Doctor Who series one: The Long Game
(S01E07) For a couple of episodes now The Doctor (Christopher Eccleston) and Rose (Billie Piper) have been slumming around our humble planet Earth in about a one hundred year time span. This episode we get off of good ol' Terra to a satellite hovering around the planet in the year 200,000. Joining the intrepid travelers is Adam (Dalek's Bruno Langley).
From the beginning you could tell that this episode would be different from last week's dark, introspective episode. The Doctor, Rose and Adam land on Satellite 5, which broadcasts news of the entire Earth Empire (Yes! We're still great even in the future!). News gathering is performed by one person, whose brain is one big storage unit, while subordinates put the reports together using small mind chips. An 'Editor-in-Chief' oversees everyone on the satellite and in the entire empire through a control room manned by zombies.The whole thing reminded me a bit of Max Headroom.
Anyone who performs well gets promoted to floor 500. However, after they get promoted they are never seen again. And there, dear readers, lies the mystery that The Doctor must solve. Because, not only does he need to find out where these people go, but why their technology is so backwards (for the year 2000,000 that is.)
Meanwhile, Adam goes on his own journey of discovery. In an attempt to have access to history of all mankind, he decides to obtain a memory spike in his brain (complete with the Vomit-a-matic, which freezes his puke). He takes his newfound knowledge and uses Rose's cell phone (which The Doctor gave her) to call his parents in the past and leave a message about all that will happen in the future. Damn, I hate time paradoxes!
The Doctor and Rose discover that an inordinate amount of heat is being pushed down from floor 500 to floor 139 (where all of the journalists reside). It turns out that an alien has been manipulating the human race for nearly 100 years, as well as its news (pretty much like Rupert Murdoch and FOX News does today). Adam's storyline joins The Doctor's as it turns out the memory spike also allows the alien to read his mind and obtain information about the Time Lord. Of course, Rose and The Doctor are saved, but there are consequences for Adam, who is left home after his actions. As The Doctor says 'I only take the best. I have Rose.'
This was a fast-paced episode that had many elements going at once. While it was confusing in the beginning, all of the pieces came together in the end. The Doctor and Rose were quite cheeky this episode, with some nice verbal sparring. Eccleston is a very good doctor, with a mixture of sarcasm, seriousness and toughness about him. Rose makes a very good partner for him and I will be interested in seeing how she works with the newest version of The Doctor (David Tennant).
Next week -- Back on Earth in 1987.