Army of Ghosts


There’s a lot to do say about this episode, and also not much. It was brilliant in so many ways; but at the same time, it was pure set-up. If they drop all these balls next week, the juggling won’t seem so impressive.

And what amazing balls they are. Hmmm. I’m not as keen on this metaphor as I was just a minute ago. Allow me to just ramble today, and say something more cohesive next time.

Jackie. You’re fantastic. If you had told me, many years back, “Doctor Who is coming back, and when it does, one of the best characters will be the companion’s mum,” I would not have believed you. Well, not unless you were really trustworthy and had brought back proof that you were from the future. Something better than a newspaper with a future date at any rate. I’m losing the point. The point is, Jackie is both awesome and a shining example of how awesome it would be to have a sarcastic companion with the Tenth Doctor.

Cybermen. You also rock. Nice disguises. Didn’t spot you at first. It was a shame you started clumping before the Doctor got his dramatic “They’re all Cybermen” moment. Makes him look a bit slow. Still. Here’s your chance to be in a really good episode.

The 3D Glasses. Ohhhh, I just know there’s something going on there. Mmmmmm. I just… can’t work out what it could possibly be.

Rose. Look at you, sneaking about again. You’re practically a female Doctor these days. Well, not quite — you need to work on your quips. The Doctor would have said something very funny if he’d had his psychic paper rumbled. I’m sure you’ll get to do a bit more next week. What? You tell me you’re going to die? This is no good. You’re too hot to die. You can’t leave me. Him. I mean him. You can’t leave him. It must be some new definition of the word “died” I wasn’t previously familiar with.

Yvonne Hartman. They told me you were some actress from a soapie. I was concerned. And it turns out you’re one of the best villains we’ve had in the whole series. Friendly but ruthless, funny but fascist. The scenes between you and the Doctor were brilliant. Especially the first one. “I should say!” And top marks for listening to the Doc and not being all pig-headed. I may actually be sad if you get DELETED. Or, you know, that other thing.

Graeme Harper’s Homage to The Sorceror’s Apprentice, as performed by a Time Lord and his TARDIS. Seriously beautiful.

Torchwood. Ah, finally, we arrive. Cool Sphere-Room. Cute offices. Er, the warehouse is undoubtedly huge but not filmed in such a way as to make that clear. Filming a warehouse from the top looking down seems a recipe for disaster. It’s possible that it’s impossible to make warehouses look good at all. It did give me Bond-tingles, I’ll admit. It’s the sort of warehouse Connery would have been proud to destroy while getting from one side to the other.

The Music. Speaking of Bond… great score this week, very Bond and trumpety in places, lots of new themes. Well, lots of themes I hadn’t noticed in previous episodes anyhow. I love the slightly spooky, slightly kooky ‘action’ theme that’s playing when the Doctor and Rose go outside to look at the ghosts. If that replaces the daggy old theme from Rose I wouldn’t be unhappy.

The Writing. There’s a certain magic to a Davies script. A certain unpredictability. Alright, yes, you could see where the main thrust of the story was going. But the ghosts and their acceptance by humankind was a neat touch, as was the sphere and the infiltration of Torchwood. And the Doctor got his best exposition scene ever, breaking a window to demonstrate the rupture between the universes. That’s how these things should be done. Imagine how much glass Sam would go through on Stargate SG-1.

The Doctor. As good as he’s ever been this year. Don’t you think having all our loved ones visit us from beyond the grave is beautiful, asks Jackie. “I think it’s horrific.” A mad grin at Yvonne to get her to do things her way. “Who you gonna call?” His relationship with Jackie. He’s in a hell of a spot now; here’s hoping for some tremendous heroics next week. Though, it seems fair that Rose should get some first.

THE DALEKS. There have been times in my life when I’ve been unimpressed with the Daleks. But this is not one of those times. There has been no greater entrance in the history of Doctor Who.

‘Army of Ghosts’ starts with one woman and her ghost, and keeps on expanding and expanding until suddenly the Earth has been invaded. Could one ask for a better part one? One more day to go. I’ve been sitting patiently. I’ve been avoiding spoilers. Give me my awesomeness.


One Response to “Army of Ghosts”

  1. I loved the dialogue in Army of Ghosts. Rapid delivery, witty; as the Doctor is not a normal person, I expect intelligent dialogue from him.

    He was more willing to explain things this episode, which is a good thing. Sometimes the Doctor doesn’t explain things enough for me.

    I disliked Jackie’s speech to Rose about her changing. Why is Jackie so resistant to change? Is it that she dislikes Rose travelling with the Doctor?

    Maybe the glasses are for looking at things from other dimensions, as they’re 3d glasses, or possibly 5d.