Doctor Who #827: Prisoner of the Judoon Part 1

"From what I've heard, their methods aren't softly softly."
TECHNICAL SPECS: All stories between this one and The Gift Part 2 are available on the Sarah Jane Adventures Season 3 DVD set. First aired Oct.15 2009.

IN THIS ONE... A Judoon comes to Earth chasing after a killer alien who can hide inside people. Sarah Jane, for example.

REVIEW: The new season starts with a gratuitous, but very pretty outer space effects sequence that really has very little to do with anything, and a voice-over from Sarah Jane explaining her Whovian antecedents and new role as a mother, etc. At the time, I probably felt encouraged that this, and the new weekly opener narrated by a fourth wall-breaking Clyde, meant they expected many new viewers to tune in thanks to Sarah's appearance in Journey's End and the Doctor's announced appearance a few stories hence. Watched is close proximity to similar voice-overs in previous seasons, it's all a bit tiresome. Still, things quickly get better.

The Judoon are a perfect alien for this show. A somewhat goofy anthropomorphic animal with a funny dialect and lots of comedy potential. A literal-minded policeman, Tybo could almost be in a pilot for his own kooky sitcom here. He's requisitioning police vehicles, ripping out non-essential parts, following the speed limit exactly... it's quite amusing. Now we see why they took Martha's hospital to the Moon - far fewer local rules to follow! Tybo makes a good foil for the kids. And there's more comedy besides thank to Gita trying to expand her business with the unwilling help of her husband, getting into trouble with the nanotech company Sarah recommended just to get her out of the way. It's obvious from the first scene there that the nanites would become important to the plot, and of course, they will be.

The episode doesn't rely entirely on the returning monster, of course. Tybo is looking for the criminal Androvax, who has a cool make-up and one of the better CG tongue effects I've seen. This slick and evil "Destroyer of Worlds" can jump into another person's skin, with variable effect. The little girl, for example, isn't much of a host because she just doesn't have the acting ability. Lis Sladen, on the other hand, manifests the monster's reptilian qualities with brilliance. She hasn't played a part this creepy since Eldrad had to live. And ordering Mr. Smith to self-destruct Bannerman Road? That's pure evil, and you almost think it could happen after Torchwood's Hub was destroyed so recently.

REWATCHABILITY: Medium - A good deal of fun, but between all those villains and Sarah not acting like herself, there's little room for those smaller human moments the show is so good at usually.



Blog Archive


5 Things to Like Activities Advice Alien Nation Aliens Say the Darndest Things Alpha Flight Amalgam Ambush Bug Animal Man anime Aquaman Archetypes Archie Heroes Arrowed Asterix Atom Avengers Awards Babylon 5 Batman Battle Shovel Battlestar Galactica Black Canary BnB 2-in1 Books Booster Gold Buffy Canada Captain America Captain Marvel Cat CCGs Charlton Circles of Hell Comics Comics Code Approved Conan Contest Cooking Crisis Daredevil Dating Kara Zor-El Dating Lois Lane Dating Lucy Lane Dating Princess Diana DCAU Deadman Dial H Dice Dinosaur Island Dinosaurs Director Profiles Doctor Who Doom Patrol Down the Rabbit Hole Dr. Strange Encyclopedia Fantastic Four Fashion Nightmares Fiasco Films Within Films Flash Flushpoint Foldees French Friday Night Fights Fun with Covers Galleries Game design Gaming Geekly roundup Geeks Anonymous Geekwear Gimme That Star Trek Godzilla Golden Age Grant Morrison Great Match-Ups of Science Fiction Green Arrow Green Lantern Hawkman Hero Points Podcast Holidays House of Mystery Hulk Human Target Improv Inspiration Intersect Invasion Invasion Podcast Iron Man Jack Kirby Jimmy Olsen JLA JSA Judge Dredd K9 the Series Kirby Motivationals Krypto Kung Fu Learning to Fly Legion Letters pages Liveblog Lonely Hearts Podcast Lord of the Rings Machine Man Motivationals Man-Thing Marquee Masters of the Universe Memes Memorable Moments Metal Men Metamorpho Micronauts Millennium Mini-Comics Monday Morning Macking Movies Mr. Terrific Music Nelvana of the Northern Lights Nightmare Fuel Number Ones Obituaries oHOTmu OR NOT? Old52 One Panel Outsiders Panels from Sheena Paper Dolls Play Podcast Polls Questionable Fridays Radio Rants Reaganocomics Recollected Red Bee Red Tornado Reign Retro-Comics Reviews Rom RPGs Sandman Sapphire & Steel Sarah Jane Adventures Saturday Morning Cartoons SBG for Girls Seasons of DWAITAS Secret Origins Podcast Secret Wars SF Silver Age Siskoid as Editor Siskoid's Mailbox Space 1999 Spectre Spider-Man Spring Cleaning ST non-fiction ST novels: DS9 ST novels: S.C.E. ST novels: The Shat ST novels: TNG ST novels: TOS Star Trek Suicide Squad Supergirl Superman Supershill Swamp Thing Tales from Earth-Prime Team Horrible Teen Titans That Franchise I Never Talk About The Prisoner The Thing Then and Now Theory Thor Thursdays of Two Worlds Time Capsule Timeslip Tintin Torchwood Tourist Traps of the Forgotten Realms Toys Turnarounds TV V Waking Life Warehouse 13 Websites What If? Who's This? Whoniverse-B Wikileaked Wonder Woman X-Files X-Men Zine