House Logo
Explore categories +

Arthur Darvill (#110 of 27)

Doctor Who Recap Season 7, Episode 5, "The Angels Take Manhattan"

Comments Comments (...)

Doctor Who Recap: Season 7, Episode 5, “The Angels Take Manhattan”

BBC

Doctor Who Recap: Season 7, Episode 5, “The Angels Take Manhattan”

Over the course of its original run, Doctor Who seldom used to make a big deal of the times when one or more of the Doctor’s companions departed the series. There were exceptions, of course, but the majority of companions would receive no more than a brief, bittersweet moment at the end of an otherwise unrelated story. Sometimes even less—Liz Shaw, the first companion to Jon Pertwee’s Doctor, simply vanished from the show after the 1970 season, with only a brief mention in the first story of the following year to cover her absence. Such a thing would be unthinkable in the new Who series, where the increased complexity of characterization and the central importance of the Doctor’s companions within the arc of the stories has meant that all of the episodes where a companion departs have been special, emotional high points. In “The Angels Take Manhattan,” the finale for Season 7’s first stretch of five episodes, showrunner Steven Moffat takes on the responsibility of providing a fitting and satisfying payoff for two and a half years of adventuring for Amy (Karen Gillan) and her husband Rory (Arthur Darvill), and succeeds brilliantly.

Doctor Who Recap Season 7, Episode 4, "The Power of Three"

Comments Comments (...)

Doctor Who Recap: Season 7, Episode 4, “The Power of Three”

BBC

Doctor Who Recap: Season 7, Episode 4, “The Power of Three”

Two weeks ago, writer Chris Chibnall presented “Dinosaurs on a Spaceship,” an episode which I felt started poorly but became steadily more interesting and enjoyable as it went along. Regrettably, the reverse is the case with his second episode of the season, “The Power of Three.” The first half is captivating, full of intriguing mysteries and great character moments, but when it comes time to resolve the plot, the story simply falls to pieces.

Doctor Who Recap Season 7, Episode 3, "A Town Called Mercy"

Comments Comments (...)

Doctor Who Recap: Season 7, Episode 3, “A Town Called Mercy”

BBC

Doctor Who Recap: Season 7, Episode 3, “A Town Called Mercy”

Once upon a time, stories of the Old West were the epitome of straightforward, uncomplicated adventure storytelling. Then, in the last two decades or so, the long out of fashion genre was revived, demythologised, and put to use to tell deeper stories in movies like Clint Eastwood’s magnificent Unforgiven, or the more recent television series Deadwood. In the science fiction arena, Joss Whedon’s ill-fated Firefly constructed its background universe using an intriguing mix of Western and SF elements. Now Doctor Who has taken its turn to use a Western backdrop to present a story with some moral complexity. It’s not quite as compelling as it could have been, with the ultimate resolution being taken out of the Doctor’s hands, but “A Town Called Mercy” is still a beautifully produced and well told tale.

Doctor Who Recap Season 7, Episode 2, "Dinosaurs on a Spaceship"

Comments Comments (...)

Doctor Who Recap: Season 7, Episode 2, “Dinosaurs on a Spaceship”

BBC

Doctor Who Recap: Season 7, Episode 2, “Dinosaurs on a Spaceship”

In one of the more blatant cases of Doctor Who using a B-movie style episode title to pull in the viewers, “Dinosaurs on a Spaceship” lets us know up front that this is going to be a “romp”—big, loud, and hopefully fun. Writer Chris Chibnall, starting from that bare four-word premise given to him by showrunner Steven Moffat, has come up with a very enjoyable stand-alone adventure that lumbers a bit in the set-up (as is usual with Chibnall) but ultimately delivers some excellent tension and excitement, making good use of previously established Who continuity along the way.

Doctor Who Recap Season 7, Episode 1, "Asylum of the Daleks"

Comments Comments (...)

Doctor Who Recap: Season 7, Episode 1, “Asylum of the Daleks”

BBC

Doctor Who Recap: Season 7, Episode 1, “Asylum of the Daleks”

Opening a new season with the Daleks—pitting the Doctor against his oldest and most famous adversaries—has always been a temptation for the producers of Doctor Who. The audience-grabbing potential is so obvious that this is actually the fourth time it’s been done in the show’s history. “Asylum of the Daleks” also gives showrunner Steven Moffat his first chance to write a Dalek story, having deliberately rested the creatures last year—the first season since the show was revived in 2005 that the Daleks were not used (except for a one-scene cameo in the finale). Without the additional pressure of introducing a new Doctor or companion, or setting up a season-spanning arc plot, Moffat’s season opener is a successful standalone adventure with several touches of horror that call to mind his earlier efforts during the Russell T Davies era.

Doctor Who Recap 2011 Christmas Special, “The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe”

Comments Comments (...)

Doctor Who Recap: 2011 Christmas Special, “The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe”

BBC

Doctor Who Recap: 2011 Christmas Special, “The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe”

The day before the first ever episode of Doctor Who was broadcast on British television—the 22nd of November, 1963—is etched into world history forever due to the assassination of John F. Kennedy. However, that day was also notable for the deaths of a pair of celebrated British authors. One was Aldous Huxley, and the other was C.S. Lewis—who therefore missed by the narrowest of margins the chance to see a science fiction twist on the enchanted wardrobe from his famous Narnia books that opened onto whole worlds of adventure. The similarities between Lewis’s magic wardrobe and the TARDIS have often been noted, especially by current Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat, and in this year’s Christmas special he uses The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe as inspiration for a festive bit of escapism. There’s nothing much going on below the surface—and compared to the convoluted plotting of this year’s season arc, the storytelling here is almost shockingly undemanding—but the Who of the Christmas specials has always been a deliberately simplified version of the show, specifically aimed at an audience containing a large number of non-regular viewers.

Doctor Who Recap Season 6, Episode 13, “The Wedding of River Song”

Comments Comments (...)

Doctor Who Recap: Season 6, Episode 13, “The Wedding of River Song”

BBC

Doctor Who Recap: Season 6, Episode 13, “The Wedding of River Song”

As the title suggests, “The Wedding of River Song” finally makes clear the true nature of the relationship between the Doctor and the woman who has variously infuriated, intrigued, and attracted him for the last several years. Showrunner Steven Moffat calls on all his formidable plotting wizardry to conclude the incredibly complex story arc of this season, and both Matt Smith and Alex Kingston deliver superb performances as the entire story comes down to one particular action that has to be made by River. Moffat also provides a satisfying payoff to the threat that has been hanging over the Doctor—the unalterable, “fixed point in time” nature of his death as seen right at the beginning of this year’s very first episode—as he supplies the final links in the intricate chain of cause and effect that stretches back and forth across the entire season.

Doctor Who Recap Season 6, Episode 12, “Closing Time”

Comments Comments (...)

Doctor Who Recap: Season 6, Episode 12, “Closing Time”

BBC

Doctor Who Recap: Season 6, Episode 12, “Closing Time”

Last year, “The Lodger” proved to be a very successful off-format episode, a sort of present-day sitcom version of Doctor Who immediately preceding an epic season finale. Now, writer Gareth Roberts is back with a sequel, which at first looks like more of the same—but this time the comedy goings-on with Craig Owens (James Corden) gain more than a tinge of melancholy thanks to the Doctor’s own personal situation. This, it turns out, is the Doctor’s last stop before going to his predestined end—the end we saw at the very opening of this season (“The Impossible Astronaut”). For the first time in the revived Who series, we’re not having a two-part season finale this year. Instead, this penultimate episode is a separate story, which slowly brings the Doctor to the point he needs to be at for the finale, and has a cliffhanger lead-in to it bolted on to the end. This episode thereby gains a significance that it probably needs to avoid being completely overshadowed by what’s to come next week.

Doctor Who Recap Season 6, Episode 11, “The God Complex”

Comments Comments (...)

Doctor Who Recap: Season 6, Episode 11, “The God Complex”

BBC

Doctor Who Recap: Season 6, Episode 11, “The God Complex”

“The God Complex” is an episode which gives the initial impression that it will be nothing more than a creepy “monster of the week” adventure for the Doctor and his friends, but by the end it has turned inward, held a mirror up to the Doctor and forced him to face some troubling aspects of his relationship with his companions which he normally keeps buried. Writer Toby Whithouse, in his third episode for the series, once again delves into the Doctor/companion connection (as he had previously done successfully with “School Reunion” back in 2006) to produce a story that packs a considerable punch, and triggers an unexpected, major shake-up in our regular cast.

Doctor Who Recap Season 6, Episode 10, “The Girl Who Waited”

Comments Comments (...)

Doctor Who Recap: Season 6, Episode 10, “The Girl Who Waited”

BBC

Doctor Who Recap: Season 6, Episode 10, “The Girl Who Waited”

Anyone who’s been following the Doctor’s adventures for the last year and a half will know that “the girl who waited” refers to his long-suffering companion Amy Pond (Karen Gillan), who first met him briefly when she was a seven-year-old girl, and then lived through another twelve years—all the time wondering whether he had been nothing more than a dream—before finally encountering him again and getting the chance to travel the universe with him. But that dozen-year wait is nothing to what Amy goes through in this episode, a brilliant, intensely emotional character drama that is possibly the high point of the year so far.