Category Archives: Television

That Martin Show

Recently I’ve delved back into That 70’s Show. For all the years I watched it as it aired, then the numerous times I’ve dived back into it and caught random repeats on various channels, it just never gets old.

I often watch television series’ or films and compare myself and my friends to characters, who they act like, what habits they share, the types of things they say and their methods of dealing with certain scenarios.

With that 70’s show I find myself in the unique position of being able to identify myself with most of the main characters. Obviously I’m better looking than Kelso so that’s one comparison we can all skip.

I’m a nerd or a geek or a weird little man (not so little) with a fascination with Star Wars, I always make situations worse when I think I’m going to make them better and strangely it’s almost always in a comical fashion. In that respect I’m Eric.

I’m rude, harsh, honest and have no fear in saying what I think no matter how it offends or insults. I almost always try and lead my friends down the path of some sort of path that I would never go down myself but I know it will give me amusement watching them do it. In that respect I’m Hyde.

I say the most inappropriate things at the most inappropriate times. Sometimes I say them for comical effect, sometimes I say them without thinking not realising how inappropriate it actually is. In that respect I’m Fez.

I am incredibly impatient, with no tact and will almost always complain about anything and everything. Sometimes I just want a quiet life, a life of no annoying kids running around the streets, people leaving my beer alone and not having to help people out because it’s just an inconvenience. In that respect I’m Red.

That 70’s Show is an outstanding piece of comedy TV in which it relates to almost everyone at some point in their life. 8 seasons of this show and I guarantee I will never get tired of watching it over and over again.

For those who haven’t yet seen it, I won’t spoil anything but as I currently watch it again I’m nearing the end of Season Seven, an ending which changes the show for its last season. I can’t lie, Season Eight isn’t the same as the rest of the seasons but it still rounds the show off nicely.

It’s also amazing to see how far those actors came since being on a show that nobody knew would get past the first season. Ashton Kutcher, Mila Kunis and Topher Grace just to name a few.

It might have been a modern show set in the past but it was way ahead of its time. 506b9f116e6340e7e5eeaa916

 

There are no strings……on me

The title of this blog is there for no other reason than that one line in the Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer still has me excited. Although this entry into the blogsphere will no doubt have some Marvel information in it. As I write that, it sort of gives away my way of writing blogs. I come in to them with no clear idea of what I’m going to write. Some of them are outlined before I sit down while most of the are just whatever tangent my mind decides to take me on….

I purchased a new book last week, well there were a few books, but the one that I’ve started reading is called “The Girl With All The Gifts” by M.R Carey. I recommend it to anyone reading this and while it’s hard to actually say what it’s about without giving away spoilers, I will say that it has me hooked with the twist near the start.

I also reread “The Dark Knight Returns” comic by Frank Miller a few days ago. While most people know it as the best Batman comic that there is, I often fear that it hinges on becoming idolised too much. However every single time that I read it, I realise that it really is the best one and the only one (in my opinion) that comes close is ‘The Killing Joke’ One Shot by Alan Moore.

DC are trying hard to make an impact on the live action scene. ‘The Flash’ is fantastic, I’ve been watching it for the past few weeks and it’s so different from ‘Arrow’ but it still has the same gravitas. ‘Arrow’ has really hit the ground running in season 3. The end of episode one really set the course for this season and episode two was a bit of an emotional roller-coaster. ‘Gotham’ needs some work in my opinion. I like it but it just doesn’t yet seem to be consistent from week to week with its quality. The portrayal of James Gordon is fine but it feels like it could have a bit more to it. The James Gordon that I’ve always been familiar with was a layered individual but this version just doesn’t seem to have anything other than what you see on the outside.

Of course there is also DC’s line up of movies to come. ‘Dawn of Justice’ is still a year and a half away from release, something which still baffles me. I really thought that DC would want to capitalise on the boom in comic book movies sooner rather than later. It looks to me like Dawn of Justice will be in preproduction for almost two years which I just don’t understand.

Marvel however are still knocking it out of the park with movies. Yesterday saw the press event and the announcement of ‘Phase Three’ in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The line up is a fantastic one and is as follows;

2015:
May 1: The Avengers: Age of Ultron
July 17: Ant-Man

2016:
May 6: Captain America 3: Civil War
November 4: Doctor Strange

2017:
May 5: Guardians of the Galaxy 2
July 28: Thor: Ragnarok
November 3: Black Panther

2018:
May 4: The Avengers: Infinity War, Part One
July 6: Captain Marvel
November 2: Inhumans

2019:
May 3: The Avengers: Infinity War, Part Two

I’m not going to lie, I lost my shit when the ‘InHumans’ announcement came. I was sat in front of my computer, watching the live newsfeed on Marvels website and when that announcement came I jumped with a cheer.

Chadwick Boseman being announced as the Black Panther is also a very interesting choice. I look forward to seeing him in the role.

Something else that caught my eye this week was Ewan McGregor and his comments about Star Wars fans…

“The people I meet are the f**kers who want me to sign Star Wars photos so they can sell them on the Internet or the people at premieres who are crushing children against barriers to get me to sign their f**king picture of Obi-Wan Kenobi.

“They’re not fans—they’re parasitical lowlifes and f**king w*nkers

I’m not entirely sure if I see his point or not, of course I’ve never been a celebrity so I can’t see things from their point of view. I do however agree that there are some fans, no matter what they’re a fan of, who take things too far and have no respect for anything or anyone.

One final thing, which I shall leave here for you to watch is the exclusive scene released last night for ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’, it is attached to the start of the trailer in this clip and it just feels so big and epic.

Back to Normal

It’s time to take this blog back to some normality. The referendum for Scottish Independence is now over and I realise that my last few posts were all about that. For Scotland and myself, the fight continues but for this blog, it’s time to move on.

This is the time of year that every television fan gets excited about, it’s the new TV season. Old shows return and new ones make their presence felt in an attempt to make an impact. For me, having a subscription to USTVnow is such a relief, it means that even though I start having really late nights, I also get to stream the shows as they air across the pond.

Every year I have my calendar set up, each show is anticipated greatly and I love sitting down with a cup of tea to watch them. This year there’s a notable absence of ‘How I Met Your Mother’ ‘The Tomorrow People’  and ‘Dexter’ which makes me sad. It feels like over the past few years I’ve lost so many great shows from my planner and so far not many new shows have lived up to them. While there are other shows which gradually over time I’ve just lost interest in i.e. ‘Two and a Half Men’ and ‘The Big Bang Theory’

I will get around to start posting on the shows which I’m enjoying. As time goes on I’m sure opinions will change and shows will get dropped from the planner.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D deserves a quick mention here, mainly because something has perplexed and shocked me. (SPOILERS BELOW)

Why kill off Lucy Lawless in her first episode? Was this supposed to set the stage for the rest of season and make the audience realise that nobody is safe? Or was it simply a bit of stunt casting?

I have to say that I was so happy to see The Absorbing Man added to AoS. It’s about time that the show had a real villain, hopefully they make the most out of him and this years season is a great ride to be on.

Also a quick mention to ‘Gotham’, I surely can’t be the only person who felt that there was no need to rehash the Waynes death yet again? I will get around to writing up a full review but I need to watch it again because after seeing that alleyway scene played out for the 100th time, all I could think about was how fed up I was of seeing it.

Forever

Put something on television with a Sherlock Holmes vibe and the chances are that it will catch my eye. The male anti-hero concept is one that has been used quite often in recent years and while it runs the risk of becoming too commonplace it can also make for compelling viewing if presented properly.

At this time of year, I always find myself perusing the pilot episodes for new shows. Across the pond in America, they seem to have a much better grasp on what entertaining television is and so with the exception of Doctor Who, most of what I watch is American (so grateful for my subscription to USTVnow) . One pilot that really caught my eye this year is “Forever”.

It follows Dr. Henry Morgan (played by Ioan Gruffudd) a highly skilled and extremely intelligent medical examiner who just also happens to be immortal. He dies of course, but he has died a lot of times over the years. It just so happens that every time he dies, he emerges inexplicably and naked from a nearby body of water.

“Forever” isn’t original in the slightest. The way in which Dr Morgan rattles off his observations and deductions is of course very much like Sherlock Holmes. The way the flashbacks are used to show the life of this immortal being is somewhat reminiscent of “Angel”, the hinted season long story arc plays out like any other mystery show and dying and coming back to life instantly reminds me of Captain Jack Harkness. It’s unoriginal but it’s entertaining and captivating.

Alana De La Garza as homicide detective Jo Martinez is a great choice. De La Garza has been on my radar since she was in an episode of Smallville around ten years ago. She’s a seriously underused talent and it’s great to see her get a substantial role in a show which actually interests me. I’m not interested in Law and Order or CSI so I never really caught her work in either of those.

To top it off, we have Jeff Goldblums father from Independence Day Judd Hirsch portraying Abe. The adopted son of Dr Morgan. The scene in which Morgan and Abe are brought together actually intrigued me and I really hope that we see more of that relationship through flashbacks.

The one problem that the show faces is trying to find new and inventive ways to kill off its lead character. For me, Jack Harkness’ deaths were becoming dull after a while. I think that when you have to do it so often it becomes hard to keep it fresh. We’ve already seen Morgan die in a subway crash and by falling off of a roof. Two rather dramatic deaths in my opinion, so how do they keep them as dramatic and interesting through the rest of the series?

All in all, Forever is definitely worth watching. What it lacks in originality it makes up for in entertainment. I do however get the feeling that it won’t attract enough viewers. I hope I’m wrong but if it does get cancelled then I hope that we at least find out the mystery of the man on the phone beforehand.

 

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Warrior

They always say that you should make the most of life because you never know when it’s going to end. I don’t think that’s ever been more true than in the case of one of my childhood heroes over the weekend, the Ultimate Warrior.

My first real memory of wrestling is watching Ultimate Warrior and Hulk Hogan one Saturday morning while my mother was doing the weekly ironing. I have no idea whether it was the full match or whether it was just highlights from Wrestlemania but that’s the first image that I have in my head from wrestling. I remember turning to my mum and asking her “Do you mind if I watch this” to which she replied “no”. At that age, I didn’t understand the question that I had just asked and so her telling me “no” caused me to take it that I couldn’t watch. I remember sulking until she explained to me what it meant and so with renewed happiness I turned back to the TV to continue watching and have been captivated ever since. Ultimate Warrior not only got me hooked on wrestling that day but also helped me learn something new, he was a man of many colours.

Over time the Ultimate Warrior slowly faded from public conciousness and it wasn’t unexpected, many old school wrestlers do fade away from the public eye. However, Warrior never stopped putting his name out there and with regular YouTube posts and tweets in recent years, it was easy to keep up with what the legend was doing.

For many Warrior fans, the dream was to see him inducted in to the WWE Hall of Fame but for many many years, that looked like nothing more than a pipe dream. WWE and Warrior had seemingly destroyed all bridges and there appeared to be no chance of rebuilding them. It was sad but many of us came to terms with the fact that we would never see Warrior anywhere near WWE again. Then something magical happened, in 2013 WWE released a trailer for their new video game WWE 2k14 and right there, right in the trailer, was Warrior promoting the game, dressed in full Ultimate Warrior gear. It was one of those rare and unexpected moments that just was so exciting that I don’t think I’ve ever watched a trailer as many times over in my life.

Earlier this year WWE announced that FINALLY the Ultimate Warrior would take his place in the WWE Hall of Fame. If ever there was a collective cheers from a group of fans heard around the world then it was at that moment. There are a lot of people who don’t have a lot of good things to say about Warrior but he was a legend and he deserved to be there.

This past weekend came and on Saturday the Hall of Fame aired live on the WWE Network. Being in the UK it didn’t start airing over here until 2am (yes I know it’s not launched over here, but I wasn’t going to wait until next year for it so I had to be sneaky sneaky) As I do with most wrestling events I sat up late waiting for it to start, I then sat through all the speeches, not complaining about it because all the inductees deserved to be there but the one I was waiting for was Warrior. At around 4.45am he finally took to the stage, walked out arm in arm with his daughters and the man looked happier than I think he had ever been. He gave a speech that at times bordered on rambling but it was still fantastic all the same.

On Monday he appeared on RAW for the first time in almost two decades. As soon as that music hit, I felt chills going up my spine and excitement pulsing through my body. Ultimate Warrior was back in a WWE ring and I was as happy as any other Warrior fan. The obligatory rope shake occurred and at that moment, I looked at Warrior and thought to myself that he didn’t seem the same but then I chalked it up to his age and his not being an active competitor any more so I brushed it off. As he spoke I felt like a child again, Ultimate Warrior was in a WWE ring and I was watching it and it wasn’t a repeat, this was happening and this was happening right now. As he left the ring I found myself looking forward to his next appearance, he had recently said he signed a multi-year deal with WWE, and I couldn’t wait to see him again. However, there wouldn’t be another appearance.

Yesterday morning I woke up to a Facebook message from a friend which just read    Capture

It was a crushing blow, like being punched in the gut. I never met Ultimate Warrior, I didn’t know Ultimate Warrior but I was inspired by Ultimate Warrior. Without him I doubt that I would have been as captivated that Saturday morning all those years ago, I doubt that I would have discovered my love of wrestling at such a young age. I’m a grown man and I know that wrestling is pre-determined and there’s no competitiveness to it but I also know that I don’t care about that. I watch it because the storytelling that can be done in the ring is tremendous. I watch wrestling because a very young me sat cross legged on the floor watching a man in face paint captivate my mind.

Load up the spaceship with rocket fuel Warrior because wherever you’re going there’s a ring set up waiting for you with all the greats. You will have one more match and your legacy will live on forever.

Back to business…

For just over a month this blog has sat in silence, not a peep, not a hint of anything new. There are a number of reasons for this, the main one being that in my mind I am either in one of two moods. The first one is where I have too much to say and so could write for days on end, compiling novels from my thoughts. The seconds is where I have nothing that I deem interesting to say, no matter how hard I try to string words together they just aren’t interesting enough to write. For the first two weeks of this blog being quiet, I was in the latter mood. I could not think of anything worth writing, and as much as that is one of my two moods, it’s a very rare occurrence. I never find myself struggling to write or indeed come up with ideas for something to write. I have however returned to write down the inner workings of my mind, for you to read, whether you find it enjoyable or not is a different matter.

With Doctor Who off of our television screens, I often find myself at a loss of what to watch. I have my usual light viewing shows such as Arrow, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D (which is a new addition) and The Walking Dead. I do find myself lacking that “addictive” viewing that I get during the series’ of Doctor Who, that is until January comes around and the road to Wrestlemania begins. I suppose that my childhood obsession with wrestling will always be with me, I figured that if I reached 25 and was still interested in it then it would be a lifelong thing. I’m well past 25 now and it still excites me, especially between January and April when Wrestlemania rolls around.

Last night I watched “Insane Fight Club” which followed the Glasgow wrestling promotion “Insane Championship Wrestling”. I’ve not been to an ICW show in just over a year and it pains me that I haven’t been but something always comes up and I can’t make it. However last nights show proved what I’ve been saying for years ICW are on their way to the top.

I read yesterday that Kevin Smith is to return to writing comics, this time for a Batman meets Green Hornet 12 issue run. For me, two of my favourite comic book story arcs have been written by Kevin Smith – the Daredevil arc “Guardian Devil” and the Batman limited arc “Cacophony” so hearing that he’s returning to write another arc is exciting.

Speaking of Kevin Smith, today the Jay and Silent Bob UK Tour was announced. I have to say that I’m extremely disappointed that Scotland isn’t on the tour. It’s something that happens regularly with touring acts, they announce a UK tour but leave Scotland out. It gets frustrating after a while and eventually it will get to the point where I stop caring.

This years seems to be passing by far too fast, something that isn’t new. Every year passes fast but as year arrives they seem to disappear quicker than the one previous. It reached a point the other day where I started looking back at previous years and thinking to myself “that was 16 years ago” or “that was 20 years ago, it only feels like 2 years”. It’s scary how quickly time passes, soon it will be gone and I’ll be a decrepit old man roaming around the streets talking to myself about the days when Ipods and Ipads were popular.

On a final note, as most people will know I’m not the mst patient when it comes to waiting for American shows to air over here (I can’t even wait 19 hours for the Walking Dead) so it should come as no surprise that Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D is always on my Wednesday morning “to do” list. This weeks S.H.I.E.L.D was an excellent episode. I love anything with Asgardians, the trouble these days is that with the success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe I was worrying that Thor would be the only one to get any sort of exposure and so it was great to see Lady Sif and Lorelei this week. Lorelei has always fascinated me as a character and seeing her brought to life was brilliant.

Sherlock

While I try very consciously to try and keep this blog free from actual “reviews” sometimes it’s hard to write a piece on a subject without it coming across as a review. The following is (in my mind) not a review but more of a personal standpoint on the latest series of Sherlock, the BBC’s hit show and Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss’ love child.

May contain spoilers.

It takes a lot for me to watch what people would class as “normal” television. Sometimes my mind is so attached to the Sci-Fi genre that watching anything else doesn’t challenge me enough to dedicate any time to a different genre. I will admit I love the occasional comedy show, a friend recently introduced me to ‘It’s always sunny in Philadelphia’ and it was one of those rare occasions where I enjoy it.

Back in 2008 I heard rumblings about a new “Sherlock” production, a one off, hour long show headed up by Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss. I was instantly interested, not only have I been a fan of the original Sherlock Holmes novels but ever since I first saw ‘Press Gang’ I have been a huge Steven Moffat fan. At that moment one of my favourite writers was writing for my favourite show (Doctor Who) and was about to co-write a show based on one of my favourite literary characters, needless to say that I was excited.

As time progressed things changed, the pilot was filmed and never broadcast, at the point of hearing about the non-broadcast I was somewhat confused. Rumours circulated that Sherlock was a disaster and would never make it to air. Then news broke that, yes it would be broadcast but not only that the pilot would be re-shot and Sherlock would now be a three part series consisting of 90 minute episodes. I was once again excited.

Series one and two of Sherlock were exactly what I had hoped for. It wasn’t Sci-Fi and I knew that when I sat down but it captured my imagination like only Sci-Fi could. The plot lines were intricate and well thought out, there were no front and centre relationships and you genuinely had a show that made you think. The cast were and still are fantastic, being a fan of Cumberbatch since I first saw him in 2004’s television film “Hawking” I was even more thrilled with his casting. Sherlock was fast, intelligent, witty and one of the best things to hit television screens in years.

Then came another two year wait and we finally got series 3. Sherlock was back with a brilliantly written episode ‘The Empty Hearse’ by Mark Gatiss followed by a collaboration by Stephen Thompson, Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss called “The Sign of Three” and finally Steven Moffats finale “His Last Vow”

For all intents and purposes series 3 was a success but for me it wasn’t the ‘Sherlock’ show that I had fallen in love with four years ago. Gone were the intricate plot lines, the fast paced intelligent action and instead the relationships took front and centre. In the space of two years a show that I had loved for being outside the box and one that I commended for its ingenuity had all of a sudden conformed to being what I despise in most other shows.

Relationships were always a byline in the first two series’ and that’s what made it so great. We were treated to some fascinating plots and some fantastic deduction scenes by Sherlock himself. Suddenly that was gone and the deduction scenes we had this series were minimal and quite frankly boring. In the very first episode called “A Study in Pink” when Sherlock and Watson are sitting in the back of a taxi and Sherlock tells him how he knew he was in the army and that his brother was an alcoholic, that was fantastic that was what made me love the show. Fast forward four years and you get Sherlock standing in a court room with some woman and working out how they were all connected, it just wasn’t the same.

To me Sherlock series three has lost the edge that the first two series’ had and while I enjoyed it it just wasn’t the same show. I’m not complaining in such a way that I’m going to take a hissy fit and say that I’ll never watch it again because that’s a lie, it’s still a good show but it’s lost the certain elements that made it a fantastic show.

I’m going to give the Moff a bit of leeway with it because he had the Doctor Who 50th anniversary last year and I can only imagine how much time was spent on that, there’s every possibility that he just didn’t have time to put together an amazing episode of Sherlock. I’ll give Gatiss the same leeway but not just as much, his script should have been better. Thompson had written his script with both Moffat and Gatiss so he can’t totally be held accountable for his writing.

My hope is that when Series Four appears there is more of a return to the way Sherlock was and less of a return to what Sherlock has become.

The one big stand out for me this series was Yasmine Akram, I instantly thought she was great in “The Sign of Three” but I thought that her story was finished so it was great to see her back in “His Last Vow”

The one bonus…………….Moriarty Lives!

That one I didn’t see coming.

So many episodes.

This year I set myself the challenge of watching every available episode of Doctor Who including the reconstructions of missing episodes. I first had the idea back in February and decided that I wanted to be finished by November 23rd, in time for the 50th Anniversary episode. A total of 701 episodes resulting in many many hours in front of the television with some Irn-Bru and the occasional baked potato.

My first experience of Doctor Who was when I was a tiny little boy no more than 4 or 5, I was visiting my Nana and Papa and I think if I remember correctly it was my Papas idea to watch it. As clear as day I still remember that VHS case coming out and within a couple of minutes the titles for Sylvester McCoys “Curse of Fenric” flying across the screen. Men in a raft opened the show, the mist rolling across the water as they made their way into a cave at the side of the ocean, what was this I was watching? Moments later, she appeared, the most beautiful thing I had ever seen in the form of Sophie Aldred. 5 years old and I knew I wanted her as my girlfriend. From that moment on I was hooked. I watched as much as I could when I could, from VHS recordings straight from the television that my Papa had in abundance and shop bought VHS’s from John Menzies (who remembers that shop?)

Sylvester McCoy was my introduction to the series and when I discovered Patrick Troughton my little fanboy heart fell in love. I’ve not stopped watching since that first VHS. Then for the first time in 1996 I got to watch a brand new Doctor Who with the rest of the world. Paul McGann was bringing the Doctor back and I was elated. I remember sitting in front of the television, legs crossed, eyes fixated as my hand dipped in and out of a giant bag of crisps. Doctor Who was back and who knew maybe it would stay? I hoped it would, like so many others I loved this show. Alas it didn’t come back and once again it disappeared into the void. I think that it was around this time that I started reading some of the novels, personally I don’t think I would have been given them had it been known what was contained in some of the writing. Some of the graphic nature contained in those novels definitely wasn’t suitable for anyone under the age of 18 but I didn’t care it was a Doctor Who fix for me, the Doctor was still going on adventures and I still knew about them.

In 2005 when the show came back I was like a giddy schoolgirl. I waited and waited, when the episode “Rose” leaked online a couple of weeks before hand I resisted, I wanted to enjoy it with everyone else as much as I was tempted I managed to refrain. By the time the end credits rolled on the 26th of March 2005 I was over the moon. Christopher Eccleston was ‘fantastic’ and even Billie Piper had won me over. The new TARDIS interior? Wow I was impressed, even the Autons were back. I had just witnessed the most triumphant return I had ever seen.

This year, 701 episodes, a good few Big Finish audios and a couple of novels and I think it’s safe to say I’ve had my fair share of Doctor Who in 2013 and I can’t get enough. I just finished watching “Inferno” which now leaves me one more serial to watch and I’ve watched every episode in the space of ten months. I decided I would watch the Curse of Fenric last, after all it was my first and I’m a romantic at heart.

In 15 days I along with the rest of the world will sit in front of a screen and watch the Day of the Doctor, the 50th Anniversary episode and I am so looking forward to it. On top of that the BBC is throwing a ton of shows at us in the next two weeks to celebrate and I’m just happy that I can continue my Doctor Who fix.

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Doctor Who – Top Ten Episodes

Choosing your top ten Doctor Who stories is a pretty tough job, with 239 television stories to choose from it gets rather difficult. Choosing number 10 is always easy, it’s always that episode that you know should be in your top ten but you don’t love it that much and choosing your number 1 is easy because that’s just your all time favourite story. Choosing numbers 9  through 2 is quite another story. The other problem you face is that there’s ten to choose and currently 11 Doctors which ultimately means you’re going to leave at least one Doctor out (unless you choose a multi-Doctor story, but lets be honest are any of them top ten worthy?) It’s a difficult task and one which should not be taken lightly, after all a top ten list on the internet is set in stone. Once I choose this top ten, it will be a reference point for anyone wanting to quiz me on my favourite Doctor Who episodes.

I did debate with myself whether or not to choose any Big Finish stories in this list and decided that I should probably leave that for another list so as not to confuse people who’ve never heard a BF story, the same goes for novels. So without further ado, here is my top ten Doctor Who Stories.

 

TEN – The Doctors Wife

I really really wish I could put this higher up my list, it has Neil Gaiman writing it and he is by far my favourite author. Not to mention we get a new enemy and someone who, for a while, you truly believed could put an end to the TARDIS. Matt Smith utters one of his best lines as the Doctor when House tells him that he’s “killed hundreds of Time Lords”  Matts line? “Fear me, I’ve killed them all” it doesn’t matter how many times I watch it, that line still gives me a chill. All in all a very deserving number ten.

 

NINE – The Time Warrior

The introduction of Sarah Jane Smith to the TARDIS. I could really just leave it like that couldn’t I? Truth is that there’s so much more to this story than just the debut of Sarah Jane, there’s also the introduction of the Sontarans in one of the best reveals of the classic series.  The end of part one sees Linx take of his helmet and turn to the camera revealing a hideous alien who was just terrifying. I remember watching that on VHS when I was younger and being terrified and to this day it still hold that little bit of terror for me. Jon Pertwee at his best.

 

EIGHT – An Unearthly Child/100,000 B.C

Where it all began. 1963 introduced the greatest television show in history to the world and it all started here. Totters Lane, a policeman, a grumpy old man, a teenage girl and two teachers. I rarely see this in a top ten list and I can understand why, it’s in black and white and the production values are extremely low but I love it. I can definitely count it amongst my most watched Doctor Who episodes ever. Back then we had a completely different show, there were no Time Lords, no Gallifrey no mythology. Everything was just brand new and exciting, nobody had any idea that 50 years later we would still be watching this show and that it would have such an incredible history to it. The plot for this serial is genius, I love it. It’s always a tie between this and The Aztecs when I want to watch some good old Hartnell.

 

SEVEN – The Ultimate Foe

A controversial one I know, how many people would put a story from Trial of a Time Lord on their top ten? Well I just did! Why? It’s easy, overall TOAT was poorly written and wasn’t strong at all no matter how you look at it. Aside from this being Robert Holmes final script which sadly he passed away half way through writing, I really think that this gave Colin Baker a fairly decent final story, although nobody knew at the time that it would be his last. When people think of Colin Baker it’s fair to say he gets a lot of flack but ultimately it was more the writing of his stories that made his run so miserable. In my opinion  this was as good as it got with the Sixth Doctor. Let the abuse begin for where I’ve ranked it but for me it nailed it. The revelation of who the Valeyard is, the return of the Master, the creepiness of being inside the Matrix, some of the paradoxical stuff we were thrown. It has all the makings of a classic and for me it just is.

 

SIX – The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances

Moffat haters calm down. I think we can all agree that this was the pinnacle of Christopher Eccleston’s series. It took us to the second world war, introduced Captain Jack, had some truly terrifying moments with those damn gas masks and “Are you my mummy” still creeps me the hell out.  This is an story about the consequences of peoples choices and I thought it was perfectly written and the acting just nailed it for me. This was when Christopher Eccleston became the Doctor in my eyes.

 

FIVE – Human Nature/Family of Blood

“Here Russell, what do you want me to do with my episodes?” – “Erm, how about you turn the Doctor human?” – “Won’t that piss of the fans?” – “Do it so he’s only a pretend human”
That’s sort of how I imagine the conversation going between Russell T. Davies and Paul Cornell when planning Series 3. Of course Paul Cornell had written the 1995 novel “Human Nature” which the story was adapted from so I know the conversation didn’t go like that, but it’s nice to imagine. Weird that for me, I think that David Tennants best story as the Doctor is the story where he’s not actually playing the Doctor. I could have put Blink in here and truthfully I love Blink but it’s just not one of my top ten. Human Nature and Family of Blood just nail it for the tenth Doctor, scary ass Scarecrows, the girl and the balloon is something from the nightmare of a child and Baines is one creepy little man. A great resolution as well and one that sort of sticks a tiny lump in the back of your throat.

 

FOUR – The Caves of Androzani

A man in a gimp suit and Peter Davisons swan song. It’s both heart wrenching and slight funny at the same time. Sharaz Jek just cracks me up every time I see him but when you delve into the story he’s a very complex character. When I first saw him I thought this was going to be it, this is going to be the man that kills the Fifth, he’ll do something truly evil and kill him…………..if you haven’t seen it yet I won’t spoil it. There is a great scene ( I think anyway) with Peri and Jek. It’s often rated as one of the top Doctor Who stories and who would disagree with that? It’s just a shame that Peter Davison’s run wasn’t more like this because then it would truly have been brilliant.

 

THREE – The Enemy of the World

Oh how I leaped for joy last month, when the BBC announced that they had found and were about to release The Enemy of the World. My excitement level went through the roof, my heart started racing and my palms were sweating. I had heard the audio tracks and saw the one episode that was remaining but I had been waiting years for this. It immediately goes in at number three because it’s Patrick Troughton at his best. A dual role and a fantastic performance as both Salamander and The Doctor. Patrick Troughton is my Doctor and finally getting to see this work of art was like all my Christmases coming at once.

 

TWO – The Deadly Assassin

You give me anything that adds to Time Lord mythology and I’ll just lap it up. If you’re looking for a story that really bulks up on that mythology then you can’t do any better than The Deadly Assassin. The Master, The Matrix, a dead President, regeneration limit and more. This episode truly added to the essence of Doctor Who. It’s Goth feel was fairly typical of the stories we were getting back in the days of good old Tom Baker and it was just fantastic.

ONE – City of Death

My all time favourite Doctor Who serial. It never moves from this top spot and many contenders have tried to knock it off. Romana II is my ultimate companion, if I could have any companion round for a Sunday roast it would be her. I just wish that I had gotten to see Romana II and Troughton together. Alas Romana did her travelling with Tom Baker and this story is just the best I’ve seen. Appearances from John Cleese and a tremendous cast ensemble. A perfectly written story with a good few twists and turn thrown in. Some great cliffhangers, some amazing one liners and the Jagaroth! The Jagaroth are amazing and I wish that somehow they would come back into the modern day series. Scaroth just blows me away and the ending is nicely suited. Duggan! Duggan is the single greatest character ever written for this show that wasn’t a companion, he loves to hit things and he’s just hilarious. City of Death is my number one and it deserves it without a shadow of a doubt.

 

So there it is, my top ten Doctor Who stories. Sadly Sylv and McGann didn’t make it into the top ten and it’s not because I didn’t want them there because I love them both. It’s just that McGann only had one on screen story and lets face it, it wasn’t great (his acting was spot on but the story itself wasn’t) and Sylv just didn’t have a story for me that sits in the top ten. Remembrance of the Daleks just sits outside at number 11. Not long now until Day of the Doctor and perhaps, just maybe it will take one of these top ten spots.

The age old question………

When speaking about Doctor Who amongst friends there’s always one question that comes up. The answers are always interesting and varied. The question is of course “Who is your favourite Doctor?”

For some it’s Tom Baker, without a doubt the icon of the Classic Series and possibly Doctor Who as a whole. A 7 year run as the Time Lord with various companions, a variety of stories and of course the Key to Time arc. Baker was the essence of Doctor Who for so many years and his following hardly wavered after his subsequent departure from the show that transformed him into a household name.

For others, they’ll say that their Doctor is David Tennant. DT’s recent trip in the TARDIS arguably took Doctor Who to heights that wasn’t dreamed of when it was recommissioned back in 2003 and returned to the screen in 2005. Taking over from Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant is commonly voted as the most popular Doctor in polls by fans all across the world.

Many people will tell you that their favourite Doctor is William Hartnell, the man who started it all. They might tell you that it’s Peter Davison, Sylvester McCoy, Colin Baker, Eccleston, Jon Pertwee or even Paul McGann with his very short screen time but with his amazing audio adventures. Or they could be swayed in the direction of the more recent incarnation of Matt Smith who without a doubt has brought a crazy and childish persona and made it work in such a wonderful way.

If you were to ask me that age old question however, I would tell you without any hesitation that Patrick Troughton is my Doctor. The original childish persona, the original crazy Doctor. His storys are fantastical and energetic and his portrayal of the Doctor opened the door to the possibilty of the 9 actors (soon to be 10) who followed him. He was the first regeneration and the greatest of them all. Getting to finally watch “Enemy of the World” only cemented that for me. I will argue until I am blue in the fact that Patrick Troughton is greater than any other Doctor and I will refute any evidence that you can show me that says otherwise. Tom Baker may have been the most iconic but without Troughton he wouldn’t have had that opportunity, none of them would have.

It’s an interesting concept, that the same character divides so many of us. A lot of people forget that essentially all those wonderful and talented actors were portraying the exact same man. So I suppose the question “Who is your favourite Doctor?” should be made redundant because technically there is only one Doctor it just so happens he’s had 11 different faces.