The Doctor Who TARDISblend 90: The Girl Who Died

Arriving in medieval Scandinavia, the Doctor (Peter Capaldi) and Clara Oswald (Jenna Coleman) are captured by a raiding group of Vikings. Returning to their village, the Vikings are confronted by a being claiming to be Odin. But tragedy is imminent, and the Doctor must work out a way to save the villagers.

During TARDISblend 90, we are joined by special guest Andrew Sorcini of The Drill Down. We discuss the first appearance of the wonderful Maisie Williams as Ashildr in this season of Doctor Who, and the references and call-backs to previous episodes and seasons of the show. We have a look at the comedic elements of the story, and how the overall plot of this episode (9.5 “The Girl Who Died”) pays homage to Akira Kurosawa‘s Seven Samurai.

All this and more on the latest TARDISblend podcast!

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TV Review: Doctor Who 9.5 “The Girl Who Died”

Doctor Who
Season 9, Episode 5 “The Girl Who Died”
Directed by Ed Bazalgette
Written by Jamie Mathieson & Steven Moffat
Starring Peter Capaldi, Jenna Coleman, Maisie Williams, David Schofield, Simon Lipkin
BBC America
Air date: Saturday, October 17, 2015

I’ll say this up front: watch this episode.

I guess I could stop there, but it wouldn’t be much fun to do that, now would it? Doctor Who Episode 9.5 “The Girl Who Died” is a pocket symphony running at tempo molto vivace. It deconstructs and reconstructs the themes behind modern Doctor Who at the same time. It takes what could have been a significant guest star part and turns in the best episode of the season so far. It reveals something of the Doctor’s past and finally brings this current incarnation of the Time Lord into sharper focus. It is, in short, the best that I think Steven Moffat-era Doctor Who can offer.

I’ve been a bit of a hard case on Doctor Who so far this season. Where I know other reviewers on the Internet have spoken about the first, third, and fourth episodes of this season in strong terms, I deliberately played up the negatives. Episode 1 was shock and awe, but it gave little solid ground for viewers to stand on. Episodes 3 and 4 were praised for their strong performances and paced, economic storytelling, but I thought they veered a little too close to formula. I thought that only episode 2, with its carefully constructed constraints, represented a strong offering for this season.

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TV Review: Da Vinci’s Demons 1.1: The Hanged Man

Da Vinci’s Demons
Season 1, Episode 1 – “The Hanged Man”
Directed and written by David S. Goyer
Starring: Tom Riley, Laura Haddock, Blake Ritson, Elliot Cowan, Lara Pulver, Gregg Chillin, Hera Hilmar, Eros Vlahos, James Faulkner, David Schofield, Alexander Siddig Al-Rahim, Tom Bateman, Allan Corduner, Michael Elwyn, Michael Culkin, Nick Dunning and Elliot Levey
Air date: Friday, April 12, 2013

Outside of episodes of Party Down, I’ve not not watched a lot of Starz shows. However, I do feel that the network is working towards building a larger theme with each of its respective programs. It’ll be interested to see how Da Vinci’s Demons, the network’s newest series, falls into that overall identity.

Da Vinci’s Demons reminds me a lot of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys or Xena: Warrior Princess. Depending on how excited or apathetic you just got after reading that statement will serve as a good indicator of your interest in the show, which is an eight-part series. Created, written, and directed by Dark Knight trilogy co-writer David S. Goyer, Da Vinci’s Demons sees the infamous artist rebranded as a young action hero.

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