It's 1953, the Coronation year of HM Queen Elizabeth II, and the people of Great Britain huddle round their television sets to witness the great event. But behind the celebrations there are rumors of monsters on the streets, and the tormented Mr Magpie is hiding a strange and alien secret.Written by
A subplot in which Rose visits her aunt, who works on a game show for the BBC was deleted because Russell T. Davies feared that having the Corporation be too involved in the plot would make the episode difficult to take seriously. See more »
One of the programs on the new television set is "Animal, Vegetable, Mineral?". In 1953 this quiz show was broadcast on Thursdays. But, it's the eve of the coronation, which makes it Monday the 1st of June. "Animal, vegetable, mineral?" wasn't on that evening. See more »
Been burning the candle at both ends? You've overextended yourself, missus! You shouldn't have had a crack at poor old Magpie like that!
[the Wire electrocutes the Doctor through the portable TV]
Rubber soles! Swear by 'em!
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You don't have to be idiots to enjoy this pretty fun episode.
I think this episode is more unpopular than it deserves. I found a lot of it pretty good with a mixture of fun and some tougher drama which is well acted and with some spooky elements to enjoy.
It is certainly not the greatest story as the way the plot is carried out is not that convincing and the cries of "hungry" and "feed me" etc are a bit silly and annoying. The reactions of people and the authorities are also not that convincing.
On the plus side most of the episode is entertaining. I thought the boy was a well acted and endearing character and the 1953 Coronation setting was a nice aspect. The humour is very good in places and the subplot of the bullying father and struggles of his wife and son is quite affecting and touching. The faceless people are done well and are suitably creepy. Rose being attacked and the Doctor's reaction provide quite powerful moments. Maureen Lipman is perfect for her role as the TV face of the adversary despite it not being the best idea for depicting the threat. The idea of a being using a surge in TV viewing to gain power from a TV mast is perfectly OK but it is just not written in the most effective way by Mark Gatiss. The human drama, creepiness and entertainment are fine, it just falls short on being a believable story overall. It is an acceptable filler episode, flawed in terms of how the plot is developed but quite fun.
My rating: 7/10
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