TV Review: Doctor Who Season 1 (The Doctor Dances)

The Doctor Dances by Steven Moffat

Warning: Spoilers!

Firstly, sorry for the brief lull in updates but several university essays got in the way, hopefully should be back to 5-7 updates per week now.

Now onto this week’s episode. There isn’t too much to say here to be honest, it maintains the quality of the first part while moving the plot forward nicely, but doesn’t differ too much in tone or acting from The Empty Child. Moffat’s script continues to be excellent and you can see why he was chosen to replace Russell T. Davies at the end of David Tennant’s era. As for the plot? After escaping the Gas Mask Zombies, which spend a large part of the episode chasing them round the hospital, the infection goes airborne (memorably infecting a soldier at the bomb site before Jack’s eyes) the Doctor discovers the alien ambulance which Jack crashed was full of ‘nanogenes’ tiny robots designed to fix injuries but who hadn’t seen a human being before and thus resurrected the child, but as a gas mask zombie rather than a proper human.

Eccleston is on fine form here, whether chastising Jack for accidently causing this epidemic or his pure, undiluted happiness as he delivers the line ‘just this once…everybody lives!’. Billie Piper is good value as usual and John Barrowman continues his fabulous performance as Captain Jack, whether flirting with other guys or calmly drinking a martini as his ship is about to blow up (only to be rescued in the nick of time by the Doctor) he’s just a great character to have around.

There are some great scenes worth mentioning; the really creepy moment when the child remotely uses a typewriter, Captain Jack in his spaceship contemplating his imminent death, the scenes with the Doctor and Rose arguing about whether or not he ‘dances’ (dancing is used both here and in The Girl in the Fireplace as a metaphor for sex). Better still are the scenes where, after being sent to its room, the Child corners the Doctor, Rose and Jack in its hospital room while they are listening to a recording of it and the hilarious scene where the Doctor and Jack compare sonic weaponry  – only for the Doctor to be embarrassed by the fact its a screwdriver rather than Jack’s more useful blaster. The conclusion is great, as the Doctor deduces Nancy is actually the child’s mother rather than his sister as she pretended (due to being an under-age single mum), allowing the nanogenes to work out what human beings are meant to look like and restore the child (Jamie) to normal. In Eccleston’s coolest moment he then throws a cloud of nanogenes at the infected patients and soldiers, saving them and returning them to normal (everybody lives!). It’s an upbeat ending which contrasts nicely with the creepy darker tone of the two episodes.

Overall an excellent conclusion to a superb two-parter. And i for one am glad Jack is now a regular!

Rating: 5 out of 5

Next Time: The Tardis Crew take a holiday in Cardiff, only to find an old enemy has become the city’s new mayoress…

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