Sinking in the Sand




I’ve been reading a lot of reviews on Ain’t It Cool recently, so in the interests of brevity, I’m stealing their format:



The kick-off – I have a soft spot for the ‘hit-the-ground-running’ format that seems to start each new series, and this was no exception. Yes the ‘Tomb Raider’ start was a bit lame (why the OTT security around a cup!), once the bus comes into the picture. Nice to see some good aerial shots of London too. Maybe I’m biased, but it’s a great city to look at.  

Malcolm – He might have come across a bit like a diminutive Rhys Ifans in Notting Hill but what a great little character to turn up, and certainly one of the more brighter parts of the episode.

HD – Yay! Finally Doctor Who looks filmic!



Michelle Ryan – she looks good in black, but where was the chemistry that was supposed to be prevalent through the show? Some reviewers are raving about Lady Christina… I just didn’t see it. Ryan certainly gave the episode some glamour, but some of the dialogue was spoken like a first read-through, and the all-action anti-hero was more like ‘bird on a wire’. She isn’t any more the Doctor’s match than Rose, Donna or River Song. Disappointing

Location – some shots looked fantastic, but when the vistas are enhanced with CGI storms, you can’t help but feel that they could have filmed this on a beach.

Effects – a mixed bag. Loved the skeleton coming out of the wormhole… very creepy. The cityscape was also good, even if shown on a screen. The metal creatures… not so much. The bus… see below.



The Bus – or specifically, the bus when it was off the ground. Good grief, you can tell that the production time was short on this one. The bus looked horrible when it started to fly, with no sense of scale (in fact it looked strangely small) and an almost pixellated look. Even worse was the ‘critter swatting’ moment – nice idea, but just so badly executed.

The Tease – yes it creates a good atmosphere for the rest of the specials, but having the Doctor forewarned AGAIN by someone with psychic powers (after the Face of Boe, the soothsayers, the Ood) is getting a bit ho-hum for my liking. A story arc should be more than just ‘by the way, something’s coming’ – which is why I think I enjoyed the Mr Saxon storyline so much… it wasn’t so much ‘Beware of Mr Saxon, Doctor’, rather hints and subtle mentions that slowly built to a climax. This clunked.

The Plotholes – erm… given that the wormhole destroys flesh but not bone, and only gives a London bus a dent or two… can I suggest that maybe a metal tow-rope might have been a reasonable idea?


It’s not that I’m not grateful for a new episode on our screens – I am. It’s great. But when a much-hyped special (following a much hyped special) has two writers, overseas locations and an international guest star… but is only on par with middling episodes from a regular series, then I feel like we’re getting short-changed.


By the looks of the Waters of Mars trailer though, hopefully by November Planet of the Dead will be but a distant half-forgotten memory.



4 Responses to “Sinking in the Sand”

  1. Alden Says:

    I liked the suggestion someone had that UNIT could have just chucked the TARDIS through.

  2. Peter A Says:

    I can’t believe Rusty overlooked the opportunity to send in Jackie and her big yellow tow truck. Hey, he could have put Rose, Pete, Mickey and the Mock Doctor in the cab as well – y’know, for the kids!


  3. Peter A Says:

    Also, the Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppets have done it better:

  4. the_other_dave Says:

    I’ve always wondered if it’s David Tennant doing these…

    I can just imagine his falsetto like that…

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