Doctor Doctor Who Guide

Aliens of London gave me hopes and concerns before transmission. The series up to this point had been strong and the effects shown in the trailer were good. The concerns I had were that the episode was set in (all but) real time and with a new alien threat. It therefore had elements where Doctor Who had gone wrong in the past.

It also had the risk of being a double parter, if it was good then it had the bonus of a good traditional cliff hanger, if it was poor the risk was two weeks to live with.

All in all the story had a lot to live up to and overall I thought it was a complete and utter disappointment. The ridiculous farting aliens and the immature laughing scenes made me feel ashamed to be interested in Doctor Who, I felt I was watching a drama for the pre-school, never mind a programme for the family.

On the plus side, an area where I expected to feel uncomfortable worked well. Billie Piper acted her socks off in the domestic settings of her home. She turned the good element of the plot of the missing twelve months into a realistic plot twist and all in all Billie came out with full credit.

Christopher Eccleston Doctor was not so good. In a couple of shows he looked an alien, but unfortunately not as a Timelord but as an actor in a show he had never seen. His overall performance to date however gives me faith he will recover before the series climax.

Alarmingly the supporting cast acted well, especially Penolpe Wilton. This I say is alarming as it means the poor characters appeared to be due to the quality of the script, and the therefore RTD.

My other areas of concern were the aliens. The zips in their heads and rubber suits belonged in another movie set, but where? The minute their over computer generated bodies appeared it became clear ... Men In Black.

From the above it would be easy to say the episode had nothing to offer, but this isn't quite true. The Doctor fixing his problematic TARDIS, the acknowledgement of UNIT and the Doctors excitement by history offered something for the traditionalists. The great graphics, the Rose family story line and fast moving plot offers something for the casual / new viewer. The appalling farting for the children.

All in all however it didn't pull together, and unfortunately from my discussions to date upset everyone from the casual viewer to the die hard fans. Roll on the Daleks and get ready to grit your teeth next week!

Filters: Series 1/27 Ninth Doctor Television