Category: Non-Doctor Thoughts

Blogs by contributors which aren’t Doctor Who related in a specific sense, but which address issues pertinent to Doctor Who forums and afficianados.

Talkin’ violence, strong language, adult content. Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 1

Alright, I know, crap title, because BtVS doesn’t even really have these things. It has strangely arch, balletic violence (you’ll have to go to Angel for some real bone-crunching), very smart, highly intelligent use of language, and an equally intelligent ongoing examination on the process of growing up from adolescence to adulthood. Conducted through the medium of vampires and other staples of the horror genre.

As some of you are no doubt aware, @purofilion is currently working her way through Buffy for the first time and, consumed with envy, I’ve decided to join her, only this time this is my first rewatch in maybe seven or eight years. And it’s been highly enjoyable. What follows below is a personal reaction to the first two seasons, for the sake of kickstarting a general discussion of those seasons for whoever might be interested, while remaining spoiler free of anything that happens beyond that. I’d ask any discussion below to respect that, as well as consider anything happening in any season of Angel to be similarly off-limits.

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Death is your art. Every slayer has a death wish. Even you. Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season Five

Buffy stumbled in Season Four. Despite a couple of stand-out classics, and a few strong enough episodes, it was overall a lacklustre season that made a number of fundamental mistakes. If it repeated them in Season Five then I suspect the show would have been facing cancellation. Indeed, by the end of the season, it was scrabbling around to find a new home. If it had underperformed, it may well not have found one.

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What is canon? Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (SPOILERS!)

Is it a book? Is it a play? Is it even canon?

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is a new play by the BAFTA winning writer Jack Thorne, with JK Rowling credited as co-writer on the story. The play has been praised as thrilling, ground-breaking and a triumph.

But the script has received mixed reviews from fans.

Can the fans define canon? Or is that privilege restricted to the author? Is it still canon when an author licenses another author to write a story set in their world? Does it make a difference if the original author is overseeing the new story? Is a story only canon when it’s in the original genre – do only Harry Potter novels ‘count’, rather than the play or the films?

This is a discussion blog about the nature of ‘canon’ – and, inevitably, discussion involves SPOILERS. However, if you haven’t read Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, feel free to use examples from Doctor Who. This is, after all, a Doctor Who site. 🙂

Big Damn Heroes – Joss Whedon’s Firefly

When I was a lot younger I used to have a big thing for lovable rogues. This is probably true of most of the geekily inclined of a certain age — Han Solo was big brother we never had, but desperately wanted. But I also loved James Garner in the late reboot of Maverick, as well as the slightly more grounded Richard Carpenter series Smuggler — tales of 18th century swashbuckling derring-do  on the Cornish coast.

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Story: The Tenant and Smith Doctors end up materializing in at an empty school to solve a mystery and learn a thing or two about life…

Review: This is simply exquisite. Very well acted, great chemistry, well shot, well edited, the writing is terrific, and it captures both the humour and the sweetness that is at the heart of Doctor Who. It is an honest pleasure.

That’s really all the review you need.

Go watch it.









I walk with heroes. This is my power. Not to let them take me. Not me. Angel Season Five.

Season Four of Angel was by necessity a scrappy, improvisational narrative mess that managed by sheer force of the writing and performances to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. However, it also cleared the decks of a lot of the show’s long-term baggage. The ever-present antisyzygy of Angel/Angelus was dealt with (not that Angelus can never reappear now, just that Angel would seem to have made as much peace with his dark side as he’s going to be able to). Read more…

Nothing in the world is the way it ought to be. It’s harsh, and it’s cruel. But that’s why there’s us. Angel Season Four

Or we could go with Gunn’s description to Gwen:

‘For the past nine months, my life could probably best be described as a turgid, supernatural soap opera.’

Let’s just say that it could be fairly argued that s4 is overly dark and overly self-involved. There are points where it makes s6 of Buffy look positively carefree. But for all that, I have to say I’m still a big fan of it.

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The trust is gone. Don’t be using my phrases when the trust is gone. Angel Season Three

Seasons three and four of Angel are so closely bound up with each other that I’m not sure it even makes that much sense to consider them as separate. But that’s what I’m going to do anyway.

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If nothing we do matters, then all that matters is what we do – Angel Season Two

Rather like Buffy itself, Angel didn’t really find itself until the closing episode of Season One. To Shanshu in LA was a powerful ride – the proto Angel family are finally truly tested, and Wolfram & Hart, simmering in the background until then, step up to cause real pain to the crew. And the emergence of a key Buffiverse figure from Angel’s past.

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Every girl who could have the power, will have the power, can stand up, will stand up – Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Seven

And here we are. End of the line for the Sunnydale crew. Season 7 is problematic and flawed but in the end it pulls a pretty impressive victory from the jaws of potential defeat and ends what is surely undoubtedly one of the most pivotal shows in TV history in fine style.

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