Fabian Perez is currently doing another tour of the UK, so Sarah and I headed over to the ever-wonderful Whitewall Galleries in Cheltenham to see his latest exhibition.
( And it gave Sarah yet another chance to swoon over the Johnny Depp-alike great man himself. )
Sunday, 16 November 2014
Sunday, 9 November 2014
Saturday, 8 November 2014
After plunging into 3D for the 50th Anniversary last year Doctor Who explores another relative dimension in this creepy episode. People are mysteriously disappearing from a Bristol council estate and the Doctor is trapped inside a dimensionally-challenged Tardis, leaving Clara to step up and solve the riddle.
Although this episode seemed superficially similar to worst-21st-century-Who-story Fear Her ( I'm yawning just thinking about it ) it turned out to be a small-scale treat with some clever ideas ( 2D creatures invading a 3D world ), fine performances from the leads ( "I'm the Doctor, but you can call me Clara" ) and a genuinely disturbing, unknowable enemy in the Boneless. And the Addams Family gag had us all roaring. On the evidence of this episode and the previous week's Mummy story, scriptwriter Jamie Mathieson is a welcome addition to the Who writing team. In fact, this series is notable for new writers, with excellent work from Peter Harness ( Kill The Moon ) and also the newbie behind the next episode...
Frank Cottrell Boyce was a surprising choice to write new Who as he is primarily known as a children's author and the writer of the 2012 London Olympics' opening ceremony. However, with this unusual story he has created something new for the show, a truly different take on the old "invasion of Earth" plot, with some genuinely magical moments. I couldn't help but think of Where The Wild Things Are as a world-wide forest grows overnight to cover the planet, and Clara, the Doctor and Danny find themselves in a London overwhelmed by trees...
deep, dark woods with just a twist of that 12th Doctor harshness. Capaldi's Doctor is in fact showing more signs of softening here, interacting on a surprisingly human level with Danny's pupil, Maebe, the young girl whose visions are the solution to the arboreal apocalypse. Clara's character, on the other hand, is seen to be drifting further from humanity ( due to too much time spent with the Doctor? ) - more concerned with the mystery and the wonder of the crisis than protecting the Coal Hill School children. Director Sheree Folkson creates a gorgeous vision of an unnaturally leafy London and hopefully is another talent ( like these new writers ) that the show can hang on to.
At last we have a two-part series finale again! It's been a long time. In this episode the mysterious Missy ( the ever-crazy Michelle Gomez ) finally takes centre stage as we see what she's been up to for these past 11 episodes. And it's not good.
The story starts with a shock as Clara's boyfriend, soldier-turned-maths-teacher Danny Pink is knocked down and killed by a car. ( That'll teach him to mess about with his mobile instead of watching where he's going! ) Consumed by grief, Clara demands the Doctor bring him back - "Time can be re-written" and all that. The Doctor goes one better, however, and attempts to break into the afterlife to find him...
Radio Times to call it "crass and in bad taste."
There are a couple of developments in this story that I can't really believe - Why would the rationally-minded Doctor even believe in an afterlife, let alone try to pilot the Tardis there? And why would he help Clara after she had treated him so badly, grief or no grief? These questions weren't enough to spoil this tough, challenging story for me but they were a distraction. That said, there was plenty to enjoy here, all the same: the grim, funereal atmosphere; the emergence of the Cybermen from the dark water tanks; the impressive realisation of the Nethersphere; some trademark Moffatt humour sprinkled on top of the chilling implications of the plot.
And, as I type this, there are only a couple of hours to go until the finale airs on BBC1. Can't wait...
Four Out Of Five Sonic Screwdrivers ( or outraged critics ) ...that goes for all 3 episodes above :-)
Soundtrack: The Last Words Of The Great Explorer by TV Smith's Explorers
Friday, 31 October 2014
These are a few great pics from a photo shoot Sigourney recently did for the magazine Gotham, a "What's On"-type of publication for New York City. With all the talk in the media lately about celebrities and their image / body-shape issues it's refreshing to see Sigourney still looking beautiful at 65, an unashamedly mature woman, wrinkles and all...
Sunday, 19 October 2014
Wednesday, 15 October 2014
( filmed in Lanzarote ), some extremely nasty space spiders and a fine performance from young Ellis George as Clara's pupil, Courtney. ( There's also some very dodgy science on display here, but we'll ignore that for now. )
I'm giving this one Four Out Of Five Sonic Screwdrivers ( or alien eggs )
The Foretold is a pleasingly old school menace, with the added, Moffatt-era high concept of the 66-second time limit between first sighting the creature and dying at its bandaged hands. "Start the clock..." A visually sumptuous episode - the train interiors are suitably glamorous, Capaldi looks great with a touch of the Southern riverboat gambler about him, and Jenna Coleman is absolutely stunning in her Art Deco dress.
I make that another Four Out Of Five Sonic Screwdrivers ( or bandaged toes )