It??????s become something of a tradition in the regenerated series of Doctor Who to have one episode in each season where the Doctor and his companion play a subsidiary role. The story thus revolves around an ordinary girl/boy/other living next-door type. The first such story was ‘Love and Monsters’, which according to many of my acquaintances that saw it, failed. Whether this new tradition has come about as the result of a bold experiment, or because of contractual commitments to give the stars a bit of a rest, the question still remains, does it work?

Carey Hannah Mulligan was excellent and a somewhat refreshing choice as her claim to fame wasn??????t that of a soap star but the 2005 BBC adaptation of Charles Dickens novel Bleak House. (You could of course argue that she is a soap star as the series was produced in the style of a soap. Sign of the times I suppose).

The story itself starts in a very traditional spooky house and is based on an ancient suspicion that giving stone human form may also empower it with the ability to move. In ancient Greek mythology a king of Cyprus named Pygmalion was said to have sculptured a statue of a beautiful woman, named ‘Galatea’. Aphrodite brought her life to become his queen. Other legends spoke of statues that walked in Antium, while in Rhodes and Crete images were said to breath and move their feet. There must also be a question at some level, perhaps doubting the sculptor????s level of skill, whether these beautiful creations weren????t once living, breathing creatures like us? This is reflected in such myths as the Gorgon Medusa who could turn men to stone statues if they looked at her (sort of an inverse to the story in Blink) and the C. S Lewis novel The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe where the evil Queen had the power to turn living creatures into stone. All of this cultural subtext enables the writer, Steven Moffat, to tell a story that avoids lengthy explanations because we all already understand and relate to the source of its fear.

But what about the Doctor??????s lack of involvement? There are some precedents for this in classic Who. In The Celestial Toymaker we see and hear no more of the Doctor than a disembodied hand and voice for most of the story, while the Doctor spends most of The Tenth Planet in a sickbed taking little or no active part in events. Finally, in Mission to The Unknown neither the Doctor nor his Companions appear at all!

The whole point about science fiction is that it alters our perspective on the world we see. Perhaps a long running series like Doctor Who needs an altered perspective within it, from time to time, to stop us blindly accepting the view we’re given?

written by Peter Grehan



    June 11, 2007

    One of the best episodes I??????ve seen on TV for many a while. Regardless of whether it was Dr Who (with or without him) or any other ??????story?????? that??????s currently on TV, it had me gripped from start to finish. The plot of the ??????mysteries of time travel?????? kept my thinking about things all night. A well worked ??????believable?????? story line, plus the usual high level of acting made this a most enjoyable watch.


    June 11, 2007

    What is refreshing about this story is that way that the Time-travelling element is woven into the story. In novelisations, such as the The Stone Rose, or legends such as the Gorgons, the touch or the sight of the evil/villain would turn a person to stone, in this case the casting back of this person into time, for the sake of the Angels living on their life energy, is a novel twist. Not my favourite story, but still interesting and fast paced, with excellent production values. I particularly liked the bit in the DVD shop “Go to the police, you stupid cow – why does no one ever go to the police ?” (or similar).

    The Obvious Sontaran

    June 11, 2007

    I just hope the light in that cellar never goes out! Or did Sally and Ben come back later with a sledgehammer?

    Frank Sable

    June 11, 2007

    It was interesting to watch Doctor Who Confidential later and see various luminaries discussing how Doctor Who had influenced their career choices. All interviewed were working in television and radio and none from science or technology. I suppose that??????s where our priorities are now?


    June 11, 2007

    Well I loved it, and Love & Monters too. I like the depiction of ordinary people who have their lives turned upside down by what, to the doctor, is merely a brief interlude.
    As for Doctor Who Confidential, I think that they actually stated at one point that they were going to talk to people involved with the show now about the influence the show had on them in the past.

    The Obvious Sontaran

    June 11, 2007

    Doctor Who Confidential always seems a bit too self-congratulatory to me. The sort of thing I have to tape so I can select out the interesting bits.

Leave a comment


Email(will not be published)


Your comment

Designed by Forte Web Solutions