The Inner Monologues of Jake Fox

My Collection A-Z – Reviews – Apocalypse Now

For a while now, I’ve been thinking about what I could possibly use as an excuse to write, now that Doctor Who is over and didn’t make me annoyed enough to rant, and given the fact that I forget to watch pretty much everything else that’s on TV. Eventually, it was a case of minor OCD that provided the creative spark, as by ordering my movie collection, it meant that now I have a good excuse to watch films again without worrying about my mind breaking as the alphabet goes straight out of the window and carries on going until it decides to sort itself out again and come back feeling slightly ashamed it put me through that trouble.

So, to start off with, it’s the turn of A, for which I have chosen Apocalypse Now.

(Apocalypse) Now, I’m ashamed to admit I’d never seen this film, and hadn’t heard anything really about it when I got it about 3 months ago, and so when I was removing the packaging today, I realised that I should be ashamed of myself for the whole lack of effort and pace I have when it comes to these sorts of things (As seen with my unwrapped 2011 birthday presents). My shame was then completely doubled, tripled and multiplied by further prime numbers as I watched the film, kicking myself for every minute I’d delayed the experience.

Basically, it’s pretty damn good. As a whole experience, there’s not many films like it. The way it shows off the Vietnam War in a light that completely damns it in one way, and delights in it in another, is something which is not only difficult to pull off, but so difficult that if it’s done wrong then it can completely ruin a film, and a dinner with your Vietnamese relatives to boot.

Technically, it’s superb. If a film is considered to be a series of paintings put together to form a whole, then Francis Ford Copolla is equivalent to Vincent Van Gogh combined with the drug from Lucy, with Apocalypse Now being his (insert best Vincent Van Gogh painting according to your opinion here) in comparison. Some of the shots are what makes this film so perfect in its description of the war; the napalms and the jungle combining on more than one occasion to leave you in a state of shock and awe, and its through this that I think Copolla delights in the way this war was fought. The sounds and the visuals all come together in what can only be described as perfection throughout the film, and its truly something to behold from an artistic standpoint.

Now thats done, If I can quickly just take a step down from the high chair of artsy fartsy pretension, I’ll talk a bit more normally.

The usual characters aren’t even that great, yet they still manage to be suited for the purpose. They all fall into the easy clichés of Druggie, Ghetto Black Guy, Respectable Black Guy, Mental, Arsehole in Charge (of whom is the stand-out for me) and Arsehole narrator, and for the most part these stay exactly as they are. That is until the war takes its toll on all of them, and they all merge to form one basic part of ‘Nutcase Bellend’. But, this is by no means the usual nutcase bellend, as with its widespread effect and believability after you’ve just witnessed what they have, then it begins to have much more of an endearing side effect, rather than an annoying one. Each of these characters you meet has flaws, and they don’t pretend not to, and its this complete open-ness that makes them so real, with an allowance for you to decide whether or not killing children and innocents, as long as you kill 2 terrorists along the way, makes you a prick.

Despite its apparent perfection, it does have a few problems, not major ones like a wart the size of an abnormally large toe on the end of your nose, but more like someone else coughing every 15 minutes during the opera, in that after a while it gets quite grating. Firstly, it’s a pretty long film, and towards the end, you can feel that. Most of the film flies by, however during the ending half an hour, when its gets all a bit detailed and extended, it slows right down. It has a nice effect at first, however after a while, I felt it was more draining that it was intelligent. And then finally, the narrator. I have no problems with what he’s saying, its how he says it. This didn’t bother me too much until around the middle of the film, but my god did Michael Sheen’s gravelly voice start to piss me off after a while, as he started to sound more and more like he’d exclusively drunk sandpaper and lego bricks for the last year to get it like that.

Overall however, this was a good film. A very good one in fact. So good that I completely forgot it was Christmas. Now time to get away from all the greed, hysteria and shouting and get back into the UK Christmas spirit…. Oh wait…. (#BANTS)

9/10

Distraction of the Year 2015 – FIFA 15 review

Despite all the fuss that’s been regarding Ebola during the last few weeks, I’ve confidently decided not to give the faintest of shits and carry on as normal, taking inspiration from the New Orleans rowing team after Hurricane Katrina. However, unlike the New Orleans rowing team, I didn’t really have a choice in the whole matter, since being the autonomous little hype-slave I am, I’ve spent most of my time inside playing the new fifa, like every teenager and their cat, with this Ebola problem giving me even more of an excuse to board up my windows and reject the sunlight for a few more days.

This year, the unquestionable geniuses at EA have decided to try a brand new idea that will revolutionise the way we play the game, introducing a new system involving 22 unresponsive stick figures with pixelated faces chasing after a what might be a ball and trying to kick it into a goal to score points, making it seem more like the annual Animators Witness Protection
sports meet-up than an actual football game (just think about it for a bit, and it’ll make sense). That might sound exactly the same as all the others, and if it sounds like that to you, then well done, you are not a complete lemon and have a basic understanding of the word ‘improvement’ and how Fifa seems to stay as far away from it as it’s pixelated little legs will carry it. BUT ITS OKAY CAUSE I STILL BOUGHT IT AND SO WILL YOU.

Admittedly yes, the gameplay’s a bit smoother, and the graphics are pretty nice if you press your face to the screen during the pre-match cutscenes, but apart from that theres not much too notable, unless you’re a hype-condriac like I am, in which case you’ll proceed to name all of the brand new leagues that no-ones going to touch even as part of a bet, and then go on to say how the menus are actually cool and high tech. The menus may be nice and all, but I’d rather have a menu made of crayon and glitter and actually have pro-clubs, but hey, that must be me being fussy. After all, EA will remind me how the PS4 is so much better and that has pro-clubs so why do I go and get it and spend more money in FIFA than I already have. And whilst EA remind me this, I’ll be giving them a shy middle finger, followed by several much more animated ones, finalised by one right through the middle in the hole of my empty wallet.

As you may have been able to tell, currently I’m not in love with FIFA 15. Whilst it may not be quite as broken as FIFA 14 or quite as turd as FIFA 13, it lacks something which pretty much makes a game for me, and that is my ability to actually win a game without sweating more than a fat paedophile climbing the long stairs to the orphanage bedrooms. Winning is naturally what this game is all about, despite what the my dad may tell you, and so without it happening quite often, playing this game is about as painful as shoving a cheese grater down your trousers and going out raving, in so much that you either don’t try out of health and safety or you try so hard that afterwards you could have ‘Pasta a la ballsack’.

Until I start winning again, this game is awful and I hate it, which matches the psyche of every FIFA player, so really, you’re the weird one. My experiences with this game can be summed up quite nicely by describing my first few days. By first playing more single-player games than the worlds loneliest party animal, and finding that beating amateur was getting boring, I thought I’d established myself as a pretty good player, holding a 43-0 aggregate score over Accrington Stanley and scoring a really nice goal with a few stepovers past thin air.

It was at this point I decided to try my luck at the former model in EA’s sporting whorehouse, and test out ultimate team. After one game and one 1-0 win against the computer I headed straight into a match with the arrogance and ignorance expected of one of my skill level. 64 chemistry bronze team in hand, skipping along with the stamina of the fat paedophile coming back down the stairs of the orphanage a few hours later, I went idly along. After game two, I can safely say I have never received such a vigorous fisting since Uncle Darren came over with a torch and claimed that I’d sat on his keys.

Adopting the brain capacity of a small toe and the responsiveness of the UK in the ISIS crisis, my players seemed to be a in a polite vegetative state, letting others walk past them and even through them, giving this other prick more pleasure than Hitler during his political blowie from Neville Chamberlain. The only highlight was that my players were so retarded that it made me feel better about myself and allowed me to shunt the blame to poor gameplay rather than the fact I was playing Cheese-grater rave at every throw in.

The Goalkeepers are worse than a mix of a paraplegic and a burning pile of dog turd, meaning they just flop in a mess of depression at the nearest sight of the ball, like they’re having a mental collapse after a traumatic incident with balls in their past (immature joke definitely intended). Career mode is long and dreary, and quite frankly if you want a fun way of replicating a managerial experience, just get Football Manager or just wait until Chelsea turn to the general public after firing every Portuguese prick in the surrounding area who has the personality of a ripped Peacock with a not so pea-cock.

So, safe to say I’m not completely enjoying this game right now. But it’s also safe to say that I’ll be liking it’s grass-covered arse when I start winning, so it’s all just swings and roundabouts in the end. Or… Inswingers and ground-abouts? Shut up I tried

Doctor Who: Time Heist – Review

Last weeks’ episode of Doctor Who was possibly one of the best mid-series shows we’ve been treated to since the later days of David Tennant. There’s no other way to do it justice. Did Steven Moffat’s second attempt in a row have quite the same effect?

The episode this time round saw the Doctor and Clara join forces with hair-gelled version of Scarlett Johansson’s final form in the film ‘Lucy’ and wannabe Mystique to form what must be time and space’s most rag-tag team of Bank-robbers that the world has ever seen since the Chuckle-Brothers went through their rebellious phase alongside Chaz and Dave. Whilst originally starting with no idea where they are or why they are there, the episode shows the Fantastic Four coming to grips with their new situation and identity crises, and all whilst dealing with a much more tolerable and altogether better version of Jar-Jar Binks.

Basically being an intergalactic special of ‘The Hustle’, the basic premise is that they’ve got to pull of the heist to the best of their abilities and without dying too much. Except this has got a twist, in that this quartet of frequent questions and less frequent answers actually has very little idea about what they’re meant to be trying to nick, so this story is as much as a discovery for them as it is for you. Except there’s another twist, in that they all did know what they wanted to steal but then asked themselves to be roofied so they couldn’t remember how much of a great time they’d all had planning the whole thing, and so the morning after wouldn’t be quite as awkward. Now this doesn’t seem too hard, since they’ve got a shapeshifter, a time-lord, a member of Anonymous and an impractically dressed Clara to make it as easy as possible. Except there’s another twist. Jar-Jar Binks can melt your head into a spoon if you even feel a bit guilty, even if it’s about that time you ate the last slice of your friends mum’s birthday cake in 2005. Keeping up?

So, the actual reviewing. The story, despite some small issues, was fun and enjoyable, and made for a much more enjoyable viewing than some other attempts at this sort of story line. It wasn’t too complicated, despite it’s small dabbles in pretty much everything during the course of the 45 minutes, and yet it wasn’t too simple either, which made you work to sort everything out in your head, but also meant that you could sit down and have a good time watching it whilst you did. I thought some points maybe could’ve been worked on a bit more, but there’s limited time within an episode, and at no points did the episode actually feel like it was scraping the bottom of the barrel, looking for the last few hairs of Matt Smith’s wig to try and tape together into a joke about Robo-Cop. This doesn’t mean that they’re weren’t problems though, because they were, and like a poorly made gimp suit, there’s no escaping that. Some moments in the episode felt re-used and had brief glimpses of admittedly good moments of former doctors and companions, for example the chase scene felt a lot like Capaldi and Coleman’s attempt at Matt Smith and Karen Gillan’s Forest of Angels walkthrough, and the small moment of sacrifice looked very much like Matt Smith’s sacrifice in Rings of Aktakhen. Then again, this wasn’t a huge issue, and it probably serves me right for knowing about that enough to recognise it.

Acting-wise, it was mostly good. Capaldi put in a great performance again, and is really coming into his own in the role, even the Scottish accent providing useful and actually not too much of a problem for me now I’ve gotten used to it. Coleman took a back-seat in the episode, and so wasn’t as great, but did a good enough job in the role she was asked to do, but was outshone by another actress in the form of Keeley Hawes, who whilst having a hair-do that looked like the inside of a Twirl, managed to do a more than good job of presenting the emotionally distant controller of it all, and did so with ease for the most part. Then came the other two. They certainly weren’t bad, they had moments which showed you why the actually got cast in the first place, but for the most part their lines felt forced, and so even during the emotional moments, they sounded about as monotonous as a robotic remake of Eeyore. But maybe that’s just me looking for something not to like. It’s not, but oh well.

Dialogue was strong, but for the most part was dictated by the story, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but meant there wasn’t too much room to manoeuvre concerning emotional input and the light-hearted small talk which fills the gaps in the action. This week however, it was filled by the truck-load of action available in this weeks effort, and so it wasn’t a large miss, and neither was the reference to the over-arching story-line which seems to have gone a bit cold over the last few weeks.

Overall though, it was a strong effort, and has meant the Doctor Who has produced two better than enjoyable episodes in two better than enjoyable weeks. It’s a surprise given some recent efforts *cough cough*, even if it means having to not see Clara as much, it’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make if the quality continues.

Doctor Who: Robot In Sherwood – Review

There had to be an end to my excitement for this series. I was however hoping for a sightlier easier venture into eventual disappointment, perhaps a holiday on the isle of ‘Worse than expected’ where I could merely dip my toes into the hopefully metaphorical pool of discouragement before I took the final plunge. But no. This episode proved to an ice bucket challenge of failure, with all the water taken directly from the local sewage farm, leaving me showered in shit and shivering at what just happened. 

Okay, so it wasn’t completely woeful, and in fact still manages to best the infamous ‘Dinosaurs on a Spaceship’, but the worrying fact is that it only just manages to beat an episode which poses as much of a challenge as a small baby does in a professional basketball game. 

The plot is one that looks like it’s been made from the mixture of a 6 year-old ultimate fantasy, and an ageing uncle looking to recapture his youth and prove that he’s ‘still fun’ whilst wearing self-knitted jumpers and slippers. This week in his perpetually out-of-place travelling time box, the Doctor is coincidentally met with the one and only Robin Hood just after excessively proclaiming that the tight-clad box-carrying hero doesn’t exist. This then leads to the eventual and admittedly at times acceptable battle between the two, as they aim to find who the better of the two really is in a contest which produces the feeling that both characters mental attitude is ‘Clara! Like me more’. Whilst the narcissistic war wages on, the Doctor has also got the battle against the spoiler in the title, trying to free half of the town from the actually believable evil of Ben Miller, and also trying to prove that the man who he’s having the petulant spat with is in fact also a robot and that the whole thing is just one great big rouse full of propaganda and poor plot holes.

As you can tell already, the plot put more off more than most things in this episode, excluding one big factor which made me turn away in cringe-worthy disgust at several points, but that’s for later. To say it didn’t exactly suit the series is an understatement, and what made it worse was at times it all seemed too choppy and stuck together with a bit of glue and a sticker saying “that’ll do”, meaning that it all just gave the impression of stupid Doctor Who. This is not always a bad thing, some of 10’s best episodes were those that made absolutely no sense and took that fact and ran with it, not even looking back to make a fart joke. However, this mixed with a new doctor which people are still trying to get used to, along with the shoehorning of the trademark Moffat overarching story line made it all seem a bit pointless in the grand scheme of things, not to mention that it was more than completely predictable, resulting in me on more than one occasion pointing at the screen and listing off exactly what was going to happen long before, like a psychic who’s fed up with all this spirituality bollocks. 

The dialogue, as ever, was good at times, and kept the story going even when it looked like it was just going to convulse and die on the floor right there and then. Clara, despite my inevitable bias towards her again, was still good, and Capaldi had some Malcolm Tucker vibes which did well to maintain any substance considering the subject matter 90% of the time. At times there was even some actual emotive words exchanged with about as much care and thought behind it as a truck full of highly explosive replica father figures driving head first into an orphanage does, but still it tried which is better than some efforts previously. 

The acting was okay, nothing special, with a good, albeit clichéd in every evil sense performance from Ben Miller, and a strong, albeit arrogant and annoying performance from the bloke in the tights. Nothing more to say on that matter really.

Then finally, what I thought was the absolute worst, the paraplegic runt amongst the litter full of slightly less handicapped runts; the tone. Despite everything that the writing had led us to believe about the Doctor being a new darker character full of malice and a steely determination to succeed, this week the writing seemed to give a large cheer of ‘#YOLO’ and proceeded to give anyone who had any interest in plot or continuity the sly middle finger, followed by a few more directly in their faces, then followed by an almighty effort resulting in a swastika of middle fingers and a feeling that maybe this insult wasn’t quite worth the effort. This episode didn’t fit into the system at all, and took a forming character and made sure he’d have to do it all again, just to make sure everyone got the point completely. Good job Doctor Who. Well played.

In case you hadn’t guessed, I hated this episode with a passion equivalent to Kerry Katona’s hatred for weight-loss. At least on the bright-side it can only get better. Right?

Doctor Who: Into the Dalek – Review

Week two of my writing renaissance has arrived, and so has the second week of Peter Capaldi’s more than acceptable appearance as the Doctor, this week hoping to repeat or even build upon the signs of quality hidden in and around the HD remake of Jurassic Park. The story this time around took a quick detour round ‘Cliche story’ street, focusing on the old enemy of the Dalek, with a bit of molecular resizing thrown in for good measure, and sees the Doctor faced with the moral dilemma of saving the pricks that have tormented his overly-emotional past for a while now. Will he, or won’t he? Well he did, but was the episode any good?

So yes, this episode saw the return of the Daleks, this time in a role that has never ever been done before, not even in the first series of ‘Nu-Who’, and that is the role of the debilitated and tied-up Dalek who on the whole of it has seen better days. However this episode takes a spin on this, with the HILARIOUSLY nick-named ‘Rusty’ struggling from severe identity issues, and by that I mean liking the universe and generally everything in it apart from the Daleks, not trying on women’s clothing. The Doctor is then tasked with saving the turncoat in order to get a Dalek on the lighter side of the force, and generally helping to carry out one of the largest moral changes since Anakin went from pod-racing to playing lightning chess with the emperor and being a massive dick to everyone. How I hear you ask? Not using that convenient sonic screwdriver which seems to be able to do everything else whenever its needed, no. As mentioned earlier, it’s all done by using a shrink ray and going inside the Dalek, mainly to be used as an excuse it seems to use the words ‘inside pure evil’ as much as possible without resulting in being sued for damages to the TV’s of every viewer stuck watching. Oh and there’s some army references and a dalek invasion which kind of gets brushed over quite a lot too.

Story-wise, as you can tell, it kind of lacks. For a Dalek episode, admittedly it may seem stronger than those before it, which have struggled to rekindle the same excellence and ‘OMG WOW’ factor that they held during ‘Dalek’ and the ‘Bad Wolf’ storyline. For a dry concept now such as the Daleks, it does well for what it is, and should be commended for trying to kick-start the fear and admiration once again, however it doesn’t leave much room for error in terms of creating a really great story, and that’s where this episode falls short. Too many elements are too quickly dealt with or ignored completely to leave a sense of disappointment, not that the story was poor, but that it could have been ‘So much more’ (+1 if you get that reference). The shrink ray idea was good and bagged plenty of promise, but failed to deliver and it’s blatant disregard for the importance and possibilities linked with this soon meant it soon became the typical Doctor Who idea of “This works now and you shouldn’t question it or ask for more, okay?”. Overall decent, but lacked in killer edge that makes or breaks a dalek episode.

Dialogue, as we have come to expect now, was strong, and continued to prove that Clara and the Doctor can retain a chemistry of a power duo, only made stronger by the removal of the ‘Human-TimeLord’ sexual tension and the addition of a much darker and thankfully usually sober Scot. Some of the lines between characters, and the more ‘evil’ aspects of the situation touched upon by the Doctor make for some real emotional teasers, which at times prevented the episode from slipping from the precarious lifeguard chair of acceptability into the still water of boredom, without even making a splash to help itself. 

The scenes however offer little originality, and seems almost like a collage of old episodes, dalek and non-dalek, thrown together by a five year-old with a Michael Bay level of obsession for needlessly explicit explosions and as much knowledge about soldiers and internal defences as Call of Duty and the Magic School Bus will allow them. Everything looks like it’s been done before, with the exception of a few scenes, and this takes away from any shock or excitement that might have been found from some of the more explosive (literally) moments and leaves it a bit monotonous at times. A few scenes were admittedly rather excellently done, one which, whilst clearly and poorly green-screened, managed to get a strong effect of power and fear, and another which was spurred on rather a lot by the excellent dialogue, however did finish with a chilling shot of a dalek in a dark corridor, something which personally would make me 200% soil myself promptly and directly on the feet of anyone within a ten foot radius. 

The main way that this episode thrived however was by the emotional exploitation, something that was carried on from the effective dialogue of the series opener, and managed to do a good job again by raising questions which whilst probably will never be answered, do provide something for fans to mull over when they inevitably stop caring about my aptly nick-named ‘Victorian God lady and her probably disgusting tea’. It’s all well and good having these questions raised and insights about the doctor doubted and argued, but for these really to have an impact, the actions surrounding these needs to be stepped up quite a bit.

Overall, this was a decent episode, and helped to lay the groundwork for later episodes in the series, and also helped to immerse the viewer deeper into the mindset and morals of Capaldi’s doctor, however where it lacked, it really lacked, and so not only left the viewer wanting more, but also ended up leaving an undoubtedly confused set of destroyed Daleks wishing they’d never attacked a hidden and on the whole harmless space-station in the first place. 

Doctor Who: Deep Breath – Review (A few Spoilers)

Writing stuff is hard. Finding stuff to write about is even harder. So, after weeks and weeks of sitting around trying to cling onto anything vaguely interesting and trying to magically transform it into something that both makes sense and doesn’t end up with the reader running to find the nearest toilet, finally a saviour to rid me of my creative woes has arisen. And what else could it be than Doctor Who?

That’s right, Doctor Who started once again on Saturday night, and this time arrived with a new face at the helm, with Peter Capaldi making his first full appearance as the quirky and duo-cardiaced adventurer. A few months previous, I had made my feelings known about Capaldi’s casting, sounding like a beleaguered hippie and proclaiming ‘Give OA-Peace a chance’, and, in case you didn’t get that hilarious pun, basically saying that the admittedly more mature Scot should be given a chance to show off his strengths before judgements can be made. Then, as time has gone on, a more pessimistic side of me has been getting increasingly worried and questionable about whether or not the casting was right, and whether or not than pun was really worth the effort, meaning that I went into this episode with a less than acceptable sense of hostility towards the man who ripped a Matt Smith shaped chunk from my heart and threw it aside like the bastard I’d then already decided he was.

So, how did Capaldi eventually do? Was former me proved right, or did current me steal a victory in the judgement Olympics of 2014? Well, lets go see who proves to be the winner of that eccentric analogy:

The story this week saw the Doctor and those around him getting used to his new body and basic psyche, all whilst battling what originally seems like the looming problem of a Giant Dinosaur roaming through Victorian London, thanks of course to the Doctor himself, and then later battling the Clockwork people, who are trying to reassemble themselves using the parts of humans and  dinosaurs alike in the City, with a blatant disregard as to whether or not the person was using them or if they wanted to keep them, showing rudeness is the greatest evil of all.

Whilst this story may not seem suited to the darker and more serious talents of Capaldi, which have become evident through his performance in The Thick of It, the returning enemies of The Clockwork People provide a dark enough tone to allow Capaldi to give a taste of what his Doctor will be like, and even the appearance and (SPOILER) subsequent combustion (END OF SPOILER) of the Dinosaur allows for some pieces of raw emotional quality, which wouldn’t have gone amiss in Jurassic Park or something else emotional that I can’t think of.

This type of speech and message sets the standard for the rest of the episode, with some strong dialogue and some real top quality jokes linked to Capaldi’s new Scottish character, accent and subsequent blind patriotism that made me genuinely laugh, and some light-hearted repartee (Which is my way of trying to avoid using the word ‘banter’) between the always comical Strax, Jenny, Vastra and Clara. Despite these though, moments of true emotion and intensity were not spared, and many can be found throughout the episode, providing some excellent character development, especially for Clara and Jenny, and giving an insight into the confusion and trauma Clara may have just undergone, due to the fact the man she loved turned into a 55 year-old Scot, which I imagine could be quite stupefying, even if you have travelled through space and time and so shouldn’t really expect anything less at one point or another.

For the most part however, the dialogue and monologues are very strong, with some moments of true quality thrown in now and again. The only issue with all of this is that there are some tonal issues, especially at the start, meaning that the show seemed unwilling to let go of Smith’s childish influence, and so didn’t really allow Capaldi to establish himself straight away. It wasn’t story-ruining, but at times the light-hearted flirting and references seemed lost and didn’t fit, however as Capaldi grows into his own role, I’m sure this problem with soon vanish, like my hopes for a David Tennant cameo or a series without the Daleks.

The story, as mentioned before, was good, nothing overly special, but still good nonetheless. The gradual emergence of the enemy, added to the reference to The Girl in the Fireplace made it an interesting reveal, however the enemies this time seemed to fall of a bit short of actually threatening, like a knife attached to a teddy bear with cello-tape. (SPOILER) The fact that they seemed beatable by holding your breath was, whilst well done with the hair and atmosphere ideas, almost too easy to be done, and so the characters seemed more at danger of asphyxiation than of any of the Stabby – human pick’n’mix – alarm clocks, which felt a bit too much like cheating to me. (END OF SPOILER). Overall however, it was a good episode in terms of storyline, and whilst there were some aspects which could have been expanded on further and not have brought in for a cool action scene or quick gimmick, this was nothing to dampen the spirits of what can be considered a successful dabble at a Doctor’s first episode.

Cast-wise, everyone was individually strong in their performances, and personally I felt that Clara and Vastra managed to cause a share of the spotlight with Capaldi’s new Doctor, which is a job for which they should be given incredibly large amounts of credit for. No main character felt out of place, even the Dinosaur, no matter how poorly CGI’d, managed to do a good job as an emotional catalyst, which is all you can hope for really. Good job from everyone involved, well mostly everyone (SPOILER) exception maybe the strange dancing women at the end, who seemed a bit off considering all that had just happened, but this is Doctor Who I suppose. (END OF SPOILER)

So overall did Capaldi have a good debut? Was it up there with that of Tennant, Baker and Rose, who had an effect on all of us for years to come, or was it down there with Mickey, The other baker, or Ali Dia (Look it up for those of you who aren’t football fans)? Well I can safely say, that after all, he was up on the positive end of the scale. Not quite Tennant, but damn close, and as for the episode as whole, it was a solid episode, with some moments of brilliance and mediocrity sandwiched together with a side of emotive creativity, washed down and emphasised by an inspired moment of resurrection at the end, which altogether makes it well worth the watch. And, if I were to complete this analogy, and leave a tip, I’d say build on this good start, and sooner or later people will forget about that bloody Scottish accent.

 

Productivity (Or a lack of it)

Naturally, I am not a very productive person. I’m not sure whether there’s some inherent laziness found in my genes, or if I have spent so much time with people like me that I’m now stuck in a perpetual state of “What’s the point” and procrastination, but either way, I struggle to get out of bed most days, and this tends to have a more than significant effect on how much I can actually get done, or how much I want to get done anyway.

Now that the summer has arrived, and I’ve got about 2 months to do whatever I want and have as much time to actually do stuff as I need, you might begin to think that this whole productivity problem might just sink into anonymity, like most people’s self confidence issues when they start watching Embarrassing bodies. However, if you think that, then you obviously don’t know me. ‘Lazy’ doesn’t quite cut it in most situations, and over the years I feel I’ve been able to hone my abilities of being able to leave my work to someone else, with my case of indolence so strong that my reaction to a new book-to-film adaptation being “Oh good, something else I now don’t have to read”. So even now, with a lot of time and freedom available to me, there is very little chance of anything useful actually getting done. 

Now, this summer, my goal of somehow doing less than Nick Clegg has been made even easier by sport, and a whole lot of it too. Usually during the gap between May and August, football is very limited and pretty damn hard to find unless you actually go outside and search local parks for it. However, thankfully, this year, football has decided to come out for the summer in a somehow more colourful fashion than most closet homosexuals could manage after this many years of practice, this time in the form of the World Cup in Brazil.

The World Cup isn’t exactly a new thing, and so not really a surprise, but for people everywhere it’s still as welcome as it was first time, as now it means doing nothing for about 2 weeks, or at least until your team goes out, and getting away with it. Despite drawing the short straw in terms of sporting prowess by being English, it’s still all good for the first two games, and this still manages to provide a certain hype which can be exchanged for a days rest with a less than acceptable amount of food and alcohol and a quick call to work. Even after this point, it’s still a-okay to use any lingering disappointment to fuel a 3 day binge of the knock-out rounds, leaving you as gormless as the zombie love child of Ed Miliband and Kristen Stewart, and about as unable to work as a suicide-bomber who’s returning for a second try.

Then, even during the days when the footballing world takes a collective sigh, there’s the tennis, which sits firmly in my category of sports I like to watch because I can make comments about how I could do better, but just below the category of sports I like to watch because I can actually play. Unlike football, you have to be in it for the long haul with Tennis, which isn’t a bad thing, unless you get bored easily or aren’t actually playing it. Towards the later stages, it swaps with football, and instead of becoming more tense as it goes along, it becomes much more exciting and there’s a lot more points as a reward for being good rather than the other player hitting the ball with the wrong end of the racket. 

Even with these pastimes to consume my time, it seems like there’s always the overwhelming shadow of “What now?” that rolls on behind these events, like a giant judgemental cloud occasionally looking at its watch and tapping impatiently. As soon as this World Cup is over, this cloud will roll on over and my mini-crisis will commence, and will ultimately be followed by numerous promises to do work, the breaking of said promises, and eventually a complete panic along the lines of “Where the hell has summer gone and why is Monty Python still a thing?”. This may not be a bad thing, this may in fact inspire me to go on to future greatness by putting in all this missing time and effort, helping me to achieve my prophecy and save mankind or whatever, and then one day I can look back on this summer as the moment that changed it all, chuckling about it as I drown myself in a hot-tub full of money and expensive chocolate. I doubt it, but there’s always hope. 

Unfortunately however, eventually I’ll have to do some work, that’s sort of inevitable. But, until that point, I’m going to sit at home, in as little clothes as legally possible, and watch highlights of the every bit of sport until I know the commentary off by heart, and I’m going to be proud of it.  And if anyone has a problem with that, I’m probably going to do very little to stop them.