Friday, 22 May 2009

Doctor Who: Doomsday (2)

Rose: 'I love you.'
Doctor: 'Quite right, too. And I suppose, if it's my last chance to say it. Rose Tyler...'

Season two's been a mixed bag for Rose. Her enthusiasm and growth throughout season one were a pleasure to behold, but this season the writers have seemed uncertain of what to do with her. In fact, she's been downright annoying at times, so perhaps now was the right time for Billie's departure. That's not to say she won't be missed, she's was instrumental in reviving a much loved British institution, and breathing life into arguably the best loved companion since Sarah Jane. But it's better to bow out when you're on top, and Rose definitely went out with a bang.

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Doctor Who: Army Of Ghosts (1)

Doctor: 'How long you going to stay with me?'
Rose: 'Forever.'

'Army of Ghosts' and 'Doomsday' will forever be remembered as Rose's swansong. It was the end of a two year adventure which saw her transformed from inexperienced shop girl into seasoned time traveller. Rose swearing to stay with the Doctor forever, shows us just how strong her commitment to that new life is. She's in it for the long haul. Her and the Doctor are as 'together' as they're ever likely to be—but that's all about to change. Rose's monologue at the start of the episode prepares us for the worst. And despite the Doctor's reassurances to the contrary, it appears that the Beast was right, after all. Rose is going to die.

Saturday, 16 May 2009

Doctor Who: Fear Her

Rose: 'I was attacked by a pencil scribble?'

One thing I've found particularly frustrating this season is the show's general lack of consistency. How many times have we seen a potentially good storyline ruined by either poorly judged dialogue or a badly realised villain, or great characterisation nullified by poor storytelling? The thing that really irks me is, it doesn't have to be this way. They are capable of getting it right. 'School Reunion' and 'The Girl in the Fireplace' are proof positive they can crank out a good story—but they've so rarely hit the mark this season. Which is a shame for Billie and David, because they deserve better scripts than this.

Doctor Who: Love And Monsters

Jackie: 'She's so far away. I get left here sometimes and I don't know where she is. Anything could be happening to her, anything. And I just go a bit mad.'

Three years on and I'm still in two minds about 'Love and Monsters'. Was it a clever experiment which paid off, or ill-conceived filler necessitated by a tight schedule and Tennant's inability to be in two places at once? I don't have a problem with the Doctor-lite episodes, but tonight's offering had more than its fair share of problems, and the source of those problems can be summed up in one word... Abzorbaloff.

Doctor Who: The Satan Pit (2)

Beast: 'The lost girl. So far away from home. The valiant child, who will die in battle, so very soon.'

When this episode first aired, it was widely rumoured that Billie would be leaving the show at the end of the season, and this was our first possible hint as to the nature of her character's departure. Whatever happened to a nice gold watch and a box of chocolates?

Doctor Who: The Impossible Planet (1)

Doctor: 'I promised Jackie I'd take you back home.'
Rose: 'Everyone leaves home in the end.'

When the visual effects are as stunning as this, it makes you wish that we were off-world more often. K37 Gem 5 looked spectacular, as did Krop Tor and the ruined city. Even the Ood, despite their rubber exteriors, were a triumph. It's amazing what you can do with a ballcock float, a bulb and a beard o' tentacles.

Doctor Who: The Idiot's Lantern

Tommy: 'Don't you get it? You were fighting so little twerps like me could do what we want, say what we want. Now you've become just like them.'

This was a hard episode to write about—mainly because I neither loved nor hated it. It inhabited that dreaded dead-space reserved for all things unremarkable. There were bits of it I liked, but it felt far too much like Who-by-numbers. The characterisation was uneven, the plot lacklustre, and I hate to say it, but even the Doctor got on my nerves this week.

Doctor Who: The Age Of Steel (2)

Pete: 'I thought I was broadcasting to the security services. What do I get? Scooby Doo and his gang. They've even got the van.'

A marked improvement over last week's episode. I'm not sure it was enough to lift the story up to 'epic' status, but it's certainly not languishing on the naughty step any more. The clever dialogue returned, as did the witty retorts—in fact, all of the things which make for an enjoyable episode were back. But I still have several gripes with it, which I'll touch upon once I've covered what wasn't utterly hopeless.

Doctor Who: The Rise Of The Cybermen (1)

Doctor Kendric: 'It's alive!'

Well, after a promising start to the season (and two of my favourite episodes ever), we came down to earth with a bang this week. No TV show's perfect—there's always something to complain about—but tonight, the negatives far outstripped the positives. Which is a shame, because the return of the Cybermen should have been a cause for rejoicing—but as has been the case so many times this season, something went drastically wrong. So I apologise in advance for the negativity of this review.

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Doctor Who: The Girl In The Fireplace

Reinette: 'Godspeed, my lonely angel.'

After last week's episode, I wasn't expecting another emotionally charged story—but this was an absolute delight! It didn't resonate in quite the same way as 'School Reunion'—Sarah Jane was a well known and much loved companion, whereas Jean Antoinette Poisson (apart from clanging some vague historical bells), was a bit of an unknown quantity—but by the end of the 45 minutes, my heart strings definitely felt moderately jangled.