I've started to make an inroad on a small backlog of promised book reviews, mainly for the Doctor Who News Page. Here, therefore, is my look at You and Who Else, the latest charity anthology of fan writing edited by J.R. Southall.
I've been up finishing a Doctor Who book review which I'll link to when it's published... but I've not been paying enough attention to Alex and Richard and tbeir Doctor Who 52. So here, Richard says a lot of things about The Abominable Snowmen which change my perspective on the story.
Doctor Who at Christmas is increasingly a difficult beast to shepherd into a pen. The two most recent series have felt more like
mainstream mid-evening BBC drama rather than the ‘drama for a light entertainment slot’ of 2005. Consequently the Christmas episodes feel increasingly like a drastic change in tone. Even the grading seems to be different, with the colour palette seeming brighter, returning to the blue with flashes of other primary colours of the Matt Smith era Christmas specials.

The highlight was the typically vigorous performances of both Peter Capaldi and Alex Kingston, of course; but despite a good start I failed to be held by these alone in the way I hoped, despite some strong moments of repartee. There was too much emphasis on a denial of sparkle between the Doctor and River, rather than on its existence. Likewise the business with the robot and its switching heads seemed underplayed and undramatic and lacked sufficient sleight of hand to convince; nor were the decapitated characters depicted with sufficient sympathy to make me feel for their plight. There were so many still backgrounds or illustrations which I thought would have been animated a few years ago too.

Perhaps I’ll revisit it and find it more enjoyable another time. I don’t like being negative about the series, and am glad to see from some early reactions that that it did engage and entertain several others.

Also posted at The Event Library
Digital Fix report that Peter Harness will be adapting H.G. Wells's The War of the Worlds for Mammoth Screen and ITV, with shooting not beginning until 2017. Promising; and further food for the speculators surrounding the Doctor Who succession.
This was another episode where I'd been asked to write a review based on a rough cut of the episode available through the BBC Previews web service. I had rather a lot of time on my hands this week and so it's even longer than usual. Doctor Who Reviews: Hell Bent

I added a few more thoughts at The Event Library, but really as accompaniment for the link. Meanwhile there is more squee than scorn online, and I expect a flurry of fanfics about a certain partnership within the next twenty-four hours.
My thoughts on Heaven Sent

ETA - additions and amendments added this morning. (11.56am, Sunday 29 November)
"...without soiidarity and without the acknowledgement that we need time to distinguish our essential selves from our careers, our greed and desire for advantage, we might as well be no more than dead cells and mucus." More (not quite) like this (and slight spoilers for Face the Raven) from me at The Event Library.
This week sees the second week of my stint at reviews.doctorwhonews.net - enjoy...

ETA: A recap of interactions here.
I've been mulling over my response to last night's Doctor Who, and perceived negativity in my review and others, so here is a more positive take, posted at The Event Library only to save space on timelines.
Whatever next week's Doctor Who is like, it won't resemble too closely this fourth Doctor and Sarah Jane Smith adventure, published in the TV Comic Annual 1976...
For a change this week, I thought I'd make notes during the episode and then transcribe them with minimal tidying-up or comment below. It's not quite a liveblog:

Hidden list )

Also published at https://theeventlibrary.wordpress.com/2015/10/03/doctor-who-xxv9-3-under-the-lake/
No essay from me this week, but negatives first. There aren't many of them, and are largely personal in that there's always an awkwardness to me in the Doctor revelling in pop culture or being a rock musician, and yet here I can see it was the right choice. I'm not sure where the Doctor's audience in 1138 went either...

Otherwise, superlatives. Steven Moffat and company projected their most coherent vision of the Doctor Who universe so far; though I did find myself wondering if the Shadow Architect's hairdresser (probably a Judoon, come to think of it) had been killed in action since The Stolen Earth. The Maldovarium is a sorrier place for the loss of Dorium. Clara's confidence as schoolteacher and UNIT's contact radiated and Jenna Coleman's authority in the part was more than a match for Michelle Gomez's calculating tricksiness. The traps within traps were sprung and the Daleks depicted as more detached from human or Gallifreyan values while justifying their fond parent's description of them as children. Barry Norman's comparison of fifty years ago, that they are devices through which children imagine killing grown-ups, was made plain here; as was the realisation most fans have had at some time, that the Daleks are tanks (and I'll link to John Wilson's article on the subject as soon as I've identified the relevant issue of Tides of Time - [ETA it's issue 23, but I can't manage the link at present - search for "Tides 23" at tidesoftime.wordpress.com for the pdf]). Taking up the convincingly-performed but sidestepped 'Do I have the right?' speech from Genesis of the Daleks is a dangerous exercise and we'll only find how well it works next week. Otherwise, a sense of the programme trying something new and Peter Capaldi's most moving and enthralling performance in the role.

Also posted at The Event Library
...The Avengers and Doctor Who keeping me company while I work.

The Avengers: Man With Two Shadows
First shown 12 October 1963 )

Doctor Who: The Last Adventure
Released 17 August 2015, so this review's content probably deserves a spoiler warning )
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