...which doesn't make sense really, but I thought it was time for another (rare these days) update. I'm sooo busy at work with marking and the like...take my advice, my little fruity tartlets, don't become a teacher!! My A Level students have all recently completed coursework that needed marking, to top that my Access students are doing oodles of asssements which will all involve even more checking and marking, and as if I wasn't enough of a glutton for punishment, I'm doing even more marking for an exam board this Summer! Well, extra cash for a holiday, I'm hoping for a trip to San Francisco, actually, Matty, hope you've noted that one.
Anyway that's not desperately interesting news is it? Of course the big thing I should be writing about is the current state of politics in the UK. Okay, confession time. I didn't vote during this election. Ahem, ahem. Largely because I hadn't got round to putting myself put on the electoral role when I moved from my last abode, but also, if truth be known, because I couldn't be a*sed and my way of thinking is "one vote isn't going to make the world of difference". Yes I know you're probably all shaking your heads and thinking "Well, if everyone took that attitude it would mean that parties who people don't want running the country would get in..." But I don't actually think that's the case. Confession number two - those of you who visit this blog at least semi-regularly will probably have gathered that I'm not exactly a political animal. A pop cultural animal with cheesy/retro obsessions and leanings, that's for sure. But not political. Well that isn't strictly true, I mean I do believe in fighting for gay rights and other worthy causes etc...Mmm feels like I'm digging myself a bit a hole now. Actually, another confession (number 3 - at the rate I'm going I'll have more confessions than Madonna) - I know that David Cameron and Nick Clegg have now formed a "coalition" but I don't really understand what this means in terms of politics and how the country is run. Would anyone care to enlighten a rather thick old 41 year old man??
Anyway one must move on. One other thing that's been overdue, and you just knew it was coming, was a bit of comment on the current series of Doctor Who. Yes you'd be forgiven for thinking that's all I can write about at the moment...I promise to try and devise some differently-themed posts...the problem is my average week seems to revolve around working Monday-Friday including evenings, working some of my weekend and - oh! - watching DW...my gosh, isn't my existence sooo exciting!
The Time of Angels/Flesh and Stone
Loved this two parter, well, to be precise I really, really liked it and it was a definite improvement on the previous Dalek one. Steven Moffat proved his writing abilities again with an involving tale that brought back not only the gorgeous River Song but also those nasty stone angels that advance on you if you so much as blink. On closer analysis the story itself was a little laboured and slow in places and nothing out of the ordinary - ship crashes on planet, weeping angel escapes, River and her team go to find it, team get hunted down by more angels and the Dr must find a way to stop it...But the way it was all conveyed raised the story above the average stakes.
I liked the opening Dr-River reunion scenes - great shots of her red high heels and forcibly ejecting herself out of an airlock, then flying towards the TARDIS (which confused me as I couldn't help but wonder how she could breath, let alone not actually explode in the vacuum of space - but as Dan informed me, if you listen carefully there's a line in there the Dr says about creating an air corridor - and someone else on his blog says that apparently you can survive for 1-2 minutes in space without asphyxiating! So there - and anyone remember what happened to Arthur Dent and Ford Prefect when they were ejected from the Vogon ship in Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy? God that was a long bracket bit).
River also looked fab in her party dress and the dialogue between her and the Doc was sparky and fun (including the revelation that the wheezing noise when the TARDIS materialises comes from the Dr leaving the breaks on when landing - has he been doing it wrong all these years?!) River's TARDIS style diary was on show once again and there were further hints about future developments in her relationship with the Dr. I was kind of hoping, if not expecting, that this story would show the first meeting between the Time Lord and Ms Song, but no, that wasn't the case. It's another meeting somewhere down the line ... gets a bit confusing when you think about it too much but also kind of intriguing.
Amy's inquisitive involvement, wanting to know exactly who River was to the Dr, also made for some entertaining moments. And we also got the revelation that River had - gasp - killed a man ... not the Dr surely? Later on we got River in combats and her role in the story became slightly more pedestrian with her doing the usual "help the Dr out" assistant type stuff. But it won't be too long til we see her again...
The angels themselves were back in force and even nastier this time round.
There were some genuinely chilling scenes, especially the one where Amy has to walk through a cluster of the stoney ones with her eyes shut. And the counting bit with the image of the angel in her eye was quite nasty. Also liked the bit when they all actually moved! Their method of defeat smacked too much of "Doomsday" though (when the Dr opened the rift and all the Daleks and Cybermen flew into it) - this was exactly the same. Would have been nice if they'd thought up a different solution.
The supporting cast were okayish - Ian Glenn was kind of bland but alright.
And did anyone spot black Steve from Eastenders as one of the clerics? As for the regulars, in case you weren't aware, this was actually the first story that Matt Smith and Karen Gillan filmed ("The Eleventh Hour" was the fourth one to be recorded I think. Similar to what they did with Peter Davison in "Four To Doomsday"...) If you look carefully you'll see that both Smith and Gillan have longer hair in this story than the previous one and in the very last scene in Amy's bedroom (I'll come to that in a minute) their hair is shorter, seeming to prove that this scene was shot and inserted later. God I am such a geek. It's no wonder I don't have time to vote, dwelling on such things...Anyway watching the performances of Matt and Kaz, I thought there was actually very little difference between the way they play the Doc and Amy in this one to previous (later shot) stories - they seemed to inhabit the parts automatically, and that was good to see. The only slightly jarring bits for Matt Smith were some "shouty-hyper" bits, reminscent of David Tennant. Well the guy was finding his feet I guess...
Then there was the closing bedroom scene. Erm, I must admit I hadn't seen that one coming and I'm not 100% sure if I liked it. Amy is a bit of a tart, isn't she? At least she didn't admit to a full on Rose/Martha style crush on the Dr, which frankly, would have been too much - no more mooning and pining over the Time Lord type companions, purlease! But snogging the Dr and asking him to sh*g her? Mmm.... Matt Smith's reactions were funny though -"Amy, I'm a 976 year old Time Lord!" (or words to that effect, I may have got the age wrong). I hope this plot strand gets forgotten to be honest - as good as it is to see Dr Who acknowledging adult grown up relationships and sex (which the Old Who largely didn't) these kind of soap opera theatrics do kind of detract from the storyline sometimes, something that RTD revelled in during the "Tyler" period of the show. Actually, "Vampires of Venice" has already been broadcast and most of us have seen what happens next ...
Anyways, in terms of overall rating, I'd give this two-parter 4 out of 5.
And talking of the aforementioned Vampires tale, that's the next one to be reviewed of course and yep, I'm late with it again! Got to say though, on first viewing, I wasn't massively enamoured with it and my rating might have to drop...Oh no!
So, see you in the not too distant...Ciao my lovelies....