Review: Doctor Who – 2×9 – The Satan Pit

The Satan Pit

Well, after the Impossible Planet, The Satan Pit was a bit of a disappointment. All that suspenseful creepy set-up, just to have most of the second part consumed by running up and down corridors, scrambling around ventilator shafts and a fortuitous appearance by the TARDIS to save the day? It all felt a bit of a waste. Where was the cunning plan by the Doctor to overcome the enemy? Where were the buckets of evil nastiness that had proved so unsettling the previous week? Where did Billie Piper’s acting talent go? It’s a bigger mystery than the Devil himself.

Basic plot: Rose and the miners escape the planet in a rocket; the Doctor throws himself down a hole, breaks a couple of jars and then rescues the people in the rocket using the TARDIS.

It could have been so much more, given the production team had Satan to work with as a villain, yet it became so conventional. Even the Ood seemed less menacing and more plasticky than last week.

It wasn’t awful, there was never a cringe-worthy moment and the Beast was a fantastic piece of CGI. But it could all have amounted to so much more, given half a chance.

And what was up with David Tennant? You’re not in the theatre again, love. You don’t have to shout every line to the back of the auditorium. You don’t have to compensate for lack of interesting dialogue by bellowing. In short, you are not Brian Blessed.

  • I don’t agree but I do see your point. the shoutyness gets me too…

  • Brian Blessed? (shudders) First the beard, then the shouting… If he starts eating ALL the pies we may have trouble on our hands.

  • Rob Buckley

    If the fateful line “FLYING BLIND ON A ROCKET CYCLE?!” passes his lips, we’ll know it’s too late.

  • Man I disagree on pretty much every point 🙂 I thought Billie was great, I love a bit of ventilation shaft action and finding the Tardis – well, he kinda had to. The shot where we saw it again was beautiful I thought… basically I thought it was ten times better than the Impossible Planet..

  • Rob Buckley

    Well, you’re entitled to disagree, even though I’m right, as deep down, we all know. 😉
    Billie: mumbled her way through as a substitute for emotional depth
    TARDIS: he did have to get the TARDIS back (this wasn’t a Big Finish story, after all), but he didn’t have to save the day with the TARDIS. True Deus Ex Machina of scripting. Or perhaps Deus Est Machina, if you prefer. Rubbish ways to get rid of both body and mind of the villain, too.
    Oh well.

  • That wasn’t dues ex machina scripting. The Doc just used the TARDIS as a lifeboat/tug.
    Boom Town and Bad Wolf: that was deus ex machina scripting. Coming up with entirely new and very convenient TARDIS functions to get them out of a hole.
    I’m with the pro crowd –?Ǭ�I love talky Who, me — but since we already know the TARDIS can be controlled remotely, why was it lost at all?

  • Rob Buckley

    He lost his Statenheim Remote Control down the back of the sofa? Happens to me all the time.
    ‘Twas Deus Ex/Est Machina scripting because you had a terrible situation with no escape… except there’s the TARDIS which can save everything in a minute without anyone having to do anything clever. Would happily have had more talk, rather than running/crawling, if it had led to a cunning plan. Plus it wasn’t very original (cf Horns of Nimon, Delta and the Bannerman, etc). Was hoping for more.
    Expect that was the problem. Had part one not been so good, I would have been expecting less and been pleasantly surprised.
    Let’s face it, he had Satan to fight. How did he defeat Satan? He broke a couple of jars while Billie shot a hole in a windscreen (which couldn’t possibly have worked, but let’s not split hairs). How did they escape from it all? They got into the TARDIS.
    I wanted better than that!

  • laura

    you ppl are PATHETIC!! u dnt kno real acting talent when u see it! i dnt see u lot writing tv programmes or plays and i dnt see u starring in them either!
    so i dnt think u hav a right to bring the programme down! yeh, ur intitle to hav ur oppinion. but ur comments ur goin too far!

  • Rob Buckley

    It would be unseemly of me to rebuke such heartfelt feelings, but would the assembled authors, writers, journalists, theatre workers and performers like to correct some of little Laura Jones’s assumptions? Or shall we leave it up to her to do some investigations for herself?

  • She’s right, though, you know. I have been too harsh on poor David Tennant over the years. I really must try harder to appreciate his talent.

  • Rob Buckley

    Have you considered sky-writing?

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  • steph

    i agree with both of you. david tennant is an amazing actor and you dont have a right to get the show down. but “the beast” was slightly a letdown i must admit.

  • “you dont have a right to get the show down”
    Oh yes we do.

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  • oh my god ….. that pic was really ugly … 🙂

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  • Anonymous

    [das ist gut] I disagree with the reviewer on this one.
    This was classic Who of a type so little seen in Russell What’s his pus brought it back.

  • Klammo