The swarm of us were sat round the telly, waiting. We'd been muttering and moaning about the Christmas special and the end of last series (needlessly messianic, and all that jazz). We were hoping that this episode would be better, but upon seeing that it was written by Russell Tesco Davies, we weren't entirely positive. Add to this the return of Donna, and I really wasn't looking forward to it.
Upon realising that the episode was all about investigating a weight loss pill, I thought immediately of one of the Torchwood books. The pills in that were the eggs of an alien playing the role of tapeworm. If it wasn't Tesco's plot, maybe it wouldn't be too bad...
I loved all the symmetrical sequences, where both Donna and the Doctor were doing identical things yet missing each other, though by the end of it, I was just wishing that they'd spot each other. The scene in the toilets was also fantastic, though it was improved for me because I mistakenly identified the reporter as Martha's sister.
And what about the little Adipose babies? Everyone I've spoken to has been of one of two opinions:
1. They're so sweet and cute and sweet and cute and want one!
2. What's the fuss?
I am firmly in the first category.
I spotted Rose before she turned round, and announced the fact to the entire swarm. Then swore.
I didn't recognise the name James Moran as it flashed past, but I'll be looking out for it in future. I am yet another of those people who went from "who?" to greatest fan in the course of this episode. I've always been a fan of volcanoes, and it's about a year and a half since I went to Pompeii and Vesuvius. I loved the way that the earthquake was not only noted, but a part of the plot.
I know I didn't spot all the references that went past. Calling the Tardis modern art echoes City of Death. I'm amazed at how many people I know have done the Cambridge Latin course and have thus frothed about the character names. Asking about how the translation worked was very Donna, and the running Celtic joke was a decent way of explaining it. The genesis of the daleks moment was well done, and by the end of the sequence half the room were holding our hands in a "should I touch the wires together?" kind of way.
Wizards of the Coast want their flamekin back. We're thinking Glarewielder.
I liked the way that they actually tried to explain why the clairvoyance worked, because everyone knows that large enough explosions cause holes in spacetime (I've been re-reading the Animorphs books).
Also loved the running household shrine use, and the payoff. Bit less surprising than the Rose incident the week before, but that was more of a beginning than an end.
Come back next week for comments, heckles and review of the next episode, the name of which I can't remember and I'm not wanting to get spoilered, so I'm not looking it up.