Mark Watches ‘Doctor Who’: S01E02 – The End of the World

In the second episode of the first series of Doctor Who, the Doctor takes Rose five billion years into the future to watch the literal end of the world. Realizing the enormity of her decision to travel with the Doctor, Rose faces an even worse danger in the face of the very last human left. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Doctor Who.

I feel that if you are trying to get someone into Doctor Who and you are using these newer episodes as your guide, you have to make sure they watch this episode in addition to the new-pilot. If it was ever clear what this show is trying to accomplish, “The End of the World” is a brilliant combination of humor, satire, and the deadly serious philosophy that Doctor Who aims to sell to you. It’s leaps and bounds more exciting and intriguing than “Rose.” I don’t necessarily fault Davies for that, since first episodes are always hard to pull off, and he was working with DECADES OF MATERIAL. How do you distill that down enough to appeal to people who haven’t seen a second of it?

For someone like me, who understands next to nothing about the universe of Doctor Who, this episode starts to fill in the gaps of the story that I’ve missed over the years. I’m still unsure what the Doctor’s motivation is for traveling through time. I thought he might be receiving missions of some sort, but it appears his travel is completely random. He takes rose over five billion years into the future and by the end of the episode, I felt the trip was taken for a very specific point and the unfortunate disaster that occurs on Platform One was merely incidental to him being there. (Unless he planned absolutely everything, which is an even more intriguing idea.)

Like the pilot (Is it ok if I refer to it as that since it’s a new series?), this episode drips in sarcasm and wit. I’m not going to get sick of Eccleston’s comic timing any time soon, but it’s nice to see Billie Piper join in on the fun when she’s not busy being depressed or frightened. And that’s not a sleight on her in any way. “The End of the World” has a double meaning to me. Rose has lived a rather simple life in London, part of a working class family who have little to no aspirations to anything beyond their bubble. For Rose, the sheer enormity of her decision to follow the Doctor to this space station represents the end of the world she’s come to know. Time travel must never have even remotely crossed her mind in any capacity, and yet, here she is, five billion years in the future, watching the demise of the planet earth.

I don’t know if any of you went through the same thing, but the day I learned that the sun could die was a frightening moment in my childhood. Like Rose here in “The End of the World,” it’s an entirely foreign thought. Some indiscernible moment, billions of years in the future, the earth and every living creature living on it will cease to be. (Assuming the end of the world isn’t happening in two years LIKE THE X-FILES TOTALLY PREDICTED.) The scary thing for Rose is that, unlike every human being living now or years after her or decades after her or centuries after here, she gets to see this moment happen.

I’m glad to see Davies tackle this philosophical conundrum so early into this first series. Rose’s excitement of leaving her typical life in Britain has now begun to overwhelm her. It doesn’t help that the Doctor takes her so far into the future, but I think this was his plan all along. Not only does it help aid in his explanation to her about who he is, but she also has to face the general weirdness of what she’s getting into.

Let’s talk about weird. I mean, “Rose” certainly had it’s share of weirdness at the core of the episode, but here, it literally parades out onto the screen. Aliens and creatures and extraterrestrial beings and Adherents of the Repeated Meme and what is all of this. While Davies and company are taking time to introduce Doctor Who to newbies like myself, there is no shortness of complete absurdity present here. I don’t like looking at the Face of Boe, first of all, because it scares me. Please never show up again.

The episode’s real charm is in Cassandra O’Brien Dot Delta Seventeen. I don’t mean to say she’s charming, as she’s rather the opposite, but Davies took the state of our celebrity- and body-obsession to it’s natural, exaggerated end: the final “human” is just a piece of skin stretched on a frame. It’s horrifying and hilarious at the same time, both for the parody and the visual spectacle.

The plot that ties this all together, a really fucked up hostage plot, isn’t nearly as exciting as Rose’s existential crisis or the moments between the Doctor and Jabe. With Rose, we gradually see her doubt her decision more and more; the Doctor even modifies her cell phone to allow her to call through time to speak with her mother. I think the Doctor thought this would comfort Rose, but it seems to do the obvious. The distance (both physical and temporal, is simply too immense for her to handle.

The Doctor, on the other hand, is faced with an ever-growing distress about exactly who he is as well. Jabe, a tree-based alien life, befriends the Doctor over the course of the episode, especially after she finds out who he is: a Time Lord. I don’t know what this is quite yet. PLEASE DON’T TELL ME. This all leads up to a heartbreaking moment in the bowels of Station One, where the two of them try to find where the shield restoration device is before they all die of radiation burns.

JABE: What about your ancestry, Doctor? Perhaps you could tell a story or two. Perhaps a man only enjoys trouble when there’s….nothing else left. I scanned you earlier. The metal machine had trouble identifying your species. Refused to admit your existence. And even when it named you, I couldn’t believe it. But it was right. I know where you’re from. Forgive me for intruding…it’s remarkable that you even exist. I just want to say…how sorry I am.

The camera pans to the Doctor’s face, his eyes flush with tears.

WHAT. What happened to him? And why is she sorry?

All of these questions, including the overall theme of “The End of the World,” are reflected in the final scenes of the entire episode. The Doctor had been repeatedly saying that all things have a point where they end. Death is simply a natural fact of the Universe, no matter where you are. But when he saves the station by turning on the shields just in time, Rose realizes that the end of the world happened while no one was paying attention.

ROSE: All those years, all that history and no one was even looking. It’s just….

It’s just gone.

The end of things are sometimes sudden, unexpected, and with celebrated. When the Doctor takes them back to modern London, his point is made: We are so obsessed with Death, even in those final moments, that sometimes we forget to live.

THE DOCTOR: You think it’ll last forever, the people and the cars and concrete. But it won’t. One day it’s all gone, even the sky.

An inconceivable notion in and of itself, Rose now knows that that is indeed true. And the Doctor shares why he said this: His planet is gone. Destroyed. I assume this is what the Time War refers to in the previous episode, but we learn the Doctor is the very last Time Lord. EVER. What a Time Lord is and what a Time Lord does is not answered, but I assume we’ll get to that.

The episode ends on a high note, despite all the heavy waxing on some pretty dense philosophical ideas. Rose makes a conscious decision that she’ll continue to accompany the Doctor. And then I smell chips in my house as soon as they start talking about them and then I’m hungry and now I’m hungry again. Thanks.

THOUGHTS

  • Poor Raffalo. πŸ™
  • I didn’t even think about how everyone magically spoke English. The telepathic field explanation is pretty neat!
  • “This is who I am! Right here, right now! All right? All that counts is here and now and this is me!”
  • Watching Cassandra die was NOT PLEASANT. EW.
  • The CGI in this episode was REALLY GOOD. Especially those weird spider robots. I was impressed.
  • “Mind you, when I say “the great and the good,” what I mean is the rich.”
  • The entire scene where The Doctor offers his air to Jabe is hilarious.
  • “Bundle of laughs, you are.”
  • THE DOCTOR WAS ON THE TITANIC. asdhf;sahdflsadfj WHAT.
  • “It’s better to die than live like you–a bitchy trampoline.” BEST. LINE. EVER.

About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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358 Responses to Mark Watches ‘Doctor Who’: S01E02 – The End of the World

  1. Randomcheeses says:

    It's pretty awesome howv the writers make you care about the small side characters like Rafallo. And was what happened to her creepy or what?!

  2. pagefivefivesix says:

    I love that you like this <3 I'm watching along this time, any chance to watch it again really xD
    Although, it's The Face of Boe, not Box. Just sayin' πŸ˜€

  3. …HOW CAN YOU NOT LIKE THE FACE OF BOE, MARK? HOW?

    Also, I do love Cassandra! πŸ˜€

  4. I felt really bad for Rose in this episode. Everything's so knew and freaky-strange, and oh yeah, the world is ending. How do you cope with that? By buying chips, apparently.

  5. christidaae says:

    with the face of Box you might be thinking of the Moxx of Balhoon- the short blueish green thing with the big head and the moobs.

  6. Hanah says:

    I love this episode too. <3 I love the crazy assortment of aliens and finding out (if you've never seen Doctor Who before) a bit more about the Doctor and it's just a really really great introduction to travelling in time and space with the Doctor.

    ALSO it took me a really long time to work out that when you said 'Face in Box' you probably meant the Face of Boe. πŸ˜› He is kind of creepy looking now I come to think of it.

    The only thing that I didn't love in this episode was the cliche 'the button to SAVE OUR LIVES is across this NARROW PLATFORM COVERED WITH SPINNING FANS OF DOOM'. Because the key to all good spaceship design is to put fail safes in impossible-to-reach places! Still, it was a nice scene and meant Jabe could die tragically so I don't judge it too harshly. (Let's be honest, I can't judge *anything* in this programme harshly. I love it too much.)

  7. NB2000 says:

    I've seen this episode, I think, 3 times now and every time I watch it I love Jabe more. She was awesome, I wish she could have stayed.

    • niamheryoumind says:

      That is the problem with some of the people they meet along the way, often I want them to come too! πŸ˜€

  8. Esther says:

    The Face of Boe is the most awesome thing ever.

  9. arctic_hare says:

    Don't know if you recognized her, but Cassandra was voiced by Zoe Wanamaker, AKA Madam Hooch.

  10. Kaderie says:

    What I love about this episode are the little details – the tree woman's scanner talks in birdsong =D How awesome is that?!

  11. karate0kat says:

    I remember the first time I watched this episode, and the Earth burned up, I cried. I know it will happen some day, hopefully when I'm long, long, long dead. But just…putting yourself in Rose's shoes and 'seeing' it. Man.

    • notemily says:

      Yeah that's one of my huge fears. I sit around thinking about what would happen if a comet hit the Earth (NOT ALL THAT UNLIKELY), and then I curl up into a ball until the thoughts go away. πŸ˜›

  12. barnswallowkate says:

    I started watching this show because SciFi (no, I will not call you SyFy, STFU) showed a preview for this ep with the Doctor and Rose standing in front of the window while the molten Earth pieces floated through space beyond them. From that scene alone, even without any context, I was hooked and watched the first two seasons/series in about 2 weeks.

    I love the Doctor's quote from the end of the episode. I think it's beautiful and inspiring. I may just be weird.

  13. peacockdawson says:

    Oh Mark. You have no idea.
    Also, Face of Boe. LOL

  14. jennywildcat says:

    Rose's exchange with Cassandra (the "bitchy trampoline" conversation – which I LOVE!) is even more poignant when you find out that Billie Piper struggled with eating disorders when she was a teenager. I also love the scene with Raffalo – very sweet and a great character moment for Rose.

    This is the episode that hooked me on Doctor Who. Actually, I was interested when I saw the trailer for it at the end of "Rose." I mean, time travel – to the end of the world?? I just wanted to see how they'd pull something like that off – special effects-wise AND within the story. And I'm very happy that they did not disappoint.

    "Tainted Love" as classical music – *snerk* XD

  15. psycicflower says:

    This was actually the first episode of Doctor Who I ever saw because I'd missed Rose the week before and I instantly fell in love because I am weak for time travel and all the foreshadowing and mentions of Time Lords and the Time War.

    I love how different all the aliens are. A lot of sci-fi shows fall into human looking aliens but Doctor Who has a nice mix with the familiarness of Jabe and the extreme difference of the Face of Boe. How can you not love a giant head in a jar, I mean how does that even work?
    Equally I really liked how they showed how overwhelming it can be to be confronted with so many beings who are all so different from everything you've ever experienced but I also like the fact that the Doctor called Rose on it as well.

    I was sad when Jabe died because I loved her and her interactions with the Doctor. (I ship it.)

    Jiggery pokery! Chips!

    Also who caught the reference to Cassandra growing up as a little boy. I like how casual and unimportant, for want of a better term, it was. Just part of her character without being a big deal.

    • bibliotrek says:

      Also who caught the reference to Cassandra growing up as a little boy. I like how casual and unimportant, for want of a better term, it was. Just part of her character without being a big deal.

      Oh, I totally missed that! Good on you, Rusty!

      • sabra_n says:

        Yeah, his shiny leopard-print gay agenda was never in greater evidence than in S1. I still love that about this series.

    • syntheticjesso says:

      I caught that about Cassandra, and it caught me off guard. I missed that the first time around!

    • swimmingtrunks says:

      I remember catching it the first time around, but my feel then was it was mostly a gag line- not that she didn't get a sex change and wasn't presented in a casual manner, but that it was thrown in for humor purposes. I like your outlook on it, as mine makes me feel cynical and uncomfortable. To me they seemed to be throwing it in to add to the "oh look how far she's modified her body from any semblance of what it once was!" thing. Being born into the wrong sex organs and being obsessed with modifying yourself through surgery to your/society's idea of perfection are two fairly different problems, I think.

  16. Kaci says:

    Can I just say how much I love the things you do not yet know? For the same reasons I loved reading your Harry Potter reviews, this is the same deal. The first time all over again. Reading you wonder what a Time Lord is, or what the Time War was, or what happened to the Doctor's planet…they take me back to when I didn't know those things and it's like getting to go along for the ride for the first time all over again.

    This is why you're the best, Mark. Not just all the fun, the lolz, the gifs, and all that other amazing stuff, but for the nostalgia you give us, too. <3

    • Stephanie says:

      I feel the same way, only I'm not as self controlled as Mark. I was able to wait to find out about the Time War and all that stuff, but when I realized that the Doctor's had a bunch of companions, I had to go on Wikipedia to see how long we had Rose.

  17. Lisbry says:

    ARGH, almost everything I want to say about this episode is tied to a spoiler. πŸ™ OH WELL.

    I found the myths about our present day Earth incredibly amusing. It really shows how easily history can be twisted over time. THE JUKEBOX IS AN iPOD. I dunno, I just found that hilarious.

    Also, I love Cassandra. Character-wise, naturally, not person-wise.

  18. Sara says:

    I'm not actually sure they ever went to a lot of trouble to spell out What A Time Lord Is in the new series. I mean, I could be wrong, but I feel like I found out more about Time Lords when I was a kid and my parents were trying to explain the old series to me. I guess that makes sense in the context of the new series, though, since all you've really got to work with on the Time Lord front is the Doctor.

    Anyway, I think RTD & co. did assume a certain (but very low) inheritance of knowledge about some things, like the TARDIS and what Time Lords are. For example, I have always known that a TARDIS was bigger on the inside, through some kind of inter-generational geek osmosis. On the other hand, they did throw in some totally new things like the Time War, so YMMV in terms of info and the spoiler-y-ness thereof.

    • sabra_n says:

      There will be more talk about what it is a Time Lord is in the new series. I'd point out specific examples, but…well, spoilers.

      • thirty2flavors says:

        Yeah, I really think the new series covers everything Mark will need to know in due time. It takes away some of the new series' ~mystery and intrigue~ if we just tell him all the answers that are already there on Wikipedia.

        • Sara says:

          That's why I tried not to say too much about What Time Lords Are For–I honestly can't remember anymore exactly what I learned from the new series and what I learned from the old and what just filtered through the ether to my brain. There are certainly some points on which the new series just didn't offer enough information for my tastes, though, and Time Lord society was one of them.

      • spectralbovine says:

        HEY YOU!!

    • Reonyea says:

      'inter-generational geek osmosis' is my new favourite thing of all time

  19. kaleidoscoptics says:

    This was the very first episode I watched when it started airing on SciFi in the US. THAT SEEMS SO LONG AGO. The end of the world part initially made me nervous, since that's a weird phobia I've had since I was a little kid. Less the sun expanding, really, and more asteroids, but all the same mentioning the end of the world gets me nervous.

    I think this episode handled the whole thing with a sort of elegance you don't really see too often. Usually apocalyptic movies are SUPER ACTION PACKED with lots of fire and explosions. Here when the Sun expanded it was nearly silent and… not beautiful, really, but it wasn't horrific. I LIKE that the Doctor didn't leap in and save it at the last minute, as Rose expected. The Earth was over 5 billion years old, being held together by gravity stabilizers and other bizarre technology. In a way the Earth was just as nipped and tucked and pieced together as Cassandra. It was time to let it go.

    You're also starting to get the trend in DW of making awesome minor characters like Raffalo and Jabe and then killing them off. I would have loved to see more of either of them. πŸ™

    • Katy says:

      "The end of the world part initially made me nervous, since that's a weird phobia I've had since I was a little kid. Less the sun expanding, really, and more asteroids, but all the same mentioning the end of the world gets me nervous. "

      THIS!! I used to have nightmares about the end of the world as a kid… still do sometimes. D:

      • MowerOfLorn says:

        Oh, yeah, me too. When I was about 6, I heard that we could all die in an asteroid impact…. four years later, I finally got over it, only for that fear to be replaced with earth getting engulfed by the sun! Ahhh!

        On the death of minor characters, let me say this; it is safe to say that if I fall in love with a one-shot character who isn't famous, he or she will be dead by the end of the episode. They don't even need to wear a red-shirt.

    • sabra_n says:

      I'm also apocalypse-phobic. For a while the only ad I kept getting on Hulu was for this program called something like "After Humans" which was all about what the Earth would be like if humans died out and I was like NO PLS MAKE IT STOP.

  20. diane says:

    For me this is one of the weaker episodes of New Who. All the strangeness on parade seems more play than plot. There are some great episodes coming up very soon, though, especially The Empty Child.

    Although I do love the Adherents of the Repeated Meme. Very meta. There are lots of repeated memes in Who-ville, including a new one born in this episode.

    After three series of watching David Tennant as the Doctor, it's rather disconcerting to come back to Christopher Eccelston. Eccelston is a great Doctor, but Tennant really owns the role. (Tennant has been a fan of Doctor Who since he was four, and decided to become an actor because of his love for the Doctor.)

    "Indubitably, this is the bad wolf scenario." And the Face of Bo agrees!

  21. Katy says:

    "I didn’t even think about how everyone magically spoke English. The telepathic field explanation is pretty neat!"

    See… now, I thought the Doctor just slipped a Babelfish in her ear…

  22. karate0kat says:

    Well, my second comment didn't get screened, so I guess I'm not in trouble, and I'll just try this again.

    The first time I saw this episode, when Earth burned, I cried. I know it's going to happen someday, hopefully when I'm long, long, long dead. But "seeing" it through Rose's eyes? Heartbreaking.

  23. calimie says:

    Don't forget "Toxic"!

  24. potlid007 says:

    <img src="http://i197.photobucket.com/albums/aa37/ilovebatman_forever/doctor%20who/docdance.gif&quot; border="0">
    times like these when i truly miss Nine….
    but I forgot how retro all of these episodes looked!

  25. kytten says:

    I love this episode, and Billie Piper does an excellent job acting her confusion, and grief and loss.

    There is SO MUCH I want to say but I can't, as they are nearly all spoilers, and you have just asked me to keep my mouth shut, so I will.

  26. who cares says:

    Absolutely loving it. First discovered your work when Mugglenet highlighted MRHP. You can read or watch something dozens of times but nothing is ever like experiencing the first time and not knowing what happens next. That is a one time only experience or rather was as Mark reads and watches gives you the unique perspective and experience of being a complete newcomer all over again. Words can't express how awesome these blogs of yours are or how much they mean to the fans of the works you're reviewing one chapter or episode at a time.

  27. Illuen says:

    Slightly OT, but is there a place to discuss mark watches spoilers? I know mark reads has one but I couldn’t find one for here

  28. pica_scribit says:

    Very good episode, but still not one of my faves. And oh, hey! It has our first crossover with the HP movies! The voice of Lady Cassandra is Zoe Wanamaker, who was Madam Hooch in the first HP movie.

    While Davies had to write these episodes to appeal to a generation of people who were not familiar with Doctor Who, he also had the not-small task of appealing to the people who *did* grow up watching it. Doctor Who is more than just a TV show; it is a cultural phenomenon. It is the childhood of countless people who grew up in the 60's, 70's and 80's.

    The Face of Boe…yeah.
    As for the Doctor showing up where danger just happens to be going on, I don't think it's really a spoiler to say this, since it's sort of speculation, but I think that while he sort of decides where he wants to go, the TARDIS often takes him to where he's actually needed, which may or may not be close to his intended destination.

  29. buyn says:

    BUMBUMBUM…

    That is all.

  30. Pingback: Tweets that mention Mark Watches β€˜Doctor Who’: S01E02 – The End of the World | Mark Watches -- Topsy.com

  31. Ash says:

    You warship the ugly, ugly face of Boa
    You worship him right now mister.

    Yeah, this was pretty much my first official episode, just because the 1st episode paled in comparison. And this isn’t even what I consider to be a better episode.

  32. kaleidoscoptics says:

    Every time I hear Tainted Love now I think of this show.

  33. sabra_n says:

    Yeah, now the show is starting to really show what it's about, and Nine is starting to reveal a bit more of his true colors – including some very dark ones. It's a bit warped, isn't it, that in order to make Rose comprehend the destruction of his home planet he took her to see Earth being destroyed? The push-pull between Nine and Rose in the beginning here is fascinating stuff – he's reluctant to talk about his past, but by isolating Rose from her loved ones and taking her to the end of her world…it's like he's subconsciously trying to show her instead. Part of him wants to be understood. And that's an impossibly huge burden to put on one human 19-year-old.

    But hey, this isn't all about a human and an alien figuring out the ways in which they can and can't comprehend each other! It's about a bitchy trampoline and a Face Inna Jar and lovely, brave Jabe, who remains one of my favorite one-off characters in the show. A lot of the first series of New Who was about deliberately contradicting Old Skool Who in order to form a quasi-independent identity for RTD's project. In this episode, that meant showing off that utterly gorgeous CGI, which is something the old series could never have dreamed of having. I don't think it's spoiling anything to say that the old series was known (affectionately) for its shoddy-by-modern-standards effects. "The End of the World" was all like, "We have proper effects now! Look! Shiny! No more laughing at the cardboard sets!"

    • It's a bit warped, isn't it, that in order to make Rose comprehend the destruction of his home planet he took her to see Earth being destroyed? From the way he was acting, it was like he expected Rose to be interested in seeing it happen, if not happy, which is in itself fairly warped.

      • Hypatia_ says:

        I got that impression too. He wanted to show her something really impressive, and he thought that would do. What with all the crazy shit he's seen, he just doesn't seem to have much of a sense of the effect things like that would have on an ordinary human teenager.

        Nine is pretty dark, yes, but honestly, I don't think he's ultimately the darkest incarnation of the Doctor. And I will say nothing more.

  34. sophpoph says:

    <img src=&rdquo ;http://i548.photobucket.com/albums/ii344/sophpoph18/tumblr_lb08cbEBW31qbc8z2.gif”&gt;
    and in return, I give you air from my lungs.

    Mark, I am almost more excited that you like Doctor Who than I am excited for Christmas.

  35. thirty2flavors says:

    I felt just like you when I watched this episode — I'd already seen two, "Rose" and another one you'll get to later, but this was the first episode where the whole tone, style, etc of the show clicked into place …and I was already like YES PLZ MORE OF THIS! I think EOTW is a great launching pad for that very reason. "Rose" has some clunky exposition, but EOTW is what the show is really like, and you get to delve a bit more into the characters, and character moments are really where RTD's writing shines.

  36. Tilja says:

    I'll say it again. All you questions can be answered just by watching as the show unfolds itself. Whatever RTD's faults, he did a great job bringing back to life all of the Classic Doctor Who themes and stories for everyone to see and understand. So keep watching and you'll be fine. =)

    • thirty2flavors says:

      Yeah, this. I say that as someone from Canada with no cultural knowledge of the show who marathoned s1 through the start of s4 without knowing anything beforehand, like what a TARDIS was or what a Time Lord is/was/does etc. The show explains it bit by bit and, for me anyway, the slow reveal of information was part of the intrigue.

      • grlgoddess says:

        I'm from Canada too, and I started with Series 3 and was perfectly able to keep up. Each series is self-contained enough that it's easy to start anywhere from 1-5 and get the basics down.

    • ScarlettMi says:

      Absolutely. You don't need any explanations from the Classic series, other fans or Wikipedia. RTD really allowed all of the revelations to play out and unfold within the new series and all the questions are answered in time.

  37. kelseyintherain says:

    When Cassandra was going on about how humans mixed with other species, and how she's the last REAL human, was anyone else thinking "Oh my God, she's a futuristic Umbridge." ?
    That never even occurred to me until now, and I will never unsee it.

  38. Thennary Nak says:

    I feel that 'Rose' was the episode that got your toes wet but 'The End of the World' is the episode that got your feet into the pool.

    But for me it wasn't until around the middle of this season that I was hooked at the point of no return. So I'm curious if you'll be there too by the end of the week, or at least close to it.

  39. Was anyone else really creeped out by the end, with The Doctor watching Cassandra die? I mean, I'm not even sure if he could have saved her, and I know she was the villain and I wouldn't have minded if they had killed her in the process of saving the day, but something about bringing her back and then just watching her creak and dry out and go boom was just seriously chilling. :S

    • ldwy says:

      It was chilling, but I can't help but feel that it was a bit of important character development (don't know, I haven't watched Dr. Who before!!)…then there was his line about everything having it's time and everything dying. I think there's some darkness in his past, hinted at by his conversation with Jabe, that makes him who he is and drives him to do what he does. And it's an interesting dichotomy of ideas–as a Time Lord time traveling, does time really involve endings for him? And yet it seems to be his philosophy that there is a proper ending time for everything. I'm really interested in seeing how these ideas may continue to be developed.

  40. Hotaru-hime says:

    You don't like the Face of Boe? I love the Face of Boe.
    Poor Jabe. I hate it when cool people/trees/sentient beings die. It's just so upsetting.

  41. ldwy says:

    Me too! I don't even know the context of what's gone on in his life yet, I have all these vague unexplained things like Time Wars and Time Lords, and it's awesome but I don't know anything yet, and even with all that "What? Huh?" going on, that moment made me so sad.

  42. IsabelArcher2 says:

    Wow. I LOVED this episode!!!! It had everything I could ever want in a t.v. show. There were awesome crazy aliens, social implications, and a planet exploded!! I am in love.

  43. rin says:

    One of the things I really liked in this episode was that (I felt) the Doctor was trying to gain Rose's understanding. He's alone and his planet is gone, and now that he has shown her the destruction of her own world, she knows what that feels like. Maybe he needed someone to be able to relate.

  44. The camera pans to the Doctor’s face, his eyes flush with tears.

    WHAT. What happened to him? And why is she sorry?

    THIS is exactly me when I first saw this episode. WHY does the Doctor have angst? How do his ears not detract from his tragedy?

    • sabra_n says:

      How do his ears not detract from his tragedy?

      *snorfle* Because that's Eccleston's superpower, dontcha know. He makes you forget how ridiculous his ears are with the sheer power of gravitas. πŸ˜›

  45. who cares says:

    Ten quid says Justin Bieber is on that iPod somewhere.

  46. Eric says:

    "I don’t know if any of you went through the same thing, but the day I learned that the sun could die was a frightening moment in my childhood."

    Me too.

  47. Beci says:

    I love the "iPod"…
    I love this episode

    also FACE OF BOE

  48. andreah1234 says:

    I love this. I REALLY LOVE THIS. I have nothing more to say, because there is nothing more so say. The Doctor is awesome. That's all.

    Oh, and the "classic balad" thing, with Britney's Toxic, will never not make me laugh.

  49. amandajane5 says:

    Twilight is a Pet Rock. I mean REALLY?!

    • niamheryoumind says:

      No, Twilight is a Furby. One that sits on top of the fridge all day in silence but the second you turn out the lights to go to bed you hear a quiet "tffffwwwweeeeeeet". 0_0

  50. lisra says:

    This episode made me sad.. I have nothing more to add.

  51. The Face of Boe! I forgot he showed up in this season. Now I must go rent these DVDs again!

  52. Hypatia_ says:

    "Tell you what, you two go and…pollinate." I love this show's penchant for throwing in lines that'll go straight over the kids' heads and make the adults snigger.

    I've never been able to figure out Nine's reasoning in taking her to the end of Earth. I mean, this is a girl who's probably never been out of southern England, and he thinks "Oh, I'll take her to the destruction of her planet! This'll be a great time!" Actually, that probably is pretty much what he thought. His sense of freaky and disturbing is probably so warped by now that he doesn't really get what's bizarre and what's not, from a 21st century human's perspective. Though you'd think he'd understand why watching your planet burn is disturbing.

    Again, not my favorite ep, but so much amazingness is coming…you are not prepared. You cannot be prepared.

    Oh, and how the hell do you post a picture? I've tried a bunch of things and it isn't working for me. I'm not used to IntenseDebate yet, I've never used it before. Thanks.

  53. Karen says:

    Oh man. I LOVE this episode. SO MUCH. I agree that if you're going to start the show from the beginning with a newbie, you need to include this one. This episode is just a much better story because RTD was less concerned with necessary exposition.

    Rose is really interesting in this episode. I think she has the petty natural response of freaking out when the fact of being in the year 5 billion really hits her. I love her interactions with Cassandra too. I also like that in spite of everything that Cassandra has done, Rose still wants the Doctor to help her. Rose believes in second chances. I think she wants to believe that people can change.

    This episode also gives us some great Doctor and Rose interactions. I think we can see the kind of teasing relationship that Rose and Nine have.

    The Doctor: 10,000 years in the future. Step outside and it's the year 12005, the New Roman Empire.
    Rose Tyler: You think you're so impressive.
    The Doctor: I *am* so impressive!
    Rose Tyler: You wish.

    I also love the fight that Rose and the Doctor have. She’s taken the time to actually stop and think about what she did running off with Doctor and it’s freaking her out a bit, so she goes off on the Doctor. But after she sees that she’s upset him and was maybe a bit out of line, she backtracks and makes up with him, joking around about jiggery pokery and hullabuloo. It’s a great scene for getting a sense of not only each of the characters individually, but also the way that they relate to each other. Seriously, I can’t get over what a great writer RTD is when it comes to characterization.

    And I love the ending. It’s just so… Rose. And I think it demonstrates why I think Rose and Nine work well together.

    The Doctor: I'm a Time Lord. I'm the last of the Time Lords. They're all gone. I'm the only survivor. I'm left traveling on my own because there's no one else.
    Rose: There's me.
    The Doctor: You've seen how dangerous it is – do you wanna go home?
    Rose Tyler: I dunno… I want… Oh, can you smell chips?
    The Doctor: Yeah! [laughs] Yeah!
    Rose Tyler: I want chips.
    The Doctor: Me too!
    Rose Tyler: Right then, before you get me back in that box – chips it is – and you can pay.
    The Doctor: No money.
    Rose Tyler: What sort of date are you? Come on then, tight wad, chips are on me… we've only got five billion years till the shops close!

    This is the essence of Rose and the Doctor’s relationship, I think. The Doctor is alone (as he said in this episode, he's the last of the Time Lords), but she’s decided that she’s going to stick with him. She feels his pain and then makes him laugh. And then she doesn’t let him dwell on the emo. Instead she is just decides that she wants chips and then gives him a bit of a hard time about not having cash.

  54. coughdrop says:

    Mark. You have been Face of Boe'wned!!!!!

  55. justapalindrome says:

    How can you be scared of The Face of Boe?! He is adorable! I also plan on giving my first dog that name, although it's a bit of a mouthful.

  56. trash_addict says:

    Mark, to quote Cleolinda….your innocence is precious to me!

  57. Wasn't the actress who played Cassandra also Madame Hooch in the first Potter film? Little did we know that she had gone to the future with a time-turner! πŸ˜›

    Best moment: Them calling a Juke Box an Ipod. Priceless, yes or yes?

    Most awesome line: You lot. You spend all your time thinking about dying, like you're going to get killed by eggs, or beef, or global warming, or asteroids. But you never take time to imagine the impossible: that maybe you survive.

    Dear Doctor: Never change. Oh wait, too late!

  58. kitish says:

    Oh yes! The music! I definitely associate "Tainted Love" with Doctor Who now.

  59. forthejokes says:

    I love this episode too. The idea of the world ending actually still freaks me out, but the message of this episode is a good one. Also the characters were fantastic, both the Face of Boe and Cassandra in particular.

  60. I'm creeped out by Boe too, Mark. What's up with this, first we get a human who's all skin, then an alien who is all HEAD?

    …..

    Did that sound as wrong as I think it did?

  61. Fuchsia says:

    I still have my pogs! πŸ˜›

  62. petite-dreamer says:

    Because no one has said it yet…
    YOU ARE NOT PREPARED

  63. Minish says:

    I have my issues with RTD, but something I'll always admire and appreciate him is that he has the remarkable ability to give a great amount of depth to every character, even the ones who exist just to move the plot along. This is especially fun for the villains of the series.

  64. I watched this episode ages and ages ago and the only thing I can remember is that "classical earth music" was Brittany Spears. lol!

    And someone yell at me if I remember wrongly that 'slightly psychic paper' was introduced in this episode – I know he used it but did he explain it? how awesome is it? πŸ˜›

  65. Time Cat says:

    Heh. This was the first episode I saw when I decided to watch the series, and I thought it was just too damn weird and campy. It wasn't until certain season 3 episodes that I got into it – and now "weird and campy" is the best thing ever.

    And it's been said, but yeah, the concept of "Time Lord" gets explained way more in the classic series and the expanded universe (which is exactly as canon as you want it to be) than the new series.

  66. Danielle says:

    ILU FOREVER NINE.

    I don't know if they fixed this in the later releases, but I got the box set when it first came out and the subtitles are no end of screwed up. They have the Moxx of Balhoon saying "the Bad Move scenario" when it's obviously "The Bad Wolf scenario".

    • who cares says:

      Yeah and the repeated meme is called repeated mean. Because that's all what a repeated mean is an idea. [/facepalm]

  67. SiobhanC says:

    Recently I have been gaining new appreciation for this episode, I always liked it but now I love it. I think it's watching it in order rather than randomly. (random was how I watched every episode in S1 and S2)

    The idea of the earth dying has always freaked me out, maybe that's why I didn't like the episode so much before? haha. To be honest it still does to an extent.

    I find it amusing you know so little, maybe it's living in the UK where Doctor Who is a household name makes it so suprising to me. I think I will enjoy your reviews all the more for it though, I have long since got kind of jaded and have forgotten what is felt like to learn all this stuff.

  68. Fuchsia says:

    "I’m still unsure what the Doctor’s motivation is for traveling through time. I thought he might be receiving missions of some sort, but it appears his travel is completely random. "

    That's what I thought at first, too. I thought he had to go to specific places and moments and fix things. (I also thought he had to keep his identity a huge secret, but that's obviously not the case either! So different from most stories of this nature.) I always thought it was like a Quantum Leap kind of thing, he had to go to specific things and make everything right and he wouldn't be able to leave that time period until he did.

    Nope, wrong. He just chooses at random. I'm sure that they have times where something exciting *isn't* happening, but those wouldn't make for very good episodes. πŸ˜‰

    And I love the characterization of Cassandra. If that were at all possible, I could definitely see people taking body modification to that extreme.

    Also, one of the things I love about this show (as you're no doubt already discovering) is that the quotes are SO GOOD. I mean, a lot of them are difficult to work into normal every day conversation, but they're memorable and hilarious and easy to spot another Whovian with.

  69. Anseflans says:

    Mark, on a scale from 1 to 10, how bad do you want to be the Doctor´s companion??

  70. As I was reading your first to reviews I kept thinking “I can’t wait until Mark gets to the point… oh wait! No that’s Torchwood.”

    You MUST watch Torchwood after you’re caught up on Doctor Who. Because Torchwood is….. complete crack.

    • Time Cat says:

      Torchwood is definitely… a matter of opinion. All the characters are unapologetically bisexual, which is pretty awesome. But most of season 1 and a lot of season 2 are just excuses to have said characters snog and shag each other and random aliens for no particularly good reason, which is… slightly less awesome. Children of Earth is the most heartbreaking piece of television ever, though.

  71. droseph says:

    now i want chips.

  72. agrinningfool says:

    Oh, Mark. I laughed and I laughed hard. I think people will know where I laughed. I hope they did too.

  73. MichelleZB says:

    I totally just watched this again now. "Guests are reminded that Platform One forbids the use of weapons, teleportation, and religion."

    THE ATHEIST AGENDA BEGINS (and I am loving it)

  74. wtrbrrl says:

    You forgot to mention the iPod!

    πŸ™‚

  75. Jenna says:

    You will come to love the face of boe. Just sayin'. Even if he is a bit scary-looking.

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