doctor who fugitive of the judoon review

Well, that certainly was a lot. Doctor Who has been firing on all cylinders this season after a lackluster season 11, and the latest episode “Fugitive of the Judoon” was the most explosive yet. It’s a wildly marked difference between seasons for showrunner Chris Chibnall, who seems to be taking critics’ words to heart after his inaugural season of underwhelming standalone episodes; this time, it’s all season-long mysteries and arcs, baby. But can Chibnall pull off such an ambitious arc that involves the Master, the destruction of Gallifrey, and now a brand new Doctor? Time will tell.

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doctor who nikola tesla's night of terror review

Doctor Who is a show of sky-highs and deep lows, and baby, we’re back up in the air again. After last week’s episode wasted a fantastically creepy monster design and an ambitious premise, Doctor Who is back to the well trod historical. Doctor Who has had an unusual history with its historical episodes — early seasons of the Classic series infusing as little sci-fi elements as possible, while the Doctor Who revival went full-tilt on “Shakespeare battles alien witches,” etc. In their inaugural season, Chris Chibnall and his writing team attempt a return to those period-accurate historicals, with the Doctor and Team TARDIS barely making a dent on history as it happened in front of them. It was educational, it was thoughtful, but it was boring. But this season is changing all that, first with the season premiere bringing in three important female figures in the invention of computers (before erasing their memories, boo), and now with the Nikola Tesla-centric episode, “Nikola Tesla’s Night of Terror.”

This season of Doctor Who has swung way in the opposite direction of last season’s reverent but stiff historical episodes — now we get Tesla battling an army of scorpion aliens, and it rules. But most disarmingly, it’s sweet and endearing to Tesla in a way that Doctor Who hasn’t been to a real-life figure since the all-time great 2010 episode, “Vincent and the Doctor.” Is this Jodie Whittaker‘s own “Vincent and the Doctor”? It’s not quite on par with the Richard Curtis-penned episode, but it’s almost up there.

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doctor who orphan 55 review

After the rip-roaring two-part premiere of Doctor Who, which managed to bring a new level of excitement to the series while filling me with a white-hot fury, the sci-fi series is taking a little vacation. But, this being Doctor Who, that vacation is far from restful.

The latest episode, “Orphan 55,” is an ambitious sci-fi epic made on a micro budget in a dumb location — which admittedly is very Doctor Who. But despite its grand ideas and noble messages about climate change and the future of humanity, the Ed Hime-penned episode unfortunately settles back into the bland forgettable-ness that characterized a lot of showrunner Chris Chibnall’s first season. And, in a thematic continuation of last week’s continuity-busting episode, “Orphan 55” manages to do away with much of the rules established by Russel T. Davies and Steven Moffat’s eras — because Chibnall doesn’t care about your canon.

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doctor who spyfall part 2 review

Doctor Who has never been one to stick to canon, or even really pay attention to continuity. The Doctor’s biggest villains, from the Daleks, to the Cyberman, to yes, even the Master, will return with little to no explanation after seemingly permanent deaths, and the Doctor’s home planet of Gallifrey is all-important until it’s not. When you boil down this show, it’s just a lovely sci-fi adventure about a time-traveling alien who goes on adventures through time and space with human companions. Which, at a basic level, “Spyfall, Part 2” succeeds at.

Jodie Whittaker‘s debut season last year consisted of showrunner Chris Chibnall and his writers tiptoeing around anything potentially controversial with the show’s first female Doctor, resulting in one of the blandest and least memorable seasons of Doctor Who to date. But in the season 12 premiere two-parter, it seems that Chibnall and co. have gotten over their hang-ups over what to avoid, and finally started thinking about what to do with this new Doctor and her unique persona. The result: a zippy, time-hopping episode with moments of contemplative emotion that pays tribute to Classic Doctor Who while attempting to forge ahead with new season-long mysteries. While I’m relieved that we have a season-long arc again (as messy as Doctor Who‘s arcs could be, I enjoy the unifying storylines), I dislike that Chibnall has to burn down all the work that Russell T. Davies and Steven Moffat have done up until now. Justice for Missy!

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doctor who spyfall part 1 review

Over the decades, Doctor Who has assumed a plethora of identities: in the ’60s it was an educational program with a sci-fi twist, in the ’70s it was briefly a James Bond-inspired espionage series, in the ’80s and on, it embraced its camp. With the 2005 reboot, Doctor Who embraced and shed even more identities: the blue-collar soap, the fairy tale adventure, and even flashes of hard sci-fi. Last season was a much celebrated new era of Doctor Who, one led by a new showrunner, Chris Chibnall, and the exciting first female Doctor of the series, played by Jodie Whittaker. It was going to be an all-new Doctor Who, Chibnall promised, one without the tedious plot twists and convoluted mythology of the previous seasons. But the result was a season without an identity, with episodes that felt like solid sci-fi stories by talented and diverse sci-fi writers, but without that special oomph that made Doctor Who feel like Doctor Who. Whittaker’s Doctor, despite the effervescence with which she played her, felt like a non-entity, running through forgettable plotlines on which she made little actual impact.

It’s no surprise that the highs of last season — apart from that mid-season high-concept swing “It Takes You Away” — were when old enemies returned and familiar Doctor Who winks were made. So perhaps it’s no surprise that, after having overcome his first-season growing pains, Chibnall is doubling down on that classic Doctor Who vibe, including one big enemy making a surprise return. I still don’t know if the Chibnall era has found its own identity yet, but it’s certainly done a good job at retreading some classic Doctor Who identities; in the first episode of the season, “Spyfall, Part 1,” the series plays with some major Jon Pertwee-era stylings. This season is all shaken and stirred, with an explosive Bond-inspired opening involving a network of spies that are being attacked by mysterious translucent humanoid beings that change the very nature of human DNA. Say it with me in the Jennifer Jason Leigh voice: “Annihilatiooon.”

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downton abbey clip

In this day and age of IPs, remakes, and sequels, filmmakers have to work carefully to bring a beloved property from the small screen to the big screen. Perhaps no one knows that struggle more than Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes, who this year helped adapt his beloved costume drama into a feature film that follows the events of the TV series.

/Film is debuting an exclusive Downton Abbey clip from the bonus features of the film’s Blu-ray release, available for purchase now, which explore Fellowes’ screenwriting process in turning the Downton Abbey series into a film. Watch the Downton Abbey clip below.

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doctor who season 12 clip

As we’ve learned from many seasons of Doctor Who, time can be rewritten. The best part of the long-running BBC sci-fi series is that it routinely flouts the rules of time travel, with the titular time-traveling alien regularly interfering in historical events. But there seems to be thing that shouldn’t be rewritten, even in the Doctor’s eyes: human DNA. In the new Doctor Who season 12 clip, the Doctor (Jodie Whittaker) and her fam (Mandip Gill, Tosin Cole, Bradley Walsh) are invited by Stephen Fry to see a comatose patient — or so they think. Watch the Doctor Who season 12 clip below.

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doctor who season 12 premiere clip

Doctor Who began a shiny, new progressive era last year with its introduction of the first female Doctor, played by Jodie Whittaker, and a “family” of human companions who were more diverse than the 60-plus year series had ever seen before. Now Whittaker and showrunner Chris Chibnall have to prove that they can keep the hype going with their upcoming sophomore season, debuting on New Year’s Day. No one knows yet what to expect with the new season of Doctor Who, which dropped its first trailer last week. But the new Doctor Who season 12 premiere clip recently released by BBC could give us a clue.

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doctor who season 12 writers and directors

Doctor Who is the longest-running sci-fi show in history, but it’s only in the past few years that the BBC series started to diversify behind the scenes. The 56-year-old series has long been criticized for its lack of female writers and directors — though it should be noted that it was a female producer that helped bring the show to life — but new showrunner Chris Chibnall has made it his mission to bring more women on board the TARDIS. Chibnall’s first season already saw record diversity, and the new batch of Doctor Who season 12 writers and directors is only improving on that.

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his dark materials the idea of the north review

I’m not usually one to encourage people to stick around with a show because “it gets good later!” But if newcomers to His Dark Materials were uncertain about this series after the intriguing but confusing first episode, then the second episode may be the one to hook them. Not that “The Idea of the North” is any less mystifying or provides any more answers to the many mysteries that it’s juggling. But with its mid-episode reveal — which comes as a surprise even to longtime book fans — it dramatically opens up the world(s) of the HBO fantasy series.

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