Doctor Doctor Who Guide

This was the episode I was dreading the most of the ones I know about so far. This one had all the makings of a clinical example of the worst excesses of fanwankery. Old companions meeting new Doctor/companion team + cult actor from another cult genre show = ... well, let's face it, the worst fanfic and New Adventure novels have all done it before (Hell, sometimes even the BEST novels couldn't help themselves), and that Big Finish hasn't done it more often defies belief. After the sheer mediocrity of "New Earth," and the gigantic letdown of "Tooth and Claw," which I was REALLY looking forward to, how low was the new season of Doctor Who going to sink in only its third episode?

Well, not low enough apparently, because this episode redeemed the season so far and then some. The inclusion of Sarah Jane Smith and K9 back to the fold didn't seem tacked on for fan reasons (tho let's face it, they were), they served a dual purpose. First, of course, to show that the Doctor isn't the only one investigating paranormal events in the UK, and second, and most important, the compare/contrast between Sarah Jane and Rose.

And LORD was this episode just positively DRIPPING with the shippiness. I'm not usually one to call out the ship, or non-ship, or whatever in this series, but good GOD, if anyone thinks that the Doctor and Sarah Jane didn't have a romantic/sexual THING going on after this episode you are positively DELUSIONAL.

That's right, I said it, DELUSIONAL. The ending of "The Hand of Fear" was a lover's spat if ever there was one, Sarah Jane getting K9 to begin with was a backhanded apology after Romana dissed HIM in "Warrior's Gate," and she was happy to see the Third Doctor in "The Five Doctors" because it wasn't the one she had an affair with.

The implication of Sarah Jane being a faithfully waiting but nevertheless jilted lover all these years sits right (even if it does go against what Lawrence Miles had written in Interference ... hmm, wonder if THAT'S why he's ragging against this episode, it contradicts his novel), and furthermore, look what it's done to Rose. She's seeing there's more than what's on the surface with the Doctor now. She's special, but not THAT special anymore. She's not the only one and never has been. And awwww look at the Doctor not being able to say he loved Rose OR Sarah Jane. Rivers in Egypt...

Ah, poor K9, clunky as ever, yet faithful to the end. Just like a good little robot. Same as Mickey. Oh, whoops, he's figured it out. And now he wants in on the real TARDIS action. Rose ain't too pleased for some reason. Both men in her life are pissing her off now it seems. Aw.

Anthony Stewart Head, of course, was fanservice, but he does have a Who pedigree, with that Excelis trilogy of audios, and the cameo as St. Valentine in Death Comes to Time. And in a plot whose McGuffin was right out of "Remembrance of the Daleks," he played the smarmy villain to a T. Not bad, but really anyone could have filled the part. The plot, eh, take it or leave it. The real story here was the Missus meeting the Ex, as Mickey so aptly put it. And it made for a damn fine episode.

Plus, you know, K9 blowing shit up always helps too.

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