Out Today: Chicks Unravel Time!

Chicks Unravel Time

I’m pleased to announce that Chicks Unravel Time is out today, featuring my essay “How the Cold War Killed the Fifth Doctor.” I’m super excited to be featured in another Mad Norwegian Press book. A big thank you to Deborah Stanish and L.M. Myles for their excellent work wrangling all of us authors and editing the book. Chicks Unravel Time features 34 Doctor Who essays spanning from Season One all the way to Matt Smith and his bowtie.

Obviously, you should buy this book. Or buy on Powells since they have it in stock.

And you should like its Facebook page and if you’re in Massachusetts or Chicago, there are signings. (Which this Seattleite is going to have to miss.) Also sign up for the giveaway and read the reviews from SFX and the Examiner. And follow the tag on Tumblr.

My essay features Season 21 and Peter Davison’s Fifth Doctor. Before I wrote this essay, I didn’t have a favorite Doctor. In fact, most Doctor Who seasons, both new and old, I’d seen, the Doctor had been my least favorite character. Then I spent my last holiday season jamming with the Fifth Doctor and watching him with his celery stalk. The Fifth Doctor definitely become my favorite as he’s the nicest Doctor around. I also got to talk a little bit about the Cold War, which for many years was another obsession of mine. (Doctor Who‘s just a more fun topic to talk about in public, and you get less made fun of. 😉 )

My copies haven’t arrived in the mail yet. But I’m super excited to dig into them as Mad Norwegian Press books have been super awesome.

Doctor Who 6×02 Day of the Moon TV Review

I enjoyed “Day of the Moon” a lot more than “The Impossible Astronaut.” In fact, I watched the episode twice, though more because I watched it the first time without Jason. It was still 100x times better than the first one in this two-partner, and it seemed more like a true Doctor Who episode.

Doctor Who Day of the Moon
Is that the President's desk, Doctor?

That said, there weren’t a lot of answers. Continue reading “Doctor Who 6×02 Day of the Moon TV Review”

Doctor Who 6×01: The Impossible Astronaut TV Review

Doctor Who: The Impossible Astronaut

I found the season opener disappointing. I’d been so excited for new Doctor Who, and this was such a letdown. Moffat seemed to obfuscate the plot in ways that tried to be clever, but were instead vague, confusing, and trying to be shocking. The twist on the Companions knowing something the Doctor can’t know is an amazing idea; the execution of that idea lacked here. Continue reading “Doctor Who 6×01: The Impossible Astronaut TV Review”

Favorite female character screwed over by canon: Donna Noble (Day Twenty-One)

Donna Noble from Doctor Who

Donna Noble
Donna Noble may have started off as a bride, but she is so much more.

Donna was always the temp until she met the Doctor. Donna is by far my favorite companion, and the one who can make me cry at the drop of a hat. (Yeah, those last episodes of Season 4 are hard for me in the way other people talk about Torchwood‘s Children of Earth.) Her wit and her heart are her two biggest weapons.

Donna is not a warrior, but she is a fighter. She’s feisty and tells you exactly what she thinks whether you want to hear it or not. Donna stands up for herself, especially when the world does not stand up for her. She makes the hard choices, even when she’s often not given a choice herself.

The Tenth Doctor was a lonely god, and Donna brought the entirety of humanity and love with her. She loved the Time Lord in the blue box, but she’d be the first one to tell you that it was a platonic love of best friends. While traveling with the Doctor, Donna grew into the person her mother never thought she would be and the person her grandfather always thought she could be. I love Donna’s relationship with her grandfather.

I’m absolutely appalled at the ending Donna was given, when the Doctor just erased her mind without asking. And how she gets married and wins the lottery as the consolation prize, when you know well and good, she should’ve been the one killing the Doctor instead of her grandfather. Donna would’ve been cursing out her best mate. But instead, she’s in a mystical coma for a while and can’t even remember traveling the universe. Donna’s seen such wonderful sights and had great adventures and she can’t even remember them. It kills me.

From the moment Donna appeared on the TARDIS in her wedding dress and yelling at the Doctor, I loved her. Celebrate how awesome Donna is, buy Doctor Who: The Complete Fourth Series.

Favorite female character in a children’s show: Sarah Jane Smith (Day Eleven)

Sarah Jane Smith from Sarah Jane Adventures and Doctor Who

Sarah Jane Smith and K9
The brilliant Sarah Jane Smith and her robot dog K9.

Geeky confession: for the longest time, I could not get into Doctor Who. Both my friends Pearl and Katelyn tried to get me to watch the new series every time a new episode aired, but I just couldn’t latch onto the story. (Apparently, I just really did not like Rose Tyler.) Until Sarah Jane Smith came along…

I read a review of the first Sarah Jane Adventures episode, and it said that while the show was marked toward children, the writing was incredibly smart and the child actors not annoying. So I gave it a go, and I fell in love with Sarah Jane Smith and her robot dog K9.

Sarah Jane starts her story as a companion for the Third and Fourth Doctors. Under the Doctor’s tutelage, she learns how to save the world, appreciate the beauty of the galaxy, and realize that things are not always as they seem. I love that Sarah Jane continues her life post-the Doctor. That she still wants to save the planet and help people and aliens. That she was lonely in life as an investigative journalist/world saver, but Sarah Jane had enough hope in her heart to open it to others again.

I appreciate that the childless Sarah Jane did not become a mindless puffball when she adopted Luke, the genetically engineered boy with no belly button. And how she approaches raising a child with the wisdom of her experiences and can still love Luke very much without him being her entire life.

I also adore Sarah Jane’s mentorships with Maria, Rani, and Clyde. She lets them grow and fight the bad guys, while tempering them when they go too far. Of course, they also worry and hold her back when things get too overwhelming for her too.

Oh, Sarah Jane, you’re awesome. See for yourself, buy The Sarah Jane Adventures: The Complete First Season.

Reviews Doctor Who “The Pandorica Opens” and “The Big Bang”

This is completely way late, but that’s okay. On Doctor Who, I can just time-travel and put up this post.

Doctor Who Pandorica Opens
Van Gogh paints the looming disaster which could end Amy's fairytale.

Season 5 was indeed a fairytale. Amelia Pond was the little girl who created a fairytale around her. Of course, she had a universe changing crack in her wall which really helped her out there. Amy had her magical wizard and her trickster all wrapped up in one: the Doctor. She is the little girl who’s imaginary friend was real. Amy’s the one with the magical ring.

In a sense, “The Pandorica Opens” and “The Big Bang” are two very different episodes. “The Pandorica Opens” is worrisome, dark, and indeed reminded me very much of other new Doctor Who finales. Whereas, “The Big Bang” had a lighter tone, even if the universe was ending for most of it. Continue reading “Reviews Doctor Who “The Pandorica Opens” and “The Big Bang””

Reviews Doctor Who “The Lodger”

Overall, this was a fun romp of an episode. Perhaps the lightheartedness Moffat claimed to want to bring to his run of Doctor Who (which his episodes under Rusty T. Davies’ leadership lacked). Of course, this was written by Gareth Roberts, who wrote a lot of my favorite New Doctor Who episodes and some great Sarah Jane Adventures ones as well.

Matt Smith is much better at delivering physical comedy than verbal comedy, and this episode nicely played to that strength. I’ve also heard he’s a good footballer, which making the Doctor joining the team also work well. I think it’s great when writers play to the actor’s strengths. I thought the various wacky roommate scenes were just spot-on.

Craig and the Doctor play football.
Yes, the Doctor wears his tweed jacket over his football uniform.

Continue reading “Reviews Doctor Who “The Lodger””

Reviews Doctor Who “Vincent and the Doctor”

Amy and the Doctor find a mystery in a Van Gogh painting
Amy and the Doctor find a mystery in a van Gogh painting.

I felt this episode was the most emotionally satisfying out of all the episodes this season. I love the historical character episodes. Both “The Unicorn and the Wasp” and “The Shakespeare Code” are two of my favorite Who episodes. (Okay, I can’t say I love all of them as the Churchill one was bad.)

The episode was dark and heavy, but in a good way. Continue reading “Reviews Doctor Who “Vincent and the Doctor””

Reviews Doctor Who “The Time of Angels” and “Flesh and Stone”

Amy, the Doctor, and River in The Time of the Angels
Amy, the Doctor, and River in The Time of the Angels

I wanted to wait to review the two-parter until both episodes had aired. I think I’m much more suited for speculation on the rest of the season based on the aired episodes, not for speculating on the second half of a two-parter. Also thinking too much on a two-parter just spoils the fun. Especially on a dramatic, scary chase through the woods storyline.

Another review — perhaps by a wiser person — pointed out how this episode and Moffat’s Doctor Who universe is a fairytale. Usually, the Doctor plays the breaker of the fairytale. He’s the one to point out that magic is science (“Shakespeare Code”) or that a magical roadway to paradise is the worst traffic jam ever (“Gridlock”). But not here. Here the Doctor seems just as absorbed into the fairytale as everyone else — Amy, River, the Angels, and the Church.

The fairytale aspect spoke a lot more strongly in “Flesh and Stone” than it did in “The Time of Angels.” Continue reading “Reviews Doctor Who “The Time of Angels” and “Flesh and Stone””