This Year, Doctor Who is Built Around A Character Arc, And That's Major

Tonight's episode clinches it: Doctor Who is doing a much more ambitious character arc than it's done in years, even as the show's "mystery" storytelling is drastically scaled back. Even with a few stumbles here and there, this is really major. You have to applaud the ambition, and a lot of the execution. Spoilers… » 10/19/14 12:13pm Sunday 12:13pm

Doctor Who's Old-School Monster Story Manages To Feel Amazingly Fresh

On the face of it, "Mummy on the Orient Express" is a more traditional Doctor Who story than anything we've seen lately. There's a classic monster (very classic, in fact), a confined space, and a mystery to be solved — but this story manages to turn those ingredients into something totally new. Spoilers ahead... » 10/12/14 1:01pm 10/12/14 1:01pm

Today's Doctor Who Would Be Way Shorter If The Doctor Only Played Nice

Seriously. The dickish behavior of Peter Capaldi's Doctor has officially become the show's main story engine. The plot of tonight's Doctor Who is greatly complicated by the Doctor's obnoxiousness, and it would be a really short episode if David Tennant had shown up instead. Spoilers ahead... » 10/05/14 1:01pm 10/05/14 1:01pm

Doctor Who Reveals The Only Thing Really Worth Stealing

Thus far, the loose theme of this season of Doctor Who seems to be "identity crises" and "deconstructing heroism." These themes manifest this week in another story where the Doctor isn't entirely calling the shots, and the main McGuffin that everybody is trying to steal is "selfhood." Spoilers ahead... » 9/21/14 1:02pm 9/21/14 1:02pm

There's Not Much Point In Arguing About Moffat's Doctor Who Any More

I'm still kind of dazed by tonight's episode of Doctor Who. I can't decide if it's a fantastic work of genius or a shaggy-dog story. Maybe both. But it's clearly Steven Moffat turning all of his favorite tropes up to 11. And I came away feeling, more than ever, as though there's not much point debating Moffat's Who. » 9/14/14 11:33am 9/14/14 11:33am

Doctor Who's Ongoing Deconstruction of Heroism Takes A Hilarious Turn

The theme thus far in Doctor Who's eighth season seems to be "deconstructing heroes," most notably the Doctor. The Doctor's questioning whether he's a good man, but also the validity of his battle against evil. It's somewhat grim stuff — until this week's Robin Hood episode, when it turns swashbuckling and hilarious. » 9/07/14 1:00pm 9/07/14 1:00pm

The Secret To Making Sense Of Last Night's Game Of Thrones Finale

Even George R.R. Martin might have needed to rewind a couple times to figure out some of the characters' motivations in the Game of Thrones season finale. There were out-of-left-field plot twists and self-destructive choices, some of which weren't in the books. But here's one secret to making sense of the whole… » 6/16/14 11:56am 6/16/14 11:56am

On Game Of Thrones, We Learn The Hard Way Revenge Is Best Served Cold

Last night's Game of Thrones was like a marathon of rug-pulling. Time after time, we saw the truth revealed — only to have it turned on its side somehow. There were so many slippery moments where the truth became the biggest lie, it was only fitting when we saw a confession turn deadly. Spoilers ahead... » 6/02/14 11:14am 6/02/14 11:14am

This Was The Most Emotionally Intense Game Of Thrones Episode Yet

Last night's Game of Thrones was ridiculously eventful, with a number of major turning points. But "Mockingbird" was also full of intense moments, where people revealed their defining tragedies and made life-or-death decisions. And discovered what they're willing to kill, or die, for. Spoilers ahead... » 5/19/14 12:30pm 5/19/14 12:30pm

Tyrion Is Among The Least Skilled Players Of The Game Of Thrones

Back in Game of Thrones season two, we heard a lot about how Tyrion was taking to court intrigue in King's Landing. How he was enjoying playing politics, and discovering he was quite good at it. The sad thing? He was horrible at it. Almost as bad as Ned Stark. Last night's episode pretty much proves it. Spoilers… » 5/12/14 12:49pm 5/12/14 12:49pm

We Finally Got An Answer To Game Of Thrones' Oldest Mystery!

You have to be patient when it comes to Game of Thrones. This show takes its time unspooling its mysteries and revealing its dark secrets. Case in point: Last night's episode, "First of His Name," revealed the answer to a question that bedeviled us back in season one. Spoilers ahead... » 5/05/14 12:12pm 5/05/14 12:12pm

Everyone On Game Of Thrones Is An Amateur Compared To Littlefinger

Last night's Game of Thrones had a lot of scenes where people tried to consolidate their power. Some people make alliances, others bully their followers, and still others try to send their enemies on suicide missions. When your hold on power isn't secure, you have to be crafty and ruthless as fuck. Spoilers ahead... » 4/28/14 12:37pm 4/28/14 12:37pm

Did Game Of Thrones Finally Go Too Far?

You might have thought the question of Game of Thrones going too far would have been moot a long time ago. This is the show that gave us "sexposition" and Joffrey brutalizing sex workers, after all. But a lot of people seem to feel as though one moment in last night's episode was, finally, too much. Spoilers ahead... » 4/21/14 8:52pm 4/21/14 8:52pm

Is Game of Thrones all about the war between Varys and Littlefinger?

Varys and Littlefinger may seem to be minor players — but the maneuverings of the noble families of Westeros often seem to come back to their ongoing chess game. Also, in last night's Game of Thrones, Varys and Littlefinger articulate two very different philosophies, which help illuminate the divided loyalties you're… » 5/06/13 3:14pm 5/06/13 3:14pm