Big Brother in Doctor Who? A bravura piece of work and no mistake. Plus all the other game-show motifs, the girl who sang the Red Dwarf theme tune and the culmination of the Bad Wold storyline.
Promising eh? Well, that depends on your point of view. It was on telly again recently so I watched it for the first time in years.
Eccleston – This is one of Eccleston’s best episodes: baffled, worried, flirtatious, playful – the Ninth Doctor is believable and Doctorish here, shorn of much of the goonish mugging from several other stories.
Jack – Jack works really well here as a cheeky, boys-own hero – albeit a randy bi hero – flirting with the robot Trinny and Susannah. His is by far the best bit of the games.
Gamestation – A nice concept that is done pretty well; nicely satirical reveal and a little dig at television trends that were pretty new at that point.
The Controller – A disturbing sci-fi element
Bad Wolf – The creeping realisation that Bad Wolf has been following the TARDIS team around time and space is atmospheric, sinister and well-played.
Daleks – Doing that they do best, the Daleks are cunning puppet-masters here and much more interesting than they subsequently were in any NuWho appearances. And a gigantic Dalek fleet and the ship interiors are a real treat for fans.
Dialogue – RTD at his best. “You have got to be kidding’; Jack’s stiff, ‘bear with me’ – all amusing.
100 years of Hell – The Doctor comes face-to-face with the ramifications of his actions
Direction – There’s some really nice, off-the-wall stuff here; lots of close-ups, unusual angles, tracking shots. The reveal of the Daleks is particularly well done.
The next time trailer – action, threat, revelation, questions… surely they weren’t going to fuck this up?
The speech – Should’ve been Doc Nine’s defining speech but I don’t think it works
The music – Not too bad on the whole but any dramatic action sequences are not scored well
Paterson Joseph – A very good actor saddled with a quite appalling accent