“The Beast and His Armies Shall Rise From the Pit to Make War Against God

“Would you like sauce with that?”

Oh, yes! A few posts ago I was keeping track of who was doing better out of Eccleston vs. Tennant, in view of the very similar structure of Seasons 27 and 28. They’ve mixed it up a bit since then, but as with last year, as the show hits its stride I just feel it’s getting better and better.

I know I shouldn’t do this in the middle of a two parter. It’s like saying “there’s no going back” or “this will be the best Christmas Walford ever had”, but I’m too excited. I just want to find a human and hug it, like the Doctor does. And in the mean time, even though they’re not showing them in the same order as last season, let’s look at how David Tennant is fitting in to the new Doctor Who season template. Previously we had Introducing the New Doctor, This is the Future, Victorian Wales/Scotland and Back to the Present. It was an even 2 all, so there’s everything to play for.

Even though they’ve mixed it up, I’m going to continue to try and pair up the episodes from the two seasons… and following the order they showed these in season 27, the next story would be The Old Enemy Audio Play Remake then Space Station Crew Against Mysterious Controlling Enemy. then…. well, I’m not sure we’ve had an equivalent to “Father’s Day” so we’ll skip straight to Mid 20th Century Faceless Menace.

Round Five: The Old Enemy Audio Play Remake

Dalek vs. Rise of the Cybermen/The Age of Steel

Both of these stories were based on Big Finish audio adventures, the season 27 story is based on Jubilee and the season 28 story, more loosely, on Spare Parts. Although I found aspects of the season 27 story pretty poorly written (Van Statten is too cartoonish a villain to be scary, and the Dalek “dowloading the internet” in that time…I’m sorry, I may be a nerd, but there couldn’t be the bandwidth to make tha possible, even allowing that the Dalek had a large enough hard drive) I’m still going to plump for Dalek. The Cybermen story had Zepplins and Battersea Power Station, it’s true, but several points deducted for the whole “parallel world” thing, and the Deus Ex Machina cliffhanger resolution. Meanwhile, I loved the skeletal Dalek zapping effect, the melting Matrix bullets, and the Millenium Stadium setting, and both Chris and Billie turned in pretty decent performances.

Result: 3-2 to the Ninth Doctor

Round Six: Space Station Crew Against Mysterious Controlling Enemy

The Long Game vs. The Impossible Planet/The Satan Pit

Well, this is the one I shouldn’t call yet. The Doctor and Rose land on a human run space base where “something is wrong” and an unknown force is at work. Tonight’s episode was sooooo good, and even though the tastiest member of the ever so tasty human crew has already been wiped out it’s still shaping up to be an utter classic. The Satan Pit will have to be a real stinker to counter this one, with its heart pouding plotting and yummy, yummy visuals…

Result: Bah, I’m not going to let myself call it. Check back next week.

Round Seven: Mid 20th Century Faceless Menace

The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances vs. The Idiot’s Lantern

I enjoyed The Idiot’s Lantern, it was a good, solid, episode and it had Alexandra Palace in it. The Doctor Dances, however, is simply the best episode of Doctor Who ever, a superb piece of television with is bizaar mix of period WW2 and nano technology expertly fused by the incredible genius of Steven Moffat. A bisexual time agent flirting with the Doctor in London during the blitz whilst the human race faces extinction… ah, fantastic.

Result: Eccleston 4, Tennant 2, one constituency still to declare.

I’d have to admit it’s not looking so good for Tennant, despite the fact he’s my candidate. But I’ve a strong feeling we’re on to a winner with the current two parter, and I haven’t found a season 27 episode to pair up with the peerless The Girl in the Firelplace, the knockout season 28 episode that could equalise but yet may end up as the spare (since the Christmas special counts as part of season 28 it actually has one more story). So don’t count the new boy out yet. I’m still expecting this series of Doctor Who to be the best ever…

“And how can man die better

Than facing fearful odds,

For the ashes of his fathers,

And the temples of his Gods?”

(For Scooti)

About Simon Wood

Lecturer in medical education, lapsed mathematician, Doctor Who fan and garden railway builder. See simonwood.info for more...

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