TARDIS Thoughts: NaBloPoMo: Series 1, Episode 10, "The Doctor Dances"


NaBloPoMo: Series 1, Episode 10, "The Doctor Dances"


Welcome to Day 10 of my NaBloPoMo challenge. Today's episode: Series 1, Episode 10: "The Doctor Dances."

This episode is the 2nd part of the 2-parter begun with "The Empty Child." The title comes from a running gag in the episode about whether or not the Doctor knows how to dance, since Rose mentioned to him that she and Jack had danced (in the previous episode). The title itself is stated in the episode by Rose:

ROSE: Jack'll be back. He'll get us out. So come on. The world doesn't end because the Doctor dances.

The creepiness of the gas-mask children still freaked me out. I'm just saying.

I continued to be surprised by Jack Harkness in this episode. He's definitely not camp. Just a rascal and a ladies' man. Kind of a Han Solo type but way more flirty. And he knows his way with a blaster, which means he's actually of some use in this episode. And much like Han didn't think much of Obi-Wan and Luke's Jedi ways, Jack has the audacity to diss the Doctor's Sonic Screwdriver:

JACK: Who has a sonic screwdriver?
ROSE: Lights.
JACK: Who looks at a screwdriver and thinks, ooo, this could be a little more sonic?
DOCTOR: What, you've never been bored?
ROSE: There's got to be a light switch.
DOCTOR: Never had a long night? Never had a lot of cabinets to put up?
I liked the use of 1940's music in this episode, like Glenn Miller's "Moonlight Serenade." I'm really into that kind of music so it was fun to hear!

Nancy was still really great in this episode, much the way Gwyneth was in episode 3 - a minor character who still manages to shine. I liked the conversation she and Rose had about there being a future:

NANCY: Who are you? Who are any of you?
ROSE: You'd never believe me if I told you.
NANCY: You just told me that was an ambulance from another world. There are people running around with gas mask heads calling for their mummies, and the sky's full of Germans dropping bombs on me. Tell me, do you think there's anything left I couldn't believe?
ROSE: We're time travellers from the future.
NANCY: Mad, you are.
ROSE: We have a time travel machine. seriously!
NANCY: It's not that. All right, you've got a time travel machine. I believe you. Believe anything, me. But what future?
ROSE: Nancy, this isn't the end. I know how it looks, but it's not the end of the world or anything
NANCY: How can you say that?? Look at it.
ROSE: Listen to me. I was born in this city. I'm from here, in like, fifty years time.
NANCY: From here?
ROSE: I'm a Londoner. From your future.
NANCY: But, but you're not
ROSE: What?
NANCY: German.
ROSE: Nancy, the Germans don't come here. They don't win. Don't tell anyone I told you so, but you know what? You win.
NANCY: We win?
ROSE: Come on!
The twist at the end of the episode - that Nancy was not in fact Jamie's sister but his MOTHER - was pretty surprising. The 1940's is one of the last time periods you'd expect to hear of teenage unwed mothers. But in retrospect, it makes sense. If you watch how Nancy is with the homeless kids, you can tell she's got a strong maternal instinct, stronger than she would have from just taking care of a little brother or sister. At any rate, I'm glad she was finally able to admit to being a mother and to save everyone in the process.

Speaking of saving people, the Doctor once again shows some appreciation of humankind in this episode, by getting super excited about everyone surviving:

ROSE: What are you doing?
DOCTOR: Software patch. Going to email the upgrade. You want moves, Rose? I'll give you moves.
(He throws the nanogenes to the waiting patients, who fall to the ground..)
DOCTOR: Everybody lives, Rose. Just this once, everybody lives! 


DOCTOR: The nanogenes will clean up the mess and switch themselves off, because I just told them to. Nancy and Jamie will go to Doctor Constantine for help, ditto. All in all, all things considered, fantastic!
ROSE: Look at you, beaming away like you're Father Christmas.
DOCTOR: Who says I'm not, red bicycle when you were twelve?
ROSE: What?
DOCTOR: And everybody lives, Rose! Everybody lives! I need more days like this. 
Now, I'm not sure why he's so ecstatic about the idea that "everybody lives," or why that to him is a good day, though I suppose it's not just out of an appreciation for humankind. I think it has something to do with the Time War. From what we've heard through dialogue, the Doctor was responsible in some way or another for his people and all the Daleks dying in the Time War. So I think he's happy that he doesn't have to face that again.

Oh, and Jack has probably the funniest conversation with a computer I've heard since Jeff Bridges's conversation with Clu in the original Tron:

JACK: Okay, computer, how long can we keep the bomb in stasis?
COMPUTER: Stasis decaying at ninety percent cycle. Detonation in three minutes.
JACK: Can we jettison it?
COMPUTER: Any attempt to jettison the device will precipitate detonation. One hundred percent probability.
JACK: We could stick it in an escape pod.
COMPUTER: There is no escape pod on board.
JACK: I see the flaw in that. I'll get in the escape pod.
COMPUTER: There is no escape pod on board.
JACK: Did you check everywhere?
COMPUTER: Affirmative.
JACK: Under the sink?
COMPUTER: Affirmative.
JACK: Okay. Out of one hundred, exactly how dead am I?
COMPUTER: Termination of Captain Jack Harkness in under two minutes. One hundred percent probability.
JACK: Lovely. Thanks. Good to know the numbers.
COMPUTER: You're welcome.
JACK: Okay then. Think we'd better initiate emergency protocol four one seven.
COMPUTER: Affirmative.
(A martini appears. Jack drinks it.)
JACK: Oo, a little too much vermouth. See if I come here again. Funny thing. Last time I was sentenced to death, I ordered four hyper-vodkas for my breakfast. All a bit of a blur after that. Woke up in bed with both my executioners. Mmm, lovely couple. They stayed in touch. Can't say that about most executioners. Anyway. Thanks for everything, computer. It's been great.
It seems so appropriate for Jack's "emergency protocol" to be a glass of alcohol appearing, based on what we know about him so far.

Luckily for Jack, Rose made one last request of the Doctor, and she and the Doctor appear in the TARDIS alongside his invisible ship and save him before his ship explodes. Jack walks in, says the "bigger on the inside" line, and watches the Doctor finally showing off his dance moves.

Well, till tomorrow! Next episode: Episode 11, "Boom Town." Mickey reunites with Rose and the Doctor in Cardiff, and we learn that not all the Slitheen perished at 10 Downing Street...


NaBloPoMo Special:
The Love of the Doctor and Rose Tyler
Part Ten: Dance With Me

Since the theme of NaBloPoMo this month is "Love and Sex" (probably because of Valentine's Day), I feel compelled to write something about love in my posts. Hence, since I am exploring Series 1 and 2 in this challenge, I am going to write a little special essay throughout the month about the growing love between the Doctor and Rose. Please note I am in no way an expert on relationships.

Again, due to the impending danger, the Doctor and Rose don't have a lot of time for romance in this episode. But there are moments, mainly because of the running gag about the Doctor's dancing ability. Rose, who's clearly interested in Jack, is looking for that same romantic side from the Doctor, and although he's busy trying to fix the incoming crisis, he's insistent that he too can be romantic and dance with her. It's not quite an argument; it's just Rose asking for a deepening of their relationship that the Doctor isn't quite sure how to deal with.

In the end, though, Rose and the Doctor finally get to dance. He's not much good at a waltz, but once Rose changes the music to a swing song, he catches on and does very well. It's a fun scene to watch, and the Doctor's excitement about it gives this intense and horror-movie-like episode a nice and cute ending, which I like.


See you tomorrow for Day 11 of the challenge!  

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