TARDIS Thoughts: NaBloPoMo: Series 1, Episode 4: "Aliens of London"


NaBloPoMo: Series 1, Episode 4: "Aliens of London"


It's February 4th, and time for Day 4 of my NaBloPoMo challenge! This time, it's Series 1, Episode 4, "Aliens of London."

In this episode, the Doctor brings Rose back home for a visit with her mom. But, he miscalculated how much time has passed, so in her world Rose has been missing for a year. Her mom has been in panic, putting up missing person posters, and her boyfriend Mickey has been questioned multiple times by the police and even been suspected of murdering Rose. Needless to say, things don't go down so well now that Rose has returned, and when the Doctor attempts to make amends, Jackie Tyler assumes he's some pedophile Rose met on the internet and slaps him, while Mickey confronts the Doctor for all the trouble he's had to endure as a result of the Doctor taking Rose away. (This includes a funny scene where Mickey sees the Doctor walking toward the TARDIS and tries to run after him, but gets there just after the TARDIS dematerializes and therefore runs right into a wall).

Now, this would be more of an issue, if not for a spaceship suddenly crash-landing in the Thames (taking out Big Ben's face while it's at it) and causing a national emergency. For some reason, the spaceship reminded me of the Tribubble Bongo the Gungans lend to Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan in Star Wars Episode I. (The top picture below is the ship from Doctor Who; the bottom one is the Bongo).

Mass chaos ensues, and the government does what the government usually does in stories where aliens crash-land in a major city and a body is found in the spacecraft: they take possession of the body with the intent of examining it medically and probably doing tests on it. Except that the body tries to break out of the morgue and one of the military men in the hospital shoots it even though the Doctor tells everyone not to shoot it. The Doctor realizes, however, that this body is not an alien at all, but a regular pig's head attached to a body (which is reminiscent of how alien hoaxes generally end up being explained in real life). Therefore, the crash landing must be a cover-up for something else.

The pig, by the way, made me think of the Bauerschwein from Grimm, which are a pig-like variety of Wesen (the creature-human hybrids that only Grimms can truly see) that are sworn enemies of the Blutbad, the variety of Wesen that Nick's Wesen friend Monroe is. They are not generally antagonistic against Grimms, though. (Again, top pic is from Doctor Who, bottom is from Grimm)

But it turns out not to be a cover-up but a trap - to distract the humans while the real invasion is going on unnoticed. Ladies and gentlemen, please meet the Slitheen.

Who look quite a lot like our typical stereotype of aliens as "little green men," don't you think?

Anyway, they begin their attack, and we see them closing in on Rose, Harriet Jones (who gets introduced in this episode, by the way, apparently she becomes important later), and the Junior Secretary Indra Ganesh in one room and Jackie Tyler in her flat, while in the briefing room all the alien experts are getting electrocuted by their own ID badges -- including, surprisingly, the Doctor!

And then the episode ends. To be continued next time. DUM DUM DUM.

Having seen movies where this sort of alien invasion happens, I kinda was not surprised with the way the average people's reactions were handled. I was a bit unnerved by how happy the Doctor seemed about everything (he responds to the gridlock and panic over the crash by smiling and saying, as usual, that this is "fantastic" - that word being the Ninth Doctor's catchphrase, which he always utters in an extremely excited voice at exactly the wrong time). It makes me want to say, à la Lady Bracknell, "Doctor, you seem to be displaying signs of triviality."

"Bad Wolf" shows up in this episode in the form of a kid spray painting it on the side of the TARDIS. Strangely, even when he goes back to the TARDIS, the Doctor doesn't notice the vandalism. But then it is dark.

I was also kind of mad at Jackie for reporting the Doctor to that emergency help line number, like she was responding to an Amber Alert or something. I mean, don't get me wrong, it's good that they have those numbers - I think it does help the police catch criminals. But I thought the Doctor was going to get arrested for that, which wouldn't have been that great. And Amber Alerts are no joke. Nor is older men meeting younger girls online and taking them away, as Jackie accuses the Doctor of doing -- and with good reason, really, because that is actually a real-life problem. It can lead to dangerous situations. Heck, any strange man meeting up with a girl can result in dangerous situations, even if it isn't due to a pre-arranged meeting. Believe me, I live in the same area where the Amber Dubois and Chelsea King murders happened, so I know that young, innocent girls can get assaulted and killed by strange men. It's a dangerous world out there, people, so be prepared.

At any rate, an interesting episode...but it's only Part 1 of a two-parter, so we'll see how it ends next time.


NaBloPoMo Special:
The Love of the Doctor and Rose Tyler 
Part Four: More Important Than a Boyfriend

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, we don't see a whole lot of the Doctor and Rose's relationship, mostly cause everyone is all concerned about the alien invasion. But despite that, their relationship inches a bit closer in this episode.

First of all, there's how Rose thinks of the Doctor. She tells Mickey that the Doctor's "not my boyfriend...He's much more important." Twice in the episode, even though she hasn't decided whether or not she's going to stay at home now that she's back, she asks him not to disappear, as if she's concerned that he'll leave her behind. Still, she can't seem to even tell her mother about him and where he's taken her, or Mickey either (although Mickey knows about the Doctor from episode 1). Mostly, she's confused, I think.

The Doctor is genial with Rose as usual, but looks genuinely concerned when he realizes that instead of landing in London 12 hours after he and Rose left, they've landed 12 months after, and that Rose has been suspected missing or even dead on her world. He opens up to her about his age right before the alien spaceship lands (telling her he's 900) and is even willing to watch the alien attack unfold on TV along with Rose, her mother, and her mother's friends - to the point of holding a baby on his lap. When he is invited to 10 Downing Street as an alien expert, he tries to insist that Rose go into the briefing room with him, and seems rather annoyed when he is told she can't. But the ultimate sign of his feelings in this episode is that he gives her a TARDIS key, adding as he does, "It's about time you had one." I mentioned before in my 2012 Christmas Special post that this giving of a TARDIS key to a Companion implies trust. He's trusting her with a key to the TARDIS -- his spaceship, his most prized possession as far as we know. And I think that says a lot.

Based on the next episode preview, showing what happens in Part 2 of this two-part adventure, the Doctor might face a real possibility of losing Rose. Uh-oh. Maybe this is where they really "define the relationship," or at least start to? After all, Rose does technically still have Mickey. Hmm...we'll see.


Tune in tomorrow for Day 5 of this NaBloPoMo challenge!

Doctor Who quote from The Doctor Who Transcripts. Lady Bracknell quote from Project Gutenberg (and altered slightly by me). Doctor Who pictures from Sonic Biro. Tribubble bongo pic from Wookiepedia.

Edit: On an un-related note, TARDIS Thoughts is now officially listed on the blogroll for NaBloPoMo February 2013. Hooray!

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