The Doctor Who Christmas Special just finished airing in the UK. It was our first look at Jenna-Louise Coleman playing the new companion, Clara? So what did you think of the episode and of Jenna-Louise Coleman’s debut? ***BEWARE OF SPOILERS***

The episode opened with the setting as Christmas 1842 on a snowy day with a lonely boy named Walter making a snowman (voice of Ian McKellen) that suddenly talks to him. Flash-forward fifty years and Walter is the evil Dr. Simeon in league with the voice of the snowman to take over the world with an army of snow and ice creatures.

Simeon has founded created the GI institute, which stands for Greater Intelligence. It is here that he conducts experiments on the snow with human victims.

We then meet Clara for the first time as a barmaid in the famous Rose and Crown pub. She walks outside and sees a snowman that has just appeared out of nowhere and mentions this to a man (The Doctor) who happens to be passing by. The two have instant chemistry and playful back and forth banter. The Doctor finally leaves Clara saying , “those were the days” wistfully under his breath.

The Doctor enters his carriage and proceeds to speak to Madame Vastra on a steampunk communications horn. Vastra mentions to him that Clara could be the one, and that it always starts with the same two words. The Doctor states that it’s impossible that she doesn’t even have the right words, only to be surprised when Clara pops in the roof of the coach to ask, “Doctor Who?”

We then discover that Dr. Simeon is unusually interested in a pond where a governess drowned and was then frozen in the ice a year ago. He is shortly thereafter confronted by Vastra and Jenny. We learn that Vastra is the basis for Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes character. Simeon reveals to Vastra and Jenny that he is going to take over the world and there is nothing they can do about it.

The Doctor has stopped his coach and is examining the snow with Strax, his driver. They have left Clara locked in the coach. It is revealed the that snow is alien and new and contains a telepathic field. The Doctor is still declining to get involved no matter what the snow really is. He thinks the universe doesn’t care one way or the other if he is involved.

The Doctor intends to wipe out Clara’s memory with a memory worm. Strax begins to fumble around under the coach looking for the worm that was accidentally ejected. The worm is dangerous. If you touch it, you lose an hour of memory, but if it bites you, decades of memory are lost. After Clara helps find the gloves needed to safely retrieve the worm, more playful banter happens with the Doctor.

Clara’s thoughts conjure more snowmen. After the Doctor tells her to imagine them melting, they disappear. Rather than wipe her memory (because if he does she’ll have no defense against more snowmen), the Doctor just decides to let her go home and asks Strax to take her.

Clara instead evades Strax and follows the Doctor. She climbs a hidden stair that goes up into the clouds and eventually lands at the TARDIS. She runs around it and knocks on the door, but runs away before meeting the Doctor. The Doctor however knows that is is Clara that found him because she leaves behind a scarf.

We then learn that Clara has been leading a double life. She is a barmaid, but also the sometime governess to the children whose previous governess drowned in the pond. In speaking with the children she learns they are having bad dreams of their governess coming back to hurt them on Christmas Day. Clara realizes this must all be related to the attack snowmen and seeks out the Doctor. She returns to where the invisible stair was and starts shouting for the Doctor. This attracts Jenny’s attention, and Jenny brings her to Vastra.

Vastra plays a game of words with Clara stating that lies are many words but the truth is able to be told in single words. Clara is incredibly clever and honest and convinces Vastra to contact the Doctor. When The Doctor says to Vastra that Clara could not have passed the one word test. He asks what one word did Clara say that she thinks will get his attention. The word is “pond”, and the Doctor leaps into action.

The Doctor proceeds to Simeon’s lair attired as Sherlock Holmes and proceeds to question Simeon. The Doctor states the snow is more like Moriarty plotting and planning. The Doctor realizes that the snow and the governess in the pond are connected and investigates. Clara, who has been watching the Doctor, proceeds to tell the children a story about a Doctor on a cloud who saves children. Before she can finish her story the ice governess enters the room and begins to attack.

Clara and the children run and eventually are in a room with the Doctor where he melts the ice creature. Vastra, Jenny, and Strax all enter the house stating Simeon has more snowmen coming. Jenny traps the resurrected ice governess. The Doctor sends the family and Strax into a secure room for safety. He and Clara run past the ice warrior getting her to follow them to the TARDIS. Between brief kisses with Clara, discovering he is wearing a bowtie, and loving the adventure, the Doctor is realizing that he is getting interested in traveling again, and having Clara (to whom he hands a TARDIS key) be his companion. He tells her “I never know why, I only know who.” Clara, upon entering the TARDIS, unlike other companions, states “It’s smaller on the outside.”

More playful banter ensues between the Doctor and Clara. Including Clara asking about a kitchen because she likes to make souffles. This instantly rings a bell with the Doctor. It’s obvious they are attracted to each other. Before too much conversation can happen, the ice governess grabs Clara and the two crash to earth mortally wounding Clara. The Doctor materializes the TARDIS around Clara and then brings them both into the house. As Clara lays dying, the Doctor repeats to her that she is going to live because he never knows how, he just knows who, and asks her formally to be his companion.

The Doctor and Vastra confront Simeon. The Doctor and finally destroys the snow and ice monsters, or so he thinks, by using the memory worm on Simeon. Unfortunately, the body of Simeon now springs back to life almost killing the Doctor. Without warning the snow mysteriously melts and all the snow turns to rain. We learn that the tears of an entire family crying on Christmas Eve is what has done this, and the snow tapped into their strong telepathic field.

The Doctor returns to the house to discover Clara is moments from death. He tells Clara they saved the world, and Clara asks if he is going back to his cloud. As the clock chimes midnight, Clara’s final words echo those of Oswin Oswald, “Run, run you clever boy, and remember.” At Clara’s burial, the Doctor looks at Simeon’s business card and the title of his company Great Intelligence, and states the name rings a bell but he can’t place it. When they bury Clara, the Doctor finally sees her full name on the tombstone: Clara Oswin Oswald. He realizes there most be a connection, they are in fact, according to The Doctor, the same woman.

The Doctor then tells Vastra and Jenny that he isn’t coming back and he is off to find the impossible, to find Clara. He enters the TARDIS and seems to use the words “Clara Oswin Oswald” as a setting. In the present, we see a modern day Clara/Oswin visiting Clara’s tombstone at a run down graveyard with a friend. Clara/Oswin tells the friend the graveyard isn’t creepy because she doesn’t believe in ghosts.

The episode ends with the Doctor saying, “Watch me run!”

So, now that the episode is over, what were your favorite parts? How do you think it ranks among previous Christmas episodes? What are your first impressions of Clara?

Disney’s released a minute-long clip from Beauty and the Beast, and it’s a great one: Emma Watson performing “Belle.”

Belle skips around town as the townspeople observe the “funny girl” in this uplifting sequence from the movie. You can’t help but get excited for Beauty and the Beast after watching this, and Emma sounds great!

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Disney’s released a minute-long clip from Beauty and the Beast, and it’s a great one: Emma Watson performing “Belle.”

Belle skips around town as the townspeople observe the “funny girl” in this uplifting sequence from the movie. You can’t help but get excited for Beauty and the Beast after watching this, and Emma sounds great!

In related news, the cast and crew kicked off their press tour today in Paris. Disney released the following adorable photo of Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Josh Gad, Luke Evans, director Bill Condon and composer Alan Menken as they start publicizing the movie, which opens in theaters March 17:

Can’t wait to see it!

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?