‘THE LONG GAME’
Please feel free to comment on my review.
The Mighty Jagrafess
Here we come to the third quarter of the Christopher Eccleston series of ‘Doctor Who’!
There are some fine episodes including two one-part episodes and one creepy two-parter. Christopher Eccleston and Billie Piper are on top form as the Doctor and Rose in this set of episodes and would soon get joined by future ‘Torchwood’ leader John Barrowman as Captain Jack Harkness.
There is so much to enjoy and by this point, the new series of ‘Doctor Who’ has gained its prestige reputation. I was into the series from watching and enjoying every episode with the Doctor and Rose. It was in 2006 that I really got into watching these ‘Doctor Who’ episodes on DVD than in 2005.
‘The Long Game’ by Russell T. Davies is quite a sparkly episode set in the far future (the year 200,000). The Doctor and Rose are joined Bruno Langley as Adam who boarded the TARDIS in ‘Dalek’.
The Doctor, Rose and Adam arrive on a space station called Satellite 5. All is not as it seems. At first, it’s a space station that broadcasts news to Earth and its Fourth Great and Bountiful Human Empire.
But at the top of Satellite 5 on Floor 500, there is something deadly watching. The Doctor knows that the technology used by the human empire is wrong and wants to find out how history has changed.
The Doctor and Rose investigate what’s going on by asking people questions. They eventually get up to the top floor of Satellite 5 where they meet the mysterious Editor and the monstrous Jagrafess.
I liked the futuristic setting of this story. It feels very 21st century at first, but when people click their fingers and reveal computer chips inside their heads, it gets very disturbing and unnerving to watch.
It was interesting how the human race has been lied to by the news and how they’ve been enslaved without realising it. I like the contrast of the hotness of Satellite 5 compared to the cold of Floor 500.
Simon Pegg guest stars as the mysterious Editor. Simon (well-known for ‘Spaced’) is absolutely brilliant. He is really menacing as a villain, with a degree of humour in his performance which I liked.
There’s also the lovely Anna Maxwell-Martin as Suki. Anna was in ‘Bleak House’ at the same time this episode was made. Suki is a news journalist on Satellite 5, but it transpires she’s not who she seems.
Christine Adams guest stars as Cathica, another journalist aboard Satellite 5. She’s an ambitious woman who wants to get to Floor 500. She is agitated when the Doctor and Rose ask her questions.
The Jagrafess is a huge mass of meat hung up on the ceiling of Floor 500 of Satellite 5 and has a vicious mouth. It’s very terrifying and one wonders how it seems to be in charge of the human race.
This story explores Adam’s journey from a companion of the Doctor to how he messes it up. He tries to acquire knowledge from the future for his own purposes, which costs his time aboard the TARDIS.
It is a rather sad story for Adam, as he ends up being taken back home by the Doctor, who is angry with him for what he did. Now he has to live the rest of his life with a computer chip inside his head.
Christopher Eccleston as the Doctor is brilliant. I liked it when he notices something’s wrong with the human race and is determined to solve it. He gets tough and good scenes when talking to the Editor.
Billie Piper as Rose is equally brilliant. I like it when Rose asks the right questions, noticing how warm the space station is. I also like it when she questions the Editor on how the human race is controlled.
‘The Long Game’ is enjoyable ‘Doctor Who’ episode to watch from the new series with the Doctor and Rose. It’s also a rather sad story for Adam, who is short-lived as a companion aboard the TARDIS.
The DVD special features on this episode are as follows. On Disc 3 of ‘The Complete Series 1’, there’s a commentary with Bruno Langley; Christine Adams and director Brian Grant. On Disc 5, there’s the ‘Doctor Who Confidential’ episode ‘The Dark Side’.
‘The Long Game’ rating – 8/10
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