Who was that pyjama-clad man?
In an echo of the Series 1 opening, we zoom in from a wide shot of the Earth until we’re inside the Tyler flat at the estate. This time the close-up is on Jackie, decorating a white fake Christmas tree. Nearby, Mickey tells his coworker at the garage to turn down the music; he’s heard the faint but unmistakable grindings of the TARDIS landing. He and Jackie both come running, and I sob out, “They both love Rose so mu-huh-huh-huh-huch!”
Oh Doctor, my Doctor!
When we last left our intrepid heroes, mankind faced danger of total eradication by alien forces. Again. But the Doctor, despite his precarious circumstances, vowed to save Rose from the Daleks. And the Doctor keeps his promises, yo!
Endure petty human drama *and* a comfy chair? *reels in horror*
The Doctor awakens somewhere unknown, falling into a flat that’s been hit with a Pop-Art stick. Three inhabitants regard him with varying degrees of welcome and suspicion. “They never said you were coming!” one exclaims. “What’s your name then, sweetheart?” “The Doctor. I think,” the Doctor replies (eep?). “You got chosen,” his guide informs him: he’s a new “Housemate” just in time for eviction. A robotic voice summons him to The Diary Room, explaining, “You are live on Channel 4400. Please do not swear.” The Doctor grips the sides of his funkadelic red chair and snaps, “You have got to be kidding!”
The face of doom (and uncontrollable flatulence): the return of Slitheen Margaret Blaine.
Six months after the Slitheen nearly reduced the Earth to a slag heap so they could sell it for fuel, Cardiff’s nuclear expert advisor appeals to the city’s new mayor. No matter how he’s studied the designs, the newly approved nuclear power plant can only lead to “destruction like the British Isles have never seen before.” “Well, goodness me…you’re the expert,” she defers to him at first, saying, “nothing is more important than human life.” But as her tummy rumbles, we recognize Margaret Blaine, one conniving surviving Slitheen disguised in a human skin suit. Continue reading
For a gas-mask-y future, join the zombie’s land army!
When we last left the gang, they were in mortal peril from an advancing gas-mask zombie army! As the drones approach calling “Mummy?”, the Doctor yells out, “Go to your room!” Everyone looks confused, including the zombies, who head-tilt in unison. Jack and Rose do their part by standing about looking befuddled and pretty.
You get it. No, you! No one wants to pick up the phone when the Empty Child is calling!
Sparks fly from the TARDIS’s panels, and Rose and the Doctor are buffeted about as they respond to a mauve alert (much better than red, silly humans!). When a nearby ship began jumping time tracks, the Doctor locked onto it to stop it before it crashes into London. By the time they land, however, it’s a month since the mystery ship arrived. Rose hopes the Doctor’s got an opening gambit showing a little razzamatazz, like scanning for alien tech. “It landed in London with a very loud bang,” he points out. “I’m going to ask.” Continue reading
And you thought maybe you had Daddy issues…
In a series of quick cuts, we switch back and forth between two key points in Rose’s timeline. First, Jackie tells young Rose how her father Pete Tyler died on 7 November, 1987, the day of their friends’ wedding. The victim of a hit-and-run, he never got to see his daughter grow up. Next present-day Rose awkwardly asks the Doctor if it’s possible to see her dad alive. After viewing Pete and Jackie’s strained civil ceremony, Rose implores the Doctor to take her to the day Pete died. Someone ought to have been there for him, this man she’s heard was so clever and always having adventures. Might it be her? “Your wish is my command,” the Doctor says. “But be careful what you wish for.”
Don’t believe the spike!
As the Doctor and Rose step out of the TARDIS, the Doctor provides Rose with rapid-fire mentions of some key facts about their new surroundings. So when a dazed Adam stumbles out, hauled all the way from 2012 to the year 200,000, he’s treated to Rose assessing the situation coolly, using the info the Doctor just gave. Absolutely terrific little moment, because it gives Rose a one-up on Adam that he never, ever gets back and because it’s so clear that the Doctor is, however reluctantly, pretty much doing what he can to help Rose get laid.
Anytime, or anywhere/Just look over your shoulder/Guess who’ll be standing there? Hey, hey, we’re the DALEKS!
The TARDIS rematerializes in a dim warehouse in Utah, drawn there by a signal. When the Doctor flicks on lights, Rose exclaims they’re in an alien museum. “Someone’s got a hobby,” the Doctor notes. The collection boasts an instrument from the Roswell, the arm of a Slitheen and “an old friend of mine. Well, enemy,” the Doctor notes. A Cyberman’s head, “the stuff of nightmares, reduced to an exhibit.” None of these sent the signal; it was something alive, “calling for help.” “I’m getting old,” the Doctor says quietly, touching the Cyberman’s glass display case.
Suddenly an alarm sounds and armed guards run in. “If someone collects aliens, that makes you exhibit A,” Rose murmurs. Way to give up the game in the first quarter, Rose. Continue reading
Who lit one? Rose, the Doctor, and Harriet Jones, MP for Flydale North, face down some ominously farting aliens.
We open this sequel to “Aliens of London” with action so electric you can see it on the screen! Really, the UNIT experts and the Doctor shake with visibly crackling current from Green’s attack through their ID badges. Silly Slitheen, thinking they could wipe out the Doctor along with the others! The attack’s “deadly to humans, maybe,” but obviously not to Time Lords (I personally think it’s because the Doctor needs no ID, baby!).