Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Rooksburg Reviews: The Long Game

Doctor Who s1e07: The Long Game

The Doctor and Rose, with their new companion Adam Mitchell, find themselves on Satellite 5- a space station dedicated to transmitting news to the Fourth Great and Bountiful Human Empire.  As usual, all is not what it seems as people who are 'promoted' to floor 500 are never seen again, technology is outdated, and something's wrong with the plumbing...

An interesting story with interesting characters, some good character development, an important milestone, and yet I still forgot this episode even existed.  As they say, there's nothing worse than a 3-star review, as you're not mind-blowing, nor are you 'so bad it's good'; merely mediocre, bland and forgettable.

The main point of this episode centres around Adam (again, a completely forgettable companion).  Adam
was in the museum from last episode where he was somewhat likeable compared to the Americans, so Rose immediately took a fancy to him (showing no remorse over Mickey) and convinced the Doctor to let him tag along.  On arriving at the space station he immediately faints from culture shock before showing his true colours by smiling deviously after being given the magic phone and the TARDIS key; clearly the Americans rubbed off on him.  Despite being so forgettable, he is notable for one key point- he is the first and so far only companion to get kicked out of the TARDIS for bad behaviour, an impressive feat though to me it felt slightly harsh; Rose was supposed be on a date with Adam but ran off with the Doctor, both abandoned Adam in a strange uncomfortable place, and Adam did want to change the world for the better (albeit with personal gain in mind, but the Doctor has been guilty of that himself before).  Ultimately it just felt like the Doctor wanted an excuse to get himself and Rose alone together again.

The editor, with the 'editor-in-chief'
The 'monster of the week' is the Mighty Jagrafess (of the Holy Hadrojassic Maxarodenfoe), who is an amorphous indecipherable creature attached to the ceiling in floor 500 and ultimately doesn't do much- arguably the true villain is Simon Pegg's character, 'The Editor', as he is the one operating the station whilst the Jagrafess oversees.  They have been controlling the media for 90 years in attempt to enslave the human race without them even realising, and it would have worked if the Doctor hadn't come along.  Again, they are fairly decent villains- neither are doing anything particularly evil (aside from killing anyone who knows too much), and the point is raised 'is it really slavery if the slaves don't know about it', though this is immediately shot down by the Doctor who isn't in the mood for philosophical debate.  Also interesting is the fact that the Doctor doesn't save the day this time, instead enlightening an ordinary girl who takes matters into her own hands.

Not much more to say on this one.  Everything is 'good, not great' which leads to a fun 45 minutes but not a memorable one, and in a way slightly disappointing when this series often strays into 'so bad it's good' with its camp cheesiness.
First Impressions: Pleasantly surprised, might give some credibility to the series.
In Retrospect: Oh yeah, this episode... Simon Pegg's cool.

Next Time: Father's Day.  (aka the reason why I haven't dwelled on Rose's selfishness this episode)

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