Doctor Who

Episode Special

Planet of the Dead

8
Aired Saturday 8:00 PM Apr 11, 2009 on BBC America
SUBMIT REVIEW

Episode Fan Reviews (29)

8.4
out of 10
Average
507 votes
  • Planet of the Dead

    10
    Planet of the Dead was a perfect episode of Doctor Who and I really enjoyed watching because the story was intriguing, well written and full of surprises. It was awesome to see The Lady Christina De Souza and to learn what she was doing and why. I liked how the bus was transported and watching The Doctor and Christina figure things out was very entertaining. I liked the other aliens stranded on the planet and the mechanical looking mantas were cool in their own way. I liked how every thing played out and there was definitely some great character and plot development! I look forward to watching the next episode!!!!!!!!!
  • Why isn't Christina the Doctor's apprentice instead of Donna?

    9.0
    Why isn't the supremely confident, infinitely resourceful, too cool for school Christina de Souza the Doctor's protege, instead of the screaming hysteric Donna?



    Why is she relegated to a special guest role, while Donna is the regular? Shouldn't it be the other way around?



    As Christina put it "We could have been so good together."
  • There is such a thing as a terrible romp

    3.0
    This episode has been described as a romp before it was broadcast. I thought that was great, some of the all time classic stories are romps of some sort ('The Daleks' starts of as a romp) but when I came to this story it did indeed feel like a romp, a romp with which the writing was so poor all of the characters are so absurd even within the context of the show.
    So we have Lara Croft there, she steals a diamond or a necklace or something from a museum, my eyes were not on the supposed priceless thing, it was on that fact that 4 guards were needed to protect it and yet nobody thought to put a camera up, or maybe not too look in all different directions so they easily have a blind spot, that isn't "romp", that is poor writing.
    This is all pre-titles, and when the good Doctor finally does arrive he does succeed as he always does to give a good smile and a giggle offering some easter egg to Lara.
    From then on the story is just, well, is there a story? They go to a desert, find some flies, find some clamps and fly back. Now to me you need a little more of a story than that.
    Oh and all those people on the bus had generic or annoying written all over them and at times it felt like a prequal to 'Midnight'.
    Lee Evans is not funny, he is annoying, he wasn't so bad in this but him being cast didn't help for my enjoyment of the story.
    That is all in the writing though, now onto the CGI, regardless of what many are saying I thought those manta ray space thingies were very well done though the flying bus was quite bad, I say quite, I mean alot bad.
    The flies looked quite good but here I see no reason for their inclusion in the story, the story could have been better paced if all that attempting to talk to them didn't go on.

    I hope the next 3 specials are better than this.
  • A joyless, formulaic "romp". The RTD era is running out of steam.

    5.0
    Remember when New Doctor Who was exciting and unpredictable and pushed boundaries? I do too just about, even if Russell T Davies seems to want us all to forget that it ever was despite making it so in the first place. I remember the time when an RTD script guaranteed some biting satire or some audacious dialogue or some moments so dark they'd take you by surprise. Not anymore. Planet of the Dead is so safe and traditional it defies believe. It's entertaining in a superficial way, but it does and says nothing of worth. The more you think about it afterwards the more unimpressive it becomes. There's not a single risk taken in the entire episode. The Next Doctor may have been pretty traditional and not enormously interesting either, but it at least had the character of Miss Hartigan to give the story some edge. This has literally nothing. Er... "crime is OK if you're rich"? Did I understand that right? I would've loved it if the Doctor had dismissed Christina (a character who while nice to look at doesn't resemble any sort of actual person) because she was a thief, not because he's such a misery guts angst merchant when it comes to his companions these days. If she'd been arrested the episode would've ultimately had some kind of bite, but instead we have her flying off in a bus accompanied by some of the worst music Murray Gold has ever composed (along with more people cheering, urgh).

    And the Doctor. I'm not going to blame David Tennant for this (even if he did look bored throughout), I'm going to blame the writing. I've become thoroughly sick of Ten since season four when the writers decided to stop doing anything interesting with his character, apart from actively ruining it in a few episodes. Remember the moment in Planet of the Ood when the Doctor asked Donna who did she think made her clothes? A great scene, quickly ruined by him apologising almost straight after. No. No. The Doctor simply wouldn't apologise. And then there's Journey's End where the Doctor actually says he's a pacifist and I nearly put my foot through the TV screen. Not only that but he then has the gall to condemn his clone for doing what he should have done in the first place.

    When did my Doctor have his backbone removed?! The Tenth Doctor is now a barely tolerable series of tics, mannerisms and catchphrases who peddles out the same old routines every time. I have never been more bored of a Doctor in my entire life than I am now. Every time he says "Allonsy" I grind my teeth into powder. I hate him. I actually hate him and that worries me a lot. I wouldn't mind so much if they'd stop endlessly banging on about how great he is, but they don't. I can make my mind up about how great the Doctor is thanks, I don't need to be constantly told. Nor do I need to be constantly told about how great and feisty and modern the companions are either. Nor do I need yet more speeches about mundane boring people and their brilliance. Show, don't tell Rusty.

    Oh, and nothing really happens. Plot? What plot? They go through a wormhole, wander around some sand dunes (which after all the Dubai filming bally-hoo could've been absolutelu anywhere, let's face it), chat to some unconvincing fly people (oh, yet another New Who alien race that looks like a species of earth creature, zzzzzzzz), get some alien gizmo, attach it to the bus and go home again. The end. Thrilling. But there's lots of spectacle and shiny effects in there, so that's OK. Oh, no it isn't. Because whizzy CGI is simply no substitute for a good plot, wit, atmosphere and memorable characters.

    I can't help but feel it was a mistake to not have any of the non-human characters speak, too.

    I love Doctor Who, both new and old and very rarely dislike an episode. But this might be the low-point of RTD's tenure, as Planet of the Dead makes disturbingly clear that his era has run out of creativity, energy and imagination. It's too safe, too pleased with itself, too by-the-numbers. I've loved the majority of his era and will defend almost all of his episodes to the hilt, but watching Doctor Who at the moment is akin to the sound of a balloon slowly deflating. For god's sake surprise us and stop going through the motions - it's what made the show such a smash when it returned in the first place!

    Fortunately The Waters of Mars looks like it'll be back up to the high standard we're used to and kick off David Tennant's final batch of (hopefully excellent) stories in a big way. Here's to the future.
  • Bit like a Alton Towers, A great romp but not worth the cost of the ticket.

    8.5
    Theres no doubt that it was great to see Doctor Who back on TV, but this episodes was somewhat misleading calling it a 'special.'

    Special is not the word I would use, it was ordinary, but with spice and aroma. Before I continue I have to give a special mention to the special effects, which given the tight deadline were surprisingly good.

    Planet of the dead felt like a classic mundane episode with a few extra bells and whistles. This isn't a bad thing, it certainly felt fresh and at the same time reminisant of good times past. It could have been a classic Star Trek or Doctor Who episode; a self contained story with fun frills and a happy ending. It was a shame that style has been lost, so it was good to see it revitalised in this special.

    This however was it's downside. At my age I appeciate Doctor Who is aiming to appeal towards a wide and family friendly audience, but this episodes didn;t even bring me to climax, and no, no innuendo intended. I didn't feel the frill or excitmentm I wasn't surprised or shocked, it just kept me smiling and regretably hoping thier was a bit more to it. This episode will not be making the best 10 or even top 20 episodes.

    Theres no doubt that Lee Evans saved the day. His perfectly timed comedy and repitoire with the Doctor was the highlight. Including UNIT in the story was a good choice too, something the show should do a bit more often...Perhaps next time however they could make UNIT seem a bit more intimidating, not like they had just come from a guest appearance on Cbeebees. It was a bit camp, a bit soft, but easily forgivable because of Evans.

    The cast and crew were all good choices, I personally was glad to see Victoria Alcock (Of Bad Girls and House of Elliott) it's just a shame we didn't see more of her. The black lady too (forgive for not knowing her name) was a welcomed charecter. Where has this women been? She's a fantastic actor! I clung on her every word and credit to her for adding something good to this special. If this doesn't open up doors for her then theres no justice in the acting world. Talk about talent!

    All in all a great easter romp, but not really worthy of any awards or special recognition.
  • Another reason I love this show...

    10
    I continue to fall in love with David Tennant's portrayal of the famous "Doctor", and the Planet of the Dead is no exception. The Doctor is enjoying an Easter on planet earth, when everything goes haywire. Through some sort of Doctor Who technoness, the Doctor's bus is pulled into another world with several humans as company. He tries to keep everyone calm while figuring out what exactly happened. Witty and prepared for anything, "temporary companion", Lady Christina- AKA- a jewel thief, takes control of the situation. The duo has excellent chemistry and seem more like long lost friends then strangers, together they solve the mystery and return safely home.
  • The Doctor along with other passengers on a 200 London bus end up in a desert land, they must escape before they are torn apart

    7.5
    This episode is unlike any I have seen before - It's good to see the lara croft style theif, but it felt like she was a threat (I spent half the episode thinking that that cup was significant to the plot - though it wasn't very) while I did like the lack of death in this episode, it did seem very short which was disappointing considering (I think that The Two Doctors felt longer - perhaps because it wans't always flickering between scenes in the desert and London) The hints about the next episode were interesting (but what waters of Mars? it's all ice :P)
  • Great way of making public transport slightly less hellish - make buses fly

    8.0
    Gotta say, that was definitely the highlight of this episode: a flying bus. Just goes to show how easily you can appeal to people who have ever used a bus in London and sat in traffic for hours and hours and it really would have been quicker walking...okay, I'll stay on topic now.
    Planet of the Dead: I was really skeptical about this episode because I'm the sort of dr who fan who hears a title, hears a plot, sees a trailer, and at all these levels thinks that he can write it so much better than they do. Probably because I'm a massive fan of horror films and like violence (not in a weird way, and it certainly doesn't influence me to be violent.............*twitches*.......) Anyway, when I first heard the title my immediate thoughts, and I'm sure this had occurred to lots of people: Doctor who versus Zombies. Y'know, doctor in a shopping mall with people, zombies attack it, simple plot. But no, the plot is actually quite complicated and you have to "pay attention" something I'm not that brilliant at doing. When I first saw the trailer, I did think it looked like a massive ripoff of Stephen King's "The Mist", if you've ever seen it, great film, first hour's terrible, second is much better, and I was doubting if it would come good and also how the hell this could be stretched out for an hour, people in a bus arrive on another world, swarm of weird insect things coming, could be as good as Midnight last year, but probably won't and how could they stretch this out for an hour? Wasn't a whole lot in the trailer to guess at, but then again, that's trailers for you.
    So when the episode started, I had mixed feelings of thinking it might be not that great crossed with not really caring either way. I think the next doctor kind of broke my spirits about doctor who, it was average at best but I had such high hopes for it. Losing my faith in humanity over Christmas didn't really help on that front, but I just really didn't enjoy the next doctor as much as I should have done. So Planet of the dead could've been a massive disappointment, and y'know what? It wasn't. Cos if you don't hold out too much hope then you can't be disappointed, so Planet of the Dead was a pleasant surprise.
    The opening sequence, still doubting, massive Bond/Mission Impossible/any film like that ripoff that wasn't all that great, but oh well. Christina, bit annoying, but that's more her character than the actress who did do a good job. As with some episodes, especially in the show's previous incarnation during the Sylvester McCoy era, good acting, script not so much. Not that the script was as bad as some from the McCoy era, but the actors definitely prevailed here over a fairly average script. The old(ish) couple, they were another positive aspect of the episode, great actors, probably the best bit was where she prophecised the doctor's future "he will knock four times" master, anyone? The bus comes out in a desert, good premise, quite random, I'm liking the idea, its just the opening sequence was detracted from by the stealing the cup bit. Arriving on a desert planet, it's a good plot line, its just some parts of the script did lessen the impact of a decent plot line. Not that its perfect, the whole thing with the insects who crashed, good idea, doesn't play out so well. I did like the insect people, very nostalgic to the days of the web planet with William Hartnell. The swarm coming and ripping a hole through time, that bit did play out well, good use of cgi, but the whole technicalities on that subject didn't really fit together as well as they should. The whole connection between UNIT and the doctor and the whole crashed bus situation I liked, and it was pretty much where the plot was obviously gonna go, dunno why I didn't think that might happen when I first saw the trailer, or did they have that in the trailer? I dunno, I can't remember. Anyway, still with the UNIT thing a second. Lee Evans - I'm not a fan or a critic really, I'm ambivulent, I did have to grow to appreciate his character over the course of the episode, but I did begin to realise over enthusiastic welshman=funny, so happy endings.
    Speaking of the ending: the flying bus: highlight of the episode, why have they not done this before now? I dunno, I guess I just appreciate fairly ridiculous things such as this: its a flying bus, what is there not to love about the concept of a flying bus? I mean, I hate buses, public transport sickens me, yet I love the concept of a flying bus, strange that.
    Anyway, my attention span is wearing thin, so I think I'll finish with just an "it was good" and leave it at that.
    Trailer for the waters of mars - could've been the ice warriors, should've been the ice warriors - almost certainly wasn't the ice warriors. At the moment my immediate thoughts: dark water, but then again, that's just me.
    Anyway, that is all, you may go now...
  • You have a lady two unemployed boys

    9.0
    A medium on bus. Lady Christina steals a golden goblet Jumps on London bus the doc jumps on after her their transported To another world by a worm holl. They get an alien crystal that's when the doc finds out Christina has stolen the goblet, at this point I just loved the way they use the Icelandic bank crash witch everybody did lose a lot of money in very up to date.
    There's big WARNING from the medium to the doc look out for the four knocks. What ever that means?
    Evan though Russell t Davis didn't right this its still very well written
  • That was quite a ride...

    9.0
    The wait for this episode was worth it in my opinion. That was a classic Doctor Who adventure. To be honest I thought this was better ten The Next Doctor, but just a little bit. David Tennant just cracks me up especially at the first when he comes on the bus with the chocolate. I was laughing my face off! I thought that the Tritovores were supposed to be an enemy. To me they seemed more like a friend but if they had come with The Doctor back to earth UNIT would have been all over them. Lee evans also did a great job in playing the bumbling doctor. I liked michelle Ryan as the companion, I would like to see her again but I don't know if that will happen. The best part of the episode would have to be at the end when carmen told the Doctor that his song is almost up and the 4 knocks. We all know what that means I'm very excited for the next special. Until then, Happy easter!
  • A fun episode but pretty dissapointing considering this is the only episode we're getting for a while.

    8.0
    This episode is the first of 4 special episodes this year which are airing in place of a full series, i still don't understand why they made this decision but enough about that. This episode was okay but it feels more like a mid-season episode of a normal doctor who season rather than a special, michelle ryan put on a great performace, the enemies weren't paticularly orignal, i heard a few months ago that these enemies would beat out the daleks, so much for that idea. there was some nice forshadowing at the end , with a psyhcic woman saying that some enemy will return, we'll have to wait a while to find out who this enemy is though, there won't be any new episodes til november.
  • **May Contain Spoilers Read at your own risk**

    9.0
    Where do I start? I want to tell everything but I don't want to ruin anything for anyone. First off, this episode seemed a lot more crisp and clean filming wise. Past episodes looked great but had a bit of a weird camera look to them. I didn't think I downloaded (thats right I download, you have to in Canada or else you wait like a year and that wasn't going to happen) the right show at first.
    The second greatest thing about this episode was Lady Christina. She went toe to toe and beyond with the Doctor. They seemed like the perfect pair and I was so sure he would have taken her with him. I'm really glad theydown played the Doctor-Donna relationship. When Rose first left there was a bit of a flash back scene when he was talking to the then Runaway Bride, Donna Noble. Donna did get a slight nod so it's good that they didn't forget her entirely.
    I would like to close by saying thank you for two things, 1. Letting the Doctor be the Doctor without losing his charm and humanity in this stressfull situation. And 2. for featuring UNIT without bring Martha Jones in. Don't get me wrong, I love Martha as much as any Who fan, but it was nice to see UNIT without her.
    If your new to the series or a raging Whoinite, you will love this episode.
  • Give Tennant a billion to keep doing this. And have Ryan with him.

    9.0
    The best pairing yet!

    Tennant and Ryan really do click right off the bat, and while I did enjoy the emotional rollercoasters of his previous dames, this one has kick, elegance, a certain Bond-ness about it.

    The episode stands as nothing special, but that's only because we were so incredibly spoiled by the last three years of Tennant's Who that this little gem is just another day at the office.

    Now, since Tennant is out after another 3 specials, a strong co-lead is just what the doctor (pardon the pun) ordered - and Ryan hasn't been this good since another doctor - Jeckyll, that is - get her into the next regular series!

    I wouldn't mind adding The Doctor's daughter in a more permanent mix as well. Imagine that trio, if you will...

    So, all possible "mundaneness" of the special aside, Dr. Who continues to be the best "soft" SF Britain has ever produced, and the episode still beats just about anything I've seen on TV lately.
  • wibbley Wobbley timey wimey

    8.0
    Despite some nonsensical non science explanations for how the wormhole appeared and is generated.The episode is a light heart who adventure.Plenty of silly humour ,rubber headed aliens (who convieniently die)and a threat to earth.
    Lee evans shows up in his first funny and non-annoying role.
    I love you.
    Unit appearing with missle launchers (perhaps they learnt thier lesson from trying to shoot down the racnoss on christmas eve with 100s of tank shells in a heavily populated area)and red caps.God i love those uniforms.
    And even some fore shadowing of things to come.
    I can even forgive the flying bus ending
    a bit light weight but what the hell
  • Detour Written by Russell T. Davies And Gareth Roberts Directed by James Strong

    9.0
    Christina (to everyone): "Then we need to apply ourselves to the problem with discipline! Which starts with appointing a leader."
    The Doctor: "Yes, at last, thank you, so …"
    Christina: "Well, thank goodness you've got me! Everyone! Do exactly as I say! Inside the bus immediately."

    It's been four months since "The Next Doctor" and now, it is really is the beginning of the end for David Tennant's reign as The Doctor. This year might only be giving us four specials but the promotion for the first one has been every bit as widespread as if we were a full season.

    Opening wise, things go into Mission Impossible territory, although you can obviously substitute Tom Cruise and add Nimeuh into the mix instead. There's a nice 1000 plus cup (from King Athelstan) and Christina managed to snare the thing without barely tensing a muscle.

    She even got lucky for a few seconds when the police ended up arresting some random bloke but then, McMillan arrived on the scene and he seemed determined to bag her. Okay, I know robbery's bad and all but it did seem that early on, he had a personal reason for wanting her caught. Maybe she stole off him once upon a time.

    Christina did however managed to evade captured and boarded a bus. I usually hate when taking a bus if I have a lot of change to give the bus driver almost as much as they must hate me for it. Christina however found that diamonds made for a perfect substitute when she didn't have a tenner handy on her.

    The Doctor's introduction in the episode was predictably light. He just waved his psychic paper, chomped on an Easter egg and offered a bit to Christina. Perhaps it's the Time Lord equivalent of foreplay but Christina was a bit too distracted to really pay any real attention to him at the time.

    However with an hour's worth of story time, Christina had the liberty of spending a decent amount of time just thinking that The Doctor was an odd little man with that tracking device of his. The Doctor can't just take a normal bus ride, it has to be disastrous and disaster was certainly the order of the day with this particular episode.

    I know a lot of people were fearing that this episode was going to turn out to be another "Midnight" but I think we can credit both Russell and Gareth for coming up with some reasonably different here. The Doctor's little device tracked a wormhole and soon enough, everyone in the bus went through the same wormhole.

    It made for a good sequence and it did generate a fantastic 'WTF' look on McMillan's face but more importantly, it also meant getting UNIT on board. For those of you hoping for anything remotely involving Martha (or perhaps the Brigadier at a stretch), then you'll be disappointed. Martha's neither seen nor mentioned at all in this episode but we do at least have one familiar face.

    Captain Erisa Mugambo from "Turn Left" resurfaced in this episode to take control of the wormhole situation from the Brixton end of things. This episode certainly gave a lot more to do than her first appearance and I have to admit that I did love her for casually dismissing McMillan. Man, was that guy annoying or what?

    On a different world, The Doctor and everyone else came to a place with three suns and a savaged bus and less than three minutes before at least one of the guest cast had to actually die. The bus driver who liked Christina's diamonds found himself reduced to bones when he tried to go back through the wormhole.

    Because of The Doctor's knowledge of well, just about everything, we at least had to have one scene where his new friends showed some mistrust. Thankfully unlike the last time he was trapped with a group of strangers, this bunch opted not to kill him but to actually trust him.

    They probably would've followed him too but Christina thought that she would make a better leader. I have to admire her guts for dethroning The Doctor, who certainly seemed baffled by her wanting to be in charge. Christina will probably not surprise a lot of viewers as a stand in companion but she's certainly fun for the hour.

    I did like her running through a list of pointers and even for acknowledging that it would be a good idea if she allowed The Doctor to explain to everyone what exactly was happening to them. The Doctor did that but more effective however was his method of getting people to focus.

    He made the effort to try and learn some simple facts about Angela, Nathan, Barclay, Lou and Carmen and then he used them to try to get them to focus on getting home rather than fearing for their lives. Perhaps he should use this method more often when in situations like this.

    Another high point was him and Christina quizzing each other. I know the flirting went a bit over the top but I kind of enjoyed their sparky dynamic and Christina did evoke some reminders of the Majenta Pryce character currently travelling with The Doctor in the DWM comic strips right about now.

    Christina wasn't exactly surprised when figuring out that The Doctor knew a lot about alien stuff but his curiosity was piqued when she was able to offer Nathan and Barclay a shovel and an axe when she got them to dig the wheels of the bus out of the sand for her. Christina's not much for getting her hands dirty at this point in the episode.

    As would be companions, Christina is probably the most morally ambiguous that David Tennant's Doctor has had to deal. Even though The Doctor does show suspicion of her when he's not flirting back with her, its Christina who pretty much dominates the episode and naturally enough, it's also Christina with whom he's captured with by the Tritovores.

    As aliens go, I'm not sure what to think. When I first saw the look of them a couple of weeks, I have to admit to thinking that they looked sort of lame and it didn't help that the press were alleging that Russell T Davies himself was comparing them to the Daleks in terms of evilness.

    Of course the press were utterly wrong about that. First off all, the Tritovores do not exude menace and secondly, they're actually harmless. The Doctor and Christina were pretty much in no danger from them and it got quickly revealed that they had come to the planet for motives that were anything but sinister.

    The unfortunate part was the reveal of the sand. Apparently the actual threat in this episode – a billion swarming stingray type creatures do their lifecycle (and subsequently open up wormholes) by going to other worlds and relentless devouring in order to survive.

    As villains, they might not be intentionally evil but they are obviously dangerous and I have to admit to being suitably impressed with the CGI for them. They looked and felt genuinely threatening (they even killed the Tritovores) and there was a great moment when Christina nearly got killed by one of them when she took it upon herself to nab some Anti-Gravity clamps for the bus.

    The funny part about that scene was Christina actually thinking it was the diamond that The Doctor needed. Their little conversation over the comms finally had The Doctor realise that Christina was a professional thief. It was predictable that Christina had an unapologetic attitude towards her mad thieving but I think I would've annoyed if she hadn't.

    For a strange reason, her motives for stealing worked for the character and even myself as a viewer. She wasn't a female Robin Hood in training and she didn't the cash. Essentially she's a bored rich girl in desperate need of adventure. You didn't need Carmen's low level psychic abilities to tell that being with The Doctor clicked all of those buttons.

    However if you're thinking it's The Doctor who wound up saving the day or even Christina, it really isn't. The award for heroism really had to go to Malcolm Taylor, UNIT's dottiest doctor and surprisingly enough, a boat load of fun. Even the threat of having his brains blown out by Erisa didn't stop him from actually allowing the wormhole to stay open long enough for The Doctor to get everyone home.

    I have to admit to having some reservations about Lee Evans but I think I enjoyed Malcolm maybe a little more than Christina. His bumbling enthusiasm, mad words to describe wavelengths all worked fairly well for me, though I can understand why The Doctor was initially overwhelmed by Malcolm.

    Plus if you're a bit of a slash bunny, I think you might have enjoyed Malcolm telling The Doctor repeatedly how much he loved him. I thought at one point Malcolm was going to actually kiss The Doctor, which might have pleased those who less enthusiastic about The Doctor/Christina (which literally was blink and you'll miss).

    With the swarm creatures that did get to Earth killed, the rest of this episode neatly tied itself up. The Doctor got a standing ovation and had a nice little moment with Erisa and Christina got to steal a flying bus and evade justice, much to McMillan's annoyance.

    The Doctor rejecting Christina is something we haven't really seen on this series but even with David Tennant and Russell T. Davies pointing it out, perhaps it does make sense for The Doctor to be travelling on his own for a bit. I like the way that his pain over losing Donna isn't being tossed aside because I still miss the fiery temp myself.

    However the best part of this episode came with Carmen's cryptic warning. We all know that death is coming for The Doctor. We also more or less know that the person who will knock four times is more than likely to be The Master but the look on The Doctor's face when Carmen relayed that message is enough to wipe any flaw this episode might have. Death really is coming and like The Doctor, we've also got to wait a while for it to show.

    Also in "Planet Of The Dead"

    David Tennant and Michelle Ryan's names were both in the opening credits for this episode.

    The Doctor: "I'm picking up on something very strange."
    Christina: "I know the feeling."

    This is the first episode of the new series to be filmed in High Definition. Maybe I should've watched this at my sister's.

    Christina: "You're called The Doctor?"
    The Doctor: "Yes I am."
    Christina: "That's not a name, that's a psychological condition."

    Carmen: "Something, something is coming, riding on the wind and shining."
    The Doctor: "What is it?"
    Carmen: "Death. Death is coming."

    We learned that Nathan lost his job, Barclay had a girlfriend called Tina, Lou and Carmen had dinner plans and Angela was heading home. Oh and the planet was called San Helios and we saw the Scorpion Nebula.

    Christina (to The Doctor): "Wait a minute; you're the man with all the answers. I'm not letting you out of my sight."

    The Doctor: "We make quite a couple."
    Christina: "We don't make any sort of couple, thank you very much."

    This is the 200th story in the series as a whole (the bus was called 200 as well). Just make sure you exclude "Shada", accept all of "The Trial Of A Time Lord" as one story and "Utopia"/"The Sound Of Drums"/"Last Of The Time Lords" also as one story.

    Erisa (to Malcolm): "I know. We all want to meet him one day but we know what that day will bring."
    The Doctor: "I can hear everything you're saying."

    The Doctor: "Malcolm, you're my new best friend."
    Malcolm: "And you're mine too, sir."

    I noticed this was also the first episode of the new series to be scribed by two writers but then again, the next episode will also have the same feat. The Doctor (re Tritovores): "They believe me."
    Christina: "Simple as that?"
    The Doctor: "I've got a very honest face and the translation's says I'm telling the truth."

    Christina: "That Lordship of yours ... the Lord of where, exactly?"
    The Doctor: "Of Time. I come from a race of people called Time Lords".
    Christina: "You're an alien?"
    The Doctor: "Yeah but you don't have to kiss me either."
    Christina: "You look human."
    The Doctor: "You look Time Lord."

    Also these specials are still part of the fourth season, due to their production codes.

    Christina (re swarm): "Those things are gonna turn the entire Earth into a desert. Why are you smiling?"
    The Doctor: "The worse it gets, the more I love it."

    Christina: "How does a crystal drive a bus?"
    The Doctor: "In a super clever, outer spacey kind of way. Just trust me."

    Interesting that Christina wasn't able to understand the Tritovores after they were able to understand her. Her full name is also Lady Christina deSouza.

    Christina (to The Doctor): "So, let me get this right? You need that crystal, then consider it done."

    The Doctor (re cup): "What are you doing with this?"
    Christina: "Excuse me! A gentleman never goes through a lady's possessions."

    Did we really need to see that flying bus twice? Not so pleasant reminders of "Voyage Of The Damned" And The Doctor left the TARDIS at Buckingham Palace.

    Christina: "What does the crystal do?"
    The Doctor: "Nothing. Don't need the crystal."
    Christina: "I risked my life for that."
    The Doctor (re Anti-Gravity clamps): "You risked your life for these."

    Erisa: "Doctor, I salute you, whether you like it or now."

    Noel Clarke narrated the Doctor Who Confidential for this episode and David Tennant has done a commentary for this episode which you can listen when watching the repeat on BBC3. This episode is due for release on DVD from May 11th.

    Christina: "But you were right, it's not about the money. I only steal things for the adventure and today with you; I want more days like this. I want everyday to be like this. We're made for each other, you said so yourself. The perfect team. Why not?"
    The Doctor: "People have travelled with me and I've lost them. Lost them all. Never again."

    Carmen: "Doctor, you take care now."
    The Doctor: "You too, chops and gravy, lovely."
    Carmen: "No but you be careful because your song is ending, sir."
    The Doctor: "What do you mean?"
    Carmen: "It is returning. It is returning through the dark and then Doctor, oh but then. He will knock four times."

    The next episode, featuring Lindsay Duncan as Adelaide will be called "The Waters Of Mars" and will air before Christmas. Did anyone notice the cloister bell music during the trailer for the episode?

    Christina: "We could have been so good together."
    The Doctor: "Christina, we were."

    Chronologically, this episode was actually based in April but given that Easter was mentioned, I think everyone figured that one out.

    Okay, it's not the best of specials and it certainly could've felt a little bigger but "Planet Of The Dead" wouldn't make it on a short list of awful episode either. The hints about The Doctor's impending death were probably a lot stronger than the story itself but the swarm were menacing and Christina worked well as the companion of the piece, even if I did prefer Jackson Lake from the previous episode.

    Rating: 9 out of 10.
  • The Doctor returns.

    7.5
    His name is The Doctor and he's back with another insanely corny yet ever so fun to watch special. The David Tennant Farewell Tour continues with a special that was just as good as the Christmas Day episode, if not slightly better. This was more action-packed but the flying objects were not nearly as good as the murdering robots from December.

    We got a glimpse of the next Doctor Matt Smith on the mini-series Moses Jones, and my expectations for his first series are not too good having seen that. The man certainly has big shoes to fill, but I am willing to give him a chance.

    This special was a great welcome on a boring Saturday and cannot wait for the next one.
  • Doctor pitch black.

    7.0
    I have always liked Doctor who, the crazy worlds, the original plot, and the doctor himself. This episode was different. The entire episode is pretty much stolen from Pitch Black. What they have in common;

    Planet of sand ( both causes by aliens who destroyed the indigenous species from the planet) Both have a group of people who crashed, both are stuck.

    They both find out something destroyed the planet, something happens and they have to run away. The aliens were about 90% the same as the ones from Pitch Black, if not more. I was hoping the aliens would be different, but after a few minutes in the episode this failed. Did I mention the multiple suns on both planets? I hardly ever write reviews, but this episode felt it needed one. I hope this isn't the future of Doctor who, because they can do a lot more than just rip off films to create a badly written plot.
  • Brillaint

    10
    Given I'm both a Doctor Who and Lee Evans fan the 2 togther was always going to make me smile a lot, but I loved totally this episode and it was by far the best 1 off episode to date (way better than the 4 previous Xmas eps) and in it I'd say it was my 2nd favourite episode of Doctor Who (new series) to date. 2nd only to Blink, I mean Ok it was corny and predictable but it always is. The doctor arrives, something happens he accesses rallies everyone saves the day etc but in a very entertaining way and I loved Lee Evans character in it he was just brilliant. Very good plot this had that's all really good. 10/10
  • Better on second watch but still it feels far too light to fully satisfy

    7.5
    The recent trailer seemed to promise a spooky and last hope type episode, maybe a little psychological. This was nothing like it was advertised, therefore a second watch makes you appreciate it a little more as you know what to expect.

    One thing that struck me was that the Tritovores were immediately played as comedy type Aliens. From the first instance of them tapping the view screen you couldn't help but laugh. This kind of diminished the idea that they could be the bad guys straight off. Which left the other species that were slightly scary but could have been a bigger threat (and hopefully in later eps may be). It could be Doctor Who's version of the borg, they were definitely introduced similarly. These are devourers, not assimilaters though, so possibly not.

    Michelle Ryan as Lady Christina de Souza was an interesting character - cocky and self assured. The get the crystal from the bottom of the pit and her taking over leader straight up was great. She was a match for the Doctor but her accent needs to be toned down as it annoyed me a bit. Like to see her again as she works as a foil not unlike Donna could sometimes be. I'd hate to see what she'd nick from the TARDIS if she ever got her chance to travel with the Doctor though.

    The other characters on the bus were rudimentary and served a purpose, best scene for them was when the Doctor asked 'what were you going to do tonight?'. It gave them character and we got to know them a little. The low level Psychic didn't have to narrate though.

    Which brings us to Malcolm (Lee Evans), the cop and UNIT. Firstly, Lee Evans was great and funny and provided a lot of light hearted laughs. Why he decided to play welsh I don't know though, I have a feeling that any kids watching would have loved him though much like how he loves The Doctor. It would interesting to see him return although I'm betting it's more likely the cop or Capt. Magambo that may make a better choice. In fact involving the police is something that Doctor Who doesn't usually do (more Torchwood's remit) and it was interesting to have them as a presence there.

    The next episode unlike this one does look spooky, lets hope the trailer doesn't false advertise.

    HE will knock 4 times
  • Enjoyable, well acted, Lee Evans great casting

    9.5
    After downloading the show ( Here in Israel they would not show this episode, BBC prime hasn't gotten past Doomsday) we here watched the episode twice in one day, we enjoyed it so much. David Tennant was at his best, incorporating many of the doctor's characteristics: a bit of sorrow(re:Donna, when he says that a friend used to call him spaceman), a bit of conceit, a bit of humanity(calming everyone down), and of course the science. Here at least he spoke a little slower than usual so we could catch most of the words. Michelle Ryan was good, although I'm glad he didn't take her on. They are too much alike and contrast is better in a companion. Donna was our favorite because she did stop him when necessary and Christina probably wouldn't.
    The four knocks could be the duh-duh-duh-duh of the drums from the Master's episodes, and that his ring was removed from his finger was certainly a hint of things to come.
    One thing I will not miss about DT's Doctor, assuming they don't continue it with Matt Smith, is the romanticising of the Doctor. One of the great things of the classic series was that the companions did not overtly fall for the Doctor, even Sarah Jane,
    although the affection was clear, it was not in a romantic way. At least with Donna they clarified a bit how a hybrid human-alien is a problem.
    But as to this episode, it was much more enjoyable than the Next Doctor, more fun than many of the recent episodes, and rates high in my book.
    The swarm did remind me of the replicators from Stargate. Could they have been an inspiration?
  • Pitch black it is not

    10
    Although it appears to be like Pitch Black the movie (stranded people on a planet trying to get off/back home) it has none of the elements as that movie. The creatures in pitch black somehow wake up every time it gets dark to eat each other or the stray vacationer to the planet. In this story, the creatures themselves eat everything and start their life cycle anew on a different planet by creating their own wormhole. There is no Riddick and they don't sense blood. They eat whatever is in their way like a shark. Lady Dsouza was written perfectly for the Doctor and everyone saved in the end. Only thing cheesy is the Doctor is a UNIT celeb. I am hoping the clapping at the end was for David Tennants beautiful portrayal of the Doctor. He will be missed.
  • A great and scary episode filled with many funny, spooky, mysterious and adventurous moments.

    9.0
    I was very pleased with this two parter episode of Doctor Who, David Tennant, Catherine Tate and Alex Kingston were very good at their acting and the story was great aswell. I was waiting and waiting to find out who the little girl was, and the ending was great. Cool bad guys too. I think that the Library was a good setting, I would like to visit there. It was a planet, which was a very good idea. As normal, the team of many people who work together to make doctor who has pulled off another great episode addition to the series.
  • A flying London bus.....way to go.

    9.0
    Although my wife and I enjoyed the Christmas special, "The Next Doctor" (watched it before this episode), we liked this one more. It had a lot of campy, flashy, typical Dr. Who "adventure" and was just fun to watch. It will be a shame to see David Tennant leave the series at the end of the year – he's been good. Would like to have seen more involvement of the other characters on the bus; have at least one of them go along with the Doctor and the "Lady" character. The "fly people" were great. Looking forward to the other specials as they become available here in the States.
  • Strangely familiar aka like pitch black

    8.0
    While this episode had soem really good scenes in it, I have to say it reminded me of Pitch Black too much, the metallic alien species even looked like the creatures from Pitch black and the three suns was the same.
    I thought that Lee Evans was brilliant in this special, he played his character to the fullest and I thought he was one of the best things about this easter special, I would like to see him return for maybe the 10th Doctor's last episodes as a type of quirky sidekick.
    The reason why this episode gets a eight is because of Michelle Ryan's acting, she just carries this Merlin acting over to Doctor who.
    I loved the mysterious ending although we all know who is going to be the big baddie.
    knock three times on a table in a rhythm and it will make sense.
  • Disappointing but still pretty good.

    7.0
    I probably would have enjoyed this episode more if it wasn't my only Doctor fix until the end of the year. My first reaction was "that's it?" All things considered, though, Planet of the Dead is a pretty good time. The empathic old woman is annoying and borderline offensive, as is Lee Evans' cartoonish professor, but the chemistry between Tennant and Michelle Ryan is engaging, the dialogue snaps and the story is well paced. Silly creatures like the fly-headed Tritovore are part of the reason I love this show. The flying bus seemed a bit over the top at first, until I remembered what show I was watching and I was fine with it. The next special airs when???
  • Brains and Beauty to Beat All

    8.0
    Ever since the Library episodes I have thought that this series is getting better and better. Bringing Christina in, I thought, "Now, here is a companion that would be a true asset to The Doctor on his travels." Little did I know that it was just to be a tease! How could he not bring her with him? Sure, The Doctor has his brains, his guts, and his logical approach to save the day in every situation. But, didn't Christina make things just a bit easier? She has skills that The Doctor just does not have. Sure, a sonic screwdriver may as well be a universal skeleton key; but, she knows how to use more conventional means, and could take care of herself when he is not around, making herself a valuable extension in times of need. And, as we all know from the actress's stint as "The Bionic Woman," could be developed as a companion that would take a tough situation and cut through it in creative ways. And, let's face it... The Doctor needs a hot companion again. I missed Rose, and Martha, when Donna started traveling with him. Christina outclasses them both in both looks, fitness, and overall capabilities. I hope with sincerity that we have not seen the last of Christina!
  • not great but not bad either

    8.5
    So another Who Special. Not sure if Xmas episode is part of the four-final Tennant episodes. Oh Well. This wasn't too bad actually. The story was a little weak to say the least. A bus full of passengers gets transported to a dead planet by a wormhole of some sorts. That's about it. The threat is small par and the episode does seem to drag a little in places.
    Whilst your watching pay attention to the characters - that's where the episode shines. The passengers are panic-filled and worried as usual. The old woman with psychic powers is mysterious and cryptic and the fly-aliens the Doctor encounters are funny and weird at the same time. Good costumes too.
    But its Michelle Ryan that really shines. Crafty, Sexy, Funny and intelligent. Shame she was turned away from The Taris. Perhaps we'll meet again?
  • You can tell where most of the budget went.

    6.0
    I have been looking forward to this for soooo long that when it hit the screen I felt like a child on Christmas Morning. To keep going with that analogy I very soon felt like the same child who had asked for a new bike and instead found a jigsaw, apple and orange. This episode had the potential to be great but as most of the budget was spent on transporting a London bus to Dubai. We didn't even get CGI for the wormhole. Yes the DR's acting was fantastic and Ryan was good but the story seemed stuck together with Duct Tape rather than woven. I will not give up yet though as most of the 1st episodes have been below par (Partners in Crime springs to mind).
  • Turning conventions on their heads for the sake of novelty

    2.5
    Ugh. The only thing recognizable here is the Doctor. A silly threat, a lame back-talking companion and an increasingly disreputable UNIT. Why Torchwood wouldn't be called in this situation has everything to do with the cost of an Eve Myles appearance. The setup of this episode is just … dumb. And even the worst Who eps can be redeemed by clever dialogue or some moral point to be made. No such thing here. Michelle Ryan (Christina DeSousa [sp?]), cute as she is, comes off so inconsistent as to be detestable. And none of the supporting cast distinguishes him/herself. The UNIT scientist and commander are particularly despicable. The redeeming qualities of this outing are David Tennant's insistence on giving everything to this character, regardless of what writers leave him to work with, along with a couple nuggets of background that longtime series fans will appreciate for their consistency (i.e. how the Doctor came into possession of the TARDIS). So sorry to pan this so badly, but it was such a disappointment after so long a wait that it inspired my first-ever TV.com review.
Sunday
No results found.
Monday
11:00am
BBC
12:00pm
BBC
1:00pm
BBC
Tuesday
11:00am
BBC
12:00pm
BBC
More
Less