Doctor Who: Planet of the Dead

7.4| 0h59m| NA| en| More Info
Released: 11 April 2009 Released
Producted By: BBC
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A meeting in a London bus with jewel thief Lady Christina takes a turn for the worse for the Doctor when the bus takes a detour to a desert-like planet, where the deadly Swarm awaits.

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Doctor Who: Planet of the Dead Audience Reviews

Precisett This movie is magnificent!
Actuakers One of my all time favorites.
Verity Robins Great movie. Not sure what people expected but I found it highly entertaining.
Jonah Abbott There's no way I can possibly love it entirely but I just think its ridiculously bad, but enjoyable at the same time.
LaFeeChartreuse I think people are being a little too harsh toward this one. No, it's certainly not a particularly heavy or intense episode - it was more of an entertaining bit of fluff than anything. But it was pretty good as that, and fun to watch.The characters were interesting and engaging, and I was pleasantly surprised they didn't resort to the usual let-you-start-to-like-them-then-pick-them-off-one-by-one thing. I think this may be the first time the Doctor has promised to save some bunch of innocent people and actually managed it without any of them dying (well, except one very early on, but I think that was before the promise). Usually as soon as he says "I promise!" you expect the body count to start.I did like Christina, and hope we see her again at some point. And the one thing I really found least convincing in the whole episode was his reason for not taking her with him - that he isn't going to have any more companions because he's lost them all. I haven't watched that much of the classic series, but at least since its revival in 2005, every companion he's had is still alive and well except for the occasional temporary one from a holiday specials. They may not be travelling with him any more, but it's not like he's brought some horrible fate on them that he needs to start sparing people from. It seemed like a contrived excuse based on the actress not being available or something. But hopefully she'll at least turn up as a guest at some point.The little bit of ominous foreshadowing at the end was nice - a little glimpse of darkness to come, in an otherwise fairly light episode.All in all, no, it wasn't a standout, but it was still fun and fairly well done for what it was. And really, if all the episodes were as intense as some of the best ones have been, it'd be a little overwhelming - like season three of Torchwood, which I think is going to leave a lot of viewers needing therapy. Having a few lightweight episodes to balance the heavier ones is not a bad thing.
zerobeat The problem with criticizing something for being too childish is that it seems like I wouldn't like a movie like The Incredibles or a TV show like PeeWee's Playhouse. On the contrary.. I love these things.I guess "lazy" is more an apt criticism. It's as if the writers just put inferior stuff out there and defend it by saying "who cares... kids won't know the difference".I sure hope the new showrunner (Steven Moffat) cracks the whip a lot more when it comes to this sort of rubbish dreck coming across his desk.There is indeed a way to make a children's show also appeal to adults. Maybe the secret is to make it appeal to adults, and simply omit stuff that would obviously be inappropriate for kids. Intelligence is NOT something a writer needs to omit from a script.
Robert McElwaine As the first of four one hour specials being aired this year, Planet of the Dead marks the first Easter special Writer's Russell T. Davies and Gareth Robert's offer up an episode which has a rather interesting premise and a morally dubious character in Michelle Ryan's Lady Christina Da Souza. An attractive young thief who as the story opens is seen to steal a priceless gold artifact from a museum. Having to make a hasty getaway when she accidentally triggers an alarm and is pursued by the authorities. She jumps on to a double decker bus. It would seem she has made her escape and that her problems are over. Nothing could be further from the truth. Especially when the Doctor boards the bus as well and sits right next to her and as you well know. Wherever the Doctor goes, trouble is not far behind him. Before you know it, the buses passengers find them self being sucked through a wormhole and trapped on an alien dessert planet on the other side of the universe.What follow's is an inoffensive, passable time waster. Nothing spectacular. Which although not bad, you can't help but feel it could have been so much more. The episodes first half get's off to a cracking start with the museum robbery which instantly grabs out interest and contains an elaborate well choreographed scene. But once the action shifts to the bus then the pace begins to slow down and what we're left with is a leaden bit of exposition as we're introduced to a number of throw away characters who offer little to the plot.Tennant once again is as wonderful as ever as the heroic Time Lord. At least offering something of interest to proceedings and he's adequately enough supported by Michelle Ryan who although fine as the feisty, flirtation Lady Da Souza, Isn't totally convincing in the role. It doesn't help however that she is lumbered with a two dimensional character who's sole purpose is to flirt with Tennant. Not to mention some of the cheesy dialogue she has forced upon her. Da Souza is so irritating post feminist. An attempt by Davies and Robert's it seems to foist a 21st century proactive heroine on us. Independent, confident. When all she comes across as is a reject from 'The Avengers'.Once the action shifts and see's Tennant and Ryan venturing in to the planet's dessert plains then the pace really begins to get moving again and the story begins to unfold. Which although not entirely original and seems to borrow much from the Stepehn King mini-series, 'The Langoliers' as well as 'Pitch Black'. But never the less, there's still something to enjoy here. Lee Evan's manages to elevate things with his performance as the comically eccentric Prof. Malcolm Turner. Effecting a welsh accent and having some inspired moments with Tennant's Doctor who seems to have met someone more quirky than himself.The overall result is a passable runaround which sadly is a bit of an anti-climax. While Davies and Roberts inclusion of a middle aged black woman who has psychic powers as a way to hint at what's to come is a unsubtle contrivance which has already been done to death through the series.I wouldn't expect too much from 'Planet of the Dead'. It's an undemanding, fun and serves as nothing more than filler before the upcoming 'Waters of Mars' and Decembers Christmas specials which will see Tennant bow out of the show. But if this outing is anything to go by. Then Tennant's swan song may be something of an anti-climax. But who know's. I'll just have to keep my fingers crossed and hope for the best.
bob the moo It took me a minute or two to get round to watching this first of the specials that will see David Tennant give up the role of Dr Who to a teenager who won the role in an online raffle. Anyway, I'm not a massive Who fan or anything so I only approach Planet of the Dead as a piece of entertainment and, if it can entertain me then it is god enough for me. As it is though this special just seemed like it was in some sort of holding pattern in almost every regard. In terms of building up to Tennant's exit, it doesn't do anything other than end with a cryptic warning of the future but it is in the rest of the special where the "doing the basics to pass the time" aspect comes over.The plot is a bit like Pitch Black but of course this is a Saturday evening family piece of entertainment so the darker, more thriller stuff is limited to what kids can cope. This is not a massive problem but it is when you temper it with so much noisy and silly stuff that it prevents the adults accepting it as well. This happens here as we have the usual "big, colourful" Doctor doing his stuff but too much silliness, weak comedy and daft action sequences that lack a reason to care or believe – they all pile up and the end result is a special that will work best for children and not the family as a whole. Things get a bit better in the second half as the creatures are introduced but even then the colourful spectacle of it all takes precedence over the rest. This in turn produces those terrible "cringe" moments that Doctor Who has occasionally – moments that remind you that this is not a massive American production but a BBC Wales production aimed at the Saturday evening telly crowd.Indeed on such "moment" is all through the special, and that is the presence of Michelle Ryan. Fresh from her attempts to break America (how she got the opportunities she got mystifies me), Ryan attempts to be light, flirty fun while delivering an action character. The problem is that she never feels natural doing it at all. She attempts to match Tennant's larger-than-life approach but she hasn't got the acting skills nor the charisma to make it work and she ends up coming over either wooden or like she is overacting in a "big smile, lots of teeth" way. Tennant is his usual solid self and matches the "fun" approach of the special even if he doesn't have much else to do here aside from the usual running and shouting stuff. Evans is amusing but a bit too obvious while Dumezweni, Kaluuya, Ames, Thomas and others are all TV-standard.Overall, Planet of the Dead will suffice for those younger viewers of Dr Who as it produces the standard requirements of the show. However for the casual viewer it will unavoidably come over as overly noisy, colourful and all a bit silly. As a "holding" film then I suppose it does the job, but the next few specials will need to step up their game somewhat as this is the sort of special/episode that you can forgive as the exception, not as the norm.