Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Twelfth Hour Tolls: A Review of "Deep Breath," Capaldi's First Full Episode as the Doctor

            If you're reading this, you might've guessed that I was just scrambling into my seat at the computer, cracking my knuckles, warming up my plunger and whisk, and started engaging in furious writing, eager to share my thoughts, theories and reactions to a new face taking up the role of our most famous and beloved alien time traveler.  And for that, I have brought you the Rogue Dubstep remix of "Clocks" by Coldplay as the optional theme song for this review!


            Once again, our beloved Gallifreyan time-traveling (formerly raggedy) madman Doctor has regenerated, leaving us floundering in painful tears as we try latching upon ANY REASON to love the new "Clock Doc" (as I like to call him)!  And after the few episodes of stale writing left us with a thirst for fresher excitement of the Doctor's adventures, it seemed that we were in need of a new face to refresh the flavor of the series.  Obviously, they went with Peter Capaldi (who himself is a Whovian—THANK GOODNESS!  No need to trust someone who's a stranger to the tales of the Whoniverse!), not because he would be good over the long run, but because they just needed to go in a different direction: a worn-down alien whose been a little reset with a face recalled from his Tennant days in ancient Pompeii and a Scottish accent with angry eyebrows!  Not to mention that I'm pretty sure new memes were born that night!

            Which brings me to my first point:

The Theatrical Entrance of the Two Temporal Travelers


            A Tyrannosaurus Rex in Victorian England choking on the TARDIS…..  Finally, the writer(s) redeemed themselves at Whovian storytelling!  Because nowhere else can there be such an entrance!  NOWHERE!  DO YOU HEAR/READ ME, NETWORK TELEVISION?!  NOWHERE!!!!!  *plungersmacks self*  Sorry, a little ranty, a lot squirrelly during drafting (especially since Fox is doing "Gracepoint," the bastardized/Americanized version of Broadchurch that is apparently what mainstream America is allergic to, THANK YOU VERY MUCH!).  But this introduction and quite a few funny moments really make up for the floppiness in the last Christmas episode, The Time of the Doctor (which I was able to tolerate watching again, noticing a few references to previous Doctors that I haven't seen before).

            Secondly…..

Character Analysis: The WHO in "Doctor Who"

(Shuddup, critics!)

            The new Doctor is definitely a little more callous, a bit more insensitive and definitely less relatable in an alien kind of way, like, "I'm an ALIEN, with non-ginger kidneys!"  Lots of memories seem to have faded from his mind, and he is less cuddly.  He is a little more angry, and he's got the eyebrows to match!  To me, in that scene in the "escape pod," which turns out to be—SPOILER ALERT!—a skin balloon, he also seems to be a wee bit a of a drinker; I have very few memories, in my time of being a new-gen Whovian ("new-gen" meaning having come into the Whovian "fandom"—hate that word—during the series reboot), of seeing the Doctor with a glass of anything alcoholic ON SCREEN!  Anyways, he seems to dislike the human race quite a bit, much like Eccleston's Doctor (number 9), according to Diane (found on Twitter at @DiHard11).  Capaldi also seems to have difficulty expressing that whole manic, hyper, young, rapid thinking Smith's Doc (#11) had.  He is HAWT in that Kuroshitsuji-esque-butler-looking-but-still-an-outfit-that-can-stand-on-its-own suit ensemble, but another downside (despite the non-ginger kidneys) is that he's a spitter.  YUCK!  I hate that, I just do; in fact, going to one of the worst case scenarios, hawking a "loogie" makes me gag, having suffered through seeing many in high school water fountains and hearing the sound over and over again.  *shudders*  #HighSchoolNightmares

            As for the companion, Clara is still clever, able to think on her feet (or horizontally on her back/front/either side), but the usually sassy confidence was definitely shaken with the change of face and personality.  It was obvious in the beginning, and certainly towards the end, but we were all going through that, enduring the Whovian's Cycle of Regeneration Reaction.  And I can relate to that; in fact, in the aftershow After Who Live, hosted by Chris Hardwick (Wow, is this the reason for the @midnight hiatus?  Answer: NO.), a few celebrity guests (specifically, Wil Wheaton, Alton Brown, Mark Gatiss, et al.) discussed how the companion can be expressing the same emotions we were feeling, which is true: the companion is the audience's avatar in the Whoniverse, albeit one we can't control all the time unless it's in fanfiction written to satisfy our inner desires.  (*eyebrow waggle*)  But Clara still delivered her usual Impossible Girl charisma, talents and skills, looking hawt in Victorian era clothing and delivering a kind of emotionally fueled banter, reflecting our thoughts of "Who is he now?"  (She could be a Bond Girl!  Somebody, please!  Contact Time Lord 007 and inform him of this!)  It is a shame, though, that Jenna Louise-Coleman will be leaving the series by Christmastime, which begs the question: how will she leave?  Will she be killed off, like all her other selves?  Or will she be disembarking at her final destination, with the possibility of a return during some sort of huge epic special episode like Martha Jones and Rose Tyler?  This discussion must be held!

            With these two paired up, and aided by Madame Vastra, her wife Jenny, and Strax (the potato clone with a craving for war and battles and glory, LIKE A POTATO KLINGON!), they were able to provide the core of the episode, the A(liens)-Team that were able to fight what's wrong.  They also were able to provide a LOT of hilarious moments and new memes!  I believe some were tweeted about….







I loved the term "Planet of the Pudding Brains," especially since it could make a GREAT t-shirt!  And the moments with Vastra knocking out the Clock Doc in that way, Strax doing the whole "here's some 'clean' water," and medical examination thing, as well as knocking out Clara with the newspaper and going through the whole "dip him in acid" bit—all that had me cracking up, laughing so hard (much like Phil "Bad Astronomer" Plait did that one time....) that I was worried I was going to wake up my neighbors!  I can't watch it again and again without laughing!

            And, finally….

The Plot—TO TAKE OVER THE WORLD, But Not Really…..


            The plot actually works: grand, hilarious entrance and whole identity crisis, mixed together with the issue of clockwork androids that remind you of Girl In the Fireplace, and the base consisting of the audience waiting for the "I am the Doctor," moment just seems to make it work well like a thoroughly-blended smoothie.  Or perfect-thickness milkshake—I say milkshake, because I like milkshakes better; it's just a matter of preference, I say!  Not to mention the well-done scenes of Clara struggling to hold her breath and passing out, the flashbacks, the lead clock-droid, any other scenes you may like—this one is for the "Excellent Episodes" pile, especially with the new TARDIS interior!  I didn't notice the new windows and I'm pretty sure that the TARDIS is sporting a fresher coat of blue paint, but there are new round things inside (YAY, ROUND THINGS!), and a library area in the main control room, with more seats throughout!  MOAR YAYS, BUT FOR SEATS!  Though, I might add complaints from others such as my parents (classic Whovians, from the Tom Baker era) and Reppy the Republican Dalek, as well as the Deviants in Deviant Art's Devart chat later on after initially posting this review.

            However, questions abound with SPOILERS!  First of all, where the hell is that "promised land," looking a hell of a lot like MY Garden?  Is it part of the TARDIS?  And who is this Missy chick?  I can totally get an Evil vibe from her (even though she's a fictional character; yes, I know, Dad.), but the ethics (Lawful/Neutral/Chaotic) axis is questionable.  There may be an underlying motive for it, and the brief disappearance of the Doctor after the initial conflict raises even more questions, which doesn't help his alibi in regards to this new problem.  I think my current (at the time of publishing this blog post) theory for this story arc can be best expressed in my tweet:


And I loved seeing that familiar face at the end!!!!  It helped make that transition easier on us Whovians!  Well, me definitely; others probably want to speak for themselves.  And when that took place, I could, then, see the previous Doctor in the Clock Doc!  That was quite helpful, and I loved it; I hope this happens again in the future regenerations of Doctor Who!  I also loved After Who Live!  I hope it continues throughout the season; especially since I can see how much of a workaholic Hardwick is—yet another project to add to his pile: @midnight, Nerdist Industries and Podcast, All Star Bowling, and Talking Dead, to name a few.  I think he needs to be strapped down, sedated a wee bit, and given a massage!  IT'S NOT A KIDNAPPING BUT AN INTERVENTION, HARDWICK, BECAUSE ALL OUR POINTS ARE BELONG TO YOU!

            All in all, 4.5 plungers/TARDISes/sonic screwdrivers/Doctors out of 5!  And I hope that the accessory hand thing takes off like Doc Five's accessory celery.  These clockwork droids, along with Missy (and Miss Tasha Lem, Mother Superious of the Church of the Papal Mainframe/Church of Silence), would make GREAT costumes for a Doctor Who cosplay event that is going to take place October 2014 in Bethlehem, PA (which is within my sector).  There are going to be cosplay groups coming from ALL OVER just for this event!  One of the main sponsors is one of my frequent haunts: The Underground Lair, the nerdshop that has "vintage" toys, items that the Santa Time Lord never gifted to you for Christmas in your childhood, games galore, Whovian merchandise and items that were crafted by local residents (whose species have yet to be determined), Potter-things, gay-pride items (all for you, NotGayDalek!), and other items that are for sale for a great price!  They are willing to purchase toys you want to get rid of or help you sell them for a certain percent of the price!  (They are not a pawn shop, therefore they will not haggle over the price they are willing to pay.  Don't even try; Dan told me so himself.)  I plan on being there, taking pictures and doing coverage for the blog and stuffs, but YOU SHOULD TRANSMAT OVER AND BE THERE, TOO!  Your attendance is required by the Sontaran-Dalek Alliance!  Let's make the streets of Bethlehem, PA, bleed TARDIS BLUEMWAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!  (For the record, it wasn't my idea, but I do like it and am allowing it to happen!)

            Anyways, I hope the improvements continue (despite the oddly different intro sequence; that's the reason why I call Capaldi's doc the Clock Doc; I mean, come on!  I loved the old smoky sort of timey-wimey wormhole temporal vortex!  But why have the intro focus on clocks?  It makes no sense to me at all!  But now's not the time to rant about it…), because I shall be a Whovian until I am nothing but a timeline in my giant TARDIS-tomb on Trenzalore!  And with that, in the present, Non-Greenwich meantime, I hope you enjoy your regenerated tacquitos!  Because they're Scottish with non-ginger kidneys in need of our love!



P.S.  The following tweet MUST BE EXPRESSED!  And retweeted and overshared!  BEHOLD!


P.P.S.  Where can I get one of those Team Adipose t-shirts?  I must acquire one straight away!  MY DEAR OOD!  I have a quest for you, and you must embark on it immediately for it to be completed (with autographs) in time for Christmas/my birthday!......  *zooms off on hoverbike*