I'm going to be examining Doctor Who... every single episode. I'm going to take you on a journey through the 50+ years worth of this show, showcasing the good and the bad along the way. For each episode I'm going to give you a very brief rundown of the plot, how good/bad the story is, and anything interesting about the episode. Basically I'll just talk about whatever comes to mind for each of them. These will be a more in-depth overview of the series as a whole so you can see which stories or episodes (if any) you want to check out for yourself. Today I'm going to be talking about
The Tenth Doctor
Before we start talking about the season itself, I would like to point out a few things regarding the seasons in particular. Beginning in 2005 they started making mini episodes that were around five minutes a piece. Most of these are just fun little romps with the characters and I shall be skipping them. Some I will talk about either because they are particularly interesting or they give a little bit of back story to the episode immediately following it. Secondly, it was decided that there would be a Christmas Special every year that would air on Christmas Day. This cause a few things such as the companion lite or Doctor lite episodes (episodes that don't feature the companion or Doctor that much) to compensate for the longer filming time. Also these Christmas Specials are technically not considered part of the actual season in most cases and can fit with either the season before or after it. I will be placing them wherever I feel they are most important rather than where the DVDs or streaming sites had placed them.
Series Two ran from April 11, 2006 to July 4, 2006 and contained thirteen episodes. Having learned from the previous season, this season seemed a bit more consistent and the show benefited from that stability. It was time for a brand new Doctor with a new lease on life. Rather than be war-torn about the Time War, he was now dedicated to making sure that nobody else would ever have to endure the hardships he had all the while keeping a smile on his face. This season's story arch revolves around the secretive organization known as Torchwood which actually debuted in the Christmas Special preceding this season's official first episode. Just like the season prior, Torchwood only really shows up in a couple episodes before the finale making it just a very loose story arch.
After recapping the events which lead up to the Doctor's regeneration, the new 10th Doctor continues to pilot the TARDIS to Barcelona. Rose doesn't believe that he is actually the Doctor but finally comes to that realization when the Doctor reminds her that the first word he ever said to her was "run." Since he can't change back into his previous incarnation, he asks if she would like to go home. She doesn't answer so he changes course to her home on Christmas Eve 2005. Suddenly, he starts talking gibberish and regeneration energy comes out of his mouth. The regeneration is going wrong and he's going into a mania which manifests itself as a severe need for speed. The Doctor increases the speed of the TARDIS as it plummets down the time vortex towards Christmas.
I didn't know this existed for a long time, and I'm glad I found it. See from what I was used to, the Doctor regenerated then the next episode is the TARDIS going out of control and Rose saying there was a problem. Now I could just imagine something weird was going on and left it at that, but now I actually got to see 10 reacting to his new body and have a reason for the out of control TARDIS.
The Christmas Invasion
It's Christmas Eve 2005 and both Jackie and Mickey hear the TARDIS coming back. They rush outside to find it out of control and a strange man wishing them Merry Christmas before falling unconscious. Rose comes out of the TARDIS to inform them that is the Doctor. They take him to the Tyler's apartment to rest. Rose and Mickey go out for shopping but are attacked by robotic santas who follow them to the Tyler apartment and radio control a gifted Christmas Tree to attack them. The Doctor briefly wakes up and stops the tree with his sonic screwdriver before falling unconscious again. That night, new Prime Minister Harriet Jones was set to do a live broadcast about a probe sent into space, but the probe was picked up by an alien race identifying themselves as Sycorax. The Sycorax demanded that Earth surrender and then places 1/3rd of the population in hypnosis and on the edge of buildings. Harriet Jones attempts to negotiate but finds herself and her aides on board the Sycorax ship. Jackie, Rose, and Mickey try to take supplies and the Doctor to the TARDIS but before Jackie can make a return trip the TARDIS is picked up by the Sycorax. Rose exists to buy them some time but accidentally knocks over a container of tea which begins to smoke on contact with a part of the ship. Rose bluffs her way around the Sycorax in enough time that the Doctor recovers (having inhaled the smoke tea.) The Doctor emerges from the TARDIS, reintroduces himself, and stops the Sycorax blood control on Earth. He then challenges and defeats the leader of the Sycorax, despite losing and regrowing a hand due to being in the first 15 hours of his regeneration. He demands the Sycorax leave Earth after teleporting all of them back to the planet. However, Harriet Jones orders Torchwood to destroy the ship as it was leaving the atmosphere. The Doctor is furious and when Harriet maintains she did the right thing he simply asks her aide "Don't you think she looks tired?" and walks off. That night the Doctor gets his new outfit and watches as Jones tries to fend off rumors on TV about her health. He and Rose go back to travel the stars.
This is a fantastic episode. Although the robot santas and the killer Christmas Tree were a bit on the goofy side, everything else about this was brilliant. The Sycorax were threatening, there was a real mystery in why 1/3rd of the population were on the brink of committing suicide and the whole episode you just want to scream "WAKE UP ALREADY!!!" When David Tennant finally wakes up and starts being the pop-culture spewing, funny, but furious Doctor that we know and love made waiting the majority of the episode absolutely worth it. Definitely give this one a watch.
The Doctor has decided to take Rose to New Earth as their first trip partially because his Psychic Paper picked up a message wanting him to visit a hospital there. Unknown to the Doctor and Rose, someone else is watching them and plans to take Rose's body as her own. It is Cassandra who's brain survived the events of The End of the World. The Doctor heads up the elevator to meet with the mysterious caller who it turns out to be the Face of Boe. While there he notices people are being cured of diseases that the cure hasn't yet been found by common knowledge. Meanwhile, Rose's elevator is hijacked by Cassandra who uses mind swap technology to project her own brain into Rose's body. Cassandra then meets up with the Doctor and they investigate behind the scenes where they find the nuns have been creating test tube humans, infecting them with all manner of diseases to try to find a cure, then destroying those made humans. Accidentally, one of the humans escapes and allows all the other infected people to roam the hospital, severely infecting or killing anyone they come into contact with. Eventually the Doctor is able to pool all the medicine into a sort of shower and spreads the cure to all of the "new humans." The Face of Boe thanks the Doctor for coming and says he will reveal a secret to him the next time they meet. The Doctor then orders Cassandra out of Rose's body and she goes into the body of a young man who, as it turns out, was about to die. As a kindness, the pair take Cassandra back in time to see herself as a full human before she passes away.
This is a pretty standard episode with an interesting premise. The greatest part about this episode was Billie Piper being a lot more funny than usual and portraying a different character in Rose's body. Aside from that it was just a solid episode with nothing overly great or overly bad about it.
Tooth and Claw
The Doctor attempts to take Rose to a concert in 1979 but ends up in 1879 instead where they come across Queen Victoria's carriage. The Queen asks them to join her as she is heading to the Torchwood Estate, a favorite location of Prince Albert. All are unaware that the estate has been taken over by monks who have brought a werewolf with them and are forcing the owner, Sir Robert, to comply with their wishes to infect the Queen with lycanthropy. The Doctor soon finds out the plan and takes shelter with Rose, the Queen, and Sir Robert in the library which was made from mistletoe wood to keep the werewolf at bay. While there, they discover journals which show that the werewolf is actually the remnants of an alien creature who has survived by transferring his essence from one human to another and that Prince Albert as well as Sir Robert have made the estate into a trap to destroy the alien using the Queen's diamond. Sir Robert sacrifices himself as the Doctor, Rose, and the Queen ready the trap and destroy the werewolf. The Queen discovers a cut on her hand and swears it to be from a splinter. She then gives the Doctor and Rose royal titles but banishes them as she is horrified by their connection to this strange world. In honor of Sir Robert's sacrifice, the Queen orders the creation of Torchwood to stop alien threats. Rose later questions the cut on the Queen's hand to which the Doctor informs her that all Victoria's children had haemophilia which could very well be a Victorian euphemism for lycanthropy.
I adore this story. I'm not sure if it is because the story itself is excellent or it's just because I adore werewolves. It's always fun to see the Doctor interacting with famous people and this one is just as delightful... even though Rose and the Doctor keep trying to get her to say "we are not amused" which gets a bit old. It's also interesting to note that the Doctor introduces himself to Queen Victoria as "Doctor James McCrimmon" which is of course the name of the 2nd Doctor's male companion. If you like werewolf stories then check this one out.
The Doctor under his alias John Smith has started teaching science at a London School with Rose working the caffeteria. Mickey called them there because the headmaster Mr. Finch's changes were sounding weird but getting exceptional results. Rose noted that the cafeteria served special chips (french fries) and the oil to make these chips had to be handled while wearing a hazmat suit. The Doctor noticed that children eating these chips gained super intelligence. The success of Finch's program had garnered media attention and journalist Sarah Jane Smith had come to investigate. That night everyone went back to the school to investigate and Sarah Jane stumbled upon the TARDIS where the Doctor, pleased to finally see her again, revealed himself to her. The four find thirteen bat-like creatures on the headmasters office, then slip out to Sarah Jane's car to find an inactive version of K-9 whom the Doctor repairs. K-9 identifies the chip oil as Krillitane oil. The next day, the Doctor confronts Finch who confirms his identity as a Krillitane. Sarah Jane and Rose break into the computer room to find the children in a hypnotic state. The Doctor finds them and discovers that the Krillitanes are attempting to solve the "Skasis Paradigm" which would allow them full control over space and time like a god. Finch tempts the Doctor to help him and return to the Time Lords in the process but with Sarah Jane's help he refuses and leads the Krillitanes into the kitchen where K-9 has set a trap which destroys himself, the school, and the Krillitanes. The Doctor asks Sarah Jane to travel with him again but she refuses as she has moved on with her life. He leaves her another working unit of K-9 and allows Mickey to join them on their adventures.
While the stuff about the Krillitanes and the school are interesting... it all takes a back seat to the fact that Sarah Jane Smith was back. This could have been about anything or even been stupid and it would still have been worth watching to see a companion we hadn't seen since 1976 on the screen once more. It helps that the story is fairly unique and strong to back up this amazing reunion of Doctor and companion. If you are a fan of or at least interested in the classic show at all, this is one you don't want to miss.
The Girl in the Fireplace
The TARDIS materializes on a deserted ship in the far future where Rose, Mickey and the Doctor are confused to find an 18th Century fireplace and on the other side is a girl named Reinette who lives in Paris in 1727. The Doctor deduces that it is a time window which allows direct access to a particular place and time. He hits a lever and ends up in Reinette's room but several months later. While there he discovers a ticking humanoid in fancy dress who disappears to the ship. The Doctor follows and finds it to be a clockwork android. The android teleports away and the Doctor returns to Reinette only to find that she is now a young woman who flirts with and kisses the Doctor before departing. The Doctor then realizes she is actually Madame de Pompadour, the mistress of King Louis XV. The Doctor, Rose and Mickey wander the ship and find many windows into Reinette's life. The Doctor the intervenes at one point when he sees another android approaching. He asks Reinette to order the robot to answer his questions; she does and it obeys. The androids were in charge of maintaining the ship, but when it was damaged and they did not have the parts, they killed the crew to use their organs in replace of parts. They have one part left, the brain of Madame de Pompadour. The androids capture Rose and Mickey, but the Doctor saves them as one android calls the others to him; Reneitte's brian is ready. The robots appear at a ball and capture Reinette locking the time window behind them. The Doctor can follow but doing so will shatter the time window and all the others linked with the ship. He does so and talks the androids into shutting down as they cannot reach their ship anymore. Reinette, however, has a surprise. She had her fireplace brought piece by piece to the palace and was disconnected from the others. The Doctor tells her to pick a star and that he would be right back for her. However despite his almost instant return, seven years has passed for Reinette and she has passed away. The Doctor returns to the TARDIS, closes the window and flies away from the S. S. Madame de Pompadour.
This is one of the greatest episodes that Doctor Who has ever produced. To be honest with you it's one of the best episodes of any television show I've seen. It was surprising, interesting, funny, and brought out a lot of emotion. I legitimately can't think of a single negative thing to say about this one. This is one of those episodes that you show people to get them interested in the show because it's practically perfect. Everyone needs to watch this episode.
Rise of the Cybermen / The Age of Steel
The TARDIS is in flight when it suddenly crashed through a hole in the time vortex and seemingly dies. The Doctor discovers one single power cell still active and uses some of his life energy to get it to start powering up fully once more. The trio discover that they are in an alternate universe and have to wait 24 hours for the power cell to recharge so they can go back to their universe. Rose sees a billboard with her father's face as he hadn't died in that universe as Mickey goes off to see if his grandmother is also still alive in this universe. Rose and the Doctor notice that the population are all wearing earpod devices from Cybus Industries in order to receive news directly to their brain. The leader of Cybus, John Lumic, is trying once again to gain approval to place human minds in metal bodies to prolong human life but is shut down by the president. Unknown to the world, Lumic has already began his experiences on homeless people. A group of freedom fighters known as the Preachers, know about Lumic's plan and grab Mickey thinking that he is his universe counterpart Rickey and take him to their base. Mickey and Rickey meet and Mickey joins with them as they plan to infiltrate the Tyler house as Pete Tyler works for Lumic. The Doctor and Rose have also infiltrated the Tyler house posing as servers for Jackie's birthday party when Cybermen from Lumic appear and begin killing everyone. The Doctor, Rose, Pete, and the Preachers all meet up and escape as Lumic begins broadcasting that all people are to receive upgrades or be deleted. The team meet up to take down the Cybermen, but Rickey is killed by a cyberman in the process. Mickey and a preacher head to Lumic's zeppelin to stop the earpod transmissions as Pete and Rose infiltrate the conversion center with the Doctor and another preacher heading beneath to find Lumic. Eventually the transmission machine is destroyed and the Doctor disables the inhibitors that are embedded in each Cyberman. The Cybermen see what they have become and explode on contact taking Lumic with them. Rose finally admits to Pete that he is her daughter from another universe but he refuses to come with her. Mickey also sees that Rose no longer needs him as she has the Doctor and chooses to stay behind to take care of Rickey's grandmother and help the preachers take out the remaining Cybermen. The Doctor and Rose return to their universe.
This two parter is just ok. It's a decent enough reintroduction to the Cybermen. The only truly bad thing about this is that... for some reason the Cybermen just aren't that threatening overall. You may disagree with me but almost every time the Cybermen show up in the new series they just aren't that threatening (with the exception of Nightmare in Silver) Nothing great or terrible here... it's just ok. I'll talk about Mickey more in my conclusion.
The Idiot's Lantern
The Doctor has taken Rose to see Elvis live but ends up in the UK accidentally only a few days before Queen Elizabeth II's coronation. The Doctor notices that far more people than normal have TV sets and that someone has been taken away with a sheet over their head; the car vanishes when they try to follow. The Doctor and Rose begin asking questions at the house of Tommy Connolly and find that his grandmother is without a face after they recently got a television. Before the Doctor can investigate further police take the woman away. The Doctor follows but Rose heads to the local TV shop to investigate. There, Rose meets with an alien known as The Wire who has taken electric form and intends to take the mind and faces of people in order to re-create herself a body; she intends to do this by transmitting to everyone's TV during the coronation. She steals Rose's face. Elsewhere, the Doctor has tracked down a holding pen for the faceless ones and speaks with the inspector when the police bring a faceless Rose inside. The Doctor, Tommy, and the Investigator head to the TV shop and are attacked by The Wire but escape as the Wire heads into a portable TV created by the shop owner who heads to the tv station transmitter. The Doctor and Tommy create a device from the TV shop and the TARDIS to capture the Wire. Eventually the Wire is captured within the device and everyone's faces return to their bodies.
This one is another that falls into the "kind of silly" category. An electric alien that uses the TV to do stuff to people is an interesting idea. However, the Wire's chosen form being a kindly woman and having people standing around with no faces was just a little too weird for me. It's not terrible... just not that great.
The Impossible Planet / The Satan Pit
The TARDIS lands on a space station in the future where the Doctor and Rose go investigating. They discover some writing on a wall that even the TARDIS cannot translate before meeting up with the crew. The crew reveal that they are on an impossible planet which is in constant orbit around a black hole (something that shouldn't happen) and that the source of the power holding them there is ten miles below the surface. Unfortunately as they drill towards the bottom, an earthquake happens and the section containing the TARDIS falls away. The Doctor and Rose then begin helping the crew as they have no means of escape. At the same time, a crew member named Toby is being unknowingly possessed and kills another crew member as the translation machines of a group of aliens known as the Ood begin saying things about "the Beast." The drill breaks through to the source and the Doctor with another crew member, Ida, go to investigate. The Doctor finds a door in the ground which suddenly opens as all of the Ood become possessed and refer to themselves as the Legion of the Beast killing crew members in the process. Rose and the main crew escape the Ood through the ventilation shafts as the Beast begins taunting each person with their worst fear and snapping the cable trapping the Doctor and Ida below. The Doctor then jumps down the pit to find himself saved by an air pocket and able to breathe. There he finds a large beast in chains and deduces that this is the body of the Beast, the origin for all the evil in all religions. Since the Beast cannot actually speak the Doctor realizes his consciousness is already free. The Doctor then sees the writing on the cave wall and notices that if the jars near the Beast are broken, then the planet will sink into the black hole killing the Beast for good. Up on the station, the surviving crew members, Toby, and Rose are heading away from the planet on a rocket when Toby becomes possessed again. Seeing the TARDIS had landed nearby, The Doctor smashes the jars as Rose shoots out the window of the rocket sending Toby's body towards the black hole. With gravity failing, the rocket is being sucked into the black hole, the Doctor used the TARDIS to bring the rocket back to safety and exchange Ida for Rose.
This is basically an updated version of the Jon Pertwee story The Daemons. As much as I love the Daemons, I do have to say that this is a superior version of this story as it has a space theme, the physics of the planet are intriguing, and there is a real mystery here. This two parter does an excellent job of letting you think they aren't going to get out alive even though there are more episodes left to the season. It's not the best of the season but it's pretty dang good.
Love & Monsters
A young man named Elton Pope is presenting a v-log about his interaction with the Doctor and others who have had a run-in with the Doctor. Elton had a change encounter with the Doctor as a child and has been searching for any information on the man. He eventually finds Ursula Blake who also had a run-in with the mysterious Doctor and the pair along with three other start a group known as LINDA (London Investigation N Detective Agency) to discuss their experience but eventually the group dissolves into a social gathering of friends. That changes when a man named Victor Kennedy comes to the meeting and takes over. Elton is given the task of tracking down Jackie Tyler and trying to find the Doctor through his companion. Elton quickly finds Jackie and befriends her. Jackie tries to seduce the young man but when she finds a picture of Rose in his jacket she demands he leave. Slowly the three other members of LINDA disappear from the group as Ursula and Elton discover Victor is actually an alien known as an Abzorbaloff. Victor has been slowly absorbing each member of LINDA into his own body and manages to absorb Urusla before Elton's eyes. Elton flees as Victor gives chase. Victor has cornered Elton but the TARDIS arrives and Rose comes out to fuss at Elton for bothering her mother. Victor attempts to absorb Elton but the combined consciousness of the four members stop him and cause him to drop his cane. Elton breaks the cane and Victor dissolves into the earth. The Doctor explains to Elton their first meeting was at Elton's house as he was tracking an alien who had unfortunately killed Elton's mother in the process. Elton finishes his narrative that the Doctor was able to use his sonic screwdriver to keep Ursula's essence alive as a face on the paving stone Victor dissolved into.
This is an abomination. It's garbage of the worst variety and it is the single worst episode in the entirety of Doctor Who. I'd rather watch The Twin Dilemma, which was the worst story of the Classic Show, than watch this. This is the only episode I skip every single time I watch it as it contributes nothing to the overall plot. My synopsis may not have pointed out all of the bad so let's break it down shall we? Annoying douche-bag v-logger, group of people goofing about that no one would want to actually spend time with, painfully obvious villain before reveal, alien is just a green double for Fat Bastard from Austin Powers, The Doctor condemns a woman to a life of being an immortal concrete slab with a face, and implied fellatio with said concrete slab. Never watch this.
The Doctor and Rose land on the opening day of the 2012 London Olympics on a street that the torch is supposed to pass through. However there is a strange energy on the street and several children have gone missing. The pair investigate the houses nearby and find the source of the disappearances to be a 12-year-old girl named Chloe who has the ability to trap people inside paper by simply drawing them. Chloe is possessed by an immature alien known as an Isolus who was lonely and fell to Earth due to a solar flare. The Isolus is used to traveling with billions and is using Chloe to add people to the mental field to play with. Since Chloe had a troubled childhood, the Isolus chose her and forced her to draw a large demonic figure of her late father who it is implied abused her. The Doctor theorizes if they can power up the alien's ship then it will leave, but the alien causes Chloe to draw the TARDIS and Doctor before he can do anything. Rose finds the pod in a section of blacktop that keeps having to be re-done and with some visual prompts from the drawn Doctor realizes it takes heat and love to power the machine. Chloe meanwhile has not only drawn the olympic stadium, causing everyone in there to disappear, but is in the process of drawing the whole Earth. Rose sees the olympic torch passing by and tosses the tiny ship into the flame. The alien leaves Chloe's body and everything that was drawn returns to life...unfortunately including the demonic version of her father who was fed off her fears. With her mother holding her and singing, Chloe is released of her fear and the drawing father never fully materializes. The torch makes its way to the olympic stadium and the combined heat and love of the crowd sends the ship on its way.
Most adults don't really like this episode but children do. Apparently that was the point as writer Matthew Graham flat said that he hated adults didn't like this but it was never intended for them. I did find the drawing powers to be very interesting and inventive. That being said a lot of the reason I don't particularly like this story is the child. I'm not sure if this was just something with that child actress or if it was the direction given...but this child is EXTREMELY annoying. 3/4ths of the time she's doing a sort of loud raspy whisper that royally gets on your nerves or she's just being a brat. I don't care for it but you may.
Army of Ghosts / Doomsday
The Doctor returns Rose home for a visit where they discover that humanity has been seeing ghosts for several months at particular times during the day. After conducting some experiments, the Doctor discovers they are not ghosts but things trying to get into this universe. He, Jackie, and Rose track the source of the ghosts to the Torchwood Institute where The Doctor and Jackie are taken to see the leader of Torchwood, Yvonne Hartman, while Rose hides in the TARDIS. Yvonne explains to the Doctor that several months back a strange sphere came through a breach in the wall and has been unable to be detected or sensed by any machine. The Ghosts are the result of Torchwood trying to use the breach as an energy source. The Doctor and Rose are taken to the sphere while unknown to anyone, three people of staff have been modified with earbuds. The Doctor sees the ship and realizes that it is a Void Ship intended to travel the void between dimensions. However at that time the three staff start an unscheduled ghost appearance and leave the gate open. Yvonne, the Doctor and Jackie rush to the top as Rose exits the TARDIS and finds her way to the sphere room where she discovers Mickey Smith! With the gate open, the ghosts fully materialize as Cybermen coming from the alternate universe, the void ship opens up to reveal four Daleks known as The Cult of Skaro.
This is a great way to end a season. There is a legitimate threat that gets doubled with random Daleks and goes into all-out mayhem. Doomsday also has one of the single greatest moments in Doctor Who history with the Daleks and Cybermen insulting each other briefly; quite possibly the funniest thing I've seen in the show. Rose's departure was a depressing one. While some people believe that the more subtle exit of Jo Grant from the Classic Series was a better companion exit, this was still good and powerful... it's too bad that it kinda gets screwed up in a couple seasons time but... we'll get to that later. This is a good ending to a pretty good season.
Series two took several steps in the right direction as the quality of the scripts and concepts certainly improved. Even the addition of the single worst abomination in Doctor Who history being nestled in this season, that doesn't take away from the great ideas and stories held within this season. This was a season to truly show what Doctor Who was about for the modern run and still holds strong now. Please join me again as we continue to examine all of Doctor Who.
This is Ghost, fading into the darkness
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