Wednesday, February 18, 2015

5 of the 10th Tales: School Reunion

Welcome back readers to Day 2 of 5 of the 10th Tales. In case you have stumbled upon this write-up I will recap and state that this week pertains to episodes of the 10th Doctor. That proper skinny fellow in the sharp suits that most of your friends will not stop doing impressions of or pining for.

This time around we head to the 3 episode of the second season of unusual happenings at an English junior high school (forgive me those across the pond, I do not recall that if it is secondary school or not) as there have been UFO sightings and people disappearing. New companions Rose and Mickey may encounter some older friends of the Doctor. This is School Reunion.

It plays DVDs, 8-Tracks and makes Cheese Toasties!

Mickey Smith (Noel Clarke of Auf Wiedereshen, Pet, Jane Hall, Doghouse, Doctor Who, Fast Girls, Storage 24 and Star Trek Into Darkness) contacts the Doctor and Rose about the efficiency of this school and the students' performances. The change of lunch menu and its special chips is one of the changes. The Doctor goes undercover as a science teacher under the guise of "John Smith" doing his own inquiries notices the uncommon intelligence of one of the physics students. Rose acts as one of the kitchen staff and notices the careful need to handle the oils for via the rest of the kitchen staff.

The headmaster of the school, Mr. Finch (Anthony Stewart Head of VR.5, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Manchild, Monarch of the Glen, Little Britain, Free Agents and Merlin) has had enough success that he is being interviewed by journalist Sarah Jane Smith (Elisabeth Sladen of Coronation Street, Take My Wife..., Gulliver in Lilliput, Doctor Who, Peak Practice and The Sarah Jane Adventures) and she proceeds to interview a few teachers including "John Smith" who feigns ignorance of the success all the while trying to contain his excitement reuniting with Sarah Jane. With the school day over, Team Timelord head into the school to investigate as Sarah does the same running into the TARDIS as the Doctor reveals himself to Sarah. Hooking up with the rest of the team the ladies seem to almost be rivals to the Doctor. Heading to Sarah's car is a battered almost dead K-9 the Mark 3 version and the Doctor preps to repair him, getting him up and running.

Now Buffy, you must understand I am evil these days.

The next day the Doctor confronts Mr. Finch who establishes he and his compatriots are Krillitanes, a species that can absorb abilities of race they have conquered. Finch attempts to detour the Doctor and finding that impossible. The chemicals in the chips are stimulating the kids' minds running in slaved computers all working computations in effort to solve the Skasis Paradigm or the Universal Formula of everything. Whoever holds this formula would have the power of a god and could shape time, space and matter into whatever they desire. Finch amazed how quickly the Doctor deduced what they were doing and offered to join forces to bring about the timelords and right all the wrongs that a cruel universe inflicted on him. Tempted, the Doctor was taken back until Sarah became the voice of reason to alter his mind. Can the Doctor and team be able to thwart the Krillitanes? Can the children be saved?

A few points of interest on the episode. Elisabeth Sladen warned the crew on the difficulties of the K-9 prop would be as it had a reputation for breaking down. In spite of 30 years of new tech, Sladen's warning will proved to be correct. Anthony Head had screen tested for the Doctor in the 1996 TV movie. 8.3 million viewers watched this episode when first transmitted. The K-9 prop at the end of the episode was one of the original props from the 1970s. The working title of the episode was Old Friends and while it works to some degree it does not encompass the whole show.

Fan girls commence your professor fantasy drooling...