Doctor Who: The Satan Pit

The conclusion of last week’s story.

Cast and Crew

David Tennant as the Doctor
Billie Piper as Rose Tyler
Shaun Parkes as Zachary Cross Flame
Gabriel Woolf as the voice of the Beast
Ronny Jhutti as Danny Bartok
Danny Webb as Mr. Jefferson
Will Thorp as Toby Zed
Clare Rushbrook as Ida Scott
Paul Kasey as the Ood
Silas Carson as the voice of the Ood

Written by Matt Jones

Directed by James Strong

Originally aired on the 10th of June 2006 on BBC One in the United Kingdom.

Synopsis

As the Ood turn murderous on the base, the Doctor and Ida descend into the core of the planet.

High Points

  • I liked the Doctor and Ida talking about belief.
  • The Captain’s actions to prevent Rose staying behind were well-played and entirely appropriate. This does illuminate his character more than we had the chance to see earlier.

Low Points

  • The Doctor seemed to take an inordinately long time undoing his harness.
  • The recovery of the TARDIS was just a bit too fortuitious.

The Scores

I think the same comments about originality apply from last week. Three out of six.

The effects were also similar to last week, although we did get treated to a marvellous CGI beast. Five out of six.

Much the same comments on the story as last week. It continues in the same vein and does give a satisfactory conclusion based on what had occurred in the first part. Four out of six.

Better acting this week. They seemed a little more comfortable with it, but David Tennant’s opportunity to have a nice big solo scene really showed off his abilities. Five out of six.

Emotional response is a little higher than last week, perhaps because most of the talking doors aren’t working anymore. Four out of six.

Production gets three out of six again, much the same as last week.

Overall again okay, but disappointing. Better than the first part, but that’s reflected in the earlier scores, so four out of six again.

The Satan Pit gets a grand total of twenty-five out of forty-two. My thoughts about where we were going from last week bore out. Time for something completely different, I hope.

26 replies on “Doctor Who: The Satan Pit”

  1. Antti Helin says:

    Deus Ex Machina
    We’ve been treated to Deus ex machina before on the show, but I agree that the recovery of the TARDIS was just too damn convenient even for Doctor Who. The ending of the ep was doing fine with the spectacular CGI with the Beast and everything, but it really threw me off.

    The next ep is going involve a lot of Jackie Tyler, I’m already waiting for it with trepidation. It’s going to be something different, but I worry that it’ll be a rehash ep like the ones you may see in anime.

    • J_W_W says:

      Re: Deus Ex Machina

      We’ve been treated to Deus ex machina before on the show, but I agree that the recovery of the TARDIS was just too damn convenient even for Doctor Who. The ending of the ep was doing fine with the spectacular CGI with the Beast and everything, but it really threw me off.

      The next ep is going involve a lot of Jackie Tyler, I’m already waiting for it with trepidation. It’s going to be something different, but I worry that it’ll be a rehash ep like the ones you may see in anime.

      Again I really liked this episode, just like the first part. Also, I agree completely with the captain’s actions being a high point. I like that we still don’t know exactly who or what the beast was.

      And yes, the TARDIS find was too easy. But it was either that or they die, there really wasn’t any other way in the story for it to be found.

      Next week looks to me like it might tie into Torchwood pretty closely, with a big search for the Doctor.

    • zocalo says:

      Re: Deus Ex Machina

      We’ve been treated to Deus ex machina before on the show, but I agree that the recovery of the TARDIS was just too damn convenient even for Doctor Who.

      Not only that, but it’s a pretty bad continuity problem; even if by some fluke the TARDIS managed to fall down the hole drilled towards the core, how was it supposed to get past the as yet unopened entrance to the pit? The idea that there was another way into the pit large enough for the TARDIS to fall down, but small enough to elude detection by whatever surveys the crew presumably performed before they decided they would have to drill doesn’t really wash. I suppose it’s possible that the planet was starting to break up and that created the means for the TARDIS to end up where it did, but that’s a small niggle in an otherwise pretty good, but not outstanding, episode.

      • Alexius says:

        Re: Deus Ex Machina

        We’ve been treated to Deus ex machina before on the show, but I agree that the recovery of the TARDIS was just too damn convenient even for Doctor Who.

        Not only that, but it’s a pretty bad continuity problem; even if by some fluke the TARDIS managed to fall down the hole drilled towards the core, how was it supposed to get past the as yet unopened entrance to the pit? The idea that there was another way into the pit large enough for the TARDIS to fall down, but small enough to elude detection by whatever surveys the crew presumably performed before they decided they would have to drill doesn’t really wash. I suppose it’s possible that the planet was starting to break up and that created the means for the TARDIS to end up where it did, but that’s a small niggle in an otherwise pretty good, but not outstanding, episode.

        I Noticed That Too, But If You’re Going To have A Deus ex Machina, The Machina May As Well Be The TARDIS.

        I Also Came Up With The Rationalization That The TARDIS Could Have Just Popped OVer There herself.

        • joe__gee says:

          Re: Deus Ex Machina

          I Also Came Up With The Rationalization That The TARDIS Could Have Just Popped OVer There herself.

          Agreed. We know the Doctor refers to her as a "sentimental old girl." The TARDIS has been a character in the series since, well since before I was alive. She’s not going to let her doctor die. I would have been shocked had she *not* appeared. :)

          I loved this two-part episode. I’m right there with J_W_W, this was fun, action-packed, and for me at least it pushed all of the right buttons, with the bonus of the Doctor getting a bit metaphysical. :)

          Although … <sigh> Rose and the Doctor are going to be an item. Even though I love the character, oh please let the beast’s prophecy of Rose dying in battle come true. Let her die *before* the Doctor gets her in a passionate lip lock and professes his immortal, undying, neverending, passionate, two-hearted alien love to her.

          Is it just me, or has Rose become much more competent, much more confident in the past two or three episodes? Suddenly she’s the Doctor’s uber-assistant.

          -Joe

          • Chillum says:

            Re: Deus Ex Machina

            Although … <sigh> Rose and the Doctor are going to be an item. Even though I love the character, oh please let the beast’s prophecy of Rose dying in battle come true. Let her die *before* the Doctor gets her in a passionate lip lock and professes his immortal, undying, neverending, passionate, two-hearted alien love to her.

            Am I the only one who really dislikes Rose? Apart from the fact that she has far too many teeth (and appears to apply her eye makeup with a crayon), her whole attitude just somehow rubs me up the wrong way. Every time she’s in danger I find myself hoping they’ll kill her off!

            Is it just me, or has Rose become much more competent, much more confident in the past two or three episodes? Suddenly she’s the Doctor’s uber-assistant.

            Yeah, her "let’s think our way out of this, that’s what the Doctor would do" was a marked contrast to last season’s "let’s pull the TARDIS to bits with a big truck".

            • joe__gee says:

              Re: Deus Ex Machina

              Am I the only one who really dislikes Rose? Apart from the fact that she has far too many teeth (and appears to apply her eye makeup with a crayon), her whole attitude just somehow rubs me up the wrong way. Every time she’s in danger I find myself hoping they’ll kill her off!

              Denise Richards does the same thing to me. Every time I watch Starship Troopers I’d just love to take a belt-sander to that [email protected]#$ toothsome smile of hers. Come to think of it, Rose *does* look like Denise Richards. I guess the difference is that Rose is more of just an ordinary girl, to quote flattened out Whats-her-name, a "chav". The media tries to sell Denise Richards as some extraordinary beauty. Then again, maybe they try to do the same thing to Billie over in the UK.

              Yeah, her "let’s think our way out of this, that’s what the Doctor would do" was a marked contrast to last season’s "let’s pull the TARDIS to bits with a big truck".

              LOL

              To think that Rose Tyler, for even a few minutes, was the most powerful creature in the universe is an alarming thought. :)

              I think we have one more season after this with Rose as an assistant. I’m hopeful we’ll end up with something really different next time. How about a really odd alien? One of the Slitheen. :)

              -Joe

              • ViperDriver says:

                Re: Deus Ex Machina

                Am I the only one who really dislikes Rose? Apart from the fact that she has far too many teeth (and appears to apply her eye makeup with a crayon), her whole attitude just somehow rubs me up the wrong way. Every time she’s in danger I find myself hoping they’ll kill her off!

                Denise Richards does the same thing to me. Every time I watch Starship Troopers I’d just love to take a belt-sander to that [email protected]#$ toothsome smile of hers. Come to think of it, Rose *does* look like Denise Richards. I guess the difference is that Rose is more of just an ordinary girl, to quote flattened out Whats-her-name, a "chav". The media tries to sell Denise Richards as some extraordinary beauty. Then again, maybe they try to do the same thing to Billie over in the UK.

                Yeah, her "let’s think our way out of this, that’s what the Doctor would do" was a marked contrast to last season’s "let’s pull the TARDIS to bits with a big truck".

                LOL

                To think that Rose Tyler, for even a few minutes, was the most powerful creature in the universe is an alarming thought. :)

                I think we have one more season after this with Rose as an assistant. I’m hopeful we’ll end up with something really different next time. How about a really odd alien? One of the Slitheen. :)

                -Joe

                Did anyone else think that maybe…
                Ida was a contender for future assistant? Especially given that she works for ‘The Torchwood Archives’ and that show should be coming online soon, and they clicked, and ‘see you later’, and…etc?

        • Kaki says:

          Re: Deus Ex Machina

          I Also Came Up With The Rationalization That The TARDIS Could Have Just Popped OVer There herself.

          I sorta figured it decided to land in just the right spot that would lead it to fall into the just the right chasm so that it would meet its owner just where and when he needed it. That, and I started waiting for him to find it as soon as he went down in the elevator last week. So it didn’t bug me too much.

          By sending the devil creature into the black hole, the Doctor earns some more credit for that "the lonely god" title that was used in the first episode this season.

  2. nkuzmik says:

    Sci-fi Channel
    Will I get massively flamed if I ask a question about the episode that aired on Friday night?

    • Alexius says:

      Re: Sci-fi Channel

      Will I get massively flamed if I ask a question about the episode that aired on Friday night?

      Not By These Folk, I Haven’t Seen Barely An Ember On These Boards.

      • Grounded says:

        Re: Sci-fi Channel

        Will I get massively flamed if I ask a question about the episode that aired on Friday night?

        Not By These Folk, I Haven’t Seen Barely An Ember On These Boards.

        I don’t want to sound snarky, but is there any chance you could stop capitalising every word please?

        • y42 says:

          Re: Sci-fi Channel

          is there any chance you could stop capitalising every word please?

          I’m considering writing a script to correct his posts ;-)
          Other than that, good luck.

    • Dave says:

      Re: Sci-fi Channel

      Will I get massively flamed if I ask a question about the episode that aired on Friday night?

      The one on Sci-Fi channel, which we reviewed here last June? Eh, why not.

      • nkuzmik says:

        Re: Sci-fi Channel

        Will I get massively flamed if I ask a question about the episode that aired on Friday night?

        The one on Sci-Fi channel, which we reviewed here last June? Eh, why not.

        Just being safe. I’ve commited my share of spoiler sins.

        Anyway… The Doc did the human torch thing after abosorbing the Time Vortex. Right, whatever, but he put it back! He only had it for a few seconds. Rose had it for a few minutes and she was fine, hangover notwithstanding.

        Did I blink?

        • y42 says:

          Re: Sci-fi Channel

          Anyway… The Doc did the human torch thing after abosorbing the Time Vortex. Right, whatever, but he put it back! He only had it for a few seconds. Rose had it for a few minutes and she was fine, hangover notwithstanding.

          Did I blink?

          I think you missed the bit where he inhales her time-glowy thingy [/quasy-coherent], thereby taking away all the nasty side effects to his floppy-eared body. One human torch later, you got ill fitting clothes and a bright future of well-groomed hair.

  3. Chillum says:

    The Doors of Doom!
    Did anyone else notice the door sound effects from the original Doom (or something that sounded very much like them) being used in this story, particularly last week? So it wasn’t just the plot idea they pinched :)

    All in all I thought this was a decent story, although like most of the ones in this series, somehow not quite as good as it should have been.

    Oh, and is anyone else getting increasingly irritated with this Doctor going on about how wonderful human beings are?

    • y42 says:

      Re: The Doors of Doom!

      Oh, and is anyone else getting increasingly irritated with this Doctor going on about how wonderful human beings are?

      I was starting too, but then one of his comments to that effect applied very well to him.
      Which was cute.

  4. y42 says:

    The Torchwood Archives
    If they’re from the Torchwood Archives, why don’t they recognise the Doctor? Nor the TARDIS?

    • lost says:

      Re: The Torchwood Archives

      If they’re from the Torchwood Archives, why don’t they recognise the Doctor? Nor the TARDIS?

      It seems to me that by that point in time Torchwood could have a lot more doing than just fighting with the Doctor. For all we know, the Torchwood Archive is an independent research branch of Torchwood which is not involved in fighting with the Doctor and thus doesn’t know about him. Or maybe they’ve changed their views by then?

    • babasyzygy says:

      Re: The Torchwood Archives

      If they’re from the Torchwood Archives, why don’t they recognise the Doctor? Nor the TARDIS?

      We’re running across "Torchwood" so often, I’m beginning to think that it’s the future version of the name "Smith."

      Seriously, the references aren’t fun anymore – they just make me think, "oh, they’re pushing their upcoming series." It’s as much a product placement as a story arc point.

  5. fsphil says:

    And they have a plan?
    I was wondering why the original capturers (?) of the Beast simply didn’t drop it into the black hole to begin with. But when the Doctor realised they’d been expecting him I got to thinking that maybe this was a test for him. With the ancient language even the TARDIS couldn’t understand and the Beast speaking of things ‘before time’ it’s possible whoever they where are more advanced than even the Timelords where.

    Or maybe I’m reading into this to much ! :-)

    • joe__gee says:

      Re: And they have a plan?

      Or maybe I’m reading into this to much ! :-)

      I think your understanding is the understanding the writers were going for. The TARDIS and the Time Lords can travel anywhen in the universe. I believe what was implied is that the beast was imprisoned in this universe by beings either outside of the universe, or beyond time (same difference.) These beings even foresaw the Doctor.

      -Joe

  6. TheScarf says:

    Bad Science, bad continuity
    This is more a comment on part 1 since I haven’t seen part 2 yet, but why let that stop me.

    One of the things I liked about the old Dr. Who is that you could actually learn some real science from it if you paid attention. The way they handled the black hole think was terrible however.

    Being in ‘geostationary orbit’ around a black hole is no different than being in the same kind of orbit around a star of the same mass. Black holes don’t have to be super massive, just superdense. If our sun suddenly had it’s matter compressed to the size of a grape it would be a black hole, and our orbit would not change one bit. Now if they made a point of saying that they were orbiting so close to it that tidal forces should be tearing the place apart, that would be valid, but if they said it I missed it.

    Also, since the orbit is ‘geostationary’, the black hole must be rotating (how they actually measure the rate of rotation to determine if an orbit is geostationary escapes me). Because of the rotation, the in-falling matter should compress to a disk on the plane of rotation. Also, in-falling matter would all be super hot before it reached the event horizon where it would vanish so the black hole would look NOTHING like some two dimensional hole in the sky as shown.

    Lastly, the Time Lords managed to capture a black hole’s singularity, contain it and harness it’s power as the Eye of Harmony (which also existed in and powered every Tardis). This seems to have been completely forgotten. It appears that the destruction of the Time Lords has also destroyed the Eye of Harmony since the Tardis doesn’t seem to use it for a power source any longer.

    Lastly, this is the sencond episode this season they’ve kinf of deified the Dr (the ‘lonely god’ comment from New Earth). Are they forgetting about the Black and White Guardians?

    • hans says:

      Bad Science, what’s new?

      One of the things I liked about the old Dr. Who is that you could actually learn some real science from it if you paid attention. The way they handled the black hole think was terrible however.

      You’ve got your rose colored goggles on. I caught an occasional doctor who when I was a kid, but after last season I decided to go back and watch some of the originals. In particular I started at the beginning and watch the first doctor episode for episode (now I’m mostly skipping around).

      I was looking forward to all this half-education half-entertainment stuff that I had heard about. I’d heard the show was created as a fun way to sneak in some learning about history and science. But from day one the science was just as horrendously wrong as any scifi I’ve watched in my entire life, and the history is generally a unique story set in a historical context. I’ve learned some history, mostly by googling for a previously unknown event after watching a series. But based on the science from day one I wouldn’t expect them to get nitpicks about black hole presentation accurate.

  7. babasyzygy says:

    High Point
    "A ventilation shaft?"
    "I appreciate the reference, but …"

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