Doctor Who

Season 1 Episode 7

The Long Game

14
Aired Saturday 8:00 PM May 07, 2005 on BBC America
8.2
out of 10
User Rating
611 votes
19

EPISODE REVIEWS
By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

EDIT
Location: Satellite 5
Date: 200,000
Enemy: The Editor, The Jagrafess
The Doctor, Rose and Adam arrive in the year 200,000 on a broadcasting station that transmits programming to Earth. But soon, trouble is afoot, when they discover that any worker promoted to a position on level 500 never returns. The Doctor and Rose attempt to find out what is happening, whilst Adam investigates part of the station himself, and makes a decision that he's going to regret for the rest of his life.moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • 'The LONG Game' indeed!

    3.0


    Ach! What a letdown it is to come off of Dalek and enter The Long Game - appropriately named for long indeed it was the first time I sat through it and even longer as I sit through it a second time for this review. I've tried desperately to find nice things to say about this episode but I have yet to come up with any and I really don't think it would be a good waste of my brainpower to continue contemplating it.







    Unlike Aliens of London/World War Three, which actually began and ended nicely this mess starts out bad and only gets worse. My fingers were itching for the next video button the moment Adam stumbled out of the TARDIS with an open-mouthed, gormless expression and fainted. Some people just aren't cut out for space-travel and Adam clearly is one of those people.





    All in all, this episode felt like a first-draft failed experiment. I give it a 3/10. Do you want to know the best moment? The final 30 seconds when Adam's mum accidentally opens the hatch in his head.moreless
  • The Long Game

    10
    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

    8.0
    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
  • Something different...

    6.8
    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!

    8.0
    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.



    Strange episode.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (2)

    • The Doctor: Time travel is like visiting Paris.

      The last time The Doctor was seen visiting Paris was in the fourth Doctor episode City of Death where he also fought against an alien playing a long game, this one over 400 million years, the similarly named but unrelated Jagaroth.

    • It's cold on floor 500, yet you can't see anyone's breath, and Suki is wearing a thin blouse.

  • QUOTES (23)

    • (The Doctor takes Adam back home to Earth)
      The Doctor: The whole of history could have changed because of you.
      Adam: I just wanted to help.
      The Doctor: You were helping yourself.
      Adam: And I'm sorry and I've said I'm sorry. And I am, I really am. But you can't just leave me like this!
      The Doctor: Yes, I can. 'Cause if you show the head to anyone, they'll dissect you in seconds. You'll have to live a very quiet life. Keep out of trouble. Be average. Unseen. Good luck.
      Adam: But I want to come with you!
      The Doctor: I only take the best. I've got Rose.

    • 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.

    • The Editor: It may interest you to know that this is not the Fourth Great and Bountiful Human Empire. In fact, it's not actually human at all. It's merely a place where humans happen to live. (a loud alien growling interrupts) Sorry. It's a place where humans are allowed to live by kind permission of my client.
      (The Editor points upwards. Rose and the Doctor look up to see a gigantic mass on the ceiling, which growls, showing large pointed teeth)
      Rose: What is that?
      The Doctor: You mean that thing's in charge of Satellite 5?
      The Editor: 'That thing', as you put it, is in charge of the human race. For almost a hundred years, mankind has been shaped and guided, his knowledge and ambitions strictly controlled by its broadcast news, edited by my superior, your master and humanity's guiding light, The Mighty Jagrafess of the Holy Hadrojassic Maxarodenfoe. (pause) I call him Max.

    • The Editor: (to the Doctor and Rose) This is fascinating. Satellite 5 contains every piece of information within the Fourth Great and Bountiful Human Empire. Birth certificates, shopping habits, bank statements. But you two… you don't exist. (laughs) Not a trace. No birth, no job, not the slightest kiss. How can you walk through the world and not leave a single footprint?

    • Cathica: Doctor, I think if there was any kind of conspiracy, Satellite 5 would have seen it. We see everything.
      The Doctor: I can see better. This society's the wrong shape. Even the technology.
      Cathica: It's cutting-edge!
      The Doctor: It's backwards. There's a great big door in your head!

    • (On Floor 500, Suki- who has been revealed as a member of an anarchist organization- pulls a gun on The Editor)
      Suki: Who controls Satellite 5?
      (The Editor begins to puts his hands up, but then promptly bursts out laughing)
      The Editor: There's the truth.
      Suki: The Freedom Foundation has been monitoring Satellite 5's transmissions. We have absolute proof that the facts are being manipulated. You are lying to the people.

    • Adam: Maybe I could just go and sit on the observation desk. Would that be alright? Soak it in. Y'know, pretend I'm a citizen of the year two hundred thousand.
      Rose: D'you want me to come with you?
      Adam: No, no. You stick with the Doctor. (pause) You'd rather be with him. (pause) It's gonna take a better man than me to get between you two.

    • (The Doctor, Rose and Adam watch as news is gathered through Cathica)
      The Doctor: Compressed information. Streaming into her. Reports from every city, every country, every planet. And they all get packaged inside her head. She becomes part of the software. Her brain is the computer.
      Rose: If it all goes through her, she must be a genius.
      The Doctor: Nah, she wouldn't remember it. It's too much. Her head would blow up. The brain's the processor. As soon as it closes, she forgets.
      Rose: (indicating Suki and the others) So, what about all these people round the edge?
      The Doctor: They've all got tiny little chips in their head connecting them to her and they… transmit. Six hundred channels. Every single fact in the empire beams out of this place. Now that's what I call power.

    • The Doctor: I get it. You broadcast the news.
      Cathica: We are the news. We're the journalists. We write it, package it and sell it. Six hundred channels all coming out of Satellite 5, broadcasting everywhere.

    • The Editor: The human empire is tiny compared to what you've seen in your T - A - R - D - I - S. TARDIS.
      The Doctor: Well, you'll never get your hands on it. I'll die first!
      The Editor: Well, die all you like. I don't need you.

    • The Editor: Tell me who you are.
      The Doctor: Since that information is keeping us alive, I'm hardly going to tell you, am I?

    • Cathica: You're not management, are you?
      The Doctor: At last she's clever!

    • Suki: You have been lying to the people.
      The Editor: Ooh, I love it. Say it again.

    • The Doctor: Look at me, I'm stupid!

    • (Adam fainted)
      The Doctor: He's your boyfriend.
      Rose: Not anymore.

    • Editor: We all know what happens to nonentities - they get promoted!

    • The Editor: Is a slave a slave if he doesn't know he's enslaved?
      The Doctor: Yes.
      The Editor: Oh. I was hoping for a philosophical debate. Is that all I'm gonna get: "yes"?
      The Doctor: Yes.
      The Editor: You're no fun.

    • Adam: Oh my God, I'm going to be sick!
      (He heaves. His cheeks puff. Then he stops. He frowns. Puzzled. Strangely calm, he reaches into his mouth, and plucks out a sick-coloured lozenge)
      Nurse: Special offer, we installed a vomit-o-matic at the same time.

    • Rose: That's what comes with showing off; your history isn't as good as you thought it was.
      The Doctor: My history is perfect.
      Rose: Well, obviously not.

    • The Doctor: The fourth great and bountiful Human empire... Planet Earth, at its height.

    • The Doctor: My watch must be wrong.

    • The Editor: You're no fun
      The Doctor: Let me out of these manacles and I'll show you how much fun I am.
      The Editor: Ooh, he's tough isn't he?

    • The Doctor: The thing is, Adam, time travel is like visiting Paris. You can't just read the guide book, you gotta throw yourself in. Eat the food, use the wrong verbs, get charged double, and end up kissing complete strangers, or is that just me?

  • NOTES (19)

    • Original International Air Dates:
      Turkey: October 11, 2009 on CNBC-e.

    • Substantial scenes were edited out of this episode in post-production. The most crucial, an alternative motivation for Adam's actions, his father's terminal illness, was removed completely. Another was that both Suki and The Doctor were meant to have a courier deliver gold keys to them, which granted access to Floor 500.

    • Adam's mother, played by Judy Holt, was never named on-screen but was called Sandra in the script.

    • At the beginning of the episode, when the Doctor first arrives at Satellite 5, one of the women welcoming them uses the BBC's slogan; This is what we do.

    • In the book The Shooting Scripts, Russell T. Davies claims that he had originally set out to write this episode from Adam's perspective, watching the adventure unfolding from his point of view (exactly as Rose did in Rose) and seeing both the Doctor and Rose as enigmatic, frightening characters. He even gave this outline a working title: Adam.

    • The Long Game (the title of the episode) is a reference to what The Doctor says in Bad Wolf. He says "someone's playing The Long Game", after returning to Satellite 5, 100 years later.

    • The final viewing figure for the BBC One airing of this episode was 8.01 million.

    • Among the images that appear on the video screens in the Control Room are brief clips from the original series episodes The Ark in Space and The Leisure Hive.

    • Nicholas Briggs was originally considered to do the voice of the Jagrafess but then the producers changed their mind for fear it would sound too similar to Briggs' work in "Rose" as the Nestene Consciousness.

    • A vendor offers kronkburgers, which were first mentioned in Doctor Who Monthly #1-8 in the "Doctor Who and the Iron Legion" strip.

    • Working title: "The Companion Who Couldn't."

    • The Face of Boe makes 'its' second [or chronologically speaking, first] appearance, the other being in 'The End of the World'.

    • Possible 2001: A Space Odyssey references: the look of the revolving space station and the almost classical music playing in the background while it revolves after the alien is defeated. They seem quite similar to their Stanley Kubrick counterparts.

    • Simon Pegg and Tamsin Greig have previously worked together on Shaun of the Dead and Black Books.

    • A news clip shows the alien "The Face of Boe" and states that it's pregnant, "expecting Baby Boemina." The Face of Boe was previously seen as one of the alien guests on Platform One in the episode "The End of the World".

    • Simon Pegg had great trouble introducing the main villain, the Mighty Jagrafess of the Holy Hadrojassic Maxarodenfoe!

    • Adam did not decide to leave, he gets booted out of the TARDIS by a very angry Doctor, becoming the second companion to be kicked out. The first was the Doctor's own granddaughter, Susan. This is the first time the Doctor really lets loose about interfering with time - a foreshadow of the next episode?

    • Another reference to 'bad wolf', this time as a news network.

    • Described in the Radio Times Doctor Who special (26.03.05 - 01.04.05) as: "sinister goings-on at a satellite TV station of the future. With Simon Pegg and Tamsin Greig".

  • ALLUSIONS (1)

    • The Long Game

      In finance, "playing a long game" refers to implementing a long-term strategy rather than focusing on short-term gains. This refers to the subtle scheme implemented by the Jagrafess to enslave the human race without its knowledge over a period of eight decades.

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