Reception to the latest episode of Doctor Who – The Impossible Planet – has been largely favourable and indeed online comment from fans has been in sharp contrast to some opinions of earlier adventures this series.
The Doctor Who Appreciation Society (DWAS) reports that the episode received a 40% audience share, one of the new runs best:
The overnight ratings for broadcast of â€˜The Impossible Planetâ€™ were 5.9 million. Doubtless inspired by the best weather most of the UK has had for a long time, these are the lowest overnight figures that the show has had since it returned in 2005. However, when viewed as a percentage of the available audience, the figures tell a different story. On this measure the episode had an average of just under 40% audience share which is very high, and amongst the best since the show returned in 2005!
The significance of these figures is probably that Doctor Who has a strong â€˜coreâ€™ audience that stayed in to watch the show. This should also be reflected in the final figures released in a week or so which will include the audience that recorded the show to view later, although the bureau (BARB) has recently reported issues with accurate measuring of Sky + viewers. Doctor Whoâ€™s position in the late spring/early summer schedules does not help the show and it will be interesting to see if this slot is also occupied with series 3
SFX Magazine’s website in particular praises Murray Gold’s excellent score, most dramatically heard in the episodes final five minutes (quite a build up to the cliffhanger, wasn’t it?):
Murray Gold provides his most cinematic and creepy score yet. There are even some musical cues from Alien and Star Trek, not to mention a brilliant use of Holstâ€™s Mars movement from The Planets Suite. The end of the episode in particularly needed a score bigger than Who usually manages, mainly because the pictures are so much bigger. This story boasts some of the most jaw-dropping visuals Doctor Who has ever shown. Think the finales of the Indiana Jones films and Star Trek: The Motion Picture.
Upon first glance, you might think that Blogcritics.org‘s Matthew Milam was watching a different episode. But read further and you’ll see that he simply didn’t get as excited by the story as the rest of us, perhaps not being a fan himself of the “base under siege” type plot. He does however, highlight the storys weak point – the relationship between Rose and the Doctor:
Having lost the TARDIS to space, The Doctor and Rose make small talk about their future without his time machine. They speak of living together and possibly being a couple; a yucky idea indeed. I believe that “School Reunion” earlier this year already established that it wouldnâ€™t make sense for the Doctor to be in a relationship. Yet here, the romance clichÃ© is in full effect.
But, ultimately it can be considered a cheap-shot, making the same digs week after week – we just have to expect that Davies and the production team actually do something about it…