Doctor Who series one: Bad Wolf
(S01E12) Now THAT'S how you play Big Brother. If the evicted were vaporized instead of allowed to come back during 'All-Star' challenges I would certainly tune in on a weekly basis. Alas, the current producers of the show, both in America and the UK, probably have no intentions of implementing any type of vaporizing beam on the housemates. Well, one can dream, can't they?
We're back on Satellite 5, except 100 years later than the last time we were there during The Long Game. It's not the hub of the galaxy's news anymore; now it's the Game Station and its contestants don't play the games voluntarily. This is where our story begins as The Doctor (Christopher Eccleston), Rose (Billie Piper) and Captain Jack (John Barrowman) get split up into three different game shows. Rose gets stuck on an episode of The Weakest Link where the loser gets disintigrated; Jack lands on an episode of What Not to Wear featuring two androids (who look a bit like large Lego people with breasts) who want to put a duck head on the good Captain and attach his legs onto his chest ; and The Doctor makes it into the Big Brother house (one of sixty on the Game Station) where those evicted get turned into a fine powder.
So, needless to say, our heroes want out.
The Doctor and Captain Jack both manage to get out of their games and track down Rose during the final face-off of The Weakest Link. Unfortunately, as Rose and her companions are about to reunite she is seemingly vaporized by the Anne Droid (yes, I said seemingly. Read on!). The Doctor, whose emotional shock is clearly shown in detail courtesy of director Joe Ahearne, and Jack are arrested and about to be shipped off to a penal colony. But, do you think that holds are heroes down? No, sir! They escape and head off to the control room on the 500th floor to confront their tormentors. This is when they find out that Rose wasn't killed, but just transported to another part of the solar system.
This is also when The Doctor finds out his real foe. For, you see, The Doctor has finally come to realize that he is being manipulated throughout time by a greater force. Everywhere he has gone in this series there have been references to Bad Wolf, including in tonight's episode. The Bad Wolf turns out to be an old enemy that has been playing the human race for many generations, and The Doctor has found out who it is: The Daleks
We thought that the last Dalek was gone after watching the terrific Dalek episode, but we were sorely wrong. It looks like they are back to full strength, have taken Rose as hostage, and are ready to conquer the universe. Of course, The Doctor won't have any of that. Armed with his trusty sonic screwdriver he's going to rescue Rose, save the Earth, and wipe all of the Dalek's out of the universe. Then, he's going to have a spot of tea.
What I thought was going to be one of the weaker episodes turned out to be quite excellent. It was very amusing to see writer Russell Davies (UK version of Queer as Folk and new Jack Harkness series Torchwood) giving some popular British game shows a darkly funny treatment. I was also nice of Anne Robinson, Davina McCall, Trinny Woodall and Susannah Constanine to provide voices to their android counterparts for their respective real life shows (Robinson for The Weakest Link, McCall for the UK Big Brother and Woodall and Constanine for the UK What Not to Wear.) As usual, both Eccleston and Barrowman had some great lines and actions. The best scene was when a naked Captain Jack pulls a laser gun apparently from his, er, buttocks.
Next week: Daleks, Daleks, Daleks! And, we say good-bye to Mr. Eccleston.