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Yep, we’re doing this again. Here we go. (All reviews contain MASSIVE SPOILERS.)


Doctor Who: The Return of Dr Mysterio

This was fun. I wasn’t expecting the return of the Shoal people from "Husbands" (cleverer people than me have pointed out that “Harmony Shoal” has a certain [music] [aquatic geography] ring to it which sounds familiar), and I’m still not 100% clear how their brain thing works. Still, we’re clearly going to see more of them so perhaps all will be revealed. The superhero stuff was brilliant, with reservations.

I started off thinking Grant was a great, fun Dean-Cain-Superman character. The more I thought about him, the more problematic he became, though. Firstly, he’s basically living under his crush’s roof, making himself a part of her family, without telling her how he feels because he doesn’t know how she’d react. That’s creepy, right? I don’t think he’s exactly a “Nice Guy” in the ironic terrible sense, but he’s got leanings that way which nobody involved seems to have realised.

Secondly, he’s a terrible nanny. The Doctor’s right, you don’t leave the kid unattended, baby monitor and superspeed be darned. What if someone broke in? What if there was a fire? What if there was something that was picked up by the baby monitor, but Grant had to choose between going back for the baby or saving the city? I could see what they were going for, and the actor almost sold it, but nope.

Lucy, on the other hand, was a terrific Terri-Hatcher-Lois character, and I hope we see more of her. We won’t, because she’s been tied to the Ghost, and so won’t appear unless they do another superhero story, but I can hope.


The Last Dragonslayer

Also great fun. I haven’t read the book, but I may rectify that. (Mind you, if I’m going to pick up Jasper Ffordes I haven’t read, I still have the last couple of Thursday books to catch up on.)

The world (almost like ours but with magic, and kind of fifties-ish because that’s what Fforde does) was a fascinating one; I liked the idea of wizards doing rewiring, knights as pop stars, and randomness like horse-drawn cars mingling with pedal-powered coaches.

The cast were all brilliant. Ellise Chappell was excellent in the lead, and Noah Jupe as Tiger Prawns (“Now I’m all spinny!”) was a delight.

I kind of saw the twist of slaying being part of dragon reproduction coming, but I wasn’t sure about it. I also kind of suspected that StuffCo would be the baddies; the local version of The Goliath™ Corporation.

I know there’s a sequel to the book, so I’m glad this ended with a blatant sequel hook. Roll on next Christmas.


Jonathan Creek: Daemon’s Roost

Yay! Jonathan Creek! And wow, this was a complicated one. Two separate “impossible” murders, a cursed house with mysterious deaths in the past, a horror director with locked-in syndrome, a 19th century Satanist, a hobgoblin, an escaped killer, and a scarecrow competition.

It seems ‘tis is the season of unexpectedly fallible supersleuths (see below), with Jonathan getting his own Norbury moment in the flashback case, where a killer deliberately engineers a locked room mystery with him inside the room, so Jonathan can show how someone else could have done it. Six years later, said murderer gets killed in another impossible crime, and while Jonathan does solve this one, he can’t prove it.

I’m … not sure how I feel about this. The vicar (a brilliant-as-ever Warwick Davies) might suggest that justice has been done, but I’m never entirely comfortable with murder as the solution in a detective story. And that’s without even getting into Jonathan burning a man alive in what (IMO) just barely qualified as self-defence.

That aside, I did enjoy this; I figured out about a quarter of it (I realised Stephen had committed the first murder early on, since it had to be connected to current events somehow, but I jumped from this to concluding he faked his own death for reasons unknown, and I was still trying to tie it in to the deaths of his wife’s mother and sisters, which turned out to be a complete red herring), but everything fitted together at the end (more or less, I’m still not clear why Stephen didn’t want Alison to know the truth about her past, but I’m sure it  was terrible).

Polly initially appears to have reverted to her “stop Jonathan investigating crimes because it’s embarrassing” persona from her first appearance, but relaxes more by the end, until she reaches, well, about the point she was at by the end of the last series. She seems to be one of those characters who needs to redo their character arc every time, because that’s all she has, which is a shame.


Sherlock: The Six Thatchers

Well, this was interesting. Especially the way it deals with the Moriarty situation. It hangs over the episode, but Sherlock’s plan is quite explicitly to let everything go back to normal and see what happens next.

At first I thought it had done the same trick as “Belgravia”; retelling the original story in the first half, and then, once Sherlock smashed the final bust and didn’t find the Black Pearl of the Borgias, moving to an original second half.

Well, original to an extent. The story of the group (Mary) Morstan was a member of, one of whom now seeks revenge, arguably owes more to “The Sign of the Four” than “The Sign of Three” did, with AJ as Small, and Mary – ironically –  as Sholto, the (apparent) traitor. It even has Toby! (And that was a nice double bluff – I spent most of Sherlock’s description of the hacker thinking “Well, I guess that makes sense; he’s still following trails…”)

Other refs I spotted: The canary trainer is from “Black Peter”; John and Sherlock discussing whether they can arrest a jellyfish is “The Lion’s Mane”; Sherlock finding it fascinating that Toby isn’t moving is the curious incident of the dog in the night-time from “Silver Blaze”.

I loved Mary making her way half way across the world under multiple aliases, only to find Sherlock waiting for her. And the totally ridiculous explanation was brilliant.

And then she got fridged. I knew this was coming, and I’m waiting to see what they do with it (apparently “The Lying Detective” is good?) but on its own, well, she got fridged. When Vivian’s surname was revealed, I thought “That’s definitely a reference”, but I didn’t place it until Sherlock actually used the Norbury line. (Although there was foreshadowing earlier, when John got Grant Munro’s “better man” speech.) And it amps up the significance from the original, in “Yellow Face”, Holmes might have been the wrongest he’s ever been, but the consequences weren’t that great; here, Sherlock actually solved the case, but couldn’t resist showing off, and thereby broke his Last Vow.

If I’m not sure what to make of Mary’s death, I’m even less sure what to make of John’s possibly cheating. Again, I’ll see what, if anything, they do with it in “Lying”.
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