Doctor Who

Episode Christmas Special

The Runaway Bride

Aired Saturday 8:00 PM Dec 25, 2006 on BBC America

Episode Fan Reviews (31)

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out of 10
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  • The Runaway Bride

    The Runaway Bride was a crazy and entertaining Christmas themed episode of Doctor Who. I really enjoyed watching because the story was interesting and the characters were awesome. Donna was a really cool woman and The Empress of the Racnoss was a bad AS5 B*^@# in her own right. She reminded me of the demon lord from the movie "Legend" and it was interesting to watch her movements and expressions. I liked Donna and it was heart breaking to learn the truth about her groom. I liked how every thing played out. The space ship scenes were great. The ending was awesome! I look forward to watching what happens next!!!!!!!!!
  • What a let down!! After waiting so many months for the new Episode, this one totally let me down on how the story line was all bloched up.

    First off, why would a special Episode be like this? come on now, Doctor Who should be thrilling and keep us on the edge of our seats for the next season.But why did the producers and writers let the viewers down? And that woman, who refused to go with the Doctor, I could not stand her one big. Not only was she thick, but she reminded me of a buffalo and not a very bright one at that too.

    Good thing that she is not going to be in the series. The actress who played Rose, actually picked up very well after the first episode.

    On a different note, wonder if the Doctor will get Rose back with the help of Captain Jack (from Torchwood).

  • We missed you Doc.

    What a great beginning for a new season. It is great to see the Dr. back and in action. When I first started watching this show it took a time for me to warm up to it. I'm not sure what it was, maybe because sometimes the other aliens are so far off the wall that for me it was not very believable. But now, I really do enjoy the show, even with the unrealistic aliens. This episode I was touched because it showed how much the Dr. missed Rose and I know the fans will too. Never the less the run-a way bride was hilarious and definitely kept the Dr. busy with a new adventure. Welcome back Doc.
  • My favourite Christmas episode.

    This episode is definately my favourite christmas special episode. It included Catherine Tate who is my favourite comedienne. Donna is a classic character and I'm glad they brought her back in the 4th series. The Racnoss was a marvellous enemy, a giant spider, genius! At first I thought it was CGI at first, but Sarah Parish pulled off a brilliant performence. The Christmas episodes are always exciting, apart from Voyage of the Damned. I think this episode set things up for later seasons.

    The idea of the story was very good, and you didn't see the surprise twist coming, you really didn't know that Lance was in on it.

    Very good.
  • Just when I was getting bored watching TV, the Doctor comes back.

    I forgot how much this show entertained me. I made a big mistake and got some DVD's of the original and this blows it away. I think this is version is the best from what I have seen. What are they going to do next? This show keeps surprising me, and I cannot wait to see the next twist and turns this series has in store.
    Is this Doctor better than Egglesworth, will the new woman be better than Rose. I will reserve judgement, sometimes change is better, sometimes it is not. So far I like everything I have seen. This is great.
  • I would have scored this a perfect ten if some of the London accents weren't so thick-sounding.

    Then, again; I'm a bloody Yank. So, what do I know? Well, I know what I like. And, for the most part, I liked this episode! The mystery of how the titular bride got aboard the TARDIS is solved during the prologue of the episode. But, it was still hilarious to see and hear David Tennant's shock at finding Donna (brilliantly played by Catherine Tate) there, at all. I also loved the chase scene on the highway, with the Doctor trying to keep the TARDIS from crashing while engaged in conventional flight. Not to mention Donna's reaction to the sight of a flying blue police box. "You've gawt to be kidding me." Absolutely priceless! But, it was the revelation of who owned the H.C. Clements Company, and the identity of the villainous masterminds that really took me by surprise. When I first saw those long spindly legs, I thought it might be an escapee from the Planet of the Spiders (3rd Doctor era). However, the fact that the Empress was the sole survivor of another evil race (apparently wiped out by the Time Lords), and that Donna's fiance' Lance was collaborating with her, completely floored me!!! In short, this third season premier was smashing.
  • Catherine Tate and David Tennat work together to produce a christmas special.

    A good episode to watch after christmas lunch, I liked the revival of the evil santas. The plot was original but not the strongest one in the world.

    Catherine Tate brings light comic relief to the episode with many brilliant one liners.

    The relationship between the Doctor and the bride was slightly odd, they didn't seem to understand each other at all.

    I loved the scene with the TARDIS flying down the motor way chasing after the taxi, the special effects were brilliant. I didn't know the TARDIS could be flown like that, but obviously it can be.

    I look forward to watching the coming series 3.
  • Fab C-Day viewing

    Christmas Day, 19:00, after the usual same but different, presents, over indulgence, Queen's speech, same old, same old. Last years Christmas invasion set a benchmark with David Tennant taking the role of the Doctor and well and truly inhabiting it. This year, companion gone, all alone we get treated to the fabulous Catherine Tate, playing a common as muck londoner just trying to get on with her life. And it works. Running around, exploding cash machines, motorway chasesd. The Doctor and Donna click, after a rocky start and spar with some great bantering, and have a good laugh at the sheer absurdity of their situation. Donna, of the various characters the Doctor has encountered over the years seems to have the clearest picture of him, seeing him for the tormented man, the man who has to make all the hard decisions, 'kill the bad guy' an' all that. Great viewing, left us waiting for season 3.
  • Donna is about to walk down the aisle on her wedding day when she suddenly turns up in the TARDIS.

    I really liked this Christmas Special. There was excitment, intrigue and a great performance by David Tennant as The Doctor. They also kept the spirit of Rose in the episode so die-hard fans would know she was not forgotten. The storyline was inventive and I was actually surprised by the twists and turns and Catherine Tate was fantastic as Donna, the clueless Bride. I don't usually like her show and she was virtually unrecognisable in the wedding dress but she and Tennant had a great chemistry and the episode worked really well. I love how Tennant is moulding The Doctor's character and he really is the best Doctor ever. -no offence to Eccleston fans!-
  • I liked it

    The second Christmas episode and the first one without Rose. I thought it was done really well, enough lip service was paid to Rose so you knew the Doctor was not over her departure but it didn't leave a black cloud hanging over the episode. Now, I'm not usually a fan of Catherine Tate, I can't stand her sketch show, but i actually really quite liked her in this. Donna was a hoot.

    I also liked the fact that The Doctor said the name of his home world. I've never really watched the original series but it just sent a shiver down my spine when he said Gallifrey.

    The Doctor's pockets are bigger on the inside. Just llike the TARDIS.
    The motorway rescue. Thrilling heroics or what?

    I really liked it, not perfect but well above average.
  • The Doctor gets a Slapping new Companion but is still thinking of Rose Tyler (Billie Piper) and While the Racnoss is overhead Bit of a copy of last years Special But still a Preety Good Effort WELL DONE BBC.

    This Episode was a bit of a copy of the Christmas Invasion Because it still had the Robot Santas It Had the Spaceship Hanging over london and it had a new character Last year the new character was David Tennant This Years new Character Was Catherine Tate This Episode was a bit more of a funny episode than a classic episode because it isnt as series as the other one its still serious but not as much it has some good contuinty like with roses jacket in the TARDIS and the doctor seeing thse people dance so he thinks of rose all in all a good episode thumbs up!!
  • Christmas with the Doctor and the TARDIS (spolier alert)

    Someone at the BBC must put and end to the use of the Santa Clause figure being shown - not that I mind the image, but it's not laughable or scary at this point...and to re-hash the same costumes is almost a pathetic attmpt on their part to please Russell Davies and his silly idead of what a "special" episode.

    and here is the real kicker - everyone in the USA has to wait to find it online after it airs in the UK - why can't the BBC get it right and increase the viewers of this show by using BBC America to give us the same entertainment - oh that's right - that would be efficient!

    While the UK and others think that Catherine Tate is a funny woman - she is NOT Dawn French - that would have been a special episode indeed - to get Dawn to be on this show would be a treat - but as for this episod....humbug

    David shines as the Doctor, the TARDIS take more part in this episode and I love the special effects used to track down "the bride" and help her escape from the baddies...the devlish Santas who are really Robots underneath...being controlled by...

    The best villian of the 2nd season and the best special effects work that they have done - great CGI overlay and decent acting help the episode along, but in the end, the Doctor whose own people (The Timelords from Gallifrey) helped destroy these omnivorous creatures before must now take it upon himself to destroy what is left of their race....which lies at the center of our Earth!

    To see the TARDIS doors open in flight was a treat - to see the creation of the Earth at the hand of a dying species was interesting if not flawed in the science department - but nicely done nonetheless.

    overall - if you have seen the end of Season 2 - you may wonder why the Doctor and the Bride are together - but after all - everything that happens to the Dcotor now is the 'fate of the universe" reaching out to the last of the Timelords to set things correctly.
  • A bride gets transferred to the tardis becuase her b*t*h of a boyfriend fed her up with particles which this weird bug thing needs and as usual the doctor cant do but help!

    I really liked this christmas specialDavid Tennant and Chatherine Tate are both fanstatic and really funny. "This wouldn't fit a rat!" Donna (Chatherine) said that when they were on top of a building and the Doctor put his jacket on her. He is really skinny! A couple of times you could tell they used a green screen but it was ok. The Doctor looked so heroic but wont take sh*t from no one when the water came down. That look is toally irresistible. That man who Donna was going to marry was so evil! I could never do that to a person and if i was Donna i'd want to kill him myself. I felt really sorry for her and the director used different angles on the camera and music to show her emotion as well as her facial expression which is really good. The BBC should be proud of Doctor Who!
    Tha red bug thing was quite weird and disturbing but it looked really good and real. Thats why i like Doctor Who becuase 99.9% of their "monsters" look real whereas most programmes like this try a rubbish job.
  • Not bad...

    “I have wandered, I have rambled…my love don’t wish to roam…”

    Another Christmas, another Doctor Who special – a beacon of hope amongst the festive TV schedules from hell itself. There’s a lot resting on this episode – can it work without the crucially important Billie Piper? And it does, more or less. Catherine Tate is entertaining to watch, although her acting is slightly (like much of her comedy) OTT, but she works very well with the flawless David Tennant (best actor in the UK?). The effects are pretty good, apart from the spider creature which is decidedly underwhelming (and Sarah Parish isn’t exactly brilliant is she?). The Runaway Bride’s plot is quite confusing as well, with plenty of rushing around and hurried explanations given at break-neck speed. It also feels quite long too (more like a movie), and it’s the first episode (apart from The Long Game, Boom Town, and The Idiot’s Lantern) that I haven’t been dying to see again. Not sure why.
    To finish, the song is great (Love Don’t Roam), the last scene is very good, and the trailer for Series Three is classic teaser material. Better than all the other rubbish on this Christmas…
    Not the best Who episode, but still good.
  • What a let down...

    From the minute Catherine Tate opened her mouth I wanted to turn it over. I was really looking forward to seeing this episode, but I struggled to finish watching to the end. It may have been a good episode if they had chosen someone else to play Donna.
    However I did liked how the Doctor talked about how he felt about Rose, it worked as a nice bridge to the next series. Bring in stuff about Torchwood worked well too, but I really can't get anymore excited about this episode.
    Hope the casting for the next series improves otherwise I think I'll give it a miss.
  • "The Runaway Bride" Doctor Who Christmas Special 2006

    *Yawn* Slightly bored by the end of it...

    Storyline wasn't fantastic...still wasn't clear...why did the racnoss need Donna? Overall the episode wasn't that fantastic, The Racnoss looked more suited for new kids series The Sarah-Jane Adventures and there didn't seem to be any overall story structure!

    Hope that the next series isn't this bad!
  • An episode not worthy of the title "special". It is exactly average, and nothing more. It rehashes old devices and presents little of a new or exciting threat.

    Though enjoyable on a first viewing, this episode is not a Christmas \\\"Special\\\" per say, but rather a transitional episode easing us into a new season without Rose Tyler. The plot is somewhat simple, although some satisfactory explanations are made for extraordinary events. The reasoning behind the bride appearing in the TARDIS at the start is actually explained away quite well. Other aspects are less than imaginitive (the choice of villian minions for one). The bride\\\'s bluster and annoyance at everything may be more realistic than Rose\\\'s heroism, but it grates on the nerves strongly. There is a very strong feeling of deja vu everpresent. The main villain reminds strongly of the final villain from the Pertwee era, if for no other reason than the obvious, it just sat around posturing threateningly. The makeup was far more effective than anything from that era however. Other aspects dissapoint greatly. The robot Santas from last year\\\'s episode are reused. Suitably threatening in their brief original appearance, their effectiveness is greatly diminished here as they act very differently and are overused as the primary physical threat. Apparently they just sit around on earth waiting to take advantage of the odd invasion or be controlled by outside intelligences. And isn\\\'t it lucky timing that their primary weapons are all Christmas tree related?!? Further rehashing is present in the form of flashback scenes (though brief) and the again use of present day earth as the backdrop. Frankly, for a series that\\\'s main draw has always been its ability to go anywhere I am getting very tired of Cardiff! I would have been more impressed by a lone survivor of the Racnoss trying desperatly to revive her species than another emperor-type. Tennant, though much more restrained than previously, and pleasantly much darker, is still infuriating with his constant exclamations of \\\"impossible\\\". One begins to wonder if he really has a firm grasp of what the word means. Russell seems to reuse the same elements over and over including location, villians, story structure and pacing. The chase scene, though freshly done, is another staple of his. There were some very powerful moments scattered, including a nice view of earth\\\'s creation and a subtle emotional moment where the Doctor snatches a piece of Rose\\\'s left behind clothing from Donna. One of the most infuriating things is the still presence of TORCHWOOD\\\'s effects and the discarding of previously established Doctor Who mythos. Didn\\\'t we almost drill to the center of the earth in \\\"Inferno\\\"? Yet, I don\\\'t remember seeing any primeval ooze preceeding the Racnoss young. I miss having a TARDIS door controller, but even more I am infuriated that the doors can now be opened in mid-flight. Arguably this is not contradictory to established fact (Four to Doomsday) but I also tend to remember episodes like \\\"Enemy of the World\\\" and \\\"Planet of Giants\\\". Updating mythos is not unheard of, but don\\\'t expect the viewer to accept it without explanation. I\\\'m still annoyed that the console room\\\'s changing appearance has never been addressed. There are moments which would perfectly warrent reference to the original series, but Davies prefers to only refer to the the events of his Whoniverse. And for an institute that stayed secret from the Doctor for so long, TORCHWOOD is sure making itself prominant now. The end trailor does give great hope for the future however...
  • Another feeble Christmas special, though not totally terrible either.

    The Doctor was on superb form (per usual) though dodging the question of Rose seemed totally out of character. I know he just lost her but if he cared about her so much he would have told Donna more about her than just a few snippets here and there.
    Robot Santa's...AGAIN...need I say more?
    Catherine Tate was a tad bit annoying as Donna at the beginning of the episode, though I warmed to her in the end. Thing was, she kept reminding me of her character Lauren on her own show as she was shouting and rude throughout a lot of the episode, though I warmed to her in the end.
    My 'Total Pointless but makes me think that the episode was not totally watsed' award goes to Sarah Parish as I thought she was brilliant as the Empress of Racnoss and for the slight fact she looked like Connie Fisher and slightly more scary than Bonnie Langford.
    Cannot wait for series three to start.
  • The strange bird that appeared in the tardis last series turns out to be a right mouthy cow

    the doctor is back
    grieving for rose in his own way
    he finds comedian cathrine tate guest starring in his show
    He is totally confused by this
    as she is just a stupid 21st century human
    with no special powers
    The tardis has a break down
    and in a pointless and unfunny scene they attempt to get a cab,in london,on christmas eve?
    Not even a time lord could work that kind of miracle

    As robot assasins attempt to abduct her the doctor discovers
    the bride has a link to torchwood
    and is filled with an exotic type of matter
    a power source for a long dead achracnid race

    okay first impressions
    mostly good

    the bride put me in mind of jackie tyler in always taking the doctor down a peg or two.

    The doctor`s darkside show again as he stands and watches as the flames and flood engulf the screaming spider queen`s layer

    The bad
    Sarah parish
    The BBC put her in everything (Cutting it)but shes average at best
    She camps it up as the spider lady
    but stumbles over her false teeth
    and aint all that menacing
    a true pantomime villian

    The doctor pulls some strange over serious faces at certain points in the episode .
    the scene were they all ride the mini bikes
    was quite absurd
    we didnt need the forced laughter

    A good episode
    with some bad acting but good science fiction
    the birth of the earth etc

    watch and enjoy the campy fun
  • This feeble episode gives the lie to the widely held opinion that Russell T Davies is the UK\'s premier TV writer.

    Never mind if Tennant is leaving or not, much more urgent is the need to replace the programme\'s executive producer and principle writer. The liner notes in the season 2 DVD gush \"Russell is the heart and soul of the show\". I say it\'s time to face up to the truth. The man is seriously overrated. Let me explain why: His scripts in both seasons have ranged from the mediocre (Tooth & Claw, Doomsday) to the breathtakingly bad (Boom Town, New Earth, Love & Monsters, Runaway Bride). \"Bride\" was utter drivel - Russell\'s worryingly unhealthy passion for sentiment has tarnished all of his scripts and surfaces unwelcome again here. It\'s all very well being in touch with your emotions, but being ruled by them is an entirely different (and as I said, unhealthy) matter. Frankly I couldn\'t care less about Rose and her irritating family. Get over her. Incidentally, Torchwood suffers from this strange fascination with emotional/sentimental overkill. If I were in charge of such an important organisation, my staff would not allow emotion to seriously interfere with duty (or be treacherous, or disobey orders...etc...etc) also I would personally see to it that Gwen\'s idiotic boyfriend Rhys is brutally killed and not allowed to come back to life. Anyway, that\'s another show. \"Bride\" was badly written, badly executed, badly acted, unfunny, badly produced and also erased the magnificant Pertwee era story \"Inferno\" from history by establishing a tunnel to the earth\'s core and NOT leaking dangerous slime and causing the earth to \"scream it\'s rage\". Ah well. If they\'re admitting this is a different show, that\'s fine. Just leave it in the hands of professionals please. Oh and by the way Russell, you can take your old boys network with you as well - go and write for Neighbours instead. You\'ll find yourself amongst equals. Bah, humbug. (One final note - I love most of the other episodes by other writers of this new series - Mark Gatiss & Stephen Moffet have written some corkers, so I\'m not an anti-new series fan by any means!)
  • The Bigger Picture (Spoilers)

    The centrepiece for BBC1’s Christmas Day schedule for the second year running, Doctor Who tried something a little different this time round for the festive episode, delivering an admirably light-hearted yarn (originally meant to have been a standard episode in the second series but due to various scheduling issues was saved back for the Christmas special). In the dying moments of ‘Doomsday’, a brief, but bizarre, scene in which a woman in a bridal dress suddenly materialized inside the TARDIS followed the Doctor’s sad goodbye to Rose. This episode- ‘The Runaway Bride’- follows directly on from that. How did bewildered and belligerent bride Donna end up inside the TARDIS? Can the Doctor get her to the church on time? And why is the sinister Empress of Racnoss so interested in Donna? With the return of the Robot Santas, a breathtaking chase sequence down a motorway, explosive baubles and a trip back to the dawn of time, it’s an entertaining romp, though not without its flaws.

    The casting of comedienne Catherine Tate as Donna screamed of ‘stunt casting’ (as did Peter Kay’s in ‘Love And Monsters’). However, she surprised me by putting in a fairly rounded performance. Mouthy, loud and seemingly quite vacuous, Donna is not at all happy to have been hijacked from her own wedding. She and the Doctor make for an unlikely combination but it more or less works for the most part (this is perhaps helped by knowing this was a one-shot thing). Yes, the mouthy loudness did grate a little in places and sometimes she went a little over-the-top (but the same can definitely be said for Sarah Parish too) but as the episode continues, I did feel a little sympathy for her due to her fiancé’s absolutely vicious and crushing deconstruction of her seemingly trivial life. The final scene between her and the Doctor was expertly played by both her and David Tennant, in which Donna acknowledges the dangerousness of the Doctor’s life and his need to occasionally have someone to rein his darker side in. Thankfully, they also resisted the urge to use any of her catchphrases (that would have been too much).

    Tennant’s performance was as good as always, full of his typically exuberant turns yet also tinged with moments of sadness and occasional darkness. Still smarting from the loss of Rose (which is played on in several parts but is never hammered home too hardly- the most emotionally affecting for me was the flashback to ‘New Earth’ when at the wedding reception), he gets thrown in to this madcap situation with a mouthy bride-to-be. But when he notices the Robot Santa/Pilot Fish again, he knows something deeper and darker is happening. He figures out how Donna has been dosed with the huon particles and even recognizes the Empress of Racnoss. In the final showdown against the Empress, the darker side of the Doctor’s nature is shown in a fairly surprising moment of brutality as he kills the Racnoss fledglings by washing them away.

    An unrecognizable Sarah Parish dons layers of prosthetics to play the evil Empress of Racnoss, a gigantic half-human, half-spider creation. Massive kudos to the designers and construction on her creation: it looks fantastic. I have to be honest, I’m surprised anything was committed to celluloid as Sarah Parish absolutely chewed the scenery to pieces, but it was an enjoyable performance in the main. She got some terrible lines, but you can only blame the writer for that (more on that in a minute). There was something very unsettling about her, but the endless bobbing up and down and hissing got a bit much towards the end. And much like the Sycorax from ‘The Christmas Invasion’, the Empress was a fairly lacklustre adversary. The plan- hiding her spawn at the centre of the Earth at the Earth’s creation so she can resurrect them- was one of the weaker aspects of the story, as was how Donna’s fiancé Lance (Don Gilet) got to be in league with the Empress. Whilst Donna thought he cared about her, Lance was simply dosing her with huon energy so the Empress could awaken her children when she needed to. How did he end up in league with her? That was never explained. However, he gave a strong performance- his bitter deconstruction of Donna was horrible to watch but performed very well. Plus he got a great comeuppance too.

    Other things of note in the episode: the breathtaking chase sequence down the motorway as the Doctor in the TARDIS tries to rescue Donna from a taxi driven by a Pilot Fish was excellently directed and quite thrilling; Murray Gold’s musical score was particularly strong too. I liked the plentiful continuity references to previous episodes (but that’s mostly cos I’m a huge geek) and the CGI effects of space and the creation of the Earth were wonderfully realised. That said, there are a few things that I wasn’t too keen on. Most of it was the rather uneven script, and that is not something I say of Russell T Davies a lot. It seemed a bit scattershot in places and some points just didn’t work for me: the Segway scene in the tunnels was pointless and the explanation of the Doctor’s pockets being bigger so he can hide the Robot Santa’s remote control- which was a dead ringer for a Playstation controller- was a cop-out. There were some atrocious lines of dialogue too but the one that really sticks out is the ‘personnel’ quip. But for the most part, it worked OK. Certainly not as strong as some of the episodes so far, but still very enjoyable and certainly enough to tide me over until the third series begins next spring.

    PS. At the end of the episode, there was (like last year) a sneak preview of some of what the third series has to offer. We get to see the Doctor meeting new assistant Martha Jones (Freema Agyeman); some weird-looking rhino-headed alien things; Shakespeare and the Globe Theatre; the Face of Boe- who will seemingly impart his final message to the Doctor; Ardal O’Hanlon in a get-up not dissimilar to the Sisters of Plenitude from ‘New Earth’ (but he looks like a pilot) as well as Mark Gatiss performing a miracle and getting younger and… the return of the Daleks. Bring it on!
  • Pretty good episode. Its nice to see the doctor back on his feet again.

    This pretty much sums up what doctor who is like, although usually the main characters aren\'t played by famous comedians!
    It contains enough science-talk to make it believable enough, without making you think \"oh, i am so dumb because i can\'t understand what they are saying\" It has a pretty original storyline, and i think it is good that the title doesnt tell you everything about the episode like some shows do. The special effects are pretty cool and they make it look pretty good.
    I love it when the doctor makes it snow, but hate it when he leaves without saying goodbye, like what the 9th doctor did to rose in the final episode of the first season.
    If you didnt watch it, then watch the repeat as it sis definately worth watching.
    Or at least watch the end as it gives you previews of the next season!!!

  • Finally we have some new Doctor, but was it worth the wait?

    While watching the new Christmas Special I had a great deal to enjoy. It was afterward in hind reflection that as good as it was I was left wanting more. Yes, it was nice little touches where we have rememberances of Rose. But I felt this was way from the success of last years Christmas Special. I got the feeling this was a "filler" of sorts, you hold out until the new season starts. I was getting flash backs to Christoper Reeve and Superman III where they went for the guest starring comedian approach which was all wrong. There just wasn't enough of the thought provoking that I have come to love on the new Doctor, still a very worthy episode.
  • A villain that make the saturday morning cartoons seem complex. Dr who rises to new levels of camp.

    Normally I let a lot slide with Dr Who. Just happy to have some british SciFi again, but this episode was a new low for the series. We have a new guest aboard the Tardis and she is a bit pushy, but that is fine. But when we get down to the heart of the matter we have a truly pathetic villain, seemingly scripted by 10 year olds after they overdosed on He-Man and power rangers, even that is understating how poorly this was done, I can't remember a B-Movie or even Saturday morning kids show villain that was more pathetically cookie cutter one dimensional and so overdone with the sneering and posturing.

    This one was truly painful to watch.
  • Where Russell T Davies has another one of his funny turns.

    My dad and I watched the last forty minutes of this together and his closing statement has stayed with me:
    “A patchy and incomprehensible pantomime acted by the mentally challenged and written by the illiterate.” And the statement has more than a grain of truth to it. As we all know, RTD can produce works of genius (Doomsday, anyone?) but also sometimes can’t script for toffee. (Bad Wolf – or as I call it , Terrible Wolf). This time, its not just the performance of David Tennant that was rushed, the whole production looked rushed – it was grim on so many levels I don’t know where to begin.
    Health and Safety rules at work means that most of us have heard of the fire triangle – comprised of three elements – take one away and you don’t have a fire. Same with Doctor Who – the three elements here, I reckon, are monsters, quality of the cast and guests and the science involved. If one of these elements are not properly there, then you don’t have a quality episode of Doctor Who. And if all three are missing – then you’re in trouble.
    Sarah Parish , in heavy makeup as the Empress of Rachnos, must have thought all her Christmases had come at once – easiest paycheck of her acting career. Turn up, suffer all that preparation, hiss for half an hour of screen time and that’s it. That’s a wrap, everybody. But half an hour of snarling and hissing does not a quality Doctor Who monster make. The set didn’t allow for full use of the Empress , to allow her to defend her children or attack her enemies. Give me Shelob from Lord of the Rings anyday. Now that’s how you work out a spiders lair and a spiders attack – OK, so the Beeb doesn’t have the budget or CGI avaliable to match Weta in New Zealand (they probably spent all the money on the TARDIS taxi chase sequence . (the only positive point in the episode – I loved the silent punch the air reaction of the kids in the back of the car in front) Oh, and getting hold of Catherine Tate (more of that later)), but you don’t as soon as you hit a brick wall in the writing process fall back to “Itsy Bitsy Spider” – it’s a easy and sloppy get out clause and it showed on Christmas Day.
    Yes, Catherine Tate. I’ll be the first to hold my hands up and say I don’t watch her comedy – the characters tend to be too stereotypical , too foulmouthed and just not funny. But I wasn’t going to let my dislike of the sketch show get in the way of her desire to break out into more serious acting. From this however ,I think her defection is more a loss to the acting community as a whole – my dad and I spent the whole show wondering when she was going to say the word “particles” properly. The BBC have said they wanted a bridge between Rose and Martha – they could have done this more efficiently by having the Doctor work out his new role on his own , leaving that money to tighten up the shooting and the script. Just look at “The Deadly Assassin” from the classic series to see how genius Who can be without a companion. Even the scenes where the Doctor is missing Rose and her spirit were spoiled – instead of giving the Doctor time to mull things over, he had to deal with a loose cannon and a poorly scripted character, to boot.
    And I haven’t even touched the technobabble yet. Purely because I just don’t care (or didn’t care). Within five minutes , I had forgotten the name of the energy present in the water – and a lot of other things beside. With the idea of the pantomime , we return to the often – argued idea of Doctor Who being purely a kids show. Doctor Who was never – and will never be – just a kids show. “The Deadly Assassin” showed it wasn’t a kids show. Hell, “Doomsday” showed it wasn’t a kids show. The brand now has its three levels for everyone – “Torchwood” with the adult themes and “The Sarah Jane Adventures” in the childrens afternoon slot. Season Three of the show in 2007 needs to continue being intelligent family sci-fi. Hissing villians, childrens rhymes and a lot of rushing mindlessly around shouting “Its behind you” and “Oh no it isn’t” just isn’t going to cut it in my eyes.
  • With this ring I thee bio damp...

    The beginning of the episode was so similar to last year's xmas special I thought for a moment they were actually showing that again. Then there was the wedding, and could sit back to enjoy this. After Doomsday's angst it was good to have something totally insane to watch. There was continuity with all the little glimpses of Rose and the way the doctor felt about the loss, but it wasn't overwhelmingly sad. More wistful than anything. At first, Catherine Tate's Donna was completely annoying, her mannerism irritating and all I wanted to do was to slap her. I guess that was intentional, for after a while, she stopped being so annoying. Self centered and loud, and thick yes, but then again who says women should all be easily adjusting and nice? Or brainy. :D

    The story was good, even though there were loads of parts where you just had to turn the brain to offline to really enjoy the whole thing. Torchwood digging a shaft down to the core of the planet? Yeah, that can be done... Oh wait yeah maybe with alien technology... or not... The idea of the Racnoss waiting for billions of years and their empress coming to wake them up was cool, as were most of the special effects. Torchwood timeline is still sort of making me wonder. Is Torchwood Cardiff acting on its own now? Does anyone control the whole thing? My one big problem with this episode wast he scene where the doctor used the flying cash to escape from the santas. It felt completely wrong. What guarantees did he have that the santas wouldn't just use their weapons on the crowd? For someone who cherishes life, that just felt out of character. Otherwise the doctor was wonderful, the range of emotion shown in him went from happy to sad, from merciful to almost cruel. Excellent! Or should probably say fantastic!

    The sneak preview to the 3rd series was exhilarating. I for one am looking forward to seeing more Doctor Who.
  • This episode is enjoyable for all the family. It is a whistlestop tour.

    The Runaway Bride sums everything Doctor Who is. Russell T Davies writes a wonderful script with witty humour and it is accessible for all people, children and adults alike. It has enough reference to Rose to remind viewers without bogging us down. The two female guest stars, Catherine Tate and Sarah Parish, are fanastic. Tate plays her lines beautifully and Parish is a great hybrid of a spider and a human. Of course David Tennant gives another brilliant performance as the Doctor.

    As you would expect Russell T Davies has us travelling to all sorts of places, the beginning of the Earth, a motorway, a wedding recpetion and a lower basement hidden underneath the Thames Floodbarrier. The best scene in the whole episode is probably the TARDIS flying across the motorway. The Mill did an extraordinary job of a difficult task.
  • We All Need Someone Written by Russell T Davies Directed by Euros Lyn

    Donna: “What the hell is this place?”
    The Doctor: “What?”

    This extract is otherwise known as the slightly mood killing scene from the end of “Doomsday”. Five and a half months since that excellent episode and the majority of spin-off series Torchwood reviewed, it’s time to take a brief look at the best show on television as it’s back for a second Christmas outing and to be honest, it’s a tricky episode to watch.

    Not because it’s the first episode post Rose Tyler, who’s gone and unlikely to ever resurface but mainly because I’m supposed to take Donna seriously as a stand in companion when in reality you could view her more as a mission as opposed to a temporary assistant.

    Although I’m a huge fan of Catherine Tate and her show, I have to admit that she wouldn’t have been my choice in the role of Donna Noble, even on a one-off circumstance and no amount of “let’s see her abilities as an actress” from Russell T. Davies and Phil Collinson was going to convince me otherwise. Anyway you slice it, this was stunt casting but if I could find Peter Kay tolerable, then surely Miss Tate stood a better chance, right?

    The basics of Donna’s story have the woman landing inside the TARDIS as she was about to get married to her fiancé Lance Bennett on Christmas Eve and to say that she’s miffed over being transported on a mysterious ship with a strange man would be understating it. It also doesn’t need pointing out that The Doctor is confused and not entirely pleased himself with Donna on board either.

    Unfortunately even for a guest character, you can tell it’s an almighty bad sign when in the first five minutes of their stint they’re annoying you to the brink of a violent reaction and even a far more patient person than me would have a hard time dealing with Donna.

    Belligerent, loud mouthed and in general a pain in the arse, instead of worrying how she managed to go from one place to another, Donna decides that the best way of using her energy is to be as abusive as possible and when she isn’t dithering on about her wedding or dislike of Christmas, she works overtime in insulting The Doctor and blaming him for her dilemma. At the rate you’re wishing The Doctor would push her out of the TARDIS because Donna is more than a handful.

    Of course like Donna and The Doctor, I also want to know why the hell this woman got into the TARDIS because it’s supposed to be impossible to get into The Doctor’s own ship without an invite so obviously something sinister is at foot.

    Donna runs on the assumption that The Doctor kidnapped her and finding an item of Rose’s only arouses her suspicions even further. In fact there is a few times where Donna’s insensitivity and accusations really get on my nerves and while I understand that she’s in an unknown situation, I still can’t sympathise with the woman but it is refreshing to find a human not impressed with The Doctor, even if Donna exhibits this trait in a more negative manner.

    When landing in London and shouting for taxis to get to her wedding, Donna’s brash manner really shoots herself in the foot. In a fantastic bit of continuity from “The Christmas Invasion” and our first clue that something is up with Donna, the Pilot Fish are back and while The Doctor can distract some of them with wads of cash flying in the air, Donna still gets nabbed by them when she finally gets her taxi.

    The first really amazing thing about this episode happens when The Doctor has to rescue Donna from the most useless captor in the world. Yeah, The Doctor uses the TARDIS to literally chase after the taxi and while it may be hugely silly, that factor doesn’t diminish sheer entertainment or success as The Doctor gets Donna.

    A turn around for Donna happens at this point as she goes from annoying to slightly bearable. The Doctor examines her and concludes that she’s nothing special but she has to be if the Pilot Fish are after and through flashback we find out that Donna is a secretary at HC Clements and her fiancé was in Human Resources. Flashbacks prove that Donna is annoyingly determined as she relentlessly hounded and wore Lance down until he agreed to marry.

    As grooms go, Lance is a bit of a hottie and The Line Of Beauty’s Don Gilet makes an interesting choice for the role as we see barely react when Donna in front of The Doctor lays into him for continuing with the reception in her absence. Donna’s way of diffusing attention by crying is kind of lame but at least The Doctor finds out that her and Lance’s workplace has Torchwood connections. It’s nice to see that particular thread being continued with.

    Of course the reception really heats up when the Pilot Fish pay a visit with another failed attempt to snatch Donna. Still their determination has to be admired and continuing from last year’s Christmas special, our killer trees are back and causing things to explode and guests to be thrown into the air. Of course, The Doctor is even better when a sound system proves to slow these set of pests. Well exploding Pilot Fish sound better than Robbie Williams any day of the week.

    The neat thing about the Pilot Fish that we learn is they have two kinds of orders – snare/kill things but they are also being controlled by something else. Last year it was the Sycorax, this year it’s something else and it’s a lot uglier than creatures that can use a blood type to hold the world to ransom.

    Unlike everyone else, The Doctor has found something off with Lance and his company so when he, Lance and Donna all pay a visit to HC Clements a few bombs get dropped along the way. Well first off, those Torchwood connections go deeper and reveal a secret place in the lower basement and secondly that Donna is special in a way after all when it’s revealed that she has Huwan particles inside her and although banned by the Time Lords a long time, she’s still been spiked with them and they are fatal enough. This explains the TARDIS and Pilot Fish debacle but thankfully there is more to it as it sounds a bit simplistic.

    How exactly was Donna spiked with the stuff? Well she isn’t the brightest girl in the world but she’s not stupid enough to do it to herself so it turns out that her not so loving fiancé Lance is responsible and he’s not the only one with plans for the gobby bride either.

    Our villain this Christmas is a disgusting spider like creature called the Empress Of Racnoss and with better eyesight than the slurring she calls speech, a hardly recognisable Sarah Parish chews up the scenery so much in her role, I’m surprised she didn’t gobble everyone else in the process.

    The Empress came from a group of vicious creatures who basically eat everything and everyone within its path but somehow her species managed to get erased with only her as a survivor. This is hardly the first we’ve encountered something that was the last of its kind and it’s doubtful that it will be the last time either.

    The Empress scheme for Donna seems simple enough as with Lance dosing his bride with energy over the past six months all The Empress has to do is have Donna devoured so her people can reclaim the Earth and for Lance, that’s a good thing because his hatred for Donna seems to know no bounds but his own density decides his own fate as he himself is stupid enough to believe that teaming with The Empress would benefit him in the end.

    Did it come as a major surprise that when The Doctor and Donna used the TARDIS to escape The Empress for a bit that Lance would be drugged with all that energy and used as part of The Empress’ plan? Not really and once again, any sympathy I’m supposed to have for Lance, I just can’t muster.

    It’s funny that in the space of thirty five minutes I’ve gone from wanting Donna dead to actually feeling a bit sorry for her but that’s how things go and basically how the character was suddenly sympathetic when it transpired that her groom is ten times more irritating than she was. Getting to see Earth before its creation is a stunning experience I wish we had seen with Rose but as Donna generates an appreciation for The Doctor, we’re given something very essential about the Racnoss.

    So the Racnoss are the centre of the Earth and Donna managed to get snatched by The Empress while The Doctor did battle with a Pilot Fish. Lance got a comeuppance when The Empress used him as a first sacrifice and there’s a brilliant moment where the evil creature sees through a pretty blatant disguise but then again we all knew The Doctor was donning the black robe and Robot head for size.

    The Empress made a bad decision to invade this Earth because while for the most The Doctor was too busy to grieve for losing Rose, he was able to vent his anger in a far more constructive way when he used the killer trees to foil The Empress’ plan and just like the Sycorax, she got no second chances when her own ship was blown to smithereens. Seeing The Doctor foil her plan brought out an even darker side than we’ve seen already and David Tennant handled that with his usual flair.

    As temporary assistants go, Catherine Tate managed to prove her worth and while she made Donna likeable in the second half of the episode, I am so seriously glad that we’re not getting her on a regular basis, no disrespect meant of course.

    With the threat over and The Doctor giving an unemployed, single Donna some Christmas cheer, her invitation of Christmas dinner to the guy she kept referring to as a Martian is declined. After all, he doesn’t do families even if they cook for twenty people on December 25th.

    Of course The Doctor also gives Donna the chance of becoming a full time companion to which she refuses and uses the negative aspects of her experiences as leverage for her decision. While I’m glad not to have her as a companion, I did think she was right when telling The Doctor to find someone because he needs someone to keep him in line. His attack on The Empress justifies Donna’s statement to an extent.

    The dealing with Rose’s exit was well handled in my opinion. I liked that it wasn’t rammed home too much but little things like Donna asking if Rose trusted him and Rose’s name at the end reinforced the fact that while The Doctor won’t be flying solo next year, Rose Tyler won’t be a distant memory either.

    Also in “The Runaway Bride”

    No “Previously On” but they did put Catherine Tate’s name in the opening credits for this one episode.

    The Doctor: “It’s called the TARDIS”
    Donna: “That’s not even a proper word. You just made it up”.

    Donna: “Is that optional?”
    The Doctor: “It is for me”.

    Donna was supposed to get married at St Mary’s at 3:15pm. Her and Lance had only been seeing each other for six months. Jokes about Elaine Figgis to be distributed at once!

    Donna: “I’m in my wedding dress”
    The Doctor: “Yes you look lovely, now come on”.

    All the money in this episode had Phil Collinson’s face on it and I think there was a brief glimpse to Rose’s old workplace Henriks.

    Donna (to The Doctor, re Rose): “This friend of yours before she left, did she punch you in the nose?”

    Speaking of Rose, we got Donna finding her top from “New Earth” and a brief clip from that episode too.

    Donna: “You can do the explaining, Martian boy”
    The Doctor: “Yeah, I’m not from Mars”.

    Silvia (re The Doctor): “Oh for God’s sake the man’s an idiot. What harm is a Christmas tree gonna do?”

    During “The Christmas Invasion” Donna was hung over and during “Army Of Ghosts”/“Doomsday” she was in Spain. In other words, Lance may have a point about her being thick.

    Empress Of Racnoss: “Who are you of such command?”
    The Doctor: “I’m The Doctor”.

    The Doctor: “It’s all a part of the job, human resources”
    Lance: “This time, its personnel”.

    I liked the design of The Empress; she almost looked a bit devil like as well and quite red even for a spider like creature. All of the eyes added to the creepy factor.

    The Doctor (to Donna, re Earth): “This whole process is beautiful but only if it’s being observed”.

    Donna: “I hate you”
    Lance: “I think we’ve gone past that stage sweetheart”.

    Did anyone think part of the secret base and flood barrier underneath looked a bit like New Earth?

    The Doctor: “What happens next is your own doing”
    Empress Of Racnoss: “I’ll show you what happens next”.

    I have to give a double commend for the Season Three preview at the end and the Doctor Who Concert that aired six hours prior to this special.

    The Doctor (re Lance): “I couldn’t save him”
    Donna: “He deserved it”.

    Chronology: December 24th and 25th 2007.

    Donna: “Your friend, what was her name?”
    The Doctor: “Her name was Rose”.

    Standout music: I guess it has to be Slade’s “Merry Christmas”. Didn’t Russell use that in “The Christmas Invasion” as well?

    Well to be honest, “The Runaway Bride” isn’t the best title they could’ve come up with and while last year’s “The Christmas Invasion” was much better, this episode does show that post-Rose Tyler, the series is in very good hands, so here’s myself looking forward to 2007 even more.
  • Fun for the holidays :)

    It was a filler episode of sorts, not in a bad way -- a Christmas treat.

    Some of it seemed a little out of place, mainly the robot-characters. They were in cahoots with the evil-spider-alien, but how? They were on Earth, but not on her ship. How was it they came to be members of the same team? Maybe if I was a longtime fan of the original series, this would be more clear. One of those aspects of a plot that you just have to accept and enjoy the ride...

    Apparently the episode's companion was a one-hit-wonder. A shame, as her spirited and strong-willed portrayal of the character was entertaining. I was looking forward to future episodes with her attempts at shouting the bad guys into submission. Rose was young, not particularly pretty -- Donna was neither young or pretty; would have been refreshing to see her teamed up with the Doctor for a season or 2. Would've added some depth to the storyline. From the scenes of future installments, it appears they're going for young and pretty. Interesting that they repeated the companion being involved in an inter-racial relationship; not implying this to be good or bad, just surprised the same situation was revisited.

    An enjoyable dose of Doctor Who for the holidays, my only disappointment was that Donna apparently won't be his next companion -- she would've been fun :)
  • Does nothing to endear me to Catherine Tate, but could have been worse. Much worse.

    I'm not especially fond of Russell T. Davies as a writer. I'm not especially fond of David Tennant's interpration of the tenth Doctor. I don't like Catherine Tate. All that said, I am still a Doctor Who fan, and although I\\\'ve long since given up on "Torchwood", I will at least make an effort to watch any new episodes that come out. Maybe it's just me, but I thought the second season had some very bottom-of-the-barrel type stories (cough ... "Love & Monsters" ... cough), and I am really concerned that the third series is going to get flushed down the toilet even more. The news that Catherine Tate was going to guest star in this episode did not fill me with excitement. She wasn't bad in the role, but neither was she that good, just all shouty and annoying. If the episode writer Davies had even dared to have her utter the dreaded catchphase "Am I Bovvered?" I'd have turned off there and then, but thankfully, things never got that desperate, though the writer clearly was desperate enough to bring back the robot Santas and the spinning deadly Christmas Trees.

    I'm struggling to remember the plot at all and make sense of it, so maybe will have to catch a repeat screening on BBC3 sometime and hope to tie up a few loose ends. There's some kind of 'Torchwood' angle in this episode that I am not sure on at all. They have a secret base underneath the Thames Flood Barrier and have attempted to dig through to the centre of the Earth or something. I do hope he's not going to plug "Torchwood\" all next year as well. The previews look good, but I'm really worried about the direction the show is going in these days. I just wish he'd step back and let some decent sci-fi writers have a go instead of writing most of the episodes himself. Then we might get something a little different. And better. Generally enjoyable though, and the best new program on this Christmas by a mile.
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