Matthew Kresal was born and raised in North Alabama though he never developed a Southern accent. His essays have been featured in numerous books and his first novel Our Man on the Hill was published by Sea Lion Press in 2021.
'Doctor Who': Revisiting "The Web of Fear"
Five years. It was just five years ago that "The Web of Fear" was one of several mostly wiped stories featuring Patrick Troughton's Doctor. Dramatically, and seemingly overnight, that changed. The serial, which had gained an almost legendary status during the nearly five decades since its broadcast, had, alongside its proceeding story "The Enemy of the World" turned up in Nigeria. Though its third episode was (and remains) missing, it offered fans the opportunity to see it again. Could it live up to expectations set by decades of hype?
'Doctor Who': "Max Warp" Review
Across more than a half-century of storytelling, Doctor Who has found time to homage and spoof a little bit of anything and everything. From Gothic tales like Frankenstein to British icons such as Quatermass and James Bond to a couple of semi-musical tales, there seems little the series can't do. So it comes as no surprise then that it found time a decade ago to spoof Top Gear, another venerable BBC franchise, via one of the Big Finish audio adventures.
'Doctor Who': "The Ghost Monument" Review
Warning: Possible spoilers for the episode below. Having spent the Series 11 opener effectively relaunching Doctor Who with a new cast and new look, with episode two new showrunner Chris Chibnall had the chance to take the show into space. Doing so isn't a new thing as both Russell T Davies and Steven Moffat did with their respective second outings with "The End of the World" and "The Beast Below." Would "The Ghost Monument" build on the strengths of the previous episode or falter somewhat?
'Doctor Who': "The Woman Who Fell To Earth" Review
Warning: Potential spoilers for the episode below. It has been the topic of debate and conversation in Doctor Who circles for a year now. The announcement of Jodie Whittaker as the new Doctor sent shockwaves through the fan community not seen since the long-running BBC program returned to screens in 2005. Was it to be the death knell of the program's 21st-century incarnation after a perceived decline during recent years (something this writer will happily dispute) or would it be something to reinvigorate it? With "The Woman Who Fell To Earth," viewers would have the chance to find out.
'Doctor Who'—"Red Planets" Review
It has seemed for a while now, at least to this listener of Big Finish's Doctor Who audio dramas, that the main (or monthly if you prefer) range has been neglected to wither. So much of what has been expecting in recent years has been in other ranges while the one that started things nearly two decades ago feels almost like an afterthought at times. Occasionally, however, there's still something interesting to come out of the range. "Red Planets," the August 2018 release, is just such an example.
'Doctor Who': 'Twice Upon a Time' Novelization Review
Back in the 1970s and into the 1980s, the only way fans of Doctor Who often could encounter an older story was by reading it. The Target novelizations, slim books often running little more than 150 pages, was the cornerstone of the show's merchandise. These days, of course, that isn't the case with a multitude of watching options to choose from including DVDs and streaming platforms. That hasn't stopped such demand for new Target style novelizations of twenty-first-century episodes which BBC Books debuted a set of earlier this year. Among them was the most recently aired episode, the 2017 Christmas Special "Twice Upon A Time," written by a stalwart making one last comeback: Paul Cornell.
Revisiting 'The Rock'
The name Michael Bay and the phrase "great film" don't often appear together. Bay has proven with films such as Armageddon and the Transformers franchise to be the poster child of the current Hollywood "wham-bam-thank you ma'am!" style of filmmaking. That is to say, the kind of filmmaking that emphasizes style over substance. And yet, back in the mid-1990s, Bay got the mix right for one film. That film was The Rock.
Review: 'Doctor Who and the Krikkitmen'
Before 2005, there was no better-known writer for Doctor Who than Douglas Adams, the man who became famous for The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy, was Doctor Who's one-time script editor and responsible in part for the Fourth Doctor classic City Of Death. There were also the stories The Pirate Planet, Shada (which, despite never finishing its recording in 1979, has now become the most completed Doctor Who story of all time), and The Kirkkitmen. For decades, all that most fans knew of the latter story was that it may or may not have been an intended Doctor Who movie and instead, Adams (never one to waste ideas) used elements of it for his later novel Life, The Universe, And Everything. Now, Krikkitmen has become a Who story after all, a novel published by BBC Books. How does this version of it stand up?
'Doctor Who': Revisiting "The Ice Warriors"
Doctor Who's fifth season is an interesting one. Essentially one long series of "base under siege" stories, it was the season that gave the series many of its iconic monsters. Coming smack dab in the middle of it, and just before the monster-less "The Enemy Of The World," came "The Ice Warriors." With the titular creatures still appearing in the series as recently as Peter Capaldi's final season, it's safe to say that they've become mainstays across TV and spin-off media. How does their debut story stand up after fifty-one years?
'Doctor Who': Revisiting 'The Deadly Assassin'
"The Deadly Assassin." It's the story that changed Doctor Who forever. Coming nearly half-way through its original run, it was the story that forever altered the show and its mythology. Writer Robert Holmes (along with producer Philip Hinchcliffe and the production team) crafted four episodes that remain among the most watched and talked about it in the history of the show. Looking at the story, it's not surprising.