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Five Reviews Of The BBC's 28th DOCTOR WHO Season Premiere!!

I am – Hercules!!

The 28th season premiere of “Doctor Who” hit the BBC today and the limey Britishers are here to regale us with rundowns!

“Doctor Dan” says:

Season 2, Episode 1: "New Earth"

Director:
James Hawes (Sea Of Souls, Holby City)

Writer:
Russell T. Davies

Cast:
David Tennant: The Doctor
Billie Piper: Rose Tyler
Noel Clarke: Mickey
Zoe Wannamaker: Cassandra
Michael Fitzgerald: Duke
Lucy Robinson: Clovis
Dona Croll: The Matron
Adjoa Andoh: The Sister
Anna Hope: The Novice
Sean Gallagher: Chip

Synopsis:
The Doctor takes Rose to visit mankind's new home, in the far future. But once there they discover a sinister hospital run by cat-like creatures and meet their old enemy Lady Cassandra...

DOCTOR DAN'S DIAGNOSIS:

Doctor Who returned to our screens with a new face in the TARDIS, self-confessed Whovian David Tennant. Freed from the expectations and massive publicity of Who's return last year, the second series has a lot to build upon. Series 1 was undoubtedly a huge success story for the BBC, but more discerning viewers were quick to note the show's failings. Can Who 2 fill in the cracks?

New Earth is written by executive producer Russell T. Davies, whose scripts last year became notorious for their, well, relative mundanity when compared to the rest of the series. Unfortunately, Davies story is again typical of the new Doctor Who simply going through the motions, with little thought for logic and anything approaching originality.

Essentially, the story concerns The Doctor discovering that a futuristic hospital in New New York (yes, a gag stolen from Futurama) has erradicated all disease -- but of course there's a sinister downside to the apparent utopia. Elsewhere, Rose is again unrealistically split from The Doctor and has her body inhabited by Cassanda (the "last human" supposedly destroyed last series).

Russell T. Davies indulges himself in his own mythology, with two returning aliens to the series appearing in New Earth. Unfortunately, this really just reminds viewers that there's nothing new to see here. The structure of the story is meandering and the comedy elements somewhat forced (although Rose/Cassandra gets a few good lines). It's also a little tiring that so many episodes limit themselves to stage-bound "satellites", "space stations" and now a "hospital". All such shows have a restricted and stagey feel that never goes away, no matter how many CGI greenscreen you stick in every window.

David Tennant has already proven himself a worthy successor to Christopher Ecclestone in The Christman Invasion last year, but it's a little disappointing that New Earth doesn't give him much opportunity to expand on the role. The only new impression we get from this episode is that he's more of an action-man (would Ecclestone's Doc have slid down an elevator cable with Rose on his back?)

Elsewhere, the only really memorable aspect to New Earth was some fantastic make-up effect for the cat-like inhabitants of New New York, and some pretty good CGI buildings. Zoe Wannamaker is always good value, no matter how ludicrous her character's return is at heart a ludicrous turn of events.

Overall, by the time New Earth devolves into a zombie movie, the plot turns get more silly and unlikely (the over-used Cassandra body-swaps, the Doc's solution being a silly disinfectant idea, etc). Typically of a Russell T. Davies script, it just screams old-hat throughout and didn't offer anything of any real interest or meat for audiences over 10 years of age. Just another half-decent children's adventure, basically. If this is what you expect from Doctor Who, that's fine -- but for those of us who believe children's imaginations deserve to be stretched more, New Earth is just a silly run-of-the-mill adventure...

The Good:
1. Some good CGI buildings
2. Really excellent cat-people make-up
3. Some humorous moments when The Doctor and Rose are "possessed".
4. The hospital interiors are quite good, considering.

The Bad:
1. The plot is just full of holes (how do the zombies know how to speak/walk?)
2. Some crappy CGI spaceships and elevator shaft greenscreen
3. Did I spot some reuse of sets from last year's finale of "Rose"?
4. Chip. God, I hate those generic Doctor Who henchmen!

The Geeky:
1. The Face Of Bo - a cult character if ever I saw one - and just what will his message to The Doctor be at the time of his death? My guess is that the Time Lords aren't all dead...
2. Those cute little "robo-spiders" from "The End Of The World" make a return to the show!

NEXT WEEK: The Doctor and Rose travel back in time to meet Queen Victoria and protect her from a frightening werewolf!

RATING:2.5 / 5.0

“Celtican” says:

What's it Called
'New Earth' by Russell T Davies

What's it about?
The newly regenerated tenth Doctor takes Rose to a planet called New Earth where a sisterhood of feline nurses harbour a horrific secret, they also meet an old friend and an old enemy. On visiting an alien hospital, patients are being healed at a remarkable rate from some pretty terminal illnesses. Rose gets separated from the Doctor and comes face to face with Cassandra O'Brien, the 'last human'. The Doctor is summoned (via his psychic paper) to meet the Face of Boe. When they reunite they unlock a terrible secret that Sisterhood have been understandably keeping quiet.

What's Good?
The episode is a follow up last years 'The End of the World' set some years later. New Earth has a New York or should I say New New York (so good they named it twice) with it's own NNYPD. There are some funny moments including the elevator decontamination scene, the 'Doctor' dancing a samba and the aftermath of the kiss....David Tennant owns the role and is extremely watchable, it will be interesting to see what he does with the role. Billie Piper shows that she is more than just a pretty face as she plays two roles in this episode with aplomb.

What's Bad?
It's not the greatest episode but it has it's moments. There's a bit of obvious set redressing (from the episode 'Rose') if you keep your eyes open. Considering this is billions of years in the future, a lot hasnt changed. They still have modern day lifts/elevators mechanisms, telephones and their kiosks, fire alarm buttons but hey I'm nitpicking. There are a few sci-fi cliches (borrows) in the episode (think TOS's Turnabout Intruder meets the Matrix in Dawn of the Dead..you get the idea). All in all thought it's a good opener for what's to come.

How does it end? *(Spoilers)*
The Doctor lives up to his name and saves the day, the Face of Boe leaves an enigmatic message and an old enemy passes on....or do they?

“Sprigga” says:

Evening...This is Sprigga from Liverpool, UK commenting on the brand new Dr Who series which is upon us at last.

I sat down hoping the show's creators had picked up from the best of last year and built on what they had. Unfortunately they haven't. This episode borrows heavily from one of last seasons stinkers, the one set on the Space Station overlooking a dying Earth, the one with the variety of silly gay aliens, the one I hated for it's OTT campness.

What's it Called :
NEW EARTH

What's the gist :
The doctor receives a psychic call from a hospital in New new new new new new new new new new new new new new new York city, year 5 billion and 23. The hospital is run by a race of human-sized cats (no pussy jokes I swear) who seem able to perform miracle cures. But while roaming the grounds the Doctor and Rose become seperated and the latter runs into a dermitological enemy of the past.

Is there a sinister secret :
Does a timelord shit in a tardis?

So, what's Good :
The Back to the Future-style rendition of Earth with a distant jetstream of flying cars is good for a TV show. The makeup on the feline surgeons that run the hospital is first rate, but they do very little. Rose gets to sex things up a little, so if she is your thing then you have something to look forward to. The Dr is good too, a little more intense that his predecessor.

What's Bad :
The look, the feel. Dr Who is in danger of becoming a Sci Fi show dressed up in a pantomime dress. The Hospital story is not strong enough to sustain a whole episode on its own so a side story exists. But as the episode progresses the two stories don't compliment each other; in truth its the opposite. As one part becomes sinister or intense the other part becomes camp and silly: Dr acting like a woman, Rose acting like Dick Van Dyke, all this while being chased by a hord of purposely plagued humans.

How does it end Spoiler boy :
The Doctor was summoned to New Earth because one of the oldest species living (basically a massive head in a jar) has some special wisdom he wishes to pass on. But he will only tell it to "A mysterious traveller, one without a home". Who could that be? Unfortunately 3 is the magic number with this guy. Having already met the Doc twice Meathead says he'll only spill the beans the next time they meet. He pisses off before he says anything else.

Rating :
* * out of * * * * *

Next week's looks better with A CG werewolf stalking Queen Elizabeth.

“Amir” says:

New Earth.

But is it really a new Doctor Who? The show starts off well, despite ripping-off Futurama (New New York, or more appropriately New New New New New New New New New New New New New New New York), with the Doctor and Rose in the year 5 billion and something or another. The first thing my mum said was "That's just like Dubai!" While I didn't think so at first, when we see the hospital that the Doctor and Rose go to visit, it is clearly modelled after the Burj-Al-Arab (the world's only/first (not quite sure) seven-star hotel, shaped like a sail). The special effects for New New York are pretty good for the BBC, and the make-up on the Cat Nurses in the Hospital is pretty good too. There's a lot of flirting between the Doctor and Rose to start with, though they soon part ways in the hospital. Rose stumbles across the reborn Cassandra, that skin-only lady from the 27.2, whose brain survived and now has new skin gathered from her... uh... Well, as Rose puts it out "Now you're talking out of your ar-!" Well, that skin doesn't last long as thanks to a handy-dandy new machine Cassandra (with help from her creepy helper) transfers her mind into Rose's body. Cue an amusing scene with Billie Piper admiring her own body, only to cry out "Oh My God! I'm A Chav [Brit slang, equivalent of "white-trash"]!" Meanwhile, the Doctor is taken aback by how all these Cat Matrons manage to cure supposedly incurable diseases. Hmmmmmmmm...

Well, after testing her new body by snogging the Doctor (ummm, I guess that's French Kissing across the Atlantic, and I don't see why fans are uppity about this, since technically it's not really Rose, though Tennant's post-kiss squeak was hilarious) Cassandra/Rose and the Doctor find that the Cat Matrons have created new, full-grown adult human bodies, referred to as the Flesh, to infect with every disease known to man (they all look like they're suffering from old-school syphilis or a really bad case of herpes). This seemed to me to be Russell T Davies presenting his views on stem cell research and playing God, with the Doctor verbally assaulting the Head Matron for initiating the project. A bit preachy for my liking, though the Flesh soon become Doctor Who zombies, as Cassandra/Rose blows up some shit and frees them all. "Help Us... Uhhhhhhhhh... Help Us..." There's a lot of running about, culminating with the Doctor disinfecting the lot of them by mixing all the cures kept in drip bags around the hospital (reminded me of the Rocky creation scene from the Rocky Horror Picture Show).

Now this is where I find fault. I think R T Davies is a good writer, just he's decided to cop out with another "Cure everybody/God, isn't the human race wonderful?!" ending. Oh well. Not a bad episode, but I just felt that the ending was far too happy. Cassandra even manages to inhabit the body of her helper, who's dying away, and go back in time and tell herself how beautiful she is. Personally, I would've thought that would have affected the old Cassandra somehow and would have f**ked up that whole space-time continuum thing, but hey, it's sci-fi, not science fact.

The best part about this episode? Apart from the mentioned one-liners and the special effects, it had to be the preview for the next episode. I'm not a fan of episodes where the Doctor travels to the past, but with baldy Brit Shaolin monks with staffs in Victorian England and Werewolves with better CGI than Harry Potter III (which isn't saying much normally, but for a BBC TV series is an amazing feat), and the following making-of on BBC Three, Doctor Who Confidential, offered us brief previews of Anthony Stewart Head (!) chewing scenery, Cybermen, more flying-dragon type things (though different from the apocalyptic dragons of the last series), more Doctor Who in lady-killer mode and more bald Brit shaolin monks, now flying through the air! Woo-Hoo!

“Kelvington” saw it early:

Dear Herc,

Here is mostly spoiler free review of Doctor Who's second series opener called "New Earth".

Doctor Who – Enters it’s second season (minor spoilers)

There are few shows in the history of television UK, or American that would dare to introduce it’s new leading man on Christmas day. Hell, most networks show little more than test patterns during the entire week from Christmas to New Years. But Doctor Who dared to introduce us to David Tennant on Christmas, with an episode centered around events happening Christmas no less! Not very PC is it? The audience watching was huge! This was just a taste of that which was to come.

For few among you that didn’t know, “Doctor Who” is about to enter it’s second series of the twenty-first century tonight night. If this is news to you, you’re probably not living anywhere within a ten thousand miles of the UK. Because every television news broadcast, or morning chat show has been overrun with interviews, B-Roll, and coverage of everything that is Doctor Who.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the show, but too much promotion can lead to disastrous results. Now having seen this first new episode called “New Earth” I can tell you, it does lives up to the hype. I’m not big on spoilers but I will give you a little taste.

The episode takes place in the far, far future, a few years after the destruction of Earth, you probably remember that from last year. On a planet called “New Earth”, where the doctor runs into the ultimate flatlander “Cassandra” and another big face you’ll recognize turns up as well, and we run into some very matronly feline nurses.

Now the idea of cats running a hospital is very scary too me, how could you NOT think they are evil? Cats aren’t known for the kind works, when was the last time you heard about of a cat pulling someone one out of burning building? So take me to the planet where DOGS run the hospital then I’ll know it’s safe!

While the Doctor gets all caught up in trying to figure what’s going on, Cassandra has some plans of her own for Rose, which I regret to say involves some snogging between Rose and The Doctor. I have to say I’m very old school here, I hate when the Doctor is linked in any way romantically with one of his human companions. Romana sure, she’s a fellow timelord, and it’s perfectly acceptable. But I digress.

Much has been said about the upgraded effects this year to that I respond “WHO CARES!” The show isn’t about the effects, if you want great effects watch re-runs of Firefly or BSG. “Doctor Who” has never been about the effects, it’s been about good story telling on a level that children will enjoy. Yes, they are a tad more flashy this year, but the Doctor still travels around in what amounts to a wooden box. Not very hi-tech is it?

In the world of “Doctor Who” the script’s the thing, that’s what really matters, and Rusell T. Davies has delivered a wonderfully entertaining story in “New Earth”. They have really mastered the concept of show me something which should horrify me, then give me a bit of a chuckle to ease my mind. Tomorrow night’s show is no exception. While it’s not Dalek scary, there are still some moments that might give little kids a bit of a fright. Plus there is more than enough laughs to make every “Doctor Who” fan smile.

From the script, to the direction, to some of the best acting from Billie Piper we’ve seen since “Father’s Day” tonight's “New Earth” takes us to a new series, a new Doctor, and new set of reasons to enjoy this classic series.

Just my 2¢,
Kelvington









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Readers Talkback
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  • April 15, 2006, 2:28 p.m. CST

    That's not a review

    by Celtican

    Thats just pre-empting the inevitable!

  • April 15, 2006, 2:33 p.m. CST

    Does anyone else think Billie looks like...

    by brycemonkey

    a shaved monkey! Just me huh...

  • April 15, 2006, 2:39 p.m. CST

    A Great Start

    by Bono Luthor

    That was ten times better than the first episode last year and that season went on to create sublime moments of telly, so here's hoping that this series will do the same, only magnified by a factor of ten. Wish it was November and I had the whole series to watch back to back on DVD. This weekly episodic television is so, well, last millenium...

  • April 15, 2006, 2:48 p.m. CST

    I vast improvement on the last series already

    by Silver_Joo

    I loved the lines at the end: 'That is enigmatic. That is textbook enigmatic'. Very funny. Good episode, really fun but also scary and well observed. Already you can see the chemistry that Rose and the new Doctor have and although I agree with Kelvington about the romance-angle, it's still a cool thing for the writers to play with. Next week's episode with Queen Victoria, floating shaolin monks and a werewolf also looks ace. I hope the show keeps this up.

  • April 15, 2006, 2:53 p.m. CST

    Billie Would Get It Till Her Horse Teeth Fell Out

    by flamingrunt

    Billie Pipers why God Created Paper Bags

  • April 15, 2006, 2:57 p.m. CST

    Underwhelming

    by supertoyslast

    Yes, this was far better than Eccleston's first episode but it never engaged me as much as 'The Christmas Invasion'. Some nice moments of humour but horrible overkill with the music and such a flimsy plot. Not to mention inconsistencies of whether Cassandra is the 'last human' or not. I wonder what the 'great secret' is? Maybe just a red herring to get internet fanboys chattering? Next week's should be better. I always like Doctor Who a little bit more when it travels to the past.

  • April 15, 2006, 3 p.m. CST

    better than "rose"

    by executiverockerX

    but still felt underwelmed, hopefully nextweeks will get better and lead the way

  • April 15, 2006, 3:07 p.m. CST

    Supertoyslast

    by Celtican

    Good to see you again. Hope you're submitted your review!

  • April 15, 2006, 3:31 p.m. CST

    A review with SPOILERS

    by The Manic

    Wonderful stuff! If the last series began by riffing on early Jon Pertwee then this one began by mainlining the Douglas Adams era. Idiosyncratic english space opera at it's unashamed best. I also detected some of Warren Ellis's deadpan 'so-preposterous-it-must-be-true' sci fi gigantisms (to wit-"what kinds of disease? "All of them"). It's great to see that this show- which only a few short years ago was little better than a dusty antiques fair populated by curious, ageing fans- has been reborn so wonderfully. First off- Bille Piper. Bi-liee Piper. Dang! Ding-a-Dang! One almost despairs at how good she is, because it means that surely she's destined for bigger (would it be offensive to say greater?) things. Horny teenagers throughout the nation will doubtless have fumbled frantically for the record button during the scene where Cassandra inhabits Rose's body and starts examining her new figure. Those of us older but with the mind of a horny teenager and a little patience will wait sweaty handed for the dvd. Ripping my mind from the gutter and fixing my sights firmly on ms Piper's art-ART I said! She was the best thing about the last series and she's the best thing here, plain and simple. It's high camp all the way when the evil Cassandra posesses the Doctor's body, utterly convincing character acting from line to line when she takes Rose for a joy ride. Which is not to slight David Tennant in any way, shape, form or thought- if Christopher Eccleston was this generation's Jon Pertwee, Tennant may well be the new Tom Baker. The wide eyes full of intergalactic boggle, the grand canyon grin adding Tardis-like dimensions to Tennant's elfin face. All Bakerisms to a man. An effortless comedian one moment and mysterious, star weary eternal the next. I'm very excited. Secondly (secondly? Thirdly, surely), the effects. Shallow I know, but...is it now boring to say that mainstream sci fi on the telly has to compete with the likes of (repeat after me in Dalek tones) Buffyangelstargatestartrek. Yes it's old hat to say so, but the first bite is with the eye so to speak, and what a banquet New Earth was. You could practically SMELL the apple grass! New New York was Coruscant from the Star Wars designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and Jack Kirby. Alien races have taken a few leaps forward since the last series (I was never keen on the porridgey Slitheen) and the Cat Nuns are creepy patrons of a stark, futurist hospital. Brilliantly though, the imagery is rightly second fiddle to the characters and the plot. A fine set up for the future series which, if it mirrors the last one, will get better and better with each episode. The trailer for round two has me salivating- Werewolves! Warrior Monks! With Queen Victoria! In Scotland! Vworp Vworp!

  • April 15, 2006, 3:39 p.m. CST

    It has begun.

    by AmirReza

    Well I've submitted my review, hope supertoyslast and celtican have as well (as well as that Dalek bloke). Episode Two, indeed...

  • April 15, 2006, 3:42 p.m. CST

    Big ratings over Xmas...

    by Brendon

    ...loads of UK at Xmas is a big, big ratings winner. In fact, ratings peak then. What was he on about?

  • April 15, 2006, 3:44 p.m. CST

    Thanks Celtican

    by supertoyslast

    No review yet - I think for the first couple of weeks I will just lurk in the talkbacks. But we shall see. Manic is right about Piper - obviously the whole body-swap plot was just an excuse to show Billie's cleavage. Next week's looks intriguing. I *really* want to see how they work kung-fu monks into a Victorian werewolf tale in Scotland.

  • April 15, 2006, 3:46 p.m. CST

    Billy piper

    by optimus122

    Whoever is gay enough to think this girl isnt hot as hell my trowsers are dropped so get over here and start servicing me immediately..I would eat her shit.

  • April 15, 2006, 3:51 p.m. CST

    But what does Gerald the Dalek think?

    by Alonzo Mosely

  • April 15, 2006, 4 p.m. CST

    got to agree on pretty much everything

    by milkybar

    1) Everything has kicked up a gear since last season - compare this to any of RTDs episodes last year and it is a new ball game - much better writing from him. 2) Aliens definitely up a gear as well - SFX still not quite US TV, but it doesn't have US TV budgets per ep, even if we do have one of their biggest icons in a few weeks.... 3)my god Ms Piper, get me a cat nurse for my temperature now.... I never got Billy, always found her hyper-annoying as a pop nymph, started to respect her acting in past 2 years, but this ep made her sexy in a way I never thought she could be..... I think what helps the show now is that it is more relaxed as it has thesecurity of at least 1 more season. And much as I loved Ecclestone and had him in my top 3 most definitely (Tom B and Pertwee are my 1 and 2), he only had 1 series to do that. David T has the hallmarks to do the Baker/Davison combi-Who - the guy knows his Who universe intimately, and that shows in his two performances to date, and also in his interviews. Thank you BBC for bringing this back with the respect and space it deserved last year, and thank you RTD for building the right team around you to do this show the justice it hasn't seen for 25 years

  • April 15, 2006, 4 p.m. CST

    Oh dear

    by Bono Luthor

    And there was me rather hoping that Doctor Who would attract a better class of talkback. Optimism perhaps misplaced for this site. After thinking about it, I agree with Supertoylast that this isn't up there with Christmas Invasion. I always like it when the story is ABOUT the Doctor, as that one was.

  • April 15, 2006, 4:04 p.m. CST

    Off to a great start......

    by Deak the Geek

    and it only gets better...can you say werewolfs,cybermen and the devil?

  • April 15, 2006, 4:04 p.m. CST

    irc-Hollywood - you do know your history....

    by milkybar

    I mean, this is a 40+ year old series that also happens to be one of the shows Whedon quotes as his inspiration, monster of the week, shocks and surprises, etc. Buffy took the Who formula and brought it into the late 20th Century with aplomb. It also targetted an adult audience, whereas Who has always served two masters - the kids who hide behind the sofa at the first sign of the Cybermen, and the adults who watch it with them. Who is not trying to be Buffy. Nor ST:TNG, to whom it gave its greatest bad guy. Nor BSG (ditto - Cylons are a Cyberman/Dalek cross). It is not trying to be anything at all. It is being Doctor Who

  • April 15, 2006, 4:11 p.m. CST

    this split intrigues me.....

    by milkybar

    I thought the Christmas Invasion was okay.... last 15 minutes including the "6 words" were superb, the first 30 minutes simply meh - saw it again on Thursday and it reinforced this. I thought this was better, in that it lays down how this Doctor will play things out. Yes, there may not have been enough Doctor, I accept that, but, especially compared to the Auton episode last year, it was significantly better

  • April 15, 2006, 4:25 p.m. CST

    I liked it...

    by Schnorbitz

    I felt it had a lot more too it than most of the previous RTD episodes. Although I am a bit drunk. Sprigga should also learn the difference between Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria. ;-)

  • April 15, 2006, 4:27 p.m. CST

    Funny episode...

    by Fugazi32

    But i'm guessing RTD's episodes aren't as good as the others yet to come... :)

  • April 15, 2006, 4:54 p.m. CST

    I LOVED it!

    by Lone Fox

    Though I grew up on the show, I paid vague interest to the first season. I watched the first season last weekend in its entirety, enjoyed it. I thought tonights episode was funny, well written and very entertaining. Billie Piper stretched her talents a little (in a good way), and Tennant was great fun to watch.

  • April 15, 2006, 5:08 p.m. CST

    Just a few more hours

    by TGirl Jerri

    For us in The States that is, it's coming through on the newsgroups as I type this

  • April 15, 2006, 5:10 p.m. CST

    by TGirl Jerri

  • April 15, 2006, 5:13 p.m. CST

    Bille Piper And The Shit-Eater Of Talkback Alpha

    by Kubla_Khan

    Yeah, I'm a long-time fan of Who, but though I loved the Xmas Invasion (mostly), this one didn't quite do it for me. That first review is pretty much spot-on; I respect RTD's ideas, but his writing is often weak and just silly. Personally I hate pop-culture refernces in Who, so hearing "Chav" just brought me out of the ep. Plus all the ideas were ripped off from elsewhere with hardly any aplomb. But hey, Who's back, Tennant is very good, Piper gets better (though I personally wouldn't eat her shit)and some of the FX were nice. I have higher hopes for the rest of the season -- give me more of that "I want my mummy" type of ep from season one. Final thought: someone get some decent music in the episodes, the incidental synth-beat crap kills every decent dramatic moment every time.

  • April 15, 2006, 5:32 p.m. CST

    This was great!

    by Wormie

    I never liked the old Doctor Who shows, but I loved season one (yes, that's the official numbering) of the new series, and I think Tennant will be even better than Ecclestone. The BBC have a lame track record with sci-fi (Red Dwarf aside), but the new Doctor Who knocks spots off any of the current, identikit US sci-fi TV shows. In fact, the only current series I watch is Smallville, which isn't quite the same thing. BTW I saw Tennant being interviewed on T4 this morning, wearing a Superman t-shirt - cool! And, oh yeah, Billie as Cassandra was hot!

  • April 15, 2006, 5:44 p.m. CST

    Curves! It's like living in a bouncy castle!

    by judderman

    I have to admit, that line had me chuckling (sorry; two separate episodes being discussed here)

  • April 15, 2006, 5:48 p.m. CST

    Kubla - right about the music

    by supertoyslast

    If we can't have better music, at least have less of it. I don't think this episode was solid enough to be a good showcase for Tennant's first full story - but there were moments which illustrated his potential. He could be great as a self-conscious Doctor with a sense of irony. One moment which had me thinking "yes - that absolutely nails the character perfectly" was his reaction to Rose/Cassandra's kiss. "Still got it" - note perfect delivery. Slightly annoyed to have missed Tennant on T4, but I haven't watched that in ages.

  • April 15, 2006, 7:50 p.m. CST

    Not a good start.

    by Kurg1

    I wasn't overly thrilled by Tennant to begin with and Ecclestone's shoes would be very hard to fill by anyone but I still say Tennant is miscast. He won me over slightly with the last section of the xmas special but today's was a ham-fest. How much is Tennant and how much was the terrible RTD script remains to be seen.

  • April 15, 2006, 9:21 p.m. CST

    Tennant lacks GRAVITAS

    by koomoReborn

    And this week's Doctor Who Confidential didn't do him any favors by including clips of Season One's Doctor Gravitas. I hope Tennant's Doctor doesn't become like McCoy's.

  • April 16, 2006, 3:19 a.m. CST

    Tenant is good...

    by Psychonaut

    ...but I still reckon he's too young. He did well last night, but the best performance was Billie's; no contest (though, for the record, I wouldn't eat her shit either). I was a bit concerned that every episode without the cybermen would suffer from being episodes-that-didn't-have-the-cybermen, but then I saw the trailer for next week's: kung fu monks! Floating! Whilst Queen Victoria is chased by a werewolf! If you look up "genius" in a dictionary, it shows a picture of that.

  • April 16, 2006, 6:34 a.m. CST

    Good start

    by ROBE

    Overall a good episode and rather topical when you concider that incident involving the test on humans a few weeks ago.

  • April 16, 2006, 7:03 a.m. CST

    new earth

    by kwisatzhaderach

    Another run of the mill episode from RTD. The man had a big mouth and consistently gives us the worse episodes in the series! Never mind, looks like some cracking episodes coming up. Just wish RTD's eps were a little more dramtic and less 'lightweight'.

  • April 16, 2006, 7:24 a.m. CST

    RTD knows what he's doing

    by board shitlez

    Darker is not inclusive, I like the fact this is sit down with the family viewing.Funny, exciting, memorable, I think the avoidance of turgid melodrama is a bonus. One quibble, the end was a bit of a Doctor Dances rehash and the music is too pervasive, but Tennant rocks. Boe!

  • April 16, 2006, 1:32 p.m. CST

    There is some substance to the Buffy jibes

    by Seepgood

    Of course the series doesn't "want" to be Buffy. But Russell Davies DOES pretty much want it to be Buffy. The man is Joss Whedon's second greatest fan (anyone who reads Coaxial on a regular basis will know who takes the number 1 spot), so in the episodes he writes there is a distinct tinge of that. It's just one of the many reasons why every single episode I've seen that was written by Davies has been worse than every single episode written by anyone else.

  • April 16, 2006, 1:37 p.m. CST

    The Face of Boe's revelation...(POSSIBLE SPOILERS)

    by SpyGuy

    ...is most likely that the Doctor is NOT the last surviving Time Lord. In the 2006 DOCTOR WHO ANNUAL, there's a Doctor bio called "Meet the Doctor" written by none other than Russell T. Davies. At the end of the piece, there's a rather teasing clue: "And far away, across the Universe, on the planet Crafe Tec Heydra, one side of a mountain carries carvings and hieroglyphs, crude representations of an invisible War. The artwork shows two races clashing, one metal, one flesh; a fearsome explosion; and a solitary survivor walking from the wreckage. Solitary? Perhaps not. Under this figure, a phrase has been scratched in the stone, which translates as: YOU ARE NOT ALONE..." (Cue sting music)...OOOWEEEOOOOO...

  • April 16, 2006, 1:54 p.m. CST

    it was a bit pants

    by Teamwak

    Russell Davies can be a bit self indulgent when he writes himmself but there are some good sfx and Rose looks lovely. Im not worried though. Show looks promising

  • April 16, 2006, 3:43 p.m. CST

    Could this show BE anymore like a cheap Buffy knockoff?

    by BuffyFanboy

    Jesus Christ. Have no british people seen Buffy, or something? What's going on? Why are they still watching this when there's a much better alternative around...one called BUFFY?

  • April 16, 2006, 3:45 p.m. CST

    Doctor Who could NEVER do a 'Hush', or a 'The Body&#

    by BuffyFanboy

    So ultimately, what the fuck is the point? Do any of you think Doctor Who could do anything even COMPARABLE to The Body? Anything as entertaining and ridiculously, absurdly well-written as Once More With Feeling? Anything as scary as Hush and Conversations With Dead People or anything as poignant as Becoming or The Gift? Of course not. So I ask again: what is the point of Doctor Who?

  • April 16, 2006, 3:45 p.m. CST

    A Really Good First Episode!

    by Real Deal

    Well after seeing this one I have no doubt that Tennant will carry on the tradition as a really interesting Doctor. Can't wait for more!

  • April 16, 2006, 3:50 p.m. CST

    God! Not Another......

    by Real Deal

    Buffy, Farscape, rabid fan, or just troll! Actually I think parts of " The Empty Child " and " The Doctor Dances " were every bit as good as anything I've seen on Buffy. And comparing the two like they were the same is just stupid!

  • April 16, 2006, 3:50 p.m. CST

    7 out of 10

    by grth2004

    there were things i loved in this episode and things i hated.LOVED-tennants doctor i think he will be great hes young and cool which doctors arent usualy ,the face of bo was goodd, thought the effects were pretty good for the bbc and the humour was funny HATED- the story it was very un original i mean come on the end was terrible , not a big fan of cassandra , the doctor and rose flirting with each other is a bit dodgy.

  • April 16, 2006, 4:44 p.m. CST

    Buffy?

    by Celtican

    Excuse my ignorance but why is Who like Buffy? No-one has ever explained this.

  • April 16, 2006, 4:57 p.m. CST

    BuffyFanBoy

    by kwisatzhaderach

    Buffy - 7 series, american teen wank. Doctor Who -Sci-Fi classic, longest running sci-fi series in the world. 28 series, 723 episodes. Doctor Who was kicking ass 34 years before Buffy even started. Show a little fucking respect. Here endeth the lesson. PS How old are you?

  • April 16, 2006, 5:35 p.m. CST

    New Who

    by snappy

    Have to agree with the bulk of the reviews. Last night's ep. was mediocre at best. As for Billie Piper's performance, all I recall her doing for most of the first act is screaming a lot. Zoe Wanamaker's Cassandra character is at best comic relief (especially when told by her future self that she is beautiful - obviously the body she inhabited has visual acuity of Ray Charles). I'll agree the SFX were some of Auntie Beeb's best, but admittedly not up to US TV standards - mainly for budgetary reasons. For me, the jury's still out on Tennant, he does "manic" well, having made his TV name as a patient in a mental institution, but he's a bit too lightweight for the darker stuff. As for the Buffy comparisons, I do think that the target audience has to be taken into account. Buffy was US prime-time material, playing to adults & teens. Doctor Who is aimed at younger (toy-buying) fans - unlike the soft-porn homage I've just seen trailed on the Adult Channel: Doctor Screw begins broadcast next week, travelling the universe in a Portapotty. I expect the scripts & the acting to be on a par.

  • April 16, 2006, 6:16 p.m. CST

    I thought it pretty good...

    by Gabba-UK

    Good old fashioned family entertainment. The BBC are showing on a loop a preview of the new series on Digital TV. The few shots of the werewolf I've seen, which admittedly will be the best ones, stand out as better than Van-whywasthispieceofshiteverfuckinggrenlit-Helsing's and the Cybermen (aka the original Borg) are back!! what more do you want??!! I also agree with the consensus view that I would not eat Billie Pipers shit..... my time would be better used fucking it out of her!!

  • April 16, 2006, 8:03 p.m. CST

    Of Course, the Time Lords Aren't Dead...

    by thecomedian

    This is just their way of fucking with The Doctor as usual. Next season, sure as shit we'll see them and they'll be the pompous, cold, beaurocratic, authoritiarian jerks they've always been. "Doctor, we cloaked ourselves from you. We were using you as bait to weed out Davros" or some crap like that. I would so love to see Lala Ward come back as Romana and then regenerate into Rosamund Pike or something.

  • April 16, 2006, 8:58 p.m. CST

    Great first episode, not just for Rose's breasts..

    by Cray-1

    Tennant is so much better than the pseudo-serious actor Ecelston. I can never consider him to be a serious actor after gone in 60 seconds. A little too much flirting between Rose and the Doctor, and someone please stop RTD doing a massive boring goes nowhere arc like last season

  • April 16, 2006, 9:41 p.m. CST

    pretty good episode...

    by omarthesnake

    the resolution is a bit pat, but heck, it worked for me. Tennant is fantastic. Doctor Dan is a whining dweeb so deadly determined to pick things apart he can't find joy... in other words, a typical Comic Shop Guy bitching and moaning fanboy. Get over your arch critiques and enjoy the damned show already! yeesh.

  • April 17, 2006, 12:41 a.m. CST

    Too young?

    by INWOsuxRED

    Isn't the Doctor supposed to get younger in appearance each time he regenerates? I don't know if Tennant is right or not, but it isn't because he is too young.-If that thing about the Doctor not being alone is true, it is more likely the Master shows up way before the rest of the Time Lords return.

  • April 17, 2006, 1:31 a.m. CST

    The new Dr Who season 1& 2

    by dws1972

    If you ask me the writing is poor the effects are average , if you dropped the dr from the concept ,it would be two people time traveling and having fun . It would struggle to get a screening on children bbc. The BBC are just as bad as hollywood today, no decent ideas anymore . Lets take something from the past remake it and pretend its great.

  • April 17, 2006, 3 a.m. CST

    mmmm

    by VoodooV

    lalla ward...man I had such a crush on her as a child watching my first eps of Doctor Who on public television

  • April 17, 2006, 7:04 a.m. CST

    Whats good about the BBC over Hollywood

    by Celtican

    I'll tell you. They can keep spoilers under wraps! Last years secrets were kept pretty well hidden. It made the show much more watchable not knowing what was going to happen!

  • April 17, 2006, 8:27 a.m. CST

    I CAN enjoy Doctor Who...

    by danowen

    Omarthesnake, I can definitely enjoy Doctor Who, and I'm nowhere near as nitpicky as you seem to think. Just honest. The press in the UK seem to think Who is the second-coming and the BBC are eager to fuel this belief... but most discerning reviews and the ratings in foreign territories suggest otherwise. I found much to like last year in Who, but too often potentially GOOD ideas are squandered by poor plottings and silly gags. I just think Who could be SO much more than RTD is giving us. New Earth was a weak premiere episode, more like a mid-season filler episode, imo. It's now a fact that the only decent Who episodes are ones RTD doesn't write. He seems like a nice guy, and is probably a very good producer, and a fan, etc, but I can't believe he's the same man who wrote Century Falls in the early-90's now! Where has his talent gone? His episodes are just so weak and toothless. I think most people on this talkback would agree with me.

  • April 17, 2006, 8:53 a.m. CST

    Russell T Davies

    by Celtican

  • April 17, 2006, 9:02 a.m. CST

    Russell T Davies

    by Celtican

    To be fair to Russell he wrote 8 out of the 13 episodes last year including the excellent 2 part finale. That's over half the writing of the entire season. That's a lot of pressure for one writer considering Steven Moffat had 2 episodes (2 parter). Mark Gatiss, Rob Shearman and Paul Cornell had 1 episode each to think about. His episodes were still good but maybe didnt stand up to 'Dalek' or 'Fathers Day'. I think Russell is spreading himself a little too thin.

  • April 17, 2006, 9:48 a.m. CST

    Russel T Davies is the least talented scriptwriter now.

    by BuffyFanboy

    ...working in the WORLD. He's awful and he's proved it many times with his awful Whedon-wannabe scripts.

  • April 17, 2006, 10:18 a.m. CST

    I liked BuffyTrollboy better when he was Tonay12

    by SpyGuy

    He's awful and he's proved it many times with his awful Whedon-flamebaiting posts.

  • April 17, 2006, 10:32 a.m. CST

    Whedon

    by Celtican

    Though Firefly was superb. Buffy has sent me to sleep twice now, literally.

  • April 17, 2006, 10:47 a.m. CST

    Russell T....

    by DECKERS

    I have to agree with comments made about Russell T. Davies. Yes, he has to be credited with a successful return of Who to our screens-but the show is proving too lightweight and child-friendly (did kids watching in the 70's/80's have to be protected from anything remotely scary or mind-stretching?)-it's telling that the BBC are really pushing Who on the BBC kids channel with a companion weekly programme on CBBC and talk of a spin-off K9 series. Davies episodes are always an uneven blend of camp and drama that are totally forgettable. I think that the 'New Who' is a bit like Star Wars Ep1-3, in the long run what will people remember when it comes to Dr.Who?

  • April 17, 2006, 11:36 a.m. CST

    Dr Who was ok...

    by football

    ... but i agree with danowen when he says the show could be so much more than what RTD is giving us. I feel the show is more of a teen soap with its muddled preachy musings taking precedence over the sci-fi element. Don't get me wrong, I don't hate the show. I just want to see them move it on a bit more by bringing in more writers. The task of writing so many episodes for one RTD is obviously too much work and he needs to concentrate on quality rather than quantity. It's true to say that the Doc has been dumbed-down just a tad too much recently. Killer x-mass treets and biting dustbins anyone? Bring back the Ice Warriors, Sontarans, Davros, the Zygons, Toymaker and the Master is what I want. Still, I'm looking forward to te non-RTD stories, such as Girl in the Fireplace; School Reunion; Rise of the Cybermen; Idiot's Lantern and The Satan Pit.

  • April 17, 2006, 12:25 p.m. CST

    RTD episodes are for kids; Non-RTD episodes for adults

    by SpyGuy

    Thankfully, RTD isn't writing as many episodes this season as last, so as a whole overall it should be an improvement. Can't wait for "Rise of the Cybermen/The Age of Steel"...

  • April 17, 2006, 4:07 p.m. CST

    In the year....5 Billion and 23

    by Avon

    RTD is too childish....ok, this is Doctor Who but there's no need to take the piss. And Cassandra is back...gah. Other than that, an average episode. Next week's one looks like a definite A+. It's got a Werewold. A Werewolf!! Then next week after that has K9!!!, well ok...K9 will make it pants.

  • April 17, 2006, 4:36 p.m. CST

    Cut the chav

    by AtomicLobster

    It's for children, unfortunately. Very small children who appreciate fart jokes. So yes, it's really inexcusably dire. And yet I still enjoy it because if you squint at the TV you can just about make out the good show trying to get out. For some reason Dr Who gets a get-out-of-jail free card, but if it doesn't grow up fast people are going to stop excusing the general crappiness. I still think a more grown up, gothic version of what is a genuinely great, versatile concept was the way to go. With less chav.

  • April 17, 2006, 7:04 p.m. CST

    "he's more of an action-man"

    by Shan

    The first we saw of Chris Eccleston's doctor, he was throwing dynamite into a room and running away like a lunatic. Not exactly a slouch in the action man department.

  • April 17, 2006, 7:22 p.m. CST

    As for The Matrix ....

    by Shan

    Tom Baker's Doctor was busy having fights to the death in The (Dr Who Universe) Matrix (yes it was called The Matrix) back in the 1970s.

  • April 20, 2006, 8:49 p.m. CST

    I think Tenant is doing a good job...but

    by VoodooV

    at the same time. I just don't get how the Who-staff claim that he's darker and more action-y Sorry, but take away the suit and the overcoat (lets ignore the fact that suit/overcoat scream the opposite of actiony) and he looks like your average slacker. Eccelson has the appearance of someone you really don't want to piss off that he's just at the edge of being locked up in an asylum, and he has the physical presence of someone who is way more athletic and actiony than Tenant ever could. Again, I think Tenant is fine. I just get the impression that they're embellishing so that he can more easily replace Chris's big shoes

  • Oct. 10, 2006, 12:56 a.m. CST

    Rose = :)

    by symphy

    Hot.