Posts Tagged ‘BBC’

Being Human: Horrible Nora (Spoilers BBC, SYFY)

I suppose I should thank the writers on the Syfy version.  I’ve been struggling to separate Nora’s character from the one on BBC whom she’s ever so loosely based on, Nina.  The connection has been severed, because Nina is fantastic and Nora is simply awful.  It is suddenly hard to imagine that Josh can’t do better.

For the unlucky fans who don’t know, Nina is a little spitfire who fell in love with George in the very first season, worried about him losing his humanity and tried to convince him to embrace it in the second, and then returned to his side to make a family with him in the third.  She is the great love of George’s life and apart or together, she always had his back.

On the BBC, the women lift the men up, but on Syfy (with the seeming exception of Sally), they can’t stop dragging them down.  Since Nora became a werewolf, she’s enjoying her furry self much more than the human one.  This makes her detrimental to everything Josh and Aidan (and, off on her own, Sally) are trying to do.  The idea seems to be that someone who was once vulnerable enough to be abused by her boyfriend to the point of being viciously burned would prefer some access to power and even a separation from her own humanity, as if she equivocates her humanity with weakness.

The show implies that unlike Josh, who is completely separate from his wolf side for most of the month while he is human, Nora is ruled by wolf instincts, which cause her to jump to the defense of the two strangers who happen to share their condition.  Though she was quick enough to make Josh feel guilty about attacking her ex the previous week, she now admits that she finds Josh’s intent to have the werewolf pair murdered attractive—even as it threatens her suddenly sacred “pack”.

While Nora goes native, Josh continues to love and protect her, which ends up threatening Aidan’s life  and ending vampire cop, Cecelia’s.  Annoying (if sexy) sociopath Connor, the brother-werewolf who started all the trouble for Josh and Nora, finally gets got and his corpse conveniently takes the blame for the vampire murder that Nora committed.

You had to feel sorry for Brynn, who clearly never meant to cause trouble by approaching the two new werewolves with her different ideals.  But how irritating was Nora, who holds and comforts her new best pal, easily trading her loving boyfriend for what is now a pack of two?  Will Nora ever rediscover the urge to be human?  If so, can it be written in a way that will make her likable again?

Right now, that feels like a stretch.  Nina once left George because he participated in covering up a vampire murder.  Neither Nina nor George ever left the other because he or she didn’t want to stay wolves and eat people with impunity.  Considering the focus of the show, it puts Nora very firmly in the “Do Not Want” category for Josh.  At this point, she’s as damning to him as Suren is for Aidan.  Judging by the BBC, that’s not the way their relationship was supposed to go down.

Touching base with the other two roommates:

While it was fun the previous week to watch Aidan hallucinate my favorite vamp, Bishop, it was even more satisfying to watch the two roommates actually interact with each other this week, with Josh forcing Aidan deeper into the vampire conspiracy but both Josh and Aidan ultimately choosing their friendship over the werewolf/vampire politics that would tear them apart.

Sally looks as though she might not fight the Reaper after all.  She had a very brief confrontation with now-dead murderer, Danny (giving me immediate fantasies about the possibility of a similar circumstance for Annie and the diabolical Owen—how about it, Whithouse?!), and was saved by the Reaper.  She then admits she feels left behind by her roommates and is looking to move on.  She looks tempted to tell at least Aidan about this decision, but both Aidan and Josh are too busy to realize anything is amiss.  Too bad she was too busy last season to bond with them properly…surely they’d pay more attention then.

What’s to come?  It’s hard to say, being well away from most of the BBC second season plotlines.  All I know is how sorry I feel for Josh:  the person he fell for no longer exists.

Being Human: “Addicted to Love” (Syfy, BBC Spoilers)

Oh, Nora.  Girl.  What are you doing??

Last night’s episode is still careening off into no-man’s land, as far as nothing that we BBC fans have seen before.

There’s a flashback of Princess Suren’s temper tantrum, which didn’t seem impressive enough to warrant her punishment.  Granted, she killed in a public place, forcing Mother and the other vampires to mass murder the rest of the human witnesses.  I suppose this is the same as BBC:  the old ones wanted to force Mitchell underground for drawing too much attention to himself with his own mass murders, but he was able to refuse their offer.  For a time, at least.

Sally gets stuck possessing her living crush’s girlfriend until she’s driven out by the Reaper.  I notice many viewers are wondering why the Reaper is after her in the first place, which is made clearer on the BBC.  Instead of a ghostly figure, the BBC Reaper takes the form of Annie bleeding on the floor where she died, but thereafter uses the ability to communicate through radio or television…which is extremely creepy, but at least it’s verbal.  Annie is targeted because she turned down death and pissed off the powers that be…powers that are never explicitly defined.  As punishment, they try to drag her into hell in a variety of ways, and she has to learn how to fight death.  I can’t say if this will be the same for Sally—Syfy has the luxury of more episodes in a season, and therefore can take their time with the reveal.

We also get to meet the psycho ex who burned Nora, and see him get some richly deserved if brutal justice.  Nina’s ex never made an appearance, though she had the same story and the same vicious burns.  There is a pilot episode where the original George confronted his ex-fiance’s new abusive boyfriend with a violent reaction like Josh’s,  but no such episode where Nina does anything remotely similar.

Nora is not Nina.  That has to be my new mantra; they are nothing alike.  Nina never killed, and in fact was the one spending the second season searching for a cure.  Therefore, I can find little insight to Nora within Nina.  Nora seems to love Josh, but her wolf loves murder and mayhem—both represented in this new werewolf, Connor.  Josh/Nora fans like myself have reason to worry…Nina and George did part ways in the second season.  Nina refused to be sucked into George’s acceptance of the murder and chaos that surround the three roommates.  It’s possible that Nora and Josh will part on the opposite basis.

I’m looking forward to next week for one reason, and if you’re with me from last season, you know exactly what it is:

Herrick flashbacks on the BBC all involved actual memories, and I found it odd that Bishop wasn’t around for Aidan’s Suren background.  You might say I’ve missed him.  I can’t wait to get his take on the new order.  I bet he finds Mother and Suren as tedious as I do.

Being Human: “(ILoathe You) For Sentimental Reasons” (Spoilers Syfy, BBC)

Still digging through Syfy in my search for similarities to BBC, which should be waning as time goes by.  They can still be found if you’re willing to stretch for examples.

Sally attempts to help her living friend Zoe find a date, which is somewhat like when Annie attempts to help Hugh reconnect with his ex-girlfriend.  Hugh is one of those everlastingly nice guys who never get the girl, in love with Annie without realizing she’s a ghost.  Seemingly as a consequence of escaping the plot of the afterlife to suck her beyond the door, Annie becomes invisible to him but tries to help him find a more practical and appropriate love interest.

Zoe’s situation is the opposite, as by the end of the episode she prefers to date a ghost than a living human being.  Sally goes back to inhabiting a woman in order to get physical with the doctor she finds attractive.  Here, Syfy introduces an interesting addiction problem similar to Aidan’s.  Sally is the one who attends a support group of ghosts, whereas in the BBC version it is Mitchell who institutes a kind of Vampire AA—or would that be BA?  Of the two, the ghost support group is a bit easier to accept as a concept, since it’s hard to imagine the savagely blood-thirsty Being Human-style vampires sitting around expressing feelings.

Speaking of vampires, this week featured the return of boring, serious Suren with her ever-monotone voice.  I can’t help but wish she was played by Lucy Liu, who can deliver a line with the straightest face and still manage to inflect both humor and attitude.  If not, maybe the character needs some livening up through the writing.  I know what they’re trying to sell, I’m just not buying it.  The rebellious child of presumably the oldest and most powerful vampire in existence should be a lot more impressive.  I miss Bishop.

Aidan fights against dealing with the mafia, which is like Mitchell’s reluctance when dealing with dirty politician Chief Constable Wilson  in order to protect the vampires in Herrick’s stead.  Herrick”s progeny continued to kill teens and couples with impunity, forcing Mitchell to compromise his ideals in order to clean up after them.  Similarly, the mob man catches a rogue vampire as an act of good faith and to convince Aidan that his aid is necessary.  Aidan killed the mafia man because he succumbs to his blood addiction and his jealousy for Suren (unwarranted, if you ask me—what’s so great about her?).  Mitchell kills Wilson in much the same way, minus the sexual aspect.

In the BBC version, there is no brother/sister pair of natural born werewolves.  There IS a werewolf father/son duo claiming to be born werewolves in the third season, but their claim turns out to be false.  In the BBC version there is only one example of a natural born werewolf, and that’s Nina and George’s baby.  I do think the fact that it has never happened before adds a lot of drama and angst that Syfy will miss out on, and I did not fall in love with the idea that the resulting werewolves would prefer not to be human at all.  Should Nora and Josh follow that path, I guess their baby would be like that as well?  That seems to defeat the purpose of the show.

On Syfy, the three roommates continue to lead mostly separate lives.  This was also the case in the second season of the BBC version, but they’d already had a solid foundation built the first season.  There are a lot of satisfyingly dramatic scenes between them that can’t realistically occur without that closeness, such as George trying to break down a door to save Annie or Mitchell going psychotically savage to save them all.  I can’t see Aidan, Josh, or Sally getting that roused about each other.  Each one does fine without the others, and to me that’s a pity.

Those who worry about the future of certain main characters based on what happened in the last few episodes on BBC should rest easy—Syfy has no intention of letting them go that soon.  Maybe that’s why the characters can take their sweet time becoming close to each other.

Being Human: “All Out of Blood” (Spoilers Syfy, BBC)

This was a pretty tame episode, but at least we weren’t subjected to boring “Princess Suren”.  Instead they delved deeper into the roommates’ personal issues.  Syfy makes a lot of the same points as BBC, even if they’re not using the same exact stories.

Off the three roommates,  Sally has to do her own thing almost completely.  Initially in Season 2, Annie could be seen by and interact with regular humans.  There was an entire plot point where Annie gets a job at a local bar and is targeted there by some entity from the other side, the BBC equivalent of Sally’s dark, misty reaper.  The entity uses a human who had a near death experience to try and drag her through a door.  After this experience she goes back to being invisible to normal humans, at which point Sally could possibly pick up the same storyline again—or not.

It’s still similar:  Sally’s in danger from an entity because she turned down her door, and though it’s not explicitly stated as it is in Annie’s case, she’s beginning to worry about her roommates moving on without her.  For the BBC version, Annie has good reason to worry, as Mitchell is always gone because of his new vamp obligations or his new crush, and George actually moves out.  Combined with her own experiences in her failed attempts to build some sort of social (after)life, she starts to realize the downside to eternity in one state of being.

Sally has come to this realization much faster, but that makes sense since she hadn’t bonded as much with her roommates as had Annie in the first season—they’re not grounding her in the same way.  This season, even in only 3 episodes, has already shown her reaching out more to the boys than she did before.  There hasn’t necessarily been much depth involved in the reaching, but there’s still plenty of time for that.  I appreciate any improvement.

Aidan is struggling much more with his addiction than Mitchell initially did in the second season, but there are reasons that I think this helps with the continuity if Syfy intends to have a similar third season.  Mitchell ‘s stress mostly sprang from being unable to keep the other vampires clean and then being ill-equipped to deal with their indiscretions.  Trying to work within the dirty but effective system that Herrick left behind to protect the vampires’ secrecy was enough to test his self-restraint, but there were no blood bags or whores to fall back on.  The problem for me with continuity came when Mitchell had little trouble sleeping with a mortal woman, yet in Season 3 he tells Annie he’s incapable of separating sex from blood and in fact uses one to get the other.  If Aidan has a similar future in store, it makes more sense to show a great deal of struggle now.

Julia, the doctor that Aidan’s been dating, is revealed as Josh’s ex-fiance.  Lucy, the doctor who dated Mitchell for much of the second season, had no prior relationship to any of them.  George’s fiance never makes an appearance except in the pilot, which isn’t included in the first season because it had different actors for Annie and Mitchell.  At one point during the first season, George mentions to Annie that he has seen his ex-fiance with someone else, and that’s the end of it.  I won’t appreciate them using Julia as Aidan’s love interest for the rest of the season because they don’t need that wedge driven between two best friends—that would ruin Aidan for me.  That friendship should continue to be the most solid part of the show.

Finishing up with my favorite couple, Nora and Josh are very different from Nina and George, but perhaps on a similar trajectory regardless.  I’ve said before, Nina never killed—George did, and it made him much more aggressive but not necessarily looking to kill again.  Fortunately, I was looking for a tougher Nora and this is a way to get one.  There must be something wrong with my brain, because I love this savage Nora.  Watching her stalk Josh’s ex—c’mon, which one of us wouldn’t do that??  I love the way Kristen Hager, the actress playing Nora,  reveals the beast within with a simple change of tone and expression.

Last week I wondered about Nina’s wrath with Mitchell, which Nora would have no reason to feel since Aidan never set her up with Josh.  I missed this plot point because it lead to such an intense confrontation between the two.  Instead of not being angry at all, Nora directs that wrath at Josh, rightfully so, because he fled from his relationship with his fiance, Julia, but felt free to take chances with Nora.  Which way is best?  George was too kind-hearted to take a chance with Nina’s safety but Mitchell thought dating Nina was part of “Being Human” and so he asked Nina out for him.  Josh made that same decision for himself, presumably having been convinced by the success he’d had so far in their joint experiment.

Speaking of experiments, this show has Josh attempting to find his own cure.  On BBC, George never returns to medical school because of his condition and though he is still a genius, he never believes there is a chance of a cure.  Season 2 does revolve the idea of a cure, but from outside sources, which have yet to be hinted at on Syfy.

Next week shows some extra-curricular (read:  nothing to do with BBC) werewolf problems for Josh and the return of the very stereotypical vampire princess (yawn).  I think I know where some of this is going—I’m just not telling you yet.

Syfy’s Being Human: Do You Really Want to Hurt Me? (Spoilers Syfy, BBC)

Two episodes in and I’m having a much better time than last season.  Admittedly this could be because I found more fault with the BBC’s second season than I did with the first.  Syfy has a lot of opportunities to improve upon it.

I mentioned last week that George was kind of useless for Nina.  Like when he finally faces the fact that he changed her, it’s Nina who comforts him while he cries.  Every time I see that scene I want to reach into the screen and shake him.

Anyone who watched Syfy tonight saw Josh contain his own guilt as he attempts to convince Nora to survive this.  Two things in George’s defense:  First, Josh’s circumstances allow his mind to be more stable; he never killed, is not being constantly attacked by vampires, and has not given more ground in his head to the wolf.  Second, Nina is far stronger than Nora…heck, Nina is a lot stronger than George.  That’s why they complement each other so well.

I’ve decided the best thing to do is to stop expecting Nora to behave like Nina and accept her as a completely different character.  That’s why now I kind of like her.  I suppose she doesn’t need to turn any of that blame Aidan’s way as Nina did with Mitchell.  Mitchell is the one who encouraged George to date Nina, going so far as to invite her over for their first date.

Nina:  You loaded a gun and you fired it into a crowd.

My feelings for Sally are, per usual, slightly more mixed.  It’s good to see that she had some bonding moments with both roommates that didn’t involve whining and I was thrilled to see that she called for Aidan for help after her nightmare.  In the BBC version, Mitchell and Annie had already had some “moments” in season one that never happened for Sally and Aidan, so I was wondering if they were going to scrap the connection between them.  Maybe not!  🙂

Another Syfy plus is Sally’s ability to enter the bodies of humans.  I thought Meaghan Rath did a great job portraying something anyone could imagine:  the ultimate high, for a ghost to really be human again.  In the BBC second season, Annie is also testing her powers but the best she can do is touch the human and feel what that person experiences.  One finds out in Season 3 why that’s just not as good…

At this point, I can’t tell if Aidan’s storyline will resemble Mitchell’s second season at all.  True, the young woman that Aidan met at the hospital could be the human who was Mitchell’s love interest for a time, but she didn’t get the job and this episode ends with them leaving the bar together.  If he is hunting her, then she’s not the love interest.  That woman sticks around.

BBC has no Mother, nor Mother’s Daughter, Suren, but perhaps Suren is supposed to replace gorgeous, psychotic vampiress Daisy?  If so, Suren should step up her game because in comparison she’s completely dull.  I’m just not thrilled with all the cliche vampire posturing from her character.  Daisy was all about having fun:

“A lot of vampires, it’s all about the blood and the world domination. Me and Ivan… we’re just about the tourism.”

Daisy’s story was completely different from Suren’s, but she was the most important female vampire of Season 2.  She influenced Mitchell and even George, to some extent. But this wouldn’t be the first time I thought they were replacing a main character from the BBC’s version, only to see that character show up later in the season.  Syfy has more episodes, so they’ve got plenty of time.

SyFy’s Being Human Season 2: Off the BBC Track (SPOILERS BBC & Syfy)

Here we are again:  another series and another chance to play Syfy versus BBC.  At the end of season 1, I speculated that there were enough differences between the two that perhaps Syfy would be branching off in its own unique direction.  One episode in and it definitely still looks that way.  Just to be clear, I intend to spoil the ending of both BBC and Syfy’s first seasons, and the BBC second season.  If you didn’t see either of those endings, don’t go forward—you’re supposed to be surprised.  🙂

Let’s start with the end of last season, which is important in order to understand some big differences that exist before the second season even begins.  If you don’t recall and you missed the replay tonight, let me remind you that Sally tries to torture Josh via bitching and moaning so that he’ll use his wolf to kill Bishop for Aidan, since all three friends are veritably certain that Aidan will lose the fight.  Josh reluctantly agrees, but then Sally and Aidan turn the tables on him in order to protect him from having to kill.

That was a huge surprise for BBC fans, which was great because I thought I could only be surprised the first time around.  In ours, George pretends he intends to run away with Nina, when in fact he tricks Herrick into being locked in with his wolf.  He changes and tears Herrick to shreds.   The American version does offer a more satisfying fight, as the BBC focuses on a battle of words and the fight itself is a few blurry moments of audible savagery.  Yet this is George’s attempt to accept his wolf in order to save his best friend.  That’s why George and Josh begin their respective second series in completely different places.

This might be a good thing, since in the BBC version, George spends much of this season being kind of a dick and poor newly-turned Nina deals with most of her problems alone.  Will this happen for Josh?  Hard to say, but so far there are few similarities.

Both Nina and Nora keep having been scratched a secret until the first change.  However, Nina can see Annie, so she asks for help and swears her to secrecy.  I had hoped that Sally and Nora would have a similar bonding experience, which in my mind could have been done without allowing Nora to see her yet, but Sally continues to be solely immersed in her own ghostly realm.  While it seems likely that Josh will find out about Nora, depending on how he manages to escape being shot by the vampire, Nina continues to keep her secret until the truth comes out in an argument.  She has distanced herself sexually from George, which he interprets as her rejecting his wolf.  (This may still happen with Nora and Josh, since the series starts with her gently refusing him.)  Nina begs George for patience and support but he is overwhelmed with self-loathing and the new level of anger and violence that are the result of his having embraced his wolf in order to kill Herrick.  He is also on edge because vampires are constantly attacking him in retaliation for Herrick’s death.  This is obviously not part of Josh’s reality at this point, which may change the direction of the series.

BBC’s Being Human Season 1 ends with an introduction to the villain of the following series, and it has nothing to do with any vampire “Mother”.    I’ve said before that the Old Ones were only introduced on BBC in Season 3, and the finale suggested that there would be a conflict with them next season.  The villain for Season 2 is an old man who has apparently been searching for the trio, and found them with the help of mental patient and fiance-murderer, Owen.  We find out in Season 2 that he’s a religious man who views all non-humans as abominations.

The environment between the roommates is fertile for a villain to exploit.  Mitchell is overwhelmed with being the new vampire king; George attempts to separate himself further from his wolf and causes more problems with his denial; and Annie is threatened by the world beyond the door that she turned down and also begins to think about the implications of immortality as an unchanging ghost.  Given Sally’s nightmare about a reaper coming after her and Aidan’s problematic attempt to keep the vampires clean, some BBC plot lines will clearly prevail.  The future of Josh and Nora is much more unclear.  I do hope Nora will go through the same anger and angst and love that Nina went through as she struggled to accept her new role.

One thing is clear, Syfy has an advantage because they’re two seasons behind.  This gives them a chance to avoid the pitfalls that poor Toby Whithouse’s show has run into because three of the four main characters are leaving before the story is told.  If you don’t know what I’m talking about, those are  more spoilers than I really want to put here—Google at your own risk.

Doctor Who: Nobody Told ME About “A Good Man Goes to War”! (SPOILERS)

I have no idea how I missed the fact that there was a 7th episode of Doctor Who in the first half of the sixth series.  I honestly thought that this half  ended with that drastic Amy’s-not-here-she’s-giving-birth-somewhere-cliffhanger.  As such, I wasn’t that impressed with the idea of sticking the juicy bits I’d been panting for on the end of a mostly unrelated two-parter.  Yet here I am, months later, mad late, finding out that the series that started with the biggest bang I’ve yet to see ended with the same kind of fireworks.

Seriously…how did I miss this?

The point is, for no reason at all other than extremely painful boredom, I checked which episodes were in my BBC on demand and the count did not match the one in my memory.  Curiously I clicked on the one that didn’t belong and there it was—a storyline I knew nothing about.  Why am I bothering you with this?  I just want those of you who have seen the ep to understand that my mind was already going “WTF” on repeat before I even pressed play, and then I was treated to that chaotic beginning.  I was shouting questions at my TV like:  “What’s going on?!”   “What’s she doing here?!  Didn’t she die?”  “Hey, I know that guy!  Why do I know that guy?!”  Stuff like that.  Mad fidgety and whatnot.

Fans of the Rory-and-Amy ‘ship (one of which I now emphatically am) get a sweet gut-wrenching  moment right away.  If you’re as faithless as I am, you got tricked AGAIN into thinking Amy was talking about the Doctor when she is telling the baby about the one who has lived hundreds of years and is coming for them.  “They call him The Centurion,” she tells her baby, and my heart swelled as they showed this fierce new Rory fighting his way to them.  He was right; she always knows he’s coming for her.  And at last, he’s revealed as the father, all uncertainty left behind. I’m sure there had to be plenty of smarter viewers than I am who knew the Doctor would never have done that without the confirmation.  Like I said, I’m faithless!

For the rest of the episode, I loved the tension and speed, and of course it’s always fun to see the Doctor at the top of his game.  Yet Matt Smith gives plenty of  moments that reminded me strongly of Ten in Journey’s End, when Davros shamed him for supposedly turning his friends into weapons.  Smith has come so far in such a short amount of time…while I don’t agree with Moffat’s tweet (yeah, following him now…what can I say, the series is getting good!) that he’s the best at being “old”, I do think he’s getting much better at it.  Maybe I have a harder time because he looks so young or this is just another result of my initial disconnect with Series 5, but I never for a second questioned that either Eccleston or Tennant was over 900 years old.

(BIG SPOILERS NEXT, can’t help myself, not gonna try, run away, run awaaaay!)

Moving on to the serious stuff.  I was wondering how Amy’s kid could be part TimeLord if the Doctor wasn’t the Baby Daddy, and it was neatly explained by conception en route through the Time Vortex.  Works for me!  Except we found out that aforementioned TimeLord baby is in fact our own River Song, and that is just craziness.  The best kind of pretzel-shaped little twist, this finally explains why he would trust her as he has no other companion, if you look at it from the point of view that he finally has another TimeLord (if only part) and (unlike Jenny the generated anomaly)  she comes from his two best friends.  It makes sense.

The Doctor seems to think so, too.  His attitude shift was immediate from the wary distrust we’ve been seeing for 1.5 series’ to anticipatory excitement for the relationship that’s still his future.  The last few minutes between the Doctor and River are absolute sweetness. (The part where he says, “and you and me…?” and then makes kiss noises at her….could he be cuter?)

Questions for the next half: 

Is Rory’s life up for grabs again?  I couldn’t help but notice the scene where the Sontaran dies and Rory tells him he’ll survive because he’s a warrior, but the Sontaran corrects Rory…because he’s just a nurse.

Yeah?  Well, so is our Rory, and he better not be going anywhere.  You hear me, Moffat?!  *shakes fist*

Also, while I am clearly on board for River’s identity, I will need to know what kind of half-TimeLord she is.  We’ve seen the TimeLord mind in a human brain, which doesn’t work (poor Donna Noble); we’ve seen the TimeLord brain in a human body, which works except for the regeneration process; but this is something new and I’d appreciate some explanations.  River can regenerate, as demonstrated at the end of the second episode, but she made no such attempt when she died for Ten.  When the Doctor starts to die outside the Tardis, he still begins the process there, so why didn’t she?  Can she look into the Time Vortex?  In other words, which parts are TimeLord and which human, and why does it work, and why does it let her down in the end?

The question I know for sure will be answered is the most haunting one:  why would she ever kill her love?  Plus, if he dies with that face, doesn’t that mean he never regenerates into the next Doctor?  By rights he’s got 2 more to go, and that’s if he doesn’t find a way around the rules.

This is a fantastic episode to be slapped upside the head with (as I was).  I’m also glad that I only have to wait until the end of the Summer to see the rest.  On time.  As intended.

Series Six: Most Exciting Doctor Who Premiere Yet! (SPOILERS through Day of the Moon)

I should’ve choked on the words in that title, but I absolutely stand by them.  RTD fan or not, I am on the edge of my seat here.  Let me clarify—I love RTD’s premiere eps, but never has one scared the pee out of me and left me with a billion questions this way.  I can’t help but be impressed.

First?  I was not expecting body bags.

I wanted the episode to start where The Impossible Astronaut ended, with Amy shooting the little girl in the spacesuit.  Should’ve known that just isn’t how Moffat rolls.  Instead, Amy is run down in the desert by Canton Delaware, who was a friend last time I checked!  The image of his men throwing that body bag in front of Amy was powerfully evocative–shocking, with an extra touch of horror.

But the orphanage was just ridiculous.

Amy and Canton (friends again, his defection just another twisty trick from the Doctor) are looking for the little girl in an orphanage, and find a dimly lit building with a haunted caretaker.  You just know the aliens are inside, and it’s all downhill from there.  There’s graffiti on the walls in  blood red:  the words “Get out”.  The caretaker doesn’t know how it got there but Amy sees the same words on his wrist.  So not good.

Then Amy’s in a dark room with rows of empty beds (had a quick, pleasant flashback to Nine in Series One, the hospital scene in The Empty Child…aww, I loved Nine).  The door shuts and she can’t get out…that’s when she sees that her hand is blinking red like an answering machine in the 80’s.

Did I mention that the Doctor implanted a recording device in their hands to keep track of alien sightings?

Last week in The Impossible Astronaut, we learned that looking away from the aliens causes a person to forget having seen them.  The device is supposed to solve the problem.  But here’s what makes it interesting, what, actually, makes it positively ingenious.  When Amy met the alien last week the audience might have been omniscient, but this week?  Oh, we’re stuck in Amy’s head.  That means if Amy sees an alien, we won’t know until that light is blinking—and if Amy misses time, so do we.

Fear builds in quick flashes—Amy runs to the window and sees her arm covered in ‘crap, I saw an alien’ tally marks, but just a second glance shows the marks all over her face; scores of sleeping aliens are hanging from the ceiling (funny when the Krillitane did it in School Reunion, not so much this time); some weird lady talking through a hatch in a door that suddenly has no hatch—by the time Amy went into the little girl’s room, I’ll admit, I was scared.  Deliciously so.

Other highlights?


There’s another Badass-Extreme moment for River Song.  Amy’s rescued in a room full of aliens (reminding me of Nine and Captain Jack saving Rose from the middle of the Dalek fleet in The Parting of the Ways), which have been revealed as the Silence.  River guards the Doctor while he stalks around being brilliant, and their banter sizzles.  Great stuff, but she’s best when she starts taking the aliens out one by one, spinning gracefully as she rains destruction on their enemies.  Much like the Doctor, I’m getting kind of attached to her.  They had their first kiss and it was both awkward (the Doctor flails his arms and acts as if he’s never been kissed before by anyone, never mind River) and sad (River realizes that his first kiss with her must be her last with him).

The romance of Amy and Rory took a few harrowing twists and turns this time as well.  Rory and the Doctor arrive at the orphanage too late to find Amy; all they find is her little red recorder, which is somehow still recording her although no longer physically attached.  Rory tells her he’s coming for her and the Doctor explains that she can’t hear him.  Rory, looking less than friendly, responds with, “She can always hear me, Doctor. Always. Wherever she is and she always knows that I am coming for her, do you understand me? Always.”

Sweet, but Amy takes some of the wind out of his sails by  pleading for the Doctor to come rescue her.  Later, a desolate Rory is holding her device when she starts talking about someone with a stupid face that she loves…you can see his spirits lift until she says, “My life was so boring until you dropped out of the sky.”  Even I thought she was talking about the Doctor.

Luckily Amy is rescued and she refers to Rory’s stupid face.  All is well again, until she starts talking about last week’s mystery pregnancy.  She told the Doctor she was, now she tells him she isn’t.  The audience knows that Amy saw a picture of herself holding a baby in the creepy little girl’s room, but she can’t quite grasp the memory.  When the Doctor asks why she told him instead of Rory, she admits she had worried that the pregnancy would have been affected by her time traveling, whether or not her child would come out with a ‘Time Head’.  Funny, but now there is doubt again for Rory (who is naturally eavesdropping), because why would the kid have a ‘Time Head’ unless the mom messed around with a Time Lord?  Only it turns out Amy knows he’s listening, so then she must’ve been just messing with him.  Right?

Except for this mind-blowing ending:

Questions, questions, questions.  The aliens here were the Silence and now they’re defeated.  Can that really be the end of it after they spent the entire fifth series hinting about  ‘The Silence Will Fall’?  That would seem anticlimactic and so seems unlikely.  Amy is and isn’t pregnant; that girl is always weird.  There’s a little kid out there who regenerates and the suggestion is that Amy is her mother.  So Rory still has something to worry about after all?

I’m excited.  I’m intrigued.  And I’ve already said I’m impressed.  This series is going new places, and this time I’m going with it.

Bring it on, Moffat.

Doctor Who: This RTD Fan is Finally on Board (SPOILERS)

Well, I just watched the opener to Doctor Who’s Sixth Season, thanks to BBC America On Demand and an unplanned day off from work.  I was very impressed, and for an RTD-Rose fan, that’s really saying something.

Granted, I watched almost the entire Fifth Season while still mourning for Russell T. Davies and crew.   I’d become so attached to the likes of Rose, Donna, Jackie, Captain Jack, and Mickey; it felt like the Tenth Doctor was grieving for them with me the last time I saw him.  Yet this new Doctor starts off as if he popped into existence in Amelia Pond’s yard.  Where did my Doctor go, and by that I don’t mean Christopher Eccleston or David Tennant, I mean the character I’ve been growing attached to for years?  It seemed as if an entire new TimeLord had taken off with the Tardis.  Add Steven Moffat’s public near-disdain for the romance of Rose Tyler and blatant disregard for previous canon—I was left pretty resentful.

Luckily, that’s almost the entire Fifth Season.  The episode The Lodger was so fun and Matt Smith so completely charming, I found myself believing in the Eleventh Doctor at last.  That episode actually made my top ten!

It helped this angst-lover that the relationship between Amy and Rory intensified enough to draw me in emotionally.  I cared when he was sucked into the light and forgotten.  By the time Rory reappears in The Pandorica Opens, the scene where he (unsuccessfully) fights his auton instructions to kill the woman he loves was an absolute tearjerker.  It wasn’t Doomsday, but it was something.

River Song, whom I hated on sight in Season 4 just because she showed up out of nowhere and was automatically the Doctor’s closest companion ever, had become the character to watch in Season 5 (if only because she was the one connection to past seasons).  Still, she won me over all on her own with her confidence and flirtation, culminating in the scene where she faces down the dalek that she believes has killed her Doctor.  I can’t resist that kind of badass.

So…new season, new possibilities, and old grudges almost completely vanquished (with the help of the Christmas Carol episode…yes, I believe that Eleven was thinking about Rose when Kazran asked, “One last day with your beloved…which day would you choose?”  How could it be River when he doesn’t even trust her yet?  He may suspect that he will love her, but it makes more sense for his mind to run on his last love’s tragic end.)  Eleven got my attention right away by announcing he was 1100-&-some-years-old, which annoyed me until I realized it was a plot point.  Amy, River, and Rory have been summoned, apparently just to watch the Doctor die at the hands of an unidentified being in a spacesuit…except it turned out they weren’t the only ones.  The more familiar 900-&-change-year-old Doctor has also been tapped, and his friends can’t tell him what they know.  Ooh, intrigue.  Plus, I loved when River slapped the Doctor—it reminded me of all the times he got slapped in the past (Jackie, Martha’s Mom, Donna), which made me smile.

The monsters here are nicely scary;  Ood-like, suit-wearing aliens that electrocute people, yet as soon as you look away from them you forget they exist.  I’m not in love with Moffat, but he’s very good at creepy.  I’m less impressed with the spacesuit figure, though that’s the big threat to the Doctor.  Honestly, Vashta Nerada anybody?  Same outfit, presumably different insides.  Moffat is so good with his cinematic experience, his storytelling ability, yet he consistently forgets that these “stories” are part of a series, and yes, we do remember what we’ve already seen in the last 5 seasons.  Come on, buddy, acknowledge your venue.

The episode ends with a one-two punch:  Amy announces she’s pregnant (WTF?!) and before I can even comprehend the implications of that, she jumps up and shoots in the direction of a figure in a spacesuit with the face of a desperate little girl.

The End.

Okay, so first, is this pregnancy for real?  Amy isn’t a normal person, what with her Universe-altering abilities, so nothing about her can be accepted as fact.  I can’t really figure out how a pregnancy would work with an official companion, unless Karen Gillian plans to leave after two seasons.  Actually, if she lasts more than two seasons, she’ll be the longest lasting companion since the reboot.  So, who knows?

As for the shooting, I can’t blame Amy for trying to save the Doctor at her first opportunity.  Yet no one expected to see a terrified child possibly in the path of her bullet, and the show ends with both the Doctor and Amy looking horrified.  Suddenly I couldn’t believe I’d have to wait an entire week until I can find out what happened.  Wow.

I’m looking forward to the rest of the season, though I wonder how I’ll feel about that break between now and the second half, which airs in the fall.  I have heard that my favorite 5th season character, Craig (played by James Cordon in The Lodger), will make a return appearance.

Eleven lost a lot in his previous incarnations, but he wouldn’t have gotten where he is without the ability to move on.  I guess I’m finally ready to let him.

Syfy’s Being Human: “You’re the One that I Haunt” (SPOILERS)

It’s late and I’ve got to be up early, so expect some stream of consciousness writing.  Per usual, if you haven’t seen both BBC’s entire first season and Syfy’s to date, I’m about to spoil the hell out of it for you.

Sally vs. Danny:  the final showdown was tonight.  Anyone who has read my previous posts on the subject already knows that I think Annie and Owen, for the most part, have blown this pair out of the water.  In the contest of cool special effects, however, the prize belongs to Syfy.  Last week’s possession was impressive; this week was as well with Sally’s frightening impression of “The Grudge” and her transformation back, plus her angelic appearance when Danny is finally able to see her for himself.

I’ll also reluctantly admit that the BBC original might have left something to be desired in their simplistic handling of Annie’s final fight back; perhaps with Annie’s powers in general.  We are on Season 3 of the BBC version, and although Annie has progressed in her abilities, we still have yet to see the extent of her powers.  Sally progresses much faster, and here she uses her new-found power to try and force Danny to slit his own throat.

She’s also a little meaner than Annie.

Anyway, Danny shows up to burn the house down and Sally traps him inside with her.  Josh and Aidan arrive in time for Aidan to go all vamp-scary on him and Josh to helpfully (if surprisingly easily) put out the raging fire.  Josh also plays the good angel on her shoulder, since Sally is on the fence about letting Aidan take Danny out for good.  In some ways, this was more satisfying than Annie insinuating what Mitchell and George are capable of before threatening Owen with a secret that sends him running to turn himself in for her murder.  Maybe Syfy can’t match BBC with the emotional aspects, but at least they keep it interesting.  I also have to respect the choice to keep Sally a more traditional ghost:  ordinary humans simply cannot see her (until they lose their minds, like Danny) and she touches no one.  I still don’t see why not, because if she learned in either the first or second episode how to touch physical things, wouldn’t she be interested in some physical contact (I’m thinking about hugs or something, relax) with her roommates at least?  I guess she’s met enough ghosts this season that it hasn’t been an issue.  She also hasn’t bonded with Josh and Aidan all that deeply, which might be another factor.

Moving on to the delectable story of Aidan, Celine, and Bishop.

I’ve mentioned Mitchell and Jonie before, after the episode Dog Eat Dog when I was taken aback by Bishop’s past love with the human woman, Jane.  I’d assumed that this relationship was an echo of Mitchell and his human gf Jonie, since the story with Bernie turned out so differently, as did Aidan’s return to Bishop.  In tonight’s episode, I found out I was wrong, and I can’t help but enjoy the way the relationship was handled.

Jonie, Mitchell’s strong-willed love from the 60’s, is replaced with Celine (70’s?  I couldn’t be sure, but I thought that’s where the haircuts and leather jackets came from) and through flashbacks we see an intense love affair in Aidan’s past.  The story is still very different; Jonie saw through Mitchell and realized that he did not want to kill with Herrick any longer, even as he kidnapped and threatened her.  Thus, she ended up helping him to stay clean.  This is why, when she sees him later as a dying patient in his hospital, she is able to once again force him to find focus and get back on track.  I just adored Jonie.

Celine, however, is shown begging Aidan to turn her, and allowing him to drink from her.  Not cool, when you consider he’s an addict, but her scene with Bishop made me like her just as well.  Bishop has kidnapped her and basically blood-raped her in order that Aidan will believe she has abandoned him.  I couldn’t figure out why he wouldn’t just kill her, until he explained in a gorgeously perverse manner that he preferred knowing he had her under his thumb.

Mark Pellegrino was so hot in that scene.  Evil, but hot.

Right, focus.  But Celine impressed me when she not only proved she knew Aidan, but saw through Bishop as well.  The big moment comes after Bishop tells her that Aidan will always return to him.  Despite being pinned to the wall by a blood-drinking psychopath and clearly terrified, she looks him in the eye and tells him Aidan will also always leave him again. Very badass.

About the big ending, of course I knew what was coming.  Last week after watching Going Dutch, I worried that the writers would show both guys as being emotionally attached to Sally.  My worries were unfounded; they kept it real.  Syfy fans, you have no idea how heart-wrenching that same scene was in the BBC version, where the roommates had already been through so much together.  I cried both times I’ve watched it.  But when Sally’s Door showed up, it was more like, ‘Hey, you did it…Bye!’

The emotional part comes when Bishop bursts in through the window (or was it the wall?) and stabs Aidan.  Now Josh gets to cry, and although I didn’t cry with him, at least they’ve bonded enough that I believed him and felt something.  Their friendship is one of the best parts of this show; maybe it’s even the heart of it.  I am such a sap.

BTW, I know Syfy does things in the cool, over-the-top way that we Americans tend to prefer, but what was up with Bishop’s grand entrance?  On BBC, Herrick simply knocks on the door (making George scream like a little girl because he thinks the knock comes from Annie’s Door) and when Mitchell answers, Herrick grabs him, yanks him forward and stabs him.  He wasn’t invited so he couldn’t come bursting in, and the fact that he couldn’t reach him very well explains how he missed the heart.  So how did Bishop get in, how on earth did he miss when he was right on top of him, and why did he act like the sun was hurting him when we’ve seen both Bishop and Aidan outside many times?  No sunglasses = burning vamps??  I wasn’t thrilled with the rule-breaking, just for the sake of drama.  Seems sloppy.

Oh yeah, and Nora’s still pregnant, though she knows nothing about Josh’s true nature.  Joy, rapture, way to freakin’ go.  I suppose she finds out next week, hopefully in the same crazy way that Nina did in season 1.  I won’t give it away (for once) because in the original, it took me by surprise.  Here’s hoping Syfy fans have the same experience.

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