TARDIS Thoughts: February 2013


NaBloPoMo (catchup): Series 2, Episode 1 - "New Earth"


Hello everyone! I'm back. I realized that the month is ending so I better play catchup with my NaBloPoMo posts. Here's the fifteenth post, devoted to the proper first episode of Series 2, "New Earth."

In this episode, Rose and the Tenth Doctor take their first trip together in the TARDIS. He takes her to the year 5 billion 23, at which point humankind has gotten nostalgic regarding their lost planet (which was destroyed in the year 5 billion when the sun expanded, as shown in "The End of the World") and founded a new home on a planet very similar to Earth, which they have called (somewhat uncreatively) New Earth. The place they've landed is a field of apple grass near the city of New New York. (Or rather, "New New New New New New New New New New New New New New York," as the Doctor states it, since it's the 15th version after the original New York City). As much as Rose wants to go explore New New York, the Doctor postpones any such idea, saying he must first answer a call from the nearby hospital that was sent to his psychic paper.

And then the craziness begins. For one, cat-like beings are working in the hospital and breeding a bunch of homunculi (man-made humans) as living experiments for curing diseases. As if that wasn't weird enough...guess who's back!

Yep, Cassandra. Somehow she survived being blown up on Platform One and has come to reside in a secret room deep down in the hospital, with her man-made assistant Chip. Her brain and eyes somehow survived the incident, and the skin is from her backside (leading to Rose attempting to make a joke about Cassandra speaking out of her butt before getting interrupted).

And Cassandra has a grudge against the Doctor and Rose. What's more, she suspects the cat-like Sisters of Plenitude that run the hospital are hiding something, and she wants Rose to help her find out what. Rose refuses, naturally, but Cassandra has other plans and clamps Rose to a psychograft machine and does a little "Freaky Friday" thing where she basically puts her mind into Rose's body. She takes some time to check out her new body before the Doctor calls, asking for Rose to join him.

The Doctor soon becomes wise to the fact that Rose isn't herself, and confronts Cassandra when she reveals her intentions. But they aren't able to really fight due to the fact that Cassandra, with Chip's help, releases all the homunculi after the Sisters refuse to pay her for her silence, resulting in a pretty crazy zombie scenario which the Doctor and Rose have to try to escape.

Thankfully, the Doctor has an idea: he dumps the IV bags containing treatments for all the different diseases the Sisters were trying to cure into the tank of the disinfection system all the hospital's elevators have. He then lures the zombies into the elevator, where they are sprayed by the liquid and cured. The cured homunculi then go on to touch others, curing them all. The Doctor rejoices in the happy ending:

DOCTOR: I'm the Doctor, and I cured them.
(A woman hugs the Doctor.)
DOCTOR: That's right. Hey, there we go, sweetheart. Go to him. Go on, that's it. That's it. It's a new sub-species, Cassandra. A brand new form of life. New humans! Look at them. Look! Grown by cats, kept in the dark, fed by tubes, but completely, completely alive. You can't deny them, because you helped create them. The human race just keeps on going, keeps on changing. Life will out! Ha!
The NNYPD (had to laugh at the initials) then take over things, and the Doctor and Rose are finally able to leave, though not without a visit to the person the Doctor had been called to see, and who he visited with earlier - the Face of Boe. The Face of Boe hints at a secret he has to tell the Doctor, but says he can't reveal it yet:

DOCTOR: The Face of Boe!
(They run to the last person left on the ward.)
DOCTOR: You were supposed to be dying.
FACE OF BOE [OC]: There are better things to do today. Dying can wait.
CASS-ROSE: Oh, I hate telepathy. Just what I need, a head full of big face.
FACE OF BOE [OC]: I have grown tired with the universe, Doctor, but you have taught me to look at it anew.
DOCTOR: There are legends, you know, saying that you're millions of years old.
FACE OF BOE [OC]: There are? That would be impossible.
DOCTOR: Wouldn't it just. I got the impression there was something you wanted to tell me.
FACE OF BOE [OC]: A great secret.
DOCTOR: So the legend says.
FACE OF BOE [OC]: It can wait.
DOCTOR: Oh, does it have to?
FACE OF BOE [OC]: We shall meet again, Doctor, for the third time, for the last time, and the truth shall be told. Until that day
(Boe beams away.)
DOCTOR: That is enigmatic. That, that is, that is textbook enigmatic.
The secret in question, by the way, is the secret the Face of Boe tells the Doctor in their final meeting in Series 3 Episode 3. Which I won't reveal now.

As the episode ends, Cassandra still has control of Rose's body, so the Doctor orders her out. She ends up transferring her consciousness to Chip, but his cloned body cannot take it for long. The Doctor, out of pity, takes Cass-Chip back in time to a scene Cassandra was watching on a home video earlier in the episode, a party for the Ambassador of Thrace, which she claims was the last time anyone ever told her she was beautiful. And here we see, for the first time, the original Cassandra, before all the crazy surgeries, who looks kind of like Sarah Jessica Parker's character in Sex and the City:

Chip approaches her as the Doctor and Rose look on:

CASS-CHIP: Excuse me, Lady Cassandra.
CASSANDRA: I'm sorry, I don't need anything right now. I'm fine, thank you.
CASS-CHIP: No, I just wanted to say you look beautiful.
CASSANDRA: Well, that's very kind, you strange little thing. Thank you very much.
CASS-CHIP: I mean it. You look so beautiful.
CASSANDRA: Thank you.
(Chip's body collapses. Lady Cassandra cradles him.)
CASSANDRA: Oh, my Lord. Are you all right? What is it? What's wrong? Someone get some help! Call a medic or something, quickly!
WOMAN: Who is he?
CASSANDRA: I don't know. He just came up to me. I don't even know his name. He just collapsed. I think he's dying. Someone do something! I've got you, sweetheart. It's all right. There you are. There you are, I've got you. It'll be all right. There, there, you poor little thing. 

Seeing Cassandra cradle Chip, the Doctor and Rose, happy with the results, slowly walk back in the TARDIS and dematerialize.

And that's the end. Tune in for more analyses. I'm going to have a crazy time trying to catch up! I may not catch up by the end of tomorrow. Eh well. If I ever do this again, I'm going to plan better. For sure. Good night!


NaBloPoMo Special:
The Love of the Doctor and Rose Tyler
Part Fifteen:"You've Thought So Too"

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.

This episode is kind of weird in terms of the Rose/Doctor dynamic. Rose and the Doctor seem to be hitting it off at the beginning of the episode, now that Rose has accepted that Ten is still her Doctor. This is the first time Rose travels in the TARDIS somewhere with the Tenth Doctor as well, which makes it a different episode altogether. And if not for the note the Doctor got on his psychic paper, they probably would've spent a nice afternoon together in New New York. But nope, they have to go to the hospital first, and that's where things get complicated.

Basically, Cassandra - who somehow survived her previous encounter with the Doctor and Rose on Platform One - takes over Rose's body, causing Rose to be a lot more sexually charged than she usually is. It takes the Doctor a while to notice (or maybe he noticed before but just didn't say anything), and once he does, he's pretty adamant that Cassandra leave Rose's body, even after Cass-Rose gives him a rather passionate kiss, and seems relieved at the end of the episode when he finally gets Rose back for good.

Hard to say how Rose's feelings for the Doctor develop in this episode, as she's not really herself. But the possibility of some feelings are lampshaded in this episode by Cassandra when she takes over the Doctor's body:

CASS-DOCTOR: Oo, he's slim, and a little bit foxy. You've thought so too. I've been inside your head. You've been looking. You like it.

CASS-DOCTOR: Yap, yap, yap. God, it was tedious inside your head. Hormone city.  
The second line is a less-obvious reference, but still is likely a reference to something going on Rose's head that would cause her hormones to rage, which feelings of love could certainly do.

A key lesson of this episode, though, is about loving yourself - a lesson Cassandra finds she must learn, and which is the reason the Doctor and Rose take Chip, now possessed by Cassandra, back in time to tell Cassandra's past self that she's truly beautiful. And I think this will be a lesson Rose will learn this season as well, becoming a stronger woman as time goes on, even as she learns to love the Doctor. So in a way it's a good lesson to start off Series 2 with.

How will the relationship develop during Series 2? We'll see!


Keep tuning in for more posts in this series!  

Pictures from Sonic Biro. Quotes from The Doctor Who Transcripts.


TARDIS Thoughts Pages Complete; Promotion Plans

I finally finished all the pages of this blog just now, making the site basically complete except for actual posts. Hooray!

This being done, I am going to go into full-on promotion mode, finishing the TARDIS Thoughts Google+ page and establishing its Facebook fan page and Twitter account, as well as getting the word out about the blog via other means.

I haven't forgotten about NaBloPoMo; I'm just behind. Will get back on that ASAP.

Good night!


I'm sorry, I'm so sorry...

...As the Doctor likes to say.

I know I'm behind on the NaBloPoMo posts. I just chose to focus on other things this last weekend, things that hadn't been getting done due to my focus on this NaBloPoMo thing. It's been tough to keep up with stuff due to my work shifts, where I have been working most of the afternoon, not getting home till 10:30pm, then having to try to watch a Doctor Who episode and get an analysis up by midnight. Because of the late hours, I then tend to sleep in in the morning, resulting in not much time before I have to catch the bus to work.

I'm not usually someone who posts a blog post every day. Weekly, maybe, but not daily. This was my first attempt to post daily since I started my personal blog way back in December 2004. I wonder if I lack the discipline. Because it's been quite stressful to do this, and quite a few posts I didn't finish by midnight and had to change the date on to make them be on the right day, which I feel bad about because it seems dishonest.

I wish this hadn't become so stressful. It started out as a fun endeavor, but gradually became stressful as I began forcing myself to watch an episode and write an analysis right after coming home from work, even if I wanted to do something else, like just take a shower and go to bed. Some days I was able to watch the episode early in the day, then have my whole work shift to mull it over before writing the post when I got home. Those were better days. And with the end of Series 1, I watched a bunch of episodes at once on a day off then wrote the analyses on the days they were supposed to be posted (with the exception of "The Christmas Invasion," where I watched the episode over breakfast and wrote the analysis that same evening).

So...I will try to get the delayed posts up ASAP and get back on track. But I am starting to think I will never do this daily post thing again. Or if I do, I will watch a bunch of episodes at once, write the analyses, and schedule them to post on the appropriate date. I did this with my initial Series 2 posts.

When Series 7 starts again, though, I am going to try to do weekly posts, on Saturday or Sunday, for the new episodes. That, at least, I think I can stick to.

Well, just wanted to get that off my chest. Allons-y Ponds...

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NaBloPoMo: Series 2 ep. 1 analysis tomorrow

I am really tired tonight. So I am going to watch Series 2 ep. 1 tonight but post the analysis tomorrow. Hope that's ok!

Good night!

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NaBloPoMo: Series 1 Christmas Special, "The Christmas Invasion"


Hi there! Happy Valentine's Day Whovians! It's Day 14 of my NaBloPoMo challenge, and today we're finishing off Series 1 with the Christmas Special that links Series 1 and 2 (and which is counted as part of Series 2 for production purposes), "The Christmas Invasion."

This episode is the first proper adventure for the newly-regenerated Tenth Doctor, played by David Tennant, and is the first time he is credited in the opening credits. Sadly, he is asleep for most of the episode, since he's still not fully regenerated and thus can't stay awake for long periods of time. But when he does finally properly arrive on the scene, he does so with all the aplomb you'd expect, making it clear that The Doctor is Back.

Having already seen the Christmas Special for Series 2, I noticed that this Christmas Special makes use of mechanical Santas as well. I don't know if intergalactic villains in this series just like using those or if it's just a Christmas Special thing.

Due to the Doctor being ill, this episode is the first time we actually hear an alien language in the series (possibly just in the reboot series), due to the fact that the TARDIS translation field is nonoperational. Thankfully, we have Alex, secretary to the Prime Minister, and his handy-dandy tablet's translation program to help translate the alien speech (because apparently the BBC didn't want to invest in subtitlers, which would have been easy enough I would think).

Speaking of the Prime Minister, Harriet Jones returns in this episode! And this time, she's now Prime Minister of Britain, just as the Ninth Doctor predicted previously. She spends most of her time with UNIT (an organization that figured prominently in the Third Doctor era, when the exiled-to-Earth Doctor worked for them, but has appeared elsewhere, like in "Aliens of London" and "The Power of Three") trying to figure out what the aliens want with Earth. She is once again a well-played character, even with the running gag of her showing her ID to people and them replying "Yes, we know who you are." In the last scene, where she authorizes Torchwood to fire on the departing Sycorax ship, Penelope Wilton does a good job defending her position against the less-than-happy Doctor, nailing the necessary emotion.

The Sycorax, the enemy-of-the-episode, are basically these aliens (from where we don't know) that kinda reminded me of the Tusken Raiders from Star Wars, but with these weird bug-like helmets:

It's not really clear why they're on Earth to begin with, though the Doctor does mention they're drawn to the energy he's currently bursting with due to not being fully regenerated yet. (If you wonder why the Doctor occasionally exhales golden energy in this episode, that's why). The Guinevere One unmanned space probe (love the Arthurian name btw), which Harriet Jones helped get up into space, is also a reason given in the episode for their presence, and is how they were able to gain control over the blood of people who are A-positive and make them stand on the edges of roofs, ready to jump off. (Please tell me I am not the only one who thought of bloodbending when this issue of "blood control" came up. I can't be the only Whovian who's also an Avatar: The Last Airbender fan).

(The image above is from The Legend of Korra, the sequel series to Avatar: The Last Airbender, but it works for my point).

I was a little confused how, when the TARDIS translation field started working again, Harriet and her secretary Alex were able to hear the Sycorax leader speaking English. The translation field supposedly works on a telepathic level and - as far as I can tell - affects those who have been in the TARDIS, which both Rose and Mickey have. Harriet and Alex have not, however. I guess since the TARDIS was close by, maybe it affected everyone in the vicinity of it, including Harriet and Alex.

The episode contains a rather funny line referencing The Lion King that I caught the source of before the Doctor even realized it (the line is from the film's theme song, "Circle of Life"):

DOCTOR: Well, yeah, you could, yeah, you could do that, of course you could. But why? Look at these people. These human beings. Consider their potential. From the day they arrive on the planet and blinking step into the sun, there is more to see than can ever be seen. More to do than. No, hold on. Sorry, that's The Lion King. But the point still stands. Leave them alone!

I also liked the running gag about the Doctor finding strange food items in his dressing gown, which are attributed to Jackie Tyler's boyfriend Howard (for whom she bought the dressing gown - and the pajamas the Doctor wears throughout the episode) getting hungry when he's sleeping. First he finds an apple and later a satsuma (a type of orange thought to be of Japanese origin, which, appropriately for this episode, is also called a "Christmas orange"). He also mentions that him wearing the dressing gown is "very Arthur Dent," which is apparently a reference to the protagonist of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. (I looked it up). The Doctor's very up on his pop culture, it seems.

Not much else to say about this episode. I did, however, like the little homage they wrote in to show that the Tenth Doctor still had the memories of Nine: his line "And it is going to be [pause] fantastic." ("Fantastic," of course, being the Ninth Doctor's catchphrase).

Well, that does it for Series 1. Series 2, allons-y!

First Impression of the Tenth Doctor

Again, as with Rose, this episode actually isn't the first time I've seen Ten - that honor going to the first episode I posted an analysis of, "Love & Monsters." But this is his proper "introduction" episode so I was able to get a better feel for him in this episode.

Now, I've said before that I like Ten a lot. I'm hoping I don't jynx myself like I did with Nine, where I went into Series 1 expecting to like him and came out of it disappointed. But, unlike Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant got a lot of time to perfect the Doctor (3 full TV seasons plus the specials between Series 4 and 5), so I'll have more time to ease into him. (As I posted in the last post, even Eccleston admitted recently he didn't really have enough time to develop the character in just one season).

What we see of Ten in this episode -- which actually isn't a lot because he mostly sleeps -- is still really good. He manages to save the day even though he's still figuring himself out. And he shows that he has learned stuff from his time with Rose and become a better man, a man who cares about humans, as evidenced by his speech to the Sycorax telling them what to tell others about Earth:

DOCTOR: By the ancient rites of combat, I forbid you to scavenge here for the rest of time. And when go you back to the stars and tell others of this planet, when you tell them of it's riches, it's people, it's potential. When you talk of the Earth, then make sure that you tell them this. It is defended.
It's also worth noting that even alien life is important to this Doctor, since when Harriet Jones authorizes Torchwood to fire on the Sycorax ship, he is pretty angry:

DOCTOR: That was murder.
HARRIET: That was defence. It's adapted from alien technology. A ship that fell to Earth ten years ago.
DOCTOR: But they were leaving.
HARRIET: You said yourself, Doctor, they'd go back to the stars and tell others about the Earth. I'm sorry, Doctor, but you're not here all the time. You come and go. It happened today. Mister Llewellyn and the Major, they were murdered. They died right in front of me while you were sleeping. In which case we have to defend ourselves.
DOCTOR: Britain's Golden Age.
HARRIET: It comes with a price.
DOCTOR: I gave them the wrong warning. I should've told them to run as fast as they can, run and hide because the monsters are coming. The human race.
HARRIET: Those are the people I represent. I did it on their behalf.
DOCTOR: Then I should have stopped you.
HARRIET: What does that make you, Doctor? Another alien threat?
DOCTOR: Don't challenge me, Harriet Jones, because I'm a completely new man. I could bring down your Government with a single word. 

I think this is going to be a good Doctor, Ten. I just hope I'm right. Cause I didn't like Nine because he was a jerk, and I don't care for Eleven because he feels too inhuman to me, so hopefully Ten will be just right.


NaBloPoMo Special:
The Love of the Doctor and Rose Tyler
Part Fourteen: New Face, Same Doctor?

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.

Definitely can't skip the love talk on Valentine's Day!

In this episode, a sort of transition episode between Series 1 and 2, Rose is in a lot of doubt about her relationship with the Doctor, since now that he's regenerated, he doesn't seem like the Doctor she'd grown to love. She's finding it hard to accept that, despite his new look, he's still the same old Doctor she's been traveling with. And to be honest, I get it. If I'd fallen for a man like she'd fallen for the Doctor, and then some wrench gets thrown in the works and he no longer seems to be who I thought he was - especially if he doesn't even LOOK like the guy I fell in love with, I'd be pretty thrown for a loop too.

We don't get much on the Doctor's end this time around though, as he's asleep for most of the episode, and when he wakes up, he's still adjusting to his new self and plugging into all his past memories. But he and Rose still share a sweet moment at the end of the episode where they hold hands and try to decide where they'll go next, which is nice.

Well, Series 2 is a-comin'. What will it have in store for the show's star couple? We'll see!!


We're over the halfway mark! Tune in tomorrow for Day 15 of my NaBloPoMo challenge!

Doctor Who pics from Sonic Biro. Tusken Raider pic from Wookieepedia. Bloodbending pic from The Avatar Wiki. Quotes from The Doctor Who Transcripts.

NaBloPoMo: Series 1, Episode 13 (Finale Part 2 of 2), "The Parting of The Ways"


Hi there! This post is a day late, as noted in my previous post. Sorry about that!

Anyway, welcome to my Day 13 NaBloPoMo post, covering the 2nd and final part of the Series 1 finale, "The Parting Of The Ways."

This episode covers the fight against the Daleks at the Game Station and the end of the Ninth Doctor. That really sums it up, actually.

Jack really proved himself in this episode. He helped the Doctor rescue Rose from the Daleks, then took charge and led a team of volunteers to take down an army of Daleks that were gradually inching their way up into the control room, distracting them so the Doctor could set up a Delta Wave that could destroy the rest of the Dalek fleet. He is a pretty darn good Companion.

The Doctor really shows a crisis of conscience in this episode. When the Dalek Emperor points out that using the Delta Wave to take out the Daleks could take out the humans in the vicinity as well, he asks the Doctor if he'll be "a coward or a killer." The Doctor has to think before he responds, then declares that he'd choose to be a coward any day. This hearkens back to "Dalek" where the Doctor tells the lone Dalek that all the other Time Lords died, and the Dalek replies, "And the coward survived." That's been the Doctor's struggle all through the season - he could have stayed and brought an end to the Time War in some braver fashion, but instead he unleashed something (canon doesn't say what, but the comics - the canon status of which is questionable - tell us he used some powerful Time Lord weapon) that took out all the Time Lords and most of the Daleks, then stole a TARDIS, and ran away.

The Doctor also shows a crisis of conscience when he sends Rose home for her own safety. Clearly, he had planned to do so ahead of time - since he had the time to not only pre-program the TARDIS to take her home but also record a farewell hologram - and yet when the camera shows him pointing the Sonic Screwdriver at the TARDIS to send it away, and you hear Rose banging on the door and crying out in the background, the pain on his face is pretty obvious. He really doesn't want to have to do it, but he cares enough for her safety that he has to.

And that brings us to the whole "Bad Wolf" scenario with Rose saving the Doctor. I knew it was coming, but the whole way it played out seemed rather underwhelming. I mean, if the Heart of the TARDIS is going to grant Rose reality-warping-goddess powers à la Haruhi Suzumiya, don't you think it would be more, well, epic? Sure, she pilots the TARDIS back to the Doctor, resurrects Jack (and, we find out later - in Torchwood and in Series 3 of Doctor Who - made him immortal), and destroys the entire 200-ship Dalek fleet, including the supposedly omnipotent Dalek Emperor. But there's no pizazz about it, no explosions, no epic music, nothing. Just Rose with glowing eyes and face, with the ability to see all of space and time, and minus her London accent. It seems very anticlimactic for being such a key moment.

The ending of the episode, with the Doctor kissing Rose to get the Time Vortex she absorbed out of her before it kills her, and the ensuing regeneration scene, were also pretty anticlimactic. Sure, the kiss was great, although a little creepy with the energy flowing between their eyes. And the brief moment where the Doctor's eyes are golden and he releases the energy through his mouth is pretty creepy too. I mean, he never looks more alien than in that moment.

But in the scene that follows, the Doctor is dying, yet he jokes his way through it. It seems rather inappropriate for the nature of the scene. Maybe it's just his personality (after all, this is the Doctor who says "fantastic" at the most inappropriate times). Still, it bugged me that he could joke about noseless dogs and about whether he'd have two heads or no head at a time like this! Why didn't Rose tell him off either? Grr!

Well, that's the end of that, the end of Series 1, the end of Nine. As his successor would say, "Allons-y!"

Speaking of Ten, we get a brief glimpse of him in this episode, right at the end when the Doctor regenerates. David Tennant in all his goofy glory. He only gets a couple lines in this episode, but here he is!

Tune in next time for the Series 1 Christmas Special and the Tenth Doctor's first adventure!

Final Thoughts on the Ninth Doctor

This being the Ninth Doctor's last episode, I wanted to give some final thoughts on him, like how I wrote about my first impression of him in the Episode 1 analysis.

As I have mentioned before, I went into this series/season expecting to like the Ninth Doctor a lot, since he fit my mental idea of what I imagined the Doctor to be like. But as the series progressed, I became more and more dissatisfied with Nine. He has a penchant for dark humor (saying "fantastic" in situations that are clearly not), is extremely judgmental of humans, and is overall not a very pleasant guy. Ok, so he has PTSD and all that from the Time War. And PTSD is a serious deal; it's not something to joke about. It still doesn't give him an excuse to be as much of a jerk as he was. I found myself liking Rose more than him (much like how I like Amy more than Eleven), and even liking JACK more than him - and I never expected to even like Jack. Sure, he had his good moments, but overall he just didn't do it for me.

I'm not saying Christopher Eccleston isn't a good actor; I'm sure he's a great actor. I'd be willing to see him in something else. (He's going to be in Thor: The Dark World, which comes out this November, as the main villain Malekith the Accursed, so maybe I'll go see him in that). But, as they say, sometimes an actor's only as good as their script. Eccleston even said in a recent Q & A that he felt he could've done more with the character if he'd stuck around. (Interestingly, he said that at a Q & A for a production of Antigone, in which he played Creon - having read that play multiple times, I'd be really interested to see how he plays that role...or any other stage role for that matter, cause he seems like he'd be a good stage actor. But then pretty much every British actor of note has spent some time "treading the boards"...it's almost like a requirement there; I wish it were here, maybe we'd have better actors). Also, it's worth noting that over half the season was written by one guy: Russell T Davies, the showrunner. My experience so far with Doctor Who has been that the later seasons, which feature a greater variety of writers, seem to just work better. And yes, I realize the current showrunner, Steven Moffat, does write a lot of the episodes himself. And both him and Davies were big fans of Who before they were even involved with it. But Moffat had a lot of experience on the writing staff before becoming showrunner, which may have helped. But that was one thing I noticed watching Series 1 was that almost all the episodes were written by Russell T Davies (8 out of 13 to be exact; he also wrote the Christmas Special and the Children in Need Special), and I would actually get excited when his name did NOT appear along with the episode title. So that may have influenced how things went as well. So, I can't blame it all on Eccleston.

That all being said, I would say Nine is not my favorite Doctor. And that's my final opinion.


NaBloPoMo Special:
The Love of the Doctor and Rose Tyler
Part Thirteen: The Farewell

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.

This episode brings a sad moment in the romance of the Doctor and Rose - the farewell. Not the final farewell, mind you - that comes later. But a farewell nonetheless.

The Doctor's feelings for Rose, though not expressed in words, come out in this episode. Not only does he save her from the Daleks, just as he vowed to do, but when things get really dangerous, he protects her -- by sending her home. Even Rose's mum points this out, by saying that even though she never much liked the Doctor, he did the right thing sending Rose home to her mother. He also saves her when she returns to him anyway, by kissing her in order to absorb the Time Vortex and send its power back to the Heart of the TARDIS. He knows doing so will kill him, but he does it anyway. If that's not love, I don't know what is.

Rose also realizes in this episode just how much traveling with the Doctor has changed her life. He made her life better when she didn't have much to live for. As she puts it, before she met the Doctor, all she did each day was get up, catch the bus, go to work, come home, eat chips, go to bed. She actually has something to live for now, and she just can't go back to a normal life. So she takes drastic measures, cracks open the TARDIS console with some help from Mickey and her mum, and looks into the Heart of the TARDIS for the Doctor's sake.

Now, one could argue that it was the "Bad Wolf" meme that truly inspired Rose to action in this episode - after all, that was the whole purpose of the meme in the first place. The Bad Wolf scattered the meme across time and space precisely to give Rose the courage to go back and save the Doctor at this point in time. And yet I don't think that was the only thing motivating Rose. After all, to give her the power to become the Bad Wolf, the telepathic powers within the Heart of the TARDIS had to latch on to something - some thought or feeling. And I'm sure it latched on to her love for the Doctor and her desire for him to live. I don't see any other explanation.

But now that the Doctor has a new face, will Rose be able to love him just as much? We'll see!


Tune in next time for Day 14 of my NaBloPoMo challenge! The halfway mark woohoo!

Picture from Sonic Biro.

NaBloPoMo: Oops!

Just realized I forgot to post yesterday. I was supposed to post on "The Parting Of The Ways" and then finish off Series 1 today with the Christmas Special. But I forgot.

Eh well I guess there must be a little leeway with these things. I'll make it up.

Anyway, Happy Valentine's Day everyone! Hope your day is, as the Doctor would say, "fantastic"!

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NaBloPoMo: Series 1, Episode 12 (Finale Part 1 of 2), "Bad Wolf"


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!


NaBloPoMo Special:
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:

(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.
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.

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

NaBloPoMo: Series 1, Episode 11, "Boom Town"


It's Day 11 of my NaBloPoMo challenge! Today's episode: Series 1, Episode 11, "Boom Town."

In this episode, the Doctor, Rose, and Jack stop off in modern-day Cardiff to refuel the TARDIS at the Time-Space Rift. Remember that Rift Gwyneth sacrificed her life to close in episode 3? Well, it's still closed, but kind of like in the His Dark Materials trilogy (which had tears in the fabric of space made by the Subtle Knife), there is still a scar of it left, and the power from that is apparently just right for refueling the TARDIS.

Meanwhile, Mickey meets up with the trio to give Rose her passport, and they wander around Cardiff to pass the time till the Rift opens.

However, trouble is brewing. Remember those Slitheen from episodes 4 and 5? Well, turns out one of them - Blon Slitheen, alias Margaret Blaine of MI5 - survived the bombing of 10 Downing Street by teleporting out at the last minute and has installed herself as the Lord Mayor of Cardiff in the six-month interim. And she's got her hands on a super high-tech pan-dimensional surfboard which she intends to ride on straight out into space using the power from the Rift.

There isn't much action in this episode, not to the extent there is in the original Slitheen-focused 2-parter. There is some character and relationship development, though, which is good so close to the finale. Mickey and Rose finally get some alone time after being separated for ages, and the Doctor has an awkward (perhaps that's an understatement) date with Margaret/Blon. All while poor Jack is left alone making repairs to the TARDIS.

Margaret attempts to make herself a sympathetic character in this episode, but it's hard to imagine she's actually sincere, considering the very name of the game for her kind is deception (through the wearing of skin suits) and murder. And in the end, it's revealed that she intends to take the TARDIS out with her using the Rift's power, while she surfs to safety on her high-tech surfboard (and she even tries to take Rose with her).

But instead of killing her - or taking her back as is to her home planet, where she and her whole family have been sentenced to death - the Doctor does something pretty surprising. He gives her a second chance. He has her look into the Heart of the TARDIS, which was exposed due to the damage done to the ship by the Rift, and she regresses to an egg (leaving her skin suit behind). They then head off to Margaret's unpronounceable home planet to give her egg to a different family so she can get a fresh start.

It's also notable that in this episode the Doctor realizes the "Bad Wolf" theme has been following him and Rose. (The reference in this episode is Margaret's nuclear station project, called "Blaidd Dwwg," or "Bad Wolf" in Welsh). He, however, dismisses it as coincidence.

Well, next time the finale starts! See you then!


NaBloPoMo Special:
The Love of the Doctor and Rose Tyler
Part Eleven: The Love Triangle

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.

This episode brings to the forefront something that was bound to come up sooner or later in the Doctor and Rose's relationship: the issue of the love triangle between the Doctor, Rose, and Mickey.

Mickey finds out that Rose's request for her passport was a ruse, and is excited that she wants to spend time with him. He suggests they go out for a drink, and possibly even stay at a hotel overnight (clearly one of those euphemisms intended for the adults watching), since the TARDIS can't leave till the next day anyway. Rose agrees, and they go off together (which we see the Doctor watching on a CCTV-like monitor in the TARDIS, though when he's asked about it, he brushes it off). But all she talks about are the places she visited with the Doctor. Finally Mickey decides it's time to Define the Relationship:

MICKEY: So, what do you want to do now?
ROSE: Don't mind.
MICKEY: We could ask about hotels.
ROSE: What would Trisha Delaney say?
MICKEY: Suppose. There's a bar down there with a Spanish name or something
ROSE: You don't even like Trisha Delaney!
MICKEY: Oh, is that right? What the hell do you know?
ROSE: I know you, And I know her. And I know that's never going to happen. So who do you think you're kidding?
MICKEY: At least I know where she is!
ROSE: There we are, then. It's got nothing to do with Trisha. This is all about me, isn't it
MICKEY: You left me! We were nice, we were happy. And then what? You give me a kiss and you run off with him, and you make me feel like nothing, Rose. I was nothing. I can't even go out with a stupid girl from a shop because you pick up the phone and I comes running. I mean, is that what I am, Rose, standby? Am I just supposed to sit here for the rest of my life, waiting for you? Because I will.
ROSE: I'm sorry.
MICKEY: I'm not asking you to leave him, because I know that's not fair. But I just need something, yeah? Some sort of promise that when you do come back, you're coming back for me.

It's been pretty clear all series that Rose has never cared for Mickey as much as he does for her. Or if she did once, she doesn't anymore. And this episode more or less clenches that. Mickey doesn't break up with her officially till next season though, so I suppose this love triangle will last a bit longer (though I guess it's a love square actually, with Jack in the mix).

The Doctor also acknowledges Rose's relationship with Mickey, not only by allowing Mickey to help him, Rose, and Jack catch Blon, but also by being willing to delay the TARDIS leaving so Rose can find Mickey. Rose turns down the offer, however, which may be because she and Mickey kinda left on a sour note.

How will the Doctor and Rose's relationship hold up going into the Series 1 finale? We'll see!


Check in tomorrow for Day 12 of the challenge, covering Part 1 of the Series 1 finale!

Quote from The Doctor Who Transcripts

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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!  


NaBloPoMo: Series 1, Episode 9, "The Empty Child"


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:

DOCTOR: Amazing.
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!


NaBloPoMo Special:
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! 


NaBloPoMo: Series 1, Episode 8, "Father's Day"


It's Day 8 of the NaBloPoMo challenge for TARDIS Thoughts! Today's episode: Series 1, Episode 8, "Father's Day."

This episode is all about the relationship between Rose and her dad. The dad she never got to know because she was just a baby when he died. So, it's very emotional.

I find an interesting parallel in this episode to the Series 2 finale. This episode is bookended with lines by Rose introducing her father:

ROSE [OC]: Peter Alan Tyler, my dad. The most wonderful man in the world. Born 15th September 1954. 

ROSE [OC]: Peter Alan Tyler, my dad. The most wonderful man in the world. Died the 7th of November, 1987. 

And in the Series 2 finale, the first of the 2 episodes starts with Rose stating about herself (a moment that is recapped at the start of part 2):

ROSE [OC]: Planet Earth. This is where I was born. And this is where I died....This is the story of how I died.

Ok, maybe it's not a good parallel. But I just found the parallel of the intros interesting.

I liked the interaction between Rose and her dad in this episode. Shaun Dingwall does a great job playing Pete Tyler, a man with a lot of dreams and ideas, but who can't succeed at any of them, but who has a great heart. It made me very glad that my own father, who I am very close to, is still around. He got cancer about 15 years ago, and I was afraid of what would happen, especially since I was out of town on a church retreat the weekend he was supposed to get the surgery that would take the cancer out. I am happy to report that he is doing fine and is cancer-free now.

I have to admit, it was interesting seeing a younger Jackie, especially with that classic '80's hair...oh my.

And it's interesting how the episode contrasts the way Jackie talks about Pete to young Rose at the beginning of the episode and the way she treats him in the past. Apparently, they had marital issues due to Pete being kind of a good-for-nothing who Jackie thinks is cheating on her (considering that she flirted with the Doctor in the first episode of this series, I'd call this hypocrisy).

This episode also showed that Doctor Who does at least follow some of the supposed "rules" about time travel, like not letting your past self see your future self - an idea also invoked in Back to the Future Part II when Marty goes back to 1955 a second time and in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban when Harry and Hermione use the Time-Turner to go back in time and save Sirius Black. Granted, that Rose meets her own parents - and they find out she's their daughter - has got to be some sort of paradox too, but this is ignored. (Well, actually, this is ignored to a greater extent later with Amy, Rory, and River Song. A much greater extent).

As in the last episode, the Doctor is not the one who saves the day. Pete does that by accepting his fate is to die that day and running out in front of the car on purpose. The Doctor does try to save the day, but he admits that not even he can actually stop the creatures. It's the first time in the series the Doctor doesn't actually have the ability to save everyone, which is interesting indeed.

This episode does feature a funny scene where we learn that the Doctor is definitely not fond of Rose's mom:
JACKIE: What's happening? What are they? What are they?
DOCTOR: There's been an accident in time. A wound in time. They're like bacteria, taking advantage.
JACKIE: What do you mean, time? What're you jabbering on about, time?
DOCTOR: Oh, I might've known you'd argue. Jackie, I'm sick of you complaining.
JACKIE: How do you know my name?
DOCTOR: I haven't got time for this.
JACKIE: I've never met you in my life!
DOCTOR: No, and you never will unless I sort this out. Now, if you don't mind, I've waited a long time to say this. Jackie Tyler, do as I say. Go and check the doors.
JACKIE: Yes, sir.
DOCTOR: I should have done that ages ago.

I also liked the scene with the Doctor and the couple that are supposed to be getting married in the church, Stuart and Sarah:
STUART: Excuse me, Mister
DOCTOR: Doctor.
STUART: You seem to know what's going on.
DOCTOR: I give that impression, yeah.
STUART: I just wanted to ask
SARAH: Can you save us?
DOCTOR: Who are you two, then?
STUART: Stuart Hoskins.
SARAH: Sarah Clark.
DOCTOR: And one extra. Boy or girl?
SARAH: I don't know. I don't want to know, really.
DOCTOR: How did all this get started?
STUART: Outside the Beatbox Club, two in the morning.
SARAH: Street corner. I'd lost my purse, didn't have money for a taxi.
STUART: I took her home.
DOCTOR: Then what? Asked her for a date?
SARAH: Wrote his number on the back of my hand.
STUART: Never got rid of her since. My dad said.
SARAH: I don't know what this is all about, and I know we're not important.
DOCTOR: Who said you're not important? I've traveled to all sorts of places, done things you couldn't even imagine, but you two. Street corner, two in the morning, getting a taxi home. I've never had a life like that. Yes. I'll try and save you. 

If that doesn't show the Doctor can be considerate and nice, I don't know what does. Plus it shows that the Doctor hasn't had a chance for a "normal" life like the rest of us, which is kinda sad if you think about it.

According to the DVD commentary, both Christopher Eccleston and Billie Piper named this their favorite episode of Series 1, because of its emotional depth. [Source] I can see why!

Bad Wolf hint for this episode: the words "Bad Wolf" appear on one of the "Energize" posters shown soon after the Doctor and Rose arrive in 1987.

Also, ironically, this episode originally aired on May 14, 2005 - right after Mother's Day (which was May 8 that year). Interesting, huh?

Overall, a touching episode. Series 1 is heading to the finish line now - only 5 more regular episodes left, plus the Christmas Special!

Next episode starts John Barrowman's stint on the show as Captain Jack Harkness. Honestly, I'm not looking forward to it. Just seeing Barrowman on the Doctor Who Brit List special didn't give me a good impression. He came across as very camp. And I don't care for camp. I mean, maybe he was just being camp on purpose. But on the other hand, he could be like Robert Downey, Jr where the attitude he portrays in his roles is very similar to how he is in real life. (Compare some interview with Downey Jr to how he plays Iron Man some time - especially in The Avengers). We'll see. I know Jack is supposed to be this weird, kinda pansexual dude (he likes men, women, AND aliens), so that could come across as very awkward for my *cough* conservative tastes.

And I'll stop right there before I get some people mad at me. You who are smart - or know anything about Barrowman - can guess why. It's not that I don't want to say where I stand on certain *issues*, it's just that I am aware of what happens to people online who are perceived as, well, that, and I really don't want to deal with that sort of backlash.

See you guys tomorrow!


NaBloPoMo Special:
The Love of the Doctor and Rose Tyler
Part Eight: The First Fight

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.

So far in this series, one thing Rose and the Doctor haven't had that a lot of couples have sooner or later is an argument. A real, honest-to-goodness argument where voices are raised and harsh things are said.

That all changes in this episode. When Rose, without even thinking, changes history by saving her dad from death, the Doctor is livid. Even as she is excitedly showing him her dad's memorabilia, the Doctor won't even speak to her. Finally, he lays it on her hard:

DOCTOR: When we met, I said travel with me in space. You said no. Then I said time machine.
ROSE: It wasn't some big plan. I just saw it happening and I thought, I can stop it.
DOCTOR: I did it again. I picked another stupid ape. I should've known. It's not about showing you the universe. It never is. It's about the universe doing something for you.
ROSE: So it's okay when you go to other times, and you save people's lives, but not when it's me saving my dad.
DOCTOR: I know what I'm doing, you don't. Two sets of us being there made that a vulnerable point.
ROSE: But he's alive!
DOCTOR: My entire planet died. My whole family. Do you think it never occurred to me to go back and save them?
ROSE: But it's not like I've changed history. Not much. I mean he's never going to be a world leader. He's not going to start World War Three or anything.
DOCTOR: Rose, there's a man alive in the world who wasn't alive before. An ordinary man. That's the most important thing in creation. The whole world's different because he's alive.
ROSE: What, would you rather him dead?
DOCTOR: I'm not saying that.
ROSE: No, I get it! For once, you're not the most important man in my life.
DOCTOR: Let's see how you get on without me, then. Give me the key. The Tardis key. If I'm so insignificant, give it me back.
ROSE: All right then, I will.
(Rose hands over the key.)
DOCTOR: You've got what you wanted, so that's goodbye, then.
ROSE: You don't scare me. I know how sad you are. You'll be back in a minute, or you'll hang around outside the Tardis waiting for me. And I'll make you wait a long time!
Of course, in the end, Rose is totally right -- he isn't able to stay away from her. And it's a good thing too, because her little change in history causes these weird creatures to appear to mend the wound in time, threatening the whole world. Even though the Doctor admits even he can't stop them, he does his best, and sacrifices himself to the creatures to keep everyone safe. But before he does, he and Rose manage to reconcile:

(The Doctor is talking to baby Rose in her carrycot by the choir stalls.)
DOCTOR: Now, Rose you're not going to bring about the end of the world, are you? Are you?
(Rose walks up.)
DOCTOR: Jackie gave her to me to look after. How times change.
ROSE: I'd better be careful. I think I just imprinted myself on Mickey like a mother chicken.
DOCTOR: No. Don't touch the baby. You're both the same person. That's a paradox, and we don't want a paradox happening, not with these things outside. Anything new, any disturbance in time makes them stronger. The paradox might let them in.
ROSE: Can't do anything right, can I?
DOCTOR: Since you ask, no. So, don't touch the baby.
ROSE: I'm not stupid.
DOCTOR: You could have fooled me. All right, I'm sorry. I wasn't really going to leave you on your own.
ROSE: I know.
DOCTOR: But between you and me, I haven't got a plan. No idea. No way out.
ROSE: You'll think of something.
DOCTOR: The entire Earth's been sterilised. This, and other place like it, are all that's left of the human race. We might hold out for a while, but nothing can stop those creatures. They'll get through in the end. The walls aren't that old. And there's nothing I can do to stop them. There used to be laws stopping this kind of thing from happening. My people would have stopped this. But they're all gone. And now I'm going the same way.
ROSE: If I'd realised.
DOCTOR: Just tell me you're sorry.
ROSE: I am. I'm sorry.
(They hug.)

The Doctor also gives Rose a chance at the very end of the episode to truly be with her dad as he's dying. Rose and her dad don't exchange a word in that moment, she just stays with him until he dies, and then she and the Doctor leave. And the party outside the church, including a younger Jackie Tyler, see her do so, which changes the story we see Jackie telling a young Rose at the beginning of the episode - instead of her father being hit in a hit-and-run, with no one with him as he died, it becomes a happier ending:

JACKIE [OC]: The driver was just a kid.
[Memory - Jackie's bedroom]
JACKIE: He stopped, he waited for the police. It wasn't his fault. For some reason, Pete just ran out. People say there was this girl, and she sat with Pete while he was dying. She held his hand. Then she was gone. Never found out who she was.

So, even though they had a fight - a fight which could've ended Rose's career as a Companion right then and there - in the end, the Doctor couldn't stay away from Rose. He clearly cares about her. Even Rose's dad sees it, mentioning to Rose after the Doctor is captured: "The Doctor really cared about you. He didn't want you to go through it again, not if there was another way. Now there isn't." He also shows he cares for her at the beginning when he agrees to take her back in time to see her dad when he was alive - they see her parents' wedding day in addition to the day her father died. Not only that, but he shows concern for Rose's own feelings in that same conversation:

ROSE: That's what Mum always says. So I was thinking, could we, could we go and see my dad when he was still alive?
DOCTOR: Where's this come from, all of a sudden?
ROSE: All right then, if we can't, if it goes against the laws of times or something, then never mind, just leave it.
DOCTOR: No, I can do anything. I'm just more worried about you.
ROSE: I want to see him.
DOCTOR: Your wish is my command. But be careful what you wish for.
That second line of the Doctor's is the key there. "No, I can do anything. I'm just more worried about you." He's more worried about how Rose will hold up seeing her dad alive than he is about how the trip there might affect time itself. And time is pretty important to the Doctor - remember, last episode he kicked Adam off the team for trying to change history. That shows a genuine level of concern on his part, which we haven't really seen from him thus far. Because frankly, he doesn't seem to care about anybody but himself, on the surface. He's all wrapped up in his war trauma and what not. Which, in part, is justified, given what he went through (though the details as of yet are hazy). But even PTSD - or whatever the heck he's got - is no justification for being the stuck-up, judgmental jerk Nine is a majority of the time. I mean, he's always talking about humans as "you lot" or "stupid apes," with a tone of arrogant disdain. Ok, sure, he's an alien - but it kinda maddens me that he's like that. It doesn't make him very likable at all.

But being with Rose is changing the Doctor. He's becoming more actually concerned about others' welfare now. He's becoming better. Which, unlike for the Dalek a couple episodes ago, is a GOOD THING.

Still, even though I'm not done with Series 1 yet, I'm not liking Nine as much as I thought I would. How did the Doctor go from this judgmental view of humans to considering Earth and its people precious? It must've happened somewhere in the regeneration from Nine to Ten, because Ten and Eleven are the only Doctors in the new series we ever hear say that quote (the one by my Kaufda badge).

I guess we'll see what happens next episode. Cause next episode we get the London Blitz...and the introduction of Jack Harkness. Hmm.


See you tomorrow for Day 9 of the challenge!

Note: To relieve some of the stress of this challenge, from next week's posts onward I am going to watch a bunch of episodes at a time, write posts for them, and schedule them ahead of time to post on the appropriate days. I made the decision to do this because with my current work schedule it's been tough for me to work in watching one episode every night after work and posting afterwards, especially since I've been getting off at 10pm every night (except tonight), with little to no time to watch the episodes before work. Part of me doesn't like the idea of writing posts ahead of time, because then you are putting a "posted on" date on something that you didn't actually write on that date, which seems a little dishonest. But maybe I'm just being ridiculous on that point; people do the scheduled post thing all the time. Anyway, just wanted to let you guys know ahead of time that I will be doing that. Cheers!

Quotes from The Doctor Who Transcripts. Picture from Sonic Biro.

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