Series Two comes to another end – this time with the release of 2|Entertain’s fifth and final ‘vanilla’ DVD release which contains the final three episodes of the series – ‘Fear Her‘, ‘Army of Ghosts‘ and ‘Doomsday‘.
First up is Matthew Graham’s ‘Fear Her‘. Placed between the very unusual ‘Love & Monsters’ and the spectacular series finale, ‘Fear Her’ was somewhat overlooked by many on original transmission.
Like ‘Love & Monsters’ this is a pretty brave episode with much resting on the performance of Abisola Agbaje who plays Chloe Webber. Many series dreadfully miscast younger performers but in casting Agbaje the DW production team have struck gold.
The concept of victims being stored within a medium – this time drawings – was also used in ‘The Idiot’s Lantern’ and this unfortunately creates a feeling of having seen the whole thing already. This is a shame as the story has a lot to offer those prepared to last the distance.
By using the fear of children as a central premise the episode is genuinely chilling although familiarity with the story perhaps renders it slightly less so.
The real attention grabber on this release is, quite rightly, the two part series finale ‘Army of Ghosts‘ and ‘Doomsday‘ written by Russell T. Davies and directed by Graeme Harper.
Few television events are worthy of the accolade ‘epic’ but this story is one of them. Harper’s direction drives the story ever forward to a breathtaking finale beyond the imaginings of any fan I know
A lot is packed into the two episodes – the job of writing out the series co-star and three recurring characters, establishing the modern day Torchwood and providing the long-awaited showdown between the Daleks and Cybermen.
Davies delivers on every level and provides a high octane mix of love, danger and action. Jackie’s ‘reunion’ with Pete in the middle of a pitched battle is a beautiful moment.
Former EastEnders actress Tracy-Ann Oberman gives a great performance as Torchwood boss Yvonne Hartman.
No fan of her EastEnders character Chrissie Watts I was genuinely surprised at her performance here and it’s a shame that Davies chose to kill off such a strong female character. However the character’s fate allows the story to reaffirm the supremacy of emotion – in this case Hartman’s love of Queen and Country – over the emotionless.
The final sequence of the Tylers and Mickey hunting for the breach has lost none of its impact and by separating the two main characters before they say goodbye Davies stays true to their relationship. Rose would never have voluntarily left the Doctor any attempt to portray otherwise would have seemed like a betrayal of the character and viewer.
Piper’s departure from the series marks a new stage in the show’s development and for a generation losing their first companion this story will come to mean as much as ‘The Hand of Fear’ and ‘The Green Death’ do to older fans.
As Rose’s travels come to an end the audience is given a sneak a glimpse of series three regular Freema Agyeman – here playing the ill-fated Adeola who meets her fate at the hands of the Cybermen.
Doctor Who: Series 2 Volume 5 is released on September 25th with an RRP of