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Doctor Who Series 2 Overview

Filed in: Doctor Who.

And series 2 draws to a close here in New Zealand. It's only just started screening in the states (Fridays on SciFi) so most of this post will be cut for spoilers.

The Christmas Invasion: Classic post-regeneration story of alien invasion. Reminded me a lot of The Dying Days only less complicated. The tenth Doctor spends most of the story in his ideal state (unconscious) which probably helps my appreciation of it. Jackie continues to be mostly annoying. As usual for a Christmas-themed episode this screened in the middle of the year here. 6/10

New Earth: New Who's equivalent of Time and the Rani complete with a female villain pretending to be the Doctor's companion. The Rani pretending to be Mel is far more entertaining than Cassandra pretending to be Rose, but the story improves once he works it out. Also there are some cat nuns and diseased zombies. 7/10

Tooth and Claw: All style and no substance. Hijinks in Scotland with Queen Victoria and a werewolf. The almost constant attempts to get Queen Vic to say "I am not amused" were not really funny and the bit about Torchwood at the end is about as subtle as a brick to the head. 3/10

School Reunion: Companion from the 70s who now looks like the president off new Battlestar Galactica returns with her tin dog to help investigate some aliens. Bonus points for getting Giles from Buffy the Vampire Slayer in and not doing the clichéd thing of setting it in a high school... oh WAIT. If you know who Sarah Jane and K9 are, you'll probably enjoy this story more than if you don't. 8/10

The Girl in the Fireplace: The Doctor gets laid. Also Rose and Mickey are in it, briefly. One of the best episodes of the series, which made me hope briefly that the series quality was on the up. 9/10

The Rise of the Cybermen/The Age of Steel: Only the second time that Doctor Who has visited the concept of an alternate universe on screen, but the first time it's shown an origin story for the Cybermen, even if it's completely different from the orgin story they have in the regular universe Doctor Who is set in. I mostly like these Cybermen, except their stompy boots. How, for instance, does that one Cyberman sneak up on the Doctor and Mrs Morris at one point? DELETE! 7/10

The Idiot's Lantern: Classic Who fare with regular people in suburban London under threat from a mysterious force! Maureen Lipton is brilliant. Smashingly good. 9/10

The Impossible Planet/The Satan Pit: So as to remind you that yes, the TARDIS actually does travel in space as well as time, this story is set on an actual alien planet. It's also very good, and IMHO is the best story of new Who so far. The guest characters are all likable, the music is sweet as, the atmosphere suitably moody, and the alien planet is a quarry. This story made me think that nothing could possibly go wrong with the series now. Oh dear. 10/10

Love and Monsters: This is one of the more innovative episodes of the new series and is actually very good right up until about ten minutes before the end. It's at this point that the villain of the piece turns out to be the alien version of Fat Bastard, and the atmosphere the episode has built up dies screaming under an onslaught of toilet humour and general bad taste. As a friend of mine pointed out, it seems awfully out of character for the Doctor to condemn a person to life as a slab of concrete. And the season was going so well. 2/10

Fear Her: Similar to The Idiot's Lantern in that it takes place in a suburban street in London, with a family keeping a dark secret about something lurking upstairs, and things happening to people during the course of their everyday activates. But other than that, they're completely different. A charming wee story until the scene at the end which screams FORESHADOWING! almost as loud as the one at the end of Tooth and Claw 6/10

Army of Ghosts/Doomsday: Low on plot, but has two excellent moments: the Doctor and Jackie pretending she's Rose, and the snark fight to end all snark fights. The only real drawback is the end seems to wear on far too long. Still, worthy to be season ender. 7/10

And that's it until Christmas!

Posted October 5, 2006 7:03 PM


'second time for alternative universe'? I realise you're probably thinking 'Inferno' but what of 'Day of the Daleks'? (E-space is a more debateable point...)

Posted by: Thad | October 6, 2006 8:30 AM

Day of the Daleks is pretty debatable too, since it's never stated clearly in the story what happened. It could simply be a matter of the Daleks changing the course of the future, and the Doctor's actions changing it back. From the POV of the 20th-century part of the story, the future hasn't happened yet and is malleble.

Posted by: Alden Bates | October 6, 2006 9:24 AM

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