The Doctor (Tennant) dives into The Satan pit to confront a timeless evil, while Rose (Billie Piper) and the crew of the Sanctuary Base attempt to elude the possessed Ood.
Written by Matt Jones, and airing on 10 June, 2006, the conclusion to the story is surprisingly solid considering how close it dances to the edge of making an actual commentary on theology. The Doctor, momentarily thinks he should retreat, but when the Beast interferes, the Doctor realises that the only way out of hell is through, and he descends into the pit to confront the truth behind the myth.
To add emotional trouble to the episode, the Beast predicts that Rose’s death is imminent. This was bothersome to new viewers, Rose was the only companion they had known, they weren’t ready to lose her yet, and the idea that she would die in battle, terrified more than a few.
Under the Doctor’s guidance, Rose has grown from an aimless shopgirl into a fighter, a leader, capable of making the tough calls, and inspiring those she works with. As is pointed out later in the series, that is what the Doctor does, he improves his Companions, but just as often he forges them into weapons.
I really like this two-parter and I love the creation of the Ood species. They are truly frightening in this episode, and they make quire an impact on the series, so much so that you just know they are going to be back.
The Doctor’s confrontation with the Beast is as good as it can be. I like how the Doctor suggests that the devil is just an idea, it may have been created, or influenced by what is in the pit, just like the idea of an ultimate deity.
But, there is also the suggestion that if this is an ultimate evil, something imprisoned it, and that would suggest an ultimate good at work as well. In this case it is the sacrifice that the Doctor and Rose are willing to make that is the ultimate good, but as the episode ends we are left with the Beast’s prediction about the Time Lord’s companion.
Love & Monsters is the first of the Doctor-lite episodes. It aired on 17 June, 2006 and was penned by Russell T. Davies.
The story follows Elton Pope (Marc Warren), a young man invested in discovering who the Doctor is. He has a connection going back to his childhood, and is seeking out like-minded individuals.
Along with his dear friend, Ursula (Shirley Henderson), a group is formed. They dabble musically while investigating rumours of the Doctor. Things are fun, and innocent until Victor Kennedy (Peter Kay) comes along and takes over the group.
Kennedy isn’t all that he seems, and he as his own reasons for seeking out the Doctor. He brings a level of darkness to the story especially when the truth is revealed, and the story even turns tragic.
It’s a fun episode, filled with ELO, and it’s interesting to see some of the events that have happened through the course of the two new series from a different perpective. I like the feel of the episode, It walks a very fine balance between comedy and drama, and there are mentions of Bad Wolf, and Torchwood. It’s also great to see Jackie (Camille Coduri) in an episode where she gets to play for a bit.
This episode proved, rather nicely, that you could do a Doctor Who episode without the Doctor for a large portion of it. The next time that happens is in one of my favourite episodes.
Next time the Doctor discovers he must Fear Her before confronting an Army of Ghosts…