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Doctor Who

Season 2 Episode 10

Love & Monsters

Aired Saturday 8:00 PM Jun 17, 2006 on BBC America
out of 10
User Rating
553 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

Location: London, Earth
Enemy: The Abzorbaloff

Elton is an ordinary man, living an ordinary life, but it's soon totally upturned when he becomes obsessed with a man called The Doctor and his big blue box. It leads him to join a like minded group of people, and also leads him to Viktor Kennedy, a man unlike no other, who will soon destroy what little happiness he had...moreless

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  • It's not the worst, but it's DEFINITELY not the best either.

    So whenever people are making lists of 'Top 10 Worst Doctor Who Episodes' to post on the internet, one can more or less guarantee that this episode will feature somewhere on that list. Feelings towards it range from people choose to ignore its existence to actively fantasising about hacking it apart. But I'm going to do the radical thing; I'm going to hazard the suggestion that this episode might not be as bad as its reputation. True it may be a bit more soapy in feeling than what some of the die-hard Whovians are looking for and even I will agree that the last fifteen minutes or so can be counted amidst some of the worst drivel ever to appear on television but that doesn't make the episode as a whole bad. Just because I didn't like The Doctor's big speech from The Satan Pit doesn't mean I hate the rest of the story. The episode has major flaws, yes, and I promise that I will address them but I hope to point out some of the good things about Love and Monsters in the process. Don't believe it's possible? Well, we'll see.

    Okay, I feel better now. Where was I? Ahit is time for me to give my personal opinion and educated rating on this episode. Personally, I think that this episode is not as bad as its reputation makes it out to be. True the ending is deplorable, disgusting, and despicable rubbish that should never see the light of day againbut up until the big reveal Love and Monsters is an interesting piece of television. Maybe it seems so bad because the last two episodes were so wonderful or something like that or maybe viewers just couldn't get that love life comment out from where it had been seared onto their minds. I will agree that this episode has some major, major problems. But there is a lot to like too, especially if you are willing to cut back and let the show take itself lightly for a change. It is a lovely little tribute to the Whovian community and it is a shame about the endingalthough that in and of itself could be argued is just the way outsiders view our beloved show; but I think that's taking the rationalisation a wee bit too far. It isn't perfect, it isn't great, and it isn't even as witty as Aliens of London but I give Love and Monsters a 5/10 and encourage you to check it out. It's worth one watch, at least, even if you're just going for character development.

  • Love & Monsters

    Love & Monsters was a superb and awesome episode of Doctor Who. I really enjoyed watching because the story telling format was different as a young man who encountered The Doctor as a boy video blogs about his efforts to discover who The Doctor is. I liked the plot lines and the various characters. The alien creature who was absorbing people was cool and reminded me of Fat Bastard from Austin Powers mixed with Balthazar from "Bad Girls" Season 3 Ep 14 of Buffy. I liked how every thing played out and the ending was pretty good. I love the goofy sci fi elements to the episode as well as the touching moments. I look forward to watching what happens next!!!!!!!moreless
  • Wow, talk about closed-minded fans!

    Wow, talk about closed-minded fans! A little change of pace, and they have a hissy fit.

    Was the episode really that intolerable? I thought it was actually quite touching. The pain of those left behind. Of those who are not the leading men and leading ladies on the stage that is the world. Of "Everyman." Of those who live "lives of quiet desperation."

    Along with a touch of the absurd of course, to ensure subversiveness.

    The Dr. Who series writers are apparently highly creative people. Highly creative types are by nature adventurous. They like to try new things. They like to take chances. They like experimentation.

    Sometimes their experiments fail. It goes with the territory.

    Do you appreciate a highly creative, highly unorthodox show like "Dr. Who?" Then expect a few failed experiments.

    (No. I am not one of the series writers coming to his own defense under cover.)moreless
  • One of My Favorites

    Despite a silly villain, I loved the personal story of Elton and Ursula. Probably doesn't hurt that, like Elton, I also believe, "you can't beat a bit of ELO."
  • It's a marmite episode, and much like marmite, I bloody love it.

    I definitely think this episode gets a highly undeserved bad wrap. It seems that a lot of - not all, mind you - the negative reception this episode receives stems from taking it simply at face value. And, granted, at face value it's very, very silly. But that doesn't make it bad by any means. It's very fun to watch and the comedy is intelligent without being smug.

    However, that is only taking the episode at face value. Scratch the surface and it's a very deep, very moving character piece about how the Doctor effects human life as well as a social commentary on fandoms. It encourages us to celebrate life, even the stuff that has negative repercussions. Oh, and playing devil's advocate here, the Abzorbaloff is a BRILLIANT creation. Seriously. The script writers managed to combine a grotesque concept for a monster - as envisioned by a genius of a 9 year old - with a very silly character. It contrasts so well; the Abzorbaloff will absorb you, he'll take away your body, your ability to move, all to feed himself, and he just won't care. Worse than not caring, he'll also gurgle and stick his tongue out and laugh like a madman.

    Overall, a brilliant episode. I hope it turns out to be the 21st century equivalent of City of Death; with negative reception when aired, but soon gaining the reputation of the hilarious and meaningful masterpiece it is.moreless
Marc Warren

Marc Warren

Elton Pope

Guest Star

Shirley Henderson

Shirley Henderson

Ursula Blake

Guest Star

Simon Greenall

Simon Greenall

Mr Skinner

Guest Star

Camille Coduri

Camille Coduri

Jackie Tyler

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (10)

    • Music:
      Electric Light Orchestra - Mr Blue Sky
      Electric Light Orchestra - Don't Bring Me Down (performed by L.I.N.D.A)

    • Barney Harwood, the presenter of Totally Doctor Who, makes a cameo appearance in this episode. He is one of the market stool owners, when Elton first spots Jackie across the street.

    • St David's Market in Cardiff doubles for London in the scene where Elton goes looking for Rose. The same location was also used in 'Rose', in the final scene when the Doctor asked Rose to travel with him.

    • Elton John is not the first well known British Music act to appear playing in Doctor Who. That honour belongs to The Beatles in the original series story The Chase.

    • This episode takes place over the longest period of time so far and has the most number of costume changes per character.

    • Look Hard: In addition to the faces of the people from L.I.N.D.A., there are two other faces but these do not move.

    • Three of the flashback scenes (to Rose, Aliens of London and The Christmas Invasion) were actually reshot to include Elton in the thick of things.

      If you look carefully at the point Elton is nearly run over by a taxi you can see the bridal Auton in the background that attacks Jackie Tyler later on.

      The only actual footage from the original episodes intercut appears to be the alien craft flying down Whitehall and the Big Ben crash, everything else is new.

    • In this episode Victor Kennedy makes mention of both Torchwood and Bad Wolf. He claims that information on the Doctor's companions in the Torchwood files have been corrupted by what is called the 'Bad Wolf' virus.

    • This episode features the first use of the phrase "Bad Wolf" in the second season.

    • Elton mentions that he will wonder when Rose and Jackie "...will pay the price". This follows a string of 'hints' from previous episodes that possibly someone will die. Already the Beast in episodes 8 and 9 of series 2 has mentioned that Rose will die in battle. Reinette from The Girl in the Fireplace has mentioned to Rose that "...the Doctor is worth the monsters". Queen Victoria warned the Doctor and Rose about their dangerous lifestyle in Tooth and Claw and even as early as New Earth we see death in the form of Cassandra. A possibly hint maybe? Similar to Bad Wolf?

  • QUOTES (19)

    • The Doctor: (talking to the monster) Here boy! Eat the food! Come on! Look at the lovely food! Isn't that nice? Isn't it? Yes it is - get out of here quickly - (refering to Elton) that's a boy how'd-ya-like-a-porky-chopy-then- I SAID RUN!
      (Rose comes running in with a blue bucket)
      Rose: Aaaaaahhhhhhh!!!!!!!!
      The Doctor: Wrong one! You made it worse!
      Rose: You said blue!
      The Doctor: I said not blue!
      (Rose runs off)

    • The Abzorbaloff: And I'll return there (Clom, the Abzorbaloff's home planet), victorious, once I possess your travelling machine.
      The Doctor: Well, that's never gonna happen!

    • Elton: So, there you go. Turns out I've had the most terrible things happen. And the most brilliant things. And sometimes… well, I can't tell the difference. They're all the same thing. They're… just me. You know, Stephen King said once, he said 'salvation and damnation are the same thing'. And I never knew what he meant. But I do now. Cos the Doctor might be wonderful but… thinking back, I was having such a special time. Just for a bit. I had this nice little gang (brief clip of 'musical L.I.N.D.A.') and they were destroyed. It's not his fault. Maybe that's what happens if you touch the Doctor. Even for a second. I keep thinking of Rose and Jackie, and how much longer before they pay the price.

    • Abzorbaloff: You'll surrender yourself to me, Doctor. Or this one (indicating Elton) dies. You see, I've read about you, Doctor. I've studied you. So passionate. So sweet. You wouldn't let an innocent man die. And I'll absorb him unless you give yourself to me.
      The Doctor: (scratching his head) Sweet, maybe… passionate, I suppose… but don't ever mistake that for nice. Do what you want.

    • (Elton and Ursula see Victor in his true form as the Abzorbaloff)
      Elton: You're a… thing!
      Abzorbaloff: A thing? This thing is my true form. Better than that crude pink shape you call a body.

    • Jackie: (to Elton) I went in your coat. For once in my life I thought, 'I'll pay'. I thought, 'he's such a nice man, he won't accept anything, so I'll just slip a tenner in his pocket'. And look what I found. (holds out the photo of Rose) A photograph of my daughter.
      Elton: No, no, no, it's not like that. I can explain.
      Jackie: I bet you can.
      Elton: I wasn't being pervy or anything. I wasn't after her. I was looking for the Doctor.
      Jackie: Oh, I know that. I worked that out. Cos it's never me, is it?
      Elton: No but that's how it started. But I changed my mind…
      Jackie: (cutting him off) Let me tell you something about those who get left behind. Because it's hard. And that's what you become. Hard. But if there's one thing I've learned, it's that I will never let her down. And I'll protect them both until the end of my life. So whatever you want, I'm warning you… Back off.

    • (After ingratiating himself with Jackie, Elton reports back to the group)
      Victor Kennedy: Magnificent! Oh, I could kiss you. Except I can't, of course… the ec-ZEE-ma…
      Elton: I've even got a picture of her on my phone. (shows the group)
      Mr. Skinner: Well, that's amazing. You've achieved steps one to four in precise order. How did you manage it?
      Elton: Well, I had to work very hard. She keeps everything very close to her chest.
      Ursula: (looking at the picture) That's a hell of a chest.

    • (Elton has followed Jackie into a launderette)
      Elton: (voice-over) I'd been trained for this. Victor Kennedy's classes covered basic surveillance and espionage. Step one: engage your target. Find some excuse to start a conversation. But how was I going to do this? How?
      Jackie: Excuse me, love. You couldn't give us a quid for two fifties, could you?
      Elton: Yeah, I'll just, uh... (find the change to give to her)
      Jackie: Oh, lovely, cheers.
      Elton: (voice-over) Step Two: without provoking suspicion, get on first-name terms with the target.
      Jackie: My name's Jackie, by the way.
      Elton: I'm Elton.
      Jackie: Oh, you don't meet many Eltons, do you? Apart from the obvious. (laughs)
      Elton: (voice-over) Step Three; ingratiate yourself with a joke or some humorous device.
      Jackie: (putting washing into one of the machines) I tell you what, Elton, here we are, complete strangers, and I'm flashing you my knickers. (laughs)
      Elton: (voice-over) Step Four: find some subtle way to integrate yourself into the target's household.
      Jackie: Mind you, I'm only down here 'cos my washing machine's knackered. I don't suppose you're any good at fixing things, are you?

    • (Victor has instructed L.I.N.D.A. to find Rose)
      Elton: (voice-over) And so it began. The impossible task. To scour the mean streets, to search a major capital city for an unknown girl. To hunt down that face in a seething metropolis of lost souls. To find that one girl in ten million.
      (Cut to Elton showing a photograph of Rose to Mrs. Croot)
      Mrs. Croot: Oh, that's Rose Tyler. She lives just down there. Butland House, number forty-seven. Her mum's Jackie Tyler. Nice family. Bit odd.

    • Victor Kennedy: You met him and you froze? You stupid man! (He raises his hand to hit Elton)
      Elton: You can't hit me, 'cos you don't touch. You said so. You get a rash and an itch…
      Victor Kennedy: (reaching for his cane) I can use this!
      Ursula: Use that cane on him and you'll get one hell of a smack off me! And then a good kick. Is that completely understood, Mr. Kennedy?
      Victor Kennedy: Duly noted. Ursula Blake, most likely to fight back.

    • Victor Kennedy: No, no, no, I don't shake hands, back, back. I suffer from a skin complaint. Ec-ZEMA.
      Elton: Don't you mean Eczema?
      Victor Kennedy: This is worse. Much worse. I blister to the touch.

    • Ursula: His name is the Doctor.
      Elton: Doctor what?
      Ursula: That's all anyone knows.

    • Elton: That wasn't the first time I met the Doctor, and it certainly wasn't the last. Oh no. I just put that at the beginning because it's a brilliant opening.

    • Elton: That's what it did. It went RAR! And if you think that was the most exciting day of my life, wait till you hear the rest. Oh boy.

    • Rose: You upset my mum.
      Elton: (Indicates Abzorbaloff) Great big absorbing creature from outer space, and you're having a go at me?
      Rose: No-one upsets my mum!

    • (Holding Ursula/floor tile)
      Elton: It's a relationship.. of sorts. But we manage. We've even got a bit of a love life.
      Ursula: Oh, let's not go into that...

    • The Doctor: Elton! Fetch a spade!

    • Elton: But the thing is ... but what I wanted to say is, you know when you're a kid, they tell you it's all "Grow up, get a job, get married, get a house, have a kid" and that's it. Nah. The truth is the world is so much stranger than that, it's so much darker. And so much madder. And so much better.

    • Rose: Is it me, or is he a bit...Slitheen?
      The Doctor: Not from Raxicoricofallapatorious, are you?
      Abzorbaloff: No, not those swine. I spit on them. I was born on its twin planet.
      The Doctor: Really? What's the twin planet of Raxicoricofallapatorius?
      Abzorbaloff: Clom.
      The Doctor: Clom?
      Abzorbaloff: Clom, yes.

  • NOTES (10)

    • International Airdates:
      Turkey: September 12, 2010 on CNBC-e

    • The final viewing figure for the BBC One airing of this episode was 6.66 million.

    • Music: aside from ELO, Il Divo's Unbreak My Heart (Regresa A Mi) is played when Jackie attempts to seduce Elton.

    • LINDA were first mentioned in Why Don't You...? a childrens show produced by Russel T Davies

    • When Elton John briefly appears the song he is performing is Daniel.

    • One of the reasons that the Doctor and Rose got so little screentime in Love and Monsters was because this episode was 'double-banked' with The Impossible Planet and The Satan Pit. This means that two film crews were operating simultaneously - one filming episodes eight and nine, and the other filming Love and Monsters - hence Tennant and Piper could not be at both shoots at once.

    • The song played throughout most of the episode is Mr. Blue Sky by the Electric Light Orchestra or ELO as they are more commonly known.

    • Peter Kay was considered for the role of Elton but preferred playing the monster.

    • The monster at the beginning is called the Hoix. It wasn't named in the script, but for the credits a name was needed. Producer Peter Collinson decided on the name.

    • In 2005, Blue Peter ran a competition to design a Doctor Who monster. With 43,920 entries, it received the biggest response in 13 years and the Abzorbaloff, created by 9 year old William Grantham from Colchester in Essex, was the winner.

      During filming, with Kay on set and in costume as the Abzorbaloff, William was invited to witness his creation in the flesh (and latex). His reaction? "Oh. It was supposed to be the size of a double-decker bus". Something he had forgotten to mention on his entry!


    • Elton: A quote by Stephen King. 'Salvation is Damnation'.

      Stephen King is a popular horror writer of the 20th century and the 21st century. He has written many books including Carrie, The Stand, and Salem's Lot and the popular series The Dark Tower. The quote is actually used in The Dark Tower Volume I: The Gunslinger