That Is Your Hair, I Take It?
Blood of the Daleks makes a pleasing appetiser – Sheridan Smith as Lucie Miller turns the tables on the Doctor by being entirely unphased by him and hiding a mysterious secret of her own. Plus a nicely underplayed Dalek conspiracy to unravel…
Oh dear. After a couple of half decent episodes, we got a really turkey (well, it was Christmas) to finish off with. Easily the worst episode since the dire Cyberwoman, rounding off a show that has frequently disappointed and rarely even compared to a Slitheen episode – just been one collosal missed opportunity.
Is That Good Or Bad?
As a palatte cleanser, Invasion of the Bane is needed after that indigestible Torchwood finale, and it’s bland an pleasant enough to do the job well. It plays like an Earth bound Pertwee era story, though with the notable absence of the Doctor, and an injection of kids. Lis Sladen is, simply, wonderful still as Sarah Jane (that’s good). K9 is stuck in a safe with a black hole (that’s bad) and there’s a computer called Mr Smith (I suppose we’d have to assume K9 built that) and Sarah Jane has a sonic lipstick (that’s er…)
Give Me Pockets!
Ah, that’s better. The one thing the spin offs lack: The Doctor. The Runaway Bride has a cracking first half, with a stunning TARDIS set piece (we’ll forgive the blue screen, as there’s just something too magnificent about high speed TARDIS chase). There’s also two beautiful scenes with the Doctor and Donna looking out on space through the open doors of the dimensionally transcendental police box. The second half is a bit flat, with writer Russell T. Davies resorting to a rather feeble plot twist. Also there are some daft gags (enterntainingly, gridman’s done the maths on draining the Thames). Still, Catherine Tate (who I’m not familiar with) puts in a good performance as the Doc’s matrimonially challenged sidekick. And I love her self delusion over the Sycorax and Cyber invasions… Tennant is on top form. Can’t wait for Season 29.
The Smoking Quill of Maestro Murray Gold
A rich desert to finish with: a broadcast of the Children in Need Doctor Who concert. Having received the Murray Gold CD just before Christmas I can confirm it’s an absolute corker. There are some classics there, such as Doomsday and The Impossible Planet but Westminster Bridge sounds even better than I remember it, the guitar reminiscent of John Barry’s spy classic themes for Dr No and The Ipcress File. The concert includes live performances of all these and more plus a suite from The Runaway Bride. It’s cracking stuff.