purplecat: Texture by simpleandclean (LiveJournal) (Doctor Who)
I recall being mildly disappointed by Let's Kill Hitler on first viewing (though looking back at my my review at time I see I loved it but thought it was a bit of an acquired taste). But it doesn't really continue on from A Good Man Goes to War tonally, even if it does carry the plot forward. I think that may suffer from the the burden of expectations. We'd had to wait over the summer before the episode aired and we were expecting more of the same epic scope and spectacle. Instead Let's Kill Hitler is primarily a frothy comedy.

We've jumped ahead several months in time. Amy and Rory have, apparently, grown tired of waiting for the Doctor and resolve to summon him, a la River Song, by leaving conspicuous graffiti somewhere. This is interrupted by their best friend Mels who more or less hijacks the Tardis, takes them back to World War II (allegedly in order to kill Hitler), regenerates into River Song and attempts to murder the Doctor. This is all played with a deft comic touch, particularly Amy, Rory and the Doctor's reactions to Mels and River. NLSS Child was genuinely surprised and delighted by the reveal of Mels identity, having been prepared for previous revelations by her "How to be a Time Lord" book. She also loved the flashbacks to Amy, Rory and Mels as children.

In continued arc plot nit-picking, I feel bound to note that it is strongly implied that Melody Pond is the result of the child's regeneration we saw at the end of Day of the Moon. This entirely fails to explain how, as a toddler, she got from New York 1969, to Leadworth in, presumably the early 21st century. It also doesn't tie in well with River's description of her first meeting with the Doctor in The Impossible Astronaut which implied strongly that she, like Amy, had been a child at the time. It is just about possible, I think, that the Doctor did actually find her in 1969 and bring her forward to Leadworth, but I think you have to read a lot into what we get to draw that conclusion.

There was a discussion in the comments to my review of The Impossible Astronaut/Day of the Moon about whether it was the regeneration that triggered River's conditioning to kill the Doctor. I think it is difficult to say, particularly without knowing much of Mels' back story. It is true she doesn't immediately attempt to kill the Doctor, but she does point a gun at him, and apparently fires it within the Tardis, and River (like the Doctor) rarely takes the shortest path between two points. The flashbacks establish her interest in using time travel to meddle with history so it is plausible that she was waiting to make her move until the Doctor had brought her to Berlin. Again this is really not at all clear and adds to my feeling that River's story was presented in a very confused fashion.

[livejournal.com profile] daniel_saunders, I know, feels that the aftermath of the events in A Good Man Goes to War, particularly as they effect Rory and Amy, were never really dealt with. I think we do see the repercussions, particularly in the way Amy reacts to discovering she is now infertile in season 7. However I think it is fair to say that the production team shied away from ever explicitly showing us their distress. Let's Kill Hitler skips us forward several months from the events of Demon's Run, giving them time to start coming to terms with the situation, and then gives us a comedy in which any direct exploration of Amy and Rory's emotional state would be inappropriate. Like the Doctor's own awkwardness around human emotion, the show seems uncomfortable with actually confronting how Amy and Rory feel, preferring that we should infer this from small clues. I suppose, in a way, the whole thing is terribly British.

Like so much of this season, Let's Kill Hitler, is very good in isolation. I think a comedy was also the only logical direction to take after A Good Man Goes to War if the show didn't want to directly present Amy and Rory's grief. Whether that was, overall, a good way to drive the ongoing drama is less clear.




metanews coding: <a href=http://purplecat.dreamwidth.org/167025.html>NuWho Rewatch: Let's Kill Hitler</a> (DW) <i>Discussion of the sixth series episode</i>
purplecat: (primeval)
I've definitely been disappointed in the last few episodes of Primeval:New World. While The Sound of Thunder wasn't marking time in quite the way I felt the early episodes were, the show had had some excellent episodes mid-season which, among other things, helped establish its own identity. I felt The Sound of Thunder was a backwards step, both in terms of the storytelling, and in terms of separating itself from the British incarnation of the show.

More under the cut )

At the end of the day the show didn't go out with quite the bang I was expecting.

Looking back over Primeval:New World as a whole, though I was very impressed with some episodes, I think one of its biggest problems was that it lacked a character to inject humour into the story. Leeds was probably the closest, but he was framed very much in terms of "laugh at" rather than "laugh with". There was no one providing the equivalent of Lester's long-suffering sarcasm and I'm not sure I'd describe anyone in the central ensemble as witty. At the end of the day, I think maybe its biggest problem was that it took itself a little bit too seriously.
purplecat: Hand Drawn picture of a Toy Cat (Default)
Another excellent episode.

More under the Cut )

I have to say that Primeval: New World has turned out to be a much better show than I had expected. So, of course, it entirely figures that its cancellation was announced the other day. It's not a Firefly level tragedy, but given I thought Primeval's "cancellation" after series three was more or less a case of putting it out of its misery, and its second cancellation after series five was understandable, if a bit of shame, I'm really rather upset about this one.
purplecat: (primeval)
This was a nice but somewhat slight episode. The show clearly needed a pause after the excitements of Undone. Something that established the new status quo, and focused on the core "dinosaurs travelling through time" premise.

More under the cut )

I thought this was a nice episode. The show needed a change of pace back to something more formulaic, straightforward and up-beat and Breakthrough provided that. Ultimately that does make it look a little like a filler episode, and I'm not convinced it was as well thought through as some of the others in the series, but it was nicely done for all that.

PNW: Truth

Jan. 20th, 2013 05:26 pm
purplecat: (primeval)
Now that was really excellent. Not at all the sort of story I'd have expected from a Primeval episode, or at least not a story approached in this way.

Though I suppose one should start by pointing out the bad )

I think this is easily my favourite of the episodes of Primeval:New World so far. It's doing something the original series never really attempted. It turned the show around and potentially sent it off in an entirely different direction. It smashed through any possibility that this first season was going to rest content with a static set up and monsters of the week. I think the show has been on an upward trajectory for several episodes now and this is definitely a high point. The show is also beginning to remind me very powerfully of the first season of the original Primeval, which also wasn't afraid to spring surprises and which gave the impression of paying more attention to the plausibility of the set up and characters (give or take the fact it's a show about dinosaurs coming through rips in time) than the later seasons did.
purplecat: (primeval)
And... the military having geared up to full operational whatever-it-was they were doing are entirely conspicuous by their absense this episode.

Which wasn't what I was expecting at all )

On reflection I think this was a really good episode. It was firmly in `monster of the week' mode, but that's not necessarily a bad thing, especially when, as here, it is used to have some fun and to quietly do some interesting things with the character dynamics.
purplecat: Hand Drawn picture of a Toy Cat (Default)
I can understand the desire to return to a standard Monster of the Week format after the upheavals of Undone, but this episode was largely disappointing which was a shame.

In particular )

I'd say this was very much a filler episode. It clearly had a place to play in the overall character arcs but it struck me mostly as an attempt to re-establish the "business-as-normal" feel both after the events of Undone and, presumably, before what I assume will be fairly major changes next episode.
purplecat: Hand Drawn picture of a Toy Cat (Default)
A bit of an oddity this episode. It makes sense of some of the material that has come before, and does some nice work with the characters but, at the end of the day, felt a little disjointed.

Definite spoilers under the cut )

Ultimately I think this episode is a failure. The shift in tone is too sudden and there hasn't been quite the necessary build up to it. However, it also highlights a lot of things that Primeval:New World does well and, as failures go, at least it's a fairly decent one and is still I think, a sign of a show on an upward trajectory.
purplecat: (primeval)
Having been generally a bit disappointed by Fear of Flying, I felt Angry Birds picked up the slightly dropped ball with style.

More Under the Cut )

I think this is the first Primeval:New World episode I've actually been quite excited about. Hopefully this is a sign of the show beginning to find its feet.
purplecat: Hand Drawn picture of a Toy Cat (Default)
It's interesting* that the very first season of Primeval included explicitly both underwater and airborne anomalies. After that (with I think one exception) all the anomalies were basically terrestrial. Primeval:New World seems to be attempting to mix-it-up in a similar way.

Until, of course, it becomes clear this isn't an airborne anomaly at all )

*for a value of interesting that probably only applies to geeky types.
purplecat: Hand Drawn picture of a Toy Cat (Default)
I can see why people feel this is a weaker episode, but I still found lots to enjoy.

Under the Cut )
purplecat: (primeval)
Ah Lord of the Rings and your inability to decide where to end. Now I see thee in so many places!

Cut for spoilers )

Season 5, as a whole, I think has been one of Primeval's stronger seasons. It suffers from many of the shows endemic problems: people widely acting in ways that would be deeply unprofessional given their position in life, characters (particularly antagonists) that could be interesting but are somehow short-changed in the execution and, despite a good set of female characters a horrible tendency to sideline them in favour of the men. Emily suffered particularly badly here, so much so that I wonder if bringing her back and integrating her with the team was an after-thought. She spent much of the last two episodes being being unconscious, captured or just not apparently doing anything in a situation where you would expect her to be doing something which reminded me of nothing so much as the confusion faced by 1980s Doctor Who writers when faced with the comparatively complex character of Turlough (their solution was generally to have him captured early on and then spend the rest of the story variously tied up). However the season also demonstrated many of Primeval's strengths, particularly those shown in the first two seasons. It had a good arc plot that didn't over-burden the individual stories, every story managed to be reasonably imaginative and stretched itself beyond "raptor in a shopping centre" plotting. While I've complained about Burton he did, in the end, manage to be a nuanced villain with his own agenda, even if I don't think the show articulated that very well. Abby and Connor were handled so much better than in season 4 that I boggle a bit that season 4 got them so terribly wrong. In fact, I think as a whole it was streets better than season 4 which is so very, very odd, given the two were filmed as a single unit.

This entry was originally posted at http://purplecat.dreamwidth.org/49123.html.
purplecat: (primeval)
Ah Lord of the Rings and your inability to decide where to end. Now I see thee in so many places!

Cut for spoilers )

Season 5, as a whole, I think has been one of Primeval's stronger seasons. It suffers from many of the shows endemic problems: people widely acting in ways that would be deeply unprofessional given their position in life, characters (particularly antagonists) that could be interesting but are somehow short-changed in the execution and, despite a good set of female characters a horrible tendency to sideline them in favour of the men. Emily suffered particularly badly here, so much so that I wonder if bringing her back and integrating her with the team was an after-thought. She spent much of the last two episodes being being unconscious, captured or just not apparently doing anything in a situation where you would expect her to be doing something which reminded me of nothing so much as the confusion faced by 1980s Doctor Who writers when faced with the comparatively complex character of Turlough (their solution was generally to have him captured early on and then spend the rest of the story variously tied up). However the season also demonstrated many of Primeval's strengths, particularly those shown in the first two seasons. It had a good arc plot that didn't over-burden the individual stories, every story managed to be reasonably imaginative and stretched itself beyond "raptor in a shopping centre" plotting. While I've complained about Burton he did, in the end, manage to be a nuanced villain with his own agenda, even if I don't think the show articulated that very well. Abby and Connor were handled so much better than in season 4 that I boggle a bit that season 4 got them so terribly wrong. In fact, I think as a whole it was streets better than season 4 which is so very, very odd, given the two were filmed as a single unit.
purplecat: (primeval)
That was a good episode, it benefited from being the first half of a two-parter. I'm rapidly coming to the conclusion that it is easier to set up a gripping situation than it is to resolve it, as can be seen in many two parters, in Primeval, Doctor Who and other genre shows where episode 1 is often considerably better than episode 2.

More Observations Under the Cut )

This entry was originally posted at http://purplecat.dreamwidth.org/48643.html.
purplecat: (primeval)
That was a good episode, it benefited from being the first half of a two-parter. I'm rapidly coming to the conclusion that it is easier to set up a gripping situation than it is to resolve it, as can be seen in many two parters, in Primeval, Doctor Who and other genre shows where episode 1 is often considerably better than episode 2.

More Observations Under the Cut )
purplecat: (primeval)
In which we learn that creatures without backbones are undeserving of sympathy and that you are more likely to be condemned for doing the right thing, than for doing the wrong thing.

Spoilers etc. under the cut )

This entry was originally posted at http://purplecat.dreamwidth.org/47580.html.
purplecat: (primeval)
In which we learn that creatures without backbones are undeserving of sympathy and that you are more likely to be condemned for doing the right thing, than for doing the wrong thing.

Spoilers etc. under the cut )
purplecat: Hand Drawn picture of a Toy Cat (Default)
In lots of ways I wish Primeval had attempted something like this in season 4 or, at least, put this level of thought into Emily before now.

More (including spoilers) under the cut )

I'm beginning to like Primeval much better again. Although darker in tone, this episode hinted at a level of thought about the characters and their relationships that I don't really think it's shown since seasons 1 and 2.

This entry was originally posted at http://purplecat.dreamwidth.org/47259.html.

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