Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Doctor Who-The Girl Who Waited
                             Upon arriving to Apalapucia,which the Doctor understands to be pleasure planet ideal for a vacation spot for himself,Amy and Rory they find themselves in a room filled with doors leading into different rooms and being accosted by faceless robot attendants they come to call Handbots. However the room Amy has entered and the one the doctor and Rory are in are on totally different time streams,with Amy's moving at a faster rate. Each chamber is equipped with temporal mirrors to see into and interact with each others timeline. Interaction with the Handbots reveals Apalapucia has been afflicted with the Gen 7 one day plague that is lethal to the doctor and the native population,but to which Amy and Rory are now immune to. While the doctor and Rory return to the TARDIS with the temporal mirror to keep track of Amy,it's up to her to find a place where the doctor can wait for her. And avoid the Handbots who function to commit mercy killings to anyone they encounter,perceived automatically to have the plague with what they call "the kindness".

                           After encountering many different pleasure vistas left behind,Amy finds a place to wait for the doctor near temporal engines where the Handbots will not get to her. Unfortunately by the time the TARDIS finally arrives Rory encounters a middle aged Amy. While she has become more adaptable at fighting the Handbots,she has also learned to fight her feelings for Rory and especially the doctor,who she's grown a serious resentment towards. The doctor soon realizes that in order to save the Amy from her original time frame,her future self would have to interect with her. The one wild card is that the older Amy doesn't wish to cease existing. Believing that there's a way for both Amy's to maintain their existence,the Doctor combines his TARDIS to bend time with the two Amy's synced thoughts to do so. However before they all get back to the TARDIS,they are again accosted by the Handbots and the young Amy is knocked out by one of them,while the older Amy remains to fight them off as a distraction. Inside the TARDIS the doctor admits to Rory that both Amy's would create a massive paradox. Realizing too her situation,the elder Amy elects to allow herself to be killed by "the kindness" as her time line ceases to exist.

                          While this story brings a lot to the table,it's foremost element is the level of emotionalism it brings out in the characters. Once again the doctors  often jagged perceptions of linear time leaves Amy stranded waiting for decades before the doctor finally returns as promised. Unlike her initial brush with the situation on their first encounter,the elder Amy Pond illustrated here has had to spend nearly four decades fighting off robots and has become extremely bitter-viewing the doctors words as half truths. Realizing this double betrayal too,Rory begins to share these sentiments himself to the point of vowing not to travel with the doctor himself. So in this story,it's primarily up to the doctor to act in the most reasonable manner possible in order to restore both the doctor and the elder Amy's confidence in him enough to allow the younger one to survive. It's very much a story of people's alternating views on emotion and the passage of time. And reflects on much of the decision making of the doctor himself.
Doctor Who-Night Terrors
                              The doctor received a message from a child on Earth during Amy and Rory's time in a council estate requesting to save him from monsters. While not directed specifically to him,the doctor decides to make a "house call" as it were. After checking the other residents in vein,including the landlord Purcell he comes across a couple named Alex and Claire and his son George,who it seems somehow sent the doctor the original message. Alex,perceiving the doctor to be a case worker allows him to investigate. The doctor discovers that his Alex and Claire are at the end of the ropes with the oddly fear riddled George and are considering sending him into foster care. In the meantime,at George's request,they locked all of the toys that frightened George into a closet in front of his bed. There is a strange event occurring of which the doctor is all too soon aware. An elderly resident,the landlord Purcell himself and Amy and Rory while in an elevator find themselves in what appears to be an enlarged 18'th century doll house,surrounded by anamorphic peg dolls. 

                              Upon being touched by them,first Purcell than Amy also seem to become peg dolls. When the doctor manages to open the closet to eswage George's fears,George again reacts in kind and both the Doctor and Alex are pulled in. With the revelation that it's a dollhouse,and with George entering to search for his father the doctor comes to understand that George is actually a Tenza,a telepathic alien who was able to become the ideal child for Alex and Claire who couldn't conceive children. And that this entire fiasco was a fantasy concocted from George's mind,being empathic, based around  his fears. By convincing George that,alien or not,he still cared for him as a father and intended to do right by him. At this particular point everyone from Purcell and Amy are restored to their normative conditions and the doctor leaves Alex and Claire with the understanding that,no matter how difficult their lives seem to be,George will by nature adapt himself to be their ideal son.

                               Based upon the childhood fear of dolls of writer Mark Gatiss,this story takes very familiar imagery common to both youthful fears of the unknown as well as similarly based horror cinema and brings it to all to life as something that poses a genuine puzzle for the doctor. Still the entire scenario is confusing for him. His original motivation was his own soft spot for children. Despite being the last of the time lords from a very alien culture,this story goes far to illustrate the inherent humanitarianism at the core of Doctor Who itself. Though at heart caring parents,between their economic woes and George's fears they find themselves unable to cope with their child's unusual and irrational fears. Whereas the revelation of one's child being extra terrestrial in origin might normally be soul destroying event for any parents,in this case it actually seemed to put an end to their concerns about George's experiences. 

Monday, November 26, 2012

Doctor Who-Let's Kill Hitler
                                                Following their escape from Demon's Run Amy and Rory drive through a corn field to meet back up with the doctor after creating a crop circle to try to get his attention. Almost immediately a red Corvette stingray pulls up,and a woman emerges carrying a pistol and holds up the doctor. Her name is Mels,an old friend of Amy and Rory's whose known them since childhood and has always known a particular fascination with the doctor and time travel.  Her intention is to steal the TARDIS and "kill Hitler". Almost destroying the TARDIS in the process,by the time they arrive in 1938 Berlin,they begin by imprisoning the puzzled Furer himself in a closet as Mels "regenerates" into River Song after being shot at by a robotic version of Nazi Erich Zimmerman,whose reason for trying to intercept Mels is now abundantly clear to the doctor. It was in fact River Song,who still knows of herself primarily as Melody Pond,who will be the instrument of his death in Utah. 

                                  During her regeneration crisis,Melody/River goes on the lamb. She manages to confuse Nazi troops and even crash a formal reception where she steals the the guests clothes. Meanwhile Amy and Rory become miniaturized into a disguised robotic version of Amy. The doctor for his part his bigger problems. When Melody/River kissed him after she regenerated,she ejected a lethal poison into him. As he struggles with his last half hour of life Amy and Rory find themselves inside the dimensionally transcendental,TARDIS like Teselecta,used by a temporal control agency attempting to apprehend Melody/River for her future crimes. Par the doctors instructions Amy and Rory are able to use their identity matches to fool out the Teselecta into escaping. As the doctor let Melody know via the robot that she'd one day be River Song,she gave her last regenerations to the doctor to save his life. As she awoke in a future medical facility the doctor,Amy and Rory leave her to her devices. By the 50'th century however,Melody is applying to be an archaeologist.

                                 During much of series five and so far into series six,the doctor was becoming more and more aware of the origins of River Song's place in his life. He started to see the conflicts between free will and a hidden biological imparitive within her even as far back as her revelation of being a murderer when they met with the Weeping Angels. So as it were,Melody's "regeneration" in 1930's Berlin represented the doctors first encounter with River Song,as well as their obviously paradoxical relationship in time and space. This episode has over a dozen plot lines,all moving at an extremely fast pace. There's River's "fear and loathing"-like regeneration delirium,mingled with her programming to kill the doctor. There's also the concept hinted at in the manner in which Amy and Rory escaped from the Teselecta that could very well point to how the war with the doctor might've started in the first place: his intent on protecting River Song even at the cost of his own life.  There relationship,though itself even emotionally paradoxical is the key element to this episode it's a big hoot to watch. And there's a whole lot more here than even that.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Doctor Who-A Good Man Goes To War
                                      Following the revelation of Amy Pond being a "flesh avatar",the doctors new phrase for a ganger,he sets about on the TARDIS to many different time zones calling in favors from Silurians,Sontarans and many other characters he has been of assistance to in the past. Meanwhile Rory,in full Roman Garb is set to retrieve River Song. But why has this all been done in the first place? Turns out the real Amy Pond is very much alive on a secret asteroid base called Demon's Run,where an eye patched lady named Madam Kovrian has been watching over Amy and her new baby Melody. There are armies of soldiers operating under the orders of overseers named headless monks to destroy the doctor. And they have a secret weapon they plan to use. But during a briefing where they receive their orders,one of the monks reveals himself to in fact be the doctor himself.

                             Than ensues a massive battle set up by many of those from the doctors other encounters in time who've owed him favors. One of the troops under Kovarian named Lorna overhears of the Madame's plans to trap the doctor,Amy and Rory and she goes to try to protect them. By this time the doctor and a number of his new companions have hacked into the Demon's Run's computer files and discovered the reason why Madame Kovarian wants Melody so badly;her DNA shows indications of time lord DNA apparently built up when Amy and Rory copulated while within the time vortex. This is cooborated soon by Kovarian herself when she reveals her wish to use Melody against him. Of course by this time,the baby Amy thinks she's escaped with turns out to be another avatar and Madame Kovarian already has the real melody. Although late,River song arrives and after espousing a strange degree of understanding against why these people are plotting against the doctor,she sends the doctor after the baby once Lorna warned them of Kovarian's plans,though too late and at her own sacrifice. With the doctor already aware,River song is forced to explain to Amy her actual identity: that she in fact is Amy's own daughter.

                        From the first time I caught eye of the River Song character in Doctor Who,it was abundantly clear that her relationship with him was about to come into very strong focus. Not to mention to protectiveness and familial relationship with Amy and Rory. Now it was not even a subject for debate that she had some time lord DNA by her abilities and knowledge of the TARDIS's operation. On the other hand I wasn't quite expecting this revelation to show up in this particular fashion. The identity of River Song was not the only significant thrust of this sprawling 48 minute epic.  As River Song so well explains upon her arrival at Demon's Run,it was only inevitable that with all of the worlds across time and space where the doctors name had been both famous and infamous for his meddling with the fabric not just of the space/time continuum but other's lives,that there would be some who would feel resentful enough to wish to take his life. This revelation,already known in the back of the doctors mind perhaps,might've been why he accepted his death at the hands of the "impossible astronaut" so willingly. Or will he actually accepted that death,again,at all.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Happy Birthday Whoniverse!
                                         Over four decades ago,towards the beginning of the evening on this same day in the year 1963 people all over England were treated,albeit late due to news of President Kennedy's assassination in America,to this compelling science fiction show about two teachers,a student who knows more about the future than the present and this humming police box with an interior larger then the exterior. Inside was an mysteriously man who spoke in riddles and,to the teachers disbelief they find themselves in the time of cave dwelling proto-humans still on the verge of discovering fire.  Whatever these people thought at that particular time Doctor Who has entered their lives.

                                  Hard to believe that this show is celebrating it's golden anniversary next year. And honestly? It wasn't until this February that I even began to become interested in the show. I am one of those people where it often takes me quite awhile to come to fully appreciate programs that are very near and dear to me. The one exception being Star Trek,which was literally (in the form of a Spock doll) present with me in the crib. But Doctor Who was always this very far away,and very foreign seeming thing on PBS with this guy with a huge scarf (Tom Baker) travelling around in this tricky telephone booth time machine At the time,found it overwhelming but always was interested in the back of my mind.

                                   And it is overwhelming. Star Trek impresses because it explores the human condition in dealing with the complications of interstellar space travel. Doctor Who deals mainly with the complications of time and space travel dealing with the human condition. The doctor is a time lord,travelling with what is nine times out of ten a human travelling companion and helping them learn about themselves in different ways through their journey. With all of the 90's era conspiracy theories about alien abductions,culminating in even Stephen Hawkings himself cynically coming to think that extra terrestrials would have nothing to gain from Earth aside from some form of conquest,it's particularly refreshing that the BBC has launched a program about the very human seeming and benevolent doctor who wishes to help humanity all through time and space. 

                       So on this 49'th anniversary I wanted to offer how my fairly recent experience with Doctor Who has been of benefit to my life. On that level,I must say it's done for me now in my 30's something very similar to what Star Trek did for me as I was growing up until it suddenly ceased to be on TV. And that is not something on a TV screen that tries to tell me how to think,but rather that I can think-to quote George Clinton there,someone else rather obsessed with space I may add. The happiest part of Doctor Who,after 26 years airing nonstop from 1963 to 1989,came back as a series again in 2005. And that having very recently experienced the newest episodes with Matt Smith as the doctor,with his companions Amy and Rory,that in particular these new shows are absolutely amazing and as the doctor himself might say "pretty much marvelous". 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Doctor Who-The Almost People
                                       The ganger doctor begins to engage in a rather unusual regeneration crisis as he and the original Doctor actually decide to pair up in order to find some type of honorable way out of the battle with the gangers. The solution would seem to be to look to the mainland for assistance. But the ganger Cleaves has already thought of that,and encoded the password. In the meantime Rory and Jennifer continue their journey back back to their starting point,at which time the Doctor divides the Doctor into teams and,observing her sensitivity towards his ganger during another of his regeneration crisis's sends her with him. For their part Jennifer shows Rory a pile of gangers left to die,explaining this wrongdoing must be exposed to the world. Shortly after,however it is learned the original Jennifer has been killed. And just as the factory is about to be flooded with acid,Rory learns he has been travelling with the ganger Jennifer all along. When confronting the oddly conflicted ganger doctor,Rory and the other gangers are soon exposed to the fact that one of the workers,and therefore his ganger,is a father. This revelation of his child begins to break the others apart from the ganger Jennifer's obsession with vengeance against humanity. 

                       When the original father is killed after exposure to acid,the Doctor not only lets him understand he must now be the father but that,together the gangers and the humans must now unite together against the ganger Jennifer who is mutating further and has murderous intentions. When the TARDIS is bought underground,following the deaths of the original workers,the Doctor reveals to Amy that she'd been travelling with his ganger all along so he could learn more about The Flesh. So while the ganger doctor and Cleaves stay behind to sacrifice themselves to destroy the ganger Jennifer the original along with Amy,Rory and the other gangers return to the mainland in the TARDIS to explain the situation to the authorities and to find a better solution. There is another twist Rory must confront: the Doctor has learned from his encounter with The Flesh that the actual Amy hasn't been travelling with them for some time and he is forced to destroy the revealed ganger version. Meanwhile,before an eye patch wearing lady  the real Amy is about to give birth.

                        This emerges as an excellent story that continues on from 'The Rebel Flesh' as an excellent treatise on human rights violations. In the end,most of the gangers realize that by waging war on their creators due to their mistreatment would bring them down to their level and decide to confront their creators to plead their case peacefully. The doctor's place in this story is basically one game of misdirection after another. Much in the spirit of the seventh doctor's tendency to manipulate the events of those he cared about to create an all around good outcome,the Doctor resorts to switching places with his ganger-apparently not only to learn more about the Flesh and it's intentions,but it order to assure himself of the unreality of the ganger version of Amy.  The idea of making the family connection,to help assure and stabilize the humanity of the surviving gangers also added to this. Again it's Rory's high ethical values and spirit,when confronted with the sight of "defective" gangers piled into a massive blob that sets many of the events into motion that,as most of the best science fiction stories can do,uses the medium as a filter to point out important ethical and emotional questions one might be too afraid to ask oneself in reality.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Doctor Who-The Rebel Flesh
                                                  Swept passed near disaster by what the Doctor calls a solar tsunami,the TARDIS lands on Earth in the 22'nd century near a 13'th century monastery where they follow an underground pipeline,apparently pumping acidic liquid fuel back and forth from the mainland,to it's source. It's a power supply factory run by a team who've discovered an amazing new method of sustaining their workforce in their dangerous work: a viscous,mimetic substance called The Flesh. The few workers at this factory have developed devices by which they can create new precise physical and mental duplicates of themselves in order to reduce work related fatalities. Upon touching The Flesh,the doctor senses a living consciousness within them. Though he warns the workers of the impending solar tsunami activity,they along with their clones they refer to as the gangers elect to stay in their factory while the Doctor tries to disable their power system. He succeeds and is briefly knocked out along with Amy,Rory and many of the workers.

                                           Upon awakening the it's discovered that the Gangers have gone missing in the apparently one hour they'd been unconscious. This after Cleaves,one of the workers believes it's been 12 minutes. They find in another part of the factory an area containing paraphernalia indicting the gangers not only are still there but now are convinced they are the people they originated from. Experiencing unusual symptoms another of the workers named Jennifer discovers she is actually a ganger. It isn't long before the Doctor realizes the same is true of Cleaves. While Rory sympathetically  sticks with the ganger version of Jennifer,the Doctor prepares to locate the other gangers who have gotten to the pressure suits in order to survive in order to iron out some negotiations between the creators and their twin creations. This fails when Cleaves attempts to destroy the clones,including her own and both join into divided camps against the other. Before the Doctor can take further actions,he is confronted with a ganger version of himself.

                                            This Doctor Who story brings up some very fascinating and important human ethical questions that have been bandied about as we in real life have begun to edge towards the possible genetic engineering phenomenon cloning. Is it the life of the originator of the genetic material or the outcome of that which will be held of a greater or lesser value? Although in this story being able to see each other for the equals the other is,the arrogant self righteousness of characters such as Cleaves is what creates the conundrum about what one values about life itself. Rory,as a nurse with medical training,recognizes that value in the ganger Jennifer completely when-during the most touching scene of the episode she brings Rory nearly to tears as she struggles with her budding human identity.  The Doctor for his part shares this opinion,and is acting very much as the diplomat in helping people who are literally taking to fighting themselves. This is complicated,of course when he finds himself in the very same position.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Doctor Who-The Doctors Wife
                                While answering what appears to be a knock at the door of the TARDIS while travelling through time and space the Doctor intercepts a distress call he believes to be from a fellow time lord named Corsiar. Upon setting the TARDIS for said coordinates he,Amy and Rory find themselves intercepted by a trio of disheveled and apparently mentally unbalanced people. Not only that,but the very life force of the TARDIS seems to be drained .One of the people here is a woman named Idris who claims to have first hand knowledge of the Doctor. He sends and Amy and Rory back to to TARDIS while he searches for lost time lords here through an interception via an Ood called nephew by House,the sentient planet they are on. This leads him to discover House has been collecting TARDIS's,and therefore their distress beacons,for some time-feeding on their radiant space/time energies. And the people inhabiting this place are merely patchwork reconstructions from other life forms,including time lords. Not only are there no actual time lords here,but House is planning to destroy the Doctors TARDIS in the same manner as all the others. With Amy and Rory aboard.

                               Good news is that Idris reveals herself to be the humanoid embodiment of the Doctors own TARDIS,whose life force had been drained by House. Unfortunately the energy produced by the TARDIS is so powerful it is quickly destroying it's humanoid host. As Amy and Rory find their conceptions of each others lives and deaths endlessly toyed with inside the House controlled TARDIS,the Doctor and his own TARDIS-in-humanoid form are scrambling to construct a homemade TARDIS from the scraps around them to intercept House,Amy and Rory. Using her own telepathic circuit the doctors TARDIS is able to send a message to Rory to activate one of the Doctors old control rooms,in this case the one used by his ninth and tenth incarnations, in order to trick House into believing he'd accomplished his mission of escaping into the universe and thereby allowing the radiant energy of the TARDIS to escape back into itself. However,this brings tears and sadness to the Doctor as he's gotten to know the TARDIS in a way he never had before.

                          Over the course of Doctor Who,he's Doctor has faced very little that was totally unexpected. In this case,admittedly their were times where he was operating in the dark and even Amy and Rory picked up on this. Overall this is a story about very complex shifts in emotion. Again Amy's fears of losing Rory on their often dangerous missions with the Doctor are fodder for the malevolent and self serving House when he's taken over as the TARDIS's consciousness. By getting to know his own TARDIS in an attractive female form,the Doctor becomes fully aware not only of the TARDIS's conscious identity,but of his own personal relationship with it as well. In the end,this leads to the Doctor becoming completely emotionally vulnerable as he witnesses the TARDIS,whom he has now come to realize was more like his life partner than a time/space ship,suddenly re-enters into a state where he can no longer visually and verbally communicate with it. This in turn provides a source of concern for Rory who,as a trained nurse,finds himself deeply troubled in the same manner as the doctor when all is said and done.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Doctor Who-The Curse Of The Black Spot
                                Following the TARDIS intercepting some type of automated distress call the Doctor,Amy and Rory find themselves on a 17'th century pirate ship. Being nearly murdered as stowaways by the ships Captain Henry Avery,a former Naval commander. Seems the crew of the beleaguered vessel have encountered some type of siren,who is killing crew members every time a black spot appears on the palm of their hand. It isn't long before both crews find themselves facing the Siren herself,even to the point of Amy having to masquerade as a swashbuckling pirate in order to protect Rory from her spell. With the rational the siren is responding to water,the Doctor leads everyone to the barracks where there is no water. While there they find that Captain Avery's son Toby has stowed away following his mothers death,believing his father to still be a navy captain. After the TARDIS is abruptly whisked away and Rory is at last taken by the Siren the Doctor concludes that,between the stillness of the sea and the pirate treasure that it's the reflection that is the source of the siren's presence not the water.

                  Once Toby is taken by the siren,the Doctor comes to the realization that Siren represents an intelligence and is not killing anyone. In order to find out he convinces Amy and Captain Avery to join him in allowing them to be taken by the Siren to discover the truth. The trio find themselves on a space craft,apparently existing in the same space as the pirate ship but on a different dimensional level. Inside they find the entire crew of the ship,along with Toby and Rory,in what looks like a big hospital. When examining the fact the black spots turned out to be DNA samples it turns out that the Siren is actually a holographic doctor,pre-programmed to treat and protect any life form it encountered following the ship crashing and it's crew being killed. With the revelation the drowning Rory cannot survive off life support he asked Amy to perform CPR on him. Before leaving to do this in the TARDIS-which had transported itself to the ship,Captain Avery decides to remain on the ship and navigate it away from Earth to help his son and crew. Amy is eventually successful at saving Rory's life. Yet the questions still remains:how should the couple deal with their knowledge of the Doctors impending doom and how will he deal with knowledge of Amy's unusual pregnancy?

                 Throughout this episode are different stories of redemption. Captain Avery,upon encountering his son becomes motivated by his protective mechanisms to save him and his crew. As the Doctor pointed out,this might also have been motivated by guilt over the fact Captain Avery's avarice lead him into a life of piracy in the first place.  The story also presents a possible science fiction answer to the singing siren tale-depicting the figure as one that has hidden benevolent intentions that are merely thought of as curses due to the lack of complete scientific understanding of those aboard the pirate ship. Again the awkwardness of the relationship between Amy and Rory is played up here. Amy shows a good deal of assertiveness in this story,which at first seems to be puzzling and even mildly threatening to Rory. When faced with his own death at the end though,a concept which interestingly seems to deeply disturb the Doctor,Amy is the first person he puts his trust into to save his life.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Doctor Who-Day Of The Moon
                               Three months following the their encounter underground with the mysterious and easily forgotten aliens,Agent Delaware has been following Amy,Rory and River all around while the doctor is under his capture being questioned about the events that occurred. Amy and Rory are captured and apparently imprisoned with the Doctor in an inescapable substance while River Song leaps off the side of a building to avoid capture. As it turns out,every bit of this is a ruse to get all of these people back aboard the TARDIS to investigate the alien situation further. The Doctor equips everyone on board with a special memory recorder in their palm which,since these aliens apparently employ a form of post hypnotic suggestion that makes people forget their faces but remember their intentions,will allow them to retain at least their own reaction upon encountering the creatures. Their first stop is to an orphanage,where the man running it not only has forgotten where all of the orphans have gone but that the facility was to have close down two months earlier.

                          While investigating Amy finds in an empty bedroom photos of herself before encountering the little girl in the space suit once again,as well as the aliens. By the time the Doctor and Rory reach her she has apparently been abducted by the aliens. Investigating back in the tunnels,Agent Delaware and River discover that the spacesuit the girl had actually escaped from contained advanced alien life support technology as well. By this time the Doctor has learned from an encounter with the alien he was able to retain knowledge of that they were in fact the Silence,aliens he'd heard reference to earlier while in 16'th century Venice and had been influencing humanities progress since virtually the dawn of humanity. Apparently all over a space suit. The Doctor is able to get inside Apollo 11 to implant a special device,using his connections with President Nixon to get himself out of the resulting sabotage interrogation. The purpose of the  device was to repeat the aliens message post hypnotically when Neil Armstrong took his first steps on the moon to the billions worldwide watching,so they could resist the Silence without even realizing it. Bidding Nixon and Canton Everett Delaware farewell,the TARDIS grew set back out on their own adventures.

                        One could say that the idea of an alien conspiracy existing on Earth since the dawn of time and influencing humanities progress is very much a 1990's revisionist history cliche of the highest order,this Doctor Who story takes a typically quirky and even witty spin on this. For one,the purpose of the Silence on Earth is never made 100% clear. Also the Doctor is able to utilize the idea of "lost time",a phenomenon closely associated with the Roswell era conspiracy in order to turn humanity against the Silence. So unlike most stories covering this,the ending is a generally happy one. Most importantly this story offers many personal and sometimes humorous revelations of the characters. The Doctor and River Song kiss here,perhaps revealing part of their future relationship. We also learn about Amy's insecurities about her pregnancy and Rory as a father. In particular perhaps a motivating force for Canton Delaware,not only for leaving the FBI but helping out so willingly the humanitarian oriented Doctor (who actually trolls "Tricky Dicky"hilariously in the same scene)-that he Canton Delaware is involved in a biracial homosexual relationship. Definitely a character worth revisiting again perhaps. Overall an excellent story of truth and revelation on many different fronts.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Doctor Who-The Impossible Astronaut
                        The second season featuring Matt Smith's eleventh Doctor begins with newlyweds Amy and Rory finding signs in everything from history books to television that the Doctor is trying to call out to them,culminating in them receiving a blue envelope telling them to meet the Doctor in Utah,in the United States. In the future River Song has received another such envelope. When they finally arrive to meet the stetson clad  doctor and River they also encounter a man who is a complete stranger who introduces himself as Canton Everett Delaware III,what appears to be an Project Apollo era astronaut rises from the water and destroys the Doctor right before their eyes. Mr. Delaware has bought a container of gasoline to set alight the remains of the Doctor so the time lords body doesn't fall into alien hands. He insists that while he already knows Amy,Rory and River they as yet do not.  It's also no coincidence the Doctor had just instructed Amy,Rory and River to journey back to 1969. At the same time it's discovered each of the letters received were individually  numbered,and all except the one marked with "1" has been discovered. At a cafe in town,the trio discover the note has in fact been opened by a younger version of the Doctor who,apparently was sent to this exact location to assist his companions in helping him deal with an unknown dilemma.

                 Using the TARDIS computer they are able to decipher Mr.Delaware's identity as an FBI agent  who has been assigned to President Richard Nixon to help out with a phone call directly to the president from a mysterious little girl claiming,of course that she wants protection of a strange astronaut she's encountered. At first naturally suspicious when the Doctor arrives,the President and Delaware soon both find the Doctor not only having taken over their entire operation but helping in locating the coordinates of the girl making the phone call. On a visit to the rest room Amy encounters a frightening alien in a suit,who she realizes she also saw in Utah who instructs her to pass on important information to the Doctor. She photographs the creature with her camera phone but by the time she reaches the Doctor,she's forgotten the message she was to impart. Meanwhile she,Rory,River the Doctor and the bewildered Canton Delaware depart in the TARDIS to investigate the source of the call to the president. They find a store area filled with both contemporary NASA equipment as well as extra terrestrial ones. Meanwhile River sets off underground with Rory to investigate a group of tunnels that seem to spread out beneath the entire surface of the Earth and are also of extra terrestrial origin. Just as the Doctor,Canton Delaware and Amy arrive under the surface,Amy suddenly remembers to announce her pregnancy to the Doctor just as they are accosted by the astronaut again,whose helmet is pulled up to reveal the face of  a  little girl.

                   This is one of those Doctor Who stories where the questions definitely hold more weight to the story than the answers. And the story is comprised mainly of questions. Why would something wearing an Apollo era space suit have the ability to destroy a time lord like the Doctor? Why was a young girl in 1969 America personally calling the President regarding a similar occurrence? And more over why was it that the Doctor sent letters to his companions,including himself from the past,to unravel the entire mystery? In the end Amy and Rory are put into the position of having to trust the even more mysterious character of River Song,who herself seems to be able to bend and shape trust as much as the Doctor does space and time. When Rory confronts her as to her interest in the Doctor,River does admit that she has a completely paradoxical relationship with the Doctor in time and,by the time he she meets him for the first time,their knowledge of each other will be out of sync. Canton Everett Delaware is played up as the hardened FBI agent suddenly forced to throw all his preconceptions out the window when encountering the TARDIS and entering the Doctors life. Mark  and William Morris (as the elder Delaware) Shepard play up this mixture of skepticism and awe extremely well. Overall this episode is a well played mystery that leaves one wondering until the next part. 

Friday, November 9, 2012

Doctor Who-The Pandorica Opens-The Big Bang
                  In 1890's Provence caretakers of Vincent Van Gogh  notice a strange peculiarity in one of his paints. This is inscribed with a message that results to it being sent on to Winston Churchill during the London blitz. The only two things these evens have in common is the Doctor. For his part he and Amy are off to visit Planet One,the first planet in the universe to decipher a message left there for the doctor. The message is from River Song,who has again escaped prison in the 52'nd century. Masquerading in ancient Rome as Cleopatra,she warns the doctor of the opening of the Pandorica,an ancient and inescapable prison thought by him to be a myth. The Doctor,River and Amy manage to locate the coordinates of the Pandorica under Stonehenge by a Roman Warrior who turns out to be Rory,who remembers Amy though she does not. 

              Deciphering that ships are orbiting Earth from every adversary of the Doctor the Pandorica is opening because,as stated when confronted by his all of his nemesis at once that the explosion of the Doctors TARDIS will result in all the cracks in time and in the end of the entire universe itself. Not to mention the fact Rory is actually an Auton created by the Nestene consciousness but the Doctor bought Amy along on his travels because he began to realize that the outcome of Amy Pond's life wasn't making any sense. And further more all of the events,from the Romans to the Pandorica itself originated from Amy's own mind. The only way the Doctor feels he can conclude all this is by entering the Pandorica and sealing himself off from time inside the Pandorica as the universe comes to an end around him,while River herself plays witness to the destruction of the TARDIS as the Auton version of Rory accidentally kills Amy. Than the entire universe literally stops.

             A tween Amelia Pond finds herself confronting the Pandorica again in a starless late 20'th century,with her elder self inside after following notes left by the Doctor for her to go there. Apparently this all began when the Doctor realized that he and the Auton Rory survived the end of the universe intact for some reason. Upon using a portable time travel device,the Doctor and the Auton Rory meet up with two Amy's in the future,pulling River Song out of the time loop she was stuck in on the TARDIS because,as the Doctor soon realizes, due to the presence of a Dalek that the reason time is unraveling is that the TARDIS exploded at all points in time at once and the resulting explosion is the only thing that sustained what remained of Earth. But everything in the space/time continuum is still unraveling. 

               The only way the Doctor ascertains he can undo this enormous paradox is by using the Pandorica to enter the crack in time and use the create another big bang to "re-boot" the universe by combining the energy of the TARDIS with that of the Pandorica. Forced to re-witness a rewind of time as the cracks in time and his life comes to an end,he visits a young Amy Pond shortly after their very first encounter to remember him just as he had remembered her. Meanwhile an adult Amy Pond awakens to find her parents and the real Rory,both of whom she'd forgotten the existence of beforehand on her wedding day. At the wedding ceremony,the sight of River Song in the window and a blue book presented to her by Rory encourages her to remember the Doctor. This memory unravels the paradox once and for all and the doctor and the TARDIS,much for everyone's surprise reappears. After enjoying Amy and Rory's wedding reception,the Doctor is joined by the newlyweds on a new mission in the TARDIS to discover what actually caused the TARDIS to explode to start with.

              Doctor Who has had many stories over the decades that might qualify as being epic in nature. But the majority of them focused on a single event in time in a specific location. In this episode,a two parter I've chosen to present as one story,might very well qualify as the most sweeping epic story in Doctor Who history thus far. The Doctor is faced with a completely paradoxical unraveling of the very thing he understands and is able to control-all of time and space himself. And confronted with an alliance of all his adversaries,from Daleks to Autons at once,they actually have a logical reason in their minds for wanting to stop him. Though he doesn't know why he is the catalyst for the universes destruction.  Amy is the key either way,her life fragmented into illogical segments from the moment she encountered the crack in time and the doctor. Therefore once all is restored to normal,and the Doctor is forced to confront the deepest of emotions towards his newest companions Amy and Rory? Well there is no doubt they will be part of his journey through time and space for a good amount of time to come.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Doctor Who-The Lodger
                                               Upon emerging from the TARDIS,again in the wrong place and time in a British  suburb the TARDIS suddenly fades and the Doctor locates a note left by Amy at a future time telling him to stay in a specific place. This "place" is a flat where pedestrians have been lured with calls for help into the upstairs apartment and never seem to return. Upon arriving at this flat he's greeted in an unexpectedly warm manner by a Craig Owens,who just happens to be renting a room out. The warm greeting,of course was intended for Craig's gal pal roommate Sophie with whom he has fallen in love. Happily bemused by the Doctors colorful presence in his life,the Doctor himself soon becomes concerned over what appears to be a growing mildew stain on Craig's ceiling and strange noises coming from the upstairs apartment from "some bloke" as Craig describes him.

                                    Even as the Doctor,attempting at first to pass himself off as human even to the point of participating in football games with Craig who for his part also grows fond of the doctors expert cooking,Craig becomes suspicious of the Doctors ramblings (supposedly to himself) in his room. Things come to a head when Craig touches the mildew on the wall,is injured and falls victim to the time loop the Doctor is investigating to the Doctor further helps out Craig by holding down his job before he arrives. Now perceiving the Doctor as a hostile usurper,Craig is than made aware through a psychic link of the time lords identity and intention and together they,Sophie and Amy sleuth out what's been happening. Turns out the upstairs apartment is actually the attempted of a crashed alien ship to create a makeshift TARDIS,thereby creating the time loop effecting Craig,Sophie and Amy's inability to land the TARDIS. Because it is searching for a new pilot,it is up to Craig to admit his love for Sophie in order to release the ship from it's bondage. Having saved both the planet and assisted Craig in his life the Doctor continues his travels with Amy who,upon discovering her and Rory's wedding ring also rediscovers the "crack in the wall" rip in time yet again.

                             With some of the previous episodes being mildly heady in nature,this is an excellent change of pace. Matt Smith performs wonderfully in this goofball romantic comedy with James Corden as Craig,the shy and lovable "everyday person" who,as with 'Vincent And The Doctor' before this finds himself within a situation seemingly contrived to help his life personally. Unable to tell roomie Sophie of his feelings for her,which turn out to be reciprocated,Craig at first finds the Doctors eccentric boldness as more a hindrance than a help. Though for the most part,this is the story about the Doctor befriending Craig and perhaps inadvertently giving him and Sophie a little spice in their lives. In the end,after Craig and Sophie become saviors of the planet,the couple have made best friends for life in the Doctor-even offering him the apartment key should he ever want to return,though knowing through his psychic connection with the Doctor that is highly unlikely. Basically a relatively warm and funny story of self honesty and friendship.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Doctor Who-Vincent And The Doctor
                     While admiring the artwork of Vincent Van Gogh at Paris's Musee' d'Orsay,the Doctor becomes concerned over the presence of a Griffin like creature he sees pained into the window in Van Gogh's painting 'The Church Of Auvers'. He and Amy then journey to 1890 Provence where they find a town's people menaced an some invisible force they cannot see. They of course round on the tortured Van Gogh as the culprit when the Doctor and Amy convince the painter to allow them to stay in his home to discover the source of the problem. While getting a first hand look at Van Gogh's work as it was being made the Doctor,confronted by rather coherent descriptions of a creature Vincent claims to be seeing,uses a discarded piece of equipment on the TARDIS to decipher that what is being seen is a creature called a Krafayis,a violent alien race who exist beyond the human visual spectrum. 

                           The Doctor,Amy and Vincent than retreat to the actually church where they find,fight and where Vincent unintentionally murders the creature who turns out to be blind and frightened. Though creating emotional conflict within Van Gogh,the Doctor and Amy then begin to focus on another mission: to restore the despondent and misunderstood artist's faith in himself and keep him from his inevitable suicide. To help this out the Doctor invites Vincent to join him back in the contemporary Musee d'Orsay in order for him to experience first hand how revered his artwork would become. Convinced at Vincents assertion that he is now a happier man the Doctor and Amy return to the museum in the future to find that,while they were unable to prevent the painter from taking his life,that the Krayfayis has not only disappeared from 'The Church Of Auvers" but his famous Sunflower painting now includes a dedication "To Amy",with whom Van Gogh had fallen in love.

                           Without a doubt this is the most emotionally engaging and creatively sweeping Doctor Who episodes I've ever seen. While the protagonist the Krafayis serves no other purpose than to showcase the emotional torment of Van Gogh,it's Tony Curran's brilliant portrayal of the painter that moves this story along. Not to mention a memorable cameo by Bill Nighy.Here Vincent becomes one of the Doctors companions. They are not only moved by the painters caring and kindness towards not only Amy but the Doctor as well,but also by watching a man tormented by mental illness and loneliness by being denied the opportunity to be successful with his art. The Krafayis do showcase another possibility. In his being the only individual in this story who can see the creature,who not even the time lord can see,one is left to wonder if Van Gogh's dreamy creativity and fantasy prone personality was based not in mental illness but by a thought process more advanced than he could comprehend. And in the end,while she still has no specific memory of Rory,Amy's compassion and hurt at not being able save Vincent from ending his left as well as the Doctors similar emotions showcase their awareness of this is indeed very strong.


Sunday, November 4, 2012

Doctor Who-Cold Blood
                                Upon arriving in the underground city of the Silurians,the Doctor and Nasreen find themselves the pair are captured and sent to the same labratory as Mo,father of Elliot and Amy-both of whom had just escaped thanks to some clever slight of hand on Amy's hand. While the Doctor and Nasreen are subjected to experimentation by Silurian scientist Melohkeh Amy and Mo locate a large ground of Silurians in suspended animation located on transport discs that lead to holes to the surface. All of these events are overseen by Resdac,twin sister of the captured Alaya overseen the Silurian military operations and the re-awakening of their people over their mistaking the phase of the moon for a coming apocalypse a millennia earlier.  Convincing Melohkeh and Alaya that,through negotiations for the safe return of Alaya and Elliot can lead to peace,the Doctor engineers not only he ans Nasreen's release but also a chance to speak before the Silurian council. On the surface Tony Mack,poisoned by the sting of Alaya,has in addition to her sons capture deeply affected Ambrose. When taunted by Alaya in her contempt and distrust for humanity,a distraught Ambrose stuns her to death. This of course breaks the bargaining chip,especially when Nasreen and Amy have become successful in negotiating with Silurian leader Eldrane for humans and Silurians to share the Earth together. 

                       Ambrose,Tony and Rory are given the opportunity using the transport discs to enter the Silurian community in order to return Alaya. Knowing of what happened,the drill is set by Tony and Ambrose to activate with anymore attacks upon them. Upon the revelation of Alaya's death to her sister,Resdac launches an all out war on humanity with Silurian troops-killing Melohkeh in the process as he returned Elliot to his father after attempting to study is aging process. Once returning to the laboratory with the Doctor and the human party,Eldrane explains the only way to end this is for everyone to escape to the surface in the TARDIS and for the Silurians to return to hibernation for another millenia,while a decontamination process with effectual end Resdac's military coup. While at the last minute Nasreen and Tony Mack elect to join the hibernation,the doctor is faced with one last minute problem;the same rip in time following the Doctor and Amy everywhere reappears. When attempting to retrieve an artifact from it for investigation Rory is injured and absorbed by the light. A distraught Amy,fighting her own unsuccessful battle to remember him,returns to the surface with no memory of his existence. While Nasreen's drill was destroyed the possibility of a future Silurian/human alliance is opened-until the doctor discovers that the artifact he discovered from the time rip,a burnt piece of the TARDIS, actually spells out the possibility of a future for him that is less than satisfying.

               From beginning to end this is an emotionally gripping episode on many levels,filled with compelling characters one can both route for or against. Resdac and her cause represents the same schism between the scientific and military community among the Silurians that was pointed out in the third doctor stories featuring the characters. As dramatically illustrated by Ambrose's fear based reaction in murdering Alaya,the feelings of mutual mistrust were on some levels more than mutual. Nasreen and Melohkeh emerge as sympathetic characters. Both show a genuine interest in the peace and welfare of both Silurian and humans,even to the point of showing strong redemptive behavior for their own mistakes in the process. Eldrane feels the strain as the nearing peace is sabotaged by Alaya's murder. The feel of this political thriller is changed when Amy faces not only the loss of Rory to herself,but from existence entirely. In one gripping scene,the Doctor shows full and almost desperate compassion to encourage an Amy wild with grief not to put Rory out of her mind. In the end however,with his discovery of the TARDIS's possible future destruction that more is at stake than he even imagined.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Doctor Who-The Hungry Earth
                                     With the intention of taking Amy and Rory to Carnival in Rio,the TARDIS finds itself in a small Welch mining town in the early 2020's. Upon going to investigate with Amy,and leaving Rory behind the Doctor discover an enormous drill where,in the control area the Earth is opening up beneath the two people in charge, Doctor Nasheen Chaudrhy and her local assistant Tony Mack. Grabbing and Tony and Amy,but only succeeding in pulling Amy down before Tony and Nasheen stop the drill the Doctor determines from this and computer readings of the project that something is on it's way up from the Earth core. The original point of the project was to excavate an ancient blue grass containing rare mineral deposits. However something is reacting badly to this.

                          Meanwhile Rory has been mistaken for an investigator looking into recent disappearances of dead bodies at a local grave yard by a woman named Ambrose,whose husband was also taken below the surface in the same manner as Amy Pond,and her son Elliot. The Doctor,Rory,Nasheen,Tony,Ambrose and Tony then meet up and join heads to try to deal with the problem as the force coming from underground surrounds the area with an impenetrable force field. Using his strong improvisational skills to set up a series of sensors from all local cameras and electronics available the Doctor is,with the help of the savant Elliot,to help them track the intruders. Elliot himself is later captured by one of the intruders when he wanders off but the Doctor and Rory are able to track down and capture one of the intruders.

                         Turns out no one is dealing with an intruder but rather a presence from the Doctors past-the Silurians. The intruder is a female named Alaya,who claims the Silurians are still looking to reclaim the planet they understand as theirs. Having promised a distraught Ambrose and Rory he will retrieve their loved ones,the Doctor travels off in the TARDIS to investigate the situation with the help of Nasheen,who worms her way into the TARDIS as a temporary companion for him. Meanwhile Tony,who was stung by Alaya earlier,is shown to be developing green varicose veins on his shoulder in the area where he was stung. Meanwhile Amy finds herself being experimented on in an underground laboratory in the company of Elliot's rather. At the same time the Doctor and Nasheen have discovered the unexpected:an entire Silurian civilization underneath the Earth's surface.

                       This is a very special episode in the sense that it marks the first appearance of the Silurians in Doctor Who in almost forty years. Therefore it's fitting that the episode very much has that flavor of terrestrial mystery one would find in a Jon Pertwee ara Doctor Who story. The main differences though is the lack of UNIT being present and not being quite as epic in length-this being only a two part story. The continuity though is very strong. Matt Smith exhibits some third doctor-like traits in this such as a love for gadgets and problem solving,as well as his pleas for the people around him to use brain over brawn in the conflict between two humanoid inhabitants of Earth. The Doctors handling of Elliot,who is dyslexic,is empowering without being two politically correct. And the progression of the story and cliffhanger makes the next part all the more exciting to anticipate.
Doctor Who-Amy's Choice
                                   A married and pony tailed Rory and his very much expecting bride Amy receive a visit from the Doctor after what has been a five year separation. After catching up briefly and Rory observing everyone in their town lives into their 90's,they trio re-awaken inside the TARDIS. After a few such episodes the Doctor determines that one of the two worlds they seem to be leaping back and forth two with the sound of tweeting birds is an induced,psychically connected dream state since all three of them are sharing the precise same visions and interacting with each other within in as well. On the TARDIS side of things,it's lost all power and is drifting towards an as yet unseen cold burning star which is in danger of freezing the trio to death. On the other end the Doctor has managed to ascertain that the elderly citizens of the town are aliens known as Eknodine,who are able to inhabit humanoid bodies and offer indefinite life but also turn genuine humanoid lifeforms to sand. By this time however the Doctor,Amy and Rory are aware of the nature of this danger. A mysterious,impish man has appeared addressing himself the Dreamlord who claims to have control over the TARDIS crew's subconscious state and is doing so to prove a point to Amy about the man she wishes to chose as her life partner: either the very human Rory or the inscrutable and complicated time lord.  

                           Between both realities the Dreamlord has created the two situations;the cold burning star and the conflict with the Eknodine respectively,in order to provide a means by which Amy will make her choice. While the Doctor continues to throw off the Eknodine,the Dreamlord attempts to hold Amy inside the freezing TARDIS in order try at manipulating the choice she makes. Upon her return to the dream reality she witnesses Rory be reduced to sand by the Eknodine before her eyes,at which time she informs the Doctor she's decided this is not the correct reality after all. At this point the Dreamlord returns everyone to the TARDIS claiming it is the proper reality until the doctor realizes the truth by "destroying" the TARDIS: that both supposed realities were dreams created by dream inducing alien crystals stuck in the time mechanism,as well as Dreamlord being a manifestation of the Doctors inner doubts. They depart for their next adventure,with Rory giving Amy a genuine choice on the destination.

                        By constituting a complex plot line involving completely distorted realities and it's link to human emotion itself,this story wonderfully ties together this seasons (so far) loosely fashioned story line that Amy Pond's adventures with the Doctor,much like Ace's with the Doctors seventh incarnation,seem to be very much contrived to help Amy understand some of the psychological complexities she is continuing to run from,even while travelling inside the TARDIS. This is compounded by the fact that the Doctor realizes the Dreamlord is him all along,but chooses not to reveal that until the entire affair is over in order for Amy to understand for herself so that she can understand the importance of how her own thoughts can change the reality unfolding around her. The audience might get involved in the same experience with the story-no more sure than the main characters until the very end just what is reality and what isn't. Of course,as pointed out by Rory,the question of reality within a time machine that's bigger on the inside than out that can be anywhere in time and space is very subjective anyhow.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

You voted for the 100'th review on this blog. And the winner is...
Doctor Who-City Of Death
                                        On a primordial wasteland a spaceship piloted by who a voice heard on it's intercom as "the last of the Jagaroth" suddenly explodes. Meanwhile in Paris in 1979,the Doctor is intent on showing Romana is the ideal place for a rest bit for the two time travelers. Both during a visit to a cafe where a sketch artist draws Romana with a clock on her face and a visit to the Louvre to show her the wonders of human artwork,the Doctor and Romana are both subjected to two unusual and brief time loops. In the Louvre,the doctor is given an unusual bracelet that Romana determines the bracelet is a very sophisticated alien device. The pair run into British Detective Duggan at yet another cafe later who has been tracing down a Count Scarlioni and his Countess for some time. Since it was apparently her who was using the bracelet scanner the Doctor and Romana somewhat reluctantly team up with Duggan,who has a talent for breaking through different building materials to investigate the matter.Upon entering into the Counts mansion,the trio are taken prisoner by him. At first convinced their is an fine art theft occurring in the city,by the time they engineer an escape so much more has already occurred. With the help of a physicist Dr. Kerensky,the Count has been constructing an unusual device to accelerate time that Kerensky at first believes is designed to feed the human race. 

                                    While imprisoned however,the doctor discovered six identical hidden portraits of the Mona Lisa,all done by Leonardo Da Vinchi. After a quick trip in the TARDIS alone to Da Vinchi's original workshop,he is intercepted by Captain Tancardi who,interestingly enough looks exactly like the count. The Captain explains to the Doctor that he is the last surviving member of the Jagaroth named Scaroth,a war like species who were looking for a new world on which to settle. Upon trying to do so with primordial Earth,Scaroth's ship exploded and he was separated into many halves throughout Earth's centuries. These halves have been pushing forward human technological development in their respective time frames so Scaroth could later develop the technology to restore himself to normal time. Upon returning to Paris,it also becomes apparent that Scaroth had been using his time device as well to commission Da Vinchi to create many copies of the Mona Lisa to finance his project. After Romana is taken prisoner by Scaroth and forced to complete the device the Doctor,Romana and Duggan return in the TARDIS to meet him and the Doctor explains how the destruction of Scaroth's ship on primordial Earth was the causal factor for all development of life on Earth. After killing the Countess and Karensky for being found out,it is only deemed fitting when Duggan knocks Scaroth unconscious so the proper sequence of events can occur. Upon returning in the TARDIS,Scaroth is forever displaced from all time and space by his device and the Doctor and Romana depart least one of the original Mona Lisa's back in the Louvre and leaving a very bewildered Duggan behind.

                                     Many viewers and fans of Doctor Who consider this to be the all time best episode of the classic series. There are many reasons for that. One is the seamless story telling which illustrates the idea of an alien race being responsible,if not purposefully,in the creation of life on Earth. This is a scientific theory that is quite significant in today's mode of thinking on evolution. Another reason is the character of the Doctor. While there would be many who would bemoan the Doctors more comedic attitude during the programs 16'th and in particular 17'th season his attitude in this story,perfectly mingling of curiosity,surprise,drama and remarkable comic wit helped to create in this story the caricature that most people might commonly think of in reference to Tom Baker's character. It is in this story he becomes very consistently the Doctor as he would play him. The episode being shot on location in Paris is also an excellent feature and the entire serial is wonderfully photographed cinema graphically. Further comedy is added to the story via one time companion Duggan,with knuckles thick enough to break bricks but a mind alternately too thick to comprehend much of anything. Monty Python's John Cleese also makes a wonderful cameo as a museum goer in the Louvre observing the TARDIS disappear believing it to be an art installation. Although what makes the ideal Doctor Who episode is very subjective,this definitely deserves all the credit given to it.
Doctor Who-The Vampires Of Venice
                     At Rory Williams bachelor party,the Doctor appears from a cake in lieu of a stripper and announces Amy and his kiss earlier. He then takes both Rory and Amy aboard the TARDIS to what he has determined to be an ideal honeymoon spot: late 16'th century Venice. However not all is as it seems. Seems a boat builder named Guido has sent his daughter Isabella off to a girls school overseen by Signore Rosanna Calvierri,the cities patron from where none of the students ever seem to emerge. Thrown off by the announcement that the bubonic plague,thought long gone for over a century is still present in the city,the Doctor and his two companions soon both find themselves menaced by vampires. Or so they think. Teaming up with Guido,desperate to locate Isabella,it soon becomes apparent that Signore Calvierri and her supposed Vampire cohorts are in fact using the cover of a vampire for something far more sinister. Intent on finding out more,the Doctor sends Rory and Amy into the school to present Signore Calvierri with a false ID via psychic paper so that Amy can worm her way into the school and discover the truth.

                What she discovers is that the Signore is not only immune to the psychic paper but that she and her son are in fact fish-like hemavore extra terrestrials,and that the students in the school are in fact becoming the same. Isabella,who met Amy a bit earlier,enters the chamber and helps Amy escape-only to be forced by the Signore later to sacrifice herself. To who however? Forced to escape the army of pursuing hemavores however,Guido is forced to sacrifice his life. Upon meeting with Signore Calvierri alone after,the doctor is able to ascertain she is one of the last survivors of the now dead world of Saturnyne,which was apparently absorbed into the same cracks in the fabric of time menacing Amy and is attempting to re-populated the Earth as a new colony for her people. The plan is not only to flood Venice but to use their hemovoric abilities to repopulated their female population since apparently only their males can live on Earth. After attempting to unleash a massive electrical storm on the city,the doctor is able to sneak past the distracted Signore in time to power down the generator causing it with the help of distractions from Rory and Amy which end up killing the other surviving Saturnyne's left in the city. When Rosanna herself sacrifices herself as the last surviving member of her race,the Doctor prepares to leave Venice while asking Rory to join him and Amy on his travels,after which Rory happily agrees.

                      In addition to the implications of the "crack in the universe" running through this season,two very important plot points run through this extremely well written story that also benefits from being visually historically accurate and stunning. On both fronts,from Rosanna Calvierri and Rory Williams the Doctor is basically accused of putting himself into a conflict of interest. Even though the preservation of the Saturnyne people would mean the end for the people of Venice,if not not itself,the analogy is drawn by her to how the Doctor handled the extinction of his own people. Rory draws up a parallel idea about how the Doctor tends to bring people such as himself and Amy into his adventures,and occasional misadventures in order to ingratiate himself and get people to like him. In the end though,through the way in which he handles the situation in Venice and goes out of his way to protect both Rory and Amy,there's a resolution to this. Not to mention his pained regret at Rosanna's self sacrifice after her plans fail. There's also plenty of room for humor here,including some mild sexual innuendo between the Doctor and Rory in their adventures together. Also the Doctor pulling what turns out to be a "library card" featuring a photo of the face of first doctor William Hartnell adds yet more humor and historical continuity to what amount to one of the best episodes of Matt Smith's debut season as the intrepid time lord.