Doctor Who, series 1.7: “The Long Game” by Russell T. Davies


In “The Long Game,” Rose and the Doctor, along with Adam Mitchell, a genius (and fainter) they met during “Dalek,” arrive on Satellite Five, a space station orbiting Earth in the far future. Rose and Adam go exploring, while the Doctor investigates something suspicious. A man (Simon Pegg), covered in frost, watches them through the security cameras and wants to know more about them.

The Doctor comes upon a few newsmakers, one of whom opens up a hole in her head and a beam of information streams into it—news from throughout the entire 4th Human Empire, which is transmitted to the rest of humanity. Something is wrong, and the frosty man (who we discover is The Editor) calls Sookie, one of the newsmakers, up to floor 500–ostensibly for a promotion. Floor 500 is built up as a sort of Paradise, though we know it does not necessarily bode well for Sookie: “Once you go to floor 500 you never go back.”

It turns out that the Human Empire is not actually being controlled by humanity, but by a Jagrafess nicknamed “Max.” This being has stunted the growth of the human civilization. In the meantime, Adam still cannot fully depart from the ways of Henry van Statten (and takes a page out of the book of Marty McFly), by trying to change the past by gaining foreknowledge of the future. It becomes clear that he will not be able to remain a companion of the Doctor, and they drop him off back at home.

To me, the most remarkable part of this episode is Simon Pegg, who is as witty as ever. It’s not my favorite episode, but it’s quite enjoyable.

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