For the first time since the new series came on, we’ve had references that in no way advance the plot or could possibly mean anything the viewers unfamiliar with the old series. I love them.
The curse of the first two parter also seems to have been broken. Perhaps its time for a return to the old new Who contest…
Round one: The New Person
Rose vs. The Christmas Invasion vs. Smith and Jones vs. Partners In Crime
Result: I particularly enjoyed The Christmas Invasion though all of these are stories I like. One point to series 2.
Round two: This is the Future
The End of the World vs. New Earth vs. Gridlock vs. Planet of the Ood
Result: I adored Planet of the Ood and The End of the World, but Gridlock is a truely outstanding episode. Indeed, the only one here that I don’t care for is New Earth. That’s one point to series 3.
Round three: Earth History
The Unquiet Dead vs. Tooth and Claw vs. The Shakespeare Code vs. The Fires of Pompeii
Result: Pompeii was weak, the other stories are good, but only the Unquiet Dead really stands out. One point to series 1.
Round four: The First Two-Parter
Aliens of London/World War Three vs. Rise of the Cybermen/The Age Of Steel vs. Daleks in Manhatten/Evolution of the Daleks vs. The Stonaren Statagem/Poison Sky
Result: The first double of the new series was the first real let-down. With series two it became clear that this double was going to suck, and series three confirmed it. Perhaps I’ve been brainwashed to have low expectations, but I loved the first double of series four. I’m not a Sontaran fan (I prefer stories with the Rutans, me) and the story was full of holes but all the same I loved it. Kudos to Helen Raynor (author of the previous’ series Dalek dud) for writing an all out brilliant double. Bernard Cribbins and Catherine Tate are great. The curse is broken. One point to series 4.
So, there we have it. One all, to each series, and all to play for…