Tag Archives: Empty Child

The Poison Sky

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The conclusion of the current two part Doctor Who story – The Poison Sky – proved to be just as enjoyable as the first. Chief amongst the spectacular moments was the first time on screen we’ve seen Sontarans in battle – in the original series more often than not we only ever saw one or two of the creatures at any one time. This time, although the humans later fought back, initially they were totally outgunned – as Sontaran Commander Skorr is heard to say at one point, “This isn’t war, this is sport!â€?

Needless to say the Doctor defeated the attack on the Earth by using the terra-forming equipment that was mentioned only in passing in episode one to ignite the Sontaran gas that was polluting the atmosphere. However, in the end it was former Sontaran ally Rattigan who pushed the button that destroyed the Sontaran battle cruiser.

The episode was full of references to both old and new Doctor Who – it seems that now there is enough of the new series to allow writers to reference other stories, the production team are a lot less afraid to reference classic elements. For example the Brigadier is mentioned at one point (referred to as “Sir Alastairâ€?), when the Doctor bemoans the fact he has to deal with Colonel Mace and that the Brigadier would be better. Amongst the more amusing moments, when asked to put on a gas mask, the Doctor references The Empty Child when he says “Are you my mummy?â€? The other significant reference, which is definitely a blink-and-you-miss-it moment, was the brief appearance of Rose on the TARDIS view-screen – definitely something that will be explained later on in the series, and certainly related to her earlier appearance in Partners in Crime.

The conclusion of the episode was also a bit of a cliff-hanger, providing the reason that Martha, who had been saying throughout both preceding episodes that she wanted to stay on Earth, ends up travelling in the TARDIS again, as just as they are finishing their good-byes the TARDIS is gripped by an unknown force that sends it travelling across the universe. The big clue being that the jar containing the Doctor’s hand bubbling furiously, much as it has done at key moments in previous episodes. We then get a tantalising glimpse of what is to come in The Doctor’s Daughter next week.

The episode next week certainly has got the fans speculating due to the title, but the production team are being typically vague in what they have given away. We have been told that it is the Doctor’s daughter, but not much else – whether it will tie in to the only other relation that has been seen, the Doctor’s granddaughter Susan, and maybe gives an explanation as to why the Doctor and Susan were travelling together remains to be seen. Of course the other, totally deliberate piece of casting is that the part of the Doctor’s daughter herself is played by Georgia Moffett, daughter of Peter Davison who played the fifth Doctor.

I Bet Battlestar Galactica are Annoyed By This…

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You might have missed the news, but the first series of Doctor Who, which has recently been shown in the US, did rather well at the Hugo Awards.

Three stories from the series were nominated in the Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form) category in a total field of seven, including an episode of Battlestar Galactica, and Jack-Jack Attack the Pixar short that featured on the DVD of The Incredibles. The Doctor Who episodes nominated were the Steven Moffat two-parter The Empty Child and The Doctor Dances, Robert Shearman for Dalek, and Paul Cornell for Father’s Day.

Last year, Galactica won the category, and they were favourite to do it again this year. However, this year they were beaten into fourth place, with the episodes of Doctor Who taking the first, second and third places – Steven Moffat taking the prize, with Robert Shearman in second and Paul Cornell in third. Certainly a great result.

However, things get interesting when you see the voting breakdown, and certainly if I were involved with Galactica I’d feel a bit annoyed. The voting appears to operate on a single transferable vote system, with multiple votes. In the first place vote, Battlestar Galactica got the most votes in each count, right up to the final round where the Doctor Who episode sneaked ahead. The same happened with the second place vote – Battlestar Galactica again got the most votes in every round until the final round where the Doctor Who episode went ahead. In the third place vote, it happened again, with Doctor Who being behind, until in the final count it beat Battlestar Galactica by one vote. After that, Battlestar Galactica won the fourth place vote after just two rounds, getting more than 50% of the vote.

Paul Cornell went along to the ceremony to represent the Doctor Who writers, and his account of collecting the award can be seen on his blog. You can also read his pre-ceremony posting where he is “reassuringly certainâ€? that Doctor Who can’t win.

All in all it was a great showing, and an interesting counter-balance to the aborted American Doctor Who, that changed elements of the show on the basis that a purely British Doctor Who wouldn’t go down well in the US.