Episode 11 of Doctor Who was a definite change of pace. Although it opened with what seemed like it would be an action packed story, the Doctor captured the main enemy very early, and then the real episode unfolded. The main thrust of the episode was to consider what happens afterwards, and left the Doctor dealing with a big question of what to do with an alien who had potentially killed thousands, and would kill again if released, but was sentenced to death if he returned her to her own people. Ultimately the TARDIS solved the problem in a unique fashion, and the episode left us with a tantalising glimpse of the main event next week when the Daleks return in force.
Other interesting points were that the Doctor made mention of the “Bad Wolf” references, but then brushed them aside. However the appearance of a Bad Wolf website, and the next episode being called Bad Wolf tends to imply that there is something more on the way!
According to the overnight ratings, reported at Outpost Gallifrey, last nights episode of Doctor Who was the most watched programme of the day, beating even Casualty.
The BBC Web Team have been busy as usual, having now updated the Fear Factor Panel with details of the episode, and also updated the spoof Who Is Doctor Who? site with an interview with Henry VanStatten, the main human enemy last night, and even a link off to his company website, Geocomtex.
I had been told in advance that this was one of the best episodes, and it didn’t let me down. We got some more of the time war back-story, including the fact that the Time-Lords were fighting the Daleks. This leads to some big question marks over the Doctor, especially the way he reacts to the Dalek after the war. Although there is a lot of character stuff in the episode, the Dalek does escape pretty quickly for the usual round of Dalek induced chaos. As with previous Dalek episodes, this had a pretty high death count (apparently Resurrection Of The Daleks had a higher body count than The Terminator). Classic moments were the “What are you going to do, suck me to death?” when it escapes, and also the moment when after surviving a hail of machine gun fire from a squad of soilders without a scratch, the Dalek floats into the air, and shoots the sprikler control, and you suddenly realise what it is going to do! After the slightly wobbly stair climb back in Remembrance Of The Daleks which was done by brute force and metal poles, the modern CGI effects gave us several flying Dalek sequences.
The episode finishes with a view of the creature inside, and a very touching character moment as the Dalek struggles with the humanity it has recieved from Rose, (echoes of The Evil of the Daleks with the effects of the human factor) and the realisation that it is alone.
The BBC then followed the episode up with a good Doctor Who – Confidential, which included a couple of interesting stories from the filming of past Dalek stories. Apparently somebody called an ambulance and fire engine after seeing and hearing the results of one explosion during filming of Remembrance Of The Daleks – the ambulance driver got a bit of a shock when he arrived to be met by three Daleks coming out of the smoke! As was said about the special effects guys, “Thank heavens for Doctor Who, as these guys would be positively dangerous in the outside world!”
The BBC is really going for the publicity for episode 6 of Doctor Who, which has the return of a lone Dalek. I’ve seen the trailer twice already, BBC News Online have an article, and there is even an article and special cover picture on the Radio Times!
The word from those who have seen previews of the episode rate it as the best episode of the series, indeed in the SFX review, Dave Golder rates it as the best episode of all time!
The BBC Fear Forecast from their childrens panel (the response to the complaints about episode 3) rate the episode at Fear Factor 4: Chilling.
So looks like I’ll need to clear a space behind the sofa ready for Saturday night! 😮