Doctor Doctor Who Guide

This review is almost as much of a review of reviews as it is of the episode in question, Aliens of London. First off, let me start by saying I am American. I have been a fan of Doctor Who for many years and unlike growing up in England, this is out of the ordinary. Just the thought of a Police Box that is rougly the size of an American state like Texas on the inside just fascinated the hell out of me. Tom Baker was my 'first doctor'. I also have fond memories of watching Peter Davidson when he first got broadcast in the States. Then it seemed I moved on to more American fare for awhile, the likes of Star Trek. It took a few years of maturity (and a good job that gave me the money to buy past episodes) but in the 90's I became a super huge fan of DW. I love all Doctors and almost all episodes from Hartnell and "The Space Museum" to Sylvester McCoy and "Rememberence of the Daleks". I start out my review of "Aliens of London" this way because I'm not even English and I saw the complexity of this episode. I have read so many reviews that talk about :

- "The farting". The aliens talk about this after they take over the General and say it is getting ridiculous and needs to be solved. It's better than the trash can belch in "Rose", at least this is explained as something they can't help. To think that RTD put this in here for a laugh is, well, laughable.

- The music. Look I know this is an important issue to alot of people (especially since I read about it in every single review) but seriously, unless you're talking about the use of Britney Spears in "The End of the World", the music is in the background and it at the very least secondary to the episode itself.

- The unrealistic reporting. In reviewers from England's defense, I am not from there and do not see news reports there on a regular basis. Perhaps to someone who lives in England and sees these newscasts on a regular basis this is an important issue of realism what with the music in the background and the "incredible" reaction of the amateur news reporter but as an American, I can tell you that FOX News and other 24 hour news channels report very much like this everyday about the Michael Jackson trial, Scott Peterson (a wife killer here if you don't know who that is), and Terri Schavio ("coma" patient in the States). I very much believe there would be graphics around new logos, amateur and veteran news reporters on the story and maybe even background music accompanying their reports if this were to happen in real life. None of this looked bad to me as an American.

- The Pig. This is up for debate. I thought that the idea of the aliens augmenting a pig to suit its' own purposes was a pretty cool thing. Could have been a dog, could have been a cat, could have even been a brainwashed human (but what fun would that be?). They chose a pig and I believe the "mermaid" analogy the doctor came up with explains it well.

Ok a few complaints I've read that I agree with :

- The Bad Wolf deal. Like another reviewer has said, why mention it several times and then have some kid spray painting it on the TARDIS? Also as this same reviewer said, this had better make sense some day.

- No mention of the Time War. This is forgivable, can't drop words just for the sake of saying them but I'm anxious. I want to know what this is all about damnit!

- Rose's mom taking her daughter being gone for a year so easily. This is just about unforgivable as any parent in the world would have just about gone insane. Is Rose the type to run off without saying anything? If so at least that would be a reason for her "mum" to accept that she is back and 5 minutes later let her and The Doctor into her house to watch the alien ship on TV. (and also like another reviewer has said the fact that she knows the name of the TARDIS without her ever hearing it is annoying. How hard would it have been for him to say something like "Oh great let everyone into the TARDIS" or "Don't bring anything domestic into my TARDIS" but no, she never hears it and knows the name. Sigh.).

- The metal zipper being soooo obvious on the policeman. That looked horrible and since every other zipper was invisible what the hell was the point?!

- The Slitheen. Hmmm... this one is up for debate too. They almost look like Mr. Ed, little clay puppets bouncing around. Some shots looked ok, some did not but overall they aren't the most impressive looking aliens ever.

- U.N.I.T. Very underused. Also, am I the only ones who wonder why the simple words "Attack plan Delta" allow these soldiers to take orders from The Doctor? Who the hell is he anyway? It would be like me walking into an attack in the Pentagon and ordering soldiers around with Attack plan words. This has been done in the past in Doctor Who and done much better with just a simple security clearance statement. This would have made much more sense in my opinion. Also what would have been the harm in getting Benton, Yates or even The Brigadier in on the action even if it was a small part in the background. People new to Doctor who wouldn't know who that man in charge was and old fans of the show would have cheered. I know they are trying to get away from the old show entirely but I honestly would see no harm in it.

-The trailer for the next episode. Why oh why have a "cliffhanger" that is resolved in the previews for the next episode? Seems so obvious that this defeats the purpose of a cliffhanger (even though we all know the Doctor wouldn't die or anything).

Some good stuff about the episode that has mostly been mentioned in other reviews...12 months instead of 12 hours. Very very good. Acted well, TARDIS is not 100% under control, all done very well. Alien ship taking out Big Ben....looked good cool effects, very good. Still not sure about this TARDIS design though. Hitting it with a hammer... hmmm. It looks pretty cool, and maybe we will find out that the TARDIS was damaged in the Time War and is in a little worse shape than we are used to. Amusing though and also well acted by CE.

All in all Doctor Who is an excellent show to be watching and if you love the show as a whole as much as I do, there's a good chance you have enjoyed all four episodes and can overlook some small problems for the excitement you feel when you hear and see the TARDIS materialize. Time for World War III!

Filters: Series 1/27 Ninth Doctor Television