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The Doctor Dances



First UK Transmission Date (BBC1)Scheduled TXViewers
28th May 200519:006.86m

Cast: John Barrowman (Captain Jack Harkness), Richard Wilson (Dr. Constantine), Florence Hoath (Nancy), Vilma Hollingberry (Mrs. Harcourt), Albert Valentine (Empty Child), Cheryl Fergison, Damian Samuels, Robert Hands, Martin Hodgson, Joseph Tremain, Jordan Murphy, Brandon Miller

Writer: Steven Moffat, Director: James Hawes

Synopsis: - The Child’s plague is spreading throughout wartime London, and its zombie army is on the march.

'The Doctor Dances' Background and Summary: - Doctor Who had been restored to its usual time-slot, word of mouth had spread the fact that The Empty Child had been excellent, and even Radio One's Chris Moyles was waxing lyrical about the new series. For whatever reasons, be it weather or the Bank Holiday, Doctor Who received its lowest viewing figures to date.

It was, of course, a worse travesty than the preceeding week because the resolution to the cliffhanger was extremely clever, the last line before the title sequence extremely funny, and the rest of the episode continued to build on that start.

Its hard not to write a totally positive appraisal of The Doctor Dances. It resolves a superb story with a lovely twist and the whole episode has a warmth which reminded many a synical fan just why they loved this series so much. It is superbly written, brilliantly acted, stunningly directed and is full of dialogue gems too many to list.

The triangle of the Doctor, Rose and Jack continues to play out brilliantly and results in some memorable exchanges. There are so many good jokes, but they don't come at the expence of the flow of the narrative. The whole experience of watching The Doctor Dances is heart-warming and by its conclusion, even Captain Jack had won over many of his doubters.

In the ubiquitous fan-poll, it scored almost identially to part one, with 92.9% rating it positively, of which 59.6% thought it was deserved full marks, and only 1.64% showing dislike. Fans were, by this stage, overwhelmingly positive about episodes written by new writers and generally cautious about episoes writted by Russell T Davies. Stephen Moffat was the first writer to work on the new series who has not contributed something significant to the Doctor Who universe such as New Adventure, or a Big Finish audio, but his skill at handling television writing was very apparent.

Following this triumph, it was all a question of whether writer/producer Russell T Davies could produce a satisfying lead-in to the season finale.


Classic Series Influences and References:

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Buy the Complete First Series

This is an absolutely must for anyone who remotely enjoyed the new series of Doctor Who. Unlikely the previous individual releases of episodes, the box set has extras coming out of its ears. And whereas some box sets just have extras on the final disc, this brilliant package has a selection of extras on each disk, plus the entire set of Doctor Who confidential (cut down) on another disk.

Nothing much needs saying about the episodes themselves but commentaries on certain episodes are almost worth the price alone. The commentaries of Rose, The Unquiet Dead and Dalek are of particular note and the video diaries of certain members of the team are very interesting and fun. The TARDIS container is a nice package and overall, believe me this set of DVDs is well worth the asking price, or probably more!

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