Tuesday, 1 July 2008
Dr Who - Final Episode series Four
One of the things I'll miss when we move to Germany is Dr Who. Yes, I admit it, I am a Whovian. Sad isn't it? At least I will have seen up to the end of series 4. There will now be a break until 2010 before series 5 (whilst David Tennant takes time out to do some 'serious' acting, and Russel T Davies hands over the producer's reigns to Steven Moffat). Enough time for me to get a satellite link to the BBC.
Anyway, the penultimate episode of this series, 'The Stolen Earth', was stunning. Not only are all the Doctor's recent companions and spin-off's brought back together, but there is Davros and the Daleks invading Earth yet again.
From the end scene of 'The Stolen Earth' it looks like the Doctor is going to regenerate again, after being hit by a Dalek exterminator ray just as he is reunited with Rose. If he is going to regenerate then the usual formula is that he will be played by a new actor. If this is true then who it is must be the biggest secret the BBC has ever kept. Yes, Tennant is taking a break, but I've never heard him in interviews ever less than keen that he'd like to play Dr Who for as long as he can. And the Christmas special is in the can, with Tennant playing the Doctor, so how can the script-writers explain that away? So what's going to happen this Saturday? A clue, I believe, is the prominent display at the start of the episode of the Doctor's preserved hand in the Tardis. Puzzling though is mad Dalek Caan's description of Dr Who as the 'threefold man'. Tenfold man might have been a better description, as the Doctor has had ten incarnations that we know of. And then there have been rumours of the Doctor doing an episode with two of the past doctors (McCoy and Davison). Hmmm . . .
There are certainly a lot of strange co-incidences in The Stolen Earth episode. One that struck me was that the planet Calufrax is named as one of the stolen planets. Calufrax, Calufrax, sounds a bit Douglas Adams Hitchhiker's Guide to me, and didn't Adams used to edit and occasionally write scripts for Dr Who? And what's this about all the bees fleeing Earth, sound a bit like the dolphins leaving Earth in Hithchikers: so long, and thanks for all the nectar. A bit of googling and yes, Calufrax was first named as the victim of the Pirate Planet episode with Tom Baker written by ... yes, Douglas Adams. And the Doctor's assistant then was the fellow Timelord (Time lady?), Romana. Romana regenerated and became much more likeable when played by the actress Lalla Ward, who in real-life went on to marry Tom Baker. And then they split up and she married ... oh, hang on, she married Richard Dawkins who appears as himself in 'The Stolen Earth'! Another 'co-incidence' is that a much younger Bernard Cribbins (Wilf) acted in the the film 'Daleks - Invasion Earth 2150 AD' alongside Peter Cushing. Well, there must be a reason for Cribbins to be cast in this series of Dr Who nowadays other than warning about aliens all the time.
How bizarre, but then the Doctor has remarked how strange co-incidences happen around his current side-kick Donna Noble. Hmm, he's also been surprised how easily she picked up driving the Tardis (well, prior to having a prang with the 1980's). And the Shadow Proclamation woman remarked how she could tell Donna had once had something on her back (that time bug from 'Turn Left'), and that was an episode where Donna was the pivotal point in a major universe-wide event. There is something we don't know about Donna. After thinking about Romana I wonder if, and this is a long-shot if, she might actually be a Timelord herself and not know it? Like John Smith didn't know he was the Doctor, and Professor Yana didn't know he was The Master?
Other curiosities: Harriet Jones somehow managed to contact the companions of Dr Who through a secret sub-wave network. Where did she get the technology for that? Apparently from the Mr Copper Foundation. Is that the Mr Copper who was in the Christmas Special 'Voyage of the Damned'? Anyway, why was the call sign for the network the same as The Master used over his Archangel network (da-da-da dom)? What is the Osterhagen key Martha has been given by the head of UNIT which Harriet tells her never to use? Maybe it could even be German 'Oster Ragen' - To rise at Easter (I'm clutching at straws here), suggesting a renewal, rebirth or reset? Who is Rose talking to - Control she calls them - who is beaming her around the place? And what exactly is the reason for the Daleks stealing the 27 planets anyway, particularly remembering that Calufrax was part of the Key To Time which maintained the equilibrium of the Universe?
Hopefully all will be revealed on Saturday. After which I shall probably come back and delete this post because it is so wildly wrong!