A Mad Man With a Box

I was six and at a friend’s house when I first met The Doctor. It was 1971 and the show was already eight years old. It ran until 1989 in the UK and was revived in 2005. This year, for its 31st season, the lead actor, the companion, and the creative team changed. I was slightly nervous, but the opening episode wiped those fears away.

The new companion first met The Doctor at about the same age that I saw that first episode, so I immediately related to her. When I was six I wanted to rush into the TARDIS; I felt for her as she sat with her suitcase waiting for The Doctor’s return. The story had an almost perfect balance of creepiness, reverence to the past, and humour and the new actor stepped into the part and wiped away any lingering regrets for the wonderful Tennant.


For the last four years, since the show’s revival, the opening story has been weak compared to the rest of the season. The necessity of introducing a new companion or Doctor has interfered with the narrative. I hope the same is true again; if this is the weakest episode of the season, then we will surpass the best of the Hinchcliffe & Holmes years.

This story is in my top ten since the show returned. The others in that list are: Blink, Empty Child/Doctor Dances, Dalek, Father’s Day, Human Nature/Family of Blood, Turn Left, Girl in the Fireplace, Midnight,Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead. It is probably no coincidence that all three of the new script editor’s previous stories are in that list; here is a man who understands how to make Doctor Who scary

Published in: on 3 April, 2010 at 23:31  Leave a Comment  

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