I’ve decided to do reviews of specific episodes of Doctor Who starting with nine, because this is my blog and I can . I’ve chosen these episodes not because of overall story ark, but solely by the story telling within the episode and the acting talent. In Doctor Who we are introduced to new people each episode so I think it’s important to acknowledge the work done by the actors and writers to create a believable character complete with back story that the audience can connect to within 40 minutes.
My first one is a two parter (yes I kind of cheated), The Empty Child and The Doctor Dances. The setting is London during the blitz. This does become an important show for the series as a whole in that this is when we are introduced to Captain Jack Harkness. From beginning to end these episodes do a wonderful job of instilling both the fear of the Blitz itself, but also the fear of being infected and turned into a monster. The explanation for this phenomena is brilliant as the healing alien force trying to ‘fix’ everyone. This should be a good thing what with the war going on around them, but in the confusion of the situation it becomes a disaster. As the human mother is trying to protect and defend, the alien anti-bodies are trying to cure and restore. It turns these episodes into a horror movie with the creepy child always asking ‘are you my mummy?’, and aren’t the creepy children horror movies the best kind, something about the innocence of children being corrupted I think.
The highlights are Rose meeting the oh-so-cool Captain Jack and comparing him to her own nerdy time traveler. John Borrowman doing a fantastic job of depicting a lovable lothario, dances and charms even the Doctor, his best line is when he criticizes the Doctor for having a sonic screwdriver of all things mere moments before said sonic device saves his life. This also leads to a conversation about the destruction of the sonic plant. ‘There’s a banana grove there now. I like bananas, bananas are good!’ This is repeated by David Tennant’s Doctor just after he’s regenerated. I don’t think it’s significant per se I just like that he says it twice. Matt Smith’s Doctor also echoed this episode, when donning a gas mask he turns to Amy Pond and asks ‘are you my mummy?’ She just says ‘what?’, but we can see that these episodes really resonated in the cannon.
The best moment is in the end when the child is healed, the Doctor throws the nano-bites at the infected people and says, ‘Just this once, everybody lives!’ Christopher Eccleston says this with such joy and conviction that you feel it. This kind of day doesn’t happen for the Doctor very often, and after rescuing the contrite Jack, he was in fact given one of those days where everybody lives. I do have to mention the funniest line that comes from Dr. Constantine, after all the infected have been cured. One of his patients comments on how she now has two legs even though she came to the hospital with one. His response is, ‘Well, there is a war on, is it possible you miss-counted?’