TV Round-up: The Musketeers, Doctor Who, and Outlander

The Musketeers

Borrowed from withanaccent.com

Genre: Historical/Action

Synopsis: Inspired by Alexandre Dumas’ The Three Musketeers, this series follows D’Artagnan, Athos, Aramis, and Porthos, as they go about the King’s business.

Series: 1 season of 10 episodes; there will be a season 2

I’ve Watched: The entire first season, go me.

The pilot was nice and smooth. The show has a fun feel to it, although our protagonists do go through women like tissue paper. It’s episodic, but the show’s good about making most episodes fairly personal to at least one of the main protagonists.

That said, the status quo is going to wear on me sooner or later, even with 10 episode seasons. Something needs to change to keep the story interesting.

I love watching the King’s character. He’s essentially just an ordinary man who’s been raised to believe that he is a de facto extraordinary person. His unintentional dry humor is just the icing on the cake. Half of his lines are hilarious, and it’s mostly his delivery that make them so funny. The actor is very personable, taking a character who could be hated for his childishness and stupidity and playing him as someone just shy of adorable.

Some scenes messed with my suspension of disbelief, but such is the nature of TV.

Also, yay, diversity! We have non-white main protagonists. However, there is a noticeable lack of women from racial minorities, which is especially glaring given the diversity present for men–all the women we’ve seen were white. The info I’ve heard about season 2 states that least one non-white female will be incorporated, so maybe they’re getting on top of this.

Favorite quotes:

“If we damage her husband, my sister is going to be very upset.”

“You wouldn’t happen to have weapons?”
“One musket, and some charges. For shooting rabbits…and Protestants.”

Doctor Who: The Time of the Doctor

Borrowed from imageserver.moviepilot.com

Genre: Sci-fi

Synopsis: A time-traveling alien has made it his mission to protect humanity through time and space.

Series: This is the special between seasons 7 and 8 (of the modern part of the series, there’s way more old Doctor Who).

Yes, I am reviewing the Christmas special over half a year after it aired. All in preparation for season 8.

This episode had some good ideas, but the execution was not so interesting. This show still can’t do action, but that should surprise no one–what surprises me, is that they keep trying. That’s not what makes this show stand out! In the end, there were a few great moments, but the story was told in a way that was just okay and some of the plot points were too gimmicky. I did enjoy the Eleventh Doctor’s ending speech, though.

I think that having the end of the 10th and now 11th Doctor happen during the Christmas specials might not have been the best ideas, as it separates the stories so far from the rest of the season and constricts how much room the story has to be told. The endings should be big stories, but they’re trapped in singular, lone episodes. Christmas specials feel like a better way to introduce new Doctors, than to say goodbye to old ones.

Favorite quotes from this episode:

“Every life I save is a victory.”

“I died in this room, screaming your name.”

“You have been fighting the psychopath inside you all your life. Shut up and win.”

“We all change, when you think about it. We’re all different people all through our lives. And that’s okay. That’s good. You’ve got to keep moving, so long as you remember all the people that you used to be.”

Outlander (Pilot)

Borrowed from cdn.hitfix.com

Genre: Historical/Drama/Romance (based on a novel I haven’t read, but is reputedly very good)

Synopsis: A WWII nurse gets mysteriously transported to 18th century Scotland.

Series: 1 season of 8 episodes; there will be a season 2 (the series has barely started airing!)

I’ve Watched: Just the pilot so far.

The pilot episode stars off slow, but then, it has to. We need to get a sense of the world Claire comes from before she gets thrust into another. The fact that Claire comes from another historical period and not the present helps–it’s as interesting to see the atmosphere of post-war Europe as it 17th century Scotland.

Not much has happened, and so far the plot is straightforward. As a first episode, it’s solid, which is already a feat. I personally prefer more going on, and tend to dislike plots where a heroine is thrust into a completely new world (it usually serves as a perfectly understandable excuse for making her helpless and heavily dependent on the characters around her). However, the pace might yet pick up, and Claire has the potential to hold her own, as she’s in possession of unique skills (field medicine). So in her case, being from the future might be good for something other than philosophy.

I’ll give this a few more episodes, before I make up my mind. I am partial to historicals, but it depends on where the plot goes and how the characters are handled.

 

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