Tonight in the U.K., Doctor Who returned with one of the final three installments of the David Tennant/ Russell T. Davies era. Because it will be about a month before this is seen in the U.S., (On BBC America NOT SyFy) I will keep this review spoiler free. This will also make it much shorter than usual. When it airs in the U.S., I will post a more complete review.
Was it good?
Yes. Quite. And then in the last ten minutes, the episode kicks it up about ten notches.
More after the jump.
The Doctor visits the first permanent base on Mars, mid twenty first century. He meets the crew- and knows everything about them? Why? Well, he is the Doctor and he has a knack for finding doomed people. An ancient menace finds its way to the surface. The Doctor knows that this is a fixed point in time, but being the Doctor, he struggles with this knowledge until he accepts his birthright as the last Timelord.
Yeah, I know. But I really need to be vague here- anything more will spoil it.
Question: How is Tennant?
Answer: Amazing, as usual... but a bit beyond.
Question: Does he die?
Answer: Looks like he's going to die in bits and pieces. The Doctor is deconstructing himself.
Question: Is there running?
Answer: It's a Russell T. Davies script, and he knows that the end is near. OF COURSE there's running. Lots of running. Immense amounts of running. There's a reason that he refers to the length of the episode as a "running time".
Question: Knock, Knock
Answer: 'Ood's there?
Question: Is there a cute robot?
Answer: No, it's not cute. And it's not that funny. And it's really not much of a robot.
Question: Any notable name checks?
Answer: Yeah, the Ice Warriors, of all things. And there's a Dalek in flashback.
Question: Is it frightening?
Answer: No. The Dalek isn't frightening.
Question: No, I mean the episode
Answer: Though that wasn't a question, I'll answer it anyway. Yes. It was frightening, but the most chilling sequence comes from a most unexpected source. The scariest monster in the Whoniverse would be frightened of this. The Master would shake in his goatee. Really.
Question: How does it end?
Answer: How does any Doctor Who episode end? The Tardis dematerializes.
Question: Will Republicans like it?
Answer: Well, if they can deal with a throwaway line of envirobabble, yes. The Doctor deviates from his Timelord conservatism with personally disastrous results. You don't touch the third rail, and sometimes rules are there for a reason.
Overall, a good installment heading into the final two episodes of the Tennant/Davies era... featuring the return of...
oh, that would be telling.