Monthly Archives: October 2014

Doctor Who Mummy on the Orient Express

It was a little startling to see Clara as this week’s episode opened due to the explosive falling out that happened last week.  It’s explained pretty quickly though that this is her “one last time” out with The Doctor.  Some of the issues that Clara was dealing with in Kill the Moon are present in Mummy on the Orient Express.  Spoiler Alert: She totally changes her mind about everything.  Going so far to lie to Danny (Mr. Pink).  Let’s get on with the episode itself… Spoilers here, there, and everywhere.

Doctor Who Mummy on the Orient Express

Doctor Who Mummy on the Orient Express

The setting is clearly futuristic, but not specified.  The Orient Express we’re riding on is a space train modeled to look like what could have been the original Orient Express.  Similar to The Titanic from Voyage of the Damned.  Clara and The Doctor arrive in the Tardis after an old lady has been attacked by a mummy that only she could see.  One of the coolest things I was looking forward to was Foxes performance of Don’t Stop Me Now (YouTube link).  It was there, but very subtle.  I can’t take all the credit for discovering it though.  I found out about it through the ConGT Facebook Group.  A group for information about the upcoming Doctor Who convention in my town.  Anywho, back to the show.  Capaldi is definitely owning the role of The Doctor.  Or am I just  now adjusting?  Might have to go back and watch those first few episode before I delete them from the DVR.

So, The Doctor lies to Clara again and gets her to lie to an innocent bystander.  It doesn’t necessarily endanger any lives any more than they already were, but still.  It’s pretty surprising that after everything, Clara decides to stay with The Doctor.  I think she’s finding the new Doctor’s charm.  It isn’t quite as obvious as Smith’s charm, which was borderline goofy.

The mummy itself is a monster of the week with a little more thought and character than previous examples.  I don’t think I’ll spoil everything for you, but I will add that the show does what it knows how to do really well.  Make you feel sorry for the monster.  I really enjoyed the episode as a whole, but with no mention of Missy I’m really beginning to wonder how it will all play out.  I’m also hoping Capaldi lasts more than a season.

Our almost full week of glorious nerd Television closes out tomorrow night with the return of The Walking Dead.  I know a lot of fans are excited to see it back, but I’m curious about fans of another property.  How many are excited for Constantine?  I know I am.

Gotham Selina Kyle and The Balloonman

Combining the last two episodes of Gotham Selina Kyle and The Balloonman into one article.  No over the top spoilers, but spoiler is such a loose term that I will advise that if you’re sensitive to spoilers, watch the episodes before reading further.

Selina Kyle

In an episode that was previewed as all about The Penguin, he was barely featured.  Which was good.  I wanted a small break from the character so he could get in a more interesting place.  The villain for this episode was actually unseen.  I liked that a lot!  However, it was the Dollmaker.  So now we’ve got the Dollmaker on two different DC shows.  The Barton Mathis version was featured in season 2 of Arrow: Broken Dolls.  Looks like Gotham has the Anton Schott version based on the events of this episode.

I was really surprised to see the episode opening up with Bruce and Alfred.  I’m still not a fan of this gruff and crass Alfred Pennyworth.  Anyways, there really wasn’t a lot of attention given to the Wayne manor this episode, and that definitely something I liked.  With the uncertainty of where this show is eventually going, I’m not very interested in watching young Bruce deal with his grief.  This episode, instead, focused on the episode namesake: Selina Kyle.  She prefers the name Cat.  I like that too.  So far she’s my favorite character of the show.  Camren Bicondova seems to really know how to portray the character of an early Catwoman.  Direction seems to be spot on for her too.  You get to see her being ferocious, coy, and manipulative.  It’s perfect.  So, Selina gets embroiled with street kids being kidnapped by a very creepy couple working for the Dollmaker.  Like I said previously, we don’t actually see the Dollmaker, he’s just referenced.  After all the dust settles, Cat (Selina) attempts to strike up a deal with Jim Gordon for her freedom in exchange for the identity of the person who killed the Waynes.

gotham selina kyle and the balloonman

The Balloonman

A few more spoilers this time.  You’ve been warned.  The episode starts off with Penguin’s return to the city.  Witnessing the crime and corruption, he feels at home.  This is when the Balloonman strikes.  He handcuffs corrupted people to weather balloons and sends them up, up, and away.  Cat also manages to prove to Gordon that she was at the alley the night the Waynes were murdered, but slips away to the streets again.  The scenes with Bruce and Alfred seem to be a bit predictable, but it’s just hard to know what to really make of them.  Will extra time pass between seasons?  It’s really hard to know whats what since the show has not officially been renewed for a second season.  This is Fox we’re talking about.  The same folks who cancelled Firefly.  The show hasn’t officially been cancelled yet either, so don’t lose hope if you’re enjoying it.  It could take a much more sophisticated approach  to the Smallville method of having the hero become a hero without donning a cape.  For our protagonists, this was much more of a filler episode, but for our villains there were major developments.  Penguin is cozying up to a different crime family in hopes of getting his hands on a little power.  Fish Mooney is delicately trading blows with Don Falcone, and I can already predict that this is not going to end well for her.

Gotham Selina Kyle and the Balloonman – The Story So Far

At first it’s a little hard to see a Batman-based crime drama, but then I remind myself that he is “the world’s greatest detective” and premiered in Detective Comics, which is what DC stands for.  It does make sense that Bruce would become obsessed with crime solving after witnessing his parents’ murder.  I’m very interested in seeing this season through now.  I was a bit hesitant after the premiere.  I even waited until the weekend before the fourth episode to catch the second and third.  The Selina Kyle episode really encouraged me to keep watching and I’m looking forward to what’s coming on Monday.  There’s no argument that Marvel is killing it at the box office, DC owns television.  With Gotham on Mondays, The Flash on Tuesdays, Arrow on Wednesdays, and Constantine coming to Fridays the 24th of this month DC has a live-action action-packed TV schedule.  I love the Marvel Studios Movies (Ironman, Captain America, Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, etc.) but I’m a DC comics guy at heart.

Share your thoughts with me!

Arrow Season 3 Premiere

The Arrow Season 3 premiere was such an emotional roller coaster that I had to step back for a few hours before I could start writing this.  I feel that I should disclose that I did not watch seasons 1 or 2 of Arrow on television.  I recorded the pilot episode, because I’m actually a huge fan of the character…

Arrow Season 3 Premiere - Mike Grell Sketch

Green Arrow sketch by Mike Grell at Wizard World Nashville 2013

Unfortunately, I never got around to watching it.  We eventually deleted it from the DVR.  While surfing around Netflix one day Arrow came up as a suggestion and I added it to my list.  It was probably a few weeks later that I decided to sit down and watch the pilot.  I was blown away.  This was a character that helped inspire me to learn archery as a kid and I had the benefit of really only experiencing Oliver Queen after the brilliant and talented Mike Grell had given him a hood instead of a silly Robin Hood hat and made him a lot less silly.  FYI: if you ever have the opportunity to meet Mr. Grell, do it!  He’s very approachable and very amazing.  So… let’s just say that I pretty much binged on Arrow every night I could, watching 2, 3, even 4 episodes a night.  So good.  Unfortunately, I finished Season 1 months after Season 2 had concluded, months before it would be on Netflix, and quite a few weeks before it would be released on DVD/Bluray.  I turned to the only source I could find to get my Arrow fix: Amazon.

I bought the digital season and watched it through the Playstation 3 Amazon app.  I can’t really recommend this.  The quality wasn’t quite as good as watching Netflix on my Apple TV, but I steam-rolled through Season 2.  I was going to re-watch that awesome finale a couple days before the new season started, but I had the opportunity to watch it on a massive screen with a room full of fans to be followed up with Q&A by Manu Bennett (who had amazing stories to tell) at Wizard World Nashville 2014.

WW Ohio ComicCon

Spoilers! – Arrow Season 3 Premiere – Spoilers!

Here I am with the rest of the dedicated Arrow fans, desperately hoping the next week goes by fast.  So much happened!  Like the little heading says, the next section here is full of spoilers.  Well, for starters, they’ve changed the logo again.  This time a little more dramatically than the last time.  It has a more intricate look to  it.  Which is almost a commentary on the shows characters.  Things are going to get complicated this season.  There was a small name drop via billboard, Ferris Air.  Ferris was also featured in last night’s episode of The Flash.  There was also a major DC character that spilled over into Arrow in a BIG way, Ray Palmer (aka The Atom).  Palmer is attempting, and probably succeeding, to buy Queen Consolidated.  He doesn’t plan on stopping there though, he also plans to completely revitalize Starling City and proposes changing the name to Star City!  I hope it happens.  It’s been a weird adjustment to Starling for me.  I understand they tried to compensate by naming the county that Starling is in Star County, but this will be much better.

Team Olicity had its moments tonight too!  Ollie and Felicity actually went on a date and he began to really open up to her, before a grenade was launched into the restaurant.  This forced Oliver to reevaluate whether or not he is able to have a normal relationship while being Arrow.  The thing ends with an epic kiss, but it’s pretty clear that Felicity wants all or nothing.  We got a glimpse in last night’s “next on The Flash” montage of Felicity locking lips with Barry Allen (The Flash), so it may in fact be over before it really gets started between Oliver and Felicity.

Arrow Season 3 - Black Canary

Another bomb that was dropped on us as the show was ending was that Black Canary was murdered.  Multiple arrows in the chest and by black arrows with black fletching.  Usually a mark of someone from The League of Assassins.  Manu Bennett, at his Wizard World Nashville Q&A, did confirm that Matt Nable would be playing Ra’s al Ghul and would be a particularly nasty villain.  I’m not sure if I believe it was Ra’s himself that killed the Canary, but it could be very likely that he ordered the hit.

Keep watching the show and if you haven’t seen The Flash premiere yet, check it out.  It’s well worth it!  And they’re tying these two shows so closely together that you really want to watch both to be able to keep up.

The Flash Premiere – great opening w/ loads of potential

The story of the fastest man alive started tonight in the new CW DC Universe with The Flash premiere.  This pilot episode was slightly updated from the initial leaked pilot to include a scene with Oliver Queen in full Arrow suit.  The special effects seem to be a pretty perfect balance, giving just enough super elements without bogging you down with too much CGI.  There really isn’t much more to add, since everyone agrees that other than the Arrow scene, it was frame for frame the leaked pilot.  I will say that this is a show that we will be regularly writing about.  Also, be on the lookout for our Arrow articles starting with the Season Premiere tomorrow night.  I have a feeling you’re going to want to watch both The Flash and Arrow if you’ve been watching Arrow.  Lots of crossover to come.

The Flash Premiere

The Strain Finale reveals a few things about The Master

Sunday night marked the close of The Strain’s first television season, and I was there (tweeting the whole time).  The Strain finale answered a lot of things about the character it was titled after: The Master.

Read about Episode 12: Last Rites

The Strain - Vampire Kelly meets The Master

The Strain finale opens up with newly rejuvenated Eldritch Palmer having a falling out with his right hand man Fitzwilliams.  We also get a disagreement between Ephraim and Abraham.  The more interesting thing is following up with Gus and Quinlin (the vampire).  We only touch base with them and won’t really get back to them until all the action is over.  There were some great moments and some strange moments.  For instance, we already know that Boliver is very much a balding man from the first few episodes of the show… why is vampire Bolivar wearing the black wig?

The Strain Finale - Twitter

One of the biggest things we discover is that while direct sunlight will instantly roast one of the newly made vampires, it’s more of a slow cooking process for an ancient one like The Master.  He was able to survive in raw daylight for what seemed like minutes.  I’m sure it was more like seconds, but his exposure to daylight was prolonged.  A fact that Abraham Setrakian was unaware of.  It definitely made for some nail biting moments.

The Strain finale - Tweets

 

The Strain Finale Reveals the Other Ancients

Gus comes face to face with the other ancients, who are currently in a sleep state and have Quinlan to speak for them.  Through this we learn that The Master has broken an ancient truce by essentially declaring war on humanity.  It sort of makes sense that vampires (even strigoi) wouldn’t want to infect or destroy all of humanity.  If that happens, what do they have to feed on then?  We haven’t seen them eating each other yet, so it’s safe to assume they need uninfected blood.  Not necessarily human, because the vamps in the tunnels have been eating rats, but if every human on Earth were turned, they would run out of food in a matter of minutes.

So, Gus is joining up with Mr. Quinlan and the other ancients and Setrakian and gang are going back to the drawing board on how best to kill the master.  Hopefully next season these two groups converge.  There’s also one bit of speculation I want to throw out there.  If Boliver was so important to The Master’s plan, what about the 3 other survivors?  Coincidence?  I’m not so sure.  Perhaps they were all fallback locations.  They seem to have lived pretty spread out.  It doesn’t matter much now since they’re all dead.  Again.  At any rate, I can’t wait for the next season of The Strain, but another big Sunday night show hits this weekend.  That’s right, The Walking Dead is back!  I’m a huge fan of the show, mostly because I’m a huge fan of the creator:  Robert Kirkman.  If you’re not familiar with Kirkman, get familiar, because he’s awesome.  Professionally and personally.

Doctor Who Kill The Moon tackles some big issues.

I usually leave the Doctor Who reviews to my amazing wife Sarah, because she loves the show so much.  Due to our son turning three this weekend and the amazing time we had, she actually hasn’t seen the latest episode yet.  I took the time yesterday to sit down, relax, and thoroughly enjoy Kill The Moon.  I told Sarah that I had went ahead and watched it since I would be watching Gotham later that night (so she could watch The Doctor then) and her first question was “how far did they go?”  My reply was “just a little ways.”  Which sums up the setting perfectly.  One of the best things about Doctor Who is that the TARDIS, as its name implies, travels in both time and space.  It was mostly obvious from previews that this would be taking place on Earth’s moon, but the time setting wasn’t clearly revealed until the show started.  Earth’s moon in the year 2049.  Just a little ways into space and a little ways into the future.  I thought the setting was perfect.

Doctor Who - Kill the Moon

Doctor Who Kill the Moon

I’m beginning to think that Clara Oswin could use a little one-on-one time with River Song.  Rule no. 1, The Doctor lies.  I’m going to try to not spoil the show for you if you haven’t seen it yet.  I will say that he definitely puts Clara to a test, which in the end, she does not appreciate one little bit.  Regardless of how you may feel about the episode, maybe you’re in Clara’s corner, I found this to be one of Capaldi’s best performances as The Doctor.  For those newer Doctor Who viewers who fell in love with David Tennant and Matt Smith, I think now is a good time to remind you that there were plenty of Doctor’s before them.  Personally, I was not a fan of Tennant or Smith at first.  They had to grow on me.  Looking back, I love them both.  They each brought something unique to the show.  Much in the same way Tom Baker did.  Capaldi has officially grown on me.  The more episodes I see him in, the more I believe that he is The Doctor.  That’s really all I can say without possibly spoiling something, so if you’re worried about spoilers, stop here and go watch Kill the Moon.

Spoilers – Social Issues and The Doctor’s opinion

After the events of The Caretaker and having been taken into space, Courtney is going through some very complex emotions.  She doesn’t feel special.  It’s really been a wibbly wobbly seesaw regarding whether or not The Doctor things humans are special or not.  Sometimes he praises them and sometimes he considers them insignificant.  Kill the Moon doesn’t really give us a defining answer on that subject, but it does illustrate a good point.  It finally comes down to Clara confronting him about Courtney’s feelings, with her present.  Clara’s hopes were that he would just simply tell her that she is special, but that seems to fly in the face of everything he believes.  Why tell an ordinary person they’re special, when you can actually help make them special?  And so this is how we all wind up on the moon.  He wants her to be the first woman on the moon.

This is a big spoiler, but I want to talk about the very elephant in the room… or rather Alien in the Moon.  The Doctor works out that Earth’s moon is actually an egg and all the problems going on are a result of the impending hatching.  Fear of the unknown sets the last Earth Astronaut against this possible creature.  She wants to blow up the moon and kill the unborn alien life form.  The Doctor briefly attempts to make a case for saving the creature, and then leaves.  Leaving the decision up to Courtney, Clara, and Captain Lundvik (the female astronaut).  This signals the first time Doctor Who has tackled this particular social issue.  Abortion and women’s choice.  Clearly, it’s not a direct parallel, this is a sci-fi (family-ish) show.  However, Doctor Who is not afraid of tackling big social issues.  Gun control, pollution, and war are just a few examples.  This issue took some not surprising turns in the show, if you’ve been watching it the last few years, but the results definitely shift the focus away from the topic of abortion.

As I mentioned above, the show does end with Clara and The Doctor on shaky ground, so it will be interesting to see where they are at the end of the next episode.