Doctor Who Blog

New Enlightenment Issue out!

It’s that time again. Issue 165 of Enlightenment is now on its way to subscribers and available to order, and here’s a taste of what you can expect. (Sadly, the news of Philip Madoc’s death broke too late to be included in the issue, but Ben Hakala’s retrospective of The Power of Kroll features what, in retrospect, proves to be a fitting tribute to the talented actor.)

A most ingenious pair o’ docs by William Hopper

In The Impossible Astronaut, the Doctor, knowing that he is going to die, sends invitations to River, Amy, Rory, Canton Everett, and a younger version of himself. As discussed, this was temporal violation number one: crossing back on his own timeline. Shouldn’t be possible without immediate repercussions. However, the question arises: How did the Doctor know that he was going to die?

The viewers who waited by Robert Smith

This story goes to some edgy places, with the Doctor not only lying about the possibility of saving both Amys but locking the older one out of the TARDIS, which is incredibly shocking. It works especially well because the scene is set up so you think older Amy is going to die nobly, saving Rory and her younger self from the handbots. But the truth is so much worse: not only does the Doctor lock her out, but he then shunts the final decision to Rory. Rory’s dead right when he says this is unfair, because it really is: it’s not just an unfair situation, it’s unfair of the Doctor to give him the choice.

Introducing the new to the old by David J. Lamb

First, I’m assuming your New Series Fan is an adult, in which case they won’t be as interested in watching HAVOC stuntmen stand around shooting each other at point-blank range as we old-school fans were when we were younger, and they will probably even have the gall to question why there’s a Sea Devil who has to tumble everywhere to get where he’s going. Second, the big action sequences in the old series tended to be filler material often on par with running down corridors, and choosing a pacier story with less filler helps keep the NSF engaged. Third, good dialogue-driven stories stand up well for fans of any drama (good dialogue never gets old), even across ears. Add in some intentional humour, which is always welcome, and Who has plenty on offer without resorting to something that might smack of camp to a newbie.

Wibbly-wobbly, married-warried by Gian-Luca di Rocco

Reviewing this episode on its own is a bit like reviewing the last two episodes of The War Games on their own: impossible to do effectively without referencing the episodes in the story that lead up to it. The Wedding of River Song is not a standalone adventure in its own right, but the conclusion to a season-long story (or perhaps the fifth part of the five-part The Impossible Astronaut). That these differences have manifested themselves at the end of the seventh year that the new series has been on air exemplifies writer and showrunner Steven Moffat’s desire to keep things fresh and do new things.

The squid from another world by Ben Hakala

Always worth watching is the superb Philip Madoc, who here plays Fenner. Madoc underplays the role with perfectly judged precision, realistically portraying complete cynical resignation. (As is well known, Madoc actually accepted the role thinking he would be playing the lead villain. One can’t help but imagine how different the story would have been with Madoc in the role of Thawn, but that way lies madness.)  There’s that great moment, after Thawn asks what’s wrong with Dugeen, when Fenner responds, utterly deadpan, “I didn’t offer him a drink.”

Issue 166 is currently in preparation, on the subject of Doctor Who‘s many televised spin-offs—including The Sarah Jane Adventures, Torchwood, and even K9...

1 Comment...

of the Wendigo   This episode was rlelay up the caliber I expect from Doctor Who in terms of writing. And this tale could be nothing but a story about [email protected] Boy Named Art   I do think it started to enter the problematic territory of mental illness = superpower. However, I saw Vincent being able to see the monster as part of his artistic talent, his ability to see the world differently, which is what drove his art. The gallery scenes also illustrated, especially with Amy’s enthusiasm over the long life of Vincent van Gogh,  that Vincent could’ve made a lot more art   and brilliant art at that   had he not killed himself, or been mentally ill in general. In Western cultures, we do have a tendency to think you have to be mentally tortured in order to be an artist, but I think the gallery scenes (despite your distaste for them) do show that, no, in fact, Vincent’s mental problems were rlelay bad for his art as he died early.Yes, I too was glad to see the BBC did that.

Posted by Luka  on  09/09  at  10:46 PM

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