Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Arya gonna go my way?

I'm pretty sceptical about this rumour of Maisie Williams as the next Doctor Who companion. Apart from the minor detail that she's got other filming commitments for the foreseeable, most of the time all this speculation gets drummed up and then the new companion is a completely new character. (Jenna Coleman had already been announced as Amy's replacement when Clara made her surprise early appearance.)

"The Girl Who Died" / "The Woman Who Lived" by Jamie Mathieson, Steven Moffat and Catherine Tregenna, directed by Ed Bazalgette. Spoilers after the cut.

Friday, 16 October 2015

Book review: Foxglove Summer

In Ben Aaronovitch's last novel, police constable and apprentice wizard Peter Grant considered himself well out of his comfort zone in having to cross the river and work in South London, but Foxglove Summer sees him leave London completely and investigate the case of two missing schoolgirls in the countryside. He also ends up somewhere even further away for the big finale, and in the process figures out the true nature of The Folly's vampiric housekeeper (it's not what he thinks.) Most of the usual characters stay behind in London so Aaronovitch gets to play around with a new dynamic, with Beverley Brook, the river goddess and Peter's on-off girlfriend, getting a more active role in the story; there's a new gay character whose sexuality is entirely incidental as well, so that's good.

It's one of the more enjoyable stories in the Rivers of London series, although some of the conceits of Aaronovitch's prose are starting to grate on me a bit: I know people are likely to say "me and Beverley" in normal conversation when "Beverley and I" is correct, but using it so much in writing really annoys me, especially when it's such an easy rule to learn. And I do like the way the writer points out, via his mixed-race narrator, how western literature tends to assume a character is white unless told otherwise, and in contrast Peter always describes a new character's race regardless of what it is; but at times he's so obviously making a point it defeats the object, like when Peter walks into a room and it's made clear everyone in it is white, and he then goes on to individually tell us each of the characters is white as well.

But while I'd like the books to have a slightly stricter editor sometimes, I'm still enjoying them for the most part, and the change of location brings a fresh touch to this instalment, while keeping the series' ongoing story on hold, presumably for a big finale in a book or two's time.

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Fisher Priceless

So it looks like this whole series of Doctor Who is made up of two-parters with matching titles? I approve - a nice throwback to the original series without actually going back to four- and six-part stories that spent the middle bit running around corridors because they ran out of story. And the tenth anniversary of the new series is a good time to go for it. But I can't have read the series preview in the Radio Times that carefully because I totally missed that this was what they were doing.

"Under the Lake" / "Before the Flood" by Toby Whithouse, directed by Daniel O'Hara. Spoilers after the cut.