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Saturday, April 11, 2009
Happy Easter indeed!

Bloody women drivers!

Before I go on about how bottom~achingly life~assuring it is to have Doctor Who back on telly, I'll just start by stating how weird it is hearing Noel "Mickey" Clarke narrating Doctor Who Confidential - nice touch! Also, before I continue, you can see the "Next Time" trailer for the second special, The Waters Of Mars, HERE. And so to Planet of the Dead, the first Easter special in the history of TV Who. Oh, hold on - SPOILER alert. If you haven't seen this episode then do not read on - you have been warned.

Davey T realises that, despite what some say, this is NOT the 200th story

As regular SoTV~ers know, I dispensed with wearing trousers whilst watching the world's greatest television show some time ago (thank you Cathy T!) and my dry~cleaner will be rueing that decision again as Michelle "She's Been To Hollywood, Don'tcha Know" Ryan skimps onto screen with what can only be called trouser~tightening alertness. Wasn't too sure about her, having seen Ryan in Bionic Woman (barely made it through one episode), Merlin (likewise) and Easties but the Rye~Rye (as I will now call her) does a sterling job here performing an almost Romana~esque role (a naughty one too!) as the 'companion.'

Now, where's Mos Eisley?

Tennant, as always, was never less than tops in a role that is gonna have grown men reaching for their hankies (not like that!) at the end of the year. Like The Next Doctor, he's bright whilst bringing warmth and great humour with every flick of his dreamy eyes *coughs*, I mean sonic... Moving on, Noma Dumezweni returned as Captain Magambo and her performance is a worthy addition to the role~call of UNIT characters though she has become much more fleshed out than the one we saw in last year's heartbreaking Turn Left (though was that really her? Erm, probably not.). The moment when she points a gun at Malcolm (more of him to come) was a little unsettling (and I don't mean that in any pejorative sense) and I did think, for a mo, that the little guy was gonna take a lad in the face. Sorry, that sounds a bit rude, I meant to say "load in the face"...

Now, this Georgia Moffett that people speak of...

Malcolm was played by Lee Evans and, whether you like him or not, that is undoubtedly a stone~cold fact. Still not too sure about his role but when he told The Doc that he loved him, well, I lurved him for that. Also featuring in the 'not sure' department' were the Tritovores. Like the beetle in the aforementioned Turn Left, their mandables did seem a bit plastic~y and their 'hands' (kind of like hooves) should have been hidden a bit more. Having said that, I found them hugely engaging and was genuinely miffed that they didn't make it back to Earth with the bus~gang.

Won't somebody please think of the children???

That bus. That brilliant bus that looked so flippin' good for the majority of the story but was rendered slightly redundant when CGI'd during the finale. A flying bus I can handle, but one that looked so poor? That I cannot handle. Likewise the flying beasties (whom I shall now rename "The Bighties") were not realised to the normal standard that I have become used to in Who. Disappointing - but, as with the Tritovores, this didn't impair my enjoyment (though the bus really irked me).

Damn, Cam says he doesn't like the flying bus!

The desert, however, looked supreme and the direction was cinematic in the extreme - top marks to James Strong. His work throughout made my brain tickle itself with joy. Similarly, RTD and Gareth Roberts delivered a most enjoyable and laughworthy script - "Happy Easter," in particular, made me titter with gurlish delight. It's also worth remarking that Planet of the Dead had a very different feel to it, though the triumphant (and, it has to be said, cheesy) ending was right out of the RTD handbook.

How come fly creatures have those ear~pieces?

So, all in, some real good moments and set pieces slightly spoiled by sub~standard CGI and a flying bus. I won't get into the 'science' of it (what's the point? He's flying in time and space in a wooden box for eff's sake!) but exactly why couldn't UNIT figure out a way to send something through the Star~Gate, sorry, I mean worm~hole (*coughs*) to get the bus through? Just asking. The big question is (for me anyway), will Rye~Rye be back? No objections from me, though Mrs Stuff~On~TV may have something to say about it...

My song is ending? Don't you know I'm joining The Proclaimers?

'Til the next time,


Click HERE for more reviews from Series 4

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posted by Cameron McEwan at 12:34 am -
  • At 12:57 am, Blogger joy said…

    Good review, with great points made.

    I couldn't get a bead on Lady Catherine, the character - was she take-charge, adventuregirl? was she girlygirl complaining about her hair? I loved she did all the stunty stuff, that was fun.

    I was one of the few who watched Bionic Woman to the bitter end, but her accent always drove me batty and I think it distracted her too much. (She did one episode in her native accent, and she was remarkably better in it.)

    Re: the CGI. Did you watch in the oh-so-heralded HD? Could that have been why the CGI didn't hold up? Could also have been timing - they were right up to the wire before delivery, no? Eh, just wondering. Though the quality of what I was watching was fairly better than most, it was still a small, small box online, so I wasn't really put of by any of the CGI/Mill stuff.

    I loved Malcolm, he made for a pretty good sidekick.

    Overall, it was a bit of a romp, which was nice. Until the last scene anyway...

    ...sigh to the death knell of DT's tenure. But now, I can't wait til the next installment. (Dude, the anagram...think it's a really a portent of the future?)

  • At 6:08 am, Blogger Richard Starkings said…

    I loved Malcolm's, "Course you can, Malcolm" scarf. And I thought the Bighties were terrif. The kids gave it a unanimous thumbs up. Thumbs down to no new Who until late November. : (


  • At 10:42 am, Blogger Cameron McEwan said…


    Thanks, I am a point~maker!

    You watched BW to the end - you are even tougher than Rye~Rye.

    RE the CG - I didn't watch it in HD (I am but a poor student, alas). The bus doesn't come off well at all and in the commentary they say that they had to start again with the compooper stuff after the bus took a few hits on its actual (and much mentioned) journey.

    I hope Malcolm gets to return at some point and, I have to say, on second viewing I enjoyed him even more.

    I hadn't even thought about an anagram. The Waters Of Mars? I had a think, The Master Of Wars?

    Who knows.....?

    Lastly, I find it quite odd that the first person (and I hope not the last) to comment on this episode was from the US!

  • At 10:47 am, Blogger Cameron McEwan said…


    Ha ha, "Course you can, Malcolm" - nice! The scarf was a top touch. Wonder if we'll see the Evans~oid again? Hope we get to see the Tritovores again too.

    I must add that I liked the idea behind the Bighties too, quite unusual.

    On second viewing (third if you include watching it with the commentary), it stands up quite nicely apart from the end which I still think they fluffed.

    Only 6/7 months to go....

  • At 12:23 pm, Anonymous e247 said…

    Well, first id like to say good effort and secondly i see a little competition comigon between us DW sites.
    Blogtor Who, Planetgallifrey and Entertainment24/7 (my site) are all doing very well. Congrats. Not bragging, but i think that my site has just a bit more of popularity than yours

  • At 12:25 pm, Blogger Cameron McEwan said…


  • At 11:26 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    It just seemed to me it was a episode that should have been named, 'Doctor Who meets Lara Croft'! Very slow episode with not a lot going on. I think if they stayed filming in Cardiff(for the whole episode) they might have saved some money and time to produce a good 'special' and not this very flimsy episode. Course you can Malcolm courtesy of the Vicks Nasal Spray advert from 2003......and the actor from the ad was nigel plaskitt,he later appeared in a dr who story,the ribos operation with iain cuthbertson.

  • At 9:12 am, Blogger Cameron McEwan said…

    lurve The Ribos Operation, great story.

  • At 11:52 am, Blogger Mark Donaldson said… was certainly better than Fear Her.

  • At 12:00 pm, Blogger Cameron McEwan said…


    Tut~tut Marky D, looks like that dissertation is turning you into the grump~a~zoid!

    I am revoking your rights to party on Sexy Tuesday, active immediately!

    But you are right, it was better than Fear Her...

    ... as well as everything between Androzani and Rose!

    There, I said it! Take that society!

    PS. I'm not really revoking your right to party on Sexy Tuesday - I couldn't do that to you.

  • At 9:29 pm, Blogger Rebecca said…

    Call me crazy, but I really think Malcolm is the Master...

    Really entertaining review!

  • At 10:15 pm, Blogger Cameron McEwan said…

    Thanks Rebecca, most appreciated.

    As for Malcolm being The Master?
    You'll get your answer at Christmas time...

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