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The Friendly Dalek

My huge Doctor Who episode marathon.

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A Town Called Mercy  - This is one of my favourite episodes of series 7.

The main cast are excellent. The support cast are all well used. The setting is fun - it's great to have a Western setting. 

The story is complex and well written. At first it looks like the Gunslinger is the villain. But when his back story is revealed you believe Kahler-Jex is the villain. In reality they are both victims of a long ago war and they both find their own redemption in the end. 

There is fun and darkness in this episode and for me the pacing is just right. 

Overall 9/10

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A Town Called Mercy  - I can't really remember this one. But, Ben Browder apparently, sooooo...5/10

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7 hours ago, The Friendly Dalek said:

Finally, another episode where our rating is very different. :lol:

I have a feeling there will be several more. :laugh:

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The Power Of Three- This episode showcases every problem I have with Chris Chibnall's episodes. The best thing about this episode is the leads, but in this episode he has three established characters to use. When it comes to creating his own lead characters he clearly struggled to make them interesting. Jemma Redgrave and Mark Williams are fantastic, but neither of them do enough in my opinion. This episode is very dull. It attempts to be comedic in the same way that The Lodger is comedic, but Chibnall's editing just isn't funny. The pacing is atrocious. The visuals are alright, and the episode is well directed overall, but the awful script really lets it down.

The cube ides could have been interesting with a good writer helming it, but Chibnall does nothing creative with the idea. The villain is atrocious, and the ending is wrapped up way too quickly and in a very uninteresting way. They managed to get a great actor like Steven Berkoff and did literally nothing with him. This episode is so bland and so boring that I will probably never watch it again unless I do another marathon at some point in the distant future. :lol:

Overall- 2/10.

It really only gets a 2 because of the leads, and Jemma and Mark, and some nice visuals. 

Edited by The Friendly Dalek

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The Power of Three - Now I'm the first to admit I am not a fan of Chibnall but I actually quite like this episode.

It's fun and the leads are excellent. I enjoy Mark Williams. The writing is a little simple and the conclusion all a bit convenient. And I enjoyed the introduction of Kate Stewart - for me a simple start to a great character.

This is definitely better than some of his later episodes.

Overall 5/10

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The Angels Take Manhattan- This is an episode with severe fluctuations in quality. There are elements of it that I love, and others that I really don't like,

Let's start with the negatives. The impact of the Weeping Angels is further lessened by another episode which fails to utilise them effectively. The series 5 two-parter introduced some interesting new elements to them, and the setting helped to keep the Angels creepy, but here nothing interesting is done with them, and they are over-used. Seeing them too often makes them less frightening, and they did nothing creepy in this story in my eyes. And making the statue of Liberty a Weeping Angel was a stupid idea, and it looks so silly. Alex Kingston returns as River Song, but her character hasn't recovered from the butchering she received in series 6. Alex Kingston is till great, and she has some nice moments, but overall the script lets her down once again. What's even more annoying is how this episode almost reinvents the character with a noir, almost spy like persona. There is no build up to this change in her personality, and the events of series 6 didn't really have any clear lasting differences, beyond a few lines which remind us of what happened. None of the supporting characters are particularly likable or memorable.  

As a final story for Amy and Rory, however, this story is magnificent. Their journey throughout this episode is suitably emotional, and Amy's final scene is heartbreaking. I wish we had more of Rory in that final scene though, as he basically just turns around and disappears. No emotional send off for him unfortunately. Matt Smith gives one of his best performances. This episode is also well shot and directed, and the set design is great.

The writing is mixed. Moffat delivers on the emotions at the end, and there are some interesting ideas regarding paradoxes (although once you stop to think about them they are contradictory and don't make much sense), by the supporting characters are rubbish, and the Weeping Angels aren't effectively utilised. The pacing is great though, and I was never bored. 

Overall- 6/10.

Edited by The Friendly Dalek
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The Angels Take Manhattan - This is my favourite companion exit episodes although it is not without fault.

The Weeping Angels are suitably creepy. But making The Statue of Liberty a Weeping Angel is silly. The support cast are surplus to requirements.

However I love the story. River Song is an improvement in this episode. I presume her character is written the way it is so it fits with 1930's New York. The interaction between the leads is brilliant. Smith puts in an excellent performance. 

But the episode belongs to Gillan and Darvill. Their story is emotional. Moffat really plays on their relationship and works it into the story.

The main reason I prefer this companion exit episode slightly above the others is their ending is permanent (I don't count Gillan's cameo for Smith's regeneration). And it is beautiful.

Overall 9/10

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9 minutes ago, Peter Capaldi Fan said:

The Angels Take Manhattan - This is my favourite companion exit episodes although it is not without fault.

The Weeping Angels are suitably creepy. But making The Statue of Liberty a Weeping Angel is silly. The support cast are surplus to requirements.

However I love the story. River Song is an improvement in this episode. I presume her character is written the way it is so it fits with 1930's New York. The interaction between the leads is brilliant. Smith puts in an excellent performance. 

But the episode belongs to Gillan and Darvill. Their story is emotional. Moffat really plays on their relationship and works it into the story.

The main reason I prefer this companion exit episode slightly above the others is their ending is permanent (I don't count Gillan's cameo for Smith's regeneration). And it is beautiful.

Overall 9/10

I'm glad you like this episode a lot more than I do. I can see why this episode is often highly regarded, but the problems I have with it stop it from being one of my favourites. 

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The Snowmen- This Christmas episode was pretty much guaranteed to be better than the last one, buy not only is it better, it is one of my favourite episode's of Smith's era. 

The cast is fantastic. Matt Smith is on top form, and the Paternoster gang give this story some great comedic moments. Jenna Coleman is brilliant, and her character is great. She is very funny, and plays well alongside Smith. Richard E. Grant and Ian McKellen give this story a sense of gravitas, those two actors are legends. The child actors are fine, and the rest of the supporting cast is aright. None of them stand out as particularly memorable, but they aren't bad either. 

The production of this episode is brilliant. Everything looks gorgeous (baring some dodgy cgi at points). It's nice to see a Christmas episode by Moffat with a story that isn't limited by the confines of an established story which he is taking heavy inspiration from. The Snowmen themselves aren't the best villains, but I can get past that because of the return of The Great Intelligence. For a villain which hasn't been seen on screen since the 60s, there's surprisingly few call-backs to its previous appearances in the show. This story is character driven, so it makes sense why the villains are sidelined, but I feel like they are effective enough when on screen that it isn't a major problem. I love both the new title sequence and TARDIS interior. The emotional moments are highly effective as well, and this episode is very well paced. This is definitely the Christmas special which I watch the most, I've watched it every year since it aired. 

Overall- 9/10.

 

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The Snowmen - I agree. This is a fun Christmas episode. The CG I is a bit dodgy especially for The Snowmen. This is a nice  "proper" introduction for Jenna Coleman. Smith is excellent. And I always love the Paternoster Gang. Richard E Grant and Ian Mckellen are great.

Overall 8/10

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I'm going on holiday tomorrow to a place which has no Wi-Fi, so I won't be very active on this forum until next Saturday when I return. This does also mean that I'll be taking an extended break from the marathon. I've been missing quite a few days of this regularly, because things have just been getting in the way, so my apologies to those of you who do read this.

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On 5/24/2019 at 3:42 PM, The Friendly Dalek said:

I'm going on holiday tomorrow to a place which has no Wi-Fi, so I won't be very active on this forum until next Saturday when I return. This does also mean that I'll be taking an extended break from the marathon. I've been missing quite a few days of this regularly, because things have just been getting in the way, so my apologies to those of you who do read this.

Handy as I'm in a place with selective wi-fi. Least I won't have too much to catch up on :lol:.

Hope you have a nice holiday!

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The Bells of Saint John- I think this is a pretty under rated episode. I have a lot of fun with this one.

Jenna Coleman's proper introduction is brilliant, and Matt Smith is fantastic as well. The story isn't very complex, which allows for more time to be given to developing the relationship between The Doctor and this version of Clara. The supporting characters are fine, nothing particularly memorable but perfectly serviceable. It was nice to see The Great Intelligence again, and Richard E. Grant is great as that character. Visually, I think this episode looks great, and it is well directed. 

The wi-fi concept could easily have failed, but Moffat makes it work in a way that is still interesting without being too silly. However, the visual realisation of this threat didn't work at all for me. The "spoonheads" looked stupid. Since the threat takes second place behind the introduction of Clara, the monsters aren't too memorable, because they are quite generic. 

This episode is a very fun and enjoyable one, and the weak villain aspect is the only thing that really lets it down. I though the comedy worked and that the pacing was very good. 

Overall- 8/10.

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The Bells of Saint John - For me this is a bit of a hit and miss episode. Smith is great and I love Richard E Grant. The concept is fun. 

As a proper introduction to Clara I find it weak.  Will admit I wasn't a fan of the Impossible Girl arc. Clara improved in series 8 and 9. And you have a wonderful actress like Celia Imrie who is wasted. 

Overall 5/10.

For all the criticism Moffat gets regarding plot holes I do like how he can play the long game. An insignificant part where Clara contacts the computer helpline has great significance at the end of series 8.

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The Rings Of Akhaten- This is the peak of under rated episodes in my eyes. I adore this episode. 

This episode is beautiful. The set and costume design is brilliant, with a beautiful soundtrack and amazing visuals. Matt Smith is at his best here, and his speech to Akhaten is one of my favourite moments for his Doctor. Jenna Coleman also gets some great moments, and the exploration of Clara's backstory is very interesting. Emilia Jones is excellent. The rest of the cast also do a fine job. 

As far as weak elements go, the villains aren't that good. Akhaten looks great, and I think that what it does is very interesting, and I like how it is beaten. However, the mummy thing in the Temple wasn't that good or threatening.  Other than that, there's nothing I dislike. 

This episode is heart-warming and fun. I've rewatched it many times, and I still love it no matter how often I revisit it. I know this episode isn't that popular in the Who community, but I will always defend it, I love it.

Overall- 9/10 (loses a point for the weak threat until Akhaten itself is introduced).

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The Rings Of Akhaten - This is my favourite episode of the second half of series 7. It gets off to a slow start. So much so that after the previous episode I didn't think this one would be much good.

However this is a brilliant story. Coleman is far better here and I love her back story. The writing is excellent. The support cast are well used. For someone so young Emilia Jones puts in a mature performance. The effects are great. The mummy in the temple is surplus to requirements but I can forgive that.

This episode definitely belongs to Smith who gives one of the best performances of any doctor. The defeat of Akhaten is for me one of the most sublimely beautiful moments of the modern era. Smith has his most doctor defining moment. And the singing to the 11th Doctor's theme never fails to move me.

Overall 10/10

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Cold War- This is another episode which I really like, although from what I've seen the majority of fans don't. 

The cast is fantastic. Smith and Coleman are great, and David Warner especially stands out. He's great in everything and it's a nice treat to see him a Doctor Who episode, considering how he played The Doctor himself in a Big Finish series. The submarine setting works very well, and it allows for some very tense and claustrophobic sequences. 

I've always been a fan of the Ice Warriors. They're among my favourite Doctor Who monsters.  The Pertwee Ice Warrior stories were some of the first classic Who stories which I ever saw, and I love them to this day, and the Troughton era Ice Warrior stories are brilliant, especially The Seeds Of Death. Was this episode a good comeback for the Ice Warriors? I think it was. I love how it takes the same approach as Dalek, in the sense that it introduces us to an alien species by showing us what just one of them can do in an isolated environment. Unlike the Silurians, I think that the updated design of the Ice Warriors is great. Skaldak is certainly an intimidating threat, and I think he looks and sounds threatening, which is exactly what a villain like this needed to be in their first modern Who appearance. There is only one thing I didn't like about the Ice Warrior in this episode, which was how we see Skaldak leave his armour. For me, Ice Warriors have a very specific look created by their armour, which is what makes them iconic in the first place. Once they lose that, they lose a core part of what makes them so good in my eyes, so although it's very nit-picky, I don't think we should ever see an Ice Warrior without its armour. It makes them lose the mystique of what they actually look like, and the appearance this Ice Warrior is given makes me wish that we never got to see what an Ice Warrior looks like. I also liked how this episode remembers the Martian Code of Honour, which was an important part of their story in the classic era, and I was very happy to see that that played a part in this episode. It just adds another layer to this species, and makes them a lot more interesting. 

Although the cast is great, they are done a disservice by the script. Most of the characters aren't well developed or interesting. The pacing is also a bit too fast, and the ending felt a bit too easy in my opinion.

Overall- 8/10.

This episode is really fun, and does a great job in bringing back one of my personal favourite Doctor Who monsters. 

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Cold War - OK. So we agree again. This is a fun episode and I love the claustrophobic setting. 

Smith and Coleman are great. And the addition of David Warner who is always fabulous (and a pleasure to meet btw).

The Ice Warriors are certainly one of the better alien races and the concept is great here.

The writing is a bit of a let down but the overall effect is still a  proper Doctor Who episode. 

Overall 7/10

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Warner has unfortunately evaded me at this point, but I do hope to meet him one day. And I definitely thought we would be disagreeing more than we are. Hide is another somewhat controversial episode, so I am interested to see if we agree on that one or not. :D

Edited by The Friendly Dalek

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Hide- Much like Akhaten, this is an episode which I like, but the majority doesn't. 

I love a good haunted house story, and this is no exception. For a good portion of the run time, this feels like a low budget, sort of horror thing, with the focus on finding ghosts and so on. The setting is brilliantly atmospheric, and the lighting is fantastic. The small cast is wonderfully utilised, and the characters are well fleshed out. The leads are excellent. 

The haunted house portion of this film is near perfect in my opinion. I love it. Unfortunately this story falters when the pocket universe plot is introduced. I appreciate how this episode tried to do something different, but this story wasn't as interesting as the initial ghost story. Now, it isn't as interesting, but still enjoyable. I'm not bored when I watch it, but I still think it's not as interesting. It's a weird one. :lol:

The love story between the alien creatures is another thing I'm not a fan of. It's a bit silly, and doesn't really work for me. However, I think that the creature design is great. Overall this is a fun episode. It starts amazingly, and has some great characters played by brilliant actors, but it loses some momentum as the story progresses, and the resolution is weak in my opinion. 

Overall- 7/10.

Edited by The Friendly Dalek
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Hide - Think I am in the majority here. Is this episode as bad as I remember? On rewatch yes it is. Now I love a good old fashioned ghost story. If this had stuck with that it would be ok. But it got too weird with the pocket universe and alien love story.

For me this is one of Smith's weakest performances. There is a fine line between geeky Doctor and annoying Doctor. Smith crossed that line here. The main support cast are too much of a cliché. I hate to use this word to describe a Doctor Who episode but it was rather boring. The pacing was wrong and not one to watch again soon. But I'm glad you largely enjoyed it.

Overall - 3/10

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And there we are, back to disagreeing. :lol:

It's interesting how you think this is one of Smith's weakest performances. I thought he was great here, but hey, it's all subjective. I wasn't a big fan of this episode when it aired, but it has grown on me a lot upon rewatches. 

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