Doctor Who: The Stolen Earth

The other day I was outside when I heard a something that sounded uncannily like the TARDIS. Naturally I rushed over to begin my career as the Doctor’s companion, but to my disappointment it turned out to be some sort of farm machinery. Oh well, better luck next time.

Recap

When the Earth suddenly disappears from right in front of the TARDIS, it’s a pretty good indication that something’s very wrong- and indeed it is, for a familiar old enemy has resurfaced, with a diabolical plan that starts with the theft of no fewer than twenty-seven planets. On Earth itself, all the Doctor’s old allies and companions are busy trying to fight off this new threat, but until the Doctor and Donna can find out where they’ve been taken, what hope do they have of holding out against nothing less than a Dalek invasion fleet led by Davros himself?

Alien, Planet and Tech Guide

  • Daleks (updated): After Dalek Caan made his emergency temporal shift, he somehow ended up in the time-locked Time War, where he rescued Davros at the expense of his own sanity. Davros recreated the Daleks (including one Supreme Dalek) by growing them from cells of his own body, whereupon they began stealing 27 planets for a master plan, including Earth, Clom, Pyrovillia and the Adipose breeding planet.
  • Project Indigo: A personal teleport suit built from the remains of Sontaran technology; although untested with regards to reaching a destination, Martha Jones is able to use it successfully to teleport from UNIT in LA to her home in London.
  • The Shadow Proclamation: a distant space station which presumably is the hub for enforcing its laws. As well as administrators, the station is guarded by Judoon.
  • Subwave Network: Developed by “The Mr Copper Foundation” (presumably founded by the Mr Copper from Voyage of the Damned) and former prime minister Harriet Jones, the network is a sentient entity which is able to seek out and connect to anyone who has had contact with the Doctor- provided they are his allies.
  • Medusa Cascade: A locale the Doctor visited as a child, now used as the staging ground for Davros’ plans. The planets are all kept “a second out of sync” with the rest of the universe, which admittedly makes little sense when taken literally, but must mean out of phase in some way,

Episode Thoughts

I can’t help feeling there was just too much going on in this episode, what with Torchwood, Rose, the Doctor, Martha and Sarah Jane all being shoe-horned in; I’ve often complained of episodes trying to pack too much in, and this was the worst offender yet. As someone who only occasionally catches a few minutes of Torchwood and has never watched the Sarah Jane Adventures, I also felt a little excluded, like I was being invited to a party where I barely knew half the attendees.

As for the Daleks, well, they’ve shown up and been thwarted so often that I can’t really regard them as something to be scared of anymore. I’m just concerned for the Doctor- will he really regenerate or will Donna make some sacrifice that changes reality so that Tennant can continue? For that reason alone, I can’t wait until next week.

Notes and Nitpicks

  • I’ll accept a magical shield keeping the atmosphere in, but what about compensating for the light and heat provided by the Sun? Not to mention the gravitational effects of being removed from the solar system and placed in tandem with 27 other planets (think- if a body as small as the moon has such an effect on the tides, what sort of effects could we expect?)
  • I really wish Clom (the Absorbaloff planet) hadn’t been mentioned- I like to pretend it doesn’t exist.
  • Why would just three planets be snatched from earlier points in time and then 24 get taken simultaneously?
  • Dalek Caan says that death will come to the most faithful companion, but who will that be? Will it be death in the same sense as Rose’s ‘dying’ in season two?
  • Based on what I’ve read, we can expect Jackie Tyler and Mickey back next week (what about Jackie and Pete’s new kid?), whilst speculation includes Donna having to give up being a companion and the regeneration going wrong and causing a second Doctor to be created from his spare hand. Said Doctor may only have one heart and will go off into the sunset with Rose.
  • Is there still something on Donna’s back? Will she have to use it to make a past decision that prevents the Daleks’ plan from coming to fruition?
  • Why was Jack’s teleport so easy to repair? All it took was two cycling numbers, which seemed a bit ridiculous. Then again, the sentient sub-wave network and the teleport that magically took Martha home were equally silly.
  • Note that last year we had ‘blogging’ and this year we saw an ‘outer space Facebook’- it’s like the writers know just what I’m doing online.
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