DVD Extras (box sets only) include:
The train makes a nice visual arrival at the station, and we soon learn that it has brought Mickey to the scene of the action. Sadly, nothing of the train interior is seen, but with the train being such an ordinary Earth vehicle, it isn't really necessary today.
Mickey soon introduces us to the rest of the story's main characters, the TARDIS, Jack, Rose, and Big Ears, and during the ensuing banter Mickey comes out on top and rules all. Amen.
Meanwhile, Margaret Blaine has re-established herself, her alien nature, and her questionable motives for the audience. Good, because there won't be time to investigate any of that after our heroes spot her. But you have to wonder why, if she's so afraid of having her picture taken or getting any visual publicity, why doesn't she get herself a new human face to wear? Like that of the existing Mayor perhaps? As Margaret she needs to get voted in, which requires publicity. Or perhaps she got rid of her rivals and got acclaimed into the role. Either way, this is an odd situation.
So the good guys brandish their weapons - cell phones. Pathetic. There's nothing more un-sci-fi than the latest, common place, over-hyped, radioactive, would-you-like-a-virtual-answering-machine-with-that cell phone. Captain Kirk's communicator was ahead of its time. The modern-day cell phone is just over-commercialized pop-culture, and this new series has been overusing them. Stick with the sonic screwdriver and the psychic paper, and give K9 a guest spot, but keep the cell phone use to a minimum, please. I'm begging you.
"I've seen you fight your enemies. Now dine with them."After a nice bit of action and confrontation, character study takes over for a good portion of the episode, exploring issues and philosophy with no holds barred. Very nice. The Doctor and Margaret get the most intense bits for sure, but Rose and Mickey have an equally interesting session and Jack gets to throw his two-cents in from time to time. Even though Mickey gets a little weird near the end, he still remains my favourite character. Some good acting from Billie Piper, as Rose talks about him, makes an incredible assist in validating his character.
A magical TARDIS for heroNeither the Doctor, nor Mickey, nor any other humanoid character are able to make the decisive heroic move at the story's climax though. Instead the TARDIS moves in, now with yet more new magical powers, and why not since it was being directly threatened. Margaret miscalculated a bit, didn't she?
But sadly that means the Doctor has missed out on owning this key moment in what, 7 out of 9 stories so far this season? That ratio seems a bit too high for a show that is still re-inventing itself. And note also how magic seems to be overused by writers to make up for a lack of strategy, either in the plot or on the part of the characters, or both. It seems improvements still need to be made.
I must confess, when watching this the first time through, I had at first hoped the second half of the story would take us to Raxacoricafalpitorius, or whatever Margaret's home planet might be, and when that failed to happen, I started to hope that the heart of the TARDIS was opening in order to let the Master back out. A new Master. That would have been cool. Didn't happen.
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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