1)I'm not generally a big fan of these so-called "Doctor lite" episodes. I understand they have to do them for practical reasons, and one or two of them have been OK, but they're not my favorites. If I'm watching Doctor Who, I want to see the Doctor.

 

2)The above said, it was an interesting idea, devoting an episode to exploring how the Doctor's activities affect ordinary people's lives.  Unfortunately, I wasn't too wild about the way the idea was carried out. It didn't help that I found the heel - about which more later - particularly unappealing, and none of the rest of the characters were all that interesting, either. 

 

3)Of course, what the show seems to be really about is fandom. In LINDA, we see a nice little fan group who bond over their shared interest, but develop other interests as well.  Victor Kennedy is the obsessive fan who takes over and kills the fun of the thing by wanting to control (and therefore kill) the enjoyed thing - the one person in every group who takes the thing too seriously and too far.

 

4)"Abzorbaloff created by William Grantham".  Per what I have read, the Abzorbaloff was created by a nine year old boy, who won a "Create A Monster" contest run by Blue Peter, which is a legendary kids' show that I had never heard of until I became a Doctor Who fan and started reading about the show and watching DVD extras.  It seems to be one of those things which everyone in Britain has heard of but which is not particularly widely-known outside of the UK (and perhaps its former colonies?). There's a brief reference to the show in "Aliens of London", when the Ninth Doctor is flipping channels - you see a quick clip of a presenter showing how to bake a cake in the shape of the alien spaceship. Blue Peter used to do stuff like that - show the kiddies how how to bake Dalek cakes, and that sort of thing. At any rate, the two programs have been linked for decades. So, if I find the Abzorbaloff somewhat less than a compelling villain, it was in the end, created by a nine year old, and I couldn't say with a certainty that I could've done better.

 

5)Speaking of nine year old TV fans, I could've done without the "love life" gag at the end.  No, I don't think of Doctor Who as a "kids' show", but I do like to think of it as a "show that kids could watch safely" Here, we end up with a situation where young Master Grantham's creation was featured in an episode that contains material inappropriate for his age group. At least, that's what I think.

 

6)Some Fun Quotes:

  • "She tastes like chicken."
  • "You upset my mum."

 

Overall: A so-so episode, not one of my favorites.  Some interesting ideas, and hoorah for young William, but not one that I'll be breaking out and wathcing again any time soon.

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Peter Kaye is another example of stunt casting that doesn't travel outside the UK.  He's a high-profile stand-up comedian there.  (His show Phoenix Nights is quite good, about a Northern English local entertainment venue.)

 

Blue Peter is a legendary TV show in the UK, mainly watched by middle class kids, for some reason.  (We watched it in our house!)

 

The connections are even deeper than you mention above, because one of the early companions was played by Peter Purves (great name eh?) and he went on to be a very fondly remembered Blue Peter presenter.

 

The love life gag was dodgy anyway, but I hadn't thought of it as being in a show with a 9 year old's creation.  Still, its only icky if you understand the joke, which would exclude the morally untainted, so they would retain their innocence on watching it.

RTD has said that, to kids, the love life line would have just meant kissing.

Regarding your first point, I tend to agree, yet I liked this episode a bit more than you did.

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