In The Voyage of the Damned, the Doctor encounters the spaceship called the Titanic. He is faced with the task of stopping the ship from crashing into Earth and killing everyone. This was one of my favorite episodes in the series because we got to see the Doctor face a problem without a permanent companion.
Throughout the episode, the Doctor assembles a crew to help him save the lives of the individuals on the ship as well as the citizens of earth. This crew played a significant role in portraying the message of the episode, which I think is an important one. The message was that all people have metaphorical skeletons, but those things aren’t what define you. In other words, every person has character traits that aren’t desirable, but those traits shouldn’t hold someone back from being themselves. In my opinion, many Doctor Who episodes don’t have a lesson to teach. I think this is a problem for a show of Doctor Who’s stature because there are millions of viewers, and the target audience is children.
Another aspect of this episode that I really loved was that the characters who were not series regulars were given proper characterization. Despite only being in this one episode, the people that aided the Doctor were given mini back stories and development. Character development is another problem the show struggles with in my opinion. In almost every episode, a myriad of inconsequential characters are introduced. These characters are given significant screen time in the episodes, and their fates are usually points of interest in the plot, however because of a lack of development, viewers don’t care when their fates are determined.
The Voyage of the Damned featured two criteria that I crave as a viewer, and the episodes which fail to meet those criteria falter in comparison to the season four Christmas special.