(I don't have to remind you that this is spoiler free, right? This is also post # 949 overall for the blog, for those of you counting)
In many ways, "The Stolen Earth" follows a similar formula to last season's "The Sound of Drums" - one immediate moment after another, building frenetically to a climax that has one wondering "how are they going to top this one?" In addition, there are many moments that are highlights from Davies' past run on Who, and that show Davies' love for the series...
....and therein lies the problem.
Yes, Davies pulls in The Sarah Jane Adventures, and Torchwood, and brings in Martha and Rose. He manages to build upon several themes from this past season, moving slightly effortlessly towards explaining-what-it-all-meant. We even get a slightly soppy reunion...but there's something about this episode that feels more like fan-fiction that total Who.
My frustration with this episode won't lead into a multi-page scribe like, oh, I don't know, a certain disgruntled Who writer with nothing better to do than complain. (Note to Mr. Miles - please come down from the cross; we really could use the wood). But the episode really lacks a solid heart - it's almost like Davies is attempting to get in every last idea he has about Who before allowing Stephen Moffat to take over. It even repeats a similar "If you believe in the Doctor, clap your hands!" moment from last time.
And Rose...I was disappointed. You would think that, after two years heading up Torchwood in an alternate universe, her character would be written as much more solid & mature. But that's just me.
However, there were some nice touches - Caan, the nutty Dalek. Captain Jack flirting with Sarah Jane. And, of course, Richard Dawkins.
I'll be watching, hoping to see how it all pans out. I only hope that Davies, in his haste to give Moffatt "a clean slate", doesn't throw out the Time Lord with the bathwater, to mix metaphors.