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Day 34: Review of The Runaway Bride (10th Doctor)

Posted by: Whochick

Day 34: Review of The Runaway Bride (10th Doctor)
The Runaway Bride - 2006 Christmas Special

This is (finally) my review of the second Doctor Who Christmas Special. Like The Christmas Invasion, it is a bit longer than a normal episode, and it is also a bit of a departure from the normal course of things. There’s a lot to talk about, so if you would like to know what I think (and see why it generally takes me 2 hours to do one of these) click on through to the other side.

Episode: The Runaway Bride by Russell T. Davies
Rating (1 to 5): 3.8
Time: 2006? for the London part, 4.6 Billion years previous for the creation of the Earth.
Place: In Orbit Around a Supernova, London, The Creation of the Earth
Baddie: The Empress Of the Racnoss and Lance (which makes me a little sad, since his family seems so nice.)
The Doctor’s Death Wish: I’m thinking that he was a bit too busy.
Rose? Her shirt is discussed in the control room (What is her shirt doing there, I ask you?), Donna asks about her before jumping out of a moving taxi, on a roof The Doctor mentions Christmas dinner the previous year, The Doctor has a Rose flashback during the reception, and “Her name was Rose.”
Doctor-y Strangeness: He has a flashback of Rose from near the end of “New Earth.” Death by stereo. The Doctor going into manic mode talking about the Huon Particles. Dark!Doctor with flames and rushing water. And he kind of empties the Thames.
Scary Stuff: Robots with Santa masks…driving Taxis. The Doctor going a bit too far while surrounded by water and flames.
Does someone local help out? Well…Donna. (…and Mr. Saxon?)
What we learn: The Doctor has a tool belt full of tools hanging from the TARDIS console. Donna was sent home for biting on her first day of school. The Doctor seems to have a +2 whistle of Taxi Summoning. The sonic screwdriver works on both telephones and cash points. The TARDIS can actually…fly instead of just disappearing and reappearing (not that it’s too happy about doing that.) Donna is a Secretary. H. C. Clements is owned by Torchwood. Huon Particles (and Huon energy) are ancient and haven’t existed for millions of year (except in the heart of the TARDIS), and therefore can’t be hidden by a biodamper. There’s a secret base under the Thames Flood barrier. The Time Lords got rid of Huon Particles because they were deadly. The Huon Particles drew Donna into the TARDIS, and can also draw the TARDIS to her. The Doctor still has The Extrapolator (from Boom Town and The Parting of the Ways.) The Doctor’s pockets are larger on the inside (which would explain the 4th Doctor.) The Doctor is from Gallifrey. The Doctor can make it snow at will.
My Favorite Bits: “-You’re an alien. -Yeah.” The Doctor dealing with Donna and Rose’s shirt. Pockets! “…I’m not from Mars.” The Doctor’s little impatient dance while waiting for the cash point. The kids in the back of the car yelling at Donna to jump. “With this ring, I thee biodamp.” The Doctor remembering Rose during the reception. The Doctor’s sonic stereo system. “I’m a pencil inside a mug?” “-Are you telling me that this building has a secret floor? -No, I’m showing you that this building has a secret floor.” “To honor and obey.” “There’s a secret base hidden under a major London landmark?” “Only a madman talks to thin air, and trust me, you don’t want to make me mad.” The Doctor’s delaying tactics. “I dunno. I make it up as I go along. But trust me, I’ve got a history.” The Doctor: “Gallifrey.” The Empress: *oh crap* Dark!Doctor. “Her name was Rose.”

Observations and musings:

Donna may be loud and demanding, but she isn’t completely thick. Most brides would be a bit…peeved to be transported from their way down the aisle on their wedding day after all. It just takes her a while to get with the program, as it were. The “loud and demanding” doesn’t go completely away, but she does begin to understand a bit more about what is going on. She seems to figure out that The Doctor is in mourning, and she even offers him a bit of advice. Good advice. The Doctor really does need someone to keep an eye on him. And Donna, for her part, is so very vibrant that she manages to keep The Doctor distracted for a while.

The Doctor has just said good-bye to Rose, and *boom* another complication arises in the form of Donna Noble, a bride who mysteriously appears on the TARDIS. No time to think about anything else, he has to move forward immediately. I am forced to wonder why The Doctor know so much about The Dark Times. Did they teach about it at the academy? I mean, he immediately recognizes The Empress as a Racnoss. And once again The Doctor offers someone one last chance to not do what they are intent upon doing. Will someone ever take him up on his offer to take them somewhere else? Gallifrey!!! The Doctor finally says the name of his home in the new series! Okay, and now we have another example of Dark!Doctor. It’s at times like this that you can really see the man that fought in the Time War, eh? *shiver* Poor Doctor. He keeps stumbling over remembrances of Rose.

This episode is the first one post-Rose, and I thought that they did a good job with the subtext. I missed her. Donna did a good job of keeping him too busy to mope, but once she was gone… Well, I wonder how much time passed between this episode and “Smith and Jones.” Sarah Parish finally got to play a baddie! (She’s one of David Tennant’s best friends and they have already been in a few other things together. She’s been wanting to play a baddie, apparently.) Has anyone else noticed how many things happen in and around Henrik’s? It’s probably best to avoid the whole area. It’s a wonder that The Doctor hasn’t just blown the whole thing up again.

So…what did you think?

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About the Author

Whochick is a huge Doctor Who fan. She loves the show so much that she not only co-authors a blog on the topic, but also a podcast that you should listen to. Whochick resides in California with her husband (the Shadow Architect), and occasionally refers to herself in the third person.

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