The Doctor and Rose arrive in the year 200,000 to see The Fourth Great and Bountiful Human Empire. But something has gone wrong - someone is holding back the development of mankind. Who could have done this? And why?
The Doctor, Rose and Adam travel 200,000 years into the future and land on Satellite 5, a space station orbiting the Earth. From the moment they arrive, the Doctor feels that something is wrong but he can't quite put his finger on it. Satellite 5 provides 600 channels of news and information to everyone on Earth and the crew, all humans, have a chip implanted in them allowing their brains to work as computers. As they explore the station, the travelers learn of the mysterious Level 500 that some of them are promoted to but are never seen again. The Doctor and Rose go to that mysterious level to find out just who - or what - is up there. Adam meanwhile tries to access the computer banks with the view to taking advanced knowledge back to present day Earth. Written by
The human empire is bountiful, but also close to the edit.
When The Doctor decides to take Rose and Adam (Bruno Langley, returning after his introduction in the previous episode) to see the fourth and bountiful human empire, it's not lung until he starts to suspect that something is wrong. Human development isn't at where it should be. Perhaps that's due, in no small part, to The Editor (Simon Pegg, having a lot of fun in a villainous role).
Taken on its own, this is a fun episode with a few nods to a larger story strand developing throughout this first season of new Who (yep, mainly another "bad wolf" reference, but there's more here that will lead to something major by the time the finale comes around).
Eccleston and Piper are as good as ever, and Langley is a perfectly acceptable "third wheel" for the duration of this episode, Christine Adams and Anna Maxwell Martin both do well in their roles, there's a fun cameo from Tamsin Greig, and I've already mentioned Pegg.
Another story written by Russell T. Davies, this one is much more satisfying than his previous creation, and stands on its own as a good bit of fun, while also putting a number of important pieces into place without making it all too obvious and clumsy. And it happens to have a fun punchline.
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