Oh, God help me! This is why I don't spend my rewatching time on Series 2. While the first part of the series had School Reunion, The Girl in the Fireplace, and even the Cybermen two-parter the second half suffered from some truly appalling duds. So let us take a deep breath and plunge into amazing world of awful that is Mark Gatiss' The Idiot's Lantern.
The episode begins well enough. It's nothing spectacular (just a man doing his accounting whenever his television starts talking directly to him) but it did lure me into a false sense of security whenever I first watched it. I thought that this would be one of the mediocre episodes, along the line of The End of the World or Boom Town. How wrong I was! Within the first three minutes of the episode we are introduced to our two main baddies of the episodecreations so subtly evil that they never quite manage to strike fear into my heart. While the idea of The Wire is rather unsettling, Eddie Connolly is less than stellar coming across as an oafish lout who has the mistaken belief that he is a world-famous author. ("I. Am. TOLKIEN!") But these two are not the main problem of this episode - oh no - the biggest annoyance is the delightful duo of Rose and The Doctor.
This episode is a massive disappointment to rewatch and be forced to remember just what made it so bad. I almost wish I could take the time to spell out every awful moment and why it just didn't then I would end up summarising almost every second of every scene and no one wants to have to read that. I had come to expect so much more from Mark Gatiss and so perhaps I went in initially with higher hopes than usualbut even from a mere storytelling aspect The Idiot's Lantern is a failure with a dull, unoriginal story and boring or downright despicable characters. Unlike New Earth, which was a boring attempt at satire but still had a few hilarious moments scattered throughout, this episode neither entertained me nor hit me in the feels. But it's not worth the brainpower to spend time and energy hating on it either. I would rate this episode as a 2/10 and say that I would sooner watch the entire first season of Teletubbies than have to endure it again.