The Runaway Bride

* YAY, IT’S DOCTOR WHO. There’s nothing to make you appreciate the sight of the TARDIS and the sound of the theme tune like a solid fortnight of Torchwood. Even though it’s an episode that I don’t particularly care for, this was a timely treat, and a welcome reminder of why I’m bothering to do this in the first place.

* Why isn’t Wilfred Mott at his own granddaughter’s wedding, then? I can only assume that he dislikes Donna Noble as much as I do. As I said at the time of her initial surprise appearance, my aim is to reassess her fairly. My second first impression is that she was a bit of a hindrance to an otherwise exciting plot. Her constant negativity and aggression slowed the pace considerably; The Doctor couldn’t get anything done because she kept interrupting him to do her school girl character.

* She did get better as the episode went on – as soon as Donna began to trust The Doctor and co-operate with him, she mellowed and became much easier to empathise with. That said, I was initially quite pleased that Lance betrayed her in such a cruel way. It felt like she probably deserved it.

* I’d forgotten that the Robot Santas and Killer Christmas Trees made a second appearance. But then as soon as they appeared, I remembered the dodgy modified X Box controller that comes with them. I quite enjoyed the motorway chase with the TARDIS – nonsense, but it’s fun and it’s Christmas. Plus it resonates with me, having once been in a car that accidentally turned onto the M4 at Chiswick Roundabout. It took us an extra half an hour to get home. As for the TARDIS flying straight up into the air at the end? Nah, not for me. A bit of a step too far, after the wise-cracking giant red spider had been teetering on the edge of silliness beforehand.

* Love Don’t Roam! Excellent.

* I remember being very excited about the “Gallifrey” mention at the time, even though I was nowhere near as up on my Classic Who as I obviously am now. It was part of what seemed like a conscious effort to drip-feed the mythology into the new series bit by bit, with the flow increasing as the production gained in confidence. It’s good that we’re now at a point where New Who is creating its own legacy, but those days of speculating about who or what would come back next were happy days indeed.

* The Doctor’s subsequent victory is a little bit grim, thanks to the Racnoss’s anguished cries for her children. It’s kind of a bit genocidey, but it was the justifiable type of genocide. I remember being a little bothered by it at the time because it felt like The Doctor was acting out of character just so that Donna got the opportunity to pull him back from the brink, but I no longer agree with my foolish past self. I think Donna’s right when she says that he needs someone to look out for him, and it’s perhaps future occasions when he’s travelling alone that have changed my mind. Timey-wimey.

RATING: 7

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