project to watch and review the entire first season of Torchwood. I’ll also be posting a new blog soon asking if you want me to try and review the previous new seasons of Doctor Who as well, to try and make this as close to a good compendium of Doctor Who knowledge (that is if I have any readers at all who are interested).

Anyway, comments are always open. Allons-y!!!

Doctor Who S04E05-The Poison Sky

The world is in chaos. A large cloud of gas produced by Atmos vehicles is starting to spread across the entire planet and grow slowly towards its deadly density. While the world is in disarray, the Sontaran’s send a strike force to London to eliminate the remaining U.N.I.T. forces. And with Donna, Martha and the Tardis all in the hands of the Sontarans, The Doctor’s options are running low. As the world, literally, holds its breath, all brace for the final, desperate last stand to begin.

What started as a truly rousing, heart pumping story arc ended just as strongly as it began with this episode. We got a fair share of everything, drama, Doctor techno-babble and lots and lots of action sequences. Arguably the big payoff of this episode was the inevitable showdown between the Sontarans and U.N.I.T. The see saw change in luck for both sides at key moments in the story gave it its much needed boost of edge of your seat excitement.

I was quite relieved that Donna’s Grandfather made it out of the conflict unscathed (saved by Donna’s mother with an ax no less). Granddad has become one of my new favorite characters of the series, the wily old geezer who is serious when he needs to be, and I can’t wait to see what kind of a role he plays in the episodes to come. Donna herself got placed in an interesting predicament when she was beamed up to the Sontaran ship with the Tardis and forced to infiltrate to help The Doctor. Donna continues to grow on me, although I don’t think she will ever be as good a companion as Martha or Rose (who made a very creepy blink and you’ll miss appearance on The Doctor’s monitor when Donna tried to contact him: where the heck is she?)

Martha was a bit of a background presence this week. Much of her screen time was given to her doppelganger created by the Sontarans and even she was a bit wasted and less convincing of a creative clone, which in the end gives her presence away to The Doctor. But, as clearly seen in the last scene of the episode, she will have a bit more of a role to play next week.

Overall, not that bad a way to spend a Saturday. It was sad to see the boy genius die in the end as I would have liked to have seen him return in one form or another later on. But other than that, I was impressed. Oh, and for all of you hardcore lovers of the old Doctor Who serials, U.N.I.T. figurehead The Brigadier, was given a name only cameo this week. Turns out he’s still alive, but stuck in Peru of all places. While I did like the U.N.I.T. characters in this story, the presence of this character would have been an added bonus. Still, can’t have everything now can we?

Next Week: Trapped in space…with The Doctor’s daughter?


Sunday, April 27, 2008

Doctor Who S04E04-The Sontaran Stratagem

When 52 people all die simultaneously around the world because of their specialized vehicles, UNIT medical officer Martha Jones recalls The Doctor to Earth to assist in the investigation. As The Doctor is reunited with his old friend and former allies (and gets to meet Donna's eccentric family once again), a familiar enemy stirs in the shadows. One of Earth's youngest geniuses has allied himself with a squadron of fierce Sontaran soldiers and their plot to bring Earth to its knees nears fruition. With millions of lives at stake, the stage is set for the ultimate showdown between UNIT and the Sontarans...and even The Doctor might not be able to stop the oncoming slaughter.

UNIT, The Sontarans, Martha Jones. Whew, it's like a Doctor Who nostalgia fest in this episode. Granted, I never really watched the original serials that much so it was a learning experience for me watching the Sontarans and UNIT at work. Needless to say, this is the big event that we've been wating for since Series 4 began, and it succeeded on so many levels story wise, with maybe one or two little cracks in the armor.

First, the cracks. Martha appears to have gone through the ultimate character change since her joining UNIT. It was a little strange though that she was never this commanding or hardcore serious when she was hanging out with Jack and Torchwood. That being said, it was a bit akward watching her and The Doctor reunite after all this time and behaving on a whole new level with each other. It was sad to see the familiar, kind hearted free spirit we were used to in Series 3 almost a "soldier" as Donna puts it, but that's just me.

That aside, everything else played a pretty interesting set up role. The cautious yet cocky guns blazzing attitude of UNIT will definitley play into their eventual showdown with the Sontarans and seeing how they handled small alien situations like Tosh's backstory on Torchwood with such cold hearted procission, it strikes me as odd that The Doctor would ever want to work with such a group back in the day. Then again, UNIT may have been just as different as he was back in the 70's during the Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker eras.

That brings us to the Sontarans. Now I know that I will get alot of nasty looks from hardcore series fans, but I have finally found the Doctor Who equivalent of the Klingons. From their love for battle to their battle chant at the end of the episode, it was very hard not to find similarities between the two different species. This wasn't a bad thing though, I just couldn't help but chuckle at some of their little speeches. I can't wait to see how they act during actual combat next week.

Finally, there is the reintroduction of Donna's family to the story. We've already seen how The Doctor's companions familes have a habit of getting involved with big conflicts in a bad way, a la Rose and Martha's folks. It will be sad to see Donna's granddad bite the bullet, but as serious as this series has been since Episode 2, nothing should be taken for granted with this shows direction.

All in all, my blood was pumping fast as the preview for next week popped up. As Captain Jack said such a long time ago in a similar situation with the Daleks, "This is it ladies and gentlemen, we are at war!!!"

Next Week: The Sontarans vs. UNIT...bring the noise.


Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Doctor Who S04E03-Planet of the Ood

Setting the Tardis coordinates to random, The Doctor and Donna land on a far off ice planet. Here, The Doctor once again encounters the mysterious slave race known as the Ood and learns of their creation and distribution across the galaxy. But a deadly wave of deja vu is about to hit as the eyes of the Ood begin to glow dangerously red and a mysterious voice not their own begins to speak, leading them to rebel against their human masters. As The Doctor and Donna hurry to escape and discover the mystery behind "The Circle" they must also face the horrifying truth of the human race of the far off future.

Well, here we are at episode three and I must say, this is the most topical Doctor Who episode I have ever seen. The whole subject of using the Ood as inbred slaves was touched on slightly during their initial introduction in Series 2's "The Impossible Planet" and "The Satan Pit", but here it is the full blown heart of the story. Again, Donna becomes the viewer who spews out exactly what we are all thinking. It is horrific to think of just how cruel us humans can turn out to be if we fail to remember our own history. That being said, their cruel masters, even the real pretty one, get what they rightfully deserve in the end and the Ood get their freedom.

However, with all this hype of bringing the Ood back as villains, the hype actually fails here as the audience no longer finds them as scary as they were when possessed by the Devil, if scary at all. Hence, this episode does lose a bit of its strength based on failed advertising. When the Sontarans and the Daleks show up again later on, you know it's time to get scared. But not here, all in all disappointing.

But was this episode bad because of such story qualities? No, but it wasn't the best either. It was fun watching The Doctor getting chased by the crazy security guard with the CGI crane, always some of the best stunts when you work on something like this. And we finally got to see the Ood origins, which are sad enough, but still interesting in their own way. And wow, seeing the head honcho transform into an Ood at the very end was, well...whoa. Nuff said.

Next Week: Martha's Back!!! But so are the Sontarans and their bringing the noise for the first of a two part epic struggle. Doctor Who fans, this is one alien encounter that is sure to please all.


Sunday, April 13, 2008

Doctor Who S04E02-The Fires of Pompeii

The Doctor and Donna land in Pompeii for a look at Roman history. Turns out though, they're arrived the day before the disasterous erruption of Mt. Vesuvius, or as The Doctor calls it "Volcano Day". Tracked by a mysterious off world occult and menacing, lava blooded foot soldiers, The Doctor and Donna have face a far greater and deeper dilema. Will The Doctor follow his instincts and let history take its inevitable course? Or will he listen to Donna and try to change the fate of 20,000 innocent people?

Before going into things, right off the bat, the production and set design crews must be given a huge round of applause. This isn't some skimmpy, quickly thrown together set of quarries, but a fully fleshed out visualization of Pompeii we are looking at on screen. And some of the architecture we are seeing on screen is on par with that of the sets in Gladiator. Just goes to show us once again that Russell T. Davies and crew are doing their absolute best to keep us interested in the worlds we visit. And that effort shows more than ever this time around.

While this episode did seem to lose some steam in parts, the real meat of this story is not in the wacky action, but The Doctor and Donna's growing relationship. Donna seems to be reminding me more and more of Rose with every second of this episode. While yes, she is still loud and a bit annoying, she is pure of heart and actually challenges The Doctor on what to do about the erruption of Pompeii, something it's citizens are oblivious to. This episode showed Donna at her most serious and you can definitley sympathize with her feelings. Still, The Doctor does have to think about reprocutions of changing the timeline and the bigger picture of what could happen. After all, if he could go back and save his fellow Time Lords from burning to death, he would. This episode just highlighted just how terrible the curse of the Time Lords can be.

The Doctor and Donna, although I would never have found myself saying this back in July when I heard they were hooking up again, make a pretty fantastic team. Donna has kept true to her promise to keep The Doctor's tendency to overdo things in check and The Doctor is learning to listen to those around him. It's a perfect match, rivaling that of The Doctor and Rose, and it will be amazing to see how the writers continue to develop their unique relationship.

And, it has to be said, The Doctor fighting lava soldiers and rock solid seers with a water pistol was one of the most hilarious moments of Doctor Who EVER!!!! Silly, yes, but nonetheless a great spectacle to keep instilled in our heads that this show is simply fun and never 100% serious, a la Torchwood.

Next Week: The Ood are back. Are they possessed? Why are they being targeted by men with really big guns? And will there be another marker indicating the inevitable return of an old friend? So exciting, isn't it?


Saturday, April 5, 2008

Doctor Who S04E01-Partners in Crime

The head of Adipose Industries, Miss Foster, has created a revolutionary new diet pill that's taking all of London by storm. But there are few who believe that there is something very wrong with this pill that eliminates all fat in three weeks. Among those few are an eccentric investigator named Donna Noble, and a certain time traveling hero. When The Doctor and Donna cross paths again for the first time in a long time, they will have to deal with the nanny from hell if any Londoner is to survive what's coming. And if that weren't enough, who is that mysterious, yet familiar blonde girl watching the events alone from a distance?

Low and behold, we have finally arrived at Series 4 and based on several previews it may very well be the most exciting season yet. And while this episode was plenty of fun to watch, you can't help but get the feeling that the real magic that this season promises is still a little ways off.

Now, I’ll be honest, I wasn’t the biggest fan of Donna when she first popped up in the 2006 Christmas Special “The Runaway Bride”. I don’t know why? But I just never saw this annoying, obnoxious, and fiery red head as Doctor Companion material. And Martha proved she could very well handle herself after Rose left at the end of Series 2, I was a little weary at standing by the decision to bring Donna back. She does, however, provide plenty of humor between her and The Doctor at several points in the episode, which makes sense considering how lighthearted the episode was overall. So there may be hope for her yet.

And wow, when Russell T. Davies promises the freakiest Doctor Who moment ever, he delivers. That poor woman dissolving into tiny, cute baby fat children was a huge and somewhat funny shocker. That aside, the story did seem a bit weird for a Doctor Who story, I mean a rouge intergalactic nanny wanting to turn human fat into babies and give them to a family was just too farfetched to me.

If this episode did one thing flawlessly besides the cute babies, it was the scenes where The Doctor and Donna catch up on what’s happened since they last met. David Tennant continues to dominate the role of The Doctor, showing the audience just how much he wants to have a friend to travel with, yet the damage he does to their lives, a la losing Rose and nearly getting Martha’s family killed, makes this a sticky situation. Yet Donna still wants to travel with him. So, again, maybe there is hope that this new partnership will work.

And, how can you not talk about this episode without mentioning Rose’s surprising appearance at the end? She appears and vanishes without a trace leaving many questions in the air as to what we saw. Is it really Rose, trying to get back home to The Doctor? Is it a ghost, or something far more sinister? As was the case with Bad Wolf, Torchwood and Harold Saxon, the return of Rose will likely be the one big event that ties this whole series together.

Next week: The Doctor and Donna arrive in Pompeii. And as The Doctor quotes Captain Jack Harkness, he forgot to set his clock, “It’s Volcano Day”.


Friday, April 4, 2008

Torchwood S02E13-Exit Wounds

Captain John Hart returns to Cardiff, bringing the apocalypse along with him. As Torchwood hurries to save a city in utter turmoil, Jack goes head first into the greatest fight of his life. Why is John destroying Cardiff? Is it all part of something bigger? Will Grey ever be found and will he ever forgive Jack for leaving him behind all of those years ago? And, more importantly, with the world as they know it crumbling around them, will any member of Torchwood still be alive to tell the tale when everything ends?

As Jack says at the beginning of every episode, "The 21st century is when everything changes, and you've gotta be ready." Nothing, and I mean nothing, could prepare anyone for the brilliance and heartache that came along with "Exit Wounds". So yes, I am confirming for everyone now that the rumors are true. Torchwood looses members this time and for sake of trying to be a spoiler free blog, I'll leave them nameless. Still, even with the sadness that this episode brought along with it, it also stood far above and beyond as a season finale, something Season 1 ender "End of Days" never did to the best of its ability.

Well, James Marsters finally returns as John Hart for the big closer and we learn far more about him than ever before. After learning his true motives for the attacks on Jack's life, one wonders what will become of him as the series moves on after this point. It would be nice to see him come back again for some adventure, maybe even join the crew. Then again, that would make Torchwood seem too much like its American inspiration "Angel". Still, if the formula ain't broke, why not use it again and improve? We'll see.

And then there's Grey. Obviously, he pops up, played by a guy who looks strikingly like Hayden Christensen of Star Wars fame. His reunion with Jack has been one of the most anticipated events of the season...and it plays exactly like I sort of thought it would. Grey is, needless to say, pissed that Jack let go of his hand and has never gotten over it. John Barrowman brings his A game to the table this time, trying to balance Jack's conflicting feelings over how he should handle Grey. Clearly, he blames himself for letting Grey go, but he did try to find him and now this happens. How does one deal with something like this? I'll just say that Jack takes a page out of The Doctor's book on this one guys, which for the moment is probably the best approach.

And what of everyone else? Well I can't say much less I reveal too much about who lives and who dies. I'll just close out saying that this episode was a text book nail bitting example of how season finale's are done. You love these characters and you love this story, now it's time to test that commitment and throw the shoe in the gears that brings it all down. Will you still be around when Season 3 starts up in 2009? Can you move on after what happens? Yeah, I'm still a little emotional after watching this episode so, level with me for a moment.

So, what's next? Well Season 3 won't be around for a while, but I'll be here when it does. And be sure to keep an eye out for Jack as he makes another return to The Doctor's side later on in Series 4 of Doctor Who (which starts tomorrow everyone so keep your eyes open for another review).

Torchwood...job well done my friends. I'll have your ultimate review of your sophomore season soon. Until then, I'm more than happy to award this episode, "Exit Wounds"...


Monday, March 31, 2008

The Best Fracking Weekend Ever

Ladies and Gents, we stand on the edge of a new frontier. Starting this Friday, we bid a fond farewell to a spectacular 2nd season of Torchwood with what promises to be the best episode of the season. But shed no tears, for the next day, April 5, 2008, our main man THE DOCTOR returns to our screens as Series 4 of Doctor Who makes its much anticipated debut.

So expect multiple reviews this weekend on the blog, one of Torchwood and Doctor Who and (maybe) a review of Torchwood Series 2 as a whole. And as we get further into a Doctor Who dominated season, I will consider starting up my plans to go back and review season 1 of Torchwood, but we'll see.

(And pardon the "frack" reference, but Battlestar Galactica starts on Friday as well and I'm pretty excited)

Get ready and hang on for one hell of a ride.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Torchwood S02E12-Fragments

During a mission to investigate mysterious alien readings, Jack, Tosh, Owen and Ianto are lured into a trap involving four explosive devices. The devices go off and trap an already seperated team under tons of rubble. As Gwen and Rhys hurry to save them, the team sees their lives flash before their eyes; or to be more precise, the moments where they joined together under Jack in Cardiff. As the past comes to light, a deadly spectar returns with plans for the future, or a lack of one for Torchwood.

Well, after nearly two years of waiting, the big anthology episode has finally aired. At last, the past has been revealed and let me tell ya, a lot makes sense now. It was a lot of fun seeing the team in the lives prior to Torchwood. Granted we knew a bit about Jack before Torchwood from Doctor Who, but we finally learn how he joined up with them back when Torchwood was still the jerks who were prone to bringing about the apocalypse. Which reminds me, this is the first episode in which The Doctor is mentioned by his proper title; not the right kind of Doctor, not my Doctor, THE Doctor. At last, the series have been tied together. And also, the mysterious origin of Jack's famous warning about the 21st century is finally revealed, in a very sad turn of events.

And what of the rest of the team? Well, it was pretty surprising over all what happened to them in the past. Tosh was rescued and imprisoned by U.N.I.T for aiding terrorists to save her mother; Ianto was looking for a new purpose in the aftermath of the Cybermen/Dalek War that destroyed Torchwood One; and Owen discovered something incredible at the cost of someone he loved dearly. Out of all of these, I liked Ianto's and Owen's stories the best. Owen's situation does give his gruff and heartless persona from Series 1 a legitimate excuse. And Ianto, well, not only did he hire himself on to be a butler (he said it, not me), but he went to the ultimate lengths to join the team, and bring them a pet Pterodactyl. And watching him and Jack flirt in the old days was fun as well. And Tosh, well, her lonliness makes sense, being locked up in a U.N.I.T. cell for God knows how long. Who knew U.N.I.T. could be that cold hearted, it's a wonder Martha is still with them.

And finally, Captain John Hart is back, the true reason for nearly killing Torchwood. He's found Grey and he's ready to raise hell. But why? What did Jack do to piss him off this much? What does John have in mind? And will anyone live long enough to get all of the answers? In two weeks, the review will be posted of the sure to be fantastic Torchwood Series 2 Finale.


Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Torchwood S02E11-Adrift

When a series of missing person's report goes from one to hundreds in a matter of months, PC Andy calls in his old friend Gwen Cooper to help. AS Gwen delves into the case, she learns that all of these disappearences are in one way or another linked to the Cardiff Rift. But the closer she gets to the truth, one obstacle stands in her way...Jack. Jack knows something and he is refusing to help, warning Gwen to stay away from this case. Will Gwen like what she finds at the end of this story? If Jack's warning is any indication, probably not.

I wasn't really sure how to feel after this episode. While it was WAY better than last week's abismal clown centered episode, it was still pretty depressing. It was the closest this season has come to the overall somber and downbeat feel of season 1. But that's not to say it was terrible, far from it as a matter of fact. While these stories will leave you down in the dumps for an hour or so, there's no denying that these are the stories Torchwood does best.

If you haven't guessed already, this is a Gwen heavy episode. Since joining Torchwood at the beginning of the series, she has changed dramatically, just like everyone else. But as much as she has become the heart of Torchwood (whereas Jack is its undying soul, no pun untended), her job has tested her relationships on all levels, professionally and personally. And sometimes, as she learns, even doing the right thing can be just as bad as bestowing the ultimate punishment on an innocent person. Still, she still has Rhys and old friends like Andy (in his first real and fleshed out appearence since his introduction in season 1) to point her in the right direction. And big props to both characters who really know how to stick it to Gwen when she needs to be scolded. It takes guts and only a husband and best friend know how to do that best.

There wasn't too much else with the team this time around. I must admit, I almost had Jack pegged for doing something really stupid this time around. But as I've come to learn, Jack knows what he is doing and should never be doubted. His involvement with this case is no different. During Doctor Who Series 3, he tells The Doctor that he remodeled his Torchwood branch in honor of his hero and friend, The Doctor. This episode shows a bit of truth to that statement and how much like our favorite Time Lord Jack tries to be to his own team. Agree or disagree, that's an arguement I leave to you dear reader. (Also, it was funny to see Gwen walk in on The Captain and Ianto actually showing off some of their after office hours activities).

Next week: ALOT OF STUFF-The Blowfish, Torchwood surrounded by Bombs, Death, Destruction, Mayhem, U.N.I.T?, and Gray? Two more episodes to go until the shocking finale. Is anyone making it out of this series alive besides Jack? And when is badass Captain John Hart plannig on coming back? I have no answers. You, like me, will just have to wait and see.


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Torchwood S02E10-From Out of the Rain

The re-opening of an old cinema signals the return of some plesant memories for Ianto, a fan of old films. But a nice night at the theater turns deadly when the inhabitants of a carnival film break out via the rift and begin claiming victims to add to their unwilling, growing eternal audience. The circus troupe from hell has arrived and they're determined to add all of Cardiff to their act. That is, if Jack and Torchwood have anything to say about it.

Well, after a steady stream of good wholesome episodes, Torchwood hit a bit of a roadblock this time around. Honestly, when I saw the preview for this episode, I wasn't too excited to watch it. "From Out of the Rain" just wasn't as interesting or exciting as similar stories Torchwood has done in the past. While most episodes this season have been amped up, sometimes action filled stories, this one seemed to harken back to how Season 1 did things, steady paced mysteries with very little action. That formula worked for some of those episodes, but not all. Such is the case with this.

Now, I'm not one to nit pick with continuity issues much, but why is Gwen back from her honeymoon already? There wasn't any real need for her to be here anyway. And the villains, while creepy, were annoying and too easily dealt with (for the time being I guess). And the story ended on a bum note, which while very Torchwood, is kinda sad considering the good luck they've had recently. To this episodes credit, you may not want to step into an old fashioned cinema or visit a circus for a while after viewing this episode.

Well, this was my least favorite episode of Season 2 (yes, "To the Last Man" has been dethroned). I've seen stronger stand alone episodes from Torchwood. Here's hoping the rest of the season is way way better than this.

At least next weeks preview looked more interesting: people are vanishing, Gwen's looking into it...and Jack's trying to stop her? See ya next week.


Torchwood S02E09-Something Borrowed

It's a really big day for Gwen Cooper. After months of anticipation, her wedding day has finally arrived. It should be the most joyous of occasions...until Gwen wakes up the morning of the wedding...full term pregnant. Turns out a parasidic shape shifter has impregnated Gwen via bite and now it's partner is on its way to rip the egg out of Gwen's body. The wedding to end all weddings is about to take a style only Captain Jack Harkness and Torchwood could pull off.

Man, I wish all weddings were like this one. After the dark and spectacular Owen story arc that took up the past three episodes, it was time for a nice bit of humor and levity. This episode had everything any fan of Torchwood could want: action, romance, laughs, really big guns, and plenty of quirks from Jack.

But at the core of this episode is an honest love story between Gwen and Rhys. It is amazing the amount of development these two have gone through as a couple since the start of the season. Rhys has seen his fiancee's job, seen her brainwashed, taken a bullet for her, and now must deal with the shock of her carrying an alien egg in her belly. And after all of this, he still wants to marry Gwen, or she wants to marry him not matter what happens. Hats off to Eve Myles for making Gwen's commitment to her man so pure and honest. This must have been a hard day for Jack to endure, watching the woman he loves marry another man. Still, he lets things be as they may (something alot of guys can relate to, I'm sure). It will be interesting to see where things go from here between Jack and Gwen (the soul and heart of Torchwood respectivley).

This was arguably my most favorite episode of the season, next to "Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang". If you haven't watched this show yet, filled with spectacular scifi action/drama and romance, and filled with amazing characters, THEN WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING PEOPLE??????

But yeah, awsome episode, moving on to Episode 10.


Thursday, February 28, 2008

Torchwood S02E08-A Day in the Death

Dr. Owen Harper has been having one hell of a week. He's died, been ressurected, faced death, lost all feeling and his job. Plus, he's officially a walking, talking undead. Unable to cope with his new perdicament, Owen contemplates ending everything once and for all. Will he ever be human again and can he still do his job and save a life? Will anything be normal for him ever again?

A Day in the Death stands as one of the best shows I have ever seen for this series. Owen, like most of the cast this season, has undergone a drastic reboot from season 1. And now that he is in a similar boat as Jack, the unable to die aspect, this episode gave us more of an insight into one of the shows deepest themes, the fine line between human and unhuman, life and death etc. Owen has now become one of my favorite characters in this show. He's no longer the arrogant ass that he was in Season 1, he's funny, more social, more open, more human (pun intended).

This episode is also the finale for Martha Jones's tenure on Torchwood. Oddly enough, this episode features Martha the least, giving the episode focus to Owen rather than her. This being said, her departure wasn't played very well. I mean, even though Owen decides to remain with the team in the end, it would have been nice for them to keep Martha on. Was she called back to UNIT or what? I mean, she just leaves all of a sudden with no explination. This was my only real gripe about the episode.

I'm sure we'll see Martha again eventually as a main cast member. But for now, we will just have to wait for Doctor Who Series 4 to see her in action with UNIT.

And major props to Christine Bottomley, who played the suicidal Maggie who is listening to Owen's story. She was a great foil to Owen and it was nice to see her evolve along with Owen as his story went on. Well done indeed.


Monday, February 25, 2008

Heads Up

Good news everyone,
I'm going home for break this Friday and am so pumped. Now all i have to do is survive three merciless midterms and equally merciless professors. The point is, Spring Break is on the horizon.

However, this does include a small downside. I will be cut off from a good internet signal for that whole week which means that in one week from this Wednesday, there will be no update for the blog. There will be a normal post this Wednesday with the new episode (the conclusion to the Martha Jones Trilogy). Don't worry, I will obtain the episode afterwards as soon as I return and hopefully there will be a double posting later that week.

Just a heads up, later.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Torchwood S02E07-Dead Man Walking

It is a time for greiving for Torchwood. Owen is dead, shot at the end of "Reset". But just before his autopsy can be performed, Jack departs abrutly and returns with another Resurrection Glove. His plan to bring Owen back to life backfires in the worst possible way. Yes, Owen is brought back, but something else has come with him. An ancient creature equivalent of the Grim Reaper is unleashed on an unsuspecting Cardiff using its energy and an army of Weevils to do its bidding. The team is in need of desperation, especially with Martha on deaths door. And it may take the power and faith of a dead man to defeat death itself.

Well yeah, if you haven't realized it by now, Owen was the one who bit the bullet. But come on, you can't keep these guys dead for long. This episode shares several similarities with last seasons "They Keep Killing Suzie", but the steaks have been raised considerably this time. I was hoping the second Resurrection Glove would make an appearence this season. And while I tend to agree with Jack on most of his calls, this was going a bit far and his decision to use the glove placed everyone, even all of Cardiff in danger. Not smart. However, the scene with Jack and Owen bonding in jail was pretty fun to watch (seeing Owen hurl upside down was so fracking funny).

Overall, this was an ok second act in this little trilogy. It was cool to see the interactions amongst the team in this time of greiving and uncertainty. And now that Owen is back and undead, it will be pretty interesting to see how his new perdicament works out, although judging from next weeks preview, he's not out of the woods yet. But Owen is a very cool character. Here's hoping he stays undead, or eventually becomes fully alive again for a while.

And yes, Tosh and Owen finally had an honest kiss (fan applause).


Sunday, February 17, 2008

Doctor Who S04E00-Voyage of the Damned

Barely any time has passed since The Doctor's recent victory over The Master when the tip of a cruise ship breaches the Tardis's hull. Turns out, The Doctor has just slammed into a space ferring cruise vessel named the Titanic, which is visiting Earth to study the Christmas season. The Doctor stows away onto the ship and begins to have fun with the guests, in particular a beautiful waitress named Astrid. But as with any ship named the Titanic, gloom and doom are never far away. A mysterious attack from an unknown enemy sends the ship on a collision course with Earth. To make matters worse, a virus infects the Titanic's servant androids, The Host, and has sent them to eliminate the Titanic's remaining survivors. For Astrid and the dwindling group of survivors, the Christmas is proving to be quite the opposite of cheerful. Their only hope, the stowaway who happens to be a 903 year old Time Lord from Galifrey...with a horrible track record of harrowing and dangerous Christmas disasters.

When is comes to Christmas Specials, you can always expect Doctor Who to deliver slam bang action, humor and excitement. And this episode continues that trend, albiet taking the formula to the next level. David Tennant continues to shine as my favorite Doctor, keeping his cool even in the most unhopeful scenarios and even offering plenty of laugh out loud humor to keep the situation from seeming to grim. Joining him this time is one time companion Astrid, played by British pop sensation Kylie Minogue. She reminded me a little bit of Rose, whom I still miss to this day. Her intuition and resoucefulness, along with her cheerful personality, sheer humanity and good looks make her anything by the stereotypical dumb blonde, more than a match for our main man The Doctor. Every other character in this episode follows the stereotypical disaster ship survivors seen in Titanic and Posiedon. Cliche as it seemed, these characters were fresh and full of life, from the overweight couple to the tiny alien newcomer whose name I can't pernounce.

If I had to rank this episode with the other Christmas Specials, this would fall in second. It's way better than The Runaway Bride, but not quite as good as The Christmas Invasion. Still, Doctor Who continues to shine with these little side stories, giving us a nice little interlude between seasons, while wetting our thirts for more. Here's hoping all our future Christmas's are as exciting as this.


Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Torchwood S02E06-Reset

In order to combat a series of medical related killings, Jack calls in newly instated UNIT medical officer Martha Jones to assist in the investigation. As old friends reunite and new relationships begin to take shape between Martha and Torchwood, the case gets deadly and leads to a mysterious doctor who is willing to sacrifice everything and anything to find the ultimate cure for all disease. And before this fight is over, one member of Torchwood won't be making it out alive...

Well, Martha is here and with her comes a huge breath of fresh air to the series, especially after "Adam". It was fun to see her conversations with Jack and learn about what she's been up too since she left his and The Doctor's company. Her being with UNIT was a big surprise, but it does clear up how she will be reintroduced into Doctor Who. The dialogue between Martha and Jack is some of the biggest geek moments of the episode, featuring plenty of Doctor Who jargon, featuring allusions to The Master, The Doctor, and the events that closed out Doctor Who Series 3.

It was cool to see Martha quickly making nice with the rest of Torchwood. She didn't come off as arrogant or stuffy and meshed with everyone, especially Gwen and Owen nicely. What can I say, Martha was awsome in Doctor Who and is even better than ever (and hotter) in Torchwood. It almost sucks to realize that she will only be onboard for three episodes, but here's hoping that she will come back to the series after her next Doctor Who adventure (but more on that later).

As I said in my "Adam" post, if you have a strong emotional interest in these characters, that's both a good and bad thing. The end of this episode was the most shocking event, I never saw it coming and I was speechless. I won't spoil who bites the bullet. Hopefully you'll all see the episode and find out for yourselves. Have a tissue ready and be sure to keep your voice down if you decide to scream in horror. (I almost did).

See you next week for Part 2 of this exciting and shcoking new trilogy. Just how far will Jack and crew go to bring back their dead comrade? From the looks of next weeks preview, they might just bring about the end of the world to do so. (Why is Torchwood always being given the title of Hearld of the Apocalypse?)


Torchwood S02E05-Adam

Torchwood appears to be losing its mind. Gwen's can't remember Rhys; Toshiko is more promiscuous; Owen's acting like a shy nerd; Ianto thinks he's a psychopathic killer; and Jack is seeing a ghost from his buried past. No answers are in sight and the teams dellusions are getting worse. But there's one peice of the puzzle that may hold the answer to their dilemma, an answer that is sitting right in front of their noses. And that answer is a member of their team named Adam...who has been a member of their team for three long years.

This episode poured on the drama and the emotion. I was close to tears at time from the sheer sadness. All around, you could see the cast giving their all, in particular Ianto and Jack. Jack's past was one of the biggest surprises of the episode and something we've been wanting to know about for a long time. For a guy so heroic and macho, his past is one of the saddest stories I've ever heard. As it turns out, the mysterious Grey is his younger brother that he lost in a battle on his homeworld years ago. The possibility of him being alive is going to be quite the shocker when that time comes.

And what of everyone else? Under Adam's mind warping powers we got to see hidden sides of them never before seen, including the already known revelation of Gwen's love for Jack and Owen's confession of love for Tosh. Granted, those of us who watch the show and know these characters knew these little truths already, but it was still good to finally get some actual confirmation from their scenes. And if you really felt sypathetic for Adam at the end, then you've got some serious issues.

This was one of Torchwood's most depressing episodes, but it was also one of their greatest yet. From opening to closing, you couldn't take your eyes off of it. And if you found yourself as close to tears as Jack and crew were, then you know you've found a strong connection with these characters. Which is all the more important especially considering what happened in the following episode.


Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Interlude-Future Plans

Well, I'm kinda bored right now. I'll probably be reading some more English stuff in a sec, but I wanted to post a quick update with future plans for this blog.

First are my plans to review the first thirteen episodes from Season 1 of Torchwood. Mind you since I'm working on Season 2 right now, this won't happen till after the current season is done. but if your curious about how things came to be, I can eventually give you a more in depth look than the quick one paragraph summary from way back.

Next, Doctor Who is almost back. And seeing how this blog is dedicated to all things Doctor Who and Torchwood (and possibly The Sarah Jane Adventures, no promises) expect to see summaries and reviews of the upcoming Series 4 of Doctor Who. If I have time between writing long as hell papers, I will attempt to post a review of last Xmas's "Voyage of the Damned" which is the unofficial intro to the next season of Doctor Who.

And finally, before I bow out, a quick heads up. Thanks to (a really cool blog site, check it out if you haven't yet) and Wikipedia, I've learned of the Torchwood double feature coming up tomorrow. Torchwood will air episode 5 "Adam" at it's usual time on BBC 2, then on BBC 3 (i think) right afterwards, we'll be able to see episode 6, which marks the long awaited introduction of Martha Jones to the Torchwood team.

Hope everyone's as excited as I am....later.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Torchwood S02E04-Meat

An average car accident on the highway turns out to be much more when mysterious meat products are uncovered. Someone is smuggling alien meat into the population and Torchwood's determined to bring them to justice. But things get complicated when Rhys gets involved with the meat smugglers. Against his will, he is placed into a complex infiltration op with Gwen and the others. Love and duty collide when the op goes wrong. Will Gwen sacrifice Rhys to save the largest alien this world has ever seen? And when all is said and done, will Jack force Gwen to do the unthinkable to Rhys?

Well, it was inevitable that Rhys would somehow get dragged into Gwen's other life. And he acted exactly the way we all thought he would. Kai Owen, who plays Rhys, should get special props for accepting the challenge of, if you'll forgive the pun, putting meat on Rhys's bones and bringing the character into a more exposed light than ever.

And what about everyone else? Well, Gwen had to handle her at war feelings for Rhys and her job; Jack had to keep himself in check while he watched the woman he loves worry over her fiancee; Toshiko flirted with Owen; Owen had to play vet; and Ianto, probably the biggest surprise of the episode, showed off some bad ass assassin skills as the one man army taking on a group of thugs.

All in all, this was a fun episode giving everyone a bit of time in the spotlight. Gwen and Rhys's relationship is no longer in doubt after the situation they survived. And the final scene where Jack confesses he would miss Gwen if she left Torchwood was heartbreaking and sweet.

So far, it's been an amazing second season and in two weeks, Martha Jones (Freema Agyeman) joins the cast before her return to Doctor Who. But first, next week, which may end up being the best episode of the season so far with the much anticipated revelation of the mysterious Gray and other memories the team has felt to best keep under lock and key.


Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Torchwood S02E03-To The Last Man

It's that time of the year again for Torchwood. That time of the year when they must once again thaw out a WWI soldier named Tommy. That time of the year they must wait for 24 hours to see if Tommy's mission to save two time periods has come. That time of the year when Toshiko fears that very day and the end of her romance with Tommy will end. Unfortunantley, that time has come. It's time for Tommy to save the world...and say his final farewell to the woman he loves.

While not as exciting as the first two installments of Season 2, this episode was still pretty heartbreaking. It was nice to see Tosh in the spotlight again (looking hotter than usual for her day with Tommy). It does suck though that she has such terrible luck with romance, a Torchwood constant. First, it's a life draining lesbian, now it's a WWI soldier who, once his mission is done, she will never see again. Is love a curse for this team? On a side note, Tosh/Owen shippers will love the small yet tender interactions they have in this episode. Perhaps they will find comfort in each other eventually, but then again, that's still a ways off I'm sure.

Next week looks pretty exciting though. It will be cool to see how they bring Rhys into Gwen's world and how her revealing her secret life will affect their own.


Monday, January 28, 2008

Torchwood S02E02-Sleeper

Well, just when you think this is going to be a somewhat lighter season, the writers smack you hard in the face. If this episode proves anything, Torchwood's in for a pretty dark year.

After two burglars are brutally assaulted during a theft, Jack believes that the woman they were trying to rob is responsible. Although thuroughly convinced she is not an alien, the woman, Beth, is proven wrong when Torchwood unveils her secret identity as a mechanical sleeper agent. However, with her cover blown, other sleeper agents across Cardiff begin to activate and begin their assault. It comes down to a do or die situation as Jack and the team rush to stop nuclear armaggedon and save Beth's humanity, or what's left of it.

The introduction of the Sleepers was a nice touch to the show, giving Torchwood a formidable foe for the new season. But this episodes heart is Beth, who is trying to regain something she never really had, a normal human life. It was interesting to see Jack and Gwen on opposite sides of this situation. Gwen led the team in Jack's absence so it was exciting to see the two leading officers figure out how to save Beth without killing her.

Who are the Sleepers working for? How many more are left? And could they be connected to the mysterious Gray? Torchwood continues to pile on the questions, leaving me plenty interested and psyched up for more.


Torchwood S02E01-Kiss, Kiss Bang, Bang

As the title might suggest, Torchwood got off to a spectacular start and a much needed amount of bang. Jack returns home to his Cardiff team after his three episode adventure with The Doctor. Almost immediately, Torchwood is on the case of a mysterious stranger claiming to be a rouge Time Agent and a "close" friend of Jack's. Needless to say the team has its hand full with Captain John Hart (played by Buffy and Angel's James Marsters) as well as their unusual reunion with Jack. Why did he leave them and does he intend to stay? And when the day is saved in typical Torchwood, who is the mysterious Gray?

This was a straight up fun episode to get the new season going. Everyone on this episode looked like they were having fun. It looks like Jack has gotten much of the Han Solo esque persona back after his season long dark streak. And like Spike to Angel, Marsters steals the show as the best new character of the series, bringing out a side to Jack we haven't seen since his first appearence on Doctor Who. From what we saw in the previews he will be back for at least another episode, but here's hoping he becomes a full time regular.

This episode set up alot to be dealt with. What I'm looking forward to the most is the revamped and ever apparent sexual tension between Jack and Gwen. Although she says she is now engaged to her boyfriend Rhys, it's clear that Jack is interested in her and vice versa. After all, he's been on a devestated alternate Earth for a year, I'm sure he's had plenty of time to sort out his feelings for her. But more on that later.

Welcome back Torchwood and good luck with the Sophomore season
Rating: 10/10

Torchwood Season 2 Underway

Well, ladies and gents, after almost a full year of waitng, Captain Jack Harkness and his merry band of alien detectives has finally come back to the world with new episodes of Torchwood. Being the generous fan that I am, I will be updating my blog weekly with news of the teams new exploits. Now, seeing as how I am two weeks behind already, I'll include a special double update later. But first, the Season 1 recap.

Season 1 introduces Torchwood through the eyes of their new recruit, Gwen Cooper. The team consists of Doctor Owen Harper; Technician extrordinaire Toshiko Sato; jack of all trades Ianto Jones; and their brilliant leader Captain Jack Harkness. Throughout the first season, the team deals with various threats both within their own ranks and outside of Torchwood. From incomplete Cybermen to innocent people stranded outside of their time period to ressurected menacing teammates, Torchwood delivers its own brand of justice to those posing a threat to the planet. The season closed out with the opening of the Cardiff rift by a possessed Torchwood team, despite Jack's attempts to stop them. Jack is killed before the Rift opens, but comes back to life to fight the monster unleashed from the Rift. Days later, Jack recovers and forgives his teammates, only to vanish from their sights when he hears the familiar engines of a certain Doctors spaceship...

Season 2 Episode 1 and 2 Summaries later on.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Torchwood's Back this Wednesday

I know this isn't exactly English class related, but hey I'm always ready to turn people onto new things. That being said, Britain's biggest scifi series Torchwood is finally returning to the BBC and BBC America this Wednesday with New Episodes.

The show is a spin off of the popular British SciFi series Doctor Who and tells the stories of an elite alien tracker team known as Torchwood. Led by the handsome and mysterious Captain Jack Harkness, Torchwood is on a mission to track down all signs of alien life on Earth and arm the human race against the future. As Jack so often warns, "The 21st Century is when everything changes, and you've gotta be ready". What this means exactly has yet to be revealed.

So yeah, if your really big on Scifi or a fan of Doctor Who, I definitley recommend catching the new Episodes on BBC America when they air here in the states, or torrenting them right away.

You will not be disappointed.