Friday, July 27, 2007

Doctor Who—Daleks in Manhattan

We open on a Broadway review. Tallulah macks on some guy in her dressing room. She's kind of annoying. The guy, apparently her fiance or at least a serious boyfriend, goes to investigate strange noises--which nobody should ever do on this show--and is attacked by um...a giant pig?

The TARDIS arrives by the Statue of Liberty, which oddly isn't crowded at all. Man when I went there the place was packed. Also, the Empire State Building isn't finished yet. It's 1930. Something hinky is going on in Hooverville, a sort of Depression homeless camp. The folks in Hooverville have pretty convincing American accents. We pause for a bit of political commentary. Which, unfortunately, is just as relevant to today's world. We move on to some people working on the Empire State Building, where the NY accents aren't quite so convincing. Oh, and the whole operation is being run by Daleks and giant pigs. That can't be good.

People are disappearing from Hooverville. The Doctor chats with Solomon, who's nominally in charge of the place. He says people are being taken.

Mr. Diagorus, whose running the Empire State Building building, comes to Hooverville to recruit people to go down into the sewers for a dollar a day. He needs a group to go down to find a collapse. The Doctor volunteers. Solomon and another man, Frank, go with, as well as Martha. The sewer party finds a glowy stinky jellyfish thing in the sewer. The group can't find the supposed collapse.

Diagorus has some funky Dalek looking plates to attach to the mast on the Empire State building, and it has to be done immediately, at night, which the workers say is impossible. Diagorus insists it will be done or the workers will be replaced.

The Daleks are planning the Final Experiment. They like Diagorus, and say he will be rewarded. He's brought before the Leader Dalek, who's shinier than the other ones. The pigs are ordered to secure him.

The Doctor's party hears piggie noises. That can't be good, given the prevalence of giant pigs in this episode. Poor Frank has a very bad Southern accent. They encounter a pig-guy hangin' out down in the sewers. The Doctor goes to chat with him and offers to help him get back to the surface. More pigs show up--a whole piggy army.

They run away and are pursued by the pigs. The pigs take Frank. The Doctor, Solomon and Martha end up in Tallulah's dressing room hearing about Laszlo, her disappearing boyfriend. Solomon goes back to Hooverville and rallies the inhabitants.

The workers put the Dalek panels on the spire of the Empire State Building. Diagorus is prepped for the Final Experiment. There are only four Daleks left. They have a bit of an argument about the experiment, regarding maintaining Dalek purity. The plan is to absorb Diagorus and make him a Dalek, producing a new Dalek form.

The Doctor experiments with the jellyfish thing from the sewers. Tallulah goes on stage for her nightly show. Martha sees a pig man watching from the wings--Laszlo. She sneaks across the stage to go see what's going on. Not very stealthily, though. The Doctor figures out that the jelly fish thing is from Skaro, the Dalek planet. I remember that from "Genesis of the Daleks" back in the day. Martha chases down pig-Laszlo. Another pig man grabs her just as the Doctor comes after her. The Doctor heads back down into the sewers and spots a Dalek in the sewers.

Dalek-Sek, the head Dalek, is failing--the experimental absorption of Diagorus isn't going well. The Daleks are trying to evolve. Hm. That'll probably work in real well with next weeks' episode, "Evolution of the Daleks..."

The Doctor corners and questions pig-Laszlo. He escaped before they transformed his mind, but he's still got a pig-face. Tallulah finally recognizes Laszlo--she's obviously kinda slow. Laszlo takes the Doctor to the Daleks.

The Daleks are scanning the prisoners for intelligence. The not so smart ones go to become pig slaves. The smart ones go to the laboratory for the Final Experiment. This is kind of confusing because it looks like there are way more humans than Daleks. Martha goes into the latter group. The Doctor falls into their group. Tallulah's left kind of stranded. Laszlo won't go with her and she gets lost.

Dalek-Sek is entering the final stage of evolution. A hybrid Dalek/human emerges from his Dalek shell. Dude, you fugly.

To Be Continued....

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Saving Grace and Burn Notice

I was about to give up on this show ten minutes or so in, but I decided to stick it out. I don't think this is going to be a new favorite, but I did find the premiere hour enjoyable. The premise--Grace Hanadarko (Holly Hunter) is headed for hell, presumably for sleeping with her married partner and driving drunk. Hopefully not for slugging the obnoxious cattle baron who felt her up without her permission, because that was a good move on her part. Anyway, God sends a scruffy tobacco-chewing angel named Earl (Leon Rippy) to get her back on track. Of course she doesn't believe he's really an angel because she doesn't believe in angels. But in the end she starts to straighten up her act a bit, after slugging the cattle guy again and stealing his cow, which has markings on it that look like Jesus--no, seriosuly.

Mainstream reviewers have criticized the series' paranormal elements, i.e. Scruffy Winged Earl, but without that I wouldn't have been interested in the show at all, so I won't criticize that. Well, okay, maybe it was all a tad heavy-handed, but not nearly as heavy-handed as Bruce Almighty, which was supposed to be a light comedy, but I suppose that's another post for another blog.

In any case, not a bad show, although possibly not compelling enough for me personally to keep me tuning in. We'll see if I remember to watch it next week.

On the other hand, Burn Notice is a very fun show. I won't go into details yet, because I came in on episode two and I haven't quite sorted everyone out yet, but it interested me enough that I'll likely be huntin gup the episodes I've missed, and I've set up a pass on my DVR to catch it from here on out.

Which reminds me... I really need to clear off the DVR...

Monday, July 23, 2007

Eureka and Doctor Who

I was trying to catch up, and am just not happy with either of my reviews for these shows last week. Suffice it to say that Eureka was fun but a bit shallower than last week, and Doctor Who was very cool, with the Face of Bo and Macras both coming to visit from earlier Doctoral incarnations. Sorry for skipping--it was just a very hectic week.

Back to your regularly scheduled programming.