Who you said…? S08E09 ”Flatline”

Could not sleep, early blogpost... Enjoy.

And we are back in sort of scary episode mode, and to be honest it was a very good episode. Perhaps not as chilling as some of the others but the lack of jump scares alone made it worth it and there was a fresh spin on things. Heck even Clara was likeable this time around. It was also fun to see the Doctor taking a backseat and having to rely on others, a welcome development in his case.

So the story as we know it: The episode opens with a man losing a dimension. Rather jarring I would say. With that mystery afoot we cut to the Doctor and Clara who is still… Well… cheating on Danny as much as one can do in a platonic relationship with a Time-Lord.  That is to say she is lying about going on adventures through time and space by getting back to the very moment she disappeared so that Danny does not notice that she is gone. The Doctor being an unwitting pawn driven by his desire to have a relationship with Clara, no matter the kind.  Any way they set down a bit rough and find them self with a kiddy sized TARDIS. 
Now that would be a awesome playhouse

Something is leeching the dimensional energy in the area. The Doctor sends Clara out to do some recon while he researches what in a small blue box could have gone wrong as this is not one of the TARDIS usual hijinks. Clara comes back to a pocket sized TARDIS with the Doctor trapped inside and have to pick up the mantle of the Doctor. So with the Doctor in her bag she sets out to find out what is wrong, the Doctor following everything from a small bug in her head. Now in good order she soon picks up a companion in the form of a graffiti artist doing community service. Turns out a lot of people have disappeared and the only thing left behind are some weird art. So after some confusion and psychic paper the trio have figured out that they are dealing with two-dimensional beings and before you know it Clara is leading a band of penal workers trying to solve the mystery without getting killed at the same time. The TARDIS get pushed down a shaft and end up on the train tracks, even after some hands-on solution form the Doctor he has to activate something called the “siege mode” in order to survive, turning the TARDIS in the cube form Hellraiser and making it impervious to harm but also shutting the Doctor in with no way out. Left to her own Clara figures out a way to re-power the TARDIS that had been drained by the 2-D creatures as they upgraded them self to 3-D and in one last desperate attempt to give the Doctor a chance to live she tricks the beings to pump their dimension altering powers in to a fake door and by extension the TARDIS. Once free the Doctor says one last prayer for both his own soul and the beings outside before he banish them back to their own dimension and potentially kill them in the process. The episode ends with Clara demanding that the Doctor admit she was a good doctor, his answer is a rather chilling one…. You where an exceptional doctor… Goodness had nothing to do with it. 

Is that a Doctor in your pocket or are you just happy to see me.

So as I said this episode is very much a suspense episode, not an outright horror episode but rather one playing with a low frequency tension  that keep you on the edge of your seat, even if you know that things will in fact work out to the best. It was also nice to see Clara take a more pro-active role and actually doing things rather than being a pawn of the universe that she so often ends up as. The insight on to what it is to be the Doctor also seems to be a bit sobering for her even if her success quickly goes to her head and I am sure that there will be no end of her bringing this fact up. The Doctor as I said was for the most part relegated to the sofa, following the action from afar so to speak until he had to activate the latest in silly TARDIS gimmicks, after that it was pretty much just a slow death for him.

Poor Danny on the other hand was just being cheated on and had no relevance outside that fact but I sense a fairly big conflict coming up there. Or at least I hope there is because in all honesty I usually call the Doctor an arse but in this specific case Clara is a as big if not bigger arse and stunningly selfish. I´d say that the Doctor being a lot less of an arse was refreshing as his behavior as of late is gruff and quirky-hostile far beyond what is needed or motivated.
It is indeed adorable
So if I am going to look at a theme for this episode I’d say it is very much perspective, both in the very literal way and the switching of roles between the Doctor and Clara. Both having to reevaluate what they know about each other and what their respective roles means. Again we see some nice character development in Clara during the episode only to have it wiped out in the last couple of minutes bringing us back to status quo for the next episode. I hope it will have some relevance beyond another thing for Clara to be smug over. The Doctor showing remorse in the face of an enemy is nice to see as he have  come off a lot like a man with almost Cyberman like detachment to the planet he has taken upon himself to protect.  

Now it is worth noting again that this season have been literally submerged in small nods to earlier seasons, I think I brought it up in my E01 review but it is worth mentioning again as it is a fun read to try and find them all.

This is it for this time, take care and be safe.


Just a quick update

Well yes i do like this image.. thank you for asking. =)

Nothing really of importance to report nut in the name of trying to promote my self everywhere i have put up something new on my Youtube channel. A re-play of the first Mass Effect game. Or at least the first part of such a re-play. The idea being to chronicle the journey of Shepard as ai once again punt the poor soul across the galaxy.

That would pretty much be all. As usual if you have any feedback, ideas or complaints feel free to leave a comment.


Can a green pixie outrun a portly plumber?

So I read on Kotaku today (they in turn was quoting a Tweet) about a planned Link character as a DLC character for the new Mario Kart 8.  Now my very first reaction was to gently apply the palm of my hand to my face with a reassuring slapping sound... But as I get back in to alignment with the world and put aside any remaining nerd rage that smash bros and Hyrule Warriors had not burnt away already I realized that this is actually a kind of cool idea. Now my Link I got to know was not exactly known to ride much of anything but I have gathered that it is sort of a thing these days. I also really like to have as many drivers as I can in my Mario Kart games… So why not go the Smash Bros way of things and just jam every last one they can in there. I personally really would like to see a bunch of Mega Man themed drivers… with Rush driving a MegaMan kart as the nr 1. Just to shake thing up.

One day rush... One day.

There is after all nothing really making the Zelda games any more sacred than anything else Nintendo have produced over the years and just because I fell in love with “a Link to the past” does not in any way give me the right to dictate how the Zelda franchise should be used. In fact I think that games like Smash bros and Mario Kart are perfect venues to play with the different properties that Nintendo owns or have access to. After all there is a certain charm to games like Marvel vs Capcom and the Kingdom Heart series. Do I stand to lose anything by this cross-over? Not really, and while it could be argued that it will cheapen the brand I am firmly in the camp that thinks of Hyrule Warriors does that way more effective than this. After all this is an entirely different genre and it was not that very serious to begin with. 

And there is no denying that the concept is pretty kickass, helping me to grow a liking for this DLC. It does also help that I am an old Mario Kart fan, from the old SNES game all the way up to the Gamecube one. Have yet to play the Wii games but the series have been solid and I really enjoy the crazy and simple but yet engaging driving that keep sucking me back in. Another part of this DLC is a “kart” inspired by F-Zero, another really fun SNES racer that sort of lived through the years and the racing style in the new Mario Kart games is sort of reminiscent of how F-Zero played. To have the Blue Falcon in my garage for this game would be a nice thrill. Now it does not hurt either that they are priced very fairly at a mere 8$ a pop or 12 for a bundle with both upcoming DLC´s.

I really hope this will be a trend going forward with the Mario Kart series. Heck I would not be all against them making a deal with SEGA to finally settle that old grudge of who is the fastest and strongest in a real sport… Fantasy go-kart.


Who you said…? S8 E08 Mummy on the orient express.

 S8 E08 Mummy on the orient express.

 First do listen to this.. It is the rendition of Queen´s Don´t stop me now that is used in the opening

Remember how I noted that the early episodes tended to be split between scary and silly. Well this time I feel we get a decent mix of both, even if there is a lean towards suspense and thriller as the Doctor and Clara take on an undead terror on a train... in space.

The story is as follow. Taking up where we left of the Doctor and Clara are still on the path to ”breaking up” but the Doctor suggest one last trip. A care free romp on the best train in space. At the same time an old woman dies from a killer only she can see. As per usual the mystery is afoot… It turns out that the killer strikes a strong resemblance to a myth about a being called the “foretold” that kill within 66 seconds of finding it´s victim. So while Clara gets locked in with the grandchild of the first victim after Clara bumped in to her and decided to try and help her get to the body of her grandmother. The Doctor and a technician called Perkins set about solving the mystery of why a woman with a state of the art life support just dropped dead as he refuse to believe in a curse or other magic. After another death the crew of the train put cuffs on the Doctor all while Clara, unbeknown to the Doctor try to break herself and her new friend out of their self-made prison after a broken lock locked them in. Things looks bleak until another death happens pretty much right in front of the crew. But as the Doctor gather the crew and passengers around him and calls out and entity called “Gus” it turns out that the entire trip was set up to find a way to stop the foretold. After two more deaths the Doctor figures out that the foretold targets weak or ill people and he set up the girl that is with Clara after the computers predict that she is the next target. He force Clara to lie to the girl in order to get her to follow along with the plan even if it is most certain that she will die.
By transferring the girl’s mental trauma to himself the Doctor get the foretold to target him instead as he put the last pieces of the puzzle together and figure out how to stop the foretold. Turns out that it is a tech enhanced bio-weapon. With the crisis out of the way we get one last scene with the Doctor and Clara back in the TARDIS as Clara do a 180 on her decision to leave the doctor so fast that it might have caused a whiplash. Poor Danny… I do feel for him.

So I liked this episode as it had a good solid story and good pacing. While the mystery in itself was not all that mysterious it is well acted and the monster of the week is intriguing. The at time lighter tone fits very well and never goes in to silly territory and they even manages to slip on some slight character development… even if it is pretty much negated by the end.  With all that being said the Doctor is an utter arse, there is literally nothing beyond his voice to redeem him and the way he acts.
Now this should not be confused with me disliking Peter Capaldi that I instead have to give some real props. His portrayal of the Doctor is very good and his acting in my mind is spot on. I am also very curious where this is taking the Doctor even if I do not like the current behaviour.  I am also glad that we did not have any Missy in this episode. That storyline as I mentioned earlier does not do anything for me. At the same time I am slightly wondering where they are going with this season because it seems to have little to no direction compared to most earlier ones. Perhaps that is a good thing and maybe I have become lazy from having things written on my nose. Now as far as the look of the episode it sefl it is absolutely stunning, even if the foretold look  a bit... well like a guy in a costume... With especially some close ups being a bit rough, But that does in a way come with the territory of Doctor Who so it did not really bother me per se. Music was also really good and the new theme is growing on me from my rather "meh" impression at the start.