10 “Face the Raven” (Doctor Who series 9) [SPOILERS]

doctor who peter capaldi

Well, when you’re wrong, you’re wrong.

When the next series of Doctor Who rolls around, somebody please remind me to stop making predictions about series structure? Clearly I just wind up embarrassing myself.

Despite what I said in my review of the last episode, “Face the Raven” is not another standalone episode. It is, in fact, in the same vein as the third series’ “Utopia”, the first part of a climactic trilogy.

Which, naturally, means that we are now approaching the endgame of the series. A series which has gone blisteringly quickly, and mostly without missed notes. I’ve been banging on about this in basically every review so far, so it can’t be a surprise to anybody really, but I‘ve been very impressed with the quality of the storytelling this series. Like, really impressed.

But as everyone must surely get bored of me saying, the most important part of anything is how it finishes. That’s what you take away, that’s what sticks with you. Disappointment there can be fatal.

Read on…(and mind the spoilers!)

Rochford ward by-election: Softly does it!

matt softly campaign team

Candidate Party Votes Percentage
Matthew Softly Labour 332 32.40%
Michael Lucas-Gill Conservative 328 32.00%
Nicholas Cooper UKIP 250 24.40%
Daniel Irlam Liberal Democrat 114 11.10%

Well done to Matt Softly, who will be an excellent representative for the people of Rochford ward. And well done to the fantastic campaigners of Rochford and Southend Labour Parties, a mere handful of whom pictured above.

Vote Matt Softly for Rochford ward

matt softly

Today, between 7.00 a.m. and 10.00 p.m., the polling stations are open for residents of Rochford ward to cast their vote in the district council by-election. Matt Softly is the Labour candidate in this election, and I would implore voters to go out and ensure he is their councillor when the sun rises tomorrow.

I have known Matt since I moved to Southend, and I know that the people of Rochford could not ask for a better representative to fight their corner. He lives in the ward — not essential, but a point not to be overlooked — and serves on the Parish Council. I know that he will fight for Rochford residents, and having helped on his campaign team I can tell you what an incredible hard worker he is, spending hours talking to residents on their doorsteps about the issues that matter to them, no matter the temperature or weather.

Matt has made ten pledges in this election, to the voters of Rochford, and in his own words they are to

  • “Ensure Rochford gets its fair share of resources.
  • Be a strong voice for you and your views, issues and concerns.
  • Oppose the cuts to neighbourhood policing.
  • Work with the community to overcome issues with antisocial behaviour.
  • Hold Rochford District and Essex County Councils to account on issues such as housing, street lights being turned off at night and the condition of pavements.
  • Work alongside Jerry Gibson and other Councillors to make Rochford a better place to live and work for everyone.
  • Hold regular advice surgeries.
  • Listen and be accountable to local residents.
  • Lobby for investment in Rochford’s Market Square and businesses.
  • Oppose new housing plans that do not include proper infrastructure and do not add to the social housing stock for our families.”

You may not agree with all of his politics, but I promise you that there is not a harder working candidate on the ballot paper. If residents elect Matt today, they will be choosing a passionate, dedicated and principled local councillor.

05 “Room Service” (American Horror Story Hotel) [SPOILERS]

american horror story hotel

Given that Halloween fell between two episodes of Hotel, it makes sense that two episodes would have a Halloween theme.

The first of them was actually pretty good, blocking out some of the noise of the extraneous storylines. They will presumably need to be revisited this time around, but that’s okay because it finally feels like the series has some clue where it’s going.

Part of American Horror Story‘s unique charm — not limited to Hotel — is that they start filming before they’ve actually finished writing it. So when it seems a bit lost, it sort of is. But then again, that’s what makes it one of the most interesting shows on TV.

Read on…(and mind the spoilers!)

09 “Sleep No More” (Doctor Who series 9) [SPOILERS]

doctor who peter capaldi

So it looks like not every episode this series is going to be in the two part mould. “Sleep No More” — and necessarily its…counterpart, I guess? — seems to be a standalone.

Actually, I was having a conversation a few weeks back, about how what this series really needed to make it was a “Midnight” or a “Blink” (It should be noted that despite popular opinion, “Midnight” is the superior episode to “Blink” -Ed), a stripped down and story-focused offering without the bells and whistles of most offerings. These invariably turn out to be some of the best episodes (Though we won’t dwell on “Love and Monsters”, eh? -Ed).

So coming on the coattails of last episode’s, frankly, excellence, could “Sleep No More” be the elusive jigsaw piece so far missing from series 9?

Read on…(and mind the spoilers!)

BREAKING: Has Martin Terry left Southend Council cabinet?

martin terry

Unconfirmed as yet, but my little birds are whispering to me that Southend’s Cllr Martin Terry (IND – Thorpe) has left his cabinet post of portfolio holder for Public Protection, Waste & Transport, to be replaced by Cllr Mike Assenheim (IND – Shoeburyness).

Read on…