|A jaw-dropping year for DOCTOR WHO in many ways. Mainly emotional but it's worth noting the shock value mainly due to some well kept secrets. How does it compare to last year? Well there were episodes that were better than the best of Eccleston but there a few that were not as good - an uneven season but all in all I would say that, sue to the high quality of episodes like GIRL IN THE FIREPLACE and THE IMPOSSIBLE PLANET as well as the amazing finale, it is better. Consistency needs to be addressed.
TOP TEN WHO OF 2006
10. THE IDIOT'S LANTERN
I was really looking forward to this one but it does not work that well. Mark Gatiss doesn't come close to his previous story, THE UNQUIET DEAD, and this disappoints. Although it looked great and the chemistry between Piper and Tennant was tip-top, the story itself was muddled. What could have been...
9. LOVE & MONSTERS
Great cast, shame about the denoument. Set up brilliantly and well acted this could have been a topper but once the monster was revealed, all drama was gone. Very RTD. Apparently, if downloads counted alone, ELO's "Mr Blue Sky" would have charted! This rule has just been changed, so will we see more tunes in Who?
8. NEW EARTH
A very flashy start to the new season. Again, a great set up with lots of mystery and genuine interest but rather fluffed with poor science (an intravenous drug being sprayed on people to make them better, then they touch people to make them well, I mean, Time-Travel I believe...). The Cat Nuns were well realised and I am glad to see they make a return later this year although the return of Cassandra was not as welcome but they did, at least, handle her well especially with the body swapping (although it did get a it tedious). Super effects though, very STAR WARS.
7. THE RUNAWAY BRIDE
This started off so well, the intrigue, the TARDIS on the motorway. Brilliant, but RTD strikes again with poor science and a lazy denoument. Tate was fab as was Tennant carefully handling the Rose situation. As for the spider though..... Oh yeah, second mention of "Saxon" (the first being in LOVE & MONSTERS on a newspaper), is this the new word for season 3? The penultimate epsisode of TORCHWOOD featured a "Vote for Saxon" poster too....
6. RISE OF THE CYBERMEN/AGE OF STEEL
Although slightly eighties in feel, this was a very enjoyable romp and I loved the look of the Cybermen. The second half wasn't as good as the first with many questions and mysteries being a bit fluffed. A parallel Doctor would have been stupendous. A great departure for Mickey too.
5. TOOTH AND CLAW
Who in Scotland and Tennant showed off his accent. There was some real good stuff here, namely the monk scene at the start and the formation of TORCHWOOD at the end. As usual the cast were on form and the setting was suitably scary.
4. SCHOOL REUNION
Man, there was a tear-jerker of a moment when SJ first appeared and Tennant played it exquisitely. She was ace and Anthony Head was a villanous, erm, villian? I hope he's back as The Master.... Emotion reared it's head a number of times and showed a different dynamic to the show hinting at what was to come...
3. THE IMPOSSIBLE PLANET/SATAN PIT
Now this was a story and a half. Superbly realised in all areas and really gripping, in particular, the clifhanger. During the second half, I wondered how they were gonna fit it all in and thought it might go to a three-parter! The inclusion of The Beast (his son recently seen in TORCHWOOD) was a masterstroke and top marks to Gabriel Wolfe for some chilling vocal work. This was better than anyting from the previous season.
2. ARMY OF GHOSTS/DOOMSDAY
Everytime I see the clip of Rose leaving the Doctor I want to weep. Emotionally this hit new highs and as for the cliffhanger when the DALEKS appeared, inspired. A truly awesome finale from the return of Mickey (again another chosk, or even shock), the appearance of TORCHWOOD; to the "what the hell it that?" Genesis Ark. A very satisfying end to an inconsistent season. Oh yeah, the Daleks and Cybermen had a battle too and Catherine Tate appeared!
1. THE GIRL IN THE FIREPLACE
Not only is this an example of perfect Who, its an example of perfect TV. Structurally excellent, this one gets you from the start with a mystery that only gets resolved, for the audience, in the last few seconds. Tennant and Myles work well together and the clockwork droids were the biz. Moffat adds a depth and 'adultness' that not many have so far, if only this could have been a movie!
What do you call a cow with no legs?
Til the next time