Showing posts from July, 2012

The Matt Smith Review: Part 12 - The Impossible Astronaut/Day of The Moon

What We First Thought: Arghhhhhhhhhh! What's going on? Doctor Who is going to get cancelled because people don't understand! Arghhhhhhhhhh! BOOM! Doctor Who is back and starts with The Doctor hiding under the skirt of a pretty lady artist (to be honest, I think only Matt’s Doctor would be able to pull this off so innocently!)  The other little scenes are like ‘little adventures’ and we’re only seeing a glimpse of them, much like when we hear about The Doctor and River’s adventures with ‘Jim The Fish’, much later on!  I think this is a brilliant way of introducing us to what’s going on, as we’re likely to be wondering what is going on , when the story reaches its half-way point! It’s clear that some time has passed since A Christmas Carol , as Amy and Rory are now living together and The Doctor is elsewhere, having these adventures to attract their attention, for some reason.  Although I reckon he just did it for the sake of it – he just needs to turn up at their front

RIP Mary Tamm

It’s proved to be a difficult 12 months or so for the Doctor Who world, even more so recently, as we have lost Mary Tamm, just over a week after Caroline John.  Known by fans for playing Romana during the Key To Time series, Mary brought a touch of class, which only reinforced her character as an equal to The Doctor.  I particularly enjoy her teasing of The Doctor throughout that series and the dynamic, which makes The Doctor look a bit uncomfy in his own TARDIS, was played out brilliantly. Mary left before filming of the next series, which saw Lalla Ward take over as her next regeneration.  Despite willing to come back and film a regeneration scene, she was never invited to do so, which makes the scene at the start of Destiny of The Dalek s, all the more baffling.  Mary’s reason for leaving in the first place, was because she felt that her character wouldn’t have been developed. To be honest, I think that reason has to be admired.  I much prefer someone to be so caring about th

The Matt Smith Review: Part 11 - A Christmas Carol

What We First Thought : That was ok.   Going to switch over now, before Eastenders comes on. I don’t want to be depressed at Christmas. I feared the worst when I heard that Steven Moffat was using a story written by a former Doctor Who star as ‘inspiration’.   Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol is re-imagined on stage, TV and film every single year, so there must be something in it that makes it appealing to generations of audiences.   But this is Doctor Who and when Doctor Who tries to ‘do’ popular culture, it can sometimes fall into farce.   Thankfully the episode, shockingly called ‘ A Christmas Carol ’, is pretty decent as it’s The Doctor that uses Dickens’ story as inspiration, not Moffat completely ripping it off! Set on a planet whose skies are controlled by the Scrooge-like figure of Kazran Sardick (played by Michael Gambon), The Doctor appears and appeals for him to clear the clouds to let a crashing spaceship land safely.   It so happens that Amy and Rory are ‘busy

The Matt Smith Review: Part 10 - The Pandorica Opens/The Big Bang

What We First Thought:   That was great. We think. So after 11 weeks (or for these reviews - roughly a month) it’s come to this.  Will The Pandorica Opens/The Big Bang fall into that trap of being a disappointing ‘finale’ like the majority of its processors? As that ancient saying goes – “ Does it bollocks! ”  What we get is a slick but yet, satisfying ending that still leaves threads over to be picked up for the next series.  It all looks cosier than a Teddy sat with his paws up on a leather chair, wearing a dressing gown and drinking a glass of port. What these episodes do, is encapsulate everything that we’ve seen in the series so far.  I’ve commentated in the fanzine that Steven Moffat isn’t a writer who just throws in lines and scenes in for effect – he has uses for everything.  Lines such as ‘ There was a goblin. Or a trickster, or a warrior. A nameless, terrible thing, soaked in the blood of a billion galaxies. The most feared being in all the cosmos. Nothing could

The Scarifyers - The Horror of Loch Ness - Review

We’ve had some interest from our readers for our past reviews of The Scarifyers , so when the latest release landed on our doormat, we couldn’t resist in letting you know how we found The Horror of Loch Ness .  The story sees Harry and Dunning investigating a mysterious disappearance in the Scottish Highlands, where Malcolm Campbell, real-life land and sea speed record breaker, goes missing whilst testing on Loch Ness.  But who’s to blame? Shifty American spies or something stirring in the deep waters of the Loch? The Loch Ness Monster myth is a premise that has been over-done by television and film in the past, but the Scarifyers team manage to pitch it just right.  They find the right balance of comedy, horror and (probably most importantly!) pacing of the story to keep the listener interested.  As always, Terry Molloy is on top form as Dunning and David Warner already sounds at home in only his second outing as the co-lead. One thing I really do like about the series is t

The Matt Smith Review: Part 9 - The Lodger

What We First Though t: Is that really James Corden playing that likeable bloke? I sometimes feel a bit sorry for James Corden. By rights, he should be feeling sorry for me, what with his huge bank account, job offers and endless celebrity friends.  But there seemed to be a collective groan when he was cast in Doctor Who - for some reason, James Corden the man, comes across as a figure of fun to some people (not for his size may I add, but more for his personality).  His infamous ‘spat’ with Patrick Stewart at an awards ceremony is a good example (as is 80% of his acting output).  For me his horrible World Cup show, a very poor imitation of Baddiel and Skinner’s Fantasy Football, where he would gather all his celeb ‘buddies’ in a studio and have a chat, coupled with awful humour and a lack of knowledge about the game, was the final straw for me. I wasn’t going to hear a good word said for him. But why do people feel this way about him? Maybe it’s just the fact that he isn’t as

Issue 11 - Deadline

Just a note to say that the deadline for contributions for the next issue is 31st July . As ever, we'll accept anything that vaguely relates to Doctor Who!  However with the new series back on the screens soon, if you'd like to write a short piece (1000 words max) on your thoughts of the last series, or the Moffat/Smith era so far (positive and/or negative!) those would be very welcome.  Please e-mail us at with anything you'd like to contribute! If you haven't read it yet, you can now read our latest Issue here Cheers

The Matt Smith Review: Part 8 - Vincent and The Doctor

What We First Thought: Nice story, with plenty of emotional subtext There’s a great saying that ‘ an artist’s work is only valuable when they’re dead ’.   In the case of Vincent Van Gogh, his turbulent life-story probably adds another couple of million to the value of his extraordinary work.   He was an artist who suffered with mental illness in a time that didn’t comprehend the meaning of such.   Vincent and The Doctor just about captures the character of Vincent, thanks in no small part to a great performance by Tony Curran. Bill Nighy pops up in a cameo role as art expert Dr. Black (not being credited – perhaps because he did it as a favour to his mate Richard Curtis?) He was very good, as he built up a good rapport with The Doctor.   Dare I say that this is a far better role for him than The Doctor, which he was reportedly offered back in 2004? He’s a great actor, but I just don’t believe he’ll be able to relate to an audience like Eccleston did, so I think the right dec

The Matt Smith Review: Part 7 - The Hungry Earth/Cold Blood

What We First Thought: That was nice. Now for the washing up! You know when you get into the middle of a book, where the pictures are?   Then you get past them and the second half doesn’t quite match up to your visions of the pictures, which in turn affects your thoughts as you continue to embark on the second half of the book? That’s exactly how I feel about The Hungry Earth/Cold Blood .   It’s a story that had all the makings of a classic, but part 2 just petered out into boredom, save for the ending. The biggest disappointment of this story for me is the look of the Silurians, or Homo Reptilia, whatever you want to call them.   They just look too human. I can appreciate the ‘Homo’ bit indicating that they’re between the two (which is wrong, as they’re supposed to be fully reptile!) but still, they just look like a human that has been painted green!   Would it have been too difficult to update the classic look of the Silurians, with the third eye and everything?   There ar

The Matt Smith Review: Part 6 - Amy's Choice

What We First Thought: Ponytails are cool. Not. Like most people, when I first watched this, I thought it was a little bizarre.  A decent episode, but it’s one of those that you’ll need to watch again to pick up more from.  As mentioned during these reviews, I don’t believe you need to watch the episodes over-and-over again to understand them, but it’ll help you to take more from the series if you go back and watch them.  Amy’s Choice is very much an episode of that ilk, as there are lots of little bits in there that play around with the characters and the storyline of the series. Amy’s Choice sees the introduction of ‘The Dream Lord’ (played by Toby Jones) who we find out is ‘The Doctor’s dark thoughts’.  Anybody can be forgiven in thinking that this is a reference to The Valeyard, who was the physical body of all The Doctor’s dark thoughts.  Created ‘between his 12 and final regeneration’ The Scrapyard put the Doctor on trial, in order to utterly destroy him, though su

The Matt Smith Review: Part 5 - The Vampires of Venice

What We First Thought:   I would drag up to attend that school Seeing as how we like to ‘buck the trend’ here at Fish Fingers and Custard , we’re going to plough that lonely furrow once more, by saying that we really enjoyed The Vampires of Venice .   Okay, it’s no masterpiece, but the disdain in which it’s held by fans is very undeserved. In our opinion, you understand. Don’t come here with a pitchfork demanding executions. Being the persuasive media tool that we are, we will attempt to convert all 4 of our readers into 'thinking again', like we do with these reviews! Okay, I may be exaggerating the strength of dislike for this episode (for dramatic effect), but according to those Wags at the Internet Movie Database - this episode was a 7.1 out of 10, Time of Angels was a 8.5 out of 10, whereas Journey’s End is an 8.7 out of 10. I’m not saying that Vampires is the better episode, I’m simply saying that Journey’s End isn’t worth 8.7.   You see how fans minds wo

The Matt Smith Review: Part 4 - Time of Angels/Flesh and Stone

What We First Thought: Is that Angel made of stone, or is it pleased to see River? There’s no doubt that Time of Angels/Flesh and Stone represents the watermark for all Steven Moffat/Matt Smith episodes. When I say watermark, I don’t mean a dancing cartoon of Graham Norton bouncing along the bottom of the screen at a very tense moment!  Everything about this episode just oozes quality and arguably - they’ve not really hit that same watermark again… If there’s one thing that hits you about this episode, is that it’s cinematic.  The way in which its shot, the lighting and the scenery is just absolutely superb.  You could whack this up on a big screen, show both parts back-to-back and people would think it’s a movie.   Soon they’ll be purchasing expensive food and drink and demanding it to shown in pointless 3D, so they can wear those funny glasses.  One woman who doesn’t wear funny glasses, is River Song – and she’s back!  Last seen in the memory of a computer, we finally g