Doctor Who: Five Hundred Eyes

Spoilers for the episode

Story:

They get to the Oasis and find Tegana but Barbara doesn’t believe his story and it gets her into trouble. While Marco Polo has enough of the Doctor and attacks him. They save him by explaining condensation.

Recap:

The water’s run out and Marco’s wondering where Tegana is because he sent him to the oasis to get water. He thinks Tegana’s got lost and they’ve managed to move the caravan forward a bit but this is probably it for them if they don’t get water soon.
Ian says it’ll be hot again soon and they should get started but Marco says they should stay where they are. Barbara notes that the Doctor and Susan are still in the TARDIS but Ian says to let them sleep.
The Doctor wakes up and realises condensation has gathered inside on the walls of the TARDIS. So he gets Susan to collect water from the walls.
The Doctor takes the water to Marco but he’s angry because he thinks the Doctor has been keeping water from them. I think he attacks the Doctor because a lot of shouting happens. Ian gets him to stop and they then explain condensation to him. He makes the Doctor drink the water first in case it’s poisoned.
They manage to reach the oasis because of the TARDIS water and they find Tegana. He says he had to wait for some bandits to leave and he heard they were going to the north.
Marco wants to leave the oasis because it’ll be dangerous to stay. Barbara walks off still suspicious of Tegana and Tegana tries to convince Marco he shouldn’t trust them because of their story with the water.
The doctor thinks he’ll have the TARDIS fixed soon but Marco’s making them move on and he doesn’t like all the rushing about.
Barbara doesn’t believe Tegana’s story of the bandits because it was so cold last night and it’s unlikely they’d want to be out in it. I think bandits would brave the cold for whatever they’ve got planned.
Ian decides to ask Tegana because he thinks he’s going to be truthful about betraying them apparently. He asks how many bandits there were and why didn’t they light a fire. Tegana doesn’t really answer.
Marco tells the Doctor when they leave the oasis the TARDIS will be locked and the key handed over to him. The Doctor tells him he doesn’t realise he’s talking to a man of superior intellect. Well if you’re so smart why haven’t you outsmarted him yet.
Then it’s back to Marco’s voice over telling us about the journey. They’re going to a temple.
They arrive at Tun-Huang and talk about the cave of five hundred eyes where a load of evil men lived. Susan wants to know more and Ping promises to tell her later.
The doctor hopes to get on with some work now that they’ve stopped. Ian points out he doesn’t have a key but the Doctor says he’s made another.
Barbara wants to talk to Ian about Tegana but he blows her off so he can listen to Ping’s story about Aladdin. She goes on for a while and it’s not very interesting. I’d prefer they get on with the plot instead of dragging it out like this.
Then Ian decides that what this episode needs is a vocabulary lesson and a bit of a history lesson because it wasn’t going slow enough as it was. Then the cave of five hundred eyes is mentioned again and I’m beginning to think we’re never going to get to this cave.
But then Tegana goes to the caves to visit a man called Malik to get news about their plan. He is taken to another man who tells him he failed at Lop to meet their man but the other part of the plan is going well. They’ve gathered an army and it’s marching to another city. He tells them about the TARDIS and they plan to capture it and kill every one. Malik has noticed a woman in the outer cave.
The woman is Barbara who has followed Tegana so of course she gets kidnapped.
Back at the caravan and Marco is angry that Barbara is gone and that she‘s allowed to wander alone. I’d call him sexist but she does get kidnapped every time she goes off on her own. He tells the Doctor to stay where he is and no one else is to move while he goes to look for her. I get the impression he’s regretting keeping them. All they’ve done is cause him trouble.
Back in the cave of five hundred eyes the men holding Barbara are gambling and laughing menacingly. Not sure why they needed to show us that. It’s not like we’ve forgotten Barbara has been captured.
Susan and Ping think they might know where Barbara is because she was very interested in the cave of five hundred eyes and try to convince the Doctor that’s where she’d go. They think she’d go by herself because Marco and Ian would probably try to stop her.
The doctor catches Chenchu listening to them so he asks the man where the cave is. Susan insists on going with him but he’s determined to go alone because he’d get so far by himself. He’d get distracted by something shiny and forget about Barbara or decide he doesn’t to rescue her after all. But he relents quite quickly and lets Susan and Ping come with him. Chenchu tells them they can’t go at night because they won’t come back alive but the Doctor ignores him.
At the cave and Susan is frightened of the eyes. The Doctor looks at the carvings and says it’s quartz. Susan reminds him he’s meant to be looking for Barbara and not admiring the carvings.
The man the Doctor questioned has gone off to Tegana and tells him he told the doctor where to go.
The Doctor’s had enough of looking because he says he’s got enough work to do in the TARDIS. They find something of Barbara’s and all begin shouting for her. Susan then finds a statue and starts screaming because we didn’t have enough screaming this episode when Barbara got captured. It’s a bit of a weak cliffhanger compared to Tegana pouring away the water last episode.

Thoughts:

This episode was way too slow with not a lot to keep me interested. Ping’s story dragged and there were lots of moments where nobody said anything but I’m sure they were doing something so it would have been better as the original video. This episode really felt like a history lesson. I know it’s meant to be educational but it’s so forced. The only bit they managed to make entertaining was when Marco attacked the Doctor for keeping water to himself and the only way to save him was to explain condensation.
The singing sands managed to hold up without the Doctor but this episode wouldn’t have. He’s the most entertaining part and he doesn’t get to be mean enough. I like that he gets distracted and has to be reminded of what they’re doing.
I continue to dislike Ian but he didn’t have enough to do this episode to be really annoying so that’s a plus. Barbara gets captured again but at least it’s because she’s active in the story (following Tegana to the cave and doing her own investigating) instead of just because she’s a woman.
I like Susan and Ping’s friendship. Susan’s a bit of a trouble maker and tries to scare Ping but she’s gotten wise to it by now.
I have a feeling this is going to really be dragged out and they’re going to tour all the educational places in the desert they can think of. It might not be so bad but half the time the audio is bad and I’m not sure what they’re saying.
This cliffhanger seems to be the weakest so far. Barbara has been captured but the immediate threat is Susan screaming and that’s the moment you’re left with. It’s not making me want to watch the next episode.
Previous Doctor Who: Singing Sands                                            Next Doctor Who: The Wall of Lies

Doctor Who: The Singing Sands

Spoilers for the episode

Story:

The caravan travels through the desert but a sandstorm stops Tegana from escaping and soon the water supplies run low.

Thoughts:

It’s been three days since Marco polo has taken charge of the TARDIS. He’s enduring the Doctor who’s doing his best to be difficult and rude but we don’t get to see any of that just hear about it in Marco’s voice over.
They’re crossing the Gobi desert and Ian asks Marco about the water. Marco says they have enough but lots of people die crossing the Gobi desert because of lack of water.
Ian and Marco then play chess and in the past they’d use a word instead of checkmate that means the king is dead.
Elsewhere Barbara reassures Susan that they’ll get the TARDIS back. Susan wants to be among the stars and worries that the Doctor’s sulking but Barbara says he’s feeling defenseless because someone he considers a primitive has taken his advanced tech.
They talk about the Doctor knowing everything and Barbara mentions that then he’d be able to take them home. Susan doesn’t want to say goodbye to them and hopes it won’t be soon.
In her tent with Ping Susan comments on how it’s peaceful in the desert and she’s never seen the moon rise. So Ping promises to call her when it does.
Back in the other tent Barbara says the desert is very beautiful but Marco tell her not to be fooled because it’s still very dangerous.
Ping wakes Susan up and they go outside to look at the sky. They see Tegana and Susan wants to follow him for some reason. I guess the plot is calling her.
At the stables Marco comments on the horses being restless because they can sense there’s a sandstorm on the way. There’s the reason for Susan following Tegana so they can all get stuck in the storm.
Somewhere out in the desert Susan’s had enough of following Tegana and wants to go back but Ping doesn’t and asks Susan who’s afraid now. That’s the reasoning Susan used to get Ping to go follow Tegana with her.
It gets hot and they decide to go back but not before they get caught in the sandstorm. They argue about if they should stay where they are or try to get back to the caravan.
Barbara wakes up and Ian tells her what’s happening with the sandstorm. It’s very loud and it kind of sounds like laughing. Apparently people hear voices in the storm and that’s why it’s called the singing sands.
They notice Tegana’s gone but decide they can’t help him. Then they discover the girls are gone and Barbara wants to go outside to look for them but Ian and Marco stop her.
I think they sound an alarm or something so the girls can hear them but it’s really poor audio and I’m struggling to hear anything.
The storm stops and Marco says they won’t leave until they find the girls. Then the girls turn up with Tegana and they say they went for a walk. Marco’s angry they didn’t ask first.
Tegana found them and he says he was also on a walk but he told the guards he was going. Marco gets annoyed and says that the guards are to inform him if anyone else tries to leave the camp. So there goes Tegana’s plans for escaping before the poisoned water is found.
The doctor is still asleep and has managed to sleep through everything happening.
The next day and Marco’s worried because they had to stop for the day due to the storm and so they’ve wasted one days worth of water which could be fatal in the desert.
Back to Marco’s voice over and progress is going well.
Susan doesn’t believe that Tegana went for a walk but Ping thinks he’s telling the truth. I guess she’s more trusting.
In another tent Tegana asks about Marco’s journal and he says he writes it because it interests him.
They find out the water is poisoned and Marco blames the water on bandits. He’s never had it happen to him but other caravans have. They get weak from lack of water and the bandits attack.
They look at their options and Marco decides they’re going to an oasis that’s not nearby but it’s closer than the end of the desert. He’s worried that if they go back to Lop the bandits that he thinks poisoned the water will attack.
Tegana refuses to go with them. He’s going to return to Lop but Marco says he’s coming with them because he’s responsible for Tegana.
Later in his voice over Marco has started to doubt his decision. They’ve been making less and less progress each day because of lack of water.
The caravan has stopped because the heat of the day is too much with no water. Marco says now that the worst of the sun is over they’re going to start traveling again soon.
The doctor complains about lack of water and this is the first we’ve seen him this episode. They now have no more until they reach the oasis.
Tegana says he will go to the oasis and bring back water. He tells them to wait for him where they are but Marco says they will continue to push on towards the oasis.
The doctor collapses in the heat and Barbara asks if they can put him in the TARDIS so he’ll be more comfortable. Marco says yes and Susan can go with the Doctor but Ian and Barbara will stay with him. They have no water left and they’re counting on Tegana.
Meanwhile Tegana is at the oasis with water and taunting Marco about his lack of water by pouring the water he has away.
This episode actually managed to keep up the momentum of the last episode and not drag things out with endless talking. I didn’t expect them to get to the problem of the poisoned water so quickly.
The Doctor is noticeably absent and I’m assuming that’s more to do with William Hartnell needing rest or something than a choice by the writers. He only turns up at the end and quickly faints. I like the idea of him taking every opportunity to insult Marco Polo though and slow him down. I just wish I got to see it.
I’m not clear on why Susan wanted to follow Tegana (there were parts I couldn’t hear very well) but it just seems like a way to get her stranded out in the storm.
I like the ending of Tegana being their only hope and he’s pouring their water away. It’s another very good cliffhanger.

Previous Doctor Who: The Roof of the World                                    Next Doctor Who: Five Hundred Eyes

Doctor Who: The Roof of the World

Spoilers for the episode

Story:

The giant footprint turns out to be a giant let down because it was made by a normal guy but we get excitement in the form of the TARDIS breaking down and they get saved by Marco Polo who has a secret agenda.

Thoughts:

The next few episodes are all lost episodes so I only have sound to go on.
They’re still in the Himalayas and looking at the giant footprint. Ian thinks the footprint might be perfectly ordinary and not giant. So there ends the mystery of the giant footprint.
The doctor’s feeling grumpy and says he can’t look at it without his glasses. They’re several thousand feet above sea level and he doesn’t like this place. So he goes back inside.
Ian and Barbara speculate on if they are really on Earth or not and where they could be. It turns out they’re in the Himalayas.
The doctor comes out of the TARDIS which has broken not surprising considering last episode. The lights have all gone out and so has the heating.
Ian decides to go find fuel. I’m not sure what he thinks the TARDIS runs on. I guess he wants wood to build a fire or something but he makes it sound like it’s fuel for the TARDIS and I like picturing him trying to use wood to fuel it. Barbara goes with him so she cna get into trouble and he has some one to save.
Susan stays to help the doctor and he’s in a really bad mood.
They don’t get far before Barbara’s out of breath so has a little sit down while Ian carries on. This is so she can be put in danger. She sees an animal and Ian comes running. He’s skeptical but she points out all the footprints.
The Doctor has found the faulty piece of the TARDIS and says it’ll take a long time to fix. They’ve got to get down to a lower altitude so they don’t freeze. But surely it’s got to be a bit warmer in the TARDIS and it is shelter from wind and snow and everything else.
Barbara says there are strange animals on the mountain. The doctor gets impatient and asks what she saw. Ian says the footprints looked like from a fur boot.
Susan spots a man dressed in fur watching them. He runs and they try to follow to see if he’ll help them or lead them to shelter.
They find him and Ian says they’re travelers who are lost and asks if they can give them shelter.
One man decides they are evil spirits that have take human form and they should be destroyed. Ian tries to reason with them.
Another man, who turns out to be Marco Polo, says he won’t let anyone hurt them on the authority of the Kublai Khan. He tells them to come down the mountain to his caravan and reveals the Doctor has mountain sickness.
They get to the tents and Ping Cho serves them tea. Barbara gives some exposition. Marco Polo is European and the Kublai Khan is a Mongol leader.
Marco introduces them to the warlord Tegana who you can already tell will be the villain for this serial.
The doctor thanks Marco for saving their lives and asks when and where they are.
Marco wants to know how long they’ve been traveling if they don’t know that. The year is 1289 and they are on the roof of the world (Himalayas).
Later in Ping’s tent she asks Susan where she’s from but Susan doesn’t know how to describe it. Use describing words like shapes and colours. She’s not that stupid I’m sure she’ll get an idea. Susan probably can’t describe it because the writers haven’t come up with it yet. So she asks about Ping.
Ping’s going to Shang-tu to get married to an important 75 year old man. Ping’s sixteen which is the same age as Susan so she’s horrified.
In another tent Tegana tells Marco he should have killed the travelers because they’re different. They have a carriage that has no wheels and is not large enough to carry four people but he saw them exit it.
Marco Polo takes them back up the mountain to visit the TARDIS. Marco asks about how the TARDIS moves and Ian says it flies through the air.
Tegana takes this as a sign of their evilness but Marco says he’s seen Buddhists make things fly through the air and asks if they are Buddhists. He wants to see inside but only the Doctor has a key and Marco Didn’t let him come. Ian also says only the Doctor can fly it.
Marco makes a plan to use sleds to get it down the mountain.
Ping is making the Doctor food when they all come back. She explains that Tegana is an emissary for an Enemy of the Kublai Khan. They have decided to make peace.
The Doctor’s happy Marco is bringing the TARDIS down the mountain because then he can get to work fixing it as soon as possible. He doesn’t want to hold them up.
Marco says he can’t let them inside because it would upset the Mongols who still believe them to be evil spirits. And that the Doctor is a sorcerer who is harmless outside of the TARDIS.
The doctor has a reasonable moment and agrees that none of them will enter the TARDIS until Lop where the caravan will be stopping for a few days. They are in an area where they need to travel fast because it’s not safe.
Later Marco narrates over a map of their journey. He says his plan has worked and he wants to see their reaction to something he’s going to do.
They’re in Lop and filling up on supplies to travel across the Gobi dessert. Marco has a seal that gets him anything he wants from places that the Kublai Khan controls.
Ian comes in to tell the Doctor that the TARDIS is set up in the courtyard so the Doctor gets up to go do work but the guards stop him. The doctor’s not happy. Barbara says they should hear Marco out.
Marco starts talking about his life. He was young when he arrived at the Khan’s court. He’s traveled a lot but the Khan’s refused to let him go home. So he’s going to offer the TARDIS in exchange for his freedom.
This sets the doctor off. Marco says he’ll take care of them and get them back to Venice where the Doctor can build another TARDIS.
Ian tries to explain that Venice doesn’t have what they need. Marco then says they’ll see their home again it might just take a bit longer. They can go by sea instead of flying. But Marco wants to see his home again and that trumps anything else.
The Doctor says it’s not his problem and Marco says he’s making it his problem. In amongst all this Barbara says she can guarantee Marco he’ll see his home again so I’m assuming it’s historical record he does. I don’t know much about Marco Polo.
Ian says they won’t be able to use the TARDIS without the Doctor but Marco says the Buddhists will be able to figure it out. He has a lot of faith in the Buddhists. They must ahve really impressed him.
The Doctor starts laughing and keeps muttering ‘go by sea’. Susan asks what he’s going to do but the Doctor has no idea. I really like this scene because the Doctor is so up and down.
Somewhere outside Tegana has just brought poison and plans to put it in Marco’s water stores. The caravan will set out across the Gobi dessert and when they are all dead he’ll steal the thing of magic and it’ll take down the Kublai Khan.
This is quite a good starting episode. It sets up all the characters and the conflicts nicely. There’s enough here for a good few episodes but I have a feeling it’s all going to get stretched out until it becomes tedious like with the Daleks. I’m skeptical that they can keep it interesting for as many episodes as they have dedicated to it.
I like Marco Polo and that he doesn’t care that he’s screwing over other people. He’s presented as a nice guy and he saves them but then betrays them.
They’ve brought Barbara down to new levels of stupid. She thinks she’s seeing an animal standing on two feet when it’s just a man dressed in furs. She’s redeemed a bit by knowing about Marco Polo’s history but it’s not enough.
The Doctor was almost too annoying to be entertaining. He spends most of the episode being grumpy for no reason ( I guess he just doesn’t like mountains) and then all of a sudden being happy. It’s tough to keep up with his mood shifts.
I hope the momentum of this episode keeps up and everyone gets poisoned soon.
Previous Doctor Who: The Brink of Disaster                                           Next Doctor Who: The Singing Sands

Orphan Black: Variations under Nature

Spoilers for the episode

The Story:

Sarah’s still trying to get the money from Art while the police find Katya’s body ground up in a quarry. She’s unrecognizable but there’s still the problem of fingerprints that will show results for Sarah who’s meant to be dead and who will look like Beth.

Thoughts:

Cosima’s trying to break the news about being Clones gently to Sarah but Allison ruins that.

Allison thinks Sarah is a low life grifter who probably pushed Beth in front of the train. She doesn’t want to believe Beth killed herself because Beth was a cop so what chance do the rest of them have at coping if she couldn’t.

Sarah asks how they’re related, Allison says they’re not but Cosima says they’re related by nature not nurture. Allison loses her temper and just blurts out that they’re clones. They’re someone’s experiment.

Felix is still waiting out in the car and is told he can’t wait there by the ‘bitch that guards hell’. He gets tired of waiting and enters the back garden.

Allison pulls a gun on him but Sarah gets in the way and tells Allison it’s fine and he’s her brother. As soon as she puts the gun down Sarah slaps her and drags Felix away.

Cosima hands the phone back and says she broke the first rule of clone club while Felix stands in the background looking like he’s in shock.

Back at Felix’s flat Sarah’s in denial and probably having an identity crisis. (Felix looking through the photos and calling them soccer mum Sarah and scientist Sarah can’t be helping). She repeats ‘they’re not me’ and doesn’t want to get involved. She wants to stick to the original plan to take the money and Kira and run.

Felix’s more realistic and thinks she can’t escape it because the clones are being hunted and Cosima said the blood samples are a matter of life or death.

Sarah puts on her Beth face again and tries to convince Art to give the money back but in the next second she’s reinstated so now he’ll give it back but he doesn’t have the money on him or in the trunk (which later turns out to be a lie).

A body’s been found at a quarry so they’ve got to go investigate. Sarah struggles to put the gun harness on and doesn’t load it.

In the car she also doesn’t know how to use the radio or how to respond properly.

They pull up to a quarry and there’s Katya’s body that’s been ground up by the machines so she doesn’t really have a face anymore. She’ll have to be identified by fingerprint.

Sarah phones Cosima to find out if that’s going to be a problem. Cosima says their fingerprints are close enough and asks if she’s got a criminal record. Sarah answers wasted youth, assault and fraud. But they’ve got a bit of time before the results come through so Sarah’s got to intercept them.

Art finds out that Sarah’s gun’s not loaded and is so not happy about that. Sarah decides this is a good time to ask about the money again. He threatens to shred it if she asks again.

Sarah meets Cosima in a bar. She says she doesn’t believe in clones and Cosima asks how many of them does she have to meet. Apparently Katya had collected samples from European clones who have been killed.

Sarah hands over the briefcase and makes a joke. Cosima says it’s good she’s still got a sense of humour, Beth couldn’t keep hers.

Art books Sarah in for the gun range because she didn’t have her gun loaded. While Katya’s killer phones the police station with a voice changer and tells them the spot where Katya was killed.

Sarah can’t log onto the work computer or do anything else really. So she befriends a tech guy and gets him to reset the password and tell her the procedure for fingerprints. She then deletes the fingerprint results.

Art goes with another cop to where Katya was killed. They find motorbike tracks and the head of the Barbie doll from the hotel

Sarah goes to talk to Mrs. S who asks her about her new identity and how she’s doing it. Sarah says she’s going to take Kira but Mrs. S says clothes and a new car don’t make you a mother. She threatens to tell social services that Sarah hasn’t been in Kira’s life if she doesn’t prove she can stay in one place.

So onto dealing with the next problem and it turns out Allison knows how to shoot so can teach Sarah but needs someone to watch her kids. They get Felix, who asks where the alcohol is and gets the children cross dressing.

Beth taught Allison to shoot so they were close. Allison says she’s doing the best she can with what her life has become but her children can’t know their mother is a freak. Allison thinks someone is wiping out their illegal experiments.

Also the money is Allison’s. It was how she could contribute and they’d buy information. They’re hoping Sarah realises she can’t run away from this. Good luck with that.

Allison comes home and the children don’t want Felix to leave. He calls them ‘dragsters’.

Back at Beth’s and Sarah’s still determined to take the money and run but Paul turns up so Felix has to hide. Sarah distracts him with sex or potential sex because he decides to run hot and cold with her like she’s doing with him and leaves.

At the gun range Art and Sarah discuss the murder. They get a call of a bike matching the description of the APB Sarah got tech guy to put out for her.

They go to the flat and the door’s open. Sarah does her best at pretending to know how to enter and be cop like.

While they’re searching Sarah hides an ID of Katya that she found in a bible. There’s a big bible quote. Sarah spots the killer and pushes Art out of the way but he gets shot in the neck. He tells her to pursue and she does but she doesn’t try to catch the person just stays close enough so she can follow.

She looses them and calls Art to tell him where she is. She gets attacked and they’re about to kill her when she says ‘I’m not Beth’ and the person pauses. She lifts her hood to reveal another clone. Sarah stabs her and the clone picks up a gun but doesn’t shoot instead running away.

Later Sarah says she never saw his face and Art feels guilty about telling her to pursue him. He gives her the money and he did have it in the trunk.

Sarah goes to Mrs. S and watches Kira through the window but can’t bring herself to snatch her own child. She can’t leave her clones without telling them about the murderer clone.

Meanwhile the blond clone is removing the metal pipe from her side. She’s got whip marks all over her back. She’s religious so I’m guessing the whip marks are from penance or something similar.

This episode is so good. They just keep pilling on the problems. I love how conflicted Sarah is. She wants to be selfish and ignore the clone thing and steal Kira but her conscience gets the better of her. I like that Sarah’s not always likable because it’s so rare with female characters to be in between but I think we needed Sarah to do the right thing here and show she’s a good person.

And now we’ve got another clone added to the mix and Tatiana Maslany is so good at this one as well.

I think my favourite clone is Cosima but I’m starting to really like Allison as we get to see a side to her other than uptight. I don’t think there’s a character I hate and that’s such a rare thing for me.

Previous Orphan Black: Instinct                                              Next Orphan Black: Effects of External Conditions

Doctor Who: The Brink of Disaster

Spoilers for the episode

Story:

Everyone does what they did last episode which is wander around confused and nothing makes any sense.

Thoughts:

It turns out it’s Ian strangling the Doctor and it doesn’t last long because he makes a strange noise and faints. Barbara comes in and the Doctor accuses them of trying to take over the ship and he thinks Ian’s play acting and he hasn’t really fainted. I know the acting is bad but he shouldn’t point it out.

Susan sides with the Doctor but that doesn’t last long because Barbara points why it can’t be them and she’s not so sure anymore. This feels like a repeat of the last episode.

Ian wakes up enough to shout ‘don’t touch it’ before fainting again. He’s referring to the console.

The Doctor decides he’s had enough and he’s putting them off the ship. But Barbara points out he can’t open the doors which is quite important when your plan is to throw them out.

The doctor’s not letting this stop him though. He tells them to get out even though Ian can’t get up let alone walk.

The fault locater goes off and apparently everything is faulty which the doctor says is impossible.

Then Ian tries to strangle Barbara and the Doctor just stands there and watches. Ian stops for some reason and the Doctor announces the ship is on the point of disintegration. A strong force is at work so it can’t be them and now he trusts them again.

Then Barbara says they’ve had time taken from them but now it’s been given back because time is running out. I don’t even know how that’s relevant to anything and when did they have time taken away. When has anyone mentioned time?

Then there’s a lot more talk about the power source of the TARDIS and I’m sure at this point none of it means anything. They say the power wants to escape.

The doctor gets a bit melodramatic ‘can it be possible this is the end’ and they only have 10 minutes left. At least someone knows what’s going on. I feel like I’ve missed a scene.

They realise you can touch the console as long as you touch the side where the scanner switch is.

Barbara thinks every thing’s a clue but the doctor says his machine can’t think. But it does have a defense mechanism so maybe it can think as a machine. He says there are lots of computers that make up the TARDIS.

He wants to know what would make the power want to escape. Maybe a very strong magnetic force. Up until this point they’ve been trying to keep the science on track but this is getting the basics really wrong. Magnets work on metal not insubstantial power. Unless they are using the word magnetic to mean attraction. Which is unnecessarily confusing things.

The doctor tells Barbara and Susan to stand by the doors and tell them what they see when the doors open. He then confides in Ian there’s no hope and they’ve only got five minutes left.

Outside there’s nothing but space.

They then deduce that the scanner shows a good picture when it’s safe to go out and a bad picture when it’s not safe.

The doctor makes a massive leap (I would say of logic but I don’t think logic has come anywhere near this episode) and decides that it would take the force of an entire solar system to attract the power of the TARDIS so they’re at the beginning of a new solar system. He then stands in front of the camera and monologues about energy and atoms and what happens at the beginning.

Ian wants to know where the Doctor asked the TARDIS to take them after Skaro. He used the fast return switch. They find it on the console and discover it’s been stuck this whole time. They take off the cover and find the spring is stuck. The doctor then gives an unneeded explanation of how it’s bad but doesn’t explain any of the other events.

Susan points out how awful he’s been to Ian and Barbara. He tells Barbara she was right and they owe her their lives but she walks off.

He tells Ian he underestimated her and thinks they should all start over again.

The doctor finds Barbara and tells her they’ve landed somewhere very cold. She points out he said some awful things. Why didn’t they have this conversation in the previous scene?

The Doctor doesn’t apologise just acknowledges what he did must have affected her very much but she wanted to prove him wrong and that’s what saved them. I think he’s trying to say what he did turned out for the best.

They get to the control room and Susan’s outside playing in the snow. They go outside and find a footprint that Susan thinks must belong to a giant.

This was a terrible episode. Nothing was explained. They say the fainting was about electric shocks but what caused Susan to stab the furniture or people to try and strangle each other.

A lot of what happened last episode got repeated and everything else felt like it was being stretched for time. Maybe they should have let it be one episode. Especially if the problem is stuck button. That was very anti climatic and if anything else had made sense and it didn’t feel like they were wasting my time I might have found it funny. As it is I don’t know what they were trying to do with this episode. I have a feeling the entire thing was a set up for the Doctor to talk to the camera about solar systems.

Previous Doctor Who: The Edge of Destruction                                        Next Doctor Who: The Roof of the World

Doctor Who: The Edge of Destruction

Spoilers for the episode

Story:

Everyone acts really strange and no one has a clue what’s going on. Which doesn’t change by the end of the episode.

Thoughts:

Barbara is the first to wake up and she’s a bit confused wandering around. Then Susan wakes up and she’s got memory loss as well. But she’s also got a headache that seems to hit her randomly.

The Doctor’s on the floor with a cut on his head so Susan goes to get water and bandages. Ian wakes up while she’s gone and he’s got some memory loss as well.

When Susan comes back the doors are open and she has a little freak out. Ian goes over to the doors but they close when he gets near and open when he moves away. I think the TARDIS has got bored and decided to freak them all out.

Susan faints when she touches the control panel and Ian takes her away to lie down. The doctor wakes up enough to say he felt like he was hit on the back of the neck. He was also mumbling about not being able to take Susan back.

Ian fetches Susan some water but when he comes back she doesn’t remember who he is. She’s also got scissors and starts stabbing the furniture until she drops them. It’s actually quite a creepy scene. The way she’s sat perfectly still as he enters.

Ian’s back in the console room with the others. Apparently he’s decided to leave the girl who had some sort of mental break alone.

They want to know where they are but the Doctor says the better question is why. Then he wants to know if they touched the controls.

Barbara thinks something got in because the doors were open but the Doctor ridicules her and says it’s impossible. So he’s off to the fault locater.

Ian tells Barbara not to tell Susan that something might have gotten in but as he says this she’s lurking in the background. And she finds another pair of scissors or they’re the same ones from before. Why would you leave them lying around?

Barbara goes to see Susan who lets on that she knows they’re lying to her. Barbara tries to reassure her but out come the scissors again and Susan looks like she’s struggling with herself not to stab Barbara. They struggle over the scissors until Barbara wins. Susan also thinks something got in and it’s hiding in one of them. She’s very good at being creepy. Can’t we have more creepy and less hysterical.

Ian enters the room. There’s no fault with the ship so the Doctor thinks it’s a fault outside so he’s going to turn on the scanner. Susan rushes to stop him but he’s just standing in the middle of the room not touching the console.

She says she felt the back of her neck be hit when she touched the console but he turns it on fine.

Then the doors open again and different images of places they’ve already been flash across the screen.

The Doctor then decides this is a good moment to accuse Ian and Barbara of sabotaging the ship. This is the last straw for Barbara who tells the Doctor off spectacularly for everything that has happened with the Daleks and points out how much they’ve helped (or how much Ian has helped). This great moment is undone by Barbara getting hysterical and crying.

In this time the Doctor decides to make everyone drinks for a night cap. It’s not even an apology and Ian comments on how strange he acts.

Barbara decides she’s going to bed and leaves while Ian’s demanding an apology from the Doctor. Again the doctor wanders off and Ian has to follow with a huff.

They have a conversation about motives again and the Doctor says one man’s law is another man’s crime (which is not very helpful but makes him more menacing) and that Ian should stop trying to be a step ahead of him. Ian will always be behind because he doesn’t know the technology.

They all go to sleep and the doctor checks on them to make sure they are sleep while chuckling to himself. He goes to the console and hands grab his throat.

This was a very strange episode. Nothing was discovered or decided and the beginning felt very aimless. Characters had amnesia on and off while they all sort of wandered around.

Susan was good at being creepy and the Doctor got to upset everyone again.

I likes the bandages that changes from colour to white when you’re healed and the TARDIS records everything everywhere they go.

I think it’s the TARDIS trying to freak them out because from a writing stand point that would make the alien technology even scarier.

I love the cliffhanger it ended on. We still don’t know the Doctor well enough to know how his mind works and he’s proved that he’s willing to put people in danger to get what he wants.

Previous Doctor Who: The Rescue                                                     Next Doctor Who: The Brink of Disaster

Doctor Who: The Rescue

Spoilers for the episode

Story:

The trip through the caves proves to be pointless and the Thalls remember how to fight.

Thoughts:

Ian is somehow still hanging on to the Thall dangling from the rope. He calls for help but the Thall refuses to be helpful and cuts the rope falling to his death. The acting is really bad as they pretend Ian is struggling to hold on.

Then we’re back to the Doctor and Susan who have been cuffed to a wall. The Doctor’s trying to reason with the Daleks or shame them. He wants to know why they have to destroy and why can’t they use their brains. Well they are using their brains. I think it takes a lot of intelligence to radiate a planet.

Back in the caves and they’ve reached a dead end. The Thalls want to give up but Ian thinks they should go back and find another way forward. They’re running out of light so they turn the torches off to preserve them for when they’re moving. There’s a light coming from somewhere and Ian finds the city.

In the forest and Alladon is convinced the Doctor has been captured and concludes that now is the time to attack. His speech isn’t very long or interesting and that’s probably for the best because we don’t need any more monologuing.

The Doctor’s trying to stall the Daleks by promising to show them how to build their own machines so they won’t be trapped but they decide they don’t need the Doctor and will be able to figure out the TARDIS on their own.

Then their machine that detects vibrations tells them the Thalls are in the city. They’re lucky there’s no other life on the planet or that machine would be useless.

Ian’s group is sneaking around and a Dalek conveniently stops near them to say that the Thalls have entered the city

Back with the Daleks and they see Ian smash a camera so they realise they’ve got to act now.

Ian’s group meets Alladon. The Thall’s big plan has been to enter the city and split up into groups and wander around until they find the Doctor with no idea where they are going.

They hear a message that all the Daleks should report to level 10 and luckily they are near but then the Daleks start to seal the doors one at a time. They manage to get through though.

They are really bad at sneaking around. They really should have been seen. Especially when they start attacking the Daleks.

Ian finds the Doctor and Susan and releases them. Barbara’s big moment is to throw a rock at a Dalek and run so they can ambush it.

The rest of the fight is just as hilarious. With Thalls dropping down from the ceiling and popping up here and there taking Daleks out silently. They’re quite good for people who don’t know how to fight.

They knock out the power source (not really sure how it happens they just declare it has) and one of the Daleks begs the Doctor to not let them die but he doesn’t know how to save them.

Susan says the Thalls have got everything they want now because they can use the Dalek’s tech to produce more food. The Thall she’s talking to says he wishes it could have happened another way. I guess the message is violence should be a last resort because quite a few Thalls died and thankfully they don’t bring up pacifism again.

The Thalls want the Doctor to stay and help rebuild to be their adviser. He says he was a pioneer amongst his own people but now his truth is in the stars. Maybe he’ll visit their grandchildren to see how they’ve got on.

Barbara says goodbye to a Thall and I think he was meant to be her love interest but they didn’t spend enough time on that if that’s what they were going for.

The TARDIS dematerializes and they all get knocked out. So another episode ends on a cliffhanger but at least being knocked out means they’re finally getting some rest.

This was another good episode where stuff happened and I wasn’t bored. The only thing is going through the caves was pointless. The doctor got into the city and took out the defenses then the Thalls went in.

There was no reason for Ian’s group to go through the swamp and the caves because they meet up with Alladon in the city and nothing would haves changed if they’d gone in with him. The only difference is two Thalls got killed in the process.

They could have made the story a lot tighter if they’d cut the expedition episode. Then we wouldn’t have had the awful pacifism discussion and the cave stuff.

Despite that this was a good serial. The Daleks have changed a lot in power level but you get to see where their ideology comes from. They fear being attacked by others so they attack first.

I hope the Doctor does go back to see their descendent’s and everything’s not like he thought it would be (because it’s Doctor Who and that’s what happens). I’m guessing this is Skaro but I’m not sure they gave the planet a name in the episode.

Previous Doctor Who: The Ordeal                                                           Next Doctor Who: The Edge of Disaster

Orphan Black: Instinct

Spoilers for the episode

The Story:

Sarah buries Katya’s body, retrieves her briefcase from the hotel then comes clean to person on the phone she’s not Beth while still having to deal with Beth’s life. Meanwhile Felix has to go along with Sarah’s crazy plans.

Thoughts:

The person on the phone, who we later find out is Cosima, tells Sarah someone is killing the clones once she says the German is dead on her back seat. So now she’s got to find Katya’s briefcase and deal with the body.

I like that Cosima thinks Beth will know how to deal with a body because she’s a cop and her only advice is to buy a shovel.

So Sarah buries the body as Felix is stuck at her wake pretending to mourn. Vick talks about Love but ends up attacking Felix when he tells him it’s his fault she killed herself. Vick is pathetic and hilarious. Felix has to toss him out the next day when he’s still drunk and still feeling sorry for himself. Sarah comes back as Vick’s leaving almost getting caught.

Sarah wants to know if Kira thinks she’s dead or not and fails to mention everything that’s happened in the last day to Felix.

They discover that Art has taken the seventy five grand and Sarah goes on a mini rampage around the flat just trashing stuff. Felix sits there not looking impressed and resigned to this tantrum until she comes to destroy a painting and he tells her no. At least she can control her temper. There are lines she won’t cross.

She arranges to meet Art and so goes back to Beth’s place to get clothes and put on her Beth face. But she’s in Sarah’s clothes when she enters and runs into Paul who’s had enough and is going to stay with a friend for a while. He calls her a punk rock ho and instead of getting defensive and coming up with an excuse she gets angry back. That’s always the best way put the other person on the defensive.

Felix goes over to Mrs. S’s to find out what Kira knows. They have a conversation and it sounds like Sarah’s caused a lot of trouble in her life but that’s not surprising. Kira’s also a sneaky little girl and listens in on their conversation.

Sarah goes over the files to get her story of the shooting straight then meets Art. He asks about the money. She says she was going to run but came back to clear her name. Then he makes her go over the shooting and it turns out she called him before calling it in and he put the phone in the victim’s hand to cover her. So now she’s got a secret she can exploit but he won’t give the money back until she’s cleared of the shooting.

So then we’re back to Felix and Cosima phones telling Sarah she’s got to get the German’s briefcase form her hotel.

Apparently a wide brimmed hat, sunglasses and a furry coat makes you look German. She also puts on a German accent and says ‘Guten tag’. I’m betting that’s the only German she knows.

Felix thinks she’s crazy for answering the phone and crazier for going to the hotel. I love watching Felix’s incredulity that’s she’s still playing along.

At the hotel people at the front desk try to talk to Sarah but she slips past them and once she’s up in the room it’s clear why. The room is trashed with burnt dolls and annotated passages from the bible. So it’s not just a thief, it’s a message which makes it personal. Then there’s a knock at the door and she’s got nowhere to go so the staff take her down stairs.

She explains the room by saying ‘Rock and Roll’ and they look at her in disbelief. Apparently the intruder broke the sink and caused $6000 worth of damage. I like how a pillow is listed at the end of the list of all the damage.

Sarah takes out the German’s purse but there’s only a few notes. There’s an awkward moment when you think she’s been caught but then she says they have Katya’s card on file and to charge it. As if it’s the most obvious thing in the world. She says she also wants her briefcase. Then another tense moment as she waits for the card to authorise because she doesn’t know how much money is in the account. Sarah’s going to have stomach ulcers from stress by the end of this.

She gets the briefcase open by force and discovers other ID’s of clones but she doesn’t know they’re clones yet. She still thinks they’re triplets or how ever many she’s come across by now. I can’t keep track.

She answers the phone and after a short exchange decides to stop pretending to be Beth because she has enough stress in her life.

When she admits she’s not Beth the woman on the phone asks her a riddle that’s probably the same as what the German said before getting shot. But I didn’t quite catch what she said. Sarah doesn’t know the answer and gets hung up on.

But Sarah’s got addresses now so she goes to stalk Allison Hendrix who turns out to be a soccer mum. So she follows her to a football game and surprises her while she’s cutting oranges for the half time snack.

Tatiana Maslany is really good at playing both characters. You believe they’re both different characters.

Allison’s main concern is that her perfect life will be ruined if anyone sees Sarah and she seems like she doesn’t cope with stress well.

Sarah is mostly concerned with the knife Allison is carelessly brandishing and trying to find out who they are to each other.

Allison refuses to tell her anything because that’s not her job. She tells Sarah to wait for a call.

Art then calls and tells her the therapist has labeled her unfit for duty so the hearing’s not going to happen until she’s better. So she’s not getting the money. So she can’t leave with her daughter.

She bluffs her way through the session with the therapist but it doesn’t work at convincing her she’s better. Instead she blackmails the therapist.

Apparently this is where Beth was getting all her medications and so if she was stoned when she shot the woman then the therapist has got some liability.

So the hearing goes ahead and it goes well but Art still won’t give her the money back until she’s cleared.

Then Allison phones and tells Sarah to meet at her home because she can’t get a babysitter.

Sarah takes Felix as back up who’s not happy with the entire situation even though he only knows half of it. She didn’t even tell him who she was meeting and she only tells him the German is dead as she’s getting out of the car.

He wasn’t happy about being stuck in suburbia in the first place. Apparently it’s got bad architecture that’s making him break out in spots. I wonder what he considers good architecture considering he lives in a loft with a big metal door and a telephone booth.

Sarah goes in and Allison pulls a gun but only as a threat in case Sarah reveals herself to her children. Sarah points out the irrationality of shooing her with the children upstairs but Allison seems very highly strung and beyond thinking straight.

Sarah says it sucks being your twin and Cosima comes out. The episode ends with Sarah asking how many of them are there.

I liked this episode. Things just kept ratcheting up higher and higher for Sarah. Every problem gets worse and even though Sarah is working hard to keep everything straight it’s getting complicated really fast as she dives deeper into the mystery.

We haven’t seen much of Cosima other than her voice on the phone but Allison is really different from Sarah and Beth.

I hope next episode they explain to Sarah about the clones and things can get even more confusing for her.

 

Previous Orphan Black: Natural Selection                                      Next Orphan Black: Variation Under Nature

Orphan Black: Natural Selection

Spoilers for the episode

The Story:

A woman commits suicide in front of Sarah so she steals her handbag and then her identity because they look identical. Then makes her brother go identify the body as her so she can escape her ex-boyfriend who she stole a load of drugs from.

Thoughts:

The lookalike woman turns out to be Elizabeth Childs who seems to have a much better life than Sarah or at least more money. Quite a few things get revealed about Beth in this episode.

First she’s a cop, then that she’s under investigation for shooting someone and lastly that she already knows about the clones and is doing something dodgy with another clone called Katya. Who like Beth doesn’t live past this episode.

They don’t confirm that all the lookalikes are clones but it’s kind of obvious and I like that the show isn’t obsessed with hiding it or throwing us off so they can have a twist.

I love Sarah’s freak out about Beth being a cop. Mostly because she’s stuck in the police station but also because she’s got to give Beth’s statement at the hearing. She calls her brother Felix to get him to stop the plan to pretend she’s dead by identifying Beth’s body as hers but he doesn’t pick up.

That’s quite a lot of trouble she’ll be in if found out and I also like how she gets out of it. Downs a load of soap and throws up in the hearing on the table.

She lives in the moment and is a bit of a con artist so she’s quite good at bluffing her way through bad situations. Like Walking into a bank to pretend to be a woman she’s only seen on a video for a few seconds and then bluffing her way through conversations with Art who is Beth’s partner on the force and Beth’s therapist.

Sarah needs the money from Beth’s account so she can disappear with her daughter. This is when Art finds her and takes her to her hearing at the station.

There seem to be a lot of differences between Sarah and Beth but considering how everyone expects Beth to take off and not go to her hearing maybe they aren’t so different.

Sarah also runs away from her problems a lot creating new ones in the process. She abandons her child then pretends to be dead and doesn’t think how those things could conflict especially when she wants her child back.

She also ends up sleeping with Beth’s boyfriend when he gets suspicious as a way of distracting him. There was lots of Sarah nudity but there was also lots of male nudity.

You see Felix and his drug dealer friend then Beth’s boyfriend then Felix again and then a random large man in a towel stood outside. So there was actually more naked men than women. That makes a change.

Sarah’s support in all this is Felix her foster brother and drug dealer who takes all the crazy form Sarah in his stride. His response to her telling him she saw a woman kill herself is eww and he’s not that surprised she’s stolen the woman’s stuff.

You kind of think he’s going to be one of those people that enable and let the main character get away with everything. And he does to a certain extent but he also tells her when she’s crossed the line. He lets Vick have a wake even though Sarah told Felix not to because she didn’t want her daughter to find out.

Vick is so funny once he thinks Sarah is dead and I wish we could have heard all of his eulogy not just the first part when he says he’s got evidence to back up his statements.

Felix visiting the Morgue to identify Sarah’s body is strange. The morgue guy hits on him and then they flirt again when Vick is crying over the dead body. I sort of wonder if this is normal for the morgue guy.

The last five minutes of the episode is when things get really interesting. It turns out that it wasn’t just Art who was following Sarah but another clone called Katya who Beth was doing something with. They had a plan and were using Beth’s connections.

Katya eventually figures out she’s not talking to Beth but gets shot in the next second so there’s possibly a third person following Beth. And Sarah decides that at this moment with a bullet through her wind screen and a dead woman in the back seat that it’s time to answer the phone.

And that’s how the episode ends. I don’t know why I never got around to watching this before it’s so good.

 

 

Next Orphan Black: Instinct

Helix

The story

The CDC go to help some scientists in the arctic and manage to make everything worse. And no one acts like a real scientist.

Thoughts

This show takes itself way too seriously. Everyone is dramatic and mysterious which is not a good combination especially if you’re trying to make a serious science fiction show.

The characters don’t really stand out to me. At about half way through I couldn’t name any of them except the brother Peter and that’s because they kept saying his name.

The only characters I liked was the blond lady who turned out to be Dr. Doreen Boyle and plumber guy who I still don’t know the name of (and can’t really be bothered to find out).

The blond lady seemed aware of what genre she was in. While sneaking around in the dark looking for monkeys they find cages that have been broken. She turns to plumber guy and says ” Something busted out… from the inside.”

Then when they find a live monkey and she acts like the guy from Prometheus who tried to make friends with the strange alien snake. It turns out about as well as that did.

The main guy though is very boring and the worst offender for being dramatic. His main characteristic is he likes to date progressively younger women as he gets older. Although he may not be dating the pretty lady yet (it’s not clear and oh so boring).

I can see the pretty woman’s arc a mile away. Everyone thinks she’s too young to be a CDC agent so she proves them wrong by being capable and intelligent.

It’s like the makers of the show thought we need a few really attractive women (as all shows seem to think this) but let’s try to justify at least one of them and have her keep telling everyone how smart she is and giving speeches about how capable she is but not actually show her being capable. Instead she’s going to get in trouble and be saved by main boring guy.

The other female character is the main guy’s ex wife who spent most of the episode running round trying to show him stuff. They also have no chemistry.

This is actually quite a good show for female characters I guess. There’s quite a lot of female characters who are scientists running around and the blond lady is neither young nor skinny.

As far as pilots go this isn’t too bad. I’ve seen a lot worse but as I said at the beginning of the post it takes itself way too seriously but without the writing to back it up.

I think I’ll only watch it when there’s nothing else to watch and I feel like laughing at all the scientists not acting like scientists. It’s a bit like the way I watch really awful horror movies so I can be exasperated with characters doing stupid stuff. I think it’s entertaining in a way they probably didn’t intend.