Doctor Doctor Who Guide

Downing Street exploding in a ball of flames, more farting, and Mickey saving the world ... just in time for tea at Rose's mum's house. Sounds ridiculous? Well, that is because it is.

If you take it all with a pinch of salt, it is all good fun and frolics on a Saturday night but World War Three was nothing really all that special despite some of the grand effects. While Aliens of London had its bad points, I still enjoyed it quite a lot and it had a lot of memorable scenes. I didn't think World War Three was as good - despite the big explosions and the grand scale of the events - it did not have the eerie impact of Dalek and Cybermen invasion episodes of yesteryear which both also had big London landmarks throughout.

After the fearsome Autons, the evil Cassandra, and the chilling Gelth zombies, the Slitheen just seemed so... gay (as Rose might put it).

Dr Who has gained a lot of credibility in recent weeks for good storylines and scary aliens, but the old fashioned green bug eyed monster never hit the mark for me. These are one type of alien I would not like to see come back but I did like the unzipping effect.

While there were some nice touches (the Doctor realising that the army would never take him seriously that the Prime Minster was actually a green alien), and the vinegary death of one of the Slitheen), I don't think World War Three ever got going.

Even Andrew Marr's brief reporting scene, which was done pretty well last week, was lacking in sparkle - the other journalist seemed like an actor rather than a serious news reader. In previous episodes I have laughed out loud at some of the lines, but it all got a bit bogged down at times in this episode. The exchange between the Dr, Rose and Hariott and the Slitheen towards the end of the episode before the Dr closed the door had possibilities, you would have thought, but it seemed to be lacking.

While all this seems a bit critical, I still enjoyed it and the show was harmless fun. There was an element of claustrophobia in it and there were some neat touches (I liked the Dr's escape into the elevator) - the episode just lacked some depth and gravitas which some of the previous episodes have had and left me gasping for more.

The teaser for next week was thrilling though and the Dalek lighting up and coming to life just made me feel like a kid again. And perhaps that is the whole point. The show is aimed primarily at children and it is a family show. There are some great lines of dialogue. There was one great scene of tension as the Dr deliberates over the next course of action as he is asked by Rose's mum about whether her daughter will be safe or not. It was good pathos and one of the best scenes in the episode as it reached its climax.The ending as Rose and the Dr leave did not have the same glorious hit the nerve impact of previous episode endings but at least the teaser made up for that! While it was understated, it just didn't feel all that special and after Mickey saving the world, his overtures to the Dr that he was too scared to go in the Tardis did not rest easily with this. Why would he tell the Dr not to tell Rose this - it just seemed a bit weak.

I would have preferred if Rose had just left again of her own accord and not tell anybody rather than this twee kind of ending.

Overall, perhaps destroying Downing Street was going a bit far? Hariot was okay and may have made a half decent companion but becoming the new Prime Minister at the end seemed a little bit predictable. It was all good fun anyway and while it was probably the weakest episode so far, it was still exciting. Roll on the Daleks to truly exterminate Celebrity Wrestling once and for all

Filters: Series 1/27 Ninth Doctor Television