“The Stolen Earth” – Review: Redux

Harriet Jones “Harriet Jones, former Prime Minister.”Dalek “Yes, we know who you are.”

The Stolen Earth

There are moments in adulthood when you yearn for the thrill of youth. Usually, it’s at times when your body doesn’t quite behave in the way it should and always has done before, when they stop making birthday cards with your age on them (ever seen a “Happy 43rd” card?), when you hear yourself for the first time starting a sentence with the words “Back in my day…”, or the first time you buy yourself a tee-shirt that doesn’t have any writing or a picture on it. Young Policemen Syndrome, I guess they’ll call it. However, all too rarely there are moments when you forget all that stuff and nonsense and you are as giddy and thrilled and happy as any you were in any of your childhood memories. The last 15 minutes of “The Stolen Earth” was such a moment.

So, what was all the fuss about. We were promised a dramatic two-part finale and part one certainly delivered on the promise. Following on directly from the conclusion of Turn Left, the Doctor and Donna headed back to Earth to see what all the Bad Wolf/Cloister Bell fuss was about and found nothing more threatening than a milkman. As they popped back in to the TARDIS to check their readings, someone literally stole the Earth from under their feet. The Daleks were soon revealed as the planet stealers and their plan, as much as has been revealed so far, was to keep the Doctor as far away from their “crucible” as possible while they had their wicked way with the planets. On Earth we followed the events through the eyes of our familiar friends… the Noble family and Rose, the Torchwood team, Martha and UNIT in New York, and Sarah-Jane and Luke in their loft in Ealing. There was a redemption for Harriot Jones as she was the one who brought these disparate factions together and enabled them to communicate to their Time Lord chum.

All the series ongoing references started to coalesce, as the Doctor and Donna headed off to the Shadow Proclamation, worked out that the bees leaving had left a trail to the Medusa Cascade where all the missing planets were hidden from view but from where they received the bat signal from the “Children of Time”. Simple, eh? Why didn’t I think of that? From here business really started to pick up. Davros, who had been speaking from the shadows up till this point, was revealed in all his emaciated glory as he told the Doctor of how he escaped from the Time War thanks to the now-insane Dalek Caan and rebuilt his Dalek army from scratch. The good Doctor bolted off to Earth to meet up with his friends where his reunion with his long-lost love, Rose, was rudely interrupted by being shot by a Dalek. I wonder why, in the 50-year history of Doctor Who that no other Dalek has simply thought of shooting the Time Lord on sight, it seems so obvious when you think about it. Oh, and then the Doctor regenerated.

Everything about this episode was brilliant. From the ultimate cliffhanger to the return of Davros, there was exceptional direction, astonishing special effects (The Daleks taking Manhattan and the reappearance of the Valliant were worthy of any blockbuster movie), emotions ramped up to the max, and a genuine reward for anyone who has been watching the series since its return. Okay, there are points that you can pick holes in but for sheer spectacle this was as good a television gets.

Highlight: Julian Bleech as Davros

Lowlight: Paul O’Grady and Richard Dawkins cameos

Talking Point: Who thought that the regeneration was going to be real?

Demon’s Run Rating: 19 out of 20

Original BBC1 Broadcast: 28th June 2008

Marathon Status: 54 down, 48 to go

  1. October 8th, 2013

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