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21st Century Doctor Who Reviews: Utopia / The Sound Of Drums / Last Of The Time Lords

Talk about coincidence with these blog entries. Having just uploaded the review for Buffy The Vampire Slayer's Gingerbread (which tackles mob mentality, fact aversion etc), here comes the big Season 3 finale for NuWho. For many reasons, it's a story that still rings unnervingly true in 2018. The last story of the 2007 season is the equivalent of an old school six-parter. It's a big finale that brings back the Doctor's wretched nemesis, the Master, who's now wreaking havoc in two forms: an apparently genial old fossil on a futuristic planet and then in a hyperactive, manically vicious younger version. Utopia Drums Time Lords (which sounds like a lost album from the Todd Rundgren-led '70s/'80s prog band) is another of...

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Buffy The Vampire Slayer Reviews: Gingerbread

If the tone of Amends was Peace On Earth: Goodwill To All Men With Brooding Scowls and Copious Amounts Of Hair Gel, then Gingerbread's tone is a little less forgiving. It's a curious tale, and one that follows a familiar Buffy The Vampire Slayer pattern of starting out as something unnervingly startling and then turning into something totally different halfway through. The overall picture with Gingerbread is a look at the dangers of mob mentality, bandwagon jumping, and ignorance of fact. It pulls no punches, but at the same time, it's a thoughtful and frequently very funny tale that manages to keep up the momentum of the impressive third season. Gingerbread starts out with the horrific discovery of two dead...

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20 Album Track Greats: Queen

With Bohemian Rhapsody impressing box office audiences, now's a good time to take a look at some of Queen's lesser known – but equally worthy – album tracks (again, in chronological order – not order of preference!). 1. LIAR (From QUEEN) Liar is one of the band's earliest and heaviest tracks. I've got a lot of time for Queen's first album, which was released in 1973. One of the best is Liar, a six-odd minute epic that while unusually structured, is still as catchy as hell (especially the oft-repeated shout of “Liar!” from the band). Interestingly, the song begins with a lengthy instrumental prologue that gradually builds up through cymbal, bass drum, handclaps, and then into some ace guitar work...

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21st Century Doctor Who Reviews: Blink

Don't blink. How many times have I heard that during a near-lifetime of regular optician visits? Those hazy early days of getting to grips with contact lenses must have yielded more cries of “Don't blink” from the optician than the Doctor Who story called – er, I think, it's called, Blink. You know – Blink. Also known as the one with the creepy statues. Or the one with the companion that never was. Or the one in which the Doctor Who team produce a Doctor-lite story that's to practically everyone's tastes, fans and casual viewers alike. It's another award winner for author Steven Moffat, who's back on form after the so-so Girl In The Fireplace. Unlike the tale of the...

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Buffy The Vampire Slayer Reviews: Amends

Uh oh. It's that time of year again. The shop windows are decked to the halls with decorations. Big supermarket chains are gearing up to see which festive advert can make viewers cry the most. I feel like I should be wearing some brightly coloured party hat while finding at least three Christmas songs that I can actually stand (for the record, Ring Out Solstice Bells by Jethro Tull, Christmas Wrapping by The Waitresses and for some bizarre reason, Macca's festive cheese-fest Wonderful Christmastime are the only festive musical choices that don't make me want to take an axe to the pub stereo in the festive season). On top of this, Santa Joss is in town, delivering many a festive...

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