TARDIS Thoughts: October 2013


NaBloPoMo (catchup): Series 2, Episode 9: "The Satan Pit"


Yes! Finally, after this post, I will be done with my catchup from the disastrous thing back in February known as NaBloPoMo.

Here we go - episode 9 of Series 2, and part two of the 2-parter begun with "The Impossible Planet," "The Satan Pit."

I said in the previous post that I have issues with this episode, bad memories. But more about that later.

So...picking up from where "The Impossible Planet" left off, The Doctor, Rose, and the crew of a deep-space Sanctuary Base must deal with the fact that some demonic force called The Beast has just possessed the crew's language expert Toby as well as the Ood, a service-oriented race of normally peaceful aliens that are essentially the work staff of the base. And it seems to be all tied to this dark pit down near the center of the planet on which the base is located, which The Doctor and base crew member Ida have discovered.

Rose and the crew members try to run from the now possessed Ood. The Doctor confirms he and Ida have not seen anything escape the pit, and volunteers to rappel down into the dark, seemingly bottomless pit to investigate further, but Captain Zach has other plans, and orders everyone back up so he can activate "strategy 9," a policy to open the airlocks and flush the possessed Ood out. As The Doctor and Ida prepare to ascend, The Beast detects The Doctor's presence and begins communicating directly with The Doctor:
DOCTOR: If you are the Beast, then answer me this. Which one, hmm? Cos the universe has been busy since you've been gone. There's more religions than there are planets in the sky. The Archiphets, Orkology, Christianity, Pash Pash, New Judaism, San Klah, Church of the Tin Vagabond. Which devil are you?
VOICE [OC]: All of them.
DOCTOR: What, then you're the truth behind the myth?
VOICE [OC]: This one knows me as I know him. The killer of his own kind.
DOCTOR: How did you end up on this rock?
VOICE [OC]: The Disciples of the Light rose up against me and chained me in the pit for all eternity.
DOCTOR: When was this?
VOICE [OC]: Before time.
DOCTOR: What does that mean?
VOICE [OC]: Before time.
DOCTOR: What does before time mean?
VOICE [OC]: Before light and time and space and matter. Before the cataclysm. Before this universe was created.
DOCTOR: That's impossible. No life could have existed back then.
VOICE [OC]: Is that your religion?
DOCTOR: It's a belief.
He then plays the typical Satanic accuser role by playing on each crew member's deepest fears and weaknesses, as well as Rose's. The Doctor understands what The Beast is doing and warns everyone, saying not to fall for what The Beast is saying, that The Beast is just trying to demoralize them by messing with their heads. The Beast retaliates by snapping the cable of the elevator The Doctor and Ida are about to use to ascend to the base, trapping the two underground.

Meanwhile, Captain Zach gets surrounded by the possessed Ood, so Rose and the remaining crew members decide to sneak into Ood habitation to turn off the telepathic field the Ood use to function, in hopes of stopping them. Unfortunately, they are forced to get there by climbing through ventilation shafts meant for robots:

What's more, the oxygen on the base is running out. Captain Zach can provide them with breathable air, but only intermittently. And to make matters worse, the possessed Ood catch on to the crew's plan and enter the shaft in pursuit:

The group manages to evade them eventually, though at the cost of Jefferson's life, since he chooses to stay and hold off the Ood at one junction of the shaft, and Captain Zach can't provide oxygen to both him and the others who are moving on. They make it to Ood habitation and turn off the telepathic network.

The Doctor and Ida, meanwhile, decide to investigate the pit, using the snapped elevator cable, while talking about The Beast's claim to be the Devil. The Doctor concludes that maybe the Devil is just an idea, manifested in different ways across the universe. He and Ida soon realize the cable doesn't go down quite far enough. The Doctor says he would rather explore what's down there than sit around waiting to die, so he decides he will detach the cable from himself and free fall the rest of the way, despite Ida's protests. Just as he does this, though, the rest of the crew restores their communication ties with Ida, and she tells them of The Doctor's decision. Rose is devastated.

Zach tells Ida that they cannot get to her, meaning they must leave her behind, a fact she accepts. The crew prepares to escape the planet. Rose begs to be left behind as well, but Zach refuses, saying he's lost too many people already, ultimately knocking Rose out to get her to come with them. They make their way to the escape rocket, unaware that the Ood are starting to reawaken.

Meanwhile, The Doctor wakes up on a large, rocky ledge overlooking a vast chasm, his helmet cracked open:

He is, quite naturally, shocked he is even alive, and moreover, that he can breathe. (Time Lords, like humans, breathe oxygen). He deduces that there must be an air pocket in the pit, and that said pocket broke his fall. 

We then switch back to the crew, who have reached the rocket. Just as the rocket is about to launch, Rose wakes up and asks to be taken back, even stealing Captain Zach's gun and threatening him with it, but he tells her it's too late to go back. Toby seems almost eerily amused that they are escaping the planet, and Rose begins to wonder herself how they were able to get off - considering all the ways The Beast could've killed them, that he would simply let them go seems too easy.

The Doctor finds cave drawings depicting The Beast and a battle to defeat and imprision it in the cave in which he now is:

He finds two jars on pedestals on the edge of the ledge that match jars in the cave drawings, and touches them. They glow, illuminating the dark cave. He then finds himself face to face with a monstrous, chained creature, which looks a lot like the Balrog from Lord of the Rings:

The Beast, however, seems like just a dumb animal, rather than the intelligent, articulate being The Doctor communicated with earlier, and The Doctor figures out the creature in front of him is just The Beast's physical body - his mind is elsewhere. He also determines that the planet was a very intentional prison: the planet would fall into the black hole if The Beast ever tried to free itself. Therefore, the breathable air in the cave is not courtesy of The Beast, but of those who imprisoned it, intended to discourage The Beast from trying to escape.

The Beast, The Doctor realizes, knew this all along, which explains his mind having escaped. He also realizes if the gravity well balancing the planet were broken, the rocket Rose and company are on might be drawn into the black hole also. But, since he believes The Beast's mind has used the rocket to escape, he takes the risk, believing Rose will come through and save the day. He breaks the jars, collapsing the gravity well and causing the Beast's body to convulse:

Back in the rocket, The Beast's mind fully possesses Toby again. Rose, realizing the danger, grabs Zach's gun and points it at him:

Then, with a "Go to hell" line for good measure, she shoots out the rocket's front windshield before unbuckling the possessed Toby, sending him flying out into space toward the black hole:

But now another problem presents itself: both the rocket and the planet are getting pulled into the black hole too. The Ood, now free of the Beast's control, cower anxiously, while Ida collapses, having used the last of her oxygen.

The Doctor, meanwhile, is trying to escape The Beast's cave, which is collapsing due to the black hole. To his surprise, he finds the TARDIS nestled among the crags!

Those on the rocket prepare for the inevitable, but then all of a sudden, things go still and they realize they are being pulled away from the black hole. The Doctor's voice then comes over the speakers, informing them that he and the TARDIS are towing them away from the black hole, and also that he rescued Ida but had no time to rescue the Ood. Rose, who thought he was dead, is overjoyed to hear his voice.

Once the rocket reaches open space again, The Doctor swaps Ida for Rose, and the two have an emotional reunion. 

Rose then asks him about who The Beast really was, and about The Beast's prediction about her (more on that below), but The Doctor says it's enough for him that they beat The Beast, and that the prediction is a lie. As the TARDIS is about to dematerialize, however, Ida asks who they are:
IDA: Hang on though, Doctor. You never really said. You two, who are you?
DOCTOR: Oh, the stuff of legend. 
The episode ends with the Sanctuary Base crew heading back to Earth and Zach recording the base's final report, noting that Toby and all the Ood died with honors. He lists their names for the report, his voice trailing off as he begins to list each and every Ood.

And that's that!

Now...I promised I would tell the story of why I dislike this episode. So here goes.

Technically, this episode is actually the first I ever saw. It was several years ago. I was home alone and waiting for some other show to come on. As we didn't have a DVR at the time, I had to stay downstairs so as not to miss the show I was waiting for. And I had a half hour to kill. So I decided to channel surf, and found Doctor Who in the guide under Sci-Fi Channel. (This goes to show you how long ago this was - not only was Doctor Who airing on SyFy in the U.S., rather than BBC America, but also SyFy was still going by its old name). I decided to watch it, since I had heard of it online somewhere. (Being a geek online at the time, it was kind of hard not to...as a result of this I've actually known of River Song for years, though all I knew about her was that she traveled with The Doctor and was apparently really popular among fans, seeing how much people were talking about her). I got scared out of my mind watching that episode. Plus I missed whatever show I was waiting to watch, because I didn't realize Doctor Who episodes were more than a half hour long. So after that, I decided I would never watch the show again. Obviously, that has changed. Not sure what changed...time, I guess. (Ironically, this being a time travel show). Basically, I just decided to give the show a second chance...and the rest is history.

Well that's it for this post...till next time!


NaBloPoMo Special: 
The Love of the Doctor and Rose Tyler 
Part Twenty-Three: I Believe in Her

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. 

There is so much Doctor/Rose stuff in this episode! They begin with Rose's reaction to finding out The Doctor free fell into the pit:

Also, of course, when the crew are about to depart in the rocket, Rose begs to be left behind, as she can't fathom leaving The Doctor behind, and has to be knocked out to get her off the planet.

Then there's the famous "I believe in her" moment from The Doctor:

And, of course, Rose is ecstatic when she hears The Doctor's voice over the speakers of the rocket:

Their reunion is pretty emotional and happy, yet it has a somber tinge with Rose's question about The Beast saying she will "die in battle" soon:
DOCTOR: I don't know. Never did decipher that writing. But that's good, Day I know everything? Might as well stop.
ROSE: What do you think it was, really?
DOCTOR: I think we beat it. That's good enough for me.
ROSE: It said I was going to die in battle.
DOCTOR: Then it lied. Right, onwards, upwards. Ida? See you again, maybe. 
I have reached the end of my catchup...but Series 2 doesn't end here. How will The Doctor and Rose's relationship continue to grow as we hurtle toward the finale? Next post I will post the remainder of this "essay series" (if it can even be called that...it's certainly not the most coherent essays I've ever written) to tie things up.


Now that the NaBloPoMo catchup is done, I will post the aforesaid "The Love of The Doctor and Rose Tyler" post and the post for the Series 7 special "P.S." I also intend to cover the Series 2 TARDISodes (if I can find them) and the interactive episode "Attack of the Graske," if I can figure out a way to film my computer screen.

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

NaBloPoMo (catchup): Series 2, Episode 8: "The Impossible Planet"

Welcome to yet another NaBloPoMo catchup post...almost there. Almost done.

Next up is Series 2, Episode 8 - and part one of a 2-parter with episode 9, "The Satan Pit" - "The Impossible Planet."

This episode is very intense, though not quite as intense as the next episode. Not the best episode to watch at night.

Basically, in this episode, The Doctor and Rose find themselves on a "Sanctuary Base" somewhere in deep space in the 42nd century. (There are a lot of 42s in this episode). As if it wasn't bad enough that the TARDIS didn't want to land, they are greeted by this haunting message:

(It says "Welcome to Hell" by the way...Rose's head is blocking one of the words)

Plus, there is this strange writing, resembling Ancient Chinese or maybe Arabic, that is apparently so ancient even the TARDIS can't translate it:

The two meet up with the base's crew, from whom they learn the base is on a planet orbiting a black hole - something which should be scientifically impossible. The Doctor is impressed by their daring, though:
TOBY: There was some form of civilisation. They buried something. Now it's reaching out, calling us in.
DOCTOR: And you came.
IDA: Well, how could we not?
DOCTOR: So, when it comes right down to it, why did you come here? Why did you do that? Why? I'll tell you why. Because it was there. Brilliant. Excuse me, er, Zach, wasn't it?
ZACH: That's me.
DOCTOR: Just stand there, because I'm going to hug you. Is that all right?
ZACH: I suppose so.
DOCTOR: Here we go. Come on, then.
(The Doctor hugs Zach.)
DOCTOR: Oh, human beings. You are amazing! Ha!
We also meet the base's other inhabitants, the Ood - an alien race inclined to servitude by their very nature (kind of like the house elves in Harry Potter), who are connected by a sort of hive mind, communicate using little globules, and look like they belong in the Mos Eisley cantina or something:

But all is not well on the base. The crew's work to drill down into the planet to investigate the power source of its gravity well has awakened something no one on the base understands. Plus, stuff on the planet is becoming unstable, causing parts of the base to periodically break off and fall into a massive chasm. And exactly that happens - and that isn't good for The Doctor and Rose. Cause one of the parts that gets lost is exactly where they parked the TARDIS. Which means...they are now stranded. Indefinitely. Oops.

The Doctor and Rose try to process this possibility:

The Doctor is devastated at losing his precious ship, and is equally worried about Rose being trapped with him, since he had apparently promised Jackie he would always bring Rose home. Rose is a little more optimistic, saying they can just wait till the crew leaves the planet (which we have learned they are going to do soon) and get a ride back to Earth with them and go settle somewhere, even suggesting she and The Doctor could get a place together (which makes The Doctor awkward, although we all know how much he would love that). 

Meanwhile, whatever it is the crew awakened with their drilling is on the prowl - and its target is Toby, the crew's archeaology specialist:
VOICE [OC]: Toby. Don't turn around.
TOBY: Dan? That's not Dan.
VOICE [OC]: Don't look at me.
TOBY: Who are you?
VOICE [OC]: I have so many names.
TOBY: If if I could
VOICE [OC]: If you look at me, you will die.
TOBY: But who are you?
VOICE [OC]: I'm behind you, Toby. I'm right behind you. Don't look. Don't look at me. One look and you will die. I'm reaching out, Toby. I'm so close. Don't turn around. Oh, I can touch you.
The evil entity, who we gradually learn is called The Beast, possesses Toby, and he goes on a rampage, killing fellow crew member Scooti:

It is determined soon after that someone needs to check on the drilling. Ida from the crew is chosen for this, and The Doctor volunteers to accompany her, despite Rose's protests. She kisses him before he goes down. Toby, now unpossessed, realizes he can better understand the mysterious writing he had been studying (the same writing The Doctor and Rose had found when they first arrived) as a result of his possession and begins trying to decode it. Everyone is now suspicious of him, though, because of what he did to Scooti under The Beast's influence, and tries to keep an eye on him.

The Ood, meanwhile, are acting funny too, mystifying their "caretaker," Danny. They occasionally make cryptic remarks to Rose about The Beast too, which they subsequently don't remember saying.

The Doctor and Ida reach the bottom of the cave created by the drilling and discover a stone, seemingly the cover for something, with strange markings on it:

They decide to investigate it, but just as they do so, The Beast jumps into action, repossessing Toby while simultaneously possessing all the Ood that are on board.

The Beast then properly introduces himself, saying they will all die, while the Ood proclaim they are the Beast's Legion:

And...the episode ends. To be continued. 

Like I said, this episode is intense. And not one of my faves personally, though I like it better than part 2 of this 2-parter, which I have negative memories attached to (more on that in the next post). 

This episode and the next features a voice long-time Doctor Who fans may recognize - The Beast is voiced by Gabriel Woolf, famous for playing Sutekh in the popular Fourth Doctor episode "Pyramids of Mars." I watched this episode long before I saw "Pyramids of Mars," so I didn't catch the connection myself. When I did finally watch "Pyramids of Mars" as part of the Fourth Doctor Doctors Revisited special, I tried to pay attention to Sutekh's voice to see if it sounded the same. It does sort of sound similar, but it's hard to tell. 31 years of time ("Pyramids of Mars" aired in 1975) can do a lot to the voice. (Not to mention a lot has happened in sound technology since 1975). Watch this clip and decide for yourself:

The idea of an ancient power using a human to escape his confinement (which we learn at the end of this episode is The Beast's goal) also hearkens back to "Pyramids of Mars," as this was also Sutekh's goal. 

The episode does play on the sort of "demonic possession" tropes you might expect - someone awakens a demonic power by accident, hears strange voices, then is possessed and does horrible things. The Doctor's reference to some equation involving three sixes also references the Biblical "number of The Beast," 666. But I don't buy the idea that you are led in this episode to believe the Ood are the bad guys. I mean, yeah, it's usually the token aliens in the episode - which the Ood are in this case - that are the bad guys of the episode, but if that's what they're trying to do in this episode, they're not fooling me. Clearly, The Beast is much more sinister; heck, even the Ood make cryptic warnings about him, as if they can sense something the rest of the crew can't (which is highly probable, given their reliance on low-level telepathic energy to communicate with others of their race; technically The Beast takes advantage of this telepathic connection to possess all of them simultaneously anyway...also we know from later episodes, like "Planet of the Ood," that the Ood are known to make cryptic prophecies, and that they're usually right - they were right about The Doctor's song "ending soon" anyway). 

Next post, we go to part 2 of this 2-parter, and an episode I really don't like, "The Satan Pit." Till next time!


NaBloPoMo Special: 
The Love of the Doctor and Rose Tyler 
Part Twenty-Two: "The Mysterious Couple"

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.

The Doctor and Rose definitely bond in this episode, especially when they are faced with the possibility of being stranded on the titular "impossible" planet:
ROSE: I've seen films and things, yeah. They say black holes are like gateways to another universe.
COMPUTER: Close door 18.
DOCTOR: Not that one. It just eats.
ROSE: Long way from home.
DOCTOR: Go that way, turn right, keep going for er, about, er, five hundred years, and you'll reach the Earth.
(Rose turns her phone on.)
ROSE: No signal. That's the first time we've gone out of range. Mind you, even if I could. What would I tell her? Can you build another Tardis?
DOCTOR: They were grown, not built. And with my own planet gone, we're kind of stuck.
ROSE: Well, it could be worse. This lot said they'd give us a lift.
DOCTOR: And then what?
ROSE: I don't know. Find a planet, get a job, live a life, same as the rest of the universe.
DOCTOR: I'd have to settle down. Get a house or something. A proper house with, with doors and things. Carpets. Me, living in a house. Now that, that is terrifying.
ROSE: You'd have to get a mortgage.
ROSE: Oh, yes.
DOCTOR: I'm dying. That's it. I'm dying. It is all over.
ROSE: What about me? I'd have to get one, too. I don't know, could be the same one. We could both, I don't know, share. Or not, you know. Whatever. I don't know. We'll sort something out
DOCTOR: Anyway.
ROSE: We'll see.
DOCTOR: I promised Jackie I'd always take you back home.
ROSE: Everyone leaves home in the end.
DOCTOR: Not to end up stuck here.
ROSE: Yeah, but stuck with you, that's not so bad.
ROSE: Yes.
It's worth noting that Rose is actually comfortable with the idea of moving in with The Doctor (in the Earth sense, that is; technically she is already "living with him" by virtue of living full-time in the TARDIS except for occasional visits home). This shows that she at least views their relationship as quite serious, since not even Mickey got that honor from her (and they were supposedly in quite the steady relationship). Rose would not suggest that sort of thing lightly. By this point, I'd say it's become clear that her primary object of affection has always been The Doctor, despite her pretense of a continuing relationship with Mickey (mostly in Series 1) and her seeming infatuation with Jack Harkness (then again, even I would admit he was a lot more romantic with her than The Doctor was being at that point...plus Captain Jack just has that effect on most people, if you know what I mean).

Rose is also very concerned about The Doctor going down in the drill shaft with Ida - not because Ida is any sort of romantic rival or anything, but simply due to the inherent dangers in going down there. Before he goes down, she gives him a kiss in front of everyone:

And once he goes down, she ends up pretty much in charge of the radio which is their one communication link to The Doctor and Ida, and takes great advantage of it.

Others note The Doctor and Rose's closeness too; Danny calls them "the mysterious couple."

But with the dangers of the Pit looming in the near future...will The Doctor and Rose's love survive? We'll see.

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


Plans for November

So, as I did last year, I am going to be devoting the month of November to participate in the great and wild ride that is National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo. I'm actually going to work on my Doctor Who fanfic-in-progress, "The Companion's Diary of Alyson 'Alys' Reed," one of the "other projects" you may have seen mentioned on the TARDIS Thoughts Twitter, even though I have already started writing it, which would break the NaNoWriMo rule that you must start your "novel" from scratch. Eh well, I have already won by following the rules, and last year I said I would try at least once to win as a rebel (i.e., breaking the rules), so here's my chance. Also, it's just the kick in the pants I need to get this darn thing finished.

Knowing I will be quite busy working on that, I have made a plan in regards to posting on this blog during November. Cause with the 50th Anniversary Special next month and the mad dash I must now make in order to finish New Who by then, I obviously don't want to take a break for the month like I did last year.

So here is what I am going to do: I will write posts ahead of time that I will then schedule to publish each day next month. There will be a slight deviation from this on the 23rd when the Anniversary Special airs, obviously. I will attempt to get a post up on the special the same day it airs (it's being simulcast worldwide, so spoiler risk on this special will be rather low), if not by the day after.

I will probably focus my posts primarily on New Who, which I am trying to finish, but I may do some Classic Who posts in there too. Particularly in wake of the rather exciting recent discovery/release of the Patrick Troughton serials "The Enemy of the World" and "The Web of Fear." (I, like Matt Smith, enjoy Patrick Troughton). I will definitely try to do one post per day, but I might do more than one a day if I decide it's worth it.

Anyway, just wanted to give you a heads-up. Cheerio!


TARDIS Thoughts Turns One!

One year ago today, I began TARDIS Thoughts and posted its first post.

I can't believe it's been a whole year!!

(Not Doctor Who-related, I know, but it works).

To be honest, I hoped to have posted much more often than I have been doing, but I guess that sort of discipline takes practice. Plus, I didn't meet my goal to be caught up by today, but that's my fault. Eh well, maybe by tomorrow I'll be caught up.

Hopefully, by this time next year, I will have covered all of New Who up through Series 7 and covered a fair amount of Classic Who as well. Fingers crossed!

Speaking of Classic Who, my copy of the Doctor Who: The Doctors Revisited 5-8 DVD arrived today. So soon I will likely be able to write about the episodes on that set ("Earthshock," "Vengeance on Varos," "Remembrance of the Daleks," and Doctor Who: The Movie).

Anyway, happy first birthday, TARDIS Thoughts! Here's to many more!

NaBloPoMo (catchup): Series 2, Episode 7 - "The Idiot's Lantern"


Welcome to yet another post of NaBloPoMo catch up...almost done. Just the "The Impossible Planet"/"The Satan Pit" 2-parter after this, and I'll be caught up. Whew. Anyway, this post is about Series 2, Episode 7, "The Idiot's Lantern." 

This is one of those middle-of-the-season episodes that lets us take a breather between more intense episodes. Typically there are at least two such episodes in a Doctor Who season - one toward the middle and one near the end, right before the finale. (It depends on the season though). The episode is not without its conflict and action, of course, but it's much lighter than the Cybermen 2-parter that precedes it or the "Impossible Planet" 2-parter that follows it.

So the story takes place in 1953. First we look in on a family about to watch TV. Strange noises come from upstairs, worrying the son of the house, but his father tells him to ignore it. Elsewhere a frustrated shopkeeper, Mr. Magpie (his name, and the implied connotation of that word, was not lost on me) is checking his books and realizes he's in the red trying to sell his electronics, especially TVs. Some TV show with a very proper woman addressing the audience is playing on one of the TVs. Suddenly, some sort of strange lightning strikes, and the woman starts speaking directly to Magpie. He is, naturally, alarmed, but when she agrees to help him if he helps her, he gladly agrees. His face then starts getting sucked into the TV screen and...cue the opening credits.

When we return, the TARDIS has landed on a city road. Rose steps out in a very 1950's outfit, complete with a poodle skirt (rose-colored even!) and a '50's updo. It's hands down my favorite of Rose's outfits:

The Doctor is not so period-appropriate; he just has his suit on (minus the trenchcoat) as usual. She asks where they're going, and we learn they're going to some TV studio to hear Elvis play. Or at least that's the plan. He pops back into the TARDIS and emerges with a very nice scooter:

The two then address each other in stereotypical '50's fashion, complete with not-half-bad American accents:
DOCTOR: You going my way, doll?
ROSE: Is there any other way to go, daddy-o? Straight from the fridge, man.
But it becomes increasingly obvious that they are NOT in New York, as they planned, but London. So right decade, wrong city. Eh well, that's the TARDIS for you.

Rose comments on the large amount of TV antennas on the local rooftops, which she says doesn't seem right for the period. She and The Doctor question some people unloading TVs, and learn they have arrived on the eve of Queen Elizabeth II's coronation. Mr. Magpie, it seems, is selling TVs for £5 (an extremely low price) to people so they can watch the momentous event.

Just then, they see someone get pulled out of a nearby house with a blanket over his or her head. Unable to stop the abduction, they decide to question the Connellys, a nearby family, posing (via the psychic paper) as inspectors from the government. Mr. Connelly seems suspicious of them, though, and acts antagonistic towards them throughout the whole scene. The Doctor tries to get info out of the son Tommy while Rose throws her weight around telling Mr. Connelly he has his Union Jack streamers hung the wrong way. Suddenly, noises are heard from upstairs. Mr. Connelly tries to dismiss the noises, but The Doctor sees through the ruse, and Connelly begrudgingly leads them upstairs. He opens a bedroom, where sits a woman we learn is the grandmother of the family. Like the person we saw abducted earlier, she has a blanket over her head. They pull the blanket off, only to see she has no face!

Just after this, the police arrive to take Gran Connelly away, to the protests of everybody. The Doctor and Rose split up, The Doctor pursuing the police on the scooter while Rose goes on foot to investigate Magpie.

The Doctor traces the police to some sort of warehouse. The door is locked, but we all know that's no problem for our intrepid Time Lord. :) A few Soniced doors later, he comes across a sort of cell or cage, in which stand a large number of faceless people. But before he can do anything, the police find him.

Rose, meanwhile, is at Magpie's shop. Magpie tells her to leave, as he's closed, and to come back tomorrow. She points out that he'll be closed tomorrow because of the coronation. (The days such events occur are usually declared public holidays in the UK, meaning people don't have to go to work; the day of Prince William and Kate Middleton's wedding in 2011, for example, was declared a public holiday). She then begins to question him about the TVs and the faceless people, making him agitated. The mysterious lady on the TV pops up again, asking Magpie to "feed" her. Rose, naturally, finds this suspicious and confronts the woman. This does no good, however, and we soon see the lady go on the attack once more.

The Doctor is undergoing questioning by the police inspector but manages to convince them he's not suspicious and probes them for information on the faceless persons case. The Police Inspector says they just wanted to get the faceless people out of the way, to avoid controversy what with the coronation going on, and adds that Torchwood is going to have their necks if anything happens in public during the coronation (this being Series 2, of course there has to be a Torchwood reference in the episode). Just about then, another police officer brings in another covered figure. We can't see the face, but a certain familiar pink skirt gives it away:

It's Rose. The police lift the blanket, and sure enough, her face has been taken as well. The Inspector asks where she was found, and the other officer says they just found her lying in the street.

The Doctor is now VERY furious:
DOCTOR: They did what?
BISHOP: I'm sorry?
DOCTOR: They left her where?
BISHOP: Just in the street.
DOCTOR: In the street. They left her in the street. They took her face and just chucked her out and left her in the street. And as a result, that makes things simple. Very, very simple. Do you know why?
DOCTOR: Because now, Detective Inspector Bishop, there is no power on this Earth that can stop me. Come on!
Motivated by his righteous anger, The Doctor heads out with the Inspector to confront Magpie, somehow also adding Tommy Connelly to the party along the way. They reach the store and question him, but he blames it on the woman. The woman reveals herself as a being called The Wire, who escaped the destruction of its people by turning itself into a being of pure electrical energy. But it needs nourishment to live (don't we all?), and apparently it feeds off of faces. The Wire's plan, it seems, is to feed off the faces of the people watching the coronation, via the cheap TVs Magpie was selling. 

The Doctor, obviously, is not about to let that happen, and says so. The Wire gets angry and attacks him, Tommy, and the Inspector, trying to take their faces, but the Doctor stops her with his Sonic. 

The Wire then transfers herself to a portable TV and demands Magpie go forward with the next part of the plan, which involves heading for the TV transmitter at Alexandra Palace, which will be broadcasting the coronation. The Doctor and Tommy team up to stop him (the Inspector got his face stolen by the Wire). They cobble together a device using parts from the TARDIS and from Magpie's shop before pursuing Magpie to the transmitter. Some guards try to stop them, but the Doctor just flashes the psychic paper as they run past, and the guards let him through. This moment shows a rare case of the Doctor not even knowing what the psychic paper is showing:
GUARD: Wait, wait, wait! Where do you think
(The Doctor shows him the psychic paper.)
OFFICIAL: Oh! I'm very sorry, sir. Shouldn't you be at the Coronation?
DOCTOR: They're saving me a seat.
TOMMY: Who did he think you were?
DOCTOR: King of Belgium, apparently.
The Doctor sees Magpie climbing up the transmitter antenna to connect his portable TV, containing The Wire, to the antenna. He initially succeeds, and The Wire begins gleefully stealing faces from the people watching the coronation:

But The Doctor has other plans. He confronts The Wire with his own contraption, and connects it to the transmitter, dragging The Wire into it instead of the TV. Those whose faces The Wire had stolen get their faces back, and everyone watches the newly-crowned Queen Elizabeth II leave Westminster Abbey. (We don't actually see footage of her being crowned; in the commentary we learn that, while they were allowed to use original TV footage of the coronation for this episode - meaning that all the footage we do see is actually real-life footage - they were not permitted to use footage of her actually being crowned).

The Doctor rejoins Tommy (who stayed downstairs to operate the main part of the Doctor's machine) and shows Tommy what he trapped The Wire on - a VHS tape. Essentially he's created a primitive VCR about thirty years early.

The Doctor then reunites with Rose, and they walk down Florizel Street, where a street party is taking place in honor of the coronation. (It seems that street parties are common in the UK for events like this). She asks him what he's going to do with The Wire, and he spouts some technobabble solution, which ultimately just means he'll tape over it. They are later joined by Tommy, to whom The Doctor gives the scooter he's been riding throughout the episode. Tommy sees his father leaving the house, clearly thrown out by his mother, and says "Good riddance," as if he had been expecting it. Ultimately, though, with Rose's encouragement, he goes and joins his dad, and they walk off together. Rose and The Doctor stand and watch, sharing a toast of orange squash.

Well...that's it for this episode. Next up, an adventure in deep space with a planet orbiting a black hole, and the introduction of the mysterious Ood -- "The Impossible Planet."


NaBloPoMo Special: 
The Love of the Doctor and Rose Tyler 
Part Twenty-One: No Power on This Earth That Can Stop 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. 

There is a lot of Doctor/Rose love in this episode. The two act like a happy couple throughout the episode, and they clearly play well off of each other.

The real evidence of their love in this episode, though, comes when Rose gets her face stolen by The Wire. The mere thought of her getting her face stolen and getting thrown out into the street is enough to get The Doctor really, really angry, to the point that he tells the Police Inspector that "now...there is no power on this Earth that can stop me." Also, he is overjoyed to reunite with Rose once it's all over:

Clearly, their relationship is moving toward something serious! How will it continue to develop? We shall see!

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

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