Idle Hands Are Pretty Much Everyone’s Playthings: Doctor Who Review, Part Four

26 Nov

It’s time to FINALLY get this celebratorial review of The Impossible Planet and The Satan Pit for Doctor Who’s 50th anniversary out of the way! I swear, by the time I get this fucking review done, it’s going to be some entirely different anniversary!

“What is even going on.”

PREVIOUSLY: The Doctor’s jumping down the recursive pit to find Satan, Satan’s possessed an army of Zoidbergs, Rose and the crew have checked out each other’s asses, and Jefferson died so hard, he made Captain Jack say “daaaaaaaamn“.


After taking a short moment to mourn Jefferson in the vents, the crew opens the door to the next section, which happens to be filled with a frankly unreasonable amount of Ood. “Hey, occupado!”

Rose punches her way out of the vent, and pulls herself and Danny to safety. They try to help Toby up, only for him to very discreetly turn to the Ood, flash out his demony eyes, and shush them. “YES, I’M THE BEAST, AND I’M IN COMPLETE CONTROL OF ALL THE OOD, BUT THAT DOESN’T MEAN THEY DON’T GET UPPITY EVERY ONCE AND A WHILE!”

Now that the Beast has thoroughly admonished… himself, I guess, he switches Toby back to “less overtly evil”, and he gets dragged up by Rose and Danny. Cue a Benny Hill chase scene as our wacky protagonists flee from Satan’s inhuman merciless minions bent on spreading the Beast’s power through the entire universe, oh you kooks! 

Finally at the Ood control centre, Danny sticks in his USB of plot convenience and technobabbles the Ood right out! Huzzah for the forces of “Fuck Ood”!

Back with the Doctor, he’s chatting with Ida about what the Beast is while he’s slowly lowered in to the pit. “The image of the horned demon is spread through pretty much every religion! Maybe they all came from the same place? One massively powerful entity capable of becoming the ultimate evil for billions upon billions of terrified souls? A single fear, emanating from here in to the back of every sentient mind?”

“… You’re really not making me feel any better about this.”

He runs out of wire, and is stuck dangling there with no bottom in sight. So he has a choice: Go back up and wait to die, or release the safety clip and drop to either his death, or the Devil. Well, no matter what he chooses, he gets away from Rose Tyler! It’s a win/win!

The Doctor has a quick conversation on belief, and tells Ida, “If Rose gets in contact, tell her… tell her… oh, she knows.”

“She knows how much you intensely loath her?”

“Yeah, that!”

He drops off, just as Rose finally manages to reconnect, because this episode likes making Rose suffer. And hey, speaking of suffering, we get a touching goodbye as Captain Flane tells Ida that they’re abandoning her! She cries a bit, and tells them to get out of here, but not before bragging about the scenery nobody but her gets to see!

You gotta love the interior decorator for Satan’s prison!

Flane, Danny, and Toby start preparing to leave, but when Rose demands that they leave her, the crew shrugs… then drugs her so they can get her on-board the rocket safely. Why, exactly, Mr. Flane, were you carrying that around? Just decided ‘hey, you never know when you might need some tranquillizers’?

Down in the final pit, the Doctor is waking up. His helmet shattered in the fall, but he’s still breathing. Which means air cushion! (… What ever that is.)

Rose wakes up in the rocket, just as it takes off. She panics a little, and even threatens Flane with the bolt gun. Geez, talk about gratitude! He says they’re not turning back, because piloting a spaceship directly into a black hole is only a slightly worse idea than doing it the first time.

Back with the Doctor, he’s examining some cave paintings. They detail a great battle of man against beast, and when the Beast was destroyed, it was imprisoned. In a pit, perhaps? Annnnnnd cue the Beasts big entrance, in the flesh!

Pictured: A face only a CGI student could love.

We briefly cut away to establish Toby giggling evilly to himself, before continuing our Doctor Versus Devil Final Showdown! “I accept that you exist. I don’t have to accept what you are, but your physical existence, I’ll give you that!”


“… Really? That’s it? I expected more verbal repartee.”


“I don’t understand, I was expected down here! I was given a safe landing and air! You need me for something, what for?”


“Oh, come on, you big nob! Talk to me!”


“You won’t talk?”


“… Or you can’t talk. Oh, great, I picked a fight with the world’s first mute eldritch horror.”


“But how does that work? I heard your voice! Pompous, arrogant, and really fucking annoying, but a voice! But looking at you now… all I can see is The Beast. The animal, just the body, the physical form! It’s like a muppet; really smart voice, but just a felt body!”


“Don’t ask, before your time. So, you were imprisoned, presumably you spent the first few millennia dropping the soap, and you can’t get out! If you open the prison, the gravity field collapses! You get dropped straight in to the black hole, which I assume isn’t the first time you’ve been forcibly introduced to a black hole, am I right?”


“You escape, you die! Brilliant! So, you lay here, festering away, eating Cheetos and drinking Mountain Dew, just the body of the Beast! But the mind, oh, that brilliant mind! The mind of the great Beast can escape! Which is why they gave me air, because if your mind is escaping, then I need to come down here and pull the switch, finish you off and dunk you in to the black hole!”


“But… oh, you’re very clever. If I destroy Krop Tor, I destroy the gravity field. And drop Rose in to it too. If I kill you, I’ll kill Rose.”


“… You know, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a win/win scenario like this before!”

“Now, can you PROMISE she’ll die this time? ‘Cause, I don’t wanna half ass it like I did in New New York!”

Speaking of Rose, she’s finally starting to question why the Beast didn’t kill them in one of a thousand different ways. Which Toby is strangely against, hrm, I wonder why!

Finally, the Doctor is running through the deep moral quandary about whether he can do it. Can he kill the Beast, save the universe, at the cost of Rose? This is a deep, worrisome dilemma-


… Well. That didn’t take very long.

With the gravity field gone, the rocket is getting sucked in to the black hole, and the Beast responds with the expected dignity and restrained we’ve come to expect. “I AM THE BILE AND THE RAGE AND THE HATE AND THE DEATH! I AM FOREVER AND ETERNAL! I AM THE SOLE DESTROYER OF THE UNIVERSE! I AM THE ONCOMING STORM! I WILL NEVER DIE! NEVER EVER EV-“

“Look, I know he’s the ultimate evil, but can we please shut him up?!”

Rose takes the bolt gun and blows out the window, sending the Beast to his death that according to him “is impossible”. (Pompous ass.) And as the planet falls in to the black hole, tearing itself apart, the Doctor manages to find the closest thing he’s ever gonna get to a loving god: The TARDIS, fresh and unharmed!

*trumpet blow*

And remarkably, it’s not possessed by the Beast! Although, wouldn’t it be cool if it was?

This frees the Doctor for his big dramatic hero moment of rescuing the ship, saving Ida from oxygen starvation… but being unable to save the Ood. OH NO THE MURDEROUS SQUID FACES HAD TO DIE OH WHAT SHALL WE DO.

And that’s The Impossible Planet and The Satan Pit! How are they?

(Dude, seriously. Would I have reviewed these episodes if I didn’t think they fucking rocked?)

The script is tight, the idea of the Doctor coming up against something so bizarre alien is a welcome change of pace, the characters are well rounded and likeable, the Ood make a convincing threat, and it manages to even pull off a creepy atmosphere at times!

The best of the two episodes is The Impossible Planet, as it gives us enough information to know what’s going on, without ruining any of the scares or mystery, and the tension is palpable! The vision of the black hole twirling above them is one that tends to stick with you after you’re done.

The biggest problem is the Beast comes off a bit pompous, with his boasting of ultimate evil, but he gets his just desserts, so I can’t really complain!

And, so ends our first Doctor Who review! What’d you think? And let’s make sure it stays dead this time, shall we?


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