Sunday, June 29, 2008

Computer Crash

“Forest of the Dead” is an episode that left me so thoroughly perplexed that I had to see it several times to even begin thinking I understood it. I can honestly say that no installment of the new series (or even classic Who for that matter) confused me as much as this one and if that earns me the nickname “Thick as a Whale Omelet Ruediger,” then so be it. I asked for some help from fellow Who/Moffat enthusiasts Steven Cooper, Peet Gelderblom and Chris Hansen, three people whom I figured could help me get to the bottom of it all. They did help, were full of insights and opinions and their words are as important to recap as anything I’ve got to say. Yet another viewing helped, too, and I’m starting to believe the story is either not as complex as I’d originally thought, or it’s so obtuse that I’m never truly going to see the bigger picture.

Read the rest of this week's Doctor Who recap by using your sonic blaster to click here and visit The House Next Door.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Absolutely Fabulous: Absolutely Everything

With Sex and the City being all the rage at the moment, you’re no doubt tired of your wife or girlfriend talking about it, annoyed at having been dragged to the movie, and perhaps sick to death of handing over the remote control so she can repeatedly view the episodes on DVD. If you understand what Manolo Blahniks and Cosmopolitans are, but cannot grasp why anyone should care, then Absolutely Fabulous is the cure you can share with your significant other. AbFab, as the seasoned vets call it, was perhaps even part of the inspiration for Sex and the City, but the difference is that all the little trinkets and icons are mocked rather than hailed, and the main characters, Edina Monsoon (Jennifer Saunders) and Patsy Stone (Joanna Lumley), don’t realize they’re part of the joke.

Read the rest of this DVD review by clicking here to visit Bullz-Eye.

Monday, June 23, 2008


The name Steven Moffat has been the stamp of quality on Doctor Who scripts over the past three seasons, so it’s easy to go into “Silence in the Library,” the first of a two-part story, with high expectations. Further, since Moffat was recently named the series’ new showrunner (beginning in 2010), viewer expectations are perhaps even a bit higher for this story. He certainly doesn’t waste any time putting his dramatic flourishes on the piece. The story begins with a little girl (Eve Newton). She appears to be in therapy with a Dr. Moon (Colin Salmon) while her dad (Mark Dexter) lingers in the background. In her mind exists a fantastical library the size of a planet. She peacefully floats around the silent library, seemingly the only patron. The silence is suddenly broken by a loud banging from the other side of a pair of doors. The girl is alarmed. The Doctor (David Tennant) and Donna (Catherine Tate) bust through.

The Doctor: “Hello! Sorry to burst in on you like this. Is it OK if we stop here for a bit?”

To read the rest of this recap, click here to quietly talk with the librarian at The House Next Door.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Secret Diary of a Call Girl: Season One, Ep. 1

I've started blogging the new Billie Piper series, Secret Diary of a Call Girl, for Premium Hollywood. It started on Showtime this Monday and will presumably continue on for the next seven weeks as the first season is only eight episodes long. Surprisingly, it isn't nearly as exploitative and trashy as I expected.

From the first recap:

As a Doctor Who fanatic, Secret Diary of a Call Girl was initially an easy sell. After watching Billie Piper as Rose Tyler for two seasons, I’ve since been game to watch her in just about anything. Sitting down and actually seeing Piper unveil her dual lives of Belle the prostitute and Hannah the typical London girl was a different matter entirely. There was something incredibly dirty about seeing her lube up her private parts, masturbate with a vibrator in front of a client, and ride another while he wears a saddle. It’s just so not Rose Tyler.

Read the rest of the recap by clicking here to visit Premium Hollywood.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Doctor Who: Beneath the Surface

In 1970, Doctor Who went through a period of massive change. There was a new Doctor, a new companion, a new production team, and the show was (for the first time) being broadcast in color. Perhaps most important to its texture, the title character was stranded on Earth in the late 20th century, working as a scientific advisor for the military organization UNIT. All of these changes combined to create a radically different take on an established series that had been running successfully for six seasons. Time and space travel was put on hold for a couple years, and instead of the Doctor meeting alien creatures on distant planets, they were showing up in his backyard.

Read the rest of the review for the "Beneath the Surface" DVD box set by clicking here to visit Bullz-Eye.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Standard British Birds and Bees

I’m sure I read an interview with Russell T. Davies some time ago where he referred to “The Unicorn and The Wasp” as “the first comedy we’ve done.” I put that in quotes because that’s what I recall him saying, but I’ll be damned if I can find the piece now. It probably doesn’t matter, but it does seem the aim of the episode is to be a comedy—well, a comedy and a murder mystery peppered with ample doses of sci-fantasy. The episode worked better on the second viewing, yet I still couldn’t shake the feeling that I’m beginning to tire of this brand of Doctor Who story. I’ve got plenty of respect for Agatha Christie’s body of work, but I’ve never read any of her books—pathetic, but true. I grew up reading Doctor Who novelizations written by Terrance Dicks—also pathetic, but true.

To read the rest of this very brief recap, click here and head over to The House Next Door.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Hell Hath No Fury Like a Daughter Cloned

As a title, “The Doctor’s Daughter” conjures up exciting possibilities, but as an episode it leaves the viewer wanting more. Is it surprising that the daughter in question is in no way “long lost” or any other sort of melodrama? Not really. Anything more concrete would be a massive intrusion on the overall narrative, and taking both fact and rumor into account, this season probably doesn't need another such element. Instead she’s an instant genetic descendant of the Time Lord—created in the first minutes of the tale. It’s a disorienting moment, too, because it’s so unbelievable, even by Doctor Who standards. The Doctor (David Tennant), Donna (Catherine Tate), and Martha (Freema Agyeman) arrive in some sort of underground bunker. Within moments of stepping out of the TARDIS, a group of young soldiers appear out of nowhere, grab the Doctor, and thrust his hand into some sort of machine. The Doctor deduces it’s taking a tissue sample. Seconds later, two doors slide apart and out steps a beautiful blond girl, dressed like Farscape’s Aeryn Sun.

Martha: “Where did she come from?”

The Doctor: “From me.”

Donna: “From you? How? Who is she??”

The Doctor: “She’s…well…she’s my daughter.”

The Girl: (smiling) “Hello Dad!”

Adopt your cloned child by clicking here to read the rest of this piece at The House Next Door.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

The Grand: Complete Collection

It would be easy to assume The Grand is some kind of stuffy, British period drama, if not for one thing: It’s created and (mostly) written by Russell T Davies of Doctor Who fame, a sign that it might not be what it seems. The Grand is certainly a period piece, though it can hardly be described as stuffy. What it is, more than anything else, is a soap opera -- but it’s a classy, addictive soap offering up bold, surprising storylines and at least a dozen complex characters over the course of its 18-episode, two-season run.

Read the rest of this piece by clicking here to head over to Bullz-Eye.