"Doctor Who"

Star Trek The Next Generation/Doctor Who: Assimilation2 #7 Review

  • November 14, 2012 10:21 am
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Star Trek TNG/Doctor Who: Assimilation² #7 Review

In the newest issue of IDW’s Star Trek: The Next Generation/Doctor Who crossover, the Doctor comes face to face with Locutus of Borg!

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Star Trek The Next Generation/Doctor Who: Assimilation2 #6 Review

  • October 24, 2012 11:00 am
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Star Trek TNG/Doctor Who: Assimilation² #6

The Borg and the Federation strike an uneasy deal, but it actually seems to be working out well in the newest issue of IDW’s Star Trek: The Next Generation/Doctor Who crossover!

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Star Trek The Next Generation/Doctor Who: Assimilation2 #5 Review

  • September 26, 2012 11:48 am
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Star Trek TNG/Doctor Who: Assimilation2 #5

The Cybermen have betrayed the Borg and now plan to convert all of Borg space.  It’s up to the Doctor to convince Captain Picard to enter into a truce with the beings that once assimilated Picard into killing thousands!

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Star Trek The Next Generation/Doctor Who: Assimilation2 #4 Review

Star Trek: TNG/Doctor Who #4

The Doctor and the crew of the Enterprise continue to delve deeper into what’s brought them together and the alliance between the Borg and the Cybermen!

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Star Trek The Next Generation/Doctor Who: Assimilation2 #3 Review

Star Trek/Doctor Who: Assimilation2 #3 Review

The Cybermen have joined forces with the Borg and they are hot on the trail of the Enterprise in Star Trek: The Next Generation/Doctor Who:  Assimilation² #3!

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Star Trek The Next Generation/Doctor Who: Assimilation2 #2 Review

  • June 27, 2012 12:25 pm
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Star Trek TNG/Doctor Who Assimilation2 #2

The Doctor makes his way to the bridge of the Enterprise where they find a brutal assault on a colony by two unstoppable foes in Star Trek: The Next Generation/Doctor Who: Assimilation² #2!  Read on for our review…

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Star Trek The Next Generation/Doctor Who: Assimilation2 #1 Review

Star Trek TNG/Doctor Who: Assimilation2 #1

A nerd’s fantasy literally comes to life in IDW’s Star Trek: The Next Generation/Doctor Who: Assimilation².  Who was that nerd and what did he think?  That would be me and read on and you’ll find out!

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Holy Nerdgasm! The Doctor Makes a House Call Aboard the Enterprise!

This May the Cybermen and the Borg team up to assimilate the entire universe and only The Doctor and the Next Generation crew of the Enterprise can stop them!  Yeah, that’s right, IDW is totally crossing Star Trek: The Next Generation and Doctor Who.  Nerds, rejoice!  Then pass out.

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Doctor Who “A Christmas Carol” Review

“A Christmas Carol”

With Amy and Rory trapped on a spaceship that’s about to crash onto a colonized world, the Doctor must convince the rich old miser who controls the planet’s artificial cloud-system to help him or his friends will die.  Aided by a beautiful woman frozen in suspended animation, and a giant flying shark, the Doctor will bring together past, present and future just in time to save Christmas.

The story’s title draws an obvious comparison to the Dickens tale, about three spirits visiting Ebeneezer Scrooge and teaching him the meaning of Christmas and humanity while showing him various eras of his own life.

Luckily, the episode itself only borrows the initial premise, while thankfully staying away from a straight sci-fi adaption.

Unlike previous Christmas specials, which usually revolve around the Doctor’s sense of loneliness and isolation, this one features his two constant companions, Amy and Rory (who is now listed in the opening credits, good for him).  The Doctor’s whole motivation in the story is to rescue the pair.  This gives the Doctor free-range to try and help someone else deal with their inner turmoil, which is a much more enjoyably heroic trait.

Matt Smith’s Doctor feels a little more defined here than he did last season.  I think writer and actor have a better idea of where they want to take the Eleventh Doctor this time around, with Smith exhibiting an actual personality to go along with all his quirky traits.  Also, it helps that Amy isn’t around to overshadow him.

I thought Smith was a bit thin at times last season, in comparison with some of the past Doctors.  But here, he is in full swing, ranging from geeky nerd to suave party-goer (My new favorite Doctor-quote is “Marilyn, get your coat!”).  I hope this Doctor is the one we see return for Season 6.

As with a lot of Steven Moffat’s stories, this one revolves around children, with the kind of fairy tale feeling you get from something like Peter Pan.  The character of Kazran, in his pajamas, running around with the Doctor, brings to mind “The Girl in the Fireplace” and “The Eleventh Hour.”  We’ve seen this kind of story done before, with the Doctor traveling along someone’s history.  But to be fair, this one does have a different slant on it.  Here the Doctor is deliberately trying to alter someone’s life, which calls to mind Steven Moffat’s own short story “Continuity Errors.”

Kazran, the rich old miser, played by Michael Gambon (Dumbledore II from Harry Potter) was a suitably cranky character, but the kind you love to hate.  He got so many great lines in the episode, and the opening scene with him was hilarious.  And the character of Abygail was just as enchanting and lovable as you’d want her to be.

Remarkably, the episode is able to take all the different characters, and give them equal importance and time, without overshadowing anyone.  Amy and Rory don’t have a lot to do, but that’s fair, since we just saw a bunch of them, and we are about to see a lot more.

The story of Kazran is an interesting one.  As I said above, Steven Moffat wrote a short Doctor Who story way back in the 90’s called “Continuity Errors” (set in the planet-sized Library from “Silence in the Library) about the Doctor coming up against a bitter librarian who refuses to lend him an important book.  Just like this story, the Doctor goes back and changes bits of her history to make her a nicer person.  But here, things are a little tougher, as Kazran says in one of the best exchanges, “Time can be rewritten… People can’t.”

All the various Kazran’s did a great job, especially considering that he is essentially the villain of the story.  You come to understand and feel for him.

Abygail’s character is just as engaging, if a little less defined.  She’s more of a plot device than a character.  But in the end, it works out.  I’m glad we didn’t have to deal with the fallout of the situation.  At times, Doctor Who has focused a little too much on the sadness of a situation.  But here, we get the opposing argument, that sadness and happiness go hand in hand.  You can’t have one without the other.  I think that’s a hallmark of Moffat’s stories, and of his series so far.

Kazran and Abygail’s story was bittersweet, but perfect for both Christmas and Doctor Who. The whole tone, from the steampunkish setting, to various tricks with time travel, and Amy and Rory on the bridge of the Starship Enterprise, make this probably the most diverse Christmas special yet.  Even though Kazran tries to “put away childish things” when it comes to the Doctor and Christmas, I’m glad we don’t have to.

Bring on Season 6!


Pros Cons
Visually stunning, with a much more define personality for the Doctor Familiar premise for the show.
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The Doctor Who Serials: Geek Life

  • July 13, 2010 10:26 am
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Welcome to the first of my bi-weekly retrospective of the geeky, nerdy, and flat out awesome things I grew up loving.  My first topic is the awesomeness of the classic Doctor Who serials that ran from November of 1963 until December of 1989.

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What Is Geek Life?

Nostalgia is big business.  We all get a little misty eyed when we think of the all the cool things we had or did when we were kids.  For that very reason, every two weeks for the next year, ACB will proudly present a new issue of Geek Life.  It will be a retrospective, introspective look at all the great geek things of the past three decades.  But what can you expect from Geek Life?

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Doctor Who “The Big Bang” Review

Doctor Who “The Big Bang”

It’s about Time.

I often find myself forgetting that this series is predicated on the use of Time Travel.  That’s probably because it’s mostly just used to get our heroes to the setting of their next adventure, and then away from it at the end.

But one thing Steven Moffat is great at, and has been in almost every episode he’s written, is the use of Time Travel as a plot device.  So I was surprised that I was surprised at the constant back and forth the Doctor employed throughout the story, via the aid of River’s wrist-bound Vortex Manipulator.  At first, I was scared this whole episode was going to take place out of order, necessitating multiple re-watches just to understand.  But thankfully the time skips were confined to the first part of the episode, and used mainly for comedy after that.

After destroying the universe last week, there was the fear that some kind of deus ex machina would be employed to restore it this week, and make everything better, as has happened in the past.  Technically that is what happened, but thankfully it didn’t seem as lazy has it has before, like it wasn’t born out of desperation so much as that’s just how things went.

The best endings enrich the whole story and make it fresh again.  They make you want to go back and reread or rewatch the whole thing with this new information or twist in mind.  This was certainly the best episode of the season, not just in terms of achievement, but just in plain enjoyment.  The characters are vibrant throughout.  The threats are real, the emotions high and the whole thing was just a joy to watch.

Matt Smith has totally owned the role of the Doctor.  At times in the season, he was a little too mild or reserved for my taste.  But in this and the previous episode, he was simply perfect.  Perfect at his version of the Doctor, that is.  And really, that’s what we want.  Hopefully he has found his Doctor’s voice now, and next year we’ll get an even more defined version.

When Rory first took up with Amy and the Doctor, I was worried.  But honestly, I think they work best as a team.  They balance each other out and their relationship here at the end just makes all those older episodes more enjoyable.  Now it seems like the team wasn’t complete until Rory joined.

Rory guarding Amy for 2,000 years was beautiful and a truly great fairy tale on its own.

River was as enigmatic as ever, while also playing the role of a consummate bad-ass.  Making a Dalek beg for mercy.  Glorious and sacrilegious all at the same time.  She and Smith seem to have genuine chemistry, and I’m glad that if the Doctor HAD to have a wife or something similar, it’s a woman who’s as suitably larger-than-life as he is.

Although the main mystery is never solved and the real villain, if there is one, is never revealed, who cares?  I get the sense that this will be a story that spans Smith’s whole career as Doctor, or Moffat’s whole time as show-runner, assuming those don’t end up being the same thing.

No, what was really important in this episode was that this version of the show has finally found its voice.  There were a few growing pains, getting from the Russell T. Davis years to now, but I think they’ve finally done it.  And even if they had it all planned out ahead of time, at least now we, the audience, have an idea of what’s really going on, and what we are really in for.

It’s about time.

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Pros Cons
The series and the characters finally find their voice and make the show their own. Maybe a little too much ‘magic’ in the happy ending, but it fits the tone of a fairy tale
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