Tuesday, September 29, 2009

My Review of Doctor Who's: "Pudsey Cutaway"

Written by Russell T. Davies
Directed by Euros Lyn

The Doctor: “Go on. What do you think?”
Rose: “Who are you?”
The Doctor: “I’m The Doctor.”
Rose: “Where is he? Where’s The Doctor? What have you done to him?”

Set in between “The Parting Of The Ways” and “The Christmas Invasion”, it was generously nice of Russell T. Davies to give us a little taste of the Tenth Doctor a month before David Tennant made his presence very much felt during the 2005 festive season.

All in the aid for Children In Need, the not so imaginatively titled “Pudsey Cutaway” sees Rose not dealing with the fact that The Doctor can regenerate at all. Given that this series has been designed for newcomers in a big way, this was a nice thing to play on as it’s easy to see why Rose isn’t coping so well.

She’s travelled with The Doctor for a whole season and nearly died courtesy of the Daleks and the energy from the TARDIS. With the man bobbing up and down like an overexcited school boy, this should’ve given her a big hint about the art of regeneration. Rose naturally assumes this man has stolen her Doctor.

The thing is Rose doesn’t exactly make any strong attempts to uncover the truth. Sure she’s quick to remember various things during the first season but her fear rather than anger or curiosity is highlighted somewhat more. Also because this is only seven minutes long, halfway through Rose does realise that the man standing in front of her is the same Time Lord who just snogged her a while ago.

David Tennant is good in this. Okay so his performance in this piece isn’t on the level of Christopher Eccleston but “The Christmas Invasion” sorted that one out. Right now in his seven minute scene, he’s cute, funny, enthusiastic, mysterious and just a little dangerous to boot. It’s also worth pointing out that like his predecessor, this new Doctor is able to flit back and forth with these gamuts of emotions quite expertly.

When he’s not persuading Rose that he’s really The Doctor, he asks if she wants to go home. When Rose didn’t provide an answer quick enough he decided to go back to the Powell Estate on Christmas Eve. Again this would lead in nicely to a certain episode and while he doesn’t forget about Jack, The Doctor isn’t exactly in a mad panic to go back and save him. That’s one negative point against The Doctor.

Sometimes I wished we had seen a little bit of Jack in the second season but the dangerous part comes when The Doctor starts behaving erratically and speeds up the TARDIS. Although Rose is perfectly within her rights to freak out she should be grateful that this Doctor isn’t going to strangle her anytime soon. That would definitely add to the tension between The Doctor and Rose right now.

- Rose mentioned her experiences with Gelth, the Slitheen and Nanogenes when attempting to assert her cleverness.
- The Cloister Bell went off at the end of this scene. That will occur in future episodes of the series.
- I loved the CIN ads both David Tennant and Billie Piper did during this special scene. You can find them on YouTube if you look real hard.
- The Doctor telling Rose about their first encounter/word in “Rose” was a nice shout out.
- If The Doctor knew Jack had to rebuild the Earth, how did he think Jack was going to do it?
- This is the first anything really with David Tennant’s name in the Opening Credits. I’m so glad it was featured on the Season Two DVD because I missed its original broadcast.

Quote, Unquote

Rose: “Can you change back?”
The Doctor: “Do you want me to?”
Rose: “Yeah.”
The Doctor: “Oh.”
Rose: “Can you?”
The Doctor: “No. Do you want to leave?”
Rose: “Do you want me to leave?”

As mini-scenes go, “Pudsey Cutaway” is a lot of fun and over the next few years, it would be little things such as this that would continue to add to the joy of watching Doctor Who and even reviewing it. It was a nice way of briefly introducing David Tennant before “The Christmas Invasion”.

Rating: 8 out of 10.

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