Steve Goble

Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

Oh my goodness – five quite good episodes in a row.

In my opinion, this is the second-best episode so far. (the first being last season's They Keep Killing Suzie)

Heralded by her incidental music, Martha from Doctor Who shows up. Since leaving the Doctor in Last Of The Time Lords, she's made the colossal jump from medical student to medical genius for UNIT. As there's no explanation in the script for this, I decided to generously suppose that while spending a year as a guerilla-refugee in that episode, she maybe happened upon some illegal form of speed-learning drug...

Anyway, it's a real pleasure to see her again, not least because here she's treated as an adult for once, without playing second fiddle to the Doctor or suffering from a crush on anyone. This is the driven version of Martha that she really should have been from the start.

But once the howareyous are out of the way, the plot proper absolutely bullets along. The enemy here is a high-budget medical research lab, and their strength as an opponent lies in their organisation and protection from Whitehall. Compared to them, Torchwood look like a feeble handful of wannabees.

This episode has tons going for it – a grounding in the real world, cool gadgetry, and a definitive place in a much bigger picture. Even the big-name guest-star – something I usually have no time for – was the well-cast Jim Robinson. It's funny to see him, sure, I mean it's always funny to see Jim Robinson in anything, but Jim Robinson (oh alright then) Alan Dale overcomes the rush of nostalgia straight away, and plays his part with a really threatening air of authority.

And then, to cap it all, it finishes with Owen suddenly getting shot dead.

Stone me – even with a new medic joining the team, I still didn't see that ending coming.

BANG. "Yargh!" Thud. Neighhhhhhh-bours...

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