26 March 2012

Doctor Who, season 2 (starring David Tennant and Billie Piper)

We were reluctant watchers, initally, of the new Doctor Who TV series (started in 2005). Our sons persuaded us at least to try out the new style, high-graphic storyline-intensive series and recommended beginning at the start with the relevant DVDs.

So we bought Doctor Who season 1, and watched it, off and on, through the latter part of 2011. We did like it, but I'm not sure that we would ever have progressed on had it not been for one of our sons spotting four out of the five series 2 DVDs on a church bookstall. So we paid a grand total of four euros for them, ordered the remaining one online, and have just completed watching Season 2 in three months.

I wasn't at all sure that I would like a new Doctor Who after just one season with Christopher Eccleston. He was a very good choice, and the ending of season 1 was rather over-dramatic. However, we were very quickly impressed by David Tennant, who stars in Season 2 as the tenth incarnation of the Doctor. In the early episode, he somehow succeeds in acting as if he were Christopher Eccleston - he pulls some of the same expressions, uses the same catchphrases, and relates to his companion Rose (Billie Piper) in the same kind of way. This gradually eases off, but the transition worked extremely well and we quickly became fans of David Tennant as the Doctor.

The early episodes, story-wise, are a bit of a mixed bunch. We rather liked the third one, 'Tooth and Claw' where they meet a very believable Queen Victoria (Pauline Collins), despite it having some frightening moments. I also very much enjoyed 'School Reunion', where one of the Doctor's previous companions, Sarah Jane Smith (Elisabeth Sladen) re-appears, along with her wonderful mechanical dog, K9, whom I had totally forgotten about.

On the other hand, warned by one of our sons, we did not watch the two-part story 'The Impossible Planet' and 'The Satan Pit', warned that if we found earlier ones scary, we would have nightmares from these two. It was not a difficult decision since neither of us like horror at all. It was bad enough to see the Doctor's old enemies, daleks and cybermen, arise afresh in other storylines!

Yesterday evening we ensured that we had time to watch the final two episodes of Season 2, knowing that they were another two-part story. I'm glad we did, since the first of the two ('Army of Ghosts') ended with a terrifying cliff-hanger. Still, despite the Doctor's worst enemies all appearing, there was some light humour in the episode which helped us relax, and the second part was gripping.

We knew it was to be Billie Piper's last appearance, and felt that it was very well done. Rose's mother Jackie (Camille Coduri) plays a bigger part in this than she had done previously, and I was pleased to see Rose's old boyfriend Mickey (Noel Clarke) make a re-appearance. However, the ending was such that I can't see any possibility of Rose or any of her family appearing again.

Then again, one never knows...

I think we're now established as fans, at least in a low-key way, of the new-series Doctor Who. We've already bought Season 3 and look forward to watching it soon.

Review copyright Sue's DVD Reviews

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