Friday, August 16, 2013

Review: Doctor Who, "Human Resources, Parts 1 and 2"

The finale of the first season of the Eighth Doctor's adventures with Lucie Miller picks up where "No More Lies" left off: Lucie has been kidnapped by the Headhunter and separated from the Doctor. She finds herself in a new job with Hulbert Logistics in Telford. But something isn't right. Perhaps it's the fact that she can't leave the building, or even that she has no recollection of getting the job and arriving at work. Meanwhile, the Doctor, looking for her, has an encounter with an unfamiliar Time Lord. The TARDIS won't work without Lucie in it; the Time Lord offers to fix the TARDIS if the Doctor returns Lucie, and gives the Doctor a time ring in the interim.

The Doctor arrives at Lucie's "firm" and ends up in a job, whereupon he finds himself giving advice on how to execute a military raid. Later, he poses as a new client for Mr. Hulbert, the head of the firm, which specializes in using war machines to invade planets, using brainwashed humans to run the operations. Lucie is fired from the firm and ejected from the war machine, where she and some former employees find themselves in a fight for survival. Meanwhile, Hulbert invites the Doctor to a reception on his latest planetary conquest, where prospective clients can get testimonials from satisfied former clients. The Doctor discovers some familiar faces...

In Part 2, Lucie discovers a strange object under the floor inside the war machine. The Doctor recognizes it as a quantum crystalizer.They go back to his TARDIS in order to resolve the Doctor's suspicions about the quantum crystalizer. Lucie hears the truth about how the Time Lords manipulated her life.

The story has a number of good lines, often delivered by Lucie.
The Doctor to Lucie: "I'm hoping to annoy someone. You can find out an awful lot by being annoying."
Lucie: I bet it's like riding a bike.
Malcolm: I nearly got hit by a car when I was out and riding my bike.
Lucie: [Gives an exasperated sigh.] Well, I'll bet it's like something else that's easy to pick up again if you haven't done it for a while.
The Doctor: It's a quantum crystalizer.
Lucie: As a rule of thumb, Doctor, if you can't get it in a catalogue, you probably need to explain it to me.
Good stuff. One interesting side note: Andy Wisher (playing Malcolm) is the son of Michael Wisher, Davros in "Genesis of the Daleks" (as well as a number of other Doctor Who characters).

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