Saturday, September 28, 2013

Doctor Who 50th Anniversary: Bad Wolf/ The Parting Of The Ways

Doctor Who: 
Bad Wolf/ The Parting of the Ways 
By Russell T. Davies

“I am the Bad Wolf. I create myself. I take the words, I scatter them in time and space. A message to lead myself here.”

The Doctor, Rose and Jack have been taken off the TARDIS by a teleport and dropped into familiar game shows of the past that are now housed on Satellite 5.  The Doctor is concerned that something isn’t what it seems especially if whoever it is is powerful enough to teleport them from inside the TARDIS.   The Doctor and Jack both escape their games but Rose is in trouble on The Weakest Link game and is in danger of being disintegrated.  Unfortunately they are too late and the Anndroid does the deed and Rose is dead.

The Doctor and Jack make their way to level 500 and Jack discovers the TARDIS in one of the archive rooms.  He also makes another discovery.  Rose isn’t dead in fact she has been teleported somewhere else.  The Doctor tries and figures out what is going on by talking to the controller.  What he discovers brings terror to him and to Jack.  Rose is on a Dalek ship and there appears to be an armada of them.  The Doctor must save Rose and defeat the Dalek invasion force even if it costs him his Ninth incarnation.

 The Christopher Eccleston era is over as quickly as it started.  The last story of the rebooted Doctor Who first season gives us a regeneration.  A regeneration that not many people expected to happen but when news leaked out it was met with mixed emotion.  Most were upset that the actor would soon bolt from the part and have people wondering if you didn’t want to do it for the long term why bother taking the part at all.  The role does have a long filming process taking at least 8 months and then there are the fans so maybe Christopher Eccleston did not know what he was getting into.  Even so new fans of the show were treated to their first regeneration and the show would continue with David Tennant who makes his first appearance in the role.

The story is an epic confrontation with the Daleks and the reveal that Rose was the Bad Wolf.  Thought to be extinct and wiped from existence as a result of the Time War they make their return in a big way.  In a big way is the return of the Emperor of the Daleks last scene back in 1967 in Evil of the Daleks.  What makes these Daleks different is that they are made with humans that have been taken off Satellite 5.  This was a pretty cool way to bring back a Dalek army and this one off Dalek army was pretty creepy if you think about it.

The overall story is not bad as I enjoyed the first half watching the killer TV programs and wondering how The Doctor, Rose and Captain Jack would escape without getting disintegrated. That story was pretty fun to watch and was made better when the big reveal was made when Rose was on the Dalek ship.  Plus the dialog between The Doctor and The Daleks at the cliffhanger was really great and one of the best speeches in the new series.  It just sends chills up your spine as you know The Doctor means business and you can get a sense of dread in the Daleks as he delivers it. It is definitely one of the best.

 The second half sees The Doctor and Jack in a futile attempt to fight the Daleks as Rose is tricked and sent back to Earth.  We see The Doctor struggling with his conscious if he can kill everyone in order to save the Earth and universe from the Daleks.  We also see Rose alienating herself from her Mom and Mickey by thinking of herself and being selfish. In fact it is this act that saves The Doctor and resurrects Jack.  If Rose wasn’t selfish and thinking of herself The Doctor might have ended up dead right there on Satellite 5.  As it was her act of absorbing the time vortex caused the 9th Doctor to regenerate as he absorbs it out of Rose and then sends it back into the TARDIS thus killing every cell in his body.  What is strange is that the vortex kills him but does nothing to Rose who is only a human. Strange if you ask me.

Even though Christopher Eccleston’s era was short and brief he is the one that got the ball rolling and got Doctor Who rolling on this successful run.  He hands off the baton to David Tennant in dramatic fashion saving his companion from being absorbed by the time vortex.  His short era while not perfect was fun and given his performance secured a new era for Doctor Who on TV that is still going strong today.
Grade A

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