Carmen: "No, but you be careful, because your song is ending, Sir. It's returning. It's returning through the dark and then Doctor, oh, but then. He will knock four times."
According to Russell
T. Davies, 'Planet of the Dead' was the Doctor's last chance to have
some fun. It's common knowledge now that the Doctor's just four
episodes away from his end, so this was Ten's last chance to embark on one last old-fashioned romp, before the serious business of his dying begins in earnest. Something is returning. Carmen doesn't specify what, but we can be
almost certain that whatever it is, it'll mean the end of the road for
I really liked Lady Christina de Souza. She was in every respect the Doctor's
equal—a thrill seeker who's intelligent, a dapper dresser (nice catsuit), confident and assertive. Her Mission Impossible antics were
impressive (if a tad cliché), and she evidently thought enough of her
leadership abilities to appoint herself head over her fellow passengers—much to the Doctor's surprise. Clearly she's no shrinking violet, and
if there's adventure in the offing, she's definitely not the type to run
the other way. Which makes her the perfect companion for the equally dapper Doctor. When he says to her "The worse it gets the more I love it" what could she do but
agree? She's as bonkers as he is!
I was a little disappointed by the
Doctor's refusal to take her along with him. She would surely have made an excellent short term companion. I understand the Doctor's reluctance to
take on a new travelling buddy: losing Rose in parallel universe wasn't exactly the happiest of times for him, and in many respects Donna's mind wipe
was even more of a tragedy—not to mention what happened to Adric all
those years ago. But this has always been the way. Companions come and
go. Sometimes they make it through unscathed, and sometimes,
regrettably, it ends tragically. I just wish the Doctor had got back on
the horse, so to speak, with Christina.
have to admit, initially, Carmen annoyed me. Characters with psychic
abilities have become a bit of a cliché in sci-fi, and at first her
presence did little more than cause unease amongst her fellow
passengers, and make us, the viewers, wonder what the hell she was going
on about. Yet she was responsible for the most intriguing moment of the
whole episode. She can obviously see the future, but in traditional
psychic style, what she sees is so vague it gives little of substance to
hold onto. Yet, clearly what she did say was enough to unsettle the Doctor. That was
one long, frozen, pensive stare he gave her. It was inspired writing to
take an essentially bright and breezy runaround adventure and kick us in
the teeth right at the end.
I first heard that Lee Evans was playing the part of Malcolm, I was
both pleased and a little nervous. I had this horrible image of him
sweating his way through the episode, before collapsing to the floor and
then re-inflating himself with an invisible pump. Of course, his stand-up routine's a far cry from his acting work, but he's an actor who comes
with baggage. To his credit though, he weighed in with a surprisingly
reserved performance: he was funny, bumbling, endearing and in the end,
actually pretty heroic as he stood firm against Captain Magambo. So
shame on me and full marks to Lee.
But Captain Magambo
was a little over enthusiastic, wasn't she? I understand that the
earth's safety was of paramount importance to her, but threatening to
shut down the worm hole without giving the Doctor and Co. a chance to
escape? Even a couple of minutes warning would have been nice, especially after she'd expressed such admiration for the Doctor earlier
in the episode. I can't help but feel that UNIT are too quick to react
these days. Didn't they try to rip the earth apart using the Osterhagen
System last season? Patience guys, patience! With UNIT protecting the
earth, who needs enemies ?
The Tritovores probably
should have made me cringe, but they didn't. At least not too much. They
were essentially men in overalls wearing rubber fly masks. So I should
have been horrified by the cheapness of it all, but for some reason I
quite liked them... in a strange, don't they look a bit crap, kind of a
way. Goodness knows what they were saying to the Doctor. Do flies
actually talk like that? Come to think of it, do flies actually talk? I
was under the impression they communicated via pheromones and wing
vibrations. I suppose, with the Tritovores not having wings, the latter
method's redundant—but a clicking sound? Do they have tongues? Am I
wondering about this too much. Should I shut my face?
For one scary moment I thought the Doctor was going to leave Christina
behind to face the consequences of her crimes. This obviously sat
uncomfortably next to the Doctor's gushing praise for her. Not to
mention that kiss! Christina's certainly not backwards in coming
forwards. I dare say she's a lady used to getting what she wants. Not
that she got everything. Despite them being 'made for each other', she
never managed to secure herself a place aboard the TARDIS. But I was pleased to see the
Doctor aid her escape in the end. Some nice closing words too between
them, with Christina ruing the future ('We could have been so good
together') and the Doctor acknowledging the past ('Christina, we were'). A case of the right girl at the wrong time, maybe?
—'Which one was your favourite? The one with the giant robot?' A reference to the Target novel Doctor Who And The Giant Robot
maybe? Or possibly the Tom Baker episode 'Robot'? Or maybe even a
reference to the Cyberking? Would that incident be in UNIT's files
—'Humans on buses, always blaming me'—A reference to the bus accident on series four episode 'Midnight'?
—Is anything seriously guarded by four full time guards? It's kind of
hard to believe that none of them saw Christina hanging from the roof.
Who the hell trained those guys?
—I'm not sure why
more Rays didn't get through the worm hole. They appeared to be
travelling in a swarm, yet only a handful managed to slip through. Were
they an advanced scouting party or something?
—The friend who used to call him Spaceman was no doubt his most recent companion, Donna Noble.
—I don't recall seeing Russell T. Davies co-write an episode before.
Come to think of it, has an episode of Nu-Who ever been written by more
than one writer?
—It took me a while to work out why
this episode was called 'Planet of the Dead'. Because the sand is all
that's left of its previous inhabitants. Duhhhh!!!!
—Why were the communication devices on the Tritovore's ship shaped to fit a human ear?
—The next episode is entitled 'The Waters Of Mars'.
Doctor: 'Hello, I'm the Doctor. Happy Easter!'
Christina: 'And what's your name?'
Doctor: 'I'm the Doctor.'
Christina: 'Name, not rank.'
Doctor: 'The Doctor.'
Doctor: 'The Doctor.'
Christina: 'You're called the doctor?'
Doctor: 'Yes, I am.'
Christina: 'That's not a name. That's a psychological condition.'
Christina: 'Let's just say we're two equal mysteries.'
Doctor: 'We'd make quite a couple.'
Christina: 'We don't make any sort of couple, thank you very much.'
Christina: 'Point five. The crucial thing is to not panic. Quite apart from
anything else, the smell of sweat inside this thing is reaching
atrocious levels. We don't need to add any more.'
Doctor: 'Oh, this is beautiful. Intact it must have been magnificent. A proper streamlined deep spacer.'
Christina: 'I'll remember that as I'm being slowly tortured. At least I'll be
bleeding on the floor of a well designed space ship.'
Christina: 'What are they doing?'
Doctor: 'They're believing.'
Christina: 'What? Simple as that?'
Doctor: 'I've got a very honest face... and the translator says I'm telling the truth... plus the face.'
Christina: 'I've got sand in my hair... that's dead people... Oh, that's disgusting!'
Doctor: 'Something destroyed the whole of San Helios.'
Christina: Yes, but in my hair.'
Doctor: 'The worse it gets the more I love it.'
Christina: 'Me too!'
Doctor: 'People have travelled with me and I've lost them. Lost them all. Never again!'
Christina: 'We could have been so good together.'
Doctor: 'Christina. We were.'