The Long Game (2005)

The Long Game I think is one of the weakest stories featuring the Ninth Doctor. It’s the first to see Adam as a tag on companion. I’m sorry, he’s not a proper companion. The Doctor, Adam and Rose arrive in the year 200,000 on Satellite Five. The Satellite is basically a news corporation with a secret. The people on the Satellite are not as they should be. Their growth is being stunted and there are no aliens, just humans. Everyone on the Satellite is trying to get to floor 500.

The Doctor encounter Cathica and Suki who seem to be normal people on the Satellite. Cathica is the loyal worker and Suki is the cheery but not as bright worker. Suki turns out to be someone else and is quickly killed off (before the 20 minute mark). To be honest the character before and after the revelation was not interesting enough for me to care. The thing that everyone on the base is a whole in the head that allows them to absorb news into their brains. Adam goes for this procedure to try and record information. We see the Editor (Simon Pegg) who is clearly trying to be the Master but light. He’s a megalomanic but it’s not long before we meet the ‘Editor in Chief’. The Editor is working for the Mighty Jagrafess of the Holy Hadrojassic Maxadrodenfoe also known as Max.

Adam’s motives are shown quite early on. He is not trying to change history but use it to try and make himself rich and perhaps famous. I am really glad that he’s out of the show. The character was irritating and Bruno Langley just didn’t work in this. He may be good in Coronation Street drinking a pint in the Rovers Return but on Satellite Five or fighting against a Dalek he isn’t. It’s better in this series if it is just the Doctor and Rose. The story is about how a group of people are being manipulated and the most faithful of those people who was overlooked for promotion, promotion which would have killed her is the one that destroys the Jagrafess.

Christopher Eccleston and Billie Piper are good in this. Eccleston is at his best when he’s acting against Simon Pegg. Simon Pegg is the big name in this episode and plays the Editor. To be honest its not the greatest role that he could have been given but he’s clearly a fan and is having a good job. Tamsin Greig almost steals the show as the Nurse. Her scenes with Adam were very funny and almost made watching Adam a good experience.

The problem with this story is that it doesn’t feel as action packed as previous episodes. There’s no drama and no real lose. With Dalek you sort of felt sorry for the Dalek and the Doctor’s dilemma when he’s got a gun against the Dalek was something enjoyable. There was no of that in this. The only thing that new fans would learn from this is that there are rules in time travel and if you try and put yourself first then you’ll be booted out of the TARDIS. The Long Game is the weakest story and ultimately it’s the writing that lets it down.

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