TV Reviews

Series 9, Episode 1 – The Magician’s Apprentice

Doctor Who is a huge monster.
Doctor out for a stroll
It’s a behemoth of a beast with layers and layers of extraordinary continuity and history. It is an antique and a shiny new gadget all at once. The Magician’s Apprentice (BBC1 19th September at 7.45pm) manages to be all these things in the first fifteen  minutes. A planet hopping, continuity fest, Easter egg filled whirlwind that goes from this planet to that station to this planet, all of which we’ve visited before and all of which we’ll recall with a thrill of fanboy squee. You’ll recognise the style from such episodes as The Wedding of River Song with the planet hopping info dump/mystery building scenario as someone trails the Galaxy looking for the Doctor.

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The Flash 1×23 – Fast Enough

rs_560x415-150519061537-560.The-Flash-Fast-Enough-JR-51915[1]Whereas many shows are happy to follow the pattern of “intro-build-build-shiny thing” then repeat, spacing out the ‘big’ events across the season as it develops, Flash hasn’t taken that approach. Instead it’s been “shiny-shiny-shiny-giant psychic gorilla”. It’s all been building to this. Last time, Flash had finally managed to capture Wells with help from some of the proto-Justice League. Where do they go from here?

(There will be spoilers) (more…)

The Flash 1×22 – Rogue Air

cold

With one episode to go to the finale, The Flash serves up a real fan pleaser that not only allows familiar faces from throughout the first season to make a reappearance, but also works nicely to continue building up Barry’s character as he finds his way as a hero.

Indeed it’s Barry’s story that forms the meat of the episode. The spectre of the Reverse Flash looms large as Barry allows his inability to defeat Wells to make him doubt himself. As Wells activates the particle accelerator Barry is determined to save the Metahumans they’ve got locked up in it, but finds himself up against obstacles and bad choices at every turn. (more…)

New on the BBC – Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell

Magic. In the old days it was everywhere and dominated everything. The legends tell of great magicians and their multitude of feats and miracles. But that was long ago and now people only talk about magic and treat it as pleasant dinner diversion. No one is silly enough to believe it’s real. No one is silly enough to try it out, are they? 

 

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norell

 

When a wager leads to the discovery of the first real magician in 300 years, the mysterious Mr Norrell, a series of prophesied events are set in motion, leading to the reveal of another magician, Jonathan Strange.  While Norrell is bookish and shy Strange is Charming and at ease. But between them they will enter a pact that will forever alter the fate of the nation.

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The Flash 1×21 – Grodd Lives

The-Flash-Gorilla-Grodd-Image-TrailerWay back in episode 1, we saw an empty cage labelled Grodd that looked like it had been ripped apart. Since then, we’ve had the odd tease of an intelligent ape down in the sewers beneath Central City. With the show living within the constraints of a TV budget on the CW, the expectation of much more Grodd than that seemed unlikely. However, despite the such limitations, Grodd is realised pretty well, and whilst his time on-screen is restricted, and he’s generally seen in dark sewers, his presence is felt throughout the episode. (more…)

The Flash 1×20 – The Trap

flash-episode-20-barry-bulletWith several episodes to go to the finale, many shows would be sprinkling in the fillers before the final push to season’s end. Not so this show, which feels almost as if they had doubts about getting a second season, and decided to throw everything into the pot. (more…)

The Flash 1×19 – Who is Harrison Wells?

FLA119b_0342bWith only a few episodes left, this episode felt a little like a breather before the final push to the finale. A serviceable episode, but perhaps not a 5/5 on the excitement scale.

It was nice to take a brief look around Coast City, albeit relegated to the status of pizza shop for Team Flash. Still, perhaps we’ll get to revisit it another time, maybe when it has its own hero… (more…)

The Flash 1×18 – All-Star Team Up

fla118a-0135b-129544Over in Arrow, Ray Palmer recently went up against the Arrow only to find his technological superiority wasn’t sufficient against Oliver’s skills and experience. A life-threatening injury brought home to him the need to work to improve the suit, and he heads to Star Labs in Central City with Felicity in order to meet the best person to help him – Cisco. Apparently this episode was supposed to air before his injury in Arrow, but the hiatus messed things up a bit). The premise is a bit wobbly, but any excuse to get Ray and Felicity over to Central works for me. (more…)

The Flash 1×17 – Tricksters

The-Flash-970x545Given just how prevalent the super hero genre is at the moment, it’s worth remembering that this wasn’t always the case, and that outside of cartoons, Smallville largely held up the torch alone for a decade; during which time it was mining the comics for characters, and the Superman film and tv past for actors to play them. (more…)

The Flash 1×16 – Rogue Time

Rogue TimeLast week, Cisco finally learnt Harrison Wells’ secret; Barry revealed his identity to Iris; Joe put himself in non-essential danger (again); and Flash discovered if he ran fast enough, he could travel through time.

At the end of last week’s episode, Flash found himself a week in the past, raising the question of how his trip back in time would effect the timeline. (more…)

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