Doctor Doctor Who Guide

An excellent episode which built nicely on the themes raised in Aliens of London.

Personally, I cannot see why people are complaining about the Slytheen. Do they want Doctor Who or not? What was the main ingredient of the original series? Men in rubber suits, that's what - and I felt that these suits were far better than some of the old ones we have had to contend with.

So they had baby-like faces. Big deal! What is this unwritten rule that seems to state that all aliens have to look absolutely evil just because they are, well....evil!

Is it beyond the realms of imagination to accept that there can be nice, cute looking aliens that are completely ruthless? What about the Drahvins - cute sexy blondes! And I won't even mention Beep the Meep!!!!

I admit, the suits in motion were a little embarassing - the heads were too wobbly and they looked like one of those shaking head dogs found on the back shelf of a car. However, the smoothness of the CGI shots of them running through Number 10 made up for it - you could see the muscles moving on their bodies.

On to other points. What other TV show would dare to destroy 10 Downing Street with a missile fired from one of our own submarines? Not an easy thing to show on screen but again I thought well done - not the most spectacular explosion you'll see but very satisfying all the same.

The cliffhanger from the previous week was again approched in a clever way - the Doctor saving not only himself but, unknowingly, Rose, Hilary and Jackie. The tri-cliffhanger itself was a marvellous idea - if you want a good cliffhanger, you have to have the Doctor and/or companion in danger, but we know that they will survive. However, by adding Jackie to the mix as well - we just can't be sure that she won't be torn to shreads, can we? (Well, ok, the true fans know she is in later stories, but the general public don't so have to tune back in to see if she cops it or not!).

The plot was simple, but effective, and unravelled at a logical and sensible pace. The use of Mickey and Rose's 'Superphone' was another clever idea. We have our hero trapped in a room, but still able to save the day. It was nice to see Mickey get some of the 'hero' about him. Coward he may be, but he showed his mettle when push came to shove.

Of course, there has to be some gripes, but these are mostly small, and in some cases, personal ones. The fact that after the Doctor had put the Secretary's body in the cupboard, said sorry and then walked away, you could see in the changeover of shot that the Prime Minister's body had somehow managed to prop itself up a bit!! The fact that the Doctor said there was no one in UNIT he could contact as they were all 'dead downstairs'. What about good old Alistair!!!! Yes, I know that we don't want to much reliance on the old series and risking alienating the new audience, but as UNIT had featured so prominently, I don't see that a quick scene over the Superphone would have made a difference. The fact that it would then have had to change the rest of the storyline...........!

What else? How did Mickey manage to target the missile on Number 10? It was never explained to him and he managed to set the co-ordinates as if he'd done it all his life. Similarly, he was able to stop anything else from intercepting the missile just because the Doctor told him to - 'I'm doing it' - with again no directions at all.

Finally, as much as I do like the Ninth Doctor, I wish he could be a bit more friendly (and I dont mean grin more)! Humans are supposed to be his favourite species, but the way he treats Mickey and Jackie, and talks about them, does not reflect this. He was more concerned about the pig! This does not make him unlikeable, and it could be argued that he manages to pull off very successfully what Colin Baker tried to do with his Doctor, but I do wish he could be a bit more personable to others.

All in all though, a nice episode - 8/10 for this one, and probably 7/10 for the story as a whole.

Filters: Series 1/27 Ninth Doctor Television