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May 20, 2013

Review: Doctor Who - 7x13 - The Name of the Doctor

Posted on May 20, 2013 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

The Name of the Doctor

In the UK: Saturday, 7pm, 18th May 2013, BBC1/BBC1 HD. Available on the iPlayer
In the US: Saturday, 8pm/7c, 18th May 2013, BBC America

Ian: Just open the doors, Doctor Foreman.
The Doctor: [To himself.] Eh? Doctor who? What's he talking about…?

- from Doctor Who - An Unearthly Child

Doctor Who's name has been a subject of considerable interest, ever since the first episode. Whether it was Ian Chesterton's misnaming of him as Doctor Foreman in the very first episode or the more recent Steven Moffat antics regarding River Song, the Doctor and their wedding, everyone's wanted to know what his name really is. Doctor von Wer, Dr John Smith, Theta Sigma - Who knows, ho, ho?

This season has, in fact, been building on this, with Clara mid-runaround…

stopping off in the TARDIS library to find out the Doctor's real name. So it all looked like we were about to get some big revelation in the appropriately named The Name of Doctor, the season finale, billed as revealing 'his secret'. And revelations we did get, just not the ones we were expecting. Let's go chat about The Trouble with Clara after the jump.

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May 15, 2013

Review: Doctor Who - 7x12 - Nightmare In Silver

Posted on May 15, 2013 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

Doctor Who - Nightmare in Silver

In the UK: Saturday, 7pm, 11th May 2013, BBC1/BBC1 HD. Available on the iPlayer
In the US: Saturday, 8pm/7c, 11th May 2013, BBC America

Well, it's Wednesday so there's probably not much point doing a full review of Saturday's Doctor Who episode - you've probably forgotten it all, already - but for the record and for completeness' sake, so I thought I'd jot down a few thoughts. Spoilers after the jump…


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May 15, 2013

Review: Family Tree 1x1 (HBO/BBC2)

Posted on May 15, 2013 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

Family Tree

In the US: Sundays, 10.30pm, HBO
In the UK: Will air on BBC2 this year

Christopher Guest is a god, of course. One of the originators of Spinal Tap, he is the premier maker of the improvised 'mockumentary', with films like Best in Class that are cuttingly funny social observations. He is America's Mike Leigh.

Except, of course, Guest is half-British, the son of a UN diplomat, and shared his childhood between London and New York. Which is why we shouldn't be surprised that BBC2's latest co-production with HBO - following on from the likes of Rome and Parade's End - is set predominantly in Britain. Family Tree follows Chris O'Dowd's (The IT Crowd, Bridesmaids) attempts to trace various members of his family after his great aunt dies, leaving him a box of memorabilia. Along the way, he's helped and hindered by his sister (Nina Conti, best known for her stand-up act, but also from Guest's For Your Consideration), who still uses the therapy monkey she had when she was a child to say things that would otherwise be unsayable, and his dad (long-time Guest collaborator Michael McKean from Spinal Tap).

Again, largely improvised by the cast, it's well observed and engrossing, flirting with British stereotypes while undermining them and having far more depth than a whole load of US shows I could name. But is it funny? Well…

Here's a trailer:

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