Paul McGann was the shortest lived Doctor, on screen for just one episode. On the other hand, he’s one of the longest lasting Doctors, being the central character of novels, audio plays and comics from 1996 to the present day.

Even with this, though, he’s probably the least well known Doctor, which is why it was a great idea by BBC7 in 2006 to commission Big Finish to create an audio series about the Eighth Doctor similar in style to the television series.

Here, Lucie Miller is the companion, and unlike most companions she doesn’t want to be one. The Time Lords put her on some sort of witness protection program, for reasons unknown, and she’s stuck in the care of the Doctor. The TARDIS can’t even leave without her. Personally, I think this created for a dynamic that’s pretty hard to beat (although Donna did).

Well, that’s enough of the introduction. One last thing – you might think 3 is very few stories to put as my favourite, but, actually, this season only had 6 stories, so 3 is quite a lot indeed.

3. No More Lies

You’d be forgiven for thinking that you’d walked right into the middle of an episode when this one begins, but you’d soon realise this is just the beginning. The first ‘act’ of this story nicely juxtaposes the excitement of some sort of chase that the Doctor and Lucie are in (for once, though, they’re not the chased), and an extremely ordinary garden party in England. It’s intriguing, wondering what the two have to do with each other, but before you can frustrate yourself with confusion, the Doctor and Lucie end up following the man they were chasing into the very same garden party.

Generally, the second act is an extremely emotional story, which I won’t spoil for you, but I’d actually say my favourite thing about the story was the villains. The enemies in this story are a race of creatures that live in the Time Vortex, called the Tar-Modowk, and while they’re not the scariest villains in the world, they very much feel like traditional Doctor Who enemies. It’d be great to see them and the Voritsaurs (pterodactyl-like-creatures that live in the vortex) in the TV show one day.

It’s also worth noting that the audio play manages, by different background noises, to create a perfect image of the garden party in your mind – brilliant work on the part of Big Finish, I say.

The Doctor: I thought you wanted to save the world?
Gordon: I just didn’t envisage saving it by riding bareback on a pterodactyl named Margaret.

2. Phobos

If No More Lies created the perfect image of the garden party by just sound, then in this story the moon of Phobos is perfectly created in one’s imagination by the sound and description alone. Here, Phobos is a planet of extreme sports, a place visited by adrenaline junkies, or ‘drennies’ as the characters put it. And on this planet lives a beast, lying in wait to attack.

Once again, I don’t want to spoil the story, but near the end the Doctor has to face his fears. And it’s not just fears of the past. The greatest fear that the Doctor faces is the fear of what he may have to do in the future. Now, think what you like, but that sounds suspiciously close to the end of the Time War to me.

1. Human Resources

This is the two part finale. Most of the story is set in what appears to be an office, but it’s filled with so many differences from reality that the first part of the story is just hilarious. Of course, there’s still something clearly wrong, so there’s a very creepy feel about this, but that just makes everything so much better.

In the second part, we have the return of the Cybermen. And they’re Mondasian Cybermen, at that, before they even discovered Telos. What’s lovely is that the voices are a very subtle blend of new series Cybermen voices, and old series Cybermen, which gives them quite a disconcerting sound.

In addition, this is, after all, the season finale, so we find out all about what this witness protection program for Lucie was. We also have some very major character development on the part of Lucie, and we catch a glimpse at the Time Lords, and the chaotic way with which they try to control the universe without actually interferring.

Plus, the manner in which the Cybermen was defeated was both incredibly ludicrous, and extremely funny. If anything else, you have to hear this episode for that.

These episodes can be purchased on Amazon, or on the Big Finish website.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4×15 brings the L.M.D. storyline to a truly wild end. Here’s what to expect from “Self Control”!

You don’t know what’s coming

Yeah, there’s a synopsis for “Self Control” — “Suspicion turns to paranoia when the team doesn’t know who can be trusted as more LMDs infiltrate S.H.I.E.L.D.” But that’s the equivalent of saying that Iron Man is about a goateed man who can fly.

Sure, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4×15 answers a lot of questions about who is and who isn’t a robot. More profoundly though, the episode goes in for a final knead and punch of the ideas that have been floating around all season.

Read full article

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4×15 brings the L.M.D. storyline to a truly wild end. Here’s what to expect from “Self Control”!

You don’t know what’s coming

Yeah, there’s a synopsis for “Self Control” — “Suspicion turns to paranoia when the team doesn’t know who can be trusted as more LMDs infiltrate S.H.I.E.L.D.” But that’s the equivalent of saying that Iron Man is about a goateed man who can fly.

Sure, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4×15 answers a lot of questions about who is and who isn’t a robot. More profoundly though, the episode goes in for a final knead and punch of the ideas that have been floating around all season.

Free will and humanity. Sacrifice and love. The nature of reality — and even of life itself. Beneath the plot, surprises, and pain, that’s what’s really going on in the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. spring finale.

That, and the characters who get caught in the middle.

Jed Whedon is Not. Playing. Around.

Executive producer and showrunner Jed Whedon is the man behind the pen and the camera in “Self Control,” and he’s there for a reason. Whedon’s first try at the director’s chair on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is operatic, incisive, and perpetually gut-clenching.

Yes, there are lovely and disturbing vistas, an artistry that comes from a deliberate and careful eye. But more important is the unshakable Whedon impulse that animates Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4×15, that builds through the episode like a cresting tide.

You know that unmistakable sense that someone is laughing behind the scenes? Yeah. That’s why Jed Whedon is here.

What’s next?

Well, that’s a very good question. “Self Control” leaves us with a few razor-like possibilities, all of which lead down spiky corridors of questions. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4×15 is here to leave us thirsty for the season’s final seven episodes, and that’s exactly what it does.

Oh, and to answer your next question…

Cliffhanger?

Uh, yes. Cliffhanger.

Oh boy, cliffhanger.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4×15, “Self Control,” airs Tuesday, Feb. 21 at 10:00 p.m. on ABC.

What are your top theories for ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ 4×15?

Have President’s Day off? Here are some movies, TV shows, and soundtracks with which to celebrate President’s Day.

‘Hamilton’


Even if you were somehow lucky enough to have already seen the musical, you might as well celebrate today with another listen to the soundtrack. In case you have been living under a rock, Hamilton is a hip-hop, rap, musical about Alexander Hamilton. Yes, Hamilton never became president, but the musical does include multiple would-be presidents. Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and even birthday boy himself George Washington are heavily featured in Hamilton. Based on the biography by Ron Chernow, you can get a history lesson while you listen to great music.

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Have President’s Day off? Here are some movies, TV shows, and soundtracks with which to celebrate President’s Day.

‘Hamilton’


Even if you were somehow lucky enough to have already seen the musical, you might as well celebrate today with another listen to the soundtrack. In case you have been living under a rock, Hamilton is a hip-hop, rap, musical about Alexander Hamilton. Yes, Hamilton never became president, but the musical does include multiple would-be presidents. Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and even birthday boy himself George Washington are heavily featured in Hamilton. Based on the biography by Ron Chernow, you can get a history lesson while you listen to great music.

‘Liberty’s Kids’


Liberty’s Kids aired in the early 2000s on PBS. Liberty’s Kids follows three teenagers from varying backgrounds throughout the American Revolution, mentored by Benjamin Franklin. It is geared for children but is still pretty enjoyable for adults. In each episode, the teenagers encounter a significant person or event from the revolution, giving a concise and entertaining history lesson. The show features many important figures throughout the revolution, showing even more presidents than in Hamilton. As one can imagine, Washington is among these.

‘Lincoln’


Lincoln is a 2012, Oscar nominated movie, directed by Steven Spielberg based on Doris Kearns Goodwin’s biography of Abraham Lincoln, Team of Rivals. Instead of a biopic of Lincoln’s entire life, Lincoln is specifically about his passing of the 13th amendment. Essentially directed between each of his science fiction blockbusters, Spielberg also made many significant historical movies, Lincoln among them. Lincoln not only shows his power as a president, but also humanizes him through an Oscar winning performance by Daniel Day-Lewis.

‘1776’


Hamilton is not the first musical about American history. Thankfully, though, because this way there are other options, one of which is 1776. Even more conveniently, the musical 1776 was adapted into a movie in the early 1970s. Heavily implied by its name, 1776 is about the signing of the Declaration of Independence. 1776 definitely has a more classical musical theater vibe than Hamilton. The strange combination of American history and musical theater allows for a humorous yet educational experience. However, as reflective of the history of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, Washington is not a character in the musical; yet, it obviously includes many other significant historical figures.

‘The West Wing’ or ‘The American President’


Unlike the other items on this list, these two are about fictional presidents. But it would be nice if they were real. Of the many politically charged movies and television shows by Aaron Sorkin, these two are specifically about presidents. If you have the day off and want to attempt to binge watch seven seasons, then you may want to check out The West Wing. The West Wing follows President Bartlet and his staff and advisors during their time in the White House. If you want a movie to help you transition between Valentine’s Day and President’s Day then The American President is worth watching. It is a romantic comedy about President Shepherd, who falls in love with a lobbyist.

How else will you celebrate President’s Day?

The first two cast members for Disney’s live-action adaptation of The Lion King have been announced by director Jon Favreau.

James Earl Jones, who voiced Mufasa in the animated movie in the ’90s, is returning as the character in the live-action adaptation. Interesting!

Meanwhile, Donald Glover — who will co-star in this summer’s Spider-Man: Homecoming for Disney and Marvel — will play Adult Simba.

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The first two cast members for Disney’s live-action adaptation of The Lion King have been announced by director Jon Favreau.

James Earl Jones, who voiced Mufasa in the animated movie in the ’90s, is returning as the character in the live-action adaptation. Interesting!

Meanwhile, Donald Glover — who will co-star in this summer’s Spider-Man: Homecoming for Disney and Marvel — will play Adult Simba.

Favreau tweeted the news Friday evening:

According to a statement from Disney, The Lion King “will build on the groundbreaking technology used in The Jungle Book to bring the story of Simba to photorealistic life.”

A release date for the film hasn’t been set. Favreau also helmed the live-action Jungle Book for the studio.

So far casting is off to a great start!