Doctor Who

Are you my mummy?

The Doctor Who episodes The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances won the Hugo award for best dramatic presentation, short form, beating other worthy contenders including Battlestar Galactica, much to Doctor Who writer Paul Cornell’s surprise.

So how are we all enjoying the 2006 series? Overall, I’m loving it. And in keeping with my one-year-old tradition, here’s a review of the first half of it. (Matching what the ABC is up to.)

The Christmas Invasion — a fun introduction to the new Doctor. Gotta like any story which has references to Arthur Dent and in which a cup of tea saves the day.

New Earth — an okay romp in the future, but a fairly bland story, and one which doesn’t stand up at all to a second viewing, IMHO.

Tooth and Claw — ah, that’s more like it. Starting with martial arts Matrix monks, a nice exciting claustrophopic big monster chase. Torchwood reference rather rammed down the throat at the end.

School Reunion — lump in the throat stuff. Few TV shows can build such a rich pop-culture history they can draw on decades later. Nostalgia overload and Buffy’s Giles make up for the light story.

The Girl in the Fireplace — first really clever writing of 2006, a genuinely intriguing story in which the viewers (but not the Doctor) see the real answer to the mystery at the end.

Rise of the Cybermen/The Age of Steel — ooh yeah, the Cybermen are back. Terrific visuals with the zeppelins. Amusing Mickey/Ricky bits. Loved the mid-story cliffhanger.

The Idiot’s Lantern — some amusing moments. Some moments that are probably meant to be thought-provoking but which don’t quite get there. Fun nontheless. Notice how even the dog almost falls victim to the alien?

(Previous: 2005 part 1, 2005 part 2.)

Note: If you’re leaving comments and have seen the remaining episodes, be careful to leave no spoilers for other viewers.

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.

5 replies on “Are you my mummy?”

My 12 yo daughter loves Dr Who, but I must say that if I ever watch it with her, or just listening in with one ear, I am totally spooked. Your heading for today’s entry Are You My Mummy? has prompted me to make this comment, as I found that episode very scary. I guess that’s the point, but I would rather watch something like The West Wing or anything that doesn’t give me creepy flashbacks when I am least expecting them! SciFi, if that’s what Dr Who is, just doesn’t grab me, I tried to read The Hitch Hikers’ Guide to the Galaxy several times, but could never get past page 20 or so. Yet Douglas Adams was a very favourite of mine – for Last Chance to See, and of course my best favourite The Deeper Meaning etc. Have enjoyed seeing your occasional reference to ‘nice and Kentucky’ and your intelligent species of grass etc. A book I reread every few years is the Day of the Triffids, that’s my idea of Sci Fi, firmly fixed in a human reality, but out there, also Isaac Asimov. Mentioning these authors/books – maybe you will think I need to catch up with a bit more up to date stuff – Too Many Books, Too Little Time!

I think that School Reunion was possibly my most perfect hour of television ever. I really wasn’t expecting tears but when my boyhood hero sacrificed himself I really was blubbering. A bit sad I know :)

After seeing this episode I didn’t think anything could surpass it, but let’s just say (and everyone else will find this out) that I was wrong. Don’t miss a second.

The best thing about TV in Melbourne at the moment is the re-runs of Benny Hill on Channel 7 on a Saturday night.

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