For those of you wondering just how Russell T. Davies’ run in charge of Doctor Who will end, the penultimate special, The Waters Of Mars will be airing later this year. The first trailer didn’t really have me sold on watching it: after what could be considered an ongoing series of climaxes while the series aired regularly, the specials haven’t offered much in the way of interest, coming across with the same standard as the series’ standalone episodes rather than those that fit in with each season’s mythology.
That said, at least The Waters Of Mars looks like it might have a bit more meat to it, with the Doctor philosophising about not interfering with time at certain points (guaranteed death, methinks) and a promise of how David Tennant might leave the role. There’s a similar feel to this episode as with The Impossible Planet/The Satan Pit, against which I have judged all Doctor Who episodes since and, to be honest, few of them have ever lived up to my expectations.
In the spirit of Easter, we just got treated to the “Doctor Who” special (one of David Tennant’s group of specials before he steps down for the role.) This one, “Planet Of The Dead,” co-starring…well, we’ll use the term ‘starring’ loosely, but we’ve also got Britain’s favourite sweaty comedian Lee Evans trying to act and Michelle Ryan trying to be Indiana Jones/Bionic Woman…hasn’t she already failed in that role?
The last special, “The Next Doctor” left me with a bit of a bad taste: in wasn’t terrible, but it was nowhere what I expected it to be from a ‘special’. It was a Christmas episode, same as the other Christmas episodes, and it lacked the epic feel that the seasons had.
“Planet Of The Dead” has much the same thing going on: the Doctor, Michelle Ryan and others get stuck on a London bus (the number 200, for those wondering) and gets sucked through a wormhole. So far, so typically “Doctor Who.” But turns out the planet’s being devoured by squid-monsters that eat metal (omnomnom) who might just end up finding their way back through the wormhole to start consuming Earth.
Dodgy effects and acting aside, it was typically “Doctor Who” nonsense. Nonsense being the operative word. Latent psychic powers amplified by an alien sun, royalty who like to steal stuff and some interfering government bodies: it reeked of all the stuff the Russel T. Davies likes to throw into his episodes, including some forced pathos and moral lessons wedged in there to.
The only sense of anything epic we got was from the end: it’s not like we didn’t know it already, but apparently “your song is ending.” Maybe there’s some hope yet, and Davies will bring together all his different story elements for the big grand finale…again. Not like he didn’t already do that last year, is it…sigh.
Coming soon: “The Waters of Mars.”