Doctor Doctor Who Guide

So after the sublime horror of 'The Empty Child' and 'The Doctor Dances', the series takes a bit of a nose dive.

First of all...and with apologies to any Welsh readers...why Cardiff again? Okay, so there was a link to the rift of 'the Unquiet Dead' and RTD is from Swansea. But basically it looked like an opportunity to highlight some of the tourist attractions of the redeveloped dockland area. And just who thinks that a story based on the idea of a nuclear power station being built in the centre of any city has any credibility? Yes, yes, yes...Doctor Who is all about suspension of belief but that is a suspension too far.

All hail the return of Slitheen - not. Still annoying in appearance with the unnecessary combination of big doe-eyed innocence and unpleasantly large claws. What's with the face of ET meets Bambi approach? Just not scary, just not cute. Thankfully, however, there was less of the toilet humour burping etc of 'World War III'.

And Annette Badman did her character real credit when in human guise plus a wonderful bit of repartee between her and the Doctor when he takes her our for a meal....'hmm dinner and bondage..'.

Captain Jack...yes, well what was the point of him this week? Indeed, what is the point of him at all? Why has the Doctor taken him on board as a redeemed baddie when he dumped Adam at his mother's with a socket in his head. There would have been at least as much potential for Adam's character to develop, and there was sense in that he was a much more realistic chancer than comic-book square-jawed Jack. Jack's double entendre dialogue should not save him

Rose and Mickey...some nice development there and a real sense of Rose being caught between the desire to explore the wonders of the Universe on one hand hand and be back in South London with her boyfriend (and a decent hairdresser - drop the pigtails please) on the other. Aahh, love will eventually win the day, but presumably not till the second series. Or perhaps Mickey - who was looking decidely mean and moody when he walked off into the night - will develop into an evil, yet clumsy, mastermind set on destroying the Doctor and all his works

The Doctor...yet more dark shading of his character during the conversation with Margaret as they talked about the pathology of killers. Christopher Eccleston is at his very best when the focus is on the harder, unpleasant aspects of his character. And only one annoying outbreak of unsolicited grinning early on in this episode - so perhaps that gurning will be gone by the end of the series.

TARDIS...thanks for the explanation of the chameleon circuit for any new viewers wondering why it is as it is. But what was this business about the living heart? And how did it make Margaret regress? If TARDIS is a living being - shades of Moya from Farscape surely - perhaps more could be made of the relationship between her and the Doctor in the future?

So, what was the point of this episode?

Not scary. Not funny. It did move Rose and Mickey's relationship along. And it highlighted yet more darkness in the character of the Doctor.

Lame story though, and weakest of the series so far.

Filters: Series 1/27 Ninth Doctor Television