About a year and a half ago (apologies for the delay), I delved into season 8, and I said that it was half-good, and half-terrible. I still stand by that today, and I won’t change my mind about it. The good episodes that I said were good are still good today, and the bad episodes that I said were bad are still bad today, if not, worse. This season, on the other hand, is somewhat better, giving maybe only two or three bad ones. Which ones are the good episodes? Which ones are the cringe worthy bad ones that you wish to bring Robert Holmes’ corpse back to write again? We’ll see in a moment. Peter Capaldi in the first 75% of this season started to dress up kind of a rocker, which I happen to like a lot!
Actually, the more I look at his costume, the more Hartnell I see in his style. The coat, the plad pants, the shoes, it’s there! William just didn’t wear a t-shirt, sunglasses, or had his hair all messy.
Everyone else doesn’t have that much of a change, but only one who finally leaves! So, let’s dive right in, shall we?
Before we go into the first episode, I should look into the prequel episode.
The Doctor’s Meditation
It’s just about the Doctor in the medieval times, doing some funny shinanigans, digging a well in a couple of places in the medieval ages. Oh, and there is a small moment where he does meditate. The Doctor says that he needs to get away for a while because of what he did in the middle of a battle that he regrets doing. This short is entertaining at best, and I dare say it’s my personal second favorite story in this season. So, what does he regret so much that made him stay in the medieval times?
The Doctor lands on a planet that is unknown to him until he finds a child trapped in a handmine field.
I would be impressed and think these are cool, but once you figure out that can’t move when grabbed by one, then you start to find out that this is just another one of Moffat’s tropes of defense mechanisms that I wish he can just stop doing already. Anyway, the child who the Doctor finds that got grabbed by one of the hand mines reveals to be Davros, and abandons him on the field, thus placing him in the medieval ages. But, *sigh*, Michelle Gomez freezes the sky, just to get Clara and UNIT’s attention to help her find the Doctor. Why does she want to find the Doctor? Because she has the Doctor’s confession dial.
This confession dial is made for a timelord when he’s nearing his death to reveal something that he has hid for his whole life, or something like that. Believe me, none of that will matter until the season finale. And because both Steven Moffat and Peter Capaldi forced Jenna Coleman to stay for this season (not making that up), Clara goes with the Master in the medieval times and finds the Doctor in an axe battle!
But they all were being chased by a guy who turns out to be a bunch of snakes as a sith lord.
This guy brings the three to Skaro, because Davros is dying, and he wants to see the Doctor one last time to let him know that he remembers the Doctor abandoning him as a child and making him see both Clara and the Master die. This episode is entirely fine, but the really good parts are really good. Not a great way of beginning a season, but I’ve seen worse.
The Witch’s Familiar is not very good. I know there are a lot of people who prefer this part over the last part, but upon giving it a second watch, I had to step away from this as good. Both the Master and Clara turned out not to be dead, but rather teleported outside of the Skaro city, not killing them. I don’t know why, they were both rendered useless throughout this whole episode, as well as the last episode. Another thing that I know a lot people like this new Master, and I can’t understand it for the life of myself. This episode was her at her worst, for acting too comedic to where it was annoying, cracking up jokes in a southern accent, and used profanity, further proving that Steven Moffat doesn’t give any care or thought of his audience. Yes, I know that Doctor Who is not strictly a children’s show, but you still have children watching Doctor Who. I have more to complain about that moment, but I will further expand that in a future review, because Steven Moffat might be reading my reviews and thinks that seeing me suffer through his episodes is humorous. I’m not saying that’s true, but it feels like it. Yeah, I don’t have a lot of things to say about Clara of how little interest I have for her. She even goes into a Dalek that for some reason looks squeaky clean on the inside, and talks like a Dalek, just to remind us of the horrors of Asylum of the Daleks. But what’s good about this episode? Well, I love how Skaro looks in this episode, looking just like the Daleks episode, but in color this time!
Okay, it doesn’t look just like the same city design in The Daleks, but I do believe it looks better. By the way, for those of you who don’t think I have seen the episode after making that mistake and that I’m saying this for my review, I did. Many years ago. It was better than this. The classic who Daleks look amazing, and some of them had much better use in this one than what we saw in Asylum of the Daleks. I just wish that they gave the special weapons Dalek something to do in this episode than have it being in the background again. That, and it talked. But back to the good stuff. Seeing the Doctor drive in Davros’ Davros mobile was very entertaining.
The moments that both Davros and the Doctor had were great too. If the episode was just about these two instead of, well, the other two, then we could have gotten a much better episode. There’s even a moment where Davros talks about a hybrid, but I’ll get into that later on. I say just watch it for the Doctor and Davros. They were great, and they were the best parts of the Witch’s Familiar.
Under the Lake is a solid episode that kind of feels like it belongs in the classic who era, and most people will say the same thing. It feels like this was Warriors of the Deep done right. It’s a ghost story that convinces the Doctor that ghosts exist. The Doctor lands in an underwater oil drilling company that reminds me of Sealab 2021, but minus the amount of humor that show had. But it does have a business man who you would see in some of James Cameron’s movies. Spoilers, he dies, and the Doctor had every right to criticize him. There’s a space ship that the oil drillers discovered, which some people start to speculate that its where the ghost came from. The only two other characters from this oil company who were worthy of mentioning are the deaf woman and her listening guide. She’s the first actress, to my knowledge, so don’t quote me on that, who came in the show with a disability. But like I said, I could be wrong. The ghost do hold some interest into their design, making their skin look a little white, while having their eyes look black, hidden in the blackness.
I don’t have a whole lot to say about this episode. It’s really good! Go watch it if you haven’t seen it.
Before the Flood is its second part that concludes this two parter, going back into the 80s to find out more about how the ghost and it’s space ship came to be. The first ghost is the one that you saw in that one image up above this poster, who looks like a rabbit mixed with a man.
Half of those from the sealab are with the Doctor in what appears to be a training base to fight against the communist, and the other half are with Clara in the sealab, trying to survive from the ghosts. the space ship is discovered to be a morgue-type service, and the man-rabbit is a funeral specialist who turns out to be the happiest funeral director in the universe. Insert obvious Gravity Falls reference here. You do get to see the Doctor as a ghost in the future, trying to tell Clara what to do, but by lip syncing with an extra help from the deaf woman. I almost forgot to mention that the ghost in these episodes don’t have voices, which I do find that part of the ghost to be interesting. The only problems that I have about this episode was the way how it began. He discusses this whole thing about the bootstrap paradox, explaining about something about who wrote Beethoven’s 5th, but I don’t see the point in this episode’s story. Don’t get me wrong, I thought it was cute, but what’s the point? Oh, and the monster in this episode, I’m not going to spoil anything about his design, but I only have one thing to warn you about him:
This is still a good episode, but not as good as the last.
This episode was the introduction of a cast member that Steven Moffat was really hyping up this whole season. Maisie Williams from Game of Thrones is playing a norse who declares war upon an alien race who are very viking like, and are considered to be one of the most fierce, and strongest warrior race in the galaxy. And she does this after her vikings were wiped out. This brings the Doctor to stay in this viking village and train the villagers to become vikings. If there is something that i have noticed from the last season’s few episodes, its that the episodes that have two writers, and if one of them is Steven Moffat, you can immediately tell that some of his writing is his on the screen. The biggest part about this episode that some people didn’t like, and neither did I, was that this episode revealed that the time lords can choose the appearances during their regeneration. Regeneration is best kept the way it was, and I didn’t think that was necessary. But, for Steven Moffat, that needed to happen for the next episode, because he writes that the Doctor gives Maisie Williams’ character immortality for the rest of this season. Outside of that, this episode was enjoyable. This was James Mattheson’s third episode, and even though it was not his best episode, I still recommend it.
The Woman Who Lived is one of the rare episodes in the show that is written by a woman, Catherine Tregenna, and happens to be really good, for the first two thirds of the episode. The Doctor just so happens to meet Maisie Williams again in the 18th century, and she has lived for so long at this point that she forgot what her name is. Now, she just calls herself Me. Yeah, she has written most of her life in hundreds of note books, if not, thousands, and she never thought about writing her name. I don’t know what to say about that. Anyway, in this part of her life, she lives in a life as a vigilante, taking money from the rich, living the high life. Like I said, the first two thirds are really, really good, revolving around Me’s life in the 1700s, and even looking a little into her past in one of her journals. It was effective, well done, and they were the best parts of the episode. So, how does this episode fall apart? Well, due to how this flowed as a potential for a return of a pure historical, Catherine thought it was a great idea to bring in the lion race from Warrior’s Gate that breathes out fire.
Really?! If he was in another episode, this would of brought back the pure historicals from the ashes. I guess that we will not get another pure historical anytime soon. But this episode was still good, regardless with the unnecessary sci-fi elements.
We see the return of the Zygons, the return of Osgood, and the return of UNIT, in The Zygon Invasion. I’m not a fan of the Zygons, so I don’t care all that much about them. I will admit that one of the best moments in Day of the Doctor was when you see one of the Zygons transforms back into it’s original form.
Now in this one, since I guess that most viewing audiences thought that awesome scene was too disturbing and epic for children, they got rid of it and just made it look like they transform as an edit. How boring. You also have Kate investigating a small town in New Mexico with a Zygon, I mean sheriff, and the Doctor going to another country around an eastern European country. ………I think. Yeah, I don’t care too much about this two parter. It’s not bad. This episode is clearly trying to be a metaphor of ISIS, giving the Zygons a place to live on planet Earth with the humans, living as humans, and creating terrorist attacks, but I just don’t care all that much for the story. And I can say the same thing about the next part.
I don’t hate the Zygons, far from it. I did enjoy Terror of the Zygons, and I also said that their transformation scene in Day of the Doctor was great! But even here I can care less because of how much of a disinterest I have for the story. I’m still not a fan of Osgood, and I saw her faking her own death a mile away in Death in Heaven too, thanks to her help with a Zygon, because using a race that is opposite of you as meat shields makes you a hero!
Even when you have a Zygon as Clara trying to kill the Doctor and leading the Zygons, it just made me think “okay.” And the whole Osgood box on the end-I kind of liked it. Not great, but passable. Yeah, that’s my two cents on this two parter. Not bad, but just okay for me. I can’t say the same for the next one, though.
Lo, and behold, the worst script that Mark Gatiss ever sharted out. I was kind of interested at first about this episode when I saw the trailers for this, and it turned out to be one of the worst episodes of this season. A rescue team of 4 soldiers enter into a space station that orbits around Neptune, trying to find out if there’s anyone still living or not. They do find the Doctor and Clara wandering around in a space station, for reasons that mystify me. Oh, and they find some crappy looking sand creatures that are made from the sand in people’s eyes.
They form from people’s DNA, turning them alive due through an amount of time from sleeping, and this works because………………science said so, I guess. Yeah, due to the massively bad reputation its been getting, this episode shows why that is. It has a lot of racism, its not scary, the rescue team doesn’t flesh out the characters all that much, and this episode is shot as a found footage episode. I’m not saying that’s bad and all, but when you get to find out why and how all of this was being recorded, you get to find out just how stupid this episode turned out to be. This is a really bad episode, and there was nothing about it that could have been better.
This is one of those episodes that I thought was good, but has one of the best moments in New Who. The immortal woman, Me, is patrolling those in an underground village that is filled with previous aliens from past episodes who are disguised as humans. This is all being helped by the street lamps that camouflages these aliens as human beings. There is a raven who takes charge as to who is guilty and gets the death sentence. Rigsy, who was doing jury duty from Flatline, is in this episode, and was given a time limit for his death sentence from the raven, because that’s how it works when the raven picks it’s guilty man/woman. I’m not too sure as to how you are allowed to present your innocence, because this bird doesn’t seem to put on a trial. This town in this episode has some interest, wondering how long its been going on, who else has been hiding down there, and whether or not if we are going to visit this place again. I don’t mean to spoil anything, but beyond this sentence
Now, the way how this episode ends was terrific! Ever since man came into existence, we as human beings have witnessed such splendors. These splendors, to me, are what I call mankind’s greatest achievements. The birth and resurrection of Jesus, the invention of the wheel, the Mona Lisa, Henry Ford making the very first car, the Wright brothers inventing the airplane, and the moon landing. This episode became a part on that list. Ladies and gentlemen, Clara Oswald finally dies.
It feels great to be alive again! Not once did I finally started to appreciate Steven Moffat since Day of the Doctor. Great job on truly getting rid of the real monster that you created for good this time! Steven, you deserve a cookie! The Doctor didn’t like this, because Ingrid (yes, that’s Me’s real name, now that I remembered it), had some power to stop it. Probably from convincing Clara into taking the death sentence, since she is immor- NOPE!!! I just witness something wonderful! I’ll leave it to that. And then the Doctor teleported somewhere else. Where? In the next episode!
This is a very strong episode for me. It’s about the Doctor trapped inside of what appears to be a castle in the middle of an ocean with no other land in sight. The Doctor tries to find a way out while being chased by what I think is the ghost of Christmas Future as guard or executioner in a castle that also moves.
All you need to know is that he/she/it can kill you in one touch, but not immediately, or the show would of ended right away. This whole episode is just about the Doctor, reflecting on the death of Clara and trying to get over her, while trying to get out of this castle. Sure, he’s trying to move on with his life from Clara of all people, but in direction, writing, and especially acting, it works really well!
I do believe that this is the first episode in the show’s history that’s main focus is only on the Doctor, and no one else. That, to my opinion, is the episode’s number one strength. This was an idea that almost happened with Tom Baker to only talk to the audience in front of the camera, and didn’t work that eventually gave us Leela. This was truly a success, and I want to see more of these episodes.
Wait a sec, did I just said that Steven Moffat made another good episode? Well, yeah. That’s possible. But the fact that he made another good episode again is so hard for me to grasp, due to the massive amount of crap that I had to put up with in the past. Finally, I can praise a new, great Moffat episode once more! I actually have hope in his writing again! THANK YOU SO MUCH STEVEN MOFFAT!!!!!! I AM SO SORRY FOR ALL OF THE FLACK THAT I GAVE YOU IN THE PAST WITH ASYLUM OF THE DALEKS AND LISTEN!!! YOU HAVE SHOWN ME THAT YOU ARE STILL A LIVING, GRACIOUS, TRUE LEGEND OF WRITERS THAT THIS SHOW HAS EVER HAD AND PROVED IT IN HEAVEN SENT!! Heaven Sent. That title is so appropriate for this episode. No, its not perfect, but just a nitpick or two in this episode. BUT WHO CARES!?!??!!!! YOU HAVE TO SHOW ME WHAT HAPPENS NEXT!!!!!! I MUST SEE WHAT MORE YOU CAN POSSIBLY SHOW-
Before I give my two cents on my hatred for this abomination, let me tell you what this is about. The Doctor was in the confession dial that whole time in Heaven Sent, you know, that dial that Missy revealed in The Magician’s Apprentice? The Doctor finds himself back on Galifrey, getting help from the Galifreyans, thanks to him saving them all. This trust that these Galifreyans gained from the Doctor helps him kick Rassilon off the planet, and then talks to the old hag from Karn and the general from Day of the Doctor about the hybrid. You know, that thing that Davros brought up out of nowhere in The Witch’s Familiar. Yeah, most of this episode is just a bunch of babbling about who or what this hybrid is, and I have no idea if I learned anything from this. I say that, because they talk so much about this hybrid that I don’t care what the hybrid is. Sure, some might have their own theories as to what the answer is:
but I really don’t care, because this episode was both infuriating and dull. There is two things that really makes me want to stop keeping up with this show, but can’t due to how far I have gone with this series, but one moment in this episode was such a horrible retcon, that it just might have the ability to ruin this show. I’m not going to say, but sometime in the future, I will reveal it in a review of this episode. I will unleash more of my anger about this episode than what I did in Listen. Like I said, that wasn’t Moffat’s worst, and that should tell you what I think about his writing lately.
Anyway, let’s talk about the Christmas episode:
River has a lot of husbands in this episode. They’re all a bunch of heads in and on a robot suit. The robot suit has its own AI. Kind of pointless to give the robot suit an AI, and kind of pointless to give the robot suit all of the rejected heads from Futurama that River married. But the episode was okay. Don’t remember too much about this episode, other than it could have easily ended quicker if she asked the Doctor for his name, because she’s trying to find the Doctor, while having the Doctor on his side, and not knowing that he’s the Doctor. The Doctor the Doctor the Doctor, the Doctor the Doctor. …Doctor. I think Moffat is trying to show off his sense of humor, which is what he is good at. He started off writing a comic relief special of Doctor Who in the late 1990s, and it was funny. This episode painted River Song as a dumb blonde, to my opinion. I don’t mean to spoil anything about this episode, but the ending does wrap up River Song’s story just fine. I say it like that because I never liked River Song. She was just annoying to me.
Season 9 was just a little bit better than the last season. Had two terrible episodes, a few middle of the road good and bad, a handful of good ones, and one great episode. I do recommend this season more than the last season.
Now, due to the fact that there won’t be a new episode this year until Christmas, I will have enough time to review a big chunk of episodes within the Doctor Who Universe from a specific writer. I’m not going to reveal who it is, but some of you might know who it is. And when I said that I will review episodes within the cannon universe of Doctor Who, that does mean I will review episodes of Torchwood! So look forward to that as I review them all in order of their appearances from this man’s work.
Under the Lake/Before the Flood
Sleep No More
A Closer Look at Doctor Who: Davros’ Chair (ep 2 spoilers) – By BBC America
Letdown! – By Maplehoof
Doctor Who Advert Calendar: Zygon Transformation (17 days!) – By Merganman4
Knowing is Half the Battle – By Fiegepilz
Kool in the Gang – Celebration – By oolAndTheGangVEVO
The Walking Dead – Rick “Oh no no no” (Lori dies) – By vTiisa
Is the Doctor Half Human? – By Nosibor Nedle
All images are owned respectfully from their creators.
As for the Radio Times posters, I have no affiliation with the Radio Times site, but I do love their artwork. I do recommend supporting their website!