Yes, I have full-time internet access again, and yes, I owe you Gentle Readers a personal update, but that will have to wait just a little longer. Meanwhile, the second of this year's Doctor Who specials has aired and, yes, I feel compelled to comment upon it. There may be spoilers ahead.)
Thank you for the memories, Russel T. Davies
But I get ahead of myself.
"Planet of the Dead" is unlikely to make anybody weep, or even sniffle. During his four-episode swan-song, Davies seems to be quite properly giving us "only" stand-alone episodes (though with hints of the Doctor's "death" to come), old-fashioned Doctor Who adventures and on that level "Planet of the Dead" was a very good episode indeed. After all, with a cat-suited jewel-thief, UNIT, an alien world, rather original, Earth-threatening monsters and a scientist in love, what's not to like?
Riding the #200 London double-decker bus while investigating some sort of wormhole, The Doctor finds himself suddenly transported — along with the bus and all half-dozen of its passengers — to a desert planet with three suns (not one of which see, presumably for budgetary reasons), a dangerous mystery (the fate of the Earth hangs, yet again, in the balance!) and a remarkably well-prepared aristocrat, the Lady Christina de Souza, who plays this episodes companion.
I won't bore (or spoil) you with details. The episode is fast-paced, funny and exciting enough — were I still ten, I would probably have found it thrilling.
Which brings me back to the beginning, and just what a happy gift that second series was. Basically, the emotional depths of the Rose cycle spoiled me, left me expecting the exceptional, rather than appreciating it for the near-miracle combination of children's adventure and heart-breaking romance it was.
All that said, I'm glad Davies is taking his leave; an eternal series like Doctor Who, like the title character himself, needs periodic injections of new blood.
On an entirely different note, one of you (yes, I mean you, beable!) said you enjoyed the episode, "except for what seemed to be a spectacular RaceFail..." I'm still waiting for the follow-up since (and at risk of once again making a fool of myself, I don't see it.