Doctor Who Offers Us A Joyous Celebration Of Reusing Old Story Ideas

Doctor Who's head writer, Steven Moffat, has sometimes been accused of having a few main story ideas that he trots out again and again. Today's Doctor Who Christmas special, "Last Christmas," feels like a hilarious, spirited defense: A story made entirely out of old stories, which just has fun with it. Spoilers… » 12/25/14 7:00pm 12/25/14 7:00pm

All Of Doctor Who's Big Thematic Arcs Pay Off, With Clara's Final Test

This season of Doctor Who has been pretty tightly structured around a few big themes, and all of them were tied up in the season finale. A lot of them, not surprisingly, had to do with Clara Oswald — and we finally found out why she was chosen as the Doctor's companion. Spoilers! » 11/08/14 7:00pm 11/08/14 7:00pm

Will Clara Pay A High Cost For Trying To Be The Doctor On Doctor Who?

Doctor Who's two-part season finale aired its first half tonight, and the story is almost entirely driven by Clara Oswald and her decisions. It's a measure of how much she's grown as a character that this works as splendidly as it does. But did Clara just learn the true cost of trying to be the Doctor? Spoilers… » 11/01/14 7:00pm 11/01/14 7:00pm

When Doctor Who Gets Lost In The Forest, It REALLY Gets Lost

Another week, another Doctor Who story that stretches the limits of the show's format — to the point where it's hard to say if it's a total work of genius, or just kind of a weird mess. Unfortunately, this week's "In The Forest of the Night" chases a ton of ideas that it never quite catches up with. » 10/25/14 7:14pm 10/25/14 7:14pm

This Year, Doctor Who is Built Around A Character Arc, And That's Major

Tonight's episode clinches it: Doctor Who is doing a much more ambitious character arc than it's done in years, even as the show's "mystery" storytelling is drastically scaled back. Even with a few stumbles here and there, this is really major. You have to applaud the ambition, and a lot of the execution. Spoilers… » 10/18/14 7:00pm 10/18/14 7:00pm

Doctor Who's Old-School Monster Story Manages To Feel Amazingly Fresh

On the face of it, "Mummy on the Orient Express" is a more traditional Doctor Who story than anything we've seen lately. There's a classic monster (very classic, in fact), a confined space, and a mystery to be solved — but this story manages to turn those ingredients into something totally new. Spoilers ahead... » 10/11/14 7:00pm 10/11/14 7:00pm

Today's Doctor Who Would Be Way Shorter If The Doctor Only Played Nice

Seriously. The dickish behavior of Peter Capaldi's Doctor has officially become the show's main story engine. The plot of tonight's Doctor Who is greatly complicated by the Doctor's obnoxiousness, and it would be a really short episode if David Tennant had shown up instead. Spoilers ahead... » 10/04/14 7:00pm 10/04/14 7:00pm

With This Episode, Doctor Who Season 8 Starts To Pay Off, Big Time

"The Caretaker" is my favorite episode of the Peter Capaldi era of Doctor Who thus far. And it's also probably going to turn out to be the episode where this season really "clicks" for me. Really great stuff, that puts the Doctor on the spot in a way we've never seen before. Spoilers ahead... » 9/27/14 7:00pm 9/27/14 7:00pm

Doctor Who Reveals The Only Thing Really Worth Stealing

Thus far, the loose theme of this season of Doctor Who seems to be "identity crises" and "deconstructing heroism." These themes manifest this week in another story where the Doctor isn't entirely calling the shots, and the main McGuffin that everybody is trying to steal is "selfhood." Spoilers ahead... » 9/20/14 7:00pm 9/20/14 7:00pm

There's Not Much Point In Arguing About Moffat's Doctor Who Any More

I'm still kind of dazed by tonight's episode of Doctor Who. I can't decide if it's a fantastic work of genius or a shaggy-dog story. Maybe both. But it's clearly Steven Moffat turning all of his favorite tropes up to 11. And I came away feeling, more than ever, as though there's not much point debating Moffat's Who. » 9/13/14 7:00pm 9/13/14 7:00pm

Doctor Who's Ongoing Deconstruction of Heroism Takes A Hilarious Turn

The theme thus far in Doctor Who's eighth season seems to be "deconstructing heroes," most notably the Doctor. The Doctor's questioning whether he's a good man, but also the validity of his battle against evil. It's somewhat grim stuff — until this week's Robin Hood episode, when it turns swashbuckling and hilarious. » 9/06/14 7:00pm 9/06/14 7:00pm

​What's So Bad About Hating The Daleks, Anyway?

Tonight's Doctor Who episode is the third or fourth Dalek story in a row where the focus is on the Doctor's unreasonable hatred for his foes. (It's also the third or fourth Dalek story to rely on a weird gimmick, as if the Daleks are kind of played out.) But what's wrong with hating the Daleks? » 8/30/14 7:00pm 8/30/14 7:00pm

Doctor Who and the Codependency of the Daleks

The Doctor and the Daleks are sort of like Batman and the Joker. They've been fighting each other so long, they practically define each other. And tonight's Doctor Who season opener made a strong case that the Doctor's relationship with the Daleks has gotten unhealthy, on both sides. Can counseling help? » 9/01/12 10:00pm 9/01/12 10:00pm

This Is How We'll Remember Tennant And Davies

The Russell T. Davies era of Doctor Who just ended, but his influence on the show will remain forever. And judging from "The End Of Time Part 2," that's not a bad thing at all. Allons-y for spoilers! » 1/02/10 6:30pm 1/02/10 6:30pm

Doctor Who Gives You Some New Stuff To Paint On Your Bong

The 1950s Doctor Who animated story "Dreamland" pulled out all the 50s-cliche stops: head-shop aliens, Cold War hysteria, Area 51, and rockabilly Native Americans. Especially this great sequence, showing a stoner-inspired space war. Spoilers below. » 11/30/09 12:52pm 11/30/09 12:52pm

At Last, Doctor Who's Lonely God Goes Too Far

When Russell T. Davies' revamp of Doctor Who launched in 2005, we were promised that the Doctor's two hearts meant his heart could be broken twice as often. With last night's "Waters Of Mars," we finally see what that meant. » 11/16/09 1:07pm 11/16/09 1:07pm

Doctor Who's Easter Hit Parade

Doctor Who's "Easter special" was surprisingly un-Easter-y, compared to all the Christmas specials. But it did serve as a showcase of Russell T. Davies' writing at its best... and at its weakest. Spoilers ahoy! » 4/12/09 2:19pm 4/12/09 2:19pm

A New Look Inside The Doctor's Broken Hearts

Wow. This year's Doctor Who Christmas special explored some familiar territory for writer Russell T. Davies — and yet it was utterly mesmerizing, largely thanks to guest star David Morrissey. Spoilers below. » 12/26/08 9:00am 12/26/08 9:00am

Doctor Who's Midlife Metacrisis

Wow. I haven't been so eager for a Doctor Who episode as I was for last night's finale since the time-traveling soap-comedy relaunched. And... well, it was a mixture of pure silly fun and overwrought fan-service. Not quite as fun as Jesus-Doctor last year, and much, much too long. I found myself wishing the Sci Fi… » 7/06/08 3:53pm 7/06/08 3:53pm

Doctor Who's Russell T. Davies Is The Gay Michael Bay

After watching last night's Doctor Who episode, I wished for the first time ever that Russell T. Davies would stay on to produce a fifth season of the BBC's time-traveling adventure show. Not because I think a fifth RTD season would be good, but because I'm dying to see how he could come up with a zanier and more… » 6/29/08 3:00pm 6/29/08 3:00pm