Doctor Who is back! It’s a good thing too, since I was starting to go through serious withdraws. The 8000 episodes of Star Trek added to Netflix helped the pain a bit, but it was still a long summer. So did Let’s Kill Hitler deliver? In a word: yes. In two words: F&$* yes! In three words: Yes and No.
Confused? Me too. Although I think this is my second favorite episode this season ( the first being The Doctor’s Wife ) it took several watchings to get me to that conclusion. At first I was just spent by the whole thing emotionally. I bought every red herring hook, line, and sinker, and because of that I couldn’t properly gauge how I felt till at least watch-through number 2.
At any rate, look below for my spoil-filled review.
“You named your Spoilers after your Spoilers.”
* HITLER IN A CUPBOARD – Although many people cheered and giggled at the announced title “Let’s Kill Hitler” when it appeared in epic bravado at the end of Episode 7 I cringed. I held out hope that the follow up to AGMGTW would be more River/Melody focused, and when the first 10 minutes of this episode seemed to be a standard historical romp with robot Nazi justice soldier I cringed even more. Then Hitler got put in a cupboard, Mels was revealed to be Melody (how did I not see that coming?), and the whole episode become beyond what I was looking for.
* Melody/River – I read somewhere that Russel T. Davies, who got the honor of casting River for her first appearance in the 4th season, originally wanted to cash in a favor to cast Kate Winslet in the part. I doubt the Oscar Winning Winslet would have ever returned had she been cast, and I wonder what the show would even look like now had that been the case. Alex Kingston was brilliant in this episode. It sort of reminded me of watching Buffy the Vampire after Angel lost his soul. We are forced to watch one of our favorite characters as evil, but unlike evil Angel, Melody/River has a certain innocence that comes with the sociopathic tenancies. Plus, she has the greatest line I think I’ve ever heard on Doctor Who “Well, I was on my way to this gay Gypsy bar mitzvah for the disabled when I suddenly thought, “Gosh, the Third Reich’s a bit rubbish. I think I’ll kill the Fuhrer.” Who’s with me?”
* TIED UP LIKE A BOW – We get to find out why River didn’t regenerate when she dies in the library. We get to see her first given the diary by the doctor. We get to (I think) see where she hears the Doctor’s name (if that is what he whispers to her as he is dying. We even get the first ever “Hello Sweetie!”
* CONFUSING EMOTIONS – So I am confused, sometimes in a good way, sometimes in a bad way. I still want Rory and Amy to get their baby back. It’s really weird to see Rory and Amy doing so well after there baby was kidnapped so traumatically in AGMGTW, and I hope as we go back into standalone episodes next week that it isn’t just brushed under the rug. At the same time, do I really want them to find the baby? Because if they do then the River Song we know and love might never have existed, Mels wouldn’t have pushed Amy and Rory together, or given them the name to name herself. Again, it is confusing.
It took the Super Justice Robot Squad that long to check there instruments and find out they were in the wrong year? This seems pretty careless seeing as they had already spent a lot of time and resources killing a dude and assuming his identity. I guess I shouldn’t expect much of the group that thought it was a good idea to make a security system that would kill them if they forgot to wear their WWJD bracelets, but someone is paying a lot of dough for this. Transformers can’t be cheap. Otherwise, we’d all have our own Optimus Prime.
* You Accept and Know this to be true? So Silence will fall when the big, bold, first question will be asked. The question is said to be in plain sight. So our big question is what is that question? Moffat likes to mess with mistaken dialogue a lot. It’s not outside the realm of possibility that when Robot Amy confronts River/Melody by saying “You killed the Doctor by order of the Silence, the Academy of the Question. You accept and know this to be true?” That it actually meant “the Academy of the Question: You accept and know this to be true?” As in You accept and know this to be true is the question in question, and the “this” refers to all of life.
This was River’s episode, and after I knew that, I loved it. When the red car came darting through the corn field I expected River to come out. I was surprised when she didn’t, then surprised when I found out that she really did. We had a lot explained, and next week we get to some creepy stand alone romps, which honest-to-science I am kind of glad for. I have some plot fatigue.
It’s the 15th Episode of Nerd Comic Rising, and the end of the NCR Fast!! This episode kicks off season two with a second interview with Mike Bobbitt! We talk about his recent trip to LA, depression, and our mutual love of Brad Austin which leads to planning his destruction. Check out more great content at JeffreyConolly.com or email feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org
Since I have no good reason or excuse to explain my month long absence from doing anything productive on the internet, let’s just say I fell through a crack in space and time. (The sad truth was more along the lines of me sitting around in boxer shorts with my wife saying “Hey, don’t you have Doctor Who reviews to write and Podcasts to do” and me saying “I don’t wanna, these swiss cake rolls and Blu Rays won’t eat and watch themselves!” and her saying, “But isn’t this the exact rubbish you’d like to get paid for someday?” and me saying…..well nothing constructive with a mouth full of swiss cake roll.
I’ve had a lot more time than usual to reflect on “A Good Man Goes to War, which I think has been really helpful to the cause of reviewing it fairly.
A lot happened. A lot was revealed. A lot of my predictions were proved dead wrong. (I could have sworn River was going to turn out to be a sensorite ((that’s for sure a joke, sensorites have those awesome stethoscopes and Abe Lincoln beards).
Let us brave on to the spoiler filled review of “A Good Man Goes to War”….better late than never.
“I have gene-spliced myself for all Spoiling duties. I can produce magnificent quantities of lactic Spoilers!”
*Rising Higher – As predictable as it was for it to be the Doctor under that third hood, it was really freaking awesome. And how cool was that recruiting sequence when all we see is silhouettes of the TARDIS and Matt Smith? Plus the idea of the Doctor calling in all his favors is a pretty cool one, as more people owe their lives to the Doctor than that Spikey Haired dude that gives away houses on ABC. I wish we could have gotten even more creatures from the past, but I understand the budget reasons for just using what they had lying around. The whole thing was filled with so much bad-assery, which brings me to the next thing….
* RORY IS SO EFFING AWESOME – It’s hard to even put into words the awesomeness that has become Rory. The initial setup is great too, making you think Amy is talking about the Doctor when she’s talking about “The Last Centurion.” The best bit though was the moment when Rory talked to the dying Sontaran nurse. As the Sontaran dies Rory says, “But you’re a great warrior,” and the Sonataran says, “No, Rory, I’m just a nurse,” echoing Rory’s own identity crisis he was probably feeling.
* LIZARD LEZZIES – Some might see this episode as a return of RTD’s “Gay Agenda”, but the show does it so little now it was nice to see a little rainbow in the galaxy again, especially in the case of the awesomely strange Silurian/Human coupling.
* WHAT’S MY MOTIVATION – Still understand very little about why these people care so much about fighting the doctor, or why they need to steal a baby weapon to fight him. I’m hoping it gets revealed later (in Moffat we trust) but I’ve got to say, I’m nervous that Eye Patch lady will never really get fleshed out like I’d like her too.
*THE WAIT – Seriously…..September? I have to wait until September? *Slits Wrists*
* A GOOD MAN – This whole season has been about identity, and Moffat has made it his mission for us to constantly mix up the Doctor and Rory. We’ve often assumed that River killing “The Greatest man she ever has known” meant the Doctor, but it could also easily mean her father, Rory. What we know with Moffat is that it won’t be simple, but I am predicting that we will see what put River in prison by the end of episode 12, so that 13 can end on a happy note.
BOLD PREDICTIONS PROVED FALSE
*ITTY BITTY TIMELORD- I think that the little girl is Amy’s Baby (still) and that said baby was engineered by the silence to be the first Time Lord (hence all the stuff with the suit, they had do give her second heart a safe environment to grow). Remember this is all wibly wombly timey wimey. The Doctor could easily take part in his own species’ origin story. And then we would finally know why humans look Timelord.
I made this one in Episode 2….I was actually pretty close, but no ballgame.
* The Only Water in the Forest is a River – These foreboding words of the TARDIS are talking about River’s death, which we have already seen (the library in that original Moffat two-parter was originally referred to as a Forest). The Tardis is looking backwards and forwards, but River’s death will have a great deal to do with the events of this season.
I was wrong about the TARDIS’s words in Episode 4, which I’m glad for, since this was a much cooler reveal.
It wasn’t the “HUGE CLIFFHANGER” we were promised (at least it was nothing like last weeks) but it was a great episode to end the summer on. I just wish there wasn’t all this waiting. I’m really excited to see where the series goes on from here, especially in “Let’s Kill Hitler”
It’s no secret to anyone who knows me that I’m a Captain America nut. He’s been my favorite super hero since before I could read the comics I picked up every week from my Grandpa’s book store. Imagine my elation when I heard they were finally going to make a proper big budget movie starring my hero, directed geek demigod by Joss Whedon. Of course, big super hero summer movie means dedicated toy line.
The Captain America toy line from Hasbro follows the model Hasbro set up when they made Iron Man 2 toys last year, two separate lines of 3-3/4” action figures, one based on the movie, and one based on the comic book version of Cap. The movie line has yet to hit stores, but last week the comic series started popping up on shelves at retailers everywhere. So far only the first four basic and three deluxe figures are out, along with a few vehicles and role play items.
These figures are nice. Like the Hasbro Marvel Universe and Iron Man lines, they boast excellent articulation and beautiful likenesses of the characters. The toys combine collect-ability and playability very well, with multiple cool accessories.
So far I have picked up the Winter Soldier and Battlefield Captain America figures, and am very please with both. The Winter Soldier comes with three guns, and has holsters for both of his hand guns. He also comes with a winged rocket pack, adding a cool play option for kids. Battlefield Captain America comes with two guns, his old-style triangular shield, and a removable helmet. The shield can easily fit on his arm, or on his back for carrying. Both are lovely figures, with very nice sculpting and detail, making them very true to their comic book likenesses. Some of the other figures have gimmicky shields, which collectors and purists won’t be happy with, but add a playability factor for kids.
The deluxe figures come with accessories for added play value, but aren’t patently goofy like so many other lines can be. There is a Parachute Cap, one with a winged jet pack, and a Fortress Assault Cap. The Fortress Assault version is the goofy one of the bunch, with Cap in red armor and carrying a missile launcher.
Future waves include characters that have been overlooked by Hasbro in the Marvel Universe collection, including Crossbones, U.S. Agent, the Red Skull and Hydra soldiers. One can only assume they were holding them back, knowing they would be making this line for the Captain America movie.
A few minor complaints, though – the paint apps can be a bit spotty, so you need to look the figures over before buying to make sure you get a good one. Also, The gimmicky shields are a bit silly on some of the figures, I would prefer U.S. Agent and Heroic Age Cap with their standard shields to display in my collection.
The role play items or kids are pretty cool, too. They include a shield that shoots little disks, a standard Frisbee-like shield, a mask, and a full costume.
Overall, I love this toy line. Yes, it has its goofy kid stuff in it, but mostly it is very collector friendly. I will be buying many of the figures, and am especially looking forward to Crossbones, who I was never able to get the Marvel Legends version of. My kids will also probably talk me into picking up many of the role play items for them. This is definitely the best movie tie-in line this summer, easily besting the Thor and Green Lantern lines. Hopefully, the line sells well, and we will see more comic characters pop up, like Batroc the Leaper (I can dream, can’t I?).
This weeks part one of a two parter was a romp that hit a checklist of Sci-Fi clichés, took doctor who back toward its roots, and did what it most needed to do, occupy space while using very little of the budget (the cash gained from these two episodes’ limitations is what allowed our heroes to play around in Utah and what not). All that being said, its rather hard to judge the first episode of a two-parter, especially a more traditional one like this. It’s a bit like shutting the movie “12 Monkeys” off at the halfway point and saying, “Well, what do you think?” All that won’t stop me from trying though, so look below for my spoiler filled review.
“Yes spoilers are insane and they’re about to get ‘insanerer.”
*THE ‘GANGERS – The concept, albeit no where near a new one, was pretty cool and fairly well executed. The actors had a difficult job of playing themselves and their bizzaro clayface selfs, but they all did a good job. The effects (except for the snake one, and we’ll get to that later) were simple but freaky. Even though this was a more traditional Who episode, it definitely played well to the creepy of the new series.
* THE DOCTORGANGER – As much as the ending was telegraphed the length the Pretenders would walk away (500 miles, if you don’t get that joke) it was still pretty damn cool way to end the episode. I get to spend all week thinking about how this can be handled, or mishandled. What’s especially great about it is that it flipped everything on its head. The Doctor was all for the Gangers and the Normies to kiss and make up, but how will he feel about another Doctor calling the shots, or another Doctor that feels he has just as much right to the Tardis? This puts his own morals under fire, or rather, under acid, and it will be interesting and fun to watch next week.
* Why Can’t We All Just Get Along – It’s petty, but I’m growing kind of sick of the didactic “why does war have to happen” episodes when it all goes to hell because one psycho-lady can’t handle the concept of talking before filling the objects-that-are-supposed-to-represent-the-middle-east-or-some-such-nonsense full of lead. We get it. We humans; we stupid, we fight each other. I guess I’m only so mad because its so similar to last years hungry earth saga. Couldn’t we just watch Rory fake die again (please, no, Stephen Moffat, that was a joke).
The Snake-Ganger thing looked horrible. Find whoever made that CGI and sack him!
* GANGERS WON’T FEEL SO H.G. WELL – They spent a lot of needless time having the one normie sneeze a lot. I’m guessing in the end all the gangers will die from the common cold. I don’t want this to happen, again, it’s horribly cliché, but such is life. Clearly they have to have them all die in some sort of inevitable way anyways, otherwise the presence of the gangers (especially the one that looks like Matt Smith) presents to many problems.
Like I said, it’s hard to review part one, but thus far I’m along for the ride.
Summer movie season is fast approaching, and with it comes the inevitable movie tie-in toy lines. With typically lackluster offerings over the years (refer to the Playmates 3-¾” Star Trek line from a couple of years ago), the major toy companies have successfully lowered my expectations of what we will see for movie tie-in merchandise, particularly in the action figure department. This year’s Green Lantern movie toys from Mattel stick to the long-standing “Throw anything on the shelves, kids will buy it!” tradition.
We had all had seen pictures of the line from Toy Fair earlier this year, and I was under whelmed to say the least. The toys looked kind of cheap, and the likenesses didn’t look right. Today, however, I got to see the 3-¾” toys in person at a Toys ‘R’ Us store.
Holy crap, what steaming piles of dog turds these are. As fake-y as the CGI characters look in the trailers and TV ads we’ve seen so far, they look even goofier in plastic form. Kilowog looks like a cartoon dog. Hal Jordan looks like a stiff-armed Jerry Seinfeld. Also, the line boasts a whopping 6 points of articulation – shoulders, hips, head and waist, at least on the figures I saw (Sinestro, Hal and Kilowog). It does appear that some of the figures have ball joints at the shoulders, which provide some range of motion, but most of the Hal Jordan figures are simple up-down swivels. So, the only action poses you can do with them are waving, pointing, and goose-stepping. At $8.99 MSRP per figure, are we really supposed to get excited about toys like that?
As toy collectors, we have come to expect better, even in a 3-¾” line. In a hobby where Hasbro is putting out super-articulated G.I. Joes, Jedis and Marvel Superheroes, we demand better. Mattel has really dropped the ball on this line, in my opinion. They can say it’s aimed at kids and not collectors all they want, but it’s no excuse for poor quality. Hasbro has been making beautiful figures at that scale for years, Mattel just can’t seem to get it right. They should have learned from their ill-fated DC Infinite Heroes line a couple of years ago. You need to please the kids and the collectors with a line like this to be successful, and you do that by offering a combination of cool sculpts, reasonably good articulation, and a high level of playability. You don’t achieve that by giving us cheap-looking, stiff-armed junk.
To be fair, the 6” line doesn’t look terrible, but those figures are fifteen dollars each. I’m already stretched thin trying to collect toys I really want, like the great 6” DC Universe and comic-book themed Green Lantern lines Mattel is putting out, which does prove Mattel can make great toys when they try. Too bad they didn’t put in any of that effort here.
In short, I will not be buying these, not for me or my kids, not even when they inevitably end up in the clearance aisle at Wal-mart. Am I completely off-base? Does anybody want any of these? What movie toy are you looking forward to Thor? Captain America? Let me know.
Dennis Burdziak is a toy enthusiast, comic book reader, and friend to people more talented than himself. Follow him on twitter @dburdziak.
OK, I know I’m a few weeks late on this one, but give me a break. I’m new to this site and blogging in general.
The trailer for the final installment in the Harry Potter Octology (is that a word?) was released, and has Potter-heads everywhere all atwitter, myself included. I’m a late comer to the Harry Potter world, having waited until my wife made me watch the first 6 movies before I ever cracked one of the books, but I am a full-on Potter nerd now. The trailer is beautiful, and gives us glimpses of some of the coolest parts of the book brought to life. I’ll try to stay spoiler-free, but I make no promises, especially if you haven’t seen the previous movies.
In this final chapter, it’s a race for Harry and friends to complete their mission begun in part one, the destruction of Voldemort’s remaining Horcruxes, the items that he has imbued with a piece of his soul in an effort to live forever, and to then vanquish him once and for all. Right away, the familiar theme music brings us back into the magical world. The Voldemort voice-over sets the tone, reminding us this is no longer a kids’ movie series, these characters are grown up now and are dealing with some dark, life-or-death situations. The trailer then gives us glimpses of the roller-coaster ride into the Gringott’s vault, a dragon, Death-eaters galore, wizards flinging spells all over, and a whole bunch of stuff on fire. Only one thing bugs me, I don’t remember the scene with Harry and Voldemort falling off a bridge in the book, so that may be a movie add-on, please correct me if I’m wrong. Everything leads up to the battle of Hogwarts, which we see bits of, not enough to spoil anything, but enough to give those of us who already know what happens glimpses of all the things we are hoping to see.
This movie should shut up anyone who called the last one slow or boring. Everything that I can remember that is left of the story is non-stop excitement and action, which is what the trailer seems to show. There will be battles, there will be death, and there will be fire and explosions. Characters will meet their fates and fulfill their destinies. In the end only one can survive – the Chosen One or the Dark Lord.
Yes, many of us have read the books, but seeing it alive on screen is something completely different. Between this and Captain America, July can’t come soon enough for this nerd. I’m excited, are you?
Dennis Burdziak is a married father of two, a total nerd, and wannabe member of Dumbledore’s Army. Follow him on twitter @dburdziak
Episode 3 was a romp, mateys! But getting a standalone romp after the first two mind-bendy/revolutionary episodes kind of feels like getting a swell handy after two nights of sex that was…well mind-bendy and revolutionary. That, though, is certainly Arrr-guble. (That’s the last time I do that, I swear.) Check out my spoiler filled review below…
Yo-ho-Spoilers! Or does nobody actually say that?
*PIRATES- Pirates are just cool, and this is exactly what makes Doctor Who such a great show. It’s the only show that can give you aliens one week, then straight up pirates the next. Plus, Amy Pond dressed like a pirate gives Rory and Amy more role-play props (as seen in the Christmas Special).
*Siren* The Siren/Mermaid/Doctor-that-made-House’s-Bed-side-manner-seem-amazing was a pretty effective monster. It wasn’t Silence good, but it was still pretty cool.I especially like the idea that it wasn’t really inherently good or evil. It was just there, abandoned, and it was trying to continue its work.
* GREED – The whole “I can’t give up the treasure” thing bugged me. It’s not bad, really, but its not good either. Its very, well, traditional.
*UNDERUTILIZED PIRATES- As cool as the pirates are…they didn’t really do much. They ran in fear. They acted greedy (see above) but that was it. As cool as the story was it’s a little odd. They visited pirates but couldn’t have sword fights, never fired a cannon, and didn’t look for treasure. There’s not really anything bad about that, but its a bit like visiting the star wars universe and spending the whole time watching that chess game in which you’re suppose to let the wookie win.
*Rory’s Almost Death- The first season of Heroes, I watched it like crazy. I was the biggest fan, but mid third season, I stopped watching. Why? Because people kept dying and getting resurrected. When Rory started “dying” at the end of this episode, I didn’t feel sad, I felt annoyed. This again!? Fortunately, this wasn’t the case, but still…
*NO RIVER OR CANTON- Moffat’s best problem is that he introduces such brilliant characters that you feel a loss when they aren’t around. I know they can’t be there every episode, but seriously.
*LADY IN THE WALL- The Lady in the wall is opening a version of the “crack from season 5, a whole in time and place. My bold prediction. What the heck, let’s go crazy. It’s the same girl, Amy’s child, but as an adult.
It is what it is…an adequate episode. It wasn’t bad, but after the last two weeks of jaw-droppers it just kind of fell flat. I’m really excited for next week, as the episode is written by my favorite author Neil Gaiman. I’ve been waiting two years for this!