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Saturday, 18 May 2013

Doctor Who - The Crimson Horror

A very silly, strange and lightweight episode that's a whole lot of fun


A few weeks ago, Mark Gatiss delivered his best Doctor Who episode to date (Cold War). The Crimson Horror, whilst not perfect, is now the owner of that accolade.

Set in 19th Century Yorkshire, The Crimson Horror is an unrestrained slice of twisted fun. Bodies are turning up in the river, except the flesh on the bodies has developed a deep red colouring. Local factory owner Mrs Gillyflower (Diana Rigg) is offering the chance of salvation from this disturbing fate, which has been dubbed the Crimson Horror by the people, in her idyllic village compound known as Sweetville; a place where only the best are welcome.

Past seasons of Doctor Who have attempted to lighten the workload of the Doctor and his companion by writing episodes which feature only one of the pair e.g. Midnight, Turn Left or episodes which leave them out of the action for most of the running time e.g. Blink. This truncated season can't really afford to apply this tactic over a full episode, but The Crimson Horror is noteworthy in that neither The Doctor or Clara appear on screen for the first 14 minutes.

Doctor Who - Journey To The Centre Of The TARDIS

A nerd-tastic set up manages to stay the right side of plausible


With any story which explores a previously unexplained aspect of a show's mythology, there's always the possibility that whatever revelation that is made will anger more than it might please. Or to put it more succinctly, the Midichlorian problem from Star Wars.

The Doctor and Clara are meandering across space when they get caught by a passing salvage ship. The damaged TARDIS lands on board the salvage vessel (manned by the Van Balen brothers), and Clara is nowhere to be found. After trapping the crew inside the TARDIS and activating a self-destruct timer, the episode is ready to explore the previously unexplored mysteries of the TARDIS.


The salvage of a lifetime. (image courtesy of guardian.co.uk)

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Broadchurch - Episode 8

It's a case of the good, the bad and the inevitable as Broadchurch reaches an end


After several weeks of speculation and anticipation, the Broadchurch killer has been revealed. The finale was a reminder of how good Broadchurch has been in moments, but it also demonstrates how infuriating the show has been at times.

Starting with the inevitable, it was no surprise that Joe Miller was revealed to be the killer. At the end of the day, it followed the route of almost every CSI episode; the killer being somebody who's in the episode, but never at the forefront. It's been done a thousand times before and, despite all of the crackpot theories circulating on the internet, was an unspectacular revelation. In the few hours leading up to the episode's broadcast, one of the show's producers had said that everyone should watch to the very end of the episode. Some people took this as a suggestion that there was a shocking twist at the end of the hour. As such, when there was no big twist, many felt disappointed. To me, the comment was an indication that the killer would be revealed early on and so the producer was encouraging people not just to switch off as soon as Joe was arrested (why would you stop watching if the killer hadn't been revealed?). Personally, the inclusion of an outrageous twist would have been unfaithful to the show's more low key approach to a murder mystery. The inevitability was the lesser of the two evils.


The Broadhurch killer behind bars a door with a hole in it