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Doctor Who - The Empty Child / Doctor Who - The Doctor Dances

episodes 1.9, 1.10

UK 2005
produced by
Phil Collinson, Russell T.Davies (executive), Mal Young (executive), Julie Gardner (executive) for BBC Wales/BBC
directed by James Hawes
starring Christopher Eccleston, Billie Piper, John Barrowman, Florence Hoath, Albert Valentine, Noah Johnson (voice), Richard Wilson, Kate Harvey, Damian Samuels, Cheryl Fergison, Luke Perry, Robert Hands, Brandon Miller, Joseph Tremain, Vilma Hollingbery
written by Steven Moffat, music by Murray Gold

tv-series
Doctor Who, Doctor Who (Christopher Eccleston), Doctor Who (new series), Rose Tyler, Captain Jack

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Pursuing an alien spaceship through time & space, the Doctor  (Christopher Eccleston) & Rose (Billie Piper) land in London 1941, at the height of the German air raids, & soon they get separated: While Rose experiences the current air raid in mid air, holding to a rope hanging from a blimp, & eventually being saved by charming spaceship commander Captain Jack Harkness (John Barrowman), whom she soon falls for, the Doctor finds young Nancy (Florence Hoath), who spends the time during the air raids raiding houses for food, then feeding it to homeless children & young runaways.

But she seems doomed, since a little boy with a gasmask (Albert Valentine, voice by Noah Johnson), always calling her mummy, is following her around, & if the Doctor is to believe her, he is dangerous.

... & the boy really is, the Doctor soon has to learn from  Doctor Constantine (Richard Wilson), who has treated him & others like him in his hospital, people who are infected by physical injuries, grow gasmasks (!) & exist in a weird undead state. But as if that wasn't enough, the Doctor sees Constantine turn into one of these zombies as well.

Eventually, the Doctor & Rose & Captain Jack meet up again, & it turns out jack is nothing but a con man with a time machine, who tries to sell pieces of space junk as weaponry from the future, but always parks the junk in London during the air raids so it can be bombed before anyone finds out his scheme.

It seems that the whole undead affair started with his current piece of space jung, but he insists it is nothing more than an ambulance that's totally empty ... which is not quite true, as the Doctor wfinds out after a few more undead attacks. The ambulance was full of nano-genes, micro-robots programmed to heal each injured being they come in touch with ... only the nano-genes have never seen a human before coming to earth, & once here the first one they saw was a dead little boy with a gasmask, who doesn't know who his mummy is ... so the nano-genes, with the best of purposes, to heal, try to build all mankind after the boy's image.

It's only when the Doctor figures out that young Nancy is actually the boy's mummy - which she has always kept secret since she was 15 & unwed at childbirth - & persuades her to go to him, comfort him & finally tell him, that the nano-genes switch their strategy, learning more about the humans' DNA & everybody is healed. & even the bomb that is about to hit them all, can be teleported to Jack's ship, & he flies it to outer space ... where it explodes.

But thank god the Doctor & Rose stopped by in their timemachine to save him ...

 

A story that blends hte London air raids & zombies in gas masks can't be all bad - & this one isn't, an atmospheric tale that combines the horrors of war & the horrors of zombies, with portions of silly science fiction thrown in & all along never taking itself too seriously . Only the cheesy ending, where everyone is saved, is a bit of a letdown.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
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
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

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