Monday, March 24, 2008

Doctor Who: "Planet of Evil" & "Destiny of the Daleks"

Two DVD reviews for your pleasure...

It’s been said that your first Doctor is your favorite, and that’s certainly true in my case. No matter how much I bask in the conviction of David Tennant, admire the intensity of Christopher Eccleston, or enjoy the straightforwardness of Peter Davison, Tom Baker will always be my Doctor. For American fans, similar feelings are often associated with their first Doctor Who story. Classic Who is so hit-or-miss that if the first show you tuned in was a weak offering, you may have never tuned in again. Late one summer evening back in 1984, “Planet of Evil” was on my local PBS station and after spending 90 minutes with Tom Baker and Elisabeth Sladen on Zeta Minor, I was hooked.

Read the rest of this DVD review by clicking here and visiting Bullz-Eye.

You’d think that a season of Doctor Who script-edited by Douglas Adams would be a high mark in the show’s long history, but you’d be wrong. Season 17, kicked off by “Destiny of the Daleks,” was Who at its campiest and most goofy. Sometimes the formula worked, sometimes not -- “Destiny” is somewhere in between. It’s a noteworthy story, however, in that it was not only the last Dalek-penned tale from Dalek creator Terry Nation, but also the last story he ever wrote for Doctor Who. It also featured Lalla Ward taking over the role of the Time Lady Romana, and it begins with a jokey Adams-scripted scene in which she regenerates into her new figure by literally trying on new bodies until settling on one that fits. If the sequence weren’t so damn witty it’d be embarrassing, and it’s emblematic of the type of high wire act Adams had a hand in playing the entire season.

Read the rest of this DVD review by clicking here and visiting Bullz-Eye.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Terry Pratchett's Hogfather

The Hogfather is Santa Claus. He dresses the same and serves the same function, only he looks like a wild boar on two legs. This makes perfect sense given that Terry Pratchett’s Hogfather takes place on Discworld – a universe that’s alternate, but similar to our own. The Auditors – creepy, cloaked figures devoted to logic and reason – have put a hit out on the Hogfather. The Auditors are reminiscent of the Vogons from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. They’re slaves to bureaucracy, and the Hogfather (again, “Santa Claus”) represents the purest form of belief, which undermines the Auditors’ objective of keeping the world running in as uncomplicated a manner as possible. If it all sounds too far-fetched, give it a few minutes and you’ll embrace it as quickly as you accepted that Hogwarts was a school for young magicians in the Harry Potter series. In fantasy, some things just are.

Read the rest of this review by clicking here and visiting Bullz-Eye.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Dallas - The Complete Eighth Season

One of the great pleasures of a TV on DVD addiction is basking in the ongoing releases of a series that lasted for a really long time. For me, one such series is Dallas, and I’ve been following it season by season since the sets started coming out several years ago. Season Eight is noteworthy for two major reasons: Donna Reed took over the role of Miss Ellie, and at the time, its finale was to be Patrick Duffy’s swan song as Bobby Ewing (literally - the episode is actually titled “Swan Song!”).

Dallas is one of those rare shows that remain entertaining no matter how ridiculous it gets. Season Eight (which aired in ’84 and ’85 and packs a whopping 30 episodes) should logically be the last to deliver solid goods, as it’s the one before the over-the-top theatrics of the infamous dream season; at least that’s what I was expecting.

Find out if Season Eight delivered "what I was expecting" by clicking here and reading the rest of the review at Bullz-Eye.