Visit the official Doctor Who website

Visit the official Doctor Who website
Look to the future

Asylum seekers...

Asylum seekers...
Refuge of the Daleks

Doctor Who picture resource

Doctor Who picture resource
Roam the space lanes!

Explore the Doctor Who classic series website

Explore the Doctor Who classic series website
Step back in time

Infiltrate The Hub of Doctor Who spin-off Torchwood

Infiltrate The Hub of Doctor Who spin-off Torchwood
Armed and extremely dangerous

Investigate The Sarah Jane Adventures

Investigate The Sarah Jane Adventures
Fearless in the face of adversity

Call on Dani’s House

Call on Dani’s House
Harmer’s a charmer

Intercept the UFO fabsite

Intercept the UFO fabsite
Defending the Earth against alien invaders!

Uncover the secrets of the Dollhouse

Uncover the secrets of the Dollhouse
Programmable agent Echo exposed!

Hell’s belles

Hell’s belles
Naughty but nice

Love Exposure

Love Exposure
Flash photography!

Primeval portal

Primeval portal
Dressed to kill or damsels in distress?

Charmed, to be sure!

Charmed, to be sure!
The witches of San Francisco

Take on t.A.T.u.

Take on t.A.T.u.
All the way from Moscow

Proceed to the Luther website

Proceed to the Luther website
John and Jenny discuss their next move

DCI Banks is on the case

DCI Banks is on the case
You can bet on it!

On The Grid with Spooks

On The Grid with Spooks
Secret agents of Section D

Bridge to Hustle

Bridge to Hustle
Shady characters

Life on Ashes To Ashes

Life on Ashes To Ashes
Coppers with a chequered past

Claire’s no Exile

Claire’s no Exile
Goose steps

Vexed is back on the beat!

Vexed is back on the beat!
Mismatched DI Armstrong and bright fast-tracker Georgina Dixon

Medium, both super and natural

Medium, both super and natural
Open the door to your dreams

Who’s that girl? (350-picture Slideshow)

Thursday, 4 May 2006

School Report


History is important! The past informs the present and this proved to be the case in the third episode in the new series of "Doctor Who", "School Reunion". It wasn't really about the evil Krillitanes, the not-so evil K9 ("Bad dog!", "Affirmative!!"), or even the lovely Elisabeth Sladen returning as the even lovelier Sarah Jane Smith, which was all icing on the cake to set up the scene outside the cafe between the two present incumbents of the TARDIS. Russell T Davies had already said this story wasn't intended as a nostalgia-fest for older fans but to enlighten the present relationship, between the tenth Doctor and Rose, and this is exactly what Toby Whithouse's script delivered.

But beyond shedding more light on the Doctor and Rose's relationship, "School Reunion" was meant to make us think about the transient nature of our own lives when measured against the infinity of time. Existence is fleeting, unless you're the Doctor, so make the best of your time alive, was this week's life lesson! This is big philosophical stuff, equal to that oft-quoted finale of "Genesis of the Daleks", and serves to reinforce ninth Doctor Christopher Eccleston's parting shot telling Rose to "Have a good life".

Rose can spend her entire life with the Doctor but the Doctor, as an immortal or even someone with a finite number of regenerations, can only spend a fraction of his life with Rose. In a nutshell, the audience is being taught to live life to the max! It might seem like an obvious thing to remind us of, but time has shown that mankind has yet to learn to do just that, preferring to squander the years on countless political vendettas, wars. You're a longtime dead so make the most of life... while you can!!

Artistically, whereas his intermediary episodes, "The Christmas Invasion" and "New Earth", don't quite meet the high standard he'd set himself, I also thought James Hawes direction equalled that of his debut last year, on the two-parter that began with "The Empty Child". All the interesting angles, complementing and contrasting, seemed to be back in place, this time in the school corridors and in the beautifully-lit scene where Sarah Jane chances upon the TARDIS and her realisation that new teacher John Smith, standing in the shadows behind her, is indeed HIM!

2 comments:

Stuart Douglas said...

Yeah, the scene where SJS stands in front of the TARDIS with Tennant behind her is wonderful.

I remember a short story in one of the charity collections I think, where the Doctor lived alone in the TARDIS for decades with an unnamed companion who had grown elderly and senile - unable to leave wherever it was they were stranded because doing so would kill the companion.

Stewart M. said...

I really felt it was pathetic character drama, at best. The SF concept of the 'Universal Code', or whatever the hell Whithouse calls it, was disturbingly trite and stupid. This felt like another RTD script, in ways.