Do you like that explanation point I put in the titles? I like to think it makes these reviews of three-week-old stories seem really exciting..
0:12 - Although I dislike recaps in general, I have to say that I have a Tennant-for-shops style love of the reeeeally goofy new bits of music that Murray Gold puts underneath them for some reason. Remember the recap at the beginning of Aliens of London where it was just Murray going insane on a xylophone coupled with a shot of Mickey trying to breakdance in front of Rose? I mean, it pissed me off at the time, but surely that should win some award for the most ridiculous way to begin an episode of Doctor Who.
Second on the list would probably be Martha, supposedly making a phonecall, looking at the camera and saying "Doctor, I'm bringing you back to Earth!" while grinning slightly creepily while trombones go apoplectic somewhere in her vicintiy. (Ooh er!) So who directed this? As usual I didn't check, but I like to believe it was the same bloke who did R. Kelly's "Real Talk" clip because of the similar exercises of 'on the phone' acting used in both.
0:23 - ...didn't they just cut out the 'battle' in '10th Sontaran Battle Fleet'? Are they THAT pressed for time? Or am I just insane?
0:26 - ...and we needed that shot of Ross giving the Doctor a slightly homoerotic look as their range rover bumps up and down?
0:59 - And for the record, recapping the identity of Ross was apparently far more important than explaining who the hell Luke Rattigan is... these are just meant as a memory-tripping exercise rather than actually EXPLAINING anything, surely?
1:18 - AND THE COOK FROM HORNBLOWER!
1:31 - Christ, for a moment I forgot Helen Raynor wrote this one... okay, I'm just using stalling tactics now...
1:48 - ... I hope they're not expecting me to respect Mama Bitch just because she saved Cribbins' life. But at least that axe finally found a use aside from improvised vasectomies.
1:53 - An axe is also the swiftest cure for poisoning.
2:03 - "We can't escape, take the soldiers into the factory!" ... to quote YOA - SHOW YOUR WORKING!
2:14 - For the record I am choosing to imagine that that is either Coproal Bell's daughter, neice, or baby sister.
2:16 - As this map shows, Communism is also rapidly spreading.
3:47 - ..good work 'for a female'? ... okay, she's a GM creature, so technically isn't really a female at all apart from basic form. Also SONTARANS AREN'T SEXIST!!! How, HOW can this have slipped through TWICE? Did Raynor watch ANY Sontaran stories to draw from? At least The Time Warrior, where it's revealed that they're just colour-blind to this sort of thing? I don't know...
4:05 - Oh, so THAT'S what the news chick from Dead Ringers looks like in real life. Doctor Who can be so educational...
4:18 - Incidentally... is anybody else finding this whole format tedious? I'm getting pretty sick of every threat the Doctor faces being a global one, and this being demonstrated through either unconvincing stock footage or lengthy montages of news reports. It isn't exactly predictable but it isn't very stimulating seeing the exact same token scenes in a story like this. The show really has become very 'format' in this regard, at least with the alien invasion stories... still, this could be down to the fact that this is just a poorly-written one..
4:54 - "Yeah, maybe we can get sentimental after the world's finished choking to death!" Donna... I love you. Fight the format, babe, fight the format! If we had Donna onboard, Doomsday would have ran for about 20 minutes tops. And it would have been AWESOME.
5:11 - Wouldn't it be the most mind-blowing plot twist ever if Donna was to find that while they were out, ATMOS had been installed in the TARDIS?!? MWUHAHAHA! Man, I want to write that script..
6:21 - "It's time I made a move, sir.... are you busy tomorrow night?"
"I shall be drinking the broth of victory for the skulls of your puny leaders!"
"Oh. The night after?"
"No. I will be with Sir Justin Timberlake."
"...can I come?"
6:37 - Oh, so they ARE just humouring Luke. Thaaaank God. I would never be able to respect the Sontarans again if they were taking him seriously..
6:50 - Yeah, the Doctor can taste the 'tang' of a Trans-Mat even through billowing clouds of poison smoke. I buy that.
7:04 - "I'm stuck on Earth like... a human. How RUBBISH IS THAT?" Comment on Eccleston's season? Hmmm...
Also, you going to sit around, crying into your hot ebonic sidekick etc.
7:27 - w00t! The Doctor has sussed that it isn't really Martha thanks to some of the little clues! Oh, thank God it was really irritating me.
7:33 - ... wait, or has he?
7:39 - Incidentally this 'Hitler Youth' army looks rather a lot more like the crowd you'd expect at a Devo concert.
8:03 - ... 'not high for fighting'WHAT??
8:22 - Captain Marian Price, eh? Definitely the niece..
8:40 - "I earned that a long time ago..." Hmmm, let's see...Ambassadors of Death, would it be?
8:42 - Whoah, hang the fuck on. UNIT's communicators... don't work without jabbing a sonic screwdriver into them? I find that very, very VERY difficult to believe. In fact, my only conclusion is that the Doctor is going off the deep end and is getting a buzz out of sticking it inside absolutely everything that he can.
8:45 - Oh, he uses it to make a hologram! That makes so much MORE sense!!!!!! (Number of exclamation points is an indicator to the degree of sarcasm being used.)
8:48 - And THAT is the bit with Rose everyone was going on about? Pathetic. Well, maybe not exactly but there were all those "DId I just see Rose???" threads. This rises the question.. how bad is the average New Series fan on OG (That is, braindead fifteen year olds who clog up threads with near illegible posts thanks to their complete lack of a grasp on the English language) at watching things. Do their minds process at two frames per second or what? Because from the very existence of those threads, I assumed that there was a brief second glimpse of her face on the scanner in the background of a scene, while Donna and the Doctor are talking about something else entirely. But no. This is a GIGANTIC close up.
Times like this I wish that the internet was a highly volative quantity, so that morons would be unable to use it without it exploding in their faces. I know it's complete snobbery to say this but I really don't care, it's the feeling you get when talking to somebody over a point of mutual interest and a four year old runs into the room yelling their head off about... I dunno, what are young people into? Hentai?
8:57 - And of course they don't know what Sontarans even look like FOR FUCK'S SAKE!!!
I think I'll sit down with a copy of Robot to admire how efficient and well-informed UNIT used to be..
9:47 - Rutans? RutanS?? RutanS???
Did David A. McIntee do all his hard work on the one good bit in Lords of the Storm just for you to piss it all up against the wall? No, Rutans this and Rutans that.
Of course it was already contradicted in The Two Doctors so I guess I may as well drink myself into oblivion.
10:10 - Hehe, he swtiched to cartoons. I was thinking that he would just mute them, but that's going one better.
A good time to reflect on how all of Raynor's character bits (save for the Doctor becoming rabid whenever he sees somebody from Hornblower) actually work really well, but somehow everything else manages to suck to the point you wish Sparacus was writing the plots for her.
10:28 - "First Sontarans in history to capture a TARDIS!"
That isn't inaccurate insofar as I can tell (A case could be made for the poolside antics of Invasion of Time, I suppose...) but I just wanted to take a minute to check if that contradicted with any of my own fanfic ideas.
And it doesn't! Hurrah!
10:52 - "All you have communicated is your distress, Doctor!" Love it. Absolutely love it.
11:29 - "All this... INVENTION!" Worst Tom Baker impersonation ever.
11:54 - Ah, so it IS Eugenics. Mighty Rattigan will create a new MASTER RACE, of the pudgiest and most pale human beings ever!
I think this entire scheme is so he can laid. Points for originality, though.
12:35 - Luke really didn't think this through did he?
"COME WITH ME TO ANOTHER PLANET!!!"
"Erm... no, it's not for us"
"I WILL FUCKING KILL YOU ALL!"
13:22 - Yeah, I.. don't know what to make of this. How does this figure into Sontaran plans exactly? I want more Sontarans from this episode, less Revenge of the Nerds...
13:32 - "Kastar 36... you're just sick... you know that's my mum's name..."
13:58 - Ooh, Australia finally made one of those shots.
14:50 - "All those things they said about pollution and ozone.. they're really happening, aren't they?" Nice and subtle. And from now, Sylvia, it's a strict vegetarian diet for both of us.
14:56 - "Oh, like you'd know, you're so clever!" ..is she physically unable to be nice for more than a few seconds? Urge to kill rising...
16:01 - Cribbins rocks. But then you already knew that.
16:57 - Erm, didn't the Doctor say that nothing would happen if the bomb hit? Why is this so melodramatic?
18:12 - ...after all that IT DIDN'T EVEN LAUNCH??? Man... I am so tempted to give up on this right now..
18:24 - Have you figured it out yet, Doctor? What the hell is going on here?
19:01 - A tribute to the olden days that there's only four UNIT soldiers to meet the alien attack?
20:something - Hey, what if it had been a UNIT guy that the Doctor hadn't happened to meet? Then he wouldn't have been able to be so high-and-mighty. I would have liked that.
Oh, wait let's go one better...
THE DOCTOR: He wasn't Greyhound40.. he was Ross.
ROSS (V.O) Hey!
(The Doctor looks around and sees Ross in the corner, looking very pissed off)
THE DOCTOR: Oh. Well it sounded like you...
ROSS: He was Glaswegian...
THE DOCTOR: Yeah, well, you're near Glasgow aren't you?
ROSS: I'm from Cornwall!
THE DOCTOR: ... you really think you're better than me, don't you?
20:17 - I'm also keeping track and those two really obviously hypnotised soldiers are yet to do anything of use to the Sontaran cause since converting Martha, in spite of the ton of weird orders they've been receiving.
20:27 - ...and now they're dead.
20:32 - Speelfox? Stop putting in references, Raynor, and write a decent fucking plot!
20:49 - "This isn't war, this is SPORT!" is probably my favourite ever Sontaran line. Why did it have to be in this story?
21:03 - "No offense"
Observe how blatantly Mace lies through his teeth there..
21:09 - What...
The Brig has been knighted. That's good.
He's... stranded in Peru.
Despite being retired for AT LEAST NINETEEN years. And having been designated to a desk job in Geneva for umpteen years BEFORE that.
I guess this is some sort of twisted setup for a return appearance of The Brig.
But seriously, what the fuck? Is this some new policy to write out characters as missing in some obscure country, following on from Torchwood going on 'a wild goose chase' in the Himalayas?
"Do you think Martha could help us?"
"I don't think so, Donna. Last I heard she was helping with a police action in The King James Islands..."
21:45 - I wouldn't have thought much imagination would be necessary to believe in aliens by this stage...
21:58 - ...okay, this whole Rattigan Logans-Run subplot is turning into complete bullshit. They wanted Rattigan to lure the students onto the mothership... just so they could kill them all?
22:14 - "We only needed you for installation of the ATMOS system!" So, WHY is he still alive?
25:35 - "You've got three fingers" "Oh yeah!"
Lol. Whoever said Catherine Tate wouldn't be good should be hanging there heads in shame. This stuff is all really, really good, btw. Brilliant character-building for Donna and genuinely tense. Not enough real tension in the new series but this sneaking-around-on-the-mothership does the trick nicely..
25:45 - Could David Tennant find a way to make "Coooor, you're brilliant you are!" look more like an obscene phone-call?
25:49 - And again, I really love Donna. Her complete lack of patience for any of the Doctor's catchphrases is mightily endearing. It makes me wonder how Tegan worked so badly when it's such a similar idea...
26:35 - "Are you my mummy?" ...seriously, is this Gary Russell at work? The amount of references in this are obscene. I like a good reference but we're heading towards Quantum Archangel levels...
27:20 - Sontar! NOT Sontara! Well, David A. McIntee got some etymology in there afterall...
27:40 - "It's The Valiant!" Thanks, I'd already worked that out...
27:52 - "With engines strong enough to clear away the fog!" ...and that.
28:14 - With all the fuss about petrol prices going up, people haven't noticed how cheap Death Stars have gotten..
Incidentally, if you pause the video at that point you will see that the explosion looks amazingly fake. Double the Fist fake. Which I guess is why we have these new-fangled moving pictures...
28:29 - Yes! YES! A battle where the good guys can actually fight back! It's something that I've really moaned about in the New Series, especially in every recent Dalek stories where the 'action' can be summed up by dozens of extras shooting at the Daleks for about ten minutes while they stand perfectly still, but the Classic series is equally guilty of it, especially in the UNIT stories.
At the same time I find it a bit sad that this is the second story where UNIT can actually destroy the menace on their own terms (The first being the really quite lame The Seeds of Doom) and that neither of them had The Brig presiding over the United Nations arse-kicking.
28:38 - I swear Mace says that they need to "Reach the Norg security!" At which point the Doctor decides to phone Donna. Insert your own joke here.
Btw, heated battle involving massive gunfire exchanges and a full battalion of troops running around in a factory - good time to make a phonecall yea or nay?
29:37 - So the Doctor DID know it was a fake Martha!... he just decided to do sweet F.A about it.
30:07 - Okay that explanation actually made sense. Fuckers.
How is she a 'triple-agent', though? She's pretending to work for UNIT and is actually... no wait, I get it. Man, forget I wrote anything...
30:22 - ... and the clone's memories are stored in her heart? Thank Christ the script's gone back to making no sense, I can deal with this..
31:00 - And David Brent's Sontaran cousin gets the shit blown out of him unceremoniously. Now I'm tired of seeing UNIT getting to win for a change and just pissed off that the Sonts are so easily disposed of.
I point this out because ALL of my favourite DW monsters have suffered this ignominy - The Ice Warriors in Monster *Spit!* of Peladon and The Cybermen in Doom*spit!*Day. I guess the Sontarans also got their arses handed to them in The Two Doctors but at least Bob Holmes knew how to make it FUNNY!
31:25 - And now Martha's going to make her clone turn good... mehh. Emo ahoy.
31:28 - "THE GAS, TELL US ABOUT THE GAS!!!" The Doctor's seriously impatient... hang on, this episode's over in fourteen minutes...
I'm with him! Explain the fucking plot!
31:48 - Clone...feed.
Why do I get the sudden feeling that this is about to go further downhill?
31:53 - "That's why they're not invading, they're changing the atmosphere!!" - wasn't that fairly obvious?
32:08 - THAT EXPLANATION MAKES NO SENSE!! Why not invade, crushing the humans easily with their military might, and THEN turn it into a barracks-planet? From what we've seen that would also make the Sontarans a lot happier...
34:22 - Did that Sontaran just refer to Donna as "the Doctor's wife"? Heh. That is actually amusing. I mean, I could barely hear it because of the muffled sound but it's an application of that bewildering running joke that succeeds in being funny.
34:53 - What? Wilf is Sylvia's dad? I thought he had to be the paternal grandfather for sure, the way that bitch treated him. This plot twist is more mind-boggling than anything else in the episode full stop...
35:26 - If anyone even cares enough for me to point out one of a billion plotholes... why would the Sontarans need a human nuclear missile, bouncing off their ship, to ignite the atmosphere? That IS what the Doctor just garbled then, isn't it? I feel like giving up entirely here...
35:44 - Clone...pods. Yeah, that's it, I have officially given up.
36:31 - Oh so the Doctor was saying that HE wanted to ignite the atmosphere.
And THAT'S why everyone hates this ep.
Nothing else is necessary here, right? Igniting the atmosphere to save the day? Nope? Cut and dried? Good.
36:34 - Man, Corporal Bell's neice is hot.
36:47 - "What's happening?" "The Doctor has stolen the Earth and put it in a book" "What? MIIIIIILES!!!"
37:05 - Sorry, I can't help myself - oxygen burns. Oxygen.
Fuck your two kids in a bathtub, Mary Whitehouse, now I'm worried about kids trying to fix global warming with napalm strikes...
37:30 - I can't help, it I really can't - we should be seeing Threads 2 right now, for fuck's sake!
37:48 - Please note that the gas is still visible around the Rattigan Academy.
38:37 - Please note that the Doctor is a gigantic hypocrite.
38:49 - "Put it on a delay!" "I can't" FOR THE LOVE OF LED ZEPPELIN YOU BUILT IT YOU FARRKIN' PLONKER! In an episode of Mythbusters it takes them like 10 minutes to build a delay into one of their devices, and, hey, I like to think that the Doctor has a bit more wits in him than Tori Bellaci does..
38:54 - Whoop, spoke too soon. I'm clearly way too acclimitised with terrible writing at the moment..
39:56 - Nice Mexican stand-off whatever but a thought just occured to me... igniting the atmosphere on the Sontaran ship will kill all of them. But igniting Earth's atmosphere doesn't even damage The Valiant.
40:32 - Not even the Sontarans can escape the most basic universal truth.. being killed by the Doctor is cool. Being killed by a spotty, young Leonard Nimoy look-a-like who is literally wearing a red shirt, really, really isn't.
40:42 -Oh! The engines of the ship explode as well! Ha ha, this episode is so well thought-out all round! Author, author! Never mind this shot gun, it's simply for controlling the mobs of appreciative fans...
41:59 - Wilf needs to travel in the TARDIS. He is just awesome.
Oh... this is completely unrelated to that, I just realised that he HAD to be the maternal grandfather or his last name would be 'Noble' instead of 'Mott'. Drawn into a corner there, weren't they?
But anyway, I have been blown away by how good Bernard Cribbins has been in this. He's just known as a comedy actor - hell, before Doctor Who I only knew him as "The Spoon Salesman" from that really brilliant episode of Fawlty Towers - and he certainly played up to that rep in his cameo in Voyage of the Damned... but wow. He is a really, really good actor. So's Catherine Tait of course, but I never doubted that...
What's really interesting is that Cribbins (I hope this isn't a mistake on my part because it would make me look like an idiot) was considered for the role of the Fourth Doctor. When I read that I sort of snorted in derision, thinking "That totally wouldn't work..." but now I have to wonder... it could have been pretty awesome.
So, who are the alternate Doctors we have to choose from....
4 - Bernard Cribbins
6 - Michael Keating / Brian Blessed
7 - Tony Robinson
8 - every British actor alive and working in 1996 and a few who weren't.
9 - Hugh Grant
10 - Eddie Izzard
Oh, and I guess for #2 we have Patrick Troughton again, but in black face doing a mystifying Jack Sparrow impression.
Better, worse, or war crime? Discuss.
43:08 - Okay, Doc... the hand thing... getting kinda creepy now. I guess you can't trust it with anyone else but... well, it's a fire hazard if nothing else. Somebody could really easily trip over that where it is...
43:35 - And that cliffhanger did nothing for me. Big surprise...
To sum up... I don't know I think my opinions have become clear. This story started off bad, and got worse. In fact, you know what my summary is? That scene in Rumble in the Bronx where Jackie Chan walks into the strange warehouse full of stoners where that girl apparently lives, takes one look at the stoners, and yells "YOU PEOPLE ARE GARBAGE!!" and the ensuing ten minute fight scene. This really makes me appreciate Lords of the Storm.. But then, the real tragedy is that this script contains some brilliant, glimmering gems of moments among the dross and has been lovingly produced. So in all good consciousness I can't give it the 1 or 2 my gut feelings tell me that it deserves..
(But I can come close)
WHAT THOSE OTHER LOSERS THOUGHT...
OGer Response: Is is just me, but does anyone else think that the very obvious yet subtle shots of Donna over the last 10-15 mins of The Poison Sky that showed her wearing blue nail varnish mean anything?
(Good to see we've got our priorities straight..)
Asiophile Response: I just realised I think in every season there has been a reference to Japan somewhere.
Series 1- Doctor and rose escape Kyoto Japan
Series 2- Japanese girls on TV talking about ghosts
series 3- Japan wiped out by the Toclafane
Series 4- First deaths recorded in Japan (Tokyo)
Wonder if someones got a certain liking to this particular nation (cant blame him, it rocks)
Eye of Horus Response: Zilch.
IMDBer Response: Wilf is more Tom Cruise than Luke.
Paraphrased Lawrence Miles Response: Not bad, actually.
(Well, I did say 'paraphrased'...)
Ewen Campion-Clarke Response: I refuse to even acknowledge that episode exists...
(Not that you're a loser, you understand..)
Dancercisist Cuisiniophile Response: Go Colonel Mace! LOVED his "you will face me line". I was literally dancing around.
Spara's Baffling Response: This episode , like 'Planet of the Ood', marks a welcome return to the ethical zeitgeist of the Pertwee & Davison eras....However the Doctor seemed to genuinely care when that very attractive young UNIT soldier got killed which was nice.
Fans of Blank TV Screens Response: I really wasn't keen. Too much fake emotional issues and too much shooty-shooty stuff. shame.
Next Time - Everyone turns around in slow-motion making weird sucking noises... lizards who stretch their mouths with beer glasses... Peter Davison's daughter is hot... oh, and can flip like Daryl Hannah in Bladerunner... oh, and beat up lizard people... and blow up barrels of petrol... Donna promises to mate with the Doctor if he enters a gymnastics competition against his daughter... INCEST no wait she's kissing somebody else.. is that really meant to surprise me? Now I'm imagining one of the McGann sisters saying "I'll use my ancient Time Lord power of snogging a complete stranger!" ... "She's my daughter!" Hey, I wonder if that will turn out to be as accurate as "It's volcano day!"? ...is there a reason why the Doctor's daughter would be an unbelievably hot arse-kicking machine?