Doctor Who

Season 2 Episode 9

The Satan Pit (2)

7
Aired Saturday 8:00 PM Jun 10, 2006 on BBC America
SUBMIT REVIEW

Episode Fan Reviews (29)

9.1
out of 10
Average
528 votes
  • The Satan Pit

    10
    The Satan Pit was a superb and very entertaining episode of Doctor Who. I really enjoyed watching because the story was intriguing and full of action, drama and suspense. It was awesome to see The Doctor go into The Pit and what he found was dark and out of this world. The mythologies involved were interesting and this was a great exploration of them. There was suspense, character conflicts and awesome special effects. I liked how every thing played out and I was glad as The Doctor was to see The TARDIS. The ending was great and I look forward to watching the next episode!!!!!!!!!
  • Very revealing about the Doctor's feelings toward Rose

    9.4
    One of my favorite episodes, gives a lot of confirmation of what we know the Doctor's been feeling for Rose the entire time. I think that this has to be one of the most well written episodes yet. Especially the little speech the Doctor gives when he is down in the pit, "So that's the trap, the great test, the final judgment, I dunno. But if I kill you, I kill her. But that implies, in this big grand scheme of gods and devils, that she's just a victim. Well, I've seen a lot of this universe. I've seen fake gods and bad gods and demi-gods and would-be gods. I've had the whole pantheon. But if I believe in one thing... just one thing... I believe in her!" Has to be the best thing I've ever heard him say.
  • The Doctor and Rose are separated, the Ood are going mad and there's a devil in the basement.

    10
    This is an amazing conclusion of the Impossible Planet story arc. I don't know what I love the most; the Doctor and his so obvious love for Rose, their wonderful and joyous reunion hug, Rose wanting to stay for him (foolish though it is, as the planet is not safe and the Doctor wouldn't have wanted her to stay and died while waiting for him to return) or the ending, when Zack reports the Ood deaths. I get chills every time. The scene before the Doctor and Rose flys off, also known as 'the stuff of legends' scene, though it is meant to be happy and awesome, personally I just get a little tearful when I see it, as I know that was Billie Piper's last scene on Doctor Who. Still. Amazing episode.
  • Better than most huge-budget full-production movies!

    10
    This episode reminded me of Alien V Predator, but it's effects and story were much better! Of course, it also reminisced of Event Horizon (with the ship from hell plot), but this defnitely came across has having superior effects to many full-length feature movies, and it's just a tv series! The plot, effects, acting -- all are incredible in this TV series and because of the Nature of the Doctor's limitless time and space travel, the plot is nearly limitless because the Doctor can encounter supernatural, monsters, any era, any villain big or small. It's the ultimate "meta-show" that covers just about everything exciting, sci-fi, and worth watching!
  • The Doctor and Ida are trapped by the entrance to the Pit while Rose and the rest of the crew are being hunted by the Ood. Whilst they are unaware that they have a traitor in their midst, the Doctor has to face a being that contradicts his very beliefs!

    10
    Well. A classic. It has to be. A brilliant episode. The Doctor, for the first time, is confronted by something that goes against everything he believes in. The Beast. It brings to mind a thought that many people have had in their lives. Is there a God, is there a Satan? Is there a Heaven and is there a Hell. In this case, the Doctor, Rose and the crew seem to have found the latter of both. Gabriel Woolf gets some brilliant lines in this episode as does the Doctor and Rose. I believe there is a spoiler in one of the lines concerning Rose, but, you never know. These two episodes have been, I feel, a taste of things to come!
  • Better than the previous one, but not the best.

    7.6
    This episode was better than the previous one, but it wasn't the best there has been. The idea was brilliant and the writing was fantastic although some o the characters were a bit weird and shallow. The best scene was when Rose shot the rocket wind screen and un did Toby's belt so he flew out into the black hole.

    The special effects were great and 'The Beast' was fairly terrifying. The Ood were back again and became more scary as they went on a frighting killing spree.

    The end line was brilliant, as it was the last line filmed in total: 'The Stuff of Legends'. It was fantastic.
  • I was dissapointed / bored

    6.6
    This was the first of the new Doctor Who 2 parters that did not manage to keep my attention ... and I cannot really say why ... it had all the usual good elements, interesting new characters .. maybe the \'threat\' was a bit lame .. and somehow I felt like watching a mix of Armageddon and the Abyss ... For me personally this has been the weakest entry so far. Maybe it would have been better / more compact as a 1 hour episode, not a 2 parter .. but then it might still have felt like a filler. Can easily be skipped.
  • An even better conclusion to a great story opening.

    10
    As, said above, an even better conclusion to a great story opening. Continuing from the last episode. The Ood have become posessed and have went beserk, it'll be hard to ascape from them. Also we get to see this mystery monster and it looks very much like a devil. It was inside the pit, hence the title. I won't say much more as I don't really want to spoil it for you. Just watch and enjoy. I'm sure it will not dissapoint. It's nice to get away from Earth and get into outer space. Well, that's it. See you! Bye! Hasta la vista!
  • Wow.

    9.6
    I think my summary said it all. This was such a nerve-wracking episode for me! I live in Canada, so this episode just aired last week and this is the one show that I don't look for spoilers on. I wasn't sure how many episodes were left, and I knew Rose was leaving at the end of the season, so I was so afraid that she was going to die! I was so beyond relieved when the Doctor towed the rocket with his Tartis. I am fully serious when I say I was on the edge of my seat.

    I thought it was interesting that they had Satan as their villian in this episode. I mean, Satan is definately a villian, but most shows do not deal directly with the devil. I don't know, though. The body of Satan didn't really scare me. The weird possessed guy did, though. I'm excited for the rest of the episodes this season. I'll really miss Rose when she is gone.
  • The Beast is out and Rose and the crew of Station 6 fight to survive the Ood onslaught. Far below, the Doctor and Ida investigate the apparently bottomless pit.

    9.0
    A good first parter leads to an excellent conclusion with this episode. Some things are lacking with this episode, but the positives far outweigh any shorcomings. Again this show brings its best, delivering wonderful character moments for the stars and the guests, a powerful, menacing enemy with a legion of creeepy minions, action and adventure, sacrifice, and the Doctor once again proving just why he has lasted as long as he has. This episode gives almost every character a moment to shine, whether it's Rose's take charge attitude as the Ood close in, Jefferson's heroic stand and tragic entrapment (almost identical to Rose's in "Dalek"), Ida's unending sense of exploration, or Zach's rise to deserving his title as "acting captain" and his later respect for not only his fallen crewmates but also the deceased Ood. The Doctor's rediscovery of his alive and well TARDIS, while completely predictable, was still a terrific moment. The episode's few slipups are minor. It would have been nice to get a little more information on this devil as well as what exactly it was that all of that ancient writing was saying. It seemed like that was just abandoned. Overall, this episode provided thrills, excitement, and pulse racing action. It's a job well done.
  • Action packed episode with a twisted ending.

    8.9
    "The Satan Pit" concludes the previous episode "The Impossible Planet." The Doctor and Rose are stuck on a planet around a black hole and they have seemingly lost the TARDIS!!! While the devil posessive Oods are trying to overtake the santuary base, the Doctor is trying to find the source of their problems at the centre of the planet. I didn't give this episode a perfect rating because it began rather slowly but it made up for it the end. The final 15-20 minutes were very exciting and had me on the edge of the seat the entire time. The only thing else I can say it that the ending was totally unexpected.
  • SOLTAN!!!

    9.8
    One of the better episodes, despite fireexit112's claims that it has no plot. I think you'll find it does. In spades. While it does not have a strong plot of its own, this episode hints at Rose's departure at the end of the series. It is also heavy on action (containing enough material for about seven series of Invasion) and the acting is good. Well, mostly. It also cleverly hints about the past of the people in the episode when Soltan (The beast) describes what he sees when he looks at the humans. Add all this up and you get exactly what the doctor ordered (Haa haa.)
  • A brilliant conclusion to the two parter with some great acting by tennant and effects to match

    10
    Now what REALLY makes this episode special to me is the seriously well done special effects. Tennant was brilliant in his confrontation with the beast, his emotiveness was excellent especially considering he was ranting at nothing more than a green screen. The advancement of Roses character was well done also, her deductiveness in figuiring out the beast while on board the rocket was similar to the doctor himself and wouldve probably figuired it out if the beast hadnt told her to shut up. The doctors eccentricies were also well done by Tennant, his reaction to his own deductions about the beast and further his discovery of the TARDIS were as usual brilliantly done by him, it really shows how much he enjoys the part he plays.
  • Into The Belly Of The Beast (Spoilers within)

    8.8
    If I’m honest, I was a little disappointed with ‘The Satan Pit’. The first part of the story promised a lot and delivered up to a point, but there was something in there which was unsatisfactory. Following straight on from ‘The Impossible Planet’, Rose and the other scientists must battle past the murderous, possessed Ood via a series of tunnels to get to the rocket and get off the planet. Meanwhile, the Doctor and Ida are left with a dilemma: try and get back to the surface, or go into the pit? The Doctor, being the Doctor, decides to head into the pit and comes face-to-face with an ultimate source of evil.

    There’s a lot to like in ‘The Satan Pit’. Early on, the voice of the Beast taunts the survivors with knowledge of their past and future, delivering a stark warning to Rose which put a shiver in me. The action scenes were impeccably staged, the claustrophobia and danger of Rose, Toby, Danny and Jefferson crawling through the ventilation tubes pursued by a possessed and bloodthirsty pack of Ood was very well done. Similarly, the confrontation between the Doctor and the Beast- a fabulous and terrifying CGI creation- works well.

    However, something didn’t really ring right. Perhaps it was all the philosophising? The meditations upon good and evil, faith and belief were interesting but a little wearying, to be honest. Does it really matter what the Doctor believes? He acknowledges the Beast’s physical form at the end, but doesn’t acknowledge what it might be. And that doesn’t get answered either; is this captured Beast meant to be the Devil incarnate, or is it just an ancient demon? Still, it quite nicely reaffirms the bond and affection between the Doctor and Rose- he says that the one thing he believes in is her. Not quite the masterpiece it could have been, but still ‘The Satan Pit’ is enjoyable enough.
  • back to the good stuff baby.....*spoilers*

    9.6
    The Impossible Planet coupled with it's conclusion The Satan Pit was a rollercoaster of a ride.

    The CGI of the Beast was truly outstanding, compared to the "flying" cars on "New Earth." I was actually truly scared. The Ood were once again incredible and I especially loved how their fear came across on their faces as the planet fell into the Black Hole.

    Te only thing which is starting to annoy me with this new Doctor, is how he comes to a really quick understanding of things. You know what I mean. In the last five minutes of each episode he sorts everything out, he's always like "yes!" "ooh I got it!" "a ha!" "Unbelievable" "ohh, hang on!" "that's it!"....it is starting to confuse and annoy...
  • More Fantasticer than The Impossible Planet!

    10
    This episode was spectacular! Absolutely perfect! For once, it's actually perfect! Oh. My. God! I just feel that you need to know how good this episode was.

    This is the first ever Doctor Who episode in which I cried. When The Doctor was going down the pit and just fell...into the darkness...so sad... This is the first episode where I felt not scared, but in an emotion I couldn't understand, maybe amazement at The Beast...spectacular, absolutely amazing. I can't think of many other words.

    This couldn't have been better. And with the quote about Rose during the two parter, who knows what's going to happen to her soon...

    Well you will after the episodes air, but then, I bet not all is clear...
  • An exciting conclusion to this two-part journey back to classic who stories...

    7.0
    Apart from some of the obviously cliched imagery which was used for the beast / satan / darkness thing, this story gave me a real sense of what Dr Who used to be and what it has become over the last two seasons merging together.
    We had the young guy who is possesed by touching something, strange things in the shadows which electricute you with odd funny ball things and the doctor stuck in some deep whole without a clue how to fix things until the very very very last minute. It brought me back to so many stories around the 70's era which followed much the same pattern.

    Having said that, the acting back then was a lot more camp and they did it well. It seems like the new series is trying to be too serious too straight with it's "straight" performers rather then pushing them to the other extreeme which might be funnier (i.e. pretty much all the characters in Nightmare of Eden were mad.) But hey, the actor who did play the mad character did a good job and the makeup they put on him was fabulous.

    In terms of the conclusion of the two parter (I still like having a two parter because that's what the show used to be about - waiting to see what happened next time...). I am getting concerned that the series is building up these great stories only to let us down in the conclusion. It's happened a few times (with Rise of the Cybermen is was a premature let down, I watched 5 minutes and was disappointed - retro cybermen rule!!) and they're good at building but not at exposing which is a pity. But apart from some over soppy moments with Rose, the story did wrap up respectably and with the bad guy gone the few survivors were happy to make it out (with the doctor's help of course)

    Why didn't the Doctor save the Ood? And why did he just brush it off. Many old Doc's have grappled with the thought of leaving one person behind (remember Adric - was he worth more than 50 Ood) but when it comes to fifty sentient beings he doesn't care? C'mon what's that all about. Cut out some of the stupid stuff with Rose and bring back some of the nice Doc!!

  • The Daemons in space almost...

    5.0
    Started well, then lost it toward the end.

    Could be a description of the show if its not careful.

    As an aside I wish they would stop giving Rose so much clout, she is a poorly educated 19 year old who says "fin" when she should say "thin". Yet she seems to take charge everywhere, when in actuality she should be treated as the stranger, an alien almost, people should not defer to her.
  • This is good stuff, characters getting back to where they belong!

    9.6
    Lately it seems as though Rose has been laying donw on the job, she just hasn't been herself. I've been wondering where the idiot came from and what happened to the take charge girl we saw in the season one pilot? Back then the Doctor was in peril and she grabbed the anti-plastic swung out over the ledge and saved the Doctor. In this conclusion Rose takes charge, thinking to herself what would the Doctor do? She's even sounding like a companion. She was back to thinking things out and asking questions, which is why last season the Doctor took such a keen interest in her.

    The Doctor facing down an unknown peril, leaving us asking what is going on? Questioning himself and his world and his rules while still thinking the situation out. Classic Doctor situation where he uses his mind against awsome malevolent powers!
  • Mesmerising example of an incredible show.

    9.6
    Following on from last week's 'The Impossible Planet', this episode lives up to the first half.
    The Ood were decidedly menacing and creepy - especially when chasing the others down the ventilation shafts.

    There were some absolute gems of scenes in this episode, particularly the one where the Doctor goes down into the pit and takes the leap of faith to just fall.
    The tension built to the highest degree and all avenues of escape had been taken away from them and yet the Doctor still had that spirit of adventure and wonder despite the odds.

    The big question on everybody's lips is what did Satan mean when referring to Rose dying in a great battle? Maybe this is true, but hopefully it won't happen for a very long time yet.
  • Rose Loves The Doctor, The Doctor Loves Rose, They are the stuff of LEGEND.

    10
    Analysis
    Again a strangely paced story. I am probably not alone in expecting the second episode to have a lot of action compared to a leisurely first 45 minutes. But in fact, the resolution of the story all happened in something like the last 4 minutes. The TARDIS appeared at 42.42 according to my dvd player. And it might be possible to call that a Deus ex Machina ending, except we have known all along that the TARDIS was down there somewhere. We have been expecting him to bump into it since he went down in the capsule. Leaving it to the VERY last minute and then some was stretching things to their limit, but hands up who didn’t expect him to find the TARDIS and save the day? Come on, it was obvious. And not because it was a badly written story, but because that’s how it is meant to be.

    You see, the problem with the people who have been most critical of Doctor Who lately is that they are expecting unsolvable mystery. But this is not the X Files. This is not Mystery Science Theatre or The Twilight Zone. If we’re going to have comparisons, this was more like Columbo. We always know whodunit at the start of the story. The fun is watching the man in the long tan coat catch them. Same here. We KNEW The Doctor was going to defeat the creature in the pit, we knew he would find the TARDIS and rescue everyone. We who have faith in The Doctor and his TARDIS just needed to watch to find out how and when our faith would be rewarded.

    The rest of the story had its moments of tension, most notable Jefferson’s valiant last stand against the Ood, buying the rest of them time. And no, that’s not the most original idea. We saw it in Tooth and Claw, we saw it in Parting of the Ways when Jack held off the Daleks. But then again we saw it in the Alamo, Rourkes Drift, we saw it right back when three hundred free men of Sparta held the Persians back at Thermopylae. In fact or fiction we have always admired those who gave their lives fighting against impossible odds to the last moment, and it is too late now to say that it’s clichéd.


    But for the most part, the episode was about the tension and the uncertainty of people under siege. The Doctor and Ida down in the cavern have some beautiful dialogue as they consider what to do with their last hour of air. Having decided NOT to do the obvious and explore the deeper pit because he knows that’s what the evil WANTS him to do, decides he might as well take the leap of faith after all. The scenes of him descending the pit, his red space suit against total blackness are cinematically breathtaking in their simplicity and his monologue about the nature of evil in the universe thought provoking.

    Meanwhile, up on the surface the crew are feeling defeatist until Rose takes charge. She tried to ‘stand in’ for The Doctor in the Christmas Invasion and failed dismally, but this time she rises to the occasion magnificently. The hardened space explorers d her bidding without question because she has acquired from The Doctor that thing that people will always respond to if it is used in the right way – authority.

    And in between it all happening the love story continues. Those who feel The Doctor should not BE a romantic figure are going to have to admit defeat at this point. There is no doubt about it for everyone else.

    The sweetest expression of that love, as The Doctor got ready to take that leap of faith he knew he might not survive, was accompanied very subtly by the love theme that ran all through last season. But notable The Doctor couldn’t come out and say for certain he loves Rose, not even with Ida as proxy. Something blocks the words for him. He chickens out by saying “She’ll know.” And she does know. But somebody should tell him, before it’s too late, that even a girl who KNOWS a guy loves her needs to be told. Will he live to regret never saying it to her?

    Rose is the one certainty in his mind as he faces the Beast in the pit. He doesn’t have a religion. The Time Lords themselves WERE regarded as gods by most of the planets they interacted with, and he is less certain than ever what he believes in having been confronted by the existence of the Devil. It is significant that he discusses with Ida whether she believes in religion. Dennis Wheatley, author in the 1970s of some quite lurid fiction about Devil worship mentions in one of his books that ‘the existence of the Devil automatically implies the existence of God – and vice versa.’ Something of the same nature is implied in the conversation with Ida, but The Doctor, described in the first episode of this series as ‘the lonely god’ knows he himself is the only deity he believes in and he feels – and literally is – rather a small god when faced with the might of the Beast. But he has faith in one person. Rose!

    This is not the first time that The Doctor, when faced with the devil and his works has put his faith in his companions and not in any kind of deity. He did the same in The Curse of Fenric. He seems to believe very firmly in Humanity in general. Despite a certain capacity to frustrate in their moments of stupidity and mindless cruelty, The Doctor DOES believe in Humans. He fights for them, he grieves for them when they die. And this we saw in abundance in this episode. If anything, Human endeavour is the theme of this show, not the devil and all his works. It is no coincidence that The Doctor quoted in last week’s episode George Mallory’s famous answer to why he wanted to climb Everest - “Because it’s there.” He knows it is the impulse that has always driven Humankind. The same impulse drove him through his adventures in time and space. And since he is unique among his people in having that impulse, we may well speculate that this is a trait he inherited from the Human side of his parentage. Because fans of Doctor Who have accepted as canon that discovery from the 1996 movie that he is half-Human – on his mother’s side.

    And so to the big mystery! WILL Rose be killed in a battle? Billie Piper is, so far as we have been told, signed up for part of next season, so a big exit is needed. Russell T. Davies was throwing out hints in the confidential, but Russell is a tease. When he’s had too many canapés at press launches he will tell the media just about anything. Even so, that apparently throwaway comment, which The Doctor dismisses, is a wonderful way of keeping us guessing. And for me, I think it would be a good way to write her out. The love that exists between them could not end by her going off with some equivalent of Clifford Jones like Jo did, or simply going home to her mum. I think she would have to die to be consistent. If so, it will be one hell of an episode.
  • They should have spent more time on plot and less time on CGI.

    6.0
    After all the buildup of The Impossible Planet, The Satan Pit was quite a letdown. The main problem is the story itself. TIP built up a mystery: We saw a language so ancient that even the TARDIS couldn't translate it, & the vast ruins of a civilization hidden in the shadow of a black hole. The pit opens, the beast is released- see you next time. Except next time consists of a bunch of squid-heads scuttling through the air ducts, (yes, air ducts,) of a space station. The Doctor faces an admittedly awesome CGI monster via blue-screen, and Rose saves the day by blasting Satan into space. Never mind that we saw him standing in open space, immune to the effects of the black hole in TIP. This time, he's gone, roll credits. This two-parter also resorts to a few Deus Ex Machinas: the only purpose of the Black Hole is to have somewhere to stick Satan at the end, and the TARDIS is swallowed up in TIP just so the Doctor can save the day in TSP. (This also kept the Doctor from having an easy out, the way every classic Star Trek episode had to begin by disabling the transporter.)

    The next problem in this episode is Rose. While I appreciate her as a strong character, she, and the team on the space station's reactions to her, was ridiculous. I can't imagine how these hardened veterans ever got into space without her there to tell them how to do their jobs.

    Finally, Satan himself, for all of the cool CGI effects, came off as pedestrian and flawed. Although in TIP we saw that he could survive open space and could control matter at will, here he has no real powers and is quite easily dispatched. There is an interesting Pet Sematary (novel) concept where Satan reaches into characters' minds and reveals their secrets, but nothing is made of this. How much more interesting it would have been if Satan had made them re-live their terrors, fears, and shames. But no, instead he has the Ood scuttle after them in chase scene after chase scene.

    Where there are references to Sutekh, (Pyramids of Mars,) there were other personifications of evil in the classic series. Wouldn't it have been more interesting if Satan were really one of the vampires Gallifrey had warred against in Rassilon's time, or perhaps the Black Guardian in one of his guises? At least the writers of the original series acknowledged that one so powerful as the Black Guardian could never be truly defeated. To have an ancient evil be so powerless and so easily killed made the entire story ludicrous. Next time, stick to the Daleks.
  • Can it possibly get any better than this?

    9.8
    Maybe it can, maybe it can't. One thing's for sure; this is the best two-parter Dr Who has ever seen. The first part was really good, in spite of what other reviewers have said, I liked it a lot.

    This concluding episode was just amazing! It gave me chills and laughter and tears and.. and.. well, it was bloody amazing. The devil cgi was the best I've seen on TV and I've seen a LOT of TV. Don't miss this.
  • WOW, A great episode which had a strong story that matched the strong effects and visuals.

    9.1
    This was a top notch episode in many ways. It wasn't what i was expecting though. A lot of hints/previews about the episode have made out that the Doctor was going to face some HUGE crisis of faith.
    It was hardly that. The Doctor meet something and disagreed with it. Nothing new there.
    He also said something along the lines of "before the universe, after, whatever" very dismissive for a so called HUGE crisis of faith.

    That however is a tiny niggle compared to the rest of the episode. I never thought i'd see anything as truly impressive as the beast on a beeb budget. I also liked the overall dark theme that ran throughout the story.

    Two things that stick out most are

    1) That final shot of the Ood cowering in fear as the planet was being sucked into the black hole. I was shocked how well the masks conveyed the terror/

    2) Rose will die in battle. Was the Beast lying? was he telling the truth? Maybe a foretelling of a time when the Doctor will have to sacrifice Rose to save the Universe.

  • Such an improvement from the first parter. A massive improvement to be exact.

    9.0
    The first parter was absolutely dreadful. Like I said in the previous review, which I notice like 13 people disagreed with me, the only bit that actually made me want to tune in this time was the very end, and I'm glad I did. It was superbly written and Rose really did play the part of the companion very well. I must amdit that I thought there would be more about the fears the Beast was going on about but I suppose we'll find out in later episodes, maybe another series altogether, about what the Beast said about Rose dying in battle or something or other.
    Much improved. Much.
  • Devil's Work Written by Matt Jones Directed by James Strong

    9.0
    The Beast: “Is that your religion?”
    The Doctor: “That’s my belief”.

    Is this one of the most water cooler episodes of the new Doctor Who so far this season? Not exactly what you would expect from a Saturday teatime slot but you know what – this is a good thing.

    For all the negative people out there who have moaned about this series playing safe, here is some truly spectacular evidence to contradict that statement. After this episode any “safe” and “cosy” statements should be dismissed.

    The opening ten minutes of the episode are somewhat slow as they mainly involve chase sequences with the Ood looking sinister but doing little else. There’s also an ongoing debate about using Strategy 9 that could’ve been dealt with better as well as The Doctor and Ida discovering a chasm on the planet they are currently trapped on.

    Thankfully for everyone watching (instead of being consumed by World Cup fever), the first ten minutes are the least interesting and therefore everything else that follows is. This episode dedicates its time in ensuring that character development and wonderful moments are given to those trapped on the ship and those trapped on the mysterious planet but before I go into that, how about dealing with the biggest notion of the hour at hand – religion, shall we?

    With an episode entitled “The Satan Pit”, the debate on religion is always going to be a hot one and this definitely delivered on that score. To be honest my own religious views are somewhat contradictory. I acknowledge the existence of God and I’m open to the ideas of heaven and hell but I’m more inclined to avoid going to church, unless forced to and I don’t pray now like I was expected to at a younger age.

    Given how Ida was describing her faith as such to The Doctor, I’d the both of us were pretty similar in our attitudes toward religion. Are you a bad person for not having a faith or questioning other people’s beliefs? Of course and this episode’s more balanced approach to the thorny subject is to be commended.

    Also a bit like myself, The Doctor is good at contradictions (I’m a Gemini, so what’s his excuse?). He is open to the idea of things existing beyond time but when The Beast tells him during a confrontation where he plays on everyone’s fears that he existed before time, The Doctor has a hard time taking in this.

    So it’s great that while being trapped with Ida and having various personal conversations with her that he discloses his reservations and fears over what he can, does and probably should believe in. As characters go, Ida continued to impress and her pairing with The Doctor for the majority of this episode was a good choice on the writer’s plot.

    Although it was Rose taking charge of Sanctuary 6 and designating various tasks and assignments to crew members in order to try and stop the Ood that had more of an effect for me this week. Anytime Rose is assertive (even if she fails) is a good thing in my book and she really outdone herself here.

    Even though she was royally spooked by a nasty prediction from The Beast, Rose took in The Doctor’s advice on him playing with human fear and used that to everyone pro-active. The Doctor wasn’t on the ship and had his own problems to deal with and Zach and his crew were in an emotionally bad state to be effective until Rose gave them what for.

    When it came to pushing buttons, we really should commend Russell and his writing staff as well as Billie Piper. Gone are the days when assistants can be feeble and dependant on the Time Lord and while Rose is a good assistant, she’s isn’t exactly a bad leader either.

    It was her who got Daniel to figure out a way to stop the Ood by getting to a transmitter which could disrupt their telepathy and kill them and it was her who got Zach to push all the right buttons to help everyone out, despite the fact that at one point Rose, Toby and Daniel were trapped in a ventilation shaft with Ood members surrounding them at both sides. I don’t blame Daniel for his sudden attack of claustrophobia, although I did it funny that whenever he seemed to panic, Toby followed suit.

    Of course the disadvantage of any war means that casualties aren’t far behind and this episode had many a dire moment. We had a few moments where I thought that Zach was going to be a goner and we had a really poignant and discussion worthy death sequence for Jefferson, whose sacrifice is both heroic and sad at the same. I had found Jefferson only okay last week but he endeared himself in this episode and his and Zach’s speech delivered a neat complexity to proceedings. Jefferson was a loyal soldier to the very end. We also had a fadeout death sequence for Ida at one point and another crew death but not before a major setback for The Doctor and Rose.

    The Doctor is always a risk taking sort of guy but even he knows that he can only get away with a certain amount. This fact doesn’t stop him from prohibiting Ida from descending down that scary chasm, so he does it instead. The allusion of The Doctor falling into the chasm is well played as Ida painfully tells Rose that he’s dead and even though I knew he wasn’t really, it actually felt like he was. Rose’s staunch refusal to believe her Doctor was gone gave Piper her best dramatic scenes since “The Parting Of The Ways” (not that any of her performances this season have disappointed, it’s just this one moment really excelled).

    Zach was pretty sympathetic in his approach to Rose’s feelings in the matter and although he doesn’t know her well, he did know the only way he could get on a rocket with himself, Toby and Daniel and off Sanctuary 6 was to drug her. It was an extreme thing to do but under the circumstances, it’s understandable why he did it. Then again there hasn’t been a single thing in this two part adventure that Zach has either said or done that has seriously annoyed so I’m not going to start complaining about him, mainly because all of his actions have had good reasons behind them.

    Getting onto that rocket in order to avoid being sucked into a black hole was going to be harder than expected as even when Rose gains consciousness she questions why The Beast let them go free. Ah but he didn’t and it’s a good job somebody was suspicious of that fact.

    The Beast on Doctor Who has made for great television. I knew that Toby wasn’t exactly out of the woods as a vessel for what is essentially an idea but at the time when Jefferson tried to have Toby restrained, I did think he was overreacting a little. Rose didn’t suspect anything wrong with Toby and neither did Daniel or Zach and none of these three are what I would label stupid.

    Hats off to Will Thorp for giving us a deeply ambiguous performance until the very moment we learned that Toby was still in league with The Beast. This helped heighten a brilliant exchange The Doctor had with the body of a chained Beast in the pit in the chasm.

    The Beast was definitely sinister looking with good CGI used for his physical side and while once again, The Doctor was in the position of placing Rose in danger over the greater good, I knew The Doctor would find a way. You may not be able to truly kill an idea but you can certainly kick it into touch as Rose has a possessed thrown out of the rocket and The Doctor smashes up the urns in the pit, thereby stopping the rocket from being taken in by the black hole. Looks like The Beast’s great comeback is going to be halted for a while more.

    The episode’s denouement is a light turn around, compared to the heavy and dramatic overtone in proceedings but you would be completely heartless if you aren’t touched by the reunion between The Doctor and Rose and the remaining survivors of Sanctuary 6 (Ida, Daniel and Zach) flying off into space, probably searching for more “should be” dead planets.

    Also in “The Satan Pit”

    Deaths: John Jefferson PKD and Tobius Zed 43.KI. Jefferson had asked Zach to cut off the oxygen to let Rose and company escape the Ood while Toby died as a result of The Beast’s (temporary) defeat.

    Zach: “What do you want?”
    The Beast: “You will all die”.

    Did anyone else think that The Beast resembled Tim Curry’s character in the film Legend?

    Rose (re the Ood): “You need to stop them or get out or both”
    Daniel: “I’ll take both”.

    Toby (leering): “Could be worse”
    Rose: “Oi”.

    The Beast mentioned Jefferson’s dark secret regarding his wife (no, we didn’t learn what it was), Zach’s fear of being a leader, Ida having father issues, Daniel being a liar, Toby’s virginity as well as Rose dying. Something you would like to tell us, Russell?

    The Doctor (to Ida): “It’s not the urge to jump. It’s deeper than that; it’s the urge to fall”.

    Ida: “I don’t want to die on my own”
    The Doctor: “I know”.

    Torchwood mention this week: Sanctuary 6 is a division of them in some way. Am I the only one who wants to see Zach, Ida and Daniel in the upcoming spin-off?

    Zach (re The Doctor): “I’m sorry, he’s dead”
    Rose: “You don’t know him, he’s not”.

    The Doctor (to The Beast, re Rose): “If there’s one thing, just one thing I believe in, it’s her”.

    With the talk of religion this week, it’s funny given how we had 666 on Tuesday this month and the fact my boss sent me a link to a website that challenges passages of the bible. The Site is called Evil Bible no less.

    Toby/The Beast: “Nothing can destroy me, nothing”
    Rose: “Go to hell”.

    Rose (re The Beast): “It said I was gonna die”
    The Doctor: “It lied”.

    Standout music: The score music this week very nearly brought a tear to my eye, it was that good.

    After a disappointing start to this two part adventure, “The Satan Pit” is a wonderful conclusion to an emotionally charged and discussion worthy tale. This season has consistently been pushing the buttons and acting as a social commentary to certain government/clerical/worldwide events and as a result, the storylines have gotten better and better this year. May the good work continue.


  • This episode is doctor who at its best.

    9.8
    This episode was outstanding. It was also one of the most emotional episodes in the series so far. The scene where the doctor dropped down into the pit was very well done and
    emotional. the episode opens up the possibility of a relationship between the doctor and Rose when Rose refused to leave the doctor behind and had to be forced onto the escape craft. The computer generated satan we saw at the bottom of the pit was one of the best uses of special effects seen so far in the series. The episode comes second only to "the parting of the ways" as the best doctor who episode ever.
  • The Doctor takes on the Devil!

    10
    FANTASTIC!

    Although I was never much of a Doctor Who fan while I was growing up in the 80's(the PBS station that I used to watch use to jump around with their showing of Doctor Who eps so I lost interest) thought the TV movie in the mid 90's was ok (but knew it wouldn't regenerate the franchise) I must say my curiousity was peaked when I heard there was going to be another Doctor Who series.

    Last summer the CBC started to show the latest series and tuned in part way through one epsisode "Dalek". I was hooked!

    This season has been quite the ride for the Doctor and Rose, but I must say this episode was no exception! Suspense, action, sacrifice, humor and a nail biting storyline kept me rivited to the screen. This is Sci Fi at its very best!

    I didn't think I'd care for David Tennant once I heard Eccleston was leaving, but I must say he's proven me wrong! Hopefully he'll be the Doctor for many years to come!

    Another good thing I also found Rose's character kicking butt and taking names in this episode, which shows that she's not just another pretty face!

    I can't wait to see the next episode! I'm addicted!
  • Well, we finally have a big, huge creepy cgi devil that parents will be writing in complaining about

    10
    Believe me, if the unquiet dead was deemed "Not suitable" for children this is probably going to be another of those "ooh the kiddies can't see that" episodes.
    Before I begin properly if I see another person who says that the idiot's latern is the best episode ever I will be forced to shoot something, preferably the person in question.
    With two parters the only problem is that by the end of it you are thinking they could have expanded on that, they could have made it three parts, killed more people etc. And then these same people complain that the episode builds up tension too much. To those people I say: Make your mind up!
    thats why last week's brilliant episode was apparantly "not as good as it could have been". Yes, this is not always true, no I'm not slandering anyone in particular, and no after seeing this episode, brilliant though it is I fear it doesn't bode well for public opinion.
    This episode isn't so much "terrifying" by suspension built from the first episode, but this episode will more have you reaching for the tissues for thirty five minutes where characters are either killed off or go missing until they turn up apparantly alive. Sure this is a decent way of doing things, but it does take quite a while to get anywhere. Although this theme has the excitement added by the ood or the legion of the beast according to www.bbc.co.uk/doctorwho.
    The cgi devil is probably the greatest special effect ever seen in doctor who next to the buttons in the third ever story in 1963 "the edge of destruction" which were obviously stickers. The devil always needs a huge scary form and this one does the character justice well. As with the actor playing Toby possessed by the beast as said in my last review is brilliant at what he does and should definitly do horror stories more often.
    Anyway, despite the over build up this episode fails to disappoint in most factors but I personally don't think it will do well in the reviews.
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