Ten Things About Who: Aliens of London

Ten points of discussion inspired by the 2005 Doctor Who episode, Aliens of London.

It’s been a few weeks since we departed the Cardiff rift. Apologies – pressures of work, and all that. But we continue a revisit of 2005’s Doctor Who series with the TARDIS’ return to the Powell Estate.

A quick reminder that my collection of Ten Things About Who posts for the 2012/13 series is now available for Kindle devices and Kindle e-reader apps for the bargain price of £1.99 – that’s 14p per episode discussion Thanks to everyone who’s bought it so far – if you have, please do leave a review or, at the very least, a star rating. And if you haven’t bought it yet, you can do so at mtthw.mn/whoebook.

1. A quick recap…

OK, so I said that The End of the World starts with what is, for Doctor Who, a rarely-used device: a “previously…”-style recap, that has “rarely been needed since”.

And then, two episodes later, that device gets used again. Still, I’m right – it tends not to be used much after this. To be honest, its usefulness in a series where the setting can change so drastically from episode to episode is debatable. But notice, even here, that it’s a recap of events solely from Rose. There’s no glimpse of Platform One or Victorian Cardiff at all.

Conceptually, it fits – this episode is a thematic sequel to the first episode, and deals directly witht he consequences of Rose’s impetuous run into the TARDIS at the end of that episode. For me, the recap here feels alien, if you’ll pardon the expression.

While what we now call “classic” Doctor Who used the old B-movie serial of replaying the previous week’s hangover to remind viewers of where they’ve got to, this “remember this from three weeks ago?” style of reminder has never sat well with Doctor Who. And it really isn’t used much after this. I promise.

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Ten Things About Who: The Unquiet Dead

And a very Merry Christmas to you! Yes, it’s technically midsummer outside, which naturally means the threat of rain hangs overhead. But in the world of Ten Things About Who, we’re simultaneously back in April 2005 and Christmas 1869.

God bless us, every one!

1. The stiffs are getting lively

And so we get the first real emergence of the pre-credits sequence as it has become used. A peril, often Doctor-less, that sets the tone for the rest of the episode. Here, Mr Sneed’s “Oh no” when faced with a revived brings with it a weary familiarity that tells us that while we are in a story from the past, this is not your average historical story.

League of Gentlemen fans will, of course, have known of Mark Gatiss’ delight in lacing elements of historical horror with humour. It’s a vein he’s returned to, of course – most recently with The Crimson Horror. It’s when he steps away from this template (Cold War, and The Idiot’s Lantern, which is horrific but in a very different way) that things go awry for me.

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RTD on Bad Wolf, part 2

> Have you solved the mystery of Bad Wolf, the cryptic hidden message spread across this season of Doctor Who?
>
> Well, no. You haven’t. At least, not according to Executive Producer Russell T Davies, who has been keeping an eager eye on the various theories about who or what the Bad Wolf could be:
> “Judging from the reactions I’ve had, a lot of people seem to think the Bad Wolf has already been revealed. Oh, it’s the TV station. Oh, it’s half a million Daleks. I’ve even got one friend claiming it’s the Face of Boe! I must get better friends.
>
> “I don’t want to give anything away yet, but there is another revelation to come in Saturday’s episode. We haven’t discovered the true Bad Wolf yet.”

Source: [BBC](http://www.bbc.co.uk/cult/news/drwho/2005/06/14/19979.shtml)

RTD on Bad Wolf

In this week’s TV & Satellite Week:

> I didn’t think people would notice, but I should have known that science fiction fans would spot it blindfolded from 300 miles! All will be revealed next week. A lot of people think it’s a super-villain, though I can’t imagine why he would graffiti his name all over the place! It’s a bit subtler than that. It’s a lovely pay-off. But there’s no big panto villain.