World War Three
Episode / June 20, 2016

Aired 23 April 2005 ‘World War Three’ is tasked with providing a satisfying resolution to the intriguing events set forth in ‘Aliens of London,’ but the results are mixed to say the least. As with the first part, this is not an episode for those looking for a dramatic and tense story, but the fluctuating tone and gaps in story logic further hinder the overall experience despite a quick pace that sufficiently covers a lot of ground. The Slitheen themselves proved to be a calculating menace in ‘Aliens of London, having arlready infiltrated top-ranking positions before staging a fake alien invasion, and here their physical menace is truly showcased. These are strong, powerful hunters that can move with surprising speed, and the danger they possess and exude contrasts nicely with the innocence that their wide-eyed and baby-like faces would otherwise imply. Unfortunately, the cumbersome physical models of the Slitheen simply don’t mesh well with the CGI effects of the blazing fast hunters, and the Scooby-Doo chase scene that ensues further minimizes their threat. One of the things that the modern series of Doctor Who has done well so far is in basing its more ludicrous concepts in realism, but that…

The Stolen Earth
Episode / June 1, 2016

Aired 28 June 2008 If Russell T Davies set out to leave fans clamouring for resolution after delivering the most shocking of cliffhangers Doctor Who has ever managed, then he succeeded masterfully. With a Dalek shooting the Doctor, leaving him in the midst of the familiar glow and burst of the modern regeneration without any sort of preview for the upcoming conclusion ‘Journey’s End,’ the entire cast and crew of Doctor Who has managed to achieve what many would normally deem impossible in the modern culture of leaks and spoilers. Nobody saw this ending coming, and though it’s unlikely that David Tennant will actually regenerate, especially with the camera panning to his hand from ‘The Christmas Invasion,’ it’s still a shocking turn of events that capped an intriguing opening instalment to the series finale. To be fair, ‘The Stolen Earth’ is not the best-scripted episode of the series. Instead, it’s a celebration of everything that Doctor Who has managed to achieve in its four years back on the air- elevating the programme from a cult following to an international phenomenon- while delving still deeper into the classic series’s mythology. It’s loud, brash, and bombastic, moving at such a breakneck speed…

The Christmas Invasion
Episode / February 7, 2016

Aired 25 December 2005 After a successful first series of the revitalised Doctor Who, the producers and the BBC executives found themselves facing the task of selling the regeneration concept, needing to deliver a strong episode that could mitigate the loss of Christopher Eccleston and reintroduce the Doctor in the form of David Tennant. As such, they boldly decided to air Tennant’s initial episode on primetime on Christmas Day, a huge show of faith to the fledgling programme. Actually, Tennant had already filmed a short clip with Billie Piper for Children in Need that filled in some of the gaps between the end of ‘Parting of the Ways’ and the beginning of ‘The Christmas Invasion.’ It is here that Rose’s initial incomprehension about and seeming rejection of the Doctor’s regeneration is dealt with more fully, and Tennant steals the show as he rushes through a thousand different emotions as his character gets used to the change while assuaging his companion and assuring her that he is still the same man. It’s actually an extremely well-written and well-performed scene, and it ends with the new Tenth Doctor deciding to take Rose home for Christmas. In concept, ‘The Christmas Invasion’ is a…