Steve Goble

Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

I can't believe I was actually right.

When I reviewed the last story, I said that it failed on just about every count, but had terrific unrealised potential. In this – the very next story – the show exudes quality on all fronts.

The underacting is gone. Even better, the overacting is gone too! Clyde's suddenly a much deeper character, and nothing is dumbed-down for fear of the audience not understanding it. In the last story, the aliens camped the whole thing up so that we'd know they were the aliens. In this one the posessed nuns play the whole thing like, well, people. (TV nuns are always evil, I don't know why)

And it was a good story, too, without trying so hard.

Today, credit must go to a kids' show that is not afraid to feature elderly people and nuns as its main guest-stars, while at the same time delivering an exciting tale of battling aliens on earth.

Except that while this was transmitted on a weekday afternoon, like Doctor Who this just isn't a kids' show. It's a family show, aimed at an adult audience too. Sarah even refers back to her earlier adventures against the Sontarans, transmitted on the same channel when I was about three. This is a show with stuff under the surface to be unravelled.

But where this story truly excels is in the scenes between Maria's divorced mum and dad. There's so much that is just not spoken in these scenes, and Maria's blaming her mum, her dad and Sarah one after the other, never results in any of them patronising her, or us. There wasn't much of a message to this storyline, just an understanding that divorce produces lots of painful situations, to which there don't seem to be any solutions.

Alien nun turning child to stone
The effects were outstanding. Even the opening credits music had been rearranged to get rid of the overly post-modern ending. (was that a theremin last week?)

All this and alzheimer's disease too.

If there's a downside, then I guess it would be the nuns turning out to be yet more zombies, but that's so outweighed by all the great other stuff.

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