The Silkworm is stronger than The Cuckoo’s Calling in nearly every way. This is the case for the book and it’s the case for BBC’s TV adaptation, as well. Based on the novel by Robert Galbraith (a pseudonym for J.K. Rowling), The Silkworm continues the story of Cormoran Strike (Tom Burke) and his assistant, Robin Ellacott (Holliday Grainger) a number of months after the end of The Cuckoo’s Calling. Adapted by Tom Edge and directed by Kieron Hawkes, The Silkworm follows Cormoran and Robin as they investigate the mysterious disappearance of Owen Quine (Jeremy Swift) at the behest of his wife, Leonora (Monica Dolan). Owen is a provocative and somewhat famous author known for writing odd and often vulgar novels. At the time of his disappearance, Owen has just sent off the manuscript for his latest novel, Bombyx Mori, which features a “thinly veiled” slandering of many people he knows. When his body turns up dead and mutilated in exactly the same way the protagonist of Bombyx Mori’s protagonist’s death scene, the race is on to find out who, out of all those who have read Bombyx Mori, could have killed Owen Quine. (Mild Spoilers ahead) (more…)
Like the novel it’s based on, BBC’s adaptation of The Cuckoo’s Calling isn’t anything revolutionary, but it sure is a lot of fun. Strike: The Cuckoo’s Calling is the first installment of BBC’s series of adaptations of Robert Galbraith’s (a pseudonym for J.K. Rowling) Cormoran Strike novels. Written by Ben Richards and directed by Michael Keillor, The Cuckoo’s Calling tells the story of Cormoran Strike (Tom Burke) and Robin Ellacott’s (Holliday Grainger) investigation into the death of Lula Landry (Elarica Johnson). After losing his leg to a land mine in Afghanistan, Cormoran Strike is barely scraping by as a private investigator. Comormoran Strike is down to one client, and creditors are calling. He has also just broken up with his longtime girlfriend and is living in his office. Then John Bristow (Leo Bill) walks through his door with an amazing story: His sister, the legendary supermodel Lula Landry, known to her friends as the Cuckoo, famously fell to her death a few months earlier. The police ruled it a suicide, but John refuses to believe that. The case plunges Strike into the world of multimillionaire beauties, rock-star boyfriends, and desperate designers, and it introduces him to every variety of pleasure, enticement, seduction, and delusion known to man. (As always, spoilers follow) (more…)
It was only a matter of time before Big Finish was able to start making audios with David Tennant, and it’s exciting that they’ve finally started! Thankfully, the audios are also good! A bit uneven, but still good. It’s also worth noting that all of the stories in this box set are stand alone. There is no plotline that spans the entire set, which disappoints me a bit as I prefer my box sets to be part of one large story, but I appreciate that it allows the set to be accessible to any and everyone. But I digress. In this set, written by Matt Fitton, Jenny T Colgan, James Goss and directed by Nicholas Briggs, the Tenth Doctor (David Tennant) and Donna Noble (Catherine Tate) continue their journey through time and space together in three stand alone stories. From technology fearing people to illegal weapons to Death itself, the Doctor and Donna must unravel the mysteries that always seem to plague them whenever and wherever they go. (Spoilers ahead) (more…)
I feel like I liked the premise of this box set more than I liked the box set itself. But, that’s not to say Doom Coalition 4 wasn’t good – because it was – it just wasn’t quite as good as I’d have liked. Written by Matt Fitton and John Dorney and directed by Ken Bentley, Doom Coalition 4 picks up exactly where Doom Coalition 3 ended: Padrac (Robert Bathurst) has trapped the Doctor (Paul McGann), Liv Chenka (Nicola Walker), and Helen Sinclair (Hattie Morahan) inside a time escape pod and launched them into the future of the destroyed universe. Meanwhile, Padrac still has River Song (Alex Kingston) in his sights, yet she seems to be on his side. Just what game is she playing and how will it play out? Will the Doctor be able to escape and thwart Padrac’s ultimate plan to destroy the universe in order to save Gallifrey? And what about the Eleven (Mark Bonnar) and Caleera (Emma Cunniffe)? Whose side are they really on and how far will they go to achieve their goals. (Spoilers ahead) (more…)
Finally! This is the kind of box set I’ve been wanting from this series the whole time! The stories are all interconnected, especially the latter three. and on top of that, they’re all superb stories, too! Written by Matt Fitton and John Dorney and directed by Ken Bentley, Doom Coalition 3 picks up shortly after the events of the previous box set with the Doctor (Paul McGann), Liv Chenka (Nicola Walker), and Helen Sinclair (Hattie Morahan) continuing to travel throughout space and time. Naturally, wherever the Doctor goes, trouble always follows, and this is no exception as the Doctor uncovers mysterious pieces of a clock rumored to be the Doomsday Chronometer, a clock built by a Time Lord known only as The Clocksmith (Nicholas Woodeson). Can the Doctor stop the Clocksmith from bringing about the end of the universe? And how does that mysterious nun (Alex Kingston as River Song) factor into things? (Spoilers ahead.)
Not to be rude to Dark Eyes, but man I am in love with the premise Doom Coalition. Partially because I just really love anything to do with the Time Lords and Gallifrey, and since the Eleven (Mark Bonar) is a really messed up Time Lord, he’s far more up my alley than the array of Daleks that Dark Eyes featured. Unfortunately, however, the box set really fails to live up to the high expectations its premise (and first episode) set for it. Written by Matt Fitton, John Dorney, Marc Platt, and Edward Collier and directed by Ken Bentley, Doom Coalition 1 follows the Doctor (Paul McGann) and Liv Chenka (Nicola Walker) as they track down an escaped Time Lord criminal known as the Eleven, a Time Lord with some kind of genetic defect that causes him to retain the personalities of all eleven of his bodies. Their journey takes them through time and space as they must stop the Eleven from succeeding in his evil plan. (Spoilers follow.) (more…)
Big Finish has returned with another installment in their Classic Doctors, New Monsters range. This time featuring the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Eighth Doctors, Classic Doctors, New Monsters (Volume 2) features four stand-alone stories with the Doctors facing the Vashta Nerada, the Racnoss, and the Carrionites. What’s unique about this box set is that the Fourth Doctor story and the Eighth Doctor story are loosely linked, both featuring the Vashta Nerada as villains. This is a clever idea, especially bookending the set with these two stories, and they prove to be my favorite stories of the bunch, not to suggest that any of the stories are bad. On the contrary, I really enjoyed all of them and it saddens me that Big Finish sees this as being the last of these box sets for the imminent future. (Spoilers ahead) (more…)
We’ve reached the final box set in the Dark Eyes series, and everything comes to a head as the Doctor (Paul McGann) and Liv Chenka (Nicola Walker) make their final stand against the Daleks and the Dalek Time Controller. Dark Eyes 4, written by Matt Fitton and John Dorney and directed by Ken Bentley, picks up shortly after the end of Dark Eyes 3. Molly has been returned to her own timeline by the Time Lords – or so the Doctor thinks. He’s landed in post-war England in search of Molly but stumbles his way into a new mystery that may end in destruction. Bringing together the Daleks, the Eminence, the Sontarans, and the Master (Alex Macqueen), Dark Eyes 4 brings the Dark Eyes series to an explosive finale to a strong series from Big Finish. (There are spoilers ahead!) (more…)
I really dig the format of the Big Finish Doctor Who box sets. It’s nice to have these serialized box sets where the story is spread over four hour long episodes (instead of their usual format that mirrors the classic series with four 25 minute episodes). Plus I just really like Paul McGann’s Doctor, so it’s time for the next box set in the Dark Eyes series. Written by Matt Fitton and directed by Ken Bentley, Dark Eyes 3 picks up shortly after the conclusion of Dark Eyes 2 with a kidnapped Molly O’Sullivan (Ruth Bradley) traveling with the Master (Alex Macqueen) and Dr. Sally Armstrong (Natalie Burt). From the Big Finish website: “In his quest for universal domination, the Master plans to exploit the terrifying Infinite Warriors of the mysterious Eminence. The Doctor’s friend, Molly, is key to that plan’s execution, and now, aided by corrupted genius Sally Armstrong, the Master is close to success. Paranoid and perplexed after his recent experience, the Doctor skirts the fringes of the fifty-year conflict between humanity and the Infinite Armies. Wary of changing the course of history, he fears that to fight the Eminence would be to do the Daleks’ bidding. But when Time Lord CIA agent Narvin (Sean Carlsen) provides the impetus for the Doctor to act, Liv Chenka (Nicola Walker) joins him in a desperate race to save their friend and stop the Master. As the Doctor goes head to head with his oldest and deadliest rival, this war is about to get very personal indeed…” (As always, there will be spoilers ahead.) (more…)
It’s just been announced that the 13th Doctor will be played by Jodie Whittaker, making this the first time in Doctor Who’s 54 year history that the role of the Time Lord has been played by a woman. Jodie Whittaker, amongst other things, is known for her role as Beth Latimer in ITV’s Broadchurch (coincidentally also written by the new showrunner for Doctor Who, Chris Chibnall). I am beyond excited by her casting! It’s about time the show did something besides cast another white male as the Doctor and Whittaker is a brilliant choice as the first female Doctor. She’s a superb actress and I really adored her performance in Broadchurch – the only thing to date that I’ve seen her in.
The little teaser video they announced her in was lots of fun too, and I know that the costume she was wearing in the video is almost definitely not her final costume, but I adore it anyway. It’s a nice blend of Twelve’s outfits – which I adore, possibly more than any other Doctor’s costume – and something new. Sure, the Doctor is now a woman, but she’s still the same character she’s always been and visually they should show that. While all the Doctors costumes have been radically different from each other, they’ve all also sort of looked similar enough, and the costume Whittaker wore in the video followed along the same lines. It’s similar to how they handled Missy’s costume when that character became a woman. It was different but also still in line with what came before.
I’m rambling about her costume now. Point is: she looks great, the teaser video was great, and I am excited. Also, all of you should watch Broadchurch. Just do it. It’s got David Tennant, Olivia Coleman, David Bradley, Arthur Darville, and Jodie Whittaker in it (plus more) and it’s just really good and it’ll give you a good sense of Chris Chibnall’s writing and Jodie Whittaker’s acting.
PS: Here’s the official press release: (more…)