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There are three things that I would like to discuss, briefly, in the course of this blog. I would like everyone to be aware that there are likely to be spoilers for:

Glee – Dream On

Doctor Who – The Hungry Earth

– Trudi Canavan novel – The Ambassador’s Mission

So if you have yet to see/read any of these read at your own peril.

Glee – Dream On

With Glee I really feel like the first half of the season was far better than the second half. It was like the writers had planned for the first series to end after the Sectionals episode, recuperate then return to the field. Instead, the second half of the season seems to have been really poorly written. Whilst the Madonna episode has to be a favourite for a number of reasons, the lack of actual plot line was appalling.

Imagine my hope when I found out the Joss Whedon had directed this episode. I thought that there would be an episode that rivaled one from the first half of the season, but I have to say I was a little disappointed. The writing felt somewhat lacklustre, although it was a nice change to get away from the Rachael Berry drama and, for the most part, her singing as well. The other cast members are talented and I feel that Rachael gets far too many of the songs and solo parts.

I appreciate the life lesson that was trying to be conveyed – dreams are dreams, and whilst you may aspire to them, they aren’t always achievable (if that were the case, I’d be a millionaire and have a dream house, a job and probably a PhD or something) – Archie’s pain was well-played, and I couldn’t help but empathise with him. Rachael’s storyline? It seemed to come out of the blue – if she had felt that way about trying to find her birth mother, then why did she not say something about it before – not even a little hint? Perhaps I am judging too harshly.

Doctor Who – The Hungry Earth

I shall start this section by saying something I have said before – the series is missing something. It’s like that giant elephant in the room that no one wants to talk about, and it’s in Doctor Who series five.

In a way I wish that when they were releasing it, that they (and by they, I mean BBC/whoever decides things like that) actually called it series one. The transition from Christopher Eccleston to David Tennant was huge. David Tennant was far better at playing the Doctor than Eccleston, and not only that we, the audience, didn’t have as much time to connect with the Ninth Doctor.

The concept behind this episode has been done before. Think The Satan Pit (or whatever it was called). A drilling mission to see what was there – trouble. Whilst the plots went in different directions (for a start the devil wasn’t at the bottom of this one) at the end of the episode when those famous ‘To Be Continued…’ lines popped up, I actually found myself thinking… do I care?

There’s just something missing. Despite last weeks dream world episode, there’s just isn’t that romantic chemistry between Rory and Amy, it just feels forced.

I think the plot could have been established better as well, although just how, I wouldn’t know – I’m not a screen writer. It seemed a bit… haphazardly put together. Drilling – Doctor – Aliens that aren’t aliens – end of the world stuff. It’s always the end of the world. Why not have something like ‘Midnight’ from season four? Something that would show the Doctor’s character a little more? But perhaps that is just wishful thinking.

Trudi Canavan – The Ambassador’s Mission

I picked this book up on the off-chance. I hadn’t realised that Canavan was even due a new book out, and having enjoyed The Black Magician trilogy thought I would give it a go, considering it is set in the same world as the previous trilogy.

Didn’t take too long to read, but then again, the author’s writing is simplistic in that sense.

Over all, it was an alright read. I wouldn’t say it was anything to write home about, and to be perfectly honest felt a little like a filler book. The constant references to the Ichani invasion, to Sonea’s and Akkarin’s plight to save Imardin from the Sachakan invasion, even through Lorkin, the illegitimate child of Sonea and Akkarin, and Danyl grew tiresome very quickly (and added to the filler feel of the book). It felt as though half the book was referring to the previous invasion, the previous trilogy, as if to remind the reader that this series was separate to The Black Magician‘s trilogy, and the other half of the book was referring to the next possible invasion.

Additionally, there are minute errors in continuity – most notable when Lorkin first goes to do the extra research for Dannyl in one of the Ashaki homes (character confusion – one moment the story is about Lorkin, the next Dannyl, and then the next sentence is back to Lorkin). Whilst this is a minor thing, it does certainly disrupt the flow of reading and bring the reader back into reality for a moment.

It’s a relatively good use of plot device in setting up the threat to the Magician’s Guild, and to the fact that they do not know every kind of magic out there, ultimately, however, it just didn’t feel as though it was written as well as the original trilogy. Let’s hope the next one builds on the merits of Canavan’s writing, rather than creating a series of filler books continuing the (un)adventures of Sonea.

It seems like I’ve just been overly critical of the three things mentioned here today. That wasn’t the intention, and there were certainly good points to each.

I hope that nobody ignored the spoiler warning at the top of this blog.

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