It's Day 12 of my NaBloPoMo challenge! Today I'm analyzing the first part of the Series 1 finale: Series 1, Episode 12: "Bad Wolf."
In this episode, after returning the egg that was Blon Slitheen to Raxacoriofallapatorius and a brief stop in 1336 Kyoto from which the Doctor, Rose, and Jack barely escaped (this was during the very beginning of the Nanboku-chō period, a tumultuous time in Japanese history during which the Northern and Southern Imperial Courts fought over who was the legitimate ruler of the country, which may explain why they barely escaped), some weird beam enters the TARDIS and the Doctor, Rose, and Jack get separated.
That's all revealed in flashback, though. The episode starts with each member of the trio waking up in some weird place and having no clue how they got there, until the initial amnesia from the transmat wears off.
The Doctor wakes up curled in a closet, where he's found by a bubbly girl named Lynda. To his surprise, he finds out he is on Big Brother. Yeah, the reality show Big Brother. Soon after arrival, he is called to the "diary room" (a sort of confessional room), where a big red chair sits against a black background. This produces probably my favorite Ninth Doctor moment ever, which I've liked since I saw the clip in a special:
DAVINA [OC]: You are live on channel forty four thousand. Please do not swear.
DOCTOR: You have got to be kidding.
(This is supposedly a play on the actual UK Big Brother show, where Davina McCall, who was the host of Big Brother UK at the time this episode aired, would say, "You are live on Channel 4; please do not swear" when delivering the live eviction results [Source]).
Rose, meanwhile, wakes up on some studio set, where an android is being activated minutes before the show goes live. Though Rose insists she's not supposed to be there, a guy named Rodrick directs her to a podium with her name on it, telling her to do everything the android says. When the people activating the android step away, Rose suddenly realizes the robot in front of her isn't an android. It's an "Anne Droid." She's on The Weakest Link, and the droid is supposed to be that show's host, Anne Robinson.
Jack wakes up on a couch in a strange white room, with two female-looking droids looking over him and criticizing his fashion sense. The droids are Trine-E and Zu-Zana, and Jack is on What Not to Wear. Unlike Rose and the Doctor, Jack revels in the situation, even flirting with the robots, and comments that their viewing figures just went up after they strip him nude using some laser gun called a Defabricator. (The scene is shot very deliberately so that you only see Jack nude from the waist up. After all, this is a "family show").
The bulk of the episode has to do with them getting out of their respective situations. Rose is forced to just play her game, at which she does miserably because she's not from the century they're currently in. She finds out how dangerous the game is as well: anyone who is voted the Weakest Link gets disintegrated by a beam from the Anne Droid's mouth. Someone who tries to quit and run away gets disintegrated as well. Jack goes with the flow until he realizes the droids are going to cut his head off. He then pulls a gun out of somewhere (not sure where cause he's naked...I can guess, but I don't want to go there) and shoots the Trine-E and Zu-Zana robots, then MacGuyvers a gun out of the Defabricator. The Doctor, failing to find a way out of the Big Brother house, sits with the three real housemates while they wait to find out who's being evicted, and is then alarmed when evicted housemate Crosbie is disintegrated by some beam. He then remembers that Lynda mentioned that another housemate - Linda with an I - was forcibly evicted for damaging a camera. (There is no specific rule prohibiting this in real life, though you are required to not mess with the fittings or the furniture and to keep items in the House in working order). He thus uses his Sonic Screwdriver to damage a camera, and sure enough, a pre-programmed response chooses him for eviction. But, as he predicted, the beam does not activate for him (he's already figured out somebody wants him there), and he escapes with Lynda.
As the episode progresses, the Doctor realizes that the Game Station is really Satellite Five - but 100 years after he last visited it. And despite all he did to make things better for people by destroying the Jagrafess and stopping the news programming that was - he thought - keeping people on the Earth enslaved, it turns out he just made things worse. Now the Earth is covered with dangerous smog and people are stuck watching reality and game shows from the Game Station all the time, never knowing when they might get randomly transmatted to the station to play some game or other (there are apparently 10 floors of just Big Brother, with 60 Big Brother houses operating simultaneously). For the first time (in the reboot series anyway), the Doctor is faced with the unforeseen consequences of his actions, and needless to say, he's not quite sure how to fix things.
Meanwhile, Jack finds the Doctor, having scanned for the Doctor's 2-heart system using his handy wristwatch computer. He lends the watch to the Doctor so he can determine Rose's location using one of the satellite's consoles. They find it just in time, right after Rose has been determined the loser of the final round of The Weakest Link. But before they can get to her, she gets hit with the disintegrator beam!
The Doctor is distraught over this turn of events, believing Rose is now dead. He, Lynda, and Jack storm Floor 500, once again the center of operations. Jack manages to get into Archive Six - despite the protests of the Controller - where he finds the TARDIS and figures out that Rose is alive, just transmatted somewhere else in space.
Just when things couldn't possibly get worse...they do. The Doctor finds the signal hidden behind the Game Station's transmissions, and what does he find?
200 warships, heading for Earth, armed to the teeth...with dangerous armored brass pepper pots. Guess who's back!
That's right...the Daleks. They were behind this from the start, those darn resilient, unusually intelligent, hate-filled robots.
But now the stakes are higher. Not only are they out to invade Earth - with the Earthlings not having a clue - but they have Rose. And the Doctor has to decide between saving her and saving the Earth.
As noted below (in the "NaBloPoMo Special" section - in case you've noticed repetition between the main post and that part, it's because I sometimes write that part first), he chooses both. He'll save both. The Daleks take this as throwing down the gauntlet and commence their attack.
As the title of the episode suggests, the "Bad Wolf" meme comes to a head in this episode. The group behind the Game Station is the "Bad Wolf Corporation," and Rose is reminded of how many times she's encountered the words "Bad Wolf."
I liked the reality show references in this episode. I have some familiarity with all three shows the trio ends up on, though only in their U.S. versions. I have the most familiarity with What Not to Wear cause my mom watches the U.S. version all the time. That the show was able to get the real-life hosts of the featured shows to cameo - yes, that is really Davina McCall, Anne Robinson, Trinny Woodall, and Susannah Constantine's voices you hear coming from those droids - makes it cooler.
Somehow the fact that losing the news programs on Satellite Five would devolve to a reality show-orientated setup actually doesn't surprise me. I mean, isn't that what's happening now in the real world? All the quality TV is getting replaced with trash, mostly in the form of reality TV. This episode is probably meant as a warning about that very thing.
Now, don't get me wrong, I have reality shows I like. I like American Idol, I am a big fan of most of the shows on HGTV, and I have been a devoted fan of The Amazing Race since season 5. But a lot of the reality shows these days just are trash. Just the other night my mom was saying she can't understand why people watch The Bachelor.
Anyway, I'm ranting now, so I'll end here. What will the second half of the Series 1 finale bring? We'll see!
The Love of the Doctor and Rose Tyler
Part Twelve: The Doctor's Choice
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.
In this episode, the finale of Series 1 begins. If there was any time for the truth of the Doctor and Rose's relationship to come out, it would be now.
And it does. First off, the Doctor, Rose, and Jack get separated on the Game Station, meaning the Doctor must search for his Companions while also trying to figure out what the heck is going on and how he got on this satellite. When he does finally find Rose, he's unable to get to her before she gets vaporized by the mysterious disintegrator beam that zaps anybody who loses one of the games on the Station. As far as the Doctor knows, she's dead - and it's his fault for not being able to save her.
Luckily, Jack manages to get into the access-forbidden Archive Six on Floor 500 of the station, where he finds the TARDIS. Using the TARDIS's computer, he is able to find out that the beam is not in fact a disintegrator beam, but a transmat beam. He rushes back to tell the Doctor the news -- that Rose is not in fact dead but has been transported somewhere else in space. He and the Doctor rush to a computer to try to determine the origin of the signal behind the transmat beam.
But, just when things couldn't get any worse, the Doctor discovers (yet again) that his mortal enemies, the Daleks, are alive and well and the ones behind this whole Game Station/Satellite Five business. And they have 200 ships, armed to the teeth with angry Daleks, about to invade the Earth, and the people of Earth have no idea.
But then it gets worse. The Daleks initiate communications with the Doctor...and they have Rose. Their ultimatum: do what we say, or Rose gets exterminated.
At this moment, the Doctor has a choice to make. Does he save Earth, or save Rose?
As it turns out, both:
Clearly, the Doctor has developed some sort of feelings for Rose, enough to risk invading a Dalek warship just to get her back, even though he knows all too well how dangerous the Daleks are. Not only that, but he doesn't even choose between her and the Earth - he's developed enough affection for Earth to not even make that choice. He's going to save her AND the world, while taking revenge on his people by wiping out the Daleks while he's at it. It's a dangerous plan, but he's going to go for it no matter what.
(Everyone looks at the Doctor.)
DALEK [on viewscreen]: Explain yourself.
DOCTOR: I said no.
DALEK [on viewscreen]: What is the meaning of this negative?
DOCTOR: It means no.
DALEK: But she will be destroyed.
DOCTOR [on viewscreen]: No!
DOCTOR: Because this is what I'm going to do. I'm going to rescue her.
DOCTOR [on viewscreen]: I'm going to save Rose Tyler from the middle of the Dalek fleet
DOCTOR: And then I'm going to save the Earth, and then, just to finish off, I'm going to wipe every last stinking Dalek out of the sky!
DALEK: But you have no weapons, no defences, no plan.
DOCTOR: Yeah. And doesn't that scare you to death. Rose?
ROSE: Yes, Doctor?
DOCTOR [on viewscreen]: I'm coming to get you.
But can he keep that up? Can he save her from the Daleks? We'll find out next time!
Check in tomorrow for Day 13 of the challenge, covering the second and final part of the Series 1 finale!
Quotes from The Doctor Who Transcripts