What happened: The Doctor and Rose arrive on a planet that’s orbiting a black hole, which they previously thought was impossible. They are on a base with a crew that wants to drill in the middle of the planet. The crew is served by a race called the Ood. An earthquake causes parts of the base to fall into the planet, and the TARDIS was in one of these parts. The crew refuses to drill for the TARDIS and continue their own project. The Ood start talking about a “Beast” that will rise, and a crew member is soon after possessed by this Beast’s consciousness. The Ood are possessed shortly after that. The Beast is freed. The Doctor goes into a pit on the planet and talks with the Beast. The Beast tells the Doctor that he is the great evil of several religions (he looks just like Satan). His physical form has been sealed inside the planet, but his consciousness escaped. The Doctor causes the Beast and the planet to fall into the black hole, while Rose works to keep other things from being sucked in. The Doctor finds the TARDIS and leaves with Rose.
What we thought: Things started out promising, but then the episodes quickly lost our attention because ONCE AGAIN this story didn’t need to be two parts. We liked the Ood and the black hole. But Satan? Come on. The Doctor didn’t need to find Satan unless they were going to make Satan interesting or actually scary. Nothing about this was dark enough, unique enough, or frightening enough. The Devil in Mel Gibson’s Passion of the Christ was way ickier and better. There was so much middle in these episodes, and there may have been too much talking. The possession tried to spice things up, but the crewmember just looked like a reject from the Jim Carey movie The Number 23. We also don’t think Rose and the Doctor needed to be separated so much in this episode. Rose should have done Ida’s job. It’s cool that Rose can be a bad ass when he’s not around though. Too bad this episode pretty much told us she’s going to die or something. That’s not a shock, actually. This season started out so well, but the last couple of episodes have put us to sleep. It’s time to rally, show.
Episode grades: C
Love & Monsters
What happened: A group of nerds, including one named Elton Pope, are obsessed with the Doctor and meet to talk about him. But then an alien comes to lead their group, posing as a man named “Victor Kennedy.” He wants to find and absorb the Doctor, so he has Elton befriend Jackie to get close to Rose/the TARDIS. Elton decides this is a bad idea though and just wants to get closer to geeky group member, Ursula. Victor absorbs most of the group members, and the Doctor shows up just in time to help Elton beat Victor. Ursula has to spend the rest of her days as a piece of tile though. Elton takes her home with him.
What we thought: This was a pretty fun episode, for an hour that didn’t have much of the Doctor or Rose in it. We liked Elton and his musical group, “Linda.” Victor’s true form was nasty, if hilarious. We liked all the weirdness, like Ursula ending up as pavement. This was one of the more entertaining episodes, even if it was a little dumb, and it was fun to see Jackie and Elton almost sleep together. The foreshadowing that Rose might get hurt by the Doctor was seen again. Uh oh… There wasn’t a whole lot of running around in this episode, so the pacing was good. We liked seeing Moaning Myrtle too.
Episode grade: B-
What happened: It’s the 2012 Olympics and the Doctor and Rose are in London. A girl named Chloe causes people to disappear when she draws them, so children have been disappearing. The Doctor realizes Chloe has been possessed by an alien (well, a bunch of them put together) who relates to Chloe’s loneliness. Rose finds the aliens’ pod and powers it so that the children reappear and the alien leaves Chloe. Also, one of Chloe’s drawings of her evil father comes to life, but Chloe’s mother helps get rid of it.
What we thought: Everything at the end of this episode was lame and cheesy. It had okay moments, but it’s our least favorite so far. The idea wasn’t bad, but the execution was boring. We were not amused or inspired or anything by the Doctor grabbing the torch.
Episode grade: D
Army of Ghosts and Doomsday
What happened: The Doctor and Rose find out the London is infested with ghosts. The Doctor is disturbed by this and tracks their origin to Torchwood. The organization’s director, Yvonne, shows the Doctor a big, round ship that has arrived. Turns out, the ghosts are Cybermen coming in from the parallel universe and the sphere is full of Daleks. The Daleks and Cybermen start fighting. And, oh yeah, Mickey is back from the parallel universe, and alt-Peter Tyler came too. The Doctor wants to open the breach and push everyone into the parallel universe, including Rose and her family. Rose doesn’t want to leave the Doctor, but the breach pulls her in anyway. The Doctor manages to say goodbye to Rose. It’s sad. The Doctor returns to his ship to find a confused woman in a wedding dress.
What we thought: Well, Rose didn’t REALLY die, like we thought she would. She’s just officially dead in our universe. Most of what makes this episode sad is her reaction upon being separated from the Doctor. She was pretty hysterical. We’re glad the parallel universe stuff turned out to be important, otherwise the show would have wasted our lives for two hours with that stuff. We are so sad that this wasn’t compressed into one episode though. Think how good it would have been had there not been so much walking around Torchwood and loud shooting scenes. We only want to see lots of fighting if it’s COOL. We can’t have much hate for any episode with so many robots though.
Episode grades: B