The first two-part Doctor Who episode of the New Who era, and we are back to London to find out that Rose has been missing. I was slightly confused by the entire introduction to this story. Whilst it was quite revealing to see the impact of Rose’s departure on her family and the friends she has left behind, isn’t the TARDIS a time machine? Once they realised they’d returned a year later, couldn’t they hop back in and hit reverse for 12 months? Problem solved.
That aside, it was the aliens who were to dominate the story.
(Quick note: did I spot Matt Baker on Rose’s mum’s TV? Nice work!)
Harriet Jones was in full force at the cabinet office, bugging the politicians to talk to her about some local problems whilst they were dealing with a full-scale alien alert. It seems quite improbable, but I have never met any politicians, and I don’t know how very tenacious they can be. Either way, we know Harriet is very important, so her determination to get to the truth and to make people listen to her is a sign of things to come.
Telling Rose to stay put, the Doctor goes to investigate what is going on, and stumbles right into the heart of the action, where a pig-man is escaping from the craft. It’s very telling that the worried soldiers shoot the pig-man. We are quite hostile really, when it comes down to things we don’t understand, or have never seen before.
The Doctor’s disappearance causes more problems for Rose, because although he has given her the TARDIS key, everyone else around her is positive that he’s not coming back. Mickey is particularly keen on the idea that the Doctor is gone, saying in a rather awesomely jealous way: “Some boyfriend he turned out to be.”
The first episode of any two-parter is all about the build-up, and I love the detective aspect thrown into this as well. Figuring out that the craft came from Earth and what that means is really going on is a fun ride. Jackie ruins it all, though, by phoning the hotline number and dishing all the dirt on Rose and the Doctor.
In the end, it turns out the Slitheen are making their presence felt by gathering lots of important people in the same room. Is it just me that finds the whole Slitheen thing really gross? Far from being scary, they are full of gas and then discard human skins as if they were wrappers.
But, I did love spotting the guy from Teachers.