Doctor Who - The Idiot's Lantern
Phil Collinson, Russell T.Davies (executive), Julie Gardner (executive) for BBC Wales/BBC
directed by Euros Lyn
starring David Tennant, Billie Piper, Maureen Lipman, Ron Cook, Jamie Foreman, Debra Gillett, Rory Jennings, Margaret John, Sam Cox, Ieuan Rhys, Jean Challis, Christopher Driscoll, Marie Lewis
written by Mark Gatiss, music by Murray Gold
Doctor Who, Doctor Who (David Tennant), Doctor Who (new series), Rose Tyler
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Doctor Who (David Tennant) and Rose arrive in London 1953, on the very
day of Queen Elisabeth II coronation. At the same time, TV-sets are slowly
becoming a household commodity and the coronation is expected to become
the first broadcast to attract an audience to go in the millions.
At the same time though, a strange creature called The Wire
(Maureen Lipman) seems to live in the nation's TV-sets, at least those
sold by small-fry electrician Magpie (Ron Cook), and The Wire feeds by
sucking the faces right off people's heads, leaving them totally
featureless and without mouth or eyes - just plain skin where the face
should be. Before long, The Wire also sucks away Rose's face, but the
police seems to be toothless, simply hiding the featureless humans away to
not cause a stir on coronation day ... that is, until the Doctor comes
along and awakens Detective Inspector Bishop (Sam Cox) from his catatonia
... and before long, the Doctor has found out Magpie as the perpetrator
and has found out his plan - to transmit The Wire nationwide during the
broadcast of the coronation so it can feed of 20 million people all at
once. Of course, the Doctor prevents that from happening in the very last
minute (otherwise, most of Britain would be featureless today) by putting
the Wire onto tape, and he even gives those (including Rose) who have
already lost their features their faces back.
A cheesy subplot concerns a courageous young boy (Rory Jennings) and
his tyrannical but cowardly father (Jamie Foreman).
One of the better episodes of Doctor Who's new series,
mixing over-the-top sci-fi ideas with satire just like it should be. What
keeps the episode from showing its full potential is the cheesy subplot
about the heroic boy and his coward father that makes little sense in the
narrative context. Pity !