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In his time machine, Doctor Who (David Tennant) and Rose (Billie Piper)
return to London to visit her mother (Camille Coduri), to find out the
whole city (and actually the whole earth) is visited by ghosts who
regularly come every noon and whom everybody seems to have accepted as
dead relatives coming back for a visit - which is something the Doctor
just can't accept, and soon enough he has traced the origin of the ghosts
back to the Torchwood-organisation, a sinister, para military but
gouvernment funded organisation that deals with alien occurences and the
like (and eventually, Torchwood will be spun off into its own series, but
that's besides the point).
Yvonne Hartman (Tracy-Ann Oberman), head of Torchwood, welcomes the
Doctor and company with open arms - but also makes it clear that they are
Torchwood's prisoners - and explains to the Doctor that they ahve found
this orb that doesn't seem to exist (in our dimension) yet it's here, so
Torchwood has decided to investigate it, and if the orb releases ghosts
from time to time that make everyone a bit happier, all the better ...
Of course, the Doctor immediately realizes that the orb is much more
dangerous than anybody imagines, and right he is, because the ghosts soon
materialize for good and turn out to be the Cybermen from another
dimension (see episodes Rise
of the Cybermen/The Age of Steele), and they do what
Cabermen always do: Try to take over the planet. Only this time they ahve
come in full force and have materialized everywehre that counts before
earth can even think of putting up its defenses ...
Of course, if the Cybermen can cross over from another dimension, so
can Rose's boyfriend Mickey (Noel Clarke) and her dad (Shaun Dingwall), to
support the Doctor in his fight against the invaders - which seems to be a
losing battle from the start - but then out of the orb exit four Daleks,
against whom even the millions upon millions of Cybermen are no match ...
and the Daleks have brought reinforcements in a small container locked bya
the Timelords (Doctor Who's own race) they evetnually manage to open, and
soon it's millions of Cybermen against millions of Daleks, withthe humans
caught in the middle.
Then though the Doctor has this plan to suck all of the Daleks and all
of the Cabermen into the void between dimensions and close the door
between dimensions for good - thing is, for doing that he has to send
Rose, her mom, her dad and Mickey to the other dimension and will never
ever be able to see them again.
Well, sometimes big sacrifices ahve to be made to save the world ...
Of course, the Doc's plan to suck the Daleks and the Cybermen into the
void proves to be a smashing success, and in the end, he has even found a
way to bid Rose farewell.
Freema Agyeman, who will play Doctor Who's companion in the third
season is introduced here, but her role is insignificant to the
proceedings. The last shot also shows Catherine Tate as The Bride,
who will star in the Christmas Special The Runaway
Daleks versus Cybermen - now that sounds
exciting on one hand, on the other it also sounds like a surefire miss. In
all the episode of course never lives up to its promisebut is somewhat ok
as a mindless sci-fi actioner with even some nice idea (like invaders
disguising as ghosts and convincing the earthlings that they are their
loved relatives coming round for a visit). What really brings the episode
down though is the inclusion of cheesy soap opera about Rose's family
reunion, which more often than not halts the plot instead of contributing
to it. This in one word is just bullshit. And then there's this prolongued
farewell-sequence that is nothing short of pure, unadulterated kitsch. Why
did that happen ? I never heard anybody complaining that Doctor Who
just isn't cheesy enough, and I'm quite confident noone ever did. Now if
the soap opera bits and the farewell sequence were written any better, it
wouldn't be half as bad, but they are jsut steeped int he most atrocious
clichés, which one simply wouldn't have come to expect from the man who
as Folk. A pity !