It's thanks to TNG that I know a bottle show when I see one, and back in Star Trek they always used to come on one side or another of a bimodal distribution: sucky or great.
RTD's bottle show here is more about saving money for the Big Season Ending than the TNG shaking-the-piggy-bank-but-nothing-comes-o
I mean, sheesh, the copycat monster was fucking creepy (I bet parents with annoying kids everywhere are hating RTD right now, actually, because that's much more of a childhood staple than being scared of the dark), and Tennant did excellently with the being-controlled-by-it bit, and the bit where it got ahead of him, while inevitable was kind of all the scarier for that inevitability. But ultimately it's the humans who are really scary. But this is actually the best treatment of the "the humans are the real monsters" theme (which is very much a '70s future-set stories thing in its origins with Who) we've had so far, because it's a small enough group that we can see how all that fear and paranoia gets transmuted into the desire to conquer, rather than explore, the unknown, rather than it just being some sort of deep evil within human nature. Bloody good stuff.
Other stuff, mostly about companions and representation:
- Another bit of Unexpected Viewscreen Rose. She does look really weird in those shots. I think it's that thing where her mouth is a bit strange coupled with the top of her head being chopped off.
- For an episode that only had Donna in two scenes, it was Doctor/Donna-ish as all get out. They went to a pleasure planet together OMG! And clearly before the ep started they had been having the phone sex again. "It's a date", etc. and then the end being quite touching and very well acted. I am now firmly convinced that they are shagging but both in denial about it for their separate reasons the rest of the time.
- Apparently the Doctor doesn't count Adam, Jack or Mickey, if his little "companion list as attempt to trick the copycat" thing's anything to go by. Then again maybe it's "people I've shagged in the TARDIS", in which case the absence of Jack still makes no sense. (And yes I was a little bit upset they didn't go old school.)
- Sky was a lesbian. Lesbian relationships end badly. Or something. No, that's unfair, but it's yet again sort of representing but not, grrr.
- On the much more worrying front, the cast has two black women, one of whom is berated by Two's Son
who is old now OMGdespite being awesome and we have to rely on our perception of her awesomosity (I liked her best in the episode, more so even than the Doctor who seemed to be going with "I'm clever" as excuse for everything), there is no refutation of it within the script; and one of whom sacrifices herself to resolve the plot and we actually get the point made that no one knew her name. Oh dear.
Well, that looks intriguing. Rose looks like she's there for good reasons, possibly even against her will, which is what I've suspected for a while but it's nice to have it confirmed. But OMG DONNA IS SO DOOMED, ISN'T SHE? WAAAH. WHY DO YOU DO THIS TO US, RUSTY, WHY? D:
Erm, anyway, if it turns out the alleged "most amazing twist ever in Who" is either of a) the companion is secretly working for Teh Evil (Turlough) or b) the companion was supposed to have died way back when they first met (Y HALO THAR, CHARLEY) I am going to feel let down by whoever described it that way. My bet is on b) because they just can't stop ripping off Big Finish.