Friday, August 22, 2014

Doctor Who--"The Doctor Dances"

A satisfying ending to one of the best episodes of the series thus far. It is rare for a cliffhanger to make my jaded heart excited to see the conclusion, much less have the conclusion not be a letdown. I’m glad to say “The Doctor Dances” fulfilled both. Not too mention the conclusion was just as creepy as the first. I’m not surd if it is the look of the zombies, the claustrophobia of having a gas mask cover the face, or the eerie “Are you my mommy?” but I had the heebie jeebies from beginning to end.

Our heroes are cornered in the hospital ward by the zombies closing in with their usual chant. Back at the house, Nancy is in the same predicament with the small child. The Doctor tells the zombies in a stern, parental voice that he is angry with them and orders them to their room. The zombies, who seem to have the mentality of a small child, hang their heads and go back to their beds. The small child dos the same across town, saving Nancy. The Doctor quips that’s a good thing--those would have been terrible last words. Captain jack finally explains himself after the bruhaha is over. He’s running a scam. He finds some useless space junk, tells a Time agent it’s a valuable weapon, takes a fifty percent cut, and the device is destroyed by a German bomb before the agent knows he’s been had. This time, the ship was an alien medical ship equipped with nanogenes which automatically “repair” any organic matter they come in contact with.

Nancy tries to leave the house, but the all clear siren sounds and the family returns from the bomb shelter to find her. Nancy declares that there was too much food on the table for a time of rationing and while everyone assumes the wife is messing around with the butcher, she knows it was the husband instead. She hints at blackmail, demanding a set of wire cutters. Back at the hospital, our heroes are investigating the ward where the child was first kept. It has been demolished. The child was obviously powerful and angry. The Doctor surmises that the homeless children were living near the crash site. One of them must have wandered too close and been altered. Then he suddenly realizes he ordered the child back to his room--this room. The child appears, asking his eternal question.

The doctor blasts a hole in the wall to escape and after a few harrowing moments, head to the crash site. Nancy has used the wiire cutters to clip the barbed wire and gone their herself. They all meet up. The doctor realizes what is happened. The nanogenes encountered the dead child wearing the gasmask. It had no idea that wasn’t normal and restored the child as best it could. Then it “fized” every other human it encountered the same way. As the zombies surround them, the child appears. Nancy begins to cry and admit it is all her faith. The child is, in fact, hers. She finally answs, “Yes, I am your mommy.” They embrace and the nanogenes scan nancy, learning of the proper DNA stream and repairing the child properly. The doctor removes the gas mask. The child is normal underneath. The doctor summons the nanogenes, adds a patch to their program (convenient, no?) and directs them to heal the other zombies.

Meanwhile, Captain Jack has the German bomb caught in stasis just before it hit’s the ground. He ralizes there is no way to eject the bomb her save himself. The situation looks hopeless, but the TARDIS appears in the back of his ship. The Doctor invites him to join the crew. The doctor loudly proclaims that everyone lived, harkening back to his guilt over all of the Time Lords being wiped out in some incident with the Dalek that he apparently caused. The doctor and Rose have a celebratory dance to “In the Mood.” Rose tells him Jack would probably like to have this dance. The doctor responds, “Yes, but who with?” Groan.

I understand Russell T. Davies is most famous for his other show, Queer as Folk, but he’s laying it on way too thick here. The whole Alpha male jabs between the Doctor and Jack over rose were a little much as well. Sexual politics has never fit in well with Doctor Who, and it doesn’t now, either. I can forgive it here, though. Besides, I have heard tell I should take what I can get. Next week, the Slitheen return in a prettty mediocre installment.

Rating: **** (out of 5)

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