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brian_may_wannabe user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 23 May 05, 11:34 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Just thought I'll share what I think of the episodes so far:-

Episode One (Rose) - funny and a great start to the relaunched series. And nice to have the Autons and Nestence back.

Episode Two (The End of the World) - emotional

Episode Three (The Unquiet Dead) - scarey

Episodes Four & Five (Aliens of London & World War Three) - Exciting stuff and exciting two-parter, though not the best one ever made

Episode Six (Dalek) - Extermi-great

Episode Seven (The Long Game) - Not great

Episode Eight (Father's Day) - more emotional than episode two

Episodes Nine & Ten (The Empty Child & The Doctor Dances) - mysterious.

Episode Eleven (Boom Town) - not the best episode of the series, but at least it's better than the other Slitheen story

Episode Twelve (Bad Wolf) - Extermi-great. And the robot version of Anne Robinson looks more convincing than the real one.

Episode Thirteen (The Parting of the Ways) - Fantastic climax. Loved the regeneration scene. I think I'm going to like the new Doctor (I've got that feeling I'm going to like him).

What does everyone think of the series so far. It's a shame Christpher Eccleston is leaving :(


daniel.hughes

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Posted: 24 May 05, 08:03 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

1) Rose - Superb re-start.

2) The End of the World - Style over content, but a hugely engaging and entertaining style.

3) The Unquiet Dead - 'Now That's What I Call Doctor Who'

4) Aliens of London - Embarrassing.

5) World War Three - Better, but still distinctly average.

6) Dalek - Well-made, well-written, well-performed, not sure about the ending though.

7) The Long Game - Nice turn from Simon Pegg, enjoyable overall.

8) Father's Day - I once bought that Paul Cornell a cup of tea, so the greatness of this episode is clearly all down to me.

9) The Empty Child - Quite possibly the best episode of Doctor Who for over 25 years.

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Posted: 29 May 05, 04:04 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Best. Thing. Ever.



Or, more composedly...

(warning: dull fan-type review ahead)


There’s a select band of Doctor Who stories often mentioned by fans as being the ones they do or would use to convince sceptical friends and family of just how good this silly little series we know and love so well can really be. The likes of City of Death, The Caves of Androzani and so on and so forth. Now the new series has produced such a story, one that makes you really proud of the programme and must surely remind even the most jaded of fans of what they love about it. Yes, The Empty Child / The Doctor Dances looks set to become that most wonderful of things, a bona fide Doctor Who ‘classic’.

With so much so good about this story, the real question when writing a review is where to start? Well, the thinking has long been that a Doctor Who story can only ever be as good as its script, and there’s no doubting that Steven Moffat has produced what must be one of the most accomplished efforts of the new series to date, and the series as a whole of all time. Anybody familiar with his work on the sitcom Coupling – particularly episodes such as the season two finale The End of the Line – will know just how adept Moffat is at plotting, threading together all the strands of a complex story. The Empty Child / The Doctor Dances is not an overly complex affair, but it is superbly structured.

From the explanation of why the three disparate alien elements – the TARDIS crew, Jack and the Tular ambulance – have all descended upon Blitz-torn 1941 London, to the explanation of what has happened to the eponymous child and its fellow gas mask-laden victims, to the child’s connection with Nancy and the ultimate resolution of the plot, it all works perfectly. Nothing it made too obvious or too subtle, and nothing is left dangling – it’s all wonderfully controlled and laid out at a well-pitched pace, it’s almost like a model of how to construct good television drama and superb Doctor Who.

Plotting is not the only string to Moffat’s bow, however, not by a long shot. The Ninth Doctor has probably never been better than he is here uttering Moffat’s lines – of particular note is the beginning of the second episode, as the Doctor and Jack converse about guns and bananas. “A good source of potassium!” indeed! At times it feels like classic Tom Baker era-stuff, although Eccleston also does things it’s hard to imagine the Fourth Doctor doing, such as his sheer joy at the end when he realises the problem has been solved and “everybody lives!” This Doctor has been through so much that his delight at the way everything has come together is particularly infectious, and once again he’s the brave, happy, heroic adventurer we’d all love to travel with, which it has to be said he hasn’t always been at times this season. Moffat also gives a knowing wink to the suddenly all-purpose sonic screwdriver – “Setting 2428!” – and creates possibly the first instance in the entire history of the series of the time honoured “Doctor who?” gag being used and not being embarrassing or annoying.

Interestingly, this handling of the Doctor leaves Rose at times, particularly in the first episode, slipping back more into the traditional companion role than ever before, although this isn’t a complaint. It’s nice to see her taken down a peg or two, namely by being left dangling from a barrage balloon hanging over London! She does get more into her typical Rose style as the story progresses, however, and her teasing of the Doctor over his dancing abilities. Of course, she also manages to swoon into the arms of the story’s leading guest star, and new companion, Captain Jack Harkness, excellently played by John Barrowman. Having only ever experienced Barrowman before as a presenter of Live & Kicking on Saturday mornings a decade ago I wasn’t really sure quite what to expect from Captain Jack, but I absolutely loved him – charismatic and confident without ever seeming too irritatin

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Posted: 29 May 05, 04:04 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote



Barrowman may have made an impact as Jack, but if awards were to be handed out for this episode then he’d have a hard fight for ‘best supporting character’ from Nancy, as wonderfully played by Florence Hoath. She’s a real discovery, and I hope that on the strength of her performance here Hoath goes a long way in the future. Nancy is part lovable cockney sparrow braving the Blitz, but there’s a lot more beneath the surface, shades of darkness as well as a world-weary kind of knowledge she seems too young for, and of course the secret eventually revealed by the Doctor at the end of the story. In fact, all of the child actors in the story deserve credit – Doctor Who doesn’t have a fantastic record with the performances of youngsters, but all of Nancy’s urchins were superb, and they never felt false or awkward, as is often the danger with putting young children on screen.

Mention too should go to Richard Wilson as the only other really notable turn in the story – he has a surprisingly small role, but he plays it excellently and gets to deliver one of the laugh-out-loud comedy lines at the end of the second episode, having had one of the most horrific moments in the first.

That blend of humour and darkness is this story in microcosm, really. Moffat’s background in television comedy means that some humour was probably to have been expected, but none of it is overly obvious or ever seems out of place. Indeed, the humour works well to contrast with the darkness present in much of the story. So for every scene of the Doctor becoming an unwitting stand-up comic, Jack wielding a banana or Constantine asking a patient if she’s sure she counted her legs properly, we have the oddness of the TARDIS phone ringing, the blank-faced ranks of the gas-masked zombies, and of course the haunting cries of ‘are you my mummy?’ There’s also a definite Quatermass tinge to proceedings with the influence being caused by a crashed spaceship in the heart of London, although the influence of Nigel Kneale’s serials over British television science-fiction is so great that it’s perhaps hard to tell whether such referencing is conscious or whether its simply bred into the psyche of enthusiasts of the genre in this country.

Yes, this story has the spookiest imagery we’ve seen so far in this series, and just as a generation of 1970s children seems to remember The Green Death as “the one with the giant maggots”, so the children of 2005 will probably grow up to speak nostalgically of “the one with the gas masks”. As well as being scripted as such, a lot of the literal darkness of the episode has to do with the highly accomplished direction of James Hawes, who shoots the thing like a feature film and has some delightfully noir-ish touches. My particular favourite shot was the pull-back from Jack’s cockpit through the open doors of the TARDIS into the console room to reveal that the Doctor and Rose had arrived to save him – a bit of a cheat in having the TARDIS land without the usual sound effect, but I’m more than willing to excuse that for the sake of such a nice piece of camerawork. Certainly, it’s good to know that Hawes will be returning to the series to helm the forthcoming Christmas special, at least.

The only instance where I felt Hawes did mis-step slightly was with the cliffhanger ending to episode one. While it was certainly much tighter and more effective that the conclusion to Aliens of London, it did still linger a little too long on the approaching menace. Similarly, Murray Gold’s incidentals – which fitted the action very well on the whole throughout the story, with some nicely atmospheric, suitably creepy moments – went all Rose on us during the cliffhanger recap in the second episode, for no apparent reason and completely against the mood of the story.

Aside from these very negligible points, however, the entire production team seems to have really pulled together to turn this story into something special. Set design, costume, light

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Posted: 29 May 05, 07:40 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I watched 10 mins of one episode and turned over.


Cleveland May 24 to June 4th 2007 - I came, I saw, I fucked off home again.
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Posted: 29 May 05, 08:02 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I used to watch it as a kid but I can't remember specific episodes or characters - except for the obvious like the daleks & cybermen.


Cleveland May 24 to June 4th 2007 - I came, I saw, I fucked off home again.
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Posted: 29 May 05, 13:31 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

The Empty Child: Superb episode. Genuinely scaring. My nephew (9 years)thought it was easily the best episode of the series.

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Posted: 04 Jun 05, 11:18 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Here's my tuppance worth.....


Episode One (Rose) - A good strong start

Episode Two (The End of the World) - Great special effects shows British TV is just as good with CGI as Stargate, Enterprise et al.

Episode Three (The Unquiet Dead) - Brilliant, very eerie and a great moment when when Dickens spots the old woman in the audience. DOn't why that sticks out but it does.

Episode Four (Aliens of London) - Not great, not bad. The farting aliens WAS a nice touch.

Episode Fice (World War Three) - Ditto.

Episode Six (Dalek) - Awesome reminds me of the Next Generation episode 'I, Borg' taking a vicious enemy of the Doctor's past and seeing it vunerable. Rose's best episode as well.

Episode Seven (The Long Game) - Hmm doesn't stick out

Episode Eight (Father's Day) - Time-meddling = trouble and a good story.

Episode Nine (The Empty Child) - Another good start and way better than the last two parter. Using a classic premise evil kids with their innocent voices 'Are you my mummy' neversounded so scary.

Episode Ten (The Doctor Dances) - Terrific ending the Doctor ecstatic and dancing. Captain Jack looks a strong contender for second assistant.









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Posted: 18 Jun 05, 07:21 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Don't forget - BBC One, 7pm tonight, "The Parting of the Ways".

It's going to be a corker of an episode!

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Posted: 18 Jun 05, 07:45 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I'm really looking forward to tonight's finale episode and wondering what the Daleks are up to and resolve the mystery of the mysterious 'Bad Wolf'. And to find out if there is going to be a regeneration. And from what I've seen, it looks like an episode NOT TO BE MISSED. So if you've got anything planned tonight, CANCEL THEM.


daniel.hughes

made_in_heaven (thats_what_they_day)
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Posted: 18 Jun 05, 10:00 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Taylor-Mayed wrote:

Don't forget - BBC One, 7pm tonight, "The Parting of the Ways".

It's going to be a corker of an episode!


I cannot wait to see this episode!!

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Posted: 19 Jun 05, 06:09 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

What a season. i had my doubts at first. I knew Christopher Ecclestone was a great actor but Dr Who? Hmmm. Well let's put that to bed straight away he was a fantastic Doctor funny, plaintive, masterful and plain brilliant. Just look at 'Dalek' and 'The Empty Child' to see what a great Doctor he was.

Again I had doubts with Billie Piper but she has put in a superlative performance as Rose 'Father's Day' should win her some sort of award alone.

*SPOILER*
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Now to Parting of the Ways a good ending I did figure out that the Tardis was leaving the Bad Wolf stuff last week in the pub. The Daleks were chilling just killing people because they can, Captain Jack's recruitment speech (he just gets better and better), Rose as dalek-killing machine and the money shot at the end. A complete surprise they must have filmed multiple endings as I had thought that David Tennant was only confirmed as the new Doctor halfway through? The Doctor sending Rose home was brilliantly done. Christ I even liked the Mickey scenes.

In the words of the ninth doctor 'Fantastic'


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Posted: 19 Jun 05, 08:55 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Tennant was probably the Ninth Doctor since at least January, I would have thought. Certainly, he was definitely contracted by late March - he told Gatiss so while they were rehearsing "The Quatermass Experiment." The shoot for the season wrapped in the middle of March, but the TARDIS interior is a standing set down at Newport, there's no-one else in frame for his shot so there's no reason why they couldn't have shot him on it anytime between March and last week.

Loved the episode as a whole, not sure about the kiss - the Rose one I mean, the Jack one was funny and worked well, but the latter one was just mawkish and vomit-inducing. It was a crap idea in 1996 and it's still a crap idea now, but when the rest of the episode's so good I'm not going to lose any sleep over it.

I was rather upset when they killed off Lynda, and it was a bit bitchy of Bad Wolf Rose not to bring her back as she did Jack just because she was jealous!

Overall though a fine end to a fine season.

Nice little James Bond gag in the end credits, too...

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Posted: 19 Jun 05, 11:27 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Enjoyed the episode... didn't think i'll ever say this but I will miss Chris Eccleston.

Great moments leading upto the regneration. also loved the scene where the Doctor tricks Rose and sends her home.

Taylor-mayed: when can we read your full review this episode?

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Posted: 20 Jun 05, 06:59 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I might well write one later on today. :-)

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Posted: 21 Jun 05, 08:28 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Well he's that review of mine. The usual warning - this was written for a Who fan site, so is a bit 'involved' and fannish. :-)

Daleks.

Thousands of ‘em.

Don’t shoot ‘til you see the whites of their eyes, lads!

Charlie Catchpole, TV reviewer for the Daily Express, claimed to have been reminded of the film Zulu when watching the stand-off against the invading pepperpots in this episode, and you can see his point. I’ve always been a sucker for any kind of fiction involving brave, desperate stands of the few against the many, and The Parting of the Ways is a wonderful example of such against-the-odds, backs-to-the-wall heroics. It was the story the character of Captain Jack Harkness was pretty much invented for, and he’s again wonderfully played by John Barrowman here. Poor old Jack certainly gets put through the mill – exterminated, resurrected and then left behind, it’s nonetheless comforting to know that the charismatic Captain will be back sometime in the next series.

As for the Daleks themselves… Oh yes! Would you guess there were only three of them? I certainly couldn’t see the joins, and we’ve definitely come a long way from the days of blown-up cardboard cut-outs standing in for invading Dalek armies. When I wrote a review of Dalek for this website, I commented on how I preferred to see the metal meanies as the hard-arsed bastards of the universe exterminating everything in sight, and as if realising that we’d want a bit of that after the emotions of the earlier one-Dalek episode, Davies delivers here in spades. Thousands of ships, hundreds of invading Daleks, a massacre of innocent humans, and the killing-off of supporting characters who, although it was always fairly obvious they were going to end up as Dalek-fodder, we were cleverly made to care about anyway. I felt particularly sorry for poor old Lynda ‘with a y’ – as soon as the Doctor promised her last week that he’d get her out of there alive, you knew she was destined for extermination. And what an extermination – surely one of the best-executed (excuse the pun) death scenes in the entire series, as the Daleks float menacingly up outside window in the silence of space, the lights flashing out ‘Exterminate!’ as they blast the glass and send poor, sweet little Lynda out into the airless vacuum of space. (Explosive decompression not shown, probably just as well…)

Being churlish, you can point out that TARDIS-powered Bad Wolf Rose was being a bit of a bitch not to resurrect Lynda – and indeed, everybody else – at the same time as bringing Jack back from the dead, although Rose’s jealous glances in Lynda’s direction made it quite clear what she thought about the other woman’s attitude towards the Doctor. Meow!

That whole resolution to the Bad Wolf mystery managed to be pulled off without leaving a sense of anti-climax or underwhelming, which was a big relief, although it was a little confusing in places – was the Bad Wolf Rose, or the TARDIS speaking through Rose? Or was it supposed to be deliberately ambiguous? Probably the latter. Whichever it was, Piper played the possessed Rose wonderfully, the extra elocution added to her speech for this scene marking her out as different just as much as the fancy CGI around her did!

It was the neat trick of the Doctor’s to have sent Rose back home, out of the way of the massacre – you really got a sense of Rose’s raw anguish and frustration at being sent back by her friend, and her grief at not being able to help him. Mickey and Jackie ought to have seemed shoe-horned into the episode, given that their scenes were such a contrast to everything else going on, but they actually worked rather well, and it was nice to get a sense of conclusion to their relationships to the Doctor and Rose, for this season at least.

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Posted: 21 Jun 05, 08:28 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Joe Ahearne continues the high standard of direction he’s set out in the rest of his episodes, ably supported as ever by the wonderful design and production departments of BBC Wales and everyone else working on the series. The only visual element I felt slightly disappointed in was the Dalek Emperor – the design just didn’t seem particularly distinct or iconic to me, although the close-ups of the actual mutant Dalek creature inside itself when it was speaking were effective. The concept of the Dalek God and the other Daleks getting some kind of religion was interesting, although perhaps it was an element too much for Davies’s script to fully support as there wasn’t much time to explore it, and it might have been better left as the focus of an episode all to itself. Perhaps in the future – after all, although they won’t be in the second season (probably – I hope not anyway, best leave them for a bit so their appearances always remain special), it’s impossible to believe we won’t be seeing them return every two or three years for as long as the new series continues to be a success.

Now, the kiss. Or to be more accurate, the kisses – for the Doctor gets friendly with both of his companions in this episode, something which has proven to be red rags to bulls with Doctor Who fandom in the past. I had no problems whatsoever with the Jack kiss – it was a funny, almost touching little moment as the Captain said goodbye to his friends, and it was amusing to see the Doctor taken rather by surprise. The Rose kiss I was much less keen on – I thought it was overly sentimental and mawkish and the episode could have done without it, but when most of the rest of the episode is so good it can just about be forgiven. In any case, it’s not the sort of detail I’m going to be losing any sleep over.

It can be taken, I suppose, as a kiss goodbye, as of course one of the main features of the episode is that it brings the curtain down on the all-too-brief era of Christopher Eccleston as the Ninth Doctor. This is a great shame – even if it was planned this way from the outset, as Davies and Gardner have claimed, it’s still a pity because Eccleston really is wonderful in the part, both in this episode in particular and throughout the rest of the season. He’ll be remembered fondly by both fans and the general audience alike, although his one season stint means it is sadly unlikely that he’ll become as deeply buried in the popular consciousness as some of his predecessors.

Nonetheless, that’s the situation, and it was always going to be intriguing to see how the death of the Ninth Doctor would be dealt with. Unlike Logopolis or The Caves of Androzani, The Parting of the Ways – in spite of its title – never really feels like a doom-laden story where everything is building up to the regeneration at the end. Yes, there’s a great deal of death and destruction as well as of course the impending threat of Dalek invasion, but it never surrounds the Doctor as much as it seems to do in those other stories.

That said, however, the regeneration doesn’t feel at all tacked-on or periphery – it may not have been the focus of the entire episode, but when it comes to it the sequence really packs a punch. Perhaps because of the special bond that’s developed between the Ninth Doctor and Rose Tyler, there really is an atmosphere of tragedy to this change – which seems more like a death than perhaps any other regeneration since the first. The Doctor’s sad reflection that he in his ninth form will never see Rose again really brings home the idea that even though each Doctor has the same memories and the same basic ethos driving him, he’s never quite the same person as he was before. How Rose – and indeed the production team behind the scenes – deals with this change and its impact on both the audience and the dynamic of the Doctor-companion relationship will be fascinating factors to follow over the next year or so.

In the few seconds we get of him at the end of

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Posted: 21 Jun 05, 16:59 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

"That said, however, the regeneration doesn’t feel at all tacked-on or periphery – it may not have been the focus of the entire episode, but when it comes to it the sequence really packs a punch. Perhaps because of the special bond that’s developed between the Ninth Doctor and Rose Tyler, there really is an atmosphere of tragedy to this change – which seems more like a death than perhaps any other regeneration since the first"

Completely agree with this. I thought the moments leading upto the regeneration were very well done. Superbly acted by Eccy.

Look foward to the boxset in November! and the Christmas special. Do you know if the Xmas special will be extended episode or the standard length?

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Posted: 22 Jun 05, 08:18 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

The Christmas special is going to be a special 60-minute episode. No news yet on when exactly it will be shown, but I'd put my money on either Christmas Eve or Christmas Day - probably the latter, nicely sliding into the 'family entertainment' slot usually filled by an extra-long episode of a sitcom or something.

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Posted: 22 Jun 05, 08:59 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Thanks for the info. I'm trying to avoid the net regarding my favourite tv shows e.g. 24, Dr Who.

Some folks thrive on revealling all and spoiling it for every one else.