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Doctor Who: The Enemy of the World (Review)

To celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the longest-running science-fiction show in the world, I’ll be taking weekly looks at some of my own personal favourite stories and arcs, from the old and new series, with a view to encapsulating the sublime, the clever and the fiendishly odd of the BBC’s Doctor Who.

The Enemy of the World originally aired in 1967-68.

One chance, my friend. I said one chance.

- Patrick Troughton gets his David Tennant on

The Enemy of the World is an absolute joy from start to finish. Far too often, six-part Doctor Who serials tend to feel over-padded or over-stuffed, more a result of budget and production constraints than of any creative imperative to tell a story spread across six weeks. Instead, The Enemy of the World is a thoughtful, playful and fin six-part adventure that shows off Patrick Troughton at his best, with Dennis Whitaker’s script toying with various genre expectations and some interesting ideas about who the Doctor really is.

Face to face...

Face to face…

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Gideon’s Daughter (Review)

The wonderful folks at the BBC have given me access to their BBC Global iPlayer for a month to give the service a go and trawl through the archives. I’ll have some thoughts on the service at the end of the month, but I thought I’d also take the opportunity to enjoy some of the fantastic content.

Stephen Poliakoff’s companion piece to Friends and Crocodiles, airing just a month after that original drama film, Gideon’s Daughter feels like it owes a lot to a bunch of fascinating central performances. While Robert Lindsay provides the only on-screen evidence of a link between the two projects, reprising his role as an embittered old writer here, Poliakoff’s two stories are thematically linked, as the author focuses a lot of his frustrations on meaningless celebrity culture. This time, however, he sets the stories in the late nineties, allowing him to explore what he undoubtedly sees as the vulgarity of the millennium celebrations and to subtly examine the national outpouring of grief offer the loss of Princess Diana, while telling a rather simple story of a father and his daughter.

All tied up...

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Thor & Loki: Blood Brothers (Review/Retrospective)

With the release of Marvel’s big-budget superhero action movie Thor this summer, we’re taking a month to celebrate the God of Thunder. Check back each Wednesday for a Thor-related review.

One of the slew of hardcovers released to coincide with Kenneth Branagh’s epic adaptation of the classic Marvel comic book Thor, Thor & Loki: Blood Brothers is basically just a repackaging of the classic four issue Loki miniseries written by Robert Rodi and painted by Esad Ribic in the nineties. Much like Lex Luthor: Man of Steel, the miniseries was repackaged with a slew of extras and re-released in order to capitalise on a hungry market place. (Luthor, as it was rebranded, was released after the success of the another villain-themed graphic novel from the same creative team, the superb Joker). Still, despite the fact that the “Thor &” part of the title was just stuck on there to tie the book to the film, it’s a lovely little story which perfectly captures a lot of the charm and appeal that the Norse backdrop offers to epic comic book stories.

Commander and (mis)chief...

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