Hammer House of Horror On Blu Ray Review

Hammer House of Horror Limited Edition O Card Sleeve
Hammer House of Horror Standard Sleeve
Hammer House of Horror Standard Sleeve

Hammer Films had their horror movie hayday in 1950-1970s. Cannot be denied they produced their best output in the late 1950s to 1960s with those films centred round the iconic horror figures of Dracula, Frankenstein, The Mummy and the like.

Fast forward to 1980, the horror movies had dried up but the HAMMER name was still popular in people’s minds. The movie to TV went with the times, and a modern day anthology series came about.
Modern setting = reduced productions costs for a series taking new characters to the screen each week.

The standard of story is fair, but it is just as fair to say that the series is quite dated and an obvious product of the times. Often touching on the horror trope of a descent into madness.

Peter Cushing makes an appearance in just one episode THE SILENT SCREAM, and that is a welcome addition to the series.

Despite quite a cast of greats including the aforementioned Peter Cushing, Diana Dors, Denholm Elliott, Brian Cox and Sian Phillips the biggest draw to this series is the nostalgia element. The series is nearly 40 years old and without an ongoing arc or characters it is actually good thing that the series didn’t persist into a second series.

It bears the name HAMMER so is a must have for the completest, and any Hammer fan that hasn’t seen this series before should check it out, but not expect too much.

This Blu Ray is the first time the complete series is available in High Definition restoration from the original film elements. The Blu Ray keeps the fullscreen (4:3) aspect ratio from the original transmission, though I suspect there was a temptation to release these as wide screen. As it is just the one episode, Guardian of the Abyss, is presented in widescreen.

Buy Hammer House of Horror: The Complete Series [Blu-ray] on Amazon.

More About Hammer Horror.

RYDE – Home Entertainment Review


I love a good horror movie, so when I heard of RYDE being a slasher taking on the role of a Ryde driver (an UBER type taxi service) I was interested to say the least.

Nights out have never been so dangerous once Paul (David Wachs) takes the identity of a ‘Ryde’ driver, the newest taxi service app in town, as unbeknownst to his customers he has a deadly secret that he is ready to unleash… Prowling the busy streets and looking for his next kill, one by one revellers use the latest app to get Paul to pick them up, setting themselves up to become his latest victim whilst not knowing that this ride might be the last of their life. Never has access to a psychopath been so easy – he is just one click away…

But after starting to watch the film my expectations were severely cut short. Now this may be my fault, as I just didn’t get into this film. I would go so far to say I didn’t ‘get’ it at all.

Yes there are a number of films that follow a killer or other antihero, but they usually have some kind of quality that you can relate to. There is not really a background given to ‘Paul’. There is not really much of a plot, rather than stuff that happens, and the ending was predictable when the intent was obviously to shock.

So there it is. It was essentially not my bag, you may have a different experience of this. If you do please let me know what I am missing.

RYDE is available to watch on Digital Download From 21st August

Sharknado 5 – Review

Sharknado 5 Global Swarming Review

Sharknado 5 Global Swarming was:


Sharknado 5 Global Swarming Review
Sharknado 5 Global Swarming Review

In a word, pap, compelling, addictive and mind rotting pap.

The annual event of Sharknado films is not so much about the film itself but the social media ‘nado after (and during discussing how pap these films are). But yes, I still watched it and I will probably watch the 6th one.

Now I liked the first Sharnknado film. It knew what it was, a bit of fun. The Asylum are great and I urge you to look up their previous ‘MockBusters’ usually low budget takes on cinema films with very similar titles. Like “Operation Dunkirk, Alien Convergence, Sinister Squad, Atlantic Rim etc. In addition to their Sharkspoitation movies including the Mega Shark and Sharknado movies.

The idea behind all the Sharknado movies is the same. Get a load of cameo appearances by 1980s or Z List celebs and have them munched by the sharks raining down on a city location, whilst trying to ‘homage’ as many other movies as possible, from the odd one liner to a full on rip off. Yes there is more to it than that, but lets face it not much.

I was going to plot through the Sharknado 5 plot, and I suppose it is suitable to state there might be spoilers here as the plot is so thin that it is hard to discuss the movie without revealing the fact that Finn is a prat and causes the ‘world ending’ Sharknado epidemic by removing an artifact from under Stonehenge, for no good reason. Then has his son snatched by the storm which he chases for the rest of the movie and finds he is able to teleport to other locations through the sharknado. Leading to lots of locations, lots of ‘celebrity’ deaths, lots of stating “I am sure I should know who that is” due to the fact they have a tonne of plastic surgery, cannot act and have a small speaking part in the film.

The films climax is a bit baffling and ends up doing a timey wimey ending setting up for Sharknado 6.


Now I am sure that with the given budget etc that a little more plotting could be involved without losing the kitch appeal that the film franchise has amassed. I really wanted to like this sequel but I found it painful in places.

Yes I will watch 6 and no I won’t expect any better, but I really HOPE to see better.






Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

rogue-oneThe most eagerly anticipated and needed Star Wars story dropped into cinemas at 00.05 this morning.

The cinema was bustling when i arrived, and I expected to have to pick my way to my seat. This was not the case for the 3D showing I had selected, the screen was nicely filled. Perhaps people had chosen the 2D performance instead.

The story was well worked, providing tense drama and humour. The cast was well chosen and unless you’ve been locked in some sort of imperial facility, you’ll know the general gist of what’s to come. In my opinion, this is an important story to tell. It’s set just before episode IV, and they’ve done really well in fleshing out the story into something tangible in the Star Wars universe. We have no mention of some of these characters before or after. This is a really organic story, built from the ground up, and this really pays off. Expect to see Vader (if that’s a spoiler shame on you). The film has a good pace, and about the mission at hand. It also gives us a better insight as to what the empire can do. The death squad troopers are rather odd, but not only the way they look. The AT-AT scenes are rather dramatically thought out.

Introduced some nice characters to the film and just a few cameos by familiar ones. A real treat for the eyes. The drama was built at a steady pace, and did not leave you wanting to see more. Jyn Erso is the heroine (reluctantly) of the piece and she is a classy act to follow. visually spectacular, totally feeling original but bringing much newness to the screen. Sets are a real treat (especially inside the Death Star). It really tries hard to be Star Wars, but it’s not about any Skywalker as it’s lead. By the time you get to see the first glimpse of Vader you’ll already be rooting for the Rebels. Nonetheless, you’ll want to see Vader most menacingly striding across the screen, look out for his last scene and you’ll get the meaning of the word menacing. Fans will also rejoice as James Earl Jones supplies Vader’s voice, I don’t think that’s a surprise.

I really can’t get over Mon Mothma, and in some ways it’s a shame she fell on the cutting room floor from episode III. The blind monk seen in trailers taking out stormtroopers with his stick just brilliant! I rather enjoyed the ground battles play out, couple that with star wars battlefront bringing out Scarif (YouTube game trailer https://youtu.be/J48gd0GZGWk) to coincide with Rogue one, so you actually play out an interesting scenario. This has topped off the year nicely. We await Episode VIII….

Just a smidgen over 2 hours and not a dull moment to be seen. Star Wars has been given new life, and to sound cliché a new hope.

I’ll give this film 5/5 stumps

Horror Movie Series HOUSE Blu Ray Release

House Collection Blu Ray Set
House Collection Blu Ray Set
House I, II, III, IV Limited Edition Dual Format Blu-ray & DVD

Arrow Video is proud to present the complete House saga, brought together on Blu-ray for the first time!

Release Date: 20th March 2017

Step inside, we’ve been expecting you! At long-last, Arrow Video is proud to present the complete House saga, brought together on Blu-ray for the first time!

In the original House, William Katt (Carrie) stars as Roger Cobb, a horror novelist struggling to pen his next bestseller. When he inherits his aunt’s creaky old mansion, Roger decides that he has found the ideal place in which to get some writing done. Unfortunately, the house’s monstrous supernatural residents have other ideas…

House II: The Second Story sees young Jesse (Arye Gross) moving into an old family mansion where his parents were mysteriously murdered years before. Plans for turning the place into a party pad are soon thwarted by the appearance of Jesse’s mummified great-great-grandfather, his mystical crystal skull and the zombie cowboy who’ll stop at nothing to lay his hands on it!
In House 3 (released domestically as The Horror Show) Lance Henriksen (Aliens) stars as a detective who sends a sadistic serial killer to the electric chair, only to find himself stalked by the maniac from beyond the grave.

Meanwhile, House IV: The Repossession has William Katt returning to the fold for one last terrifying tale that mixes seedy mobsters, Native American spirits and a singing pizza in perhaps the barmiest House entry of all!

From the team that brought you Friday the 13th, the House films are era-defining horror classics – now newly restored and loaded with brand new extras!


•Brand new 2K restorations of all four films
•High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentations
•Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
•The House Companion – limited edition 60-page book featuring new writing on the entire House franchise by researcher Simon Barber, alongside a wealth of archive material

•Audio commentary with director Steve Miner, producer Sean S. Cunningham, actor William Katt and screenwriter Ethan Wiley
•Ding Dong, You’re Dead! The Making of House – brand new documentary featuring interviews with Steve Miner, Sean S. Cunningham, Ethan Wiley, story creator Fred Dekker, stars William Katt, Kay Lenz, and George Wendt, composer Harry Manfredini, special make-up and creature effects artists Barney Burman, Brian Wade, James Belohovek, Shannon Shea, Kirk Thatcher, and Bill Sturgeon, special paintings artists Richard Hescox and William Stout, and stunt coordinator Kane Hodder
•Stills Gallery
•Theatrical Trailers

•Audio commentary with writer-director Ethan Wiley and producer Sean S. Cunningham
•It’s Getting Weirder! The Making of House II: The Second Story – brand new documentary featuring interviews with Ethan Wiley, Sean S. Cunningham, stars Arye Gross, Jonathan Stark, Lar Park Lincoln, and Devin DeVasquez, composer Harry Manfredini, special make-up & creature effects artists Chris Walas, Mike Smithson, visual effects supervisor Hoyt Yeatman, and stunt coordinator Kane Hodder
•Stills Gallery
•Theatrical Trailer

•Uncut Version, for the first time on Blu-ray!
•Audio commentary with producer Sean S. Cunningham
•The Show Must Go On – interview with actor/stuntman Kane Hodder
•House Mother – interview with actress Rita Taggart
•Slaughter Inc. – brand new featurette with special make-up effects creators Robert Kurtzman, Greg Nicotero and Howard Berger
•Behind-the-Scenes Footage
•Stills Gallery
•Theatrical Trailer

•Audio commentary with director Lewis Abernathy
•Home Deadly Home: The Making of House IV – brand new documentary featuring interviews with director Lewis Abernathy, producer Sean S. Cunningham, stars Terri Treas and William Katt, actor/stunt coordinator Kane Hodder, and composer Harry Manfredini
•Stills Gallery
•Theatrical Trailer


Westworld Season One (2016) Review

Westworld TV Series Logo HBO 2016
Westworld TV Series Logo HBO 2016
HBO bought Westworld to our TV screens this year and Sky Atlantic took this to UK audiences. Hopefully after reading this you might find the box set and see the drama unfold. I’m going to try this without spoilers.

You might have some recollection of the original 1973 film of the same name. Starring Yul Brynner as the gunfighter. This gave us the idea of a futuristic theme park, one where you could ride out into the wild west, battle great Teutonic knights or bask in the glory of the Roman empire. The robots went mad and started killing guests, Yul Brynner chased our two visitors through the old West. Even for the day, the sci-fi was quite good. Well worth a watch. Watch out for the scene where Brynner’s face comes off. This film reeks of the 70’s.

Fast forward to 2016. Westworld returns.

Anthony Hopkins
Anthony Hopkins
The park has been overseen by Dr Robert Ford (Sir Anthony Hopkins) who, as co-creator of the park is building stories,for the guests to become involved in. We got introduced to stone of the hosts,namely Delores, Maeve and Ted. Maeve is the brothel madam, who has vivid flashbacks of being murdered along with her daughter. Delores also seems to be suffering with her mind and Ted keeps waking up on the train clutching at wounds he’s previously suffered.

James Marsden
Bernard (Jeffrey Wright) seems to be a dutiful employee trying to deal with the issues faced by Delores (Evan Rachel Wood) a set of updates called the reveries have been planted into the hosts, and some are struggling with this current patch. But why? That is what Bernard is trying to find out. Maeve (Thadine Newton) is haunted by her flashbacks and a man in black.Delores is also seeing visions of the man in black, and every time he’s a bad bad man. Theodore (James Marsden) seems linked to Delores, he’s her knight in shining armour. Delores visits the town for supplies and to pull characters into her story.

Delos are a corporation trying to take over the running of the park, they don’t trust Robert Ford. They have someone on the inside in the form of Theresa (Sidse Babett Knudsen) who is conducting an affair with Bernard. But will they overthrow Ford?

Delores father is really struggling with updates and is replaced, and sent to a graveyard of machinery to stand in silence for all time. Talk of a maze and finding its centre by the man in black become his only focus. Expect bloodthirsty deeds. Expect nudity and the occasional pop song plinked out of the automatic piano. A slow version of paint it black features in the first episode.

Into the rabbit hole we shall go, uncovering the mysteries of the park, and deeper into the bowels of the park, where repairs are actioned and all manner of things could and often do happen.
Again expect nudity.

Thandie Newton
Thandie Newton
Maeve spends a great deal of her time below ground time being repaired and sent back up for service. Watch her, she is important to the story. At this point Teddy isn’t really important.

Delores meets with a nice young man called William (Jimmi Simpson). He is drawn to her, he wants to keep her safe, as it transpires he is part of a bigger picture, but I wouldn’t want to spoil it for you. He meets up with his friend to explore the park more, with Delores in tow.

Teddy meets the man in black (Ed Harris) who is searching for the maze, he’s got a scalp taken from a host and he wants to find the centre of the maze, as you’ll see that has a great bearing on the storyline.

Expect more flashbacks and part memories come to light through our characters. Do not expect this to be rose tinted spectacles, looking back to the old West. Expect mystery and intrigue and just a few twists. This is basically game of thrones set in the wild west, just with a really sinister undertone.

The cast really shine. Did not see the ending coming in the manner it did. You’ll be gripped until the final scene, and will leave you wanting more. On the subject of more, good news season two has been commissioned, so expect more of the same, with some new twists and developments. If you spot a nod to the film then bravo, have ten points and go to the head of the class.

Get Westworld From AMAZON

Get Westworld From Zavvi

Enemy Mine Blu Ray

Steelbook Update 4th December 2016

ENEMY MINE will be released in a Limited Edition SteelBook, exclusive to Zavvi on 26 Dec 2016.

This will be a Zavvi Exclusive.

Order the SteelBook HERE

(Follows – original post from 1st April 2016)

Enemy Mine Blu-Ray
Enemy Mine Blu-Ray
Eureka Entertainment is to release the Enemy Mine Blu Ray on the 20th June 2016. Enemy Mine’s director Wolfgang Petersen created a visually stunning futuristic sci-fi adventure starring Dennis Quaid and Louis Gosset Jr.,

This Enemy Mine Blu Ray premier sees Wolfgang Petersen’s tale of two enemies thrown together in a hostile world where to survive they must become allies.

A soldier from Earth crash-lands on an alien world. Eventually he encounters another survivor, but from the enemy species he was fighting; they band together to survive on this hostile world. In the end the human finds himself caring for his enemy in a completely unexpected way.

Starring Dennis Quaid (The Right Stuff, The Day after Tomorrow) and Academy Award Winner Louis Gosset Jr. (An Officer and a Gentleman) this sci-fi adventure is a tale of an unexpected friendship and newly found respect. Eureka Classics present the film in high-definition for the first time in the UK in a special edition Blu-ray

Enemy Mine Blu Ray

Enemy Mine’s Special features

  • Gorgeous 1080p presentation of the film on Blu-ray
  • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
  • Trailer

    Release Date| 20 June 2016
    Certificate| 12
    Run Time| 108 minutes
    OAR| 2.35:1 OAR
    Picture| Colour
    Genre| Sci-Fi / Action
    Year| 1985
    Country| USA / Germany
    Language| ENGLISH
    Subtitles| ENGLISH SDH (Optional)

    Buy From Amazon.co.uk

    Enemy Mine’s Original UK Theatrical Trailer

  • Sharknado 4 The Fourth Awakens – Review.

    Sharknado The 4th Awakens
    Sharknado The 4th Awakens
    Yes I know it was on the other week. The problem is that I haven’t been able to sum up in words how amazingly bad this carcrash of a movie is.

    But that’s the point isn’t it?

    Well for the first movie it was, taking the so bad-it’s-good approach to low (ish) budget direct for TV monster movie worked. As it had done for a number of other movies before it from producers The Asylum.

    In the first movie they had a tornado filled with sharks in California, the sequel relocated the action but just shifted the background. The third opted for a theme park. Aside from the space stuff in the third, they all essentially had the ending, which I won’t give away here.

    With this fourth movie in the windy shark filled movie series it makes me thing that the producers just full on panicked, I can just imagine that meeting.

    Top Studio Executive: “So we have done a tornado full of sharks 3 times before, all the films have made money so we need to keep riding this wave, but even our viewers will get tired of this. What can we do to change it?”

    Executive 1: “What about a dust storm full or sharks?”

    Executive 2: “What about a fire storm full of sharks?”

    Executive 3: “What about an electrical storm full of sharks?”

    Executive 4: “What about a radioactive Sharknado?”

    Lots of time and drinks later…

    Top Studio Executive: “Sod it, there is no way we will be allowed to do another one, just chuck it all in. Also didn’t they just make another terminator movie? Is there a way we can rip that off also?”

    Obviously my insider knowledge of the process for this movie is a big fat zero and that was conjecture, should the production team want to fly me over there and show me what really happens there is a contact page on Scifind.com!

    Look. I have even refrained from using any images from the program as the PR company for the SyFy channel hadn’t ventured anything forth.

    Ok. So I haven’t gone into the plot, simply as there is little tying this together apart from nonsensical set pieces, bad special effects and blatant cameos (many of which I didn’t get being British, but they were obviously being paraded not quite with a sign above their head saying “look who this is”).

    In summary Sharknado 4 The Forth Awakens is the worst film of the bunch, but is still strangely compelling, and I will be tuning in for the fifth should it ever be made.

    Howard Lovecraft and the Kingdom of Madness

    Howard Lovecraft and the Kingdom of Madness

    Written by Bruce Brown

    Art by Thomas Boatwright

    Published by Arcana

    The third in a continuing series, Howard Lovecraft and the Kingdom of Madness takes no prisoners with a frenetic opening which finds the father of the titular hero facing an uncertain death. Accompanied by his faithful Chuthlu pet Spot and dependable Constable Smith, Howard must journey to the Antarctic wastes where Dr Herbert West may hold a cure for his father’s plight.

    In keeping with previous volumes, Kingdom of Madness is a delightful mixture of unspeakable horrors coupled to an art style not dissimilar to Calvin and Hobbes or Peanuts. Previous experience of the main characters may help to orient the first few pages, but once Dr West enters the story, readers with only the slightest knowledge of H.P. and his creations will find much to enjoy.

    The darker moments of Bruce Brown’s story – and there are many – are leavened with plenty of gags, not least West’s constant desire to take samples from anything that moves. Artist Thomas Boatwright gets equal laughs from the characters’ often slapstick actions and responses, while still finding space and shade to suggest the most abominable horrors that ever strode upon the Earth.

    With an ending that hints at an exciting prequel, one hopes Brown and Boatman won’t leave us waiting so long for a fourth volume. If you missed out on the previous instalments, you’ll want to check them out now.

    Robocop 2014 – Is it any good?

    Robocop 2014
    Robocop 2014
    Robocop 2014

    If the original Robocop was MS-DOS, then Robocop 2014 is the App Store. This will be a good or a bad thing depending on your tastes and how nostalgic you’re feeling.

    The newer version does still have a satirical edge, but it’s somehow managed to become downplayed by making it more explicit. Rather than showing how the world has changed through regular news broadcasts, we have Samuel L Jackson (who is clearly having an absolute ball) playing a Fox News style presenter, giving very biased news coverage. It’s fun, and reminiscent of Glenn Beck, but it doesn’t quite feel like it has the same edge.

    While it’s unlikely to be loved in the same way that the original movie is, it does have some teeth and it does have some interesting points to make. After all, we now live in a world with drones, which makes perfect sense as a military and robotic starting point for the kind of technology that leads to Robocop.

    If the original film was about a robot remembering what he was when he was a human, the remake is slower and (unexpectedly) more subtle. We watch his humanity being taken away from him in the name of compromise and corporate necessity, which also means that we get more of an idea who he actually is. While his home life is more than a little too perfect, it works better than it did in the original, where we get far more of an idea of Murphy as a cop than we do as a person. It helps that Joel Kinnaman is strong in the lead, and plays a more rounded character both before and after his robotification than Peter Weller did.

    One interesting thing that the update manages to do is to take the visual language of first-person shooters smoothly and comfortably enough that you shouldn’t be surprised if you find yourself wanting to reach for a joypad at times. Considering one of the ideas in the movie is that of Murphy being made to think he’s more in control of what’s happening than he actually is, that’s actually a particularly nice touch.

    This isn’t to say that there aren’t notes that miss wildly. The sleek new black design just isn’t anywhere near as iconic as the original, which is something the filmmakers appear to be very aware of – the film is topped and tailed with an updated version of the original design, as if they’re aware that it’s the one people want to see. Also, the black design is just unmemorable. It looks like a prototype action figure that hasn’t been painted yet. Also, when Robocop is on his new bike, it’s difficult not to think of the batpod with all the black armour on display.

    It’s frustrating at times, because it feels like it was almost really good, whereas it keeps hampering itself by not quite going all out. There are some scenes that definitely work, but there’s just not the sense of loss that there was with the original. Because the battle scenes are so fast, it’s difficult for much to have time to settle, and while the satire is definitely there, it feels like it was trying to be careful not to offend any of its targets too much either, which makes it feel rather muted at times.

    It took me a while to realise, but Michael Keaton is essentially playing Steve Jobs, which makes for some entertainment, and gives a little extra bite to the proceedings, but it doesn’t quite work as a target in the same way the original did. The original was about corporate ladder-climbing and greed, and this one is more about trying to meet targets and popularity ratings. But while it means that there aren’t quite as many annoying, suited bad guys, there’s still plenty to think about.

    At the end of the day, everyone seems like they’re having fun with the movie (especially Keaton, Jackson and Gary Oldman, who appears to be channeling Dave Allen of all people), and it’s well enough made to be worth your time. It’s certainly not a lazy remake, and there’s been a lot of thought going into it. I think that a lot of the critics that have been tearing into it since the first pictures came out would give it a lot more time if it simply wasn’t called Robocop.

    But as it is, it’s a reasonably good film that probably deserves better than to be dismissed out of hand. Whether you go to the cinema or wait for it to turn up elsewhere down the road, it’s a flawed but fun and interesting remake. It’s not going to grab people like the original did, but it’s a more than servicable update that primarily suffers from seeming a little bland in comparison to the rougher original. My biggest criticism is that I ended up wishing it could have just been a little sillier.

    Judge Dredd The Man Comes Around 2000AD

    RM Guera Draws Dredd
    RM Guera Draws Dredd

    The artist on the critically-acclaimed Scalped crime series for Vertigo, RM Guera, comes to the Judge Dredd Megazine next week with a one-short Judge Dredd story written by Rob Williams (Cla$$warDaken).

    The Man Comes Around sees Guera bring his trademark gritty European style to Mega-City One as Judge Dredd investigates a series of explosive suicides. Williams also uses the eleven-page strip to examine the effect that age is having on the lawman, who is now officially in his 70s.

    Coloured by Italian artist Giulia Brusco and lettered by Anne Parkhouse, The Man Comes Around will be published inJudge Dredd Megazine #344, which is available from Wednesday 15th January. It will be available day-and-date digital from the 2000 AD iPad app and DRM-free from the 2000 AD webshop, as well as in print in the UK and via Diamond in North America.

    This Dredd story brings us a peek into the life and age of Dredd, we see a scared and aging man. We seem to be facing a crisis in our every day world at the moment, morality and death. Can anyone kill Dredd? I would say that too much money could be lost, the reader base is too vast, the readers no longer save up some pocket money, they pay a subscription. And rightly so, this piece is slick, it has all the elements that you come to expect from Dredd, given to you in just a few pages. It has that pop art feel still, the stories are still as good as ever. The gore is still keeping readers turning pages or clicking the mouse. The action is keeping us on our toes, we get straight into it…KABOOM!

    Given a few bells and whistles to help the lawman complete his weekly task of fighting crime in Mega-City One, we as the reader are given a bit of poetic licence within the world of Dredd, we get to add our own words, “he swears at it and tells it to shut up”

    The story is fairly simple, mild terror and another choice to make for Dredd ( I seem to be getting lots of choice based reviews ),  of course Dredd win’s through. The end of the piece we are given a set up for a new follow-on story.

    All in all, set your alarms/reminders for this piece of Dredd. I feel lucky to have read this piece early, and I hope that you will agree with me. This story is still good, the art is as good as ever, long may Dredd continue


    (note – cant put in images still brian)

    Time of the Doctor- Review

    I’m Phil, and I hope I can add something to this magazine. This thread is a re-working/expansion of a post on my facebook page, which caught the eye of the boss. (Thanks Boss).

    I hope you all had a good Christmas and hope you all have a great New Year. On Christmas day I had family around me, so I taped #dayofthedoctor, as many whovian’s I had looked forward to this Christmas special, it was billed as Matt Smith’s farewell, and from the teasers looked like it had a mix of fun and of course the serious business of saying good-bye. I saw post’s from fan’s that enjoyed the story, but a good number of people unhappy, I got a bit nervous. So late Christmas night I struck the play button, I got to the end…and thought well that wasn’t so bad. I had time to think about it all, still with words such as rubbish still making me worry. Should I have joined in?

    I sat down and typed and thought. At just an hour runtime seemed too short, we had been spoiled as had the whole show with 80 minutes on 23rd November, maybe a two part episode might have worked better? With a little pomp and ceremony the BBC announced this episode as ‘a gift we couldn’t wait to share’. Big thing’s expected, in the first 2 minutes we got a bit of slapstick, clever back and forth between The Doctor and Handles. So far so good, the Doctor has been given energy by Smith. I have warmed to Clara, It has taken a bit of time, The Ponds went on a little long, and never enough of River Song, still Clara is ok, like I say she has grown on me, I think it was her being in the Doctors time stream that made it for me. Smith is still his ‘drunken giraffe’ youthful Doctor with boundless energy, this was later referenced on Trenzalore by the children and Smith himself, I like this nod to his own self or at least Moffat.

    A leap and a bound later, we have the set up for the episode, The Church of the Papal Mainframe, or later referenced as The Church of the Silence. Favourite line at this point is “boss of the psycho space nun’s so you.” Armed with a little humour we get to the crack in Amelia Pond’s wall, now here in the town of Christmas. Add in some mild terror in the form of the silence and the weeping angels, I liked the weeping angels’ part of this episode. For some time we knew that Matt had other projects and we all knew that he had shaved his head, the old key in the quiff routine was nicely done. A truth field which gives us some more funny moments and we learn the name of the place, Christmas. Observant folks will have picked up that Tasha (playing narrator) told us that the Doctor stayed for Christmas, some would have missed it, thinking the line meant the season. (You’re too clever for that)

    We have set up the story, the Doctor rushing onto the planet with a little help from Tasha Lem (Orla Brady), and a kind of wide eyed curiosity takes over, Handles has already told the Doctor the planet is Gallifrey. Which the Doctor doesn’t like one little bit, after all it is his home planet. Slipping in a piece of whovian folklore (the seal stolen from the Master) we see through Handles that there is a question. It is the oldest question. We have known for some time that the Doctor lies and those references are littered through Matt’s tenure as the Doctor. We have that crack in time blasting out its message, I have a problem with this crack in the skin of time, and in this episode it is projecting its message through time and space, “Doctor who” and so on. Clearly a message from whatever is on the other side, here lies the problem; the crack in Amy’s room has followed The Doctor about Ledworth this told the Doctor, prisoner zero had escaped. Another (seeming like the first) was seen in the episodes of Flesh and stone, cold blood and the big bang. At this point I work out that in cold blood Rory ‘the roman’ disappeared into this crack. OK there were other cracks, but they seemed to all be kind of the same, an explanation was given that this was all the Doctors fault, and again this was upheld, also that the weeping angles wanted whatever was inside, but in that 2 part episode the angels were afraid of it, now they want it? Guard it? Or is it the time lords in there?!? I ask the viewer to make his/her mind up, because it really can’t be all three. I had a poke about on the net and found that the crack had appeared here and there. This is a nice plot device for the story, but no two tare’s are the same (so in my view a little lazy).
    We have a slight divergence in the story, the Doctor finds out the name of the planet (for real) and being clever still manages to lie to Clara, sending her away, but with a key in the door we have a Jack Harkness moment. The now faith changed Papal mainframe, does a very good job of peacekeeping. Time for a little humour. Dan Starkey reprising his Sontaran role. Giving us 2 rather cunning soldiers trying to get in to the tower holding the crack. A wooden Cyberman and a lie? Could we call the Cyberman turning its own weapon on its self a lie? Or is it just giving the Cyberman all the facts and telling it, you’re in a truth field just a double-cross. Either way, I liked this. Some touching scene’s of the Doctor in Christmas. I would like to point out that Smith’s make up at this point is rather good, but it kind of gets a bit wibbly wobbly in some scene’s. Clara and the TARDIS return, with a nod to William Hartnell the Doctor approaches his ship, though I suspect he was not expecting to find Clara too. Some tenderness to see the dawn, Clara, The Doctor and Handles on top of the tower. “I have developed a fault “exclaims Handles, and we set up his farewell and an emotional response to the earlier humour between the Doctor and Handles. I point out now that this tower top scene has some flaws, still dark at 34 minutes in, the sun rises on 35 minutes and we get the Doctor hinting at the morality of this piece, Moffat tries his hardest to try to clear up the regeneration conundrum, Clara knows the Doctor much better, stepping into his time stream kind of does that for a girl, but she needs a subtle reminder, as does the viewer about the blanks. War is still very fresh in our minds, big tick to Steven, and a reminder of 10’s keeping the same face, answered with vanity. At this very moment, the writer has two very clear directions to take. Do I kill the Doctor off? Tin hat at the ready, or throw the Doctor a reload. The sun slips away on 37 minutes, I could get geeky and tell you the exact start to finish time of a day on Trenzalore, but let’s say for now about 2 minute 30 seconds. Continuity alert!!! When the Doctor and Clara faced the Great Intelligence on Trenzalore it stayed dark for more than 2 minute 30. Bad Mr Moffat. Again we get a morality battle, the words given to us in the 50th now clawing at this episode, Never cruel or cowardly…. This is all made much easier by the absence of the TARDIS, but Clara asks him to be selfish. The Doctor is resigned to his fate; nothing anyone says will sway his mind. I said that the writer has a clear choice to make, well as we know that Peter Capaldi will take on the role, killing the character is not an option. This brings great importance to the crack in the wall now. But I am still worried by it.
    Back off to see the Mother Superious and some Marshmallows, and we get to see more of the architects’ of the piece the Daleks, Tasha has died and the set up for this is very well done (IMHO). Add to this the Doctor asking her to fight the Dalek inside shows strength of character. But oh dear another issue, I’ll come back to that point in a moment. There are some nice little threads that get tied up here, the silence being high on this list, confessional priests, this makes sense, always popping up, River Song never all that far behind.
    Now this is the point where I am very worried, 20 minutes to go….. The Doctor is now again known via Tasha, now do try to keep up. A double negative?” fight the Dalek inside.” “I can’t.” this implies that the Dalek unit will switch again, nope, no dice, because Tasha does a great job and the Dalek eye stork is not seen again. I do have another point to get to, so bear with me a moment.

    Sending the Doctor back to the TARDIS and finally the turkey is cooked (even my mum knew the Turkey was cooked), just in time for dinner with the family, bye Clara. The Doctor shares a moment with Barnable, and we get some glimpses of action. A mini time war on Trenzalore, hurry now only 14 minutes left to kill off Smith and bring in Capaldi. Goodness me, this should have been a two part episode. Nice special effects, nice scene with 3 silences shooting something out of their hands skyward (no idea, not explained).

    A nice shot of Dalek’s rolling forward to fight, with a large gun of some sort seen in the background, looking like a cross between the gun of a Dalek, and the sucker. The silence now aiding the Doctor help him fight the Dalek’s.

    We skew away from the Doctor, and find ourselves in Clara’s little flat, Gran, Dad and Linda all seated finishing dinner. Linda is unexplained, is she Dad’s new girlfriend? She is not Clara’s Mum, I looked back over to the rings of Akhaten and spotted that Clara’s mum is Ellie. The ladies of the Oswald clan dislike this woman, this much is clear. A reminder of old age, broken by the re-materialization of the TARDIS. Clara rushes off to greet the Doctor, only to find Tasha. I return to the point about Tasha, so much for her being able to stave off the Dalek inside, because to me she is doing one hell of a good job. She has evidently stolen the TARDIS (with the key she swiped) but you know that sneaky old box, she does what she wants sometimes. My question is why would the TARDIS let Tasha inside? She is a clear and present danger to the TARDIS. The rupture point where the eye stalk looks a little wider as if she has fought the Dalek. This is not important, but a notice as I watch bits, I wonder if this may have been good. There is a scene with this fight or something close, either way it’s taking up valuable runtime…so onto the floor you go.
    Another few hundred years have passed all in the space of 2 minutes. Armed with only a Christmas cracker Clara strides through a wrecked Christmas, Tasha tells us the Doctor is dying and that Clara should comfort him. A touching few seconds with said cracker, and the Daleks are coming. About time to. Time to get ready to say good-bye to Smith. Just a bit rushed now, the Doctor has a plan. Only a few minutes to play it out, cutting this a bit close, the Doctor starts his climb up the stairs to face his oldest foe, the Doctor tells a lie, no plan, this is how it ends, if the BBC had been clever and I don’t think they were as clever as all of that, they could have had us all on the edge of our seats. This would have really had the fans in a dribbling heap on the floor.

    Wait, what?

    Oh well point made, chance lost. The Doctor talked to the young man who gave him the news about the Daleks is not Barnable; does this mean that the boy who guarded the TARDIS lied? Or was it simply the boy did not want to correct the Doctor? Let’s just say that Barnable is long dead. Does it matter how or when? Perhaps a deleted scene may throw some light on this matter?!?

    Clara is asked to stay put, and allow the Doctor one final victory. I laughed at the Doctor enjoying one moment of humour about the Daleks. A correction added here, why are we obsessed with knowing the Doctor’s name? Well you could point the finger at Moffat, he gave us a few teasers, he tried so hard to tell us his name, and even harder to keep it a secret. River knows, he knows – or has he forgotten – more lies. Help him, and the crack disappears. The Doctor now plays his best card, toy with the Daleks, they think it’s all over, but they still can’t get rid of him. He said he would say something clever, and he did. Loved the closing scene, the clock striking 12 and the look on Smiths face as the regeneration energy was consumed. We are into some serious new ground now. Take all that energy and praise the lord(s) take down the Daleks with all that wonderful almost gloopy energy. The crack is gone…but I doubt not for too long.

    Clara thinks it truly is all over, finding the TARDIS we come to the climax of the piece. Clothes strewn about and a final bowl of fish fingers and custard. A farewell to Clara. A remembrance of Amelia, poignant as Amy never had a proper good-bye to 11. Both versions of Amelia making an appearance, sad but joyful. We will always remember 11 as the raggedy man. Amelia is the beginning and the end. Clara played a large part in his life and he said he would never forget one line. A lie? Well who knows for now. Smith has added something to relate to the younger fans of the show, I think the show may start to decline under Capaldi, I’ll be waiting for some profanity to come out of Capaldi, when he is getting angry, or making some point.

    I think really the BBC totally made the brown smelly stuff hit the big whirly thing. They showed us months before the 50th that Matt had stepped down; this has gone down with mixed thoughts. I see the meme’s popping up photoshopping items around or giving funny eyes to. I think that Steven is taking the show in the deepest darkest faze of the show, we have moved into this edgy drama, mixed with good kids show elements. The fan base is getting older; I think he is trying to sort out the wants of the viewer spread. But do not quote me on that, it’s my thought. Also perhaps he wants to break away from the US format of the show, August before we see the Doctor on the screen, and there is a reason for the August schedule, but as yet I can’t see it.

    All the good-byes take up yet more minutes, and finally we get to the moment we have waited for the whole 58 minutes in we get the change between Smith and Capaldi, and the change takes the Blink of an eye. Did they perhaps blow the budget? A lot of green/blue screen time and CGI? Perhaps all of this was intentional.
    But now we get the ultimate villain of this whole piece. SHERLOCK!

    I am sorry to say that this is the reason why the episode shone in places, but lacked in others. Visually it is what we have come to expect from Doctor Who. There are some strong stories out there, and there are some stinkers too. This can’t rate as a stinker; it was stolen from us with a big dramatic fancy episode, too showy Strangled into submission by the crack in the wall. It over committed but was finished off by Sherlock. I think that about wraps up this instalment.