The Poseidon Adventure: Space Edition
It's Christmas again already. Lately it seems like every other Thursday is Christmas. The best present came early, though, with the first (very brief) multi-Doctor story of the modern era.
So let's talk about that.
(TARDIS Data Core recap)
Series Three ended with Martha saying her goodbyes and walking out the door, followed by a surprise impact of the bow of the Titanic crashing into the TARDIS console room as a teaser for the Christmas special. But wedged in between those two moments is a nifty little eight minute story that was made for the 2007 Children In Need telethon. Mostly it is eight minutes of David Tennant hanging out with his future father-in-law, geeking out over "his" Doctor. It's a fun little trifle with lots of snappy dialog and a very fond meeting Five and Ten while their respective TARDISes become entwined for a few minutes. It also ends up explaining how it is that the Titanic manages to crash into the console room (Ten forgets to put the shields up). Without question this is completely fan service, but done in the most loving possible way. It was nice to see Peter Davison again, if only for a few minutes. As Ten so rightly points out, "Not a lot of men can carry off a decorative vegetable."
Voyage of the Damned
(TARDIS Data Core recap)
I really think this is my favorite of the Christmas specials. It has David Tennant at his peak in the role, strikes just the right tone of adventure while still being Christmas-y, and features a great cast of supporting characters. Of course Kylie Minogue is perfect as one-off companion Astrid Peth, and Russel Tovey turns in a fantastic performance as midshipman Alonso Frame. Best of all, the story features the first appearance of Bernard Cribbins as Wilfred Mott (in a role that was never intended to appear beyond the one scene, but I'll get to that story tomorrow).
The plot is exactly what the title suggests. The Doctor arrives on the Starship Titanic, in orbit around contemporary Earth, when the ship is deliberately sabotaged and struck by three meteors. The rest of the story is your basic Irwin Allen style adventure with a group of survivors fighting their way through the rapidly-deteriorating ship in order to reach some kind of salvation. This is complicated by the robotic angelic-looking Hosts, who begin murdering all remaining humans on board. Up on the ship's pilot deck poor Alonso is trying to hold things together, and down in the bowels of the ship something evil is brewing.
The whole thing turns out to be a revenge ploy by the (former) owner of the shipping company, and culminates in the ship almost crashing into Buckingham Palace before the Doctor saves the day. Then again, he "saves the day" in a very narrow sense in that virtually all of the passengers of the ship have died by the end, including poor Astrid. So, you know, kind of a mixed bag in terms of happy endings.
With a very comfortable running time of 72 minutes, the story gets plenty of room to breathe and give each of the supporting characters their moments to shine (before killing them off horribly because that's what you do in a disaster movie). It was also notable as having the highest viewership of any Doctor Who episode ever, at least until seven months later when it was surpassed by Journey's End. In short: It's a good'n.
Companion(s): Astrid Peth, Wilfred Mott
Episode(s): Voyage of the Damned
Steps Walked: 9,819 today, 2,853,795 total
Distance Walked: 5.00 miles today, 1,488.34 miles total
Push-ups Completed: 100 today, 2,114 total
Sit-ups Completed: 117 today, 639 total
Is the Doctor So, So Sorry?: He is very sorry when Foon's husband Morvin falls to his death
Weight: 250.64 lbs (five day moving average), net change -56.66 lbs