Friday, May 30, 2008

The Tao of Doctor Who


This week: The Poison Sky.

Spoilers start after these beauties:

Words of wisdom from Isabel:

"There's a word for people who try to double-cross the Sontarans: That word is squish."

So the Sontarans are gassing the Earth with devices attached to everyone's cars. It's a sort of catalytic converter attached to a GPS system that nevertheless can lock your doors and drive you straight into the river to drown if the Sontarans so will it.

Kind of an odd strategy for a proud warrior race. The Doctor thinks it's because they're losing the war with the Rutans. When have they ever been on the winning side? I guess they don't come knocking unless they've suffered some reverses.

So anyway we have achieved Maximum Separation. Donna and the TARDIS are on the Sontaran ship in orbit above the Earth, and the Doctor is stuck with UNIT: The Next Generation in London. And Martha is stuck in the basement of the factory UNIT raided in the last episode, being kept unconscious with a silver collander strapped to her head so that Not-Martha can wander around the place and spike UNIT's wheels.

So UNIT mooks are dying like mooks, even the one guy whose name we got told: Ross. They can't fire back because the Sontarans have some sort of device that makes the copper bullet casing expand and jam in the gun. So why isn't there still a bang?!

Lethbridge-Stewart is a knight, apparently, and he's stuck in Peru. The colonel in charge of this circus called him Sir Alistair and praised him.

Now Donna's creeping around the Sontaran ship in orbit while Not-Martha is keeping the Earth from launching its nukes and staying close enough to the Doctor to shiv him in the ribs if her Sontaran masters deem it wise.

UNIT switched over to steel-cased bullets and is owning the Sontarans. The Colonel just shot his Sontaran counterpart, someone-starting-with-S the Bloodletter. Meanwhile, the SHIELD, er, sorry, the UNIT Helicarrier is keeping the gas away from the factory with the downdraft from its ducted fans.

And the Doctor just found Martha trapped in the bowels of the building. He wakes her up and Not-Martha falls over, but not before holding him at gunpoint. The Doctor's not impressed. Martha gets a few minutes to talk to Not-Martha, so the author can emphasize what a great life Martha has on Earth, all the people she loves, and underline why she left the Doctor at the end of the last season. Ow, those are my tears, stop pulling!

The Sontarans' local helper, some spoiled 17-year-old super-genius, just lost his supposed army of super-geniuses who were going to colonize another planet (they all walked out to look for their folks in the smog), found out that the Sontarans were just going to shoot them all anyway, and is now throwing a tantrum and acting like the spoiled 17-year-old he is. Bet he's going to be integral to the resolution.

Turns out the gas the Sontarans were making the cars pump out is clone food. They plan to choke all the humans to death and spawn billions of footsoldiers so they can go another round or two with the Rutans. Bastards.

Oh, dear. That can't be good for the ozone layer. The Doc has just kludged together an atmospheric converter from the equipment the super-genius had prepared to go settle that planet at the end of his garden path, and it's ignited the upper atmosphere in a thin sheet just at the level of the top of the Chrysler building in NY -- they showed a shot -- and it's sucked up all the gas that was choking everyone down on ground level.

So now the Sontarans are going to invade with sheer manpower and kill everyone. Oh, actually they're just going to shoot everyone from orbit. I don't see how this is any more glorious than their Plan A.

And the super-genius still isn't squished. He pointed a pistol at the Doctor, who just took it out of his hands en passant and threw it away. So now the Doc's got his atmospheric converter and he's going to teleport up to the Sontaran ship and blow them up if they won't leave. That means he's going to be right there with it. Tear jerk! Tear jerk!

Ha, so, the super-genius-whiny-ass-titty-baby has managed to swap himself for the Doctor using the teleport, and he's blown up the Sontarans and himself. I can't tell if that's Redemption Equals Death or Heroic Sacrifice. Jesus, I hate writers who set up these sorts of endings.

Okay. Boom! More boom! The shock wave destroys some smaller ships that are trying to escape! You know how this goes!

And zzzip! here's the Doctor, safe and sound. That's right, Donna, he deserves a smack. I think you're the first Companion ever to give him one, though.

Oh, Martha, if you think you're getting out of the TARDIS on Earth this time, you've got another one coming. Yep! Something's pulling the TARDIS off Earth and it's credits time!

Next Week, on Doctor Who: 'Allo, Dad!

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