11 April 2009

Doctor Who Planet of the Dead Review

I just finished watching the Doctor Who Easter Special: Planet of the Dead (don't ask how either..)and I must say it was a good episode. This is the first of four serials that are making up this season (or series) for 2009. It was written by Russell T. Davies and Gareth Roberts. This episode placed The Doctor (David Tennant) on a double-decker bus with a suspected(well, actually she did just steal something) thief named Lady Christina De Souza (Michelle Ryan, Bionic Woman, EastEnders). As they are driving through a tunnel in London, the bus gets sucked through a wormhole and ends up on what is assumed to be a desert planet. Little do the passengers know, the desert was actually remains of a once booming and heavily populated civilization...A level one psychic and her husband are also on the bus along with an assorted band of passengers. The psychic hears the cries of the dead and warns everyone what she hears. Everyone gets spooked, but The Doctor makes a promise to get them all back home alive! ALLONZY!!
The Doctor uses his sonic screwdriver (oh I sooo want one!!)to hot wire a cellphone(remember he did that with Rose, Martha and Donna's phones) and calls...UNIT! *looks around for the Brigadier*
UNIT stands ready to defend London from a possible alien terrorist attack(and mind you, these aliens are fierce and nasty looking). The Doctor and Lady Christina encounter two beings that resemble adult flies who came to the planet to eat the inhabitants dung and come face to face with one of the beings making that awful buzzing sound. They race back to the bus to hurry up and get the hell out of dodge, so to speak! A quirky scientist named Malcolm (Lee Evans) who I think is The Doctor's biggest fan, helps get them out of what could have ended up a nasty situation by finding out how to close the ever-expanding wormhole. The crisis is averted, the passengers make it alive, sans one, and humanity is saved by The Doctor, Malcolm and UNIT. But there are some parting words for our orphan Time Lord from the psychic.."The song is nearly over; it is returning from the darkness and he will knock four times.." (he was told something similar by the Ood in Planet of the Ood and the four times might be in reference to The Master returning...)The psychic woman tells him this as he stands in front of the TARDIS. At that moment, my eyes well up a bit because I know that this is heading towards the end of Ten's run in this form. He also does a neat thing with the sonic screwdriver setting Lady Christina free and she flies away..Literally!

Overall, I liked the episode, mainly because of how David brings aspects of the past doctors and combines them into Ten. It is the same formula that has worked for the series for the past five years and hopefully with the addition of Eleven (Matt Smith) and new executive producer/head writer Steven Moffat (Blink, The Girl in the Fireplace, Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead), the series will continue to go strong. David Tennant was brilliant as usual as The Doctor and Michelle Ryan's character was clever and quick-witted. She reminded me of Time Lady Romana I, who was played in the classic series by Mary Tamm (i miss her!!). I am sad to see David leave *cries* for I know Matt Smith has some huge shoes to fill. I give this episode 3 1/2 stars on my own scale. The next special is titled "The Waters of Mars" which will air later this year.

(images courtesy of The DoctorWhoSite)

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