Mark Watches ‘Doctor Who’: Planet of the Dead

In the first Easter special of Doctor Who, the Doctor hops on a bus with a thief (unknowingly, that is) and gets sent through a wormhole to a planet of sand. Oh, and DEADLY STINGRAYS. It’s better than it sounds. Promise. If you’re still intrigued, then it’s time for Mark to watch Doctor Who.

Whoa, STOP THE DOCTOR WHO BUS. The show is now filmed in HD? EVERYTHING LOOKS SO CRISP AND NEW. I feel like I can see every pore in David Tennant’s face. (I’m not complaining, for what it’s worth.) Not only that, but if I had been thrust into this show with this special first, I probably would have thought this was a movie. I don’t know if these same production values transfer over to series five (DON’T TELL ME), but this episode was so pretty. Where on earth did they film this??? It looked completely genuine. (That you can tell me. I am avoiding Wikipedia to protect myself from spoilers.)

This particular special is a whole lot of fun, and pretty darn creepy at that. There are a few narrative sleight of hands (including the fact that Russell T Davies wrote this one as well? WHY ARE YOU CLINGING ON TO THIS SHOW? Oh, right, because it’s the best thing ever I would do exactly the same.) and some fantastic acting from Tennant. I mean, I’m not surprised at this point, but it really is a joy to watch him play the Doctor.

There’s no real companion in this special, but Michelle Ryan, from EastEnders, does a fine job playing professional thief/adventure Lady Christina de Souza. After trying to escape from a job robbing a London museum, she hops onto a 200 bus and meets the Doctor, who is trying to find a wormhole with the silliest device we’ve seen him use yet. (“It’s spinning!”) What this episode does well with its ensemble cast is deal with an absurdist situation: what if you were dropped onto a planet of sand with no foreseeable way out? I appreciated that this special didn’t veer straight for “Midnight” territory. That episode already did the “trapped in space” trope incredibly well. For the most part, these people get along fairly well, actually! No one resorts to ridiculous levels of hostility. No one calls Carmen a weirdo or a freak for being able to “see” things. No one really turns on each other. And only the bus driver dies, and that’s only entirely out of his own arrogance and fear.

In that sense, “The Planet of the Dead” was refreshing; Davies and Gareth Roberts, who penned this special, avoided pitfalls that we’ve come to expect from this trope in science fiction. Additionally, it allowed them to explore many other things in the story that never would have seen the light of day had everyone fought for half an hour.

Still, as familiar as it was, this episode certainly was creepy as hell. From the endless dunes and hills of sand, to that weird clicking voice that played while some mysterious creature watched our stranded passengers on a screen, to the HORRIFYING effects of the bus driver trying to run through the wormhole. Seriously, that might be the most violent thing on the entire run of the show. Yikes.

It was obvious that Christina and the Doctor would be paired off, but, again, because we weren’t dealing with passenger exiles or ruthless anger from those on the bus, it made sense that the two of them would split off to scout the planet while Nathan and Barclay tried to fix the bus. I can’t deny that the two of them had a great sense of chemistry. I can’t. They did work well together and I’m sure they would have made a great team. I think that Christina’s physical prowess and ingenuity was a fantastic complement to the way the Doctor already works, as if they were two pieces of a super genius puzzle waiting to be put together.

We’re left to believe that whatever is watching the Doctor is responsible for the wormhole. Well…ok, maybe I should amend that. I believed that we’d discover what creature was watching the Doctor and Christina. The dialect that the creatures used seemed so familiar to me, yet I couldn’t place it. So I thought that we’d see a villain from nu-Who return, having created the wormhole to specifically trap the Doctor in order to DESTROY HIM.

So imagine my surprise when the Tritovores turn out to be entirely neutral. Helpful, even! They weren’t past villains and they weren’t even villains at all. So….where did San Helios go? We learn from the Tritovores that there used to be a teeming city of a hundred billion inhabitants. A hundred billion. And somehow, it was all reduced to sand.

It is silly. And ridiculous. And over-the-top. And nonsensical. And I do not care at all. Those metallic stingray aliens? SERIOUSLY, THEY ARE SO TERRIFYINGLY AWESOME. So, if I understand this right, the planet wasn’t a desert until the stingrays ATE EVERYTING AND TURNED IT TO SAND? Which would explain why the sand tasted “wrong” to the Doctor. THERE WERE REMAINS OF PEOPLE AND CITIES IN IT. Oh man, it’s like that time it snowed, only it wasn’t snow, IT WAS ASHES AND SHIT. Sometimes, this show is so wild that I can’t help but love it to bits.

Anyway, as Shit Continues To Get So Real, I found myself smiling at the wonderfully understated explanation for these aliens. Sometimes, Doctor Who can easily fall into overexplaining things. And when they do that, they also risk creating Epic Plot Holes or Stories That Make No Sense. In general, though, this show does what it does right here: It gives us barely enough to accept the story and then presses on. I love the idea that these creatures have a biological imperative to feed and that their speed creates wormholes to new environments so they can continue feeding. THAT IS IT. THAT’S ALL WE KNOW. Oh god, it’s such a good idea! And Davies doesn’t take it so far that I feel the need to question the details. CAN YOU HEAR MY APPLAUSE.

The Doctor and Christina work together (and well, I might add again) to help figure out how on earth they are going to get a bus partially stuck in the sand through a wormhole. Once they figured out that they could use the crystal to power up the bus, I actually thought that Christina might take the crystal for herself and try to leave the Doctor behind. In hindsight, I guess that doesn’t really make any sense. It’s really obvious now that Christina looked up to the Doctor and, given her little speech to him at the end, she wanted the adventure he could give her.

The end of this episode is great. It’s nice that, aside from the Tritovores, who I just started liking a whole lot, this episode doesn’t involve a thousand million people dying. The Doctor gets everyone back to London, he gives a glowing recommendation to Nathan and Barclay, and then…he flat out denies Christina the chance to be his companion. I didn’t expect that she’d last beyond this particular special, but I was shocked by how direct and cold he seemed. But it was all for an important point: He couldn’t risk taking on another companion, not after what had happened in “Journey’s End.”

But the entire episode is SO UNBELIEVABLY UPSTAGED by the parting words of Carmen:

“You be careful, because your song is ending, sir. It is returning, it is returning through the dark. And then Doctor…oh, but then…he will knock four times.”


FOUR TIMES. YOU ARE KIDDING ME. Is THE MASTER coming back? Oh my god, but it can’t be John Simm again, can it? He’s dead? BUT WHAT ELSE WOULD KNOCK FOUR TIMES IN A ROW?

This show, guys. THIS SHOW.


  • Up until this point, I hadn’t commented on him, so I must now. I LOVE MALCOM FOREVER. I was worried that he’d just be an unimportant side character, and a stereotypical one at that. But he was SO HAPPY!!! It was infectious and it made me realize that I love the Doctor, too. MALCOM AND HIS FINGERLESS GLOVES FOREVER.
  • It was nice to see a strong woman of color leading UNIT.
  • “Yes, I’ll just step inside this police box and arrest myself.”

About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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341 Responses to Mark Watches ‘Doctor Who’: Planet of the Dead

  1. Bobcat says:

    Filmed in Dubai!

    • Bobcat says:

      Also, pleasantly surprised by how thoroughly you enjoyed this one. It's got a bit of a reputation for being a trifle on the slow side, but it's got some wonderful concepts and I'm really glad you've embraced it. I look forward to the less eventful episodes just as much as the YOU ARE NOT PREPARED episodes for just this reason – The Doctor's Daughter isn't too fondly regarded which makes that real, tangible joy that much more uplifting.

      And yes – the ending gives me chills. Ooooh, I can't wait for you to find out…

    • They shipped the bus over to film it in the sand and if IIRC, it got damaged on the way over – forcing them to re-write. The sand played havoc with the filming as well – the sand storms stopped them from capturing audio properly and they had to stop every few hours to clean it out of all the equipment. I for one am glad my license fee is being spent in such a responsible manner 😉

    • Stephanie says:

      Just imagine being DT, filming in Dubai with a three piece suit and a trench coat. He must have been DYING! Oh, the things he does for us/the show. But mostly us.

  2. elusivebreath says:

    I had completely forgotten about this episode! For some reason, my dvd player was on the blink when I tried to watch it the first time, and I found the beginning kind of boring, so I never went back and finished it. How silly of me, because it was actually pretty good! I liked Christina and thought she would have made an interesting companion and the overall story was kind of fun and interesting. Not epic, but every episode can’t be “Blink” or “The Girl in the Fireplace,” right?

    Toward the end I was a bit irritated with the Doctor’s moralizing, but he redeemed himself by helping Christina escape (I know she’s a thief, but she’s also kind of awesome so I DON’T EVEN CARE). The end was a little ominous though, wasn’t it? “He will knock four times” … I got chills!

  3. flamingpie says:


    I don't have a lot of feelings~ about this episode apart from OH MY GOD WHAT at the little prophecy. So I will simply leave this:

    <img src=""&gt;

  4. Spugsy says:

    I have only one word for this review: MALCOLM!!!!

  5. Bobcat says:

    Oh, and note that the "strong woman of color" is Captain Magambo… previously seen in Turn Left!

    Lots of people weren't keen on her pointing the gun at Malcolm (who yes, was fantastic), but I thought that demonstrated that her priorities were in the right place. Really cool moment. Strong, yes.

  6. Openattheclose says:

    This was what I thought of this episode on first viewing:
    <img src=""&gt;
    I rewatched it last night, and I liked it better than I originally did.

    I still do not like Christina, and I don't like the glorifying of being a thief. She's not even stealing because she needs to either, she's doing it just because it's fun.

    I LOVE Malcolm and Magambo.

    FOUR TIMES. YOU ARE KIDDING ME. Is THE MASTER coming back? Oh my god, but it can’t be John Simm again, can it? He’s dead? BUT WHAT ELSE WOULD KNOCK FOUR TIMES IN A ROW?


    Oh, I was also really sad when the fly aliens died.

  7. James says:

    I don't get how telling you that the production values are up to this standard from here on out is a spoiler to be honest. I thought you would've mentioned that letting Lady Christina de Souza go was kind of a dick move on the Doctors part since she was a thief. Also the cliched magical black person was a bit weird, alot of people found that more offensive/odd than the fortune teller from Turn Left.

    • echinodermata says:

      I'm glad you brought up the whole magical negro thing, since it was weird. But I don't think it's worse then the fortune teller, considering the woman in this episode was meant to be a positive character.

      • xpanasonicyouthx says:

        Well, I didn't bring it up because the trope usually ends up with everyone disbelieving her and writing her off. It's completely the opposite here, since that doesn't happen at all.

        • maccyAkaMatthew says:

          Also psychic abilities in some humans have been established as part of the Doctor Who universe for a while now (The Unquiet Dead and The Fires of Pompeii – plus earlier if you go back to the classic series). And it's not as if she's the only black character in the episode or even on the bus, she's not written as a mysterious outsider with that represented by her skin colour, she's an ordinary person with a gift.

  8. Anon says:

    I really quite enjoyed this. Its a nice bit of fun and its got Lee Evans, I bloody love Malcolm!

  9. arctic_hare says:

    How do I feel about this episode? Hmmm…

    <img src="; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic">

    About sums it up. I almost fell asleep watching it, which is not a good thing considering I was watching it mid-morning after a good night's sleep. I just… bleh. I can't remember any of the other characters on the bus, save that one black woman because she got her Trelawney on at the end, which should tell you something about how much of an impression they made on me. And Christina just irritated me. She shouldn't have – she sounds cool on paper, and normally I like her archetype, but she just provoked a vague sort of irritation in me save for that last scene where she and Ten were talking. I'll blame it on Michelle Ryan and/or the writing. I just did not see any chemistry between her and Ten at all till that last conversation at the end, which is far too late in the game to care. Sigh.

    So yeah, overall, definitely NOT a favorite of mine. Between a lack of desire to rewatch a special that bored me and recuperating from a 24 hour or so stomach bug, I've not got a lot to say today.

  10. Fusionman29 says:

    Most fans actually hate this episode!

    A. This is High Def. The DVD was the first one to be released in Blu-Ray.

    B. This was the the first time Who filmed in an Arabic country.

    C. This was Tracie Simpson’s debut as a producer.

    D. Tennant feared that he’d be unable to do the Doctor’s accent because he went off to play Hamlet for 6 months. Yes that Hamlet with Patrick Stewart you can see on the PBS website.

    E. This was filmed in the UAE to be precise.

    F. Michelle Ryan, best known for her work on the UK soap opera EastEnders and the US science fiction series Bionic Woman, had previously co-starred in the Steven Moffat-written mini-series Jekyll and was also reportedly a candidate for new companion after the departure of Billie Piper in 2006. She also did her own stunts here.

    G. According to Tennant’s video diary, he and co-star Adam James have been friends for 10 years, having also worked together in the past. James is also Jon Pertwee’s godson.

    H. This is the 200th episode of Who.

    I. This story went through several drafts. These included a space opera about a giant war (possibly featuring the Chelonians); a bizarre story about time-freezing centaurs in a deserted hotel; a Star Trek pastiche; and a story about a outer space hotel where guests were disappearing-taken down to the planet below in order to be implanted with alien eggs.

    • Albion19 says:

      I recall that the bus got all busted up on the way to Dubai, it wasn't meant to be like that originally.

    • Radagast says:

      >E. This was filmed in the UAE to be precise.

      The emirate of Dubai, yes.

      >H. This is the 200th episode of Who.

      200th story, and that depends on how you count them. But it's the reason for the #200 bus, definitely.

      • Fusionman29 says:

        H. Well yeah 200th story to be precise. I presume Mark could guess that seeing how Genesis of the Daleks was a good amount of episodes.

    • kilodalton says:

      Please tell me she was not supposed to be "Penny Carter" … that would have been the world's worst idea anyway, but in addition to that, she and Tennant have zero chemistry x.X

    • nyssaoftraken74 says:

      H. Correction – It's the 200th STORY. And that depends on how you're counting. Basically, for this to be #200 requires that you:
      (a) ignore Shada (the final story of Tom Baker's penultimate season, which was never completed, but did get a VHS release with linking narration),
      (b) treat Colin Baker's Trial of a Time Lord season as 1 story (although it did have 4 separate titles besides the arc title),
      (c) consider Utopia-Sound of Drums-Last of the Time Lords and one 3-part story (though RTD tends to count Utopia separately).

      But calling it #200 was free extra publicity, so why not go with it? 🙂

      I have to add to this:

      The real life reason why the 200 Bus looked the way it did wa because when it arrived in Dubai, somebody dropped a cargo container on it! It was immediately clear that no-one was hurt and there was no question that insurance would cover the financial cost, so when the pictures first came through, RTD's reaction – and mine when I saw it – was just to laugh. Honestly, I was laughing for hours! It still makes me laugh now. Dropping a bloody cargo container on a bus!!!

      Story-wise, the solution took as long to come up with as it did to type: the bus is damaged *because it goes through a wormhole*. Simple!

      The practicalities, however, were not simple:

      *The bus had to be inspected by health & safety, and made safe for transport to the desert. Obviously, it couldn't be driven there anymore and it was a few days before they even knew if it could be used.
      *There was zero possibility of getting an identical Bus #3 in sufficient time – it had been hard enough finding 2 that fitted the requirements of the script.
      *Even with using, damaged Bus #1, they would still need Bus #2 for filming interior scenes in the Cardiff studio. So now they had to replicate the damage to the interior so the shots would match up with those filmed on location.
      *The Mill would have to completely remodel all the FX work that had been completed up to that point, and the couldn't do that until they had detailed photos of Bus #1 from every conceivable angle. And that didn't allow for any further shifting that might occur on the reminder of its journey.

      But that amazing, marvellous team pulled it all together somehow.

      But still…can you imaging the guy going home to his wife that evening…

      WIFE: How was your day, dear?
      GUY: Oh, I dropped a great big cargo container on a bus.
      WIFE: That's nice, dear…wait,, you did WHAT?!

      • Stephen_M says:

        Heh, I'd like to think that after the grinding of metal on metal had finished and silence reigned once more a single voice was heard on the breeze :


      • Guest says:

        The official Doctor Who Magazine went by this count and held a big poll after this episode entitled "The Mighty 200". It's the one that made you watch Caves of Androzani, Mark, the one where it won the first place, narrowly beating out Blink (2) and Genesis of the Daleks (3). "Planet of the Dead" itself landed a 99th place, right in the middle, and "The Twin Dilemma" came in last.

  11. nextboy1 says:

    Apologies, I haven't actually had time to rewatch this special, and don't remember a great deal about it except it's SO PRETTY! I just wanted to say that. And that prophecy…

    I'll watch this and the next special tomorrow night methinks, EXCITE, I've only seen them once

  12. NB2000 says:

    I have mixed feelings about this episode. On the one hand MALCOLM IS AMAZING AND I LOVE HIM! He's such a fanboy and it's so much fun to watch. I love how excited he is to be meeting the Doctor. I also love Erisa Magambo (it took me far too long to catch that she was also in Turn Left, I'm really stupid sometimes). Her saluting over the phone and denying it always makes me lol.

    The desert is STUNNING, well worth going to Dubai for the amazing vistas IMHO. But this is one of those episodes where I'm constantly going "That's a bit of Cardiff. That too. That tunnel's the one we use to drive in to the city, hey wasn't the Doctor Who Exhibit like right above that?" during the "London" scenes which is always super distracting.

    On the other, less positive side, Michelle Ryan. Can't stand her. She really got on my nerves on Eastenders and she's bugged me in pretty much everything else I've seen her in since (I so don't miss her on Merlin like a lot of fans do). I was more than happy to see the Doctor turn down her request to join him, I'd probably have lost interest very quickly if she'd stayed.

  13. kaleidoscoptics says:

    The stingrays are one of my favorite new!Who monsters. The "going fast enough to make a wormhole" bit is incredibly silly, but the thought of a swarm that mindlessly devours everything is morbidly fascinating. It isn't intelligent–It can't be reasoned with, and it's too huge and dispersed to destroy. All you can really do is run, because all it wants is to eat you.

    On a whole this special is just a lot of fun. I loved Christina, and the aliens, and the rest of the bus group. I loved UNIT showing up and being actually pretty awesome. The Doctor's reaction to Journey's End is depressingly realistic. (RTD WHY)


  14. PeterRabid says:

    Meh. This special is just plain unmemorable for me. I don’t hate it, and I do watch it now and again, but ultimately it’s really not my favorite. The fact that the Doctor helped Lady Christina escape just pissed me off to no end. He stole the TARDIS once, a long time ago, out of necessity. She steals valuable stuff all the time, just for shits and giggles. I really don’t think he would condone that.

    The stingray aliens were pretty awesome, but they reminded me of the end of the first Superman movie when flies around the Earth. Turning back time and creating a dimensional portal aren’t quite the same in levels of ridiculousness, but it still made me giggle.

    The only really fantastic things about it are Malcolm and Magambo. We need more Captain Magambo. 🙂

    Also, he will knock four times. NOT PREPARED.

    • Openattheclose says:

      He stole the TARDIS once, a long time ago, out of necessity.
      THIS. And from what I understand, it wasn't exactly considered valuable by the Time Lords (I'm sorry TARDIS, I LOVE YOU and you're the best TARDIS ever). I do not like the parallels and "two of a kind" thing they tried to create here between the Doctor and Christina.

      I normally hate when tv shows do Very Special Messages, but really, what kind of a message is the Doctor helping Christina escape saying to children?

      • PeterRabid says:

        The Doctor's TARDIS is an obsolete Type 40, BUT WE STILL LOVED HER! <3

      • doesntsparkle says:

        Doctor Who does not advocate the cool crime of stealing.

      • echinodermata says:

        but really, what kind of a message is the Doctor helping Christina escape saying to children?

        This is the guy who wanted the Master to live and himself commits genocide and yet gets angry with Handy for trying to wipe out the Daleks who want to wipe out reality.

        Basically, I never look for Doctor Who/The Doctor to teach me morality.

        • Openattheclose says:

          Basically, I never look for Doctor Who/The Doctor to teach me morality
          I agree, and that's why I said I usually hate when shows try to do it, but in this case, celebrating Christina's crime(s) by giving her the grand escape at the end of this episode really irks me. I can't really explain why, it just does.

          • echinodermata says:

            I don't think it's him celebrating or even approving of Christina's theft. I think he just got somewhat fond of her and didn't want to see her go to prison. Second chances is kind of his thing, you know?

    • flamingpie says:

      He stole the TARDIS once, a long time ago, out of necessity. She steals valuable stuff all the time, just for shits and giggles

      I get the point, but to be fair, he also pretty much just cheats his way into anything he needs. I am thinking of several occasions with ATMs or similar. XD

      • PeterRabid says:

        True, but key words there are "anything he needs." I don't think Christina really needed the Cup of Athelstan or anything else she stole.

        • flamingpie says:

          the Doctor also doesn't really need random spending money, ala the long game.

          I do agree with you though, that I don't think he'd just be OKAY with her stealing shit. I saw him letting her off more as him just bending the rules because he rather liked her. He does have a tendency to let those he likes get away with murder.

        • roguebelle says:

          Of course, considering how he points and laughs at archaeologists, he might not consider it that horrific a crime, y'know? 😉

  15. Meadow says:

    Mark, one thing you should know by now for Doctor Who:
    You are never prepared.

  16. Randomcheeses says:

    Love Malcolm forever! Because I would totally turn into the exact same rambling mess as he does if I met the Doctor.

  17. Steph says:

    I didn't like Christina, she's basically Lara Croft, only she's kind of a dick.

  18. doesntsparkle says:

    The first time I watched this one, it inspired Fear Her levels of hatred, but on re-watch it's just kind of meh.

    I would have liked it more if the Tritovores and Malcom had a bigger role in the show.

  19. psycicflower says:

    <img src="; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic">
    Oh my god Doctor what are you doing to that very important artefact! It's over 1000 years old! No, stop! Don't destroy it! (Don't judge me, this stuff is important to me.)

    ‘Well it didn’t do Mr Watt any harm.’
    The first time we saw 'Planet of the Dead' was months after 'The Next Doctor' and I don't think we were even sure when the next episode would air so there was a lot of excitement about actually having a new episode to watch. Overall though I find this episode meh. There are some good things like Captain Magambo and Malcolm, the Tritovores and how lovely the episode looked with the dunes and the flying metal sting rays but it's not an episode I rewatch or find all that memorable so I don't really have anything to say about it.

    I will say that I don't like the ending with the Doctor helping Christina escape. She's a wanted criminal, who must have stolen a lot if that guy was so dedicated to catching her, and she explicitly states ‘I only steal things for the adventure', as if that makes it better. It just doesn't sit right with me.

    “You be careful, because your song is ending, sir. It is returning, it is returning through the dark. And then Doctor…oh, but then…he will knock four times.”
    You are not prepared!

    • flamingpie says:

      I don't really think she should have gotten away but then again, I think it's in character that the Doctor let her. She did help save the world, and he's a bit of a thief himself. XD

    • samibear says:

      Oh my god, I felt exactly the same way when he started pounding that artefact. The historian in me went: 'NOOOO!' But then, I felt the same way when those damn transformers were destroying the pyramids in Eygpt. 'God damn robots, GET OFF THOSE PIECES OF HISTORY!'

      • psycicflower says:

        I'm a museum studies student so even it just being thrown about in the bag was killing me but then he broke out the hammer. I can't count the number of shows/movies where I've been giving out to the tv for things like that, especially when people don't wear gloves.

    • Starsea28 says:

      Oh my god Doctor what are you doing to that very important artefact! It's over 1000 years old! No, stop! Don't destroy it!

      Something died inside me, as well. Honestly, Doctor, why?

  20. leighzzz31 says:

    I'm glad you liked this one, Markk!I really, really enjoyed this special. It feels like an old-school science fiction movie to me. THOUGHTS:

    -The Doctor is a really annoying passenger when not on the TARDIS. But I did love that the psychic paper doubled as an Oyster Card-it made me miss London :(.
    – San Helios was so pretty to look at. They made good use of both Dubai and filming in HD!
    -The Doctor in sunglasses. LOL.
    -I liked the science of the episode. I mean, I’m no expert, but it mostly made sense, Faraday Cage, wormholes etc. And I liked that the villains were nothing more than animals with a survival instinct. Made a change from the recent familiar enemies.
    -I love that Christina takes charge. Though it feels right that it’s the Doctor that restores calm. And just by learning where these people were going, they become fully fledged characters. Well done, RTD. I haven’t said that in a while.
    -Also, Christina is basically Dora the Explorer of the Whoniverse. That backpack!
    -The Tritovores weren’t exactly the best to look at but I was actually sad to see them die.
    -The Doctor’s and Christina’s banter and one liners were awesome in this ep. “Yeeees, I am. Frequently.” “ Worse it gets more I love it.” “Me too!”

    The Doctor: Anyway, come on. Allons-y!
    Christina: Oui, mais pas si nous allons vers un cauchemar.
    The Doctor: Ho, ho! We were made for each other.
    French is always appreciated. And, in all honesty, I think they would have made a great TARDIS team together.
    -I feel like RTD may have written this episode purely for that flying bus scene. I’d love to see it return in the future somehow.
    [As for everyone else back on earth, I wasn’t as interested in their side of the story. It was nice to see Captain Magambo again and Malcolm was basically a genius fanboy. ‘I LOVE YOU!’]

    Now, that ending. I knew Christina would ask to become a companion. And I knew the Doctor would say no. But he struck me as being needlessly harsh. Yes, we know them leaving hurt you, Doctor. Martha was the only one who chose to do that, though (you’ll always be BAMF for that, Ms Jones!). Anyway, he redeemed himself when he set her free. Christina is badass enough to get away with driving a flying bus around the world. And I liked their parting words: “Doctor, we could have been so good together!” “Christina! We were!”

    Also, I am fucking done with prophesies on this show! If Donna’s was anything to go by, this is going to be awful. “Your song is ending.” NOOOOOOOO! “He will knock four times.” SOMEBODY HOLD ME! What does it all meaaaaaan?

  21. Karen says:

    Here have some dramatic backlighting!Ten:
    <img src=""&gt;

    Ok, now that I’ve done that I suppose I should talk about the actual episode. This isn’t my favorite episode ever, and I don’t usually seek it out to rewatch, but it is pleasant enough. I do actually quite like the plot of this one. The idea of space sting rays who just devour entire populations like that and then create a wormhole to move onto the next planet is actually pretty cool, and it's executed fairly well.

    Christina is not my favorite character ever, but she was fine for a one-off companion. In spite of the fact that the script keeps telling us that she and Ten make a great team, I don’t think she would have been a good companion. I think she’s too much of an adrenaline junkie who would do things without thinking thereby causing trouble, and she lacks the kind of compassion that seems to be a requisite for companions (see: that moment when she finds out that a planet has been devoured and she freaks out over the fact that they are in her hair).

    Also, she’s a thief, plain and simple. I know that she has some justifications for it or whatever, but no. Just no. Still a thief. I don't care if you do it for the thrill or because you think you're like rescuing some historical artifact. It's still stealing. I really don’ get why the Doctor helped Christina escape and then… gave her a flying bus. GOOD THINKING, TEN. The music and reactions of the characters are telling me that this is supposed to be a moment of triumph, but I’m just like “ugh. GO TO JAIL.”

    And it’s a bit annoying how ~above it all~ she is. She’s a privileged member of the aristocracy. Like that moment when she doesn’t know what an Oyster card is? YEAH RIGHT. Everyone who has lived in London knows what an Oyster card is, so I think that moment is supposed to demonstrate how out of touch with the real world she is. Although speaking of Oyster cards, I really wish I had psychic paper if the Oyster card readers can read it… It’d save me so much money on transportation.

    Also, speaking of transportation… since I’m weird, I looked up where the #200 bus actually goes, and it’s over by Wimbledon. It doesn’t go to Victoria. LIES, DOCTOR WHO. ALL LIES. Fun fact about this episode: The bus wasn’t originally supposed to be damaged when it got transported to the other world, but the actual bus got damaged when they were transporting it to Dubai, so they changed the script.

    <img src=""&gt;
    <img src=""&gt;
    <img src=""&gt;
    Ten’s face when dealing with the automated voice system cracks me up. But even funnier is Ten speaking the bug people’s language. OH TEN. ILU. NEVER LEAVE ME.

    Oh hai Captain Magumbo. You were in “Turn Left”!

    <img src=""&gt;
    Doctor: Did you just salute?
    Captain Magumbo: … no.

    Also, Malcolm was completely adorbs.

    Doctor: You’re my new best friend!
    Malcolm: And you’re mine too!

    I adore that moment when he refuses to abandon the Doctor. :’) But the best part is the hug at the end. ILU, MALCOLM.
    <img src=""&gt;

    Aw, Doctor and your self-imposed solitude. Most people going in to this special knew that Christina wasn't going to be the new companion, but tbh, I wasn’t expecting him to shut Christina down like that. So idk. Christina had been bugging me a bit the whole episode, so to see her invite herself along on the Tardis and for the Doctor to be like "NO SORRY. I NEED TO BE ALONE WITH MY ANGST. KTHNXBYE" makes me lol.


    • roguebelle says:

      I think there are Doctors other than Ten that Christina might've been a good fit for.

    • psycicflower says:

      The music and reactions of the characters are telling me that this is supposed to be a moment of triumph, but I’m just like “ugh. GO TO JAIL."
      I agree. She hasn't had some huge change of heart during the episode and we don't really know much about her to find her relatable so I don't think her escape feels entirely justified when she's presumably just going to continue on as she was before.

    • Hypatia_ says:

      Aw, Doctor and your self-imposed solitude. Most people going in to this special knew that Christina wasn't going to be the new companion, but tbh, I wasn’t expecting him to shut Christina down like that. So idk. Christina had been bugging me a bit the whole episode, so to see her invite herself along on the Tardis and for the Doctor to be like "NO SORRY. I NEED TO BE ALONE WITH MY ANGST. KTHNXBYE" makes me lol.

      Also, Christina was obviously interested in him in a non-platonic way and was prepared to be more assertive about it than, say, Martha. The Doctor clearly wasn't interested and didn't want to deal with it. He's being the Chaste Hero and having Christina around might cut into his brooding time.

    • Minish says:

      This. All of this.

  22. Kaci says:

    I swear, I don't remember this special either. I don't know why–usually, though I like some specials and dislike others, I remember them because they're, you know specials and therefore supposed to be Events with a capital E. But it's like my mind has just erased everything from the end of series 4 until the final special that constituted that "in-between year" or whatever the official term for it was. Very odd.

    I remember the prophecy, though, so that's something, I guess. HE WILL KNOCK FOUR TIMES and Mark? You are slightly more prepared for this than you were for The Hunger Games trilogy, but you're still DEFINITELY NOT PREPARED.

  23. Anon says:

    Oh, i just rememberd: "humans on buses always blaming me"

    Turned out better this time round.

  24. jackiep says:

    Another joy of this was that when the Doctor with his strange spinning thing got onto the nearly empty bus and sat down next to Christina (when a normal person would have sat on an empty pair of seats) chatting away about Easter, having been at the first one and offering chocolate, her reaction is not one of somebody running away from the forces of law and order, but the reaction of somebody thinking "Shit! I've copped the nutter on the bus!"

  25. feminerdist says:

    Yeah this isn't my favorite season. I think it is directly related to the end of the episode.

    "He will knock four times"

  26. samibear says:

    I couldn't wait for Mark to get to this episode, because THIS was the episode that got me into Dr Who!

    It was Easter, I was at my Granny's, and my uncle said Dr Who was coming on. I'd never seen the show before, but had heard of it, so I decided to give it a try. And I absolutely. Fell. In. Love. (With David Tennant. Oh, and the show of course)

    Even though I'd never seen the show before, I immediately got a sense of what it was, and who the Doctor was. A brilliant, enigmatic, funny man who travelled around having adventures is space and time? Why had I never seen this before?

    Even if this episode might not be a fan favourite, it'll always hold a special place in my heart. <3

  27. taciturn1 says:

    This episode gets quite a lot of hate and I don't really understand it. Michelle Ryan's acting is debatable, especially in the "Dead people in my hair" scene, but I agree on the great chemistry with David and I think the episode itself works perfectly well as the fun romp it is supposed to be.

    RTD didn't rewrite this more than some of the earlier episodes, but got convinced by others to finally take credit more towards the end of his reign. Again Mark, you should definitely read "The Writer's Tale – The Final Chapter" soon. (Don't even look it up right now though!) Not for Mark reads – that would be quite pointless, but I think you will like it.

    And of course you are not prepared for what is to come. It will knock knock knock knock you out!

  28. Mary Sue says:

    I can forgive this episode much, merely because this is the episode that gives us Malcolm, whom I would love to be my new best friend, pretty please? He can come over to my house and we'll do science experiments and read the Doctor's files and make popcorn using lasers!

    • Hypatia_ says:

      I totally want to make popcorn using lasers now. I don't know how that would work, but it would be awesome.

      I did make ice cream using liquid nitrogen one time. That was some fun and tasty geekery.

  29. roguebelle says:

    This is an episode that I always forget about, and then I watch it, and I actually do like it, and then I forget about it again.

    I like Lady Christina. I don't know if I would've liked her for a long-term companion, but I thought she was fun and quirky and unusual.

    And omg the end…. I remember how much we all flipped out over that. What does it mean??? It means, Mark, that you are once again UNPREPARED.

  30. kilodalton says:

    This is my least favorite special tbh =(

    First … does EVERYONE have to kiss the Doctor? Seriously, everyone? I mean, I know Ten is kind of dishy, but still … it started getting a little silly for me by this point in time. 3+ seasons of snog-snog-snog by everyone in sight! Captain Kirk, thy alter ego is Ten.

    Second … oh golly. Michelle Ryan. She is not a very good actress imo, I just couldn't buy her character at all.

  31. Michelle Ryan? Also in Jekyll!

    One very impatient pizza delivery boy?
    Two Girl Scouts?
    Four Jehovah's Witnesses?

  32. Penn says:

    I really liked this episode on first watching it, I'm not sure how well it has stood up since.
    On the other hand, we get to see Unit being mostly competent, which is nice.

  33. echinodermata says:

    I quite like Lady Christina even though I know she's not particularly popular in fandom. As a character, I admit she's fairly cheesy and not particularly novel, but what can I say, I love a woman who appreciates a good heist.

    Is she smug? I don't give a damn, I really don't. And she seems pretty capable (she carries a shovel! and a bunch of other tools!), so whatever smugness she has seems deserved. Look, she's an adventurer. She's a thief because she wants to be, not because she needs the money or anything – she just wants a thrill. So I think she's just the sort of person that would make for an interesting character on this show. Plus, I loved seeing her take charge while the Doctor sits back. And the Doctor takes over only when she tells him to.

    Frankly, she seems a lot like the Doctor to me, sans his self-righteousness. And I mostly like the Doctor, so it stands to reason I would mostly like her.

    Finally, I'm shallow and Michelle Ryans is hot. So I like Lady Christina, and I think she would have made a fine companion. Ooh, want another unpopular opinion? I don't like Malcolm. Mostly, I'm just tired of people praising the Doctor. Were Ten's characterization and arcs different, I'm sure I'd like Malcolm better.

    And on to the rest of the episode. Firstly, what is up with this show's fascination with skeletons? Moving on from related special effects that I'm getting tired of, it's kind of been high time for a desert episode on new Who. And there's a lot of really pretty landscape scenes, too, that I do appreciate the show giving us this setting.
    <img src=""&gt;
    Next, I really adore the look of the metal ray things. I think rays are gorgeous creatures in general, and the metal may not make that much sense, and why are they flying in air? Too pretty to care; I'm not gonna poke at the weird science.

    I can't find a very good picture of the rays, so this will have to do.
    <img src=""&gt;

    This ep gets a bad reputation, but I find a lot of good in it. It's just a light-hearted episode that maybe wasn't what people wanted after months of waiting. I can understand that, really, but I actually think this may be my favorite of the "4.5" specials. It's not objectively the best, I don't think, but it's the one I'd most want to rewatch of the specials.

    <img src=""&gt;

    In conclusion, "he will knock four times." Not confirming or denying anything, but, well, awesome gif is awesome.
    <img src=""&gt;

  34. Caroline says:

    Sometimes I cannot help but chortle with glee over how not prepared you are with this show. 😉

  35. who_cares86 says:

    You can say what you want about this special but they really went the extra mile to get some gorgeous imagery to show off the HD resolution.

    Also how awesome is this:
    <img src=""&gt;

    And I'm quite sure I've never meant it more:


    • qwopisinthemailbox says:


      • rebecca says:

        It's from the 2009 Halloween "Treehouse of Horror specials" They always give all the people in the credits creepy/silly nicknames for those.

  36. Stephen_M says:

    Sorry, really dislike this episode. It's virtually all fluff and for what is a one-off special that's clearly setting something up it should have been so much more. The plot feels stretched out, the Doctor isn't actually that effective and it's just… lacking something. A meh episode that in a regular season would have been okay but forgettable but as a special feels like wasted opportunity.

  37. TropeGirl says:

    Your enthusiasm is so infectious that I feel about three times as happy as I did two minutes ago. Thank you for that.

    By the way, MALCOLM FOREVER.

  38. Hotaru-hime says:

    I love Malcolm, I love how the stingrays looked, I liked the Tritovores.
    I hated everything else.
    I haven't rewatched any of the specials since they came out, so maybe it would be better on rewatch, but I was so utterly, bitterly disappointed in this special. Christina flying off the bus made me even more unhappy. It hurt too, that we didn't know when the next special was going to be and if I had thought the wait between The Next Doctor and Planet of the Dead was excruciating, the wait between Planet of the Dead and Waters of Mars was nearly twice as long and so much worse.
    So no, I don't like this special. It rivals my hatred of Love and Monsters.

  39. fakehepburn says:




  40. Matt says:

    I'm not sure why the production details are classified as spoilers, but fair enough. I will say that the change over had been meticulously planned since series one, and it's not RTD clinging on, but letting go in a highly controlled way, so as to give the new production team (Moffat plus two exec producers) time to get up and running.

  41. Openattheclose says:

    Your original comment (and this one) was deleted for including expectation spoilers about future episodes.

    • who_cares86 says:

      Uh by mentioning why it was deleted aren't you doing the same thing now? Gotta be careful one wrong word.

  42. Tauriel says:

    Another meh episode, certainly not deserving of the title "special". The wormhole-creating metallic stingrays are a very interesting concept, and Malcolm is AMAZING and FUNNY and BRILLIANT, and Captain Magambo is cool, but that pretty much covers all the good bits – and frankly, it's not enough. The "people stuck in a bus" trope felt like a lighter, non-violent version of Midnight, and Lady Christina… oh, dear me, she was SO IRRITATING!!! A glorified thief, played by an incompetent "actress" (sorry, Michelle, you're pretty and everything, but you just can't act). Her constant unsure grin annoyed me to no end. And the bit where she assumed leadership ("Well, thank goodness you've got me! Everyone, do exactly as I say!") made me laugh out loud – sorry, lady, you've got about as much natural authority as a puppy.

    • doesntsparkle says:

      The whole episode really does hang on Christina, and she's the only thing I really don't like about the special. I can't stand her either. I haven't seen the actress in anything else, so I don't feel right judging her on this.

      • Tauriel says:

        She's also in Jekyll, but she's not much better there, either… I dunno, every time I see her, I don't see the character, I see the actress trying to act. She's not natural.

  43. Openattheclose says:

    I am sorry that you find it unfair, but as you said, those are the rules as outlined in Mark's spoiler policy. Feel free to post your comment again without including a spoiler.

    • rewritten says:

      Thanks, I think I'll refrain from posting again (after this) until tomorrow when I can have a full rant on why I, personally, love the episode so. I think I've learnt a general rule today, only post if you have something worthwhile to say regarding the episode at hand 🙂

      • ThreeBooks says:

        Or if you have GIFs of adorable kittens, Doctors being awesome, or anything at all about Firefly 😀

  44. mr_bobby says:

    Ugh, I really just don't care about this episode.

    Lol the flying stingray thing was totally ruined for me by my mother, as soon as they appeared she yelled THEY LOOK LIKE GIANT SPERM and that was it, suddenly they were a lot less threatening.

    Also, Michelle Ryan as Lady Christina whatever-the-fork her name is irritates me BEYOND BELIEF.

  45. Maya says:

    I remember not really liking this episode and LOATHING Lady Christina right off the bat. However, rewatching it I now like it a little more. Mostly because having seen Michelle Ryan in "Jekyll" (which is a. BEYOND AWESOME HOLY SHIT HOW DID JAMES NESBITT NOT GET ALL THE AWARDS EVER and b. I liked her character in it) I don't hate Lady Christina as much. Also, one of my friends adores her and is dressing as her for our Doctor Who group at Comic-Con so I need to try and hate her less now.


    Malcolm and Magambo are pretty much the redeeming factors here. Although I did spend the first half of it going "OMG MALCOLM IS THE GUY FROM THERE'S SOMETHING ABOUT MARY WHERE ARE HIS FAKE CRUTCHES." Lee Evans is awesome.

    Oh, and I totally remember being incredibly stressed by the knocking four times thing since we had to wait MONTHS for even the remotest glimpse at what is was. STRESS/SADNESS FOREVER.

  46. @nessalh says:

    You should prepare to never be prepared again.

  47. flootzavut says:

    He will knock four times…

    You are NOT prepared. Siriusly.

  48. sarasingsout says:

    Honestly, the specials all kind of sucked for me because they lacked to continuity of a season–they weren't even released at regular intervals, so by the time a special came out I had long since gone past being excited about the it and into wishing Series Five would hurry up and start. I think you'll have a much better experience with the specials because you can watch them all pretty close together.

    So, that disclaimer aside, I was pretty meh about this one for the most part. It just didn't do much for me. It had good moments, it had good characters, but overall… meh. Yay for Malcolm, though.

    And as for Carmen's parting lines… trust me, you are woefully underprepared. And you won't even have months of waiting in which to formulate all sorts of wild theories to help you out!

  49. Jaxx_zombie says:

    Here's my reaction when I first heard "You be careful, because your song is ending, sir. It is returning, it is returning through the dark. And then Doctor…oh, but then…he will knock four times." :
    <img src="; border="0" alt="Photobucket">
    <img src="; border="0" alt="Photobucket">

  50. Openattheclose says:

    Yet you bear it so well!

  51. ScarecrowCeno says:

    I recall reading he was persuaded to take the credit by one of the producers, as his name on the scripts would help attract certain talents to the project.

    • Bobcat says:

      Close… Ben Cook – editor of DWM, good friend of RTD, one half of the team behind the Writer's Tale – actually brought it up in his emails, and Russell decided it was a good idea. So the germination of that very idea has been published exactly as it occurred – very cool.

      It works, too. This one's technically "Written by Gareth Roberts," by the standards of the rest of the series, but seeing RTD's name stamped across it really helps shift the focus to the elements of Davies's own writing style. I notice Davies elements a lot more here than in the Shakespeare Code, for instance, in spite of him apparently having less to do with this one.

      • taciturn1 says:

        Yes, Ben Cook brought it up and made RTD think about it, but RTD also mentioned that he was asked to do it for production reasons, like ScarecowCeno said.

        • nyssaoftraken74 says:

          Yes, I think it was a case of 2 different people advising him to do the same thing for different reasons.

  52. arctic_hare says:


    • potlid007 says:

      sorry! didn't know!

      but why could we use all of Seasons 2-4 gifs?
      just out of curiosity…

      • arctic_hare says:

        You can use series 1-4 gifs because they're not spoilery anymore, Mark has seen all of them. Prior to having watched it, he'd already seen lots of gifs of them over on MRHP out of context; however, it was still considered a bad idea to post anything that spoiled upcoming events for obvious reasons. Series five gifs, however, are still quite spoilery and should be avoided until Mark has seen the specific episodes they're from.

        Bottom line is, if Mark hasn't reviewed an episode yet, err on the side of caution and don't talk about it or post gifs from it.

  53. OMG. THINGS.

    I think what I most remember about this episode was being of the impression that Lady Christina was a bit like a Asda-price Lara Croft. :/

  54. Tauriel says:

    But you know, it's better to be prepared not to be prepared than not to be prepared not to be prepared. 😉

    … does that make any sense at all? 😀

  55. Tauriel says:

    Oh, one more thing that irritated me in this episode – the Doctor using the psychic paper as an Oyster card. Um, hello, the psychic paper is PSYCHIC, meaning that it affects the perception of the person looking at it! Physically it's only a blank piece of paper – how on earth can it fool a machine?! Grr…

  56. pica_scribit says:

    This is probably my least favourite of the series of TV specials, but it still has several good points to it. However, what the Doctor does with the Anglo-Saxon chalice HURTS ME. Yes, I am a history geek, and yes the Anglo-Saxon period is my favourite playground.

    Oh, and Mark? You are NOT PREPARED. Not remotely.

    • maccyAkaMatthew says:

      They don't show the subsequent adventure where the Doctor makes a replica, travels back in time and swaps it for the real one in the Gallery, so that Christina will steal it and then later returns the genuine one to the museum.

  57. My theory about the filming production is that because Doctor Who was doing so well (as far as I know at least), BBC gave them extra funds or something.

  58. Roxanne says:

    I have nothing really to say about this episode. Im just commenting to share my discovery of an awesome Dr. Who/ Firefly pic.

    <img src="; alt="drwho" />

  59. plummy says:

    Oh my god, after I watched the next episode I read a TON of fanfic and now I don't remember what happens next and what is made up IN MY MIND. WHAT DO THE FOUR KNOCKS MEAN i feel dumb. I am waiting on the edge of my seat with you Mark!

  60. Wookie_Monster says:

    "He will knock four times"

    Let's put it this way, Mark:
    Some of us thought we were prepeared.
    Do you really believe we were?


    • Tauriel says:


      I mean – we were led to believe that Rose would die in Doomsday. Turned out she only "died" in our world; she continued to live happily ever after in a parallel world (now with her very own Doctor clone…). We were led to believe that the Doctor's "most faithful companion would die" in Journey's End – and guess what, no one actually died, only Donna had her memories wiped.

      I wish RTD would stop giving us grand dramatic "prophecies" and hints and then backing out on them. If he had had any balls, he would REALLY kill off Rose in Doomsday. It would've been dramatic, tearjerking, and we would've been spared the whole "she can't come back ever… oh wait, she can! She can come and go as she pleases! Here, Rose, have a Doctor clone for yourself!" shenanigans.

  61. Nicole says:

    I actually love this episode on the whole — Lady Christina is awesome (what amazing chemistry with Ten!), the desert setting is awesome, the stingrays are awesome, Malcolm is a bit meh, but that's tied to my waning love for Ten during this time…

    There are some things I'm not too keen on, of course, such as the whole magical negro thing, or the cup being smashed with a hammer, but the one thing that really bothered me was the death of the two Tritovores. RTD said that he had to kill them off because the Doctor bringing them to Earth would be a mess, but I don't understand how the Doctor couldn't have just taken them straight to their home via the TARDIS once back on Earth. The deaths just felt needless, but then that is something that was starting to irritate me about RTD post-S4 anyway. 🙁

  62. Tauriel_ says:

    I finally registered here. 🙂

  63. Charli says:

    Its weird, I remember liking this when I first saw it, but remember pretty much nothing about the episode. Guess that says a lot about it. Or about my memory, I s'pose!

  64. qwopisinthemailbox says:


  65. qwopisinthemailbox says:

    By the way, the ending of this episode was the first episode i saw when i decided to actually get into the doctor who fandom. there was a marathon going on BBC America since that was the day series 5 was going to start. i wanted to watch some of Tennant's episodes before Matt's so i could get a feel for what the show was about and who the Doctor was, and the rest is history. once series 5 started i was hooked.

  66. I just saw your Waters of Mars reaction on Twitter and am looking forward to your post. That's a hell of an episode, yeah.

  67. Chris says:

    <img src="; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic">

  68. Laura says:

    This one is just plain FUN. Which is complete YAY. We need more just plain FUN in doctor who.

    A few things that make this fun:

    Christina kicks major Ass.

    Malcolm is like… well, most of us fans. WE LOVE HIM.

    It is beautiful cinematography of deserts.


  69. SusanBones says:

    I am surprised that no one mentioned the obvious comparison to Mission Impossible. I think it was one of the few things that I liked about this episode.

    Christina – I enjoyed when she tried to run things, letting the Dr sit there in amusement
    the relationship being Christina and the Doctor
    the prediction – knock four times

    the plot – who puts a bus on a planet? – What happened and why and how?
    the villains – giant stingrays – can anything be cornier?
    the location – so beautiful but so static, too

  70. RJM says:

    "It was nice to see a strong woman of color leading UNIT."

    Hahahah, yes! I love Captain Magumbo!

    Even more awesomely, she is not the first such on the show. Back in '89, we had Brigadier Winnifred Bambera (who was equally made of win. I seriously can't wait until you watch some of the last two years of Classic Who.)

    • Scott says:


      People either give Sylvestor McCoy and the last few series flak, or they never mention it, but Series 25 and 26 were like a precurser to Nu-Who in terms of an on going arc or theme. Also if you enjoy 9-10's whole "oncoming storm" shtick then you definitely need to check out 7's run starting from when he picks up Ace(Dragonfire).

      McCoy was just such a different Doctor than all the others, maybe being a bit like 10 in the whole "Whimsy disguising darkness" category.

  71. Allyndra says:

    In my continuing game of "Spot the Actor," I made a squealing noise when I saw Posh Kenneth (Daniel Kaluuya ) from Skins on this episode. Yes, it takes little to amuse me.

  72. Starsea28 says:

    It was nice to see a strong woman of color leading UNIT.

    She was in "Turn Left"! I liked that she was still leading UNIT even when the world wasn't falling apart around her.

    I really like this special. It doesn't take itself too seriously but it rattles along nicely. I like Michelle Ryan as Christina. She and Tennant have good chemistry, their characters work well together. And I loved Lee Evans as Malcolm but WHY was he doing a Welsh accent? BBC Wales, you have hundreds of Welsh actors, why do you pick Lee Evans and then make him do a Welsh accent? It seems redundant to me. But oh well, amazing character.


  73. Lauren says:

    On Captain Magambo: She's cool, but I think she's a bit of a rip-off of Brigadier Winifred Bambera, who was a "strong woman of colour" leading UNIT in the Seventh Doctor story "Battlefield".

    Also: the bus was damaged on the way to Dubai, which was ACCIDENTAL. So RTD wrote it into the script!

  74. Lolua says:

    So… this is one NuWho special I haven't actually seen (except the last 2 minutes). And since I have an irrational fear of sting-rays (blame SeaWorld when I was 5), it's probably better if I don't. At least not when it's dark out. o.o So thank you, Mark, for watching… in this one case, so I don't have to.

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