Doctor Who 4.12: The Stolen Earth review


The Stolen Earth pic

Jack: No. Oh, no!
Gwen: What is it? Who are they? Do you know them, Jack?!
Sarah Jane Smith: [whispers.] No.

Episode star rating:***** (out of a possible five)

Russell T. Davies has drawn on the whole forty-five-year history when crafting these past four seasons of Doctor Who. The traditions of humour, horror, wonder, and the strange. Different stories featured these different aspects, but only until this amazing episode do we have these qualities all at the same time.pic

From the whimsy of the Daleks reacting with an grating electronic Yes-we-know-who-you-are to Harriet Jones’s catchphrase, to the horrific reveal of Davros spawning tiny Dalek mutants within his ribcage, this was a non-stop spectacle, sometimes absurd, sometimes disturbing.pic

With all the looking back over the past four years and familiar characters returning, it seems RTD still looks even further back as The Medusa Cascade plot is a tribute to the strangeness of 1964’s The Dalek Invasion of Earth where the Daleks had the baffling plan of piloting the Earth around the galaxy, (the Doctor does allude to this event); the stiff formality of the people of the Shadow Proclamation and their gleaming environs would not look out of place in Season 18.pic

The actual reason given for the reappearance of Davros is maybe not that satisfying (Dalek Caan seems to have overdone his Emergency Temporal Shift and reached the “Timelocked” Time War, though it sent him insane, and thus Davros returns) but the sheer exuberance of the rest of the episode means the enjoyment continues.pic

Of the returning characters and new-to-Doctor Who characters from the spin-offs, it was especially great to see Torchwood’s Ianto and Gwen in Doctor Who, the highlight being Eve Myles’s expression showing Gwen’s grim determination as she faced the Daleks.pic

Considering all the times that Rose has appeared on screens over the previous episodes of the season, you can understand her frustration at being excluded from the computer screen. When she did eventually meet the Doctor, this scene continued to the most astonishing cliffhanger of Doctor Who so far. A great episode.


8 Responses to “Doctor Who 4.12: The Stolen Earth review”

  1. Wulfweard Says:

    RTD likes to leave a bread trail throughout his series and the latest episode was no exception.
    There was several camera shots of the Doctors ‘hand in a jar’, which will be instrumental in the Doctors regeneration.
    Dalek Caan warns “Beware the Threefold man”.
    I can only assume that the Doctor will not regenerate but restore two previous incarnations, namely Peter Davidson and Silvester McCoy (both of whom appeared on ‘Dr Who classified’.

    On the Shadow Proclamation base Donna hears drums and then you see a large ring on her finger, is she the Master without knowing it?

    Can’t wait for next week, can you?

  2. Adam Says:

    God I hope not. That would be a rubbish resolution. Nothing short of a new Doctor would suffice for me!

  3. James Hudnall Says:

    The Master theory is interesting, except I would think that would make the next episode rather crammed. Especially if they have three doctors and all the assistants.

    On the other hand, that kind of makes sense. They left a lot of clues around, like in the library where River Song hints that Donna has a disturbing end ahead of her. Or that fortune teller in the previous episode: “What are you?!” and then in this one the clues you mentioned. But they also mention there’s still something on her back when they were at the SP.


  4. Stevie Says:

    I have a different theory about Donna. She said to Rose, “Why me? I’m not important”, to which Rose replied, “You are the most important woman in the whole of Creation”. Now I’m not going to spell it out, but can you think of a very similar exchange in history (or literature, depending on your belief) ?

    Gotta say, though, this is the best finale since “Bad Wolf/Parting of the Ways”. The finales of Seasons 2 and 3 were both dissatisfying, but this is gripping stuff!

  5. Martin Young Says:

    I think that that key that martha was given, is something to do with the Tardis, maybe it is set to blow up and the power of the blast wipes out all the daleks, but don’t know how the Doctor and everyone else will survive.

    And the mention of the death of the most faithful campaign could mean the death of the tardis, this is how the key links in, because the Tardis has been there since the very begining.

  6. Doctor Dude Says:

    Just rewatched the amazing The stolen Earth and wondered if anyone else noticed that just before the regeneration scene when the Doctors talking he says,
    “I’m sorry. It’s too late… i’m regenerated.”
    Not i’m regenerating, but regenerated, wonder if that could be significant for tomorrow nights episode

  7. John Nor Says:

    Some intriguing theories in the comments here.

    What will happen next?

    It’s a mystery.

  8. ChaosSphere Says:

    At the shadow proclamation, it’s a heartbeat, not drums. Also she says “there WAS something on your back”

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