New New New New New New New New New New New New New New New New… Recap

Doctor Who, S2E1, New Earth. Written by Russell T. Davies

The Doctor prepares the TARDIS for take off and outside Jackie looks like she’s sending Rose “Adventure Time” Taylor off to school, hugging her and her backpack and fussing over her, giving advice. Mickey’s standing there pouting. She gives him a long kiss good bye. “Love you.” He says, but she doesn’t say it back. Hmmm…

Rose runs to the TARDIS and the Doctor, and they smile widely at each other. Mickey watches the TARDIS disappear thoughtfully. Oh, son. I’m so sorry.

They take off, with the Doctor promising to take them “further than we’ve ever gone before.” You know that line was played on the commercials before the show.

Credits. Blue dizziness.

They step out onto a beautiful albeit windy day and the Doctor does his explanation thing as he leaves her behind. They are in Galaxy M87, year 523000000000 on New Earth. Space ships are buzzing past them towards a large city in the distance and Rose is geeking out about the new everything, new sky, new ground, new smells – apple grass.

She links her arm in his and says softly, “Can I just say…? Traveling with you… I love it.”

“Me too.” He looks at her fondly and they twinkle at each other. You know, I know Billie Piper is a beautiful woman and people can’t help how they look, but sometimes I think she plays up that big lip voluptuous pouty thing. ‘Cause its really obvious here. You can’t stop looking at her mouth.

Chips sees them in a crystal ball, similar to the one the Wicked Witch used to watch Dorothy in Oz. “Human!” He exclaims. A voice is heard commanding him. “Closer!” He moves a little joystick. A familiar robot spider tracking Rose and the Doctor in the grass.

The Doctor continues his speech. “So the year five billion, the sun expands, the earth gets roasted…”

“That was our first date.” Rose interrupts.

He smiles cutely and fondly at her. “We had chips.” Aw.

So after the old Earth died, people got nostalgic for it and created a new one. As you do. They even created a New New York to go along with it (because what is Earth without New York?) It’s actually the 15th New York since the original, New New New New New New New New New New New New New New New York.  How many times did Tennant have to practice saying that before he got it?

They flirt a little more and our perspective is shifted back to the spider robot’s. A voice off screen says, “Impossible.” Its the voice of Lady Cassandra, (remember, the “last human” from the Earth’s end.) She wants revenge on Rose.

The Doctor tells Rose he wants to visit a hospital in New(15) York because he got a message on the psychic paper. They enter the hospital and head towards the elevator, but Rose misses the one the Doctor is on which means she is alone when Cassandra’s heavily tattooed sycophantic servant, Chip, redirects her elevator to the basement.

Now, the hospital itself is run by cat nuns. Cat nuns, I’ll say again.  You get used to the appearance of it, but I am not a cat person and I can’t imagine that it’s sanitary. (The houses that cats live in always smell like piss.)

Rose gets to the basement, and is directed (with her full name) by Chip to come “this way.” She grabs a weapon for good measure.

Unaware Rose will not be just behind him, the Doctor is in the ward looking for the person to summoned him. He notices that all the other patients have super-deadly diseases, yet the cat-nuns are able to cure them. He asks the cat-nun who is leading him about that, but she is evasive about their methods.

At the end of the room, the Doctor recognized the one who has called him there: The Face of Boe. (Who we also met when the Earth ended. It’s a total reunion, just with a different Doctor face.) He leans down in front of the glass cage and says, “I look a bit different but its me.”

Rose walks through the basement into a room where a home-made film is playing. It’s of a party and is showing several men and a blond woman with a familiar voice. The same voice makes Rose turn and she sees Cassandra: the skin human from the end of the original Earth. Rose warns her not to come close.

“Why? What do you think I’m going to do? Flap you to death?” She asks, and then utters the familiar. “Moisturize me. Moisturize me.”

Rose wonders how she survived when the skin exploded, and Chip explains her brain and pretty blue eyes were unharmed.

“What about the skin?” Rose asked. “I saw it. You… you got ripped apart!”

“That piece of skin was from the front of my body. This piece is the back.”

“Haha, right, so you’re talking outta your…”

“Ask not!”

Chip explains what he did to get her into the hospital, speaking only in third person, which Sahara loves. Cassandra talks longingly for time from Long Ago, and directs our attention back to the home video “the last time someone told me I was beautiful.”

Cassandra has been hanging out in the hospital and watching long enough and thinks the sisters are hiding something. She invites Rose closer to whisper her suspicions, and Rose is like, yeah right. But while stepping back away from her, gets caught in some kind of force field and Cassandra transfers her consciousness into Rose’s body, ready to begin a new bodied life. She wakes up and gets excited to see hands and arms, and feel hair. She goes to the mirror and is disgusted. “I’m a chav!”

The Doctor is with the Face of Boe, who is still sleeping, and the Doctor bring the cat-nun treating him a drink of water. Boe’s nun tells the Doctor of the legend that says the Face has lived for thousands, perhaps millions of years and that he will give his dying message to a wanderer without a home, the last of his kind like himself. Ominous music plays as the camera draws close to the Doctor’s face. The Doctor looks as the Face of Bo like there’s something important between them.

Downstairs, Cassandra is freaking out about the body she’s in. “Look at me! From class to brass.” But then she starts taking inventory of the different body features. “Although…” She considers, lowering the zipper on her shirt. “Ooh…” She’s pleased. “Curves!” She starts bouncing up and down. “Oh Baby!” Chip has also started bouncing with her. “It’s like living inside a bouncy castle!” (Hee.)

“Mistress is beautiful!” Chip exclaims.

“Absolument!” But then she realizes her own brain has expired, though she is “safe and sound” in Rose’s body. Cassandra accesses Rose’s surface memories and she realizes the Doctor is there, albeit with a new face. “Hypocrite!” She wants the name of his surgeon, however, to get some new work done. “Although…” She pauses, admiring Rose’s bottom. “Nice rear bumper.”

She gets a call from the Doctor to find him, and he starts to realize something is up, but is distracted by the miraculous recovery of a patient he had met earlier, one who turning into a statue – definitely an incurable disease.

Yet he wasn’t a statue. He was a jovial champagne drinking Duke of Manhattan. The Doctor knows that impossible and says so aloud, but is corrected by the head Matron Cat that primitive medicine may not have been able to heal him, but the “tender application of science” can. He introduces himself as “the Doctor” and she says, “I think you’ll find we’re the doctors here.” (Do cats piss on their territory? ‘Cause that just happened here.)

She is evasive about their methods and is soon collected by another cat. As they are walking away, Doctor watching them in the background, the nurse tells Matron that “one of the patients is conscious.” He’s trying to figure it out.

Rose/Cassandra is preparing to reunite with the Doctor, saying she may need him and his clever mind to figure out what the nuns are up to. Chip is cautioning her not to go, but she’s determined. “Remember that old earth saying? Never trust a nun. Never trust a nurse. And never trust a cat.” No, actually, I don’t. But I’m not a cat person, so I can run with the last part.

The cats walk to a dark hallway lit up along one wall, and then a door opens and we gaze upon the cats from the perspective of whatever is inside. The being inside is saying is a raspy voice, “Help me. Where am I?” And we see hands raise weakly towards to the cats. They close the door and walk back the way they came, only this time we see dozens of pods just like the one they left. When asked what to do about that patient, Matron says, “Standard procedure. Incinerate.” We hear the scream as the one pod lights up.

Rose/Cassandra catches up with the Doctor, and is all breathy and boobs out, and he just rattles on about the patients in that ward and how odd it is that people are healing from such deadly and rare diseases.

Then Rose/Cassandra speaks, and the Doctor is like, dude – what’s up? She tries to just play it off like she’s excited, and he makes a comment about a joke they shared earlier. She obviously didn’t get the joke, so instead grabbed his face and kissed him. They’re both a little dazed after the kiss. Now, he gave as good as he got, and he got a lot, so I can see why.

They scour a computer together and talk about the nurse/cat/nuns, but the Doctor can tell Rose/Cassandra isn’t just Rose anymore. He doesn’t say anything, but goes with it. They figure out how to open a door and discover a stairwell that leads to “intensive care,” a virtual beehive of those greenish lit pods from before. One cat sees them go in.

Walking up to one to them, the Doctor opens one and finds an exhausted-looking human man, covered in boils and obviously ill. Rose/Cassandra says insensitive things while standing behind the Doctor, who just looks at the man compassionately and whispers regretfully, “I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.” He closes the door again and open another one, where a woman looks at them with the same affliction as her neighbor.

“What disease is that?” Rose/Cassandra asks.

“All of them. Every single disease.”

Rose/Cassandra asks if they’re safe, and he says they are, just don’t touch them. They survey all the green pods and the Doctor explains. “They were born sick. They were meant to be sick. A human farm. Lab rats.”

He is furious, and as he talking, one of the cat nuns walks up to them and says softly, “It’s for the greater cause.” The Doctor is furious, but the cat explains these “are not real people. They’re specially grown.” (Now that I think about it, Chip was specially grown to take care of Cassandra. Does that make Cassandra like the cats?)

He’s not having it and yelling about how many people a day have been sacrificed. The cat-nun insists they had tried to heal people traditional ways, but the challenge was just too great. She entreated him to think about all the people living happy lives because of these pod people.

“If they live because of this, then life is worthless.” He counters through a set jaw.

“Who are you to decide that?”

“I’m the Doctor. And if you don’t like it, if you want to take it to a higher authority, there isn’t one. It stops with me.”

Rose/Cassandra creeps up behind him to ask a question and reminds him of his other problem.

“I can understand the bodies. I can understand your vows. One thing I can’t understand, what have you done to Rose?”

“I don’t know what you mean.”

“And I’m very very calm. You wanna be aware of that; very calm. And the only reason I’m being so very calm is that the brain is a delicate thing. Whatever you have done to Rose’s head, I want it reversed.”

“We haven’t done anything.”

Rose/Cassandra says she’s “perfectly fine,” and the Doctor continues explaining to the cat. “These people are dying, and Rose would care.”

Rose/Cassandra says, fine, that she gives up. When the Doctor asks who she really is, she whispers, “The last human.” He is completely surprised. “Cassandra?” Voice squeaky at the end. She sprays the Doctor with some drugged perfume hidden in her cleavage, knocking him out. Rose/Cassandra sets an alarm and is able to get the Doctor into one of those pods. He wakes up and demands to be let out, but she’s like, I have thought of a million ways to kill you. And that’s what I have now.

Again he tells her to release Rose, and she insists she will when she finds someone “less common.”

Then, Matron cat finds her, and she demands money to keep quiet about the farm. Oh, somehow Chip has gotten on her floor, too.

The matron declines and in return, Cassandra/Rose commands Chip to open the doors to the pods, releasing a hallway of people in them. And all their diseases. They walk out, zombie-like, and Rose/Cassandra, Chip, and the Doctor run the other way to escape. As the patients approach with nuns with their fury, they flip a switch that opens all the doors, and all the patients escape.

The Doctor, Rose/Cassandra and Chip find their way to the basement, but Chip gets separated from the other two as they run and the sick patients start following him. The Doctor yells not to touch him, but Rose/Cassandra says to leave him, he’s only got a half-life. Chip cries, “Mistress! My mistress!” He yells over the Doctor’s apologies. He eventually jumps into a barrel labeled “waste” to get away from the people.

Man, this shit is hard to see! The afflicted people, the despair of trapped people.

They escape through an elevator shaft, and the Doctor demands Cassandra get out of Rose. “Give her back to me.” He says, sonic screwdriver extended. Aw!

“You asked for it.” And Cassandra jumps into him.

Which she does, into him. “Goodness me, I’m a man. Yum. So many parts. And hardly used. [Starts jerking around] Ah, ah! Two hearts! Oh baby, I’m beating out a samba!” (HA! Tennent is so funny right here!) “Oooh, slim. And a little bit foxy.” (Thereby giving a name to a thousand Tumblr profiles.) “You thought so too.” And the Doctor/Cassandra taunt Rose about her feelings for the Doctor.

Both Tennant and Piper are doing a wonderful job taking on the persona of Cassandra. It is a pleasure to watch.

But then the zombies break in and the Doctor/Cassandra freak out. “What would he do?! What the hell would he do?!” Banging Rose’s arm frantically.

Rose leads them to a ladder, but the Doctor/Cassandra push her back. “Out of the way, blondie!” That reminds me of the joke about how you out swim a shark. You don’t; you out swim your partner.

But they climb and start being chanced by the Matron, who gets infected by a patient and dies. Serves her right. The Doctor needs to use the sonic screwdriver, so he needs to be himself.

Cassandra transfers herself to the plague carrier briefly, and then goes back to Rose. The Doctor gets them through, and for Cassandra, she is stunned at the loneliness of the carriers not being able to touch or be touched all their lives. Rather than being infected by disease, she’s bee infected with a touch of humanity, it would seem.

The Doctor and Cassandra/Rose reach the only place untouched by the carriers, the ward they were originally in. He grabs all of the healing intravenous solutions, and puts them into the disinfectant reservoir. He opens the doors, luring several plague carriers inward as Cassandra/Rose starts the shower on the elevator. The spray drenches the carriers, curing them, and the Doctor encourages them to pass it on. They wander back out to spread the cure to the others. (So they were intravenous cures, but would work when sprayed on people? I hope they didn’t pay the intravenous price.)

The surviving Sisters are arrested and the cured new humans (as the Doctor calls them) are taken into care. The Doctor returns to the Face of Boe, who is no longer dying and has decided to give the universe another chance. The Doctor asks the Face about his message, but is told it can wait. The Face teleports himself away.

Cassandra is still around, so, again, the Doctor orders her out of Rose’s body, so she goes into Chip’s body. “Ooooh, sweet Lord. I’m a walking doodle!”  She realizes his body is failing, but Cassandra is ready to go. The Doctor takes her back to the party Rose saw on the screen, to see herself when she was still beautiful. “Chip” approaches the Cassandra of the past and tells her just that, and collapses into the younger Cassandra’s arms as she comforts “him”. As Cassandra finally dies, the Doctor and Rose silently leave in the TARDIS. All is right with the world.

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!!


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.”