5 Billion years in the future, the Earth is being destroyed as the sun explodes- but the Doctor isn't there to save it, instead he's there to witness it. However trouble soon arrives as the station they are on becomes a victim of sabotage and all guests are about to be cooked alive.
This episode showcases the CGI more than any other episode, and for the most part it's impressive. The
|Well there goes the budget...|
The story for this episode is very character driven, mostly concerning Rose's culture shock on meeting all these new alien species and coming to terms with seeing the destruction of her home. The whole story is no doubt littered with Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy references, considering Douglas Adam's involvement in the classic series, but thankfully no direct references are made. Unfortunately, there are other pop culture references that are unforgivable- references to ipods and Britney Spears specifically. This is done all too much in science fiction; 5 billion years have passed yet inexplicably everyone's obsessed with the 20th century, making the subject feel dated in just a couple of years.
|Cassandra, the last 'pure' human|
My first impressions on this episode are that it was a little bland and boring. Sure there are aliens, but they don't have much impact because everyone knows there are aliens in Doctor Who. The 'villains' (The Adherents of the Repeated Meme) are nowhere near developed enough to be believable, and it's painfully obvious that Cassandra's the true enemy based on screentime alone. The Doctor's resolution to the story is extremely out of character as well, even abandoning his one rule from the previous episode 'everyone gets a chance'. We also get some exposition on who the Doctor is and why he's so reluctant to talk about his past, but again we get nothing more than a tease- other species are aware of the existence of Timelords, and that there was a war the Doctor was involved in.
On rewatching, my opinion hasn't changed. Nothing significant to the overall plot of the series aside from the introduction of the Face of Boe (who does nothing) and a casual mention of the arc words 'bad wolf', and no real character development as the Doctor is out of character and Rose merely comes to the conclusion she should have reached before this episode. In all honesty, when I came back to this episode I knew I'd seen it before but the story is so forgettable that I had no idea what the danger was and forgot entirely about the repeated meme, which is terrible storytelling when they are major plot points.
Next review: The Unquiet Dead.