Here’s what we’ve been watching on television.
Bates Motel: What’s Wrong With Norman
- Excerpt: Bates Motel is becoming a strong series, with excellent and gripping performances and a storyline that is both true to the original source material and its own creation.
Doctor Who: Cold War
- Excerpt: The disappointment I felt over Cold War is massive. Ultimately, one only needs to look at the difference between The Seeds of Death and Cold War to see the difference between a good Ice Warrior story and a ghastly Ice Warrior story.
- Excerpt: It’s unlikely to enter the pantheon of truly great Doctor Who episodes like “Blink” (which, incidentally, is the yardstick I compare every episode against), but it was a superior offering, not only in terms of the middling last couple of episodes, but just in general. This was a funny, suspenseful and smartly constructed episode that did everything that a good episode of Doctor Who can do.
Doctor Who: Galaxy 4
- Excerpt: Given how wildly Doctor Who has spun out of control, Galaxy 4 is a reminder, even in its incomplete state, of when the series took things seriously and has as its lead a man of intelligence and peace, not a nitwit who gave himself over to a psychopath.
Doctor Who: Hide
- Excerpt: While “Hide” might not, strictly speaking, be a ghost story, owing to the fact that there isn’t really a ghost in it, it has all the trappings of one and director Mat King did a very good job of recreating the feel of a classic chiller. The CGI was kept to a minimum, with most of the scares coming from eerie silences, the brief appearances of the time traveler and a general mood of quiet fear.
- Excerpt: Reminded me of the Gothic era of Tom Baker’s tenure as the Doctor…
Doctor Who: The Bells of Saint John
- Excerpt: The Bells of Saint John is a textbook example of the sort of episodes the show is able to churn out with no particular fuss; quick, efficient, kind of instantly forgettable but enjoyable while it’s on.
Doctor Who: The Rings of Akhaten
- Excerpt: The Rings of Akhaten is a very pretty episode, but that’s really about it.
- Excerpt: The power of love is, in addition to being a curious thing, a plot device that Doctor Who likes to fall back on in those moments when an interesting premise flames out or the writers seem to have written themselves into a corner.
Sofia the First: Once upon a Princess
- Excerpt: Should be a hit with children ages 3-6.
Star Trek: The Next Generation: “The Best of Both Worlds”
- Excerpt: The Borg proved to be just the right dystopian shot in the arm that the utopian STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION needed in order to midwife a fledgling revival of the STAR TREK franchise.
Top of the Lake, Episode 6 & 7
- Excerpt: In a sense, [Robin Griffin] de-feminized herself, giving up her maternal instincts to join the boys’ club that Detective Sgt. Al Parker represents. Her return to Laketop is the first step she takes in re-acquiring the feminine mystique she gave up.