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“Someone’s manipulating my entire life” Jun 15

The great teaser, with the Doctor’s bemused words to camera, leads into the first half of the two-part Doctor who series finale.

Spoofing Big Brother (and Weakest Link for that matter) are a little pass&eacute even when it involves contestants dying (The Year of the Sex Olympics, which deals with a similar issue was broadcast in 1968), but it’s hard not to enjoy the bizarre crossover with Doctor Who. The incessant Big Brother music (if you’ve got the rights, flaunt them…) is a bit over the top but the housemates are fun pastiches, especially the camp Strood who offers crocodile tears – “it should have been me” – when Crosby is evicted. This is, however, followed by Lynda-with-a-y and one of the worst lines of the episode: “She’s been evicted…from life.”

The What Not To Wear sequence goes on just that little bit too long after the revelation that the robots are equipped with some nasty machinery but it, too, is a touch of dark comedy before we reach the Game Station.

Once out of the game, the Doctor seems to know without being told that it’s exactly a hundred years since his first visit. How does he know? Does his sonic screwdriver – a all-powerful Swiss Army knife now – tell him? Lynda seems to know her way around the station which is also a bit odd. But the revelation that the current state of humanity is a result of the Doctor’s acts in The Long Game is great. It is almost redundant to say that Eccleston’s Doctor has real emotion throughout.

Back in Weakest Link and Rodrick appears to give “Hazel Dean” as an answer… When Rose loses (and here the line from the trailer – “Rose, you leave this life with nothing” – is omitted) and is disintegrated, it’s shocking and moving. Suddenly you’re not sure if she really is coming back or if this is one of the terrible, unexpected twists and Lynda is the new companion.

The Doctor, Lynda and Jack are threatened with the lunar penal colony (see Frontier in Space with its similar ending) before they reach floor 500. At which point for the second week running the TARDIS provides a leap in the plot, sapping a little of the drama. Hopefully the final episode will reveal just why the Daleks are teleporting game losers. That evicted Big Brother contestants don’t actually die takes the edge off the satire a little.

The Controller (see Day of the Daleks) looks terrific and when she arrives on the Dalek ship you see horrible holes in her flesh where she was connected to the Game Station systems. The revelation of the Dalek fleet and the incidentally music with it is very effective, as is the brief shot of a sucker approaching Rose (see The Daleks).

One of Russell Davies’s best episodes, the cliffhanger is great. Who is the Bad Wolf? How did the Daleks survive? Will the Doctor win? And the Doctor’s final line is straight out of Big Brother: “I’m coming to get you!”

4 Responses

  1. 1

    I thought this one was a cracker. The little ones nearly fell off the sofa when the Daleks appeared.

  2. 2

    and here the line from the trailer – “Rose, you leave this life with nothing” – is omitted

    It isn’t, we just don’t see that bit of the scene from the same perspective as in the trailer. The words of the Anne Droid are in the background and muffled by the scuffle with the crew.

  3. 3

    Ah, OK. I’m not a fan of the line so I’m glad it’s muffled…

  1. Bad Wolf Speculation

    And while the enormity of that sinks in here’s another review of last Saturday’s episode, this time from Will.