Saturday, July 12, 2008

Doctor Who Series 2 Episodes: Love & Monsters

Love & Monsters is framed around a video recording of a young ELO fan, Elton Pope, in his bedroom describing his story of his encounters with The Doctor, with flashbacks interspersed throughout his confession.

Elton first describes a recent encounter with The Doctor, having spotted the TARDIS near an abandoned factory. As he investigated the nearby factory, he was almost attacked by an alien creature, a Hoix, but the Doctor and Rose Tyler were able to stop it. The Doctor seemed to recognize Elton, but before he can ask more, Elton ran away. Elton describes that that was not first encounter with the Doctor; when he was four years old, he had awoken by a noise downstairs and discovered the Doctor, looking exactly the same as he saw him at the factory. Elton also states that that wasn't his first exposure to aliens: he was in the thick of the Auton attack on London (Rose), witnessed a spaceship fall into the Thames (Aliens of London), and saw a huge spaceship hang over London (The Christmas Invasion).

Elton admits that these events led him to search for answers. He came across a blog run by Ursula Blake, who has a picture of the Doctor on her site and describes similar events. Elton met Ursula and through her, three others, Bridget, Bliss, and Mr. Skinner, that were interested in this Doctor, eventually forming "LINDA" - London Investigation 'N' Detective Agency. LINDA held meetings in the basement of a library, and while formed to talk about the Doctor, eventually became more a social group for the fivesome. However, one day, the rotund Victor Kennedy showed up at their LINDA meeting, stating the group had lost focus in finding the Doctor. LINDA becomes a more rigorous investigative group, with Victor giving them assignments to help locate the Doctor. However, due to a condition that Victor called "eczeema" (described as "Like eczema, but far worse"), Victor refuses to allow any member of LINDA to touch him. During the course of several meetings, Victor separately asked Bridget and Bliss to remain behind after the meeting was over; following that, neither woman showed up again for LINDA, with Victor claiming they had found a new goal in life.

The encounter at the factory was the result of one such assignment given to Elton, and Victor also charged him with trying to ply information from Jackie Tyler, Rose's mother. Elton was able to find and get close to Jackie while helping her to fix an appliance, and came to realize that he also had romantic feelings for Ursula as well. Jackie learned that Elton was trying to find Rose, and asked him to leave. Elton returned to LINDA, and told Ursula that they should leave the group, also convinced Mr. Skinner to leave with them. Victor asked for a moment of Mr. Skinner's time as Elton and Ursula left, but as they got back to the street, Ursula realized she had left her cell phone back in the room. When they returned, Mr. Skinner is nowhere to be found, and that instead of Victor, a grotesque alien being was in his place, with the faces and consciousnesses of the former LINDA members present in its body; Elton later dubs it as an "Abzorbaloff". Elton and Ursula attempted to escape, but Ursula was caught and absorbed into its body; the Abzorbaloff stated that the process was irreversible and that it was using LINDA so that it may also find and absorb the Doctor as well.

Elton was chased by the Abzorbaloff and ended up in a blind alley, trapped. As the Abzorbaloff approached, the TARDIS materialized nearby, with Rose trying to learn why Elton had upset her mother. The Abzorbaloff turned its attention to the Doctor but before he could advance, Ursula and the other LINDA members realized they could have limited control of the body, and made it drop its cane that creates the limitation field that keeps the Abzorbaloff in its form. Elton broke the cane, and the Abzorbaloff was dissolved into the pavement, as well as the remnants of LINDA. The Doctor quickly stepped in and used his sonic screwdriver to partially reconstruct Ursula as a living section of pavement, which has allowed Elton and her to continue a surreal companionship. The Doctor also told Elton that the reason he was in his house when Elton was much younger was that he was trying to stop an elemental shade that had taken up residence in the house, but while successful, was not able to save Elton's mother.

Concluding his story, Elton muses about the expectations of ordinary life: getting a job, getting married, getting a house, having children. But the real world is much stranger than that; it is so much darker, madder, and so much better.
Doctor David Tennant (Tenth Doctor)
Companion Billie Piper (Rose Tyler)
Guest stars
Marc Warren – Elton Pope
Camille Coduri – Jackie Tyler
Peter Kay – Victor Kennedy/Abzorbaloff
Shirley Henderson – Ursula Blake
Simon Greenall – Mr Skinner
Moya Brady – Bridget
Kathryn Drysdale – Bliss
Paul Kasey – The Hoix
Bella Emberg – Mrs Croot

Writer Russell T Davies
Director Dan Zeff
Script editor Simon Winstone
Producer Phil Collinson
Executive producer(s) Russell T. Davies
Julie Gardner
Production code 2.10
Series Series 2
Length 45 minutes
Originally broadcast 17 June 2006

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