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TV Review: Doctor Who 8.5 “Time Heist”
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Doctor Who
Season 8, Episode 5 “Time Heist”
Directed by Douglas Mackinnon
Written by Stephen Thompson and Steven Moffat
Starring Peter Capaldi, Jenna Coleman, Keely Hawes, Jonathan Bailey, Pippa Bennett-Warner
BBC America
Air Date: Saturday, September 20th, 2014

We live in a paranoid world. Cameras are everywhere. Identification is regularly scrutinized. Computers in a room somewhere are potentially checking and cross-checking our every move. Some of us are guilty and should be punished swiftly for the benefit of the community by some mysterious organ of the state. We cannot trust anyone, possibly including ourselves. This is the post-9/11 reality that Stephen Thompson and Steven Moffat wish to examine this week on Doctor Who in the episode “Time Heist.”

The result is more a detailed sketch of a great Doctor Who episode than a fully realized work. The premise is interesting. The narrative logic generally holds. The performances are solid. It’s all fine, but nuance is missing. We, the viewers, are given just barely enough at every point to make it all hang together. Greatness is more than the sum of its parts and here things only just barely add up.

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Comic Review: Star Wars: Darth Vader and The Ninth Assassin #2
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Star Wars: Darth Vader and the Ninth Assassin #2
Script by Tim Siedell
Pencils by Stephen Thompson
Inks by Mark Irwin
Colors by Michael Atiyeh
Cover by Ariel Olivetti
Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: May 15, 2013
Cover Price: $3.50

Following the debut issue setting the scene for the action to follow, the continuing chapter of Star Wars: Darth Vader and the Ninth Assassin kicks into gear almost immediately. With Vader now taking center stage, the plot is moving along with some spectacular artwork that begins to smudge the lines between what is traditionally considered good versus evil.

In the previous issue, an industrialist seeks vengeance upon Vader for murdering his son. After unsuccessfully going through eight mercenaries, he seeks an elusive ninth unnamed assassin, with a formidable reputation. The Assassin takes the job, at the cost of the eyes of the industrialist in addition to whatever the fee may be.

...continue reading »
 
Comic Review: Star Wars: Darth Vader and the Ninth Assassin #1
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Star Wars: Darth Vader and the Ninth Assassin #1
Script by Tim Siedell
Pencils by Stephen Thompson
Inks by Mark Irwin
Colors by Michael Atiyeh
Cover by Ariel Olivetti
Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: April 17, 2013
Cover Price: $3.50

Set not long after Palpatine has declared himself Emperor, and the shadowy hand of the Empire begins to span across the Star Wars galaxy, Darth Vader and the Ninth Assassin is another new tale from Dark Horse focusing in on the Sith Lord formerly known as Anakin Skywalker.

The first issue of Ninth Assassin begins with a sequence highlighting the authority of the new Empire on commerce across the cosmos. During a tense negotiation of terms between business representatives under the supervision of Lord Vader (most likely at the command of Palpatine), one of the members fires a blaster shot at a competitor. Vader is too quick for him, using the Force and lightsaber to defend the target, and kill the shooter.

Afterwards, the unnamed father of the unnamed son killed by Vader’s hand at the business negotiation forms a security team in search of the best assassin. Going through eight applicants who either ran off with his credits or were killed, the fat businessman uses his resources and a cheaply paid security team to locate his ninth choice. The journey to the Ninth Assassin is like a riddle or a mystery that the reader learns as the encounter unfolds.

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Blu-ray Review: Doctor Who Series Six Part 1
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Doctor Who
Series Six Part One
DVD | Blu-Ray
Starring Matt Smith, Karen Gillan, Arthur Darvill, Alex Kingston, Stuart Milligan, Mark Sheppard, Suranne Jones, Frances Barber
Written by Steven Moffat, Stephen Thompson, Neil Gaiman, Matthew Graham
Directed by Toby Haynes, Jeremy Webb, Richard Clark, Julian Simpson, Peter Hoar
BBC
Warner Home Video
Release Date: July 19, 2011

The BBC release of the first half of Doctor Who Series 6 presents fans a chance to grab a hold of the episodes aired this year before the second half airs on August 27. With fascination with the Time Lord at an all time high in America since the days of Tom Baker, it makes sense that the BBC would officially release Series 6 Part 1 while the time is ripe.

Series 6 of Doctor Who does not kick off immediately after the previous adventures in Series 5. Instead, some time has passed, and companions Amy Pond (Karen Gillan) and Rory Williams (Arthur Darvill) have been separated from the Doctor (Matt Smith) for an as of yet unexplained reason. The companions and River Song (Alex Kingston) obtain an invitation in TARDIS-blue envelopes to meet somewhere in the United States at a specific time.

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Comic Review: Die Hard: Year One, Vol 1 HC
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Die Hard: Year One
Volume 1 Hardcover
Written by Howard Chaykin
Art by Stephen Thompson
Colors by Matthew Wilson
Letters by Ed Dukeshire
Boom! Studios
Release date: March 24, 2010

There are a lot of unique art forms to North America: Jazz, Rock and Roll, Comic Books. In many ways, they make up the pop culture mythos of America. To this list I would add action movies. The eighties gave birth to a whole new genre of over-the-top, hyper-masculine action films, and reigning supreme on top of that heap is 1988’s Die Hard. With its reluctant hero, its tongue-in-cheek humour, and unforgettable action sequences, it is one of the most memorable American films of the last fifty years.

BOOM! Studios has produced its own addition to the Die Hard legacy with the Die Hard: Year One comic book series, and as an experiment in expanding the John McClane legend, it’s a roaring success.

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