Early Sunday afternoon, I was desperately checking my DVR for airing times of Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, The Mentalist and Vikings. My service only allows taping two shows at a time, so I had to stagger the tapings throughout the night.
The season finale of Walking Dead was my husband and eldest son’s priority. Game of Thrones was mine, while the other two reflect my love of Sherlock Holmes-style detectives and interest in Viking history.
Add in BBC America’s Saturday airing of the new Doctor Who episode that formally placed Clara Oswin Oswald into the pantheon of companions, the premiere of Orphan Black, The Nerdist plus a marathon of all things Doctor Who on BBC America Sunday, and last weekend may well by television’s Geekiest Weekend Ever.
How did it all stack up?
BEWARE SPOILERS BELOW
In my order, Game of Thrones, Doctor Who, Vikings, Walking Dead, Orphan Black and The Mentalist. (The Mentalist came in last because it turned out to be a rerun. Bah!)
I hear Dead fans yelling already about its ranking. But, unfortunately, zombies give me intense nightmares. The show is interesting on occasion but I can’t watch a zombie without waking up terrified in the middle of the night. This is even though watching the show doesn’t scare me. Alas, I’ve also missed out on Shaun of the Dead because of this. My husband and son pronounced themselves quite satisfied with the show’s finale, though I’m told the fate of a certain character everyone kept calling “too stupid to live” all season was gruesome. And that Carl is promising to be a pint-size serial killer of sorts.
Game of Thrones wins because it featured the reappearance of a favorite character from season one, Barristan Selmy, and because it seems like Dani’s story will finally be moving instead of being stuck like last season. Also because Tyrion/Cersei and Tyrion/Tywin had the best conversations and Jorah Mormont said “Khaleesi” in that lovely voice of Iain Glen’s. (Yes, I am shallow on this point.) And Bronn continues to be far more fun than his book counterpart.
However, Doctor Who may have been the most enjoyable overall, if only because we all watched the show together. I loved the visual of the Doctor riding a motorcycle up a building, that Clara Oswin Oswald is now firmly a companion, and the little call-out to Amy and Rory by the presence of a book by Amelia Williams. A satisfactory kick-off to the second half of the season, though the Doctor may have been a bit too manic. (And I didn’t think that was possible.) I’ve been informed the Great Intelligence is an old-school Who villain, from the second Doctor and now I’m hoping for the appearance of yetis. And finding out exactly who gave Clara the Doctor’s phone number.
Vikings continues to be fascinating in all sorts of odd ways. I started watching because I’ve written an alternate history series with Vikings having settled in North America and I wanted to see how television approached ancient Viking society. The answer has been that it deals with it very well. I love how it presents the community structure, including voting on those accused of a crime, mixed in with an ordinary human lust for power. I wasn’t expecting much from the story and I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how much I’m worried about Ragnar’s fate. Gabriel Byrne has been nicely menacing as the show’s central villain. Mix that in with the captured Catholic priest and the odd scientific discovery, such as a primitive compass, and I’ll be sorry to see this series end.
Orphan Black had promise but was a bit confusing. I understand it’s a show about cloning with a clearly desperate lead character but where was it set? It seemed like it was supposed to be New York City but it looked like London, which was distracting. Some shows I bond to right away. Not this one, not yet, but I’ll give it a second look next Saturday.
So what did you watch this weekend?