Doctor Who Easter Special – The Verdict

You can’t move on the internet today for people moaning about Saturday night’s Doctor Who Easter special – ‘The Planet Of The Dead’. Frankly, I’m shocked – I thought it was brilliant.

Okay, so it had a flying bus in it. But it was a good flying bus! – with pretty natty (for BBC standards anyway) CGI! It also had some pretty good acting (Michelle Ryan as Lady Christina de Souza was excellent, and can someone please give ‘Skins’ Daniel Kaluuya a leading role in something). The monsters were good – humanoid fly ‘things’ with wonky papermache heads, I almost expected Sly McCoy to crop up.

And there were some excellent nods to Who past (score 100 nerd points if you too noticed that the unit of measurement Dr Malcolm Taylor mentions is a reference to Bernard Quatermass, who as been referenced by the Doctor twice before – in the 1988 serial ‘Remembrance of the Daleks’ and in the 2005 Christmas special ‘The Christmas Invasion’) and future (I can’t have been the only person to have felt a slither of anticipation when the elderly physic woman – echoing the warning of the Ood’s in the last series – told the doctor “your song is ending. He will knock four times”…)

And what’s folk’s problem with a flying bus anyway?

Like all the best Who episodes – wormholes! UNIT! Jewel heists! – it was ideas overload, and I’m guessing the story was a nod to the 1965 James Stewart film Flight Of The Phoenix, in which a plane carrying a small number of passengers crash lands in the desert and is trapped until one of the passengers modifies the craft so it is capable of flight. So don’t go passing this one off as your own T Davies! Anyway, make up your own mind by watching the episode here. I can’t wait till Tennant’s winter swansong now…