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Published on May 2nd, 2006 | by Christian Cawley

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School Reunion Reaction

By and large, School Reunion was pretty well recieved. With audience figures not as high as the previous episodes, however, there was nevertheless a good deal of press coverage.

SFX for instance reviewed the episode prior to transmission, comparing it to Father’s Day as many others have (including this site) and observed the McGuffin-ness of the monster of the week:

The Krillitane plot, though, is annoyingly clunky. The whole idea of feeding kids specially treated chips is fun (though you do wonder if Jamie Oliver wouldn’t have scuppered the aliens’ plan a lot faster) but the revelation that they’re looking for some God Equation is hokey as hell. As for the Krillitane oil that solves it all, well, that has “handy plot device” written all over it…

Favourably to the performers, however, Toby Whithouse’s script was able to deliver enough in terms of emotion content – and Lis Sladen’s return as Sarah Jane Smith was universally considered to be the highlight, as well as K9′s small but significant showing. From The Scotsman:

The real meat in this episode was the return of Sarah Jane Smith, a former assistant of the Doctor from many moons ago. The appearance of Sarah created some pangs of regret for the Doc, and some fine scenes of jealous rivalry for his new lady friend, Rose. “How many of us have there been?” she pouted, nose put firmly out of joint. The return of K9 must have created another ripple of excitement for the die-hard fans – when everyone’s favourite tin dog said “affirmative” in that metallic voice…

Elsewhere. blogcritics.org poster Matthew Milam found the tale entertaining at best – but had an interesting observation about the nmew member of the TARDIS crew – a member whose presence in the Doctor’s timeship would 12 months ago have sparked an outcry:

Noel Clarke’s Mickey Smith still came off as the black Adric, annoying and seemingly in the way. This time I think the writers have learned to tone that aspect of his character down, in favor of a more practical approach — make him do the grunt work. From pulling wires to smashing doors down, Mickey is good as a character to cut through the bullshit. This being the case, I think his return would have been better left out until later in the season.

There have been several features across the web and Press on School Reunion – the BBC Wales Doctor Who locations page has been updated with some nice images and show how the front of the school that Mickey drove the car into wasn’t a real school front but a temporary extension constructed for the episode. Elsewhere The Mirror featrues an interview with Anthony Stewart Head – the Headmast, Mr Finch – who talks about “Buffy”, shopping and Doctor Who:

“Billie is absolutely adorable, a genuinely lovely person,” smiles Anthony. “She’s cute as hell, but I don’t find her sexy. She’s half my age. I wouldn’t go there. It’s like when I was on Buffy and people used to say, ‘Wahey, you’re working with Sarah Michelle Gellar’.

And Head appears again on the BBC’s Newsround pages and reveals he watched Doctor Who as a youngster:

Anthony said he remembers watching the first ever episode of Doctor Who: “I must have been about eight or nine at the time. But I think David Tennant is a brilliant Doctor and is great to work with.

“The bizarre thing is, when you speak to David he’s not particularly odd but when he plays the Doctor, he is.”

It seems a shame that this particular Krillitane was killed…

Let’s finish by letting The Herald remind us why we enjoyed School Reunion:

Explaining why he scarpered in the Tardis, leaving Sarah-Jane stranded, David Tennant’s charismatic Doctor unfolded his terrible dilemma as an undying entity: “I’m the Doctor… you can spend the rest of your life with me, but I can’t spend the rest of my life with you. It’s the curse of the Timelords.”

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About the Author

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A long-term Doctor Who fan, Christian grew up watching the show and has early memories of the Graham Williams era. His favourite stories are Inferno, The Seeds of Doom and Human Nature (although The Empty Child, Blink and Utopia all come close). When he’s not bossing around the news team, Christian is a freelance writer specialising in mobile technology and domestic computing, and enjoys classic rock, cooking and spending time in the countryside with his wife and young children. You can find him on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.




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