Friday, August 22, 2014

Doctor Who--"The Long Game"

After the allusions to 9/11 and the Bush Administration in “Aliens of London” I thought this episode might be an indictment of media in general and FOX news in specific. I’m thinking the UK might be spared the network’s 8ahem* fair and balanced nature. I do recall FOX reporters crawling all over London after the bombings on 7/7, but that was months after “The Long game” aired. If there were any major references, I missed them. Personally, I like perusing the BBC website for news. Try it sometime and you’ll feel gypped about what American news sources report on.

The TARDIS lands the Doctor, Rose, and Adam on a pace station in the year 200,000. They are in the middle of the Fourth Great and Bountiful Human Empire. The Doctor is quite plased to be in this time period when mankind’s manners are refined and cultured. Unfortunately, everyone around the place is loud, pushy, and eating junk food. Something is amiss. The Doctor investigates as he sends rose and Adam off to eat. Adam is overwhelmed by everything and misses his family. Rose gives him her modified phone to call home to his parents.

Meanwhile, the Doctor meets Cathica, a reporter who believe he is part of management. She answers his questions believing it will help her get promoted to Flooe 500, a room supposedly lined in gold. Adam and rose rejoin the Doctor and Cathica in a room in which several reporters are sitting in a circle. A beam shoots from a device into each one o their heads. The beams are transmitting every bit of current human knowledge. The Doctor is wary. This is evil technology. There is a subplot involving an anarchist infiltrator among the recipients of the knowledge, but that’s a McGuffin to bring the enigmatic Editor into the proceedings.

Something has stunted human growth for about 90 years and the Doctor figures he‘ll find what it is on Floor 500. The Editor allows him to make his way there where all is revealed. The empire has been usurped by an alien called Jagrafess. The entire space station is his life support system. The editor captures and interrogates the Doctor and Rose as there are no records o either of them. Thanks to some shenanigans by Adam, who has had an implant placed in his head to connect with the computer system, the Editor learns about everything. Cathica overhears the back and forth between the Editor and the Doctor and hooks herself up to the computer system in order to reverse everything with the knowledge she has gained. The Jagrafess dies as his life support system is shut down, freeing humans to progress as they should.

The Doctor dumps Adam back in his own time because of the trouble he has caused. Adam has attempted to send back all the knowledge of the future to his parents’ answering machine by using Roe’s cell phone. He very nearly got the Doctor and Rose killed, not to mention keeping humanity enslaved. The implant remains in his head until his mother snaps her fingers and discovers it just before the credits roll.

I was a bit under whelmed by this one. It was a whodunnit in space just like “The End of the World.” It wasn’t bad, mind you. It just seemed like so much filler. By the end of the season, the events of “The Long game” will seem more pivotal, so I am going to wait untl the whle Bad Wolf story plays out before I pass judgment too harshly.

Rating: *** (out of 5)

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