Star Trek Top 50 #46: “Amok Time” (TOS)

“Live long and prosper. I shall do neither. I have killed my captain . . . and my friend.”

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Logo-TOS“AMOK TIME”
Star Trek: The Original Series
Written by Theodore Sturgeon
Directed by Joseph Pevney
Original Air Date September 15, 1967
Guest Stars: Celia Lovsky (T’Pau), Arlene Martel (T’Pring), Lawrence Montaigne (Stonn)

Spock has been acting irrationally. Erratic behavior, emotional outbursts, the works. He requests a leave of absence on Vulcan; Kirk wants to comply but pushes Spock for his reasons. What Kirk learns is that there’s a whole lot more going on under the seemingly impenetrable veneer of Vulcan logic and stoicism — there’s a volcanic (pun intended) rage that threatens to erupt every seven years at the time of Pon farr. Kirk offers to help Spock during the associated ritual, only to learn that he’ll have to fight his friend and first officer to the death.

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Review: ‘The Diary of River Song’

the-boundless-seaJanuary 4, 2015:

“Dear Diary,

“I had a chance encounter today with an interesting woman. A rather remarkable woman. An archaeology professor (part time!) called River Song. Initially she came across as aloof, distant, with an air of superiority. It was obvious that she possessed a great intellect, as wide and deep as The Boundless Sea; it seemed that she had traveled much farther than any of us could have dreamed. But she also had a bit of a naughty side to her, something I can only describe as a mischievous nature. And she had the most bizarre implement. She called it a . . . sonic trowel. I’ve no idea what she meant by that. How can a trowel be sonic? Continue reading

The War Doctor Returns

war-doctor-audioOn May 18, 2013, in the final seconds of “Name of the Doctor” at the end of the seventh series, something pretty extraordinary happened: We were introduced to an incarnation of the Doctor that we’d never met nor heard of before. Six months later in“Night of the Doctor” we saw how this extra incarnation came to be, and a week after that in the 50th anniversary episode “Day of the Doctor” we watched this incarnation interacting with his Tenth and Eleventh selves (or would that now be Eleventh and Twelfth?) in the final adventure of his life before regenerating into the Ninth Doctor. But what about all the stuff in between? We know that this incarnation fought for a pretty long time in the Time War, since we see him in the form of a fairly young John Hurt in “Night” and far older in “Day.” Now, thanks to Big Finish Productions, we get to hear the War Doctor in action, embroiled in the Time War, in three brand-new linked stories collectively called Only the Monstrous.

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An End (or two!) for the Sixth Doctor

Sixth-Doctor-Last-AdventureI’ve always thought of the Sixth Doctor as “my Doctor.” My introduction to Whodom was the original broadcast of “The Five Doctor,” so I was immediately introduced to the first five (more or less) incarnations of the Doctor and the concept of regeneration. My PBS station at that time was in the middle of a run of Tom Baker stories, so after “The Five Doctors” they jumped back into the next Tom (which, for the record, was “The Masque of Mandragora”). From there I watched the rest of Tom and all of Peter Davison as the station broadcast them. I saw Tom regenerate into Peter, and that was thrilling, but since I’d already seen Peter in action, it didn’t have the big impact it could have. The first new regeneration I ever experience was Peter into Colin Baker. The Sixth Doctor was loud, bold, brash, irreverent, all qualities I enjoyed.

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Star Trek Top 50 #47: “I Borg” (TNG)

Let me tell you something, when this “kid’s” big brothers come looking for him, they’re not gonna stop until they find him. And they’ll come looking for us, and they will destroy us. And they will not do any of the soul-searching that you’re doing now.

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Logo-TNG“I BORG”
Star Trek: The Next Generation
Written by René Echevarria
Directed by Robert Lederman
Original Air Date May 11, 1992

One of the things that Star Trek did better than almost any other science fiction television show is it took moral quandaries and explored them from every angle — or at least as many angles as was possible in a 45-minute episode without losing the sense of action and tension and grinding the episode to a talky, preachy bore (okay, it did occasionally commit that crime). It was also great at exploring the value of life and what it meant to be human. The Next Generation did this better than any of the other Trek shows. And “I Borg” is one of the finest examples.

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Doctor Who: “The Husbands of River Song”

doctorwho_thehusbandsofriversong_landscape_1000x700_500x350

I should start this review by providing a little bit of context: As a generality, I don’t like the Christmas episodes. Most of them are schmaltzy and overly trite. I don’t even like the idea of Doctor Who doing Christmas episodes. So it is with that bit of information fully divulged that I declare openly how much I loved this episode. It’s not only the strongest and most enjoyable Christmas episode we’ve had, it caps off the strongest season of modern era.

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