Thursday, September 23, 2010

Doctor Who quick reviews - Seasons 1-4

So since I know several of my readers want to start watching Doctor Who, I thought I'd do an overall review/rating of the episodes from the new series. I won't give away spoilers or even many plot details - you can check Wikipedia if you want more specifics on an episode.

"Rose" 1.1
My Rating - ****
The Ninth Doctor meets 19-year-old Rose Tyler of London.
(A good starting episode!)

"The End of the World" 1.2
My Rating - ***
The Doctor and Rose visit the end of Earth.

"The Unquiet Dead" 1.3
My Rating - *
The Doctor and Rose visit Charles Dickens at Christmas - and Ghosts appear.
(I found this episode creepy and morbid)

"Aliens of London"
"World War Three" 1.4 and 1.5
My Rating - ***
The Doctor and Rose join forces with a local politician to fight an alien invasion of London.

"Dalek" 1.6
My Rating - ***
The Doctor and Rose meet one of the Doctor's oldest enemies.
(This is a good episode for character development)

"The Long Game" 1.7
My Rating - *
The Doctor and Rose travel to a space media station in the future, where all is not as it seems.

"Father's Day" 1.8
My Rating - ****
Rose asks to see her parent's past - and ends up running into her father on the day he died.
(Fantastic episode, with tons of character and time twists)

164 "The Empty Child"
"The Doctor Dances" 1.9, 1.10
My Rating - ****
Rose and the Doctor go to WWII where a child haunts the town and a Rogue Time Agent named Captain Jack woos Rose.
(This only thing that kept this two parter from being a five star is that it is rather creepy. But it has a great ending that makes it well worth watching!)

"Boom Town" 1.11
My Rating - ***
Rose, The Doctor and Jack visit Cardiff to refuel and run into an old nemesis.
(This episode has two shinning stars - the return of Mickey and a sympathetic look at a villain's wish to change)

"Bad Wolf"
"The Parting of the Ways" 1.12, 1.13
My Rating - ***
Rose, The Doctor and Jack must save the world from a deadly invasion... after defeating a game show.
(By far the weakest ending, although it has a great emotional end and send off for the Ninth Doctor)

"The Christmas Invasion" 2.X Christmas special (60 mins)
My Rating - *
The New Doctor is nearly unconscious and Rose is left on her own as robots and aliens ruin London's Christmas.
(This episode created my early loathing of Rose because of her weakness to act and suffers from Tennent's long immobility)

"New Earth" 2.1
My Rating - ***
Rose and the Doctor visit New (x17) Earth and must fight the last human, cat nuns, and zombies.
(Brilliant acting throughout, although the zombies are a bit disgusting to look at)

"Tooth and Claw" 2.2
My Rating - ***
A trip to Scotland introduces Queen Victoria, a werewolf, and Torchwood.
(Interesting premise, but scary)

"School Reunion" 2.3
My Rating - ****
Rose and the Doctor run into former companion Sarah Jane and with Mickey's help investigate a school full of mysterious happenings.
(Sarah Jane! You have not lived until you've met her!)

"The Girl in the Fireplace" 2.4
My Rating - *****
The Doctor, Rose and Mickey find a ship with time windows into the life of Madame de Pompadour
(One of the finest episodes ever created for the new series. Fantastic writing, a beautiful romance, and terrifying antagonists)

"Rise of the Cybermen"
"The Age of Steel"
My Rating ***
The crew visits a parallel universe where Rose's father is alive... but she was never born.

"The Idiot's Lantern" 2.7
My Rating *
There's an alien living in the TV in 1952 London that sucks off faces of its victims.

"The Impossible Planet"
"The Satan Pit" 2.8, 2.9
(Have not yet seen)

"Love & Monsters" 2.10
My Rating - ***
From the eyes of the Doctor's fans.
(A fun premise, but sadly lacks much of Tennent)

"Fear Her"
My Rating - ***
A child's drawings cause mysterious disappearances.
(An interesting episode that deals with the horrors of domestic abuse and escape through imagination and the importance of family and love)

"Army of Ghosts"
"Doomsday" 2.12, 2.13
My Rating - ****
Attacks everywhere! Parallel Universes! Not to be missed!

"The Runaway Bride" 3.X Christmas special (60 mins)
My Rating - **
The Doctor meets a Bride who thinks she's been kidnapped and a Spider attacks London.
(A horrible introduction to Donna)

"Smith and Jones" 3.1
My Rating - *****
A Hospital is teleported to the moon and Martha Jones becomes the Doctor's new companion.
(A brilliant episode and a great place to start if you decide not to begin with "Rose")

"The Shakespeare Code"
My Rating - ****
Martha and the Doctor visit Shakespeare - and learn what happened to "Love's Labour's Won"
(A brilliant, witty and somewhat scary episode)

"Gridlock" 3.3
It is back to New Earth and Martha and the Doctor find everyone living in a subway of the future sort of thing.

"Daleks in Manhattan"
"Evolution of the Daleks" 3.4, 3.5
My Rating - *
In New York, the Doctor and Martha run into a new breed of Daleks
(A poor and somewhat gross episode - worth skipping)

"The Lazarus Experiment" 3.6
My Rating - **
A scientist tries to invent eternal youth.
(Interesting ethics discussion, and Martha's family make a cool subplot)

"42" 3.7
My Rating - ***
Martha and the Doctor are trapped on a spaceship heading into a sun. They must work with the crew to escape before they are burned - or possessed by a strange entity...

"Human Nature"
"The Family of Blood" 3.8, 3.9
My Rating - ****
To escape Alien hunters, the Doctor turns human... and forgets his life as a Time Lord. It is up to Martha to make sure that they survive safely in a Victorian prep school!

"Blink" 3.10
My Rating - *****
The Doctor and Martha are trapped in the past and Sally Sparrow has to save them... but if she blinks, she'll share their fate.
(The weeping angels are absolutely terrifying, but this is one of the best episodes of the entire new series)

"The Sound of Drums"
"Last of the Time Lords" 3.11, 3.12, 3.13
My Rating - *****
Captain Jack is back - and so is the Doctor's oldest nemesis!
(One of the most fantastic season finales ever! DO NOT MISS!)

"Time Crash" CIN2 Children in Need special (8 mins)
My Rating - *****
The Tenth Doctor and the Fifth Doctor cross paths... and nearly destroy the universe!

"Voyage of the Damned" 4.X Christmas special (72 mins)
My Rating - **
The Tardis crashes into... the Titanic? But it's actually a spaceship...
(Not a great special, it's a clear parody of "The Posidon Adventure")

"Partners in Crime" 4.1
My Rating - *****
Donna is back! And she's trying to find the Doctor! Turns out they make excellent partners in crime.
(An awesome, hilarious episode.)

"The Fires of Pompeii" 4.3
My Rating - ***
The Doctor takes Donna to Pompeii and find what really blew up the volcano.
(Could be creepy for young children)

["Planet of the Ood" 4.2
My Rating - **
The Ood are enslaved... but why are they going rabid?
(A thoughtful look at slavery - but is dark and not suitable for younger children)

"The Sontaran Stratagem"
"The Poison Sky" 4.4, 4.5
My Rating - *****
What if aliens took over our cars? That's just what happens, and Martha must bring the Doctor and Donna back to earth to save the planet!
(Love this two parter! 'nuff said)

"The Doctor's Daughter" 4.6
My Rating - *****
The Doctor gets cloned... and so gains a teenaged daughter.
(Rivals "the Girl in the Fireplace" for best episode ever!)

"The Unicorn and the Wasp" 4.7
My Rating - *****
The Doctor and Donna meet Agatha Christie... and solve a murder.
(Brilliant and chock full of Christie referances!)

"Silence in the Library"
"Forest of the Dead" 4.9, 4.10
My Rating - ***
The Doctor and Donna find a library that covers an entire planet. So why are there no other visitors?

"Midnight" 4.8
My Rating - *
Something is attacking the Doctor's tour bus...

"Turn Left" 4.11
My Rating - ***
Did you know the world would have ended if Donna had never met the Doctor? See why!

"The Stolen Earth"
"Journey's End" 4.12, 4.13
My Rating - *****
All of the Doctor's former companions must unite to save the universe - and all parallel dimensions!

"The Next Doctor" 4.14 Christmas special
My Rating - ***
The Doctor visits Victorian London and meets... his future incarnation?!?

"Planet of the Dead" 4.15
My Rating - ***
The Doctor must partner with a thief to save the world...

"The Waters of Mars" 4.16
(Haven't seen)

The End of Time
My Rating - *****
An enemy thought destroyed comes back... and the sound of the drums spell doom.
(Tennent's last episode and a really good one!)

I am not going to review season 5 yet because I haven't seen all of it, and those I have seen have been poor quality so I don't feel I'm a fair judge yet.

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