Doctor Who Series 2 – television series review

"Doctor Who Series 2" DVD cover.
“Doctor Who Series 2” DVD cover.
Doctor Who Series 2 picks up right after the first series, with the Doctor in the middle of regenerating. As with every Christmas since the new series started, aliens picked Christmas to invade London in “The Christmas Invasion” special. This becomes a running gag later in the series. David Tennant took over as the Doctor starting with the Christmas special.

This series had quite a few amazing episodes, including “Tooth and Claw”, “The Girl in the Fireplace”, “Rise of the Cybermen”, “The Age of Steel”, “Army of Ghosts”, and “Doomsday”. Back in 1879, the Doctor and Rose (Billie Piper) find themselves fighting “Tooth and Claw” to keep a werewolf from infecting Queen Victoria (played to the hilt by Pauline Collins). I loved how Victoria didn’t put up with the Doctor and Rose goofing off. The special effects with the werewolf were also done very well. We also learn the origin of Torchwood.

I should briefly mention that I enjoyed “School Reunion”, the episode featuring the return of Sarah Jane (Elisabeth Sladen) and K-9. It was fun to see them again, and even though this episode didn’t make my list of favorites for Doctor Who Series 2, it was a very solid episode and a great link to the spin-off Sarah Jane Adventures series.

In the episode “The Girl in the Fireplace”, everyone—including the guest stars—did an amazing job. The costumes for the episode were spectacular, and not just because the setting was Paris during the reign of King Louis XV. The clockwork humanoids were simultaneously intriguing and terrifying. The details on all the period costumes was amazing. The entire episode was spectacular.

After being stranded in a parallel universe version of London in “Rise of the Cybermen”, the Doctor, Rose, and Mickey (Noel Clarke) find Rose’s father, Pete (Shaun Dingwall), still alive and a high-ranking member of Cybus Industries. It was interesting to see Rose lose her mother (Camille Coduri) instead of her father in this world (though this version of Jackie was a real jerk). I loved the interaction of Rose and her father, and it was great to see him again after the events in the first series episode “Father’s Day”.

The story continues directly into “The Age of Steel”, with the core group leading a resistance against the evil designs of Lumic (Roger Lloyd-Pack) to upgrade everyone to a Cyberman. This episode of Doctor Who Series 2 was heart-wrenching due to Mickey’s choice at the end, but it really struck a chord with me. Thankfully, this wasn’t the last we saw of Mickey and Rose’s father.

“Army of Ghosts” and “Doomsday” are the final two episodes in the series, and they are basically one episode split into two. Ghosts have begun appearing all over the world. Eventually, the Doctor figures out they are Cybermen from the parallel universe visited earlier in the series. These episodes show the modern Torchwood for the first time, an organization that cares more about obtaining and studying alien technology than anything else. I enjoyed Rose’s reunion with Mickey, but it was also very sad how the final episode ended. The emotional impact of these two episodes was enormous. These two are right at the top of my list of favorite Doctor Who episodes of all time.

Doctor Who Series 2 is definitely one of the best series in the entire run of Doctor Who. This season is why so many people were attracted to this series. It pushes all the right buttons, and gives one amazing ride from beginning to end. If you haven’t watched the new Who yet, start now so you can enjoy these episodes.

Episode list:
    “The Christmas Invasion” Four point zero stars
    “New Earth” Three point zero stars
    “Tooth and Claw” Five point zero stars
    “School Reunion” Four point zero stars
    “The Girl in the Fireplace” Five point zero stars
    “Rise of the Cybermen” Five point zero stars
    “The Age of Steel” Five point zero stars
    “The Idiot’s Lantern” Three point five stars
    “The Impossible Planet” Four point zero stars
    “The Satan Pit” Three point five stars
    “Love & Monsters” Three point zero stars
    “Fear Her” Four point zero stars
    “Army of Ghosts” Five point zero stars
    “Doomsday” Five point zero stars

Original Air Dates: December 25 – July 8, 2006 (UK)
TV Parental Guidelines Rating: TV-PG
Network: BBC One
Language: English

MySF Rating: Four point zero stars
Family Friendliness: 100%

Content:

Alcohol/Drugs: 1 (occasional social drinking)
Language: 1 (very mild, deity)
Nudity: 0
Sexuality: 1 (very mild innuendo)
Violence: 2 (some violence, peril, impending doom, some death)

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