Star Who? – Amok Breath

I nearly forgot! New blog theme! Watching a Movie A Day is not enough! Due to overwhelming interest of nearly a million responses*, I will be doing a side blog on deep-geek nerd Sci Fi. Let’s get into it!

So it ends up I’ve always been a big Doctor Who fan. I grew up watching the old series on PBS, Sunday at 12:30am after a rotation of Monty Python, Red Dwarf, and Blackadder re-runs. Technically my doctor was Tom Baker since he was the first one I watched (The Talons of Weng-Chiang was the first story) and I got hooked. That said, my favourite Doctor was always the second, Patrick Troughton. So it was with great joy that I looked forward to the re-launch in 2005 with Christopher Eccleston as the Doctor. I loved it! Finally, a Doctor that looked and acted like he was on meth and could kick the shit out of someone if needed! Finally, a Doctor not aping Tom Baker! Sadly, he left after one season, and just seeing the commercials with David Tennant put me off. So I stopped watching. Time and Doctors had moved on, and I had my Doctor Who memories.

It was seeing pictures of the new Season 8 doctor, Peter Capaldi, that piqued my interest in the new Doctor Who. Here was an old guy again, maybe it wouldn’t feel so “Teen Idol” Doctor Who like the previous two new guys appeared to be and go back to being boring old Doctor Who. By miss-reading a blog by the esteemed David Kalat where I thought he was comparing Capaldi to first Doctor William Hartnell, I was sold on watching the new Doctor Who again. Typically I would track watching this show on my Movie A Day blog by the season (which will happen). Since Who is so episodic (well, it used to be anyway, I guess I’ll find out) I thought it might be fun to recap them by the episodes. Come join me in looking at the new Who!

Doctor Who (2005) S08E01 – Deep Breath 3/5

This one starts off in typical fashion when the Doctor regenerates in that the Doctor is a confused, spastic mess of a person. In fact, the first 20 minutes or so of the episode nearly put me off the whole series. This one, I’m guessing, takes up right where the season 7 finale left off, so there’s characters like some Lizard woman and a T-Rex running about Victorian London that had me completely lost. So if you’re coming to the series new like I am, this is a terrible start.

After the first 20 minutes though, things settle down and it gets into the proper plot of the episode (after a rather clumsy, after-thought of a wrap up of the Season 7 plot) and the whole thing gets pretty awesome. Capaldi starts to settle into his performance, and he’s a fucking great Doctor. He is certainly more in the spirit of Hartnell and third Doctor John Pertwee, but he seems to have a more potentially cruel side. The story, discovering strange clockwork men in Victorian, London get’s genuinely spooky and suspenseful. If it wasn’t for the terrible beginning I would give this one 3.5.

So, longtime readers will know that I’ve spent the past bunch of years helping to care for my Dad, who sadly passed away this July. One of the last things we were watching together was Star Trek, the original series. We were going to watch the whole damn thing, but he only made through the first season before going into hospital. Watching Doctor Who this past week niggled my nerd brain to watch more Trek, so as a bonus to my lovely, fawning public, I’M REVIEWING STAR TREK AS WELL!

Star Trek S02E01 – Amok Time 3.5/5

The thing to remember on this one is that it aired in 1967 as the season premier for the second season. So a plot that features Spock suffering from Pon Farr and needing to go back to Vulcan to deal with it seems particularly daring. What’s Pon Farr you ask? Why, it’s a period in a Vulcan man’s life where he gets so horned-out to mate he has fight to the death for his bride or he will die from hormone overload. What an insanely, sexual plot for the  premier! Anyway, the episode is really good, with both clever writing, a cool fight between Kirk and Spock and a neat resolution is given to McCoy. This episode also debuts the character of Chekov, supposedly created as an answer to The Monkees as a way to get teen girls to watch. Let’s not dwell on the negatives (Chekov will always be a negative), as goofy as the plot is, this was a good one.

There it is, the new Star Who? blog. I’ll try to keep the Doctor Who season 8 plots vague and spoiler free like I do with the movies, but I’ll probably get a bit deeper into the Star Trek since it’s fifty years old and you have had many chances to watch the show. Feedback always appreciated.

The End.


*4 responses, 3 for, 1 against… good enough for me!

8 thoughts on “Star Who? – Amok Breath

  1. It’s interesting to see Doctor Who from a “new’ viewers perspective. I carried on watching from new Who even though most episodes were forgetful. So I understood it, but I agree the first part was pretty rubbish. I liked him crazy, but the rest was just not right, especially Clara’s change in character (she knew more about the Doctor than any other companion so it made no sense that she was confused by his regeneration). I didn’t like the end either. Presenting this harder Doctor as the most vulnerable (secretly) is a bad move, if you ask me.

    • Ah see, I missed Clara’s change of character since it was my introduction to her. I’m curious to see how the vulnerability is played out. Capaldi is the 12th Dcotor, and based on the old Who, the Doctor only gets 13 regenerations. After that he’s dead. So I’m wondering if the self analysis is him trying to come to terms with his life? Did he do good or did he make things worse? I don’t remember any of the other Doctors being too worried about that stuff.

      • You missed that bit. Capaldi is actually the first Doctor of a new regeneration cycle that the Time Lords granted him to help them find their planet which is lost…. You should maybe try and tolerate The Day of the Doctor and The Time of the Doctor for a full explanation. Tennant’s Doctor used up a regeneration to cure a wound from a dalek without actually changing, because apparently “it wasn’t that bad”.

      • What? That 13 regens thing was pretty cannon. That’s kind of put me off it now. Or is he questioning his morality since he’s in The Master territory now if Tennant used one up? Or did they kill the Master too?

      • Well they weren’t exactly just going to cancel the show because he’s regenerations were up, so they worked around it. He was granted a new regeneration cycle by the Time Lords. I don’t know why he’s questioning his mortality now. It doesn’t make much sense and that’s why I don’t like it. As for the Master well he was last seen getting sucked back into the Time War, so he could pop up again at any moment, because he’s not actually dead. Missy might be him.

  2. I kinda lost who after smith appeared, he was good but I think that point where it kinda twisted a bit too much (around the astronaut) lost me, and clara being this “feature” just confused the hell out of me nad i cannot be bothered to go back and watch them to understand it.

    The vault which I think you will get to this week ( at the time of writing) was good i like that one, but they seemed to have tried to make too much of nothing recently, gone are the days of seeing creatures so its lots of thinking and talking about weird space/time existence

    • Well, they probably got rid of the monsters since Matt Smith is a walking nightmare. Seriously, is their an uglier actor they could hire to be Doctor? I’ve only seen him in clips, but I dread the thought of actually watching his series.

      I came onto this only having watch the Eccleson season of the new who, so I get what your saying since the first third is a real mess with all those people in it. All of that is gone by episode two thankfully and it’s feeling more self contained.

      • I dunno Smith worked . The story’s became so . Contrived? Though.
        I think I said before BBC world got pissed at BBC drama because they were not doing money spinning monsters .

        Tennant was good . Not ce dark not ms happy this good mix.

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