‘LOVE & MONSTERS’
Please feel free to comment on my review.
“Taste like chicken!” – The Abzorbaloff
Okay! Let’s get something straight here! I quite like ‘Love & Monsters’! There you are! I’ve said it! This is a ‘Doctor Who’ episode that has divided opinion among fans. Some love this; some loathe it.
The majority hate this episode. This is something I don’t understand. I enjoyed watching this! It’s not great, but I still enjoyed it. I suppose because I was new to ‘Doctor Who’, I did not know any better.
‘Love & Monsters’ is by Russell T. Davies. It doesn’t feature the Doctor and Rose much, as they appear only at the beginning and the end. It is narrated by a man obsessed with the Doctor via his video camera.
Elton Pope tells his story about meeting the Doctor. He recollects his encounters with aliens and forms a social group about the Doctor called the ‘London Investigative ‘N’ Detective Agency’ (LINDA).
But their group is soon taken over by the mysterious Victor Kennedy who pushes them forward into finding the Doctor. It’ll mean hurting those closest to who know Elton such as Jackie Tyler, Rose’s mum.
Mark Warren stars as Elton – not to be confused with Elton John. I liked Elton, as the story depicts how a man’s encounter with the Doctor can be life-changing with both exciting and horrible results.
I liked some of the continuity references made to previous ‘Doctor Who’ stories. Elton has encountered Autons from ‘Rose’; Slitheen from ‘Aliens of London’/’World War Three’ and the Sycorax from ‘The Christmas Invasion’.
One of the things I liked about this episode is the inclusion of the Electric Light Orchestra as I love listening to their music. Elton is so right about one thing with this episode. “You can’t beat good old ELO!”
LINDA are an interesting group of Doctor fans who I liked. As well as Elton, there’s Shirley Henderson as Ursula Blake; Simon Greenall as Mr Skinner; Moya Brady as Bridget and Kathryn Drysdale as Bliss.
The group is soon joined by comedian Peter Kay as Victor Kennedy. He pushes them forward into finding the Doctor with thorough methods. He is so mysterious and has this odd ‘eczema’ about him.
Victor turns out to be the Abzorbaloff, a fat absorbing alien created by 9-year old William Grantham from a ‘Blue Peter’ competition to create a ‘Doctor Who’ monster. He’s very gross and disgusting to look at.
Peter Kay gives a strange performance as the Abzorbaloff, since his voice changes into a strong northern accent for an alien. Sometimes it was difficult to take the Abzorbaloff seriously on screen.
Camile Coduri guest stars as Jackie Tyler in this. Elton makes friends with Jackie, as he tries to get to her daughter Rose to find the Doctor. It was heart-breaking when Jackie discovers the truth about Elton.
As I said, David Tennant and Billie Piper don’t appear much as the Doctor and Rose in this. They manage to save Elton from the Abzorbaloff, although Rose wants to have it out with Elton for upsetting her mum.
So ‘Love & Monsters’, whilst it’s not a standout favourite, is an enjoyable episode for me. It’s strange the Doctor and Rose aren’t in it much, but Marc Warren is very good as Elton in this episode. I have more positive things to say about this episode than negative, as it’s an interesting experiment.
The DVD special features on this episode on ‘The Complete Series 2’ DVD are as follows. On Disc 4, there’s a commentary with Camille Coduri, director Dan Zeff, and executive producer Julie Gardner. On Disc 6, there’s the ‘Doctor Who Confidential’ episode ‘The New World of Who’.
I didn’t enjoy ‘The Impossible Planet’/’The Satan Pit’ as much as I enjoyed ‘Love & Monsters’. ‘Love & Monsters’ was a welcome relief, as it contained plenty of comedic and horror aspects that I liked compared to the dark and sometimes depressing aspects of the Satan two-parter which grew on me.
‘Love & Monsters’ rating – 6/10
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