Just when I thought I was safe from the monster that is Jackie Tyler, along comes her replacement! Catherine Tate, as bride-to-be Donna, was best when she was pleasant but I couldn’t bear her voice at the beginning!! Once she started to trust the Doctor, and smiled, it was more watchable than when she was whining. I still don’t like David Tennant’s manic interpretation, though I understand why he portrays the character in this way. It appeals to all those children who consume too many E numbers through drinking too much orange squash!
There were some good shots in “The Runaway Bride”. The water-drenching close-up on Tennant’s transfixed face was straight out of a Ridley Scott movie. The upward-spiralling TARDIS, at the end of the taxi sequence, as well as the children in the back seat of their car, seen but not heard, each mouthing “Jump”, were both entertaining moments. Some have suggested the episode peaked too early at this point. Bouncing along the M4 isn’t typical TARDIS behaviour but it was fun.
I enjoyed the several nods to classic adventures. The robot reveal in the taxi, when the Santa mask came off, was reminiscent of “Terror of the Autons”; showing Donna the origins of the universe was similar to showing Sarah Jane its possible ending in “Pyramids of Mars”; monster in the basement reminded me of “Paradise Towers”; and the genocide of the Racnoss - “Terror of the Vervoids”, the very thing the Doctor was on trial for twenty years ago!
I suppose, for the fans who want to be surprised, although the episode title ruins that possibility, there should’ve been a spoiler alert before the Dalek reveal at the end of the trailer for season three but it’s shown to draw the casual viewer to the programme who might not otherwise bother to tune in. Or put cynically, it’s pandering to a common denominator in the pursuit of ratings over creativity!