‘ALIENS OF LONDON’/’WORLD WAR THREE’
Please feel free to comment on my review.
Slitheen in Downing Street
This is the first two-part TV adventure in the Christopher Eccleston era of ‘Doctor Who’.
I first saw this story on the original ‘Doctor Who – Series 1 – Volume 2’ DVD. The DVD had two ‘fantastic’ stories with Christopher Eccleston as the Doctor and Billie Piper as Rose Tyler. The first is a two-parter set in London with Slitheen whilst the second is a cracking good episode with a Dalek in it.
I’ve fond memories of the ‘Doctor Who – Series 1 – Volume 2’ DVD. It was the first one my Dad purchased for me and I have vivid memories of being terrified of the Dalek and the Siltheen in these stories. I watched the Dalek story before the Slitheen two-parter, but I’ll talk more on this another time.
For the Slitheen story, I’ve had the original DVD cover of ‘Doctor Who – Series 1 – Volume 2’ signed by Camille Coduri, who played Jackie Tyler in the new series of ‘Doctor Who’, at the ‘Bournemouth Film and Comic Con’ in August 2015. I’ve also had the DVD cover signed by Annette Badland, who played Margaret Blaine in this adventure at the ‘Dimensions 2013’ convention in Newcastle, October 2013.
‘ALIENS OF LONDON’ (Part 1)
‘Aliens of London’/’World War Three’ is two-part 45-minute episode story by Russell T. Davies. The Doctor takes Rose back to present day Earth to reunite with her mum, but Rose has missed one year.
This has caused Rose’s mum to worry since she’s shocked and upset about her being away for so long. It was intriguing to see how Rose’s travelling in time and space has affected her absence away from normal life.
Soon, a huge spaceship flies over London and crashes, smashing into Big Ben before ending up in the Thames. The world goes into panic and speculation as they wonder who their first alien visitors are.
The Doctor soon decides to go and investigate, since this spaceship crash isn’t all that it seems. He soon discovers a terrified space pig and meets some green stinking farting aliens called the Slitheen.
This two-part story is thrilling and enjoyable to watch. There are some classy performances, as the story features a superb guest cast with Christopher Eccleston as the Doctor and Billie Piper as Rose.
Penelope Wilton (who I’ve seen in ‘Ever Decreasing Circles’) guest stars as Harriet Jones, MP for Fly Dale North. She’s a backbencher who helps the Doctor and Rose to save the world from the Slitheen.
The Siltheen stars include Rupert Vansittart as General Asquith; David Verrey as Joseph Green and Annette Badland as Margaret Blaine. The Slitheen disguise themselves as big humans and fart a lot.
As I said before, I’ve met Annette Badland at ‘Dimensions 2013’ in Newcastle. It was nice to meet her as she was friendly and easy to talk to. She had quite a high-pitched giggle when I was chatting to her. 😀
The Slitheen monsters are pretty disgusting and scary. They look cute, but they can easily kill people on sight in their hunt. They come from Raxacoricofallapatorius and are on a family business on Earth.
This story has a homely and familiar feel to it, since it’s set in London in the modern day with BBC News 24. ‘Blue Peter’ presenter Matt Baker and journalist Andrew Marr make special appearances in this.
Camille Coduri returns as Jackie Tyler, Rose’s mum. Like I said, I’ve met Camile in Bournemouth, August 2015. I had a nice chat with her and shared how much I enjoyed her as Jackie in ‘Doctor Who’.
Jackie gradually realises that Rose has been travelling with the Doctor and she’s not happy about it. I loved that moment where Jackie angrily slaps the Doctor in the face and tells him, “Stitch this, mate!”
Noel Clarke returns as Mickey Smith, Rose’s boyfriend. Mickey has been accused with murdering Rose since she’s been away with the Doctor. He’s very angry with Rose once she returns back home.
Both Christopher Eccleston and Billie Piper are superb in this two-parter. The Doctor gets angry when someone kills the space pig and gets annoyed with Rose when things get domestic in the TARDIS.
The first episode of this Slitheen story ends on a cliff-hanger. The Slitheen monsters reveal themselves and it all ends with three sets of characters in peril including the Doctor, Rose, Harriet Jones and Jackie…
‘WORLD WAR THREE’ (Part 2)
The second episode begins with the Doctor escaping the Slitheen and finding Rose and Harriet. I enjoyed the opening to this episode as it’s full of tension, even with the Slitheen chasing our heroes.
Jackie also gets rescued by Mickey from a Slitheen that attacks her at her flat. The Doctor, Rose and Harriet lock themselves in No. 10’s cabinet room to prevent the Slitheen from getting at them inside.
The Doctor, Rose and Harriet soon get in touch with Jackie and Mickey via Rose’s mobile. Jackie and Mickey help out since the Doctor wants Mickey to access the U.N.I.T. website and stop the Slitheen’s plans.
Mickey gets to demonstrate his skills as a computer expert for the first time when he hacks into the U.N.I.T. website. There seems to be more to Mickey than at first and perhaps he’s not so cowardly.
Jackie is clearly distressed with being attacked by aliens and Rose travelling in time and space with this stranger. She asks the Doctor if her daughter is safe and it’s a question the Doctor can’t answer.
It gets tense when a Slitheen attacks Mickey’s flat with him and Jackie inside. They get help from the Doctor; Rose and Harriet. It turns out the Slitheen are made of calcium and can be killed by vinegar.
Pretty soon, the Slitheen advance their plans as they try to persuade the world that they’re at war and they demand the access codes from the United Nations for a nuclear strike. The Doctor knows this is a lie.
The Doctor has a plan to stop the Slitheen and to save the world. But it could mean him losing Rose in the process, something Jackie is not happy about. In the end, Harriet makes that decision for him.
As the Slitheen wait for the call from the UN, the Doctor gets Mickey to fire a nuclear missile onto 10 Downing Street. This works, as the missile hits and blows up 10 Downing Street with Slitheen inside.
Fortunately, the Doctor, Rose and Harriet survive the explosion and are safe. Harriet starts to clean up the mess and it turns out she is the new Prime Minister of Great Britain which the Doctor knows about.
Rose is soon reunited with her mum and spends some time with her. Jackie soon comes round and is willing to get to know the Doctor, as she plans to make shepherd’s pie for tea for the three of them.
The Doctor however calls Rose up to tell her he’s on his way in the TARDIS. Rose makes the decision to leave again and travel with the Doctor. The TARDIS soon departs with the Doctor and Rose inside.
Billie Piper gives a lovely performance as Rose in this. I did like how her background and family life gets developed and how she’s torn between staying with her mum and wanting to travel with the Doctor.
Christopher Eccleston is also equally brilliant as the Doctor, who clearly loves having Rose travelling with him in the TARDIS. He doesn’t want to be lonely and he shows that when he’s talking with Rose.
This Slitheen story is a brilliant two-parter that got me scared and entertained. It’s an easy one to follow and it’s fantastic with the Slitheen. One of my favourites from the Christopher Eccleston era!
The DVD/Blu-ray special features for this story are as follows. There’s ‘Deconstructing Big Ben’, which is a behind-the-scenes look into the alien spaceship crashing into Big Ben. There’s also an audio commentary on ‘Aliens of London’ with David Verrey; executive producer Julie Gardner and visual effects producer Will Cohen and there’s an audio commentary on ‘World War Three’ with Annette Badland; producer Phil Collinson and script editor Helen Raynor. There’s also the ‘Doctor Who Confidential’ episode ‘I Get A Side-Kick Out Of You’ for ‘Aliens of London’ and there’s the ‘Doctor Who Confidential’ episode ‘Why on Earth?’ for ‘World War Three’.
‘Aliens of London’/’World War Three’ rating – 9/10
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