Shiny Shelf

Doctor Who: World War Three

By Mark Clapham on 29 April 2005

WARNING! Contains spoilers!

The conclusion to the first multi-part ‘Doctor Who’ story of this series’ builds on the best bits of the first half while being nicely self-contained for anyone who missed the show last week.

After the slightly disjointed and sprawling conspiracy of ‘Aliens of London’, this week’s episode is a contained thriller with the Doctor and Rose trapped within the Cabinet’s panic room, and Mickey and Jackie locked in Mickey’s flat. This is all to the episode’s benefit, allowing for sharper character interaction and a greater consistency of tone. There are some fantastic scenes with the Doctor, Rose and – on the other end of a phone call – Mickey and Jackie. The tension building through this season is that within Rose, who has one foot in the Doctor’s world and another placed firmly in contemporary London. Anyone willing to bet that Jackie’s prediction of how her daughter will end up won’t be the cliffhanger at the end of the season?

Keith Boak’s direction is still patchy, but at least having the Slitheen largely unmasked avoids too many of those forehead-unzipping scenes, which seem to go on forever. Boak is, as ever, more comfortable with character work than action, so it’s a good job this episode focuses on these strengths.

Decent jokes, an underlying tension, some nicely observed character moments and the gleeful destruction of a British landmark. Not the best of the season, but good stuff nonetheless.

However, the trailer for the next episode completely blew the previous 44 minutes out of the water…

Next episode: ‘Dalek’

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By Mark Clapham

Mark Clapham is a Devon-based writer and editor. You can find out more about him at the egotistically named

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