Review: Doctor Who – 2×7 – The Idiot’s Lantern

The Idiot's Lantern

I’m supposed to be writing a white paper on the Web 2.0 conference I went to in Edinburgh last Monday. So naturally, because I am the King of Procrastination, I’m writing about Saturday’s episode of Doctor Who.

On the whole, I’d say not bad. The 50s tele stuff made me all nostalgic for a decade I never lived through, which was quite impressive. The face-sucking was done nicely.

On the other hand, the union flag/jack debate annoyed me because Rose was just plain wrong (gasp, factual inaccuracies in Doctor Who!). The plot and the denouement had a few issues that really couldn’t be fixed in post. And the general bog-standard interpretation of the 50s – great decade for wife beaters, we fought in the war for the right to be lippy, etc – began to grate. Could we avoid the moralising please?

Basically, a reasonable filler piece as has been remarked elsewhere.

The Man Without A FaceOne last thing. Writer Mark Gatiss is a long-time sci-fi fan, something you may have noticed if you watched Doctor Who Confidential after the episode. He has, for instance, played Gold in the Big Finish Sapphire and Steel audio plays. So I wonder where he got the idea for the face-sucking in The Idiot’s Lantern. I’ll give you a visual clue: here’s the baddie in the fourth Sapphire and Steel TV ‘assignment’, as they’re called. Look familiar?

He does like his homages does Gatiss.