Episode 10 – MIDNIGHT

I look at this episode like an upgrade on Gridlock. The atmosphere is similar, a claustrophobic setting where nobody really knows what’s happening outside. This is a more gripping and spooky episode than Gridlock though. I liked that we never found out who or what the villain was. It’s something that’s been done a few times since but not revealing the identity of the enemy was brave of RTD to try and it worked well as the mystery and fear was still there, even when the episode finished. The only thing I didn’t like about the episode were the characters. A lot of the passengers were so unlikable, and although we weren’t meant to support what they were trying to do, some of them were so unlikable, it made the episode a bit annoying. In particular Val who just stood about, moaned and made moronic statements all the way through. Especially at the end where she told the Doctor “I said it was her”, it wasn’t needed and just added even more to how annoying she was. The plot did rely a lot on the passengers’ stupidity, but it was still a chilling story. When they turned against the Doctor and were about to throw him out, it was a great moment of suspense, you really didn’t know what was going to happen. The exchanges between the passengers and Sky were great too. The progression from repeating, to speaking simultaneously and then to speaking first was a great idea and did add a lot of fear to the episode. David Tennant and Lesley Sharp (Sky) both acted out those scenes faultlessly, and they must have been exceptionally difficult lines to coordinate. Overall this is a good concept that was performed and produced well and the dark and mysterious tone that ran all the way through the episode was strong. If the cast weren’t as annoying and stupid then the episode would’ve been even better but credit to RTD for an inventive script. 8/10

Episode 11 – TURN LEFT

This is one of those stories that will probably never be attempted again because the idea is so unique. RTD again deserves an immense amount of credit for thinking up such an imaginative concept which he definitely pulled off. There were a few things that I didn’t quite understand though. What exactly was the fortune teller’s motive in making Donna turn right instead of left. I get the creature on Donna’s back fed off time energy but what was in it for the woman? And why didn’t Rose make Donna stop herself sooner than she did? She had the technology to teleport all the way through the episode so why was the situation allowed to escalate to the point it did? Yes, Donna had to see how bad things got but surely not that bad? Anyway, if you look past those two points, this is a mini modern masterpiece. Seeing Earth without the Doctor defending it is something everyone has probably thought of briefly but to actually see it on screen was magnificent. Catherine Tate gave her best performance as Donna as she combined her usual loud mouth and ability to portray helplessness absolutely perfectly. Bernard Cribbins too was brilliant as Wilf. The scene where he said “Labour camps…that’s what they called them last time” was very emotional and Cribbins acted it out beautifully. I liked how everyone else we knew of was struck off one by one. Sarah Jane, Captain Jack and Torchwood giving up their lives in situations the Doctor stopped with relative ease was a nice feature that made the story fit together even more snugly. At the end I didn’t quite get why everything had “Bad Wolf” written all over it, especially the TARDIS, but it was still a dramatic conclusion to a excellent one off episode that set up the two part finale very well. If this episode is ever attempted again, I doubt it will be executed so well, so credit to RTD and everyone who acted so well. 8/10