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< 3.8 - Worldwide Web
4.2 - Situation Vacant >

4.1 - Death in Blackpool

Rating Votes
10
23%
32
9
22%
31
8
32%
45
7
11%
15
6
9%
12
5
3%
4
4
0%
0
3
0%
0
2
0%
0
1
0%
0
Average Rating
8.3
Votes
139
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From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
8
Plot Rating:
8
Acting Rating:
10
Replay Rating:
9
Effects Rating:
9
Has Prerequisite(s):
Yes
Reviewed By: JMChurch25Review Date: 12/3/18 6:14 pm
2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

"Death in Blackpool" is a Christmas story from the Eighth Doctor Adventures that sees the departure of companion Lucie Miller from his life in morose and dramatic fashion. After three series of adventures tackling everything from Daleks, Cybermen, and Autons to the return of Morbius, the Eight Legs, and even the Zygons, the duo return to Lucie's home in Blackpool where she ends up in a devastating accident and in the hospital dying on Christmas Eve. With Lucie trapped as essentially a ghost for most of the runtime, it takes several dark turns and has a sense of finality to it in following up on several big arcs and adventures. In the end though, what drives the Doctor and Lucie apart is a decision made in the past that the Doctor was privy to and didn't talk to her about that ends up having a strong impact on Lucie's past and future. It's a simply heart-wrenching story that uses the setting of Christmas as the impetus for some really intense drama. Some of the monster name drops are pretty stupid, some of the side cast is pretty annoying, and the plot does need some dull and rapid exposition to really get going. But if you can get past all that and have the prior knowledge of the Doctor and Lucie's travels together, then this one hits and it hits HARD. This is the first of many stories on this list that represent a bleak, dark, and disturbed Christmas rather than a happy and bright one. It gets intensely emotional really fast even with a somewhat light plot and both Paul McGann and Sheridan Smith are scarily good in this one with a Doctor/companion relationship similar to Ten and Rose but with a far better dynamic and a much better companion as a whole. While again it needs so much detail from the EDAs and background information about this pair to really work, "Death in Blackpool" is definitely a major Christmas accomplishment if you're willing to put in the knowledge and effort to get there. 
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
10
Plot Rating:
10
Acting Rating:
10
Replay Rating:
10
Effects Rating:
10
Has Prerequisite(s):
Yes
Reviewed By: natemansReview Date: 10/8/18 8:20 am
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

An incredibly powerful, moving and emotionally strong narrative with fantastic performances especially Sheridan Smith.

The ending is just heartbreaking.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
10
Plot Rating:
10
Acting Rating:
10
Replay Rating:
8
Effects Rating:
10
Has Prerequisite(s):
Unsure
Reviewed By: JacobzReview Date: 1/21/18 11:30 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Amazing writing, fantastic performances, gorgeous music. One of the best of the Eighth Doctor Adventures.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
8
Plot Rating:
4
Acting Rating:
10
Replay Rating:
10
Effects Rating:
10
Has Prerequisite(s):
Yes
Reviewed By: TCar96Review Date: 2/25/17 11:30 pm
2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

A real irritation... after complaining about the ethical quagmire at the end of Zygon Who Fell To Earth not being addressed with any dramatic depth, a few weeks later I found myself tearing up as the consequences are carried through to one of the most emotionally crippling companion departures in all of Doctor Who.

Without spoiling the story, the Doctor and Lucie following Worldwide Web get to Blackpool only to bump back into Auntie Pat. There's an interesting spin on a classic who monster, played with genuine menace - but to focus on the plot mechanics would not only spoil the story, but also get the focus completely wrong.

As has been written far more eloquently by other reviewers, the sci-fi plot is simply a framework to hang on the drama. After putting up with 'arcs' in New Who, it's a real gut punch to see a perfectly executed culmination to a companion relationship - make no mistakes, this isn't a case of following through on the odd line of foreshadowing, the entire thing organically follows Lucie and the Doctor's relationship from Blood of the Daleks.

There's excellent direction and superlative performances all round, but that's no different to any New Who departure. What sets Death in Blackpool apart is the self-restraint. There's the odd point where the serial pivots and twists, sure, but there's no stop-start as we've seen with Clara, the Ponds, Rose... Donna... come to think of it - all new who. Obviously, from CD covers I'm aware Lucie will pop up in future releases (assume this serial is being told with the same chronology of Six and Evelyn), but there's a sense of finality in Death in Blackpool which TV viewers rarely get.

Despite all the gushing praise, I'd hold off a perfect 10. To get to the drama there's some rapid exposition and taking place mostly in a hospital, there's little scope for interesting vistas. Granted - this is to maximise the dramatic weight and I certainly wouldn't want it any other way, but it just left me feeling a bit rushed in parts. Furthermore, the comic relief for me just didn't work. In an irritating trend, he seems indicative of Big Finish's direction and scripting of anybody from North of Birmingham: comically thick accents and Alan Bennettisms left right and centre.

On the whole, a brave and bold sendoff for a great companion. Whilst I've missed other companions more or found departures more tear-jerking - its often been down to personal preferences or melodramatic direction and music (Nyssa & Amy respectively). Death in Blackpool on the otherhand, whilst weak in the story department, handles the departure in particular with more weight, and fulfilling use of character arcs from across the last three seasons than any other I can care to remember. A tremendous accomplishment.

Do not listen in public - you will tear up.