Doctor Who s01e05: World War Three

World War Three
A review by Nalini Haynes
  • Director: Keith Boak
  • Writer: Russell T. Davies
  • Stars: Christopher Eccleston, Billie Piper, Camille Coduri
  • Rating: ★★★★☆ 4/5 stars

‘World War Three’ is the sequel to ‘Aliens of London‘, which ended in a cliffhanger. This review will contain spoilers for the previous episode.

Our intrepid heroes – even Rose’s mum – all faced imminent death at the hands of the Aliens of London at the end of the previous episode. They escape although many other people die in the process; one wonders if Russell T Davies sets out to explain the complete absence of former UNIT personnel.

The aliens indulge in some hunting, manipulating humanity to get access to nuclear weapons. The fart jokes continue.

Having grown up with UNIT supporting Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker as the Doctor when I was a child, the absence of familiar faces was one of my biggest disappointments with New Who. Sadly, in the past few years a lot of the old faces have passed on; Doctor Who has missed opportunities for fan-services.

The image is a little grainy on a large television, definitely not the usual bluray standard, with black stripes on either end of the television because it’s not quite widescreen format.

‘World War Three’ is an exciting episode that never forgets its family audience, engaging old and new fans. The number of times the aliens pause to unzip their foreheads, get undressed or get dressed slowed the plot a little. Less is more. However, the plot is engaging, the characters developing including relationships with Jackie (Rose’s mum) and Mickey (Rose’s boyfriend), while the Doctor refuses to ‘do domestic’.

I enjoyed the episode the first and the fourth time around. ‘World War Three’ stands up well to a re-watch. Rating: 4 /5 stars.

My review copy is part of the Doctor Who series 1 – 4 box set on bluray.

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