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December 29, 2005

Guinevere One

A website explaining the Guinevere One Mars mission is a nice complement to what turned out to be a splendid episode of Dr. Who, "The Christmas Invasion". Yes, a ballsy British Prime Minister demonstrates her independence after the fashion of every inconsequential, petty nationalist from Canada to Venezuela on down; i.e. by squeeky disagreement with an American President. But, no, and whatever the press had to say, firing on a retreating alien warship is not an obvious reference to the Belgrano. If anything, Prime Minister Harriet Jones is made out to be quite hard-headed and Blairite vs an old Labour Dr. Who. James was right to say I should have held my fire. So, my apologies to doubting supergenius Russell T Davies, even if he misses the moral point of his own writing.

The Prime Minister's pacifist instincts are overridden when, in an echo of Margaret Thatcher's decision to attack the General Belgrano during the Falklands conflict in 1982, she orders the destruction of a retreating alien spaceship. The Doctor, who opens the drama regenerating in bed, while his assistant Rose Tyler faces an evil trio of masked Santas and a killer Christmas tree, is disapproving and ensures that she is swiftly declared "unfit for duty."

According to Mr Davies: "She [Prime Minister Jones] does that very easy speech about not listening to the American president, but at the end she's out of her depth and she does the wrong thing."

The Prime Minister decides that allowing an alien warship to retreat is too great a risk. Funny thing here; these aliens had just threatened to murder one third of humanity so many might imagine her action to be quite the right thing. Funnier still; she had watched two of her advisors murdered by these same aliens even as they pled a pacifist cause and tried to explain why Earth should not be conquered on Christmas. Funniest yet; the cause of the Prime Minister's subsequent downfall is the Doctor's intervention. We are perhaps meant to understand the Doctor knows best but he is not human, let alone a citizen of the UK, and so it is difficult to see how he is in a position to judge. Especially being it was a very British cup of tea wot revived him in the first place.

Also a plus: a sneak peak at forthcoming episodes featuring Giles, catwomen and some hard-looking Cybermen. Better yet, K9! References to the forthcoming Torchwood were promising; particularly their firm action in destroying that pesky alien warship. It was great to see U.N.I.T. back on the job. Oh, and David Tennant will do very nicely.

Posted by Ghost of a flea at December 29, 2005 08:14 AM

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