Orbiting a quiet backwater planet, the massed forces of the universe's deadliest species gather, drawn to a mysterious message that echoes out to the stars - and amongst them, the Doctor. Rescuing Clara from a family Christmas dinner, the Time Lord and his best friend must learn what this enigmatic signal means for his own fate and that of the universe.
DigitalSpy.com brings Doctor Who fans a mixed bag of goodies this week. The good news? The eighth season will air without a break this year. The bad news? It won’t begin until August.
According to Digital Spy, showrunner Stephen Moffat confirmed the news at a British event this week. Fans will note that Who in 2014 will be both a return to old ways and a change in them as well.
The new series ran in the Spring/early Summer each year until Matt Smith’s second season in 2011. The 6th season was split between “A Good Man Goes to War” and “Let’s Kill Hitler”, and it’s been split since then. Personally, I’m kind of a fan of the split-season method as it provides what feels like a more consistent Who presence throughout the year.
However, it does make sense not to break up the new Doctor’s first season. With the current airing method, he’d have only had maybe 6 episodes to win the audience over before disappearing again. This way, we’ll have longer to get to know and love him. Matt benefited from this schedule, and I suspect that Capaldi will too.
But the new, all-Fall airing times are definitely new to current Doctor Who either way. Many fans feel like it’s more appropriate to air Who in the darker, colder months of Fall/Winter. Perhaps this is our first indication of the mood of the new Doctor’s time?
In the meantime, we don’t have much longer to wait to meet the 12th Doctor. As was confirmed recently, “The Time of the Doctor” will air on BBC America on December 25 at 8pm/9pm Central here in the US.
Are you excited for the new Doctor? Still too sad to see Matt Smith go? Still on a post-50th Anniversary Year high? Or just annoyed that it will be another 9 months before we get any new adventures?
- Matt Smith Doctor Who exit planned ‘for a long while’, reveals Moffat (digitalspy.co.uk)
- Matt Smith: ‘Peter Capaldi will be incredible on Doctor Who’ (digitalspy.co.uk)
The team takes on Centipede this week in the midseason cliffhanger finale. Look away if you don’t want to be spoiled!
When Centipede make a daring prison break via a trio of super-soldiers, Coulson is tasked with finding and taking down the organization. He brings in Mike Peterson (J. August Richards) from the pilot episode to counter super-soldier with super-soldier.
While the team tracks down Centipede’s latest super-soldier lab, the mysterious Raina (Ruth Negga) and the equally mysterious Mr. Po conspire their own plans to get rid of the SHIELD team. Their confrontation ends in a draw of sorts, but Raina figures out their weak link: Mike is with them and he has a family… namely a son.
Raina takes Mike’s son, Ace, hostage and Mike arranges an exchange (on the titular ‘bridge’) of himself for his son. However, at the last moment, Reyna reveals that the exchange is really Ace for Agent Coulson.
Raina and her people escape behind a diversionary explosion that appears to result in the death of Mike and possibly Ward. Coulson is kidnapped by Centipede, which Raina informs him was her goal all along. She wants to know ‘what happened the day after he died’.
Cue mid-season cliffhanger!
What Hit the Target
Wow! The final few minutes are a great cliffhanger, full of twists and turns. I was so sad to see Mike appear to die, after the episode had spent so much time getting us to like him. I was genuinely surprised by the explosion and the shots that hit Ward. Good job, writers! And I have said that very much in this series so far, so it’s well-earned.
I can’t really get enough of Raina as a villain. She and Mr. Po were awesomely creepy and worrisome. And their oddly cultlike devotion to the mysterious “Clairvoyant” just doubles the creepiness factor! They’re a great pair, and I hope we see more of them, both individually and together.
I found it particularly sad to hear Coulson talk about giving up his relationship with the cellist. It certainly wasn’t his choice to fake his own death, but ever the good soldier, he accepted it for the greater good. Poor Coulson!
This episode was all about continuity and call-backs. My favorite call-back was the eyeball bomb from the episode “Eye Spy”. I didn’t see that one coming!
What Missed the Mark
How is it possible that television series are still making terribly fake driving scenes? Coulson was driving in a straight line (and I think he blew through a stop sign!) but waving the steering wheel around like a drunkard. Just avoid the open-top driving scenes if you can’t make it look decent, folks.
Why was Ward put in the absolute worst vantage point on the bridge? They knew enough about the location to station a sniper, but they didn’t plan for the giant parked concrete truck that blocked his view of *everything*??
This episode, more than any so far, I felt, suffered from a side-effect of creating a shared cinematic universe. That problem comes when situations arise wherein it only seems logical that help would be called in from other, bigger characters. When faced with a whole group of super-soldiers in this episode, no one thought to themselves, “Hey, maybe we should call in our best super-soldier, Captain America!” No, they decided to stick with the B-Team, and one guy at that. I was annoyed that the episode didn’t even address the Captain America question with even a cursory comment.
The Final Tally
The series has been getting better and stronger in the past few episodes, and this was no exception. Although the plot was a little lacking, the continuity, the cliffhanger and great villains made up for it. You can really tell that the writers have been getting – and taking to heart – the feedback from the viewing audience after the series began to air. We’re finally seeing more consistent hints of what the series should be. I can’t wait to see if we finally get a definitive answer to what happened to Coulson. And, to see if my theory is right! Mwahahahahaha….
Finally, the Quote of the Week comes from Fitzsimmons:
Simmons: “…it would be a shame, especially when you’re so well…formed… and symmetrical.” To Fitz: “When did you stop talking?”
Fitz: “About three embarrassing sentences ago.”
The series takes on cloned criminals this week with mixed results.
As we open, we find Maldonado involved in the trial of accused murderer Ethan Avery. When Avery appears to be caught killing witnesses in the field while also sitting in the courtroom, Kennex and Co. discover his hidden history of illegal cloning.
Avery’s clones are out to get their original off on the murder charge (killing his partner) by any means necessary. They end up taking Stahl (Minka Kelly) as a hostage in exchange for Avery. But Maldonado (Lili Taylor) and her people fool the clones by substituting a bit of clever holography for the real person. And all is well that ends well.
Meanwhile, we find out that Dorian is well hung. But that’s a whole different conversation…
What Hit the Target
I know it wasn’t pertinent to the actual story, but I thought the best part of the episode was the whole ‘life size Ken doll’ bit at the beginning! Perhaps it was a little TMI but it was darn funny.
The cloning plot was more interesting than last week’s illegal drug plotline. While this story still had some holes, it was edited better and felt a lot less choppy than the prior week’s show did.
Maya the psychic seemed like she’d be too much, but didn’t quite end up as annoying as she could be. That’s a tough line to walk with such a cliche character, so I give kudos to the actress and the writers for managing to stay on this side of aggravation.
What Missed the Mark
The show has a recurring problem of introducing interesting ideas and villains but then failing to sufficiently explore them. My guess is that it’s just a combination of adhering to a 42 minute run time and the focus on being a police drama. This week, it was the cloning ideas that were introduced as a major plot point but then given only the vaguest of exploration. The motives behind Avery’s little experiment, the repercussions for the clones, and any larger ethical/moral issues were all left sadly unadressed.
The clones were very smart, very capable, and well-trained. So shouldn’t they have been smart enough to hide the evidence of both motive and their existence that was just sitting around open in the house?
A big deal was made about Maya needing something of her parents’ in order to ‘connect’ with them. Wouldn’t their child be the most perfect item of theirs to fit the bill?
The Final Tally
The episode hung together fairly well, even if once again the deeper issues were all glossed over in favor of police action and drama. The guest stars were good and we had a little more character work to add to our understanding. I still would like to see the show demonstrate more depth and find a better balance between playing cops0-and-robbers and fleshing out the futuristic crimes/perpetrators a little better.
The Hollywood Reporter revealed yesterday that Hawaiian hunk Jason Momoa is in talks to join Batman vs Superman.
Momoa will be most known to audiences right now for his role as Khal Drogo on Game of Thrones. However, to me he will always be the tall, dark and handsome Ronon Dex from Stargate: Atlantis.
Work on the sequel seems to be hurtling faster than a speeding bullet these days. Just a week after the announcement of the casting of newbie Gal Godot as Wonder Woman, another key DC character may be joining the story. Who will it be… hero or villain?
Word on the street is that Momoa may be playing either classic Superman villain, Doomsday, or Justice League member, the Martian Manhunter.
If Momoa is cast as the former villain, it would mark either a departure from the popular belief that the Man of Steel sequel will feature Lex Luthor (in a pattern created by Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy) or give rise to an increasingly-crowded and possibly diluted film. The latter character would pretty much make the sequel into Justice League Lite.