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The Friendly Dalek

My huge Doctor Who episode marathon.

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Very oh dear indeed! L&M is one of my personal least favourite episode. Agreed that it's interesting to see the lives of people The Doctor affected, but it just seemed to drag! Was glad to see it over!

Suppose there was only so much they could do with the monster of the week when it was (actually) created by a kid.

2/10

Edited by wjbleming
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Didn't realise you got into modern Who so I'm going to join in.

Love and Monsters - 0.5/10

Easily the worst Doctor Who episode of all time. The monster is laughable, I know it was designed from a childs drawing for a Blue Peter competition and it was an interesting concept but the execution was the worst. Also it was a really badly done doctor lite episode. When you look at other episodes like Blink they can do these really well but Love and Monsters just fails on all accounts. The characters are also irritating even though they used some really good actors. Really hate this one when I try to rewatch I usually skip it altogether.

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1 hour ago, EllaBlair said:

Didn't realise you got into modern Who so I'm going to join in.

Love and Monsters - 0.5/10

Easily the worst Doctor Who episode of all time. The monster is laughable, I know it was designed from a childs drawing for a Blue Peter competition and it was an interesting concept but the execution was the worst. Also it was a really badly done doctor lite episode. When you look at other episodes like Blink they can do these really well but Love and Monsters just fails on all accounts. The characters are also irritating even though they used some really good actors. Really hate this one when I try to rewatch I usually skip it altogether.

Blink is a masterpiece in comparison :-D

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Fear Her- Yet another bad story for this Series. It is no where near as bad as Love And Monsters, but it is by no means good. Love And Monsters was offensively bad, this one is just bad. 

The leads are good, but the rest of the acting is pretty bad. Abisola Agbaje is decent, but she is the only one who is even remotely memorable. The story itself is dull, bland and the pacing is awful. This episodes drags on for what feels like ages. This story also features yet another very weak villain. Honestly I can't really think of much else to say about this one. It is just so boring. The only things I actually like are David Tennant and Billie Piper's performances, and the scene in which The Doctor carries the Olympic torch is a nice one.

Overall- 2/10. 

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Fear Her - This is another episode with a good concept that is not fully realised. I actually quite enjoyed this the first time round but it's not one I would rush to watch again. It undoubtedly suffers from being the episode just before the finale. Had the budget run out?

This episode is cited as being more for children than adults and it shows. The leads put in good performances. I also like the scene when The Doctor carries the Olympic Torch. Other than that the rest is a little weak.

Overall 4/10 - I have a soft spot for the Olympic connection :lol:

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Not much I can say about Fear Her either, other than it didn't feel like there wasn't much "fear" in the episode. There just wasn't any oomph behind it, but I agree it was a good moment to have David carrying the torch at the end.

2/10

Edited by wjbleming
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Eh I don't hate Fear Her. It's not a great episode by any means but I find it easy to watch even if the storyline is a little silly, I think it could have been done a lot better. I'd give it 3/10.

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Army Of Ghosts/Doomsday- This is a great finale, but in my opinion it is no where near as good as the finale of Series 1.

I think Army Of Ghosts is a brilliant episode, and the leads are excellent. Camille Coduri and Noel Clarke also give excellent performances over both of these stories. Tracy-Anne Oberman is also very good as Yvonne. I love how we finally get the pay-off from Tooth And Claw and see the Torchwood establishment. Despite the fact that nothing really happens in this story (it is really just setting up characters and locations) it has a really nice pace and never feels slow. 

The cliffhanger is one of the greatest in Doctor Who history in my opinion. I remember the week between these episodes being one of the longest ever. :lol: The reveal of the Daleks is masterfully done.

My problems with this story are mostly thanks to Doomsday. Seeing the interactions between the Daleks and Cybermen is awesome. However, I think this story is better as a Dalek story than a Cyberman one. I get that the Daleks are stronger threats than the Cybermen, but the Cybermen appear useless as they do next to nothing to any of the Daleks. Although this makes the Daleks seem more powerful, it diminishes the threat of the Cybermen. 

I'm also not too keen on the idea of reintroducing characters from the Cyberman two-parter earlier in this Series. It makes sense why they are there, but it means that rewatching this story isn't great without having recently watched the Cyberman two-parter as well. The finale of Series 1 works so well because it can be watched and enjoyed on its own, whilst still tieing up many plot threads from the Series. This finale doesn't have that feel to it, so I don't often rewatch this story as I don't think it is a rewarding watch without watching the rest of this Series as well first. Some of these characters are effectively used, such as Pete Tyler (the scene in which he encounters Jackie is a fantastic scene, and Shaun Dingwall is excellent in the whole episode), but others such as Jake aren't well utilised in my opinion. Yvonne is also wasted in the second episode, and I thought that her death from cyber conversion was a great way for that character to go, and it was certainly an impactful scene. What I don't like is seeing Yvonne as a Cyberman (or should that be Cyberwoman?). The main issue I have is the fact that she can cry and feel emotion even after being converted into a Cyberperson. The conversion process removes all emotion, so why is she able to feel and turn against the other Cybermen?

And now, the ending. I like how the Daleks and Cybermen are defeated, and I think that trapping Rose in a parallel universe was also a brilliant way to end her story (at least that's what we thought at the time of this episode airing). I do think that the beach scene is drawn out for far too long. However, Billie Piper gives one of best performances in that scene and the dialogue is well written. Although it is well written, I don't necessarily like the meaning of the dialogue. As I have made clear before, I don't really like the idea of The Doctor having a romantic relationship with any companion. I personally like to think that Rose loved The Doctor romantically, and The Doctor loved her in the same way that he loves all of his companions, meaning a very strong friendship. Watching this Series back now, it does seem like the intention was to have the two of them be in love.

Overall- 7/10.

Overall rating for Series 2- 5/10.

This is a very interesting Series. It is probably the only Series which has an arguably equal number of good and bad stories. It seems like the stories are either of a really high quality (The Girl In The Fireplace, The Impossible Planet etc) or a really low quality (New Earth, Love and Monsters etc).

The Tenth Doctor and Rose are an interesting pair. I'm not a huge fan of how The Doctor interacts with Rose, and how she affects him in later stories. The Doctor becomes really spiteful towards Martha in Series 3 just because she isn't Rose, and I don't think The Doctor should ever be that petty. I think that this Doctor is the most arrogant and vain Doctor of all of them, but I will say more on that when we get to The End Of Time. The point is I much preferred the relationship between Nine and Rose to Ten's relationship with her. Rose herself became so irritating during this Series. This is no fault of Billie Piper's, as her performances in Series 1 show how good she is. The writing really lets down the character in this Series, and although her departure is emotional it also comes as a relief to be honest. 

 

Edited by The Friendly Dalek
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18 hours ago, The Friendly Dalek said:

What I don't like is seeing Yvonne as a Cyberman (or should that be Cyberwoman?). The main issue I have is the fact that she can cry and feel emotion even after being converted into a Cyberperson. The conversion process removes all emotion, so why is she able to feel and turn against the other Cybermen?

My take on it is that it was a good device to create a moving scene that illustrates the strength of the human spirit.

Cyberman/woman? If they appear next season no doubt they'll be renamed to satisfy the PC brigade.

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11 minutes ago, Bumper8 said:

My take on it is that it was a good device to create a moving scene that illustrates the strength of the human spirit.

Ah ok fair enough, that's a good interpretation actually. That's now how I ever saw it, but I suppose the subjectivity and differing interpretations of it is what makes looking into these things interesting. :D

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Army of Ghosts/Doomsday - Definitely a return to form.

Tennant and Piper are excellent, especially Piper who gives one of her best performances.

The main support cast of Coduri, Clarke and Dingwall are written and performed brilliantly.

The cliffhanger is one of the strongest and most dramatic of Modern Who.

Tracy-Ann Oberman is well used. I agree with @Bumper8 regarding the Cybermen. I like the fact that some people are able to retain their humanity after cyber conversion. I think the writers are making an emotional statement on the strength of the human spirit in the face of adversity.

I believe this is the first time both the Cybermen and the Daleks have both had a major role in the same episode. The conflict between the two is dramatic although perhaps emphasises that the Cybermen are the weaker - are they being held back by their inner human emotions?

And so to the ending - I love that the Tyler family and Mickey end up in the parallel world. The meeting on the beach is emotional and well acted. However I agree with you. I don't think The Doctor would display human emotions to love a companion in that way. This is out of character and as a plot device diminishes the impact of Martha in series 3. The arrival of Catherine Tate (who I love as a companion) wasn't necessary. It reduces the emotional impact of the ending.

Overall 8/10

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The Runaway Bride- This is an unfortunately weak Christmas special in my opinion. David Tennant is wonderful, but Catherine Tate doesn't give a very good performance. I think it may be the writing that lets her down as the character of Donna is far better when she returns in Series 4. 

The supporting cast are fine, but no one really stands out as being great, they are all just fine. The only exception I can think of is Jacqueline King as Sylvie Noble. The dialogue isn't the best, and some forced humour really does drag the story down. The plot features some interesting ideas, but the execution doesn't really do them all justice. 

I like to call the Racnoss the Destroyer of modern Who. What I mean by that is, the Destroyer was a monster in the 1989 story Battlefield, which had a great design and looked and sounded menacing, but was wasted as it did absolutely nothing. The Racnoss is exactly the same, it looks impressive but does so little that in the end it doesn't really make much of an impact. 

My favourite scene in this story has to be the scene in which the Doctor floods the Racnoss's base and kills them all. That is a very intense, dark and emotional scene which has a dramatic edge that I love. That scene is a perfect showcases for the darker side of the Doctor's nature and Tennant plays it excellently. Catherine Tate is also great in that scene. 

Overall- 6/10.

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18 hours ago, Bumper8 said:

Cyberman/woman? If they appear next season no doubt they'll be renamed to satisfy the PC brigade.

The Dr: "Bloomin' 'eck, it's a Cyberman, what a palava."

Cyberman 1: "You will be upgraded...to someone who doesn't assume our preferred pronoun."

Cyberman 2: "Actually we don't use the term 'preferred pronoun' any more as that can imply that using the correct pronouns for someone is optional." 

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The Runaway Bride - Another example of what Doctor Who does well. Has a good story and fails to develop it properly.

Tennant is excellent. He can play the darker side of the Doctor extremely well. I agree the scene where he floods the base showcases this.

Sarah Parish is good. I really dislike Catherine Tate in this. She is let down by the writing and her performance is a bit over the top for my taste. Fortunately by the time she became a full time companion this had been addressed. She went on to become one of my favourites.

Overall 5/10

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Smith And Jones- This is another meh story. It is by no means a bad one, just very forgettable. 

David Tennant is of course wonderful, and Freema Agyeman is great. I think Martha is a criminally underrated companion, and if I was to rank the companions of modern Who she would rank very highly. I really like the character and Agyeman's performance is always brilliant. 

The supporting cast are all fine, and Anne Reid is good. The Judoon are an interesting species, and I also like their design. I really like the claustrophobic setting of the hospital. This story does remind me a lot of The Moonbase because of that. 

This episode falters in the writing department I think. The episode isn't that well paced, and despite Reid giving her best performance, the villain is very weak. The dialogue is also quite poor in places. This episode suffers from being formulaic and simple, and as it brings nothing new to the table it ends up just being really forgettable. 

Overall- 5/10.

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22 minutes ago, The Friendly Dalek said:

Smith And Jones- This is another meh story. It is by no means a bad one, just very forgettable. 

David Tennant is of course wonderful, and Freema Agyeman is great. I think Martha is a criminally underrated companion, and if I was to rank the companions of modern Who she would rank very highly. I really like the character and Agyeman's performance is always brilliant. 

The supporting cast are all fine, and Anne Reid is good. The Judoon are an interesting species, and I also like their design. I really like the claustrophobic setting of the hospital. This story does remind me a lot of The Moonbase because of that. 

This episode falters in the writing department I think. The episode isn't that well paced, and despite Reid giving her best performance, the villain is very weak. The dialogue is also quite poor in places. This episode suffers from being formulaic and simple, and as it brings nothing new to the table it ends up just being really forgettable. 

Overall- 5/10.

An enjoyable enough episode if a little predictable.

The supporting cast are not as well used as they could have been but that is mainly due to the writing. Anne Reid is an excellent actress but I'm not sure she is a convincing villain.

Tennant and Agyeman are great and I like the concept of The Judoon.

Overall 6/10. Gains an extra mark for the novel use of an MRI scanner :lol:

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The Shakespeare Code- This is another meh story which is just fine.

The main cast are good, although I wasn't impressed by Dean Lennox Kelly as Shakespeare. However, Freema Agyeman shines in this episode. David Tennant is great, but The Doctor is rather unlikable here, and I think this an issue which continues throughout a fair number of episodes in this series. I get it is because he is upset after losing Rose, and treats Marta poorly because of that, but making The Doctor unlikable is a very risky move which didn't pay off in this instance in my opinion.

This story tackles issues of racism in a far better fashion to later stories such as Thin Ice in my opinion. It develops the characters of Martha without adding authenticity to the setting without feeling forced. 

The Carrionites are decent villains. They look interesting, and the actresses who play the main there do a great job, but they fall under the forgettable villain category. They serve their villainous purpose fine, but they are quite bland. 

 The production design is excellent, and overall this episode looks gorgeous. The set and costume design is great, and the visual effects also look good. The dialogue is ok, but some of the dialogue isn't that great, and at points the delivery is poor from some cast members. The pacing is also off at points.

Overall- 5/10.

Edited by The Friendly Dalek
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Gridlock- The series is back on form. This is an excellent and highly underrated episode in my opinion. 

David Tennant shines, and he is given wonderful material to work with. The scenes in which The Doctor reminisces about Gallifrey are some of my favourites. Freema Agyeman is also brilliant. The supporting cast are excellent, and Ardal O'Hanlon gives a great performance as Brannigan. 

I love the pacing of this episode, and the concept of this story is crazy yet so interesting at the same time. The ending is also very good and doesn't feel rushed at all, unlike many other modern Who episodes. The Face Of Boe is also given a nice ending to his arc. The visuals are also very good.

My only issue is the Macra. To people who have only seen Gridlock, I'm sure they are fine with the Macra and just think of them as another monster of the week type of villain. However, I think that The Macra Terror gives us a much better version of these creatures. In this story they are just giant crabs which attack things, and due to this we get no hints of their intelligence, which disappoints me as I love The Macra Terror. 

Overall- 9/10.

I just went back and looked at my review of The Macra Terror in this thread. I only gave it a 6/10, I don't know what I was thinking. I must have been really tired that day or something. :lol: I would easily give it an 8 now. 

Edited by The Friendly Dalek
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Gridlock - Definitely a return to form. I really enjoyed this episode.

I love the claustrophobic setting. You wouldn't think setting an episode in a traffic jam would work but it does. Excellent writing and production.

Tennant and Agyeman are great. I like that The Doctor is beginning to appreciate Martha as a companion.

I also like the subtle hints found throughout this series to the finale. One in this episode when The Face of Boe tells The Doctor "you are not alone". Same with the Vote Saxon posters in Smith and Jones. At the time they didn't seem relevant but on a re-watch they are very clever.

Agree with your score.

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Just now, Peter Capaldi Fan said:

Gridlock - Definitely a return to form. I really enjoyed this episode.

I love the claustrophobic setting. You wouldn't think setting an episode in a traffic jam would work but it does. Excellent writing and production.

Tennant and Agyeman are great. I like that The Doctor is beginning to appreciate Martha as a companion.

I also like the subtle hints found throughout this series to the finale. One in this episode when The Face of Boe tells The Doctor "you are not alone". Same with the Vote Saxon posters in Smith and Jones. At the time they didn't seem relevant but on a re-watch they are very clever.

Agree with your score.

I agree with everything you said. :D

Have you seen (or rather heard) The Macra Terror? If so, what do you think of their portrayal in this story when compared to that one? And if you haven't seen The Macra Terror, do you think that the Macra in this story are memorable monsters? 

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8 minutes ago, The Friendly Dalek said:

I agree with everything you said. :D

Have you seen (or rather heard) The Macra Terror? If so, what do you think of their portrayal in this story when compared to that one? And if you haven't seen The Macra Terror, do you think that the Macra in this story are memorable monsters? 

No I haven't heard The Macra Terror. Maybe I can rectify that next month as an animated version is due out :D

To be honest you could have had any alien of the week in this episode. They aren't essential to the plot.

But a nice touch for older (even older than me) Whovians! :lol:

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4 minutes ago, Peter Capaldi Fan said:

No I haven't heard The Macra Terror. Maybe I can rectify that next month as an animated version is due out :D

To be honest you could have had any alien of the week in this episode. They aren't essential to the plot.

But a nice touch for older (even older than me) Whovians! :lol:

I'm really excited for the animated version of The Macra Terror. :D

And I agree that the Macra are kind of wasted in this story. Any giant creature could have done the same job, so I'm almost certain that the Macra were only included for the reason of pleasing older fans who knew what they were. 

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Daleks In Manhattan/Evolution Of The Daleks- This story is a major disappointment, and the first bad Dalek story of modern Who. 

The American setting is nice, and it gives a unique identity to this story. The supporting cast are mixed in terms of the quality of their acting. The standouts are Miranda Raison, Ryan Carnes and Hugh Quarshie, and it is cool to see Andrew Garfield in Doctor Who.  David Tennant and Freema Agyeman are great, and it is around this time that I think they really start to have great chemistry together. It is also a mixed bag in regards to dialogue, some of the lines and the delivery are atrocious. 

There are a few ideas in this two pater which could have been effective had the execution been better, such as the human-Dalek hybrid. That could have been an interesting thing to explore, but it is done so poorly here, and the cliffhanger is laughable because the hybrid looks silly. The Daleks themselves are actually quite good, and at least this story gets the attitudes of the Daleks right, such as how the others refuse to accept Sec as the human-Dalek hybrid because he becomes "impure", and the entire Dalek race has to remain pure in their eyes in order to survive. Eric Loren clearly ties to give his best performance, but he is given bad material to work with. However, any scene in which The Doctor interacts with the Daleks is great.

The pig-slaves are an awful idea, and they look ridiculous. The Dalek's plan in this story is daft, and the pacing is horrible, it really didn't need to be two parts long. Not much really happens, which makes it feel really slow and dull. 

Overall- 4/10.

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I am really sorry, but lots of things have come up over today and the next few days so I'm having to halt the marathon. I should be continuing on Thursday if all goes well. 

Edited by The Friendly Dalek

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The Lazarus Experiment- This episode reminds me a lot of a B-grade sci fi monster movie, and as I find films like that entertaining, I will admit that I have a lot of fun with this one. 

It has a somewhat interesting premise, and Mark Gatiss is wonderful as Lazarus. I'm not a fan of the design of the Lazarus monster, and the effects definitely haven't stood the test of time very well. The rest of the supporting cast are fine but no one stands out except for Gatiss. David Tennant and Freema Agyeman are great of course. The dialogue is dodgy, and the story seems to have some tonal issues. It should have been much darker and grittier than it is in my opinion. 

I really like all of the references to The Quatermass Experiment, such as how the monster is killed in a church for example. Other than that I don't really have any other thoughts on this episode. It is heavily flawed, but despite it's obvious issues I still end up being entertained by it.

Overall- 4/10.

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