Episode Reviews (18)
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The Long Game
The Long Game was a perfect episode of Doctor Who. I really enjoyed watching because there was a lot of character and plot development. It was intriguing to see the future of the human race in the year 200,000. The story was pretty interesting, the guest cast was phenomenal and the over all production was fascinating. I loved the special effects and space scenes along with The Editor In Chief. I like how The Doctor was found out because of Adam, and The Doctor promptly returns him home. I liked the ending and look forward to the next adventure!!!!!!!!!moreless
The political message was great, the story was so so
Devastating "Matrix" and "V for Vendetta" style political allegory about mass indoctrination vs. individual liberation.
The Editor: Is a slave a slave if he doesn't know he's enslaved?
The Doctor: Yes.
The Editor: Create a climate of fear and it's easy to keep the borders closed. It's just a matter of emphasis. The right word in the right broadcast repeated often enough can destabilize an economy, invent an enemy, change a vote.
This is not about "the future." This is about now. This is about us. This is about Bush/Obama's post-9/11 Amerika.
Notice how opposition to the enslavement comes from anarchists? Now how great is that?
The political message was great, the story only so so.moreless
This episode was something different...and I think the pulled it off...but only just. The Jagrefess was a bit of a cheap monster and was a little disappointing but Simon Pegg as The Editor just saved it.
The script was a bit talky-talky and Doctor-lite and Rose-lite. It revolved around Adam and his ONLY trip in the TARDIS. You could see in 'Dalek' he was a possible companion but when he became overhelmed, he didn't handle it well and became abysmal.
Some of the ideas were a bit stretched and far-fetched and acting like humans were quite dim.
A mediocre episode...well by Dr Who standards.moreless
Not my favourite episode by a long shot - Adam kind of ruins it for me!
I think I would of enjoyed this Episode more if we didn't have that annoying Adam thing going on as a side plot. I know it's really meant to show that not everyone can handle going through time with the Doctor and being an assistant or a time travelling pal is something that isn't just a thing anyone can do, but he's really annoying and he's so stupid!
I know he is kinda vital to the plot at the end but the general plot wasn't that good so without him there, there would have to be a change of plot which would of been good. My logic never fails me :P
Level 500- anyone else think that lift got them up very quick? wouldn't you be sick? and what a freaking giant space station to have a level 500.
Far into the future in the year 200000, the Doctor finds the 4th Great & Bountiful Human Empire stunted by Satelite 5 for over 91 years. Could be something on the 500th floor noone's ever returned from? And what will Adam do with his first trip in time?
The Doctor has been teaching Rose how to show off like he does and seems to enjoy making fun of the would-be couple. The stupidity of the people in this story is flabergasting; i mean come on! its a bit obvious that the Editor & Max have been making the human race brainless sheep for the longest time. I mean the 'head door' is an obvuious give away that something's not right. A shame that the only person that DID notice something wrong was the last survivor of the Freedom 15, Suzie Contra Marcrel.
The Doctor's eviction of Adam due to his misbehavior of taking advantage of Time Travel to improve the past is something any human would have done, but quietly, a bit at a time.moreless
There is a nice eerie feeling to this episode even if the main monster remained faceless and a little pointless.
A solid episode, not fantastic though, where they captured an eerie feeling as you try to figure out what was wrong with this world. Simon Pegg is well cast as the editor, playing an oddness that gives him an alien like quality, while at the same time he uses his comedic talent throughout.
The main monster is rarely seen giving it an air of mystery, but it turns out to be really helpless throughout the episode. A faceless enemy working behind the scenes would have worked equally as well as a physical monster and would probably have made it a better because it wouldn't of been such an easy fix. Is it just me or would cooling something off that is in outer space would be the least difficult thing in the world to do?
I felt the Adam storyline was a little distracting. I guess they wanted to get rid of him quickly which begs the question why he joined up in the first place. It is a humorous ending revealing the consequences of actions.moreless
Finally! A Russell T. Davies episode that I really enjoyed!
Ok, so I liked "Rose", and "The End of the World" was good. "Aliens of London" and "World War 3" just made me want to cringe at times. Taken as a whole, Mr. Davies episodes have been the weaker ones of this run of Doctor Who, being somewhat lean in the plot department and filled with left-wing political preaching, sexual innuendo and juvenile humor in the form of flatulent aliens or burping trash bins. "The Long Game" avoids most of these pitfalls to one extent or another (apart from the ever-present left-wing politics... one would think we're watching televised NAs here), though it has a few of its own. On the whole, it's pretty good.
Just to knock out the complaints first, so I can get on to the strengths of the episode, let's start with the year: 200,000? I mentioned this in my review of "Bad Wolf" since the setting is the same, but there's no way that I can accept so many similarities to the 21st century would exist 198,000 years in the future. Look at how much societies have changed in 2000 years, or 5000. It's night and day, and yet the year 200,000 looks not too dissimilar than our own time, some technical and architectural details aside. It's absurd.
Leaving that aside, the idea of a society manipulated and made docile by the mass media is nothing new, but it's handled well enough here. The Doctor, Rose and Adam arrive during the time of "the fourth great and bountiful human empire" to find that empire's growth has been stunted by media manipulation. People don't think or question, they just accept what they're spoon-fed on the 24-hour news and information network, broadcast from Satellite Five. Evidently they don't have the sense to turn the TV off.
Naturally, the Doctor smells a rat and starts to sniff out the source of the problem. In the context of this story, unlike others this season, it seems appropriate that he does not himself end the threat, but instead leads Cathica to the truth of events so that she can end it, since his goal once he determines what the problem is, is to get people to think for themselves. Of course, there's likely to be anarchy and chaos for a while if the population is as dependent on media as the episode makes them out to be.
Cathica and Suki were both well-realized characters. The episode's only real "uh-oh, something's wrong here" moments came when Suki steps from the lift into the glorious floor 500 only to find an icy room with dead people. It wasn't hard to guess that this was where she would end up, but the scene still worked well, as did her sudden change into freedom-fighter mode, which I did not expect. The misdirection at the beginning of the episode where the Editor talks about someone being out of place is well executed as well. I (of course) expected that he was talking about the Doctor and Rose rather than Suki, so her singling out as the one out of place and promotion was a nice little twist.
Cathica's desire to avoid trouble and not be involved with the Doctor's little bit of anarchy is nicely realistic, but it's also nice to see that she has enough curiosity or concern to take the elevator up to the 500th floor and see what's there. And it's nice to see that she has the courage to act when the true facts are presented to her. My friend who watched this episode with my wife and me got a good laugh out of the "you should have promoted me years ago" line, and decided that the moral of the story was "always promote your good employees".
I like the villains of this episode. I've not seen Simon Pegg in anything else, but he seems to be enjoying his role in this episode, and is indeed one of the highlights. His character, The Editor, is mean and nasty by virtue of his actions, but he's also amusing and fun to watch. I get the sense that he enjoys his job, though I wonder how he got it, and what happened to the marketplace of ideas when it comes to news, if indeed the Jagrafess and satellite 5 have a monopoly on the media. The Editor says that he works for a consortium of banks, seemingly another swipe at the free market and capitalism by RTD, when ironically the free market and competition of ideas would solve the problem presented us by the episode.
The Jagrafess is a big nasty zit with teeth, with no real motivation. Cool monster, but if I were him, would I hang around in a space station playing network executive? Not likely, but maybe that's what Jagrafesses the universe over like to do.
As for the regulars, temporary and otherwise, they all get a decent amount of screen time. The Doctor acts as troublemaker and motivator, a typical but well-executed role for the character. Rose has less to do than usual, but we get to watch the rather interesting idea of a companion who is along for the ride so he can get something out of it. Adam has some backbone to get that thing installed in his head, if not a lot of common sense. The Doctor's condemnation of him and unceremonious dumping of him back home is rather cruel, especially considering that the Doctor facilitated his actions in the first place by encouraging him to jump in with both feet, and by giving him the unlimited finances that enabled Adam to pay for his operation. The ending of the episode leaves a sour taste in my mouth since Adam in no way deserved quite so harsh a punishment. Hopefully we'll see the situation remedied somewhere down the line.
Overall: a nice self-contained episode where nothing terribly cringe-worthy happens. The message of the episode does not overwhelm the plot and the guest actors are all excellent. 8 out of 10.moreless
The Doctor, Rose and Adam land on Satellite Five and realise someone is playing a long game!
Written by; Russel T Davies Directed by; Brian Grant
The Doctor, Rose and Adam land in the year 200,000 on Satellite Five. The TARDIS crew find out the satellite is used for selling, publishing and finding the news. They go to a demonstration done by Suki and Cathica and relise they swap infomation by technology in thier head which is said to be 'backword Technology'. Suki then gets promoted to floor 500 where, supposedly, the walls are made of gold! As she leaves in the lift Adam tells Rose he needs time to acclimatise and goes off on his own. Rose and The Doctor then do some investigating to find out why the satellite is so hot but Cathica is not so helpful. Meanwhile Suki has arrived at floor five hundred and finds skeletons. She then meets the Editor who tells her she knows she is spying on the satellite. Suki is then shown the Jagrafess and it kills her. Adam starts to resurch the history of the micro processor chip on a computer but it shut off and he needs a chip (the technology in the peoples head) to read one. He then gets one put in. The Doctor and Rose find out the heat is being diverted to the rest of the Satellite from Floor 500 and go up to investigate! Up there they also meet the Editor and get changed up. Adam then goes and relays news into his head but it is reversed and all his knowledge is going to the Editor who now wants the TARDIS. The Editor the shows them the Jagrafess who is making the human race get degenrate. Cathica then gets the courage to go to floor five hundred and finds out the Jagrafess doesn't live in heat. She then starts using the technology in her head to divert the heat to floor five hundred and stops Adam's transmission. The Doctor and Rose escape, thank Cathica and then leave in the TARDIS with Adam. They go to his house and chuck him off the TARDIS because he was only in it for him self. Best Actor/ Actress Christopher Ecclestonmoreless
This episode had some nice touches but struggled to really get above your typical sci-fi fodder. Mind control is hardly something which has not been used before and there was not much in "The Long Game" which was new and dazzlingly different. Even the title is a bit of a misnomer and does not suggest anything. This is a pity because the idea of journalism and the editor is something which could have provided a lot of possibilities and investigated further. While understandably there are limits in 45 minutes, Dalek certainly did have an epic feel to it. The Long Game felt a bit, well, long and drawn out!
I thought the opening scene was good as Adam collapses in shock at realising he is in the future and looking out upon the world.
At the start, Rose seemed to take everything in her stride and almost took on the Doctor's role as the investigation began. Simon Clegg's portrayal of The Editor was suitably evil but the silly monster was not all that impressive up above. The most thrilling part of the programme was Adam getting the brain surgery and taking in all the information as The Editor discovers who the Doctor really is.
It was a good ending and I thought it was very good for the Doctor to take Adam back home and show him the damage he had done. It was also very neat to have his Mum walk in and snap her fingers. I felt Adam did not offer a great deal in the episode, and it may have been better to have a sinister companion like Turlough.
Throwing the Doctor into a human habitat certainly seems to work very well at this point but tonight's show lagged somewhat. End of the World, which used the same set, was many years ahead, and also miles better than The Long Game. Some more aliens in the space station would have spruced things up a bit.
We have now reached the half way stage with the brand new series of Doctor Who and some of it has been absolutely excellent with the first three episodes and Dalek being particularly impressive.
With next week's episode harking back to Rose's past and changing time, I have a strong feeling that we are set for another rollercoaster ride. The Long Game was fun in places, with some great quips from the Doctor, while Rose also seemed quite settled in her role, but that all looks to change next week.
I felt the journalism idea could have been better handled and, being a journalist myself, I would have loved to write last night's episode! I didn't even think that The Long Game was even scary in places. The old skeletons may have been slightly fearsome but it was hardly anything shocking.
I hope there is much more of the terror element in subsequent weeks. The absence of the Tardis interior in recent episodes has been a bit disappointing but that is a minor gripe!
The Long Game was run of the mill sci-fi and did not have the fast cutting edge of some of the best Who episodes so far in the series. The pace was not so great, and the budget meant that the same set had to be used as in The End of the World. It had the makings of a good story but just did not deliver.moreless
Here is the news from Satellite 5...
It’s quite difficult to summarise what I think about ‘The Long Game’. On first viewing, I dismissed it as a pure filler but, having watched it again, there’s more to it than that. The Doctor, Rose and Adam land on Satellite 5, a space-station broadcasting over six hundred channels of news across the Fourth Great and Bountiful Human Empire. However, all is not as it seems. When the Doctor sees how the news is gathered, he believes the technology is ‘wrong’. When he and the team investigate the station, they find a sinister force behind the scenes controlling and manipulating events. This leads the Doctor and Rose to the fabled Floor 500 and a meeting with the Editor. Meanwhile, new TARDIS recruit Adam learns a valuable lesson about meddling with time. Some interesting points about the media and its manipulation are made in a fun and thought-provoking episode, which has moments of genius, but ultimately comes up as less than the sum of its parts.
Performances again are good. Simon Pegg (Spaced, Shaun Of The Dead) turns in a fun performance as The Editor, occasionally lapsing into pantomime villain but more often than not played with a subtly sinister edge. There is a lightness to the performance but nonetheless you know this is a man who you do not cross. Anna Maxwell-Martin has a nice small role as the doomed Suki, who in reality is an anarchist freedom fighter. Christine Adams is also strong as journalist Cathica, whose change from mindless drone accepting what she is told to ‘an employee with an idea’ is one of the more successful elements to the script. Suki’s macabre discovery of what’s on Floor 500 and the realization of that set as a wintry dark place (not with walls of gold) make for an atmospheric and gripping sequence. The scene where Cathica gathers news via the portal in her head is also visually impressive.
Eccleston and Piper are again good, nothing too special in their performances, but solid and entertaining. Bruno Langley is given his moment to shine in this episode and doesn’t waste it: whilst Adam fools around with time and gets called on it by the Doctor, there isn’t any malice intended. There’s also a nice moment between him and Rose, where Adam realises that Rose only has eyes for the Doctor. The slightly less good bits: the idea of the Jagrafess, a huge screaming alien blob that’s stuck to the ceiling, being the controlling agent of humanity just didn’t work. It would have been much better had it just been the Editor. There’s a lot of exposition done through conversation, which is a little bit much, and- whilst funny- Adam getting the trapdoor in his head was slightly unnecessary. All in all, a solid episode, but one of the more average ones of the series.moreless