Doctor Who The Beast Below S05E02 (BBC)

The new Doctor Who: Matt Smith

Doctor Who is a long-running, award-winning British science fiction television programme produced by the BBC. The programme depicts the adventures of a mysterious alien time-traveller known as “the Doctor” who travels in his space and time-ship, the TARDIS, which appears from the exterior to be a blue police phone box. With his companions, he explores time and space, solving problems and righting wrongs.

The show’s lead character is currently portrayed by David Tennant. A Christmas special co-starring Kylie Minogue aired in December 2007, and the fourth series started on 5 April 2008. For that series, Catherine Tate will reprise her role of Donna Noble, from the 2006 Christmas special, as the Doctor’s latest companion. Midway through the series, Freema Agyeman will also return to her role of Martha Jones, following a multi-episode guest appearance in the Doctor Who spin-off series, Torchwood. John Barrowman will continue his role as Captain Jack Harkness, and Billie Piper will return as Rose Tyler for three episodes. Elisabeth Sladen is also set to return as Sarah Jane Smith in a cameo role.

After a 2008 Christmas special and three further specials starring David Tennant, scheduled to air in 2009, Doctor Who is planned to return in 2010 for a fifth full length series.

From the Doctor Who entry at Wikipedia.

Warning: spoilers ahead.

The Doctor working a smartphone

The Doctor is a long lived alien from the planet Gallifrey. He’s a Time Lord and travels through time thanks to his aging time capsule the Tardis. David Tennant is the tenth Doctor. My favorite has always been Tom Baker as the fourth Doctor. The Doctor periodically regenerates. When he does so, he changes outward appearance which let the producers change actors easily. All Time Lords regenerate 13 times. The Doctor’s nemesis is the Master, a renegade Time Lord who found a way around this limit. Other enemies include the Black Guardian, the Daleks and the Cybermen.

During the previous serials, before 2005, Gallifrey was alive and well. It appears that for the new series, the Doctor is the only survivor of the last great Time War between the Dalek Empire and the Time Lords.

This is the first of a series of specials that will air this year. Since David Tennant couldn’t commit to a full series this year, due to some previous acting commitments, we are left with a bunch of specials.

After two disappointing specials, we come to the end of David Tennant’s Doctor. Tennant has rapidly become a favorite of mine. I still love Tom Baker above all, but Tennant is very good. What is it about him? I’d say that David Tennant was almost perfect for the role. It’s too bad that he’s moving on. Already, the 5th season has been delayed until later this year because he couldn’t commit to a full serial.

It’s sad because he was so good. However, it’s good that Tennant is going out with a bang. The ending of part one of the End of Time was amazing. The Master, the Doctor, and the Time Lords, all reunited at last for one final confrontation.

I didn’t really like how the tenth Doctor died, but others will say that it is within his nature to be like that, to sacrifice himself for anyone. He did so. The end is nigh as he says goodbye to all of his companions, from Rose to Sarah Jane.

* * * * *

The new Doctor is nutty. Nutty enough to be the Doctor, if that makes any sense. I don’t know much about Matt Smith, and I usually keep an embargo on myself about upcoming Doctor Who episodes so that the fun isn’t spoiled, and frankly, I was surprised. It was a good show, not extremely good, but good nonetheless. I have to say that I did really like David Tennant as the Doctor. His shoes are going to be hard to fill. Naturally, Tom Baker remains as my favorite Doctor of all time.

The new Doctor is still getting used to his new form and manages to create problems for a little girl names Amelia. The whole episode is about an escaped multidimensional prisoner, who slivers through the cracks of the universe. We never find out the reason why the multiform was such a threat to the Atraxi. We also never find out much about the Atraxi, except that they would incinerate a whole planet to kill the multiform.

The episode was good, but the tidbits that the multiform revealed to the Doctor were much more interesting. As usual, this dramatic foreshadowing will get the Doctor Who fanatics rattled. The cracks are in the skin of the universe and they will be part of the underlying theme of this season. The Pandoric will open. Whatever that means. Needless to say that these little tidbits were very tantalizing, much more than the whole episode.

How would I rate this new Doctor Who episode? Medium-ish. Since the Weeping Angels, the Daleks, and the Cybermen, will be back, I think the season will be interesting. How do I rate Matt Smith as the new Doctor? Not bad. At least we’ll have a real season, not just these stupid specials that I got really annoyed with in the end. It’s been a while since Doctor Who had a whole season, and it’s off to a good start.

There are some obvious strange things in the script. For example, why did the Doctor go on about the duck pond? Even though the script wasn’t as polished as the ones that Russel T Davies was in charge of, the narrative wasn’t that bad.

* * * * *

This latest episode, The Beast Below, was pretty good. The ending and exactly what the beast below actually is puts an interesting spin on things. Initially, I was thinking about more of a space monster, but I wasn’t disappointed. The previews for next week include Winston Churchill and the Daleks. Now that’s going to be good, especially if there are some Nazis.

* * * * *

A boy has to take the stairs because he got a 0. This is happening in a strange London, that is floating in space. It’s in the future. He decides to take the elevator anyway and is sent to the Beast Below.

The Doctor is letting Amy float about in space. They come across the city. He says that it’s from the 29th century. Solar flares roasted the Earth so all of the countries on Earth left it. This is Starship UK.

The land and Amy goes out in her nightie. The Doctor says that it is a police state. For some reason, the Doctor puts a glass of water on the floor and examines it. Nothing happens. Someone has spotted the Doctor and reports to someone in charge. He has to report it to someone. The woman is wearing a mask and she also has a bunch of glasses on the floor.

The Doctor sends Amy to talk with the little girl they saw crying. Her name is Mandy. The Doctor suspects the booths of some nefarious purpose. Mandy spots Amy following her pretty quickly. They come across a hole in the road. Amy wants to investigate the hole. The dummy doll in the booth is looking at them. She finds a giant venom stalk that tries to sting her. When she gets out, men in robes abduct her.

The woman comes across the Doctor. She whispers and says that they are everywhere. He tells her about the engine that they should be feeling. There is no engine at all.

Help us Doctor, you’re our only hope.
Liz10 paraphrasing Princess Leia in Star Wars

She gives him a tracking device to find Amy. Meanwhile, Amy is being asked some questions and given a presentation about Starship UK. She can choose to remember it and forget. She immediately presses Forget. She sees a message from herself. She says that she should bring the Doctor back to the TARDIS and get out of here.

The Doctor and Mandy arrive. The Doctor says that Amy had her memories wiped. Mandy says that once you are 16, you are eligible to see the video. Then, you can see it once every 5 years. Both the Doctor and Amy end up below. The Doctor says that they are in a giant mouth. He makes the beast puke, and it pukes them up. They arrive near another door with a Forget button. When the Doctor doesn’t push it, some of the dummies get out of their booths, but Liz10 arrives and shoots them. Liz10 knows about the Doctor. She’s Elizabeth X, the Queen of England. They retire to her chambers. Some men in hoods come for her. They turn their heads and are smilers. They are half human half smilers. They say that she must go to the tower now.

They arrive. Hawthorne is there. He says that the beast won’t eat children. They are torturing the beast so that it continues on its journey. The Doctor frees one of the venom stalks. It is screaming out of pain. They torture it day in day out. Liz is told by the Doctor that she isn’t 50, but 300. They have been erasing her memory every 10 years. They all work for her. They see a message from Liz. The creature is a star whale. They live in the depths of space. There were millions in the past. This one is the last. The Earth was burning. Everyone had left. The star whale came and they trapped it. They built their ship on the back of it.

The reason why Amy pushed the button was to protect the Doctor from making a terrible decision. For this, he wants her back on Earth. There are 3 options. The first is to free the star whale and kill all the humans, the second is to let the star whale be tortured for centuries, the third is to destroy its higher brain functions. The whale will still fly, but it will no longer feel the pain.

Amy realizes something about children crying. She takes the Queen’s hand and pushes the Abdicate button. The star whale came to help the children who were crying. The star whale is kind of like the Doctor. They’ve actually increased speed.

Amy and the Doctor hug it out. They get back to the TARDIS. The phone rings. The PM is on the phone. It’s Winston Churchill. He’s got a Dalek problem.

* * * * *

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Author: range

I'm mathematician/IT strategist/blogger from Canada living in Taipei.

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