Friday, August 22, 2014

Doctor Who--"The End of the World"

I wasn’t so impressed with the special effects of the first episode, but there appeared to be a vast improvement with the second. They avoided the Star Trek trappings of putting pointy ears and a ridged nose on some stock actor and calling him an alien. We actually got strange looking, original aliens. The CGI effects of the spiders were particularly impressive. The story, too, was deeper and more involved this time around.

We start right where we left off. The Doctor takes rose in the future as per her first request. They jump fie billion years ahead in order to view the sun’s expansion and the swallowing up of Earth. The two stay on a space station in which a number of alien races have come to watch the spectacle. But there is a saboteur on board in control of cybernetic spiders. Among the guests is the last living human--a piece of talking skin stretched out on a frame, which was both a nifty and creepy idea at the same time. Lady Cassandra, as she is called, turns out to be behind the sabotage. Her treatments are expensive, so she decided to create a hostage situation and hold all the wealthy aliens for ransom. Now she decides to kill everyone and takes over their corporate assets. The doctor defeats her plans and transports her away without her moisturizing attendants. Her skin begins to crack and tear. She literally explodes after a few seconds.

Rose is humbled by the whole event and the revelation that the Doctor’s world of Galafrey has been long since destroyed as well. She is troubled momentarily by what I mentioned in the last review. The doctor unmercifully allows Lady Cassandra to die. Yes, she did attempt mass murder, but this is indicative of that arrogant cruelty I spoke of earlier. It matters little, as rose gets over it quickly and she and the Doctor bond back in the present time over fish and chips. Another neat touch I really liked was one of the artifacts Lady Cassandra brought with her to the event. She claimed it was called an iPod, but it was in fact a jukebox which played Soft Cell’s “Tainted Love” and later “Toxic” by Britney Spears. Yes, it is sad to know the last song played by humanity is by Britney Spears. I harken back to the conversation Vylon Boomer had with Adama a few weeks ago on Battlestar Galactica: “Maybe humans don’t deserve to survive.” Not with taste like that, Boomer.

I thought this was much improved over the first episode. I can see why the producers originally wanted the two aired back-to-back on the BBC and why the Sci Fi Channel actually complied with the request. I think some of the British sensibilities still go over my head, but I like what I have seen so far.

Rating: **** (out of 5)

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