The Doctor and Martha arrive in present day Cardiff to refuel the TARDIS and are inexplicably thrust to a distant planet 100 trillion years into the future. When they arrive they realize they have an unexpected passenger in Captain Jack Harkness who has been patiently waiting for the Doctor's return since the mid-19th century. On the planet they eventually meet Professor Yana who is running the 1000-year old Utopia project, the aim of which is to relocate the human-like creatures to a new planet, away from the outsiders who they fear they will become if they don't leave. When Prof. Yana has need of someone to make repairs in a room in which no one can survive, the Doctor has the perfect candidate. The Professor is not what he seems to be however and Martha notices he has a fob watch much like one the Doctor recently made use of. Written by
Nine year old John Bell from Kilmacolm, Renfrewshire, Scotland, entered a Blue Peter (1958) competition to appear in this Doctor Who episode. He was notified by phone by Russell T. Davies that he had beat out 8,000 other competition applicants to appear on the program. See more »
At the beginning of the episode, in which The Doctor and Martha have just landed in Cardiff, the two reference the Earthquake caused last time The Doctor was there. The Doctor mispronounces the name of the enemy, calling them The Slideen. The actual name of the characters are The Slitheen. See more »
Doctor, it's the Professor. He's got this watch, this fob watch that's the same as yours. Same writing, same everything.
Don't be ridiculous.
I asked him, he said he's had it his whole life.
Captain Jack Harkness:
So, he's got the same watch.
But it's not a watch, it's a thing, a chameleon thing.
No, no, no, it's this thing, this device, it re-writes biology. Changes a Time Lord into a human.
[Jack looks up]
And it's the same watch!
It can't be.
Captain Jack Harkness:
That means he could be a Time Lord. You ...
See more »
Utopia is a strange beast . It is in effect the start of of a three parts 45 minute story , equivalent to six episodes of the classic series . However re-watching it again you may become aware of the flaws of RTD vision of DOCTOR WHO . It's set on an alien planet which is only to be welcomed , but unfortunately it's quite literally a stone quarry in England something the classic series suffered from . Surely with so much technology available to the show we should be seeing something more impressive . Similarly why is said quarry full of extras from MAD MAX ? The fact that Neil Marshall's film DOOMSDAY failed says a lot by having every post apocalypse scenario populated by butch psychopaths running around in leather - it shows a complete lack of imagination . It also suffers from a lack of internal logic . We're told hat " There hasn't been an university for a thousand years " but somehow the refugees have trucks and firearm available to them . Surely you'd have university standard engineers etc in order to build and maintain such things ? The return of Capatain Jack may be well received by gay men and heterosexual women in the audience but it's obvious he's being used as a plot device by RTD in order to drive the plot forward , a plot that is very threadbare when you examine it
There is a massive plus though and that is the casting of Sir Derek Jacobi as Professor Yana . Jacobi gives without doubt the most memorable of a guest on Nu-Who . It's poignant , moving and totally touching . The only problem is that when he's on screen you start to notice the lack of presence by the rest of the cast . It's somewhat painful to realise what a great Doctor he would have been if a previous producer had cast him in the 1980s . Jacobi's performance makes up for the episode's numerous flaws and makes me give Utopia seven out of ten
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