Thursday, October 31, 2013

Doctor Who - The Long Game and Bad Wolf (2005)

SPOILER WARNING!!! This Post spoils Doctor Who episodes The Long Game and Bad Wolf.

What would make reality tv much better? Oh, wait. I did that on The Cabin in the Woods post. Well, this came years before that movie. You can't blame this for coping.

These are two separate stories that happen in same place and have same theme. The Long Game is mid-season episode, that came after Dalek. Bad Wolf is first part of season finale. I won't go into last episode of the season finale, because it doesn't have same theme than these episodes.

Year is 200 000. It is age of The Fourth Great Human Empire. Place is Satellite 5. Last best hope for... Sorry. I couldn't resist. Satellite 5 sends news broadcasts to earth. Doctor brings his companions to Satellite 5 to show greatest moment of human civilisation. But there is something wrong. There are no aliens on station and technology is 90 years from where it should be. When they investigate further, they learn about mysterious floor 500. Only selected few can enter to floor 500. On floor 500 they meet The Editor. Editor tells Doctor, his employers control humanity by sending false news. False news have turned humans against aliens and have stopped development to time when Satellite 5 started broadcasting news. Editor's employers see that they just let humans live on earth. Doctor and companions manage to stop Editor and his employers. Doctor expects everything to turn to normal and leaves.

If you are interested how news can affect people, you should search internet with terms "Fox effect" or "Fox news effect". There are studies how watching Fox News changes your view of the world and your opinions.

Bad Wolf happens 100 years after The Long Game. Events of The Long Game stopped news broadcasts and started age called 100 years of hell. When news broadcasts ended, humans become confused and everything went worse. Satellite 5 has been turned into Gamestation, which sends reality tv shows. Anyone can be kidnapped into reality tv show. Unlike today, in these shows losers are killed. Doctor and companions finds themselves in different reality tv shows. First they find this funny and strange. Then they learn about killing losing competitors thing. They escape from their shows. Rose is killed during the escape. Later we learn that competitors are not killed but send to different location. Different location turns out to be Dalek fleet when Daleks are building their army. Whole Satellite 5 thing was Daleks' smokescreen to build new fleet and army. Satellite 5 kept human controlled and they could do their thing peacefully and collect humans they wanted.

It is bold move from BBC show to have these episodes, which show tv something as harming that it could interrupt development. They even got actors from current tv shows to do their future counterparts. BBC is public service broadcasting company. These episode may indicate that private media companies may have more sinister agendas. Current development is that media is ending up into fewer hands. In these stories Satellite 5 was only news station. That is why they could have their control on humanity. Writers may have wanted to show that public media companies may have need even in these times.

Daleks in Bad Wolf survived The Last Great Time War and they are not only Daleks that did so.  Doctor will meet other surviving Daleks later. Doctor is not last Time Lord either. Later we learn that Master survived too and Time Lords have plan to return. But those are another stories. Next week it will be my favourite Doctor Who story. It may not be one you expect.

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