Hi there! It's Day 9 of my NaBloPoMo challenge, and today's episode is episode 9 of Series 1, "The Empty Child," also the first part of a 2-parter with tomorrow's episode, "The Doctor Dances."
In this episode, the Doctor and Rose chase some mauve object (mauve being the color of danger for everyone in the universe except us apparently) through the Time Vortex and end up in 1941 London, smack dab in the middle of a German air raid. Not the safest place to be for sure.
This episode also marks the debut of Captain Jack Harkness (played by John Barrowman) to the series for a 5-episode stint (with later cameos to come); he's also the star of the spin-off series Torchwood. Despite my initial impression of Barrowman combined with bits and pieces I heard about Harkness, he's actually not camp at all. Though he's clearly a bit of a rascal and likes to flirt with women. I was also surprised to hear Barrowman speaking in an American accent, as I assumed he was British; turns out he was born in Glasglow but grew up in America.
The episode primarily revolves around a creepy child wearing a gas mask who goes around saying "Mummy" and has some sort of power over electronic devices like phones and radios. I admit, that kid did creep me out. Supposedly, it creeps most Whovians out; that's the vibe I've gotten from the Doctor Who Google+ community. But me, I'm not into horror films and stuff, plus I was watching this late at night, which makes everything on this show seem scarier.
I liked the character of Nancy a lot. She's a strong girl who's just trying to help the other homeless kids. Granted, the fact that she's sneaking into other people's houses during air raids and stealing their food isn't right, but you can kind of understand why she does it.
It's also worth noting this is the very first in-canon Doctor Who TV episode to be written by Steven Moffat (his official first Who writing credit is the Comic Relief special Doctor Who and the Curse of Fatal Death). This is notable not only as Moffat's first writing credit for the series but also because, if you look at the episodes in Series 1, 8 out of the 13 are written by Russell T Davies (Who's showrunner at the time), as is the Series 1 Christmas Special. So to see an episode in this season actually written by someone other than Davies is interesting. (Moffat also wrote the second part of this 2-parter, "The Doctor Dances").
The Doctor shows a rare moment of appreciation (well, rare for Nine) for the human race in this episode which I thought was interesting:
NANCY: What is?
DOCTOR: 1941. Right now, not very far from here, the German war machine is rolling up the map of Europe. Country after country, falling like dominoes. Nothing can stop it. Nothing. Until one, tiny, damp little island says no. No. Not here. A mouse in front of a lion. You're amazing, the lot of you. Don't know what you do to Hitler, but you frighten the hell out of me.
It's true - Hitler was able to conquer every other country he set his eyes on, but never Britain. In fact, Britain has the proud accomplishment of having never been successfully invaded since 1066 (the Norman Conquest). It was invaded plenty of times before 1066 but not successfully since then. And believe me, people have tried. Napoleon tried, the Kaiser's army in World War I probably tried, Hitler tried - and those are just the ones I know of.
I also liked Rose calling the Doctor "Spock." It was hilarious. What's odd is that the Doctor doesn't recognize the reference, because according to "Fear Her," the Doctor is apparently a Trekkie, since he flashes the classic Vulcan salute in that episode. But maybe that was just a Tenth Doctor thing.
Ugh...well I'm tired, and I need to get that creepy kid out of my head. Good night!
The Love of the Doctor and Rose Tyler
Part Nine: Enter a Rival
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.
Everything in this episode happens so fast, it's hard for any romance to develop between the Doctor and Rose in this episode. So there really isn't any to write about.
But it is worth noting that a potential romantic rival enters the picture in this episode: Captain Jack Harkness. He's suave, debonair and seems to know how to treat a lady, even if he is a rascally con man. And Rose seemed somewhat attracted to him, though it's hard to say as she was probably not thinking that clearly in that scene, since she was still recovering from the frightening experience of hanging on for dear life from a German barrage balloon in the middle of the London Blitz, and then she probably got a little tipsy off that champagne Jack gave her.
I guess we'll see if Jack proves to be a rival at all!
Tune in tomorrow for Day 10 of the challenge!
Quote from The Doctor Who Transcripts.