Daily Archives: July 26, 2008

Doctor Who; The Stolen Earth (pt. 1) Review

This episode was written by Russell T. Davies (RTD), and is the first of a two-part season finale.  Season finales are always exciting…and the first part is usually a setup of the second, The Stolen Earth, part 1 is no exception.  First, as this was only the first part, it’s hard to say how the whole show will play out, but it worked really well as a hook, and to get the storyline underway.

Guess what — the Earth is in danger again; and, this time, the whole Scooby gang is on the case.  When the Earth is snatched out of orbit, literally jerked out from under the TARDIS (how exactly did this not effect our solar system?…I know, I know, that’s for part 2 probably…) the gang is on it: Donna, The Doctor, the TARDIS, Martha, Captain Jack, Ianto, Gwen, Sarah Jane, Luke, Mr. Smith, Wilf, Sylvia (Donna’s mum), and of course…Rose.

The first commercial break of the night, here in the states, comes on and in wonderful irony it was an advert for Preparation H…yes, The Doctor might have need of it before the story plays out.  So, back to the show; we see the world in the midst of panic, while the news services suggest to everyone, “Don’t Panic.”  Perhaps the human populace would have heeded the order if they had a copy of The Hitchhiker’s Guide on hand.

In the midst of the panic, Ianto is channel surfing, and in a great setup for my blog, who should appear on the TV to offer their wise opinion on the situation but Dick Dawkins, Ph.D., the proselytizing atheist himself (I had the passing thought that maybe the Preparation H was actually for the audience at this point…)  Now who in their right mind would choose Dawkins to publicly broadcast during a universal crisis?  Apparently RTD would….but wait, of course! Dawkins is smarter than everyone…he has a science degree; however, he shouldn’t quit his day job to pursue an acting career…

Ianto apparently agrees with me, and quickly changes the channel.  Anywho, we now get a “clue” who’s behind the Earth snatching as “EXTERMINATE!” blares through every speaker on the globe.  And that can mean only one thing; the Daleks. Now, the actors do a great and wonderful job communicating their characters’ fear, helplessness, and terror, esp. John Barrowman as Captain Jack…but I have to ask; is anyone in the audience actually fearful?  I mean, when I used to hear, “Resistance is futile,” whilst watching Star Trek, my blood would run cold while Captain Jean Luc Picard’s face became more stern than normal as we knew the Borg was on the scene…with the Daleks…not so much.  I mean, every time they show they get pwned by the Doctor and/or his Scooby gang.

The Doctor, meanwhile is having trouble locating Earth, it is gone without a trace to track, so he whisks himself and Donna to the Shadow Proclamation, the cops of the ‘verse, to track down the missing globe (and the other 26 planets that have gone missing as well).  With the help of Donna, he succeeds, and is off again in the TARDIS to the Medusa Cascade…where he can’t find the Earth…again.

Of course “The Children of Time” as Davros (the big bad returned from the old days) calls the Doctor’s Scooby gang, manage to link together online thanks to Harriet Jones (former Prime Minister).  They come up with a plan to call on The Doctor…seeming very much like an energy-form of prayer, and Rose manages to add in a “real” prayer as well, beseeching the heavens, I mean the Doctor, to find her.

On the TARDIS, Donna is having to give the Doctor a pep talk whilst he leans James-Dean like against a bulkhead, sulking in his Converse sneakers.  The prayer…I mean the call finally comes through, is answered, and The Doctor, after a conversation with Davros, finds his way to land on Earth…right in front of a cathedral.

Coming to the end of the hour, we know everyone is going to be stuck in a dangerous situation, but wait just a minute!  The Doctor and Donna stand yammering outside the TARDIS, and who should appear on the horizon but a certain blonde ex-companion, and love of The Doctor’s: Rose.  He’s happy, Rose fans are happy, The Ten/Rose shippers are happy…but blast it, we know that the cliffhanger is coming, and sure enough as Ten and Rose sprint toward one another in glee, the Doctor gets shot by a Dalek.  Cap’n Jack with his “great” timing pops in and destroys the Dalek only after it zaps the Doctor, and then he helps a crying Rose get the Doctor back into the TARDIS.

What’s the cliffhanger?  The Doctor is apparently regenerating; glowing golden energy and all, while Rose, Jack, and Donna watch.  TO BE CONTINUED…

This was a “fun” episode, lots of excitement, and I loved the graphics of the 27 stolen planets floating around.  I have to say that I do know that this is meant to be a season ender, and so big villains and big plots are expected, but isn’t that a bit of a problem?  We, as the audience, know that these things are going to occur, does that not take away some of the suspense?  The acting in this eppy was as good as always, and I enjoyed seeing all the major players on the screen helping each other out.  It will be interesting to see the last installment, and to see more interaction between the cast.

I’ve already touched upon most of the “spiritual” aspects that jumped out at me in this episode, the only other ones being a lot of references to pride and arrogance, as well as the focus on humanity and humans on the show.  As I said I look forward to the second part, to see if these themes persist.  I do feel the Messiah-like concept is still full force in the Who ‘verse, but we again see the limits of a limited being like the Doctor, even if being forced into a Messiah-like position; for example, not being able to be at all places at once, in all times at once.

Good episode overall, and one you need to watch to get set for part 2…

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