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Eldrad must live! - The Titfield Thunderbolt
Heisenberg might have stayed here
Eldrad must live!
I enjoyed that. Like last week, not to be taken too seriously.

Nice touches: the "Celtic"; the "you will be remembered" (by anyone who's studied the Cambridge Latin Course); the idea of lifting the characters from the Cambridge Latin Course - as far as I recall Quintus is the only one known to survive, we are just left to infer the fate of Caecilius and Metella.

Weaknesses: Shouldn't Quintus be off in Britannia in six months' time, rather than studying to be a doctor? And couldn't we try a purely historical episode? Yes, it was clever to have aliens preventing history from taking its course, but they were one of the weaker points (at least they pointed out the water content of the Earth at one point). If you are going to have monsters that are so reminiscent of the classic series (I'm thinking Hand of Fear, of course), perhaps you should just say that's who they are. And of course Donna's reaction was very obviously cloned from Barbara's in The Aztecs. And the bit where Lucius et al. were climbing the volcano was so obviously not Italy.

But that's nit-picking. In many ways it was certainly better than the second series of Rome.

Two planets destroyed in two weeks; two references to the Shadow Proclamations. Rose appearing to cross the void that was closed; is it all too obvious as a lead to where this season is going?

And next week, Ood.


5 comments or Leave a comment
brixtonbrood From: brixtonbrood Date: April 12th, 2008 07:49 pm (UTC) (Link)

Deja vu all over again

Not only The Hand of Fear but the Sisterhood of Karn - I was also expecting them to be explicitly related and was slightly disappointed when they weren't.

Unfortunately I did Ecce Romani not Cambridge Latin, so all those references were lost on me - fortunately I didn't get any sense of "I'm missing something here" - I think it actually benefited the episode, the family certainly seemed better fleshed out - almost to the quality of Robert Holmes supporting cast.
qatsi From: qatsi Date: April 12th, 2008 08:11 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Deja vu all over again

No, I think the Cambridge Latin Course references were something that added to the story if you knew them, without taking anything away if you didn't. And really it was just the characters and the basic setting that they used - a nice touch but not an integral prerequisite by any means.
strange_complex From: strange_complex Date: April 12th, 2008 10:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, I'd like a pure historical too - but I think it's very unlikely in this day and age. Just as it failed to wow the kids back in the '60s, I think it would fall even flatter now.

And oh dear, I wish you hadn't reminded me about the Ood, now! I'm afraid they're one of the returning monsters I'm distinctly nervous about. (That's nervous as in I don't think they'll be very good, rather than nervous as in scared, BTW).
swisstone From: swisstone Date: April 12th, 2008 11:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
Caecilius definitely dies in at the end of CLC Unit 1. I never read the next unit, so I don't know if Metella's fate is made clear, but it's suggested that she dies.

As I've said elsewhere, and it's not really my observation anyway, a pure historical runs head first into Donna's question to the Doctor. Either you come up with an sf explanation for catastrophe, or you go for some minor story against a historical background where the Doctor can still win conclusively (see 'Black Orchid'). But as the Doctor has become more heroic, it becomes less acceptable to an audience for him to sit on his hands whilst disaster takes place around him.
qatsi From: qatsi Date: April 13th, 2008 10:59 am (UTC) (Link)
It's quite a few years ago, but as far as I remember, Unit 2 starts off in Roman Britain, and although Quintus is around, the family are never mentioned again.
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