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Doctor Who: The Pilot (2017)
Season 10, Episode 1
7/10
A Mostly Fun Reboot
16 April 2017
This was a decent first episode of the season.

First of all, I was very happy that it was a much more down-to-earth simple reboot, akin to "Rose", rather than a big mess like like season's premiere. This episode's main job is to introduce Bill Potts to the audience, and this is where the episode succeeds the most. I was worried that I wouldn't like Bill (based on the trailers), but I liked her a lot, especially her happy personality and humour. In fact, I'll say that this introduction is better than the one Clara got.

The episode is fun overall, with a threat that is occasionally creepy, and a story which involves traveling around the galaxy in the TARDIS. The pacing was a bit uneven, and it takes a while for the story to get going, but once it does, it's good fun. Peter Capaldi as the doctor is still great, who still has that darker edge, but also has a good balance with being fun as well. I thought some of the romance between Bill and the girl was a bit corny, and it seemed to try too hard to make it 'emotional'. I wasn't particularly impressed with the resolution, and the way the monster was defeated, but this is typical in the Moffat era, so I wasn't that surprised. But, for a Moffat episode, "The Pilot" was actually quite simple, and it got the job done decently - of course, my low expectations helped.

In terms of a season-long arc, the only thing I picked up on was the 'vault', and whatever was behind it. My guess is that it's going to have something to do with The Master (John Simms!), so I'm looking forward to seeing how that will develop. I'm also just relieved that this season's story arc doesn't look like season 6's ridiculously over-complicated mess, so thank you Moffat for that. This is Moffat's last season, so I'm hoping that he leaves on a positive note, and this first episode is a (mostly) positive start.

I'll give this an episode a 6.5/10 rounded up to a 7 because it exceeded my expectations. A generally solid episode, but nothing particularly special. I'm looking forward to the rest of the season.
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Stargate SG-1: The Nox (1997)
Season 1, Episode 7
8/10
A Good Episode with Some Nice Developments
2 April 2017
Season 1 of Stargate SG-1 has been very solid so far, and "The Nox" continues this solid streak. I can tell that this episode is a very important one in the series, with a lot of development both with the Goa'uld story with Apophis, and also introducing a new race called the Nox which I'm sure will be very important in the story later on, with the nice twist this episode had at the end. There are a few silly moments in this episode, especially with how weak the Goa'uld soldiers seemed to be, but Apophis continues to be a solid villain, and I'm looking forward to him appearing again. There are some nice moments of humour between the Nox and the humans (especially O'Neill as usual), and Teal'c continues to be a badass, although I would like his character to start getting some development soon. Overall, I think the series has been steadily improving since the pilot, and the writers seem to be more confident in their stories, and their characters. I've also noticed that there have been less sudden tonal changes from silly to serious, and the mix between comedy, drama, and action has also improved a lot. Another good edition to the season.
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Stargate SG-1: Thor's Hammer (1997)
Season 1, Episode 9
8/10
Probably the Best Episode So Far
2 April 2017
This is probably my favourite episode of the season so far, because of the significant plot developments, and because of how well the story nails all the characters. First of all, I love the idea of 'Thor' being in a sci-fi show, and it brings a refreshing spin on Norse mythology. I can tell that this is a very important episode, and I am really looking forward to see how this story will develop. I loved how the episode paired O'Neill and Teal'c together, because I think they have great chemistry, and there were some really funny scenes between them. I can say the same thing for Daniel and Carter, who also work well together. It isn't a perfect episode, with the main negative being more of a personal one - I thought the monster was a little stupid looking, and I expected it to be bigger antagonist in upcoming episodes, but it was killed off very quickly which seemed slightly anticlimactic. I also thought that the pacing was a bit off near in the middle, where the story rapidly cuts between Teal'c/O'Neill and Daniel/Carter a bit too much that it was distracting. But all the plot development more than made up for those small nitpicks, and I am especially intrigued with the woman who was able to have her Goa'uld removed safely. I liked how Sha're and Skaara were mentioned again, and how they were linked into the story. Overall, a fine episode and one that continues to a very solid streak of episodes.
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Stargate SG-1: Cold Lazarus (1997)
Season 1, Episode 6
8/10
Great Episode
31 March 2017
"Cold Lazarus" is proof that Stargate SG-1 is a great show, because this episode proved that the writers of the show are ambitious, and aren't aiming for boring, predictable sci-fi that has been done in countless shows and films before. This episode is very personal, and focuses on the O'Neill's backstory, but it does it in a way that is interesting and original. There are a lot of emotional scenes, which work well along with the exciting stuff that is going on at the base. Richard Dean Anderson gives a great performance(s!), and I really felt for his character. Although this episode is pretty self-contained, it still advances the over-arching story line with the Goa'uld and develops them. There are some humorous scenes with O'Neill, which worked very well. I didn't really like the use of comedy in "Children of the Gods", but it has improved significantly since then, with a nice balance of drama, action, sci-fi, and comedy. I'm looking forward to the next episode.
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Stargate SG-1: The Enemy Within (1997)
Season 1, Episode 2
8/10
A Step Up from the Pilot
31 March 2017
This was another good episode, and a direct continuation from where the pilot left off. Although this episode is much more small-scale and mainly focuses on Kawalsky, I thought it was better than the pilot because it was more focused, and continued to develop the main characters. It is tense and exciting throughout, and there are some really sad moments. Aside from Kawalsky, I liked the continuation of the Teal'c story line, and of what would happen to him. The ending is very emotional and satisfying, but well deserved, and there is a very good line said by O'Neill that will stick with me. Overall, a step up from the pilot, and one that leaves me excited for what is ahead.
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Stargate SG-1: Children of the Gods (1997)
Season 1, Episode 1
8/10
Very Solid Pilot
31 March 2017
I thought this was a very good pilot. I was impressed with the way all the main characters were slowly introduced and were developed in the 90 minutes. Of course, a pilot's main objective is to 'hook' the audience, and "Children of the Gods" does an excellent job at this. Multiple story lines are introduced which are engaging, and I look forward to how they'll be developed in future episodes. Jack O'Neill looks to be a very good protagonist. I love his sense of humour, and I thought it was refreshing to have a protagonist who didn't know much about all the complicated sci-fi stuff going on - in a way, he kind of represents us, the audience watching, because we don't have any idea about what's going on as well! There were some weaknesses I thought; with some scenes having a bit too much humour, and some scenes were a bit repetitive and drawn out. However, I was impressed overall, especially with the concept of making a TV show which is a direct continuation of a feature film. This was a very ambitious pilot, but one which did the job to hook me into watching more.
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South Park: The Damned (2016)
Season 20, Episode 3
9/10
Similar to BoJack Horseman
30 September 2016
Warning: Spoilers
This season, as many people have pointed out, is a lot more serious than other seasons, and to me, it seems to be more in the vein of shows like BoJack Horseman, another show I really like. Granted, I don't think this season of South Park is as depressing as BoJack yet, but I can see it going there in future episodes.

Of course, this doesn't mean that "The Damned" wasn't funny, because it was probably the funniest episode of the season so far, and also the saddest at the same time. The political debate was very well done, and I am absolutely loving how Trey and Matt aren't taking a specific side with Trump or Clinton - they're not saying one is better than the other. Instead, they're making fun of them both, and the presidential system in general. Genius. In past episodes of this season, I thought that the political scenes weren't the best, but Garrison yelling at his supporters how he doesn't want to to president and everyone still cheering him on was hilarious and so true at the same time. Also, making Clinton look like some malfunctioning robot was true, too.

But, I think the most interesting plots in this season so far are the ones that are to do with social media and trolling. Gerald's plot is developed further this week, with some very intense scenes towards the end where someone knows his identity. This kind of thing has never been done on South Park before, so I'm so happy that Trey and Matt are trying new things, especially for a show that is in its twentieth season.

The real, emotional moments however came from Cartman (shocking, I know) and Heidi Turner, both of whom are now off social media, and are seen as 'lost souls'. I am loving how we are seeing a new side of Cartman (even though this may be just one, long troll from his part), and his conversations with Heidi were genuinely touching and cute. But, they were also funny at the same time, and the 'cliffhanger' ending between them was hilarious.

"Do you want me to show you?"

"Holy Shiiit."

88/100
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South Park: Skank Hunt (2016)
Season 20, Episode 2
8/10
Less Is More
30 September 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Unlike "Member Berries" which I liked very much but I felt like it tried to tackle a few too many topics, "Skank Hunt" keeps the satire and the topic more local, and most of the episode focuses on the boys and Gerald. The political stuff is almost all absent.

First of all, I'm so glad that Gerald is being developed more as a character this season (even though he is a sadistic bastard), and the two trolling montages were were funny and very well done. I also liked how offline, he's a happy person who's innocent, but his dark persona is formed once he's online - something that is very true and relevant today.

The plot with the boys trying to 'kill' Cartman isn't laugh-out-loud funny, but it was very cleverly done, especially with the 'social suicide' - that opening sequence of Heidi 'killing herself' was one of the cleverest things South Park has done in recent memory. And for once, I actually felt sorry for Cartman which goes to show how strong the writing is, because Cartman is a character the audience is supposed to despise. The ending song that was played was excellent - it was certainly a sad scene, but it was also Trey and Matt making fun of the whole situation because of how stupid it is. This is the kind of world we are living in now.

80/100
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South Park: Member Berries (2016)
Season 20, Episode 1
8/10
Sets up the season wonderfully
15 September 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Since season 18, South Park has been very serialized, and slowly but surely, they have slowly perfected this new formula. "Member Berries" sets up the rest of season 20 very effectively, although the episode is a little bloated and tries to cover a few too many topics (similarly to "Stunning and Brave"). The best parts of the episode involve the kids - Cartman's Black Lives Matter, Cartman reading the girls his story, and Kyle's determination in finding out the troll. I also liked the Member Berries themselves, and how they acted as nostalgia - which is funny when you consider how Giant Douche and Turd Sandwich is a callback to season 8's "Douche and Turd". The weakest part of this episode was probably the national anthem subplot with J.J. Abrams - it was humorous but I don't think it will be developed in the upcoming episodes. I am glad that Garrison/Jenner is returning from the previous season, and the timing could not be more perfect with the current election.

The most important moment was definitely the cliffhanger ending where Gerald was revealed to be the troll, and not Cartman - this is a brilliant way to end this first episode because it sets up the rest of the season.

I am very excited for the rest of the season.

77/100
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Collateral (2004)
9/10
Michael Mann Delivers Again
6 November 2015
Warning: Spoilers
"Heat" is one of the favorite films of all time so I had high expectations for "Collateral". Luckily, my expectations were met.

"Collateral" is suspenseful and thrilling, and the tension grows and grows throughout the film without any boring or unnecessary scenes. Tom Cruise and Jamie Foxx give excellent performances which compliment each other. The plot and the characters are well-written throughout, (aside from a few bits of cheesy dialogue and a few too many coincidences) and the characters all serve a good purpose. "Collateral" is plot-driven which is good because this keeps the fast pace until the end.

Michael Mann's direction is excellent. The filming of Los Angeles is done in an unnerving way which works well with what is going on. The far shots of Los Angeleas at night with the lights are very beautifully done. However, the darkness of the city and the people can also be felt.

"Collateral" is a fast-paced thriller which is engaging from start to finish. All performances were excellent, but Cruise probably gave the most memorable.

"Collateral" is a dark, but beautiful film.
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Doctor Who: Listen (2014)
Season 8, Episode 4
10/10
A Surprisingly Excellent Episode
6 November 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Wow, now this was a surprise. Series 8 is definitely very up-and down like previous series, but "Listen" is a triumph from beginning to end.

First of all, "Listen" legitimately scared me, which is something NuWho does not do very often. In fact, I think "Listen" ranks very close to "Midnight" in terms of scariness. I was very happy that the monster was not revealed, because the best fear is the fear of the unknown.

What's even more surprising is that "Listen" was written by Steven Moffat who usually writes scripts that are either too clever for their own good or lack substance to fill the full forty-five minutes. "Listen" is clever for sure, but at the same time it is self-contained and is very focused.

"Listen" is an instant classic. There is tension and suspense throughout and the overall tone is dark and unnerving. What's great is that unlike a lot of episodes, "Listen" takes itself seriously all the way through and there are no silly scenes that leave the audience cringing like in the previous episode, "Robot of Sherwood".

In typical Moffat fashion, there is a massive twist at the end of the episode, but it all makes sense and it doesn't just seem like it's there for the sake of it. Moffat seems to have really thought this episode out, and it is executed perfectly. Capaldi gives a very chilling performance, and this is supported by Coleman and Anderson's performances.
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Doctor Who: Asylum of the Daleks (2012)
Season 7, Episode 1
7/10
A Decent but Flawed Opener
6 November 2015
Warning: Spoilers
"Asylum of the Daleks" is one of the better episodes of NuWho because it takes itself seriously and it was generally entertaining. However there are still many problems.

First of all, there are plot-holes everywhere. The idea of a Dalek asylum is stupid and goes against many previous episodes of the series, especially from 'Classic Who'. The Daleks are no longer scary at all, and somehow seeing so many of them in "Asylum of the Daleks" makes them look even more retarded. Remember how scary that one Dalek was in "Dalek" way back in the first series of the revived show? Well, "Asylum of the Daleks" is basically the opposite of that.

As mentioned, plot-holes aside, the main plot in "Asylum of the Daleks"is entertaining. However the female character Oswin is one of the worst written female characters so far. Once again, Moffat has failed to write a female character properly. I have never met a female who spoke in the way Oswin did.

The side-plot of the relationship problems between Rory and Amy were also hard to listen to. Doctor Who is supposed to be a serious family show, not a dating simulator. Thank goodness their arguments and Oswin's dialogue didn't take up too much of "Asylum of the Daleks", as I found everything else generally entertaining and engaging enough. Certainly better than a lot of previous episodes.
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Doctor Who: The Magician's Apprentice (2015)
Season 9, Episode 1
4/10
Messy Moffat Opener
9 October 2015
Warning: Spoilers
As "The Magician's Apprentice" was written was Moffat, my expectations were very low. I'm glad they were low because this premier was an utter mess. First of all, Moffat takes the legendary episode "Genesis of the Daleks" and basically revises it all over again. That is an utter offense to a masterpiece episode, and an offense to the old show. While "Genesis" was cleverly written and explored the ideas of war between two races, "Magician" is just stupid and messy. Moffat probably wrote it just to get a reaction from the fans and to cause some controversy so viewing figures would be higher.

Missy appears in this episode and she is even more erratic and crazy than in "Death in Heaven". I don't have anything against characters who are unpredictable, but Missy's character goes way too far. Her character was distracting to an already messy episode that just made the entire thing even worse. The first half of the episode is all buildup, and bad buildup at that. The sky is frozen by Missy (no explanation is given how she did this) and UNIT gets involved in a completely pointless way. Then Clara (who serves no interesting purpose) and Missy go find The Doctor.

I also have a problem The Doctor's characterization. He seems to be written in a completely different way in each episode. This is a great shame as Peter Capaldi is a superb actor who clearly has a lot of talent, but the writing does a poor job to show it. In "Magician", The Doctor is completely different once again as he is hosting a happy party for himself as it is his last day to live, or something. At least Matt Smith's Doctor was consistent in most episodes, even though I wasn't a fan of his character.

The plot finally picks up in the last quarter of the episode after a lot of nothing, but the whole thing is plain silly. Everyone is now on Skaro, and the whole thing was just a trap set by Davros. Davros (played by Julian Bleach) is the only great this about this episode, but even the writing between Davros and The Doctor is light-years behind the writing in "Genesis".

Moffat is slowly but surely ruining the show. Let's see if the next episode somehow fixes this mess.
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Doctor Who: The Witch's Familiar (2015)
Season 9, Episode 2
4/10
Lifeless and Empty
9 October 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Following from last week's disaster "The Magician's Apprentice", I was interested to see if Moffat could fix the mess he had created. In short, he has failed miserably.

"The Witch's Familiar" is a more focused piece of television than "Magician" as it is set in one place and there is some sort of plot that moves. However, there is barely enough substance for the full 45 minutes or so. All the scenes are dragged out to fill time, and most of this is Missy being a crazy person. This incarnation The Master is an embarrassment to previous incarnations. Just comparing her to Roger Delgado is making me cringe. For at least 80% of the episode she is just laughing and making silly sounds and teasing Clara, and for the other 20% she is half-serious about what's going on. Not only does it not make any sense, it is distracting to the rest of the episode.

"Familiar" is basically two plots going on at once, one with The Doctor and Davros and the other with Clara and Missy. In fairness, The Doctor does have some interesting conversations with Davros, and Julian Bleach puts in a stunning performance, but even I was bored after the first 20 minutes. It's a shame that these okay scenes were ruined by the vast amount of Clara and Missy. There is no sense of urgency or threat here; the Daleks are laughable and Missy doesn't isn't even bothered about what's going on. Classic Who had a perfect mix between camp/fun and serious, and that's what made it so great. "Familiar" is just an embarrassment.

The ending is a cop-out of course, because Moffat is obviously out of ideas. Seeing the Daleks being defeated with slime (with no explanation) was hard to watch. While watching this episode, there is no satisfaction or a feeling of completeness because there is hardly any substance. One may even feel that this two-parter should have just been a 1 hour premier. At least that way it would feel (somewhat) more satisfying, and would be over quickly.
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Doctor Who: Midnight (2008)
Season 4, Episode 10
10/10
Psychological Thriller Masterpiece
8 October 2015
Warning: Spoilers
"Midnight" is one of my favourite episodes of NuWho, and I was very surprised that it became a favourite of mine.

First of all, it was just after the memorable Moffat two-parter, and not a lot of information had been released about "Midnight". It was also just two episodes before the much anticipated finale so other people also didn't have high expectations. However, "Midnight" turned out to be a masterfully written psychological thriller that will be remembered for a long time.

The small budget and filming (mostly) in just one location really worked and added a real claustrophobic feeling to the episode. This also added extra suspense and made everything more tense. Tennant gives one of his best performances because The Doctor is genuinely frightened, especially when he is under the "monster's" control. However the best performance came from Lesley Sharp who played Sky Silvestry who was also under the control of the "monster". Her performance filled me unease and terror which is something that rarely happens to me. The other characters are also interesting and all serve a purpose.

This is Doctor Who at it's best. "Midnight" takes itself seriously and the plot moves forward at a quick pace, which builds to an exciting climax. The fact that the true identity of the "moster" is not revealed makes the whole thing more terrifying - because the scariest fear is the fear of the unknown.

Donna is hardly featured, but this works well as it gives a lot of screen-time to The Doctor and we see how he would act on his own.

It just goes to show that Davies can write clever stories which have actual plot development as well character development. He has often struggled with this in past episodes, but here he has succeeded enormously. Perhaps Doctor Who should always work on a small budget because that's when the stories are the most simple, and the most effective.
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Doctor Who: Blink (2007)
Season 3, Episode 10
8/10
Very Good But Not The Best Episode Ever
7 October 2015
Warning: Spoilers
This episode is regarded as being one of the best (if not THE best) episode of NuWho, and while it has some fantastic parts to it there are other parts which drag it down.

First off, the positives. For a Moffat episode, "Blink" isn't overly complicated and everything makes sense. I didn't mind it being a Doctor-lite episode because he was still an important part of the episode, and it also shows that Davies wanted to take a risk and change things up a little. The idea behind the Weeping Angels is a clever one that deserves to be on any 'top Doctor Who monsters' list. The final fifteen or so minutes is truly terrifying and the way Moffat and Hettie MacDonald write and direct here is flawless and, the atmosphere created is creepy and unsettling. Sally Sparrow is an interesting one-time character and Carey Mulligan plays her with charm. However, the first-half of the episode isn't anywhere near as tense and exciting as the second half. There are also some cringe worthy scenes between Billy and Sally where the dialogue was badly written and felt unnatural. It didn't fit with the second half which was superbly written.

This isn't a bad episode by any means, in fact it is a good one but I just don't think that it's the best episode ever.
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