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Doctor Who - Voyage of the Damned

episode 4.0

UK 2007
produced by
Phil Collinson, Russell T.Davies (executive), Julie Gardner (executive) for BBC Wales/BBC
directed by James Strong
starring David Tennant, Kylie Minogue, Geoffrey Palmer, Russell Tovey, George Costigan, Clive Swift, Debbie Chazen, Clive Rowe, Jimy Vee, Gray O'Brien, Andrew Havill, Bruce Lawrence, Bernard Cribbins, Nicholas Witchell, Paul Kasey, Stefan Davis, Jason Mohammed, Yamit Mamo
written by Russell T.Davies, music by Murray Gold

tv-series
Doctor Who, Doctor Who (David Tennant), Doctor Who (new series)

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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It's Christmas on earth, and for some reason, Doctor Who (David Tennant) lands on the Titanic - not the earth ship that crashed into an iceberg mind you but an interstellar cruise spaceship that is to visit earth for Christmas.When the Doctor and his new friend Astrid (Kylie Minogue) teleport down to earth though, they find London empty - mainly because there seems to be an alien invasion every Christmas (see episodes The Christmas Invasion and The Runaway Bride). But there are actually far more pressing matters at hand since the Titanic, it seems, is on a collision course with earth (which would effectively destroy the planet), something her captain (Geoffrey Palmer), a terminally ill man in the employ of some sinister power, actually supports, so much so that he even flies his ship into a meteor shower which kills most of the cast and crew (and himself too).

As always, it's now upon the Doctor and a small group of survivors including Astrid and ignorant but likeable earth historian Copper (Clive Swift) to find a way to save the earth, find out who's behind all of this and make their way to the bridge, where inexperienced midshipman Frame (Russell Tovey) does his best to keep things from getting even worse. What complicates matters of course is the fact that the service robots, the Hosts (who look remarkably like golden angels) have turned hostile and are now out to kill survivors of the meteor shower.

Of course, the Doctor ultimately figures everything out, and finds the man behind it all aboard the ship: Max Capricorn (George Costigan), the owner of the company that owns the Titanic who is also a cyborg (on wheels), and who, since the company stocks are falling, tries to create a grande exit, at the end of which he alone will be saved. But when the Doctor finally finds all of this out, it might already be to late since he is surrounded by Hosts ordered to kill ... but enter Astrid with a forklift, who ultimately throws Capricorn into the ship's reactor, even if it costs her own life - and breaks the Doctor's heart, who has chosen her as his new travelling companion.

And ultimately, the Doctor also manages to make his way to the bridge - by way of Hosts that are now no longer hostile and that can fly - and save the Titanic just before it crashes into Buckingham Palace.

 

Generally speaking, the new Doctor Who series was a bit of an affair of hit-or-miss, with most of the previous season's episodes belonging to the latter category. Voyage of the Damned however proves that the series is not out of breath by a long shot, merging consciously corny plot elements with intentional humour, action that doesn't relie too much on CGI effects and screwy science fiction logic. Add to this a bit of plot stolen from the classic series episode The Robots of Death and Kylie Minogue, and you have one entertaining piece of science fiction television.

 

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
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