Monday, May 23, 2011

Doctor Who: The Rebel Flesh

The Rebel, Rebel Flesh*

I have a feeling that most people didn't like this last episode. I happened to enjoy it a fair amount, but I think there was so much Gaiman fan-boyism from the last episode that no one really paid attention to the lack of character development and interest to see that Gaiman really just wrote a Gaiman story and not a Doctor Who episode. And now, with a story with develop, pacing and moral decisions to be made (in other words, classic Doctor Who), most fans forgot what an episode was supposed to be like and instead pined over random good quotes about biting being like kissing with a winner.

I hope that isn't true. But I somehow think that there won't be much love for this episode because it followed Gaiman's tribute to Gaiman.

The episode was penned by Mathhew Graham, who co-created "Life on Mars" and "Ashes to Ashes". He also wrote the really shitty second series episode, "Fear Her", but found much more of a place with this script.

It is a two-parter episode and I usually like non-Moffat two-parters. The classic Who episodes were serials and often had cliffhangers (just as predictable as this one's)as we needed to wait until next week to find out what was going on. Moffat's two-parter's aren't bad, but are very rarely consistent in theme and mood and might as well be two different stories.

But the cold opening of the episode was nice. It really was a brilliantly disturbing scene to see how casually everyone dealt with the death of one of the workers. This also set up the attitudes that will propel the story later: these are things, casually discarded as carelessly as worn gloves by the workers.

Anyhow, the Doctor plans on dropping off Amy and Rory for a little while (to get some fish and chips) as he has business to do. A solar tsunami (really?!) blows them to this location, however. And we find that there is a living plastic "flesh" that the workers use to create doppelgangers (or gangers) of themselves to work in dangerous conditions with. Well, of course, things go wrong and the gangers seem to be able to live on their own, keeping the memories and personalities of their counterparts. So, the morality here is, are they alive? What is alive? Are they soulless machines with just some AI that lets them believe they are alive? Or are they sentient beings? And what exactly does being alive mean? The gangers have just as vivid memories and attachments to their counterparts in every way, including a bond with their counterpart's children.

Of course, things go wrong and some clod of a character starts a war and the episode ends with the Doctor having a ganger of his own, making his decisions on life and identity more personal leading into the next episode. But that's just how Doctor Who works.

Anyhow, less about the plot and more about a few specific things:

First of all, as much as I've been railing about the Amy/Rory jealous stories as intellectually lazy, there was a prime chance to play it up in this episode and they didn't. There was an attraction between Rory and Jennifer and Amy didn't freak out or whine. In fact, it made sense. Firstly, Rory is a nurse. It stands to reason that he'd be drawn to help the vulnerable character, even as the Doctor chastises him and tells him not to. This is character development, folks. Rory is finally getting some personality other than dying every week to make Amy's plight seem worse. But secondly, Rory spent 2000 years as a plastic Auton, convinced that because of his memories and feelings for Amy, that he was human and his identity was valid. It stands strongly to reason that he would be drawn to defend Jennifer and the plight of the gangers. And you know what the best part of this is? It was all played without Amy being jealous (at least so far, there is a second half that could fuck this up).

Second, I am wary about something meta-plotwise in this episode. First of all, the Doctor knew about the living flesh before arriving. It stands to reason he was intentionally going there. Was this where he was planning on going after dropping off Amy and Rory? If so, I am really very cautious about making a ganger Doctor to go and die in his place (from the Impossible Astronaut). That would just be too lazy of a way around the season's story arc. There are a lot of reasons why it doesn't seem to work (memories; all of the future off-stage experiences that he had with River would have been as a ganger thus demeaning their relationship; the similarities to the intellectually lazy way of creating a Doctor Mark II sex doll to give to Rose to end that storyline), and I hope that they do not go there. But I am worried.

Third, why the hell (other than plot convenience) does the next century's military need to mine for acid? I mean, does acid become really incredibly useful? That just seemed like such an odd thing to have such an intense factory mining operation to be built around.

Molly: (As usual, Molly is next to me as I do this. Because of her age, her portion will be as a Q&A format and I'll type what she says as she says it and format it later.)

Chuckie: So, what did you think about the episode, "The Rebel Flesh"?
Molly: What's a rabble flash?

Chuckie: No, the Rebel Flesh. That was what the episode was called.
Molly: No, it's called Doctor Who.

Chuckie: Yes, well, this episode of Doctor Who was called "The Rebel Flesh".
Molly: Oh.

Chuckie: So, what did you think of it?
Molly: I liked it.

Chuckie: What did you like about it?
Molly: Um, that... that... that... um, well... that... um... um... that they was playing games.

Chuckie: What games were they playing?
Molly: That one like were you throw that fuzzy thing with the point on it at the circle with the black thing on it.

Chuckie: You mean darts?
Molly: Mm-hm.

Chuckie: You liked that they were playing darts in the TARDIS during the opening?
Molly: Yeah.

Chuckie: Was there anything else that you liked about the episode?
Molly: No. It was full of... (She pauses, then reaches up and pulls my head to her ear to whisper the next word to me.) ...crap because they didn't explain anything.

Chuckie: (laughs)  Wow. You remembered me talking about crap in other episodes, huh?
Molly: They didn't explain why they was goop.

Chuckie: What happened in this episode?
Molly: Um, well, they couldn't control the TARDIS and they were traveling with no control of anything and they found a new world and there was acid in the tubes and there was people like, then there was an alarm and they said "Don't move" and then the Amelia Pond talked to them and the people were on the machines that made their arms stick out and they found that girl and they, um, like, Rory and her went into the bathroom and she broke the mirror and she turned into a snake body and then, um, Rory ran and he got out of the place and she said, "Rory, where are you? Rory, where are you?" and she, um, Rory was behind the place and she went and looked and she said she was stronger than me, well, the me with the same name and she looked in the mirror.

Chuckie: Wow. Is that it?
Molly: Mm-hm. I knowed a lot, right?

Chuckie: Yeah. But can you tell me a little about the gangers?
Molly: Oh, and I kind of forgot about this stuff... and they, well, the Doctor touched the goop and like hard goop and the gangers made new people and the Doctor like the other people now is two people.

Chuckie: Well, one of them is a ganger, right?
Molly: Mm-hm.

Chuckie: But tell me about the gangers. What do they want?
Molly: They, um... the girl ganger?

Chuckie: Yeah, okay.
Molly: Rory.

Chuckie: What do you mean?
Molly: (She grabs my head and pulls it down to her mouth to whisper in my ear.) She wants to kiss him.

Chuckie: Oh. Do you think Amy should be jealous?
Molly: Not Amy. Amelia Pond. And no. They both like him. It's not like they're boyfriend and girlfriend.

Chuckie: Well, no, but they're married.
Molly: So? You can be married and still have a girlfriend.

Chuckie: Oh. You should let mommy know that. Daddy's been arguing that with her for a while now.
Molly: They both like him!

Chuckie: Okay, sweetie.
Molly: And it's not like Amelia Pond and Rory walked down a red carpet. And she called him stupid head.

Chuckie: So, who should Rory be with?
Molly: Amelia Pond.

Chuckie: And what about Jennifer, the other girl?
Molly: She can get one of the boy gangers.

Chuckie: Then she shouldn't kiss Rory?
Molly: No. That's still okay.

Chuckie: Well, this is coming from a girl with five boyfriends.
Molly: Daddy! The cats can hear you.

Chuckie: Sorry. Anyhow, what happened at the end of the episode?
Molly: There was a ganger of the Doctor. And we have to wait for the next episode.

Chuckie: What do you think will happen in the next episode?
Molly: They'll tell us what's happening and it won't be full of crap.

Chuckie: Well, hopefully. So, Pixie, how would you rate this episode?
Molly: Um, eight million ninety-nine moons.

Chuckie: Wow. That's a lot. You're starting with moons and not stars?
Molly: Start with moons.

Chuckie: Okay. Out of how many?
Molly: Out of six.

Chuckie: Okay.
Molly: Sixty-six stars.

Chuckie: Out of how many?
Molly: Out of ten.

Chuckie: Okay, anything else?
Molly: Um, eight-sixty-six suns. Then it would be very bright outside.

Chuckie: I guess so. Out of how many?
Molly: Out of ten.

Chuckie: You know that you gave more stars, moons and suns than it was out of, right?
Molly: Mm-hm. Because I liked it very much.

Chuckie: Out of the episodes you've seen this season, where do you put it?
Molly: In the middle. Well, wait. I don't know yet. There was some crap in it, but there was also some not crap in it too. But there's going to be a next one. I'll need to find out the next one then I'll know how much crap was in it once it's all over.

Chuckie: Very good, Sweetie. Daddy likes to get the whole story first too.
Molly: You mean, do what I did?

Chuckie: Yeah. So, anything else that you wanted to say about this episode?
Molly: I think the people who watch Doctor Who would like this episode.

Chuckie: You really don't like to go out on a ledge, do you, Pixie?
Molly: No. I don't want to fall.

Chuckie: Fair enough. Is that it?
Molly: We have to find out if Amelia Pond is pregnant or not pregnant. I think we'll find out in the last episode.

Chuckie: Yeah, you've got it down how it works, don't you?
Molly: Mm-hm.

So, that's our review. I thought that this was more of a return to classic Doctor Who episodes, even if it did steal a bit from "the Thing". Graham did much better this time around than with "Fear Her" and it was nice to see Chris Skelton banging about, even if it wasn't Ray or Gene bossing him around. Since it's a two-parter, I have some reservations since the story could always go to crap, but I am actually rather hopeful this time around. I'm just hoping that this isn't a silly means of wrapping up the "Doctor dies" storyline.

I give it three and a half stars out of five. There was character development that made some semblance of sense as well as an intentional aversion to the trope marriage jealousy storyline which could have easily been a factor in this episode. We'll see how the next episode goes though. I could see it knocking this rating up or down a half-star depending on how it pans out. But mostly I was happy to see a return to a more classic Doctor Who storyline.

Molly gives it eight million ninety-nine moons out of six, sixty-six out of ten stars and eight sixty-six suns out of ten. She also would have thought that this would be a middle-of-the-pack episode for this season so far, but she wants to wait to see the conclusion to see if there is either crap or not crap involved in the story resolution.

*For the record, yes, I am aware that the lightning mark I put on her face is from the album "Aladdin Sane" and that the song, "Rebel, Rebel" was on Bowie's "Diamond Dogs" album. However, I thought that this image was more iconic than putting her face on a lounging dog's body with its penis visible.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Doctor Who: The Doctor's Wife

Yet another capital D character for Gaiman to write about.

I have a love-hate relationship with Neil Gaiman. First of all, I have to respect him since my high school and early college dating scene has been with goth theater girls, so my familiarity of his Sandman comics kept many a girlfriend in my early dating life wet. I also really liked most of the Sandman comics as well as some of his other works (most notably, when he has a co-author). However, as I got older, I started to realize that too much of Gaiman's work falls within a very strict scripting. There is little exploration beyond the style that he writes well at. That isn't a put-down. He's damn good at what he does, but eventually I decided that I wanted to see different things other than fanciful quasi-good characters painted with broad strokes more interested in getting out a singular good line of dialogue rather than actually develop as a character. So I felt Gaiman behind. Plus, I started to sleep with non-goth girls, so there wasn't a need to be up to date on his writing anymore anyhow.

From time to time, I've picked up a Gaiman story to revisit his style of storytelling and while the stories are never bad, per se, they are all such cookie-cutter formula for his style. We get fanciful, yet unexplained things that happen as if for no reason other than to dictate that Gaimon wishes to write a fairy tale, and not a proper fiction story, so that he can be excused from logic or science or rational plot devices to bring his story to a conclusion. Again, this is fine. He does it well. But I've outgrown that. Or, more accurately, I've found a certain niche of girl who can still get turned on without in their heads pretending that I am one of the Endless.

So, I was a little worried about Gaiman taking on a Doctor Who episode. Sure, Doctor Who isn't science-fiction... It isn't even science-fantasy; it is pure fantasy. So, it is within Gaiman's realm of writing style. But what would he do with the characters that I know and understand that are not a part of his universe. I mean, sure, the Doctor's name begins with a capital "D", but he shouldn't be treated as Dream, Destiny, Delirium, Desire, Despair, Destiny and Destruction.

However, it turns out that it wasn't that bad. The story was pure Gaiman. He introduces us to fanciful patchwork characters in the form of Auntie and Uncle who seem interesting, but are left unexplained, and then are summarily discarded unceremoniously once the last interesting bit of dialogue is extracted from them. The TARDIS is inexplicably put into a human shell to deliver interesting dialogue (rather than to develop as a character, such as discovering a purpose or meaning to being a living creature) and then is discarded at the episode's end. The existing characters, primarily Amy and Rory, are characters that Gaiman did not create on his own and therefore were offered the least interesting role in the story. Amy's psychological torture by "House" was rather uninspired and didn't really fit the character well. Gaiman was much too interested in playing with his own creations than evolving someone else's characters. But, to his credit, he didn't make their marriage "teevee interesting" by making them jealous of one another.

But the episode had some charm to it. Gaiman's good at that. The episode was supposed to be in last season's stories, but it was bumped due to budgeting and was replaced with the cheaper to produce (and more interesting ) episode,  "The Lodger".  But it still wasn't a bad episode. Just one that I fear is ultimately forgettable because it does not really fit well in the over-all arc of stories, but it doesn't stand out as a particularly grand one-shot episode.

Episode Highs:
*Seeing the old-style TARDIS console that the Doctor built was a little bit of fan-boy nostalgia for me.
*Yes, there were good lines of dialogue in the episode.
*The TARDIS thinks Rory is pretty.
*The episode looked like a Gaiman story. I'm counting that as a positive because it at least had his feel in the visuals as well as the story.
*There were interesting characters introduced in the episode.

Episode Lows:
*Those interesting characters were never developed and quickly discarded once it was realized that to continue to give them lines would mean that they should probably be developed.
*The existing characters (Amy, Rory) were really given an uninspired path as the focus was on the one-shot characters instead.
*The fact that they explored more of the TARDIS outside of the console room was interesting, but the fact that it was merely the same hallway used again and again made the gigantic TARDIS interior seem even more claustrophobic  than other episodes where we only see the console room.
*Rory died yet again in a Doctor Who episode.

Molly: (So, as usual, Molly is sitting next to me as we do this. Due to her age, her portion of the review will be in Q&A form. I'll transcribe everything that she says and format it later.)

Chuckie: What did you think about the episode of Doctor Who, "The Doctor's Wife"?
Molly:  I liked it, but not very much.

Chuckie: Why not?
Molly:  Um, that she was being mean to River. River kissed the Doctor first and she kissed the Doctor and that wasn't a very nice thing to do to River.

Chuckie: Okay. Wow. I wasn't expecting that.
Molly:  Why?

Chuckie: Because usually you like everything and you are fine with having upwards of seven boyfriends, so I didn't think you'd be upset about the Doctor kissing multiple people.
Molly:  It's not seven boyfriends. I only have one, two, three. Three. Well, maybe four. Or five. But not seven, Daddy.

Chuckie: Who are they now?
Molly:  But it's not private, Daddy. You said people read reviews and so it's not private.

Chuckie: Fair enough, Pixie. So, what did you like about the episode?
Molly:  Um, I don't know. I liked that the Doctor was happy.

Chuckie: What made him happy?
Molly:  Because he got to talk to the TARDIS, but then he was sad because he couldn't talk to her again. The TARDIS.

Chuckie: So, tell me what happened in this episode.
Molly:  That... um... he... um... um... she... um... she... she was with her Auntie and Uncle.

Chuckie: Who was?
Molly:  The girl.

Chuckie: Well, what girl?
Molly:  The TARDIS.

Chuckie: So what was the story about? What happened in the story?
Molly:  Um, the Doctor and the girl TARDIS made a, with the old TARDIS, they made a TARDIS with the old pieces.

Chuckie: And what did they do with it?
Molly:  Um, they goed somewhere. They goed and saved Rory and Amelia Pond. Um, he said that they had to run. He said, "Run!" He said it to Amelia and Rory and they ran inside the TARDIS. Um, and then it tricked Amelia Pond. It was pretending to be Rory.

Chuckie: So, what happened to the girl TARDIS at the end?
Molly:  She disappeared. Poof. She was the TARDIS again.
(Molly sings.)
I'm a little TARDIS,
a little blue TARDIS,
And I don't know what to do.
Then I found a girl named Molly
And I flyed her to America
And we went to the beach.

Chuckie: Nice song, Pixie. So, are you going to sing a song for every episode now?
Molly: I don't know. Maybe.

Chuckie: How did you like this episode compared to the other ones this season?
Molly:  Medium. Can we do stars and suns and all that now?

Chuckie: Sure. How many stars would you give this episode?
Molly:  Fifty million sixty-one. Wait. I accidentally made it too much.

Chuckie: Okay, we can fix that. How many stars then?
Molly:  One.

Chuckie: Okay. Out of how many?
Molly:  Zero.

Chuckie: Molly, we've gone through this before. It can't be out of zero, otherwise it's not a real number.
Molly:  What? Fine. Then ten.

Chuckie: Okay.
Molly:  I want to do moons.

Chuckie: Sure, how many moons, Sweetie?
Molly:  Two.

Chuckie: Out of how many?
Molly:  Out of, um, nine. At least I'm going backwards.

Chuckie: Are you giving it any suns?
Molly:  Um, yeah.

Chuckie: How many suns?
Molly:  Three. What? I'm doing everything in order.

Chuckie: Okay. So, let me guess then. It's out of eight suns?
Molly:  No! Out of seven.

Chuckie: Okay, you got me there, I guess. Who do you think would like this episode?
Molly:  Um, the people that would want to watch Doctor Who and that would like this episode.

Chuckie: That's a pretty safe guess. So, which did you like more, this episode or the pirate episode?
Molly:  Pirate because the siren was a nice doctor.

Chuckie: What do you think would have made this episode better?
Molly:  If there was a little more everything nice.

Chuckie: Like what? What nice things were missing?
Molly:  Um, that they tricked Amelia Pond and they got trapped.

Chuckie: So, you'd prefer that everything was nice and there was no obstacles for the characters to overcome?
Molly:  What's obstacles?

Chuckie: It's something in the way of the characters achieving their goals.
Molly:  What is goals? Is it like when someone is on a team? Like a goalie?

Chuckie: Well, that can be a goal. In that case, the obstacle would be the other team trying to stop you from scoring, and your goal would be to get a goal.
Molly:  Like in a hockey team?

Chuckie: Yes.
Molly:  And a soccer team?

Chuckie: Yes.
Molly:  How about baseball team?

Chuckie: Yes. Any team sport. Anyhow, would you prefer that there were no obstacles?
Molly:  Yes. Because the Doctor could get more points than the other team.

Chuckie: Metaphors are tough at four, aren't they?
Molly:  Mm-hm. Like you really want to win real bad, but you try real hard and you might not win, but you still might.

Chuckie: Okay, anything else you wanted to say about episode?
Molly:  Um, Rory asked a question for the Doctor, "Do you have a bed?"

Chuckie: What was the answer?
Molly:  Nothing. I think that the answer was "no", do you, Daddy?

Chuckie: I don't know.
Molly:  Do you think the answer is no?

Chuckie: I don't know.
Molly:  I think the answer's no.

Chuckie: That's fair enough.
Molly:  Okay. Review's over, Daddy.

So that's our review. I thought it was pure Gaiman and, despite that, it wasn't bad. It wasn't anything great or memorable, but it surely was much better than the pirate shit that was offered last week. Entertaining, but forgettable. However, I was dreading much worse.

I give it three out of five stars. This rating is with full knowledge that the episode probably left a number of my ex-girlfriends with damp sofa cushions just by the fact that Gaiman was writing.

Molly gives it one out of ten stars, two out of nine moons and three out of seven suns. I would be shocked that this is probably our first review in which I rated something higher than her, but I have no idea how the hell her rating system works anyway.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Doctor Who: The Curse of the Black Spot

The Black Spot claims another victim.

Despite my griping when I review, I like Doctor Who. There is a certain mythology and wonder that lingers with me from my childhood enjoyment of the series and despite every change in theme and companion and Doctor, that wonderment of the youthful journeys that the show has taken my mind on linger on and I still love every moment of it and am so willing to overlook the small flaws of an episode to enjoy the newest peak placed upon this high mountain of television history presented before me.

Then an episode like "The Curse of the Black Spot" comes around and I wonder why the fuck I'm watching this shit.

Since Moffat taking over the helm of the series, this is definitely the series low-point episode. There was a neat idea in it: the idea of any wound, no matter how small, could kill. It could make for some tense moments and adds a bit of mystery to what is happening. However, that concept was poorly executed in an hour long episode.

In fact, the way they tried to add tension was by having the captain stumble and have his hand "dangerously" hover over an exposed nail. Shit. The threat of the smallest wound is better than the supposedly "hold your breath moment" as he stops just before cutting himself. That works well with falling and stopping just before impaling on a pitchfork, but that is not the way to handle the drama of a small wound threat. It's a subtle threat, so play it subtly. Don't fucking play dramatic dum-dum-dum music when someone drearfully announces that they have a hangnail.

Anyhow, the Doctor, Amy and Rory find themselves on a pirate ship where the crew has been languishing at sea for eight days with a mysterious siren arriving and attacking anyone who has even the slightest wound. Rory gets cut in a silly manner and now they have to protect him from the siren. The siren at first appears to need water to appear to take a man away, but then they discover that it is still water... or the reflection that it offers that is her source of travel. So anything that casts a reflection is a portal for her arrival. So, the Doctor stupidly smashes a mirror to get rid of a reflective surface without realizing that he's just made scores of tiny reflective surfaces with sharp pointy edges that could easily cause an injury to doom a man. It would have been much better to just toss the mirror overboard. Anyhow, the pirate captain's son has been stowing away on board all this time and has Scarlet Fever, and also suffers from the black spot, showing that the siren is also targeting the sick, not just the injured and my god, this even sucks in summary. Shit happens. Eventually they find out the siren's transporting them to a spaceship in an alternate universe and everyone's okay. The pirate captain figures out how to pilot the space ship and he and his son (whose fever is "cured" by the siren) and the rest of the pirates now fly through space in their new ship. Presumably until they either run out of fuel or try to enter a planet's atmosphere or anything else that should be really fucking complicated to pilot a goddamned alien spaceship, especially with a 17th century mindset.

This episode sucked. And it sucked hard. Even seeing Karen Gillan in pirate garb wasn't enough to save this episode. It stunk. It stunk bad.

Episode Highs:
*The woman who played the Siren was cute. I was at least able to distract myself from the terribly plodding and silly dialogue by idly wondering what sex with her might be like.
*Amelia Pond looked cute dressed up like a pirate. Pointless, plot-wise, as it was just a convenient way to get her dressed up like a pirate.
*Rory mentioned that Amy should dress up like a pirate more often. Maybe this means that instead of focusing on jealousy, they are going to make their marriage "television interesting" by making them kinky role-players in bed.

Episode Lows:
*Everything from after the title sequence to the end credits. Admittedly, the two minutes before the opening title sequence wasn't too bad.
*Amy is jealous of Rory being enraptured by the Siren, making me think that they will instead make their marriage "television interesting" by adding jealousy at every turn.
*As the plot unfolded it made less and less sense.
*Leaving the pirates on an alien spaceship is just a cruel extended death sentence offered by the Doctor. Really, they have no idea how to refuel or land. So their fate will just be a lot of lonely gay-pirate sex until they eventually burn up in some alien atmosphere as they try to land as the captain cockily says, "Ah, a port is a port, even if it is spaceport."

Molly: (As always, Molly is sitting next to me at my computer as we do this review. I'll transcribe everything that she says. Due to her age, her portion of the review will be in Q&A format.)

Chuckie: What did you think about the episode of Doctor Who, "The Curse of the Black Spot"?
Molly: Um, I wonder how she made the black spots. Daddy, do you know.

Chuckie: Well, the Doctor said that they were tissue samples.
Molly: No, how did she make them.

Chuckie: I don't know. They really didn't do a good job of explaining anything.
Molly: I guess we'll have to find out by watching another episode.

Chuckie: We'll, see. I don't think we'll ever get these answers though.
Molly: What?! But how did she make them? And Daddy, how was they... they, um... how was she getting mad at them before, but she wasn't when they were at the hosbital? (Yes, she said "hosbital" instead of "hospital".)

Chuckie: I don't know, Pixie. They really didn't explain.
Molly: Why can't they explain that to us? Maybe they just weren't letting her do her doctor skills.

Chuckie: Maybe, or maybe it was just really, really crappy writing.
Molly: No, Daddy!

Chuckie: Okay. Well, so what did you think about the episode though?
Molly: I liked it.

Chuckie: What did you like about it?
Molly: Um, the girl was being nice. She letted her take care of Rory for a while.

Chuckie: What happened in this episode?
Molly: Well, I wanted to tell you something about the ring.

Chuckie: Okay. What?
Molly: Like the circle. Not the black circle.

Chuckie: Okay. What about the ring?
Molly: Um, why was it on her head?

Chuckie: Huh?
Molly: Why was it on her head?

Chuckie: What ring are you talking about?
Molly: The big yellow one that was like this big.

Chuckie: I still have no idea what ring you were talking about. On whose head?
Molly: No, it was a ring around and she let Amelia Pond touch it and make her hand go through it.

Chuckie: Oh! That was how the siren let Amy take--
Molly: Amelia.

Chuckie: That's how the siren let Amelia take care of Rory.
Molly: By why was it on her head?

Chuckie: I don't know, Sweetie. A lot of things really didn't make sense in this episode if you thought about them.
Molly: Why?

Chuckie: Crappy writing.
Molly: Why did they make crappy writing?

Chuckie: Well, because sometimes someone has an idea that sounds really good on paper or in their head, but when they work it out, they realize that only a small bit of it was really cool and they just need to spend a lot of time filling up space in the episode to try to make the small bit that was good play out.
Molly: So... So much crap.

Chuckie: Yup. Exactly.

Chuckie: Anyway, tell me about the story in this episode.
Molly: Um, the Doctor said, "Yo ho ho!" and he said, "I shouldn't have said that." And Rory and Amelia Pond was behind him and they opened the cabinet and they met the pirates and then when the boys got cut they just went to another place. (She begins to sing like the siren.) OooooOooooOooooo!

Chuckie: That's it?
Molly: That's all I remember.

Chuckie: So what did the black spot mean?
Molly: There were boogers on it.

Chuckie: No, the black spot people got on their hands.
Molly: The ghost came for them and they went to another place.

Chuckie: What did you think of the characters in this episode?
Molly: I liked them.

Chuckie: Which ones?
Molly: Um, Amelia Pond.

Chuckie: What did you like about her in this episode?
Molly: That she was saving Rory's life.

Chuckie: How did the siren get around in the episode?
Molly: (points to my glasses) Reflections. Duh. How could she ever get there again if she didn't use reflections? She's a ghost. Duh. (She starts to sing out the note like the Siren did in the episode.) OoooOoooOooo.  
(She sings a song she makes up on the spot.)

There was a siren on board.
We couldn't get out.
We found some humans that can help us.
They put the black spots on them because
they had to save the other people.
And then she goed away on sail.

Chuckie: Beauty song, Sweetie.
Molly: Thank you. Can we do stars now?

Chuckie: Sure. How many stars would you give this episode?
Molly: Eight million.

Chuckie: Why so many?
Molly: Because I like it so much.

Chuckie: Okay. Out of how many stars?
Molly: Out of one hundred.

Chuckie: Let's try this: would you rate the episode Excellent, Good, Okay, or Bad?
Molly: Excellent.

Chuckie: Really?
Molly: Yup. I like it.

Chuckie: Okay. Anything else you wanted to say about this episode?
Molly: I want to do moons and suns, please.

Chuckie: Okay. How many moons would you give it?
Molly: Eight hundred and one thousand.
Chuckie: Out of how many?
Molly: Out of Africa.

Chuckie: Okay. And how many Suns?
Molly: Um, one hundred and two.
Chuckie: Out of how many?
Molly: Out of America.

Chuckie: Okay, so anything else you wanted to say about this episode?
Molly: Um, I think it would have been better if there was a little more not crap.

Chuckie: That's what I was saying, Sweetie. Then why are you rating it so well?
Molly: Um, because I thought a lot of parts were good. Just not the parts with the crap in them.

Chuckie: Fair enough, Pixie. Don't say crap anymore. Daddy shouldn't have mentioned it.
Molly: Okay.

So, that's our review. I thought it was complete and absolute crap. There was a decent tense premise, but it was poorly expanded upon and poorly executed in the episode. This was definitely the low of the Moffat episodes so far, and possibly of the who new series if I really put the time to think back on some of the shittier Davies episodes.

I give it one-half star out of five. I would give it less, but I do still think that it would be physically possible to make something less entertaining than this hour I saw, so I need to reserve the zero score based upon merely a principle that things could have been worse. Not sure how, but it is theoretically possible.

Molly thought it was excellent and gave it eight million stars. I need to interject, however, and point out that she is only four. However, she did seem to agree with my points about crap writing, even if it will get me in trouble with my wife for getting her to say it as well.

Saturday, May 7, 2011


My wife is a huge Thor fan. I have no idea as to why this is. She doesn't really know the Norse Mythology and is only tangently familiar with the Thor comics. Now, me, I love the Norse Mythology. I know them very well and I was into them before Greek Mythology and my eventual path to Dungeons and Dragons. However, I never cared for the Thor in comic book form. First of all, the Marvel Universe is kind of divided into two sub-story universes. I read the X-Men/Mutant side, so I didn't really have a lot of interest in the Avenger's side of the comics. So that kept me out of reading Thor, except for those odd times like during the Fall of the Mutants uber-plot where I would have to pick up a Thor comic to see how he rescued Angel from the Morlocks.

But anyway, from the "methinks" to the crazy-ass costumes to the distorted relationships between gods as compared to what mythology said they should be, I just never thought that Marvel got Thor down right. They didn't get any of the gods down right, from Odin being a bad-ass warrior instead of being an intellectual poet god to Sif being a raven-haired warrior instead of a golden haired matron of fertility. And Thor's hammer, Mjolnir, looks so pansy in the comics. Plus, they all dress so goofy in the comics.

But as far the movie goes, they did keep the goofy costumes but actually made them tolerable by keeping the outrageous designs, but subduing the bright color vomit.

Kenneth Branagh directed, which at first seemed like a very weird choice, but then again he seemed really comfortable with the Asgard scenes, so I guess I can see the connection. However, Branagh fucking loved Dutch Angles in this movie. It was nowhere near as bad as Battlefield Earth, but it was still overdone and completely unnecessary.

The plot of the movie is incredibly blunt and typical. Thor is arrogant and so his father, Odin, decides that he needs to learn humility before he can become king and sends him to earth without his powers until he can learn humility. So Thor arrogantly starts his human existence, but very quickly learns that he should be nicer and sacrifices himself to save a bunch of extras in some piss-ant town that he or we the audience have not been introduced to in order to have any real empathy for. Thor gets his powers and hammer back and saves earth, then saves Asgard.

The story isn't really that interesting and Thor's time on earth is really brushed over so weakly (and it is the crux of his learning his lesson) and Thor's transformation is so quick and without reason that it makes it the weakest part of the movie.  Natalie Portman is also strangely cast in this movie. She plays a female astrophysicist who is great at what she does, but is too vanilla, but works hard and devotes herself to her field, but is threatened by the darker aspect of the field, Darcy, who also works with her and threatens to take over her role until the pair of them have a really super sexy sex scene, but you are left wondering how much of Darcy is real and how much of her is just in Portman's mind as she stabs herself and lays bleeding by her computer equipment. Wait. That's not right.

Actually, Portman played Jane Foster. She's a female astrophysicist who doesn't wear glasses. That's as deep as that character got. I just hoped for the sex scene with her and Darcy. But it didn't happen. In fact, precious little of interest happened with her.

When the threat to earth occurred, Thor decided to sacrifice himself to save the bunch of people in the small town (who, like I mentioned before, we were not introduced to and had no empathy for). Thor then regained his power and defeated the earth-sent bad guy with such a lack of effort and anti-climax that I see why the Avengers needs to constantly make excuses for the God of Thunder to be busy: he is too powerful for his companions.

The saving grace of the movie was Loki. He was the only character that was built with any depth. He betrayed his brother, but he felt conflicted by it. He betrayed his father, but only to win his pride. He was the only character in the movie with any ounce of depth and development in him and he was well-played. The scenes with him were the best, but I fear that he will become less interesting of a villain in the Avengers movie as he will lose the conflict and just become a run of the mill bad guy dick.

The movie wasn't mind-numbingly bad, but it was a set-up movie. It didn't feel like a movie in and of itself, but something thrown together to tie into the Avengers movie later. My wife loves Thor. And while it wasn't bad to see a blond male hero and one with a beard (a physical beard, not just Portman's love interest), it just wasn't that interesting of a story and other than Loki's depth, no attempt was made to tell it in an interesting manner.

Molly: (As always, Molly is sitting next to me at my computer as we do this review. I'll transcribe everything that she says. Due to her age, her portion of the review will be in Q&A format.)

Chuckie: So, what did you think of the movie, "Thor"?
Molly: I liked it.

Chuckie: What did you like about it?
Molly: Um, I liked the whole movie.

Chuckie: Can you give me specifics?
Molly: I liked that he made new best friends.

Chuckie: Who were his new best friends?
Molly: I forget their names. But they were the people who helped him. The scientists.

Chuckie: So, what happened in the movie?
Molly: Well, they went on a trip and the went across the bridge and back to the place and then they found a blue--I think it was a crystal--shaped like a rectangle. And Thor's brother--I don't remember his name...

Chuckie: Loki.
Molly: Loki. He was really one of the bad guys.

Chuckie: So what did Loki do that was bad?
Molly: He froze a guy that was, um, part of the kingdom. And he let go of him father, I mean let go of his hand and he floated away somewhere.

Chuckie: So, tell me about Thor.
Molly: You mean, the yellow kid?

Chuckie: Yeah, and about when he was grown up too.
Molly: Um, he was mean to him father and because he was mean he couldn't pick up him hammer. And him father put a hole in the corner and then he just floated right into it.

Chuckie: What happened when Thor was sent to earth?
Molly: He fell on the ground. You know that.

Chuckie: Okay, but I meant what kinds of things happened to him?  Like how did he change?
Molly: I don't know what you mean.

Chuckie: Hm. Why couldn't he pick up his hammer?
Molly: 'Cause he was mean.

Chuckie: So, did Thor learn any lessons and change while on earth?
Molly: Oh! Now I know what you mean. Yes.

Chuckie: What did he learn?
Molly: To be good. You know that.

Chuckie: Yes, but how did he learn it?
Molly: Um, I think he learned him lesson because he was being mean and the girl zapped him and then he realized that he didn't want to be mean anymore and get in trouble.

Chuckie: What can you tell me about Thor's friends from Asgard?
Molly: Where is Asgard? I don't know what is Asgard because I'm getting confused because he's been in two places.
Chuckie: Asgard is the kingdom where Thor and Loki and Thor's dad, Odin were from.
Molly: Oh.
Chuckie: Do you remember Thor's friends from Asgard who fought with him?
Molly: No.
Chuckie: They were all in armor and came down to try to find Thor when he was on earth?
Molly: Nope.
Chuckie: One of them was a girl, one of them liked to eat, one was fancy and the other was Asian?
Molly: I still don't remember. Are you sure they were in the movie?

Chuckie: Yeah. They were barely developed characters, but still. So, what did you think about the scientist girl who helped Thor?
Molly: Which one. There was two.

Chuckie: Yeah, the one without the glasses.
Molly: I liked her.  She was nicer to him because the other girl shot him and she said sorry, but the other girl didn't.

Chuckie: Good points. We stayed at the end of the movie to see something after the credits. Can you tell me about that scene?
Molly: There were two guys in there and Loki was behind him and Loki went there! That's where him was when he let go and fell. Now I get it! And Loki was controlling him. But if he was controlling him, then he was a super hero, but him was bad, so he was a monster... So, he was a superhero monster? How does that work? That doesn't make any sense.

Chuckie: He was a super-villain.
Molly: Oh. How was he a super-villain? When he was little he was Thor's friend, so why wasn't he a super-villain then? He was on their team then.

Chuckie: Because when he got older, he became jealous and became badder.
Molly: How?

Chuckie: Because everybody liked Thor and not him. So he was jealous.
Molly: Well, what if he wore Thor's costume and got his hair changed so it was yellow and then you couldn't tell which one was which and then everyone would have to like them both.

Chuckie: I guess that's one way you could do it.
Molly: Yeah. Or there's another way.

Chuckie: What's that?
Molly: He could ask them why do you like him so much and not me. That's another way.

Chuckie: Which do you think is a better way to handle it?
Molly: He should ask people. That's the better way. Because if he did the other one, they wouldn't know which one him is and everyone might get confused and annoyed at them.

Chuckie: Fair points.
Molly: Can we do the stars and stuff now?

Chuckie: Sure. How many stars would you give Thor?
Molly: Fifty-million. That's a lot.

Chuckie: Yeah, it is. Out of how many?
Molly: One. And how about the moons?

Chuckie: Okay, how many moons would you give it?
Molly: Fifty-two.

Chuckie: Out of how many?
Molly: Out of forty-five. Wait! No! I wanted it to be out of thirty-five. Thirty-five, Daddy, not forty-five.

Chuckie: Does it make a difference?
Molly: Yes.

Chuckie: Okay. You giving it suns as well?
Molly: Yeah. Fifty-five out of sixty.

Chuckie: Molly, do these numbers even mean anything to you?
Molly: Yes. It means that this movie is very special.

Chuckie: Okay.  So, who do you--
Molly: Why was him naked? Why did he only have him panties on.
Chuckie: So that Mommy would like the movie better.
Molly: Oh.

Chuckie: So, who do you think would like Thor?
Molly: Mommy because she said she wanted a TARDIS to go back in time and watch it again.

Chuckie: Do you think anyone else would like it?
Molly: Uncle Rupert would. And Grandmom and Pop Pop. And I wonder if any of my friends at dance class would like Thor.

Chuckie: I don't know. You can ask them. So, is there anything else that you'd like to tell people about Thor?
Molly: It was a really good movie because they appreciate each other.

So that's our review. The meat of the story was supposed to be Thor's learning humility, but that was the part of the movie that was the least fleshed out. Thor's earth bound scenes were weak and barely developed, and the Asgardian scenes at least were better fitting for Branaugh's directing. Loki was the only character who had any real depth to him, but I fear that will be lost in the upcoming Avengers. The movie was a set-up movie and not a good movie in and of itself.

I give it one out of five stars. I might have given it more for Loki's depth, but all that did was point out how one-dimensional each of the other characters were. And I might have nudged up my rating a little bit for the cameo of Sleipnir, Huginn and Muninn's absence counterbalanced that. And, for the record, Vikings were stupid. Really, they wanted to make Odin awesomer by thinking that doubling the legs on his steed would really push him to the edge. The reality is that it just makes for a wider, more clumsy horse. Stupid vikings.

Molly gives it fifty-million stars out of one, fifty-two out of thirty-five moons, and fifty-five out of sixty suns.  She got the fact that the movie was about learning to be nice and appreciating one another, but I think she was also thrown by the random half-naked Thor scene as well.

Jessica gives it a squeal and a damp seat.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Doctor Who: Day of the Moon

Day of the Moon

So, part two of the Moffat cliff-hanger once again kind of changed the theme and mood of the first episode. That's not exactly bad in this case. With most of his two-parters, I liked the first half better and the second part changed to a less interesting theme. However, with this one, the second episode had the stronger theme.  Well, let me amend that. It had some great, dark thematic moments.

So, the episode begins three months later with a baby-bumpless Amy Pond running from the FBI. She gets shot and, since we know she's in later episodes, we don't worry too much for her. River is shown fleeing from the FBI and she jumps to her obviously-not-death-since-we-know-how-she'll-die-later-plus-two-episodes-from-now-there-is-an-episode-called-The-Doctor's-Wife. Rory then also is seen fleeing the FBI and gets shot. But he has a name in the opening credits now, so unless Moffat is doing a Whedon/Tara feign, we know he'll live too.

Anyhow, Canton brings Amy and Rory's bodies to the Doctor who is held in custody as they build the "perfect" prison for him. And no, the perfect prison is not the Pandorica, but rather a solid cell made with bricks forged from the dwarf star maters, the "densest stuff in the whole universe". And you can tell that it is dense, since it takes two people to pick up the bricks. But in the show's defense, maybe they were two really strong guys who picked up the densest stuff in the universe. Anyhow, it turns out that Canton was really working with the Doctor and fortunately for Amy, Rory and River, they were found by Canton and not some other FBI agent who would have shot them on sight and killed them. This was a neat little dramatic opening and all, but really, since they are all working so closely with the President of the United States, why did they have to pretend to be adversarial? Just to make a dramatic opening, but whatever.

Apparently in the three months the group have been out trying to get sightings of the Silence and have found that they are all over. This kind of bums me out a little bit because if they have been around since the dawn of humanity and they are all around, shouldn't each person who sees one suddenly remember all of the previous times that they've seen them, like from when they were kids and such? But again, it sets up a cool baddie, so I don't mind the fact that they don't really have a history past last week. I can over look that.

So they set their plan in motion. Amy and Canton meet some fucked up orphanage caretaker, which really makes the best scenes in the episode. The mind-worn caretaker is really excellently played and Amy's scene with the hive of Silence is just a great, dark scene. From the writing on the walls, to Amy's sudden markings and message to herself, this is what Moffat writes best: individually amazing scenes that fit in a sometimes disjointed overall story. But nevertheless, it was a great, tense scene.

The Doctor gets captured by NASA after he is seen fiddling with Apollo 11 and River and Rory show up with President Nixon to get him out of the jam. There are two things notable with this scene: First, they dressed Rory up nerdy enough to get my wife wet for him and second, Nixon apparently travelled there in the TARDIS and then the Doctor took him back to the White House in it. Now, by the definitions set forth by numerous Doctor Who fan pages, the fact that Nixon traveled with the Doctor in the TARDIS technically makes President Nixon one of the Doctor's companions. This is further reinforced by the Doctor transporting Nixon to the dense-material prison to talk to the prison guards.

Amy is captured after her finding out (like both Jess and I predicted early in this episode) that she is actually the mother of the strange girl in the astronaut suit. They can still conveniently hear what Amy is saying. With this, they finally figure out how to approach Rory's character. He was added mid-season last year to resolve the Amy-lusting-for-the-Doctor storyline and they didn't seem to know what to do with him until he became the "boy who waited" for the "girl who waited".  But a happily married couple isn't that interesting for teevee, so instead they've decided to try to make it interesting by making Rory jealous of Amy and the Doctor's relationship and will probably keep throwing out vaguely easily misinterpreted lines for the rest of the season to carry this on. I like Rory, but this aspect they've decided to expand on makes me wonder how long I will like him. He's still fiercely devoted to Amy even when he thinks she loves the Doctor, but how long will this go on? Are happily married couples really that uninteresting? Can't they both just be strong characters who happen to be married? Apparently not in teevee land. That is disappointing. It's also disappointing that to try to force the relationship to be more interesting, they go with jealousy. That's so overdone. You want to try to "spin" their relationship to make it more interesting? Why not just make Rory a cuckold who likes to watch Amy flirt with the Doctor? Make them swingers. We saw in the Christmas special that the pair of them liked to dress up to presumably roleplay in their honeymoon (not to mention Amy used to make Rory dress up as the "Raggedy Doctor" while they were younger), why not make them just crazy kinky and constantly talking about new things they want to try in bed? Well, I guess that's probably because it's a family show. But they could at least make the relationship interesting by making it strong. Rory's dedication to Amy at the end of last season was a character defining moment. Build on that. Don't ruin it with a silly jealousy/who is the father storyline.

Anyhow, the Doctor's plan works at the end by adding some subliminal messages to the moon landing footage, since billions of people see it and then react against the Silence. It's not a bad ending, except for two things that sit a little uneasily in my mind: First, what the hell did everyone do with all of the dead Silence bodies laying around after they killed them all and Second, how did the Doctor accept the resolution that he has just made every single person on earth an unknowing murderer? Seriously, from every kid to every elderly person who watched the moon landing, they will all now kill any Silence that they see and never even remember it. He has created genocidal Manchurian Candidates on a global level that will last for generations. Fuck, according to the story set in this episode, I became a Manchurian Candidate ready to murder because of the footage I saw during my fifth grade field trip to the Air & Space Museum.

Anyhow, a few things to comment on:

River and the Doctor's first kiss wasn't something too crazy. I mean, so far in the new series, every one of his companions have kissed the Doctor (except Rory, but then again, there's another way to make Amy and Rory's marriage more interesting). However, what made it a little special is that what is the first kiss for the Doctor, River knows will be the last kiss for her.

Amy Pond's pregnancy: She's worried that all of the time travel would mess up the baby, but she and Rory were dropped off to live their lives together for two months before the Doctor's return. I can only assume that the baby was conceived then, so the worry seems a little story convenient. But then again, Amy seems to be in a state of Schrodinger's pregnancy as she is currently both in a state of being pregnant and not being pregnant.

The kid regenerating at the end of the episode; Amy's kid. Well, we'll see where that goes. Hopefully it isn't played up to make you think that it might be the Doctor's baby with Amy. I want to see a strong marriage portrayed. Incidentally, the only real strong marriage I've ever seen portrayed on teevee was with Wash and Zoe on Firefly. Teevee can use more of them, so I hope they drop the jealousy and baby-daddy drama.

Episode Highs:
*The orphanage caretaker was masterfully acted and the scene with the writing on the wall and the hive of Silence lurking above Amy was just excellent. It was classic contemporary horror and almost had a dark, Cthulhu/madness feel to it. I loved that scene and it redeemed much of the episode's failings for me.
*Rory's dedication to Amy even when he believes that she loves the Doctor instead is a great character defining moment.
*Much of the horror and suspense of finding the markings on the characters was excellent.
*Again, I'm not a River fan, but I appreciated the mixture of awkward elation of what was the Doctor's first kiss and the somber bleakness of River's last kiss.
*Amy's line of "Is this important flirting?" was rather funny.
*The Doctor licking his blue envelope to get clues about it ties in with this Doctor's heightened sense of taste that he has shown in the Hungry Earth.

Episode Lows:
*The Doctor's eventual death they witness was still not resolved (or addressed).
*Disjointed episode where a lot of character decisions made no sense other than to get us to the next interesting scene. So the episode was bunch of interesting scenes strung together with over-convenient or implausible decisions.
*Richard Nixon is now officially one of the Doctor's companions.
*Using jealousy and possible "baby-daddy" issues to make a marriage more teevee interesting.
*The densest stuff in the universe only takes two people to lift.
*I'm not a big gun person at all, but I think I still have a better grasp on them than the British do. All of the Secret Service has six-shooter revolvers and in some scenes their fingers were placed not on the triggers, but on the trigger guards (that is more apparent in the first episode).

Molly: (As always, I'll be transcribing what Molly says. She's next to me at my computer as I write this and our review will be in Q&A form because of her age.)

Chuckie: What did you think about the episode, the Day of the Moon?
Molly: Is that what it's called?

Chuckie: Yup.
Molly: I liked it.

Chuckie: What did you like about it?
Molly: Um, that there was every, um, that, that River shooted the bad aliens.

Chuckie: What else?
Molly: And I thought that it was funny that the black marks looked like ants.

Chuckie: The marks they were drawing on themselves?
Molly: Yeah.

Chuckie: But what were the marks really for?
Molly: So they won't forget the aliens.

Chuckie: So, tell me what happened in this episode.
Molly: Um, well, um Amelia Pond runned away from those guys in the car and then Rory was running and then he stopped running and put him hands up. And he said, "What are you waiting for?" And the other guys said, "I'm waiting for you to run because it looks better if you run when I shoot you." Um, and then they had black body sacks and he said he was going to be a prisoner and he said "That is not enough" and then the man closed the door and the people got out of the sacks and then he snapped and he got out of the door and they left.

Chuckie: Wow. You remembered a lot.
Molly: Yeah. And the girl said, "Get out" and then the girl said, "I think she's dreaming" and she put her hands on the window and she saw her face and she put her flashlight on the roof and the monsters were there sleeping and then one was by her and she couldn't open the door and couldn't open the window and when she came in there were drawings and she said, "Is the kid here?" and there were drawings on the walls. They were words.  And the kids wrote on him and the girl said, um, "I'm sorry I shooted you, I'm happy I missed" and she said, "Please help me, please help me" and the monsters came by her and them Amelia Pond screamed. And she broke out of that space suit and those two said she's strong and the Doctor said, "Totally strong" and the guy said, "What's wrong little girl" and she said "I'm dying but that's okay" and then she regenerated!

Chuckie: Wow. That's some summary.
Molly: I remembered everything, right, Daddy?

Chuckie: Yeah, just about. So, was this episode scary?
Molly: Nah.

Chuckie: What did you think about the aliens called The Silence?
Molly: They're kind of mean.

Chuckie: Good point. But do you like them or Daleks better?
Molly: Um, kind of the Daleks better because cause the Silence are kind of mean more and they're both medium because I like them both a little bit because I'd want them to be nice then I'd like them more. If they stop saying "Exterminate" and trapping people and all that stuff, then I'd like them better.

Chuckie: So, what do you think: Is Amy Pond pregnant?
Molly: Both. She's not pregnant and she is pregnant, so we have to find out. We'll have to find out in the next episode.

Chuckie: So, tell me more about River.
Molly: She says, "Hello, Sweetie" and she kissed the Doctor.

Chuckie: So what do you think is up with the girl who regenerated at the end?
Molly: I don't know, we have to find out.

Chuckie: So, how would you rate this episode?
Molly: It's good and I'm giving it thirty-five stars.

Chuckie: Out of how many?
Molly: Out of America.

Chuckie: Do you really get the concept of "out of"?
Molly: Yeah. And thirty-five plus sixty-one moons.

Chuckie: Out of how many?
Molly: Out of America twenty -five. And twenty-five suns.

Chuckie: Out of how many?
Molly: Out of July 26, 2006.

Chuckie: Your birthday?
Molly: Yeah.

Chuckie: Okay, anything else that you want to say about the episode?
Molly: Um, I think everybody would like it, even my cousin Edison and even people that we don't know and even Isaac and Jo and Craig and even Mike and even people in different countries who speak different languages if they could read the words about what they said on the show.

Chuckie: What would they like about it?
Molly: Everything about the movie.

Chuckie: Fair enough. So, which was better this episode or the last one?
Molly: The last one.

So that's our review. I really, really enjoyed certain scenes in the episode, but was a bit disappointed that they were so poorly strung together just to get from cool moment to cool moment. It seems to set the tone for the rest of the season, though they basically ended the episode with the Doctor asking, "So, instead of following up on this mystery, why don't we just do a monster-of-the-week episode next?" This series will also have a mid-series break and cliff-hanger as well, so we probably won't get any more of this arc until then. I like Moffat's writing, but I'm worried that he is falling into the Davies trap of going well over the top and trying to constantly out-do his last series. I enjoyed the episode, but I am a little nervous about the over-arc for this series. We'll see.

I'd give it 3.5 out of 5 stars.I would have rated this episode lower, but I really loved some of the scenes in it. I don't think it helped the first episode, especially since the cliff-hanger was barely touched upon. So all of the drama that ended the last episode was forgotten by starting this one 3 months later. But that's Moffat's writing. He's excellent, but inconsistent, even in his own two-parters.

Molly liked this episode and gave it thirty-five stars, thirty-five plus sixty-one moons and twenty-five suns.  Most of them were out of America, possibly in honor of the episode being shot in the US. But more likely because she doesn't get the concept of "out of" yet. However, she thinks everyone would like it and she had a very vivid memory of the episode.