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10 August 2008 @ 06:19 pm
Doctor Who 1x05 "World War Three" rewatch-review  
As I've stated elsewhere, once I finished season two of New Who, I was going to rewatch and review what I call my "Her Name was Rose" collection (click here for the full list of episodes).

For such an action-packed episode throughout, this one sure packs a wallop of emotion into here and there and then just lays 'em on heavily but beautifully in the last ten minutes or so. Of the recurring characters -- not including Harriet Jones -- I think that Russell T Davies did a fabulous job in plumbing emotional, relatable depths in all four of them.

We'd already begun to see a turn-around in Mickey during last week's first parter, but in this one, he literally saved the world. He did what needed to be done; and like the Doctor has had to so many times, he made the tough call because it had to be done. As did Jackie. I absolutely loved the scene between Mickey and Jackie where he's getting the final bit of information from the Doctor necessary to launch the missile at 10 Downing Street and Jackie tells him that she could stop him, and Mickey looks up at her and says softly, "do it." Such a simple moment, but so powerful, because he cares about Rose too, but they both realize in the moment, the needs of the many must outweigh the one, even a loved one. And that moment there more than any other is, I think, what softens both Jackie and Mickey to the Doctor, although neither would ever admit it.

As for Rose, there isn't much character movement for her, she's rather the catalyst for those emotional peeks into Jackie and the Doctor that we see. This nineteen year old kid who in a few short weeks is already showing just what she's capable of when her potential is tapped does so quite a bit here. In the cabinet room, she thought quickly and dropped the curtain on a distracted Slitheen (who we know much better as Margaret from "Boom Town" later in the series) to help her and Harriet escape. Later on, she was the one who took charge remembering earthquake protocol and possibly saving Harriet and herself (the Doctor would have just regenerated). And, of course, before that she pushed the Doctor to "do it," save the planet, no matter what, even if it meant dying herself. Selfish though she may be at times (and unreasonably jealous ... more on that later), Rose Tyler has a huge heart and has no doubt that when it comes to saving the many over the few, the many win out, even if she's one of the few.

Which leaves the Doctor for some good old character analysis. We got two key bits of his inner turmoil in this one. The first is his role as a Time Lord, as he tells Jackie over the speakerphone: This is his life, it's not all fun and adventure, it's making the difficult choices because no one else can or will. The quiet anguish in his voice as he said this was yet another echo of the effect the Time War had on him. Here he was once again -- on an admittedly smaller scale -- forced to potentially give up something he cares about for the greater good. And then comes the flip: The utter joy that fills his grin when someone else steps up and decides that she can and will make that decision. And she does it, leaving the Doctor free to do what he must do with the blessing of Rose, but more importantly, being able to relinquish the decision-maker role in this instance because Harriet Jones was right. SHE was the only one in that room who truly had the authority to make that call.

This shows how true it is that the Doctor, at least a part of him, does simply want to relinquish that role and just be with the woman he loves, be able to make the choice to choose the one over the many. We saw the seeds of what does play out in "Journey's End" this early on -- not necessarily pertaining to Rose specifically here, although again, she is the key here that is causing the anguish at his decision (Harriet doesn't even come into the equation for him, he's focused all on Rose). He doesn't have that option here, but we already see that a part of him wishes for it and in "Journey's End," with his Time Lord/Human hybrid self, he's finally able to choose that one.

Ah, that one ... that leads us to the other aspect of him that we get a glimpse into and it is an area we've been given plenty to ponder on before: His growing feelings for Rose. We have two scenes here that make it clear just how important Rose Tyler has become to him (and possibly a third scene that's more subtle and could just be my imagination). The first, of course, is the beautiful and gut-wrenchingly chemical scene where the Doctor explains that he could save the world, but lose Rose. And it's interesting because the dialogue could have played on such a different level, one more fit for an authority figure worried for a young person who has so much life to live that could be cut short because of him as opposed to how it does play.
    Jackie: Please, Doctor. Please. She's my daughter. She's just a kid.
    The Doctor: Do you think I don't know that? 'Cuz this is my life, Jackie. It's not fun, it's not smart. It's just standing up and making a decision because nobody else will.
    Rose: Then what are you waiting for?
    The Doctor: I could save the world, but lose you.
See, it could have played without any romantic subtext at all, especially with Jackie's line about her being "just a kid," and the Doctor's response of "do you think I don't know that?" But two things completely change the tenor and subtext of the scene. Firstly, Christopher Eccleston's voice. The timbre of aching love just fills every syllable, especially the you in "I could save the world, but lose you." This is not someone concerned about a youth losing out on their potential long life; this is a man devastated at the thought that he could lose the woman he loves. His voice develops this note that just grabs my heart and sets butterflies fluttering in my stomach. You hear that note in his voice and then the way he looks at her ... My God, the way he looks at her, such intense devotion and yearning wrapped up in a blanket of devastation at the thought of losing her. And it's all focused only on her, blocking out Harriet's presence, Jackie and Mickey on the other end of the line. How can anyone doubt that he's already grown to love her? Just look!



Oh, and Rose's reaction! It's almost *almost* better than his look. She takes what he's said, how he's said it, the way that he is looking at her and she absorbs it, you can see that, feel that in the slightest of shifting emotions on her face and then ... she smiles. Just the tiniest curve of her lips, but it's a smile, one of feminine knowledge. And I ask, how can anyone doubt that Rose had definite non-platonic feelings for this Doctor early on? Just look!



Better yet, absorb yourself, the beauty, the chemistry and power of the scene in all of its glory. Watch the clip below (via imeem) or download for better quality here.


Just, whoah. Plus, I think it should be mentioned here that although they don't see the way that the Doctor is looking at Rose (or her response), Jackie and Mickey DO hear that statement and the way he says it. That right there may be the key reason that the two seem to back off a bit when it comes to the Doctor and Rose because even just hearing that had to have made it perfectly clear that whatever else is going on, Rose is *incredibly* important to him and he will always think of the safest option for her.

There's one more scene that shows the viewer (but not Jackie and Mickey this time) just how crazy the Doctor is about Rose. After Rose tries to get him all domestic {snerk} over the phone, the Doctor lightly, breezily informs her that she can just stay there in one breath, and then in the very next, with his eyes racing he tempts her with yet another wonder of the universe and in every beat of every word he's saying dontstaycomewithmebewithmedontleaveme. He totally, *totally* is. And Rose totally, *totally* gets that. Watching her expression as he details their next adventure, you can see her brain working, thinking is he doing what I so know he's doing? even as she is being tempted and seduced by what he's describing. Both by the wonder of traveling with him and the man himself. As for the Doctor, he ends his plea -- because, really that is what it was -- with a simple "your choice," and again, his voice, his expression, the look in his eyes are all screaming, CHOOSE ME! And then he hangs up, and he has a quick moment where there's a sense that he's shocked that he did what he just did coupled at the same time with fear that it didn't work.

God, I absolutely LOVE Christopher Eccleston. He is such, such an amazing actor. Every episode that passes and I just find myself more and more in awe of his talent. He is just breathtaking, amazing, wonderful. Not enough superlatives. I. love. him. And, honestly, I rather dig Billie Piper too. I had found myself disappointed in a few of her acting choices last week upon my rewatch, but thanks to some elucidating comments, I decided that I was the one in error. She was on the ball, and she's just as much in this episode as she's been all along. As in awe as I am of Eccleston's talent, I often myself amazed that this young woman is able to so perfectly keep up and mesh so beautifully with him.

So much goes unsaid in this scene, written in their tones and facial expressions, their eyes, it's just some lovely, lovely acting. See? Watch the clip below (via imeem) or download for better quality here.


The third scene that may or may not further illustrate the Doctor's growing feelings for Rose is his face to face conversation with Mickey. Like in "School Reunion," the Doctor asks Mickey to join he and Rose on their adventuring and it was quite clear to me (and I think, most viewers) that his intention was to put a buffer between he and Rose and their growing closeness after their "humans wither and die" conversation. The same, I do believe, can be said about this invitation. The Doctor had revealed his strong feelings for Rose on two separate occasions in the last couple of hours. The first could be excused and dismissed in the heat of battle, but the latter -- a blatant plea disguised as temptation to keep her with him -- had no such excuse, and coupled with the earlier reveal made it quite clear to the Doctor *and* Rose that something was there.

So, Mickey showed that he wasn't quite the idiot that the Doctor had assumed, and here he was, a handy way to widen that ever-growing closeness between the Doctor and Rose before he did something stupid like choose her over the many. So, he asked Mickey to join them, good buffer. Again, I could be wrong, but I don't think I am. After all, it's very similar in situation to why the Doctor asked him in "School Reunion."

And if you take the whole comparison further, remember that he'd asked Sarah Jane first, and then Mickey ... and then Reinette (we'll just ignore Moffat's out-of-character take on the Doctor asking, and stick with how it *should* have flowed within canon) in the following episode, looking for someone, anyone to create that buffer between them. Here, when Mickey declines, the Doctor -- as in the series two episodes, doesn't stop there -- he agrees to let Adam join them in the very next episode, and a few episodes later (after doing an *incredibly* stupid thing for Rose), he asks Jack ... yet another attempt at a buffer.

Yeah, so, I do think it was deliberate and not just my shipper imagination overheating. He was falling fast and hard for Rose and he was afraid that he was going to do something really, really stupid if there wasn't someone, anyone added to the mix to keep him in check.

Which brings us to Rose. I pointed out above Rose's response to the Doctor's reveal in the cabinet room, as well as her take on him wanting her to stay with him. But still, she's not even remotely as there as the Doctor. She's still in denial mode overall. She enjoys the fact that she clearly DOES mean something special to him (the smile as illustrated above shows that clearly), but I don't think she quite realizes how reciprocal it is. Others do. Mickey obviously sees something there despite her denials; he just knows that there *is* something there. Her mother calmly mentions that she has to accept the Doctor now since Rose is infatuated with him. Of course, Rose denies it, but Jackie just ignores that denial because it's as obvious to her as it is to Mickey (and later Adam ... and Jack).

And that denial brings us to her idea about Mickey joining them. First of all, presumptive much? Rose just assumes that Mickey can join them, doesn't even ask the Doctor. Oh, she sooo knows that she has him wrapped around her finger and that he pretty much wouldn't deny her anything. So, she is very aware of it, but she's just aware of it from the Doctor's end, and is quite oblivious to her own infatuation with him. Oh, Rose. So young, so stupid. I mean, honestly, she gets momentarily jealous of Harriet. Yes, Harriet! They're in the middle of a major crisis on Earth, everyone she loves and knows could die, she could die, big, horrible, green aliens are killing people and when the Doctor compliments Harriet, Rose has a moment of "what's so great about her?" It's quick, but still ... And again, oh, it could be my shipper self seeing something that's not there, but jealousy is as big a part of Rose's character as it is Nine's. I mean, come on ... after the Doctor tells Harriet with a grin that she's "good at this," Rose glances briefly down with this look, and well, I see a Rose who is momentarily and so inappropriately jealous because the Doctor is praising someone who's not her. Oh, Rose.

Okey-dokey, one more Rose/Doctor moment and then I'm moving on. Again with the inappropriate, as Jackie and Mickey are fighting for their lives, the Doctor takes the time to snark at Mickey as Rose's choice of boyfriend ... again. (As Jackie calls out all of the vinegar-laden foodstuffs in Mickey's cabinets, he says "you kiss that man?") The proper time and place, you two. Harriet is so wasting her time admonishing Rose on her inappropriate joking while people are dying. Yes, it's usually Doctor/Rose lovey-dovey-ness or jealousy-related inappropriateness (see the Doctor/Mickey above, or Rose/Harriet higher up), but really, it's just these two and their jeopardy friendly ways. You make jokes, you take the time to be lovey-dovey or jealous in the middle of a crisis because there may not be any downtime in which to do so. That's the Doctor and Rose.

Just a bit of gush about one more character and then the plot. I've mentioned elsewhere, I'll happily state it again. I love Harriet Jones. So many moments of awesome with her: After the Doctor catches up with Rose and Harriet and Harriet makes her presence known, there's this exchange:
    The Doctor: Who the hell are you?
    Harriet: Harriet Jones. MP for Flydale North.
    The Doctor: Nice to meet you.
    Harriet: Likewise.
Just the beginning of Harriet's lovely show of manners, matched by the Doctor's, I might add. Later we see her correct the Doctor on the proper order of beverage offering ("You pass it to the left first"). As above where the Doctor offers the proper "nice to meet you" despite the situation, and Harriet responds in proper kind, here after Harriet corrects the Doctor's manners, he calmly apologizes and offers the alcohol to Rose ... on his left. And then later in the episode, as they are narrowing it down, her repeated "pardon the word" was hilarious. The line was funny, yes, the characterization of this woman who always remembers her manners, is always a lady is a lovely, defining character trait, but like last week and in her future appearances, it's the delivery. Penelope Wilton is just utterly delightful.

I had mentioned in my rewatch-review of Aliens of London ...
As for plot, ironically for all that I've complained about Davies' plots in his first two episodes, this has the tightest by far, and yet, I don't have much to say ... good plotting. Of course, this is the first of a two-parter. I may have more on the plot (and not so positive, but I remember having no issues while I did have some for both "Rose" and "The End of the World") in the review for "World War 3." We'll see.
Well, I've seen the conclusion, and I think the plot holds up pretty well. It's not brilliant, or the bestest plot ever, but unlike his first two efforts, there are no glaring plot holes or plot points that make you go "huh?" The villains are different and have a motive unlike any we generally see in alien-villains of any sci-fi show, and the character development flows organically with and within the plot. See, I said that Rusty got better at the plots. Yay!

Random observation time. Fun!

- First off, I mentioned above how awesome Christopher Eccleston is. Here's some more proof: Watch the clip below (via imeem) or download for better quality here.


I mean, don't you just get chills watching that? It's perfectly believable that Margaret's smile and giggles just die looking at that face, those eyes, hearing that utter certainty when he responds: "Yes. Me." Just, guh! How any heterosexual female can not want to just do Eccleston right then and there, I do not know.

- Another awesome scene, mainly for the incredible interplay between Eccleston, Piper and Wilton, is the "narrowing it down" scene. Just the rapid back-and-forth, the growing excitement, the feeling empowering all three of doing sometihng. Awesome.

- Speaking of the awesome ... before Donna Noble entered the scene, Harriet Jones had defined awesome for me. The way she took command of the room while the Doctor and Rose were having their intensely chemical, Shall we shag like the world's about to end right now? Yes, let's! silent communication by declaring that she would make the decision as the only elected official in the room. She's so kick-ass. I love her.

- Also, "You're a very violent young woman." She says to Rose. Hee. Awesome, kick-ass and oh, so proper. Great line, and Wilton rules on delivery, she really, really does.

- Another line I got a kick out (aided generously by delivery), was Margaret's gleeful reaction to the red phone in the Prime Minister's office. "It's actually red!" Hee, hee!

- I liked the Doctor wanting to know the name of the junior secretary; nice knowing that it's a continued Doctor trait (as he's always wanting to know and honor the names of those killed in battle in future episodes, even as Ten). Nice continuity there.

- So, I wonder if the Doctor's regeneration is what led to the different timeline in which Harriet creates Great Britain's new Golden Age. (Pete's World features Harriet's Golden Age that the Doctor mentioned at the end of the episode.) Of course, we know that in this timeline, the Doctor -- newly regenerated -- ended Harriet's career as PM not too long after it began. I can totally see that, because I could see Nine reacting to Harriet's call to destroy the Sycorax differently. Instead of imposing his anger upon her and ending her career, Nine would have just taken the guilt unto himself ... again. So, the lack of her Golden Age in this timeline makes sense to me; I think that RTD covered that nicely.

- Finally, I loved, loved the callback to "The End of the World." Even though Rose had been annoyed with the Doctor at the time, I loved that she remembered it and I just cracked up that she used his crack about his accent to Harriet here.
    Harriet: Who's not human?
    Rose: He's not human.
    Harriet: He's not human?
    The Doctor: Can I have a bit of hush?
    Harriet: Sorry ... (to Rose) But he's got a Northern accent.
    Rose: Lots of planets have a North.
    The Doctor: I said, 'hush.'
So, there's the Rose using his cheeky lines (oh, Rose), and then on top of that the wonderful back-and-forth, banter, by-play, pick a 'b' word, between the three actors, and it's another little gem of a moment.

- Finally, handporn! time: Sigh, yet another episode with only one hand-hold and this one is shared!! Waah! Still, it's a sweet moment with Rose and Harriet on either side of the Doctor huddled in a tiny cupboard holding hands as a missile heads directly for the roof over their heads.



Done.

  • Click the image for previous episode rewatch-reviews:


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    main_hoon_emily on August 11th, 2008 01:49 am (UTC)
    That "I could save the world but lose you" line is what my friend Heidi used to get me to watch Dr. Who in the first place ("See, it's not just a sci-fi show, there's romance, too!"), and it's still one of my favorites after four seasons. At first I was planning to just rush through season one to get to the good part (David Tennant), but Christopher Eccleston completely won me over, with that line being a major part of it.

    And oh, I loved, loved, loved Harriet Jones from the first moment she appeared on screen. You're right; until Donna came along Harriet pretty much defined awesome.
    Arabian: Donna Noblearabian on August 11th, 2008 02:00 am (UTC)
    That scene?!?! Gah, it's just incredible. So swoon-worthy, so romantic, so beautiful and Eccleston? So very, very yummy.

    Harriet is just awesome. In a perfect world, we would have had an episode with the Doctor, Rose and Donna working with Harriet to save the day.

    Ah.
    rosewarrenrosewarren on August 11th, 2008 02:53 am (UTC)
    "I could save the world but lose you." That line officially set me on the Nine/Rose shipper path ( not that I knew what that was back then!)

    I miss Nine so much after watching that clip. I love Ten to bits, but Christopher Eccleston is such a talented actor, and his Doctor is so distinct and just so him.

    And Harriet Jones? Totally, completely awesome.

    Off to watch series 1 again.
    Arabian: Dr Who (10) - Christmas Invasionarabian on August 11th, 2008 12:40 pm (UTC)
    Yup, this is the episode that got me. I remember that this began airing on the sci-fi channel and I'd seen the promos for it. So I asked on my flist if I should watch it having seen some Nine/Rose icons and thinking they were from the show. I was told yes. So I was just watching these each week, and then this episode aired. After that, I chucked the sci-fi channel's schedule and just downloaded the rest of the season. I was hooked.

    I do love Ten, and Tennant, I really do, but Nine and Eccleston? I just so adore.
    But you can call me Bowie: chris ecclestonisiscaughey on August 11th, 2008 03:36 am (UTC)
    Christopher Eccleston never fails to amaze me. Ever. His acting is always not only spot-on, but extraordinarily compelling.
    Arabian: Christopher Eccleston_01arabian on August 11th, 2008 12:40 pm (UTC)
    He really is incredible. I've never seen him in anything and not found myself drawn in him by his performance.
    Tinathatlibrarylady on August 11th, 2008 03:54 am (UTC)
    I really like how you make the connection between "I could save the world but lose you" and the choice the Doctor makes at the end of JE. More proof that RTD is brilliant at carrying story across multiple seasons.

    I've been rewatching season one and it is so making miss Christopher Eccleston.
    Arabian: Dr Who (9)arabian on August 11th, 2008 12:41 pm (UTC)
    I do think that RTD has had the idea of where he was going for some time and at least a vague idea, thus why he set up all of these little hints. Or maybe it happened organically. Who knows? But the seeds are there, they have been from the beginning.
    Pervy Nine Fancier: nineroselove--lowflyingiconshonorh on August 11th, 2008 04:15 am (UTC)
    That "Then I'll stop you" moment was a definite knickers-burner for me. I wouldn't have blamed Rose for jumping him right then and there while Harriet looks all flustered and embarrassed and kind of like she'd like to have a go after Rose.

    The conversation with Mickey at the end simultaneously makes me respect him more for admitting he can't do it and want to hit him for passing it off on the Doctor. Every time someone brings up Rose's behavior in BT as an example of how poorly she treats Mickey, I come back to that scene and say, "But he bears responsibility for how their relationship went, too." He wasn't honest with her. But that's a rant for later in the season.

    Nine and Rose were so amazing together. Is it any wonder I can't get over 'shipping them?
    Arabian: Dr Who (9) - Victorianarabian on August 11th, 2008 12:44 pm (UTC)
    That "Yes. Me." was just so incredibly HOT!

    You know, that's a very good point about Mickey. Rose is one of our main protagonists that we generally see it (either good or bad) from her point of view. But yeah, he could have changed the whole tenor of their relationship and given them a chance -- well, nah, Rose and the Doctor were meant to be, you can't fight fate, but still ... He should have been honest with her, but, I try and remember he is a 20-something kid.

    I still don't understand how there can be such a bigger Rose/Ten contingency than Rose/Nine. I mean, I DO love both, but Eccleston and Piper just have this indefinable something that without, I truly believe there would be NO Rose/Ten.
    sammie28 on August 11th, 2008 04:31 am (UTC)
    "I could save the world but lose you"

    It looks like a requirement for posters to comment upon this. ;-) To me, it had the potential to be the cheesiest, most overdramatic line EVER, like something from "Titanic". But Eccleston's tone and lack of overacting, and Billie's expression and the silence in the script (wise move, RTD!) make it just right.


    He did what needed to be done; and like the Doctor has had to so many times, he made the tough call because it had to be done. As did Jackie.

    My favorite character in the double episode was Mickey (and then Jackie). What I admired most was how real they were - it wasn't that they suddenly became gun-toting Rambos. They WERE frightened, and they didn't want to be alien-fighters, but they bravely soldiered on despite their fear; that's real courage!

    I liked how Mickey turned down the Doctor's invitation to come - it showed how much of himself he was sacrificing in those episodes. He doesn't like that exciting life; he wants a quiet, domestic one. But he will do whatever he needs to do when it's right.


    After all, it's very similar in situation to why the Doctor asked him in "School Reunion."
    And that denial brings us to her idea about Mickey joining them.

    I believe you're right about why the Doctor asks Mickey. (I also believe that a secondary reason is that Mickey has shown companion-qualities - like selflessness. The Doctor wouldn't keep Adam, even as a buffer, because of his selfishness.) But what's your opinion on why ROSE changes her opinion? She asks Mickey to come in "WW3" without prompting from ANYONE, Mickey included, but she is clearly upset in "SR" after Mickey asks and both Sarah Jane and the Doctor approve Mickey's coming.


    I can totally see that, because I could see Nine reacting to Harriet's call to destroy the Sycorax differently.

    Your theory on Harriet's truncated Golden Age is an interesting point and (it seems to me) rather valid. I'm with you that Nine would have reacted differently. I'm not sure he would have entirely approved of shooting a retreating group in the back, but I don't think he would have reacted the way Ten did. (To be honest, I was a little surprised.) Whether or not Harriet was right in what she did, she was TOTALLY right in her reasoning.
    Arabian: Dr Who (9) - BTarabian on August 11th, 2008 12:56 pm (UTC)
    "I could save the world but lose you"

    It looks like a requirement for posters to comment upon this. ;-) To me, it had the potential to be the cheesiest, most overdramatic line EVER, like something from "Titanic". But Eccleston's tone and lack of overacting, and Billie's expression and the silence in the script (wise move, RTD!) make it just right.


    It's just so incredibly powerful. It was one of THE defining moments, probably the second (after "Run") in the Doctor/Rose relationship. This is the first time he verbalizes that for him it's a difficult choice, one almost impossible to make between saving Rose and anything else. She's that important to him.

    My favorite character in the double episode was Mickey (and then Jackie). What I admired most was how real they were - it wasn't that they suddenly became gun-toting Rambos. They WERE frightened, and they didn't want to be alien-fighters, but they bravely soldiered on despite their fear; that's real courage!

    Yup; I said back in the first episode that I wonder if RTD planned an arc for Mickey, and as I'm watching more episodes with him, I think it WAS intentional. It's another way of showing how the Doctor makes people's lives better, even those who don't travel with him.

    I liked how Mickey turned down the Doctor's invitation to come - it showed how much of himself he was sacrificing in those episodes. He doesn't like that exciting life; he wants a quiet, domestic one. But he will do whatever he needs to do when it's right.

    I do agree with this, but I agree with honorh above in that he SHOULD have been honest with Rose, and not put it on the Doctor, making him the bad guy. But, again, twenty-something old guy.

    But what's your opinion on why ROSE changes her opinion? She asks Mickey to come in "WW3" without prompting from ANYONE, Mickey included, but she is clearly upset in "SR" after Mickey asks and both Sarah Jane and the Doctor approve Mickey's coming.

    I actually started to write up a whole section on that (even had in my notes, "the difference in Rose's reaction in SR"), but as I was writing it, I realized I was getting way too much in discussing/dissecting what happens in the relationship between the Doctor and Rose in "The Parting of the Ways" through "School Reunion," as well as going into too much detail about what happens during the "humans wither and die" conversation. I realized that that train of thought belonged in the "School Reunion" review. To make it short: As I said above, she's still in denial about her feelings about the Doctor. In SR, she's not. She knows that she loves him and doesn't want her ex there getting in the way of the development between them.

    Your theory on Harriet's truncated Golden Age is an interesting point and (it seems to me) rather valid.

    Thank you.

    I'm with you that Nine would have reacted differently. I'm not sure he would have entirely approved of shooting a retreating group in the back, but I don't think he would have reacted the way Ten did. (To be honest, I was a little surprised.) Whether or not Harriet was right in what she did, she was TOTALLY right in her reasoning.

    Right, I don't think he would have just walked away; he would have been angry, but he would have yelled at her in his anguished way and then walked away ... blaming himself in the end. Ten is more quick to rush to judgement and turn that guilt inward and unleash it outwardly in a cruel, angry way. Rose and Donna seem to be the only ones who can stall that reaction and because Rose didn't know that particular personality quirk of this Doctor yet, it explains why she just stood there and let it happen, because she didn't KNOW it was happening.

    And, yes, Harriet WAS right, proven in "The Stolen Earth" and I LOVE how she stuck to her principles all the way to the very end.

    Edited at 2008-08-11 12:57 pm (UTC)
    sammie28 on August 11th, 2008 03:07 pm (UTC)
    ...but I agree with [info]honorh above in that he SHOULD have been honest with Rose, and not put it on the Doctor, making him the bad guy. But, again, twenty-something old guy.

    lol. I'm with both of you on this. Full honesty would be better in terms of his character and his relationship with Rose. As you said, though, still an Earth guy (I love that part in "AoL" where Mickey excitedly asks if the TARDIS gets sports channels!). Mickey is still a guy who doesn't want to show weakness, especially in front of his girlfriend.

    Bad for Rose, definitely, though I liked the Mickey-Doctor mano-a-mano insight in that small scene. It's already pretty brave of Mickey not to give an excuse to the Doctor. I feel like the Doctor was impressed enough with Mickey's work and Mickey's honesty (to him) to take the hit for him in front of Rose. It's a new understanding for them, and I feel it sets up "Boomtown", where they clearly still try to one-up each other but it's not as pointedly hurtful - "Rickey"/"Big Ears" - even at the end.


    To make it short: As I said above, she's still in denial about her feelings about the Doctor. In SR, she's not.

    That would definitely make sense. I was always bothered by that. "SR" is already enough into the series for her to have adjusted to the regeneration, so it couldn't be that, either.


    Rose and Donna seem to be the only ones who can stall that reaction

    Amen. I LOVE Donna. I felt so bad for her at the end of Series 4; I didn't want her to die, so I'm VERY glad she's alive (I'd be so upset if she died!), but to be wiped of one's memories is pretty tragic. I really hope something can be done so she can return at least once or twice. After all, the Daleks keep pulling a Jack and returning no matter how many times they're killed.
    Arabian: Donna/Rose promoarabian on August 12th, 2008 01:05 pm (UTC)
    Bad for Rose, definitely, though I liked the Mickey-Doctor mano-a-mano insight in that small scene. It's already pretty brave of Mickey not to give an excuse to the Doctor. I feel like the Doctor was impressed enough with Mickey's work and Mickey's honesty (to him) to take the hit for him in front of Rose. It's a new understanding for them, and I feel it sets up "Boomtown", where they clearly still try to one-up each other but it's not as pointedly hurtful - "Rickey"/"Big Ears" - even at the end.

    I liked it too. I don't remember their relationship in BT, but rewatching this last scene, I realized I was wrong. I thought that Mickey's attitude towards the Doctor changed when he regenerated; but it started here. I didn't touch upon it above, which I probably should have, but as great as the "I could lose you" moment was, we have to remember that Jackie and Mickey heard that too. (I may go and edit a bit about that in, actually.)

    To make it short: As I said above, she's still in denial about her feelings about the Doctor. In SR, she's not.

    That would definitely make sense. I was always bothered by that. "SR" is already enough into the series for her to have adjusted to the regeneration, so it couldn't be that, either.


    Right, it's not about the regeneration, it's about the fact that after the events that happened in TPotW and the following episodes, she's much more secure in her feelings about him -- and his about her and she KNOWS that he's using Mickey as a buffer. Sarah Jane she's not worried about because she's young and pretty and Sarah Jane was ages ago, and as I said she's secure in the Doctor's feelings for her, but with Mickey having feelings for her still, that would DEFINITELY put a damper on whatever is growing between her and the Doctor.

    Rose and Donna seem to be the only ones who can stall that reaction

    Amen. I LOVE Donna. I felt so bad for her at the end of Series 4; I didn't want her to die, so I'm VERY glad she's alive (I'd be so upset if she died!), but to be wiped of one's memories is pretty tragic. I really hope something can be done so she can return at least once or twice. After all, the Daleks keep pulling a Jack and returning no matter how many times they're killed.


    I still think we should get something where the Doctor sees some TV show or something and Donna's become this successful, opinionated op-ed person on entertainment things. Or, ooh, ooh, we could get a Doctor-lite episode and have the companion help out Donna as long as the Doctor/TARDIS isn't mentioned. It's soooooooo possible.
    sammie28 on August 13th, 2008 03:25 am (UTC)
    I thought that Mickey's attitude towards the Doctor changed when he regenerated; but it started here. ...as great as the "I could lose you" moment was, we have to remember that Jackie and Mickey heard that too.

    That's a good point. We don't see 21st century Jackie again until "PotW". While it's ostensibly the Doctor's sending Rose home that makes Jackie love him, maybe it's that "I could lose you comment" that also drives Jackie's acceptance of the Doctor. He says it and then he proves it.


    Donna's become this successful, opinionated op-ed person on entertainment things

    Donna would make a fantastic commentator! She wouldn't be swayed by a pretty face, and man, could she dish out the comments! I'd love to see her commenting on Brangelina or Paris Hilton.
    Arabian: Donna Noblearabian on August 13th, 2008 04:10 am (UTC)
    Right, and taking this into play it also makes her helping in PotW make more sense too. Jackie knows that the Doctor absolutely meant it.

    Donna would be an awesome entertainment commentator. (I'd like to think that she would like Brangelina though because they ARE doing good things for the world. Yes, I'm a Brangelina fan. She can diss on Paris all she wants though.) think it would make so much sense with the Donna we knew before the Doctor and what she cared about and the reserves of the biting, sparkling, super-confident, opinionated woman we grew to love as she traveled with him.
    blackcat_1 on August 12th, 2008 04:49 pm (UTC)
    As I said above, she's still in denial about her feelings about the Doctor. In SR, she's not. She knows that she loves him and doesn't want her ex there getting in the way of the development between them.

    Exactly.

    I think someone did a post many moons ago, asking when people thought they fell for each other. My belief is that it is during this episode that the Doctor realises he's in trouble (probably the well-quoted line from this ep, actually!). As for Rose, as you have said, I think she is falling for him just as fast (the little smile you mentioned, when he delivers that line is the a giveaway). However, I don't think she actually realises she's fallen for him until PotW. Which explains why she still views Mickey as her 'boyfriend' throughout S1, but describes the Doctor as being 'much more important than that'. She's still too young and inexperienced to realise at this point exactly what it is to be truly in love, and it takes her the whole of S1 to work it out.
    Arabian: Dr Who (10) - Kissarabian on August 12th, 2008 11:39 pm (UTC)
    I'm ditto-ing your exactly! Yup, the Doctor realizes in this one by the fact that he hesitated as he did, it wasn't centered around what might happen to anyone in the building, Harriet (a complete innocent), no, none of those people even entered the equation. It was ALL about Rose and that he might lose her.

    I don't think she actually realises she's fallen for him until PotW

    Right. Everyone around her sees it, but she doesn't because she doesn't know what love is truly. I know I wrote that point up in my reviews -- maybe even "Rose" -- but the fact remains that despite being engaged and being in two serious relationships, it's obvious by how she describes her relationship with the Doctor as more, as better than that, that she has no clue WHAT a real relationship, real love between a man and a woman is. So she simply does not get. Of course, she IS only 19.

    She's still too young and inexperienced to realise at this point exactly what it is to be truly in love, and it takes her the whole of S1 to work it out.

    Or, uhm, this.
    yenly_gozalyenly_gozal on August 11th, 2008 06:41 am (UTC)
    Great! I read your reviews (all 4 of them) in one go and I love them! Your description of the characters (mainly D/R), the plots and all other stuff, you're doing a great job. I'm a 9/R shipper myself and the way you describe about them, it make me more and more believe that DW is actually "a love story with no shagging". But yet, this 'love story' has more chemistry than the ones which the characters are busy shagging each other. There's a strong chemistry between Nine & Rose. There's also the same chemistry between Ten & Rose too, but Ten & Rose are more casual & fun. Oh, sod it... As long as it's The Doctor & Rose, the chemistry is there. Keep up the good work! ;)
    Arabian: Epicarabian on August 11th, 2008 01:00 pm (UTC)
    Thank you!

    Their love story really is woven throughout the entire show from episode one of "Rose" all the way through to "Journey's End." It's even a tenor of the show during series three and four when Rose isn't (mostly) there. For RTD, this new Who wasn't just a sci-fi story, clearly it was his opportunity to tell an epic love story. And he succeeded.

    You know, someone was doing the 7 ships meme and commented that it was amazing how RTD, Eccleston & Piper managed to make shipping a 900-year old alien and 19-year old shopgirl work, and then RTD, Piper & Tennant managed to catch lightning in a bottle twice. And they were totally right. It could have fallen apart after Eccleston left, but Piper and Tennant had a different kind of chemistry, one that worked for the changing relationship of the Doctor and Rose and kept it going beautifully.
    blackcat_1 on August 12th, 2008 04:38 pm (UTC)
    It could have fallen apart after Eccleston left, but Piper and Tennant had a different kind of chemistry, one that worked for the changing relationship of the Doctor and Rose and kept it going beautifully.

    You know, I thought it would fall apart and although I'd only been a casual viewer during S1, by the end of PotW, I was quite deflated because I really thought that the relationship that got me interested in the first place, couldn't possibly survive a regeneration... Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised.
    As you say, the relationship shifted; S1 was all super-hot UST but as soon as she accepted 10 as the Doctor, they both already knew they were in love with each other and what's more, they also knew how the other felt ('I thought you and me were...' and 'Oh, she knows...'). Hence they became more couple-y.
    I think the continuity across the 4 series is just incredible.
    Arabian: Dr Who (10) - Kissarabian on August 12th, 2008 11:42 pm (UTC)
    I've mentioned before that I actually stopped watching Who after TPotW, I was so devastated by the loss of Eccleston and where the Doctor and Rose would go from here, so clearly I didn't think they had a shot in hell of maintaining what made the Doctor and Rose work.

    I was quite surprised too when I finally watched it. But it's true, RTD did EXACTLY what needed to be done to MAKE it work. He shifted the dynamics of the relationship, using what had happened in PotW to build on, and then clearly saw the different kind of chemistry (more playful, content, less UST-y and tension-filled) that Piper had with Tennant as opposed to Eccleston and he went with it.

    And it worked.

    I think the continuity across the 4 series is just incredible.

    Except for "The Girl in the Fireplace" -- thanks, Moffat! -- I agree completely.
    dameruth: glancedameruth on August 11th, 2008 08:38 am (UTC)
    While I like Ten/Rose just fine, I agree that CE and BP gave Nine/Rose some of the strongest chemistry I've ever seen onscreen. While I came to NuWho as an Old Skool fan, and would have expected to be horrified by the thought of a Doctor having romantic feelings for a Companion, Nine/Rose won me over totally.


    As you point out, CE's acting in the "I could save the world but lose you" scene is just amazing. You can see how totally and helplessly he's fallen for Rose, and it's just wonderful.

    *Sigh!* I do wish we'd had another season of Nine, at the very least . . . :(
    Arabian: Dr Who (9) - Victorianarabian on August 11th, 2008 01:02 pm (UTC)
    Oh, I say it often ... what I wouldn't have given for one more season of Nine. Sigh.

    I never watched Old Who, and pretty much always wind up shipping (heck, one of my first non-soap ships was Ripley/Hicks in Aliens), so it didn't surprise me that I liked the pairing of the Doctor and Rose. What did surprise me was how absolutely in love with the Doctor and the Doctor/Rose pairing I fell.

    Eccleston is just amazing; seriously, he can do no wrong. Every acting instinct is just so incredibly ON!
    eolivet on August 11th, 2008 03:48 pm (UTC)
    But two things completely change the tenor and subtext of the scene. Firstly, Christopher Eccleston's voice. The timbre of aching love just fills every syllable, especially the you in "I could save the world, but lose you."

    Hee, I see this is a popular response. ;) To me, this is what saves this ep, and makes it slightly better than AoL. And you're totally, TOTALLY right about the timbre of his voice.

    I think in these set of eps, the Doctor comes off as especially alien -- I mean...the seriousness of the circumstances and the immediacy of the danger -- right in Rose's backyard! -- and he STILL finds time to convey social niceties to Harriet Jones. ;p I love CE. :)

    Interesting you brought up the ending "your choice" scene, because I've always felt like that was the Doctor's attempt at flirting. Like...almost playing hard to get, all "Well, I'm just gonna go off in my time machine and you can stay there if you'd like." It's good, because maybe it makes Rose ultimately appreciate him more -- to be a little less accessible every now and then. ;)

    Ooh, handporn!! I never even noticed it before!!! :D
    Arabian: Dr Who (9)arabian on August 12th, 2008 12:47 pm (UTC)
    Yup, that line is pretty much all anyone wants to talk about, LOL! Can't see why not.

    saves this ep, and makes it slightly better than AoL

    I think I like these episodes better than most. It has a good solid plot and great character stuff.

    I think in these set of eps, the Doctor comes off as especially alien -- I mean...the seriousness of the circumstances and the immediacy of the danger -- right in Rose's backyard! -- and he STILL finds time to convey social niceties to Harriet Jones.

    I didn't see that so much, simply because Harriet was doing the exact same thing and she came across as so absolute human -- the best of, but still human.

    Hmm, I don't see that as an attempt at flirting because we see him flirting earlier (with Jabe, true, but still) and later with Rose and he knows how to flirt. It just played that he's scared like crazy about how much she means to him already, and yet he's more scared of losing her so he's pushing those buttons to keep her with him.

    I think we're coming up upon a handporn!less episode next, but we'll see. I know for sure that we have it in TLG and FD, but that's all I know for sure, I think we may be deprived other than that in the others. Sniff, sniff.
    (Deleted comment)
    Arabian: Dr. Horriblearabian on August 12th, 2008 12:44 pm (UTC)
    Yeah, that was a cute moment in AoL.

    Really, it IS a cheesy line, but Eccleston's delivery just KILLS! Absolutely kills!

    Hee, to your Dr.H icon!
    Karen: ninth doctoreyeconic on August 12th, 2008 06:00 am (UTC)
    "I mean, don't you just get chills watching that? It's perfectly believable that Margaret's smile and giggles just die looking at that face, those eyes, hearing that utter certainty when he responds: "Yes. Me." Just, guh! How any heterosexual female can not want to just do Eccleston right then and there, I do not know."
    I know...that part is just...TOO sexy. Damnit. *guh*
    Arabian: Christopher Eccleston_01arabian on August 12th, 2008 12:43 pm (UTC)
    He really does have the sexy charisma down pat.
    blackcat_1 on August 12th, 2008 05:44 pm (UTC)
    How any heterosexual female can not want to just do Eccleston right then and there, I do not know.

    Yes. I find him rather attractive, but I can't put my finger quite on *why*...
    Arabian: Christopher Eccleston_01arabian on August 12th, 2008 11:44 pm (UTC)
    I think it's a combination of his charisma, his incredible acting talent, his voice and his eyes and the fact that the latter two help to create such a dramatic, romantic, sweeping kind of character. Whenever he's given a role that requires him to be madly in love with someone (see "Jude" -- or rather don't if you don't want your heart ripped out in a million pieces), you believe so completely, your heart aches for him. And it's impossible to NOT be swept up in that romantic fervor. He sells it so well.

    But then he sells everything so well, he's just THAT damn good.
    Laurelcorusca on August 13th, 2008 01:12 am (UTC)
    Okay, every time you upload one of these things I have to go back and rewatch the episode. I love the analysis, you keep bringing up things I never noticed before!

    Also, the fact that you're a Gone with the Wind nerd as well (I love your default icon) means that I absolutely have to friend you....unless you don't want me to of course, heh.
    Arabian: Dr Who (9)arabian on August 13th, 2008 02:06 am (UTC)
    Hah! I love your icon!! Hello, indeed!

    every time you upload one of these things I have to go back and rewatch the episode. I love the analysis, you keep bringing up things I never noticed before!

    Aww, that's lovely to read. Really, it is.

    Gone with the Wind RULES!!! (That's my absolute favorite stillshot ever from GWTW -- they look so beautiful and romantic and I just totally ignore the fact that she's got that picture thingie of Ashley in her lap. Oh, Scarlett!)

    Friend away, friend away!
    Laurelcorusca on August 13th, 2008 02:42 am (UTC)
    Gone with the Wind *does* rule! Rhett and Scarlett, so perfectly suited for one another that they were destined not to ever *be* together...damn stubborn folk. GWTW is the second fandom I ever fell into, I still love it as much as I did ten years ago. Vivien Leigh was so perfect for the part, and I still think she's the most beautiful woman (or at least in the top 5) who has ever lived...
    Arabianarabian on August 13th, 2008 04:11 am (UTC)
    Ditto. Just utterly and completely ditto!