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"The Satan Pit"
12-1-06 Dr. Who
5 stars (William Friedkin)
0-1 stars (Renny Harlin)
I seem to be in the minority who preferred it to the first half - the
ending was a bit of a stretch, but can be explained when we know that:
1. The TARDIS landed very near the area the team was drilling down to
(i.e. the Pit), as the Doctor mentions in the first half.
2. The crevasse the earthquake opened was presumably accessible from
the Pit - bear in mind that it's only after the earthquake that the
Beast was able to send his spirit to mess around with the station
(we've been told the team had been there two years by that point,
presumably with no Beast). So the earthquake seems to have given him a
way out of his prison before the seal was opened; it would also have
given a falling TARDIS a way in.
3. We don't know quite how far the Doctor was from the Pit when he
bumped into the TARDIS, but we do know he'd just left it - it's not
wholly impossible that the TARDIS was down an earthquake-opened side
Though having said all of this, it could have been done more cleverly.
The Doctor knew that the TARDIS would be nearby, so why doesn't he
apparently think of this rather than lucking out? We also know the
TARDIS key lights up when the TARDIS is near - could he have thought to
use it as a compass to find his ship?
Other than that, I liked the Doctor/Ida interaction and the faster pace
of the story. The only real low point was the fact that the ventilation
tunnel run was such a cliche, but then you don't watch Doctor Who for
incredibly original storytelling, and I did like Rose's "Who's idea was
that?" line. Zack gets an opportunity to use some initiative as well.
And was that a hint at the end that we'll be seeing these characters
again? How often does the Doctor tell a story's supporting cast member
he hopes to see them again? And Danny's muttering at the end - just
relief, or a possible indication that the Beast has taken up residence
in him (Toby muttered a fair bit too)? Bear in mind the prophecy - "You
will die, and I will live". Okay, the Beast also prophesied "You will
all die here", but that can be taken as an attempt to rattle them since
it seems he planned all along to leave the planet using one of them as
a host (plus it's inconsistent with his next line that Rose would die
in battle anyway), but we're supposed to take at least part of the
other line as prophetic. Which suggests the other part may be as well,
and that we could be seeing the Beast again.