Episode 8 – THE IMPOSSIBLE PLANET

Last year this two parter was ranked 28th in an all time best story list for Doctor Who. While I think it’s a solid story, I just can’t fathom how it has been so highly rated. The first part is packed full of little lines where the writer is basically saying; “I don’t know how this is happening but it is, so just accept it”. Why did the TARDIS land in the base when there was no distress call and it clearly was reluctant to land there? There’s a black hole and it was just passed off as the work of a supernatural force that the base and the planet hadn’t fallen in yet. Why was the Doctor allowed to go down to the planet’s surface? There were several crew who could’ve accompanied Ida, even a few of the less important with guns could’ve gone down. Even Zach himself said that letting the Doctor go down broke several rules, so why did he just let him? And after a few minutes I think we’d all guessed that the Devil was the villain, and even for Doctor Who this was a bold move. And how was Toby managing to defy gravity when he went outside with no spacesuit on? It shouldn’t have mattered if he was being controlled by Satan or not. Having said all of that, the episode was enjoyable, I still do like it. The opening scene where the Ood surround Rose and the Doctor chanting “We must feed” before it cut to the opening titles was a fantastic and gripping start. The loss of the TARDIS added a new and interesting dynamic. Thinking of the Doctor having to settle down and get a mortgage was very amusing and I enjoyed his and Rose’s conversation about what they were going to do next. The cliffhanger was very spooky too, the brilliantly designed Ood were now looking very sinister and looked to have taken control of the base with the Doctor helpless. This is a good strong first part but I still think it’s overrated. 7/10

Episode 9 – THE SATAN PIT

Now, I was quite picky about some of the writing in the first part and as enthralling a watch as this episode is, I’m afraid some of the writing let it down again. If Satan wanted to escape he could’ve killed everybody except Toby and simply flown away in the rocket. Why didn’t he? We were told the Doctor’s fall was broken, but how? It can’t have been broken that much as his helmet completely smashed and that’s a slight continuity error as both the fourth and sixth Doctors regenerated after much less impactful falls. We were also told that the people who trapped the Devil, suspended the planet so it wouldn’t fall into the  black hole, but again how on Earth did they manage that? The Doctor also said in the first part that absolutely everything is consumed by a black hole; time, solar systems and matter. So how can the line “gravity schmavity” be used as a serious resolution to the TARDIS managing to tow the spaceship away from it. It was as if the writer Matt Jones just couldn’t think of a valid reason so thought “I know, I’ll just make up a funny sounding phrase and it’ll all be fine”. Maybe I’m being too picky but it just annoyed me and made the story feel less believable, even for Doctor Who. There were some great scenes though. The Ood chasing the crew through the tunnels was so intense and scary. Jefferson died a very dignified death in the episode’s most emotional scene. Apart from that though, this story really wasn’t for me. Satan was overpowered, yet used his powers so stupidly and couldn’t even escape. It was brave to use Satan and for me it didn’t pay off. 6/10

Episode 10 – LOVE AND MONSTERS

After being so harsh on the previous two parter, you might think I’m about to tear apart this episode. I’ve heard several people brand this story as “the worst of all time”, but it’s far from that. For thirty minutes I actually really enjoyed this story. It was something different in the show which after so many years is hard to come up with. Yes the Doctor was hardly in it, and yes it wasn’t key to the series arc but that’s no reason to hate this story. After all the Doctor was hardly in Blink and that had nothing to do with the bigger picture but it’s still one of the best episodes in recent years. Now in no way am I comparing Love and Monsters to Blink, but you can’t say one episode is brilliant and one is rubbish even though they follow similar formulas. I enjoyed watching Elton’s little video diaries, it was very interesting to see a genuine outsider try and track the Doctor. L.I.N.D.A was a quirky little fun group that I loved watching too. It’s a shame Clive was killed off in Rose because he’d definitely have been a member and it would have been nice to see him back. Now onto the Absorbaloff and admittedly this is where the episode did start to rapidly decline. Having said that, what do you really expect if you allow a monster to be designed by the winner of a Blue Peter competition? That prize should’ve been for an episode of the Sarah Jane Adventures because the villain here really did ruin the episode. He looked so stupid and his “tastes like chicken” line was hideous to listen to. The slab of Ursula that Elton claimed to have a love life with was also exceptionally disturbing. It’s not great, but this episode does get some unfair stick. 5/10

Advertisements