Doctor Who: The Visitation

Doctor Who: The Visitation November 28, 2011

As I continue my Doctor Who re-watch, I suspect that I am going to end up with two streams of it – not inappropriate for a time-travel series in which the Doctor’s various regenerations intersect, I dare say!

As I continue working through from the beginning, because there are so many lost episodes, I will probably listen to most of them in audiobook form, watching some of the existing episodes when I have the opportunity.

But having watched several Peter Davison episodes, it seems natural to keep going there as well. Perhaps if I time it just right, I’ll finish with Sylvester McCoy just around the same time that I get to the point with my listening that narrated audiobooks run out and it is time to start watching again, presumably in the late Patrick Troughton or early Jon Pertwee period.

Last night and tonight I watched “The Visitation.” It isn’t a particularly exciting episode – but it is full of the humor and wit that has characterized the new seasons, and in particular Matt Smith, who took over the title that Peter Davison held for so long of being the youngest actor to play the Doctor.

The episode features many of the elements that are characteristic of the show: aliens crashed and stranded on Earth and intent on doing harm; some alien technology being mistaken for something supernatural (in this case a Terileptil who deliberately has his android dress up like the grim reaper); and intersection with historical events (which I won’t mention in case someone hasn’t seen it but will do so soon – the last scene provides the specific historical connection, which some may have to Google in order to figure out). And as was typical at the beginning of the show, there are multiple companions, a mix of those who end up in trouble needing rescuing and who are competent, brave and technically savvy and able to help with the rescuing. It is good that Nyssa, a female character, takes the latter role, but even though the beginnings of the show featured more gender-stereotyped casting, it was challenging those stereotypes long before the Peter Davison era.

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