Inappropriate tittering and end of a good run.

Doctor Who. The Parting of Ways. S1 Ep 13. Written by Russell T. Davies

I almost tried to quit watching Doctor Who again after this episode.  I know that effort would be futile, however, and, by and large, this was a satisfying end to the season-long story arc.

This episode picked up where the last episode left their cliffhanger. The Daleks demand that Rose predict the Doctor’s actions and tell them what he’ll do, but she refuses. But never fear! Thanks to a force field that Jack has rigged up, the TARDIS is protected and able to materialize on the Dalek ship in front of Rose. Jack and the Doctor exit the TARDIS, and are fired upon, but the TARDIS’ protection field covers them. The Doctor taunts the Daleks, reminding them that Dalek legend refers to the Doctor as “The Oncoming Storm” and wondered aloud how they lived through the Time War. A low grating voice explains they survived “…through me.” The camera pulls back to reveal a brain with tentacles in a glass fluid-filled capsule. The whole contraption is propped up with metal legs and shields.

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The Games, Mrs. Hudson, Are On

Doctor Who S1 Ep 12 Bad Wolf. Written by Russell T. Davies

I like to see fandoms collide, hence my title. A Sherlock line used to refer to both the situation for our heroes as well as the conclusion of this story arc, which has been building all season.

The Doctor awakens in a Big Brother-like house on Channel 44000. Rose wakes up on a The Weakest Link-type set. Jack wakes up in another show I don’t recognize (I find out its “What Not To Wear” on TLC), and a “defabricator” strips him naked.  Aren’t we going to buy him a drink first?

When he realizes he’s on TV, he smiles, smirks a bit and tells his android stylists, “Ladies, your viewing figures just went up.” (Is that all that went up? Heh.) John Borrowman is an attractive man, and he can act the part of a “player” without being too smarmy, which is nice.  A player with a heart. (And actually, I heard that he originally did this shot fully naked and in view, but the censors didn’t allow it.)

Back with the Doctor, one of the housemates gets voted off, and then zapped into oblivion. None of the contestants get to choose to be on or not on the show, and only single winner gets to live, so the other 10 housemates (or so) die.  What a crappy game show. The Doctor figures that Rose is in another one and makes mischief in the house to be selected for evection.

Back on WNTW, Jack is having fun playing dress up, until he realizes his stylists are willing to start cutting parts off him to make him attractive, the ultimate in body modification.  (So like in the Capital in the Hunger Games. Another fandom.) He pulls a weapon from I-don’t-even-want-to-know-where and blows their heads off.

For Rose’s part, she’s having a blast playing The Weakest Link.  She doesn’t know any of the answers to the questions, not being a native of the 2001 century, though she answers one about the Face of Boe like a boss. We hear another person answer “Torchwood” to a question about an Old Earth institution. (This is the first time we hear of Torchwood, ever, and the only time in this episode. But it will be important.)

Rose is giggling until she realizes that losing a round actually means disintegration. The guy playing next to Rose is stressed, but he tells her he has a plan: vote everyone else off so that at the end, he’ll be up against Rose and he’ll win, ‘cause she’s stupid. Jerk.

He says that then he’ll collect his prize – credits – from the Badwolf Corporation who runs the game.  At this point, she remembers all the times in her adventures that she’s seen the name “Bad Wolf.” She starts to realize that Bad Wolf, whatever that is, is in charge and that her presence is planned.

Back in the house, the Doctor is waiting to be evicted, but when the timer runs out to blast him, nothing happens. He laughs at the powers-that-be because he realizes this means they want him alive. He figures out a way out of the little zapping closet he’s in, and one of the housemates comes with him, Lynda-with-a-y.

They exit into a central chamber which the Doctor recognizes as Satellite 5, but a century after their first visit. The Doctor begins scanning for both an exit and his friends in any of the hundred deadly games. Lynda turns the lights on in the chamber and reveals the logo of the Badwolf Corporation, the sight of which gives the Doctor pause.

In the control room, the programmers are surprised by the new players and trying to see how many there actually are, but the Controller is denying them access.  The Controller is a pale woman with unusual eyes (who looks like a friend from college, though I feel bad for saying that) who is hooked up to dozens of cables to the station. Freaky!  Makes me think of the Farm on New Caprica on Battlestar Galactica. (A fourth fandom.)) Boo.

The Controller herself is constantly monitoring the transmissions that flow through her and muttering almost agitatedly to herself. She reminds the controllers to pay attention to the impending solar flare.

Jack has converted the defabricator beam from the show into a ray gun, and finds the Doctor on an observation deck, where Lynda fills the Doctor in on what has happened to Earth since his last visit.

To the Doctor’s horror, instead of human development having got back on track, things became worse. All information broadcasts ceased, the whole planet froze, and society collapsed. Humans are still the sheep that just go along to get along, endlessly watching the games. The Doctor realizes that the station is transmitting more than just games, and that whatever the Bad Wolf is, it is manipulating him.

Back to Rose, she loses the final round of her game just as the Doctor, Jack and Lynda burst into the studio. Rose runs to the Doctor to warn him about a disintegrating beam, and she’s shot, turning her into a pile of dust.

Numb with shock, the Doctor does not put up resistance when the guards arrive and take all of them away. The Doctor remains silent when the guards process and interrogate the three of them, but just when they are about to be transported Somewhere Else, he gives a signal. He and Jack knock out the guards, grab weapons and head up to the Controller, the woman all plugged in.

The Doctor demands to know who is in charge, but she doesn’t answer. We learn that she was installed as a little girl, and has been plugged in for so long that all she sees is programming. What a crappy way to live. Jack is still snooping around and finds the TARDIS.  When he goes in to activate the console, he finds something shocking.

The predicted solar flare happens and messes up the transmission. She unexpectedly calls for the Doctor, explaining that while the solar flare is happening, her masters can’t read her thoughts. She brought him to the Satellite and hid him in the games, but she can’t tell the Doctor who her masters are. She can tell him that they’ve been hiding and shaping the Earth for centuries, but they fear the Doctor.  The flare passes, and Jack returns to the Doctor to tell him he learned that the disintegrators didn’t actually kill people, but just transported them somewhere else. Hooray! Rose is still alive.

And now we go to where she’s regaining consciousness on an alien spacecraft, where a strange humming sound fills the background. She sees one of the inhabitants of the spacecraft approaching her, and she backs up against a wall in shock as she recognizes a plunger-like hand a Dalek.

On the station, the Controller tells the Doctor where Rose was taken, even though it means her masters will know she screwed them over. A moment of defiance, of free will. Beautiful. As she shouts the answer, the Controller is teleported and ends up on the same ship as Rose. She gloats to her masters about how she killed them, and she herself is killed.

The Doctor is still at the station and trying to find out where the people are sent, a point on the edge of the solar system.  It appears to be empty, but after the Doctor cancels the shielding signal, he can see a fleet Daleks almost half a million strong. (I read that, when this part was revealed, the choir in the background is singing “What is happening” in Hebrew.)

The Dalek open communications, with a lead Dalek ordering the Doctor not to intervene with the Daleks or they will exterminate Rose.

“No.” Is all the the Doctor says.

“Explain! Explain!” The lead Dalek cries. (It’s funny, actually.  I know you’re not supposed to laugh at these guys, but they’re hard to take seriously with their metallic voices and accents, and they’re so indignant with their whisks and plungers.)

The Doctor is all defiant and tells them that he’s going to get her out of the middle of the fleet, save the Earth and then kill every last Dalek in existence.  They take this as a hostile action and a leader orders an invasion of the Earth. Many more Daleks gather for the invasion, all chanting their battle cry: “Exterminate, exterminate, exterminate…”

Oooohhhh, cliffhanger!!

Boomity

Doctor Who – Season 1 – Ep. 11 Boom Town. Written by Russell T. Davies

Oh, Christ have mercy – it’s the farting aliens again. I hate this episode.  There are a few fun or significant things in it to comment on, but I’m not gonna go too deep, here.

The TARDIS needs to be recharged, so the Doctor lands it over that rift in Cardiff to recharge it.  It’ll take all day, so he, Rose and Jack (who is still with them) get to play.  Mickey joins them, and they all play and laugh.  The Doctor sees a sign and realizes that the lady farting alien (henceforth known as “Fartlien”) has become the mayor of Cardiff and has initiated the construction of a nuclear power plant. The plant is named Blaidd Drwg, (Welsh, I tell you!) Welsh for “Bad Wolf.” This time, the Doctor notices that these words have been popping up everywhere.

We see Fartlien talk to a human about the human’s plans for her marriage and approaching baby child, and this gives Fartlien a sense of the harm she’s causing.

Later that night, Jack realized that the extrapolator can be used to halve the time to refuel the TARDIS, and goes to work installing it.  Rose and Mickey go out to reconnect – unsuccessfully, and the Doctor takes the Fartlien her Last Dinner.

There’s an earthquake (I think because of the TARDIS energy recharging) and the group, including Fartlien, goes to the TARDIS. The Doctor realizes that Fartlien wanted the rift to split in Cardiff and eventually in the whole Earth.  Fartlien struggles with the crew for a minute to take over power, but she fails and finally dies.

After this, Rose realized that Mickey had left.  The Doctor offers to wait for him, but Rose lets him go.

On to bigger and better things.

Hi – Captain Jack Harkness.

Doctor Who – S1, Eps 8/9 – The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances Written by Steven Moffat

I pretty much like this two-episode story arc, though my appreciation only grew upon subsequent viewings. At first, there was just too much back and forth between too many people, and I wasn’t invested enough in the story to focus. So it was a ‘no’ from me, dawg.

Shots of the TARDIS “running through time,” (bouncing about a blue tunnel, really) chasing a large cylinder. The Doctor explains to Rose “Bloody Hand” Tyler that the TARDIS latched onto it because it’s sending out a danger signal. He doesn’t know what it is, but it’s close to the center of London.

Credits. Double dutch in blue jump ropes.

They land in an alley and Something is watching them from Afar. The Doctor expositions that the capsule could be anywhere, and it landed over a month ago. Time travel, I tell ya. So to find it, he’s just gonna ask, and he walks up to enter a door. Rose doesn’t follow because she is distracted by a child calling, “Mommy!”

The Doctor finds a nightclub behind the door, and he gleefully listens to a woman singing “It Had To Be You.” He claps politely as she steps down, and then charges up to the stage.

“Can I have everyone’s attention, just for a mo? Might sound like a stupid question, but has anything fallen from the sky recently?” He asks, which draws a laugh. “About a month ago?” More laughter. Why? We hear an air raid siren, see posters and it dawns on the Doctor that this is WWII.

Rose, who has been seeking out the child this whole time, sees him on. rooftop and begins to climb a convenient nearby rope to get to him. Then she is being raised by something other than her own power and the little boy points up. “Balloon!” She raises higher and higher, seeing bombing in the distance and another round of planes coming in.

 

The Doctor comes out of the club looking for Rose, and laments to a cat that she wandered off, despite his warning not to. Then the phone of his TARDIS phone box rings. He opens the little door confusedly and asks it: “How can it be ringing?” (And pronounces the first “g” as a hard g, like in “grump” or “go.” Dude, it’s silent. I think that’s a British thing.)

A young woman is appears behind him and tells him not to answer it, then disappears. He answers anyway, (what was that you were saying about following directions?) The child’s voice asks if he it’s mummy. The Doctor gets stern and confused here. “This isn’t really a real phone. It’s not wired up to anything. How did…” It hangs up and he looks thoughtful.

He takes off again, calling for Rose, but then notices a family running into their bomb shelter. It’s amusing: the dad is grumbling about the Germans always bombing during dinner time. “Don’t you eat?!” He yells up a the sky. Heh.

Once they go into their shelter, the young woman from before goes into the house, and we see her looking around the house and getting food from the pantry.

Meanwhile, Rose is still hangin’ tough above London amidst planes and bombs, (and looking mighty comfortable, for someone just hanging above the Thames) and from a distance, we see an RAF soldier “Jack” standing on a balcony and watching her through binoculars. He’s admiring her ass while still flirting with the man who cautioned him to get away from the window. Guy clearly gets around.

Cut back to the young woman is rummaging through the pantry.  When she finds dinner set out in the dining room she looks happy.  She gives three whistles outside, and like a pack of puppies, children come in from all the four corners for dinner. She demands manners and considerate talk, and they call her “Miss.”

Rose, still dangling from the rope, loses her grip and is falling when a foreign blue beam catches her. (What’s next, synthesizer music?) A voice calls to her and says he’s going to bring her in. “Just hold tight.” “To what?” she asks. “Fair point.” The beam pulls her into his ship and he catches her. She twinkles at him and then passes out.

Back at the house, the young girl is at the head of a dinner table where other scruffy kids are gathered ’round. She passes around a plate ham, I think, admonishes them all to only take one slice of meat each and she wants to see them chewing.

The plate goes to the Doctor who is sitting there with the children, and they are all surprised to hear an adult’s voice copy the children in saying. “Thanks, miss.”

The girl is calm and tells the kids to all stay seated. The Doctor learns that they’re all “sleeping rough,” (the British expression for sleeping on the streets.  Not just being homeless, but on the streets) and they help themselves to meals and food when people leave during air raids.

He wonders why they aren’t all out in the country, and one replies they have been. But “there was a man there.” Several others echoed the sentiment. Oh, poor babies. Then another says it’s better on the street in London, anyway, and that “Nancy,” the girl presiding over the table, always gets the best food of them.

The Doctor is watching Nancy fondly and commends her hustle, eating warm food while people hide. He thinks it’s “brilliant.” “I’m not sure if it’s Marxism in action or a West End musical.”

She’s looking at him coldly and asks why he’s there. He brings up the phone and asked her how she knew it would work. She said she just knows. Then he asks the other kids if they’ve seen a blond with a Union Jack t-shirt.  “I mean a specific one. I didn’t just wake up this morning with a craving.”  (The title of this blog. Now you know where it comes from.)

The kids’ laugh at him, but the laughter is interrupted when she gets up and takes his plate from him because he “took two slices.” The other kids laugh knowingly. “No blonds. No flags.” She says. “Anything else before you leave?”

As a matter of fact… He begins to explain the cylinder the TARDIS was chasing, Nancy clearly recognizes it, but before anyone can answer, a child knocks on the door and asks for its mummy, the same child that was on the roof.  “Mommy? Moooo-mmy!”

Nancy knows this child and orders all the kids to get out. The Doctor doesn’t follow and she goes back to him, tells him again to leave. Right then, the phone begins to ring. “He can make phones ring. He can. Just like that police box.” She says. The the radio clicks on, and his voice starts coming across. “Mommy. Please let me in.”

Nancy can’t take anymore and runs out of the house. The Doctor goes back to the door and sees a hand reaching through the mail slot with a scar on its hand. “Are you my mummy?” He asks. “No mummies here, just us chickens.”  The Doctor answers. Aw. I saw that to my daughter, now, calling us chickens. Then he opens the door, but no one is there.

Rose wakes up and she and Jack introduce each other, sort of. She calls his bluff over psychic paper and they flirt at each other. He said, “You can stop acting now. I can spot a time agent.” She clearly hurt her hands and he projects some nanogenes (glowing lights that heal people based on their DNA) to heal her hands. He said, “You can stop acting now. I can spot a time agent.” And says he’s been expecting one of them. He invites her to the “balcony,” by which he means the roof of his invisible ship, parked in front of Big Ben.

The Doctor is still following Nancy and when she confronts him about how he found her and his interest in the child, says he’s “got the nose for it.” She asks, “Is that why it’s so…” And doesn’t finish. “What?” He asks, and they both smiling, enjoying this little joke. “Do you ears have special powers, too?” She asks. HA!

She’s still trying to shoo him away, but he stops her by accurately describing her being followed by a child starting about a month previous, when something landed. “A bomb that’s not a bomb.” She affirms. He insists that he wants to see it, and she says there’s someone he needs to talk to first. “The Doctor.”

Back to Rose and Jack in front of Big Ben and they’re still flirting. She says she has to get back to her friend, but Jack says they’re not finished with business. She’s like, this isn’t business, this is champagne. Fine; he’ll get to it. “Are you authorized to negotiate” for the Time Agency (for which he assumes she works?)  They flirt and dance a bit and then he offers a special ship for the first price. She has to decide in two hours, however, before a German bomb will fall on and destroy it. He decides he wants to talk to her friend and does a scan for alien tech.

Back to the Doctor and Nancy, who are looking at the bomb that isn’t a bomb. The hospital is just beyond, and she encourages him to go talk to the doctor. She’s about to leave and the Doctor stops her short with a question. “Who did you lose? The way you look after all those kids. It’s ’cause you lost someone, isn’t it?”

“Jamie.” She answered. Her little brother. She told him not to leave the shelter, but he just didn’t like being alone, so he followed her when she left. The Doctor listened, and then reflected on the strength of a “tiny damp island” that stood up to the “German war machine.” “You’re amazing, the lot of you.” He finished. “I don’t know what you do to Hitler; ya frighten the hell out of me.” And with that, he sends her off, smiling, to “do what (she) has to do.” Aw.

The Doctor creeps over to the hospital and breaks in. It’s dark and empty, save hundreds of corpses in gas masks in the hospital. He finds the doctor, who says that the bomb caused the people to be as they are. The hospital doctor invites our Doctor to examine them, though, “don’t touch the flesh,” and our Doctor realizes they are all injured in the same way. The doctor explains that the patients aren’t alive, but at the same time, they’re not dead. They’re empty. They’re zombies, basically. And they infect people by touching them.  Like in a game of tag.

Amidst this explanation, the doctor muses, “Before the war, I was a father and a grandfather. Now I’m neither.” The Doctor replies, “I know the feeling.” So he was a father and a grandfather, too, eh?

Finally, the hospital doctor directs our Doctor to the room of the first victim. But he’s starting to have trouble talking, coughing a lot. Then he grabs his neck and becomes unable to formulate his own sentences, instead choking out the words “Are you my mummy?” We see the gas mask come out of his mouth and take over his face, and this is seriously creepy, folk

Jack and Rose find him in the hospital and Jack introduces himself. Rose says to the Doctor. “He knows. About us being… time agents.” They bicker a bit, and as they do, she asks him, “What’s a Chula warship?” The Doctor narrows his eyes.

Nancy is getting food at the house and the little boy has entered and is calling for mommy. She hides.

Jack is examining the patients and is confused about how it happened, and Rose explains that Jack said he was responsible for the capsule, that had parked on Earth. So the Doctor accuses him of making all these people sick, but then Jack changes his tune. He confesses the cylinder is really just a Chula ambulance that he was trying to play off as valuable.

The confrontation is interrupted when the zombies wake up and start closing in on them in the hospital. At the same time, Nancy is in the house where the child is also closing in on her, identical to those in the hospital. At the very last moment, desperate, the Doctor commands the zombies in a stern, parental voice to go to their room. The zombies simultaneously pause, as does the child. The Doctor repeats his order, “I am very cross with you!” and all the zombies turn away and walk off. Go to your room!” All of the zombies, in unison, turn and walk away. Whoa.

The Doctor is relieved that worked. “Those would have been terrible last words.”

After the boy leaves Nancy, she watches him walk down the street and starts to cry. Back at the hospital, the Doctor, Rose, and Jack are just chilling, and Jack resumes his explanation. He finds space junk, throw it through time, and sell it to a Time Agent before a bomb destroys it.  “I was conning you.”

Sidebar: Barrowman pronounces “con” like “kahn.” (I know he’s both Scottish and American, and can speak with both accents, but I wonder if he was trained in an American accent. His accent is like Jamie Bamber’s of Battlestar Galactica (Apollo), who is British and, I imagine, had vocal coaching.  (Quick Wikipedia search: This accent is Mid-Atlantic English, which is an “acquired” version of English once found among posh people and taught for American theatre.  It blends both British and American without being either. How interesting.))

Jack is trying to joke about how easy the Blitz and Pompeii are for running this con on time agents, but the Doctor isn’t having it. He reiterated Jack is responsible for the empty child and everyone else becoming a zombie, despite Jack’s repeated protestations that it was merely a piece of harmless space junk..

The all clear alarm sounds, and the owners of the house find Nancy looting.

The Doctor takes Rose and Jack to another  room upstairs. Because someone DID get hurt when the “space junk” landed, and that was the room to which they were taken. t’s not a hospital room, though, it’s like an office. And its a mess, including with child’s drawings. The Doctor turns on a recording of the doctor from earlier interviewing a patient. Rose and the Doctor both recognize the voice as that of the child. “Are you my mummy?”

Back at the house, the man is haranguing Nancy about breaking in. “I earn this with the sweat off my brow” and all that. She’s like, yeeeaaaaah, about that. I’ve been watching you. You’ve got a lot more stuff than anyone else right now. All your neighbors think your wife is messing around with the butcher. But its actually you. Give me what I want and keep quiet. He’s just staring at her, silent, and she says, “Oh look. There’s the sweat on your brow.” Ha! I like this character.

Back in the hospital, The Doctor, Rose and Jack are all still listening to the recording and the voice calling for “Mummy.” They are distracted until they hear the voice for real, in the hallway outside. Because the Doctor had sent the child to his room, and this is his room.

The child is closed into one part of the office, and they escape through another part. Then the child starts to come through the walls. Damn. They all take off running, but are stopped by the army of other zombies coming to the room. The have nowhere to go, and in a quick moment of thinking, Rose point’s a sonic gun of Jack’s to the ground and they fall to the lower level. Then she sonics the roof back in and they’re golden.

Sort of. Rose turns the lights on and a new set of zombies rise out of bed. They escape into another room, a storeroom. Suddenly, Jack is gone. Just gone.

We’re back to Nancy, who finds where the other homeless kids are waiting for her. She tells them they need to take better care of themselves in case something happens to her, and then confesses, after they question her, that she’s going back to the bomb site to address the Empty Child.

In the storage room, the Doctor and Rose are bad-mouthing Jack, who then talks to them through the wireless. said he’s going to get them out.

We hear the child talking through the radio to both groups, and Jack starts playing a song to block him out.

Back to Nancy who is sneaking back to the crash site.

While the song is playing, the Doctor asks Rose why she trusts Jack, ’cause he doesn’t. But  he saved her life, Rose says, and he reminds her of the Doctor, except with “dating and dancing.”  I’ve always thought that “dancing” in this context was just a euphemism for sex. The Doctor says he can dance, and Rose asks him to prove it. She’s making the most ridiculous face in this scene, and all limp-handedly trying to coax him to her.  Ugh.

They begin dancing, (and I do mean dancing), and they are suddenly teleported onto Jack’s ship.  Once there, the nanogenes go to work repairing the Doctor’s miscellaneous wounds and we hear more of Jack’s story: that he left the Time Agents when he discovered that they had stolen two years of his memory.

Nancy is discovered by soldiers who arrest her.  She’s locked up with an officer who has the gash on his hand, and she has nothing to do but watch him become a zombie. (Just as gross as the first time.)

The Doctor, Jack and Rose get to the crash site and Rose offers to use her feminine wiles to charm the commander, but Jack volunteers – because Rose isn’t his type.  As Rose stands there, shocked, the Doctor smugs that in the 51st century, people are more flexible about who they “dance” with, as in “so many species, so little time.” (So “dance” really is a euphemism.)

The Doctor finds Nancy, who is keeping her zombie guard asleep with a lullaby. So he never touched her,

Jack goes to work opening the transport, which wakes the zombies and brings them running to the crash site. Jack goes to secure the gate and Rose and Nancy go to reconnect the barbed wire she cut earlier.

Nancy asks Rose who they are, and Rose tells her that they are from the future. Nancy is skeptical that there will even be a future, given all the carnage of war around them. Rose tells her that she is from London in the future. Nancy is a little hesitant to believe that since Rose isn’t German. Rose confidentially tells her that the British will win the war. This was kind of nice.  Having never lived in a war zone, I never thought about how it would be with the world at war, how uncertain everything would feel, especially given England’s condition at the point of the Blitz.

Jack opens the transport and proves that it is empty except with one thing: nanogenes. When the ship crashed, billions of them escaped to heal the first thing it found. But the first thing was the dead child the transport landed on. He was wearing a gas mask, and having never seen a “normal” living human before, they used him as their pattern for all other humans.

The zombies are all still approaching, time is running out, and Nancy begins to cry that it is all her fault. The Doctor starts to comfort her, but then realizes that the child — Jamie — is not her brother, but her son, whose maternity she kept a secret even from him.

The German bomb is still coming, Jack reminds them, but is able to use the teleporter on his ship to keep it from landing, and he takes off into space with it.

The Doctor asks Nancy to tell Jamie the answer to the question the child has been asking all along, “Are you my mummy?” Nancy answers yes, she is, and she will always be.

She hugs him, and the nanogenes swell around them in a cloud of glowing particles, matching their DNA. Because she is Jamie’s mother, Nancy’s genetic code provides them the correct information. Using this as their new baseline, they restore Jamie and the other zombies back to full health.

This includes a woman who came to the hospital missing one leg. The doctor was like, “Well, there’s a war on. It is possible you miscounted?” Heh.

With a laugh of joy, the Doctor unmasks the restored Jamie and lifts him in his arms. “Everybody lives, Rose! Just this once — everybody lives!” He cries gleefully. Aw.

Back in space, in Jack’s ship, we see him realize that the bomb is still ticking and he’s minutes away from death.  He pours himself a final martini, and reclines to sip is where the open doors of the TARDIS appear at the back of his ship. Jack ooh and aahs, and suddenly, the Doctor cries that he “remembers.” About what? The Doctor changes the music to In the Mood, saying, “I can dance.”

 

Twinkle In A Father’s Eye

Doctor Who – Series 1 – Father’s Day, Written by Paul Cornell

I like this episode, and I liked it more on subsequent viewings.  There are parts of it that made me roll my eyes or cringe (Rose’s dad flirting with her, anyone?), but this episode explores relationships, with all their complications, and also of things being put right, and I like that. Full disclosure: Like Rose, I also have daddy issues, which you know, and am maybe more sensitive to this than the average bear.

The episode opens as Rose “I Hate Grasshoppers” Taylor is telling the Doctor the story her mother told her about how her father, “the most wonderful man in the world,” died. Rose wanted to go back to be there for him when he died and, though the Doctor is concerned for Rose, he agrees to take her there.

As she asks him if they could go, she doesn’t quite meet his eyes. The first time I saw this, that made me wonder if she was planning to try and save him.  After watching a few times, I think she was just very uncertain and hopeful, like she asked him to do something dear to her heart.

Credits. Red and blue vertigo.

November 7, 1987.  (Sidebar: I shattered my pelvis in ’97, and November 7th, 1997 was the official day I could start walking again. Ten years earlier, it was the day Rose’s father died. Proof the Doctor was at work in real life. 🙂

Rose and the Doctor find the scene of the accident, and they witness it, but she doesn’t go to her dad. She and the Doctor leave, but she wants to try again to get it right. I know she’s being dumb for this because of the danger she’s puts everything in, but I SOO identify with the regret of “if I had just done this one thing differently…” That is such a painful feeling, and I don’t blame her for going back. I don’t even know that I blame her, when they go back the second time, when she pushes Pete out of the way and saves him. How hard could that be to witness and NOT do something? And then after, she was so excited to see him alive, loving him.

They all three go to Pete and Jackie’s apartment, and the Doctor is being really polite to Pete, but he’s furious with Rose. Rose realizes what she’s done something bad, but wants to pooh-pooh it, like it’s not a big deal. I do blame her for how she acts after it, all sullen and childish and unwilling to take responsibility for her poor choice. Here the Doctor was being supportive, taking her back a second time, and she did the exact thing he told her not to do.  The Doctor maybe even feel a bit betrayed. I really liked him in this episode, the range of emotions he showed – caring, annoyed, defensive, patient – I think it shows the depth of his affection for Rose.  We will bear almost any cost for people we love.

He accuses her of using him to go back in time. She said her action wasn’t planned. “I did it again.” He says. “I picked another stupid ape.”  (Another one? Did we see the first one? Was he talking about Dumb Buck here?  I don’t think so.  Also, I hate it when he calls humans ‘apes.’) He accuses her of using him to go back in time, and he leaves. I hated seeing that, and was glad, on some level, that he couldn’t because the TARDIS is no longer the TARDIS – its just a blue box.

Pete and Rose go to the wedding, and he comments that he thinks he’s met her before. They get there and are almost hit by the car from earlier, from which Pete swerves as Rose calls out “Dad!” He doesn’t have time to ask her about that when they out of the car, though, as Jackie is waiting in front of the church for him. He hands his car keys to Rose thoughtlessly and runs to her Rose follows, and Jackie, holding the baby Rose, snarks at her and Pete. Rose snarks back, and that’s kind of neat to see. There’s a brief shot of the wee Rose with her eyes wide open, like, “Oh shit.”

Cut shot to the father of the groom is trying to convince his son that he’s making the biggest mistake of his life getting married, that he’ll “look back in ten years and which he could turn back the clock.” Interesting juxtaposition – the father of the groom warning that he’ll wish he could turn back the clock back, and here Rose did just that and it isn’t good. “I tell you, this day is cursed,” dad says. Dad’s a dick. This man’s dad is a dick. Rose’s is not. More juxtaposition, I just realized.

Rose tries to use her cell phone and hears, not a tone, but a male voice say, “Watson, come here, I need you.”

Throughout this episode, we’ve heard the screech of something kill random strangers, and it was a little freaky. This time we see the monsters, and they’re freaky, even after subsequent viewings.  They’re like a spider-grasshopper monster, and fast. The monsters come to the church where everyone is milling about outside, and we see the Doctor run up to protect them.  Inside, he explains to Rose that the grasshoppers have come to sterilize the wound in time that Pete’s continued existence is causing. Rose asks if it’s her fault, but the Doctor doesn’t say yes. He spares her that.

Later, he and Pete are standing by a window, talking. The Doctor sees the car circling around again, and I think he knows it’s looking for Pete, that Pete can run out there, kill himself, and set everything right. But he doesn’t say so. He doesn’t suggest that. It’s very loving. Instead, he says “It’s not important; don’t worry about it.”

As they are all waiting, and Pete approaches Rose and said that he thinks she his daughter. I thought that was a little convenient that he figures out the exact truth.  In a million years, that’s not an idea I would have had, so why did he.  But – it was cool to see Rose and Pete connect like adults, in a way they couldn’t have, a way she’s never had before. “My daddy,” she cries. (I would give anything for that.)

Cut to the Doctor hearing the story of the bride and groom and how they got together.  He looks at the bride and groom like the most magical things in the world.  “Street corner. Two in the morning. Getting a taxi.” Then he said, “I never had a life like that.”  And to think about it, he didn’t.  He’s 900+ years old, but hasn’t had that experience, and never will. It’s a sad truth of Time Lords, and this is the first we’ve heard him express that he won’t have that experience and wishes he could.

Cut back to Pete and Rose talking about what he’s like in the future. He finally asks, humbly, earnestly, like its super important to him: “Am I a good dad?’ She tells him about things he does for her, how he never lets them down, he’s always there.  It would have easy for him to accept that, but he doesn’t and his face falls a bit as she’s talking. He shakes his head slightly and says, “That’s not me,” such a model of adult responsibility. To be honest about himself and his own failings – if we could all do that with such dignity.

Later, Rose and the Doctor are making up and she’s owning up to what she’s done.  The Doctor, watching her and listening, considers her and says: “Just tell me your sorry.” She does, and he gives her a large Eccleston grin, grabs her face and hugs her. She feels the TARDIS key getting warm in his pocket (Is that a TARDIS key in your pocket or are you happy to see me?) and he says it’s “telling me it’s still connected to the TARDIS.” The key is telling you something?  <insert eyeroll>

Pete was listening to the Doctor and Rose, sees the car still circling around and determines that his death would rectify their problems. “This is my fault,” he says.  Rose starts to protest and he says, “No, Love, I’m your dad. It’s my job for it to be my fault.” (SUCH LOVE-KILL ME NOW!!!) They both start to cry and express appreciation for the few hours they had together. Jackie doesn’t want him to go, either, which is nice to see after they bickered the whole episode, and they get to express some love for each other. “I was never there for you.” He says to her, “I can do this for you.”

He goes out into the street where the car hits him, and Rose rushes to him to be with him when he died. We have a flashback of Rose’s mother telling her about her father, a different story from the one we’d heard before.

Aww.

Here’s what another blogger thought of this episode.

http://spiralboundnotebooks.wordpress.com/2013/06/09/doctor-who-review-108/

The Daleks Got Me! (Back)

Doctor Who – Series 1 – Dalek, Written by Robert Shearman

As I said about the previous episodes, the farting aliens severed my interest in this whole series. I didn’t watch for several weeks, but I found myself thinking about it. Has that ever happened to you?

One time, I had been watching this stupid gymnastic show, just ’cause I was working hard on my master’s and needed a mind vacation. After a few episodes, I decided it was too stupid to watch, so I quit.  But I kept thinking about the storyline and the characters, and I went back and finished it.

That’s what happened here.

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