The Impossible Planet / The Satan Pit:
|ep 1 –||When the TARDIS lands, look closely for what appears to be light streaming out between the joins in the roof!|
|ep 1 –||When the Doctor walks into the room with the "Welcome to Hell" graffiti, he initially faces the graffiti and takes a good look around. Then he turns his back to the graffiti and acts all surprised when Rose says "Welcome to Hell" — as if it would have been possible to miss something like that written on the wall right in front of you, especially when the rest of the room is pretty nondescript!|
|ep 1 –||In the scene where the crew first reveal the black hole to the Doctor and Rose, Ida pulls a lever, we hear a whirring and a bright light starts shining on our heroes, but then the camera cuts away to a wide angle, and it's only then that we see the doors start to open and the first chink of light come in.
[I know light travels fast, but...!]
|ep 1 –||It's not just in the episode title, but the Doctor basically implies that it's "impossible" for anything to orbit a black hole without falling in. Which is complete poppycock — for example, it's generally accepted that there's a giant black hole at the centre of our own Milky Way galaxy, but most of the stars are happily orbiting it. You might as well say that it's impossible for the Moon to avoid falling onto the Earth!
[What's actually impossible is for something to be orbiting the black hole so closely, i.e. within the event horizon, but the Doctor doesn't specify that...]
|ep 1 –||Oh, and furthermore, the planet is said to be in "geostationary orbit" around the black hole. How can it be in geostationary orbit if there's no geography to measure it against?
[Technically they should have said "synchronous orbit" which is similar, but not the same!]
|ep 1 –||It's nice to see that they still have a 20th-century style Chubb fire extinguisher sitting around the control centre in the distant future. OK, it looks like it's been "dirtied down" to fit in, but the service history sticker and brand name are still clearly visible on the side!|
|ep 1 –||Ida berates the Doctor for asking the name of the planet, saying "Don't be stupid. It hasn't got a name. How could it have a name?" But less than 10 minutes later she casually mentions that the Faltino (whoever they are) had indeed given it a name: "Krop Tor — the bitter pill".
[A planet that doesn't have a name, and then suddenly does? Why, that's impossible!]
|ep 1 –||When we see Scooti working outside in her spacesuit, she brings the wrist communicator up to her mouth to talk into it. Think about it: she's outside in a vacuum — i.e. there's no air to transmit the sound from her helmet to her wrist! And surely all space helmets would have a built-in microphone anyway?|
|ep 1 –||Another strange feature of the spacesuits: the helmets all have internal lights which look like they shine directly into the wearer's eyes. OK, it gives a nice effect for the camera, but in reality wouldn't that make it extremely difficult to see, especially in a dark environment?|
|ep 1 –||During the "Don't Turn Around" scene, a microphone is clearly visible at the bottom of the frame, on the left side. It even wobbles slightly!|
|ep 1 –||Watch out for some dodgy continuity before and after Scooti tries to escape from the "transformed" Toby. At the start of the scene, the set includes a Door 42, but once she goes to open Door 40, the second door has somehow been replaced by a wall.|
|ep 1 –||In the (admittedly creepy and effective) scene where Toby is standing on the planet sans spacesuit, his clothes appear to be blowing in the breeze — pretty impressive since it's supposed to be a complete vacuum!|
|ep 1 –||There's some strange stuff going on in this story around gravity. Firstly, why or how does Scooti end up floating above the base? By this point we've already seen Scooti herself walking around on the surface (and of course later the TARDIS falls into a chasm) so we can see that the planet clearly has a reasonably strong gravitational field, but Scooti appears to be floating too close to the surface to realistically have escaped its pull.
[Sorry if I've just spoiled the haunting poignancy of the scene for you]
|ep 1 –||Scooti's unfortunate journey into the vacuum also has the strange side-effect of turning her into a mirror image of herself! Look closely at her wrist communicator: throughout the episode up to this point it's consistently been on her left hand (from her perspective) but as she floats through space it can clearly be seen on her right hand instead.|
|ep 1 –||After Ida haltingly refers to Scooti as being "twenty... twenty years old", she walks over to close the shutters. As we cut to the Doctor's face, you can see the floor panel underneath him wobble as Ida steps off it.|
|ep 1 –||In the opening scene, the TARDIS arrives behind door 15, and we see Rose and the Doctor go through doors 15, 16 and 17 to reach the habitation area. Later, on their way back to find the TARDIS, Rose and the Doctor simply pass through door 15 and try to spot the TARDIS through the window of door 16 instead.
[No wonder they couldn't find it!]
|ep 1 –||After the TARDIS is supposedly "lost", Ida tells the Doctor: "I'll put you on the duty roster. We need someone in the laundry." This seems odd, since only a few minutes earlier the Doctor had worked out a calculation in mere moments that had taken the crew "two years" to figure out. Surely they could think of something more useful for the Doc to do than washing smelly socks? Besides, wouldn't the Ood already be in charge of the laundry? If not, why bother having them??
[Was Ida joking? She doesn't sound like it]
|ep 1 –||Um, if there's a gaping chasm leading directly to the heart of the planet, why are the crew bothering to drill a hole from the surface? Why not go straight down the chasm?|
|ep 1 –||When we first see the graphic of the lift descending into the heart of the planet, we see an oxygen reading in the 30% range. When we see it again, and the lift is supposedly further away from the base, the reading is now above 40%. Oops!|
|ep 1 –||Secondly on the list of "gravity bloopers": the Doctor and Ida experience what looks like normal gravity when they get to the centre of the planet, whereas they should really be at close to zero-g. (The same would happen with any planet — gravity decreases as you approach the centre due to the pull of all the matter above & around you)
[OK, OK, perhaps they're wearing gravity boots of some kind, or maybe the pit has its own artificial gravity system — when you're dealing with ancient technology capable of keeping a planet suspended above a black hole, a temporary absence of normal physics isn't much to complain about, is it?]
|ep 1 –||Ida says the trapdoor is "massive... about 30 feet in diameter". Er... no it isn't. Not even close!
[Never mind the oddity of the crew still using imperial units so far in the future — though maybe by then a "foot" is less than 12 inches?]
|ep 2 –||Strategy 9 sounds pretty straightforward — gather the crew in one part of the base, and open the airlocks in the remainder of the base. So why would opening a few airlocks require "100% power"?|
|ep 2 –||Jefferson states that the "ventilation shafts" don't actually contain any air, since they aren't intended for life forms (hence all the kerfuffle about needing to fill them with oxygen) — but if that's true, why do they have air grilles where the shafts connect to the base? (Noticeable when Rose emerges into the corridor)|
|ep 2 –||Shouldn't those maintenance tunnels be littered by Ood corpses after a few bursts of decompression?|
|ep 2 –||The snapped lift cable changes its appearance by the time Ida and the Doctor gather it up to go abseiling down the pit — by then it's noticeably thinner than before and has acquired a clear/blue-ish plastic coating.|
|ep 2 –||Although the moment when Toby turns to the Ood and puts his finger to his lips is supremely creepy, why is it actually necessary? The Beast's controlling both of them!|
|ep 2 –||The Doctor puts his foot on the rim of the Pit when he gives that macho speech about wanting to jump. But you can see his spacesuit isn't sealed at the ankle — his trouser leg is flapping around above the boot!|
|ep 2 –||And OK, so the Doctor throws himself down the Pit, not knowing how deep it is, or if he can survive the fall. Any particular reason why he doesn't take a quick look downwards with that ruddy great torch hanging from his belt? Or even drop the torch down to see how far it would fall...?|
|ep 2 –||The escape rocket is too small! The obvious assumptions are that it's either purpose-designed as an escape vehicle, or is simply the same rocket the crew used to arrive on the planet — but either way, we see only 5 chairs: where would the rest of the original crew have fit?? (Including Scooti, Jefferson, the original captain who died, etc.)|
|ep 2 –||We know there's an opening to the surface, but still: could the Doctor really have heard the rocket leaving from well over 10 miles underground??|
|ep 2 –||If the mysterious ancient people from the cave painting thought the Beast was so dangerous it was worth trapping with a couple of pots next to a black hole, why didn't they just fling it into the black hole in the first place?|
|ep 2 –||The Doctor's "gamble" at the end doesn't make sense — he's aware that breaking the vase and hence the gravity funnel will send the rocket into the black hole, killing Rose... But how could be possibly know that Rose is on the rocket? She was intent on waiting for the Doctor at the base ("just like he waited for me" as she puts it) — it was just by chance that Zach "kidnapped" her and forced her on board the escape rocket. How could the Doctor have foreseen that?
[Yes, breaking the gravity funnel would eventually doom everyone on the base & the planet too, but the Doc only mentions Rose in conjunction with the rocket's demise]
|ep 2 –||Why or how does the rocket turn around to face the black hole when the gravity funnel collapses and the rocket starts being pulled in? Surely it would keep facing the same way it was, but just be pulled backwards by gravity? For that matter, why does it also turn around (away from the black hole) when the Doctor starts towing it with the TARDIS?|
|ep 2 –||When the Doctor confronts the Beast in the pit, several (at least four) shots of David Tennant's face have been flipped left-to-right, making them mirror images. Keep an eye on the little oval thingy on the strap on the left-hand side of his spacesuit to confirm this.|
|ep 2 –||Rose is able to shatter the rocket's window with a single shot from a bolt gun. Not very strong, is it? Fat lot of good that'd do you against a meteorite!
[Maybe the rocket has energy shields on the outside to prevent space debris damaging the window, but if so, wouldn't that prevent the air loss?]
|ep 2 –||When Rose undoes Toby's seatbelt, why doesn't the Beast just jump out of Toby and into one of the other crew members?|
|ep 2 –||It's a bit daft that the rocket's emergency shield requires Zach to press a button in order to activate it after the window shatters. Didn't the rocket's designers think the crew would have other things on their mind during an emergency (like a complete lack of oxygen due to decompression) to worry about pressing buttons? Not to mention that sudden decompression of the cabin would be dead easy to detect via the ship's sensors & hence easy to make automatic. In many ways it's similar to a car's airbag — and imagine if you had to press a button to use one of those during a crash!
[Come on, this isn't rocket science... Oh hang on, it is!]
|ep 2 –||In a similar vein, since we have a relatively small rocket cabin suddenly exposed to the vacuum of space, you'd expect that all the air would be sucked out the window nearly instantly — so Zach wouldn't have been able to say "Emergency shields" (or at least, we wouldn't have heard him say it, due to there being no air to carry the sound waves). Not to mention that Rose and the crew wouldn't have continued to breathe somewhat normally during & after the decompression, in the way they appear to on screen.|
|ep 2 –||When Toby is sucked out of the rocket, he is facing the black hole. Immediately afterwards, he can be seen with his back to the black hole instead.|
|ep 2 –||At the end, the Doctor says he "only had time for one trip" in the TARDIS before the planet hit the black hole. Er, has he forgotten that the TARDIS is a time machine? Yes, you could make the argument "he can't cross his own time-stream, blah blah", so let's assume for a moment that the Doctor genuinely only had time for one trip — in that case, why did he decide to save one human life instead of many Ood?
[Little bit out-of-character for the Doc]
|ep 1-2 –||Rose finds time to change her knickers at some point during the story: in The Impossible Planet, she can be clearly seen to be wearing black undies, but by the time she hugs the Doctor in the TARDIS at the end of the second episode, she's changed to maroon!|