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Old 01-11-2012, 08:01
daveyboy7472
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This episode is another that I love to bits, but I do acknowledge that perhaps it isnít as strong as some of the ones that preceded it.

I always love these episodes set in past decades but the 50ís is always a special one since only Delta And The Bannermen had been in this particular one before. I thought the whole feel of the episode with TV being a new invention that people were still getting used to, and being wary off, comes over really well.

This episode is also the one I always think of when summing up the fun factor I enjoy so much between the Tenth Doctor and Rose. The Romantic side is again kept neatly to a minimum and you can see they are just having fun and the relationship between them is mainly played for laughs, especially at the beginning.

The idea of the Wire is not one of the better ones, itís very limited as itís only an image on a screen but saying that, it is another astounding guest performance this Series. Having seen her in the role, itís hard to imagine anyone else but Maureen Lipman playing The Wire. She brought to the role the neat contrast of the 50ís Upper Class Presenter and Villainy and blended them perfectly. I liked all the stuff with the faces going missing and she was a very different type of villain but as I said, there was only so much she could really do but it was enough to make a good episode.

The family that The Doctor and Rose encounters were good as well. Jamie Foreman plays Eddie as Derek Branning from EastEnders with a moustache. I liked the underlying story of bullying within the household and the way The Doctor stands up to him, using the overhead shot to emphasise his authority(When he tells Eddie he's not listening). Itís also good how Tommy and his Mother take strength from The Doctor and Rose and stand up to him and he is eventually forced to leave, though Tommy joining him at the end was a nice touch.

The one scene I really enjoy is the one with The Doctor and the Inspector, where it ends the way it starts(the Inspector interrogating The Doctor and then vice versa) the roles between the two reversed. I really love that sort of writing, it was extremely well done and the humour used by The Doctor was just so funny.

The resolution was pacy but perhaps not the best one The Doctor has ever come up with but it worked. And best of all, no-one died in this which was great! As I said, it wasnít the best episode of the series by a long shot but it wasnít the worst either and it was nice mid-season filler that for me worked a treat.

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Old 01-11-2012, 09:31
TRT1968
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I actually really like this episode for the reasons mentioned above and for the attention to detail in the period set dressing. Oh, and for the subtle message about TV being "The Idiot Lantern"; kind of has a Why Don't You? twist to it.
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Old 01-11-2012, 11:43
John_Strange
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I'm afraid I didn't like this one at all. there were elements of the Tennant character that were far too cocky and "cool" that seemed to come out here, especially at the start. He doesn't seem to work to solve the problem, people and difficulties just seem to fall away as soon as he says "I'm the Doctor." The "monster" just didn't work for me ( although it is the sort of thing I would have accepted in Sarah Jane). The denoument just seems to work because the Doctor is a "superhero" and can survive lightning strikes (maybe I'm being unfair and missed something at the time).

In some ways, the real monster of the story is the abusive father, who serves as a counterpoint to the apparent "fifties-fun", but the decision of the son to go with his father seemed utterly bizarre and absurdly "Christian" in its morality.

The entire USP was "The Doctor on a scooter with Rose in a "Grease" dress" and not much more. Apart from one conversation foreshadowing their ending, which would have been added to fit in with the overall arc, this seems to be a complete sidestep - all flash and no substance.
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Old 01-11-2012, 12:57
GDK
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USP? What is that?

"All flash and no substance"? and yet you acknowledge it covers the "abuse and bullying within a family" issue? This is obviously some strange use of the word "substance" that I wasn't previously aware of.
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Old 01-11-2012, 13:29
TRT1968
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USP? What is that?

"All flash and no substance"? and yet you acknowledge it covers the "abuse and bullying within a family" issue? This is obviously some strange use of the word "substance" that I wasn't previously aware of.
Unique Selling Point
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Old 01-11-2012, 15:12
Granny McSmith
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This wasn't among my favourite episodes of series 2. Of course, I thought Tennant was great, and everyone else played a good part, especially Maureen Lipman making the most of being the baddie. It was enjoyable enough, pacy and funny, and I can rewatch it easily enough, but just seemed to lack something. A real sense of menace, perhaps.

Re the lightning strike - didn't the Doctor say he'd survived it because he had rubber soled shoes on? And Tommy didn't choose to go with his father, he chose to forgive him. Some may think that absurd, that's their prerogative. I think it's a difficult thing to do, and shows Tommy's strength of character.
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Old 01-11-2012, 15:19
GDK
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Unique Selling Point
Ah! Thankyou, TRT!
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Old 01-11-2012, 17:12
Face Of Jack
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Quite an enjoyable romp, I thought. I've got a 'thing' about the fifties (maybe 'cos I was born in the sixties, and I feel I missed out on something!)
Maureen Lipman was a great choice to play the villain-of-the-week......shame we didn't see her in person, but maybe that was the point!
Young Tommy and his bad Dad was another sad domestic story, but it fitted well into the story. The faceless people were a bit spooky. But as daveyboy said - no-one dies in this story, which is quite nice. Well Maureen Lipman copped it - but who knows? She might still be out there on the digital air-waves waiting to pounce!
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Old 01-11-2012, 19:13
doublefour
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I think this is a decent attempt at a 50s era story. Love the TV anglt, with The Wire. She plays it with relish also. Also, the TV tower is a part of the conclusion.
The bloke that plays the father is loathsome, but well acted, he plays the exact samre role in Eastenders, not that I watch just caught it and he was in it more or less playing the character he plays here.
Better than later episode Fear Her. But not one of the strongest in series 2 albeit enjoyable.
All the people herded up in the cage is my favourite moment.
I laugh at the part where the Doctor says this is Churchill's England not Stalin's Russia for some reason and the Cliff Richard comment about Jackie.
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Old 01-11-2012, 22:47
DavetheScot
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Not a bad story, but not one of the stronger ones. Ron Cook was excellent as sleazy Mr Jackdaw.

Can't help feeling someone had some unresolved father issues going on this series.
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Old 01-11-2012, 22:52
John_Strange
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USP? What is that?

"All flash and no substance"? and yet you acknowledge it covers the "abuse and bullying within a family" issue? This is obviously some strange use of the word "substance" that I wasn't previously aware of.
Fair enough, I'll withdraw my final, rather pat, remark. Like I said, it just didn't work for me as a quality episode, but as with all Dr Who there'll be people who will find more to value in this particular episode. Also, to anyone who thinks I'm being callous about the son's decision to go with (or forgive) his monster of a father, I should have been clearer - my problem is not with the actual morality of the decision, just that it was unconvincing within the context of this 45 minutes of television and it was tacked on in a kind of "moral" lesson way that you'd get in a story read out in a school assembly. In some ways it almost says the right thing is for the abused to forgive the abuser, and I am certain that was never the intention - it was simply a fact of too much, too sudden, too soon.

But I'm biased because I don't like the episode, don't let me put anyone off - go and visit 1953 and make your own mind up. I'll say this, Tennant's Doctor is the only incarnation that could possibly carry that hairstyle off!
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Old 01-11-2012, 23:03
GDK
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Fair enough, I'll withdraw my final, rather pat, remark. Like I said, it just didn't work for me as a quality episode, but as with all Dr Who there'll be people who will find more to value in this particular episode. Also, to anyone who thinks I'm being callous about the son's decision to go with (or forgive) his monster of a father, I should have been clearer - my problem is not with the actual morality of the decision, just that it was unconvincing within the context of this 45 minutes of television and it was tacked on in a kind of "moral" lesson way that you'd get in a story read out in a school assembly. In some ways it almost says the right thing is for the abused to forgive the abuser, and I am certain that was never the intention - it was simply a fact of too much, too sudden, too soon.

But I'm biased because I don't like the episode, don't let me put anyone off - go and visit 1953 and make your own mind up. I'll say this, Tennant's Doctor is the only incarnation that could possibly carry that hairstyle off!
NP. Didn't mean to pounce on the remark. I've enjoyed your other contributions to various threads.

I do like this episode but, as others have said, it lacks a really menacing villain. Maybe that's because nobody died. The power of the Wire was never fully demonstrated to the audience.
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Old 02-11-2012, 21:00
krikkiter68
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I like some aspects of this story. Tennant and Billie are excellent in it - the Doctor's shock turning suddenly to rage when he sees what The Wire has done to Rose is truly chilling. Ron Cook is haunting as the crumpled, forlorn Magpie, and Maureen Lipman is on great form as The Wire. The 'Betamax' joke. Rose's beautiful dress. Unfortunately, that's about it for me.

There are some great ideas here but I don't feel the episode really takes off. Mark Gatiss is a fine actor (as well as an excellent writer in Sherlock and The League of Gentlemen) and I can't help feeling that an appearance from him would have livened up this episode no end.
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Old 10-11-2012, 10:40
Larry1971
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not one of my favorites I've always felt Mark Gattis is a far better actor than he is writer.
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Old 10-11-2012, 10:47
chuffnobbler
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The blank faces, the tilted camera-angles, the screens full of screaming faces, Maureen Lipman .. excellent. Really good fun, this one.

I have no idea how The Wire intended to take over the world or what she was going to do when she had got it, but it's enormously enjoyable nonetheless.
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