TARDIS Thoughts: NaBloPoMo: Series 1, Episode 7: "The Long Game"

2.07.2013

NaBloPoMo: Series 1, Episode 7: "The Long Game"

WARNING: THIS ANALYSIS MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS FOR THOSE WHO HAVE NOT WATCHED DOCTOR WHO OR AT THE VERY LEAST HAVE NOT SEEN THIS EPISODE. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED. 

It's Day 7 of my NaBloPoMo challenge! This time it's Series 1, Episode 7, "The Long Game," that I'm analyzing.

In this episode, the Doctor, Rose, and Adam go to a place called Satellite Five in the year 200,000. Adam is more in wonder than Rose is, as this is his first adventure as a Companion.

Long story short, it becomes evident to the Doctor that things aren't what they should be, and he realizes all the humans on Satellite Five - heck all the humans on Earth at that time probably - are being manipulated. Manipulated by a man called The Editor (played by Simon Pegg, a.k.a. Scotty from the J.J. Abrams Star Trek movies, the voice of Thompson in The Adventures of Tintin, and the voice of Reepicheep in The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader). Who's not actually the one in charge. He himself is being manipulated by a creepy alien blob he calls "Max" (it's easier to say than its real name), and most likely by the banks he represents too.

While the Doctor and Rose are trying to save the day, Adam wanders off on his own and ends up doing the stupid thing some time travelers to the future do - try to send information from the future to the past. He does so initially by trying to leave messages on his parents' answering machine (using Rose's phone, which he borrowed earlier); that being too slow, he opts to have one of the forehead ports the Satellite Five people have installed in his head so he can access the information more directly. This unfortunately puts him at the mercy of The Editor, who uses the ports to read the brains of the people on his Satellite and squash any doubt in the system. He gets out of it, but in the end he's not better off, because the Doctor kicks him off the team for trying to change history, destroys his parents' phone on which he left the messages, and doesn't do anything about Adam's head port -- which his mom accidentally sees when she snaps her fingers (which is how they are activated).

In thinking about this, I thought of the movie Back to the Future Part II, where Doc Brown takes Marty and Jennifer to 2015, and Marty buys a sports almanac with the intent of taking it back with him. But Doc warns that he can't do that, that it will change history in a disastrous way. But, as it happens, the Biff of the future finds the almanac first (which Marty left in the Delorean), steals the Delorean, and gives the book to his past self, which then changes Marty's present of 1985, which Marty has to fix. When Marty realizes what Biff did, Doc comments:
It demonstrates precisely how time travel can be mis-used, and why the time machine must be destroyed, after we straighten all of this out.
Which they do...eventually.

So Adam goes bye-bye. Eh well.

The Bad Wolf reference in this episode is a reference to "BadWolfTV" made by Cathica, who notes that it's currently broadcasting the Face of Boe announcing he's pregnant.

Cathica and Suki were both pretty cool by the way. Suki reminded me a little of Erin from The Office (U.S. version). She looks like her. That such an unassuming person was actually an anarchist investigating Satellite Five incognito was an interesting twist.  Cathica was also awesome in that, really, she saved the day. It wasn't the Doctor this time. She looked familiar, but I'm not sure where I would've seen her before.

This episode reminded me a little of the video game The World Ends With You, which I played recently. In it, the main character Neku, as well as others, are trapped in a game called The Reaper's Game, set in an alternate version of Shibuya. As the game progresses, more and more info is revealed, and you see just how much the baddies have their hands in everything and how messed up the Reaper's Game is. (That's about as much as I can tell you without spoiling the whole plot. Go play it! It's a great game for the DS).

This episode also shows the dangers of media consolidation and putting the power of the media into the hands of the few. Not to mention using the media to influence people's thinking, especially so intimately and in a way unbeknownst to those with the ports. No wonder the Doctor says the technology is wrong. Assuming that that's what he means by that.

Well, that's pretty much all I have to say about that. Bye!


***

NaBloPoMo Special:
The Love of the Doctor and Rose Tyler
Part Seven: I Only Take the Best

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 Doctor and Rose are back to saving the world together. Sure, Adam's there, but he goes off on his own pretty early on. 

The Doctor seems to be liking Rose more and more in this episode. He praises her for asking "the right kind of question," that being why it's so hot in Satellite Five, when Cathica refuses to ask it. At the end of the episode, after kicking Adam off the team for misusing time travel for his own purposes, the Doctor praises Rose further by saying, "I only take the best. I've got Rose." And in the middle of those two events is this brief conversation between Rose and the Doctor in the elevator right before they reach Floor 500:

DOCTOR: That's her gone. Adam's given up. Looks like it's just you and me.
ROSE: Yeah.
DOCTOR: Good.
ROSE: Yep.
   
It's like they becoming more like equals, more in sync. The romance is definitely growing, though we're not seeing it explicitly. Before, Rose came to the realization that the Doctor was a stranger to her, but now they're definitely not strangers. 

As we also see in other episodes, people are catching on to Rose and the Doctor's closeness, even if the two of them are oblivious. Adam, who was the one to point this out last episode, does it again this time before going off on his own:

ADAM: No, no, you stick with the Doctor. You'd rather be with him. It's going to take a better man than me to get between you two. Anyway, I'll be on the deck.
I think it's very true. Rose would rather be with the Doctor than anyone at this point. More than her mother, even more than Mickey, who's supposedly her boyfriend, or her best friend Shareen who she always mentions but we never see. The Doctor may tease her about boyfriends - first about Mickey and then in this episode with Adam, telling them to go off on a date, then later reprimanding her for giving Adam her TARDIS key, exclaiming "You and your boyfriends!". But in reality, Rose's relationship with Mickey does not appear to have much weight in it for her - he's definitely more committed to it than she is - and although Adam and she had shown interest in one another, nothing romantic kindled. It's only with the Doctor that anything seems to be happening for Rose.

Well, we'll see what happens next episode...when Rose messes up, changes history, and gets the Doctor pretty mad.

***

Tune in tomorrow for Day 8 of my NaBloPoMo challenge!

Quotes from The Doctor Who Transcripts. Back to the Future Part II quote from IMDb.

Unlike other posts with the timestamp 11:59 PM, this post WAS in fact published on 2/7/13, though I published it unfinished so it would have the right date. Therefore, it is not, as I noted before with previous posts, a post published after 11:59 PM that has had its timestamp doctored by me.

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