Doctor Who: Season 1, Episode 4: Aliens of London  » TV  »
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  • The body snatchers aspect of the story was telegraphed pretty early on, but I think it was handled pretty well


    • by David Finniss

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      Rose and the Doctor return to the present. Upon being told that they’ve only been gone for 12 hours, Rose rushes home to see her mother, even coming up with a cover story. Said story is blown when the Doctor realizes that they’ve been gone for 12 months, not 12 hours.

      You know, for an advanced alien device that manages to travel through time and space, as well as transcend the laws of physics by having a larger interior than exterior, it’s not all that accurate. This is the second time, the tech has goofed as far as placing the characters where they intended to go.

      Rose finds that it’s hard to catch up as she can only give vague answers as to what she’s been doing since she left. Suffice it to say, her mom is none too pleased. Though he knows full well what is going on, Rose’s boyfriend isn’t all too enthused about how things went down either.

      The domestic drama is cut short when a UFO crash lands into Big Ben, and subsequently into the river. Considering the guy is a time traveller,


      one would think that the Doctor would expect this, but he seems to be as surprised as Rose is. He doesn’t even recognize the type of spacecraft.

      The episode was well paced and the writers did a good job balancing the larger alien plot with the more domestic issues that arose from Rose’s sudden departure. Both her mother and her boyfriend get more character development and it’s nice to see that Rose’s home life won’t be completely ignored as far as storylines go.

      The “bad wolf” arc continues as someone spray paints it on the TARDIS, but no mention is made of it, even when people travel or see the box after it gets graffiti’d.

      The “body snatchers” aspect of the story was telegraphed pretty early on, but I think it was handled pretty well. While their infiltration only seems to be contained to British officials, I can’t help but wonder why they didn’t go for a more global approach.

      Speaking of which, a side effect we see when a human is replaced by an alien doppelganger is flatulence. I don’t know, I really could’ve done without this. Yeah,


      • it lets you know who’s a threat, but it’s so lowbrow. I’m kind of beyond fart jokes at this point, and honestly, the writers can do better than that.

        While I’ve read bits and pieces about the Slitheen, this episode gave me my first official glimpse, and I have to say, their not all that intimidating. Between these guys and the Daleks, I can’t help but feel like “Doctor Who” gives us the goofiest looking villains, while simultaneously trying to paint them as these intergalactic badasses. At least the Daleks in the classic series had an excuse as the special effects capabilities were limited at the time. Not only does this relaunch seem to have a bigger budget, but it also has better technical resources. It’s especially baffling since we’ve seen aliens done on this show better just two episodes ago.

        By the by, it also undercuts the dramatic threat when your aliens’ faces look like they should be cuddled as opposed to feared.

        Still, this episode gave us a lot of great character moments and there were plenty of twists to keep the plot moving. This

        is also the first two parter of the season, allowing for a larger scope in terms of plot.

        I’m also not sure why every episode includes at least one scene of the Doctor and Rose running somewhere. Maybe I shouldn’t be surprised given the adventurous nature of the series, but the show always makes a big point of showing them running side by side. Is this a thing with the show? Having them run? I’m not getting it.

        Oh well, as with most cliffhangers, it leaves the characters seemingly pinned against a metaphorical wall with no way out. Now, as there are still 8 more episodes to go after this 2 parter wraps up, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that they’ll be fine, but I am intrigued to see how they pull themselves out of it.

        While there was plenty in this episode to get my hyped up, I hope that the next episode showcases the Slitheen’s capabilities as a villain a bit better. I would hate to have a recurring foe be ruined for me before they even have a chance to do anything.




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    The review was published as it's written by reviewer in June, 2011. The reviewer certified that no compensation was received from the reviewed item producer, trademark owner or any other institution, related with the item reviewed. The site is not responsible for the mistakes made. 1022061499521230/k2311a0622/6.22.11
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