Doctor Who: Planet of the Dead

Lady Christina de Souza and The Doctor. An inside Omnibus scene of the episode "Doctor Who: Planet of the Dead".
Lady Christina de Souza and The Doctor. An inside Omnibus scene of the episode "Doctor Who: Planet of the Dead".

TV Series Review

Doctor Who is the longest running television series in the world. This television series debuted in 1963. In the one hour episode, released 2009, Doctor Who: Planet of the Dead, the main character The Doctor is perfectly portrayed by David Tennant. He is the 10th Doctor due to regeneration of Time Lords (Gallifreyans). Like its predecessors, the episode Doctor Who: Planet of the Dead does not disappoint its loyal or new viewers, instead gives more insight into The Doctor and gives us a glimpse of what this Time Lord is doing without having a companion.

Doctor Who: Planet of the Dead begins with Lady Christina de Souza (Michelle Ryan), a cat burglar, expertly stealing the Cup of Athelstan from the International Gallery in London, England. She barely slips past the police, leaving her driver being arrested, by jumping aboard the 200 Omnibus and paying with real diamond earrings.

As Lady Christina de Souza finds her seat and the omnibus driver is about to shut the door, The Doctor boards. He shows his "bus pass" which of course we loyal viewers know is not one, but the bus driver and its pass computer does not pick up on that. The Doctor is renowned for his higher technological devices that can confuse modern day technology.

The Doctor quickly searches for an available seat. He finds one next to Lady Christina de Souza. Simultaneously the bus driver closes the door and begins driving the omnibus down the busy London street, right past the police who are searching for Lady Christina. Yes, the observant Detective Inspector of Scotland Yard McMillan (Adam James) spies Lady Christina de Souza on the omnibus. Yes, Detective Inspector McMillan and the police begin to chase the omnibus down the street and right into a tunnel.

This is when The Doctor's newest created device begins spinning, whirring, and monitoring. Flashes of light ensue and before you can say, "Oh dear" the omnibus disappears right before the chasing police cars. The 200 Omnibus is transported via a wormhole to a very dangerous desert planet. The Doctor takes unexpectedly finding himself on an alien planet better than the other omnibus occupants from Earth who are amazed by the planet having three suns and dismayed by the desert terrain. Lady Christina and The Doctor become the leaders, help the others remain busy to keep them from literally "freaking" out.

The Doctor and Lady Christina walk to the top of a sand dune. They are surprised to notice an oncoming sandstorm and the friendly Tritovores (played by Paul Kasey and Ruari Mears), an anthropomorphic species (fly looking aliens), who have been marooned on the planet since their spacecraft crashed. The Doctor, Lady Christina, and the Tritovores work together to study the oncoming sand storm, find out what caused the Tritovores' spacecraft to crash, and figure out a way to save the occupants of the omnibus from the danger on the alien planet.

This danger also could reach Earth through the wormhole. The Doctor must save those on the omnibus and keep the danger from following in the wormhole, for it could destroy the entire population of Earth. The Doctor recruits help from those on the omnibus, the British special task force known as Unit back in London at the tunnel on Earth, and the Tritovores. Even the cat burglar cannot resist assisting The Doctor for Lady Christina is definitely not immune to his Gallifreyan charm.

The Doctor Who: Planet of the Dead is one of the best episodes, written by Russel T. Davies and Gareth Roberts. The special effects and visual affects were top of the line; better than earlier Doctor Who episodes. Hat's off to entire cast and crew! Well done!

Other primary cast (in order listed by the credits) were: Lee Evans (Malcolm, the genius Unit Scientist, who found it the supreme honor assisting The Doctor), Noma Dumezweni (Unit's Captain in charge of Unit's activity with keeping the tunnel barricaded and working with The Doctor), Glenn Doherty (Seargent Dennison), Victoria Alcock (Angela, on the omnibus), David Ames (Nathan, on the omnibus), Ellen Thomas (Carmen, on the omnibus), Reginald Tsiboe (Lou, Carmen's husband and was on the omnibus), Daniel Kaluuya (Barclay, on the omnibus), Keith Parry (the 200 Omnibus driver), and James Layton (Seargent Ian Jenner).

For those of you who would like to see other Doctor Who episodes, Netflix has episodes from 1963 through 2011. Unknown if BBC has released all of their Doctor Who episodes that survived (some of the 1960's and 1970's episodes of Doctor Who did not make it for numerous reasons) in the DVD format. Netflix's rental collection, however, is extensive. I have been a fan of The Doctor's since 1978 and am definitely looking forward to all future episodes.

Highly recommend this made for families TV program! This is fun family Science Fiction that is great for family quality time, even with finicky teenagers.

Enjoy!

For more information about the Doctor Who television series please visit: http://www.bbcamerica.com/content/123/doctor-who-timeline.jsp

Want information about how to rent Doctor Who DVDs from Netflix? Please check out: http://www.netflix.com/

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