Friday, 9 November 2007

Doctor Who - New Series, new species part 6

First an anouncement - I'm abandoning the species of the week for the moment as it is not fulfilling it's purpose and is halting me from more rewarding posts like this one.

OK, so it's actually the Sarah Jane adventures but it's based in the same 'universe' so I'm quite happy to shove it under the same banner as it stops me having to make up new titles every time a spinoff comes around. For those of you unfamiliar with the series it is a show specifically aimed at children, rather than the "family" show Dr Who and "adult" Torchwood. Like Torchwood it is based on Earth along a linear timeline where the cast have to solve alien based mysteries with the help of a few alien gadgets. The characters are Sarah Jane, a former companion of the Doctor, her adopted son Luke, her neighbour the young Maria and her friend Clyde. Together they investigate and interact with the oftentimes dangerous visitors that come to our world.

So I will cover in two articles the new alien species encountered in this new series - which shows 5 o clock on Mondays on BBC 1 if you're interested.


I actually really like the Bane species, despite their obvious "we are the bad guys name" it was actually one of the most credible CG aliens I've seen in Doctor Who it seemed to have a real physical presence as well as a cool look. And despite enacting one of the great Sci-Fi crimes of "ooh we've defeated the enemies now the building we're in will blow up for no concievable reason" they still manage to be a respectable creation in my book.

The Bane were a dangerous species characterised by a mass of tentacles and one looming eye. Little is known about them other than that they came to Earth and tried to conquer it by somewhat unorthodox methods. Disguised as humans using technology that masked their larger bulk, but limited their abilities, such as mind reading, they set up a company called BubbleShock, marketing a new drink that soon became hugely popular. The drink in fact contained enzymes secreted by the Mother Bane and enormous specimin housed in a warehouse that later allowed them to manipulate the humans that drank it to do their bidding. They were susceptible to cellphone transmissions and when amplified by alien technology a phone signal was able to defeat the Bane and bring an end to their scheme. It is unkown if this group was representative of the whole species or just one Mother and her young.

The Archetype

Now known as Luke Smith, this boy was artificially created by the Bane to help them perfect their techniques in manipulating humans. He was combined from samples of thousands of humans, especially those who rejected Bubble Shock. While he is a human being he is notable for having a much greater intelligence, memory and rections than most people. He also has no belly button! While very intelligent he is still very inexperienced and finds it hard to adapt to the world.

A later adventure involved a Slitheen plot, but since Raxicoricofalibatoriands have previously appeared in Doctor Who I don't mention them here.


The Gorgons were ok as a species, I like the touch of removing the snake heads and putting that down to Greek embellishment. Otherwise I thought they were ok, but I wasn't particularly bowled over by them. I especially didn't like the whole mind control aspect of the Gorgon with the nuns as it came out of nowhere and the nuns, especially Helena gave a very convincing performance of someone dedicated to serving a more powerful being.

The Gorgons are a powerful parasitic species with deadly abilities. Three came to Earth several thousand years ago. They need a host body to survive on Earth, and need to move on to another after the host's life expires. Their deadliest weapon is to be able to turn a victim to stone simply by sight. They bided their time, waiting for the right moment to bring their entire species to Earth for conquest. But one was killed by the Greek warrior Perseus early after their arrival, another was felled by an archaeologist in the 1950s. The archaeologist's wife kept a hold of the talisman a device needed to open access from the gorgon world. Sarah Jane eventually foiled the plot and Maria halted the Gorgon by using a mirror to turn her to stone, the same technique perseus had used.

Well that's it from me, but SJA is well under way so expect more soon.

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