Doctor Who – Gridlock

Reinstated from Scary Rob’s Doctor Who Blog

I’ll admit I wasn’t looking forward to this episode. Okay, so it was blindingly obvious that the Face of Boe’s big secret would be revealed, and I did kind of want to know what it was, but Russell T Davies’ scripts end up annoying me as often as not and I felt the year 5 billion thing had been exhausted by about five minutes into New Earth.

So imagine my incredible surprise at just how much I enjoyed this episode. There were no damp moments, no ridiculous plot holes, and no insults to my intelligence as a viewer. I loved watching every second of Gridlock. Again, this won’t go down as one of my favourite stories ever; it didn’t have anything particularly special about it. But it was a high-quality episode. The Mill did their usual sterling job of the panoramic shots and the whole look and feel of the episode was very right. The Macra were well-realised and I’d say they were an interesting use of a monster from the old series. Okay, they were a throwaway monster, but they added some good underlying tension to a plot that may otherwise have lacked excitement.

I loved the design of the vehicles, too. The camper-van thing had a great sense of familiarity and the design could be varies so much to the personalities of the owners that the same set being redressed in different ways did feel like different cars. The whole thing was an interesting visual treat.

The only complaint I have is that the plot was uninspiring. With no real alien menace to defeat, the whole shebang appears to have served no other purpose than for the Face of Boe to speak its last. Yet Gridlock was an enjoyable bit of filler, and that’s the main thing.

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~ by Scary Rob on 20 April, 2007.

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