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posted by [personal profile] ed_rex at 03:42pm on 22/04/2013 under

Of ghosts, of monsters, of hockey teams

A fan's faith, reborn

Les bleus, blancs et rouges, Habs logo.
Boo! Screenshot, Doctor Who: Hide

April 22, 2013, OTTAWA — I grew up during the 1970s and was a fan of the Montreal Canadiens (a professional (ice) hockey team, the only sport that really matters in Canada). The 1970s was a good decade to cheer for the "Habs"; les glorieux won the Stanley Cup in 10 of the first 14 years of my life.

Since then, they have drunk from that sacred Cup but twice, a bitter drought for those loyal followers who yet wave the bleu, blanc et rouge and who, each autumn, dream again the following spring will see a return to glory at last.

Saturday's episode of Doctor Who, "Hide", felt almost like I had (yes) been transported back in time and in space, to the Montreal Forum on the evening of May 21, 1979, to witness my team's 4th Stanley Cup victory in a row.

Doctor Who: Hide promo poster.

All right, I exaggerate. One episode does not a championship make. And maybe the metaphor doesn't entirely make sense. But neither, often, does logic in Doctor Who. So (as an American might say), sue me.

The conceit feels right to me — and besides, when was the last time someone discussed hockey and Doctor Who in the same place?

Point is, for this fan, the last few years following the Doctor has felt a lot like watching the Montreal Canadiens lose hockey games. The uniforms look more or less the same, and there's still a lot of travel involved, but victories are few and far between.

"Hide" was one of those victories. And a victory so convincing, this fan suddenly feels those naive hopes of a championship springing like wheat from an arid field. Click here to find out why. Far fewer spoilers than usual.

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posted by [personal profile] ed_rex at 11:21pm on 11/09/2011 under

Rory's choice, Amy's choices

I know, I know, it's an awful cliche, but true nonetheless: I laughed and I cried.

There's more to say, but the short version (tl;dr) is that The Girl Who Waited is the stand-alone episode of Doctor Who that last week's Night Terrors threatened to be, and that The Doctor's Wife very nearly delivered: exciting, original and emotionally intense, with some hard-to-answer questions about the implications of time-travel thrown if for those who might want to ponder them, yet never once hitting the viewer who isn't interested in such thins over the head with them.

In other words, the The Girl Who Waited is the best episode of Doctor Who to appear since Steven Moffat took over as show-runner.

It is a story rigorous in its internal logic, emotionally gripping and intellectually satisfying, one that never cheats and one which offers no easy outs.

Add to that a remarkable performance from Karen Gillan and strong ones from both Arthur Darvill and Matt Smith, and we have been given an episode that, despite a heavy does of pathos, contains at its heart, like a glowing ember of the Tardis itself, a strange sort of joy that serves to remind this too-often disappointed fan just why it is he has stayed with the program.

Instant classic? Only time (or Time) will tell. But for my immediate thoughts, along with the standard spoilers, on the best episode of Doctor Who in a very long time, click here.

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posted by [personal profile] ed_rex at 05:37pm on 17/05/2011 under

The divorce is on hold

Finally. Finally! FINALLY!

Finally, a well-written episode of Doctor Who again. Finally, a plot without major holes. Finally, characters who ... stay in character. Finally, complications and surprises that neither reek of, nor hint at, a cheat. And finally, an emotional climax that warrants the tears it asks for.

"The Doctor's Wife" is probably not, as I've already seen suggested more than once, the best stand-alone episode of the revived "Doctor Who", but it is a very good one and certainly the best episode — stand-alone or otherwise — since "The Waters of Mars" and maybe before.

I know, I know: it's shocking. As a friend of mine said elsewhere, I "actually liked an episode? ZOMG!"

Click here for the full review (with not many spoilers) at Edifice Rex Online.

Matt Smith has already broken four sonic screwdrivers while getting to grips with his role as the new Timelord in Doctor Who.

Matt told the Radio Times he gets extra practice in by keeping the tools - most commonly used on the BBC One show for unlocking doors - on him all the time.

"I've broken four of them," he confessed. "I like to have it about my person at all times, just twirling it around and flicking it. It's all part of the magic, isn't it?"

The actor, 27, also said he fancies having a crack at Hollywood.

"Why the hell not?" he said. "I could do with a bit of poolside. I'd take my mum - she'd love it."

But for now, Matt said he was happy in the Tardis, saying: "I feel very safe, literally safe, in the Tardis."

He reiterated remarks in previous interviews that he had written short stories about Albert Einstein and the Doctor as a way of getting into the role.

He told the magazine: "I saw that photograph of Albert Einstein poking his tongue out and it just clicked...

"I started writing short stories about Einstein and the Doctor, where the Doctor was getting irritated with the great man's buffoonery.

"He'd be saying: 'Come on, Albert, keep up!' and I think that, more than anything, was my way into the part."


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