I am slowly coming to the conclusion that I don't much care for Russell T. Davies' writing. He does some nifty little character touches and writes snappy dialogue, but his sense of humour strikes me as rather juvenile and he's weak on plot. Plus, the Slitheen may have been nifty in motion, but close up they were just lame -- their mouths didn't even move in sync with their dialogue, which I found distracting. And, of course, the farting noises. Ha ha. So funny. Only not. And no, Russell, explaining it all scientifically doesn't help.
Nevertheless, I did enjoy the b-plot with the Doctor trying to avoid getting tangled up in Rose's "domestic" affairs with her mother and Mickey. And there were some truly delicious moments in both parts of this two-part story -- Jackie slapping the Doctor, the scene where he has to wrestle a toddler for the remote control, the whole "Promise me she'll be safe" exchange and the look on the Doctor's face as he listens to Jackie on the phone, etc. This two-parter marks the first time we've seen a companion -- or the Doctor -- having to come to terms with how the companion's family might feel, and I found that aspect to be very well handled. The bit at the end where the Doctor covers for Mickey's cowardice at his own expense was also touching -- it surprised me that Rose wasn't more upset at the Doctor's seeming harshness, but then he'd just callously manipulated her into coming back to the TARDIS with him, so perhaps she'd already concluded he was having an off day.
Oh, and I also liked Harriet a lot. It was hardly a surprise that she ended up being the next PM, but the predictability didn't make it any less satisfying. I also grinned idiotically about the Doctor making the kid scrub the grafitti off the outside of the TARDIS at the end. But on the whole, I felt that this two-episode story was quite weak -- the weakest since the pilot -- and I'm looking forward to seeing some other writers (Rob Shearman next week! w00t!) tackle the show.
In regard to the preview for next week's episode, all I can say is O_O. Especially this trailer (right-click and save, please!). Everybody else is hyperventilating about shirtless!sweaty!tortured!Doctor!, but personally I'm pumped about the prospect of finally, actually being scared by a Dalek for the first time in my life! I've never really understood what was supposed to be so scary about them, but I do think that this episode might change my mind.
Also, for those who've been watching the show, I heartily recommend a number of gems from taraljc's journal: first, this very fine and well-reasoned essay; and second, one two three splendid fics.
Also, for those new to the show who were wondering where to start, Outpost Gallifrey has just about all the factual information anyone could possibly wish for about the show in its present and past incarnations. There are also the LJ communities doctorwho, new_who and sortofyeah for essays, icons, screencaps, vids, fics, build-your-own-Dalek kits (or cakes!), and just about anything else you could imagine.
And finally, wondertwins_inc created this splendid 9th & Rose mood theme, with a different screencap for every emotion in the LJ book, and I'm loving it. Though I may eventually go back to abates's delightful cybermats mood theme if I find that there are too many others on the same bandwagon...