Let me start out by saying that I am happy.  I don’t know what it is about Doctor Who, but just watching the show brings back memories from my childhood and its escapism for me in it’s purest form!

Matt Smith has definitely done a better job this week versus last week as The Doctor.  He seems to be gradually finding his feet in the role and while I don’t love “Geronimo” as a catch phrase, when it’s not shouted out at you, it’s not as annoying.  However Karen Gillian as Amy Pond has again done a sterling job – although I think it’s time she changed her clothes started to wear something different than a nighty and robe!  I think that if they are not careful, she might end up stealing the show from The Doctor!

Unfortunately we do not really get to see any more of the Tardis this episode than we did in previous ones which is a real pity as I think some of the earlier Doctor’s explorations inside the Tardis itself were extremely memorable and the whole tesseract nature of the device is extremely interesting!

The new episode of Doctor Who has The Doctor and Amy 1300 years in the future.  The Earth has been destroyed by a Solar Flare and all of humanity has taken to the stars in giant city shaped space ships looking for new homes.  Again – this is a filler episode as there are no huge “earth shattering” revelations or twists thrown at us, but it is a necessary episode to give the actors a chance to truly inhabit their characters and to allow us to get to know them also.

Starship UK – the remains of the British empire is one such city ship and The Doctor and Amy go down to explore (in a very amusing statement, The Doctor tells Amy “that he never interferes in the affairs of other peoples and is only their as an observer and warns her of the same!”) … However, Starship UK is not what it seems and there is a secret hidden below the city that the people are not talking about.  When a young boy does not pass his test in school, he is not allowed to use the “vator” and must walk back home – using the vator anyways, he is plummeted into the fiery depths below and his friend is left at a loss waiting for him.  The little girl cries silently too frightened to seek attention and this is when The Doctor and Amy arrive.  Despite what he had just said to Amy about not interfering (and if you’d seen any episodes of Doctor Who in the past, you would have almost laughed aloud when he said that!) he leaves the Tardis and goes to check on the little girl.

Once Amy sees him outside the Tardis, she joins him and The Doctor tries to explain to her that she must be observant at all times and points out that the people are frightened of something.  In a strange sequence, he takes a glass of water from someone and puts it on the deck and leans down to stare into it.  When Amy asks what he is doing he blows her off (in rather typical fashion) and tells her about the little girl and that she should go and speak to her while he goes elsewhere to investigate other things.

Amy follows the little girl and in another nice sequence is confronted by her.  She knew that Amy was following her and also knew that The Doctor had “bumped” into her on purpose to get her wallet.  It’s nice to see that she is aware of things around her and that even though she is young, she is by no means stupid.  When Amy speaks to her she finds out that the Scottish people took their own city ship vs. joining up with the English but that there are parts of the city she is not meant to see.  Amy being The Doctors companion though, decides to break in and take a look anyways and she is confronted by a huge tentacle that looks very much like a Scorpions tale along with stinger … which tries to slam into her.  Quickly escaping from the stinger, Amy is overpowered and taken away.

While all this was happening, The Doctor in his initial actions with the glass of water had been observed and reported upon.  A phone call was made to a lady who had a room full of water glasses in a similar manner.  This lady confronts The Doctor outside the engine room of the ship where he has made his way.  He is extremely confused as he does not understand how this ship is travelling.  The actions with the glass of water had simply been to reflect the fact that engines would have caused some vibrations which were not felt at all in the ship as the water had not even rippled.  Liz Ten agrees with The Doctor that something mysterious is going on and gives him a device to help him find Amy.  She actually calls him The Doctor at this point even before he introduces himself and seems to know something about him!

In the meantime, Amy has been taken to a “voting” booth.  Basically all members of the British Empire are given a choice after their 16thbirthday and every 5 years thereafter to know the “truth”.  They can either vote to protest or forget the truth.  If 1% of the population votes to protest then the “project” will be stopped automatically.  Amy undergoes the procedure and is provided with the information – in an instinctive reaction, she presses the forget button and the truth is wiped from her mind … another message is left for Amy though … from … Amy!  Amy, in tears, gives herself a message to get The Doctor back to his ship and to not let him explore any further or find out too much about what’s going on.

The Doctor finally catches up to Amy at this point and decides to press the protest button to see what would happen.  Immediately he and Amy are thrown into the same fiery depths that the little boy was plummeted into at the beginning of the episode.  However it turns out that where they end up is actually a huge tongue!!!  They are literally in the mouth of beast that is large enough to transport the whole city!  The Doctor and Amy manage to escape before they are devoured and end up meeting Liz Ten again – this time without her mask.  A striking lady, Liz Ten … perhaps better described as Elizabeth the Tenth (Liz X) is the Queen of England, and she wants to know what is going on and what manner of creature is threatening her citizens!

The Doctor and party are now taken to the tower, which is actually in the dungeons of the city and here they learn the final, horrible truth.  The creature that almost ate The Doctor and Amy is a Star Whale – a species of huge, sentient, space travelling aliens and the one they are on is the last of its kind.  Humanity has been torturing this alien for generations to get it to move them through space so The Doctor is left with one of two choices.  The Doctor is furious with Amy and humanity in general for their actions and he is left with only two choices.  He can either destroy the city, by letting the Star Whale go free, or he can destroy the mind of the Star Whale so that it will no longer feel pain but humanity can still use it as transport.

Amy however sees a third path … The Doctor had told Amy to observe and the thing that she saw was that the Star Whale was a lot like The Doctor.  Just as The Doctor came to the rescue of the crying little girl, perhaps the Star Whale had come to the rescue of the crying of all of humanities children.

Taking a great risk, Amy pushes Liz X’s hand on to the protest button and the torture immediately stops.  The great Star Whale chooses to continue to help humanity in its search for a new home and survival purely out of love.  While The Doctor did not himself “solve” the problem, his words did help Amy to find the solution.

Now despite what I said earlier about there not be any overarching story, perhaps the teaser to next week’s episode is the start of one.  The Doctor receives a phone call from Winston Churchill and the shadow that we see beside him can only be a … DALEK!!!  Wooo hooo!!!

While getting coffee for Clara, The Doctor uses the TARDIS to rescue Journey Blue, a soldier fighting the Daleks, from her exploding spaceship. Returning her to command ship Aristotle, he avoids being executed as a Dalek spy by agreeing to treat a Dalek that has malfunctioned and ‘turned good’. The Doctor retrieves Clara from Coal Hill School, where she has just set a date with maths teacher and former soldier Danny Pink, and they set off in the TARDIS for the Aristotle. On the way, The Doctor asks Clara if he is ‘a good man’ but she does not know.

The Doctor, Clara, Journey and soldiers Ross and Gretchen are miniaturised to go inside the Dalek whom The Doctor has nicknamed ‘Rusty’. They are attacked by Dalek antibodies and Ross is killed. The Doctor seals the radiation leak causing the Dalek’s damage, which provokes Rusty to lead an attack on the Aristotle. Gretchen sacrifices herself so The Doctor and Clara can recover the memories that made Rusty ‘good’. Linked in to The Doctor’s mind, Rusty destroys all his fellow Daleks. The Doctor refuses Journey as a companion because she is a soldier. Clara tells Danny she is not so prejudiced.

The script for ‘Into the Dalek’ is much tighter and more coherent than ‘Deep Breath’ though there is far too much time wasted on talking about The Twelfth Doctor’s moral ambiguity. The sparse storyline and reduced number of characters helps enormously, and even the extraneous cut-away to Missy in the ‘Promised Land’ season arc is kept to an absolute minimum. The miniaturisation idea, liberally borrowed from the movie Fantastic Voyage and previously used in the Tom Baker serial ‘The Invisible Enemy’, works well although the unique jeopardy of the situation is occasionally forgotten about and it becomes just another labyrinth.

As with other Dalek episodes in the Moffat era, the use of The Doctor’s most iconic adversaries is fairly incidental. There’s no longer any continuity between the Dalek stories and often it feels like they are metal MacGuffins moving the plot along on castors. Though The Doctor talks about his first run-in with The Daleks, there’s a very fractured sense of the Dalek mythology. They seem more like abstract philosophical concepts of good and evil than fully-realised antagonists. The captured and conflicted Dalek storyline is perhaps a little too close to 2005’s Dalek and was arguably done far better then.

The Radio Times for 30 April–6 May 2005 covere...
The Radio Times for 30 April–6 May 2005 covered both the return of the Daleks to Doctor Who and the forthcoming general election. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

‘Deep Breath’ was a bridge between the Matt Smith and Peter Capaldi eras but ‘Into the Dalek’ gives us a much better idea of how the series will progress. We see that The Doctor will be dropping by Coal Hill School to whisk Clara away to the universe rather than her being a permanent resident of the TARDIS. With the introduction of Danny Pink, we get a link with contemporary earth and possibly a new companion. It looks like we’re only going to get glimpses of Missy and ‘The Promised Land’ in each episode, until at least the season finale.

This is also the first time we’ve seen The Twelfth Doctor outside of his post-regeneration haze, and he shapes up to be a deeply pessimistic and cynical incarnation of the character. The Doctor seems terribly fatalistic about the inevitability of Ross’s death and the impossibility of a ‘good’ Dalek, also notably less certain of his own moral authority. Consequently, Clara has to become more confrontational with The Doctor, which hits the viewer hard when she roughly slaps him across the face in a moment of callous disinterest. She also starts to function as the antidote to The Doctor’s increasingly judgmental attitudes.

The second story featuring a new Doctor is usually where we see what we’re going to get from the character but Peter Capaldi came in so strongly with his abrasive and strange portrayal that there’s not much work left to do, and The Doctor’s sinister side seems to have peaked in this episode. Rather ‘Into the Dalek’ is a chance to get back to more rugged storytelling and pure action after a ponderous and arty season opener. I’m not angling for a return of the Russell T Davies-era where Daleks were overused and all-consuming, but I do think that the stories they feature in could be more quintessential to the Daleks and their history in the series, rather than having them as a piece of metal to hang a premise on. Overall, ‘Into the Dalek’ is very satisfying sci-fi but doesn’t do much for The Doctor or The Daleks.

This is the 2nd two-parter of the Matt Smith era of the new Doctor and just like the Angels episode it delivers! This set of episodes is all about the Silurians (see below) and also serves to advance the overall season arc further forward although only incrementally.

OK, ultimately a really good episode and one that you will remember. While to some extent expected, the final scenes are extremely haunting.

This is the story of our planet, Earth, of the day 1000 years past when we came to share it with a race known as Humanity. It is the story of the Doctor who helped our races find common ground, and the terrible losses he suffered. It is the story of our past, and must never be forgotten.

In the continuation to Part 1, The Doctor has entered the Silurian city and has quickly become captured – placed on the examination table Malokeh (a Silurian scientist) now has the Doctor and Nasreen strapped to slabs in his laboratory. First, he scans the Doctor and then attempts to decontaminate him of the surface bacteria. However, this instead harms him since he is not human, and Malokeh stops the procedure. While Malokeh is examining The Doctor Amy and Mo (Elliot’s dad) are able to escape. Finding Elliot they are unable to rescue him but he is alive, only in some sort of suspended animation.

With some internal dissension in the ranks of the Silurians, the military group (Restac) wants to kill The Doctor and take the fight to the surface. However Malokeh is able to revive the leader of the Silurians (Eldane) who upon The Doctors urging agrees to a parlay with the humans to discuss peace terms for the two races and mutual sharing of all resources on the surface of the Earth. Unfortunately while The Doctor is negotiating peaceful terms, Ambrose (Elliots mother and Mo’s wife) fatally tasers Alaya after she continues to provoke her (the Silurian captured in Part 1 – The Hungry Earth) …

While the humans above ground make their way below, Amy and Dr. Chaudry successfully negotiate a sharing of land and technologies with the Silurian people. As the meeting concludes, the Doctor enters and comments on how well things had gone. However, it is at this moment that Rory enters with the body of the dead Silurian and The Doctor is devastated that the humans had done this and fears that all of the work to peace has been irrevocably damaged. The Doctor tries to ensure that the two races do not start a war but Restac revives Silurian soldiers from suspended animation and sets out to destroy the humans.

In a selfless act, Eldane decides to use a toxic gas to force the Silurian’s back into suspended animation and then send up an energy surge that would destroy the drill. Tony decides to stay since the venomous sting he received earlier is causing him to mutate (I wonder if we’ll see him again in a different fashion at a later stage??) and Dr. Chaudry stays back with him too. Eldane has set the clock on the chambers to awaken after 1000 years and tells everyone that they must spread the word that after that time, the Silurians were coming to share the Earth.

Everyone else escapes to the Tardis, but just before he enters it, The Doctor sees again the crack and reaches into it to see if he can discover anything. He pulls out a piece of smoking debris and is about to look at it, when he is confronted by Restac. Taking a final shot at The Doctor, he is saved when Rory takes the shot meant for him and dies in his stead. As Amy is forced to leave the dead Rory’s side, his body is consumed by the energies of the crack thus erasing him from history.

The Doctor, Amy, Elliot, Mo and Ambrose leave the TARDIS in time to see the drill destroyed by the Silurian energy surge. Amy sees herself, once again, on the hill, and for a moment thinks she saw someone else, but quickly forgets about it and reminds the Doctor of his promise of Rio. As the Doctor returns, he looks at the debris he retrieved from the crack. It’s a scorched blue and white fragment of wood, with the incomplete words “POLICE TE” and “FR” in black on the white. The Doctor recognizes it immediately, and holds it against the TARDIS notice – “POLICE TELEPHONE FREE FOR USE OF PUBLIC” and is seen to be dreading the possible implications.

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The iconic BBC SciFi Character is finally back for a new round of adventures.  Replacing the immensely popular David Tennant is actor Matt Smith who picks up the story right from the time of his regeneration and partial destruction of the Tardis.

With a new writing team in addition to a new Doctor, there were definitely some hiccups in this first episode, however overall it lived up to the promise and if Matt Smith was perhaps a bit wooden his newest sidekick Karen Gilliam as Amy Pond was stellar.

Now obviously Matt had some fairly large shoes to fill and the pressure on him must have been immense, he does however have a unique look which is a necessity for the Doctor and could definitely play the role well in the future.  My only negative was that he was perhaps “trying to hard” and needed to relax into the role a bit more.  This is something that will happen in time though and I think that the overall impression of the British viewing public has been fairly positive.

The story itself does not have any underlying ties to the larger Doctor Who universe, although there are some definite changes that will be seen in the future due to it and is what I would probably consider a “filler” episode in an existing series, however as an introduction to two new characters it does a very good job.

The Doctor has now completed his regeneration and the Tardis is in tatters due to the force of the regeneration itself … forced into a crash landing on the property of a little girl – Amy Pond – The Doctor tries to find himself in a very funny sequence which shows that while each Doctor retains memories and feelings from the previous incarnation, his new body is truly that – brand new and something he needs to discover the limits off.

Young Amy Pond has a disturbing crack in her wall through which she is hearing strange voices about the escape of Prisoner Zero and she is getting quite frightened (by the way did I mention that this little girl does an amazing job?  She’s excellent!) … when she tells the Doctor he rushes to her room to take a look and also hears the voice.

Forced back to the Tardis however due to all the damage that it has taken, the Doctor promises to return quickly but does not turn up again for 12 years.  Poor, young Amy Pond is left alone and her only memory of the episode is ridiculed and made fun off by the rest of the folk in her little village.  Her remembrances’ of the “Raggedy Doctor” were such that Amy did not really have a normal life after that episode and when the Doctor does finally return, the young lady that she has become is a complete shock to him.

Prisoner Zero however is now very much a problem and one that threatens the entire world as the prison wardens return to hunt him/her/it down and threaten the whole of the Earth with destruction if Prisoner Zero is not returned within 20 minutes.  As the Tardis is still repairing itself and the Doctor’s Sonic Screwdriver has been destroyed in a confrontation with Prisoner Zero (who it turns out is a shape changing alien that is able to take on the persona of coma and catatonic patients as disguises), the Doctor is only left to solve the problem with his mind and wits alone!

As the story progresses, Amy really comes into her own and is shown to be an (extremely) strong and feisty personality and one that can definitely stand up to the Doctor and his normal manic states.  The Doctor is eventually able to save the day after some very harrowing close calls and in an homage to all the previous Doctor’s he shows the Alien Prison Wardens who they are dealing with and why they should never come back to Earth again!  This is a really nice sequence in itself and is also the launch of The Doctors new costume which we will all have to see over the coming shows and seasons.

The Doctor finally offers Amy a place on his Tardis (after another 2yr gap – another funny sequence that you will need to really see to enjoy) which she accepts and they are off on their new adventures in a brand new and improved Tardis that looks radically different to the Tardis of David Tennants time.  In addition The Doctor receives a new (green) Sonic Screwdriver to replace his old one and the journey has begun!

Matt Smith is really starting to shine now … the newest installation of Doctor Who sees The Doctor and Amy in the far future of the human race where they have settled many planets and stars.

River Song (someone from The Doctors future but also someone he has encountered in the past – time travel is confusing sometimes!) makes another appearance in this story and is obviously a key/pivotal character throughout.  In addition, the Weeping Angels are back – probably one of the scarier new villains from the David Tennant era – they are just as horrific now!

Brief Recap

  • River Song appears to us on a spaceship doing something to a box (we later discover that it is writing in Gallifrean and is the words “Hello Sweety” which The Doctor discovers when he is “touring” the museums for his influences – no details are provided on how she knows Gallifrean!)
  • The Doctor realizes that the message is for him, steals the cube and views the video record that it contains. When he does so, he hears the coordinates that he needs to have to travel in time to pick up River Song (how does she know these numbers??) and travels to rescue her just in time as she is ejected from the spaceship.
  • River then proceeds to take charge of the Tardis and is obviously very familiar with its use and operation (another question not answered). In addition to this, she is able to conform the Tardis so that it does not even make its distinctive landing sound (by the way – I really hope that this is temporary as this is a change I would not really be happy seeing in the future!)
  • They follow the ship which has crash-landed on a planet and are joined by a group of “religious” marines … The Doctor is informed that they are there to destroy the contents of the ship – a Weeping Angel and together River and The Doctor review a diary written by someone that is all about the Angels (I don’t think they inform us about who wrote the manual either, which is another question!)
  • They review one looping video that they have of the Weeping Angel and while The Doctor and River are reading the diary, Amy notices that the Angel is moving and seems to be active … as The Doctor discovers in his reading, anything “that bears the image of the Angel becomes the Angel” and this one is now coming for Amy.
  • Amy is able to stop the Angel by “freezing” the video in place at the static part thereby disrupting its image. However she looked into the eyes of the Angel which might have an impact on her (we will discover what later).
  • Where the ship has crashed is actually a dead world, covered by statues which will make finding the Angel a difficult matter in itself, however The Doctor and party set out to do just that and split up into several different groups to cover more ground. One such group is immediately ambushed however and the Angel seems to be able to mimic the voices of the people that it has killed.
  • As The Doctor and party progress through the maze, The Doctor gradually comes to the realization that the ship did not come to this planet by mistake, but in fact all the statues that he has seen are in fact also Angels themselves and that the only reason they look the way they do, is that they have been deprived of food for so long which is why they are so slow – however this is gradually changing with the proximity of the humans and they are “waking up”. The whole thing is a trap!
  • The Doctor and the remaining humans are contacted by the Angel who has now assumed the voice & identity of another marine that he has killed. Informing The Doctor that he is soon to follow the episode ends leaving us in suspense for the 2nd part! I hate when that happens – as I’d completely gotten caught up in the episode and was really surprised that the time had passed … oh well, I’ll definitely be back!

Thoughts and Observations

Overall really good.  Matt Smith is definitely settling into his role and the mania of the earlier episodes seems to be passing.  The interactions between The Doctor and River Song are really well done and there are definitely a lot of questions raised by and about her that bear further exploration.

The Weeping Angels seem to be (so far) a really good villain.  Definitely better than some of the other villains/characters introduced in the David Tennant era (although I would like to see the Oood again too) and while this episode isn’t as “scary” as their introduction it is still really good.  Best parallel would perhaps be Alien vs. Aliens.

Bah Humbug

It’s extremely sad when a dream is shattered and left on the ground in pieces. Unfortunately that is exactly what happened with this years Christmas edition of Doctor Who. Right from the beginning as the Doctor plunged through the vacuum of space (apparently without needing to breath at all) struggling to make his way into a space suit as it plummeted towards the Earth it was bad and just got worse as the episode progressed.

While I know that generally the Christmas specials are even more camp and family oriented than other episodes of this show (it is in fact the one time when my wife and both children join me in watching one of my favorite shows) and that I definitely should not expect their to be any actual “science” in this iconic Science-Fiction show this most recent episode was just annoying from beginning to almost the end.

Science doesn’t matter!

In a nutshell – The Doctor plunges to Earth in the borrowed spacesuit and somehow manages to get his helmet on backwards … surviving re-entry with nothing broken or damaged and only a very small and shallow depression, he is succored by a passing motorist (I’m not going to bother with names really as none were that memorable … well that’s not really the case – like most specials, the BBC has managed to rope in some of the best talent in the UK, but I really don’t care about them in this episode so I’m not going to mention their names!) who helps him back to the Tardis. She somehow manages to pick the lock of the Tardis (I’m not sure if she is actually picking the lock or not as they do show a scene seconds later where the Doctor seems to indicate he’s in the wrong place … I hope not as if she can pick the lock of the Tardis with a bobby pin, this episode is even more wrong than it would otherwise be!), and the Doctor thanks her for her help and says if she ever needs any help, she just needs to “wish” for him.

Returning home, the lady/wife/mother meets her husband who is reading a paper about the war (the 2nd world war) and says he shouldn’t be talking about it. Jumping ahead 3 years we see that the husband/father/man is now the pilot of a British bomber on its way back across the channel. With one engine blown out, his plane crashes somewhere over the channel and the lady gets a telegram informing her of his death. With two children in tow, she sets off to her uncle’s home so that the children can have a happy holiday and not think of Christmas as the day when their father died.

The Caretaker

Arriving at the home, they meet the Doctor – or as he calls himself in this episode – The Caretaker (I have to ask … I know that at the end of this most recent season, he (The Doctor) indicated that he needed to be more in the shadows … but is calling himself by a different name sufficient? After all, with all of time and space, eventually people will just realize that “The Caretaker” seems to do the same things that the The Doctor used to??) – who leads them around the house showing them lots of weird and wonderful things. Honestly though, what was the point of the room with the dancing chairs and while the children’s room was nice … it was not exceptional … I also know that Matt Smith is meant to be a bit manic as The Doctor, but he was talking much too fast when he was describing this room – it was just annoying.

Anyways, eventually he shows them a big box which is their Christmas present and everyone goes to bed.

The little boy sneaks down to open the Christmas present early (I know that all kids want to do this, but mine aren’t allowed to? Christmas is fun when you open the presents together around the tree and throw the wrapping paper all over each other … I think that most kids realize this also!) while his sister is upstairs talking to the Doctor. Long story short, the little boy climbs into the box which takes him to a planet inhabited by Christmas (Pine) Trees that are sentient. The trees are about to be mined by a company and need to figure out a way to save themselves … eventually the Doctor, little girl and mother make their way to the planet also through the Christmas box/portal and it turns out that the savior of the trees is the mother … because mom’s are “strong”. Somehow she is able to navigate the ship that the trees have created/grown for themselves through the time vortex back to Earth indirectly saving her husband also (yeah, happy Christmas!!). There’s lots of stuff here about the trees creating a wooden King and Queen in human form (why?) and the company that is strip mining the planet using acid rain to do so – umm, ok? – but pretty much what I said earlier covers it.

Back on the Earth, the mom tells the Doctor that he needs to see his family as everyone needs to be with family on Christmas and the Doctor listens to her. Pure and utter horribleness throughout … the only saving grace to this episode are literally the last 3-5 minutes.

Finally – the good stuff!!

The Doctor knocks on the door of a house and Amy Pond opens it – they have a very touching reunion and when Rory joins them, he states that they always set a seat at their table for The Doctor. Rory looks a bit older but Amelia looks exactly the same and The Doctor has a tear in his eye as he closes the door to spend Christmas with his family.

I know that Christmas episodes generally have nothing to do with the overall story arc/mythology of the Doctor Who universe, but I really, really hope that they never show another episode that is as disjointed and annoying as this one. Please listen to a lifelong fan of the show and give us more. Matt Smith was good, I’ve liked him almost from the first, but he needs to have the right materials to play with and you have really not given them to him here.

Not with a bang but a whimper …

While I know that it would have been very difficult for Moffat to exceed the thrills and spills of last week’s episode, this week’s just did not provide the same level of satisfaction. We ended with The Doctor trapped in the Pandorica, River Song and the Tardis getting blown to smithereens and Amy Pond lying in Rory’s arms after getting shot. The tension as you can well imagine was rather extreme and we were on track for one of the most intense season finales ever!

The obvious question was could the tension be maintained or would it all fall down around its own weight? Unfortunately – for me – while it started well and ended well, the middle of the episode was anticlimactic to say the least and very disappointing.

In The Beginning

The story starts with the young Amelia Pond … showing her aunt a picture of the moon and stars she is taken outside to look at the night sky and asked to point out the stars which she admits she cannot see. While her aunt talks to the councilor a leaflet is dropped through her door (the reflection of the person dropping the leaflet through looks like The Doctor and the immediate question asked of course is how did he get there if he was trapped in the Pandorica??) to a museum display of ancient antiquities including … the Pandorica! Amelia and her aunt make their way to the museum where Amelia sees a petrified Dalek a Cyberman and other ancient monstrosities that “never existed” and Amelia is informed she should “hang around” … escaping from her Aunt, Amelia waits till the museum is closed and the goes to the Pandorica and touches it. As soon as she touches it, it starts to glow and opens up … inside it we find …

I know the suspense is unbearable isn’t it!

Amy Pond!!! What the? … how did she get there when it was The Doctor that was trapped in the last episode??

Doooo Dooo Dooo

Back in Time

 See like I said … it started out quite cool and interesting … but unfortunately it really went downhill from here (although there are some cool bits strewn around).

Almost immediately afterwards we are back in the time when The Doctor was sealed in the Pandorica and Rory is holding Amy’s lifeless body in his hands. The Doctor materializes wearing a fez and carrying a cane and tells Rory that she’s not really dead at all. He hands him his sonic screwdriver and jumps away again and then pops back telling Rory that after he uses it to open the Pandorica and release him, he should put Amy inside and make sure that he puts his screwdriver in her pocket.

Rory goes to the Pandorica, points the screwdriver at it and releases The Doctor – who is rightly surprised … see what I mean? Really anticlimactic.

  1. What about the Daleks and the Cybermen? If the universe has ended meaning that they never existed, w hy was Rory still there if everyone else was gone …
  2. How can he just open up this massive prison by simply pointing the screwdriver at it when all last episode The Doctor was questioning the whole thing and didn’t understand that it was even his prison???

The Doctor is surprised at his escape (grrr … me too … I almost would have loved to see a real prison break type sequence vs. this simple thing) … but helps Rory load up Amy into the Pandorica. He informs her that all she needs is a sample of her DNA and she’ll be right as rain again, as the Pandorica ensures that there is no escape (including death) … when Rory asks where she’ll get her own DNA, The Doctor says that will happen 2000 years in the future and until then the Pandorica will keep her in a state of suspended animation. The Doctor takes River’s time jumping device (which to me seems a heck of a lot more efficient and accurate than the Tardis – that’s not right is it? I mean The Tardis was developed by the Time Lords … you’d think they’d do it right!!) and tells Rory that they can jump straight to when Amy wakes up. Rory however asks The Doctor whether or not Amy & the Pandorica will be safer if he stays behind to protect her and The Doctor is forced to reluctantly agree (Remember, this Rory isn’t really human but rather a recreation as part of the trap from the last episode).

All of this is happening at a frantic pace and while its fun to see … it really leaves a huge gaping hole in that – how did The Doctor escape in the first place to start the sequence off? I hate it when they use time travel as a “get out of jail free” (literally in this case) card … there still has to be an initial point where the sequence kicks off and that didn’t happen here.

Back to the Future

The Doctor now appears in the future where Amy and Amelia are both together. Amy has discovered that the protector of the Pandorica – the Centurion – died in the blitz during World War II, but for the past 2000 years he has always been there protecting the Pandorica. (see there are some cool bits and this is one of them) Amy realizes that this is/was Rory and that she has now lost him. The Doctor appears and has a plan to resolve the situation but all of a sudden the petrified Dalek starts to come to life! It seems that the light from the Pandorica has partially restored the Dalek and it is threatening to kill them all!!!

Rory Williams
Rory Williams (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

All of a sudden a security guard appears and blasts the Dalek … its Rory … Yeah!!! Rory survived the Blitz after all and has still been there protecting the Pandorica. Big reunion and much smooching ensues (bit of a sucker for that when its warranted) but everyone is happy again. The Doctor runs out of the room with both Amelia’s and Rory and heads up to the roof … but he meets … … The Doctor!!! Shock, horror … The Doctor (#2) is injured (dying) but is able to summon the strength to speak The Doctor (#1) and then he dies. Doctor (#1) continues to head to the roof where (oh yeah, Amelia has disappeared now as reality continues to collapse) he pries off a satellite dish and “listens” to the Sun (or at least what we thought was the sun) … turns out that the “sun” was actually the exploding Tardis which had been exploding throughout all times and all universes. It is only the Tardis that is keeping Earth alive while the rest of the universe is now in darkness (by the way – what about the moon that Amelia saw right in the beginning, shouldn’t that have disappeared also? ). Listening to the Tardis exploding he hears River’s voice in a time loop. The Tardis had put her in a loop to protect her so she had been repeating the same 5- seconds for over 2000 years.

The Doctor uses River’s time travelling device to jump into the Tardis (remember what I said about it seeming to be more efficient? Also, can anyone do this or only The Doctor? Seems like pretty lax security in the Tardis if anyone can access it like this?) and rescues River, jumping her back to the roof of the museum, where he informs her and the others that his plan is to use the Pandorica itself to kick start the universe – basically another Big Bang as The Pandorica has a record of all parts of the Universe in it and just like it was able to revive Amy and the Dalek if it gets a strong enough energy source it can do the same for the universe itself.

The Dalek arrives (hovering) at the edge of the roof and starts to shoot at them … running away, The Doctor is shot by the Dalek (with striking similarity to how David Tennant was shot when rushing to meet Rose in the episode Stolen Earth) and using the time travel devise he jumps back to when he saw himself earlier on the stairs going up to the roof. Now The Doctor (#1) becomes (#2) and this is what Amy and Rory realize. They rush down the stairs to see if he’s still actually alive while River stays behind to deal with the Dalek. The Dalek realizing that he is doomed requests mercy … which River does NOT grant (another cool sequence in my opinion) and then goes to join the others.

The Big Bang

They now discover the Doctor wired into the Pandorica preparing to jump it into the Tardis. River quickly realizes that if the Doctor’s plan is to work, he will need to close all of the cracks in time … leaving himself on the other side and it would be as if he’d never existed. To save the universe, the Doctor must sacrifice himself and the Tardis. Using a memory of the universe stores in the atoms trapped in the Pandorica, he can pilot the box inside the exploding TARDIS and restore the universe. It’s a second big bang and one that will reboot the universe.

Telling Amy that when the universe reboots she will have an opportunity to “wish” herself a perfect life with her parent’s back, The Doctor jumps into the heart of the exploding Tardis with his catchphrase Geronimo!!

Almost immediately he reappears on the deck of the Tardis and believes that he has escaped his impending doom, but unfortunately it is not to be … in a mini flashback sequence, The Doctor travels backwards in time through his own (short) life and we see him trying to reach and speak to Amy on the way. His decision to stop watching the rewind when he first met Amy is a nice touch and the speech that he gives to Amy when she is in bed about the Tardis is excellent. I love the way that they are able to tie this speech into the next sequence which is ….

Amy’s Wedding

Amy’s wedding!!

Really happy that Amy and Rory finally get together after everything that they have been through and when Amy calls for the Tardis – SOMETHING OLD, SOMETHING NEW, SOMETHING BORROWED, SOMETHING BLUE – really, really good.

Now, while the cracks in time are gone … the strange voice on the Tardis calling for Silence has not been explained and is something we can only hope will be addressed in future episodes. Considering how difficult it is to tie up a whole season and the over-riding plot lines in one episode this was a good episode – unfortunately it just wasn’t as good as the previous one, which is the only reason I am slightly disappointed.

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The End of Time – Part I

A Christmas two-part’er for the final episodes of the 10th Doctors incarnation sees The Master & The Timelords return!!!

Summary of Part 1

When The Doctor goes to visit the Ood, he is informed that The Master is returning and also that “something” else from the Darkness is returning also. Rushing off to Earth to stop the Master’s return, the Doctor arrives too late and a new – more monstrous – version of The Master has returned. His rejuvenation attempt not fully completed due to the intervention of Lucy Saxon – The Master is now voracious for Life Force and is feeding of humans to get it!!

The Doctor confronting The Master in this incarnation is unable to stop him and is forced to acknowledge that the drumming that The Master is constantly mentioning is in fact real (I love it when series authors are able to tie back a single plot device to something so much larger … I really have to give them credit for mapping it all out in advance in this way) and that The Master is not insane. Appealing to The Master to help him in dealing with the “something from the darkness” The Master is instead captured and The Doctor left behind.

The Doctor meets Wilfred Mott (Donna’s grandfather) – who acts as The Doctor’s companion in this episode and together they track down The Master who has been captured by Naismith. Naismith is using The Master to rebuild an alien device that he has come across called the Immortality Gate. Unbeknown to Naismith however is the fact that two of his assistants are in fact aliens in disguise – Vinvocci – and are there to salvage the Gate. The Master given access to the Gate by Naismith is able to quickly restore it to working order.

While this has happened, the Doctor has discovered where the Master has been taken and journeys there with Wilf to try and stop him. Once again, discovering too late what the Master is working on, he is unable to stop the Master from entering the Gate and imprinting himself on every Human being on Earth except – Wilf, The Doctor and Donna Noble!

Part One ends revealing that the Narrator, who has appeared throughout the episode warning of the end of humanity on Christmas Day is the Leader of the Time Lords, and he announces that this is the day that the Time Lords will return!!

My Thoughts –

OK, as mentioned … I love the fact that the Sound of the Drums is real and that it could portend something much greater. I love the fact that the Master is able to use his Life Force as a weapon (& a source of propulsion!) and the skull effect is brilliant. On the positive side … The TimeLords have returned! WOW … didn’t see that one coming at all. Throughout this new incarnation of the Doctor, the fact that he is the “last of the TimeLords” is something that has impacted him greatly … with their return … what’s going to happen now???

Now – on the negative side … while The Master taking over the whole human race in such a fashion is cool … the overall effect seemed very “Matrixy” to me – how about you? Didn’t it just seem like Agent Smith assimilating everyone?

The End of Time – Part II

Summary of Episode –

Captured and taunted by The Master, The Doctor and Wilf are saved by the Vinvocci. Escaping from the multiple Masters, they go into hiding in the Vinvocci ship that is orbiting the Earth. Quickly realizing that The Master could easily destroy the ship, The Doctor disables the ship and hides it from the Earth based sensors.

Unable to find The Doctor, the world of Master’s concentrate on the“sound of drums” – this sound amplified a billion times becomes clearer and The TimeLords are able to use it to send a focusing device through the Time Lock. This focus – a fallen Gallifreyan diamond, called a Whitepoint Star is immediately recognizable by The Master and The Doctor. As these diamonds are only available on Gallifrey, The Doctor realizes that The TimeLords have found a loophole and are going to escape from the Time War.

Contrary to expectations, The Doctor is NOT happy that the TimeLords are returning and he indicates in no uncertain way that in the Final Days of the Time War, the TimeLords changed from their more benevolent selves into a fanatical race, willing to do anything and everything to win.
The Doctor quickly rushes to stop The Master, but once again arrives too late as the Time Lord Council appears through the Immortality Gate. The Master plans to use the Gate now to imprint himself on all Time Lords, but the Time Lord President stops him and undoes the previous change by the Gate and restores humanity. The President then reveals that now freed of the Time Lock, the Time Lords will end time and creation itself in order to live eternally as pure consciousness.

The Doctor tells The Master that that is why he had to stop the Time Lords at the end of the Time War, as he knew they were planning that. Gallifrey begins to materialise by the Earth, and the Doctor reveals that it will soon be followed by all the other horrors from the Time War.
The Doctor determines that instead of killing The Master or the President, he can instead use Wilfs gun to destroy the diamond that is maintaining the link.

Doing so and reversing the process so that the TimeLords are sent back into the Time Lock, the Doctor is further threatened by the President, but is instead saved by The Master!! Furious that he had been manipulated since a child by the President, The Master attacks the President in a rage. Gallifrey, The Master and all the Time Lords disappear back into the Time Lock. The fate of the Master, who also vanishes, is unclear.

Surprised to still be alive, The Doctor starts to rejoice only to hear 4 knocks … Wilf has been trapped in the isolation chamber which will soon be flooded with lethal radiation, killing him instantly. The Doctor initially rages about his fate – stating that“I could do so much more” and that Wilfred is “unimportant”. However, realizing that his fate is pre-ordained and that he cannot leave Wilfred to die, The Doctor sacrifices himself to save Wilf, and in the process suffers a massive dose of radiation.

Although he survives initially, the healing of the Doctor’s wounds show that his regeneration has started. He takes Wilfred home and brief scenes show him fleetingly visiting several past companions. Not wishing to change and stating that he doesn’t want to go, the Doctor completes his regeneration in an unusually violent manner with the TARDIS windows shattering and the console room bursting into flames. The newly-regenerated Eleventh Doctor explores his new body before eventually recognising that the TARDIS is hurtling back to Earth, taking the controls and gleefully shouting “Geronimo!”

My Thoughts –

Sad that David Tennant is gone … really liked him as The Doctor and he definitely made the role his own … however from what I understand the new Doctor has signed on for at least 3 years which means there are going to be some good stories coming and hopefully further details. Also, despite my previous comments about the Time Lords – quite cool that they were “bad” at the end … however, being the last Time Lord, also means there is no one else with the same amount of power as the Doctor, which also means that he really can’t lose. Also with the Master gone, the Daleks gone and Cybermen gone, this is even more true! Also really good scenes between Wilfred and The Doctor where initially Wilf said he’d be happy if the Doctor was his son and then The Doctor saying he’d be proud if Wilf was his dad. Really good. The tie in of “the sound of drums” from such a long time ago to this point – really well done.

I look forward to seeing what’s coming … it should be interesting!!

This is the 2nd two-parter of the Matt Smith era of the new Doctor and just like the Angels episode it delivers! This set of episodes is all about the Silurians (see below) and also serves to advance the overall season arc further forward although only incrementally.

The Tardis materializes 10 years in Amy and Rory’s future and The Doctor and team are in the small Welsh village of Cwmtaff. Here a team is conducting the most ambitious drilling project in history and have managed to break through the crust 21 km’s below the Earth! But … while they have been drilling downwards – something else has been drilling up and some mysterious disappearances have started to plague the small town.

Rory gets separated from the others and when he is able to join them in the town, he is mistaken for a police investigator. Informed by the locals that bodies are being taken from the graves – without any sign of the graves being disturbed above ground – Rory starts to investigate!

While Rory is investigating the graves, The Doctor and Amy break into the mine and speak to the Scientists there. An earthquake strike pulls Amy into the ground before The Doctor is able to persuade the scientists to turn their drill off. Searching for the cause of the earthquake and whatever it is that has sucked Amy into the ground, The Doctor reviews the sensors and determines that several entities are heading for the surface from deep beneath the ground. Herding all the remaining townsfolk into the church for safety, the attackers seal off the area with a dome-like forcefield and gradually blacken the sky to provide them with the cover of darkness.

In the chaos that ensues Elliot (the child of one of the previous abductees) is captured by the attackers and Tony (one of the scientists) is infected by them also. However, The Doctor and Rory are able to capture one of them and The Doctor quickly recognizes them as being part of the Silurian race (see below). The Doctor tries to negotiate peacefully with the Silurian but she is adamant that they will wipe humanity from the surface of their planet. Dismissing the threat as ludicrous, The Doctor states that a small tribe of dozens of Silurians will be unable to withstand the billions of humans and it is a futile struggle!

As his prisoner will not negotiate, The Doctor determines that he needs to travel below to speak to someone else and departs on the Tardis with Dr. Chaudry (the other scientist) … here, we are witness to the discovery of not a small tribe of Silurians but a massive city/civilization … definitely enough reptiloids to cause massive death and destruction as even with limited resources their technology is so much in advance of ours.

… on to Part 2

Doctor Who Villians – Silurians

OK, in case you haven’t seen the original Doctor Who series and do not know who the Silurians here, here is a brief summary of them for you.

Generally a peaceful race, the Silurians were Earth’s first sentient species and their time on Earth was a celebrated one with an extremely highly developed and technological society. Near the height of their civilization their scientists determined that a rogue planetoid was to crash into the Earth and with this in mind, the bulk of the civilization was placed into hibernation to ensure that the species survived. However, the hibernation technology was faulty, and never woke them. They were not aware that the dangerous planetoid that they believed would devastate their world was instead captured by the planet and became the Earth’s moon.

Over the courses of the many Doctor’s life’s and adventures, the Silurians have appeared in multiple episodes. Their initial purpose seems to be to wipe humanity of the face of the Earth and return as the rightful rulers of the planet; however in more recent episodes The Doctor seems to be making progress in uniting the two species Humans & Silurians into a new and more powerful force in the universe.