Doctor Doctor Who Guide

Now we are talking! I must admit having watched the first two episodes of the new season there was just the slightest niggling feeling that something was missing, something was not quite right, don't get me wrong I certainly wasn't grumbling out loud about it after all we are all watching NEW doctor who episodes something I never thought possible just two short years ago.

I think I'm partly to blame myself, in the run up to the new series I of course worked my way through the season 1 box set and so there I sat watching "The parting of the ways" Chris Ecclestons hologram turns to Rose and tells her to have a good life and I have tears rolling down my cheeks AGAIN I just CANNOT get past that bit no matter how many times I've seen it. Anyway after regaining my manly composure I felt, like many I'm sure "how are they going to top this next year?"

I was very sad to lose Chris Eccleston and my girlfriend (new to who) was reluctant to accept the younger David Tennant but hey I'm one of the "old guard" been through this a few times now "give him a chance" I said. The problem for me with episodes one and two is that they lacked emotional depth, I don't mean thrills and scares but actual emotional drama and I am aware how ridiculous that sounds bearing in mind how light on such things the original series was! But now we've had it in Doctor Who I want more! I know it's totally unfair to compare the dramatic climax of one season to the beginning of the next, after all series one took time to build,but I'm so relieved to have figured out that niggling problem and SO glad that "School reunion" has completely restored my faith.

I don't know why but I always feel a little cheated when we don't get to see the TARDIS arriving at the beginning of a story I suppose its just something we all got so used to but despite that I enjoyed the different opening to this weeks episode, the Doctor and Rose "under cover" was clever not to mention amusing and everything was set up very nicely with the mention of Mickey having called the two of them in (Roses "Doctored" mobile presumably?). I must admit Sarah Jane's entrance was not the grandest but we all new she was in this episode anyway and obviously her first meeting with the Doctor was rather one sided as she didn't know who he was but I loved her wistful expression as she recalled a friend who used the name Smith. For me the magic began a few minutes later as Sarah Jane opens a door only to be confronted by the TARDIS the gape jawed look of realisation on her face was wonderful, beaten only by her then turning to see tho Doctor "it's you" she gasps, absolute goose bumps set in at this point I thought this sequence was handled brilliantly.

Sarah Janes unhappiness with the Doctor took me by surprise I must admit I know her leaving Tom Baker's Doctor was one of the sadder goodbyes in the original series but her realising that he had dropped her in the wrong place (not South Croyden) meant that the episode almost ended on a joke but there lies one of the big differences between the old series and the new and what an important and apparently welcome difference it is.Yet this unhappiness was key to Sarah Janes character in "School reunion" and I found it fascinating- how COULD you go back to a normal existence after life in the TARDIS? Sarah Janes line "did I do something wrong?" was heart breaking and I thought Elizabeth Sladen played it perfectly.

The amazing thing is that "School reunion" actually had a good story in it's own right and a great evil mastermind in the form of Anthony Head who any other week would no doubt have completely stolen the show, the monsters were menacing and very well realised in CGI which I thought surpassed that of many other episodes.Its a testament to Anthony Heads acting ability that in a matter of seconds he can convince a hardened Buffy fan that he is not infact good old Giles but in fact a rather nasty, body part stealing, alien presence.

Then of course there was the return of our four castered friend, given a small but pivotal role and making the ultimate sacrifice for his old master, Sarah Janes reaction to his demise had me welling up.Roses relationship with Sarah Jane was interesting I found her initial bitchiness towards her almost uncomfortable but it was great to see the two of them bond over the course of the story and I thought Sarah Janes suggestion that Rose look her up one day was particularly touching.

The final scene in the sun drenched park was just wonderful to watch and played absolutely perfectly by David Tennant and Elizabeth Sladen, Sarah Jane forcing a "proper" goodbye from a man who hates them so and by doing so giving herself closure after so many years of waiting and wondering, then of course the final happy ending as the TARDIS dematerialises to reveal K9 mark 4!

I'm pleased to say that its difficult to try and find fault with this episode there are always little bits you could "nit-pick"; if the Doctor already had a K9 mk4 in the tardis why hadn't we seen it gliding about or is it something he knocked up quickly? Why hadn't Sarah Jane let her feelings be known to the Doctor before?- I know she spent most of "The five Doctors" with Jon Pertwee's incarnation but she could have grabbed a quick word with Peter Davison's Doctor towards the end and maybe even have grabbed a lift if she had been brave enough to face Teegan! It's interesting to compare Sarah Janes reaction to meeting the Doctor again in "The five Doctors" and "School reunion" the difference in the portrayal of emotional attachment is astounding, Elizabeth Sladen must have been so pleased to finally be able to really flex her acting muscles I had no idea what a great actress she actually is.

So everything looks rosy (no pun intended) Sarah Janes got closure, Elizabeth Sladens deservedly won herself a whole new generation of fans,Mickeys graduated to TARDIS crew member-which is bound to make interesting viewing for us (Rose's reaction when he asked to come along?), David Tennant's got the best job in the world and we've had an absolutely crackin episode of DOCTOR WHO how on earth are they going to top this next week? oops here I go again...

Filters: Television Series 2/28 Tenth Doctor