universe has to move forward. Pain & loss
us as much as happiness or love. Whether it is
world or a relationship. Everything has its time..."
Present Day. Deffry Vale High School, Earth.
Why is a Secondary School being investigated by
the Doctor's former TARDIS companion, Sarah Jane-Smith (aided by an electronic
mobile computer, K9)?
What is the seemingly charming Headmaster, Mr
Finch, protecting? What are the vile flying Krillitanes?
EPISODE THREE REVIEW
In the pre-title sequence we observe one
of the most psychological disturbing scenes.
HEADMASTER: It's nearly time for lunch.
.in the show's history, it seemed that SCHOOL REUINION would
be a dark, morality essay on modern life. Unfortunately, for those viewers expecting
more 'blood & guts' gorged upon in the preview week's episode Toby Whithouse's
debut DOCTOR WHO script was no more shocking that static electricity
from a polyester sweater.
It would a surprise if Whithouse would be given a second opportunity, though
there were flashes of genius (inspired by Russell T Davies' input?).
All the elements were there (impressive
guest-stars, continually stunning CGI, effortless James Hawes direction, and
the occasional throwaway line that makes this current incarnation of the series
genius: Rose: "I'm a dinner-lady".)
but it didn't have any punch. It seemed that the story plot was second to the
relationship resolution between the Doctor and Sarah Jane Smith.
Does it matter that the plotline failed
to engage? Probably not, this was Sarah Jane & K9's spotlight appearance. The cast could have spent 45 minutes
in the café chatting about "Spaghetti Bolognese" or chequered tablecloths
and viewers would have been satisfied.
Long-time fans favourite, Elisabeth Sladen
looks exactly the same, sounds the same, acts the same. Like a comforting mug
of hot chocolate, Sladen reassures those over thirty that the CLASSIC series
was not as 'wobbly' as critics infer.
What happens to a ditched Doctor assistant?
Personally, I haven't considered it but then again a mortgage, two kids at school
and a husband that is entering the Guinness World Records as a professional 'couch
potato' tends to occupy the mind. If the Doctor doesn't care, why should we?
THE DOCTOR: Hello, Sarah Jane.
SARAH JANE SMITH: It's you. Doctor. Oh my God, it's you isn't it. You've regenerated.
THE DOCTOR: Yeah, half a dozen times since we last met.
SARAH JANE SMITH: You look.incredible
THE DOCTOR: So do you.
SARAH JANE SMITH (modestly): I got old
It may be a blink of an eye for him and
thirty years for her but there is an unspoken 'knowing' between them. With so many previous adventures, so many
times that both have stared death in the face, so many times that that have disagreed
and so many times that they have loved each other. In the café, whilst
Rose and Mickey eat chips, the Doctor gets a mouthful too:
SARAH JANE SMITH: Did I do something wrong? Because you never came back for
me. You just dumped me.
THE DOCTOR: I told you, I was called back home and in those days humans weren't
SARAH JANE SMITH: I waited for you. I missed you.
THE DOCTOR: Oh, you didn't need me. You were getting on with your life.
SARAH JANE SMITH: You were my life.
Clearly, travelling with the Doctor (the un-common man) is worst than bereavement.
You think that it is the end and don't expect a resurrection. For Sarah Jane
it happened. For Rose Tyler it demonstrates that it, without equivocation, will
happened to her unless she dies first.
THE DOCTOR: I don't age. I regenerate. But
humans decay. You wither and you die. Imagine watching that happen to someone
(He fights back finishing the sentence)
ROSE TYLER: What, Doc-tor?
THE DOCTOR: You can spend the rest of your
life with me. but I can't spend
the rest of mine with you. I have to live on. Alone. That's the curse of the
Desperate to see a glimmer of humanity within the Doctor, Rose is emotionally
abandoned. Would life without him be better? It could be worse: she could be
Mickey Smith a misfit. It may not be his
fault. A nice guy you'd want to go to the pub with to watch the match but not
a two-week holiday in Benidorm. He is the 'tin-dog' - reliable, ever-present and useful at times - and his is 'Adric' - eager
to please, ever-present and annoying. Time to die in order to save his true love.
So, the plot. Children, imbued by intelligence-accelerating
oil used to cook chips in, unknowingly forced aliens, disguised as Earth teachers
to crack the God Maker/the Universal Theory code (The Skasas Paradym). The aliens,
Krillitanes, have scavenged the universe distilling the 'best bits of other races'
and over time have become toxic to their own Krillitane oil.
There seemed to be some plot flaws too,
like if the majority of pupils (we assume) eat Krillitane oil soaked chips then
why does only Milo - in the Doctor's
Physics class - answer the questions posed.
It was irrelevant, and was a means to an end.
Anthony Stewart Head validates his appearance with a surreally sterile performance
as Krillitane, Brother Lassar, delivering a precise menace that, yes, could have
been mistaken (on paper) as the evil renegade Time Lord, the Master.
The CGI realisation of the Krillitane was creative and more polished than
SERIES 1's Reapers (FATHER'S DAY). The work of The Mill continues
unabated to outperform Hollywood in its achievement in meeting perfection.
Murray Gold's score was strange and echoed, particularly
in the pre-title sequences, the 1983 MAWDRYN UNDEAD. Watch both
stories and see the similarities.
Overall, SCHOOL REUNION was
an exhale of breath after the breakneck pace of TOOTH
AND CLAW and the passionate embrace
that is expected by THE GIRL IN THE FIREPLACE.
However, I hope that Sarah Jane and
K9 are not strangers to Doctor in the future, especial now that the 'tin dog'
has "omniflexible hyperlink facilities".