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Doctor Who Series Marathon: Series 2

So Series 1 ended with the blargh Parting of the Ways, and the Doctor changed into…

scarecrow

DAVID TENNANT!

Oh whoops, I’ve gone a bit ahead of myself, that image is from Series 3. But anyway, Series 2…

-1) The Christmas Invasion

DAVID TENNANT!

The second Christmas special (the first being the lost episode The Feast of Steven in 1966), this brought David Tennant (!) into the TARDIS with style. Great writing, action and scope although the Christmas aspect was pushed a bit TOO much. Apart from that, it is a great episode.

9/10- Bit too Christmassy, but a great introduction to David Tennant (!)

1) New Earth

new earth

One thing to praise right away: this was the first Doctor Who episode I saw. But looking back, it doesn’t really work. Like Aliens of London, it has serious themes but has silly comedic moments and weird ideas.

5/10- Ideas are great but stupid moments.

2) Tooth and Claw

werewolf

The first Who episode to scare me, this episode is fast, funny and action packed. While the supporting cast is dull, it has a fast pace, a simple plot and is able to set up the recurring series themes effortlessly.

8/10- Very good fun, with a dull cast.

3) School Reunion

school reunion

Wow. A great nostalgia ride for fans of 70’s Doctor Who, it does a great job reintroducing Sarah Jane and K9. With great direction, incredible writing and an interesting plot, School Reunion is the highlight of the series.

10/10- The first 10/10 of the Tennant (!) era, this is a fantastic Top 20 story.

4) The Girl in the Fireplace

the girl in the fireplace

THIS IS WHAT THE GIRL WHO WAITED SHOULD HAVE BEEN! Sorry, getting ahead of myself. A great emotional episode, it has great characters, genuine emotions and an awesome threat. Rose and Micky however, are seriously underused.

9/10- Companions are nonexistent, but everything else is great.

5/6- Rise of the Cybermen/ The Age of Steel

cybermen

=(. OK, I’ll be serious. The Cybermen are a great villain, but here all they do is stomp around the place. The writers changed everything about them, putting them on a parallel world instead on another planet like the classic series. The plot has lots of holes in logic and the ending… WHAT?! DEFEATED BY EMOTION!?!?!

3/10- Everything looks great like the zeppelins in the sky, but this really is a weak reintroduction to the Cybermen.

7) The Idiot’s Lantern

face suck

This is why you shouldn’t watch too much television. Joking aside, this episode is pretty good, with a few bits of cheesiness but with some great humor and a chilling villain.

7/10- Some silly moments, but overall a lot of fun.

8/9- The Impossible Planet/The Satan Pit

the beast

=O!!! Wow, this story is intense! One of the highlights of Series 2, this story is a complete tonal change from the previous one: dark, gritty and full of great moments. It has an interesting plotline and a fantastic climax.

10/10- A dark, mature sci-fi thriller and is a fantastic piece of television.

10) Love & Monsters

abzorbaloff

Alright, this really isn’t that bad. I’m not saying it’s great or even good, and there are many moments of blargh, but ignore the Abzorbaloff and you get an interesting story from the perspective of an ordinary person.

5/10- Very silly, but interesting and very experimental.

11) Fear Her

fear her

Once again, this ain’t that bad. In fact, I would call it good. It has great ideas, a great setting and a sense of foreboding. However, it does have structure problems.

7/10- Weird pacing and structure problems, but fun overall.

12/13) Army of Ghosts/Doomsday (blargh)

blargh 1.2

Blargh. Again. Once again, it’s the final episode that’s the problem. The Cybermen are pointless; they were just there to get shot at by the Daleks. It also has no plot, no emotions, no structure and is just two enemies shooting at each other. Oh, and the Doctor falling in love with Rose just doesn’t work; he’s an alien. The beach scene, while well acted, is just over written. It isn’t as flawed as Parting of the Blargh, but it’s just SO empty.

4/10- Mildly entertaining, but once again is over the top.

Final Series score- 7/10- A slight step down from Series 1, this series mainly works due to stories like School Reunion and The Satan Pit. However, watching it as a marathon will leave everything disjointed as the most important stories are really weak.

OK, now we’re onto Series Three. Here comes the good stuff…

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About Ben Williams

I'm 16 years old. I like animals, lasagne, comic books, films, role-playing games and Doctor Who. I write cool stuff - Doctor Who, science fiction, film reviews, and quirks about Britain. I have a blue-tongued skink called Georgy and a cat called Billy.

2 responses »

  1. So with you on most of these. I rewatched Love & Monsters and Fireplace recently and my estimation of them went up – seriously increased. I loved the drama of Fireplace, the writing superb. The comment about the fast and slow track and how their lives intertwined – and I love Tennant’s expression when he announces he snogged Madam du Pompadour. That part just cracks me up every time. He’s such a little kid sometimes, and when he goes there, he’s magic.

    Love & Monsters featured an actor I’d love to see more of. I loved Marc Warren in Terry Pratchet’s Hogfather. What a brilliant actor who plays such fun quirky characters. I was delighted at his job in this and it cracked me up, a very different Doctor Who episode. Blink is much the same way, telling the story of The Doctor from those whose life he impacts. Love that style once in a while so I would give this higher marks, though the Abzorbaloff – sigh. Sad thing. Get the point but it’s just awful in the world of great monsters.

    Army of Ghosts, I’m with you. Again, I thought I was the only one. I have no problem with The Doctor falling in love with Rose. Cross-culture, cross-sex, cross-race love is part of the human condition, loving in spite of surface details. Why not across species?

    Actually, the magic of the Spock character in Star Trek was that he was torn between his two cross-species breeding, Human and Vulcan, both sides in conflict with each other. Nimoy played it so beautifully, he created the entire species for us and made them real, a highly emotional race at war with its self, thus to survive it had to learn how to suppress their animal selves to become “emotion-less,” beautifully portrayed by many actors since the Original Series.

    A Doctor/X species mix is done in The Doctor’s Daughter, though it isn’t really species crossing as cloning, and the mix that went into River Song as human with Time Lord Head…I’d love to see a child and how The Doctor would handle it, but I think it would be tough, probably a spin-off, and a bit boring. Come on, raising kids is a mix of fun, excitement, and a lot of boredom in between. Not sure it would make good TV. Hee hee

    It has been fun talking these things out with you. Thanks for letting me share my thoughts.

    Reply
    • The main problem with that love thing is that it was completely out of character. Thought the classic series the Doctor never showed any romantic interest towards his companions. It also goes against the point that the Doctor made in School Reunion; that he doesn’t want to see his companions get old.

      The most I’ve seen of Star Trek is the new movie, but my dad is thinking of showing me some of the older movies.

      That bit in Girl in the Fireplace makes me laugh, as that is a prime example of what the Doctor is.

      Reply

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