Tag Archives: Dr Who

 Doctor Who, Series Ten – Beyond the Arc! by Karis Clarke

Please click on the sound file below to listen to this article or read the text below.

Forget the Series Arc are we being taken around a full-blown circle?
 I am a forty something year old who has a childhood fondest for the Doctor, and as such I like to guess.
Ever since the realisation of Bad Wolf, I have been fascinated by the story arc. Waiting for the episodes written by Russell T – and in later years Stephen Moffat trying to see if a glimpse of the story arc could be fathomed.
Saturday night seemed to be the night for season ten. Written by Moffat and finally laying to rest the mystery of the vault, we had a brief reminder of how wonderful Michelle Gomez is as Missy, and whole universe of possibilities opened.
The plot was complex and played second fiddle, as my mind wondered. It took the blind Doctor, Bill and Nadul (who every week is evolving into a deeper layered character, under played skilfully by Matt Lucas) into what transpired to be a video game for some withered monks who were basically playing a bizarre version of SIMS, except the final end game was how to destroy the earth. Luckily the Dr had managed to send himself a message via his sexy ray bands and by what looks like will be the hand of Missy – the day may be saved in next week’s episode. In the back of my mind I had seen this playout before, and unfortunately ever since Bill has arrived I have had that feeling.
A new writer has emerged and with him cultural diversity is being rammed a little bit down our throats, but despite the colour of her skin and her fondness for the same sex, Bill is Rose, and the episodes we are watching are little more than enjoyable rewrites. Almost a by line, to pan out the season for the main event. ……..
Which is what?
I have no idea, but I have a whim. The trailer has been seen with The Master not Missy Master but John Sim. This could be a flash back or it could suggest degeneration and if the Master can degenerate then so can the Doctor. This had just been a thought until Saturday – On Saturday we saw the Doctor sacrifice something in his future regeneration to gain sight. Then there is Riversong’s  book which was last seen with one of her deaths in the library – David Tennant’s Library.
I don’t know how, I don’t know when or where but I think this story will revisit the tenth Doctor, Rose the library and a story arc which will blow all other story arcs out of the stratosphere. Don’t forget who the new writer is, there is a lot to be said for 60 degrees of separation and a whole wonderful world upon worlds that these writers can play with.

Review The Husbands of River Song, Dr Who by James Briggs

WARNING: Embargoed for publication until 00:00:01 on 01/12/2015 - Programme Name: Doctor Who - TX: 25/12/2015 - Episode: n/a (No. n/a) - Picture Shows: ***EMBARGOED UNTIL 00:01hrs 1st DEC 2015*** Doctor Who (PETER CAPALDI), River Song (ALEX KINGSTON), Hydroflax - (C) BBC - Photographer: Ray Burmiston/Simon Ridgeway
Doctor Who (PETER CAPALDI), River Song (ALEX KINGSTON)  Photographer: Ray Burmiston/Simon Ridgeway

The much-anticipated Christmas special of Series nine Doctor Who has finally arrived! And so has the much-loved companion Professor River Song. It was brilliant to once again see Alex Kingston’s name included in the titles once again projecting her name as a leading lady.  When we first found out that Alex Kingston would be returning as River Song the reaction of the fans was split. Many fans believed that Rivers character was not able to return any longer and her ‘song’ had ended. Even the Doctors themselves were split in the decision for her to return. “I’m really possessive over Alex [Kingston],” said former Doctor Matt Smith. “Anyone else, but don’t give [Capaldi] River… I am really proud of the fact that Alex was part of number Eleven’s life. My wife!” David Tennant was also a supporter of this view.
Her return however was a wonderful Christmas present from Moffat to see the old River return.  One plot downside in the episode however was the whole character of the Doctor. At the end of series nine we saw Capaldi’s Doctor was a lost man who was besotted with the idea of a character called “Clara” and he was on a mission to find her. It was after this story that we found it hard to believe that the Doctor was a dancing between comedy and romancing with River Song. Given that she is far closer in age to Capaldi than she ever was to Matt Smith, this pairing of River and the Doctor is the most realistic relationship age that we’ve seen. Meanwhile with her memory loss in the episode it’s great fun to see the Doctor turn her catchphrases back at her.
Another character that has to be noted is that of King Hydroflax who I think has one of the best alien names in a long while. King Hydroflax is played Greg Davies (of Inbetweener’s fame) who spent the episode playing a disembodied head on a robotic body. Even so he probably contributed to one of the funniest scenes in the episode when his head was inside the hold-all bag.
Another of the funniest scenes in the episode was when the Doctor finally got to play the companion therefore getting his Tardis ‘it’s bigger-on-the-inside moment’  this was surely a moment where the audience thought who was having the more fun: Moffat in writing it or Capaldi in playing it!
Doctor at Christmas
Photographer: Ray Burmiston/Simon Ridgeway
The ending of the episode did however leave the Tardis doors open for a possible return of River as one night last much longer than on earth. With the series due to start filming shortly in Cardiff we will wait with anticipation on whether River will continue to fly with the Doctor through all of time and space. Doctor Who will return in the summer next year with Peter Capaldi as the Doctor and his latest sidekick with him.

The Museum Critics An Insight into National Museum Cardiff by James Briggs

Young Critics, 3rd Act Critics and Kids in Museums volunteers are working in partnership with Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales (ACNMW) http://www.museumwales.ac.uk/ on a new free project focusing on the quality and standards of exhibitions and programming at their sites across Wales. Those involved recently spent a day with the staff at the National Museum, Cardiff. We will be featuring the responses to the day from the participants over the next few days, next up Young Critic James Briggs.
Cardiff is continuing to grow enormously as a city and so is its status within Europe. Along with large growth within Cardiff we also have the National Museum continuing to grow, the museum houses some of Wales’ most famous pieces of art ranging from Ivor Davies to dinosaur bones, there is something for everyone. It is therefore particularly important that the museums are providing their visitors with what they want.
On the day we were very fortunate to be given a tour around certain parts of the museum. This was done to assist the members of staff at the museum with feedback on how the exhibits are designed and how it can be made more appealing for the members of the public visiting. We found when doing this it is in fact very difficult to come up with a wide range of criticisms, this mainly due to the fact that there is a large age range that must be catered for when people visit the museum; primarily young children and families and the older generation. Both of these age groups have very different needs and expect to see different things when visiting an art gallery or museum. It is this gap that needs to be bridged to ensure each and every person that visits the museum experiences everything they expected and more.
By attending an event such as this one you are given a unique insight into the world behind the museum doors and what it is like creating unique displays and galleries to really show off the amazing pieces of art. It was made apparent during the day to us that the job of a designer for a museum art installation is very similar to that of someone who works for the stage with directing and creating scenery for musical shows in theatre. This means that when going to the various parts of the museum today we were able to use our skills and expertise from critiquing musicals and plays to looking at displays and art. Much of what you see when at a museum is simply theatre with the use of lighting and sound effects to stimulate visitor’s senses; the only big difference is however we the public never get to see who created the staging for the artwork to be displayed on.
It will also be very interesting to see the response after Christmas when the new Indiana Jones themed exhibition ‘Treasures: Adventures in Archaeology’ will open for the first time in the UK.
I found it highly interesting today to look at the effects of production companies using the museum for TV programmes and Films such as Doctor Who. We also assessed if this could be used to draw more visitors in to see the exhibits. If this is the case could we be seeing far more interactive exhibitions in the future that follow the theme of the movies and television? Only time will tell.

Review Dr Who ‘Hell Bent’ by James Briggs

So the time has finally arrived and another series of Doctor Who has come to a dramatic end. Please be aware that this review does contain spoilers of the final episode of Series 9. Before the airing I think we were all expecting explosions and mass panic on Gallifrey but we had quite the contrary. We had the Doctor walk into a Nevada dinner and is served by someone who seems to look a lot like his companion Clara.
The previous events of Face the Raven were highly nodded to in episode 12, with many of the loose ends being tied up. The episode opens up an enormous blue box of sorrows and often leaving the audience with a tear in their eye; the most emotional time being when the Doctor first strums “a sad song” on his electric guitar, or as it is more commonly known Clara’s theme. The use of the Doctor calling the song “Clara” really tugged at viewer’s heartstrings.
Steven Moffat very cleverly gave us the idea all through the episode that the Doctor was visiting Clara and filling in her memory because he had wiped it. However, Moffat being the showrunner he is decided things would not be that easy. Clara had not had her memory wiped instead it was the Doctor and he was only reciting what he could remember about his lost companion Clara. Clara knew all along who the Doctor was and could not say anything about Clara to the Doctor as he does not know who this mystery Clara could be. This was a very clever trick as the dinner meeting was their real parting. Clara is and always has been in charge of the circumstances. She has set the scene for the Doctor, reunited him with his trusty Tardis and says goodbye the only way she can: “Memories become stories when we forget them. Maybe some of them become songs.”
The one central story that gripped many Whovians was the return of Gallifrey and the Timelords. Among Whovians this is an extremely big deal. Following the great Time War the Doctors home planet has been lost or as said in episode 12 “at the extreme end of the time continuum”. It has become far too much of a muchness that all the Galiffrey citizens are decrepit and old. The episode smashed this away to the other side of the universe, it really was out with the old and in with the new. As the Doctor self-proclaimed he was Lord Chancellor of Gallifrey it was time to send of the old one into deep space. Even when the Doctor shot the Chancellor’s guard he too regenerated into a much younger female version of himself. This male to female regeneration does leave one wondering however is could this be the closest we will get to seeing a female Doctor, Moffat promised us there could be one in the future but could this be his way of saying anything is possible?
One of the best moments of this finale was the re-creation of the original Tardis control room from the 1963 series. The glorious set was resplendent once again with the bright white walls and panels and the iconic circles, does anyone know what they actually do? This may not have been the 20th Doctor’s personal version of the Tardis but still Peter Capaldi’s Doctor, Clara and Ashildr looked seamlessly at home when speeding through the universe. The end scene where the Tardis is made to look like a 1950’s dinner worked so well and had a nod back to when Doctor Who first started.
The director of the episode Rachel Talalay finds lots of fresh new angles to make the vast interior of the Tardis look so different and interesting. No words need to be spoken in this scene and with the backdrop of Murray Gold’s magical theme we can feel the power of Peter Capaldi’s Doctor build. In a channel of blinding backlight and smoke, the Doctor enters his trusty old Tardis. Slowly powering up in his presence we get a feeling of the link between the Doctor and his Tardis. The chalk message on the blackboard by Clara “Run you clever boy and be a Doctor.” Is a wonderful link back to when she first joined as companion with the then Doctor Matt Smith. A new velvet jacket is waiting for the Doctor next to the board and just like magic a brand new sonic screwdriver shoots out of the console and lands into the Doctors hand. The doors close as he clicks his fingers and as he moves the controls and goes off to new adventures; but no longer with Clara this time his Christmas assistant the fabulous River Song. For me this is an absolutely fantastic closing sequence for the end of a series of Doctor Who. This could almost be seen as the first time that the Doctor has lost and won so much in the same episode. The Doctor has earned the power over life and death which is something he has aimed for since the start of his series. The Doctor has his favourite companion stuck between one heartbeat and the next and the medieval woman that he has spared from death after causing death to his friend. Clara and Ashildr are united in a dynamic time traveling duo who have their own Tardis in the form of an American diner and heading off together to have adventures of their own. Could there possibly be a spin of show from this?
Overall an utterly fantastic end to the series and it has left many fans of the show with lots of unanswered questions like who was that person that was talking to the Doctor in the shed on Gallifrey? Could it be his mother? We shall have to find out in the future. Doctor Who will return on Christmas Day with the special episode and the companion will be River Song. While you wait until Christmas Day I will be traveling in my Tardis to watch the episode. I promise not to give too much away beforehand.
Young Critic James Briggs on the set of the Tardis