Love a Party with a Happy Atmosphere

4x05 Unified

The Poison Sky was the conclusion to last week’s cliffhanger although we then got another surprise one tagged on the end of the episode, which was only slightly spoiled by the BBC’s “One to Watch” trailer earlier in the day, more on that later though.  It hardly took a great mind to work out the best way to rescue poor Wilf from the car, in fact while the “great mind” was tinkering about under the car with his suddenly impotent sonic screwdriver, it was Sylvia, whose handy (and somewhat scary) burglar-detering axe was readily available for some windscreen smashing.

The soon-to-be-deceased Ross returned to the scene with a London cab devoid of an Atmos device, to take Donna and the Doc back to the factory.  Of course, if Ross had been around when the car deadlocked Gramps inside then he’d have the window smashed within seconds… we like Ross, well “liked” at any rate.  He had potential to be a Seargeant Benton for the noughties in case of future Unified Intelligence Taskforce storylines but it was not be.  Although may be Colonel Mace and Captain Price will be back to develop their rather unnecessary romantic tryst.  Overall, UNIT salvaged some pride as they fought back against the Sontaran invaders thanks to their secret weapon on the returning HMS Valliant, it was good to see ’em in action.

4x05 Valient

Elsewhere, Donna continued to grow into her role as a wunder-companion after being unknowingly transported off to the orbitting Sontaran ship in the hijacked TARDIS.  There was a slice of typical new-Who introspection with an emotional phone call back to the family before venturing into the clone’s ship, taking out a Sontaran guard (“Back of the neck”) and switching the teleporting back on in the nick of time.  Just before all this of course, there was a blink and you’ll miss it appearance of Rose silently calling for the Doctor on the TARDIS console.  I’m enjoying this series’ arc more that the BadWolf, Torchwood and Saxon ones before it, as it seems to fit into the narrative in a much smoother way.  With all three of the main companions appearing in this episode to a greater or lesser extent, it’s an appropriate time for a Favourite Companion list….

  1. Donna
  2. Rose
  3. Martha

That wasn’t so hard, was it?  I’m out as a Donna fan.  From a feeling of FUD to the top of the pile in just five weeks.  I take back all those negative comments about the casting decision to bring back Donna.  Just goes to show why I only talk about telly rather than having any clue as to how best to actually make it.

4x05 Call

Christopher Ryan and Dan Starkey clearly relished their roles of first and second in command of the alien force and, as was mentioned in Doctor Who Confidential, it was a welcome change to have the main threat of the episode being able to deliver some great dialogue such as the frankly magnificent “They’re running like slimebait from a speelfox”.  Their betrayal of Luke Rattigan was hardly a surprise and even though the young lad’s blinkered megalomania came crashing down around his ears it was a nice touch for him, with nothing left to lose, to finally make the ultimate sacrifice to save the day.  I really hope that the Sontaran’s are brought back again and, now that they have something to be angry about with the Earthlings, there’s a good motivation for them.

4x05 Student

And so to the end of the story.  Donna pops into the TARDIS’ console room as Martha is saying her goodbyes, only for the door to slam shut and the time maching to take flight all by itself with the Doc’s Hand-in-a-Jar bubbling away to itself.  Having Martha’s plea to “Take me home, right now!” previewed front and centre in the episode trailer meant that this was not the biggest surprise in world but it was a nice touch and echoed the old days where consecutive stories were knitted together in this fashion.  Coupled with the “Hello Dad” in the Next Time sequence, this set up The Doctor’s Daughter perfectly.  It’s just such a shame that the overnight viewing figures have dropped below 6 million because of the stupidly early timeslot.

  1. I think this season’s story arc feels like a big improvement over previous years because it’s genuinely bubbling in the background rather than something shoe-horned artificially into inappropriate places in a “series 2/Torchwood”-stylee. Hopefully they won’t feel the need to chuck a fleeting glimpse of Rose in next week’s (slightly worrying looking) episode.

    Course it helps that Catherine Tate is the companion to the fore this year – compared to Tate as Donna, Freema looks even more like a dead eyed plank than previously.

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