Doctor Doctor Who Guide

Well, I guess we had to have a cringeworthy moment or two at some point in the series otherwise it wouldn't be the full Dr Who experience!

Like many others, I thoroughly enjoyed the first part of this episode; the alien crash landing, the news reports (the Blue Peter interruption had me laughing out loud) and of course the wonderful dialogue between Rose and the Doctor. These two are fast becoming my favourite TARDIS team as they play off each other so well. It is so refreshing for the series to explore more deeply the back story of a companion and the ramifications of their actions in disappearing with the Doctor.

And then we have the Slitheen - ready to join the ranks of the Garm, the Myrka, The Ergon (insert your favourite woeful monster here) as a failed realisation of a monster idea. Then again, my main problem was less with the poor realisation of these creatures (lets face it, they were still more impressive than many monsters in the classic series- just not up to par in this one) but more with the way they seem to be in the wrong story.

This episode encouraged me at first that we were finally going to see Dr Who deal with the concept of aliens visiting London realistically. The destruction of Big Ben, news reports, Number 10 in a panic, I was enjoying the realism in this approach. Lets face it, Dr who has been pretty woeful on this score before - explaining away Dalek spaceships landing in a London playground as humanity's capacity for self deception always rankled me. Here was a much more effective approach - one we could relate to should we ever see a spaceship fly overhead.

But all these efforts at realism were destroyed by turning the aliens into a farce. If the aliens had been written with a more serious undercurrent, this episode could have been truly chilling. As it was, the farting and overacting sucked the tension out of the whole scenario, destroying all the wonderful suspense built in the first half.

And was I the only one who thought the cliffhanger was drawn out? Yes we get the point, you don't need to cut between the three scenes ten times to show us the same information. All three groups threatened by monsters. Got it. I hate to say it, but I was almost relieved when the titles came up because the cliiffhanger had been flagged about a full minute before it actually occurred and I was just waiting for them to finally admit it.

So far the weakest episode of the series (End of the World being one of my fave Dr Who stories EVER). Lets hope the slitheen can regain some respect in the next episode, although I suspect the jump between CGI creatures chasing around Number 10 and the more clumsy and obviously animatronic models is going to be rather jarring.

Filters: Series 1/27 Ninth Doctor Television