Doctor Who: Series 1, Episode 5 – World War Three

The conclusion of a two-part story that I started watching ages ago. For once I was grateful for the “Previously on…” montage.

There are some excellent Doctor moments in here, starting with his unique ability to escape pretty much anything. I particularly enjoyed him being backed up against a lift and then using it to escape, but that’s because little things please me. He’s also smart enough to know that he can’t convince the people in charge that the Prime Minister is an alien. I imagine he has had this conversation many times before, and no one ever believes him. The only other option is to run!

Harriet continued to be fabulously strong-willed, impressing the Doctor within minutes of meeting him. Is it wrong that I Googled Flydale North? It didn’t sound real to me, and it turns out it is a fictional constituency, but I had to make sure. I loved her reaction to Rose when the companion suggested going nucleur: “You’re a very violent young woman.”

As we learnt last time, I also enjoy the bits where BBC people make cameo appearances. Matt Baker last time, and today I was happy to see Andrew Marr. There’s a sentence I never thought I’d say.

The Slitheen revealed themselves to the Doctor and began to explain their dastardly plan. I was slightly worried when the Doctor called the Slitheen a race, and they were quick to correct him that they were actually a family from the planet Raxicoricofallapatorious (as an aside, I do love to say that out loud, and is it wrong that I spelt it correctly first time?)

Would the Doctor get that wrong? I am never really sure if he is supposed to have an encyclopedic knowledge, or that he just knows a lot. Perhaps I have been watching too much Sarah Jane and am expecting him to behave like Mr Smith. Anyway, it just felt a bit odd that the Doctor would make that kind of a mistake.

The earth is in danger, and only he can save everyone, but he’s got to take Rose with him and it’s risky. I feel it’s a bit early in the series for the over-dramatic: “I can save the world but I could lose you.” I wasn’t quite there with him. I also got a bit annoyed at Jackie, whining on and on about whether her daughter is safe. We got a good glimpse of what it’s like to be left behind in the preceding episode to this, and I thought it a bit grating to hear her complaints. That said, you would be worried if your daughter disappeared with an older man and started talking about nucleur weapons and suchlike. So I will forgive her.

The vinegar thing put me in mind of Day of the Triffids, now that I have all this new-found film knowledge, you know. Something so simple can save us all. It did allow for a great line when Jackie was making the pickle concoction and the Doctor asks Rose: “You kiss this man?”

Thankfully, a less-than-nucleur missile saved the day and the trio blew up Downing Street. The Doctor recognised Harriet Jones as Prime Minister, and we know that comes to pass from later episodes. It occurred to me, though, he detailed the length of her stay as Prime Minister, and I couldn’t remember if that was what came to pass. Did it change after he did the “isn’t she tired” thing later? Well, I suppose I will find out in the course of time!

Despite Jackie’s protests, Rose was determined to stick with the Doctor, packing a bag this time. I adored the scene with Micky admitting he wouldn’t be able to cope with that life. The Doctor made himself the bad guy, covering for him so he could save face with Rose. If you weren’t already enamoured with the Doctor, a little thing like that will make you fall in love with him a little bit.

I must add, though, whenever I see Micky now, I see plastic Micky. They ruined him for me in the very first episode!

2 thoughts on “Doctor Who: Series 1, Episode 5 – World War Three

  1. I will be honest, I cannot watch this two parter. It’s just the two absolute worst episodes of Dr Who and I can’t sit through either of them without cringing constantly.

  2. It’s definitely not a high point. Watching it this time wasn’t so bad, because I haven’t seen it for a long time, and I liked picking up on some of the things with the benefit of hindsight. But I certainly wouldn’t seek it out to watch again!

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