Reviews TV

"I was a dad once."

The Doctor dropped the bombshell that he was once a dad during tonight’s episode of Doctor Who.

I guess this is an allusion to the fact that he had a granddaughter named Susan in the William Hartnell episodes of the TV series and in the Doctor Who movies that starred Peter Cushing.

So it follows that if he has a granddaughter then he must at one time have had a child. The subject of whether he has sex is one that has been alluded to but never really expanded upon and as what is a family show it probably never will.

However I have an alternate theory to explain the existence of a granddaughter, especially given that she appears to be human rather than Gallifreyan. She may in fact be the daughter of a human that The Doctor picked up and adopted as his child much in the same way that Death adopted a child in Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series of books.

Coincidentally the name of Death’s granddaughter is Susan.

Reviews TV

Who no Billie

BBC News: Billie Piper to leave Doctor Who

Actress Billie Piper is to leave Doctor Who at the end of the current series, the BBC has confirmed.

But the corporation refused to comment on reports that her character, Rose Tyler, would die in the final episode.

“It has been an amazing adventure and I can confirm it comes to an end, for now at least, as series two climaxes,” the former pop star said.

Not really that much of a surprise as I’m pretty sure it was said that Billie would only be staying on for the second series back at Christmas. It has also been heavily hinted at that something dark and sinister is to befall her character, but I bet she doesn’t die and will make cameo appearances in episodes of future series.

Reviews TV

Are you sitting comfortably?

The Idiot’s Lantern, the seventh episode of Doctor Who, was creepy fantastic.

A wonderful episode that was really quite disturbing and if hundreds of thousands of kids across the country don’t have nightmares about ‘The lady from the TV coming to get them’ tonight I’ll be surprised. This one did have the fear factor.

Fabulous bit of writing by Mark Gatiss who also wrote the excellent episode from the first season The Unquiet Dead.

It was perfectly cast I thought. Maureen Lipman was outstanding as the villain of the piece and both Ron Cook and Jamie Foreman were great in their roles as Magpie and Eddie Connolly.

The shots of a faceless grandmother and that of a faceless Rose will stay with me for many days I feel.

Reviews TV

Madame Du Pompadour and The Doctor

If last week’s episode was like old school Doctor Who at it’s best then this was definitely new school Doctor Who at it’s best. You would never have had a story like this in the old days which was basically a love story involving the Doctor against a typical time travel background.

The robots would have scared me as a seven year old more than anything else so far this series. Like Sophia Myles said in Doctor Who Confidential they were like sinister clowns. Smiling but deadly, it can’t be bargained with. It can’t be reasoned with. It doesn’t feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are dead.

Madame Du Pompadour was great, she was intelligent, brave, commanding and very beautiful. I could totally fall for a woman like that.

Godspeed my lonely angel

I thought it was heartbreakingly poignant stuff.

Bloody Cybermen next week. Cool.

Reviews TV

The Street

Just finished watching the third episode of The Street on BBC One that I’d recorded from earlier. This was a truly gut-wrenchingly powerful piece of drama.

The tension was built so well that I was having my emotional insides being ripped raw along with the characters to the point near the end where I felt that Neil Dudgeon’s character Brian was on the point of topping himself only to be saved by the call on his mobile from his wife with the news that the truth had come out.

Brian has returned home having left becuase his wife Ann (Lindsey Coulson) didn’t believe him, but these events will have altered things between he and his wife. There’s no going back now they only can move on from here and hope to build a new trust.

I’m annoyed I missed last week’s episode because on the evidence of tonight’s and the first episode which starred Jane Horrocks this series is shaping up to be the best drama of the year.

Reviews TV

Review: Lost season 1 finale

I was thrilled but also a little disappointed by the final episodes of Lost last night.

We got to see a little more of the nature of the monster in the jungle and yet it is still a mystery in fact more of a mystery now as what I had thought that it was was proved not to be accurate.

We finally got to see The Others and they appear to be just yet another group of survivors but separate from those of Flight 815 and Danielle’s crew. In fact the island seems to have attracted many different groups of people over the years what with the Nigerian drug smuggling priests and then The Black Rock which appears to be a very old ship that somehow ended up 2 miles inland.

So The Others appear to be just a group of survivors that have been on the island for longer than even the 16 years of Danielle. Yet they are are armed and have a boat with a motor plus they seem to posses knowledge about Walt’s abilities.

I was left feeling there wasn’t enough resolution to plot threads and yet more questions have arisen in my mind. But I’m gripped enough to make the wait til spring for the start of season 2 seem almost unbearable at the moment. But I’m worried that due to the nature of US television we’ll never get that final resolution, it will just be dragged out for years and years and then the series will get cancelled.

Reviews TV


Best night of television in months, the beginning of Lost was brilliant and engrossing. Many mysteries including a Polar bear on a Pacific island and a repeating message in French which is calculated to have been playing for 16 years. The first revelation of the series is that Kate is the prisoner that was being returned to the United States, but why is yet to come.

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Reviews Security Surveillance Terrorism TV

Review: The Power of Nightmares

I watched the first part of a three-part documentary series titled The Power of Nightmares on BBC 2 early tonight.

This series shows dramatically how the idea that we are threatened by a hidden and organised terrorist network is an illusion. It is a myth that has spread unquestioned through politics, the security services and the international media. At the heart of the story are two groups: the American neoconservatives and the radical Islamists. Both were idealists who were born out of the failure of the liberal dream to build a better world. These two groups have changed the world but not in the way either intended. Together they created today’s nightmare vision of an organised terror network. A fantasy that politicians then found restored their power and authority in a disillusioned age. Those with the darkest fears became the most powerful.

I would urge everyone to see this if you get the chance as well as watching Errol Morris’s documentary film The Fog of War.

I’ve been saying this for a while but the concept of a War on Terror is nonsensical because not only is it a war on an abstract concept but you cannot defeat terrorists by waging war anyway. We are not at any greater risk of terrorism since 9/11 than we were before, that’s not to say that there is no danger but that it is of the same level as it ever was.

To really combat terrorism requires the typical cloak and dagger stuff that the security services do such as surveillance, wiretapping and infiltration of suspect groups. Plus increasing the security of likely targets of terrorist attacks in a manner that not only appears like you are doing something to improve security but actually does improve security.

But it isn’t easy to sell to the public that you are doing everything possible to combat terrorism if nothing is appears to be happening. Foiling a terrorist attack isn’t something that can revealed to the public in many cases at it could hamper future operations. So for the governments to appear to their citizens that they are effective in this they need to go and wage war in the name of combating terrorism even if the enemy in these wars are only tangentially connected to terrorism if at all.