TV Club: The Long Game

Adam joins the Doctor and Rose for his first trip in the TARDIS and we take our first visit to Satellite Five, in this week’s TV Club.

The episode is available on BBC iplayer:

And on DVD and BluRay:

Just for fun, add your rating out of 10 below:

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3 Likes

Another one I remember as being pretty meh. Like how it ends up being significant to the finale but otherwise the main thing that stands out to me with this one is how much I hate Adam.

1 Like

This is the one I remember feeling was just sort of ‘there’ in the first season. I did quite like the ‘concept’ behind Adam - ‘the companion who couldn’t’ but this was the episode that really leant into what I disliked the most about Series 1. This series was all about how the Doctor facilitated people to solve the problems for him. I found it made the Doctor rather surplus to requirements in the episodes and found that really frustrating. I think it’s one of the reasons I’ve never really rated Eccleston as a Doctor.

Oh and there’s another silly RTD alien name.

That all said, I really need to rewatch this story - I’m not even sure if I’ve seen it again since first broadcast. If I have, it’s definitely only the once.

4 Likes

It’s a ‘Fine’ episode of the Revival. I think its purpose was mainly to show how ‘good’ a companion Rose was by having Adam be a ‘bad’ companion. It also showed the viewers that not everyone is cut out to be one.

The plot was half interesting, but wasn’t really fleshed out enough to actually go anywhere. The performances were solid across the board.

5 Likes

An underrated one, I always think! Really enjoy the worldbuilding of this one. Solid 7/10 for me.

2 Likes

Okay, actually decided to rewatch this one.

The worldbuilding’s actually pretty good. More expanding on the human empire.

There were some good bits of humor. I enjoyed Rose telling Adam everything the Doctor just told her as if she thought of it, for example, and the ending with Adam’s mom is priceless. The actor playing his mom sells it, too.

I actually laughed a bit at the Doctor saying “Come on Adam, open your mind.” at the beginning. Foreshadowing!

Cathica is actually a great character in this episode. Solid performance, definitely underrated.

We see less of Suki, but her transition from innocent and naive to secret agent is good, and she’s solid as a zombie. I do like her grabbing the Editor’s ankle.

Adam sucks, but he’s meant to. His mom’s dog’s cute, though.

“Alright. I’ll hug anyone!” is a lovely bit from the Doctor.

I kind of like that the Doctor casually gives Adam spending money, and it turns out to be unlimited credit.

Simon Pegg has occasional good moments, but could have been better?

And, you know, there’s this exchange:

ROSE: So all the people on Earth are like, slaves.
EDITOR: Well, now, there’s an interesting point. Is a slave a slave if he doesn’t know he’s enslaved?
DOCTOR: Yes.
EDITOR: Oh. I was hoping for a philosophical debate. Is that all I’m going to get? Yes?
DOCTOR: Yes.
EDITOR: You’re no fun.

To be honest, the positioning of the episode in the season probably hurts it, even though it couldn’t have been helped. You are watching it straight off “Dalek”, then we go into “Father’s Day”, “The Empty Child”, and “The Doctor Dances”? Pretty much any episode that’s not phenomenal is going to look bad right there…

9 Likes

I definitely need to rewatch it away from the series - maybe I’ll break a habit and actually watch a TV Club episode!

6 Likes

Honestly, the ones you remember feeling meh about are probably the best ones to actually rewatch, because you may feel differently later…

5 Likes

This is so true but also, I think, true for episodes which are ‘the best EVA’ or the WORST EVA’.

Fans need to rewatch things before judging things so ‘definitively’.

4 Likes

I think this is the definitive low point of series 1. There’s good scenes in it, and I think it could have been a fantastic story with a rewrite or two - but it doesn’t fulfill it’s potential. As it is a precursor to the finale they probably should have spent more time and resources on it.

Adam is not a good person, and as has been pointed out it is on purpose to showcase that the Doctor only takes “the best” - and honestly I don’t like that attitude, everyone should be able to feel that they would be welcomed with open arms in the companion club. Plenty of characters were companions by circumstance in the Classic era, and I prefer it that way. Because it opens up to a debate on what would qualify you to be good enough for TARDIS travel, and honestly besides a “can-do” attitude which skills does Rose actually possess that makes her more special than everyone else? She’s bog standard, so I kind of think the entire premise becomes moot.

I rate this at 1,5/5 :star: there are episodes (not many admittedly) of K9 that are better.

5 Likes

I’ve seen the End of Time enough times to be definite about it being the worst EVA :wink:

3 Likes

This puts into words exactly what I was thinking about the whole Adam thing but then I’ve always been a bit unhappy with the ‘specialness’ of some of the companions. Rose in particular doesn’t really deserve the accolade and it sets Martha up to be treated really badly as a character.

7 Likes

When Adam ditches Rose, it’s pretty obvious he’s doing it because he’s planning on doing things that Rose and the Doctor would disapprove of, he wasn’t interested in investigating what was going on with the station, and was pretty obviously only out for his own profit.

I’ll take Turlough over Adam any day…

6 Likes

I’m not a fan of Adam and it irritates me that he gets called a companion when he’s only there for one episode and he’s useless, but nevertheless I think this is a really underrated episode. Something about how this vision of the future is cramped and closed off and how everyone still seems to be struggling to eat and survive, that has always been fascinating to me.

5 Likes

Oh, just to elaborate a little here:
Rose was asking the right questions. Adam was only out for his own benefit, and wasn’t asking questions when he should have been or paying attention to what was going on around him. Cathica initially was complacent and wasn’t questioning things, but she started to because of hanging around the Doctor, and then acted on what she was finding out.

4 Likes

Haven’t watched this in a while but agreeing with the comments on this being meh

The 2005 CGI doesn’t do it any favours either, and looking back it definitely does feel like just set up for the finale

Simon Pegg is great but like, of course, it’s Simon Pegg, he’s still wasted on this role

5 or 6/10, I’ve marked it down as a 5 though

5 Likes

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4 Likes

This episode has honestly never been one that I liked too much, but I never really thought about why that might be. Upon rewatching the episode this changed. As did at least part of my opinion on it.
In general this is a fairly decent episode that general storyline wise I definitely should and would enjoy. I always thought the setting was interesting. The element of technology having been stagnant for years has also always been very interesting to me since I first watched it, even though it wasn’t expanded on too much.
After working through this I was searching for the point because of which I didn’t like the episode, as this should be one that I would normally like decently enough. In the end it all came down to Adam. While in the episode before this Adam while not being overly great either, was a character I wouldn’t have put much thought in as he fit the story well enough for me to ignore, in this episode he went over to just being generally annoying. Beside the fact of his already generally annoying tendencies in this he also didn’t really feel like anything more than a plot device, to lore drop a bit on the technology of the station and maybe to up the stakes a bit in the end, with him having the TARDIS key and all. And at this a plot device that in my opinion could have been left out.
To be honest the only thing that I liked about him in this episode was the little joke in the end where the Doctor and Rose were making fun of him by snapping their fingers.

6 Likes

Wow, that was hard.

I think that this is the kind of episode the show needs. Not that good but not that bad. This kind of story gives you time to catch your breath in between the really good stories one problem I have with some of the 12th Doctors series is the lack of meh stories that make the amazing ones stand out. You can’t have an Empty Child or a Blink every week. I give this a 3.5/5

8 Likes

To be honest, the main thing I remember about ‘The Long Game’ is that someone on Twitter made a knitted plushie of the Jagrafess a couple of years back.

10 Likes