Monday, June 29, 2009

No H8 Men Gagged Campaign 2009

Various reality TV types and other male and female celebrities recently did a photoshoot for Adam Bouska gagged with the words, NO H8 on their cheeks against Proposition 8.

You can see the full set of photos here ...

As well as some behind the scenes antics here ...

My Review of Doctor Who's 1x14: "The Christmas Invasion"

Written by Russell T. Davies
Directed by James Hawes

Ah, Christmas Day. Stuck between watching both Emmerdale and Coronation Street and wondering why I should even bother caring if Kat and Alfie leave together in EastEnders, I thought I had to watch Doctor Who.

I take that back! I have been on tether-hooks in anticipation for this special for the last six months and as we speak I’m counting my money to purchase Season One on DVD and while they were some slow moving elements to this Christmas special, I can easily say this was the TV treat of my night.

It’s been six months since “The Parting Of The Ways” and our special starts with Mickey and Jackie being disturbed from their individual loneliness when the TARDIS crash lands and our new Doc starts babbling incoherently before passing out and a beleaguered Rose appears.

Just like Jackie and Mickey, Rose too is unable to explain of her newly regenerated friend and Billie Piper plays her uncertainty and reluctance with such effect. It was a smart move to employ this tactic because for our Rose to easily accept The Doctor in his new form would’ve been unrealistic and there is an element of realism in both her and The Doctor’s relationship which is what has made them such an enjoyable team to watch.

Of course being Christmas, Rose’s hopes for a peaceful Yuletide are thankfully shattered (I know it sounds terrible but some Chrimbo Calamity was always going to be on order and it needed to be relatively big in order to justify this prelude to the second season) when a couple of plastic Santa’s add a new meaning to the term sleigh bells when they attack passer-bys on the street.

It’s eerily reminiscent in a way to the Autons attack in “Rose” and more havoc starts at home when the Christmas tree spins a hole in the house. Both of these attacks look pretty cool but only serve as a smoke and mirrors to the real threat of this year.

Enter the Sycorax, a rather nasty alien species intent on taking over the planet and to prove they’re not a force to be trifled with, they assume control over a third of the world’s population and threatens to kill them if the English government refuse to surrender.

Along with David Tennant’s first proper outing as the new Doctor, the episode sees the rather welcome return of Penelope Wilton as Harriet Jones who’s now an MP and given her not forgotten encounter with the Slitheen, Harriet has far from neglected to read up about other alien life forces.

A part of me thought she was brave to not surrender to the Sycorax but when they started killing off two of her staff (including the guy responsible for this species being able to use A positive blood as a controlling tool); I wanted to shout, “shut up” at the screen.

While the storyline does sleepwalk a little, things liven incredibly when the TARDIS gets teleported on the Sycorax’s space ship and Rose tries her best to appear threatening but fails miserably. Still though Billie Piper flexes her comedy skills and after the majority of the episode snoozing it up, our new Doc finally awakes and faces his first new foes in his new guise.

Now the moment of truth has landed – is David Tennant any good? Honestly I can say he is. He may have overplayed one or two pieces of dialogue but overall he did a bloody good job and there’s no way anyone can say his performance mirrors any of the previous incarnations of the Time Lord.

He’s definitely charming and his comments are offhand (his snarky remarks to Rose and Harriet) but his altercation with the Sycorax’s was the episode’s highlights. We got a proper battle with the two of them, neither holding back but what’s more, Tennant proved he wasn’t taking the piss when he said his Doctor was gong to be darker and it showed.

He relented at first with the Sycorax leader and was willing to let him go, until he tried his luck and our new Doc used a Satsuma to end his days. The ultimate sting in the tail was the surprisingly sour turn his friendship with Harriet took after she used a special contact to make sure the Sycorax would never be a threat again.

That scene in the street and his six words to Alex that look set to ruin Harriet’s career showed us he wasn’t a force to reckoned with. I bet Harriet now wishes she hasn’t been so hasty with her assassination of the Sycorax now.

As villains go, this lot worked out pretty well but we’ve had better ones. One thing that does strike me though is The Doctor saying that sending probes into space is making other life forces aware of human existence and vice versa. It’s only noteworthy because it felt like a kind of “D’oh!” moment.

The last five minutes of the episode felt like a re-establishment of “Rose” and it was. We had The Doctor chiding her about not trusting him and her more than happy to explore all the universes as well as Mickey moaning about her constant desire to leave him and her mum.

A while back I would’ve dismissed him as Rose’s desire to explore the world (thousands in her case) is understandable but ultimately I’m realising that Mickey does genuinely love her and is only slowing adjusting to the fact that he can’t be with her in the way he craves to be.

Jackie is also getting more rounded as a character too and I liked her turn as a carer for The Doctor during his recovery time as well as the hilarious but subtle Christmas dinner. Now wasn’t this better than EastEnders? All of you can say yes.

Also in “The Christmas Invasion”

I don’t remember there being a “Previously On” bit. They just jumped straight into the opening teaser.

Rose (re The Doctor): “He’s got two hearts.”
Jackie: “Anything else he’s got two of?”

Since we’ve last seen them, Mickey works as a mechanic and Jackie has been dating a fruit and veg man. At least it explained her having Men’s pyjamas for the Doctor in her possession.

The Doctor: “I need...”
Jackie: “Is it food? Something simple? Bowl of soup? Nice bowl of soup? Soup and a sandwich? Ooh soup and a little ham sandwich?”
The Doctor: “I need you to shut up!”
Jackie: “Oh he hasn't changed that much has he?”

Harriet (re the Sycorax): “And then tell them; this planet is armed and we do not surrender.”

I quite liked Harriet’s right hand man Alex, played by the gorgeous Adam Garcia. If we can’t have John Barrowman in Season Two, can we please have him? He can read alien languages, survived this episode, seems resilient and looks good in a suit. Plus it’s eye candy for Rose and a slight foil (in a friendly manner) for The Doctor, so why not?

Sycorax leader: “I demand to know who you are?”
The Doctor: “I don’t know.”

Sycorax Leader: “You stand as this world's champion?”
The Doctor: “Thank you. I've no idea who I am, but you've just summed me up.”

Character bits: The Doctor’s TARDIS and himself got cured by tea (I know silly) and his new gear is plimsols. Oh and Torchwood was mentioned several times. Is it a reference to a resurrected Captain Jack?

The Doctor: “Doesn’t she look a bit tired?”
Harriet: “What did he say?”
Alex: “Nothing.”

Did anyone else think the inside of the Sycorax’s ship look like the Hellmouth on Buffy the Vampire Slayer? I certainly did and the way they were lined up was similar to the way the ubervamps lined up at the end of Season Seven.

The Doctor (re hat): “It’s pink.”
Rose (to Jackie): “You should wear it.”

I liked the preview of Season Two and the option of playing the Attack Of The Graske at the end. I played it twice after this episode. Oh and the song was “Song For Ten” by Murray Gold.

As a Christmas special and a prelude to the upcoming season, “The Christmas Invasion” was a treat and the perfect remedy in another predictable Christmas TV line up. I enjoyed it a lot and I defy anyone who didn’t. In fairness, how could anyone hate something that doubles as being entertaining and informative at the same time.

Rating: 9 out of 10.

My Review of Doctor Who's 1x13: "The Parting Of The Ways"

Written by Russell T Davies
Directed by Joe Ahearne

With the BBC running “Time Is Up” adverts for five days straight in the run up to this episode, it wasn’t exactly hard to get excited about this particular season finale. After all, nearly half a million Daleks are out and about in outer space determined to annihilate the remainder of humanity. That’s enough to make anyone want to watch.

The easy part first, the rescue of Rose had the extrapolator from “Boom Town” put into good use as The Doctor, Rose and Captain Jack were then able to build a force field to keep the Daleks from killing them or the TARDIS. Of course, the real voice behind the Daleks is the Emperor Dalek and he isn’t exactly in the mood for pleasantries.

Time hasn’t especially been kind to the Dalek race or their Emperor in charge since the Time War, a point that is made all too clear in the space of three minutes. They’ve been forced to keep anominous and have had to wait for this ripe opportunity to strike, an opportunity that you could suggest, was given to them by The Doctor as we are after all are still dealing with the consequences from “The Long Game”. The Daleks are back though and they are an army to be reckoned with.

Being built on human DNA is something we’ve seen before, even earlier on in the season but while that lone Dalek from episode six was confused by its humanity, the influxes of Daleks here are more disgusted with theirs. The Doctor didn’t need to point out that this made them more than lethal but even I won’t gripe about him stating the obvious this time.

With the Dalek fleet making their way to the Gamestation and nearly over a hundred people still on board unable to escape, the next course of action was to build them as an army. I felt bad for Captain Jack here because deep down, he knew all along that things were going to be fatal and out of our trio, he is the only who still gets screwed over at the end. Which is probably why he kisses both Rose and The Doctor on the lips (yes that’s two men for a little moment kissing, just don’t tell ofcom about it) in a totally subtle but effective scene.

Trying to build an army out of cynical and desensitised contestants and Gamestation staff is bad without the likes of Rodrick whinging about his prize money on top of things too. It kind of felt like Captain Jack was being a little excluded here with The Doctor not telling him everything while the latter scrambled with the Delta Wave, dealing with Rose and being goaded by the Dalek Emperor.

Even Jack’s army of inept and mostly afraid humans didn’t last very long. Although I didn’t care about Rodrick dying, I did feel bad for Davish and little crush on his sarcastic co-worker and of course Lynda, whose death was presumably so violent we didn’t even get to see it.

Any hopes of Lynda being a fourth spoke in the TARDIS team got obliterated here but the fact that there was any spokes left is a miracle within itself. Even Captain Jack suffered being hit by the Daleks and killed (like Tara’s death on Buffy’s “Seeing Red”, I didn’t like that scene) but things on the death of Captain Jack are not quite as they seem. I’ll get back to that in a bit though.

As for The Doctor, doing battle with your greatest enemy and having the odds of survival sensationally stacked against you isn’t exactly the best motivational tool in the world but having the Emperor of the Daleks constantly blight you and constantly refer to you as a baddie yourself has got to a head wrecker. With an obviously robotic voice and bigger than a portable aquarium, the Daleks plans of building the Earth into their own image is looking scarily successful.

The Delta Wave which is supposed to save lives will only wipe out both Daleks and humans and while Captain Jack told The Doctor to do what he felt was right, he obviously struggled before admitting it. Of course there was one life that The Doctor was unwilling to sacrifice, why else do you think he tricked Rose into going home.

Rose could’ve left the battlefield at any time before being duped, The Doctor even went out on a limb to suggest it but she declined. Rose is increasingly showing signs of being a noble heroine. Which is why when she was sent home and told to forget The Doctor and live a normal life, she couldn’t accept. You experience the kind of things that she does and normality is no longer an option.

Both Mickey and Jackie have only had a taste of what other lives are out there but Rose has seen so much more. It explains why they can’t accept her refusal to give up on The Doctor but even their at times narrow-mindedness doesn’t prevail their love for Rose and while they don’t approve of her lifestyle, it was great that they helped to get back to the Gamestation by opening the heart of the TARDIS and a whole boat load of complications.

As a human Rose can’t physically withstand the energy of the time vortex but then again, neither can anything else but she holds it long enough to reveal that she’s been the big bad wolf all the time, relaying her messages through time and space and to make a spectacular return, amid an interesting debate from Emperor Dalek of whether The Doctor should be a killer or coward.

He chooses coward, Rose chooses hero as her borrowed elevation to God like quality (was anybody else thinking “Primeval” Buffy when watching this or was that just me?) has her killing every single Dalek and the Emperor on display Of course her best trick is resurrecting Captain Jack with her “I give life” speech, posing the question of whether or not she was aware he was even dead.

Was either The Doctor or Rose aware that he had been a casualty because if they were and just abandoned him on board Gamestation, then I’m going to be a cheesed off with that one. I’m hoping they weren’t.

As for The Doctor and Rose kiss, it was hardly a sexual one so even die hard fans can’t complain that much about it, now can they? Still though with Rose nearly dying to save the world, The Doctor returned the favour and saved her by absorbing the vortex energy.
Some joking on the TARDIS later and deserved congratulatory speeches later and our ninth Doctor Christopher Eccleston morphed into number ten David Tennant. What a way to make an entrance! It’s an impressive debut and a nice way of ending a season finale that delivered left, right and centre. It’s a pity that Captain Jack is on his lonesome though.

Also in “The Parting Of The Ways”

This episode opened with no teaser. It just went straight into the opening credits and the main stuff.

Rose: “Never doubted you.”
The Doctor: “I did. Are you alright?”

More Dalek knowledge here as we learned that the human DNA came from prisoners, refugees and the dispossessed. Even for part machines, doesn’t this make the Daleks little more than shells?

Captain Jack: “I wish I had never met you, Doctor. I was much better off as a coward. See you in hell.”

The Doctor: “I might just save the world or rip it apart.”
Rose: “I’d go with the first one.”
The Doctor: “Me too.”

The half human revelation about the Daleks was from the 1996 TV movie with the Eighth Doctor. Nice use of reference there.

The Doctor: “Have a good life. Do that for me, Rose. Have a fantastic life.”

Rose: “No.”
Mickey (re TARDIS): “If that’s what you think, then let’s get this thing open.”

Since we last saw, Jackie has been involved with a guy named Rodrigo. I liked how Russell used the reversed events from “Father’s Day” to help Rose get her mother onside too.

Female Operator: “Am I supposed to say when this is all over, maybe we should go and get a drink?”
Davish: “That would be nice.”

If the Daleks invaded the likes of Australasia, the new American Islands, Europa etc before Uber-Rose saved the day, does that mean that they haven’t been completely eradicated?

Dalek: “Exterminate.”
Captain Jack: “I kind of figured that.”

The trailer for “The Christmas Invasion” only featured clips throughout Season One. I guess that means it hasn’t been filmed yet.

Dalek Emperor: “What are you Doctor – coward or killer?”
The Doctor: “Coward, any day.”

I believe this was the first regeneration standing up. It’s also the first I’ve seen which is a good reminder that I’m still a novice to this show.

Rose: “I want you safe. My Doctor protected from the false God.”

The Doctor (to Rose): “Mmm new teeth, that’s weird. Now where was I? Oh that’s right, Barcelona!”

Standout music: the exceptional score piece in this entire episode from Murray Gold of course.

“The Parting Of The Ways” was certainly a heavily anticipated season finale and like this season as a whole, it succeeded on every level. Hats off to Russell and Joe for their superb scripting and directing and kudos has to be give for the excellent and powerhouse performances from Christopher Eccleston (we’ll miss you mate), Billie Piper (who’s really come into her own), John Barrowman (don’t leave him there) and David Tennant (welcome aboard). Only six months until “The Christmas Invasion”.

Rating: 10 out of 10.

My Review of Doctor Who's 1x12: "Bad Wolf"

Written by Russell T Davies
Directed by Joe Ahearne

Lynda (to The Doctor, re Crosby): “She’s just been evicted – from life.”

So reality TV and games shows really are the source of all evil then? I just thought it was Davina McCall’s by now grating fake enthusiasm and Big Brother’s knack for picking more increasingly desperate contestants year in, year out that was fuel to some of the laziest and over hyped pieces of television nowadays. Oh wait, it still is.

After the disjointed escapades of “The Long Game”, I wasn’t particularly thrilled to be revisiting Satellite Five, which is now known as the Gamestation and I was even less enthusiastic about having to sit through half an episode parodying a genre that I’m not exactly fond of either. Thankfully the results aren’t as bad as I fear but they are rather touch and go to be honest.

Dealing with the least screen attention parody first, the consistently likeable Captain Jack wakes up to find himself at the mercy of robots Trin-E and Zu-Zana. It doesn’t take a genius to guess who they are meant to be. I ask – could there be a bigger fate worse than death than having to contend with these two?

The androids, who are every bit annoying as their real life counterparts who we have to deal with in “What Not To Wear”, then happily decide that the usually dapper Jack needs a new look. Now I personally liked the naked one as John Barrowman delightfully lets it all hang out. Well as much as you can let hang out for a teatime slot on a Saturday BBC show that is. Damn the BBC and their fears of offending ofcom and the like.

Of course proving that Trinny and Suzanna as androids are just as evil as the real thing, their next assignment seems to be ripping Jack a new face, forcing our bisexual conman to do what I assume, most viewers would like to do to plenty of so called fashionistas out there and use a compact laser deluxe to blast the meddling duo.

How I cheered while watching that particular moment, although Trinny and Suzanna’s demise wasn’t completely in vain. After all, they made good enough for Jack to build a gun and to locate The Doctor.

Which then leads to the Time Lord waking up in the Big Brother house with three contestants left, Lynda, Crosby and Stooed, although only Lynda made anything resembling an impact. The Doctor doesn’t exactly like being watched by millions of viewers and does his best to sabotage and shorten his stay in the house.

If you think that Celebrity Big Brother is a pain to watch, then being a contestant on this reality show bites even more. You’re basically chosen at random and if you’re evicted , you’re killed by a beam and if you win, you just get to live, which is a damn site better than losing but even still it’s a pretty harsh blow to the system. Luckily for The Doctor, his plan works and him and Lynda make a break for it, which luckily for this episode, it means more interesting stuff happens too.

For instance, we learn that this new world is The Doctor’s own doing as upon freeing everyone in Satellite Five, he forgot to set up a replacement government station, so everything has been thrown into turmoil. On a lighter note we got some rather cute flirting between The Doctor and Lynda.

She was definitely wowed by him and The Doctor kept referring her as sweet, but sweetness aside, we seem to be getting closer to the “Bad Wolf” mystery as it finally comes into play big time when Lynda reveals that the Gamestation is owned by Bad Wolf Corporation.

As for Gamestation itself, just like a heightened version of “The Long Game”, the controller who is human but literally so wired up that she’s little more than a human computer makes, controls and packages the programs along with seemingly loyal staff but even the Gamestation is only smoke and mirrors for something much worse, which is a good thing, plot wise.

Elsewhere Rose finds herself on a game even I like called The Weakest Link with a nefarious Anne Droid, a few nervous fellow contestants and a rather slimy bastard named Rodrick who deliberately keeps Rose on the game so he can beat in the end.

Just like with Big Brother, you lose and you die but if you win this game, then you actually get money. Rose may not be an intellect but luckily she isn’t made too dense here either.

Sadly though, things don’t turn out so well for Miss Tyler as after getting one answer too many wrong in the final round, she is killed by Anne Droid’s laser beam. This is the first time in this episode where real emotional content comes into play and this is where the premise gains a bit of credibility. Jack angrily lashes out at executives over his friend’s death while The Doctor just stares numb and despondent until both men and Lynda are arrested.

However they don’t spend an awfully long time behind bars thanks to a little quick thinking and old fashioned fisticuffs leading our trio to fight their way to Floor 500, which thankfully gives us some revelations, one in particular that will make everyone cheer for joy.

For instance remember when I said that the controller only appeared to be smoke and mirrors for something really bad? Well I was right but before it’s revealed, she is conveniently teleported away and killed, which then reveal out mystery assailants and we’ve already seen them earlier on this year.

Before that though, Captain Jack continues his resourcefulness and manages to prove, with some help from Lynda that Rose is still alive, along with everyone else who we saw die in this episode. The not so great news is that there’s millions of Daleks alive in outer space that have her hostage and are planning to use her as leverage to get to The Doctor. I’m glad to see the return of the Daleks and I can’t wait to see what further chaos they have in store for us.

Also in “Bad Wolf”

Although this episode featured the consequences of “The Long Game”, we actually didn’t learn whatever happened with The Editor or Cathica. Not even Adam was mentioned.

Captain Jack: “Am I naked in front of millions of viewers?”
Trin-E/Zu-Zana: “Absolutely.”
Captain Jack: “Ladies, your viewing figures just went up.”

Costumes we had for Captain Jack was a buccaneer look, a hell’s angels, tennis pro. I still liked the nude one, heehee!

Rose: “I just travel; I’m a bit of a tourist I suppose.”
Anne Droid: “Another way of saying unemployed?”

Other contestants on The Weakest Link were Brotch, Flitch, Colleen, Colin and Max. Rodrick was the first to mention “Bad Wolf” for Rose to really piece things together.

Lynda (re being over 100): “You’re looking good on it.”
The Doctor: “I moisturize.”

There are 60 Big Brother houses on Gamestation, in BB504 all the contestants walked and The Doctor took the advice of another Linda and smashed property to be evicted. Surely The Doctor, Captain Jack and Rose weren’t meant to escape the games if the Daleks want to win their battle?

Captain Jack (re talking to Lynda): “I was just saying hello.”
The Doctor: “For you, that’s flirting.”

Captain Jack (re Rose): “You killed her! Your stupid freaking game just killed her.”

Torchwood was mentioned here. What are they, a special ops unit or something?

Davish: “But I have your gun.”
The Doctor: “Okay, so shoot me.”

Other games on the Gamestation include Wipe Out, Countdown (30 seconds to diffuse a bomb, like Alias the reality TV series), Stars In Your Eyes (where you can get literally blinded) and Bear With Me.

Female Operator: “It’s not our problem; we’re just doing our jobs.”
The Doctor: “With that sentence, you’ve lost the right to talk, now back off.”

The Doctor (to Dalek): “And doesn’t that just scare you to death? Rose?”
Rose: “Yes Doctor?”
The Doctor: “I’m coming to get you.”

The chronology is exactly 100 years since “The Long Game”.

With an incredibly dodgy opening half, it’s nice to know that “Bad Wolf” was able to recover itself and even better, that we are finally starting to get some answers as well. The last fifteen minutes is where the real meat of the episode is and I for one can’t wait until next week.

Rating: 8 out of 10.

My Review of Doctor Who's 1x11: "Boom Town"

Written by Russell T Davies
Directed by Joe Ahearne

The Doctor (re Margaret Blaine): “And I was having such a nice day.”

If I could compile a list of things that most viewers would like to see more of in this new series, I don’t think there would be many people out there who would be eager to get a return of the Slitheen or even in particular Margaret Blaine but tough luck as for those who didn’t like the main baddie from “Aliens Of London” and “World War Three” because she’s back.

I wasn’t initially looking forward to round two as I suspect many other people weren’t but obviously learning from a few slip ups earlier on in the season with the Slitheen, Russell T Davies goes a long way to try and offer a more insightful outing for Margaret in comparison to the badly paced 10 Downing Street adventure. It also helps that the farting jokes are thankfully scrapped too.

Managing to teleport herself away from being blown up, Margaret has done her best to not only draw attention to herself but also has retained her desire to kill anyone who gets in her way, except for an intrepid journalist named Cathy, who’s life is spared when she lets slip to Margaret that she’s pregnant and in a moment of weakness, the murderous last surviving Slitheen gives her pardon before a stray newspaper informs The Doctor, Rose, Mickey and Captain Jack that Margaret is Mayor of Cardiff and plans to build a nuclear plant in the heart of the city.

Margaret’s attempts of escaping The Doctor and company by being teleported in and out are nothing short of humorous but when forced to confront one of her most dangerous enemies, she finds herself under arrest and a little too eager to lash out.

She accuses The Doctor of persecuting her, one of if not many “point taken” statements from her during the hour. So Margaret had no idea that her nuclear plant was built on top of the scar from the might rift back in “The Unquiet Dead”? Yeah, right and Captain Jack is modest at heart, I don’t think so.

There was some awfully suspicious about how nonchalant Margaret remained when she had to explained how she came about her pan dimensional surfboard or extrapolator as we later found out but first, it’s debate time.

Instead of trying to kill Margaret there and then, The Doctor decided to take her back to her home planet where she would be executed once she stepped foot home. Everybody, though more so Mickey thought that this was exactly what she deserved and at the risk of sounding narrow minded, I have to admit that I agreed with him.

Any way you cut it, Margaret and whatever is left of the Slitheen are killers. Cold blooded and mostly merciless, they kill simply out of greed. Unlike the Daleks or even the Cybermen, programming here cannot be blamed or excused for the actions of this species. As a child, Margaret may have been forced to kill but as an adult, it is her choice and no-one else’s. The Doctor and anyone else have the right and duty to stop her, even if it is through murder in the end. If they are executioners, The Doctor and company do it to protect lives and because often they don’t have a choice in the matter. The killings that Margaret has done with her race and by herself are not.

The Doctor and Margaret’s dinner conversation is certainly an eye opener. While they are plenty of times in which the Time Lord has been reckless, he is still better than Margaret and her attempts of using the extrapolator on the TARDIS to open the rift proved that while Margaret may be a capable of change, deep down her desire to do harm is powerful and rules any possible hope of doing good.

I hope for The Doctor’s sake that her being turned into an egg and returned to a better family could shape Margaret into a better alien, but I remain sceptical for the time being.

The peril aside, I loved the four team unit we had in this episode. Jack easily fits the ensemble like a glove and The Doctor and Rose are on their usual fine form too. Mickey, however also gets some great moments as his isolation from Rose is brought to the fore. When I first encountered Mickey, I didn’t particularly care for him but Noel Clarke has really improved as an actor.

This episode kind of tore me because as much as I love Rose and understand her desires to broaden her horizons, I sympathised a lot with Mickey. Their arguments about The Doctor coming first and not him was true and Rose got a harsh lesson when Mickey abandoned her after Margaret’s rift antics. Even Rose now thinks that Mickey deserves better.

Also in “Boom Town”

The “Previously On” bit just recapped on the Slitheen and nothing at all about Jack.

Captain Jack (re Rose/Mickey): “So sweet, how come I never get any of that?”
The Doctor: “Buy me a drink first.”

Character bits: Cathy works for the Cardiff Gazette, has a boyfriend named Jeffrey who is a civil servant and she is three months pregnant. I liked the personal stuff in this episode.

Cathy (re Mr Cleaver): “He was decapitated.”
Margaret: “It was a very icy patch.”

The Doctor (re Margaret): “She’s climbing out the window, isn’t she?”
Idris: “Yes.”

Margaret as a Slitheen has a very strange way of crying. It’s like her eyes go inwards or something. It looked cool enough.

Margaret: “This is persecution. Why can’t you just leave me alone? What have I ever done to you?”
The Doctor: “You tried to kill me and destroy the entire planet.”
Margaret: “Apart from that.”

Captain Jack (to The Doctor): “Like she’s not going to try and escape.”
Margaret: “Except I can never escape The Doctor, so where’s the danger?”

The “Bad Wolf” symbol was written in Welsh this time in Margaret’s office. The Doctor and Rose also at last decided to acknowledge it; except for The Doctor blowing it off was stupid.

The Doctor: “Would you like to come out to dinner? My treat.”
Margaret: “Dinner and bondage? Works for me.”

As a Slitheen, Margaret would’ve been boiled to death for her execution. Her real name is Blon Fotch Passameer Day Slitheen and as a female of her kind, she shoots poison darts from her nails and exhale poison. Very nifty!

Mickey (to Rose): “I can’t even go out with a stupid girl from a shop because you pick up the phone and I come running.”

Jack got called “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” and “cheesy” by Mickey and “Fly Boy” by Margaret. We didn’t learn anything new about the guy, though there was something of a nudity crisis with him.

The Doctor: “My TARDIS, the best ship in the universe.”
Margaret: “It’ll make wonderful scrap.”

The Doctor (re Mickey): “Do you want to go find him? We can wait.”
Rose: “No need. He deserves better.”

The chronology has been six moths since “Aliens Of London” and “World War Three”.

A little bit of a let down compared to the breathtaking previous two episodes (though almost anything would be); “Boom Town” is still a rather solid episode. Although I could happily do without ever seeing the Slitheen ever again, the pacing and execution of events in the hour was good.

Rating: 7 out of 10.

My Review of Doctor Who's 1x10: "The Doctor Dances"

Written by Steven Moffat
Directed by James Hawes

The Doctor (to Rose/Captain Jack): “I’m really glad that worked. Those would’ve been terrible last words.”

Amazingly it’s been a good while since I’ve heard the words “go to your room” in a parental tone and the opening sequence to part two of this brilliant adventure only got better and better. An impossible feat you might think but a fact.

Briefly escaping the clutches of the infected hospital staff and patients in Albion Hospital, we got some very nice moments with The Doctor, Rose and Captain Jack as more about our mysterious former Time Agent was unravelled.

So Captain Jack has a thing for conning other Time Agents with useless items of junk which he masquerades as valuable ships etc, gets half paid and destroys the evidence and commiserates with the latest buyer that he’s duped in parting with his cash?

Not exactly a very nice thing to do but it does seem that both the scriptwriter and the lovely John Barrowman are pretty determined to make us like Captain Jack, so much that Jack manages to teleport The Doctor and Rose safely away from The Empty People to his invisible spaceship. You know after we get some fake out moments with our trio in peril of course.

Although learning more of Captain Jack’s past makes Rose a little cautious of him, is it that big of a shock that The Doctor is a little less eager to trust him? Honestly, not within the slightest.

The con artist thing aside, Captain Jack seems to know a lot about different technologies and even The Doctor can’t help but feel suspicious and rather threatened by this and with Rose being constantly impressed by Jack. She notes how both men are rather alike and it begs the question – just how much alike are they really?

The Doctor is alien, the last of his species whereas Captain Jack is one part of his species. When The Doctor dies, he regenerates and then looks like someone else, we don’t know what happens to Jack, assuming for a second that he might not be human. The Doctor remembers all his 900 plus years of time travelling while Jack has had two years of his life and memories erased, like Sydney Bristow in Alias.

Jack also made a point of noting that The Doctor might have good reasons to not trust him and keeping with the Alias comparison, Captain Jack could’ve actually have been a bad guy or kidnapped and brainwashed by other Time Agents (or someone or something else) into committing evil acts.

I definitely want answers to this sooner rather than later, especially if he’s going to be a permanent fixture from now on. Can you tell from this review that Jack being a regular is a good thing in my books?

To recap, my reasons for liking Captain Jack are quite simple. He may be a bit of a scamp but there’s an irresistible charm to this guy’s presence. Not only was Jack’s interplay with Rose fun to watch but the dynamic between him and The Doctor is superb.

It’s kind of a platonic love/hate/mutual respect type of relationship with these two and John Barrowman and Christopher Eccleston are great to watch and The Doctor could do with another bloke to bounce off.

The Doctor is still the most knowledgeable of the bunch but I can’t wait to see our duo now become a trio. Hopefully Jack will fare out better than Adam ever did and it’s nice that this show continues to show ambition and a desire to shake up the format, although old series have featured more than one companion with The Doctor at a time.

Also if there’s another reason why Jack should stay, it’s because that even though he was a little responsible for the Nanogenes in that fake ambulance (his junk not being so useless after all) mutating all and sundry who have interacted with Jamie into Empty People/Gas Mask people, he did his best to amend the situation by containing the bomb and faced with no way of escaping, he was willing to take his death gracefully. Thankfully with much chiding from Rose, The Doctor put his suspicions aside and rescued Jack.

Even better news and nonchalantly thrown in, it also turns out that Jack is bisexual when he volunteers to distract Algy at the railway station where the bomb was hidden. Rose’s reaction to this revelation is nothing short of priceless. Can this guy get any better?

As for The Empty Child storyline, it’s revealed that all along it’s been Nancy who was responsible for his hungry pursuit of his mother. It’s not a real shock to learn that Nancy is his Mum, especially given how she left the other kids to protect them and freaked out when she was chained beside an infected soldier at the railway station.

Florence Hoath is a delight and Nancy’s final acceptance of her responsibility as Jamie’s mother by admitting it to her lost child is touching. All the time while I was watching this two part instalment, I never viewed the Empty People as villains and Nancy’s plight of being teenage single parent is a realistic issue, dealt wonderfully here through fantasy and slight metaphor.

The end result had the Nanogenes reversing their own effects and everyone restored to their human status. The Doctor acts like its Christmas and in fairness, he’s not exactly wrong with feeling that way.

The episode ends on a fantastic note as our Time Lord shows both Captain Jack and Rose inside the TARDIS that he certainly can dance.

Also in “The Doctor Dances”

Because this is part two of a two part story, the “Previously On” bit was back. They don’t use them as much as other shows are likely to, do they?

Rose (to Captain Jack): “When he’s stressed, he likes to insult species.”
The Doctor: “Rose, I’m thinking.”

Captain Jack’s weapon was a sonic blaster, who could be used as a sonic cannon or disruptor. The joke with The Doctor swapping it with a banana during an attack was a little amusing. I think he was paying Jack back for the showing off earlier on.

Rose (re Captain Jack disappearing): “Why is it always the great looking ones who always do that?”
Doctor: “I’m making an effort not to be insulted here.”

Character bits: Jack used an on-com to communicate with The Doctor and Rose, he’s from the 51st Century and his ship is a Tula one, like the one he tried to con beforehand.

Rose (to The Doctor): “You got the moves? Show me your moves!”

The Doctor: “We were talking about dancing.”
Captain Jack: “It didn’t look like talking.”
Rose: “Didn’t feel like dancing.”

The “Bad Wolf” logo appears in German on the bomb that Jack dispatched. What is the connection with these two words?

The Doctor (re Captain Jack): “He’s a 51st Century guy who’s a little more flexible when it comes to dancing.”
Rose: “How flexible?”

There were a few gay connections in this episode. Jack confessed to sleeping with two of his executioners and Nancy blackmailed Mr Lloyd into letting her loot his house because of an affair.

Nancy: “Tell me, do you think that there is anything I couldn’t believe?”
Rose: “We’re time travellers.”

The Empty Child/Jamie: “Are you my Mummy?”
Nancy: “Yes, yes I am your Mummy.”

The Doctor made a reference about Rose and a bike when she was twelve years old. Thinking of “Father’s Day”, it isn’t an accident that she’s his latest assistant.

The Doctor: “Everybody lives, Rose. Just this once!”

Captain Jack (re the TARDIS): “Much bigger on the outside.”
The Doctor: “You better be.”

Standout music: “Moonlight Serenade” and “In The Mood” by Glenn Miller. Even the latter got me in the mood for dancing.

After such a spectacular first episode, “The Doctor Dances” is not only on a par but it is actually better than “The Empty Child”. The wonderful characterisation, the heartfelt moments and restoration of the Nanogenes victims, aided by an uplifting message from The Doctor and all that dancing at the end. Fantastic!

Rating: 10 out of 10.

My Review of Doctor Who's 1x09: "The Empty Child"

Written by Steven Moffat
Directed by James Hawes

The Empty Child/Jamie: “Are you my Mummy?”

How about that, four very simple words but instantly made into an iconic sentence. The Doctor and Rose travel through time looking for a mauve coloured bomb but luckily for viewers, instead we get something much more special on offer as the TARDIS make it’s way into 1941’s London Blitz with a history lesson that no-one should forget anytime soon.

Curious to locate the bomb, The Doctor walks into a lounge bar and asks the punters about seeing anything falling from the sky recently. A simple enough question to ask except even I didn’t expect the audience of such to mistake The Doctor for a stand up act.

Meanwhile Rose is drawn to a child wearing a gas mask and calling for his mother. It’s from here on in that The Doctor and Rose are on a separate course but not to worry as both of their little adventures are interconnected and fun to watch in the process.

Rose’s attempts of locating the boy, only for her to be dangling from a rope in mid air during a German air raid for a good fifteen minutes was amusing until she lets go and gets rescued by Captain Jack. An impeccable piece of casting, John Barrowman is an absolute delight as Rose’s rescuer uses a special beam to pull her into his ship and uses Nanogenes to repair her hands. Already I find myself liking this guy.

Okay fawning aside, the mysterious and downright sexy Captain Jack isn’t shy of relaying information to Rose. Within the episode, he’s revealed to be a Time Agent and assumes that Rose is one too. In fact it also turns out that he’s directly involved in the thing that The Doctor and Rose were looking for and plans to destroy it within two hours if he isn’t given a substantial price for it.

Aside from that, watching the two of them flirting with each other is a surprising delight. Jack is definitely something of a smooth operator and wasted no time in trying to charm Rose, not that he had to try very hard. I was charmed by him too. Sorry, I am doing my best to stay focused but even I have to swoon a little bit.

As a seducer, Jack definitely hits all the right buttons. He laid out the champagne, treated us with classic music, all while him and Rose were on top of his invisible spaceship beside Big Ben, 65 years prior to the Slitheen destroying it. Rose could barely contain her attraction towards Jack, even if she wasn’t as full on about it as he was.

She was also happy to call his bluff in regards to the bomb but at the same time, she definitely enjoyed being sweet talked by him and seemingly enjoyed the modern Jack’s methods than the new fangled Doctor’s (there’s a funny ongoing joke about Spock from Star Trek here as well).

Even if everything else in this episode had failed to hit the mark, then the presence of Captain Jack certainly would’ve made up for it. However, to be fair, Captain Jack was only the tip of a very impressive iceberg here.

Having The Doctor and Rose split for much of this episode had the former receiving a phone call from the TARDIS. This should be impossible as the TARDIS is not actually connected to a phone but it still happens and when a mysterious girl named Nancy advices him not to answer, more questions pop up as a lone gas mask child terrorises The Doctor, Nancy and several children looking for it’s mother.

Every time Nancy legs it, The Doctor pursues her and she isn’t exactly forthcoming with answers. Anyways, a small child even one wearing a gas mask shouldn’t be viewed as a threat but it is as Nancy’s warning of touching the boy and turning into one of the infected gas mask people is very true.

There’s a fantastically creepy as hell atmosphere every time we encounter the lonely child but it’s virtually impossible to not sympathise with the child who is seemingly unaware of the damage he’s causing left, right and centre.

After much badgering from The Doctor, Nancy finally admits that the child is her brother who was killed in an air raid and before The Doctor should try and get the mauve bomb, he should talk to Dr Constantine. Florence Hoath who plays Nancy is wonderful in the role and you can easily see that the girl has major guilt issues of her own.

The Doctor then met with the slightly prickly Dr Constantine who informs him that Jamie has turned the entire hospital staff and patients into gas mask creatures before morphing into one himself. The Doctor almost went overboard noting the impossibility of their transformation and we got another standout guest performance, this time from Victor Meldrew’s alter ego Richard Wilson.

Our final scene in the hospital exposed Captain Jack as a con man seconds after him and The Doctor and Rose exchanged pleasantries but that was nothing compared to the fact that gas mask people are actually still alive rather than living dead. We got a clear picture of that as they began to surround The Doctor, Rose and Captain Jack while in another side of town, Nancy breaks back into the house when she fed those children earlier on in this episode and is trapped by Jamie.

If I didn’t think before that Nancy knew more than she was letting on, I certainly do now. Her scenes with both The Doctor and Jamie in the final fifteen minutes more or less confirmed this for me.

Also in “The Empty Child”

According to Jack, the mauve bomb that The Doctor and Rose were searching for wasn’t a real bomb. Then what is it?

Captain Jack (to Algy): “Sorry man, I gotta go and meet a girl but you’ve got a nice bottom to.”

This might be a dumb question to ask but from that brief interaction, does this mean that Captain Jack is possibly bisexual? I did get that impression.

The Doctor (to a cat): “I’m gonna meet somebody who gets the whole ‘don’t wander off thing’. 900 years of phone box travelling, it’s the only thing left to surprise me.”

Rose (to Captain Jack): “I’m hanging in the sky in the middle of a German air raid with a Union Jack across my chest but hey, my mobile phone is off.”

Rose was unaffected by Jack’s psychic paper. Nice to see that extends beyond The Doctor’s use of it. Also Jack said he was single and worked out while Rose, although she considers Mickey as her boyfriend is footloose and fancy free.

The Doctor (to Ernie): “What’s a copper going to do with the lot of you? Arrest you for starving?”

We got a lot of signs here. In the lounge bar there was “Hitler Will Send No Warning”, a boarded house had “We Are Still Living In This Blast” and there was “Always Carry Your Gas Masks”.

The Empty Child/Jamie: “Are you my Mummy?”
The Doctor: “No Mummies here. Just us chickens, well this chicken.”

Fashion wise – Is Jack’s World War Two gear meant to be the real deal or just for infiltration purposes? Also the last time I saw any woman wearing a Union Jack top was Sarah Michelle Gellar is an episode of Buffy back in 1999. It did quite suit Rose, if I’m being honest.

Nancy: “Do you have special powers too?”
The Doctor: “What are you trying to say?”
Nancy: “Goodnight Mister.”

The scene where Jack kept calling The Doctor “Spock” and Rose “flag girl” was very funny. Rose really threw in the Star Trek references in this episode.

Rose: “This isn’t business, this is champagne.”
Captain Jack: “I never try to discuss business with a clear head.”

Constantine made a reference about being a father and a grandfather. Is it an allusion to the First Doctor and his granddaughter/assistant Susan?

Captain Jack (to The Doctor/Rose): “I’m a con man. That’s what I do, I con people.”

The Hospital in the final scene is Albion Hospital. It’s exactly the same hospital from “Aliens Of London” and “World War Three”.

Constantine: “I suppose the plan is to blow up the hospital and blame it on a German bomb.”
The Doctor: “Probably too late.”

Standout music: “Moonlight Serenade” by Glenn Miller. It’s quite an appropriate song too for this era in time.

“The Empty Child” is an absolutely breathtaking piece of television in every way possible. The beautiful imagery of a war torn London, with superb and luscious special effects to heighten the Blitz stricken London along with some intense direction from James Hawes. Throw in Steven Moffat’s wonderful script, a thoroughly engaging plot, a nice level of terror, fantastic music, humour, guest stars and all round performances and you have one of the best moments in TV history. Roll on part two.

Rating: 10 out of 10.

My Review of Doctor Who's 1x08: "Father's Day"

Written by Paul Cornell
Directed by Joe Aherne

Within the first half of the debut season we’ve encountered plenty of monsters of the week scenarios and with the exception of “Dalek”; we haven’t really had a personal mission as such. The drawback of being a 900 year old Time Lord and having only human assistants is often being dragged into their own personal baggage and as much I love Rose, she’s no exception to the rule.

The episode opens up with a nice if rather overly sentimental narration from Rose praising her father and a flashback of Jackie telling a young Rose about Pete Tyler’s death. In the present day inside the TARDIS, Rose asks The Doctor if she can visit her father on the day he died so she can sit with him so he wouldn’t die alone. Oddly enough, The Doctor actually agrees to this request twice, opening up the predicted can of worms and our jeopardy of the week in the process.

If I had been in Rose’s predicament, watching her father about to die by a passing car, I’d want to save him too, despite whether or not it would have an effect on time. How could The Doctor not realise that Rose’s judgement would be clouded on seeing this particular event?

If I look at it from Rose’s perspective, it’s easy to see why she saved Pete’s life. He’s her father, she’s never had a relationship with the man and in her mind she was given an opportunity to reverse history and do some good, even if it’s rooted in a selfish desire.

She rationed with The Doctor that her Dad wasn’t going to start World War Three or make world peace, both being believable arguments but you knew he wasn’t going to see it like that.

The Doctor and Rose have had a few disagreements before but this was the first time in which things did get a little heated, he even took back her TARDIS key, he was that pissed off with her. Although both of them raised vital points about the other, the ensuing confrontation came across as a little silly.

As for the man in question, who Rose risked her relationship with The Doctor for, I found myself liking Pete Tyler, even more than I’ve come to like Jackie and a lot more than I liked Jackie in our 1987 trip here. Expertly played by Shaun Dingwall, Pete isn’t quite the successful businessman Rose was brought up to believe he was.

Instead he’s a bit of chancer with daft money making schemes and according to an overly permed Jackie, something of a ladies man too. In other words, the guy is the kind of geezer you’d expect on EastEnders. Normally this kind of character would make me cringe and despite some incredibly clich├ęd dialogue, Pete remained a likeable presence throughout the episode.

Watching him and Rose slowly develop a bond over the hour was intense. We had some rather naff double entendres, Rose learning that her parents weren’t shy of public rows and Jackie realising slowly who she really was. Pete is supposed to be the one who’s dense but Jackie beats him to it. Some of these scenes were quite superb but others sort of missed the mark but for the most part, things were believable and we got some neat foreshadowing for future events.

Whether it was a young Mickey clinging onto an older Rose in the church or Jackie having The Doctor look after baby Rose. I laughed at Jackie’s comments of pitying the poor girl who ends up with Mickey when he’s older or even The Doctor being trusted by Jackie. Mostly though I liked the perceptiveness of Pete and how he realised that being alive had caused the world to alter, even though The Doctor didn’t tell him that.

Now onto the drawback of the episode. As a result of Rose saving her father, all the parishioners at Stuart and Sarah’s wedding (Jackie is a bridesmaid), some ghoulish creatures appropriately titled the Reapers start attacking the place, forcing The Doctor to barricade everyone in the church.

It seems the more time is disrupted with, the stronger they get. So thanks to Pete giving our Rose herself as a baby to hold, the Reapers manage to get inside and devour The Doctor and the TARDIS. I gasped at the moment and as baddies went, the Reapers are one of the more successful ones to date. Rose went through a gamut of guilt and although it was her fault, it was easy to still sympathise with her.

The highlight of the hour though was the last five minutes, culminating in Pete’s death. The guy escaped death and although if he had lived, he might have actually bettered himself as a person, he knew he had to die for things to be right in the world. Billie Piper and Shaun Dingwall worked wonderfully in that scene together as Rose had to watch her father die again without saving him.

The episode ended as it began with another narration from Rose on her father and a new version of her flashback with Jackie before our present day Rose and The Doctor headed back into the TARDIS, seemingly patching up their differences.

Also in “Father’s Day”

Pete Tyler was born on the 15th of September 1954, making him a Virgo and dying on the 7th of November 1987. He died when he was 33. His middle name was Alan and Jackie’s full name is Jacqueline Andrea Suzette Prentice.

Rose: “It’s just an ordinary day.”
The Doctor: “The past is another country. 1987’s just the Isle of Wight.”

Pete had a lot of Trophies, were they all for bowling? Most of the products he tried to flog looked naff though, especially the Vitex.

Rose: “That car was gonna kill you.”
Pete: “Well, give me some credit, I could see it coming.”

Pete: “So that wouldn’t be a mixed signal then at all?
Rose: “Absolutely not.”

I don’t think we actually got any “Bad Wolf” indicators in this episode, even though Rose caused this week’s chaos. We didn’t see it scrolled anyway and I don’t think any of the Reaper creatures made sounds indicating “Bad Wolf” either.

Stuart: “You seem to know what’s going on.”
The Doctor: “I give that impression.”

Was The Doctor lying when he said to Rose he had no idea of what to do with the Reapers or was he hoping both Rose and Pete would figure it out for themselves?

Jackie (to Pete): “The world’s about to end and what do you do? Cling to the youngest blonde?”

Rose: “Can’t do anything right, can I?”
The Doctor: “As you ask, no. So don’t touch the baby.”

I noticed there was a looping kind of effect with the car that killed Pete several times in the episode and how cool was the idea of using the very first phone call by Alexander Graham Bell in this episode?

Pete: “Who am I, love?”
Rose: “My Daddy.”

Standout music: We got both Rick Astley and The Streets. Not really a fan of both acts but I’m sure they are plenty of viewers who enjoyed the past/present contrast though.

While Dreamwatch had given “Father’s Day” a rather scathing review, I’ll admit they were right about some stuff. Although an interesting idea, like last week things are spoiled but instead of sloppy pacing, it’s too much sentimentality worthy of a soap that detracts an overall pleasant enough outing. It’s better than “The Long Game” but it could’ve been better itself.

Rating: 6 out of 10.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

My Review of Dexter's 3x10: "Go Your Own Way"

Written by Tim Schlattmann
Directed by John Dahl

Rita: “His best friend is cheating on my best friend, and he won't tell me with who.”
Deb (to Dexter): “You have a best friend?”

Yes and as friends go, Miguel is definitely a disappointment. Friendships have never been Dexter’s strong point and with the tension between him and Miguel in the previous episode, it’s only natural that this one would see things escalate quite impressively.

Miguel is clearly a man who doesn’t like to be yanked around but he’s also more than happy to do it to Dexter. Hence, this episode spent so much time in both of them trying to usurp the other. Dexter will eventually emerge as the victor but that doesn’t stop Miguel from going far.

He was happy for Maria to put that bartender in prison for Ellen’s murder. Miguel even commented on how the guy looked guilty. The guy might have been an engaged man looking for a bit on the side bootie call with Ellen (does that quash the lesbian theories with her?) but that doesn’t make him a murderer.

Similarly Dexter saw something guilty in the bartender as well but he knew damn well that Miguel was looking for a scape goat. We can thank Quinn for denying Miguel at least one scapegoat. I guess Quinn’s kind of good when he actually does his job properly.

Maria was certainly a wreck in this episode. It’s nice to see that Ellen’s death has an effect on her. In fact, Maria’s more distraught over her friend than she was with Doakes but it also meant that she was prone to snapping at people. Even Dexter felt a bit of her anger when he was researching something for Angel and didn’t catalogue it.

However Miguel viewed Maria as another means of keeping himself out of jail and even went to seduce. Miguel has no feelings for the woman but he’s definitely aware that she has some for him. Low blow, Miguel. Of course, Sylvia might have blown things with Miguel’s other option.

In previous episodes, Sylvia’s suspected that Miguel has been cheating on her and thanks to Rita, she thinks it’s with Maria. I sort of hated Rita for this. While I don’t especially like Miguel, Rita had no evidence to back up her claims. All she did was get some vague hunches from Dexter. Next time, Rita best to think before dropping a bomb like that.

Of course this only served to widen the rift between Dexter and Miguel. Miguel actually thought that Dexter was responsible (maybe indirectly, but this was Rita’s doing) and decided to get his own revenge. Getting warrants for Dexter’s lab, an ethics investigation on Deb, Miguel certainly knows how to play dirty.

The problem for Miguel is that Dexter is way better at it. If Dexter could easily get into Miguel’s house in broad daylight and steal back evidence linking him to Ellen’s murder without dismembering staff, then shouldn’t Miguel be a lot more careful than to underestimate him? And there’s also the bloody shirt in the cleaners. Miguel really should wise up.

I guess Miguel’s team up with the Skinner was something a little late in the game for the writers. The Skinner’s still such an impersonal threat that it’s easier for Miguel to manipulate him. Also Dexter got kidnapped and tied up in the boot of a car fairly easily as well. Either the Skinner’s really good or Vince’s making sure that Opie attended his stag do.

Vince was actually in enough scenes in this episode and he’s been pretty underutilised this season. It seems weirdly appropriate that he would be the one to organise a bachelor party for Dexter, though once again we can also thank Quinn for a little input as well.

Angel on the other hand got a stronger story as well. Poor Barbara got the shit kicked out of her due to some random john and Angel got Dexter to track him. I liked that Dexter imparted some wise advice about opening certain doors. Unlike Miguel, Angel had the good sense to take heed of what Dexter said.

I was beginning to wonder if there was more to Barbara than meets the eye. I actually want Angel to be happy, so if we do get more on her, I’m hoping it’s not sinister stuff. Let Barbara be a good cop who actually loves Angel, even if his snoring is that bad. Angel, I empathise.

With Angel and Barbara being happy as a couple, Deb’s shaky attitude with Anton certainly got highlighted. It would suck if she didn’t get her shield because while she has been reckless with the Skinner case, she is for the most part a better cop than other characters on the show.

I don’t blame Anton for punching Quinn. Quinn was right to apologise over shafting him with the CI stuff but at the end of the day, Quinn’s unprofessional ethics did put Anton in harm’s way. Deb needs to make up her mind about him – either ditch him or fight for him. Either way Deb, do it quick.

Also in “Go Your Own Way”

Isn’t there a song by the same name of this episode? I think it’s one from the Cranberries.

Dexter (re catering): “It’s too much really.”
Miguel: “I won’t take no for an answer.”
Dexter: “You might have to.”

Miguel hid Ellen’s ring that he stole in his cigar box. Bet Dexter’s really glad he didn’t get a chance to teach his former friend any other tricks.

Quinn (to Deb): “You’re right, it’s your shield. If you want people talking about you, that’s your choice.”

Angel (re Barbara): “She talks about me?”
Cop: “She says you snore like a motherfucker.”

Author Jeff Lindsay made a cameo in this episode as one of the cops watching over Barbara. Maybe we’ll get Charlaine Harris in True Blood one day.

Miguel (re bartender): “Looks like a good killer to me.”
Dexter: “He’s not.”

Dexter (re Maria): “She’s ripe for the picking and Miguel knows it. He’ll use it and I’ll lose my leverage.”

Ellen was married twice, according to Maria. She did mention one of her divorces in “The Damage A Man Can Do”.

Anton (re Quinn): “I nearly died because of that prick.”
Deb: “Without that prick we never would have found you. You’re lucky if he doesn’t press charges.”

I think if I were Anton, I would sue given the ordeal of being a Skinner victim.

Masuka: “I was expecting someone …”
Tammy: “Trashy?”
Masuka: “Yeah.”
Tammy: “That’s sweet.”

Dexter: “Wow, I didn’t get it before, Miguel but you can’t be reasoned with, guilted, controlled. This whole back and forth game for leverage is pointless.”
Miguel: “That’s right. I’ll do what I want, when I want, to whomever I want. Count on it.”

Chronology: A few days since “About Last Night” and no Harry in this episode.

“Go Your Own Way” is certainly an intense episode. Dexter and Miguel’s back and forth fighting for supremacy is certainly engaging as is the final moments where Dexter found himself abducted. Only two more episodes left.

Rating: 9 out of 10.

My Review of Doctor Who's 1x07: "The Long Game"

Written by Russell T Davies
Directed by Brian Grant

If there’s one thing I’m beginning to realise about the new Doctor Who, it’s the fact that this show likes to be able to push certain social and political issues in a way that akin to the likes of Buffy (Whedon’s fun metaphorical slant) and also in a rather confrontational manner.

If last week’s stunner of an episode played with bigotry and intolerance, then this hour’s take on the cutthroat world of media, is, well rather unique.

Okay, to be honest it’s hardly State Of Play but points to Russell for showing ambition in this series, even if his fifth scripted episode out of seven episodes is easily his weakest so far to date. This isn’t a personal favourite of mine.

The Doctor, Rose and new boy Adam land on the mysterious Satellite Five in the year 200,000 in a light and breezy opening sequence which kind of indicated a less serious tone than last week. We’re soon introduced to a world where no aliens are on board and the workers in question distribute the news in how they see fit, thanks to a chip and spike upgrade in their heads.

They are literally computers so to speak but do not retain the mass amount of knowledge they package. The two workers who we meet and are only explored are Cathica and Suki, both women on the opposite side of the spectrum in the principals of Satellite Five.

For when she gets promoted to Floor 500, we soon learn that Suki is really an anarchist out to find out about Satellite Five’s real operations. No surprise then to learn that this media distributing factory is really corrupt and lead by The Editor (played nearly to perfection by Simon Pegg) and a disgusting roof creature named the Jagrafess.

Suki’s attempts of putting things right only end up with her being made into a mindless operator. Hardly the promotion of a lifetime, is it? This episode in itself is all about how destructive and beneficial certain knowledge can be but the pacing in a lot of places however is either sloppy or rather dull to be honest.

With Suki almost too quickly dispatched the focus on Cathica is thankfully a little more rewarding. At first she bored me senseless with her constant whining about not breaking protocol and her reluctance to ask questions or even be the tiniest bit curious about Satellite Five, which is uncharacteristic for a journalist.

That got emphasised during the scene with The Doctor and Rose attempting to override the codes to get up to Floor 500. It’s a bloody good job then they did a 360 with Cathica shortly afterwards.

Relegating The Doctor and Rose from The Editor and Jagrafess until the final act should’ve been advantageous to their face off but sadly the one we got on display lacked bite. Some sarcasm between The Editor and The Doctor is amusing but over too quickly and a rather simplistic argument between them about slavery, though funny confused me a bit.

For an episode that looked to be striving to be debatable, a deeper set of theories from The Doctor on freedom and choice would’ve been interesting. It also didn’t do this episode any favours by having the Jagrafess easily dispatched, turning The Editor into a wuss at the end and having Cathica saving the day instead of The Doctor and Rose.

However this episode wasn’t an entire failure as Adam’s quest for knowledge took a surprising turn. After Rose’s encouragement of phoning home, Adam ended getting the same upload as Satellite Five employees (watch out for an amusing appearance from Tamsin Gregg as a nurse) and nearly cost The Doctor and Rose their lives.

I wish I could’ve sympathised with the guy a little more but in light of the danger he caused and the experiences he’s had of his own, I think The Doctor forcing him to live a normal life back home was a fair punishment. It’s just a shame we only had him for two episodes. Even Rose didn’t put up much of an argument to get The Doctor to change his mind.

Not that Adam’s disownment is a total shocker. After all, The Doctor and Rose spent a large amount of time together in this episode without him and again the strength of their relationship was explored during scene with both Cathica and Floor 500.

Adam also went out of his way to note that even he couldn’t get in between them too. I wonder if part of his quest to be much smarter had been down to jealousy or trying to be an intellectual equal to The Doctor? I guess we won’t be finding anytime soon.

Also in “The Long Game”

Satellite Five news: 200 dead on Venus, the Face of Boe is pregnant and one of the TV stations was called “Bad Wolf”. I’m beginning to wonder that “Bad Wolf” might have something to Rose and not The Doctor as such.

The Doctor (re Adam): “He’s your boyfriend.”
Rose: “Not anymore.”

On Satellite Five you were either classed as ladies, gentlemen, multi-sex, undecided and robot.

Suki: “You’re my lucky charm.”
The Doctor: “I’ll hug anyone.”

Suki’s lies were that she was born on the 199/9/89; she was from the Independent Republic of Morocco and had joined Satellite Five for financial reasons. The truth is her is name is Eve San Julian, a self declared anarchist and last survivor of Freedom 15.

Cathica: “You’re not management, are you?”
The Doctor: “At last, she’s clever.”

Reasons for no aliens on Satellite Five were due to emigration threats and the price of space walk doubling. Cathica didn’t go into detail over the minor reasons.

Adam: “I’m going to be sick.”
Nurse: “Special offer, we installed a vomit-o-matic at the same time.”

Type 1 of the fancy headwear has a 100 credits and no scarring while Type 2 has full intro spike and 10,000 credits. Adam chose the latter.

The Editor: “I was hoping for a philosophical debate. Is that all I’m gonna get, yes?”
The Doctor: “Yes.”

How much knowledge did The Doctor give to Adam? The Editor acquired quite a lot of it, didn’t he?

Cathica (to The Editor): “Oh no you don’t. You should’ve promoted me years back.”

Adam: “But I want to come with you.”
The Doctor: “I only take the best. I’ve got Rose.”

Adam’s been away from home for six months. Did he tell his parents the truth or fob them off with a travelling story?

With such a phenomenal episode last week, I was kind of expecting “The Long Game” not to be as impressive but there was a lot of stuff that didn’t just gel with me. We got way too much plodding around the place during certain and the amount of techno babble was kind of excessive. It’s an interesting idea, deterred by disappointing execution, thereby making this the weakest episode of the season.

Rating: 5 out of 10.

My Review of Doctor Who's 1x06: "Dalek"

Written by Robert Shearman
Directed by Joe Ahearne

The Doctor: “Don’t you see? It’s all gone. Everything you were, everything you stood for.”
Dalek: “Then what should I do?”

Let’s be honest, the first five episodes which all have their merits were the warm up act of the new Doctor Who. This, however is our first water cooler episode (and with good reason) and here the pressure was quite high. After all, a whole new generation, including myself were about to get acquainted with one of the Time Lord’s greatest foes, the Daleks and this was certainly one confrontation you didn’t want to miss, whether you were a novice, a long term fan or happen to flit in between both groups.

Last seen in 1988’s “Remembrance Of The Daleks” and the 1996 TV Movie, the lone Dalek’s pain drew the TARDIS to an underground museum in Utah, the most conservative place in America, which may be ironic as the hour plays on the themes of bigotry and intolerance.

The Doctor and Rose soon find themselves as intruders to an arrogant billionaire named Henry Van Statten, the so called owner of the internet and in general, a collector of alien artefacts and other assorted material not for public consumption.

Played by Corey Johnson, Henry is something of a dislikeable presence and the fact he’s willing to torture aliens of what he has no understanding of when he isn’t labelling them (both The Doctor and the Dalek get a taste of this) and has no problem with sacrificing his staff, when he isn’t wiping their memories makes him the first proper human villain we’ve had this season (Cassandra really doesn’t count on that score).

Halfway through the episode, I wanted to punch the guy’s lights out and most of the time, I had hoped the Dalek would’ve killed Henry but sadly this didn’t happen but more on my dislike for such a wretched character later.

It seems that seventeen years off screen and falling through space and time, not only is this Dalek the only survivor of it’s kind from the Time War but it struggles with that fact, when it isn’t ridiculing The Doctor. The relationship between The Doctor and the Daleks has always been psychological as well as destructive, which has been one of the reasons why they are iconic TV villains in their own right.

Taking in the fact that I’m a slightly desensitised TV viewers and real life events aside, even I found the lone Dalek to be quite a threat in this episode. Easily the first genuine threat we’ve had as well might I add.

The Doctor’s hatred for this particular species whose only design is to kill at sight is understandable and Christopher Eccleston is given some complex material to chew on and does so effortlessly. The Dalek, when it wasn’t sucking, shooting and electrocuting all of Henry’s finest soldiers has other moments to shine. Its attempts of grappling with being the only Dalek in existence are fascinating as is the effect that Rose’s DNA is having on its mental state. It was her touch after all that made this thing a threat. Probably Rose’s dumbest moment to date touching an unknown creature but Billie Piper more than makes up for it during a surprise twist of events.

For once she and The Doctor are opposing paths as she takes the Dalek’s side, giving both her and The Doctor some fantastic reasons as to why the Dalek should live or die. With the right set of instructions, Rose alludes that there is a possibility of the Dalek not being a threat but The Doctor knows that without a conscious, the Dalek will always be a threat to humanity.

Voiced by Nicholas Briggs, we got to see the inside of the nefarious creature and even I felt a little sympathy for it. I think Rose made the right call by telling the thing to exterminate itself in a spectacular sequence. Is this the last we’ve seen of the Daleks? I seriously doubt it but how about an introduction or what?

It was great to have a confrontation that was psychological and emotional. As a viewer it’s a lot more interesting to watch than unnecessary and extreme violent endings and that kind of an ending would’ve ruined the good work in this exceptional tour de force.

For me there seems to be a lot of giving in this episode and it extended way past the Daleks. The wonderful and quite pithy Diana Goddard (think Lilah Morgan in a way), nicely dispatched of Henry by erasing his memory and as a reward, we as an audience got the rather nice Adam (Coronation Street’s Bruno Langley) as a new companion for The Doctor and Rose.

What can I say about Adam? He’s something of a boy genius but not in an overly egotistically way, he’s got a massive crush on Rose (and I spotted that even before he gave her a tour of his living quarters), wants to explore the world, has nowhere to go and thinks people who claim to have seen aliens are nuts.

Oh and The Doctor enjoys teasing him in a similar way to teasing Mickey. Does that cover everything? Either way, it’ll be interesting to see this trio tackle aliens for however long.

Also in “Dalek”

Henry’s museum contained chunks of meteorite, moon dust, an artefact from the Roswell spaceship, a Slitheen hand, a head of a Cyberman. We also saw a strange musical instruments and a variety of weapons.

Henry: “She’s quite pretty.”
Rose: “She is going to slap you if you keep calling her she.”

We got no Jackie or Mickey this week. Plus, our Bad Wolf sign was Henry’s helicopter. Who is this mysterious Bad Wolf the writers keep alluding to?

The Doctor: “Impossible.”
Dalek: “The Doctor? Exterminate, exterminate!”

Dalek: “Do you fear me?”
Rose: “No.”

The Dalek got a few nicknames in this episode including “Metaltron” by Henry, “Pepperpot” by Adam, a “Big Bin” by Rose and “Nothing” by The Doctor. Adam also got called “English” by Henry and “Pretty” by The Doctor.

Goddard (re Dalek): “But it’s killing them.”
Henry: “They’re dispensable, it’s unique.”

Adam (to Dalek): “Great big alien machine defeated by a flight of stairs.”

Adam made a sly reference to War Games when he said he hacked into the US defence system.

Adam (re fight): “I could.”
The Doctor: “What are you gonna do? Throw your A-Levels at it?”

The chronology is 2012, six years after “Aliens Of London”/“World War Three”.

The Doctor: “Why don’t you just die?”
Dalek: “You would make a good Dalek.”

Henry had his assistant sent to either Mississippi or Michigan. Diane had him sent to Seattle, San Diego or Sacramento. She made him into a homeless junkie.

The Doctor (re Dalek): “It couldn’t.”
Rose: “What about you, Doctor? What the hell are you changing into?”

Dalek: “Are you frightened Rose Tyler?”
Rose: “Yeah.”
Dalek: “So I am.”

Diana ordered the Utah museum to be cemented. This whole plot reminded me of The Initiative in Buffy Season Four.

Wow, this was incredible! “Dalek” was not only a fantastic reintroduction to a classic foe but also a rather discussion worthy episode in how both the Dalek and The Doctor touched on bigotry in their destinies. Christopher Eccleston and Billie Piper delivered their best work to date as did our guest stars this week. Unmissable on every account!

Rating: 9 out of 10.

My Review of Doctor Who's 1x05: "World War Three"

Written by Russell T Davies
Directed by Keith Boak

With something of a disjointed ending to “Aliens Of London”, I hate to admit that the very start to our concluding hour to the Slitheen wasn’t getting off to a good start itself.

The tension that lacked in the closing moments of last week didn’t seem to be making an appearance here and the first ten minutes bounced from The Doctor inflicting a bit of pain on our green skinned nemesis, fleeing from security to Rose and Harriet almost being killed.

It wasn’t the best in terms of Russell’s writing and who would’ve thought that The Doctor trapping himself, Rose and Harriet inside the Cabinet room would’ve been a sigh of relief? I didn’t but given the rather silly opening of this episode, I found it to be a blessing in disguise as The Doctor and company devised some plans.

As the Slitheen continue their quest, their real reasons for the take over and destruction of planet Earth was revealed to be less insidious that thought. It turns out that all they really want to do is to obliterate Earth so they can sell it bit by bit? Fantastic scheme that is as it does little to improve our 10 Downing Street saga.

Plot wise, this seems a little to futile and for me the straw that broke the Camel’s back. Despite some great acting by David Verrey as Joseph Green and Annette Badland as Margaret Blaine, I just couldn’t take this plot any more serious. For me the danger was lacking and I just wanted this lot exterminated (hint for next week).

Having being rescued by Mickey, I found Rose’s boyfriend and Jackie’s scenes far more interesting to watch mainly because there was better characterisation with them than with the Slitheen. In fact you could argue that it was Mickey and Jackie who did more to save the day than The Doctor, Rose or Harriet.

After killing one of the Slitheen with a vile combination of vinegar, eggs and gherkins (it seems that breaking calcium is a weakness for this lot), Jackie and Mickey were then put in the unenviable position of endangering Rose. Let’s just that both of them had tough decisions to make in order to do the right thing and prove their love for her.

Jackie got some wonderful turning points in this episode as she openly expressed more rage at The Doctor for constantly putting her daughter at risk, even if Rose made it clear that it’s her choice to be with The Doctor.

Jackie seems to be a good enough parent if a little clueless about what her daughter really wants out of life, but at least a lot of what she says and feels and how she expresses it is believable. She treats Mickey like the boy who isn’t good enough for her child, yet lets him take charge when a situation is heavy and she’s out of her depth.

This is made into an example when Mickey hacks into the royal Navy base and uses a missile from a submarine to hit Downing Street. Jackie could’ve stopped him but deep down she knew both him and The Doctor were doing the right thing. In the end she also admitted to liking The Doctor (well she did try it on with him “Rose”) and hinted that Rose felt more for him. I like The Doctor and Rose together but I’m not sure about a coupling though. Is it really necessary?

It’s Mickey however who is really the highlight of the episode and I just absolutely loved his interactions with The Doctor tonight. They were simply priceless. The constant baiting Mickey had to endure forced him to be a hero and even The Doctor respected him enough to invite him to tag along in the TARDIS. I wasn’t surprised Mickey rejected his offer though, even though he probably knows that by staying behind he may lose Rose. It was very easy to like and feel for the guy in this episode.

The explosion that wiped out the Slitheen (hopefully the lot of them) didn’t excite me. I found it to be too random and after a messy exposition I was only too glad to rid of them to really care how they ended but the final ten minutes of this episode was the best. With all the other MP’s obliterated, Harriet is now in a position of power and it was probably her idea for the whole “Alien Hoax” line the press spun in the aftermath of the Slitheen. That was a cop-out but understandable.

As for Rose and The Doctor, their bond definitely seems to be intensifying. The Doctor had a hard time telling Jackie he could always protect her. Rose on the other hand knows he can’t and has just gotten to accept it. She also trusts his instincts even if she isn’t afraid to challenge them from time to time.

Jackie and Mickey may love her but I don’t thin they’ll ever be completely okay with Rose always coming and going in and out of their lives but as the final scene indicates, they don’t a choice in the matter.

Also in “World War Three”

Why are the “Previously On” bits still silent? It’s a little weird.

The Doctor: “That’s never going to work, is it?”
Sergeant: “No.”
The Doctor: “Fair enough.”

When trying to find Harriet, the Asquith Slitheen described her as an old girl with stale perfume and brittle bones. Margaret described Rose as young and hormonal.

The Doctor: “Harriet Jones, I think I like you.”
Harriet: “I think I like you too.”

History lesson about 10 Downing Street: 2000 years ago it was a marsh land, in 1730 it was occupied by Mr Chicken and 1976 it was a Cabinet room. The security doors were installed in 1991.

Mickey: “No-one’s gonna look for you here, especially since you hate me so much.”
Jackie: “You saved my life. God, how embarrassing is that?”

The real name of the Slitheen I can’t even pronounce, let alone spell it but it’s long enough and featured quite a few f letters in it. Other disguises that they had though were as Captain James from RAF, Ewan McAlistair, the deputy security of the Scottish Embassy and Silvia Delaney, chairperson of North Sea boating club.

Margaret (re fighting the Slitheen): “What, you trapped in your box?”
The Doctor: “Yes, me.”

Rose (re strategy): “Do it.”
The Doctor: “You don’t even know what it is, you just leap?”

Although uncredited we saw Navin Chowdry in this episode as The Doctor moved Indra’s body away. He apologised, though he wasn’t responsible for the man’s death.

Jackie: “I could stop you.”
Mickey: “Do it then.”

There was a fair amount of political referencing in this episode, including a jibe made about those infamous WMD dossiers in regards to Saddam Hussein. The missile Mickey also launched was titled UGM 848.

Harriet (to the public): “Mankind stands tall. Proud and undefeated, God bless the human race.”

Harriet ran for three successful terms and is seen as an architect of Britain’s Golden Age. I wonder if we will see her again.

Jackie: “My daughter saved the world.”
Rose: “Even The Doctor helped.”

Other stuff: While away Jackie has told everyone that Rose has been an au-pair in France, Rose has a TARDIS picture on her phone and the Doctor and Rose’s next journey is the horse head nebula.

In this episode’s defence, “World War Three” was a better instalment than “Aliens Of London” but it took quite a while for things to actually pick up in it though. The destruction of London we saw here is definitely on the nose in the wake of the attacks that happened last July. However I thought some of the effects were a little dodgy and while I enjoyed this more than last week’s episode, it was still rather unsatisfying.

Rating: 7 out of 10.

My Review of Doctor Who's 1x04: "Aliens Of London"

Written by Russell T Davies
Directed by Keith Boak

After an attack of the Autons, Cassandra’s devious machinations and an inspired interaction with the Gelth and Charles Dickens in the previous episode, it was very much about time to get our first alien invasion and for The Doctor and Rose to touch base with the present day and we got both in the start of a two part adventure with very mixed results.

Touching base first, Rose and The Doctor realise that instead of being gone for twelve hours since the end of “Rose”, they’ve actually been gone for an entire year. That certainly explains why Jackie is freaked out when Rose walks into the house not a bother and later during a police interview, The Doctor finds himself at the receiving end of a slap from Jackie for his efforts to partly explain Rose’s absence.

Although still slightly annoying, Camille Coduri gives a decent enough performance as a distraught Jackie tries to get some real information on her daughter’s actual whereabouts, which Rose does her best to deflects but fails. Rose may have disappeared for an entire year but not much has seemed to have changed. Jackie aside, the only person who really went through the ringer during Rose’s departure was Mickey.

Still a bit of a plank but better than we last saw him, even I felt bad for Mickey in this episode. Not only did Rose fail to touch base with him when she returned to London (it was him who came looking for her), he also had to endure a lot of grief during his girlfriend’s disappearance such as Jackie’s anger and being a murder suspect and now that she has returned, her and Mickey don’t seem to be in a good place relationship wise.

He was gleeful when he thought The Doctor abandoned Rose and even rubbed it into her face, not a smart idea mate. Rose herself also showed resistance and hesitation when he almost begged her to stay. I think both Mickey and Rose will realise that that’s not going to happen.

She’s become akin to travelling and even if she was forced to stay, I don’t think she’d take it lying down so easily. Even The Doctor himself caused problems with them by being openly hostile with Mickey and then there’s our main storyline and a certain phone call that does Jackie more harm than good.

Our main problem this week are aliens called the Slitheen who have managed to entered 10 Downing Street by assuming the bodies of Joseph Green (acting PM), Margaret Blaine and Oliver Charles while killing the real Prime Minister. How did we know they were evil before even getting to see them in their real form? That insidious comic laughter they made with when dismissing liaison Indra Ganesh did it for me.

As aliens go the Slitheen are not the most convincing lot and while the running jokes about farting (less subtle than last week) are amusing to begin, an over reliance in them for the humour makes the comedy appear too trite for it’s own good. For diversion purposes we have an overly eager Flydale MP Harriet Jones witness the Slitheen in action while they dispatch General Asquith (he tried to relieve Joseph of PM duties).

As a set piece this is definitely the episode most (and possibly only) real moment of true menace, although Penelope Wilton’s expression at seeing these creatures in action feels a little over the top.

Like all aliens so far on the new series, the only thing the Slitheen want to do is take over the world and they’re determined enough to make sure nothing gets in the way of that. A fake crash landing which sees Big Ben destroyed and a view of the Thames looks stunning but feels rather pointless, except for the death of a fake pig alien has The Doctor and various other alien experts summoned into 10 Downing Street that has a very nasty surprise for them.

In order to keep things going the Slitheen attack from all sides. The ones disguised as General Asquith and Joseph Green do their best electrocute The Doctor and the other alien experts as they former deduces that they’ve been trapped. Rose, Harriet and Indra on the other hand face off with Margaret Blaine, which means Navin Chowdry from Teachers is another casualty for this race.

However it’s Jackie who really feels in peril as the consequences for reporting The Doctor has also made her a target for a Slitheen dressed as a policeman. Let’s just say this is one house call she won’t be forgetting in a while.

Although the final scenes try to up the terror and danger of the Slitheen, the CGI on these particular aliens looks rather dodgy and there’s not enough fear communicated by the actors that got me to think past that I’m afraid.

Also in “Aliens Of London”

Why are the “Previously On” bits silent with this show? Also some street kids wrote Bad Wolf on the TARDIS. That is significant, am I right?

The Doctor: “I am a Doctor”
Jackie: “Prove it, stitch this mate.”

The posters that were for Rose during her absence were “Missing”, “Can You Help?” and “Where Is Rose”. The only new thing we learned about the character was that she is 5’4 feet tall.

The Doctor (re being slapped by Jackie): “It hurt.”
Rose: “You are so gay.”

Rose (re spaceship): “Oh, that is just not fair.”
The Doctor: “Ha-ha.”

The Doctor is 900 years. Does that mean he was born in the 12th Century or has been travelling relentlessly for 900 years?

Harriet: “I did have an appointment for 3.15.”
Indra: “Yes and then a spaceship crashed in the middle of London. I think the schedule might be changed.”

Harriet is an MP for Flydale. We also learned that she wants cottage hospitals to be included in Centres of Excellence. I like the character.

General Asquith: “You think this is fun?”
Joseph Green: “It’s a hoot.”
Margaret Blaine: “Honestly so fun.”

We didn’t learn anything about the real Joseph or Margaret but apparently the real Oliver had a wife, a mistress and a farmer.

Rose (to Mickey, re The Doctor): “He’s not my boyfriend. He’s better than that, he’s much more important.”

Other posters in this episode included “Ello ET” and “Welcome To Our World”. We got two famous faces in this episode - the rather cute Matt Baker from Blue Peter and Andrew Marr from BBC News, which featured heavily in this episode.

Rose: “In twelve months did you see anyone else?”
Mickey: “No, mainly because everyone thought I murdered you.”

Since her departure Jackie’s been seeing someone called Billy and Mickey’s been reading up on The Doctor. He provided a useful tip in this episode too.

The Doctor: “Apart from him?”
Rose: “Oh don’t you just love that?”

The number Jackie called on The Doctor is 08081570980 and in terms of chronology, it is 2005 or 2006?

The Doctor: “Would you mind not farting while I’m trying to save the world?”
Joseph Green: “Would you rather silent but deadly?”

Standout music: David Bowie’s “Star Man”, which is one of my favourite tracks from him.

Something of a hokum start to the first of three two part episodes expected in Season One, there are some fine moments in “Aliens Of London” but most of them have to do with the domestics The Doctor is eager to avoid, rather than the alien threat itself. Next episode can only improve things.

Rating: 6 out of 10.