Friday, November 03, 2006

In the Steel of the Night

The cliffhanger was a staple component of classic Doctor Who, and many a fan has bemoaned the new series’ self-contained storylines eroding this old standby. Two-parters seek to bring that thrill back to the forefront a few times each season, and “Rise of the Cybermen” ended on a wonderfully tense hanging from the cliff: Our heroes surrounded by Cybermen, and the Doctor shouting, “We surrender!!!” -- only to be greeted by a chorus of “Deletes!!!” from the steely automatons.

“The Age of Steel” picks up right where we left off, and the Doctor whips out the precious TARDIS power cell and miraculously obliterates the oncoming force. Something of a letdown, eh? I thought it was anyway, but then I remembered the countless weak cliffhanger resolutions from the original series, which gave some perspective. With Doctor Who, the cliffhanger must be properly executed; the strength of its resolution should be secondary. (Perhaps this applies to cliffhangers in general?)

Read the rest of this article by steeling away over to The House Next Door.