• Following Us

  • Categories

  • Check out the Archives









  • Awards & Nominations

Doctor Who: Tooth and Claw (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.

Tooth and Claw originally aired in 2006.

I want her to say “we are not amused.” I bet you five quid I can make her say it.

Well, if I gambled on that, it’d be an abuse of my privileges of traveller in time.

Ten quid?

Done.

– Rose and the Tenth Doctor are “cute”

There’s something quite interesting at the heart of Tooth and Claw, which might be the best  “historical celebrity + monster” mash-up of the Davies era. It’s a wonderful pulpy genre hybrid run-around with Queen Victoria, ninja monks and a werewolf, but it’s also a quite interesting vehicle to explore the way that the show deals with historical characters. After all, Queen Victoria is a British icon, a monumentally important part of the British Empire. It would be tempting to reduce her to a bunch of catch-phrases and a stiff upper lip. It’s a testament to Davies as a writer that he can flesh her out a fully-drawn character.

However, there does seem to be something quite strange about a show that opens with a cheap shot at Margaret Thatcher only to wallow in the iconic status of Queen Victoria.

This year's Bad Wolf is in Torchwood...

This year’s Bad Wolf is in Torchwood…

Continue reading

Non-Review Review: Quartet

Quartet is an entertaining light comedy, and a solid directorial début from Dustin Hoffman. The film itself isn’t too surprising or demanding, but – as The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel demonstrated earlier in the year – there is something to be said for putting a bunch of older actors together in a room and letting them remind you what they can do. Quartet is a fairly standard “life doesn’t end at retirment” film, and one that makes smart use of a talented ensemble cast. Indeed, as the credits roll, we’re reminded of just how talented as Hoffman introduces us to each of the performers – many of whom have long and impressive careers in theatre or music.

There’s nothing here that will surprise anybody, but it is occasionally nice to be reminded just how superb some of the older generation of actors can be.

... in with the old...

… in with the old…

Continue reading