Thursday, 1 January 2009

Doctor Who - New series, new species part 17

Well if you're UK resident you probably recently watched the Doctor Who Christmas special - I'm eagerly awaiting the podcast boys' review on that ( and I should probably get a link up to the podcast cause it's great and features our very own member and on rare occasions poster Caleb) The podcast is a "DVD commentary" style review of Doctor Who episodes and other discussion points and makes for very good listening.

Anyway, what I was saying was that I'm actually going to plod on with the Sarah Jane Adventures monsters in this post. This series has featured a lot of returning monsters actually but there were two episodes with new monsters which I'll review here - both are actually the kind of "energy force alien possession" type creatures and so most of the work was done by the actors, which I have to say did a pretty darn good job on the thing. Anyway - alonzie, as a certain someone might say

The Ancient Lights

I liked this villain a lot actually as it stretched beyond the need for a big CGI monster or a creepy man in a green skin costume to present a great threat. It also pushed beyond the usual and even accepted that the Big Bang might not be the be all and end all, which went down very well with me. But the fact that the creature's power came from beyond the usual realm of science that could be defeated with technobable and whose power did not make sense and could not be read with scanners or defeated by energy beams.

The Ancient Lights are beings from before the Universe as we know it. When the rules of physics and logic worked differently, and where power and energy came in different forms. With the beginnings of our Universe, most creatures from their time would have perished, but at least some of the Ancient Lights survived. A great part of their power was tied up in the various horoscopes and the power of the stars and people's birth. They appeared as a beam of energy that possessed a small-time astrologer, Martin Truman and began to spread their power, taking people of different star signs under their control - but Luke Smith, who had no birth sign was beyond their power and so was able to break their hold on humanity. They vanished, taking Truman with them, but it is difficult to know what happened next as they are undetectable by current Universe technology.


This was a very potent episode in which Clyde's absent father returns and ends up voluntarily falling into the possession of a dangerous alien artifact. The episode balanced well, showing Clyde's desire to impress his father, despite hating him for leaving and Clyde's dad's desire for power, fueled by his feelings of inadequacy as a father and as a person. His descent into madness and the parasite's control were brought out in a believable way that was emotionally strong and thrilling viewing. The creature was another ancient myth with an "it's an alien" explanation, but despite the Who cliche it worked well.

The origins of this race are shrouded in mystery, but they did have in their posession pendants which would turn the wearer slowly into a beast with great power and the ability to command anyone to do what they desired. The wearer was initially in control, but gradually the pendant's posession spread leaving vein like lines that spread across the skin of the user. Seemingly some of these pendants fell into the hands of Norse warriors, whether purposefully or not is unknown, but from that the name of beserkers, fearless warriors with great power clad in blue war paint, spread. One pendant remained and was found in the 21st century and eventually came in the the posession of Paul Langer, who succumbed to it's power. Clyde, his son disposed of it by throwing it to the bottom of a river, where hopefully it remains safely hidden.

Well that's pretty much it, I might see if some of the things feature in the remaining episodes and the crimbo special can pass my scrutiny and be posted up some time - but don't worry there's plenty of fresh content on the boil and ready to make it's way to you soon.

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