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Wednesday, January 02, 2008
2007 REVIEW: Part 2 - Doctor Who
Yup, because it's so effin' good, DOCTOR WHO gets a Top Ten all to itself. Plus it's unfair on all the other shows. So, overall, Series 3 was a marked improvement (not that there was much wrong before) on the first two (not to mention the first 20-odd) and had it all - laughs, drama and the return of an old foe. Notably the production values were incredible with some terrific direction even in the more lacklustre of episodes (I'm looking at you Dalek 2-parter!). DAVEY T got better and better and shone in the HUMAN NATURE two-parter. Sadly, MARTHA never got to step out of the shadow of ROSE although I enjoyed FREEMA's performance immensely. The music, from MURRAY GOLD, was particularly pleasing - the soundtrack has barely been off my CD player (yes, some of us still have CD players!). This year was the most consistent and also has the best four-episode run in the show's history! Here we go:

2007 DOCTOR WHO TOP TEN

10. THE LAZARUS EXPERIMENT
Nothing really remarkable about this one. A stout performance by MARK GATISS in a role he clearly relished and the first indication where the SAXON storyline was going. Apart from that, a bit meh. Didn't really care for the monster either.

9. THE SHAKESPEARE CODE
This one was a lot of fun with some top interplay between MARTHA and THE DOCTOR as well as SHAKESPEARE himself. The CGI background effects were terrific but the witches were rather poorly realised. Almost as poorly realised as the denoument...

8. SMITH & JONES
A great intro for a fab lady - MARTHA. The JUDOON are a welcome addition to the world of WHO-monsters and they looked ace - very well produced from the look to the sound. Again the ending was a bit unnecessary and the MRI machine was laughable. Still, the best series opener since, erm, 1978 - that's 'The Ribos Operation' fact fans.

7. THE SOUND OF DRUMS & THE LAST OF THE TIMELORDS
After the epic run up to UTOPIA, things had to go downhill. But only slightly. The finale does have a few problems but it was still a momentous two-parter. THE MASTER was amazing and JOHN SIMM was outstanding and I hope that he comes back. It was fantastic to see GALLIFREY portrayed so beautifully with a Time Lord in an old-school head-dress. Great use of music too, I loved the madness of the SCISSOR SISTERS song coupled with THE MASTER's treatment of The Doc. The final act (all the goodbyes) went on a little bit too long and this seems to be the current trend in both film and TV these days. Not as good as either the previous two series' finales.

6. VOYAGE OF THE DAMNED
Marvellous Christmas viewing with some mind-boggingly good CGI work alongside an equally mind-boggingly good cast. I just reviewed it a few posts back so go see HERE.

5. TIME CRASH
Appallingly brief but immensely satisfying. STEVEN MOFFAT does it again with PETEY D and DAVEY T sparring better than any incarnations of The Doctor have before. I long to see this happen again - 2009 specials BEEB?

4. GRIDLOCK
The final scene alone, in which THE DOCTOR finally comes clean about his home to MARTHA, would put this episode at number 4. So good. Otherwise, there are some neat CGI scenes with the cars, though not the MACRA (pretty poor), complimenting the tight cast. A classic, if simple, companion gets lost story.

3. BLINK
Poor STEVEN MOFFAT, only number three this year! He was number one last year but he has some ultra stiff competition this year. BLINK was genius though. Very clever and creepy as hell. Amazing that an episode that barely features The Doctor could be so good and yet still maintain the feel of WHO. Many of us wanted SALLY SPARROW to return as the next companion (still dreams).

2. HUMAN NATURE & THE FAMILY OF BLOOD
Criperstons, it just got personal! PAUL CORNELL delivers a script, based on his novel "Human Nature", that was pivotal in this series. Time Lord mythology was opened up for an audience who gratefully lapped it up. Surprising for a prime-time Saturday night show? Yes. DAVEY T was so flippin' good in this episode, notably in the scene with JOAN in the second episode where he cannot imagine why a man would be like THE DOCTOR. When he did return to being a Time Lord, it was a "very real and meaningful" moment. The music was sublime and the cast lived up to the high values with JESSICA HYNES and FREEMA delivering top drawer performances not to mention HARRY "Evil Boy" LLOYD and THOMAS "Good Boy" SANGSTER. And that ending? Christ, it has me blubbing still. Very powerful.

1. UTOPIA
So what could possibly beat the previous two entries? The final 15 minutes or so of this episode had me literally banging the floor in astonishment. The reveal of THE MASTER had me so bewildered that it still gets me when JACOBI hisses, "I am The Master". Brilliant. Apart from that we also got a great return of CAPTAIN JACK and the first three-parter (although for the purposes of this chart I have split this up from the proceeding episodes - 'cos they weren't as good) in new-WHO. Never has WHO been so exciting. In fact, I cannot recall any other television shows, or films for that matter, that left me so invigorated. Sout work RTD, stout work.

Feel free to comment on my Top Tens and post your own. I'd love to know what you guys & gals lurve too!


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posted by Cameron McEwan at 4:42 pm -
2 Comments:
  • At 2:43 pm, Blogger Richard Starkings said…

    UTOPIA was your favourite? Really?

    Hm.

    1. HUMAN NATURE/FAMILY OF BLOOD edges out BLINK because I encouraged a young Paul Cornell many years ago when i was the editor of the DOCTOR WHO comic strip.

    2. BLINK Anyone else reminded of that old children's TV serial with the girl and the encroaching stones? WHAT was that called?

    3. TIME CRASH because you just can't stop grinning from ear to ear all the way through

    4. SMITH AND JONES which didn't grab me at first but bears repeat viewing very well.

    5. 42 Not even on your list?! Great edge-of-your-seat stuff!

    6. UTOPIA/THE SOUND OF DRUMS/LAST OF THE TIME LORDS John Simm, nuff said!

    7. VOYAGE OF THE DAMNED Christmas, nuff said.

    8. DALEKS IN MANHATTAN/EVOLUTION OF THE DALEKS Because it had Daleks in it, Cam. You're just too harsh on this one.

    9 = THE LAZARUS EXPERIMENT. Mark Gatiss. Brilliant

    9 = GRIDLOCK. Love the hymn.

    Not a bad one in the bunch!

     
  • At 3:53 pm, Blogger Cameron McEwan said…

    I encouraged a young Paul Cornell many years ago when i was the editor of the DOCTOR WHO comic strip.

    Wow! HUMAN NATURE was genius.

    Anyone else reminded of that old children's TV serial with the girl and the encroaching stones? WHAT was that called?

    Like me, you were reminded of THE ENCHANTED CASTLE. It also had an eerie scene in it where the kids put on a show for mannequins they had made out of stuff round the house. Then they came to life! Shudders. Sadly it's unavailable on DVD and there's no clips on YOUTUBE, bah!

    I agree, there wasn't really a 'bad' episode last year. Although I don't like the DALEK 2-parter much, it still looked good and reminded me, in a good way, of the Sixties movies.

     
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