The Runaway Bride



What’s the difference between an Alien and a Demon? Judging by this story (and the majority of his other ones) Russell T. Davies doesn’t believe there is one. He neatly contrives to weave a Demonic spider, The Empress of the Racnoss plotting to release her children from a subterrian Hell, into a science fiction story. The Empress intends to use a human, Donna Noble (aka The Bride), played by Catherine Tate,  as a magical key to open the gates to this Hell, i.e. a Racnoss spacecraft lying at the bottom of a pit to the Earth’s core. One plot element taken directly from Buffy the Vampire Slayer is that of a human also being a key, which mimics the role of Dawn in the Buffyverse. It’s not as if the Classic Series was never derivative of horror and fantasy at times and I think Davies manages to pull it off; just.

I anticipated this story with some trepidation, after all Catherine Tate and those wretched Killer Santas and Christmas Trees from last year’s Christmas special were going to be in it. There was a good chance that the episode could have turned Doctor Who into a parody of itself, in a way that the Classic Series eventually did. In fact Davies got the balance between humour and drama just about right, though a lot of the credit must go to  David Tennant for this. The comedy does much to defuse what would otherwise be too horryfying a monster for youngsters (and I suspect some adults) to take. Full marks here to the special effects people for some superb images.

Overall, a big improvement on last year.

Nerd Alert!

When the Doctor takes Donna back to the creation of the Earth he tells her that that they’re going "further back than I’ve ever gone before." In fact, he’s already been back to a point just after the creation of the Universe in a story entitled The Edge of Destruction. This is a result of a faulty switch on the TARDIS’ console. It is the TARDIS in this story that saves the day by creating a set of cryptic clues in an attempt to communicate to the Doctor and his companions the nature of the danger they are in, suggesting for the first time that there is some sentient element to its make-up.



    December 28, 2006

    Yes, those Santa’s and killer christmas trees, just don’t do it for me. I liked Catherine Tate in it though. The end was quite funny as well – sort of washing the spiders down the plughole.

    Peter Grehan

    December 28, 2006

    Yes, but they always come back don’t they.


    December 28, 2006

    I thought it was a fairly good story (loved the car chase) but the ending was a bit rushed.

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