Series 2 Finale Reaction

Bit late you say? Well opinion has been trickling out of various sources about the conclusion of Doctor Who Series 2, comprising of the two-parter Army of Ghosts and Doomsday.

For one is SFX Magazine, whose reviewer – editor Dave Bradley – gives the story as a whole a massive 5 stars out of 5. Now to me, if you’re going to give a review full marks (and you’ll notice we don’t give marks on K…) then you’re indicating there’s nothing wrong with it. Hello Dave?

It could have gone horribly wrong. “Army of Ghosts” looked set to deliver the Tenth Doctor at his most irritating – yelping “I ain’t ‘fraid of no ghost” early on, followed up later by some “hilarious” pretending-that-Jackie-is-Rose-(my!-hasn’t-she-aged) nonsense…

…The Doctor’s solution is contrived and couldn’t possibly work – what about all the Cybermen constructed on THIS side of the rift, then, eh?

…how come Pete materialises in exactly the right spot? And how come he doesn’t get pulled into the rift himself? And how come Tracy-Ann Oberman’s cyber-self can remember enough of her duty to rebel in the name of “queen and country”? Madness, I tell you. It would never happen.

Enjoying it immensely is one thing – giving it 5 stars when you point out that something is wrong is another. I’m personally unhappy with this as I think SFX is a great magazine, and it seems strange to praise Doctor Who when there is evidently something wrong, especially with such a prominent mouthpiece…

Matthew Milam’s blogcritics.org review tells it from the other side of the playing field, summarising:

I love Doctor Who, but I’m not sure the production team does. Aside from “The Girl In The Fireplace”, I just wasn’t impressed. Everyone has been demanding that the RTD-haters get with the program at least for “Army Of Ghosts/Doomsday”. I could see people hanging in for part one, but part two was a bit of a letdown. But like a Cubs fan, I root for the hometeam.

Let’s hope for better things to come in Series Three — perhaps a solo story without companion?.

Arnold T Blumberg’s regularly posted review on Now Playing Magazine (I presume he also posts them on Outpost Gallifrey’s forum) meanwhile places the concluding portion of the story ahead of The Parting of the Ways, highlighting the same issues as SFX while drawing attention to the detail in the story – references to Skaro (the Dalek home planet) and “rels” (the Dalek unit of measurement first coined in the old 1960s strips) for instance. He concludes:

In the end, the lonely Time Lord almost admits his true feelings for the girl that restored his soul, and we last see her standing alone on that beach with her family waiting to comfort her, knowing that it will be a long time before she can leave her love for the Doctor behind. Who can blame her? As for Rose, Eccleston said it best – she was just “fantastic.” And she’ll be missed.

Finally, a bit of added information to the audience figures. Based on the overnights (which have since been revised to account for delayed viewing, but bear with me) 7.72m viewers tuned in to Doomsday, compared to 6.19m for The Parting of the Ways. Audience share on the same episodes increased from 41.8& to 43%, and even viewers of Doctor Who Confidential increased by 300,000! (Figures via Digital Spy).

Oh an don’t forget you can give your own opinion of any of the Series 2 stories in the Kasterborous Forum – or if you’re some sort of attention seeker, post your thoughts in the national press, or at least the Guardian’s Organ Grinder blog. There seems to be a lot of speculation about a certain other Time Lord…


Christian Cawley

About

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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