Thursday, 12 December 2013

Dinosaurs on a Spaceship, A Town Called Mercy & The Power of Three

Dinosaurs on a Spaceship

Riann Steele

Another highly entertaining story, with a gruesome guest appearance by the perpetrator of the ‘Red
Wedding’ himself – David Bradley, as Solomon. It’s a wonderfully mad mix in a story by Chris Chibnall. The title says it all – ‘Dinosaurs on a Spaceship’. This mini-series seems to have a lot of money pumped into it, the dinosaurs are noticeably better than ‘Invasion of the Dinosaurs’! Well, you’d hope so, right?
The Doctor's 'Gang'.
And we have an eclectic mix of guest characters appearing, starting with the very alluring Queen Nefertiti, play by the equalled alluring Riann Steele. We have Rupert Graves as the explorer Riddell, and we have Rory’s Dad along for the ride, played by Harry Potter veteran Brian Williams, again perfect casting.
Is there much to the plot? No, of course not! But it was written by Chris Chibnall. But not every story
David Bradley as Solomon.
has to have 125 plot twists and new questions asked to be good. We have a whacky collection of characters, dinosaurs, the Indian Army in space! And we have two robots who are rather sarcastic, stupid, but above all very funny! It’s a 45-minute romp with dinosaurs on a spaceship. The title is very honest. The story is VERY enjoyable.

A Town Called Mercy

The Gunslinger. As if you couldn't guess!

Ok. This one left me feeling a bit ‘meh’ to be honest. I can’t admit to being excited or interested all that much with it, so much that I saw it a few days ago and had to go back to the internet to check the title which completely slipped my mind.
We have a Cyborg Gun-slinger in a western town who’s gunning for a dude who committed a whole bunch of war crimes on a distant planet including killing a whole bunch of people trying
to create Cyborgs to win the war. Let that be a lesson to all you would be geneticists! There’s a bit about human nature, perhaps a bit about ethics, some bits and bobs where the Doctor becomes the Sheriff (always going to happen I guess).
It looks very good – they went to Spain to shoot it which must have cost a packet. Well, they filmed in America
for series six and in Italy for two episodes of Series Five, I actually find it hard to grasp that between the Moffat and RTD eras there’s a loss of budget. But that’s apparently what happened! These three series 7 episodes have all looked fantastic, but this is the first that I didn’t feel excited about. It’s a bit slow in places and really isn’t up to much.
To be honest, I much prefer ‘The Gunfighters’.
And that’s the truth!

The Power of Three

Brian Williams returns.

‘The Power of Three’ sees the return to Earth for a rare present-day story for the Moffat era, where the main cast is once again joined by Brian Williams as Rory’s Dad. It’s a slightly comedic episode - Moffat has been increasing the comedic element it seems, and that’s not a bad thing, involving lots of little boxes as some sort of consciousness decides that humanity should be destroyed.
It has some great moments, but I wonder if Matt Smith is allowed to push the whole comedy angle too far. Either that or this Doctor is the least connected Doctor to reality of all. Getting bored in a heartbeat, running around like a kid with ADHD (especially in this one but certainly not confined to it). Even the first Doctor matured during his three years, but now in Matt Smith’s final full series and he seems to be making the Doctor more childish than ever.
As a portrayal in any given episode,  it’s not a big deal, but over a period of time it becomes tiresome as a viewer I think. When Tom Baker got angry, because of his frequent brevity, it added weight to the anger, but not so much with Matt Smith who sometimes comes across as throwing a tantrum. It’s not that I don’t like Matt Smith’s Doctor, but as we head towards his end-game this Christmas, I would have hoped that he’d be calmer and more measured at this point. He’s a very talented actor and the most physical of all Doctors, especially in his humour. He brings a lot to the role and perhaps it’s also the writing that is letting him down. If it was just the odd episode – ‘The Lodger’ is a perfect example of how well it can work, and so is ‘The Power of Three’, I wouldn’t mind so much.
Jemma Redgrave.
The episode builds very nicely, and sees the re-introduction of UNIT with Jemma Redgrave as Kate Lethbridge Stewart as the brigadier’s daughter and now head of the scientific part of the organisation. That was very welcome. I struggled with the ending, that was a bit disappointing, and rushed. But all in all I enjoyed most of ‘The Power of Three’.


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