Archive for January, 2011|Monthly archive page

Doctor Who Series 2 Episodes 7-9

The first is a standalone episode called “The Idiot’s Lantern”. The Doctor and Rose are supposed to be going to New York the day Elvis goes on the Ed Sullivan show. Instead, they end up in London right before Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation. Only one problem – people are having their faces and minds stolen. Even Rose gets her face stolen, which makes the Doctor very mad. They find a family with something of an uppity father where there is one of the victims. Usually the victims is taken away, but not in this case – not yet. In the end, it is an alien who is using the recently created televisions to drain people’s minds to create the energy she needs to get a physical body again. Yeah, she’s a criminal who barely escaped, but only her mind did. And while the boy and mother are happy to help the Doctor, but the father is another matter. He is so concerned with appearances and it turns out he is the one who has been reporting the victims. He even reports his own mother-in-law. The mother throws him out, but Rose convinces the son to keep the lines of communication open.

The next two episodes are a double set again: “The Impossible Planet” and “The Satan Pit”. The Doctor and Rose end up farther than the Doctor has even gone. They arrive on a station where there is writing so old even the Tardis can’t decipher it. Yeah, this station is on a rock – orbiting a black hole. This should not be possible, but there is some sort of field keeping the rock in place. There are also a strange race on board called the Ood who seem to live to serve others. They are also telepathic. So when strange events start taking place, I guess it isn’t too surprising that the Ood are affected. First there is a quake in which the Tardis is lost. The Doctor is forced to contemplate again being stuck in a particular time and place. Then people start dying and the Ood start acting up. There are all sorts of weird messages about the beast and such. In fact, drilling on this rock to find the power source that is keeping it in place has awakened what the black hole was to keep sealed forever. Fortunately, if it gets free it will just go into the black hole, but so will everyone else. Lots of discussion about belief and faith in this episode and what they mean. Also, the beast loves to play on everyone’s fears and nightmares. The one for the Doctor is interesting, calling him the destroyer of his own people. In the end, while half the crew is lost, about half make it out with the Doctor, who has regained the Tardis, and Rose.

Doctor Who Series 2 #5-6

Here is another two parter, and we are introduced to the Cybermen. I’m a bit sketchy, though, on how they are different from the Dalek, though. Aside from shape that is.

The first episode is “Rise of the Cybermen” and the second is “The Age of Steel”.

The Tardis somehow falls out of the time vortex – and into an alternate dimension. It is the London of Rose’s time but for example there are Zeppelin’s. Rose discovers that in this world her father is still alive and is rich and successful, but she was never born. We also learn a bit about Mickey – it seems that he was primarily raised by his grandmother who died a few years previous to our meeting him. His grandmother is still alive in this world. The Doctor warns about interfering with other dimensions, but of course neither Rose or Mickey listen. Interesting that in dropping out of the time vortex the Tardis looses all power except for one little cell and the Doctor uses his life force to energize the cell, though it will take time to complete.

Meanwhile, a rich and brilliant though medically challenged inventor has created a way to preserve the human brain even when the rest of the body is failing. He needs this technology to save himself, but no one will agree to legalize it. Pete, Rose’s father, works for this guy.

Micky is surprised to run into himself, though he calls himself Ricky, and this version is a resistance leader, mistrustful of the activities of the government and the inventor in particular.

Rose goes to see her parents at her mother’s birthday bash. It turns out that their marriage is not doing so well which distresses Rose.  This all gets put to the side when the inventor releases his creation, the cybermen – metal humans with human brains whose emotions have been cut off.  The Doctor, Rose, and Pete escape and run into Micky and Ricky and Ricky’s gang. The inventor uses earpieces everyone wears to take control of everyone in London and bring them to his factory to be made into cybermen. Rose and Pete are captured as is the Doctor. Ricky is killed as is one of his gang. Mikey and the other guy from the gang get to the Zeppelin that is controlling everyone’s ear pieces. It also destroys the chip that prevents emotions. The Cybermen destroy themselves. Pete is disturbed to find that Rose is his daughter. This dimension’s version of Jackie had been made into a Cyberman. Mickey decides to stay behind. This world needs him – the inventor had other factories around the world with Cybermen, and Rose cares about the Doctor more than him.

Doctor Who Series 2 Episodes 3-4

The first episode is “School Reunion”. What makes this episode particularly interesting is while investigating a school the Doctor runs into one of his old companions, Sarah Jane Smith. She and Rose are instantly jealous of each other, though they do eventually learn to work together and get over it. One thing is apparently the Doctor left Sarah (he may not have had choice) but he never contacted her again. She always felt very badly about that, although the Doctor’s perspective on the issue is enlightening. He does feel a bit bad for not even saying goodbye, but as he puts it, while they can spend all their life with him, he can’t spend all his life with them. As for Mickey, he realizes he hold the same spot in the group as Sarah’s robotic dog, K-9. This greatly depresses him. The aliens they encounter in the school are using the young minds of the students to figure out a giant equation that would give them complete power over time and space. They almost tempt the Doctor – he could use it to save his planet and his people – but Sarah reminds him this is not him. The information and the aliens and K-9 are destroyed. The Doctor tells Sarah goodbye this time when she decides her days traveling with him are over. She does suggest taking Mikey along, however, and the Doctor gives her a new K-9.

The second episode is “The Girl in the Fireplace”. In this episode we are back to the space station we have been to before. This time it is abandoned. Only one odd thing – somehow parts of the space station are linked to pre-Revolutionary France. In particular, it seems to be tracking one little girl, who ends up being Madame Pompadour when she grows up. Mechanical dolls dressed in old French finery keep intruding on her life. It is up to the Doctor, Rose, and Mickey to find out why. For some strange reason the dolls want Madame Pompadour’s head. We end up finding out they have been trying to repair the station with anything they have – including humans. However, they still need a central computer system. And the space station is the Madame Pompadour . . . The Doctor risks being trapped in time, but events leave him one way back. However, he misses his last time to see Madame Pompadour, who I think he did love.

Doctor Who Series 2 Episodes 1-2

The first episode of the second series is “New Earth”. After the events of “The Christmas Invasion” Rose is convinced that the Doctor still is the Doctor, even if he looks very different now, but the differences between his old self and new still are quite striking to her. They go to New Earth, a place colonized by humans after Earth was destroyed. It also happens to have humanoid cats. It also is where the last human, Cassandra, is. Remember her from episode 2? Well, her brain was elsewhere so she survived. But she wants a new, real body. So she steals Rose’s body. This is bad timing since the cats are really not quite so benevolent as at first they appear. Not entirely their fault – humanity did come to their planet full of disease – but their methods to solve the problem leave much to be desired. Cassandra ends up switching back and forth between the Doctor and Rose, which is rather quite hilarious. In the end the day is saved, but I wonder what the repercussions will be. Oh, and we also see the Face of Boe again. He apparently has something to tell the Doctor, but won’t say it until they meet the next time – the last time.

The second episode is “Tooth and Claw”. In all fairness, Rose and the Doctor do not end up in the 1870’s but the 1870s instead. And Rose totally acts like a fan-girl when she gets to meet Queen Victoria. But perhaps things would have turned out all right if it wasn’t for the aliens who are similar to werewolves who are around. But yeah, Rose and the Doctor act a little too cavalier for the queen’s taste. A pity they didn’t get to explain their perspective, though on second thought that may not have helped. And in all fairness, Queen Victoria does express her gratitude by knighting them before banishing them. This episode has immediate repercussions, though. This is where Torchwood is formed to counter aliens. Yeah, why do I get the feeling Torchwood is going to be important? Oh, and it is quite likely that the queen was bitten by the werewolf . . .

Doctor Who Christmas Special (2005): Christmas Invasion

Unfortunately for the Doctor, his regeneration is a tough one. The Tardis is landed in the present day, but after that he is basically out of commission. Rose is devastated that the old Doctor is gone, but she is persuaded to try and enjoy Christmas. Unfortunately they are attacked. The Doctor wakes long enough to save them, but then he is out of it again. Unfortunately, this is just a prelude to an invasion by an alien species that isn’t very nice. The member of Parliament who helped during the fourth and fifth episodes of series one is now Prime Minister. The good news is that she has some idea of what is going on now. The bad news – they still need the Doctor, and he is out of commission. In the end, one third of the population of Earth is held hostage while the Prime Minister and Rose and Mickey among others are brought to deal with these aliens. Poor Jackie always gets left behind^^; Anyway, negotiations don’t go well, but fortunately the Doctor is back and as good as new. He quickly takes control of the situation and challenges the alien leader to single combat for the planet. He gets his hand chopped off, but fortunately can still regenerate. He seems to be a bit more friendly, later spending Christmas with Rose’s family, but with a hard edge – only giving one chance. To his dismay, the Prime Minister orders Torchwood, an anti-alien agency,  to destroy the alien ship. He in turn starts in motion events that gets the Prime Minister out of office. You can debate whether what the Prime Minister did was right or not, but she does have one point. Earth is now attracting the attention of more aliens, many of whom are not very nice, and the Doctor can’t always be around.

Doctor Who Series 1 Episodes 12-13

Ah, the two part series finale! This consists of “Bad Wolf” and “Parting of the Ways”. Remember that space station they went to in episode 7 that was being run by an alien? Our heroes go back in about 90 years or so, but things still are not how they should be. To start with, they seem to have been randomly chosen and abducted to participate in these TV game shows. The Doctor ends up in a future version of Big Brother, Captain Jack is in a future version of What Not to Wear, and Rose ends up in a future version of The Weakest Link. Aside from annoying our heroes, they are dismayed to find these games are deadly – the looser is killed. The Doctor and Jack manage to get free, but before they can get free Rose is disintegrated. The Doctor figures something is going on. Eventually they figure out the contestants are not really being disintegrated, but their fate is not much better – they are transported to the Dalek fleet and being killed or turned into Dalek. Yep, the Dalek Emperor managed to survive the Time War somehow and has slowly been building his strength and to destroy Earth. The manage to get Rose back and the Doctor sends Rose back to her own time. This is very distressing to Rose – she wants to help no matter what. She decides to try and get to the Meanwhile, in spite of all their preparations, one by one everyone on the station is killed. The Doctor does have a plan. He barely has enough time to do it, but there is no time to include a feature that would distinguish between Dalek and human. Rose, with some help, manages to open the heart of the Tardis. She is able to return to the Doctor after he has decided he can’t destroy Earth with the Dalek. Rose is possessed by the heart of the Tardis and destroys the Dalek and even revives Jack, but it is killing her. The Doctor gets them inside the Tardis and takes the heart of the Tardis into himself. This saves Rose but is fatal to himself so he ends up regenerating . . . Oh, and Rose in her possessed state is the one who put the words Bad Wolf throughout space and time as a message to herself and the Doctor.

Doctor Who Series 1 Episodes 9-11

Episodes 9 & 10 are a two-parter: “The Empty Child” and “The Doctor Dances”. This time the Doctor and Rose find themselves in London during the Blitz of World War II. Once again, this was not exactly where they were expecting to go (do we ever get a good explanation about why that is?) so Rose’s t-shirt with a very large British flag on it can be forgiven^^; She meets Captain Jack who is posing as an American volunteer, but is really a time-traveling swindler. Unlike the doctor, he is human – just from the 51st century. However, problems arise when our heroes realize there are people being infected and who are not dead but not quite alive either. It is really weird and sufficiently spooky. At first Captain Jack denies all responsibility. Yes, he brought an abandoned ambulance from the future, but it was clean. Well, mostly. It does have nano-bots which, having never seen humans before, mistook a critically injured child as the model it should use and started transforming healthy humans into what it thought was correct. The Doctor is able to reverse this with some help. For once, everyone lives. The Doctor is ecstatic about this. Too many times he has been unable to save people.

Next is the episode “Boom Town”. Remember the gangster family from the fourth and fifth episodes, the Slavines? Well, one survived. She really had little chance with the Doctor, Rose, Micky, and Captain Jack after her. I do feel a touch sorry for her. She has known no other life, and when she says her family would have killed her if she had not done as she was told I think she is telling the stark truth. She tries to work on the Doctor’s sympathies. Who knows if it would have worked. And my sympathy was destroyed when she used the Tardis to activate her plan to leave Earth – destroying Earth in the process. Fortunately, the heart of the Tardis stops her and turns her back into an egg so she does get a new lease on life of sorts after all! Also, Micky and Rose’s relationship is strained. Here is Rose leaving him all the time and having adventures. That would be a strain on anyone I would think.

Doctor Who: 2010 Christmas Special: A Christmas Carol

This is a hilarious yet sad story. It all starts with Amy and Rory’s honeymoon going awry. The spaceship they are on gets caught in some planetary atmospheric interference and without help they are going to crash. They one guy who has a machine that can control the atmosphere is Kazran, an old man who is very much a Scrooge. Given this, the Doctor decides to basically do the same thing Dickens did with A Christmas Carol. It seems Kazran’s father was very cold and even abusive. Things get better when the young Karzan meets Abagail with whom he falls in love with. Abigail is a young woman in cryogenic freeze as surety for her family’s mortgage. The Doctor and Kazran let her out every Christmas Eve, but when Kazran discovers she has only one day left to live (that is why she volunteered) he despairs. However, it becomes harder and harder to ignore things when he is shown the passengers of the failing spaceship. When he confronts his younger self, he finally agrees to help, but he can now only help with Abigail’s assistance. Yep, the Doctor makes a very great ghost of Christmas Past. It is sad about Abigail, but is that any reason for her not to live her remaining day?

Doctor Who: Series 1 episodes 6-8

Episode 6 is “Dalek”. Here we meet one of the Doctor’s oldest nemesis – a Dalek. The Dalek are a living race, though they hide themselves in machines. They have had all emotion purged from them and feel anyone who is not a Dalek is impure. We learn that the Time War was between the Doctor’s people and the Daleck. This particular Daleck must have been suddenly ejected in essence from that area of time and space just before it was all destroyed. The Doctor is right about how dangerous the Dalek are, but he is so single-minded in his hatred of them that even if it is deserved he can’t see any other possibilities until Rose gets in his way. This is the darkest we’ve seen the Doctor yet. Understandable, and thank goodness Rose was there. As for this guy who collects alien things, he is quite obsessive himself, and egocentric. He is the most important person in his universe, and only his safety is more important than his collection. Just as well he’s going to get his memory wiped. Also, they pick up another traveling companion named Adam.

Episode 7 is “The Long Game”. Adam gets into trouble when they travel into the future and he isn’t going on any other trips with the Doctor. As for the Doctor and Rose, they go to what is supposed to be Earth at its height, but it seems rather mundane. All anyone really cares about is creature comfort and watching one of hundreds of channels on the future equivalent of TV. Yes, the information is being controlled – and so is the human race by an alien race. Fortunately, knowledge is power and the reporter the Doctor and Rose met earlier helps disseminates this information.

Episode 8 is “Father’s Day”. In this episode it is Rose who gets into trouble. She talks the Doctor into taking her to meet her father who died when she was a baby. The wedding is well enough, but when they go to the day he was hit and killed and Rose interferes, time is distorted majorly. Beyond this, Rose finds that her father isn’t exactly who she always thought he was. As for the Doctor, he is sympathetic to Rose, moreso than I think she gives him credit, but he also knows the rules of space and time far better than she does. In the end, the only way to end it is for her father to be killed again. At least she got to meet him and was with him in his last moments.