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Feigning normality since 1973

Doctor Who Series 4 (Part 2)

Filed in: Doctor Who.

Continued from last time, but obviously covering episodes 4 through 6. Spoiler warnings are, of course, in effect.

The Sontaran Strategem (Obligatory Crap Early-Season Two-Parter)

This story sees the Doctor, Donna, and Martha versus Staal the Undefeated. Which is kind of a pointless nickname for a Sontaran since they have a "victory or death!" thing going, so by extension all living Sontarans are undefeated. Might as well have called himself "Staal the Breathing". Apart from some mildly confused science (terra-forming involves exploding atmospheres? Still better than lightning carrying DNA...), a fairly rollocking story and the inclusion of UNIT was welcome. Although the fact that they had a walkover for the final battle somewhat dented the Sontaran image as the masters of warfare. Had this already screened, my voting for Zeus Blog's Monster Mash would have been a bit different...

As it goes, by being about average for a new-Who story, The Sontaran Strategem ends up being above average for an early-season two-parter. [6/10]

Battle of the Seasons: In order of crappiness
Daleks in Manhattan
Aliens of London
The Rise of the Cybermen
The Sontaran Strategem

The Doctor's Daughter (Obligatory "the future is made of corridors" episode)

Corridors! They can be a city, a building, a spaceship, a TARDIS, or in this case, an underground maze.

[Screen shot of map]

Ooo, complicated!

I thought they were going to do something much more subtle with the ending, but no, it's sledgehammer time! Which describes the whole story, really. The only bit I found vaguely surprising was the twist re the war, which doesn't make a lot of sense if you actually sit down and think about it. In fact, this entire episode is made of fridge logic. And corridor running. [5/10]

Battle of the Seasons: In order of corridor-ness
The Doctor's Daughter
The Girl in the Fireplace

The last one cheats by having some plot which is not set in corridors. It has a blonde guest-star in an unusual relationship with the Doctor though.

The Doctor needs to stop forming relationships with blondes - it never goes well. Mind you that applies to all relationships in Doctor Who, so that's not really saying much. Martha's boyfriend is going to turn out to be the Meddling Monk or something, I'm sure.

Speaking of, Martha seems to have completely lost her awesome since Torchwood. In the space of three episodes she is captured twice, and manages to get at least one person killed through her own carelessness. What the deuce?

Battle of the Seasons scores thus far:

  • Series 3: 16 points
  • Series 2: 12 points
  • Series 4: 11 points
  • Series 1: 9 points

Previously: Doctor Who Series 4 (Part 1)
Next: Doctor Who Series 4 (Part 3)

Posted May 15, 2008 1:34 AM


Oh man! WRONG! Aliens Of London is *way* worse than Manhattan! AOL's one of the worst TV sci fi episodes of all time, not just of DW!

Posted by: The atheist formerly known as Jeff | May 21, 2008 2:55 AM

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