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THE STOLEN EARTH


Chase - Posted on 26 October 2009

RTD in his book says he agonized over this one and paced up and down and hit things. I can see why. I'm still torn about this one, going between a 2/5 and a 3/5 and at times a 1/5. Whereas JOURNEY'S END is just about all wrong, this hits upon some of the nice things about NEW DW but also some of the worst. For one, the Earth moving. In the old series, this might not have been a big problem but by the time it got to that point the older Doctors would have stopped it. Here, it's like it's no biggie. So the Earth's been moved, things blew up, there's a new sun or whatever. I can almost accept it as part of OLD DW but part of new DW? Not sure about it. I mean RTD set up a realistic world right from ROSE and added to it all along the way, and if you ignore and I mean totally ignore that awful Master two parter that ends with LAST OF THE TIME LORDS almost all the Earth stuff has a great deal of believabliity and merit and if not, is worth your time anyway like the Sontaran two parter. Some like the two part EVOLUTION OF THE DALEKS come close to being so poor but just. But now the Earth's moved. Okay.

Still not digging the idea that the Doctor can open the doors in flight and in fact, if the Earth was taken, why didn't the TARDIS get taken along with it?

Wilf and Slyvia are two of the best things about this episode and have some of the funniest lines. "They always want the women"  "I voted for her"  "You did not" and so much more. Unfortunately they can't really carry this off throughout the whole thing and make it worth your while. Also: they just saw a family exterminated and you'd think they'd feel something about that, even while finding Rose. Speaking of Rose: just what was her plan? Where did she spring from? Is this even "OUR" Rose from our parallel? If she knew this was coming, what did she think she was doing just appearing on Earth, our Earth or her earth? with a great big gun to do what exactly? Find the Doctor? She found Donna fast enough in the last story.

In any event after years of hearing about the almighty Shadow Proclamation it comes down to a few white faced, red eyed woman who seem to hold NO power and the dumb witted Judoon. And after years of touting the Doctor as not having anyone he can rely on, the Doctor suddenly seeks out help from a new place, not Time Lords mind you but white faced red eyed women. And just what are their powers and background? How does one know about Donna's fate? And if the Shadows are so strong why did't they just stop the Doctor from leaving? Why ask him to lead? It's all pretty unthought out.

Jack uses the "There's a time and a place" line on Ianto and it's...not funny. I'm at a loss when it comes to the celebrities on the British TV and so that's lost on me. Why do the Daleks want the entire human race alive? For testing? Surely they didn't need the entire race for testing? They invade and then...later in the next part they leave. En mass. NOt one of them stays before the testing. Huh? WTF? SOOO the Daleks have this great big mess going on and they haven't tested the thing yet? Also: when Luke hears of spaceships why does he smile so wildly like Tom Baker on speed?

While ALL of this has some excitement of a cross over, you then settle down and realize it's all highly overdramatic and silly and stupid. Everyone overacts. Jack says, "Ther'es nothing we can do. I'm sorry, we're dead" without any plans for such an invasion. What a jerk! I mean TORCHWOOD was better off under Harriet Jones as she proves in this story. TW sucks. They can do nothing against Daleks and later on (even though Eve Myles in her short scenes works wonders with her parts and makes one really feel this is happening unlike almost everyone else) Gwen and Ianto take up arms even though they know it's a useless thing to do.

The Harriet Jones joke of "YeEs, I know who you are," is not funny any more if it ever was.  Even the Daleks get to say it and RTD must think it's funny. Hey, R, it's not.

Lis Sladen gives her worst performance ever with her whiny voice, "You're so young!" and "I surrender, I'm sorry!" And the Daleks are about to exterminate her in her car. Why'd she leave Luke anyway...to find the oh almighty Doctor. Ditto Jack. He leaves his friends just as the Daleks attack with and Jack gives them a half hearted "I"m coming back." To do what? Look over their cold dead bodies. If it were not for Tosh's forcefield in ep2, they'd be dead and all to just get to the Doctor.

Oh and while all the effects are pretty good, NYC looks VERY fake. The Shadow Proclamation looks alot like the models from THE ARMEGGEDON FACTOR, not a bad thing I guess. Uhm, why does the Doc have to use Judoon lingo when the TARDIS with it's oh so translatable translators are working just behind him?

Then we get Indig-Go and the Hashagen Key. And also the sub dural net or whatever based from the Mr. Copper foundation (see VOYAGE OF THE DAMNED if you want to fall asleep).

Everything in THIS ep with Davros is just fantastic. His reimaginging is just great and no faults there. Here, he's smug, evil, ranting and also genius. BUT why did Caan allow all this to be possible when he wants the Dalek race to be destroyed? He could have let Darvos perish i the oh so annoying and lingering Time War references. I am starting ot hate this Time War. I think it's enough to let it be or show it or something. Was Davros on the Doctor's side? The Doc said he tried to save him. Was that an act of mercy, oh so before he destroyed all the Daleks and the Time Lords in part one of the war or year one of the war, he tried to save the creator of the Daleks from the Nightmare Child or somethig or other? Does anyone care at all about the Time War any more? It's time to move on from that or show it or something or deal with it somehow. Keep adding to it like this it's going to fall under it's own weight but maybe that's the point of a Time War: it can never be over and things keep getting added to it both in the story and in the reality of the show and Time collaspses. Maybe Caan is just crazy insane and doesn't know what he wants. Okay.

Donna hears a heart beat. I was seriously beginning to think SHE was the hand we saw steal the Master's ring in LAST OF THE TIME LORDS and she was the new Master! That would have been awful. Ahh, so bees are ...some of them anyway...bees are not from Earth. Not interesting that. Why'd they go home again? And how'd they fly through the vacum of space? And why?

Rose doesn't want the Doc to regenerate even though he's dying. What a jerk she is.

Oh and after all that hammy crap about getting the Doctor to come to Earth and find it...while he just stands there in the console room looking ...at nothing (Tennant is particularly bad in this story btw)..for minutes on end...the idiot in the middle of a Dalek attack just walks out and like a love sick pupppy sees Rose and runs toward her...to get shot down.

At this point I wanted him to regenerate and was hoping for it...which might be why the crap that is JOURNEY'S END dissapointed me so much. It was time for him to go and time to put Rose to bed for good. RTd just loves the Doctor too much and making him center of everything is not always a great thing, especially when he does almost nothing in this story. The only ones who do are Rose and Martha and Harriet.

The Daleks killing a family is bad enough to make them seem evil BUT if they killed someone  or something that we saw build up, maybe we'd feel something more about that. Certainly I wouldn't have minded if they killed ...well Ianto or Gwen but my point is that maybe if the family was part of the story from the start maybe we'd feel something. This point is also JOURNEY'S END when Jackie just calmly teleports away from a group of people about to die. We know none of them and while it's tragic, it might be more so if we knew a few of them before they died.

In any event, the gimmick of a fake regeneration is rather mean spirited. It happened in the Monthly Comic with the 8th Doctor becoming Nick Briggs's 9th Doctor before there was a real 9th Doctor...and then the 8th Doc revealed it was a trick of his. Here, this is even more cruel and dissapointing..David's Doc has outlived his time and it was here that it would have been time for him to go.  Everything he's done since this story has been pap: JOURNEY'S END, NEXT DOCTOR, and PLANET OF THE DEAD  reek from their awfulness and from a poor David Tennant who might just be burned out by the time of them.

So what we have here is a mediocre story at best, and a 0/10 at worst.               

Wyldstaar's picture

The Doctor doesn't get to open the doors of the Tardis while she is in flight.  In The Runaway Bride, the Tardis is stationary is space when the doors are open.  It has arrived at it's destination.  In The Stolen Earth, the same applies.  The Tardis is only properly in flight when it is flying through the Time Vortex.  As to the question of why the Tardis wasn't taken along with the Earth, I would assume that it was by design.  If the Daleks are capable of rendering the defenses of a Tardis neutralized, there's no reason to believe they couldn't isolate a Tardis from the transmat field and leave it behind.  The real question should be, what was all that debris drifting around in front of the Tardis doorway?

Why does The Doctor go to the Shadow Proclamation?  A few reasons, some of which aren't very good.  First, RTD came up with the idea of the Shadow Proclamation.  Since he's leaving, he surely wanted to deal with them himself before he left so that they match his vision (however lame that vision may be).  Second, they needed a quick way for The Doctor to discover just how wide ranging the missing planet problem is and what it may be about in a short period of time.  The legwork put in by the SP makes a nice storytelling shortcut.

Why is the Time War being dragged out into the open yet again?  I strongly suspect this was done very much on purpose.  If Dalek Caan breaks the timelock on the Time War to the extent that Davros escapes his death, this leaves the door wide open to let the Timelords escape death as well.  The Time War was a storytelling tool used by RTD to make Doctor Who easy to introduce to a new audience without alot of classic era baggage.  Now, the audience has been very well established.  The concept of the Timelords has been gradually introduced to the new audience and they are almost as familiar with them as those of us who have watched the classic series.  The usefullness of the Time War as a storytelling tool is over.  The Daleks have obviously managed a complete escape from the War, so it seems terribly unfair to keep the Timelords all dead at this stage.  We will see the Timelords again, and this story is the doorway being used to justify their return.

Enter: The Conquering Chicken

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