Jodie Whittaker is Doctor number 13 😁

Glad we finally get a female Doctor and will be interesting to see how they play it. Just happy to see Chibnall mix things up. The last few season of Moffatt/Capaldi was a bit of a drag.

New Top Gear 

I really loved Top Gear. It was one of my favorite shows for a very long time. It was about the unashamed celebration of cars, and had three great hosts who interacted in a genuine and fun way. Unfortunately, the last few seasons before it ended stretched the formula and it started to feel  quite fake. They also somewhat forgot the cars and got caught up with other shit. 

I had high hopes for a rebirth with The Grand Tour, but it was just fine. There was too much variety show silliness and not enough of the mates doing silly things with amazing cars that was the heart of the original series. It has some high points, but they were scattered amongst a lot of mediocrity and distraction. 

The BBC’s reboot of Top Gear was even worse, featuring a terrible host and a cast that had too many people who didn’t gel well. It also slavishly stuck to the old formula, which didn’t work with a new team. 

Thankfully, the BBC threw out the formula and started again this year, and it’s awesome. Yes, it’s still finding its legs, but it already vastly better than last season, and even better than The Grand Tour. 

The new hosts are great. Rory Read and Chris Harris were highlights of last season, and Matt LeBlanc is vastly better now he has two funny enthusiastic you guys to bounce off. 

More importantly, this is a show all about cars. There are a few small diversions each episode, but the cars are at the centre and make takenup most of the time. They’ve even managed to make the previously painful ‘star’ sections somewhat watchable. 

I’m really looking forward to the rest of the season. 

Rogue One

There is something wonderful about knowing that we will be getting a new Star Wars movie every year. It takes a lot of the pressure of each individual movie, and also allows space for movies that are a bit different from the typical Star Wars saga movies. Rouge One went this route. It’s unequivocally a Star Wars movie, but the tone and story are a departure from the main saga movies. I really liked Rouge One, for its great story, the way it beautifully ties into the original movies and fleshes out some of their interactions, and for the incredible fan service that the movie was packed with.

I really want to avoid any spoilers at the moment, so this will be just a quick overview. I’ll go way more in-depth once the Blu-ray is out and everyone has had a chance to watch.

This was a movie firmly rooted in the Star Wars universe. Everything looks and feels gritty and real in a way that the original trilogy and the Force Awakens achieved (and the prequels really didn’t). The movie is also chock full of fan service, cameos and references to really drill home the fact. It was delightful picking out . The movie is also full of beautiful shots. From X-wings blasting through stormy canyons to the huge space and land battle that ends the movie, everything is gorgeous.

Story wise, Rogue One tells an important story that sets up for A New Hope and fleshes out some of the story in the original trilogy. Darth Vader in particular is a much more menacing figure aft the subtler references, especially the references to Rebels.

The story struggles a bit with the work it has to do in such a short time. There are a lot of characters in Rouge One, very few of which we have met before. That means there are a lot of rapid fire introductions while also establishing the story. It works, but it is hard work to follow and at times the first third of the movie feels likes its jumping around far too much. Happily, once we have the team together and introduced, the moves settles down and climaxes with a final third that goes down as one of the best Star Wars sequences to date. It’s awesome, awe inshrining, and makes a really complex set of events, with multiple groups doing different things its different places easy to follow and cohesive. You also get treated to Darth Vader reaching his potential.

If you haven’t seen it, I recommend you do. It’s a great movie in its own right, and if you are a Star Wars fan this is a worth addition to the universe and one you shouldn’t miss.