Doctor Who 'World War Three' [TV-EPISODE REVIEW]

After a pretty bad first part called 'Aliens of London' we are now about to find out the conclusion to the cliffhanger that we already know all our characters are going to get out alive from thanks to the next time trailer that was kind enough to spoil it. So does 'World War Three' improve on the first part or does it somehow make it even worse? Time to find out.

Well I will not spend any time hinting it or suggesting anything... 'World War Three' is even worse than 'Aliens of London'. It somehow manages to make the plot even more stupid as the cliffhanger at the end of the last episode literally gets resolved in seconds, like if it was just some minor inconvenience that happened that is not a very big deal. Personally I prefer cliffhangers that do not get resolved in the first second because most of the time it just comes across as lazy. Like if the writer was nearing the episode and then realized he needed a cliffhanger so he quickly came up with something that could easily be resolved in the next episode without having to waste so much time. While 'Aliens of London' and 'World War Three' are victims of this type of cliffhanger the worst one by far though is 'The Stolen Earth' and 'Journey's End' but that is a whole other review. The cliffhanger is resolved because the electrical thing killing the Doctor from the ID badge is only deadly to human (according to the Doctor) which means the Slitheen did not look up the Doctor enough. How would they have looked him up? Well UNIT is involved in this story and if you have seen the classic series you would know that the Doctor's medical records are held by them as he worked with them for many, many years. He even had one of them as a companion in Season 12 (Harry Sullivan). Basically the Slitheen did not do any research. The Doctor using the electric thing on the badge on the Slitheen also somehow damaged the Slitheen attacking Jackie too. Not sure how but what ever. What also does not really make any sense is that before the Slitheen killed all of those experts on aliens they unmasked themselves but then after they are all dead... they put on their human suits again, what was the point? 

The main problem with this episode is again, the complete and utter incoherent tone. They are trying to make these really comically looking aliens who fart and make comedic quips be menacing. It just does not work. Neither is it helped by the fact that the episode succumbs to being a Scooby-Doo chase for a little as Rose and Harriet are being chased after by CGI Slitheen (and they do not even look like the real costumes) around the building. And I am sorry but I cannot stop mentioning that the Slitheen just look awful. It cannot be understated how bad these costumes look as they are mostly portrayed as really menacing aliens who are even trying to start world war three - looking like that. There is a scene when they are all in one room (pictured above) and suddenly one of the guards in the building run in to warn them and as he sees all those hideous looking puppets he immediately runs back in fear, logically he would continue to stand there before he breaks down in laughter.

The conflict at the end is also ridiculous. The Doctor says "I could save the world but lose you." to Rose when he is deciding whether or not to have the missile blow up the building their in in order to kill the Slitheen and prevent World War Three from happening. The Doctor questioning whether or not to kill Rose Tyler in order to save the entire world should not even be up for discussion. We are literally talking about killing one person in order to save billions. Just listen to Spock for once; "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few". Let us not even begin talking about the fact that Rose is a terrible character and should never even begin to belong in such a debate. Doctor, do you want to sacrifice a young, person who does not respect anyone in the world a part from you instead of saving everybody in that world? But you know what makes it even worse? If he does not sacrifice Rose then she will die anyways.

A positive in this episode though (apart from the obvious) is Annette Badland as Margaret Blaine (one of the Slitheens). She sadly does not get that much menacing dialogue to work with in this story (but thankfully she comes back later in the series and is finally able to show just how good she can be). When the script is trying to make these villains menacing and she is a part of the scene it is great because she has such a calm but still sinister sounding voice. While Penelope Wilton is also mostly good as Harriet Jones - in one scene she could probably make the list for worst acting in the new series.

All in all, it takes the first part that was already bad enough and somehow makes it even worse as it still has not found a coherent tone and everything it does right is at the same time contradicted by something it does terribly wrong. 


- Lucas


Post a Comment