Doctor Who 4:1 (Spoilers)

Partners in Crime

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now

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ROSE TYLER ALREADY?!!!! Well done BBC that wasn’t supposed to happen yet. She wasn’t supposed to hit until episode 11, but in addition to Donna hunting down The Doctor, so is Rose?! And Rose can walk between universes? But I digress…

The Doctor and Donna are separately investigating Adipose Industries – a miracle fat curing biotechnology firm. They’re both bored, they’re both smart, they both smell a rat and they’re right: it’s an alien nanny trying to birth a new generation from a million human hosts, against galactic law. A stereotypical fight, stereotypical chase and a few hi jinks ensue before a very tired looking Doctor pairs up with a (mostly) pleasingly restrained once-and-future assistant, who before she leaves Earth behind leaves a last message with…Rose. And Rose doesn’t look at all pleased.

It’s an enjoyable episode for the most part, but we’ve seen it all before. RTD strictly by the numbers sadly, but that always seems to be the case with season pilots for New Who. The alien children are reprehensibly silly, the pacing of the episode was way off and it just seemed mostly to kill time, while any new viewers are introduced to Donna. What was pleasing was Catherine Tate’s restraint with Donna. I feared the comedic moments would be painful but they’re not – the hint of chemistry in the 2006 Christmas Special is very much present, and the tensions between them should be interesting over the coming series. And then there’s Rose, who I’d heard was only going to appear through an anomaly in time later in the series. Is she hunting The Doctor or watching over him? If so who is she protecting him from? And why are the Bad Wolf rumours starting to resurface in such numbers again?

Nice questions and a secret well kept, showing good promise for this series, despite an episode which was nothing special.

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11 responses to “Doctor Who 4:1 (Spoilers)

  1. I liked the episode, it was better than I was expecting. I certainly wasn’t expecting to see Rose – I do wonder if that scene was edited out of the press screenings because surely it would have leaked if not.

    So, what is Rose up to? Is she trying to find the right time to get to the Doctor, in the vein of the Clockwork Robots and Mme du Pompadour? I’m sure the BBC have something up their sleeves… After all, they’ve trailed Daleks already, so there must be something bigger being kept back.

  2. I agree – it was better than I was expecting, and considering how much chatter there has been about the new series online it was shocking to see the Rose sequence. I really thought she was only going to appear as a ‘special guest star’ in the Doctor-free episode, long since trailed. To see her here now suggests the plot/inevitable conspiracy will either be about her, or will involve something she knows, which noone else does. But what could that be, and what is this new ability to walk between worlds?

    That’s assuming of course that the renewed Bad Wolf rumours don’t bear fruit. My suspicion is that the rumour I’ve heard about Donna not being quite what she seems is true, Rose knows why, and is shadowing the Doctor as a guardian angel. Why hasn’t she revealed herself already though?

  3. Yeah, I’d seen a brief rumour about Donna not being what she seems, but am trying not to be too spoiled on that front. As for other things, like the monsters appearing, they are pretty much out in the open so there has to be something else going on.

    So, I guess the speculation is going to be whether Donna is bad and Rose is shadowing, or whether Rose is going to be bad. We were wondering if Rose was somehow projecting through the Tardis, like the Doctor did in Doomsday. And is there someone pulling the strings behind everything else?

    What’s the deal with everyone else who is back though? We have, at current count, Martha, Rose, Jackie, Mickey, Jack, Sarah Jane and Harriet Jones.

  4. Well tonight’s misdirection suggests RTD has finally mastered the art of disinformation, which makes this series the most wide open since Eccleston’s. The key I bet is Rose’s unhappiness. Was that a projection or can she walk between worlds, and as you imply – is someone pulling Rose’s strings? We know the greater Tyler clan return later on, and I’ve seen at least two scenes with the Doctor and Rose. But I haven’t a clue as to the significance of her return, unless she really was the ‘Bad Wolf’ all along.

    The rumour mill suggests it’s Davros and he’s been behind EVERYTHING since series 1, but I think that’s a bit of a push for RTD. There hasn’t even been a credible confirmation of him, although the chances remain good. What could reunite positively everyone and reopen the barrier between universes? Hopefully whoever was responsible for the Tardis’ crashing into that world in the first place (cue outstanding plotline)…

  5. Great episode. Not too campy for RTD’s record, great stuff.
    One of the best indications that this will be a good season for me was Donna bluntly shaking up the Doctor in the middle of his rambling with “doctor WHAT do you need?!”.

    Oh and was it my perception or was the journalist from the observer very much a lookalike of Martha?

  6. I was pondering on this earlier today, and had a couple of thoughts. The bad wolf rumours – I’ve not looked much at speculation since watching the episode last night, but they wouldn’t surprise me. Nor had I seen comments about Davros being behind everything, though Davros has been all but confirmed. I mean, really, they showed the press a trailer with clips of a creature with a Dalek base and humanoid upper body, but in shadows… did they think that wouldn’t get reported? Admittedly, not confirmation.

    Anyway… I recall discussing bad wolf and the resolution to that after S1, and coming to the conclusion that it wasn’t over. Then nothing was done with it in S2, but the rumour is that RTD has said things in S4 will be linked back to S1, and I wondered about the whole Rose channelling the Time Vortex thing, when she took life and then gave life. Did she really just give life to Jack?

    GJ – I thought that too, from certain angles Verona Joseph does bear more than a pasing resemblance to Freema Agyeman. I wonder if that’s intentional and we’ll see Penny again.

  7. Oh the first thing I thought when she vanished in this episode was that she hadn’t lost the Time Vortex powers after all. It would be a neat sidestep in getting her to walk between worlds without them both being destroyed, as the Doctor said. It would also offer change for Jack and real tension when they meet again later in the series. I wonder.

    I’ve also been struck that assurances have been leaked that Harriet Jones has had scenes shot and that Davros has been cast and designed. But the same leakers said Rose was only coming back for the Doctor-free episode…I’m pleased with this uncertainty.

  8. Aside from the fat babies, I really enjoyed this episode. I loved the bit when they first saw each other, very funny. Also, I could have done without the comedy pause in mid air before Matron fell to her death.

    One more minor niggle – in the preview for tomorrow’s episode at the end, was it really necessary for them to tell us they were in Pompeii on the day of the eruption?

  9. I really LOATHED the fat babies. Having that as the central premise, and as you say the Wile-E-Coyote comedy pause, coupled with the earlier transmission time, really knocked the credibility of this opener. That’s not to say the show didn’t work at all – it did better than DW season premieres normally do – but the format’s showing signs of wear. That may be intentional – I think the Doctor was supposed to look as tired as he was; I think that’s going to be a recurring theme somehow and there’ll be consequences because of it. But this wasn’t something I haven’t seen before, and mostly done better at that.

    Having said that the second episodes tend to shine (Tooth & Claw anyone?), and the trailer for tomorrow’s episode looks excellent – it’s sure cast well. My fingers are crossed, although I don’t expect to see Rose in it. If I do I think my head will spin clean off.

  10. donna picked up the masters ring at the end of season 3…
    the eternals are the timelords…
    when we first joined the doctor (as c eccleston) he’d had his memory erased like the master which is why he has a fob watch
    the doctor was used to destroy the daleks by the timelords…
    the alternative dimension that rose is in is closing in on itself so rose is breaking out to warn the doctor…
    the daleks are coming back in force (i work near where they’ve been filming just outside cardiff, i’ve seen what’s been delivered these past few months hehe)
    the timelords aren’t dead
    the timelords aren’t dead

  11. ANDREW JOHNSON

    OMG I CANT BELIEVE THAT ABOUT THE ETERNALS I THINK THAT DONNA IS EVIL AND SHE IS BEING CONTROLED BY SOMEONE… DAVROS?? MASTER?? (THE RANI ONLI JOKIN!)

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