As usual I was at work while Doctor Who was on, but for a change I wasn’t too tired to see it when I got home. The gig I did was a bit mental. They were a nice crowd, but rows 2 and 3 were really rowdy. Luckily for the rest of the audience I was on with Paul Thorne, Roger Monkhouse and Ian Cognito. No heckler got off lightly and in this gladiatorial event, the comedians won hands down. After the show Angus needed to bugger off and Manera was knackered and wanted to go home. I felt like a beer and was just about to walk to the Queen’s Head or Comedy Pub when I had an idea. Why not go straight home, grab some beers on the way and watch Doctor Who. I have the mind and logic of the Timelord himself.
In Marks and Spensers the security guard watched me as I headed for the alcohol section. I scratched my nuts, grabbed a couple of beers and got home pretty sharpish, obviously drinking one of the beers on the London Bridge to Peckham Rye route. This is not just a massive two fingers up to Boris Johnston, but it’s also the law where I come from.
So I bunged some food I made earlier in the microwave (stir fried veg with rice and a few sausages) and sat down to watch my beloved Doctor Who. I even got some of my jelly Daleks out that I bought in the knockdown section in Morrisons because the sell by date was almost up and discovered some saucy get had helped themselves to a few. I suspect a certain Stephanie Goldy’s been snuffling my naughty cupboard. And if that don’t sound filthy then nothing will.
I’d been looking forward to this since I heard that Matthew Graham Life on Mars writer was penning a two part episode. I liked Fear Her, but I really loved Life on Mars, I just thought it was one of the best and most inventive programs I’d seen in years and who couldn’t fall in love with the Phil Glenister’s portrayal of Gene Hunt? I’d have him. There’s also the fact that John Simm played The Master in a few episode of Doctor Who and I don’t know about you, but occasionally I would feel that the Doctor was going to appear at any moment towards the end of Life on Mars. There’s even a whole section dedicated to that subject on a fan fiction website.
From the off this episode felt very much like one of the later episodes of Torchwood, which is certainly a very good thing. It had a darker and a more mature feel about it right from the get go. And just for a little nod to us Life on Mars fans they even cast Marshall Lancaster who played Chris Skelton. Nice.
I enjoyed this episode very much so I did. It was incredibly claustrophobic and creepy and the ambiguous nature of the enemies was fab. You couldn’t help but feel sorry for the gangers as they believed they were real, yet they are the very gangers they’ve been derisive about all along. Add this to everybody being trapped in the chapel and it feels like a sophisticated reworking of The Thing. And the flesh are horrifying to look at, this is real horror movie stuff, the kind of thing you see squirming around on the floor on Hellraiser.
At the start it was nice to see Pond and Rory playing darts as the Doctor busies himself with something important. It goes back to that talk Rory has with him last week about asking the Doctor if he has a room and the console room being his room. He doesn’t ever seem to sleep or play. And speaking of Rory, he doesn’t die in this episode but he does reference it when Jennifer says I thought I was going to die and Rory replies Welcome to my world. So is the whole is Rory died, oh no he hasn’t device going to be actually integral to the story arc and we’ll all get our bums smacked for being so smug? Hopefully.
I must confess I did think that there was going to be a Doctor Ganger the moment he touched the flesh and I did think, is this the Doctor that gets shot in the Impossible Astronaut? I hope not, that’s a bit obvious isn’t it, plus this could be a nice way of making us think this is the case to direct our attention from the real Doctor dying storyline.
Not much really goes on in this episode, yet it’s incredibly fun to watch. The best line is I’ve got to get to that cockerel before all hell breaks loose. I never thought I’d get to say that again.
Look forward to seeing how it all pans out next week.
Oh and on a final note, coincidentally I watched Christopher and his Kind which is all about the author Christopher Isherwood, who wrote the story that would eventually be adapted to make the film Cabaret. Do yourself a favour and watch it but try not having someone next to you like I did saying, this is disturbing, Doctor Who is having sex with a man during the rude bits.
And on a final final note, Daniel Rigby won a Bafta for Eric and Ernie on Sunday. He was up against Matt Smith for Doctor Who and Benedict Cumberbatch for Sherlock. All three programs I love to bits and I’m sure it was a difficult decision for me to make.
8 out of 10