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Saturday, June 9, 2007
Ok, I'm just going to say it. This is the best episode I've seen so far in Series Three. The irony is that the Doctor is in very little of the episode (titled "Blink"), and most of the time he is - we only see him on a television screen. Because of the holiday specials they do each year, contractually it means they have to do one regular season episode that is a bit "light" on the Doctor and his companion, and I'm guessing that this must be that episode. Nonetheless, it was very well done! It is loosely based on a short story that appeared in the 2006 Doctor Who Annual, and having already read that story I can tell you this version is lightyears and away superior to the inspiration piece. Alright then, so here's the premise: Quantum creatures who feed on the "potential" life energy of beings, but if they are looked upon they "cease to exist" appearing only as stone statues. They're very lonely creatures too, because they can never look upon one another either. But if they aren't being observed, then they exist, and THAT is when they can get you! They "kill you nicely" (as the Doctor puts it) by sending you randomly back in time to live out your life in the past. Then they "feed" on the potential energy of the days you *should* have lived, but never got to live. They're hiding out at some condemned mansion, where everyone who goes there disappears - including the Doctor and Martha who end up sent back to 1969 while the TARDIS remains in 2007. There's some good temporal paradox/self-fulfilling stuff in the episode, and the way the statue/creatures are done is definitely spooky, and the epilogue may leave you never trusting a statue again. It's really too bad this season didn't seem to get it's sea-legs until episode TEN.
Sunday, June 3, 2007
This was a mid-season two-parter, with Part I being titled "Human Nature" and Part II titled "Family of Blood." The premise is that the Doctor and Martha are being chased by some aliens known as "The Family" who have a fairly limited lifespan, that is unless they can feed off the Doctor's Timelord energy. Despite their "mayfly-like" lifespans, they can apparently track the Doctor anywhere in time and space - so he and Martha need to hide somewhere and wait out the aliens' lifespans (which is only a couple months or so). However, the Doctor's biology is too unique and would allow them to easily find him no matter where he goes - so the Doctor uses a contraption he "never thought he'd have to use" to re-write his own biology to that of a normal human being. He stores his Timelord consciousness in a device that looks like a normal pocket watch. Then he and Martha hide out in 1914 Great Britain - with the Doctor playing school teacher, and Martha as a maid (having to endure the racism of the era as well). Problems arise because the Doctor doesn't remember who he is, falls in love with the school nurse, and Martha fears she's losing him. She's also pissed off that he's fallen in love with someone other than her. The Family does track them down, however, because the watch with the Doctor's conscience is stolen by a school boy who opens it. He's kinda psychic anyway, apparently, and can "hear" the Doctor speaking to him from the watch. The Family each steal the bodies of some locals, animate an army of scarecrows, and go about killing people until the Doctor accepts that he is not human, downloads his true self from the watch, and tricks The Family consequently blowing up their cloaked space ship. But not before the Doctor gets a glimpse of the life he might have had as a human - with a wife, kids, grandchildren, and a death in old age. YAWN! The Doctor deserves better than an average, boring, early 20th Century life! Thankfully he's never relegated to that mundane existence. The Family, however, realize that when the Doctor ran from them he wasn't doing so because he feared them. "He was being compassionate." Because the Doctor gives the members of the Family what they wanted - IMMORTALITY - just not how they wanted it: trapped in mirrors, eternally falling into the event horizon of a black hole, perpetual (but apparently conscious) stasis as a scarecrow - you know, that sort of thing. All in all not a terrible story, and it did revisit the Doctor's claim that he has little mercy left for such evil-doers.