Tag Archives: BBC America

Doctor’s Orders: The Verdict on the Female Doctor

When it was first revealed that the Doctor who would supersede Peter Capaldi would be a woman, it didn’t take long for a Twitter storm amongst misogynists to brew.

Which mainly told us that people fear change. Doctor Who is pretty much a British institution. We’ve had 12 male Doctors, so it’s only natural that some narrow-viewed people thought the boat shouldn’t be rocked and the role should be gender specific. My favourite comment so far which I’ve stumbled across on social media comments sections is “I accept that she’s female, but does she also have to be Northern?”. Of course, there were a lot of crasser things being stated. But it taught me a lot about inclusivity and diversity in the media. Which should come as no surprise, given that viewers have been conditioned to like an archetypal casting and role.

Casting Jodie Whittaker was definitely a gamble for the showrunners. They would have had better odds if they played Cleopatra and enjoyed a few spins over at Egypt Slots.

Was Jodie Whittaker the Woman for the Job?

Now that we’ve seen three episodes from Jodie Whittaker, now we can finally make a verdict on her suitability to the role. A lot of people make the mistake of judging a new Doctor on their first episodes, yet first episodes after regeneration never really tells us much about what kind of Doctor we’re dealing with.

Whilst more people favoured Matt Smith or David Tennant to Peter Capaldi, he was still a hard act to follow. His intensely aggressive monologues captivated us, and we saw how he dealt with his grief and his anger in a better way than we’ve seen with the former Doctors. So, of course everyone would have had to get used to the change between the actors and the temperament of the Doctor. It’s no secret that the screenwriters like to mix it up between the Doctors, and could any actor or actress match the potent angst of Capaldi?

After the first episode aired, I waited for the fallout from angry fans affirming their beliefs that a woman was never fit for the role, yet there was nothing but admiration for her stellar acting and unique approach to the role. Sure, she was a little ditzy and “blonde,” but that can be forgiven – she had just regenerated. But there was so much to love about her, including the fact that she got her first outfit from a charity shop and her ability to stand up to a monster with a face made of teeth despite not even knowing herself. From the start she was authoritative, not overly cocksure with herself, and in short, pretty God damn fabulous.

Whilst Jodie Whittaker may be the perfect for the role, the casting and the writing for the companions is still rather questionable. Firstly, we all know that the Doctor works better with one companion. From the first episode we were overloaded with the four companions. Even though by the end there was only three, there was little opportunity to truly get to know each of their characters. It was even more difficult considering the fact that all they did was run around proclaiming variations of “oh my God” and “We’re going to die.” Yet, after the third episode “Rosa,” the chemistry between the characters seems to be coming together seamlessly and the rest of the season holds a hell of a lot of promise. The third episode was the first opportunity in this series to see the real humanity within the Doctor. There was no over-the-top melodramatics and a hell of a lot more gravitas.

Whether it’s relevant that the fact we have a female Doctor and the episodes seem to be becoming more poignant and relevant to issues faced in 2018, that’s a matter of opinion. Yet, it’s undeniable all the same. In the first episode they didn’t set out to save a whole race of people as they usually do. They set out to save one (rather annoying) character with whom we had a brief encounter at the start of the episode. Which portrayed the message that each life is important. Which was further reinforced as you saw him practicing self-care telling himself that “he’s special.”

The second episode was a little hit and miss, yet the third episode truly pulled the emotive punches. A lot rested on the third episode, as they met Rosa Parks back in 1955 and were faced with the responsibility of ensuring that history went according to plan. There was no threat from grotesque monsters. Just a racist time-travelling agent who wanted to disrupt history to make sure that equality was never a possibility. There was so much emphasis on the fact that little moments in history can change the world. It was clear that the Doctor along with her companions was highly affected by what they stood to lose if history went off course.

The Feminine Touch

Now, if you can imagine Christopher Ecclestone, David Tennant, Matt Smith, or Peter Capaldi dealing with the weight of that situation? The 13th Doctor has a hell of a lot more empathy than those who took the previous roles, so the future episodes hold a hell of a lot of promise for the series. Younger fans may not have got the excitement of exploding spaceships, chase scenes, and the threat of iconic monsters such as the Daleks. But more mature audiences didn’t fail to let the stark message behind Rosa resonate. Especially the scene where the racist police officer came in search of Ryan and Yaz because they had been “upsetting people in the town.” It happened in 1955, and it’s still happening today in 2018.

In episode four, they’ll be tackling arachnid enemies in modern day Britain, so, it will be interesting how they intend to carry on the emotive structure of the episodes we’ve seen so far. Yet, with that said, episode three was still worlds apart from episodes one and two. The trailer for episode four is now on YouTube.

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If We Controlled Your Remote… 10/7/18

Have you ever been at a loss as to what to watch? Too many shows to pick from? We’re here to give you our opinions on what we feel is worth watching. Check it out and then let us know in the comments below what you’re choosing for tonight!

Kyle’s Choice

This afternoon at 1:45pm ET, BBC America joins other stations around the globe to air a world-wide simulcast of the series 11 premiere of Doctor Who. The new season is a complete reboot for the series, with all new characters, companions, aliens, villains, adventures, and likely TARDIS, plus a whole new team both in front of and behind the cameras. Taking over as showrunner is Chris Chibnall (Broadchurch), and cast as the first female Doctor is Jodie Whittaker (Broadchurch). With each new regeneration, the Doctor gains a new personality and new quirks, so it will be interesting to see what the Thirteenth Doctor will be like. She will also be joined by a new set of companions (though that term will no longer be used in the series) – Graham O’Brien (Bradley Walsh, Law & Order: UK), Ryan Sinclair (Tosin Cole, Hollyoaks), and Yasmin Khan (Mandip Gill, The Good Karma Hospital).

I’m curious to check out this latest season, especially since I was one of those who was very much against casting a female Doctor. I hope Jodie proves me wrong and that I find a new favorite doctor in Thirteen – David Tennant’s Tenth Doctor is still my favorite. Over the past few years, I found the series to be in a bit of a decline, despite having some great episodes with each Doctor. I’m hoping some new blood behind the camera can help to revitalize this iconic series, though I’m a bit disappointed that the showrunner has decided to make a complete break from the past, treating this latest season like the start of a completely new series. I’m also curious to meet the new companions. I think the show works quite well with several companions instead of just one – Amy and Rory were my favorite pair since Doctor Who returned to the air, and I’m hoping we get a fun dynamic between the Doctor and this new trio.

On today’s premiere, “The Woman Who Fell to Earth,” a mysterious woman who can’t even remember her own name falls from the sky.

Before today’s world-wide premiere, BBC America will be airing an Ultimate Watch Party pre-show at 1:15pm ET, which will also continue after the episode. Tonight’s special encore of the premiere at 8pm ET/PT (the show’s regular timeslot) will include bonus interviews with Jodie Whittaker and footage from New York Comic Con. At this year’s San Diego Comic-Con, I attended the press conference for the series. You can find my video from the event at NoReruns.net.

Don’t miss the latest season premiere today at 1:45/12:45c.

I’ll also be watching/recording God Friended Me, The Simpsons, Bob’s Burgers, Family Guy, The Walking Dead, Star Wars Resistance, and Kidding.
 
Jump with us to see else we think you should watch. Continue reading

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If We Controlled Your Remote… 5/6/18

Have you ever been at a loss as to what to watch? Too many shows to pick from? We’re here to give you our opinions on what we feel is worth watching. Check it out and then let us know in the comments below what you’re choosing for tonight!

Kyle’s Choice

Last week, I finally got around to checking out the new BBC America series Killing Eve, and I was instantly hooked. Eve Polastri (Sandra Oh, Grey’s Anatomy) works as a security services operative for MI-5, helping to profile serial killers. She generally lives a boring but happy life with her husband but has always been intrigued by the more exciting life of a spy. Eve discovers that there is a mysterious new killer at large, Villanelle (Jodie Comer, Doctor Foster, The White Princess). She is deeply drawn into the case and soon finds herself participating in a deadly game of cat and mouse. However, Villanelle seems to always be one step ahead and has also developed a bit of an obsession with Eve.

This series will make you laugh out loud one moment and have you sitting on the edge of your seat in suspense the next. It has a lot of humor, but it is also a genuine thriller/spy show with surprising twists, murders, and a mysterious mole inside the bureau. Villanelle is such a fun and entertaining character, and the relationship between her and her handler is hilarious. However, she is also very deadly and in the first few episodes proves that she is a ruthless killer who shows no emotion while brutally murdering her victims. Eve is similarly complex. While she jokes a lot in the early episodes, things take a dark turn, and things become a lot more serious and dramatic.

I can’t recommend this show highly enough. It’s definitely one worth catching up on if you haven’t yet checked it out (all of the previously-aired episodes should be bingeable via On Demand). This show just keeps getting better and better each week, and tonight’s episode is no different – there are some unexpected turns that will have you holding your breath!

On tonight’s episode, “I Have a Thing About Bathrooms,” having survived a terrifying close call with Villanelle, Eve now has the mole ensconced in a safe house and is buzzing; they have an exciting opportunity to glean information and crack this thing open.

To see what opportunity they get, tune in to BBC America at 8/7c.

I’ll also be watching/recording Deception, Timeless, Bob’s Burgers, The Simpsons, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Family Guy, The Last Man on Earth, Fear the Walking Dead, Worst Cooks in America, Trust, Westworld, Silicon Valley, Barry, Sweetbitter, and Vida.

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If We Controlled Your Remote… 12/16/17

Have you ever been at a loss as to what to watch? Too many shows to pick from? We’re here to give you our opinions on what we feel is worth watching. Check it out and then let us know in the comments below what you’re choosing for tonight!

Phoebe’s Choice

Tonight’s the night, folks! The weird semi sad but funtastically delightful final episode of Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency season two is tonight! I don’t have time to bring you completely up to date on this adaptation of the character created by Douglas Adams, but I can remind what the funk happened last week. So.

Things started with a flashback to the Cardenas’s house fifty years ago just after the one young boy had used his dreaming powers to kill his abusive parents. Black Wing agents showed up, wanting to tap the potential of his powers. He resisted and the struggle triggered an epileptic seizure that put him in a permanent coma. But from within that coma he dreamed into existence the magical land of Wendimoor. Flash to: in Wendimoor the greatest swordsman of the realm sacrificed himself in a fight versus Suzie Boreton so Dirk and the gang could all regroup and formulate a plan of attack. Back in Black Wing HQ, Ken found holistic actress Mona and convinced her that she must help him save Dirk.

In the real world, Farrah and Tina confronted the Mage at a rock quarry where he was using an entranced Sheriff Sherlock to load a car with explosives. Bart and her new bestie Prince Panto fought their way through Mr. Priest and his Black Wing agents so they could access the portal to Wendimoor. The two gay princes were soon reunited. Evil sorceress Suzie sent her army through her own portal, right into the heart of Black Wing HQ to kill “Project Moloch,” the boy who had been in a coma all his life dreaming the pocket dimension of Wendimoor into existence. Bart then watched her new bff and his loved ones get slaughtered by Suzie’s men. She was about to go ham killing them all, but that gets saved for the finale. Amanda and Todd worked together to manifest a portal that sent Dirk back to Black Wing HQ so he could save Project Moloch and bring him to Wendimoor for the “happily ever after.” But just as he escaped, Suzie showed up, and the Rowdy Three took the point in confronting her.

It’s a very bizarre convoluted plot that you realllllly should absorb from the get go. But each episode is funny on its own if not self-contained. I highly recommend some binge watching. This show hasn’t been renewed yet, but the ratings are way up. So here’s hoping!!

On tonight’s episode, “Nice Jacket,” Dirk fulfills the prophecy and restores order after returning to Blackwing; Todd and Amanda face off against Suzie Boreton.

To see how the faceoff against Suzie goes, tune in to BBC America at 9/8c.

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If We Controlled Your Remote… 11/11/17

Have you ever been at a loss as to what to watch? Too many shows to pick from? We’re here to give you our opinions on what we feel is worth watching. Check it out and then let us know in the comments below what you’re choosing for tonight!

Phoebe’s Choice

Last week on Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, things started weirdly as they aught on this show, with Amanda & Vogel emerging from a lake in the magical dimension of Wendamore. They were soon captured and locked in giant cages on wheels by a bunch of armored knights that happened upon them. Across timespace, Dirk had slipped down a slide in a closet, inside the Cardenas house he was investigating, which deposited him in some sort of parallel pocket dimension that was both still in the house and absolutely not in the house at the same time. Perfectly normal on this show.

The local cops Sherlock Hobbs and Tina Tevetino paired off with Todd & Farah to investigate any/all things occurring locally now. Todd & Sherlock spotted the bike Dirk used to peddle away from the police building and concluded he was in the Cardenas house. Once inside they answered a long-disconnected land-line phone to find it was Dirk calling, pleading for help. Todd tried to locate the slide Dirk fell down as a giant floppy beast pursued Dirk in the alternate house.

In Amanda’s captivity, she learned half the plot of the politics in Wendamore, while Holistic Assassin Bart Curlish learned the other half in the “real” world with the captive elven prince with pink manga hair. Meanwhile Farah & Deputy Tevetino investigated the disappearance of four women from a book club meeting. They deduced that Suzie Boreton might be the fifth person that was at the meeting who was not a pile of dust next to a wineglass. Todd decided to dive down the slide to try to help Dirk, who had just found a table that was bleeding excessively from a pair of scissors stabbed into it.

In holding, Amanda was powered up with electrical energy. In the pocket dimension of the alternate Cardenas house, Todd & Dirk were pursued by the one-eyed, one-horned, giant purple people eater. Todd decided to tackle Dirk out the door into the static television fuzz that seemed to be surrounding the house, and it landed them back in their world. But Todd hallucinated Amanda in the cage. Maybe he really saw her?

Farah & Tina arrived at Sally’s house, where she was actually being held at wand-point by The Mage inside, but they were called away to investigate the weirdness at the Cardenas house. Everyone met back at the station, where they confirmed that the scissors were the ones used in the murder that brought all these investigators together, but Dirk had a minor breakdown. Todd talked him through the existential crisis, and Dirk had a serendipitous insight.

In Wendamore, an emissary came for one of the people that was locked up with Amanda & Vogel. They sentenced her to death, but she was again charged up with electricity and slayed all the people set against them. They escaped into the woods. Back in the prime dimension, Dirk led everyone to uncover a map of Wendamore that was hidden under the wallpaper at the Cardenas house. The final scene saw The Mage tempting Suzie with promise of being an evil sorceress.

If you did not yet know? This show is based off a pair of novels written by Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide guy. Genius level sci-fi comedy. Zen Robot Llamas to the Nth. A hundred thumbs-up. If you are just hearing about this show, you need to binge watch season one and find a way to catch up on season two.

On tonight’s episode, “Shapes and Colors,” the case seems to take a major turn when Arnold, the adult son of the dead Cardenas couple, shows up. Meanwhile, Amada is led to a mystical coven in the woods of Wendimoor led by the forest witch Wakti Wapnasi, where she begins to master the unique powers she first experienced in Bergsberg.

Catch all the fun tonight on BBC America at 9/8c.

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