Two episodes ago we saw the worst story to come out of Doctor Who for a long, long time. “Love & Monsters” was a truly awful pile of crap, which is a shame given that the alien in the story was pretty cool. It was created by a child who won a competition to invent a monster for Doctor Who, which he did, brilliantly. Unfortunately the scriptwriters then proceeded to massacre the concept by writing a terrible, terrible story line and allowing the untalented, unfunny Peter Kay to play the alien.
Budget and time constraints aside, I think the problem was that episode was the first to be explicitly targeted at children. This is a big mistake (as that episode showed). Children love Doctor Who because it treats them like adults without patronizing or resorting to Chuckle Brothers level humour. Both of my sons agreed that episode was a bit rubbish, and their belief and enjoyment of Doctor Who was dented as a result. Shame, really, especially after the darkly scary, wonderful Satan Pit (note to self: I love that wikipedia has episode entries for Doctor Who!).
The following episode made up for it though. “Fear Her” looked to be another awful episode from the trailer, but ended up being pretty good, and much more in the Doctor Who style. I liked it, and so did the boys.
On the last night’s corker of a storyline. Army of Ghosts was, quite simply, bloody brilliant, which is pretty impressive given that it’s really nothing more than a vehicle to introduce Torchwood, the Doctor Who meets X-Files spin-off show. I’m no fan of spin-off series at all as they usually just end up diluting their parent, and Torchwood looks likely to be no exception. I wish TV bods would realize this, and stop doing it. No Doctor Who spin off has ever succeeded. Ever.
As for the storyline itself, it revolves around the Cybermen managing to cross the dimensions from a parallel universe into ours by following a Void Ship. The trailer for this episode put the emphasis firmly on the Cybermen’s appearance and completely wrongfoot us as to the “real” villains of the show. If you’ve not seen it yet, I won’t spoil the surprise
Let’s just say that the last episode of this series promises to be explosively, incredibly good. After all this hype though, I do hope that Rose really does die rather than somehow be saved at the last moment. Billie Piper has played a terrific role and I’ll be sorry to see her leave. That said, after two series it’s probably time to move on before things do start to get stale.
Given the Doctor’s line about “being a dad once”, it’s not impossible that Rose’s mum is really Susan Foreman, the Doctor’s granddaughter, suffering from memory loss. That would mean Rose is a half-Time Lord and would explain why she survive the Eye of Harmony at the end of the last series. She might even regenerate. Shudder. But no, they wouldn’t do that, would they?