DVD Extras (box sets only) include:
The blubbering and fussing that Mrs. Tyler then dives into is not great quality television, and Rose develops the same bizarre inability to be truthful about the TARDIS that we saw plaguing so many David Whitaker scripts from the 1960's. The new millennium hasn't advanced very far. Rose, stop supporting your Mum's false assumptions already and take her for a walk into the TARDIS!
A spaceship crashes into the Thames via Big Ben. Nicely done. Then we have to watch the Doctor watch TV about it, while Jackie Tyler natters on and on. Quite a poor use of screen time. The reporters do a fairly good job of introducing the guest cast though. (Not as good as is done in episode 1 of "The Daemons" (story no. 59), thanks to the jittery style of camera work here).
Mysteries mount as we increasingly wonder exactly what kind of aliens we are dealing with in this story, and what is going on with the British government to make their response to the crisis so laughable. This is very nicely set-up and drawn out, although the piglet portion seems disappointingly weird at first, and still leaves an unwelcome aftertaste after we learn he's just a red herring.
The Rise of MickeyMickey Smith (played by Noel Clarke) then re-enters the series and our main characters' lives. Clarke makes him incredibly warm, lively, and likeable. Eccleston's Doctor proceeds to pick on him for no good reason, managing to make a jerk out of himself. When Mickey takes no crap and fires back WITH good reason, in my mind he comes out on top. In fact, as the story goes on, Mickey gets better heroic moves and exhibits a Patrick-Troughton-like charm. By the time this two-part story is over, Mickey has fast become my favourite character of the new series of Doctor Who, which is no small or easy feat. Hats off to Noel Clarke!
The extra TARDIS movements and interior scenes are also excellent at drawing supporting characters and uninitiated viewers into an understanding of the world and staple elements of Doctor Who, while these scenes also satisfy the long-term fan. Well done.
Just when the episode seems like it might soon begin to lag, revelations begin, and the new series makes its first real cliffhanger unforgettable, prolonging the awe and shock-value, and making you desperately wonder what you will see next week.
Mass Weapons of DestructionA little bit of clever parody may be the best element of the second episode. The aliens are less of an invading army, and more of a family mafia, pulling the strings of governments and inducing war for monetary gain. Russell T. Davies earns major points with me for bringing those elements in. Nice.
However, the second episode leaves a lot to be desired in terms of plot action. After a bit of running around being chased by the Slitheen - not bad, but not particularly interesting enough to last as long as it does - the Doctor and two other most important protagonists spend their time up past the climax of the episode confined in one room, with nothing more heroic to do but repeatedly use a cell-phone. Very un-sci-fi, and unsatisfying.
Meanwhile, Mickey takes over and gets to do many of the things one might wish the Doctor were doing. Nicely, Mickey gets his share of credit as well, and the Doctor pays his respects to him. Jackie Tyler finally accepts enough of the truth about the situation to give us a few good scenes during the story's aftermath, and help the story conclude on a very emotional note.
This story has become available on DVD:
Note: The 13-episode box sets contain commentaries, behind-the-scenes featurettes, and other extras. The 3-episode volumes only feature the plain episodes.
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