Doctor Who: Voyage of the Damned

Our review of the 2007 Christmas Special. Series four will be broadcast in the UK during 2008, probably starting in the spring. We will be there with notebooks, pencils and our best disapproving expressions.

Primary Cast and Crew

David Tennant as the Doctor
Kylie Minogue as Astrid Peth
Geoffrey Palmer as Captain Hardaker
Russell Tovey as Midshipman Frame
George Costigan as Max Capricorn
Gray O’Brien as Rickston Slade
Debbie Chasen as Foon Van Hoff
Clive Rowe as Morvin Van Hoff
Clife Swift as Mr Copper
Jimmy Vee as Bannakaffalatta
Paul Kasey as the Host

Written by Russell T. Davies

Directed by James Strong

Originally aired on the 25th of December 2007 on BBC One in the United Kingdom.

Synopsis

After colliding with a spacegoing cruise ship called Titanic, the Doctor goes on board to see what’s what. After some meteors hit the ship and disable the engines, the Doctor has to race against time and a horde of killer robot angels to save the survivors of the Titanic and the entire human race on the planet below.

High Points

  • The Captain’s betrayal
  • “Even a Time King from Gallibey needs to eat.”
  • “I can have a kitchen! With chairs and a door!”

Low Points

I think we’re free of glaring low points. There are points which are unexceptional, but there aren’t any which made me groan out loud.

The Scores

Originality: Sinking ship stories are of course quite common, but this one had some nice and interesting twists to it, and the villain’s plan was a bit more interesting than it first seemed. Unfortunately I’m getting rather bored of robotic Christmas-related characters which try to kill everybody. Four out of six.

Effects: I just loved the teleportation effects. Extremely pretty, and not too ostentatious either. Five out of six.

Story: It’s a good story. Sinking ship stories may be fairly common, but that’s because they’re good. Characters always come out in a crisis, after all. Five out of six.

Acting: Despite starting her career in Neighbours, Kylie Minogue can act. David Tennant hasn’t shown us any reason to doubt his ability so far and continues to put in a very solid and entertaining performance. The rest of the cast list is almost a who’s who of current British television actors, and nobody lets things down. Unfortunately nobody was exceptional either. Five out of six.

Emotional response: I actually cared what was happening to the characters, and the story handed out death only at the most effective moments. Five out of six.

Production: Lush and sumptuous as we expect for a Christmas special really — or any episode of the new high-budget Doctor Who. Five out of six.

Overall: five out of six. Very enjoyable with interesting characters and a slightly more complicated variant of the usual sort of insurance fraud.

Voyage of the Damned receives thirty-four out of forty-two.

8 replies on “Doctor Who: Voyage of the Damned”

  1. Alexius says:

    Music
    Even the music was exceptional. Was that a new theme?

    • grundil says:

      Re: Music

      Even the music was exceptional. Was that a new theme?

      New theme, not entirely, but definitely a rework with I believe a different instrument

  2. TwistyHat says:

    Sigh
    Funny I’m close to hating it now, I realise its for kids but would it hurt them to run less and have more intelligent stories.

    Oh well wrong medium i guess.

    • iamlegion says:

      Re: Sigh

      Funny I’m close to hating it now, I realise its for kids but would it hurt them to run less and have more intelligent stories.

      Oh well wrong medium i guess.

      No, I’m closer to your side of the room on this one TH. I didn’t hate it, per se, but with things like the angels doing a Superman pose while flying, etc… yeesh. If I had to write a one-line micro-review of this one it’d be:
      "Man, that’s a lot of cheese!"

      • y42 says:

        Been like that since 1963

        Funny I’m close to hating it now, I realise its for kids but

        Man, that’s a lot of cheese!

        You two do know you’re watching Doctor fraking Who, right?

        A kids show about an alien who travels in space and time in a phone booth and fights rubber aliens?
        Right?

        • J_W_W says:

          Re: Been like that since 1963

          Funny I’m close to hating it now, I realise its for kids but

          Man, that’s a lot of cheese!

          You two do know you’re watching Doctor fraking Who, right?

          A kids show about an alien who travels in space and time in a phone booth and fights rubber aliens?
          Right?

          Is it even possible for a Doctor Who episode to have too much cheese??

    • ViperDriver says:

      Re: Sigh

      Funny I’m close to hating it now, I realise its for kids but would it hurt them to run less and have more intelligent stories.

      Oh well wrong medium i guess.

      Agreed. I was happy about the production values; happy about the sets; happy even about most of the characters, and just plain disgusted with the whole Angels bit, annoyed with the Titanic=haha-isn’t-that-clever bit and the London Dive-Bomb and Queenly Feets and in general cheesed with the writing. RTD, thank you for resurrecting the series, now *STOP WRITING*. Put the scripts down. Take two steps back.

  3. GSVNofixedabode says:

    Writers make the difference
    RTD’s hand showed again with the pseudo-deity imagery. Give me Steve Moffat any day! Glaring low point: Angels.

    Still, Kylie would have made an interesting companion for the series.

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