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Doctor Who - The Christmas Invasion

episode 2.1

UK 2005
produced by
Phil Collinson, Russell T. Davies (executive), Julie Gardner (executive) for BBC Wales/BBC
directed by James Hawes
starring David Tennant, Billie Piper, Camille Coduri, Noel Clarke, Penelope Wilton, Daniel Evans, Adam Garcia, Sean Gilde, Chu Omambala, Anita Breim, Sian McDowall, Paul Anderson
written by Russell T.Davies, music by Murray Gold

TV-series
Doctor Who, Doctor Who (David Tennant), Doctor Who (new series), Rose Tyler

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Doctor Who (David Tennant) has just regenerated into a new body (see last episode, Bad Wolf/Parting of the Ways), which means he doesn't feel too great. He just manages to steer his time machine, the TARDIS, to present day London so that his companion Rose (Billie Piper) can celebrate Christmas with her mother (Camille Coduri) and boyfriend (Noel Clarke), then he collapses, and since the Doctor is no human, nobody knows what to do to get him better ... which is a bad thing, because first, Christmas decoration starts attacking people, then the alien race the Sycorax stop by London and announce they want to enslave humanity. British prime minister Harriet Jones (Penelope Wilton - see episode Aliens of London/World War Three) tries to take responsibility, but as the Sycorax have taken over control over one third of the human population (via blood-control), her bargaining position is comparatively weak ... and remains so until the Doctor gets his strength back (by, of all things, tea), quickly renders harmless the aliens' blood control device and challenges the Sycorax leader (Sean Gilder) to a duel ... at the end of which he throws the evil alien from his spaceship down to earth - thump.

Since he is the winner,m the Doctor is now in a position to tell the rest of the aliens to bug off and never come back - and the Sycorax comply ... only in the end, prime minister Harriet Jones has the alien spaceship shot out of the skies by a secret organisation named Torchwood (whose own series might follow eventually in the real world), much to the dismay of the pacifist daughter. To avenge himself on her, the Doctor says the six words that might cost her her job to her assistant: "Do you think she looks tired ?"

 

Some great ideas are assembled in this episode: attacking Christmas decoration, the six words to impeach a PM, the Doctor duelling an alien invader in pajamas, the prime minister feeling the urge to introduce herself to everyone (including showing her ID) ... but somehow this episode doesn't fall together too greatly: Way too much time is spent showing Rose worrying by the Doctor's bedside, or even mourning the loss of a friend, while at the same time, the Doctor doesn't do anything but lieing around for way too long - and somehow these scenes take the steam out of the whole episode. It's only when David Tennant, who makes quite an energetic Doctor once he's up, is given the opportunity to act that the episodes shows its true potential - but that's too little too late ...

Still not a total loss, some witty ideas, good one-liners and Tennant's performance at least paint a bright future ...

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
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a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD