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Last Updated: Friday May 26 2006 15:32 GMT

Lizo reviews the next Doctor Who

Billie Piper and David Tennant
Every week our biggest Doctor Who fan Lizo will be bringing you his verdict on the week's episode of Doctor Who before it's even hit your screens!

Here's what he thought of the seventh episode from the second series: The Idiot's Lantern.

'I heard they rot your brains. Rot them into soup and your brain comes pouring out your ears, that's what television does!' So says an elderly woman in the pre-title sequence of this week's episode.

Officially, I suppose I should be offended as I've spent most of my working life involved in TV, and most of my non-working life watching it.

TV themed

Indeed, this episode is even called The Idiot's Lantern - a nickname for TV sets. Unsurprisingly then, TVs have a key role in the plot.

The Doctor and Rose land in what they hope is New York where they plan to watch legendary singer Elvis Presley perform.

No such luck, it's London (again) and something strange is going on.

Having a TV set in 1953 was still quite unusual, but the prospect of watching the new Queen being officially crowned meant that suddenly they began to fly off the shelves (not literally - even though this is Doctor Who).

At the same time people are being strangely altered, and the Doctor thinks that the new TV sets from one store in particular are to blame.

This is a very different episode, written by Mark Gatiss, who penned last season's Unquiet Dead.

It rattles along well enough, but unfortunately doesn't have the energy that previous episodes have had. It has a slightly clumsy sub plot about equality between men and women, and a villain who's never really satisfactorily explained - I much prefer us to understand more about their background.

Fabulous effects

That said, there's some nice stuff in here. The revelation of what's happening to the victims is fabulous (hats off to the special effects wizards at The Mill). And it's good to see Rose well entwined in the nastiness that's going on.

Every series has to have its peaks and troughs though, and after the frantic excitement of the Cyberman episodes, this was always going to be a smaller, less epic adventure where the mystery was wrapped up very quickly. And many will enjoy its more intimate nature.

But I'm now really looking forward to the next two-parter which Billie Piper told me was the most frightening thing they've done yet!

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Matt Smith as The Doctor




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