The Time of the Doctor (2013 Doctor Who Christmas Special) TV Show Review

As Lord Voldemort once said; “I confess myself… disappointed”. The 2013 Christmas Special The Time of the Doctor aired on the 25th of December and featured the nerve-racking regeneration of the 11th Doctor. Warning that this post WILL contain spoilers.

In a few words, I think Moffat’s writing is starting to go downhill. After the less-than-brilliant 50th Anniversary Special I was hoping Moffat’s writing would make a bit of a comeback with less stress for this episode, but I was disappointed. I’ve never really been a fan of Moffat as head writer. When he was a writer under Russell T. Davies he wrote some brilliant episodes; BlinkThe Empty ChildThe Doctor Dances and The Girl in the Fireplace, but when he took over the show his episodes started going downhill.

Anyway, about The Time of the Doctor. It felt extremely rushed, and like every bad alien was trying to be crammed into it. The Weeping Angels, Dalek, Silence and Cyberman, even the Slitheen were mentioned! It was just too much! I mean, it probably would have been ok if they were just mentioned, but it was like each alien (except the Slitheen) needed to have a starring part in the episode. For the Silence it was when Clara saw them for the first time, which was completely unnecessary and didn’t really help the plot along at all. I mean, why were they even there purposely freaking her out? The Daleks had their ‘shining moment’ when they turned of all the church member into Daleks which, to be honest, was kind of lame. The Cyberman had their focus when the wooden Cyberman came down to Christmas. I have to admit that that was pretty cool, but the Doctor’s big speech to the Cyberman was just plain dull. Then there were the Weeping Angels which were not needed in any way except to have them in the episode. Way too many monsters meant way too much time wasted which could have been used on giving 11 a proper farewell.

The sexual inneuendos at the start between the Doctor and Mother Superious Tasha Lem were just irritating. They were not subtle, they were not needed and they were boring and, like most things in this episode, unnecessary. There wasn’t even any build-up to it. It was like “Here’s a new character we’ve never seen before, she’s a woman so let’s make her a love interest!”. No, just no.

I don’t know why, but when a sentence is quoted that’s been said in a previous episode, instead of it feeling like a callback or a cool little reference, it feels like it’s been shoved in your face. Like “Look guys, this was in a previous episode! Look we’re quoting ourselves! Look aren’t we cool!” kind of way. I like subtlety, but this episode didn’t have it.

I also saw the Doctor kind of slip out of character during this episode. Since when does he tell a really big lie straight to someones face, someone he cares about deeply, and then just walks away. It just seemed so unlike him, and to seem like he barely cared than he would never see Clara again. And for what? For a little town called Christmas, whose inhabitants he could have easily saved by bringing them in the TARDIS and taking them somewhere else. Why would he care so much about a little town he’s never even been to before so much that he would spend hundreds of years there knowing that after he died the whole planet would just be destroyed anyway?

And then there are the plot holes, the Doctor knew he would regenerate again because in the 50th Anniversary there were 13 of his regenerations. Had he conveniently forgotten that? And surely Clara would have known that as well, seeing as she went into the Doctor’s time stream and saw every one of his regenerations, past and future?

Peter Capaldi is the Doctor!

I feel like Moffat keeps trying to make it ‘epic’. “Look how many aliens there are! Look at all the deep speeches! Look at all the meaningful scenes! I even put the Time Lords in!” But enough is enough. You don’t need heaps of big speeches that ended up meaning nothing, or every alien, or the Time Lords! You just need it to be well-paced. Take your time. Make things ‘epic’ subtlety, in a way that a casual watcher of the show wouldn’t fully understand. Take your time to build up emotion. Give your audience an emotional connection so that even if this is their first episode, they’ll still want to cry. Focus on the story.

Wow, that’s quite a bit of angry ranting, so here’s some of the things I did like. I liked the fact that 11 accepted his regeneration. It almost made it happy, like it will be change for the better. Like it was time for 11 to go. I also liked that 11 died of old age, he died waiting… I like that he saw Amy, even if the hallucination was a bit weird, and her quote “Raggedy man, goodnight”. I loved his last words “I will always remember when the Doctor was me”. Peter Capaldi’s entrance was a little odd to say the least, it was very quick. I have a feeling he will be quite a whimsical Doctor. The whole episode actually did keep my attention, as rushed as it was I never really felt like I wanted to stop watching it. For most of the time, it kept my interest.

The acting, like usual, was brilliant. Matt’s acting when he grew older was just fantastic, it almost made me feel like he was a different person. Jenna’s acting was also superb, I could really see her pain when the Doctor sent her away for the second time, and when she was pleading to the Time Lords, and when 11 was regenerating. Just brilliant. Also, a shout out to Clara’s grandma who is awesome in every way. You go grandma!

Of course, the music by Murray Gold was also amazing just as it usually is. I especially liked the song that played when Clara was entering the TARDIS after she thought 11 had already regenerated. It was very dark and one of the few times that I actually felt some suspense in the episode. Because that music isn’t yet available, here’s Clara’s Theme:

I wish all my luck to Peter Capaldi; the 12th Doctor!

Favourite character/actor: Clara Oswald (Jenna Louise Coleman)

Least favourite character/actor: Mother Superious Tasha Lem (Orla Brady)

Favourite scene: When Clara was walking into the TARDIS during 11’s regeneration

Least favourite scene: When the Doctor destroys the Dalek ships while regenerating

Rating; 3/5 stars

Picture Sources

The Time of the Doctor poster: http://screencrush.com

Amy and the Doctor: http://www.mirror.co.uk

Peter Capaldi: http://screenrant.com/

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Top 10 Epic Soundtracks

Hello, all! Another music post, but this time I will show you my top ten epic soundtracks. I originally named this post “Top 10 Epic Songs” but there was no way I could pick just one song from each movie/TV show. Generally, if one song from the soundtrack is epic, others will be as well. However, I still have to limit myself to one song for an example. You might be wondering why movies like Jaws aren’t on this list, and it’s mainly because they aren’t in my music library. Hopefully, these songs will make any activity feel epic! So, here’s the list of most epic soundtracks, in no particular order, from my music library.

Inception

This one is a pretty obvious choice, and I don’t think anyone could deny that the soundtrack for this movie is a pretty epic one. It was written by Hans Zimmer and I was spoiled for choice when it came to choosing which song I was going to use as an example. I finally decided on Dream is Collapsing:

Avatar: The Last Airbender

It may be just a children’s show, but this soundtrack packs a punch. It’s different from most other soundtracks I know of because it mixes both Eastern and Western influences into its music. Perfectly, I might add. The music is written by The Track Team and the example I will show you is The Final Blow.

Batman Begins

Often overshadowed by its sequel The Dark Knight, this movie has some pretty epic music. The score was composed by Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard. The song I will use as an example of this soundtrack is Antrozous:

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

This film isn’t really that well known for it’s music, but I really like it. It has some pretty epic music in the battle scenes (including the song I will show you called The Battle). The sequels also have some pretty good music. It was composed by Henry Gregson-Williams, a relatively unknown composer who also wrote the score for Chicken Run, Shrek and Wolverine.

Doctor Who

Well, you all know how obsessed I am with this show (or at least I hope you do) so I had to put this on the this. The music for Doctor Who is written by Murray Gold. I love this music because it’s so different, especially the song I am the Doctor. I can’t put my finger on it, but there’s just something unique about it. I’m kind of going to cheat with this one and show you two songs; I am the Doctor and Captain Jack’s Theme, but the latter is also from Torchwood so… I’m so not cheating 😛

Pirates of the Caribbean

I would have to be crazy to leave this soundtrack off the list. I don’t think there’s a single person who doesn’t love it. The music (from the first film at least) is by Klaus Badelt. The example I will give you well known song He’s a Pirate:

Lord of the Rings / The Hobbit

These films (and I’m sure the ones to follow) have some incredibly epic soundtracks. The soundtracks were both composed by Howard Shore and the music I will present to you is a medley of a whole bunch of songs including Concerning HobbitsMisty Mountains and The Ring’s Theme:

How to Train Your Dragon

This is an amazing movie that has an amazing soundtrack to go with it. I think some of the scenes in this film were made by the music. It’s just brilliant. It was composed by John Powell and I song I will give as an example is Test Drive:

Prince of Egypt

To be fair, I’ve never actually seen this movie and I only really know one song well (although I did listen to some of the others to make sure they were sufficently epic enough to go on this list). My favourite songs is When You Believe (specifically not the Mariah Carey version). It’s yet another song composed by the great Hans Zimmer. This version is sung by Michelle Pfeiffer and Sally Dworsky:

X-Men: First Class

This film, I find, has much better music than its predecessors. This might be one of the reasons why I hold it in such high regard. The soundtrack was written by Henry Jackman who also composed the music for Wreck-it-Ralph. The song I present to you is Magneto’s Theme, it doesn’t really start getting epic so I suggest you listen to the whole thing:

Well, there you have it. Some of the most epic soundtracks I could think of. What did you think of my list? Did I miss any of your favourites?

PS: Sincerest apologies for not posting anything for almost two weeks! I just haven’t been in the writing mood at all and even struggled to type out this list (which is why there isn’t much of a description). Hopefully I’ll get back into my writing groove soon enough 🙂

Classic Doctor Who (Season 1) TV Show Review

This is a review of the classic series of Doctor Who that first aired in 1963. It is often called Classic Who just as the 2005 series is called New Who. This is how I will differentiate between them in this review. Having watched all of New Who, I will probably make lots of comparisons between them, knowing that it will be a continuation. I really wanted to watch the original series to get a lot of background information and so I could learn more about the Doctor. Warning that this post may contain spoilers.

At first, I was shocked to see how cold, and at times, cruel the Doctor was. He was actually a bit of a jerk. He seemed to be almost the opposite of what he is like now, and that really surprised me. I always pictured the Doctor being the same sort of person, even if his personality did change slightly. Throughout the season he does become kinder and more forgiving, and we see him grow as a person.

The acting tends to be pretty good, except that of Carole Ann Ford (Susan) who is constantly overacting. I understand that a small amount of overacting must occur because of the low quality visual, so we can actually see what’s happening, but I feel like she overdoes it and is excessively melodramatic at times. Although, her acting does dramatically improve in The Sensorites.

Unfortunately, nine episodes of this season are missing, so there may have been references to past episodes that I didn’t get or plot holes that would have been filled had I seen the missing episodes. There are also some facts about the Doctor that simply haven’t been mentioned yet. For example, that he and Susan are Timelords (it’s only mentioned that they’re from another planet).

There were a couple of episodes in the season (or parts of episodes as they can be called) in which the Doctor was barely present or not at all. These parts were really boring. I could barely concentrate on them. It just seems like that without the Doctor it’s just an ordinary TV show. He is the character that makes it interesting, no one else. This shows how good an actor William Hartnell is, but also how badly written some of the scenes without him are.

The music that plays during the show, I have to say is pretty bad. Not just the quality (which is understandable due to the time it was made) but the actual music. In some scenes it will be completely silent with a sudden spurt of music that just stops. It doesn’t flow and is very noticeable. I think this may be due to the era it was made. However, I can’t say the same about the theme music. It’s so similar to that of the show now. Here’s the opening sequence:

Favourite character/actor: The Doctor (William Hartnell)

Least favourite character/actor: Susan Foreman (Carole Ann Ford)

Favourite episode/scene: The Daleks

Least favourite episode/scene: The Keys of Marinus

Rating; 3/5 stars

Doctor Who (Season 2) TV Show Review

I watched this season directly after season one, and was very excited to see how the new Doctor would compare to the previous one. Warning that this post may contain spoilers.

Doctor Who series 2 This season was released in 2006 with Russell T Davies continuing as head writer and executive producer. Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat stayed on as writers and were joined by Toby Whithouse and Matthew Graham. It was directed by returning directors James Hawes, Euros Lyn, Graeme Harper, Ashley Way, Dan Zeff and James Strong. All episodes were produced by the returning Phil Collinson and executive producer Julie Gardner.

There aren’t many TV shows that I can watch one episode after the other and resist the urge to skip over the opening credits. With Doctor Who however, the opening credits along with theme song is the part that I’m waiting for. And whenever I watch it, it always brings a smile to my face. The one downside of these credits is that they seem a little old-fashioned, like they are from a 70s show, but I don’t care. I still love them and is just brings a bit more of a science fiction feel to the show.

While it took a little while to get used to, I think that David Tennant pulls off the Doctor really well. While the essence of the character he plays is the same, there are a few small differences, differences that I really like. He’s a great actor and I really enjoyed watching him in this role. Christopher Eccleston was was first Doctor, but after this season I would have to say that Tennant is my favourite. I also really like the relationship between the Doctor and Rose, and how it progresses during the season.

I think the standard of this season continues to increase from the end of last season. The first few episodes of season one seemed to be just the writers and directors getting on their feet and figuring out what works. There was none of that at the start of this season however, it started off well and continued to have a high standard of episodes. I can easily see how this show could become an obsession. There are some shows that I just couldn’t imagine people becoming obsessed with, even if they love it, but Doctor Who is Doctor who the doctor and rosenot one of them. I don’t know what it is about it. I’d say it’s because it’s so cool, but it’s not really. Maybe it’s because it’s classified as one of those so-called ‘nerdy’ and ‘geeky’ shows that makes it so popular and awesome. Which isn’t a bad thing either. I love a show that is more than just a TV show. It means that there is so much more to experience while and after watching it.

The one thing I was very surprised about with the show in general, was the humour. Single sentences and witty lines that are usually said in some of the most serious times that just instantly lift the mood and make the viewer laugh. I really didn’t expect this before I starting watching the show. I expected it to be a completely serious show but was pleasantly surprised.

I love how emotional the show is. I found myself crying (if only a little bit) every two or three episodes. Then there is the season final. It was so sad and intense. I felt like my heart was being ripped from my chest. Other Doctor Who episodes had brought me to tears before but this one just crossed the line and tore me apart. I both loved the final for how well it was done, and yet hated it for making me feel the way it did. It would definitely be on the list of saddest moments in television history. A brilliant ending for a brilliant show.

The music seemed to be a little different in this season, written once again by Murray Gold. Not the starting theme, but the music used throughout each episode. More emphasis seemed to be put on it, which I liked, and yet it still suited the show just as well as it did in season one. It was the reason why a lot of the episodes were as motive as they were, especially the final. This song in particular really helped to set the scene for the final:

Favourite character/actor: The Doctor (David Tennant)

Least favourite character/actor: John Lumic (Roger Lloyd Pack)

Favourite episode: Doomsday

Least favourite episode: Love and Monsters

Rating, 4.5/5 stars

Top 10 Songs That Make Me Cry

I really enjoy listening to music but unfortunately, because of the style of music that I listen to, it’s difficult to review it. Therefore, I have come up with the idea to create a series of the top 10 songs that I listen to, to fit into a category. This category is for the top 10 songs that have made me cry. Not just out of sadness, either, but out of happiness as well. A lot of them are from TV shows or movies so they may only make me feel the way they do because of the context I know them from. However, I hope you guys love them as much as I do. These songs are in no particular order. The top 10 songs that make me cry. Warning that this post contains spoilers about Doctor Who, The Lord of the Rings, Sherlock, the musical Wicked and Avatar: The Last Airbender (however none of the actual songs do).

Doomsday
This song from Doctor Who (and written by Murray Gold)plays over one of the best separation scenes ever; the separation of the Doctor and Rose. I was bawling my eyes out, it was horrible, and I relive that moment whenever I listen to this song. I love how affected I am by it, it just shows how good it is. In addition, the song itself is just gorgeous. The use of voice, without using actual words, is amazing and just makes it more emotive. It just sounds so sad, almost like the singer is letting out their grief by singing a wordless song.

 

Moonlight Sonata
This is one of those beautiful classic pieces of music that can portray emotion without a single word. I have found myself unknowingly listening to this song and just subconsciously feeling sad for no reason. The way Moonlight Sonata does this is just incredible. Written by Beethoven, it is one of the top classical songs. No story is needed to feel this song.

 

Edge of Night
The songs of hobbits are usually happy, cheerful and full of life, but this one (sung by Billy Boyd) is the exact opposite. It’s short with very few lyrics:

Home is behind, the world ahead, but there are many paths to tread. Through shadow, to the edge if night, until the stars are all alight. Mist and shadow, cloud and shade. All shall fade, all shall fade.

It’s short and sweet, or a better description, short and sad. It is sung to the greedy and vindictive steward of Gondor who had sent an army of men to an impossible battle where they will all surely die.

 

Vale Decem
Another song from Doctor Who (and written by Murray Gold), played during another incredible sad scene in the show. The title, and all of the lyrics are in Latin, with vale decem meaning ‘farewell ten’. That’s what this song is about, a farewell. The farewell of the tenth Doctor as he regenerated. I thought I was ready for this moment, but this song made sure that I wasn’t. The lyrics, and translation to the song:

Vale Decem (Farewell Ten)
Ad aeternam (On to eternity)
Di meliora (The fates be with you)
Ad aeternam (On to eternity)
Vale Decem (Farewell Ten)
Di meliora (The fates be with you)
Beati (Oh, blessed be he)
Pacifici (Who brought us peace)
Vale Decem (Farewell Ten)
Alis grave (Lay down your burden)
Ad perpetuam memoriam (We will remember you forever more)
Vale Decem (Farewell Ten)
Gratis tibi ago (We give you thanks)
Ad aeternam (On to eternity)
Nunquam singularis (You are not alone)
Nunquam (Never)
Dum spiro fido (Trust to the last)
Vale… (Farewell…)

 

Blood on the Pavement
This is one of the final songs in the season two final of Sherlock, and for anyone who’s seen the show, they’ll know how important it is for setting the scene. It has the slowed down main theme, that’s usually so upbeat, being brought to almost a halt. It really shows the reaction of John Watson to the events that are occurring before him, and what he is feeling. In the case of this song, it is absolute grief.

 

Married Life
Anyone who has seen that classic Pixar film Up would know the brilliance of that wonderful love story that lasted a lifetime in just a few minutes. This song shows the same things, you can feel the good times and the bad times of their story, with all of the ups and downs. The ending of which was just heartbreaking.

 

Reconciliation
This song from Avatar: The Last Airbender is about exactly what the title says. The reconciliation of Zuko and Uncle Iroh. Although not in the song, the lines that are said during that part are just so heartwarming. The first song in this list which causes happy crying, this time for a moment that was meant to happen for so long. This song just brings it all back.

 

Stuff We Did
The second time I cried during the film Up, and probably the saddest song of the film. And yet also one of the happiest…

 

For Good
Another separation song, but this time the separation of two best friends Galinda and Elphaba from the musical Wicked. I think it sums up most good friendships. These are two of my favourite lines from the song:

And just to clear the air, I ask forgiveness for the things I’ve done you’ve blamed me for. But then I guess we know there’s blame to share and none of it seems to matter any more.

Who can say if I’ve been changed for the better? I do believe I have been changed for the better.

 

Firework
Lastly, Firework , sung by Katy Perry. It alsi doesn’t make me cry out of sadness, but rather if happiness. It’s just so inspirational. For once a song isn’t about lost love of complaining about life, but showing how good it can be and how special each person is.

 

I hope you guys liked my list. What songs make you cry?