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Good story. I think the acting was strong. I hate that 'FEED ME!!!!! FEED MEEEEEEEEEE! and HUNGRY!!!! bits, they could have lost those and it would have been better. The opening is a bit awkward but it's all pretty good. One last poor point: the Doctor, Eddie, and Tommy's mum can't speak clearly in this episode. I'm used to this Doc's rambling but really! I had to break out the DVDs to use the subtitles for the first time since the McCoy era! At one point I thought Tommy's mum said, "Everyone enjoying the Pope?" and what did the Doc say about it's never too late (he quotes Kylie) but almost everything he says in the climax is lost on me (I thought he said 300 soles never leave home without them). Truly dreadful pronunciation from the Doc, Eddi'es parents.
LOVE Tommy and the actor who played him. Just great. He would make a great companion. Rose is really good in this but the direction is...sometimes poor for her as if the director were directing a Keystone Cop movie with Rose doing a scoot out after insulting Eddie. I almost expected a cartoon sound effect akin to ROADRUNNER. Not being British I guess, the whole horse show on TV was totally lost on me and looked like crap. I guess that's their version of KUKLA FRAN AND OLLIE or CAPT KANGAROO or something. I also found the Doc and Rose trying to fool around with American accents or trends a bit...off. Is this what British people think of 1953 America? Eddie's father was a jerk but not a monster as Kate Orman has written in SECOND FLIGHT.
The Wire is a good villain and not terribly evil or killing...at least not until the Doctor stop her. This is a welcome relief from the cutting deaths of RISE OF THE CYBERMEN and AGE OF STEEL. I also feel this is a smaller story, the type DW should be doing and the type it used to do in the older show. That said, there's no monsters really and the chases here are sorta...lame. But it moves fast from scene to scene and having Rose's face off...well, that's brilliant. I can't recall a single other horrid moment from this season or the new show (apart from Rose's apparent death in the last story of the first season) that had a companion go through something this horrible. The only thing that comes close in the first show is Katarina's death, Sara's death, and Adric's death. Sarah and Harry suffered a bit in GENESIS OF THE DALEKS but it's truly disturbing to see Rose with her face off. Oh and that bit makes the Doc jump in to help. He wasn't that on fire to help before, was he? In any event, it's nice to see him go into action with a little boy (well, a 15 year old) and an older man (who gets HIS face off soon).
Another deleted gay thing. IT was obvious to me that Tommy (and possibly two men watching the TV in his mum's living room, too) was gay. A deleted scene at the end had Tommy telling Rose about his crush and Rose thinking that the crush was on her but Tommy revealing that the crush he wanted to kiss goodbye was...the Doctor!!! And in the deleted scene, he goes into the TARDIS (I believe) and kisses the Doctor goodbye. As it was, it was more subtle but...again another overt gay sequence expunged. I don't know if this show is more homophobic than others but WTF? Anyway would love to see Tommy return but that's a hope against hope. I wonder what became of him. A fan fic shows him in 1976 after he's helped start the video craze including betamax and later video tape machines.
The stuff on the antenna was nicely done, great effects, and action. It was nice to see the Doc and Rose enjoying time at the block party and drinking juice. Rose is also mature in that she tells Tommy to go after his dad, reflecting on her own father and yet not getting too down about it. The entire story is a good one and after the last few, with Sarah Jane, a werewolf, K9, a strange love story, a horse, robots, etc etc and especially the Cybermen, it was nice to have a story where a new family is involved and there aren't any old monsters, returning companions, or sad love stories, deaths (only one this story! unless you count the WIre and she might not be dead), etc etc. There's a fresh feel to the story and a good 1953 atmosphere. It's not a perfect story and it lags a bit at the start but it's pretty good. As usual though, it reminds me of other sources: for some reason the original OUTER LIMITS (the control voice and the dot as the picture fades out, mad scientist takes over machines) and THE LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS (which spawned two awful movies and only one good song--On Skid Row). LITTLE SHOP is where the feed me/hungry stuff comes from and one should be not surprised as this is the worst aspect of this story. Anyway this story was pretty good.