Doctor Who – “Blink” and “The Girl in the Fireplace”   April 20th, 2010

Originally Written 2007.

Fans of the new Doctor Who BBC series will have likely seen these episodes already, but for anyone who hasn’t seen them, if you like good drama and entertaining science fiction, you should check them out. The episodes are from seasons two and three, and star David Tennant as The Doctor.

The Girl in the Fireplace is probably my favorite episode of the new series. It has a few plot holes (it is Dr. Who afterall). Reinette falls in love with The Doctor too quickly, but I also really loved the romance and melodrama of it. The things I mentioned liking about the pathos of time travel were touched upon even better here.

The story was a lot of fun. The Doctor and companions find a deserted 51st-century space ship, which they discover has various time portals back to 18th-century France. The Doctor ends up jumping in and out of Madame de Pompadour’s life, discovering a monster under her bed when she’s just a child, and then saving her from nefarious droids when she’s a grown woman. The connection between the two of them was really sweet, and the actress playing the Madame really added a lot to the story. A Review of the episode mentioned “The Time Traveler’s Wife,” which is a book that’s on my ever-growing reading list.

The set designs between the two time periods was quite nice. I loved the styling of the ship, and the Victorian-era disguises of the nefarious droids after the Madame was delightfully creepy. The fact that they’re shown to be clockwork, instead of electornic is a nice touch too, and the creature design was superb. I’ve always liked artificial life forms, and the mechanized thinking of these machines made them interesting characters.

All in all, the plot was delightfully absurd, and worked at handling the goofy premise wonderfully. The whole story had a nice dreamy quality to it too, especially the coda at the ending.

Blink is another episode I really liked, it was right up there with “The Girl in the Fireplace.”  It didn’t have the same emotional impact of that episode, but it did have a couple of nice bits of character drama, and the use of different time streams was very well done. It was something very different and creative, plus having scary moving statues is always interesting. I also liked how The Doctor was mostly in the background for this episode, and they had some clever ways of having him interact with the other characters, which was a lot of fun.

Other episodes in the series which have both wonderful horror atmosphere and good character drama are The Silence in the Library and the two-parter set in a WW2 war-torn England The Empty Child and The Doctor Dances.

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