Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Of "space Gandalfs" and sassy redheads

To celebrate Matt Smith's tenure as the Doctor, which will be coming to an end after this year's Christmas special, here's a pretty great deleted scene from the fifth season's "Flesh and Stone" where Eleven describes himself in Tolkien-esque terms. (It's also a great pick-me-up if you're still sad about Game of Thrones.)

This deleted scene is fun and entertaining, despite the fact that it reminds me of that awful time when Amy was trying to hook up with the Doctor. However, it also reminds me of the reason I so loved the second-greatest sassy redhead to ever grace the TARDIS: she is constantly calling the Doctor on his shit. (As did the greatest sassy redhead to travel with Space Gandalf, Donna Noble. I miss you every day, Donna.) After all, someone occasionally needs to point out the Doctor's propensity for traveling with young, hot girls and only young, hot girls.

I'm not too sad about Smith's departure yet; we still have two episodes to go before we have to bid farewell to Eleven. But I know that when the time comes I'll miss his antic energy, his awkward attempts to mimic human behavior, and the sadness and rage and fear that are just barely balanced by love and optimism. Even so, I'll be excited to see what the future brings; after all, I thought no one could ever match David Tennant, and Smith's fantastic performance proved me wrong time and time again. In the meantime, we have "The Name of the Doctor" and the reappearance of Ten and Rose Tyler (at least) to look forward to. Personally, I'm hoping for a Donna Noble cameo.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Game of Thrones recap: it's tough to be a Stark

A shocking, brutal, brilliant episode makes sure everyone knows just how far Westeros' noblest family has fallen.

Robb (Richard Madden), Catelyn (Michelle Fairley) and Talisa (Oona Chaplin) prepare for a wedding.

You're almost there, and you're afraid you won't make it. The closer you get, the worse the fear gets.
-Sandor Clegane

"The Rains of Castamere" was an episode full of near misses and narrow escapes. Bran wargs into Summer's mind at the last possible moment and beats back the Wildlings. Jon reveals himself as a member of the Night's Watch and barely escapes from the people he just betrayed. Jorah, Grey Worm and Daario Naharis end one scene facing seemingly impossible odds in Yunkai, and begin the next telling Daenerys that they successfully sacked the city. Jon and Bran pass within yards of each other but never make contact. And Arya comes painfully, achingly close to being reunited with her mother and brother, only to have any hope of happiness torn from her grasp.

I had suspected for quite a while that things were going to end badly for Robb. So much of season 3 (and a lot of season 2, really) has been about pushing the King in the North into a corner. His doom was basically sealed once he married Talisa and his mother set Jaime free, and the events of this season have done nothing but back up that hunch, from the loss of the Karstarks to his final, desperate plan to take Casterley Rock from the Lannisters. Robb was hemmed in on all sides, losing supporters because of his marriage to Talisa and the execution of Lord Karstark. On top of that, he was actually happy in his marriage and expecting a child, which is never a good sign in Westeros.