27 Things SFX Loves About New Who 4

"Wanna come with me?” asked Doctor Nine, promising ghosts from the past and aliens from the future, while running away from an almighty fireball in a scene which, sadly, never made it into the show itself. He promised us the trip of the lifetime, and we believed him. Series two was trailered with some specially-shot footage of the new Doctor promising us, “Think you’ve seen it all? Think again.” But with season three, the Beeb was getting very clever with a split-screen affair; the Doctor on one side, Martha on the other. “I try to save money,” says Martha. “I try to save the universe,” responds the Doctor. Great stuff. Shame there wasn’t one for season four, but surely Moffat will create a little gem for his new Doctor?

To think, we were once worried that New Who was going to be a complete reboot, ashamed of its wobbly-set and squeezy-bottle past. Instead, the new show embraced its history and often paid homage to it in the most delightful ways. “School Reunion” was steeped in nostalgia (the “I've met better monsters than you" bitchfest between Sarah and Rose was a highlight), while what fan couldn’t have had a thrill to see footage from the original show finally find a place in New Who during “The Next Doctor”? But better than those obvious nods to the past were the lovely little in-jokes; John Smith naming his parents as Verity and Sydney in “Human Nature" (referencing first Who producer Verity Lambert and the show's co-creator Sydney Newman) or the Doctor wondering if Malcolm had read “The Giant Robot” in “Planet Of The Dead”.

Most people in those specs would just look like a geek. Doctor Ten makes them look cool. And, to some people, sexy. Suddenly lots of speccy schoolkids feel better about themselves.

Neill Gorton and his team at Millennium have produced some wondrous creations over the past five years, but the Cat Nuns just edge out the Judoon as the best creatures they’ve produced. So utterly convincing you want to reach into the screen and give them a stroke (which is apparently what all the cast were doing).

Actually, there never was an agenda. What there was was an unsensationalist way of representing homosexuality as something normal. It was never rammed down our throats; certain characters just happened to be gay and they weren't ashamed of it. It was never made an issue in the show, and casual references to female characters breaking up with their girlfriends or Captain Jack puckering up to the Doctor probably did more to nurture sexual tolerance than any gritty soap storyline about homosexuality.

The Mill’s finest monster, the CG Pyrovile from “The Fires Of Pompeii" were cinematic in quality and imaginatively designed. The moment when one steps out of a cave mouth is like the best Harryhausen moment Harryhausen never animated.

That shot of the them floating through the Black Forest shouting, “Extermineren! Extermineren!” was like something from nostalgic comic books memories. Okay, it never actually happened in any Dalek comic strip, but it felt ripped from the pages of Eagle or Action nonetheless. Pulp sci-fi at its iconic best.

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