Simon Cocks
Contributing Writer; London, England

Review: BETTER CALL SAUL S1E04, HERO (Or, The Plan Comes Together)

With its fourth impressive episode so far, we can now confidently say that Better Call Saul knows what its doing and is doing it well. It's a worthy successor to Breaking Bad, not because it slavishly mimics what that show... More »
By Simon Cocks   
  

Review: BETTER CALL SAUL S1E03, NACHO (Or, The Perils Of Trying To Do The Right Thing)

For an episode called "Nacho", this includes very little of the man himself. It's more about Jimmy's perception of Nacho (Michael Mando) and what he might do, rather than what he's really done. Jimmy is scared of him, but he's... More »
By Simon Cocks   
  

Review: BETTER CALL SAUL S1E02, MIJO (Or, Talking Your Way Out Of Being Held At Gunpoint)

Better Call Saul deserves to be talked about for its own merits, so I'm going to put the Breaking Bad comparisons to one side this time around. Saul's second episode, "Mijo", throws Jimmy into a dangerous and seemingly deadly situation, but... More »
By Simon Cocks   
  

Review: BETTER CALL SAUL S1E01, UNO (Or, Going Back Before BREAKING BAD)

Better Call Saul was always going to struggle, like all prequels do, to feel relevant. The nature of a prequel makes it an afterthought, but it's a good start that Saul firmly places itself in the world of Breaking Bad,... More »
By Simon Cocks   
  

Review: DOCTOR WHO, LAST CHRISTMAS (Or, Dreams Within Dreams Within Dreams... And Nick Frost Is Santa Claus)

Getting the Doctor Who Christmas special just right is not something Steven Moffat has always found to be easy to do. Last year's was too tangled and messy, the one before was great but the one before that was another... More »
By Simon Cocks   
  

Twitch's Top 10 Movies Of 2014

And that's the end of that chapter. 2014 is running on fumes and all eyes are already looking to awards season and the behemoths of next year that threaten to decimate the box office. The Avengers: Age of Ultron, Star... More »
By James Marsh   
  

Review: DOCTOR WHO S8E12, DEATH IN HEAVEN (Or, Maniacal Missy And Her Cybermen)

While last week's "Dark Water" was patient and tense in ways Doctor Who rarely is, this finale reverts to the mode of rushing around while nothing that happens makes any sense. It has more than a few moments of brilliance, but... More »
By Simon Cocks   
  

Review: DOCTOR WHO S8E11, DARK WATER (Or, Meet Missy)

It was always going to be the case that Steven Moffat would only answer the question of time lords regenerating as any gender other than male on his own terms. He's made it clear he doesn't want a woman playing... More »
By Simon Cocks   
  

Review: DOCTOR WHO S8E10, IN THE FOREST OF THE NIGHT (Or, London's Overgrown)

We rarely see the Doctor as ineffective as he is here, floundering and lacking plans or ideas in the aftermath of the entire world being transformed into an enormous forest. "In the Forest of the Night" is, for the most part,... More »
By Simon Cocks   
  

Review: DOCTOR WHO S8E09, FLATLINE (Or, Everything's Sideways)

As further proof this series is all about Clara, "Flatline" sees her become the Doctor while the man himself is stuck in a shrinking Tardis. The role reversal works fantastically, as putting Clara in the Doctor's shoes makes it clear... More »
By Simon Cocks   
  

Review: DOCTOR WHO S8E08, MUMMY ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS (Or, A Thoroughly Unpleasant Train Journey)

To its credit, Doctor Who doesn't attempt to sweep Clara's impassioned outburst from last week under the rug. Her eventual decision to continue travelling with the Doctor doesn't suggest she's forgotten why he made her so angry in the first... More »
By Simon Cocks   
  

Review: DOCTOR WHO S8E07, Kill The Moon (Or, The Doctor Doesn't Decide)

Let's get straight to it. The idea that Doctor Who is weighing in with its thoughts on abortion and a woman's right to choose is surprising, to say the least. The episode uses the realisation that there's something going on... More »
By Simon Cocks   
  

Review: DOCTOR WHO S8E06, THE CARETAKER (Or, The Doctor Goes Undercover)

Now this is much more like it. "The Caretaker" is a considered and nuanced episode of Doctor Who that still manages to be great fun. It handles the complex relationships and emotions that are driving the show rather deftly, and... More »
By Simon Cocks   
  

Review: DOCTOR WHO S8E05, TIME HEIST (Or, The Doctor Finds The Time To Rob A Bank)

On the surface, there's so much about "Time Heist" that should be loads of fun. Doctor Who and time travelling bank robbery shenanigans seems like such a perfect fit that it had me wondering if the show's taken on this concept... More »
By Simon Cocks   
  

Review: DOCTOR WHO S8E04, LISTEN (Or, The Doctor Has A Question, Clara Has A Date, Both Go To The End Of The Universe)

"Listen" is Doctor Who at its best. And its scariest. The show hasn't been this terrifying in a while, and Steven Moffat's episode manages to have a bit of everything you could possibly want. It's gripping, funny and tense, providing... More »
By Simon Cocks   
  

Review: DOCTOR WHO S8E03, ROBOT OF SHERWOOD (Or, The Doctor Meets Robin Hood)

Throwing the Doctor and some well-known figure from history or legend together for an episode is hardly a new trick for Doctor Who, although it is somewhat unusual to see our hero so nonplussed by the whole thing.As the title... More »
By Simon Cocks   
  

Review: DOCTOR WHO S8E02, INTO THE DALEK (Or, They Shrunk The Doctor And Put Him In A Dalek)

Regeneration episodes tend to be anomalies, so Peter Capaldi's second installment as the Doctor was always going to be more telling as to his take on the character. The good news, then, is that he remains brilliant. This Doctor is... More »
By Simon Cocks   
  

Review: DOCTOR WHO S8E01, DEEP BREATH (Or, Look Who's Got A New Face)

As ever, there were a lot of questions to be asked as we welcome a new actor to the title role of Doctor Who. Few, however, questioned whether Peter Capaldi could deliver the goods. Unsurprisingly, he's excellent. He slips into... More »
By Simon Cocks   
  

Review: ALAN PARTRIDGE Keeps The Stakes Low And The Comedy Hilarious

The highly anticipated big screen debut of Steve Coogan's Alan Partridge arrives in Alan Partridge a blissfully straightforward and outrageously hilarious comedy that finds the titular character caught up in a hostage situation at the local radio station in Norfolk... More »
By Simon Cocks   
  

Review: CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER Is A Taut, Engaging Conspiracy Thriller

"How do we know the good guys from the bad guys?," Anthony Mackie's Falcon (real name: Sam Wilson) asks in the midst of the climax to Captain America: The Winter Soldier. It's a line that is played for laughs and... More »
By Simon Cocks   
  
 
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