Aliens of London / World war III (2005)
About this two-parter
This two-parter was first broadcast on April 16-23, 2005. It was written by Russell T Davies and directed by Keith Boak. The showrunner was Russell T Davies.
There are aliens in London, and at one point they're ready to start World War III.
A couple of good things about this two-parter:
- The two episodes are a roller coaster ride with rarely a dull moment.
- Though the story has its weaker points (more of which below) it is very well-written, with often funny dialogue and a clever mix of action, characterisation and further development of the relationships between the regulars.
- I've grown quite fond of Harriet Jones, MP for Flydale North.
The not so good news:
- Fart jokes. I don't mind these that much but there are too many of them and they do get old. On the other hand, I rather like the 'we should be naked'... 'your body is magnificent' gags.
- We get an alien spaceship crashing into Big Ben and eventually ending up in the Thames! Piloted by a pig! A pig controlled by robot technology! Alien robot technology! The Doctor and Rose are called to 10 Downing Street! To a super-secret meeting of super-secret experts! And there's a super-secret Internet site that contains all the information that you ever wanted to know, and you can also use it to fire a missile of your choice at a destination of your choice! And you can access it from the comfort of your own home with one, easy to guess password! And, while I'm at it, they're doing fart jokes! Lots and lots of fart jokes! On prime-time BBC television! And they're getting away with it!
What I'm trying to say here is that there's a certain hard to describe 'wow, look at meeeee... isn't this cool...' quality to the story that starts to grate after a while.
And what I really don't like:
- The aliens. They keep telling each other that their bodies are magnificent, and I wish they were. Unfortunately, apart from the blinking eyelids, the aliens never look either interesting or convincing, which is especially a problem when - mild spoiler ahead - we see them stripping off their human-suits.
The bottom line
Tough call. It's either at the upper end of 'quite good, actually' or at the lower end of 'nice!', really.