Tag Archives: Runaway Bride

Partners in Crime

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I think perhaps it was a mistake to air the first part of the new series of Doctor Who quite so soon after the last part of Torchwood as it really marks out the differences between the two programmes. After a dire episode of Torchwood we get a great opening to the new series of Doctor Who – and Donna was nowhere near as annoying as I thought she would be either!

The plot of the first episode, Partners in Crime, revolved around a new alien called the Adipose. Through a front company they are marketing themselves as a miracle diet – except the diet pills are essentially alien eggs that absorb fat from the host species – in this case humans – and as the company adverts say, “The fat just walks awayâ€?. However, it’s not totally foolproof – if the process goes wrong, Adipose can form themselves from any biological matter in the host, reducing them to nothing.

At the beginning of the episode, both the Doctor and Donna are separately investigating the company, and through the early part of the episode you get the two characters narrowly missing seeing each other on a couple of occasions, in a sequence reminiscent of numerous comedy routines over the years. Ultimately they spot each other, just at the wrong time, when they are both outside the offices of Miss Foster, the person running the whole operation. All of those sequences work fantastically thanks to having two good actors in the form of David Tennant and Catherine Tate to pull it off.

This being a new companion, we also get to meet the family – or in this case re-meet them as her mother appeared in The Runaway Bride, and Bernard Cribbins character from Voyage of the Damned, Wilfred Mott, is Donna’s grandfather. In amongst the action and comedy moments, Donna and her grandfather share a touching moment where Donna confides in him what she is looking for – something she cannot tell her mother.

The story is interesting in that it could be argued that there isn’t really a ‘baddie’. The cute little Adipose are quite happily breeding, and in fact are a benefit to their hosts in that they are consuming something the humans want to get rid of – the point where one host totally decomposes is actually caused by Donna herself, who by fiddling with one of the pendants that the Adipose use to mark the hosts that she has stolen, interferes with the breeding process. Indeed the final mass birth is only triggered because the Adipose have been discovered by the Doctor the implication is that had they not been discovered, things would have carried on and nobody would have noticed. This is definitely one of those episodes where you wonder whether the interference of the Doctor was actually for the best. An ethical question to ponder no doubt.

After watching the Adipose leave, Donna and the Doctor head for the TARDIS – stopping only to pick up her suitcases from her car, Donna being one of the few companions to have packed in advance for her trip with the Doctor. At this point, Donna has to get her car keys back to her mother which she does by hiding them, and then giving a cryptic message to a woman waiting in the crowd. Now if you’ve managed to miss the pre-publicity for the series, when the woman turns around it will be a total curve ball, as the woman is none other than Rose Tyler – even more perplexing as she walks away she seems to fade into nothing. No explanations on that, but I’m sure all will become clear in a few weeks time…

All in all it was a great episode with which to kick off the new season, a good crowd pleasing story with a nice mix of comedy and action, and one Rose Tyler shaped mystery to tantalise for the weeks ahead.

The Runaway Bride

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So after all the building excitement, we’ve had The Runaway Bride, this years Doctor Who Christmas Special.

The episode was a definite fast action romp, with the previously leaked chase sequence turning up pretty early on, as Donna, the bride in question takes a taxi in order to try and get back to her wedding, which from the pre-credit sequence, she mysteriously vanished from as she was walking down the aisle.

The question of how she transferred across billions of miles of space from her wedding into the TARDIS was explained as being due to her being saturated in Huon particles, a small amount of which are present in the heart of the TARDIS itself. Presumably the large amounts of power that the Doctor had been using to make his last communication with Rose resulting in the long distance attraction of the particles in Donna bringing her to the TARDIS. The Doctor uses the same effect later in the episode to bring the TARDIS to Donna.

It transpires that Donna has been inadvertently working at a company that was formerly part of Torchwood, but following the destruction of the London Torchwood at the end of Doomsday, the company is now being used as a front for the Racnoss, the last of whom is using the resources of the company to try and revive members of her race who had been hidden millions of years ago in the core of the Earth. The aforementioned Huon particles being used to reactivate them, but needing to be in a large enough concentration, Donna has been used as a human container, with the particles being gradually built up over the previous six months. The wedding is also part of the plan, as the Racnoss human agent had agreed to marry Donna in order to allow him to continue the plan.

Needless to say the Doctor foils the plan and saves the Earth, and the episode finishes with the Doctor asking, and Donna refusing to go with him. Instead, the Doctor uses the TARDIS to produce a snow shower (which probably explains the unseasonal London snow fall in Eastenders I guess) and then departs.

All in all it was a quite entertaining hour for Christmas Day. Donna was definitely different from Rose, and unlike last Christmas where Tennant spent the majority of the episode incapacitated, this time around it was definitely him who was the star of the show. The episode carried on at a breakneck speed, with some spectacular sequences. The TARDIS chase was definitely one of the highlights – and definitely something they couldn’t have done before the advent of CGI. Having said that, the spectacular Racnoss – a giant spider, wasn’t produced in the same way – this was apparently actually built.

The story was dated as present day, dropping it in as a further part of the latest continuity/dating hiccup that I expect will rival the UNIT dating controversy from the seventies for confusion. In much the same way, Rose was dated present day, and then subsequent return visits to Earth were said to be months in the future, particularly Aliens of London which is twelve months later. This pushes the events of both The Christmas Invasion and Doomsday into the future, making both the present day dating of Runaway Bride and the main Torchwood series somewhat problematic.

Anyway, as with last year, the episode was followed by a preview of the upcoming series, with flashes of Martha Jones the new companion, some nice shots of the Globe Theatre from the upcoming Shakespeare episode amongst other things. However, at the end of the trailer we also get confirmation of the return of the Daleks, in a story that is set in Manhattan in the 1930’s. Certainly much to look forward to.