Doctor Who History-Genesis of Davros

Travelling alone, the Doctor lands on an alien battlefield, where anachronistic planes fly over laser-firing soldiers. He sees a young boy who has wandered onto the battlefield, and is surrounded by hands reaching out of the wasteland-“handmines”. The Doctor hands him his sonic screwdriver, saying he’ll help.

 

He also asks the boy his name. The name however, chills the Doctor to the core.

 

It’s Davros. The Doctor has just offered to save a younger version of one of his greatest enemies-and the creator of the Daleks. This isn’t just any battlefield-It’s Skaro, in the final decades of it’s millennia-year war between the Kaleds and the Thals-which would reach it’s end with Davros creating the Daleks and taking control of most of the planet.

The Doctor quickly leaves, and journeys to Karn and later the middle ages, to mediate, and also puts together a confession dial. Meanwhile, a mysterious man called Sarff searches for the Doctor, telling people that Davros-in his old state and having survived the Stolen Earth incident-is finally dying.

 

 

Meanwhile, in the present, Clara is teaching a class when it turns out all the planes in the world have been frozen. Taken in by UNIT, Clara and Kate Stuart soon realize the source-Missy. Turns out she’s survived as well, and wants to find the Doctor-and she has his confession dial. Clara is forced to confront the female master, and the two are able to discover his location in time and space.

 

Turns out he’s mainly been hanging out in the twelfth century. Clara is surprised to see that the Doctor’s somewhat loosened up-he now sports more casual wear, including sunglasses, and performs with a rock guitar-on top of a tank no less-causing some major anachronisms.

 

Sarrf shows up-in fact not a man but a colony of snakes-and the Doctor-bothered that he abandoned the young Davros-agrees to be taken prisoner to visit the ailing mad scientist one last time. He also has the Doctor’s sonic screwdriver-which has been in Davros’s possession ever since. The trio are taken to a space station, and led to believe they’re only seeing Davros. As Davros taunts the Doctor however, it’s revealed they’re not in fact, in space-but on Skaro-somehow rebuilt after the Doctor seemingly destroyed it in his seventh incarnation.

 

A Skaro that is also populated by Daleks in a variety of casings-from their original silver to time war gold.

The Doctor then seemingly exterminate Clara, Missy, and the TARDIS. However, Missy and Clara in fact use the energy from the blasts to teleport (Also how Missy survived her apparent death by Cyber-brigadier last season) outside of the city.

The Doctor forces Davros out of his chair and confronts the Dalek council in that chair-one that’s shielded. He also enjoys some tea and threatens the Daleks to reveal Clara.

However, he’s quickly ousted from the chair by Sarff, and returned to Davros’s quarters, where they actually share a bit of a heart-to-hearts. Davros reveals he’s connected to every Dalek on Skaro, but even that can’t sustain him-although he offers the Doctor the power to once again, kill the Dalek race. Davros opens his eyes-which have been shut for many years following his injuries and are painful to open. He also reveals that there’s a prophecy-the prophecy of the hybrid-that two warrior races-presumably Daleks and Time Lords-would produce a hybrid-one that would ruin Gallifrey.

Meanwhile, Clara and Missy enter the Dalek sewers, which are mostly composed of decaying Dalek mutants who have been discarded from their casings. Triggering an alarm, Missy places Clara in the Dalek (ironically, we first met her that way, sort of) and poses as a Dalek prisoner.

Meanwhile, the Doctor agrees to give some of his regeneration energy to Davros to help keep him from dying. However, in doing so he falls into a trap-the energy is forcefully siphoned from him, and sent to every Dalek in the city. Davros was never dying-he wanted to lure the Doctor all along.

However, Missy is able to arrive and save the Doctor from Davros. Also, the Doctor’s regeneration abilities have also revitalized the decayed sewer Daleks-who now revolt against their encased younger selves and their creator. As the Doctor, Missy, and Clara run from the city, Missy states that the Dalek-encased Clara is a Dalek which in fact kills Clara, and the Doctor must kill it in revenge. Clara’s thoughts however are translated as typical Dalek speech. However,  when the Clara/Dalek pleads for mercy, the Doctor is surprised that Daleks have a concept of Mercy. He then frees Clara, but tells Missy to run as he’s very peeved about her cruel trick. Missy is last seen surrounded by Daleks, but she has a clever idea-to use perhaps her teleport again using their energy blasts, or something else in mind. The Doctor then reassembles the TARDIS-turns out it wasn’t destroyed, just misplaced using an emergency system- and re-materializes it outside the city. Although he’s lost his sonic screwdriver, it turns out his sunglasses have a sonic function.

 

The Doctor then realizes where the concept of mercy came from, and goes back in time to the young Davros, where he uses a Dalek gun to get rid of the handmines surrounding the future mad scientist, letting him know the value of mercy-and in turn, giving the Daleks that concept too-even though of course they wouldn’t use it as much…

 

 

 

 

Star Wars-Those we’ve lost-Part one

Star Wars has spanned several decades, and unfortunately, some of the actors have passed on over time. Carrie Fisher is the latest, and perhaps the most noticeable, as she was one of the lead actors in the film series. Her influence on film, as well as her personal influence as a writer and activist cannot be underestimated.

 

Here’s a look at some of the other Star Wars actors who have unfortunately passed.

 

Kenny Baker passed away in August 2016 at the age of 81. He operated R2-D2, although in later films a lot of his work was sometimes replaced by remote control, he still served as a consultant for the character up until The Force Awakens. He also starred in several other films, such as “Time Bandits”.

Christopher Lee played Count Dooku/Darth Tyrannus, the Sith Lord leader of the Seperatists-and Darth Vader’s predecessor-in “Attack of the Clones” and “Revenge of the Sith”. Lee had an extremely diverse career, appearing in the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit trilogies as Sauromon, the James Bond film “Man with the Golden Gun” as Scaramanga, and in several Hammer horror films as Dracula, in addition to many other roles.

 

 

Peter Cushing, who also starred in a great number of Hammer horror films,  passed away in 1994. He also played Sherlock Holmes, and a movie-only incarnation of The Doctor in Doctor Who, in two films based on the TV show’s Dalek stories (but outside it’s continuity)

Sebastian Shaw played the unmasked face of Darth Vader in “Return of the Jedi”, as well as the force ghost of Anakin Skywalker (prior to the 2004 DVD release). He passed in 1994. In addition to numerous TV and film roles, he was in a lot of plays in Britain.

 

 

 

Alec Guiness of course originated the role of Obi-Wan Kenobi, the Jedi survivor who helps lead Luke toward his destiny. Guiness starred in many films, such as Bridge on the River Kwai, Great Expectations, Our Man in Havana, and Lawrence of Arabia.

 

Irvin Kershner was the director of The Empire Strikes Back, and a mentor of George Lucas. In addition to Empire, he directed many other films, such as A Fine Madness, Never Say Never Again (A Bond film) and Robocop II.

 

Richard Marquand was the director of “Return of the Jedi”. He also directed a few other films, such as Jagged Edge and Eye of The Needle. He also has a cameo in the film, as an AT-ST driver who gets tossed out by Chewbacca and the Ewoks.

Michael Sheard played Admiral Ozzell, the ill-fated commander of Darth Vader’s imperial fleet at the start of The Empire Strikes Back. Sheard appeared in many British productions, including several episodes of Doctor Who as various characters, the British drama Grange Hill, and the Indiana Jones films Raiders of the Lost Ark and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade as two separate characters.

 

Bond In Review-The Man With The Golden Gun

Man with the Golden Gun was, in many ways, the end of an era for James Bond. It’s the final film produced with the Cubby Brocolli and Harry Saltzman, with Cubby-and later his heirs Barbara and Michael J. Wilson-taking control of the series from then on. (With the exception of Never Say never Again). The next films would overhaul Roger Moore’s portrayal of the character somewhat.

It’s also the last of the 70’s films to be shot in a sort of reduced widescreen ratio, with a much wider look for the next film, The Spy Who Loved Me.

It’s also somewhat of a mess. While Roger Moore’s Bond was somewhat more of a gentlemen in “Live and Let Die”, “Man” tries to fit him into a more Conneryish mold, with him just kind of being standoffish, kind of a jerk, and cold and sometimes indifferent. I mean, to a degree Bond is supposed to be a cold-hearted agent, but even this is going a bit too far-and it’s not one of his strengths as an actor unfortunately (Moore actually found some of Bond’s colder moments in his films-such as kicking Locque’s car off a cliff in “For Your Eyes Only”-sort of uncomfortable).

 

 

A green Roll royce.

Bond even pushes a kid trying to hassle him into purchasing a wooden elephant out of his boat-which is a bit ironic given that Moore would eventually become a UNICEF goodwill ambassador. Even M and Moneypenny sort of come off as unpleasant, especially in the film’s opening scenes.

 

The film also sort of repeats a lot of the faults of it’s two predecessors by pushing too much campy comedy into the series. While this is sort of a hallmark of the series as a whole sometimes-especially Moore’s era-it seems somewhat even more forced here. Sheriff J. W Pepper-the comic relief from “Live and Let Die’s” speedboat chase-shows up here once again, and is even more shrill here.

Plus like in “Diamonds Are Forever” when he swaps IDs with Peter Franks, EVERYONE seems to know who Bond is, if only by reputation if not by sight (Bond poses briefly as Scaramanga-a cover which fails because the bad guys already know what Scaramanga looks like). So much for being a ‘secret’ agent.

The film’s signature stunt is even somewhat played for laughs-the complicated AMC hornet car jump-which required early computer simulations to perfect-is kind of ruined by a slide whistle.

 

As for the Bond girls, Britt Ekland as Mary Goodnight (Who is Bond’s secretary in the novels, which she sort of does in this film; in the other films her role in the novels is pretty much supplanted by Moneypenny). She’s mainly portrayed as a major ditz, especially in the end of the film where she pretty much messes up Scaramanga’s fortress by dropping a guard into a tank that’s supposed to be at zero, and nearly zapping Bond with a laser by accidentally pushing a button with her butt.

Maud Adams does much better as the trapped Andrea Anders, Scaramanga’s girlfriend who pretty much sets the whole plot in motion by delivering a custom-made golden bullet to MI6. She’s one of the few Bond girl actresses to appear in more than one film (as a different character though) as of course she later plays Octopussy-also showing a lot of range since Andrea and Octopussy are pretty much very different characters.

 

 

There are certain things the film does right, however. The location shooting-primarily in Thailand and China-is very nice-especially Scaramanga’s island fortress. The wreck of the Queen Elizabeth II also serves as an interesting hidden tilted MI6 station, a break from the usual setting of M’s London office.

 

 

 

Bond also has a memorable ally in Hong Kong with Lt. Hip: 

and his two karate-fighting nieces:

 

 

Of course there’s Christopher Lee as Scaramanga, which is a pretty good performance full of understated menace and his fancy lifestyle is sort of a darker version of Bond’s own. It’s a bit of a shame though, that instead of just wanting to kill Bond, he sort of has a more typical Bond villain plot-stealing an energy device known as the solex agitator to gain a monopoly on solar power…and a big laser.

 

 

That’s another thing about Scaramanga-Bond is pretty much gadgetless in the film-The AMC hornet is simply something he borrows, and it’s really just him and his PPK. Scaramanga, on the other hand, has a flying car:

A complex funhouse complete with a shooting gallery with robots and mirrors to confound intruders and serve as training for Scaramanga himself:

 

And the Golden gun itself-in fact a combination of a pen, cigarette holder, cufflink and lighter- which also has one of the film’s best gags-as Scaramanga relinquishes a regular gun- “a harmless” toy as he calls it, in hence “unarming” himself-and then offers Bond a cigarette from the holder.

 

The final duel between Bond and Scaramanga is also memorable-it’s not so much fighting as a game of cat and mouse-with Bond cleverly taking the place of Scaramanga’s funhouse dummy of him to take him out.

 

Of course the impact of this is somewhat downgraded as the film takes another twenty minutes to end, with Bond fleeing the fortress and then in a dumb fight played strictly for laughs with Scaramanga’s henchmen, Nick Nack. Although it’s kind of interesting that Nick Nack is one of the few Bond henchmen to actually survive-although unlike the seemingly indestructible Baron Semedi or Jaws, Bond is able to simply best him by capturing him and putting him up in a wicker basket.

 

This also happens at the same point Bond’s actual name is sung in the ending version of Lulu’s title tune. Other Songs in the series-Thunderball, Spy Who Loved Me, You Know My Name etc. of course allude to Bond, but they never say James Bond, or 007. Except this one.

“Goodnight, goodnight, sleep well my dear, No need to fear, James Bond is here!”

Speaking of music, John Barry returns to the series after skipping “Live and Let Die” (Which is okay, as LALD has a memorable and different score all it’s own). MWTGG sort of has a more traditional Bond song, although Barry’s Bond theme now sounds far more orchestral than the usual well-known Guitar riff. This would pretty much continue for every future Bond film he scored.

 

Doctor Who History-Last Christmas

It’s Christmas…and Clara hears something on her roof. Turns out it’s Santa, his elves and his sleigh (and offering a tangerine)….and also the Doctor arrives to take her away. He’s pretty convinced that Santa isn’t who he says he is.

 

Santa is played by Nick Frost, who you might remember from his films with Simon Pegg.

The Doctor and Clara then arrive at the North pole, at an antarctic research station, where several personnel seem to have been put in a comatose state by mysterious aliens known as dream crabs which latch on to their faces-ones that soon attack. However, Santa arrives in the “Nick” of time to save them. During this, the Doctor and Clara reveal the truth to each other-the Doctor didn’t find Gallifrey; and Clara’s boyfriend Danny is still dead-he didn’t return from Missy’s nethersphere.

 

 

 

Clara however, soon comes under the influence of a dream crab, sending her into a dream world where Danny Pink is still alive.

 

The Doctor, knowing she’s in danger from the crab, enters the dream world willingly, but it’s “dream” Danny who willfully lets them go, saying that Clara must accept his death and move on.

 

After Clara and the Doctor exit the dream, the Doctor begins to realize that it was a dream within a dream-that the research station is itself a dream caused by the crabs, and that Santa is in fact their shared subconsciousness fighting back. He then uses this to conjure Santa to rescue them and have them ‘wake’ from their dreams, which in turn causes the dream crabs to turn to dust. They’re mostly ordinary people.

 

Waking from his own dream, the Doctor rushes to remove the dream crab from Clara with the sonic screwdriver. However, when he meets her it appears she’s now elderly.

 

 

 

However, it turns out that this is yet another dream, and the Doctor finds the real Clara, who is still in her twenties. The two then resume their adventures in time and space. Santa was just a dream…or was he?

 

Star Wars Rogue One Thoughts Part Two

*warning: Some spoilers for the plot and ending!*

This article will mainly examine how Rogue One deviates from-and yet embraces as well-the typical Star Wars ‘formula’ and ‘feel’.

Rogue One does several things that are mostly unconventional for Star Wars film-the lack of the opening crawl, is of course the most glaring (Although the film still opens in space-although without a Star Destroyer this time, and features “A Long time ago in a galaxy far, far away) as well as any episode number (There’s still a title card though after the prologue).

The film also largely deals away with the dissolves/wipes that the other films have used (although are still a few). Plus, the variety of planets (The most seen in a Star Wars film, I think, since Episode III’s “Order 66” sequence, and that was mainly just a few brief snippets) have location subtitles. With the exceptions of Yavin IV (Where a good deal of plot actin is set) and Coruscant and Mustafar-which only make brief appearances, they’re pretty much all new planets too.

 

Flashbacks are new too-they pretty much open the film, but there’s also a few other ones here and there (Such as the Ersos  on Coruscant). For a series that makes a big deal about the force giving people the gift of prophecy/recall it’s interesting how little the device has been used in the films.The closest we’ve really come to anything like this are the visions Luke has of Padme dying in Childbirth in “Revenge of the Sith”-more of ‘flashforward’ than anything (Luke of course saw Han and Leia in trouble in ESB, but it wasn’t visualized really) and the other force vision Rey has in “The Force Awakens”-which of course showed pretty much a general overview of the saber’s history, more or less….including the battle at Bespin, which she wasn’t present at (as well as others which were, such as her family leaving her on Jakku)

But it’s pretty clear that Jyn’s stuff are not really visions but memories which provide much exposition, and they’re of course clear enough to the viewers while Anakin and Rey’s visions were more on the vague side.

 

 

And of course Rogue One’s ending pretty much (and SPOILERS HERE!!!!!!) kills off the whole principal cast of the film, including the villain. The only real survivors are those that carry on to A New Hope-Leia, Vader, Tarkin Bail (The last two of course meets their end in that film) and Mon Mothma (Although she doesn’t resurface until ROTJ).

However, in a few ways Rogue One is very Star Wars-ish. The whole group of down on their luck misfits gathering together-something mostly lacking from the prequel trilogy (apart from maybe Jar-Jar and Anakin-not exactly the best examples!) is of course present in this film. Chirrut and Baze are also sort of a double act, similar in a few ways to R2-D2 and C-3PO (Although KS20 does a lot of talk about ‘odds’ and  technical stuff, he doesn’t have an R2-D2 with him, and with his size, friendship with Cassian and strength, is almost the Chewbacca of the film).

Of course there’s also sort of a ‘used’ universe concept that’s been present in most of the films. Although a lot of the technology in Rogue One closely matches that of the Original trilogy-including several of the same ships-there’s still a rough edge to the new ships and technology.

 

Jedha City also kind of looks a lot like the broken-looking frontier towns such as those seen on Jakku and Tatooine. Except Jedha’s city also seems to have a lot more Stormtrooper activity, as well as a force-worshiping element, the guardians of the whills.

Of course since “Empire Strikes Back” the series has usually portrayed battles on multiple fronts. Rogue One continues the transition. Jyn and her group battle Walkers, Stormtroopers and even some TIES on the ground, while the rebel fleet fights overhead to buy them more time and receive the transmission.

 

Rogue One also sort of puts something that we didn’t really get in The Force awakens, but something present in “Return of the Jedi” and “Revenge of the Sith” a big space battle involving ships of all sizes.

 

Of course the film also lacks a John Williams score (although a few of his themes are still there). It’s not quite that uncommon though- The “Clone Wars” movie, the “Shadows of the Empire” project, the Ewok films were all “Star Wars” but without the traditional Williams touch. Giannocho has sort of subbed for a series formerly composed by Williams-he was the composer of 2015’s Jurassic World as well. Williams is quite old at this point-in fact he’s already recorded a great deal of Episode 8’s score, something usually not done as much until closer to the end of production.

  

 

 

 

 

Doctor Who history-The Idiot with a box and a screwdriver

The Doctor’s certainly been thrown for a loop. The Master is back, but now as “Missy”, a female incarnation. Plus, the mysterious 3W organization, harvesting souls and bodies, has turned out to be an army of Cybermen under her control.

However, UNIT-along with Kate and Osgood-is able to quickly mobilize and capture Missy and fend off some of the Cybermen-but several launch from St. Paul’s cathedral, where Missy says they’re going to launch a storm of nanomachines which will convert all the dead into Cybermen.

Clara remains trapped in 3W, but is saved by Danny-who unfortunately, has been cyberconverted.  However, despite his conversion, he remains in love with Clara.

The Doctor meanwhile, is given control of UNIT, but is unsure of what to do. Missy however, using her powers of hypnosis on her guards, is able to escape, and unfortunately kills Osgood. She also reveals that the Doctor having a companion such as Clara was her design-it was her who gave Clara his phone number back in his last incarnation, so he would have an overly emotional companion.

The Doctor is able to escape the destruction by skydiving into the TARDIS, and reunites with Clara and Cyberdanny at a graveyard. 

However they are soon met also by Missy. Missy’s plan is reveal-she plans to turn every human, alive or dead, into Cybermen using the Cyber-converting nanomachine clouds-and then give it to the Doctor to use as an army as a “birthday present”.

She wants this to prove that they’re not as different as he thinks they are-that he could use his new army to right every wrong. The Doctor is initially unsure what to do with Missy’s ‘present’-he’s still been grappling with a moral crisis. But then he sees Clara embracing with the Cyborg Danny. He realizes though, that he’s not perfect, he’s just an idiot with a box or screwdriver, he tries to help people-and he doesn’t need an army, he’s got his companions, who have compassion.

He then gives the controls for the Cyberarmy to Danny, who then orders the Cyberarmy to detonate and destroy the Cyber-converting clouds. Self-destructing, Danny dies, along with the rest of the Cyber-army; save one, a Cybermen formed out of Brigadier Lethbridge-Stuart, who saved his daughter and then appears to disintegrate his old nemesis-something even the Doctor and Clara can’t do despite what she’s done. The Doctor salutes his old friend, who then vanishes for parts unknown.

Clara and the Doctor then go their separate ways-The Doctor heading to where he believes Gallifrey may be, due to Missy telling him it’s back in the universe-unfortunately, there’s nothing there. Clara meanwhile tries to get Danny back from the nethersphere using one of Missy’s devices, where his mind returned, but he sends back a young boy instead who needs his family. Lying to each other that they’ve both found what they needed and sharing a hug, the Doctor and Clara appear to part ways…for now.

Doctor Who History-Hey Missy!

Danny Pink is dead-killed by a car accident. Totally distraught, Clara knocks the Doctor out with a sleeping pad, and threatens to destroy the TARDIS keys if he doesn’t go back to save her boyfriend. She seems to destroy the keys, but the Doctor states she’s actually been hypnotized to think she’s doing this (as he anticapted the sleep pad)-he wanted to know what was wrong, and help her through her grief.

 

He agrees to help her, to try to use the telepathic circuits, to perhaps find Danny in the afterlife, unsure of where they’ll go. They end up in a strange building, filled with skeletons in tanks of water.

There, they are ‘greeted’ by Missy, who claims to be a robot helping them around the facility. She kisses and embraces the Doctor, which kind of freaks him out and bit. She then summons Dr. Chang, who reveals that the skeletons are the preserved bodies of the dead, who are in some sort of exoskeleton (with the water causing a ‘see-through’ effect) as voices apparently have been discovered from an ‘afterlife’.

One of these ‘voices’ is Danny himself, who finds himself in a strange city “heaven”, although his body remains dead in ‘our’ world. He tries to communicate with Clara.

The Doctor however is very suspicious about the nature of the facility. Something’s not right here….and there’s something very strange and somehow familiar about the windows on the doors there…

 

The water drains, revealing that the skeletons are in fact the inner workings of Cybermen…

Also the “heaven” Danny is currently in, along with a number of other souls, is in fact a “Matrix slice”, Gallifreyan technology where their minds have been uploaded-and will now be downloaded-into the emotionless Cybermen army.

And the head of this army of Cybermen? Missy-not an android, but a person. Not just any person-but a person with two hearts-a “Time Lady”-one of the Doctor’s own species.

 

But not just any time lady. As the Cybermen pour out of 3W-in fact a dimensional expanded St. Paul’s cathedral-Missy reveals her identity to the Doctor-Missy, is in fact, short for Mistress…because due to a regeneration into a female body, she couldn’t very well call herself The Master anymore….

 

The Doctor is utterly stunned. One of his oldest enemies is back, is now a she, and has an army of undead Cybermen about to raise havoc.