TV Review – The Umbrella Academy – Season 1

TL;DR – While the story was a little inconsistent, it an interesting ride from start to finish.

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

The Umbrella Academy. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

We live in a world today where superhero team-up projects are no longer a rare thing hidden in some comic book store. Today people know and understand the thought of a group of people suddenly discovering powers that they can use for good or evil. So in this world how do you differentiate yourself from all the other shows out there? Well, you focus on one thing, and that is family. Family can be complicated at the best of times, and well when you watch The Umbrella Academy you find that I don’t think there ever was a best of times.

So to set the scene, one day in 1989 a miracle happened (or a curse depending on your perspective) when across the globe 43 women gave birth to babies, the only issue was that they started the day not being pregnant. This drew the attention of Sir Reginald Hargreeves (Colm Feore) who went around the world trying to buy as many of the babies as he could … he got 7. However, there were not normal children, with all of them, well most of them, having extraordinary powers. Luther (Tom Hopper) has immense strength and take a beating that would kill someone and get back up. Diego (David Castañeda) has the ability to make anything he throws curve through the air, so he is a man who likes his knives. Allison (Emmy Raver-Lampman) has the ability to suggest things to people and they are compelled to oblige. Klaus (Robert Sheehan) has the ability to talk to the dead, Five (Aidan Gallagher) can phase through time and space, and Ben (Justin H. Min) can summon tentacles to cause mass destruction. Of the seven, only Vanya (Aidan Gallagher) didn’t develop any powers, being relegated to the sidelines as her siblings go off on missions like stopping a bank heist. All of this is fine but time goes on and families can drift apart even at the best of times. So at the start of the series, many of the siblings have not talked to each other in years, but they are all brought back into the fold when their at best eccentric and at worst abusive father is found dead under less than clear circumstances. Now, for this point onwards, we will be looking at the season as a whole, so there will be [SPOILERS] ahead.

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Doctor Who: The Battle of Ranskoor Av Kolos

TL;DR – While we get more of those character moments that have been the highlights of the season so far, it just does not quite come together in the end.

Score – 3 out of 5 stars

Doctor Who: The Battle of Ranskoor Av Kolos. Image Credit: BBC

As we reach the end of the 11th season of the new Doctor Who we have had the highs of Rosa (see review) and Demons of the Punjab (see review) but also the feeling that at times the show just was not quite coming together. It is with this duality that we hit the end of the shorter season than normal and you have to wonder will they stick the landing, and I’m not sure that they did. 

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TV Review – Doctor Who: It Takes You Away

TL;DR – A very odd episode filled with 80s Technicolor, monsters in the woods, talking frogs, and a sheep rebellion. It didn’t quite get therein the end, but it did have some interesting moments.

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

Doctor Who: It Takes You Away looking over a Fjord.  Image Credit: BBC

Review

We are almost at the end of the 11th Season and Jodie Whittaker’s first as The Doctor. When you have a penultimate episode, sometimes you want to use it to give your audience a breather before the end, sometimes you want to build tension for the final episode. Today we went in a completely opposite direction by instead doubling down on the weird that can be Doctor Who, and boy is this a weird one.

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TV Review – Doctor Who: The Witchfinders

TL;DR – Well this is an odd one indeed, and while it is looking at an important issue, it just feels like it never really all clicked together.   

Score – 3 out of 5 stars

Doctor Who - the Witchfinders. Image Credit BBC

Review

Throughout history, there have been numerous times when the people living in villagers have needed a scapegoat for their current woes, and often times that scapegoat has been any women of note in the town. Now, of course, the most well know, though not well understood, occurrence of these witch trails was in Salem, Massachusetts in the US, they also happened across the world (and still happen today), and in tonight’s Doctor Who, we look at England’s past. However,while this setting should feel right up The Doctor’s (Jodie Whittaker) ally,something just does not quite work.

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TV Review – Doctor Who: Kerblam!

TL;DR Kerblam! Is a return to a more classic Doctor Who episode filled with conspiracy, murder, missing people and a call for help, oh and also a fez, can’t forget a good fez.

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

 

Kerblam! Image Credit: BBC

 

Review

There has been a lot of discussion regarding this season of Doctor Who and while I have really been enjoying it, there are others where Chris Chibnall’s writing style is just not jelling with them, which is perfectly fair. What will be interesting to see is how people engage with the show in the back half of the season because now all the shows have different writers. We saw that last week with the Demons of the Punjab (see review) where the show talked a deeply problematic time from Brittan’s past with grace, and this week we have a different take as we delve into what I would consider being a more classic Doctor Who episode where conspiracy runs rampant.

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TV Review – Doctor Who: Demons of the Punjab

TL;DR – In the battle between love and hate, on which side would you be on? This is the question today’s episode asks before emotionally punching you in the gut.

Score – 5 out of 5 stars

 

Doctor Who: Demons Of The Punjab. Image Credit: BBC

 

Review

When I heard Doctor Who was going to set an episode in colonial India, you can bet I was deeply concerned. A British TV Show doing an episode on the British occupation of another country, it is a recipe for disaster if handled wrongly, and the title Demons of the Punjab didn’t exactly fill me with confidence either. However, then we got to see Rosa (see review) earlier this season all about Rosa Parks and her struggles, they showed a real understanding of exploring deeply complex historical events, so I had a hope that they would be able to here as well, and I honestly think they pulled it off.

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TV Review – Doctor Who: The Tsuranga Conundrum

TL;DR –  A deeply emotional episode that using the entire ensemble to their best, a truly wonderful episode of Doctor Who

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

 

Doctor Who: The Tsuranga Conundrum. Image Credit: BBC

 

Review

This season we have had the highs of Rosa (see review) but also a lot of awkwardness in the construction of episodes, like the show is exploring how to make it all work. Well, this week we see it all come together when you have the emotional weight as well as the tight construction and flow of the episode, that also allows each member of the ensemble a moment to shine.

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