The Thirteenth Doctor: Beginning Ramblings


In my mad dash to find wild fan theories and cool thoughts about the recent seasons of Doctor Who, I’ve been disappointed to find that most of the online palaver focuses on the binary issue of whether people should consider Jodie Whitaker’s run as the Thirteenth Doctor good or bad. And, of course, a lot of that discussion boils down to people who don’t like the first female Doctor making some very thinly-veiled sexist remarks and those who do like her dismissing legitimate criticisms as anti-feminist.

It feels to me like there is a vast amount of discussion about the Thirteenth Doctor’s episodes themselves that remain untapped. I plan to explore some of those things that I feel people have overlooked. But before I do, I think it’s a good idea to establish my relationship with Doctor Who so people know where I’m coming from.

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A Kind of Magic: Highlander

Highlander. I love it, even though it has caused me so much pain.

Like many fans of the Highlander franchise, I keep coming back for terrible movie after terrible movie, each time hoping that those in control of the franchise somehow catch lightning in a bottle as they did with the first film.

As the powers-that-be struggle to find footing for a Highlander reboot which seems doomed to meet the same disastrous fate that befell the franchise’s many sequels, let’s take a look at the original film. A box office flop but a cult classic, 1986’s Highlander proved strong enough to create a devoted fan base that has remained throughout the years, despite a plethora of sequels that rank among the worst films of all time.

How did this off-beat urban fantasy turn into a hit? In truth, Highlander was about as fortuitous a series of accidents you will ever see in the film industry.

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The MCU’s Incredible Character Arc for the Hulk (That We Never Got to See)

The Marvel Cinematic Universe marks a remarkable cinematic achievement. Despite a few missteps, the movies accomplished some amazingly in-depth storytelling, stringing together almost two dozen films to tell the stories of dozens of different characters. And for the most part, those characters got a reasonably satisfying conclusion by the end of Avengers: Endgame.

Of course, with so many different characters, the films couldn’t present everybody’s story in a satisfying manner. For example, let’s look at the Hulk. He has one of the longest characters arcs of all the Avengers and changes more than anybody…but none of the interesting stuff happens on-screen.

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Prisoner of Azkaban

Nitpicking Movies: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Like its predecessor, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban marked a potentially perilous place for the film franchise. Chris Columbus chose not to return as director. Richard Harris, who had played a perfect Dumbledore, died before filming began. A new director, a new cast, and a new visual style could have sunk the franchise.

Luckily, the third film of the series made very few missteps. While the style was definitely different from its predecessors, audiences largely enjoyed the changes. This not only turned Prisoner of Azkaban into a success, but laid the groundwork to allow new directors to make each future installment their own.

Yes, the Harry Potter movies seemed to turn every potential problem into a resounding victory. And that’s good – otherwise these nitpicks would seem mean-spirited rather than an opportunity to poke fun at a pretty solid film.

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Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Nitpicking Movies: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

After the smashing success of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, the franchise needed a strong follow-up. Failure to keep the momentum could have caused the film series to stumble, as happened with Disney’s ill-fated attempt to adapt all seven Chronicles of Narnia. Fortunately, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets did the job well.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets provided a strong second chapter that continued the trend of staying mostly true to the novels that served as source material. It showed that Warner Brothers had struck gold with the casting of Daniel Radcliffe and demonstrated the progressively darker tone that sequels would take.

It also has several things that make me scrunch up my face and go, “Huh?” So, as with its predecessor, I’m going to launch into a series of nitpicks about this film.

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