Season 2 of Doctor Who is arguably its weakest of the new series so far. I've never been a fan of Rose Tyler - in fact, in a list of favourite companions she'd probably rank near the bottom, but you can't help but argue as to whilst this series does have some god-awful episodes such as New Earth, Love & Monsters and Fear Her (aside from the London 2012 Olympics End Scene, it was terrible) there are some absolute gems in here as well. The Girl in the Fireplace for example is one of my favourite episodes of the new series - written of course by Steven Moffat, and The Impossible Planet/The Satan Pit are among the top three two-part episodes of David Tennant's era - right up there with The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances. Then there's Human Nature/Family of Blood from Series 3. I think it's safe to say that Doctor Who Season 2 is a polarizing season to say the least, and can either be really brilliant or really awful depending on the episode, or even somewhere in the middle.
Starting with The Christmas Invasion, we witness the first episode to feature David Tennant as the main Doctor. However, Tennant doesn't get a lot to do here with The Tyler Family and Harriet Jones working together to stop the Sycorax from killing off every human with an A positive blood type. It's a distinctive Christmas episode and establishes David Tennant's Doctor as a man who takes no second chances, and a move that would be great at the series stuck with it, but it doesn't. Overall The Christmas Invasion is a fairly average episode with a few good scenes - but overall had a promising start for Tennant's run as the Tenth Doctor. Then that was followed up by New Earth - cat people running a hospital says it all. It was nice to see the return of the Face of Boe but overall this was a distinctively poor episode, with the humour not really working at all. There were some fun moments when Tennant and Piper got to act campy on purpose when they were possesed by the return of Cassandra, but aside from that, this episode was a disappointment.
The Doctor and company in The Girl in the Fireplace
Following a trip to the future we then had, as per the norm, a return to the past with Tooth and Claw. Whilst we could have done without the Monks it allowed for a fun, entertaining romp through a house with a Werewolf chasing Queen Victoria. In this episode we also learn the origin of Torchwood, the arc word for the series that would become revealed later down the line as the organisation would play a more prominent role. The humour worked in this episode when there was some attempts at it - "[after meeting Queen Victoria] I wanted her to say "We are Not Amused." Bet you five quid I can get her to say it." "Taking that bet would be an abuse of my responsibilities as a traveller in time." "Ten Quid." "Done." And whilst perhaps the biggest disappointment of this episode is actually that The Doctor prevents Britian from becoming a steam-punk empire of the wolf, there at the same time wasn't anything that stood out to make this one a classic. It's a fun, entertaining episode of Doctor Who that works.
After Tooth and Claw came the return of fan-favourite Elizabeth Sladen's Sarah Jane Smith from the classic series bringing K-9 in tow for a School Reunion. This episode guest starred Anthony Head in the villain role and allowed for a great scene in the School's swimming pool, featuring a strong conversation between Head and Tennant. The exchanges between Sarah Jane and Rose were fun to watch as well and this episode overall turned out to be really solid and entertaining - being another good episode for Doctor Who. And then, immediatly after came The Girl in the Fireplace, with some fun one liners, Mickey Smith's first trip in the TARDIS, and a great mystery that stands as a must-watch for any people looking to get their friends and family into the series. It's clever and enjoyable - and for me, this is not just one of the highlights of Season 2 or Tennant's run but one of the highlights of the entire series.
Parallel-Earth Pete Tyler and Rose Tyler, captured by the Cybermen
Overall, Doctor Who Season 2 is a fairly average season that comes out as the worst of the whole run so far aside from maybe Season 4 (on consideration, I used to view it as one of the better seasons but there are decidedly some average episodes in there) and Season 7. There are however some much watch episodes in this season that I can recommend even if you're not a fan of Doctor Who - with The Impossible Planet/The Satan Pit and The Girl in the Fireplace being good episodes to convince non-fans of the series. However, thanks to some disappointments and awful episodes - Season 2 isn't going to get a high rating from me.