Doctor Who : World War Three
I would like to say that the conclusion to this story was as good as the first episode, but I have to say that it wasn’t. The cliff-hanger was resolved in the pre-titles sequence and, happened so quick, that if you blinked you would probably have missed it and was a real anticlimax after the excitement of the build up in the previous episode.
The rest of the story involved the Doctor and Rose being chased around the corridors of Downing Street by the Slitheen who then explained what they were doing on the planet, and why they went to such trouble to stage a fake alien invasion, which was basically to destroy it, and then sell it piece by piece to eager buyers whilst they waited for the credits to roll in.
So, rather than being an evil race hell bent on destroying the Earth because they could, or because they wanted to the planet for themselves, they were basically galactic e-bay sellers, or alien Del-Boys, selling stuff to the highest bidder to anyone who wants anything.
That still meant that you wanted them to be stopped, but they really stopped being all that threatening after that, despite them being eight feet tall with very sharp claws. Well, that, and that they could be neutralised by the application of vinegar!
Mickey did save the world though in this episode, not in brave fighting way, but in a computer nerd sort-of-way destroying both the Slitheen family, who were never going to give up their plan for nothing, and their ship by blowing up 10 Downing Street with the Doctor, Rose and Harriet Jones MP in the cabinet room.
Mickey did this despite the Doctor constantly putting him down but, you don’t feel sorry for him for that, rather for the way that Rose treats him after she has had a little bit of excitement and danger with the Doctor.
The larger regular cast in the new series really helped in this story as the Doctor and Rose were in one place for the majority of the episode and Mickey and Jackie in a totally different location but there was plenty of interaction between the four of them through the use of a mobile telephone, a good use of the technology for once.
Eccleston was excellent and commanding in the scenes set in the cabinet room and his sheer joy at working out where the Slitheen originated from by the use of his enormous intellect made me grin from ear to ear!
The story also ended about ten minutes before the end of the episode, with a really long bit at the end where Jackie threatened to cook for the Doctor, and tried to persuade Rose to not run off with the Doctor again. The Doctor, sensibly, kept well out of the way whilst this was going on, which was a wise choice if you ask me.
This story was a success from the point of view that it showed that two-part stories were still possible in this new series, but, it really suffered from a lacklustre conclusion, when it was all going so well in the first episode and is the first disappointing episode of the new series so far.