Archives For Danny Pink

And so it ends. Series 8 has possibly been one of the more satisfying series of Doctor Who under Moffat’s reign. Stripped of its recent dependence on timey wimey nonsense, the show has felt reinvigorated. It’s been suggested that Moffat doesn’t listen to the fans, and nor should he, but it couldn’t have escaped anyone’s attention that this series has had more in common with the first four than anything else.

In Dark Water/Death in Heaven, several story arcs came to an end as an old enemy returned to cause havoc upon planet earth with a little help of the Cybermen. It was big, it was brash, but it also managed to be highly emotional in way that Doctor Who hasn’t been for a long time. These two episodes have seen Moffat doing what he likes to do best: referencing the past (a lot) and messing around with everyone who has access to the internet.

Danny Pink joins the ranks of Rory and Mickey as people get caught in the crossfire when the Doctor and his companion are in town. Hit by a car, facing your demons in a fake heaven and being cyber converted is not the first thing one would ask for in the event of their death. But here he was, defiant in the end. His final scenes with Clara were heartbreaking. When the Doctor appeared on the scene, his anger was well and truly justified. Through no fault of his own Danny was about to pay the ultimate sacrifice. And as he proved The Doctor’s skepticism of soldiers was unwarranted, my heart broke further. Danny probably deserved more in life. He was a tortured man, who didn’t need to prove anything, but found himself having to do so.

And poor Clara. There was no glory in death for her. Remember the bubbly wide-eyed innocent we met in Series 7? It’s fair to say the Doctor has chewed her up and spat her out. Handing her a lottery ticket with next week’s numbers on it, ala the Tenth, is just not going to cut it this time. She tried to do by right the Doctor, by Danny and more importantly by herself. She was clever and resourceful. Look how she handled the cyber men by pretending to be the Doctor (further acknowledgement that Moffatt sees a future for a female Doctor): she deserved better. And she knew this too. As they both lied to each other in that final scene, her relationship with the Doctor is like that metaphorical ball of paper. It can be flattened out, but you’re still going to see the marks.

UNIT returned to boss the Doctor around and make him the President on Earth. A storyline that didn’t really go anywhere, but at least gave us an excuse to see? Kate Lethbridge-Stewart and Osgood again. There are accusations that Moffat can only write one type of female character, which I find to be completely unfounded. Moffat can’t write ‘sexy’ femme fatales very well. See Irene Adler and Melody Pond in Let’s Kill Hitler. However, in this series we had four distinct female characters. Four? Yep four. And if you don’t know what I’m talking about, stop reading now.

Missy was in fact the Master!

Those who brush away the reference to the Corsair’s gender-swapping antics in season 7 are going to struggle now. It’s official. Time Lords can and will change gender. Maybe one day we will have a female Doctor too and I look forward to it. I will be there cheering on the change, as well as warming myself by the heat of the anger from Twitter. Did the dynamic change with Michelle Gomez in the role? For me, not really. Once I quickly accepted her preference of pronouns, I was fully on board. When the Master first resurfaced under RTD’s reign, he was a coward, having hidden himself away from the Time War. He forced his regeneration to put him on par with the Tenth’s youthful appearance. No goatees here, my good man. Except something wasn’t right. With youth cam a little bit of madness. He was erratic, sexual and not shy of abusing his wife. Even in defeat, he had to get the upper hand on the Doctor by refusing to regenerate. And then, after some Harry Potter BS, he was back as blonde jacked-up super villain. The drumming that drove him mad, revealed to be the work of Rassilon.

The last appearance of the Simm-Master saw him fighting against Rassilon and weirdly defending the Doctor. And where was the Doctor? Well, he got a poorly tummy from radiation sickness and went off to cry about Rose. So, it’s understandable that the Master might have been a bit pissed to have been left in the lurch. And so here she is, having orchestrated the meeting of Clara and the Doctor simply to prove a point. That The Doctor is basically The Master. Two sides of the same coin. And to prove it, she gave him control of her cyber-army. As she pointed out several times, she’s bananas.

Gomez’s portrayal of the Master was superb. Channeling a touch of Simm as well Sue White from Green Wing, she was a whirlwind of villainy and 80s pop songs. It’s good to know that no matter what happens to the Master, they love their Earth pop culture. Then there was that kiss. It could be argued that Moffat was injecting some heteronormative behavior in the role, but another way to look at it is that the Master is bloody enjoying the fact that The Doctor doesn’t recognize her. And whereas the Eleventh Doctor might have been up for the snog, Twelvy clearly wasn’t. If you wanted further proof that Moffat has put the pretty-boy Doctor to bed then that scene was it.

Sadly, we couldn’t enjoy her company for too long before she had back against the wall and the Doctor being called upon by Clara to take her out. Not just in revenge for Danny but for everyone that has died at the hands of the Master because the Doctor always lets them get away. Would the Doctor have gone ahead with it? Who knows because someone did it for him. Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart did the job for him. Now you may not have liked how he was brought back, but I certainly think it was in character. If Danny Pink was going to override his cyber-programming to find Clara, then the Brig was not going to stand away and be told what to do by the Master. And like Danny’s sacrifice, it proved once again that the Doctor needs to ease up on his armed forces bashing. His solitary salute was beautiful.

Then there was the Doctor. Ah Twelvy. You wanted to know if you were a good man and you realized like the rest of us, that we’re capable of being anything at any time and as long as you keep fighting the good fight, you have nothing to fear. Too bad the Master managed to give him the finger one last time by giving fake coordinates to Galliffrey. When the told The Master she had won, he didn’t know the half of it.

And then there was a further tip of the hat to the Davies era, with a credit sting leading into the Christmas special, with Capaldi’s raised eyebrow replacing the Tenth’s triple what.

It’s been a fantastic series and I look forward to revisting it over the next couple of weeks to catch things I may have missed. If Moffat can keep up this momentum for series 9, things can only get better.

I wish I had reams of things to say about this weeks, but unfortunately there was very little there to hook me. Bugger.

This was the chill out room of episodes. Not even the threat of the world being set ablaze by solar flares could stop you from thinking, ‘Everything is going to be okay.’ Which is a bit of a problem when you’re trying to create tension, isn’t it?

As I sit here typing, I’m struggling to think of anything to say aside from ‘fine.’ The performances were fine, the script was fine, the denouement was fine. It was all just… fine. At the time, I was caught up in it all. London had succumbed to tree squatters. There were wolves. There was a tiger. Nelson’s Column nearly crushed some kids. But in the cold light of day, I’m thinking there wasn’t much else to it. It wasn’t a bad episode of Doctor Who. It was just… and episode of Doctor Who. Something I imagine the Fifth Doctor getting involved in. ‘Oh look, Tegan. Trees. Is it nap time yet?’

A large part of why I stuck around was because of Sheree Folkson’s direction which was magical. Often positioning the camera to look up to the Doctor, we were reminded how daunting he must be to children and how much he is just like one of them.

In the Forest of the Night was very much like getting trapped in a forest of wonder – bear with me – in that whilst it was fun to get lost in and appreciate everything that was going on around me, once I’m was back in the real world, I’m not sure I want to go back.

About The Author
My name is John Noonan. I’m a freelance writer that specialises in arts and entertainment. From genre flicks to chick flicks, I love the stuff. So much so, I started a film review blog at I also contribute to online and hard copy press, including FilmInk magazine.

If you like what you see, I am available for hire. You can contact me via the social media channels above or the form on my home page.

It feels like forever since we had a Doctor-Lite in Doctor Who. Flicking through my memories, the highly emotional Turn Left – aka That One Where Rose Talked with a Lisp – was our last one. And whilst Twelvy had a considerably larger presence on-screen this week than during Tenth’s time, you would be a fool, and potentially a dirty liar, to suggest that Flatline was anything but Clara’s episode.

Thrown off course to the far reaches of Bristol, The Doctor is held prisoner in his rapidly shrinking TARDIS. Clara, having vacated earlier to scout for clues, is left in charge, armed with psychic paper and the screwdriver. Oh, and the Doctor’s gadgetry allowing him to see and hear everything she does.

Unearthing a plot by two-dimensional beings who may or may not be peaceful, Clara planted herself firmly in the Doctor’s shoes, much to his chagrin. Ostensibly, this was the episode’s running gag; the much grumpier and pompous Doctor refusing to identify anyone outside of himself as having his portent personality. But there was something more there. Clara, who I love more with each new episode, ticked all the boxes in a list of timelord prerequisites. She was quick-witted, fearless and, tellingly, she was willing to hide the truth from those around her for the greater good. Something she’d had practice with in the episode before.

Once the monsters were put to bed – Peter Capaldi finally being given a Doctor speech on par with the Eleventh’s ‘Come and have a go if you think you’re hard enough’ at the Pandorica – and the regular humans went back to their regular homes to drink their regular cups of tea, Clara, the impossible girl, sought the Doctor’s approval. And he struggled.

There’s been some comments about Moffat’s agenda and wagging a finger at feminism. That the Doctor’s lack of acknowledgement was a tip of the fedora to the male fans in the crowd.

‘Hey! She was good, but she’s no Doctor! Right guys?! Pwoah! Misogyny, fedoras, Sherlock!’ is what I imagine some people thought the Moff was saying as he packed Jamie Mathieson off to write his script. But that’s not the case. The Doctor didn’t struggle because of pomposity and bluff and glass ceilings, he struggled because of what he saw.

Since the resurrection of Doctor Who, Davies and Moffat have stoked the fires on the danger the Doctor puts people in. Particularly those he holds dear. Donna acknowledged it in The Runaway Bride and the Eleventh Doctor was given a talking down to by Rory in Vampires of Venice. I’ve mentioned before that I feel the Doctor has been taking stock of his life/lives and uprooted a barrel of angst. With Clara taking control so deftly, The Doctor isn’t worried about being replaced, he’s worried about the legacy he’s leaving behind.

All the way through this series, Clara has been making her own decisions, even when being fought over by two chest thumping alpha-males. That doesn’t mean all those decisions have been wise. Clara is no longer the Impossible Girl: A facsimile of a woman always ready with a cheeky, flirty one liner. She’s now a well-rounded and fallible human being. And these kind of human beings, i.e. the best ones, mess up all the time. She wants to impress her friend, as we have all done from time to time, and she’ll do anything to achieve that. The Doctor’s influence is great, as it has been with all his companions. Maybe this time, he’s taking a step back and truly realizing what he’s done.

About The Author
My name is John Noonan. I’m a freelance writer that specialises in arts and entertainment. From genre flicks to chick flicks, I love the stuff. So much so, I started a film review blog at I also contribute to online and hard copy press, including FilmInk magazine.

If you like what you see, I am available for hire. You can contact me via the social media channels above or the form on my home page.

At the end last week’s fairly decent – and politically charged depending on how long you stayed on Twitter – episode, Clara had ripped the Doctor a new one, leaving him to shuffle off unsure as to where it all went wrong. So, it came to a surprise to a lot of us, I’m sure, when this week the Doctor was seen stepping out of the TARDIS with… Clara in tow. Had the Moffat-haters begun sharpening their wits ready for a full on attack on the importance of continuity later that evening? Probably. Had continuity been forgotten? Nope.

Clara and The Doctor were calling it quits. Clara had decided to stake her claim in her time, with Danny by her side and a bunch of young minds to inspire. If she had been with the Tenth Doctor, he would have probably beaten the concrete, crying that life was so unfair and wondering where Rose was. The Seventh would have probably said goodbye, and then tricked her into overthrowing a dictatorship. The Third would have sloped off and driven Bessy around in a strop. The Twelth was just awkward. But oh, it was beautiful.

Taking her on board a space-bound recreation of the Orient Express, he struggled to understand what Clara was feeling. Something he’d been doing for some time, but now he’s beginning to see what he’s doing is a problem. Not, that he was going to let Clara realise that. He continued to bluff his way through his emotions, trying to cut her short on any topic to do with her leaving.

And then people started dropping dead, crying they could see a mummy stalking them. That’s always going to rain on your parade. Not that the Doctor was going to jump into the mystery with both feet. No, seemingly having learnt his lesson about dragging Clara into danger, the Doctor slinked off to his bedroom to have a good think and argument with himself. Whilst we’re on the subject, can we please have more of Capaldi’s Fourth Doctor impression, or even just hinting that he’s talking to his past selves. It’s a lovely little quirk and anchors the new to its past without alienating the casual viewer.

Obviously this is Doctor Who, so of course the Doctor made the decision to get involved. As did Clara. As I’ve hinted at in previous reviews, particularly The Caretaker, the monster of the week shenanigans the duo get caught up in aren’t necessarily the A-Story this season. Whilst the Doctor went toe to toe with a Mummy, the real monster in Jamie Mathieson’s superbly written episode was addiction. For the Doctor, it’s the thrill of the chase. When the space-train is revealed to be a lab, the Doctor wastes no time in allowing people to die in order to collate data. There was no ‘I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.’ Just calculated collateral damage, with the help of TV’s Frank Skinner.

Meanwhile, despite her protestations at once again being manipulated by the Doctor, Clara finds that she can’t quite shake the habit of time travel. Discussing her return home with Danny, in actions that echo previous companion Amy, she lies to both to him and the Doctor so she can continue to bounce around time and space. A number of comments on the internet have pointed to The Caretaker as being an episode where a woman’s choices take a backseat to the men in the room. I actually think that was a deliberate choice on the part of the Danny/Clara/Doctor triangle story. Previously Clara was flustered and allowed herself to be caught up in Danny and the Doctor’s pissing contest. Here though, Clara is fully in control of what she wants to do. I don’t think it’s her wisest decision, but for now, she does and who’s the one to take that away from her.

But she’s not the only one lying. After the Doctor tells Clara about their fantastic escape from the Orient Express, she asks him if he’s lying. He jokes that, yes, he was making it up and he left people to die. I’m with Clara. I think he’s lying too. Whilst Missy wasn’t to be seen this week, it is unusual that we didn’t get to see the Doctor being all heroic. At the end of the episode, he may have been smiling, but the days are counting down when something is going to come and bite him on his time lord posterior.

About The Author
My name is John Noonan. I’m a freelance writer that specialises in arts and entertainment. From genre flicks to chick flicks, I love the stuff. So much so, I started a film review blog at I also contribute to online and hard copy press, including FilmInk magazine.

If you like what you see, I am available for hire. You can contact me via the social media channels above or the form on my home page.

I’ve mentioned before how Twelvy seems to be going through a reconstruction from the ground up; his human side having all but been stripped from him since he regenerated. It’s as if he has to relearn everything. For example, after being told his chastising of Courtney last week had led to her feeling unappreciated, he did… Well, nothing. Well, he sneered and he blustered. But at no point did he apologise and say she was special. Perhaps he was working by the principle of if everyone is special than no one is. Not that I particularly like that idea. I spent the first five minutes of Kill the Moon whispering, ‘But… but… but my Doctor thinks everyone is special!’ This wasn’t the Doctor that stayed on Trenzalore all that time. This wasn’t the Doctor who hugged scientists simply because of their curiosity. It really threw me off.

Apparently, this episode had been originally written with Eleven in mind and was rewritten to accommodate Twelvy’s new attitude to life. And maybe that was the problem. I can envision Eleven feeling terrible about what he’s said and then going overboard with an apology.

‘I’m so sorry. LOOK! Here’s the moon! You’re the first woman on the Moon. How cool is that?!’

Hell, I can even see Eleven going back in time to apologize to the caveman whose head he threatened to cave in back in An Unearthly Child. However, the ‘show don’t tell’ approach didn’t work here for Capaldi. It just felt like an excuse to move the story forward.

So, how does he resolve the problem? By taking Courtney to moon, where spiders attacked her, she discovers the moon is in fact an egg holding a winged beast and that maybe, just maybe, she’ll one day grow up to be the president. How’s that for feeling special. But why didn’t he just say it? Obviously, in hindsight, we now know he knew the risks – that there weren’t any outside of the killer spiders – and left it to humanity to decide whether the creature about to hatch from the Moon should be killed or left to live. Or to be more exact he left it in the hands of Clara, Courtney and Astronaut Lundvik (a great Hermione Norris) who was investigating the disappearance  of the previous team on the moon. Clara, not wishing to see baby Mothra die, was the one who left it to humanity, calling out to planet Earth to vote on the creature’s future like it was a contestant on Big Brother.

Over the last 48 hours, a lot has been made of Kill the Moon’s seemingly prolife message. To suggest the episode is as right-wing/patronizing as twitter and the like is making, is to project an anger on the show that is time-wasting and unnecessary. Kill the Moon was no more about abortion than The Unquiet Dead was about the evils of immigration. Baby Mothra was the last of it’s kind. Blow it up and you condemn its species to extinction. Clara’s actions didn’t stop an abortion, they stopped genocide. We can all read something into Doctor Who. There are Tumblr sites dedicated to it. Usually I’m happy to live and let live, but on this occasion, I think people might be hearing the sound of horses and thinking it’s zebras. It’s a shame as this is a fairly decent episode that’s getting snarked at for the wrong reasons. I draw your attention to the Doctor not telling someone they’re special. Seriously, I’m gutted.

Would the Doctor have allowed all this if the stakes were unknown? Hard to say, but the fact is in his gargantuan brain, he thought he was showing Courtney she was by allowing her to make a grown up and complex decision. To be honest, it would have been a lot simpler to send her some flowers and an apology note. Which seems to be the impression Clara got and led to one of my favourite scenes in Kill the Moon.

After taking a fair amount of shit from the Doctor in this episode and previous, she unleashed a torrent of anger aimed squarely at his ego and his recent shift in attitude. And whilst she probably didn’t realise it, she was ripping him a new one on behalf of Mel, Barbara, Rose, Jack, Donna, Martha, Rory, Ace, Peri and every other companion who has ever been left out in the cold simply so the Doctor can prove a point.

Deservedly getting several strips taken off him, the Doctor ran back to the TARDIS with his tail between his legs, leaving Clara to contemplate life without him. But not before Danny stepped in to give her a shoulder to cry on. Danny seems to have mellowed out exceedingly after last week’s ball breaking of everybody; encouraging Clara to really think about what she wants to do. Will she go back to the Doctor? Maybe. But then the question is, will he be able to swallow his pride enough to give her the opportunity.

About The Author
My name is John Noonan. I’m a freelance writer that specialises in arts and entertainment. From genre flicks to chick flicks, I love the stuff. So much so, I started a film review blog at I also contribute to online and hard copy press, including FilmInk magazine.

If you like what you see, I am available for hire. You can contact me via the social media channels above or the form on my home page.