Thursday, October 3, 2013

Doctor Who 50th Anniversary: School Reunion

Doctor Who: 
School Reunion 
By Toby Whitehouse
“You were my life. You know what the most difficult thing was? Coping with what happens next, or with what doesn't happen next. You took me to the furthest reaches of the galaxy, you showed me supernovas, intergalactic battles, and then you just dropped me back on Earth. How could anything compare to that?”

The Doctor and Rose are undercover at Deffry Vale High School as the students are showing and incredible amount of intelligence.   Also investigating what is going on is Sarah Jane Smith.  She suspects something is going and decides to go to the school to interview Mr Finch as a ways of getting in.   The Doctor, Rose and Mickey go to the school at night and decide to look around and investigate what is going on and why the kids are incredible smart.  During the investigation The Doctor and Sarah Jane have a reunion as Sarah Jane runs into The Doctor who is standing near the TARDIS.

What they discover is that the batlike Krillitanes have taken over the school and are using Krillitane oil in the chips and that is what’s making the kids smarter.  What the Krillitanes need is the imagination of a child to help them break Skasis Paradigm which would give the Krillitanes god like powers.  Whoever possesses it will be able to control the building blocks and be able to control all of time and space and even try tempting The Doctor that he could bring back the Time Lords.  So it is up to The Doctor and the Scooby Gang to stop the Krillatanes from getting all that power.

 The episode of David Tennant’s first season that a lot of the classic fans have been waiting for since they first announced it was “School Reunion”.  The reason being the return of Sarah Jane Smith and K-9 for the first time since “The Five Doctors”.   At first I was kind of hesitant about this story when it originally came out as I was hoping they were going to try and stay away from fanwank scenarios with the exception of old aliens and villains during the new series.  Well that would not be the case but Russell T. Davies did do it in a pretty creative way and not for cheapness at all.  Sarah Janes appearance in “School Reunion” is more meaningful unlike her appearance in “The Five Doctors.”  Instead of being thrown in with a bunch of old companions for nostalgic reasons we get to see her like when she was a regular on the show back in the 70’s. 

Plus it was good that in “School Reunion” to see The Doctor give Sarah Jane the send off and farewell she deserves, for those that don’t know she was dumped in the wrong town in part 4 of ‘The Hand of Fear”, and watching it now it is quite the emotional scene knowing that Elisabeth Sladen is no longer with us.  “School Reunion” was also important as I see it as a starting point and a tryout to see if Sarah Jane could hold her own with the new fans and was a stepping stone in her getting her own series later on.

One of the best scenes that I liked in “School Reunion” for that matter the whole new series is the reunion scene between The Doctor and Sarah Jane.  The way the director set up that shot made the scene all that memorable by placing the camera on Sarah Jane than panning around to seeing the TARDIS and The Doctor out of focus in the background was just perfect.  Then when she turns around and he says “Hello Sarah Jane” makes the fanboy jump up with glee at the reunion.   What was also funny was the cat fight between Sarah Jane and Rose.  Rose was so jealous of Sarah Jane that you could see it all over her.  It really made Rose very unlikeable and not a good part of her personality as we have seen this before and would see again in “The Girl In The Fireplace”.  But the bickering back and forth was funny as the two companions tried to out do the other in what they have seen with The Doctor. 

The return of and sacrifice of K-9 was one of the happy and sad moments in the show history.  You get all jazzed up to see the old dog agin then have your emotions tug at you when je blows himself up to save the universe.  At least The Doctor builds Sarah Jane a new model before he leaves.  It was good to see Mickey have a better part and it was funny to see him realize that he is the metal dog.  It was funny seeing him having that revelation and it was good to see him have the courage to finally take that trip in the TARDIS at the dismay of Rose.   I would be remiss to not mention how good Anthony Head’s performance was.  His performance as Mr. Finch was really good and he was so evil and looked evil from the moment you saw him.  His performance was great especially when he had the showdown with The Doctor at the pool.  That was a pretty good confrontation and one of the better ones during the Tennant era.

“School Reunion” is one of my favorite stories of the new series and in fact all of Doctor Who and is a special one for the fans of the classic series as one of the best companions and most beloved makes her triumphant return to Doctor Who.  
Grade A

No comments:

Post a Comment