Doctor Who Review | Series 2

Hey guys! We’re well into this now, so why not carry on? Here’s my thoughts on series 2 of Doctor Who!

New Earth

New Earth is a good starting point for series 2. It involves time-travel to the future after The End of the World, and serves to feature more prophetic stuff from the Face of Boe, who is apparently dying, but more on that later!

The episode has amazing prosthesis, even this early on, in the form of the Sisters of Plenitude, which are Catkind nuns that want to help the sick, but have created a new species of human clones with every known disease. Cassandra makes a great comeback as well! And yes, I know it’s Cassandra doing it, but it does set a precedent when she kisses the Doctor, although it’s hilarious when he’s like ‘Yep…still got it!’ in a daze.

This episode serves as a sequel to The End of the World, and is sequelled next series.

Tooth and Claw

Tooth and Claw is a pretty cool episode, that while I’m not a huge fan of the werewolf aspect, it is really important to set up Torchwood’s origins, as that becomes important later. The monks are hella strange though.

I mean, it’s just werewolves and Scottish accents, innit? The irony of David Tennant playing an Englishman pretending to be a Scotsman always makes me laugh though.

Eh, I wasn’t exactly amused, until Queen Victoria said that she was not amused.

School Reunion

Just like last series’s Dalek episode, this is also a great nostalgia-bait, as we see the return of Sarah Jane Smith, as well as K9, the robot dog that was featured in older stories. We also see the whole subtle inside joke of chips coming full circle, and this makes me crave chips on a whole new level. Of course, Sarah Jane is offended by the idea of her being seamlessly replaced, and the Doctor not giving her a second thought, while Rose is being, well…Rose, and taking digs at the whole situation. I mean, I suppose it’s been the elephant in the room, and it really puts into perspective the longevity of the Doctor’s companions.

It’s always a pleasure seeing Anthony Head on the screen though, and this episode makes me want to rewatch Buffy. It’s a fun little episode, not to be taken entirely seriously. It also creates the opportunity for Sarah Jane Smith having her own CBBC series later on in The Sarah Jane Adventures. I have a lot to say about this episode, clearly, but it’s a great episode nonetheless.

Except when Rose is having a meltdown about her precious Doctor having previous companions, and that dirty look she gave when Mickey got to travel in the TARDIS oh boy.

The Girl in the Fireplace

“I’m the Doctor. And I just snogged madam de Pompadour!” Why does this line always send me? Same as the drunken act. There are so many iconic lines in this episode that make it very fun to watch, even if you don’t like the fancy-pants French stuff. He ends up finding a horse who he names Arthur, and tells Rose that she’s allowed to keep Mickey as her pet. Note to self: always take a banana to a party.

The ending is really sad though, but I suppose it was inevitable. Overall it’s one of my favourite episodes for dialogue and tension-breaking humour alone.

The best thing is that they literally covered the answer to the riddle with the TARDIS, and that it’s literally a ship named for Reinette.

Rise of the Cybermen / The Age of Steel

This is just what we like to see, a parallel world scenario. Like that hasn’t been done to death. Notice that’s dripping in sarcasm. However, I like the way that this episode is going. Instead of being curious, the Doctor is overly-cautious, and rightly so. It’s clear just how easily swayed Rose is to anything that concerns her dad, even if he isn’t her dad. I’m pretty sure Rose the dog is less needy than Rose herself. And that says a lot, because if you know dogs…

Hey, at least we get the Cybermen, right? Like we couldn’t see that one coming, y’know…with the title…

Alas, Mickey knows where his place is in Rose’s life (non-existent, despite her crying to keep him around) and stays in the alternate Earth to carry on Ricky’s work and to look after his grandmother. I find it funny that Mickey was called “Ricky” by the Ninth Doctor, yet here’s a parallel Mickey called “Ricky”.

Oh I didn’t realise that it was Roger Lloyd Pack who played Lumic, and also played Owen in The Vicar of Dibley and Barty Crouch in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, I wondered why I thought he was familiar, I’d started rewatching the former on Netflix! Lumic’s insane as heck!

It’s a great reintroduction to the Cybermen, and this was actually aired 40 years after the debut of the Cybermen, which also links in to Jackie Tyler turning 40- I mean 39!

The Idiot’s Lantern

When I was a bit younger, I enjoyed this episode. It was probably something to do with the setting (London in 1953), but oh boy, there are elements that make me cringe now. The Wire, the antagonist of the story, is just so cringeworthy with her “feeeeed meeeeee” dialogue, which reminds me too much of Little Shop of Horrors. Looking at the characters with fresh eyes after trauma, Eddie Connolly rubs me hugely the wrong way, concerned more about his authority and appearances. I’m just glad he got put in his place at the end of the story, with his son Tommy helping the Doctor. Narcissism isn’t cute.

The faceless people, as a result of The Wire, are just creepy as hell, especially when Rose becomes one of them after doing some investigating.

I just wanna have a street party though…

The Impossible Planet / The Satan Pit

This is the first attempt at a simplistic format, and it works. The format is basically that the Doctor and a companion of some kind is stuck on a space station, and there’s something coming for them. And that is literally the Devil itself.

Both the Doctor and Rose laugh at the idea of leaving after landing, which we can definitely feel. But hey, the TARDIS lets lost to the planet, and the normally-docile Ood start on a rampage thanks to the Beast.

Everyone hails this as the best set of episodes in this series, at the very least, and I find it hard to disagree with them. It’s some scary stuff, and it sets up an ominous premonition for Rose’s fate later on.

Love and Monsters

I’ve already reviewed this episode last year, and I didn’t want to review it again for the sake of this piece, so here’s the review that I did, alongside a possible rewrite that I came up with that could have been better for the episode.

Fear Her

This is the episode that everyone thinks is the worst, but actually isn’t (in my opinion) – I actually did a Twitter poll for this. Fear Her is this kind of episode that is terrible anyway. The main focus is on the Isolus, an alien with a huge family (we’re talking billions), which crashed onto Earth and found Chloe Webber. That’s when children start to go missing through drawings, in an attempt to rebuild its family. However, I just wasn’t sold on the child acting. It just came off as too wooden with little flexibility, especially when the Isolus was talking through her. It just took me out.

The biggest takeaway from this is its discussion of child abuse and its impact, via Chloe’s father who passed away and has now gained new life as a demonic drawing in her closet. You want monsters in your closet…I’m still disappointed that David Tennant didn’t carry the actual Olympic torch for us in 2012, that was a missed opportunity there. What about that “caaancil” worker though?

All in all, this feels like The Idiot’s Lantern but worse, mixed in with The Impossible Planet two-parter in terms of a demonic final enemy.

I will always be Rose Tyler approaching and petting cats and complimenting them.

Army of Ghosts / Doomsday

“This is how I died. Sike!” Is what they planned, because hey, Rose’s death is upon us! Bringing the Daleks and Cybermen together was pretty fun, and clock the one Cyberman that falls off the balcony. This whole scene is just supremely good, and it’s probably the highlight of the entire two-parter. Or maybe just this parody instead

I love how this wraps up the Torchwood story-arc, in a way that they ended up being the cause of the fuckery that’s going on in these episodes. Good work, Torchwood…

Other than that, there’s the casual hopping to and from the parallel world, allowing Pete to ‘reunite’ with Jackie, leading to tears and a bit of humour. Why is Jackie Tyler so funny?

Of course, it’s sad that Rose leaves, but I feel more sorry for Mickey, as Rose confesses her love to the Doctor as he was right there, before he disappears with a “Rose Tyler” that has become somewhat of a meme. I cried when I first watched it, and a few times before, but I’ve become desensitised because I see just how problematic Rose really was in terms of her attitude. And the romantic jealousy only gets worse next series, but that’s for next time.

The Runaway Bride

We get our first glimpse of Catherine Tate as Donna Noble, and she’s brilliant! I really don’t know why people dislike her, because she gives me the no-nonsense attitude that we need, as well as a non-romantic companion (even though she isn’t one right now). But imagine getting teleported to the TARDIS on your wedding day? Could not be me!

I really don’t like how they re-used the killer Santas though, it feels like it lost the element of fear for that one. But the Racnoss Empress was really interesting, if not distracting by what sounded like constantly sucking back saliva.

Donna gives me serotonin, nuff said.

Next time, we’re looking at series 3 (because that’s kinda how it goes, doesn’t make any sense if it’s all in the wrong order).

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