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Sarah Jane Adventures Review- Warriors of Kudlak

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The Sarah Jane Adventures have so far had some nice moments, even if they seemed brief and fleeting, and Warriors of Kudlak continues that trend for me. Its only big failing (remembering it’s a 21st century children’s show) is that it sort of makes the main character, Sarah Jane Smith, into someone that seems a little at-odds from the companion we once knew. It is sadly, a product of its own idea.
The Sarah Jane Adventures were borne of the Doctor Who episode School Reunion, the idea being to make Sarah Jane into the sort of adventurer/detective that might investigate suspicious schools or kidnapping video games of laser tag.That’s really the only complaint I can really find for Warriors of Kudlack; its use of sci-fi standards was at least entertaining if not masterfully done, and it’s always nice to see an alien who in the end is neither good nor evil, especially if you’re a fan of science fiction.

A false war between the main alien race the Uvodni and their enemies the Malakh was the catalyst for the events in this episode, and the revelation of that the war was over was well handled; it almost seemed to step out of classic Doctor Who, with its speeches and a resolution that still leaves quite a lot of children in danger and probably quite dead. Luke is seen using his intelligence in a more acceptable and less annoying way, and it really seemed to be a script that was paced nicely for its actual time on screen.

The supporting cast is again the ones that shine in this, with the villains Kudlak, Mr. Grantham, and The Mistress being quite fun and enjoyable if as said a bit cliché. The idea in itself with aliens searching for great warriors in the children of Earth, does its job and makes you to wait and see what the resolution might be. Predictable to be sure, but as long as its fun, then we can at least stomach it for a little while, if not half an hour each week.

The fact that it is written for children has to be taken into account, even though I still firmly think that children should never be talked down to nor shown a story that fills the plot with holes or predictable, simple solutions. Certainly it seems they have made good use of kids adventure staple – monsters – but the more interesting things the aliens in question have to say, the better the alien overall, and the more ambitious the show seems.

The Sarah Jane Adventures does seem to take another step up the ladder every new episode, but it has yet to really make me love it yet.

 

-Thomas Spychalski

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Doctor Who Review-School Reunion

This review was originally written and published by the website Kasterboroous soon after the episode transmitted in 2006. 

With School Reunionheralding the return of K9 and Sarah Jane Smith, I’m reluctant to put a bad light on it. These were my childhood heroes, and instead I’ll begin with the bright spots that I love in the furious pace of the script.
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Doctor Who Review-The Girl in the Fireplace

 This review was originally written and published by the website Kasterboroous.com soon after the episode transmitted in 2006.

This week’s episode was a mixed bag, with a few genuine scares (I actually jumped as the Doctor found the Clockwork Robot under Madame Pompadour’s bed) and more of the same nitpicking that has made my series two viewing experience a bit less enjoyable.

I had expected more from Steven Moffat, writer of last years The Empty Child, and although you could see the great original ideas in the script itself – such as the human parts in the spaceship, the menacing Clockwork Robots, the great parting shot showing the ship being named “SSS de Madame Pompadour” – I still felt that the script, like most of series two so far was put at a breakneck pace and speed that makes me wonder if the cat nurses from New Earth took over the production offices of Doctor Who during the filming of that episode.

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Doctor Who Review: Age Of Steel

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Throughout the years Doctor Who has had the distinction of bringing us on a wide verity of adventures. We’ve seen comedy, even slapstick humor, and even various send ups of the show itself. This week we were exposed to the show bringing out an old and familiar psychological terror that lies somewhat in us all.

The Age of Steel was the best episode so far of series two, and shows what good scripting and great actors can do for the series.

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Doctor Who Review: Vampires Of Venice

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Monsters and Doctor Who are inseparable.

They rely on each other for existence both in the real life of the television series, where the monsters are certainly one of the reasons viewers tune in every week, and in the fiction itself, where a Doctor who did not meet and battle monsters would hardly seem like the Doctor at all.

Traditional rules for Doctor Who have monsters that are great and wonderful but somewhat see through and a bit repetitive. They all want to take over the earth, they all want ultimate power and they all want more then they rightly deserve, and only the Doctor can stop them.

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Ian Chesterton: Science Experiment

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Cliches are funny things, they can be both annoying and undetectable, depending on how they are handled, and in some cases they can be necessary as well. When Doctor Who was started in the early sixties, it became apparent that a couple cliches were needed for the show’s weekly serial adventure concept to work.

The Doctor was set to be not only the shows name sake and star, but also the brains of the operation, the one who would be coming up with the solutions to all the sticky situations the crew of the Tardis would be getting into.

They also had Barbara and Susan, one a history teacher who would be both a fount of knowledge in the historical episodes and along with Susan would find herself in the (cliche) typical trouble female leads found themselves at the time, although Susan did break the mold of the usual teen age girl in certain aspects, being an alien who had been traveling alongside her grandfather the Doctor for a long time.

Most cliche ridden of all was science teacher Ian Chesterton, who also was to be the action man of the series, the one who would do all of the physical fighting and have the bumpiest ride along the way, getting to experience the terror of being both a Roman slave and the glory of being knighted by King Richard the Lionheart, not to mention having to endure a traveling companion in the Doctor who could not get his name right.


Doctor Who & the Video Pirate

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On November 22nd, 1987, a mysterious thing happened on the shrouded mist covered mass that was called Fang Rock, and it was not the attack on a group of stranded boaters and lighthouse workers by a glowing green Ruton. Rather it was one of most infamous cases of signal hijacking since Captain Midnight had hijacked HBO’s signal in 1986.

It began at another station in Chicago WGN channel nine, a “Superstation” that was also available on some cable packages at the time. At about 9:10 P.M., a man wearing a Max Headroom mask (A mask of a science fiction TV show character that had recently been seen in the US on ABC television, and a popular Coca-Cola ad spokesperson.), interrupted sportscaster Dan Roahn, for about forty five seconds during the recap of that days Chicago Bears football game. The engineers at WGN television quickly changed the STL (Studio to Transmitter Link.), thwarting the hijackers attempt to further break into the signal. The Image had no sound at that time, and Roahn quickly apologized for the intrusion, although a bit distracted by the event, and went on with the rest of the newscast.

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