By: Kent Bloxson - MSTv EIC (#mstv)
Doctor Who fans are all going nutter for a new and previously unseen incarnation of “The Doctor” named Ruth. (No, I’m gonna make that gag either.) To begin, the Series 12 episode, “Fugitive of the Judoon” brought some of the old excitement of the previous series, into the bore-fest that was Series 11 of this franchise.
To put it bluntly, current show-runner Chris Chibnall and current Doctor, Jodie Whittiker have made this once brilliant show, seriously boring. And while I have no problem with the Doctor being a woman, I do have one with our hero now being this weak and unsure of himself.
The Doctor has always been somewhat arrogant, cocky, alien and often aloof in all his incarnations. Sometimes, other personality traits like clownishness, eccentricities and coldness, have been evident as well. But, the 13th Doctor has shown none of these traits in the last two Series. And for someone who has lived for thousands of years, this Doctor’s actions and behaviour have been just dull, uninspiring and unseemly.
But, that seems to have changed now with this new episode, “Fugitive of the Judoon,”which introduced a new/former Doctor. And while this new Doctor is also a woman, there’s no mistaking that this one really is “The Doctor.”
Played brilliantly by British actress, Jo Martin, she nailed every aspect and nuance of our favourite Time Lord. She was cocky, smart, arrogant and totally in control of every situation she encountered in the episode. She completely upstaged Jodie in every respect, to the point she just wasn’t needed (or wanted) in this episode.
But despite Ms. Martin’s stellar performance, the elephant in the episode remains. Since neither Doctor recognized the other, where does “Doctor” Ruth fit within the show's 57-year history?
I thought to take a stab at matching wits with the former president of the Doctor Who appreciation society – circa 1986 – Chris Chibnell and see if I could think like him regarding “Doctor” Ruth’s origins. And after my 30+ year history of watching the show, I’ve come up with two possible answers:
1) She could be a transitional form placed on the second Doctor after the "War Games" serial. Its’ never been proven that the Time Lords actually "regenerated" the Second Doctor into his third form. They stated themselves that it was time to change his appearance again. Plus, during the Fourth Doctor’s serials, the Time Lady Romana proved a Time Lords can change their appearance without regenerating. (And no, she didn't regenerate. She wasn't dumb enough to waste those.)
Additionally, as the Time Lords were probably tired of the Doctor’s interference; wanted to take advantage of his experience in galactic occurrences or just wanted to have him pay his debt to the culture, they most likely drafted him into the CIA or Celestial Intervention Agency. Throughout the Doctor’s fourth incarnation, it was revealed that he had several dealings with that Agency – to the point that they may have altered some of his information in the Matrix – the Time Lord repository of information.
As "Doctor" Ruth stated herself in “Fugitive of the Judoon,” she's worked in a job you don't apply for, nor can ever leave. Plus, she’d work and trained with the operative chasing her in that episode, Gat. This would most likely make her an operative as well. These facts alone make it logical to surmise this “altered” Doctor might have had his/her memory wiped, once his usefulness was over, and eventually regenerate into his official third form.
And for those questioning that Doctor R didn’t recognize the sonic screwdriver, that’s not the case. She just stated she was too smart to need one. Now that sounds like the Doctor!
Well, that my theory. What do you fellow fans think?
By: Kent B. - MSTv contributor
I have seen many a strange thing, throughout my 30+ years watching the British sci-fi juggernaut, Doctor Who. But, never has it been so "different," yet so delightful! However before I go on, I'm going to surmise that you know who and what Doctor Who is about. And if you don't, here's a brief history describer of this 55 year old British/global sci-fi institution.
Doctor Who is a British science fiction show that began in 1963. Its about a centuries-old alien, from a planet called Gallifrey, who is of a subset class called "timelord." The character travels - most often with others - throughout time and space in a machine called a TARDIS. He's relatively immortal, but when threatened with dire injury, or death, he can literally "transform" into another form - complete with a new body and personality. And since 1963, he's done this 13 times. (If you'd like to know more, click the link above) Also, this is a perspective article, so I'm assuming you've seen the episode. If you haven't, here's the Wikipedia episode link.
Now, back to our regular scheduled article.
Like millions of others, I tuned in for the global BBC simulcast of the new 13th Doctor's premiere episode, "The woman who fell from the sky." And like assuredly everyone else, I prepared myself in seeing the newest incarnation of my favourite alien timelord turned "hero to heroine." Yes, that's right -- the 55 year old hero of the show had changed his sex to become a woman...
No biggie.. Its 2018 and the Doctor is an alien.. So, who cares, right?!
Besides that expected difference, Doctor Who is a show that changes its general tone and feel almost as much as it does its lead character. So initially, the changing from male to female for the Doctor seemed like a needless plot device to likely draw in new viewers; despite it being suggested decades earlier and explored first with the Doctor's arch enemy, The Master.
However, sex change aside, this new "Doctor" appeared just as insane, hyperactive, curious and heroic as her predecessors. At despite the overall story being typically "Whoish," (IE: bad aliens menacing Earth - or somewhere- and the Doctor fixing it to make the baddies run away, die or whatever.) I took away only one very intense feeling watching this 1st episode: it had an almost palatable sense of darkness to it. In a sense, it reminded me of a more cinematic episode of Stranger Things.
From the show beginning, where future companion, Ryan Sinclair somberly speaks online about the most wonderful woman he's ever known, to the very last scene of the Doctor and her three companions floating in space, the entire episode drips with senses of despair, dread and dire. In a sense, I don't think the show has ever been this "alien."
On first look, the 14th Doctor Jodie Whittaker appears completely unassuming, without menace and almost whimsical. But, as the show progresses it becomes apparent she is just as formidable and dangerous as her pesky Y chromosome past. This Doctor, like several before her was willing to kill the bad guy in order to save the day. But, unlike her previous selves, she did it with a frighteningly calm demeanor and a bravado her previous selves might actually envy - even David Tennant's 10th!
More-so, than in perhaps a long time, this Doctor seems just as alien as Tom Baker's 4th and ruthless as Peter Capaldi's 13th. Even from the traditional choosing of the Doctor's costume to the almost Cyberpunk creation of her home-brew, industrial "sonic screwdriver" was just so proudly outside and fringe. So as a fan and watcher of this program for over 30 years, I say with little doubt that the 14th Doctor will most likely be the most "inhuman" of all those gone before.
And Whittaker's choice of costume only served to reinforce this: it appears to be a mishmash look taken from some of her predecessors. It too looks completely non-conformist and odd, yet it works on an individualistic level. And much like Colin Baker's 6th, this new Doctor's costume proudly proclaims she really is, or will be "different."
All in all, the new Who works brilliantly, so far. It's now being shot in anamorphic framing, so visually the show is strikingly beautiful. Additionally, new series composer Segun Akinola intensifies the feelings of atmosphere within the show with his moody compositions.
Since the show's return in 2005, composer Murry Gold kept the show's flow running musically with his more heroic pieces. Gold's optimistic and wonderful scores made you never doubt that the Doctor would win the day - mainly because though they were heroic, they were relatively light and made the menaces seem likewise.
With Akinola's compositions, those days are seemingly gone. The menace and threats painted from the sounds of the new Akinola "Who" universe seem well hidden, of a significant threat and likely highly dangerous. And this is even from menaces that looked like a giant Hersey's kiss, a moving rubberband ball and a stupid looking humanoid alien with teeth on its face..
Yeah, the first episode was typical, cheesy Doctor Who gold, guys!! And I loved every second of it!!
By: Alex Temple - MSTv Staff writer
Consider yourself a fan of the 'Twin Peaks meets X-Files' Netflix phenom, 'Stranger Things?' Well, it seems that series creators, Matt and Ross Duffer, may not have pulled the idea from their beloved 1980's iconic memories. The Duffer brothers may be facing a lawsuit for allegedly stealing the idea from a writer the duo collaborated with in 2014.
Charlie Kessler, a screenwriter, is filing suit against the brothers based on an implied breach of contract. Kessler's attorney claims his client pitched the Duffers a concept for a sci-fi story, set near an abandoned military base, at a party for the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival. Kessler claims 'Stranger Things' is based on a short film of his and full script called 'Montuak' and 'The Montauk Project.' Both the film and extended script are based on, "various urban legends, paranormal and conspiracy theories."
Kessler's attorney, Michael Kernan stated:
"After the massive success of Stranger Things, the defendants have made huge sums of money by producing a series based on my client's concepts."
Kessler is seeking a judgement in which the Duffer brothers must cease using his concepts, destroy all materials based on those ideas, restitution, lost profits and punitive damages.
But 'strangely' enough, Kessler's suit opened in wake of the massive salary re-negotiations with the show's cast, overall. Online show source network, Netflix and representatives for the Duffer brothers, both declined to comment on the complaint.
By: Alex Templar - MSTv writer
"Thor: Ragnarok is yet another Marvel film in receipt of wildly positive reviews, with its typical MCU inclusions of action, fun and humor - precisely balanced and delivered to a hungry audience. Plus, its grossed over 700 million already. Yes, the Marvel cinema machine has done it again, even with one of the weaker links in their cinematic universe."
However, this obviously isn't a Marvel movie review, especially given the photo emblazoned above. This a more of a a query, from myself and others who wonder how a movie (IE: Justice League) made about the virtual "originators" of Marvel comics, (yes, its true) could be such a hackneyed mess?
Can a decent answer, or fair excuse can be given? That's another query, but let's give it a shot.
Justice League finally debuted this Thursday past; and for many a viewer it felt like a betrayal; one built after nearly two years of promises of change from within the DC film universe. Yet as expected, only the trailers painted a beautiful and exciting canvas of what would hopefully - but didn't - come to pass.
Yeah, trailers tend to do that.
However, a considerable promised change was addressed: Gone was doom and gloom look and feel of Zach Snyder DC films past. Justice League, in contrast, is a colorful, vibrant and sometimes, humorous delight to watch. But, it seems that was the rub. While Man of Steel and Batman v Superman both were dark, gloomy and ofttimes depressing films, they both at least had a sense of range and depth, plus some character development. These attributes were all missing in Justice League.
The film itself only brought the feel of some disjointed super-powered misfits, who kinda banded together to fight a second-rate villain (and his flying monkey bugs) with no apparent motivation other than just to fight them. Never once did I think that this band of Batman, Wonder Woman, Cyborg, Aquaman and the Flash (and a revived Superman, thrown in at the 11th hour) would actually congeal into a "team."
Batman, as expected, prefers to play solo and seems to be gathering this group only out of guilt.
Flash is a wide-eyed innocent, prone to tripping and with no clue as to how his powers really work.
Cyborg is cool as hell, calculating and brilliant. Also as expected, extremely bitter.
Wonder Woman is bad-ass beauty and glue of the team. In other words, she's hot and the guys all see that.
Aquaman is a loner, major-attitude-having, alcoholic party-boy who lives for a good time/fight. In other words: cool...
And Superman?? Er, he's Superman! He doesn't really need this team and boy, does he shows it!
All in all, this sounds like the makings for a awesome comic movie, depicting the virtual "gods" of the entire superhero genre. Yet, it falls extremely flat almost from the jump. And with the comic-inspired source story-line this team was forced to play out, its even more amazing that this film didn't work better.
Comic fans will no doubt see similarities between the film and the 2011 New 52 version launch of the Justice League comic. As in both film and comic, a villain from Apokolips (Steppenwolf/Darkseid) invades Earth in a takeover attempt. From this point, the changes are minimally different.
In the comic version, the team are all relatively young and new to their careers. They just "kinda" come together to repel Darkseid. But from the start, they do so as a team - disgruntled, but a team, none the less. As before stated - the film "Leaguers" form a "team-up" of convience - not a team.
The film story is mostly the same. The only changes are that Batman and Wonder Woman gather the team, the baddie is a Darkseid minion and Superman is initially dead, later revived and pretty much wraps up the final fight by himself. And besides a few extraneous details, like Olympian Gods, Amazons, Atlanteans, ancient humans, and Green Lanterns first fighting Steppenwolf', centuries earlier, Superman being revived as a secret weapon and Russia being the spot of the final showdown, this movie is basically the 1st story arc of "The New 52: Justice League comic." That comic showed all the raw, wild and unfettered egotistical ambition of youth, working together and proving themselves to a crisis-terrified world; which for the most part, fears them. In contrast, the movie, though action-packed, is ofttimes boring, visually busy for no reason and sometimes lacking focus with the story or too little character development. You often feel like any member, besides Wonder Woman, could or would walk away for the group at any moment. And in a sense, you might not blame them.
This film League only excels at playing with legendary comic characters, who sorely lack the type enthusiasm which made their counterpart comic characters story so engaging. The directors got the look generally right. So how could they have a completely miss out on the characterization and story of such strong source material??
In closing, I tried very hard to like this film and still can't comprehend why It let me down so much. DC has so many brilliant interpretations of the League, ranging from Super Friends to the perfection of Justice League Unlimited.
With so many excellent prior versions to reference, a Justice League film of this quality is unexpected, unacceptable and may wound DC film futures in an unrecoverable way.
Yes, the entire Marvel Universe is indirectly the bastard spawn of the Justice League. But, while the kids remain media darlings, the parent remains slightly out of touch. Unfortunate..
By: Gere Iverson - MSTv contributor
With the beginning of the ninth month, a few things start to enter most of our minds: the holidays, football, winter and of course, the new Fall television season!
This year's theme seems to be, "choices, choices and more choices." But, how many of these new shows are good for your viewing pleasure?
Well, we here at MSTv live for the geek and fun shows that are new, returning and those which just won't die..
What do we mean? You can make your own choices from the complete listing below. So, let's get to it! Plus, tell us your favorite return choices in the comments below.