Thursday 25 April 2013

"You are the only mystery worth solving."

     This week's episode "Hide" was a more stereotypical scary story. Although "Cold War" was much more frightening, I loved the atmosphere this episode tried to evoke- the entire haunted manor setting with psychics and candlelight. However, as everything is in Doctor Who, there were aliens involved, and like one of my favourite episodes of this series "A Town Called Mercy", there are a lot of parallels drawn to the dark, dark world of the Doctor.

1) I loved that this episode chose to focus on its characters. Apart from the Doctor and Clara, we had Dougray Scott (who I have been watching all week on Hemlock Grove) as Professor Alec Palmer and Jessica Raine as the telepath Emma Grayling. Both were v. good. The episode started with both of them trying to call the spirit of the Caliburn mansion, called the Caliburn Ghast or The Witch of the Well in local folklore. She comes and goes, leaving both Alec and Emma very shaken. And then the door knocks and who is there but our very own Ghostbusters, the Doctor and Clara.

2) Btw, who else remembered Ten and Rose at the Ghostbusters part? *sniff*
3) So the Doctor and Clara start snooping around. I really love how unique Matt Smith's humour has become when it comes to the Eleventh Doctor. "I love the word toggle. Nice noun. Excellent verb."
4) So Alec was secretly from military intelligence. Like "A Town Called Mercy" there are many interesting parallels drawn between his character and the things he has done in the past and that of the Doctor's. Similarly, his relationship with Emma is all sorts of awkward adorableness, that is a total opposite of the easy flirtation between the Doctor and Clara. But there are secrets in both the relationships.
5) As I wrote in the intro, the episode is fantastic in terms of the old school spooky house horror it tries to evoke. Examples-

6) Alec tells them about the history of the Caliburn Ghast, which has existed since Saxon times. Clara notices how in all the pictures taken of the Ghast, her position never changes. She is pretty scared but she asks the Doctor to dare her into going snooping along with him. Gah these two.
7) The house starts to get colder. Clara feels like someone is holding her hand and both her and the Doctor race back to Alec and Emma when a black disk materializes in front of them. At the same time a sort of portal opens in front of Emma of a forested setting and the Ghast and then the words "Help me" appear and just as secretly disappear on one of the walls. Spooky.
8) The boys and the girls separate and have discussions of their own. When Alec talks about being responsible for sending so many people to their deaths and being the only one alive among their ghosts, it strikes a chord with the Doctor. He says that he would thank them if he had a chance. And between Clara and Emma, Clara assures Emma that Alec definitely has feelings for her, those that stick out "like a big chin". Emma, howeve,r is less than hopeful about any romance that could happen between Clara and the Doctor as "there is a sliver of ice in his heart" and is not to be trusted. Ooo what does this mean?
9) Now comes the science-y part. The Doctor and Clara race to the TARDIS, which still apparently doesn't like Clara. According the Doctor it is like a cat and takes time to trust one. Obviously.
10) The Doctor takes out his orange spacesuit from Ten's episodes such as "42", "The Impossible Planet"/"The Satan Pit". I love Eleven's disappointment at Clara hating it. Daww.

11) What the Doctor does is take the TARDIS at all points of Earth's history at that spot, from its beginning to its end, and take pictures. This is all fun and rolicky for the Doctor, but it really affects Clara. She calls him out at this, about how he doesn't seem to care that he saw Earth's entire lifecycle begin and die in front of them and how all of his companions must be buried somewhere out there and how they are in fact, ghosts for him. As a reply, the Doctor says one of the best quotes of this season and well, a total pick-up line- "You are the only mystery worth solving." I guess this applies to humans in general and Clara in particular.

12) Also I must say that this was Jenna-Louise Coleman's first episode to as Clara while shooting and she is especially wonderful at this part.
13) This entire hullabaloo (I love that word. I should use it more often) was because the Caliburn Ghast is in fact not a ghost (duh, it's Doctor Who. Like Scooby Doo but with aliens) but a woman, Hila Tukaris, trapped in a pocket universe where time moves much slower than in the normal universe. The Doctor explains all this using balloons! 
14) Anywas, she is running from something and Emma, being a powerful telepath, is her only way back to the normal universe. The TARDIS would get stuck there it seems since the pocket universe is collapsing.
15) So instead the Doctor makes a device for Emma using the Eye of Harmony from the planet Metebelis III. There was a huge hue and cry on the internet about how it's pronounced MetEEbelis and not METebelis but seriously, it's a proper noun and get over it. This helps open the portal to the pocket universe, the "well" if you will and the Doctor crosses over, saying "Geronimo" of course, in a tethered vest that is supposed to help him come back.
16) The Doctor finds himself in the forested area which is very misty and eerie as well. He goes around looking for Hila and when he finally does, he has lost the exit. Emma, who is in a lot of pain but still wants to help, creates an echo Caliburn mansion in the pocket universe where the Doctor and Hila race to to escape whatever is in the mists. Hila goes through but unable to sustain the pain any longer, Emma gives up before the Doctor can crossover. The TARDIS cloister bell begins to ring. Uh oh.
17) I am going to stop here but before I do, I must mention the talk that TARDIS interface has with Clara before letting her in. The TARDIS, in an awesome fabulous bitch move, guises itself as Clara herself to talk to Clara as it claims that she only holds herself in esteem. Haha, Clara and TARDIS- frenemies 4eva.

18) Also the fact that the Doctor in fact came to Caliburn mansion not to bust ghosts but to talk to Emma about Clara, about who she is. Emma says that she is just an ordinary girl who is more scared than she lets on. The plot thickens.

          The final twist of this episode felt both unnecessary and necessary to me. I kind of like it when Doctor Who is romantic, though this episode might have been wayyy creepier, in a good way, without it. Still, it led to another excellent quote that can be more than applied to the Doctor- "Every lonely monster needs a companion." Sigh.

          I am also getting more and more certain that Clara's entire mystery has something to do with Rose. "It's the oldest story in the universe - this one, or any other. Boy and girl fall in love, get separated by events- war, politics, accidents in time. She's thrown out of the hex, or he's thrown into it. Since then they've been yearning for each other across time and space- across dimensions." I just have a feeling this especially holds true for Doctor's relationship with Rose. Also the repetition of Clara being a ghost, and the TARDIS not liking her because she probably is an anomaly like Captain Jack Harness.

          Neil Cross really outdid himself with this episode. Not only was it a perfect blend of horror and sci-fi, there were a lot of allusions to the character of the Doctor and how he is, in a way, haunted by the ghosts of his past. They also kept it quite light, especially owing to the infectious chemistry between Smith and Coleman. I know I write this in almost every recap, but Smith is really becoming a better Doctor episode by episode, and this one proves it too.

       The look of the episode was perfect, as I wrote above. Director James Payne did a great job. Both Scott and Raine were very good too, especially in their subtle romance and insecurities and feelings.

      Next week is one of my most anticipated episodes of this series, one that will hopefully shed more light on Clara's enigmatic character. It's time to take a "Journey to the Centre of the Tardis".

So talented :P

A Call for Crazy

         So I have been watching this piece of shit show, Hemlock Grove, that thus far has been good for only two things: 1) Bill Skarsgård and 2) the most unbelievable yet supremely disgusting werewolf-transformation scene that I doubt can ever be topped. Therefore, seeing how I am in the mood for something crazy, now would be the perfect time to start my "Crazy Nikhat Month!".

          Now what is "Crazy Nikhat Month!" you ask? Basically, I am not the kind of person who enjoys bizarre, surrealistic movies much. They freak me out, and thus the 'crazy' is for me and not the movies. I think it is my mathematical background that makes me react so, but seeing how I am a bigger film nerd than a math nerd, I think it is time for me to face these films, and even try and enjoy some of them. I did really love Holy Motors.

          All of which brings me to my request to you, my fellow film nerds- give me a list of movies that "Crazy Nikhat Month!" should cover. Throw in all the Lynches and Cronenbergs and Herzogs and whatever you like. I am looking for a syllabus of 20-25 movies that I should ideally finish watching in May or latest June, since I have my exams in July. *Of course* I am going start this month right before my exams but meh, I'm crazy too.


Saturday 20 April 2013


Helloo people! Here are my thoughts for you-

1) First of all, OMG YOU GUYZ! 
I kind of half-expected this to happen. I honestly thought they would leave the Fields of Trenzalore part for when Matt Smith actually ends his run as the Doctor since it's supposed to be the "fall of the Eleventh" and all. Now I don't think they will actually reveal his name. I have been trying to think of what the Doctor's name could be and I can either imagine it being something very large and unpronounceable like HUHGUBHIHCINAGHXYGFUMIOKJQOWOJFIGU or something like, well... Tom. The best theory I have found on Tumblr so far though is-
BBC: OMG the episode is called "The Name of The Doctor". Are we really going to reveal the most important secret in the history of the show?
Moffat: Of course we're not.
BBC: But the poster said...
Moffat: Nothing, I have a reputation to uphold.

Anyways, it will probably be the Doctor telling only River Song his name, who will be back as we can see on the poster. I have an inkling that this might be the last River episode as this probably will lead to the events of "Silence in the Library"/"Forest of the Dead". Still, can't wait to see her interact with Clara. Also, for all the people crying out in anger, even if Moffat magically makes up a name, it is a perfectly good point to do it as this episode will set in motion the events to be shown in the 50th Anniversary. Speaking of-

2) Oh MTV Movie Awards happened. Can I just say I love most of the winners? I mean The Avengers, Loki, Rebel Wilson, Jennifer Lawrence, Emma Watson, Bradley Cooper, Silver Linings Playbook getting Best Kiss and not Twilight, and Leonardo DiCaprio was also nominated. Of course my favourite moments out of the very few that I saw were purely eye candy related- scruffy Chris Pine and suited-up Tom Hiddleston. And when the first gave an award to the other, my ovaries died.

3) The official selection list of Cannes 2013 is out. The Great Gatsby will open the festival. There are a lot of films in the line up that I haven't heard of, but hopefully we see a lot of big winners this year. The films I am really excited about are The Bling Ring, Inside Llewyn Davis, The Past, Behind the Candelbra, Venus in Fur, and most of all Only God Forgives. Nicolas Winding Refn won Best Director for Drive two years ago and Only God Forgives is looking really fantastic so far.

4) Guillermo Del Toro's next film, Crimson Peak, is getting quite the cast. Emma Stone, Benedict Cumberbatch, Jessica Chastain and Charlie Hunnam. My first thought of course was "REDHEAD HEAVEN!!" but of course then I remembered that Stone isn't a real ginger. Still, talent and beauty and one totally old school horror film sounds rather brilliant.

5) In other Emma Stone news, her film with Cameron Crowe and Bradley Cooper now has Rachel McAdams too. This is one charismatic crowd. Also, she is set to star in Alejandro González Iñárritu's next film Birdman that has one helluva cast including Edward Norton, Andrea Riseborough, Zach Galifianakis, Naomi Watts and Michael Keaton.

6) Gahh Hollywood!- They're going to remake Point Break. Next they're asking Seth MacFarlane to host the Oscars again? What? Was I the only one who saw him sing "We Saw Your Boobs"? And then apparently Michael Bay will let some reality show decide the Asian cast of Transformers 4. He's so funny. Also the Hercules movie will star Kellan Lutz and look at all the fucks I don't give.

7) David O' Russell's next movie has a name now- American Hustle. I am loving the wacko looks of its stars Christian Bale, Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper, Jeremy Renner and Amy Adams. Excited to say the least.

8) PostersThor the Dark World has Thor and his hammer... yeah...  The Bling Ring looks like fun. I love the materialism in Sofia Coppola's movies. There are loads of pictures that have been released too. Finally, Only God Forgives has a hot French poster (hot because of the Gos, duh) and a ridiculously awesome neon poster out.

9) The final ballot of LAMMY 2013 is open and many of my favourite blogs have been nominated so yaay! I haven't voted yet but I will do so soon.

10) Trailers- Since Only God Forgives has pretty much dominated this post, let's start with its 2 new trailers. I don't think it's sane to be this turned on by trailers, but hey, here I am! Also Kristin Scott Thomas is fabulous. Star Trek Into Darkness's final trailer is the awesomest one yet and I really cannot wait to watch this film. The Kings of Summer looks really fun and gotta love Nick Offerman. Steven Soderbergh's final film Behind the Candelbra looks pretty good. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire's trailer is interesting because it shows President Snow's, played to perfect eerieness by Donald Sutherland, evil workings. Also yaay Philip Seymour Hoffman! There is yet another Romeo and Juliet film, this time starring Douglas Booth and Hailee Steinfeld as the star-crossed lovers. Wasn't this supposed to be from the point of view of Rosaline? Anyways, it looks very dull except for all the Damian Lewis parts where I laughed out loud inexplicably. Elysium, though it seems to have a very worn-out concept at its core, looks like it is going to do something very different with it which is what I expect out of the makers of District 9Man of Steel finally has my attention as its latest trailer lets go of all the Batman-y Malick-ness and looks all kinds of epic. Plus Amy Adams and Michael Shannon, woo hoo! Lastly, one of my most favourite trailers this week has been that of Filth's. I don't know what James McAvoy has done to himself, but god, it is amazingness itself.

Bye all!

Thursday 18 April 2013

"Now there will be a second red planet. Red with the blood of humanity!"

      Last week I wished for Doctor Who episode 7x09 "Cold War" to be awesome, and it gives me great pleasure to say that yes, it was freaking brilliant! Mark Gatiss's best story yet, with the fantastic return of a Classic Who villain and one of the scariest episodes of Doctor Who so far- ah it was bliss.

1) I really liked the opening. Submarine! 
2) Two Game of Thrones cast members were in this episode- Liam Cunningham who plays Davos Seaworth and Tobias Menzies who plays Edmure Tully. Winter is cool :P (couldn't resist)

3) Though both these actors and their soldier characters were good, I adored David Warner as Professor Grisenko the most. Ultravox 4eva!
4) Oh man, that idiot shipmate (submarine-mate?) who decides to unfreeze the Ice Warrior. I mean yes, he didn't know it was a Martian from 5000 years ago and thought it was a mammoth instead, but still, why must he thaw out a mammoth in a submarine, thousands of miles from home?
5) This results in the Ice Warrior attacking the submarine and the people in there and the submarine starts to descend out of control. And right then the TARDIS materializes. Obviously.
6) The Doctor looks awesome in his glasses. And Clara looked so adorable and young in this episode. They were on their way to Las Vegas but instead find themselves in a sinking Soviet submarine.

7) The Doctor saves the ship from descending further and they sort of land on a rocky terrain, underwater of course. The Doctor Who team used a big model of the submarine to do all the external shots. V. cool.
8) Woo hoo 80s! Everything's bigger baby! Why the fuck does the Doctor carry a Barbie?? Also the TARDIS flies away.
9) The scene where the Doctor realises that the Ice Warrior is standing behind him is hilarious. "What is that, gas? Could be gas? Ah."
10) So basically the Ice Warrior isn't just any Ice Warrior, but their greatest hero, Grand Marshall Skaldak. The Doctor tries to soothe out the differences between him and the submarine's crew of Russian soldiers, hence "Cold War", but Menzies's war-loving character Lt. Stepashin shocks Skaldak with a cattle prod. The Doctor quickly tells them to chain him up because well, they're screwed.
11) Okay so short version of who or what an Ice Warrior is-

12) Anyways Skaldak is very shocked to find out that he has been buried in the ice for 5000 years and he sends out signals to his race.
13) Also, then it's time for another "Flying with the Doctor" lesson for Clara when she realises that she has been speaking Russian all this time because of the TARDIS translation matrix.

14) The Doctor tells Cunningham's character Captain Zhukov that he must go and try and appease Skaldak and how Zhukov can't go because he will recognise that he is a soldier and become hostile. Zhukov asks Doctor if he won't do the same with the Doctor, which I thought was very cool, because after all he is "the Oncoming Storm". I have always found the Doctor's persona as a soldier of peace very interesting, because even though he can and has destroyed worlds, he does it for the greater good, how much ever it haunts him.
15) So obviously, Clara goes in. Her salute is adorable.
16) She tries to speak to Skaldak, who tells her of his daughter and their first battle. He realises that the Doctor is speaking through Clara and starts addressing him. While all this is going, Clara keeps moving in closer to the tied up Ice Warrior, only to then realise that he has left his suit of armour or as she later dubs "shellsuit" and is out. The Doctor tells Clara to get out of there immediately.

16) As he rescues Clara, Skaldak has escaped into the submarine and is very dangerous, as he believes that his people have abandoned him and he has nothing to lose. Even the Doctor has never seen an Ice Warrior without its armour on.
17) Okay random bit of trivia regarding Matt Smith and submarines. His directorial debut, Cargese which is a TV show, stars Submarine star Oliver Tate. Oooo.
18) So Skaldak is running amok the ship, trying to glean information about the submarine, which as it were, is a Soviet one with loads of nukes in it. So they do have a lot to lose.

19) I loved the Alien feel of this episode. Skaldak minus armour was genuinely terrifying.

20) There were even glimpses of blood as Skaldak apparently "disassembles" the soldiers trying to find out information. Herein of course lies one of the biggest differences between a show like Doctor Who and one like Game of Thrones. One is a children's show, even though it is becoming scarier, and the other one happily shows nipples and hands being cut off. 

21) Still, this makes Clara realise that it isn't all sunshine and daisies travelling with the Doctor and this is pretty much the first time that THIS Clara sees real danger.
22) Love the part when the Doctor tells Clara not to wander off, and SHE DOESN'T! :O

23) Now I don't want to give the rest away except *obviously* the Doctor and Clara save the world, making it another "Flying with the Doctor" lesson.

           Now before I give my final thoughts about the episode, some geeky speculations. What did people think about Clara singing "Hungry Like The Wolf"? Does Rose aka Bad Wolf have anything to do with this? A lot of it maybe coincidences but I am pretty convinced that Steven Moffat has left frustrating clues all over. Do remember- 

      Also Doctor's Barbie doll, which people have suggested looks like Rose. I am sorry but that is one of the creepiest things ever if true. And finally, there is the red setting of the sonic screwdriver as seen towards the end, which is something that River Song had told the Doctor about in his first meeting with her in "Silence in the Library"/"Forest of the Dead".

           Now coming to the episode as a whole, I really enjoyed it. It was one of the scariest Doctor Who episodes that I have seen, and the best one written by Mark Gatiss so far. I have already spoken about how it reminded me of Alien in many parts. Also, as it seems is the aim this series, there are bigger issues being spoken of here, about the Cold War and whatnot. This episode coincidentally aired in the week of Margaret Thatcher's death too. Apparently there were a lot of nods to Patrick Troughton's era as the Doctor. I don't watch Classic Who but as I said last week, I think they are putting references to previous Doctors in preparation of the upcoming 50th anniversary. 
            Matt Smith, Jenna-Louise Coleman and Nicholas Briggs as the voice of Skaldak were on top form. I loved that the episode never became too dark and had its running jokes, but also took itself with utmost seriousness where it had to. The look of the episode was fantastic, from the submarine's interiors to the revamped Ice Warrior. Director Douglas Mackinnon did a wonderful job.

       Next week, Neil Cross returns with his ghost story "Hide" which is apparently spookier still.

Can't quite decide what to make this a reaction gif of...