Friday, July 13, 2007

Doctor Who—The Shakespeare Code

In London, 1599 some troubadour sings to that chick from Hex. And it looks like he's gonna get some. Or not. Cause Chick from Hex is Lilith, who turs out to be a witch/demon type. Poor girl's getting typecast. The three witches attack Mr. Troubadour and apparently tear him to pieces. Not very hospitable.

The Doctor and Martha arrive in, you guessed it, 16th century London. Martha's worried about fitting in. They go to the Globe Theater. They attend a play and get to see William Shakespeare himself. Will's kinda hot. Imagine that. Lilith is hanging around in the wing with a gris gris or something. Okay, not gris gris--wrong magic system. Will performs crappy standup. Lilith hexes Bill. He promises a sequel to Love's Labours Lost called Love's Labours Won, which is a lost Shakespeare play. The Doctor decides to stick around to see what happened to it.

Will's staying an an inn where Lilith's mum is the innkeeper. He has one more scene to write to finish LLW. The Doctor drops by and Bill is about to throw them out until he sees Martha and goes sproing. The Doctor's psychic paper doesn't work on Will. Lynley, the Master of the Revels demands that Will have his play approved by him before it's performed. He must be the sixteenth century Network Censor, or MPAA. He also uses a dangling participle. He's determined that LLW won't ever be played. Gee, must be something really offensive in there. Too bad we never got to read it.

Lilith grabs something off the Master of Revels--some hair, I think. So he's in trouble now. The witches are determined that LLW be performed tomorrow. Lilith drowns Lynley with a poppet. Martha tries unsuccessfully to revive him. The Doctor recognizes witchcraft was involved in the death.

The witches want Shakespeare to "free" them. Somehow LLW is part of this plan. The Doctor and Martha board in the same bedroom, with a really small bed. Martha focuses on the awkwardness of this while the Doctor remains unaware of it.

Lilith blows green smoke at Will and does some more magic on him so he can write faster. I could use some of that mojo, especially when I'm on deadline. Thanks to the magic, Will finishes the play. Lilith kills the innkeeper and then flies away on her broom.

The Doctor chases down the architect of the Globe Theater, who's currently crazy in Bedlam Hospital, babbling about witches. Shakespeare is a horn dog. Although I think we knew that. He also seems just as interested in the Doctor as in Martha. Hmm. He and Captain Jack should get together.

The actors rehearse the new play. It appears to be some kind of a spell, its power enhanced by the shape of the theater. A spirit is summoned by the rehearsal.

The Doctor, Martha and Will go to Bedlam. They visit Peter, the Globe Theater architect. Lilith views the visit in a scrying bucket with the other two witches. Peter tells them about the witches, then one of them shows up and kills him before he can say anything else. The Doctor makes her disappear by stating her name. She's a Carrionite, planning to end the world. The Carrionite "witches" plan to destroy the doctor. The Carrionites want to take over the Earth. Dude, everybody wants to take over the Earth. Aren't there other planets to take over? The Doctor realizes LLW is a sort of spell composed to concentrate energy in the Globe for the Carrionites' particular purposes. The Doctor heads for All Hallow's St. to find the Carrionites while Will goes to stop the play.

He stops the performance midstream, to the annoyance of the witches, who knock him unconscious with a poppet and continue with the play. The Doctor and Martha find the witches, mostly because the witches want to be found. Well, just Lilith, since the other two witches are at the play. Martha tries to name her, but can't. Lilith is unable to suss out the Doctor's real name to name him. She tries to use Rose's name to rattle him but it doesn't work. She grabs a bit of his hair to use with her doll. It's a DNA replication module, not a poppet per se. Martha revives him. He's down to one heart, though, and Martha starts it back up.

The play continues. The actors speak the last line, which activates the Carrionites' crystal to open the portal for the rest of their people to descend to earth. Carrionites descend on the Globe theater, then fly out into London. The Doctor drags Will out to reverse what's happened, since he's the wordsmith. That's a lot of pressure to put on a writer. Will starts orating with a little help from the Doctor, including JK Rowling references. The Carrionites are sent back where they came from and the world is saved. The three wtiches are trapped in a globe (not the Globe). Will flirts some more with Martha. The play is lost in the maelstrom, which is why I never had to read it in college. Will writes Martha a sonnet (the Dark Lady sonnet).

The Queen shows up to see Will's plays. She greets the Doctor as her sworn enemy and orders him beheaded. The Doctor and Martha hightail it out and escape on the TARDIS.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Eureka—Phoenix Rising

Henry revisits Kim's death in a hologram. Seems like he might need some therapy. He and Jack are both having problems dealing with their memories of the alternate timeline from last season. In the meantime, Nathan remains a bit obsessed with the artifact.

A solar eclipse captivates the town, with references to the Phoenix floating about from Taggert. Then a guy spontaneously combusts. A random guy, because we can't have main characters spontaneously combusting.

Combusting Guy turns out to be Kevin's occupational therapist, Wayne, which of course upsets Allison. Jack suspects Vincent's chili, but Lupo suggests a connection to Taggert's phoenix. Jack sends Lupo to question Taggert, which makes her a little nervous because of how she made out with Taggert last season.

Beverly talks to Kevin, who says something about "another man." Nobody knows what he's talking about. Jack discusses the "phoenix effect" with Taggert--it has to do with solar flares. He "proves" his theory by performing an experiment on skin graft tissue, which, ewww.

Allison calls Jack, who's in the shower, and via his unexpected video phone gets to see him naked, but none of the rest of us do. That's just wrong.

Jack and Lupo go to talk to Dr. Matthew, who proves to have also gone kerblooey. Henry's examination shows that the combustion began in the brain. And the two doctors had been speaking with each other before their respective head explosions.

Allison attempts to defend Nathan for his faux pas with the artifact, but the higher ups decide to replace him. With Allison. Okay, that's awkward. And it doesn't go over well. Another doctor, Dr. Brock, also appears to be connected to the combusted doctors, as well as to the artifact. Trying to depend on his memories of the alternate timeline, Jack makes some missteps. Dr. Brock combusts, and they're unable to save him.

Jack makes a connection among the victims and goes to talk to Henry. He asks to see the hologram again, from Kim's death. Brock and Matthew are both present in the hologram. Jack suspects Henry, who denies everything, then Jack makes a few more connections and surmises that the other doctors were exposed to the particulate radiation that killed Kim. Although nobody can figure out why Wayne, Kevin's therapist, was in Brock's office at the time. Nathan was also exposed, and he's not feeling so well. They take him to cryogenics to try to waylay the combustion. Henry proposes electroshock therapy to disrupt the misfiring inside Nathan's brain. They throw the switch...and then have a commercial. I hate when they do that.

When we come back from the break, Nathan is all better. ("It was only a flesh wound!") He and Allison share a bonding moment at his hospital bed, which bums out Jack, who still remembers being married to Allison on the alternate timeline. Angst! Henry proposes a memory wipe for both of them, largely because he blames Jack for Kim's death. Jack is reluctant, but Henry blasts him with the memory wiping device when it appears he's decided to go ahead with it. And then Henry destroys the device, still unforgiving of Jack.

Henry applies for a job at Global Dynamics. Beverly reports to Farraday that the artifact appears to be dead. But Farraday says this isn't possible. The energy has to have gone somewhere.

And it reconstructs itself out of modeling clay in Kevin's room. That just can't be good.

So our second season opener has laid the groundwork for what promises to be some interesting developments over the next several weeks. I'm particularly concerned about Henry--he seems to have gone a little off the deep end. Understandably so, but that little power dynamic shift doesn't bode well for Jack.