There Once Was Hope…

In view of the relaunch of Doctor Who – with the wonderful Matt Smith – we thought it was about time that we discussed some of the moments that excited us during Russell T Davies tenure at the helm.

As odd as it sounds – coming from us at least – there were a few incidents that reminded us of classic Who and offered a glimmer of hope that things might have gotten better.

They were few and far between but it’s only fair that we list them. This shouldn’t take too long…

Dalek – The Doctor Gets Scared
This was genius! The reintroduction of the Daleks in series one of new Who, needed to tick so many boxes that it was always going to be difficult.

The job of introducing them to a new, younger audience was never going to be straightforward, things have moved on since the sixties. The Daleks seemingly hadn’t though, their design remained resolutely the same as always. Lights on the head, an eye stalk and plungers and egg whisks for weapons.

It was going to be tricky conveying the menace and power a Dalek held, when they still looked like this.
Dalek

So with an unchanged design what was needed was a bit of the old acting! Which is what Christopher Eccleston gave us. In spades!
Dalek

Thanks to Eccleston’s mad, scrambling fear at coming face to face with just one Dalek, the kids – who, this was all new to remember – were going to be under no illusions; Daleks are evil!

Blink – Easter Eggs!
Everybody loves Blink. Everybody. Ask them their reasons for loving it and we’ve no doubt they’ll say it’s the Weeping Angels.

Now as good a villain as they are, they’re not the reason it rocks so hard. No, it’s the easter eggs that solidify this storyline.
Blink

Those easter eggs are so neatly tied together and underpin the episode so well, that – as mad as it might sound – you often don’t really notice their criticality to the plot!

Another reason for the success of Blink is Sally Sparrow (played by Carey Mulligan), she more than makes up for the absence of The Doctor and thanks to her it never feels like we’re being short changed.
Blink

You see the reason why The Doctor and Martha appear in it so infrequently is that, in order to save the pennies, this episode was filmed simultaneously with another one (Human Nature). Cutting costs on a flagship show? It could only be the BBC!

Blink won the Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form and Carey Mulligan received the Constellation Award for Best Female Performance in a 2007 Science Fiction Television Episode. Both awards were thoroughly deserved.

The Doctor’s Daughter – The Seven Day War
Now this was very neat, very neat indeed. Two warring factions engaged in a never ending struggle that neither side can remember the reason for.

The two sides have been going at it for generations and it’s only thanks to Donna’s mathematical genius – which also enabled her to pick up the Dewey Decimal system in two days, ho hum – that The Doctor works out exactly what’s been going on.
The Doctors Daughter

You see this never ending, ever lasting war has in reality – thanks to cloning and accelerated growth – has only been going on for seven days. Brilliant!

Silence In The Library – River Song, Echoes Of The Future
This is River Song, by all accounts you’ll be seeing more of her.
Silence In The Library

That little book she’s reading from? That’s her diary, a diary that looks more than a little like the TARDIS. Here’s a closer peek.
Silence In The Library

You see the implication here is that River Song has already met The Doctor, although as The Doctor can’t remember this having happened we can only assume that she’s met a future regeneration. How cool is that?

It’s a lovely little twist and we must admit that we’re amazed it hadn’t happened sooner.

Rise Of The Cybermen – Rose Tyler (In A Maid’s Outfit)
Phwoar! We know it’s bringing the tone down but come on. This is fantastic stuff, Rose, dressed like a maid! Knick-knack-noo!
Rise Of The Cybermen

Let’s leave it there shall we?