Gerard McGarry's blog
We finally bade farewell to erstwhile Doctor Who companions Rory Williams and Amy Pond this week in The Angels Take Manhattan. In fact, we bade farewell to Rory three times and Amy twice in an episode that squeezed in a bunch of character deaths!
The Angels Take Manhattan was perhaps one of Steven Moffat's better-written episodes since he took over as showrunner. For a start, he rebooted his Weeping Angels back to how they originally worked - sending their victims back in time and letting them "live to death" while feeding off the time displacement energy. None of the ridiculous neck snapping and voicebox hijacking of the truly awful Time Of Angels/Flesh And Stone two-parter.
The Angels Take Manhattan will be the final Doctor Who episode before Christmas. More importantly, it's due to be the last ever episode for erstwhile companions of the 11th Doctor, Amy Pond and Rory Williams. But while Steven Moffat has teased a tragic ending for the couple, the situation couldn't be as straightforward or as obvious as their deaths. Could it?
Let's recap: Moffat has said that their ending will be tragic. Not that they die, either one or both of them. Although Rory has got an unfortunate tendency to die from time to time, he's kind of bucked that trend recently.
I'd seen The Power Of Three about a week ago, just after watching the preview of the largely excellent A Town Called Mercy. Obviously I couldn't talk about the episode at that point, but after the clever dialogue and deep insights into The Doctor and his companions, The Power Of Three managed to miss the mark completely.
Sheriff: "He says he wants to kill the alien doctor." Amy: "But that's you. Why would he want to kill you. Unless he's met you?"
The last time we played the Two Doctors storyline was back in the 2008 Christmas special, when David Morrisey appeared to be a future incarnation of The Doctor. In A Town Called Mercy, The Doctor's arrival triggers a case of mistaken identity: a cyborg gunslinger, hell-bent on revenge is tormenting the town, demanding the "alien doctor" be turned over to him to be killed.
So, Dinosaurs On A Spaceship featured Egyptian queen Nefertiti as one of The Doctor's new 'gang'. We've seen the Time Lord run into historical characters in the past: Charles Dickens, Agatha Christie, Winston Churchill. He's even had a variety of otherworldy companions - such as Adric, Leela and Romana.
The question is: would it be cool if The Doctor 'adopted' an historical figure for a certain amount of time, or even for a single series, as he did with Donna Noble? Could you see him going on adventures with someone straight out of the history books, poking fun at their achievements or well-documented quirks?
Okay, my every instinct has been screaming "NOOOOOO" about Dinosaurs On A Spaceship all week. Through the teaser videos and the promo pics that were drip-released, I was ready for this review to be a storming rant about how dumb and goofy Doctor Who had become. And probably denounce the remainder of Series 7 as a complete waste of time.
But here's the thing: after a sixth series that was heavy on complicated story arc with River Song and delved into some truly bonkers storylines. Especially the unmitigated awfulness of The Wedding Of River Song, which was Steven Moffat throwing the kitchen sink at a storyline and hoping it would work. I hated it.
34 year old customer services advisor from Liverpool, Christopher Maloney made a BIG splash on The X Factor tonight when he came on and auditioned with Bette Midler's The Rose.
Yeah, it's not often a guy takes to the stage to sing a Bette Midler song, but Christopher more than did the tune justice. Christopher explains to the judges that he sang The Rose at his grandfather's funeral, which is why it means so much to him. But what might just have won him the night was his devotion to his grandmother, who accompanied him to the audition and stood backstage as he performed. He said:
Pretty young singer Melanie McCabe made it through to judges' houses on last year's X Factor, but was sent home from Miami in favour of some largely forgettable singers. Seriously, I'm struggling to remember ANYONE from last year's line-up.
Melanie returns to the auditions stage with a version of the Simon and Garfunkel classic, Bridge Over Troubled Water.
Here's the thing. Melanie's got a beautiful look, she'd definitely make a good girlband member. But her tendency to overindulge in vocal histrionics hurt her badly during this audition: she hit several bum notes, and exposed an unusually shril voice that I think might not be pleasant to listen to after a while.
We'd been promised that the groups on X Factor this year were some of the strongest ever. Except we haven't seen any evidence of that...until now.
Boyband trio Times Red hit the stage tonight and impressed us with a smart version of Amy Winehouse's Rehab. One of the guys started off on an acoustic guitar for a verse, then the other two kicked in with beatboxing and harmonies.
The combination of unusual hip-hop beat and the Amy Winehouse classic won us over - as well as the audience in the stadium. Oh, and did we mention that all three are rocking chiseled abs and hunky good looks? Well, they are. And even Dermot O'Leary took a moment out to praise the guys for their perfect pecs.
When last I wrote a Doctor Who review on this site, I think I was thoroughly fed up with the new 'bonkers' Doctor and Steven Moffat's "madcap uncle entertaining the kids" style of writing.
Sad to say, I was totally fed up with Doctor Who.
Until a few weeks ago, when I was lucky enough to go and see a preview screening of Asylum Of The Daleks. And there was a massive spoiler that Steven Moffat himself begged us not to reveal. But it was a big, ambitious one and right up until airtime, not one major news outlet or blog had broken the story. So let's get to the review and MASSIVE SPOILER WARNING...