Episode 4 – ALIENS OF LONDON

Bad two parters are extremely rare in the modern era, especially poor opening parts. This episode was sadly one of those though. It’s extremely difficult to take the Slitheen seriously with their childish voices, immature personas and farting disorders. They belong in the Sarah Jane Adventures, aimed at a younger audience than Doctor Who. Other than the Slitheen, there were a few bits of lazy writing I picked up on. The MP Slitheen who just all of a sudden became the Prime Minister because the real PM hadn’t been seen in a few hours was far too convenient. It was definitely a good move by Russell T. Davies to introduce aliens to the human race early on in the series. It makes all stories set in the current day more achievable. However surely the Doctor would know when the first contact took place. The man knew exactly when the world ended, exactly when it began, he’s a genius. Yet he never knew this was the first time humans became aware of aliens on a huge scale? I don’t really believe that to be valid. There were some good points to the episode though, I liked the beginning where we found out Rose had in fact been away for 12 months rather than 12 hours and to see the ripples from that was interesting. There was also a very good cliffhanger where Jackie, Rose and the Doctor all seemed to be in impossible situations – definitely the best type of cliffhanger. Despite that, this was a poor episode which was ruined really by the laughable Slitheen. 4/10

Episode 5 – WORLD WAR THREE

This was a slight improvement on the first part to this story, but only slight. The Slitheen were still irritating but I won’t repeat myself. The excellent cliffhanger from last week was resolved a bit too quickly in my eyes. Especially with the Doctor just simply removing the tag that was electrocuting him and placing it on the Slitheen. And is there no CCTV in Downing Street? Did none of the guards watch on a screen that the Doctor did nothing wrong? Yes, the Doctor having to escape was key to the plot but once again it was all a bit too convenient. Having said that, the set of Downing Street was beautiful, adding to the growing list of stunning sets this series. The character of Harriet Jones developed a lot in this episode, she was important in persuading the Doctor to blow up Downing Street. I enjoyed the ongoing joke of her identifying herself to everyone and I’m glad she went on to return a couple of times in the show. The Slitheen’s motive to sell an uninhabited Earth for money continued the profit theme for the villains in the series and I suppose it was a valid one. It was also nice to see the Doctor finally warm to Mickey at the end of the episode and cover for him when Rose asked if Mickey wanted to join them in the TARDIS. Overall though, it wasn’t a very inspiring episode and it rounded off a disappointing first two parter in the modern era. 5/10

Episode 6 – DALEK

I’ve previously stated that I can’t believe Robert Shearman has never written for Doctor Who since this episode, maybe he just wants to protect his perfect record on the show. Dalek is by far the finest Dalek episode in the modern era. From start to finish it’s an intense, fast paced episode that reboots the Doctor’s most famous enemy. The scene where the Dalek is unveiled is magnificent. It looks absolutely brilliant, the new golden design suits it perfectly and it really looked awesome chained up and going a bit rusty. The exchange between the Dalek and the Doctor is brilliant and this is probably Eccleston’s finest performance as the Doctor. His rage all the way through the episode, but particularly in this scene, face to face with his worst nightmare is so good to watch. The Dalek electrocuting all of the soldiers using the sprinkler was an immense display of its evil and it’s really a shame nobody has been able to replicate such menace with the creatures since. Rose was brilliant in this episode too, she continue to help the Doctor heal from the Time War as she talked him out of murdering the Dalek at the end, a great scene for the companion who was at her peak here. Henry Van Statten is an excellent side villain who is very easy to dislike. He reminds me a lot of Torchwood and I wouldn’t be surprised if he inspired the character Yvonne from series two. Once again Murray Gold was on top form, creating a piece of music that’s stuck with the Daleks ever since, and when it’s played, it really gives them a sense of invincibility. Throughout this marathon I won’t be giving perfect tens out easily at all, but this episode is fully deserving. It’s a perfect reboot for the Daleks. 10/10


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