So there we go, the series has ended. Some great episodes.
The Runaway Bride: Enjoyable enough. Loved the highway chase scene — and the way it captured the excitement of the TV audience in the little kids in the other car. One day the ABC programming people will learn to programme Christmas specials at Christmas, instead of six months later. (Though it could be worse… in Canada the CBC put this episode on after the following one.)
Smith and Jones: Some fun moments, but obviously it’s mostly to introduce the new companion. Some of us who have been watching for a while thought the Judoon were Sontarans when they first appeared.
The Shakespeare Code: Oh, good stuff. Some very funny moments (I really liked the barely noted “No you can’t have yourself sketched with me”), and an interesting concept, the power of words.
Gridlock: I was put off by the concept of the multi-decade traffic jam, which just seemed a little too ridiculous. But as the episode went on, it grew on me a lot.
Daleks in Manhattan/Evolution of the Daleks: It was all going well for me until SquidMan appeared. After that it just seemed a little bit silly. But Solomon’s demise was a good antidote to the kind of “inspiring hero miraculously escapes” plotlines you sometimes see.
The Lazarus Experiment: Nothing too challenging.
42: I found this one really exciting. In space, noone can hear you shouting “I’ll save you!” Okay, so the plot was lifted from the second half of Planet Of Evil (circa 1975), but still very enjoyable.
Human Nature/Family of Blood: *sniffffff* Very clever, and one of those plots that had you wondering what’s happening. Nice touches in John Smith’s journal. (Some people freeze-framed it and noted pictures of past Doctors and numerous other series references.)
Blink: Oh great stuff from Stephen Moffat, once again making great use of time in his stories. No wonder he won a Hugo for last year’s effort. The weeping angels were superb. I wish I’d watched this episode in the dark the first time I saw it.
Utopia: Ooooh yeah. Derek Jacobi! John Simm! Captain Jack’s back, and so is… you know who! Superb, with just niggling doubts about the apparent re-appearance of 20th century technology in the year 50 trillion. Best line? “…and you two are BLOGGING!”
Sound of Drums/Last of the Timelords: Wrapping it all up nicely, though I’m getting a little weary of Russell T Davies and his mega-CGI-massed-alien-invasions at the end of every season. But it did all neatly use bits from the rest of the season: the watch/Chameleon Arch, the mysterious Harry Saxon, The Face Of Boe’s final utterance, the power of words, and more about the last great time war.
And Torchwood? Well, you’ve gotta love a spinoff. It ranged from the excellent (“Random Shoes”) to the pointlessly horrifically mundane (“Countrycide”), and not forgetting Fight Club With Aliens (“Combat”). But I can’t help thinking they could have done it almost as well without the gore, swearing and sex, and then I could have let the kids watch it. Ultimately while Doctor Who manages to include secondary themes and some deep thinking in many of its plots, Torchwood seemed a lot more superficial.
The forthcoming Sarah Jane Adventures spinoff looks interesting, too.