Designing the next day

Let’s talk about something that truly deserves our anger: this album cover. It’s not his ugliest album cover, certainly: it lacks the exasperating vulgarity of Diamond Dogs, the mid-80s insanity of Never Let Me Down, the overcooked end-of-his-ropeness of hours…, or indeed the flat-out godawfulness…

Doctor Stuart

I finished watching the UK Queer As Folk the other day (only 15 years late to the party), and found myself a little puzzled both by the ending, which sees the sybarite Stuart Jones and his repressed best friend Vince Tyler embarking on an American…

The Grand Budapest Hotel

I finally watched The Grand Budapest Hotel. Funny, charming, beautiful — I really enjoyed it. I appreciate its meticulousness, its attention to detail, its stubborn idiosyncrasy and dedication to its own timelessness. I can see nominating it for Best Picture. I can’t see awarding it…

Torchwood: Children of Earth

Finally watched Torchwood: Children of Earth. It wasn’t as good as everyone says. It was better. I can’t be sure it was all down to RTD stepping in and taking charge again; clearly a lot of people brought their very best to bear on it,…

Last Christmas

Doctor Who is not the best show on television. I like it a lot, and I guess if you saw my shelves devoted to it — two or three rows of DVDs and Blu-Rays, a small shelf of toys including tiny Titan figurines of each…

Death in Heaven

After I’d watched this for the second time, my father (who hasn’t seen it and was just making conversation) asked me, “Did the Doctor win?” I answered, “sort of.” Points in favor: Kate Stewart lives, along with pretty much everyone in the human race who…

Dark Water

There’s one villain in Doctor Who whose mysterious survival against impossible odds never needs explanation. Sometimes we get one — say, “those rejuvenating flames, rather than cremating me, actually rejuvenated me! Go figure!” or “I took over someone else’s body. I can do that now”…

Season 8 Pre-Finale Rankings

Here are my traditional end-of-season rankings for Season 8, excluding the two-part finale and the Christmas special. 1. The Caretaker The heart of season 8, and for my money, the episode where the characters’ conflicts are dealt with most powerfully and convincingly. There’s real peril,…

In the Forest of the Night

For about 27 minutes, I thought I had a new favorite episode of the season. The central image — a forest grows in London overnight — is so appealing to me, and such a wonderfully Doctor Who idea. I enjoyed the interplay between Danny and…

Flatline

I can’t remember the last time I had feelings this mixed about a season of Doctor Who, new or old. On the one hand, I can’t deny that the quality of the show is at a local maximum. Acting, cinematography, writing, conceptual sophistication, special effects,…