Doctor Doctor Who Guide

This was an episode always destined to please the fans of the original series of Doctor Who and especially, of course, those who remembered the characters of Sarah Jane Smith and K9 with fondness.

The emotional centre of the story was that of the relationship between the Doctor and his two companions, the old and the new. And this was carried out extremely well, with all three actors excelling in their roles. The jealousy between Rose and Sarah was a little too immediate and obvious for me, but that is a minor niggle that may simply reflect the 45-minute episode format that is too short on time for more nuanced development. The scenes between Mr. Tennant and Ms. Sladen were the emotional highlights for sure - well, and the return of a K9 Mark IV at the very end!

It surprises me that so many reviews of this episode thus far have been quite so high in praise, however. A reviewer can only be expected to state their own personal view, but as one who was not around when Tom Baker was the Doctor, it strikes me that nostalgia has been allowed to compensate for an average plot. For the majority of viewers out there, the return of old characters is likely to be treated with indifference - Sarah Jane Smith is no more exciting as a one-off character than the Mox of Balhoon, and slightly less so than the enigmatic Face of Boe. I certainly do not begrudge longstanding fans an episode such as this - but I would disagree that this was superior to 'Tooth and Claw', and I think that the majority of the 8 million BBC viewers would concur even if the majority of readers of Outpost Gallifrey would not. It is just something to consider before being too harsh on Russell T. Davies on some of his stories: he tends to delegate the more interesting, adult stories to others, burdening himself with those that have to appeal to the widest audience.

Anyhow, back to 'School Reunion'!

The plot was reasonable, with good build-up. I liked the Krillitanes, although the idea of adding the biological and technological distinctiveness of other species to one's own has already been done somewhat by Star Trek's Borg. As has occasionally been the case with the new Who, the evil plan is a little generic and far-fetched - universe domination by breaking some secret enigma-like code we've never heard of before? I am not overwhelmed. For a 'good' episode, I am always happy to ignore such irksome details, but I do think that such flaws prevent an episode from being 'great'.

To conclude: good acting; a good central theme on emotions, relationships, and the character of the Doctor; an interesting alien; some witty dialogue and a reasonable plot. I thoroughly enjoyed this episode, just not as much as last week.

Oh, and to finish, Mr. Head did not disappoint at the Headmaster - excellent, excellent, job.

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