Doctor Who #863: The Empty Planet Part 2

"I don't like countdowns. There's never anything good at the end of a countdown, except New Year's and even that's rubbish."
TECHNICAL SPECS: First aired Nov.2 2010.

IN THIS ONE... Clyde and Rani must help cool robots find an alien prince before the Earth gets zapped.

If you're into the Clyde-Rani relationship, all the good stuff from Part 1 is also in Part 2. They're thinking things through, they're coming up with solutions, and they're equal partners doing it. I love the ending where it's obvious Rani's dad thinks they're dating and isn't too sure he likes that, but the two of them are really more awkward than that and leave their relationship status unspoken. They're a couple, but not a romantic one, not yet. Humbly, they give all the credit for their save to Sarah Jane, and as the next generation of hero, she warns them about ending up alone. They won't be, they'll have each other. They're not ready for a romantic relationship, but they do acknowledge their partnership, and seem content with waiting for each other to grow up. Play-acting at being a Lord and Lady is their way to reject adulthood at this juncture.

The story turns into a fairy tale in Part 2, with the robots - which, I must reiterate, look really cool... and kind of sweet - simply looking for their exiled prince so he can take the throne on some alien (and from a brief shot of it, idyllic) planet. There's only Gavin on the planet aside from our kids, so it must be him, but figuring it out hinges on a homophone. That's a fun word puzzle for both younger and older viewers at home. Did you figure it out before Rani and Clyde did? The reason the kids didn't get abducted like the rest of humanity is that they were grounded by the Judoon and the aliens don't want to attract that kind of trouble. Great use of past continuity. A ticket that turns into a sort of super-power. Brilliant!

- These reviews are relatively brief, but that's because the episodes are pure in concept and don't feature all the characters. Frankly, that's their great strength. Lovely.



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