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Reviews By Atomic
# Reviews:
10
# Ratings:
14
Avg Rating:
9

Latest Community Reviews

From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
10
Plot Rating:
10
Acting Rating:
10
Replay Rating:
9
Effects Rating:
9
Has Prerequisite(s):
Yes
Reviewed By: AtomicReview Date: 1/6/16 4:43 am
4 out of 4 found this review helpful.

Along with "The Caves of Androzani", this is a case of a regeneration story done right. Unlike the later story, which gave the Fifth Doctor a slightly different characterization and was killing him off from the beginning, this story served as a showcase as to what made Pat's Second Doctor so wonderful.

Admittedly, at 10 episodes, this story does sound like a daunting task to watch, especially since some other stories could barely fill enough content for a 6 part or even 4 part serial, but it's surprising to learn that this story has very minimal padding and enough substance to fill the entire run time, which is especially impressive considering it was originally going to be 5 episodes only.

As always, Troughton put on an impressive performance alongside Hines and Padbury, and the overarching mystery of the leaders' weird behaviour was genuinely compelling and not forced. It deserves it status as one of the best stories of the original era.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
8
Plot Rating:
7
Acting Rating:
9
Replay Rating:
7
Effects Rating:
9
Has Prerequisite(s):
Unsure
Reviewed By: AtomicReview Date: 12/6/15 11:27 am
5 out of 7 found this review helpful.

Like most good science fiction, this episode left me to ponder about what happened long after the episode finished, and my conclusion is this: "What would happen if Earthshock ended very, very differently?"

One of the criticisms of that episode was that the Doctor simply stared gawping at the screen while seeing Adric blow up, instead of doing something proactive like rescuing him. The second idea is basically this episode, which sees how desperate the Doctor gets when his friends' life is put in danger by his own race, the Time Lords.

Unlike any of the other finales from the 2005-onward era, this episode isn't the usual "Baddies (Time Lords) want to destroy all life in the universe/Earth/unspecified planet" and I feel that advertising the episode like that was to its detriment, because now there are a bunch of fans left angry as to why they advertised Gallifrey in this episode but not focused on it. This episode is pure drama about Clara, like Heaven Sent, and a lot less action, and people about to watch the episode should go in with that mindset.

There were two other criticisms I have for the episode, the first being the very uneven pacing at the beginning to a third of the episode. I hate, hate, hate it when scenes change way to quickly between different characters after they get 5 sentences in. It's very noticeable and annoying, and it makes the episodes feel a bit more fractured like "The Day of the Doctor", which jumped around different times and locations every 2 minutes. However, once Clara and the Doctor are reunited, the pacing begins to get even. The second is that The Doctor shoots his biggest supporter on Gallifrey in the General, leading me (and Clara) to go "WTF are you doing, Doctor?"

Other then that, I really enjoyed the rest of the episode, with some great ideas by Moffat, such as the original TARDIS interior, the Doctor tricking the Time Lords into reviving Clara, and the creepy wraiths. I did like the scene where Clara wiped the Doctor's memories of her, which is understandable because of how attached he was to her, and how far he went to get her back alive. It gave Clara a better farewell story than "Face the Raven", which felt like it had no impact.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
10
Plot Rating:
9
Acting Rating:
10
Replay Rating:
10
Effects Rating:
10
Has Prerequisite(s):
Yes
Reviewed By: AtomicReview Date: 11/29/15 1:54 pm
3 out of 4 found this review helpful.

Cannot get better than this. Definitely one of the best episodes I've seen since 1963 and deserves a rewatch. Capaldi provides a master class on acting, but the guest cast leaves a lot to be desired. Just kidding! There more-or-less isn't one.

They probably could have shaved off 5 minutes by getting rid of a few "Doctor-brooding looks" shots. That's the only (relatively minor) criticism I've got. Those scenes dragged the story to a slower pace, which isn't necessarily good.

The ending made me, the Doctor and most of the audience go "oooooo" at the same time, so good job on that twist, Moffat.

The lighting (especially inside the TARDIS) was phenomenal, the directing was excellent, the idea was brilliant. This is what Doctor Who is about, experimenting with the... everything, and trying to make it work. Unlike "Sleep No More", this experiment worked wonders.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
6
Plot Rating:
9
Acting Rating:
8
Replay Rating:
8
Effects Rating:
2
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: AtomicReview Date: 11/15/15 12:23 pm
3 out of 4 found this review helpful.

There was a story in the 80's called "Warriors of the Deep", which was a base-under-siege story set in an underwater base. The story was good, but was too overlit and un-professionally done to be taken seriously. This is the opposite of that.

I loved this story (but not the episode itself). Unlike some other earlier episodes, like in Series 7, this story has a slow burn to it, as the Doctor unravels more information the more the story progresses. To some extent, the story even rewards the viewer, who may figure out before the Doctor that not everyone has a camera, so how could he access the camera feed? (i.e when the POV is on Clara, who isn't even wearing a camera.)

However, I had no clue why Rassmussen kept harping on about how I shouldn't watch the episode then change his mind at the end when he was Sand-mussen. I only found out why on the internet after the episode ended. Not too many people knew either, meaning that Gatiss should have clarified Rassmussen's actions instead of mystifying the audience as to what mischief he was up to. The end still took me by surprise, though.

Where it fails spectacularly is the execution of the story. The found footage is usually a gimmick, but is actually well justified within the story. Despite that, it fell for the bane of all found-footage shows/ movies: shakey-cam. I needed some headache medicine after watching this episode. Lighting-wise, I couldn't tell if I was supposed to imagine what was going on through the action in the darkness like a Big Finish play! The monsters looked creepy... in the two frames they were visible in. All Gatiss had to do was write a character saying "Gee Golly, the backup power is on! At least we can see our feet now," instead of literally leaving the audience in the dark. I'm seriously not surprised it left some viewers catching up on some sleep of their own; there wasn't much to watch.

Overall: Story: good. Ending: M. Night Shyamalan. Monster: Scary, when it's even visible. Lighting: A joke. For me, it's what completely ruined an episode that easily could score an 8 or even a 9. I (and some other viewers) appreciate that something different was attempted with this episode, but it failed in its execution.

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