After last weeks well handled introduction, THE END OF THE WORLD is where the new series really begins. Last week was great, but it had a lot it had to do (introduce the Doctor, Rose, the TARDIS, aliens, Graham Norton cutting in from BBC 3) and as a result was a rather choppy forty five minutes. This week, Russell T Davies starts to have fun, delivering a witty, imaginative script that had a truly epic feel to it, whilst retaining a very British, very DOCTOR WHO feel. With Rose, we took our first trip in the TARDIS (hand cranks and all) to the year 5 Billion- the day the sun wipes out planet Earth. For starters it? a tremendous premise, filled with invention, aliens and a nice little who-dunnit threat. Throw in a bit of character building and inventive killing and we have a fantastic piece of new DOCTOR WHO.

THE END OF THE WORLD was stuffed to the brim with so many great touches I? sure to forget a few. The I-Pod joke was brilliant, hearing Britney Spears playing out as Earth burned below was something that only this show could do. The special effects were overall an improvement on last week? pretty poor Nestene play-doh creature, with the odd naff shot slipping through. Cassandra was brilliantly handled however- an astounding technical achievement. The shots of the sun expanding and Earth? destruction were also top notch. The guest cast were very good- Zoe Wannamaker was excellent as the bitchy trampoline and Yasmin Bannerman (friend of Delta?) was suitably likeable as Jabe the tree lady. It was great to finally meet the oddly cute Moxx of Balhoon, and overall the aliens were expertly done.

Kudos must again go to Christopher Eccleston and Billie Piper, who were both fantastic, fulfilling last weeks potential. Their chemistry is real and brilliant- it really is a loss that we only get the pair of them together this season, following Chris?decision to leave. The last five minutes of the show were incredibly powerful however. The announcement that Gallifrey (not named but we know that? the Doctor? home) has been destroyed left me shocked. It looks like the mysterious ?ar?mentioned last week is going to have some impact by the end of the series- brilliant stuff.

Overall then, THE END OF THE WORLD had a familiar Douglas Adams feel to it- quirky, but brilliant, with the stamp of Russell T Davies excellent writing skills all over it. ROSE was good, but this week, THE END OF THE WORLD truly brought DOCTOR WHO back by improving on the opener in almost every way. Going to work really won? be so bad for the next eleven weeksU


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