Doctor Who: School Reunion

Mickey calls the Doctor and Rose back to Earth to investigate strange happenings at a school, which have also caught the attention of an old companion.

A review of the latest episode to air in the UK.

Cast and Crew

David Tennant as the Doctor
Billie Piper as Rose Tyler
Noel Clarke as Mickey Smith
Anthony Head as Mr. Finch
Elisabeth Sladen as Sarah Jane Smith
Rod Arthur as Mr. Parsons
Eugene Washington as Mr. Wagner
Heather Cameron as Nina
Joe Pickley as Kenny
Benjamin Smith as Luke
Clem Tibber as Milo
Lucinda Dryzek as Melissa
Caroline Berry as Dinner Lady
John Leeson was the voice of K9

Written by Toby Whithouse

Directed by James Hawes

Originally aired on the 29th of April 2006 on BBC One in the United Kingdom.

Synopsis

Mickey calls the Doctor and Rose back to Earth to investigate a school where strange things are happening. While there they discover that an old companion of the Doctor’s has also noticed something unusual.

High Points

  • Sarah Jane finding the TARDIS. Although really Doctor, parking it in the school was a bit shoddy.
  • K9’s very simple solution
  • The meeting at the swimming pool
  • ‘Correctimundo! A word I have never used before and hopefully never will again.’

Low Point

So exactly how did Mickey call them? Does he have a super-duper phone as well now?

The Scores

Aliens take over a school. Well, it’s been done, although the reasons are unusual. And a bonus point for meeting an old companion like this. Five of out of six for originality.

The effects were much as we’ve come to expect from the new episodes. Nothing special, but nothing wrong either. Four out of six.

Another good story. I hesitate slightly to say this, but I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Russell T. Davies didn’t write this episode. Sure he did a good job bringing Doctor Who back, but so far other people have consistently produced the best episodes. Five out of six.

The acting was only let down a little by the kids. Elisabeth Sladen slips into the role like a comfortable pair of shoes, and the regular cast do their usual jobs. Anthony Head is of course wonderful, but I expected nothing less. Five out of six.

Emotional response is stronger than usual. Not because it’s scary, but because it’s funny and it’s also sad and sometimes regretful. Five out of six.

The production was okay, but nothing really special. Four out of six.

Overall I liked this episode and feel it deserves five out of six.

And the grand total for School Reunion is thirty-three out of forty-two.

19 replies on “Doctor Who: School Reunion”

  1. x00 says:

    Phone home..

    Low Point

    I suspect the phone thing comes down to what the previous Doctor did to Rose’s phone, which allowed her to phone home. Try not to think too much about the space/time issue (what time are you actually phoning, is it a Bill and Ted thing?) Doctor Who was never about the imperfect science, and I’ve long since stopped worrying about small bits of bad science in TV, and I just worry about the huge unavoidable nasty science.

    Another good story

    You shouldn’t hesitate to say that you think it’s no coincidence that RTD didn’t write it, for I was thinking the exact same thing. This has been the best episode so far (that includes the Christmas Invasion). Doctor Who has a strange spot here, it’s timing means it spans childrens TV as well as adults. RTD seems to write his episodes (mostly) towards the younger end, where as others seem to write things for a slightly more mature audience – without necessarily alienating the kiddies.

    I know RTD can write for children (I remember Dark Season fondly) as well as for adults, and I’m surprised he doesn’t seem to aim a little higher on the age scale. I will, however, be eternally thankful that he managed to get Doctor Who back on our screens. His writing still far surpasses some of the more infamous episodes from Doctors past.

    • Alexius says:

      Re: Phone home..

      Low Point

      I suspect the phone thing comes down to what the previous Doctor did to Rose’s phone, which allowed her to phone home.

      I Took That Sorta like How Friends Of Mine Have Moved Out Of State Without Changing Their Cell Phone Number. I Can still Call Them As If It Were A Local Call, It Just Gets Routed Really Far Away.

    • Eldhrin says:

      Re: Phone home..

      Low Point

      I suspect the phone thing comes down to what the previous Doctor did to Rose’s phone, which allowed her to phone home. Try not to think too much about the space/time issue (what time are you actually phoning, is it a Bill and Ted thing?) Doctor Who was never about the imperfect science, and I’ve long since stopped worrying about small bits of bad science in TV, and I just worry about the huge unavoidable nasty science.

      I actually didnt think of that. I assumed that it only routed from Rose’s phone, but I guess it must work the other way. But really, this shows the quality of the episode’s story that it was the worst thing I could think of.

      As usual though I feel it might have benefited from being done in the old format and given more time. I miss the slower discovery of the old stories.

  2. y42 says:

    low point

    So exactly how did Mickey call them?

    Duh? He called Rose’s Doctor-enhanced phone that works just like normal through space and time, as Rose indicated by pointing to her phone when they talked about him calling.

    My low point is the blond student going from "We go back to class early, yay!" to "The school blew up! Yay!". Talk about inconsistency.

  3. joe__gee says:

    I loved this episode …
    Sarah Jane was always one of my favorite assistants, and to see Sarah and Rose initially bickering, with their eventual friendship was quite rewarding. I loved the laughing/comparing notes scene. I was uncomfortable with the entire idea that the Doctor has a romantic association with his assistants, but I’m beginning to think that RTD and company are planning something.

    The emotional payoff from this episode was unusually strong, and poignant. Sarah’s "I’ve gotten old" speech, and the Doctor’s response. Ouch. That got me. I am not used to crying from episodes of Doctor Who.

    I also think Sarah Jane and the new and improved K-9 are likely to pop up in Torchwood. These characters did not pop out of thin air for no reason — they’ll be back. :)

    FANTASTIC episode. MORE MORE MORE!

    -Joe

    P.S. How’s the good Doctor doing rating-wise on Sci Fi? Does anyone know?

    • Alexius says:

      Re: I loved this episode …

      Sarah Jane was always one of my favorite assistants, and to see Sarah and Rose initially bickering, with their eventual friendship was quite rewarding. I loved the laughing/comparing notes scene. I was uncomfortable with the entire idea that the Doctor has a romantic association with his assistants, but I’m beginning to think that RTD and company are planning something.

      Granted There’s A Kind Of Romantic Thing With Rose, But Even If There Is Not Romantic Relationship, Rose (And Sarah) Felt They Were Someone Special to The Doctor, And To Find Out Their Less Special (Because Of The Other), Would Make A person Insecure And Bitter, Even Without The Romanctic Overtones. Reminds Me Of The Scene In Fight Club Where The Narrator Sees Tyler Getting Chummy With The ‘Pretty Boy’, And Then Beats The Shit Out Of him.

      The emotional payoff from this episode was unusually strong, and poignant. Sarah’s "I’ve gotten old" speech, and the Doctor’s response. Ouch. That got me. I am not used to crying from episodes of Doctor Who.

      There’s A Surprisingly High Number Of People Getting Choked Up Over This Episode. Maybe It’s PMT…

      (Sorry, IT Crowd Bleedover…)

      I also think Sarah Jane and the new and improved K-9 are likely to pop up in Torchwood. These characters did not pop out of thin air for no reason — they’ll be back. :)

      Maybe If Torchwood Does Well They’ll Relaunch K9 And Company?

      • zocalo says:

        Re: I loved this episode …

        Maybe If Torchwood Does Well They’ll Relaunch K9 And Company?

        The BBC has announced this is going ahead, with a revamped K9 (there’s a picture in the article). Don’t get your hopes up though; it looks very much like it’s going to be targetted squarely at the younger end of the Dr. Who audience where as Torchwood is going to the older end.

        • joe__gee says:

          Re: I loved this episode …

          The BBC has announced this is going ahead, with a revamped K9 (there’s a picture in the article). Don’t get your hopes up though; it looks very much like it’s going to be targetted squarely at the younger end of the Dr. Who audience where as Torchwood is going to the older end.

          I’ll wager Sarah is off to Torchwood, and K-9 is off to K-9 and Company. Sorry, I love Sarah Jane Smith. I always have. Her, and the first Romana were always my favorites. Liela is in ther somewhere too, but I’e always had this thing for plucky, feisty brunettes. :)

          -Joe

  4. Alexius says:

    Curse Of Fatal Death!
    Anyone Else Noticed The Distinctly Showed Mr. Finch (Anthony Head) Not Being Hurt By The Oil, And Didn’t Show His Demise?

    I Hope He Visits Again. Or They At Least Use Anthony Head Again. I Remember Reading Here That He Was In Line To Become The Ninth Doctor Along With Eddie Izzard. I’d Love To See Them As 11 And 12.

    Or, Joanna Lumley As 13.

    • Timeshredder says:

      Re: Curse Of Fatal Death!
      *grumble*

      Even though Canadians got to watch "The Christmas Invasion," we’re still waiting on this….

      • fsphil says:

        Re: Curse Of Fatal Death!

        *grumble*

        Even though Canadians got to watch "The Christmas Invasion," we’re still waiting on this….

        I noticed the DVD’s on sale in a local shop yesterday for Christmas Invasion and the first episode of this new season. Didn’t look at the price, so could be expensive.

        • fsphil says:

          Re: Curse Of Fatal Death!

          DVD’s

          Oops.. I’d wondered where that apostrophe had gotten to…

      • Alexius says:

        Re: Curse Of Fatal Death!

        *grumble*

        Even though Canadians got to watch "The Christmas Invasion," we’re still waiting on this….

        Torrent

  5. Kaki says:

    Fun.
    This was a fun episode. And I like that the Doctor had to deal, again, with some of his own aftereffects. Before it was Satellite 5, and how he his locally good changes to the timeline don’t always work out for the global good. This time, it was the more personal pain.

    Even apart from all that, I liked the villians, and K9 is one of my favorite memories from the older seasons. So I loved seeing him again, and giving him some hero duty was great. As soon as I saw him, I wondered if he could still bite. :-)

    • Alexius says:

      Re: Fun.

      As soon as I saw him, I wondered if he could still bite. :-)

      "Affirmative!"

  6. lost says:

    TARDIS Parking
    I have to agree that parking the TARDIS in the school was a bit shoddy. But really, when has the doctor ever missed an excuse to park in a really bad/inconvenient place? It seems to happen more often than not over time that the TARDIS is in exactly the wrong place at the right time to make life complex. I think TARDIS parking is more of a plot device than anything. :)

  7. TheScarf says:

    Gag
    I am not keen at all with adding a romantic overtones to the Dr. and SJS’s relationship. But then I’m not at all keen about it with Rose either. The Dr. has always been too paternalistic to humanity to have that kind of relationship with any one of them, too separated from our time bound short lifespan to fully relate. He always saw us as amazing beings to study and watch, but not his peer in any way.

    Making SJS and the Dr out to be anything more than good friends (who frequently fight because they both are headstrong) is way too revisionist for my tastes and (as I’ve said before) comes off as internet fanfic.

    • Alexius says:

      Re: Gag

      Making SJS and the Dr out to be anything more than good friends (who frequently fight because they both are headstrong) is way too revisionist for my tastes and (as I’ve said before) comes off as internet fanfic.

      I Didn’t Take It As Romantic. Any Relationship With Someone You Idolize, And Who You Think Is Unique, Who Makes You Feel Special And Unique, Would Cause Strong Feelings Like That. And Anytime That Relationship Is Shown To Be Less Important Or Unique, It Would Cause Similar Issues.

      Now, Yes, I Think They’re Doing That To Rose, But I Didn’t Nessicarily See That With The Doctor.

      • Alexius says:

        Re: Gag

        Now, Yes, I Think They’re Doing That To Rose, But I Didn’t Nessicarily See That With The Doctor.

        Err… With Sarah Jane.

        *Goes To Get Coffee*

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