Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Doctor Who: The Stolen Earth (1)

Doctor: 'I'm sorry. It's too late. I'm regenerating.'

When I first saw the end of this episode, I was totally blown away. I remember looking at my friend in bewilderment, and wondering what the fuck had just happened. Was the news that Tennant had signed on for five more episodes mere propaganda designed to disguise Russell T. Davies dastardly master plan? Was the Doctor really going to regenerate? And, more importantly: who was he going to regenerate into?

Monday, 24 August 2009

Doctor Who: Turn Left

Fortune Teller: 'Turn right and never meet that man. Turn right and change the world.'

Choices change lives. Even seemingly insignificant decisions can alter our lives irrevocably, and tonight Donna was faced with a relatively small dilemma. Should she turn left, or should she turn right? 'Turn Left' explores the would-be consequences of her turning right.

Doctor Who: Midnight

Doctor: 'Ah, I'll be fine. Taking a big space truck with a bunch of strangers across a diamond planet called Midnight—what could possibly go wrong?'

They did things differently this year. Since 2006, each season of Doctor Who has contained what's lovingly referred to as a Doctor-lite episode. If it wasn't for the now traditional Christmas episode, there'd be no need, as there'd be more than enough time to film all thirteen episodes—but since Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without a festive Who, concessions had to be made, and the Doctor-lite episode is it.

Sunday, 23 August 2009

Doctor Who: Forest of the Dead (2)

The Doctor: 'Stay with me! You can do it! Stay with me! Come on!! You and me, one last time!'

Well, perhaps we didn't get all the answers we were looking for, but there was more than enough good stuff in tonight's episode to compensate—particularly if the hanging threads are picked up in a future episode. Each season of Nu-Who (so far) has produced at least one stand-out story worthy of our praise. This was probably season four's.

Saturday, 22 August 2009

Doctor Who: Silence in the Library (1)

Doctor: 'Spoilers!' What is it with Steven Moffat and stories which play on our childhood fears? In season two we had monsters under the bed ('The Girl in the Fireplace'), in season three we had statues coming to life ('Blink'), and now, and arguably most terrifying of all, apparently there are things hiding in the shadows after all. Which isn't great news for adults, let alone children.

Friday, 21 August 2009

Doctor Who: The Unicorn and the Wasp

Agatha: 'Agatha Christie.'
Donna: 'What about her?'
Agatha: 'That's me.'

Agatha Christie's disappearance in 1926 was one of those weird events that we'll likely never get to the bottom of. (Despite many books telling us that they've got to the bottom of it.) 'The Unicorn and the Wasp' was a fun attempt at explaining Agatha Christie's whereabouts during those eleven missing days, and what with details being as scarce as hen's teeth—and Agatha not bothering to elucidate in her autobiography—attributing her disappearance to a giant wasp seems as good a solution as any.

Doctor Who - The Doctor's Daughter

The Doctor: 'You need to get yourself a better dictionary. When you do, look up 'genocide'. You'll find a little picture of me there, and the caption'll read, 'Over my dead body''.

This could have been a great episode. I loved the idea of the seven day war and the concept of two opposing armies, continuously being recreated, for the sole purpose of fighting a never ending war. I also liked the idea of the progenation machine taking the Doctor's diploid cells, splitting them into haploids and then recombining them to form Jenny—the Doctor's daughter. But the episode just wasn't long enough to do all of the plot elements justice. They should have either made it a two-parter, or shaved off some of the unnecessary plot divergences. It may have felt less rushed that way.

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Doctor Who: The Poison Sky (2)

Doctor: 'Are you my Mummy?'

For all this season's faults, I couldn't take my eyes off Tennant tonight. His first season in charge was a patchy affair—the scripts alternated between brilliant and cack with tedious regularity—but at this juncture, he's in serious danger of toppling Tom Baker as my favourite Doctor. The dialogue was perfect, his delivery sublime. He totally inhabits the role now.

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Doctor Who: The Sontaran Stratagem (1)

Donna: 'He's too skinny for words. You give him a hug... you get a paper cut.'

A triple whammy of returning fixtures tonight, with the Sontarans, UNIT, and the ever lovely Miss Jones. 'Daleks in Manhattan' and 'Evolution of the Daleks' were two of my least favourite episodes of season three, but this felt like a redemption of sorts for Helen Raynor. The Sontarans haven't been in an episode of Doctor Who since 1985's 'The Two Doctors'. How well did they fare in a modern context? Pretty well, I'd say.

Doctor Who: Planet of the Ood

Solana: 'And the comedy classic... Ood, you've dropped something.'
Ood 3: 'D'oh!'

I just knew there'd be some insidious plot behind the Ood's subservience. Voluntary slavery is a tough concept to grasp—especially when you're being treated like crap. That's not to say it's impossible, it just seems to go against all that's natural. So tonight's reveal gave rhyme and reason to our tentacled friends' lack of resistance. They were being exploited, after all. Surprise, motherfuckers!

Saturday, 1 August 2009

Doctor Who: The Fires Of Pompeii

Donna: 'You fought it off with a water pistol! I bloody love you!'

At the heart of tonight's episode was a question which has plagued the fictional time traveller since time immemorial: is it permissible to risk the future in order to save the past? For the Doctor, an old hand at these sorts of conundrums, the answer was a resounding no. For Donna, a relative newcomer to wide-scale catastrophe, the question raised all manner of complex considerations, and provided a stark introduction to the moral quagmire of time tourism.