The Skaro Review: Time Heist by Eddie McGuigan

Time Heist

Reviewed by Eddie McGuigan

 

Time Heist isn’t going to win any awards.

Time Heist isn’t going to be the season game changer. It’s not going to make people sit up and take notice. It’s not going to rock the nation. It’s the episode that will remind you that, after all the hype, we’re into the second act of series 8, and well into Capaldi’s tenure as the Doctor.

 

To put it in perspective. It’s Capaldi’s World War Three, perhaps more concerningly it’s his Rise of the Cybermen, or maybe worse, it’s his Flesh and Stone.

 

To be fair, it’s also his Revenge of the Cybermen, so, well… em. Nothing to be gained by comparisons.

 

In the parlance of music, this is very much a filler and absolutely not a killer. It’s an episode that is perfectly serviceable, with a very good cast and a very, very good director who uses filters and angles to disguise the lack of budget and plays with the Ocean’s 11 theme (or perhaps more fairly the BBC’s own Hustle theme) with some stylish slow mos and some funky Murray Gold music along with some “ah that’s how they did it!” flashbacks.

 

The story? Well it’s hard to explain with a load of embargoes on it, but roughly the Doctor, Clara and a couple of uber-humans seem to have agreed to rob the most secure bank in the universe, but don’t remember it, thanks to some memory worms (The Snowmen).  So off they go, into the bowels of the beast, chased by a brain and guilt eating Teller under the instructions of Keeley Hawes Ms Foster-lite Miss Delphox, head of security, guided and aided by the mysterious Architect.

 

There are some decent twists (at least three I think) which makes it difficult to review without giving the whole thing away, and the cast all work admirably, with, I’m afraid the exception of Keeley Hawes who, whilst very good at the arch character she has to play, is wasted in some a pantomimic role, at least at the start.

 

The Doctor is a lot more relaxed here. We see him telling jokes, having a laugh and eating Chinese food. We also see him unmoved by the death of a friend, a la Tom Baker in Pyramids of Mars and also echoing Colin and Sylv, but he’s not particularly different or darker than any previous Doctor, it has to be said.

 

Stephen Thompson shares writing credits with Steven Moffat here, which is nice, and which absolutely stops this becoming the mess Journey To The Centre Of The TARDIS became as the “heist” becomes more Timey wimey. Moff is a master at this.

 

Capaldi takes charge of this episode as a really good leading man. “Who puts you in charge!?” he’s asked. “The eyebrows, mostly”, he replies, and it’s fair to say the script bristles with witty lines for Capaldi and Coleman who are proving again a very, very competent team as their chemistry crackles.

 

This is a caper, no more or less, and a little samey to Into The Dalek in plot (get to here make this happen), but the stylish direction, fine perfomances, polished script and neat twists raise it above other mid season fairs. It’s no Caves of Androzani, that’s for sure, but it’s no Timelash either.

New Talent!

You might have noticed, if you listen to our podcasts, we’ve got some pretty special idents introducing them – none other than the Second Doctor himself! But hold! What else through yonder podcast breaks? We have Matt Smith coming up, Peter Capaldi, and a host of other celebrity introductions, from Alan Patridge to Stewy from Family Guy!

How, you ask, have we managed to get such a star studied celebrity guest list?

Well, it’s all thanks to our new friend Christopher Thomson, actor, voice artist and impressionist supremo! Here are some links where you can find out more about him and hear this unique talent for yourselves! Have a listen to Freedom of the Daleks!

Timetunnel Media

http://www.timetunnelmedia.co.uk

http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQ-mBljfKanWgSRIXkW9Qeg

http://timetunnelmedia.bandcamp.com

 

Christopher’s YouTube Channel

http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuTncWel2dSB2sltntEfm0g

 

FiveWhoFans

 

And his showreel… it’s just fantastic!

 

 

Christopher has been a wannabe voice actor and impressionist for many years – at first writing for himself, but also doing a few odd bits here and there for fan-films or audio. He’s based in Chelmsford, Essex, UK. He auditioned for Britain’s Got Talent last year. He’s always been a fan of Patrick Troughton and it’s his ambition to produce a biopic of his troubled life at some point in the future. He spent a long while working on the voice before he was satisfied! He’d like to work as a voice actor professionally so if you can help, get in touch with me (Eddie) and I’ll pass on the request!

Film4 Frightfest 2014

Frightfest 2014 poster

London, August 2014 (what, again?)

Yep, it’s that time of year, and ready to go Into Darkness – also known as cinema screens for 26 times in 5 days! This is the 15th year of the festival that is the Dark Heart of Sinema, and my 14th time after missing 2006 (the year of Pan’s Labyrinth, argh!). Reviews of some of the previous years can be found on this very site – 2013, 2012 and 2010!

 

WP_20140821_15_44_55_Pro__highres

“I don’t know… feels different this time”

The big news this time round was the move to the Vue West End from the last few years in the Empire and the separation of the “main screen” into three with offset starts of the primary programme. The three were separated by name; Screen 7 became The Arrow Video Screen, Screen 6 The Horror Channel Screen, and Screen 5 which was to be my home for the weekend The Film4 Screen. So there was a little trepidation at settling into the seat that would be home for the weekend – would the move work, and would the social atmosphere that has always made Frightfest stand out remain?

(more…)

Listen: Review By Eddie McGuigan

The Skaro Review

Listen

Reviewed by Eddie McGuigan

 Doctor Who: Listen

 

Sometimes, Doctor Who is like wine. Occasionally it’s a fizzy little Lambrusco, just there to set you up for a Saturday night. Sometimes, it’s a medium priced red, full bodied, hard hitting, and perhaps not to everyone’s taste.

 

Sometimes though, just sometimes, Doctor Who is a 1907 Malvazia Madeira Pereira d’Oliveira, the finest of wines, an exquisite, crafted and extraordinary thing.

 

Listen is an episode like that.

 

In many ways, Listen will be the epitome of the ethos behind the Capaldi era – slow, wordy, leisurely, and perhaps even languid. It delivers the promises we were told of and shown in Deep Breath – longer scenes, thoughtful prose, considered performances. It really is a thing to behold. (more…)

Robot of Sherwood: Review by Eddie McGuigan

Robot of Sherwood

Review by Eddie McGuigan

Robot of Sherwood

Now this is an adventure that will split opinion, that’s for sure.

Clara asks the Doctor to take her to see one of her heroes – Robin Hood! The Doctor, of course, knows there’s no such person as Robin Hood, but, to amuse himself and humour Clara he takes her to Sherwood Forest in 1190 AD… and runs slapbang into Robin Hood and his Merry Men! Not only that, but in a sunny and green Sherwood there’s about to be an archery contest, but is it a trap for Robin by the dastardly Sheriff? Of course it is, but neither Robin or the Doctor can resist. (more…)

BF July 14 retro – Nev Fountain: BF’s Messiah, or just a Very Naughty Boy?

If there is a natural successor to Douglas Adams, then Nev Fountain surely has a claim to that title. Although the word ‘natural’ probably undersells the amount of blood, sweat and tears that is patently poured into each work. [Looks up antonyms for ‘natural’.] Fountain is Adams’s artificial successor. No, hang on… yes, that’s better. Fountain is Adams’s refined successor.

Enough of the mindless sycophancy and possibly faint praise. Let’s delve in a little deeper…

New Adventures of Bernice Summerfield

Fountain is one of the lesser gods from the pantheon of Big Finish writers, if you measure by volume. However, that handful of stories manages to contain gold, including one of the best Who main range plays (Fifth Doctor outing The Kingmaker) and probably the best Companion Chronicle (Peri and the Piscon Paradox, in which the superb writing is only matched by a superlative performance from Nicola Bryant). (more…)

Capaldi Joins Doctor Who Legacy

Legacy Title ScreenThis week Doctor Who Legacy has launched its tie ins with series 8.  Available now in the Special section, you’ll find Series 8 available in three different versions, easy, medium and hard so everyone can play, regardless of what level you’re at.

And even better, the first mission, Deep Breath includes a 100% drop of the 12th Doctor.

The series 8 missions will update every weekend after the tv episode has aired featuring a tie in to that episode’s events.

Keep an eye on Doctor Who Legacy’s Facebook page for more updates, including codes for free time crystals and more!

https://www.facebook.com/doctorwholegacy

Matt Smith takes the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

After this last weekend, we’re certainly no strangers to the Ice Bucket Challenge here at Outpost Skaro, with many of your favourite (or least favourite) mods still trying to warm up again.

However having seen Matt Smith complete the challenge, we just had to share the video  :-)

YouTube Preview Image

It would now seem like the ball is in Karen Gillan’s court, having also been challenged by Neil Gaiman and accepted :-)

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