The start of this episode packs a powerful punch, and not in terms of emotion or drama, but simple amazement. How can they put the Doctor in Big Brother? How have they got the rights to get Davina to say “Please do not swear?”
Putting Rose in the Weakest Link and Captain Jack in Trinny & Susannah is less amusing as they are both BBC programmes, but Big Brother is something else entirely.
Turns out that the Doctor interfering on Satellite Five so many years ago has caused things to go wrong. Emotional guilt-fest number 1 - responsible for 100 years of hell.
I really like Jo Joyner, and wish she could have stuck around as a companion. She’s keen and eager and brave too, which is essential if you’re going to stick around the Doctor.
The Controller thing is a bit weird, it reminds me very much of Minority Report, when the strange people would see things, and were constantly hooked up to monitors. We don’t really find out what the point of her was, except that she managed to bring the Doctor to intervene, and sacrificed her life to do so. Respect… even if you’re a bit of a mystery.
Rose gets vaporised after losing out on The Weakest Link. Emotional guilt-fest number 2 - responsible for the death of Rose.
Although I obviously knew that she was coming back, for another whole series, in fact, it was still quite a shocking moment. Rose, who has travelled with us on so many adventures, felled just like that.
Except, she’s not really dead. She’s been transported to the Dalek spaceship. The Daleks are back. Again.
Emotional guilt-fest number 3 - The Doctor worrying that the entire Time War was for nothing.
This is the one that got to me the most. The idea that all his kith and kin could have fought for something and then it be pointless. But I suppose that is what comes of time travel. No matter where you are, at some point, something is happening that you have already dealt with, or will deal with in the future, things are happening all over again, and worst of all, history is repeating itself. The Doctor can fix a lot, but he can’t fix everything.
It was quite brilliant when he stood up to the Daleks and said, quite emphatically, NO. They have all the cards in their favour - Rose as a hostage, weapons, space ships, a plan to take over the world.
All the Doctor has is words, and he uses the most powerful one: NO.
All in all, this episode simply sets up what is required for the next. Everything is in place, the world is in danger, Captain Jack is flirting, Rose has been kidnapped, and the Doctor, well he does some great Big Brother recall.
“Rose, I’m coming to get you!”