Mark Watches ‘Doctor Who’: S01E04 – Aliens of London

In the fourth episode of the first series of Doctor Who, the Doctor returns Rose to her home, but misjudges exactly when they are. Forced to deal with the repercussions of her actions, Rose tries to mend things with her mom and boyfriend, but is distracted when an alien ship crash lands in London. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Doctor Who.

Oh damn it, a story arc? I literally yelled at the screen when the episode ended and the story line hadn’t been resolved. BLAST YOU, DOCTOR WHO!

It’s very common for science fiction to lack anything that grounds it. I don’t think that in and of itself that’s a bad thing. When it veers to the fantasy end of the spectrum, I want worlds that are entirely imagined, detailed, and immersive. But when fantasy/sci-fi take place in our world, I’m always a bit leery when those things interact with our reality in ways that simply don’t make sense.

Doctor Who is a fantastical concept and from the outset, I’m willing to suspend my disbelief a whole lot. It’s a time traveling police box. I don’t need detailed physics lessons on how this is possible. It’s nerdy entertainment. But “Aliens of London” does something that most sci-fi seems to ignore: it deals with the “real” world facing the inexplicable.

The Doctor returns Rose to London so she can make a brief stop to say hello to her mom before they take off on their next adventure. Rose is flabbergasted that for as long as she’s been away, it’s only been twelve hours in real time. As she runs off to meet her mom, the Doctor notices a flier advertising Rose’s disappearance.

By having the Doctor miscalculate the time by a full year, Rose is forced to deal with the fact that she just left her entire life behind to travel through time. Had she only been gone twelve hours, I don’t think this episode would have grounded the show as much. I like that Davies suggests, pretty bluntly, that maybe traveling with the Doctor isn’t always a carefree exercise in absurdity. The real-world consequences of her decision are compounded by the sheer strangeness of where (and when) she’s been. How do you explain to your mother and boyfriend that you were gone for a year because you were busy watching the world end and helping Charles Dickens combat spectral souls?

Russell T. Davies, in turn, comes up with a brilliant method to answer just that. As the Doctor and Rose sit on the roof of her building, wondering how Rose will ever be able to explain what she’s doing, they watch in horror (well, the Doctor is rather elated) as an alien ship crashes into Big Ben and then into the Thames.

I love the sci-fi trope of ordinary people having to cope with the extreme, and Davies forces ALL OF LONDON to deal with the reality that aliens are real. Not only does it open up the possibility that Rose might now be able to begin to explain to her mother who the Doctor is, but we get to see Davies tackle satire and alien horror AT THE EXACT SAME TIME.

Oh god, you guys, I love this all so very much. HOW HAVE I NEVER SEEN THIS.

This is also the first episode of the series that surprised me with the plot twists. For the previous three episodes, the main story always seemed like nothing more than the palette for the writers to explore philosophy, time, physics, and the absurdity of the universe. While there is certainly a great deal of that in “Aliens in London,” here we are presented with a genuine mystery that gets more complex and terrifying as the episode unfolds. The alien crash, at first, seems to be a chance for Davies to ramp up the absurdity and weirdness to counter what we’d expect from a traditional encounter story. We learn that the alien that crashed is actually…a pig. As soon as it was revealed, I kept scratching my head and laughing at the same time. Not only did it destroy my expectations for what the alien would be, it was so silly and benign. (Of course, that was all part of the plan.)

The body humor element that was introduced during the scenes where Harriet Jones overhears the other cabinet members also made me think that Davies was going for a much more silly route than where the episode ended up. I took the farting to mean that these people were suddenly in a position of power and that there was nothing more fun to do than to…well, fart inside 10 Downing Street. The whole world has come crashing down around them, so what are you supposed to do? You sit around and fart.

Who knew that someone could make farting so sinister? We learn that the pig alien was actually a decoy of sorts and the Doctor finds out that the ship actually left from earth before it crash-landed. I’M SORRY, BUT WHAT. So the aliens where there the entire time? I DON’T GET IT, WHAT IS HAPPENING. Oh, that’s right, the real aliens are wearing the skin of the people they’ve killed. That is some creepy shit, guys.

The aliens that come out of these suits might seem a bit silly in execution, but their eyes are what really disturb me. I don’t know why, but those big, shiny black orbs are totally unsettling to me. Not, say, the GIANT RAZOR-SHARP CLAWS.

The episode ends on a pretty big cliffhanger: just as the Doctor realizes they’ve been fooled, one of these aliens pulls out a device that shocks everyone in the room. DUN DUN DUN DUN DUN HOW WILL HE GET OUT?

To be continued……


  • Bravo, Davies, for having Mickey and Rose’s mom enter the TARDIS. Again, this episode is all about other people dealing with the Doctor and with the supernatural in general. It sucks that Jackie decided to call the police and ended up setting up the Doctor to be attacked by the aliens, but still, I’m interested to see where this story line goes.
  • I have a feeling these aliens might be one of the series’ regular villains. Is this what Daleks are? DON’T TELL ME.
  • The Doctor is 900 years old? WHAT.
  • I hope we see more of UNIT. The Doctor said they wouldn’t recognize him. Is that a reference to the fact that a different actor plays him? I don’t know why he changes like that. Again, don’t tell me that.
  • BAD WOLF AGAIN. WTF I don’t get it WHAT IS THAT.
  • I like Dr. Sato! I hope to see her again.
  • MOAR SPACE PIG. it was so cute!

About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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295 Responses to Mark Watches ‘Doctor Who’: S01E04 – Aliens of London

  1. Spugsy says:

    Do you get the trailer for the next episode when you watch it?

  2. buyn says:

    BUMBUMBUM… this is also the last episode without a scariness rating, they decided to start with the next episode. So tomorrow, I'll inform you how scared you should have been.

    • theradical says:

      YES!!! so glad to see you're here and carrying on the awesome tradition of ~SUSPENSE~ soundtrack enabler.
      In other words: I've missed your bumbumbum's.

      – From your friendly internet stalker o.O

  3. Albion says:

    I'm so loving how much you're enjoying this. I was scared the slight cheese would put you off.

    Dr Sato: think you should should watch Torchwood at some point…

    • xpanasonicyouthx says:

      I'm trying to figure that out. Is Torchwood still airing new episodes? And if I do it simultaneous to Doctor Who, when would a good time to be to watch it?

      • pica_scribit says:

        The series alternate. The first series of Torchwood takes place after the second series of Doctor Who. So it's:

        DW1, DW2, TW1, DW3, TW2, DW4, TW Children of Earth, DW TV specials, DW5

        I've heard they are planning more Torchwood, but I know nothing about it, since I try to avoid any and all spoilers. Mostly, I just wait for it to come out on DVD in the States.

        • xpanasonicyouthx says:

          Cool! Ok, another question: Should I watch TW1 and DW3 at the same time or one after the other?

          • Karen says:

            Well TW1 aired before DW3, so if you want the ~authentic~ viewing experience, that would be how I would go about it.

            But TW is not necessary for understanding DW. It's fun enough, but… yeah. Not necessary.

          • pica_scribit says:

            Since they aired one after the other, I think that's probably the way it works best, since there isn't a huge amount of interaction between the shows. I think the last three eps of DW3 take place after the TW1 finale, which makes it complicated to intersperse them.

          • sabra_n says:

            The complete Whoniverse, in TV airing order:

            1. Doctor Who Series 1
            2. DW: Children in Need Special
            3. DW: The Christmas Invasion
            4. DW: Attack of the Graske
            5. DW Series 2
            6. Torchwood Series 1, episodes 1-11
            7. DW: The Runaway Bride
            8. TW Series 1, episodes 12-13
            9. Sarah Jane Adventures: Invasion of the Bane
            10. DW Series 3, with Infinite Quest stuck somewhere in there
            11. SJA: Series 1, episodes 1-9
            12. DW: Time Crash
            13. SJA: Series 1, episode 10
            14. DW: Voyage of the Damned
            15. TW: Series 2
            16. DW: Series 4
            17. SJA: Series 2
            18. DW: The Next Doctor
            19. SJA: From Raxacoricofallapatorius with Love
            20. DW: Music of the Spheres
            21. DW: Planet of the Dead
            22. TW: Children of Earth
            23. SJA: Series 3, episodes 1-10
            24. DW: The Waters of Mars
            25. SJA Series 3: Episodes 11-12
            26. DW: The End of Time
            27. SJA Series 4
            28. DW Series 5

            Watching in airing order pretty much ensures nothing will get messed up or reverse-spoiled or something, even though the shows' internal timelines will obviously be shifting all over the place. YOU ARE NOT PREPARED. For the confusion of trying to figure out what actually happened when, that is. 😛

            • nanceoir says:

              Wow, you've even got Attack of the Graske and From Raxacoricofallapatorius with Love in there; those usually don't make it into lists like this. Though, I think SJA4 needs to come after DW5, and Dreamland should go somewhere in the low 20s. Otherwise, lovely.

              But, yeah, broadcast order is probably safest. And generally speaking, I don't think there was a lot of crossover airings, so you can just go a series of one, then a series of the other, that sort of thing.

              • sabra_n says:

                SJA Series 4 aired from October to November of this year, which is after S5 of Doctor Who had finished. Is there another reason you think the order should be switched? I haven't watched the last season of SJA yet so I don't know if something about it means it should be watched out of airing order…

                And yes, I forgot about "Dreamland". And here I thought I was being thorough. 😛 If you go by the TV airing date, t goes between the end of SJA S3 and "The End of Time".

                • NB2000 says:

                  Actually the fourth SJA series does reference the finale of DW5. Nothing major, mostly just a passing comment but it does give something away *trying desperately to be as vague as possible*

                  ETA: So yeah it should be watched in airing order. But your list has them reversed (I'm guessing it's a typo). DW Series 5 should be 27, SJA Series 4 should be 28

                  • sabra_n says:

                    *eyes cross* Wow, I'm a nitwit. Fall comes after spring. Okay then, switch the last two items on the list. 😛

                    • nanceoir says:

                      *pats* Fall only comes after spring if you look at a calendar year. If you think of the way most (American) television seasons work, spring is totally after the fall. So, you know, common mistake.

                    • Openattheclose says:

                      And since they don't call it fall in the UK, it's really understandable lol!

          • karate0kat says:

            One thing I'll add to the Torchwood discussion- Torchwood is not necessary for understanding DW, and in fact they don't intersect all that often. However, if you do want to watch Torchwood, and you want to watch it spoiler free as you have been everything else so far, I would watch it in the order you've already been given. There are some things from Torchwood that end up getting spoiled on DW. Not many, but they're pretty big things. So.

          • pica_scribit says:

            If it helps (and I don't know if 5,000 other people have mentioned this already), but in general, DW airs in the spring, and TW airs in the fall, so interspersing the episodes isn't necessary.

          • Minish says:

            Personally, I wouldn't recommended watching ALL of Torchwood, because most of it is wank (Episode 2 being the most egregious example. Find one person who disagrees). I mean, obviously you should watch if you get really into it, but I mostly want you to watch Children of Earth (Series 3) because it is genuinely amazing television. Also, the order you watch them in is very important as well because they do make inter-show references.


            • Miranda says:

              Hey, I didn't hate episode 2! There are much worse ones. And I think the first two series are really enjoyable, despite what many people say.

        • Megan says:

          It is called ‘Torchwood: the New World’. It is taking place in the US and in reality is being funded by Hollywood this time. Also there are lots of awesome people working for Russell including costume designer Shawna Triprc (who did Firefly!) and a Joss-verse writer whose name I can’t remember. I am excited!

      • Karen says:

        Series 1 of Torchwood takes place between series 2 and 3 of Doctor Who. Series 2 of Torchwood takes place between series 3 and 4 or maybe during series 4 of Doctor Who. And Then the series 3/miniseries of Torchwood (known as Children of Earth) takes place after series 4 of Doctor Who.

      • Shiyiya says:

        Torchwood is not airing at the moment, but a season 4 is in the works and will be (partially?) funded by Starz. Yeah, the USian entertainment channel. I don't have high hopes. Filming starts in January, I believe. Anyway, Torchwood runs on a parallel timeline to New Who, I think some of the episode guides people gave you when you asked included Torchwood eps in the continuity-proper places.

        • Karen says:

          a season 4 is in the works and will be (partially?) funded by Starz. Yeah, the USian entertainment channel. I don't have high hope

          Oh, I have high hopes. Firstly, RTD is going to actually be at the helm this time (and imo, Torchwood didn't actually get good until CoE when RTD was doing the writing). Also, Julie Gardner is executive producing too. AND JANE FRICKING ESPENSON IS WRITING FOR IT. These are like 3 of my favorite things.

          • pica_scribit says:

            Jane Espenson?! REALLY?! Awesome!

            • Karen says:


              • Matthew says:

                She's writing four now. And also producing the ones she's written. From various writers' tweets the episodes are probably divided as follows:

                Jane Espenson: 4
                Russell T Davies, John Shiban: 2 each
                Doris Egan, John Fay: 1 each

          • Shiyiya says:

            I hated CoE, so. (WORST TWIST. Right up there in inanity with the Red Dwarf Easter specials last(?) year.) And I'm still confused as to how there's going to be another season at all!

            • Karen says:

              lol. I LOVED CoE. SFM. It's the only bit of Torchwood that I ever bother to rewatch. But then I am full of Unpopular Opinions about Torchwood.

              • Shiyiya says:

                I just can't get over how fucking RIDICULOUS the twist was. Aside from that, it was pretty good, but I cannot get past it.

              • thirty2flavors says:

                Haha this thread. TORCHWOOD WANK? ON THE INTERNET??? Surely you jest.

                • psycicflower says:

                  Dammit, I seem to be missing the Friends 'this is brand new information' gif.

                  Oh Torchwood, that was one big fandom explosion.

              • liliaeth says:

                I think it helps that I was never that big of a well Ianto- fan. I like him well enough, but I never thought he was the most awesome char that ever awesomed like some people seem to think.

              • whatsername says:

                I thought it was brilliant. So I'll join you in the unpopular opinions about TW corner.

              • kaleidoscoptics says:

                I think the love of CoE is more common an opinion than hate of it. CoE did away with a lot of the camp and had a strong plot that dealt with a lot of tough issues. Some of the things that happened seemed unnecessary, but I can forgive them for the sake of the narrative.

                • rin says:

                  I loved it at first but it's one of those things where, the more you think about it, the less sense it makes. Sometimes RTD puts drama ahead of characterisation, so the characters get a bit wobbly and the plot suffers. There were some great moments from CoE, and also some WTF moments, which I think sums up Torchwood as a whole.

                  • kaleidoscoptics says:

                    Yeah, I definitely agree with you about his "drama > sense/character" tendencies. There were plot holes galore, but to me they seemed forgivable, especially compared to some regular eps of TW. To be completely honest I haven't rewatched CoE: as much as I think it's pretty well-done, it was way too depressing to watch again.

            • Hypatia_ says:

              I didn't love Torchwood (didn't hate it mostly, just was kind of neutral on it), but I loved CoE. It was creepy and horrifying and all sorts of creative.

          • sabra_n says:

            If you still have high hopes after looking at the casting notices, you're one iron-clad optimist.

          • amandajane5 says:

            JANE ESPENSON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

            I really have nothing else.

        • nanceoir says:

          Aw, give Torchwood 4 a chance! The non-original-Torchwood writers are people who have worked on some really good shows (including Firefly's very own Jane Espenson). Just because they're partnering with outside companies doesn't mean it'll be bad. I mean, the Canadian Broadcasting Company helped produce Doctor Who, and that didn't hurt it.

          • Shiyiya says:

            I'm going to watch it anyway! But I'm kind of afraid that the nature of Starz will mean that the softcore porn aspect that really put me off the first season of Torchwood will be ramped up.

            • Karen says:

              I don't think it will though. I hope not. I think RTD learned his lesson about that. He talks a bit about that in his book.

        • whatsername says:

          I have really high hopes. Not only are we combining RTD with Whedon alum, which is ALWAYS WIN, but in the last year or so Starz produced The Pillars of the Earth and Spartacus, which were both pretty damn good. They're clearly making a bid to be the next HBO or whatever and are therefore invested in doing Torchwood right.

      • Maddie says:

        They're filming a new season of Torchwood soon, I think, but there are currently three seasons available. Kind of. Two 13 episode seasons and a 5 episode mini-series. I wouldn't start watching till after the end of this season of Doctor Who, because one of the main Torchwood characters starts out as a Doctor Who character (Is that a spoiler?) and…stuff happens that results in Torchwood. After that, I think the second series of Torchwood slots in more or less after the end of the third series of Doctor Who, and Torchwood: Children of Earth (the mini-series), which doesn't seem related to any part of the DW timeline, is some time after that.

        Mark, I'm really enjoying how much you're enjoying this show! My husband is a lifelong DW fan, but I had never seen it till the Eccleston series, and reading your posts is reminding me how much fun it was to watch first time round.

      • diane says:

        It's hard to answer "should you watch Torchwood" without being slightly spoilerish. If I just say "yes", is that sufficient to make you want to watch it? If I say that it will add depth to your understanding of Doctor Who, will that help?

        Anway, you have until the end of DW series 2 to decide. Pica Sribit has the series order right.

      • Matthew says:

        Torchwood did two regular seasons with 13 episodes and then a third which was a single five-part story. Russell T Davies and Julie Gardner are now working for the BBC in the US and are about to start a fourth season as a co-production with Starz, filmed mainly in LA. The writers, in addition to Russell, are Jane Espenson, John Shiban, Doris Egan and John Fay (a UK writer) – which is quite exciting.

        It's due to air in the summer on Starz (which you can stream from Netflix) and BBC One in the UK. If it goes well, it'll be an ongoing series.

        The full order, including the third spin-off (The Sarah Jane Adventures, which is also worth checking out) is:

        Doctor Who S1
        DW: The Christmas Invasion
        DW S2
        Torchwood S1
        DW: The Runaway Bride
        The Sarah Jane Adventures: Invasion of the Bane
        DW S3
        SJA S1
        DW: Voyage of the Damned
        TW S2
        DW S4
        SJA S2
        DW: The Next Doctor
        DW: Planet of the Dead
        TW: Children of Earth
        SJA S3
        DW: The Waters of Mars
        DW: The End of Time
        DW S5

        That's roughly the broadcast order, since each series was mainly broadcasting when the others weren't (there was a bit of overlap, but it doesn't impact the continuity at all).

        There is some interconnectedness between the series, so it is rewarding to watch all three in the order above. But it's not like a Buffy/Angel where the crossovers are timed to the precise week.

        That covers everything that's likely to be available on DVD/Netfflix now or in the near future. From there it's:

        SJA S4, already broadcast, but not due on DVD in the UK until this time next year
        DW: A Chsitmas Carol, 25 December, BBC One/BBC America
        DW S6: first part (eps 1-7) March/April ish, BBC One/BBC America
        TW: The New World, summer Starz/BBC One
        DW S6L second part (eps 8-13), September/October, BBC One/BBC America
        SJA S5, October/November, BBC
        DW Christmas Special, 25 December 2011

        • xpanasonicyouthx says:


          • sabra_n says:

            Hey, at least SJA episodes are only a half hour long.

            • who cares says:

              Except the one hour pilot and there's a cliffhanger every other episode which is awesome since classic Doctor Who was famous for them and new Doctor Who is mostly stand alone eps with some two parters. In many ways SJA is more like classic who than new who is.

          • Matthew says:

            Shortish seasons though. The first two Torchwood series are 13 episodes, like Doctor Who. The third is only 5 episodes. The Sarah Jane Adventures first series is 10 parts and the one after that 12, but they're only 25 minutes long.

            Anything else I've listed is a one-off special.

          • thirty2flavors says:

            The spinoffs aren't really required viewing to understand Doctor Who. The spinoffs themselves sort of assume a basic knowledge of Doctor Who, though.

      • Sierra says:

        Torchwood has a rather different feel than Doctor Who and is not necessary at all for the DW experience. I'd say you would be safe in skipping it.

    • thirty2flavors says:

      Haha I totally did not know they called her Dr Sato in this episode until THIS VERY MOMENT. ~brand new information~

      • pica_scribit says:

        Isn't that great? It makes me wonder if they were already planning something, or if they just said, "Hey, we can use that!" after the fact.

        • thirty2flavors says:

          I didn't even realize it was the same actress for a long time (I am not very clued-in when it comes to Torchwood lol) but I especially did not realize that they named her in this episode. I bet it was just a "hey, we can use that!" thing, but it amuses me.

  4. Thennary Nak says:

    Interesting little fact about the preview at the end. It will be the last time you will see the preview for the second part of a two parter before the credits, the others will all come after. This was done after Moffat pointed out to RTD that it's more suspenseful for the audience to have them wait a bit before seeing what's coming up next.

    I love Dr. Sato too.

  5. pica_scribit says:

    I don't care much for the actual aliens in this episode, but I suppose giant, green, farting aliens with baby faces are…sort of for the kids? I mean, yeah, there's a serious creep factor to them as well (wearing skins EURGH!), but what kid doesn't love a good fart joke?

    I love Rose having to deal with the fact that she's been gone a whole year, and I love her interactions with her mum and Mickey. That's what sells the episode for me. Oh, and of course I love Harriet Jones, MP Flydale North.

    I think it was primarily the second and third Doctors who worked with UNIT, back in the day.

    Dr Sato…. Only if you're planning on watching Torchwood, too.

    • Shiyiya says:

      Harriet Jones is the best.

    • MowerOfLorn says:

      Yeah, I also don't like the villains for the episode….they're just very childish to me.

      No, what sells it are the humans. The interactions between Mickey, Jackie and the TARDIS crew are really brilliant. It gives Rose repercussions for her actions, and also brings up the rather awkward question of how do you explain it?

      Oh, and Tosh makes her first appearance! As for Harriet Jones- yes, we know who she is. :b

  6. barnswallowkate says:

    I have always found the farting Less Than Amusing and so always disliked this ep.

    I do like Rose missing a year (like it in terms of it's a cool story for the show – not that I think it was great for Rose). It's like legends of people who go to Fae Land for a night and come home 50 years later. And I just realized those legends could have started because of people traveling with the Doctor! From now on I'll just assume that the Doctor is responsible for all fairy tales/mythical creatures ever.

    • Sierra says:

      "From now on I'll just assume that the Doctor is responsible for all fairy tales/mythical creatures ever. "

      They really need to do a Doctor Who Fractured Fairy Tales thing some day.

  7. murgatroid1 says:

    These two episodes are my least favourite of the first series. Entirely because of the Bad Guys. There's something about their constant farting, and their inappropriate laughing that makes me frustratingly uncomfortable to the point that I don't want to watch them. Which is annoying, because it's a really fun episode otherwise. There's so much fun stuff happening, with the Doctor and Rose and Jackie and Mickey, and then suddenly it's interrupted by those gross aliens, and *sigh*

    Took me ages to work up the resolution to re-watch this episode, it looks like I'm going to have to be even braver to watch the next one by tomorrow..

  8. amandajane5 says:

    I cannot tell you how much I'm enjoying having you watch this, especially after what you said about PoA! When I started watching (and I've only seen the newest ones) I couldn't believe I hadn't watched it before.

  9. Lisbry says:

    Why do I find these aliens cute? I dunno, something about their eyes just makes them cute IMO.

  10. who cares says:

    I like Dr. Sato! I hope to see her again.

    You will once you check out Torchwood. (but not now because spoilers)

  11. who cares says:

    AH damn spoilers. Shit it's so easy….

    • sabra_n says:

      Actually, I looked higher up the page and it turns out that Mark is okay with knowing that Dr. Sato shows up again. It is a weird and blurry line, and I apologize for misinterpreting it and making you feel like you spoiled something.

      • xpanasonicyouthx says:

        Yeah, it's fine. I don't know yet if I'll even watch Torchwood. But you have spoiled before, so please, please, please stop and think before you comment.

        • who cares says:

          Can't remember where I spoiled before. I try not to since the more you get spoiled the worse your reviews will end up being. But yeah this was a clear if unintentional spoiler. Then again everyone seems to have spoiled the fact that Dr. Sato appears on Torchwood which obviously means she doesn't die in the next episode and is therefore a clear spoiler.

          • PJG says:

            Except, its a situation of the same actress only–one of the many cross overs between Whoniverse and other BBCAmerica shows (thats where I watch them and have noticed it occuring; it may happen on other channels). That her name happens to be "Dr. Sato" is sort of like a Jane Smith sort of name. Very common… and coincidental. The character itself is different. So, IMHO, the character COULD be killed…. hard to tell in the world of who as they don't wear the red shirts

            • who cares says:

              Actually there's an episode of Torchwood that confirms it's the same character. (like the same name wasn't obvious enough even though her role is different)

  12. kelseyintherain says:

    Oh good, I'm so glad the body humor didn't annoy you that much. When I saw it, those parts really annoyed me, but I've always had a very low tolerance for that brand of humor.


  13. NB2000 says:

    Another episode I hadn't seen until watching with you.

    I felt so bad for Mickey during this episode, his life was kind of ruined by Rose running off with the Doctor. I can also kind of understand Jackie freaking out and calling the police, it really seems like she's just trying to protect her daughter.

    The fart jokes were…no, just no. Not my kind of humour at all, maybe I'm just not the target audience for that sort of thing.

    Oh god, so many comments I want to make on your thoughts, but they're almost all spoilery. Time to (metaphorically) sit on my hands to stop myself blabbing.

    I totally agree about the Space Pig! It was strangely sweet and I actually felt kind of bad for it, it didn't know what was going on and got shot. Poor thing.

  14. Taylor says:

    There are always three arcs or two-parter storylines per season; if I had to only watch one per day I'd probably die. Well, not really, but yeah. I'm so happy you enjoy Doctor Who, being a relatively new Whovian myself!

    • who cares says:

      Considering you have to wait a week for the conclusion watching it live one episode a day isn't so bad. I can tell you from experience that some of those weeks were absolute torture.

  15. autumnsflame says:

    I'm upset that I can't find a Pigs in Space Gif, because every time I see that scene I hear the muppets announcer in my head.

    But, weeeee Doctor Who. I think after this arc is when I really became addicted.

  16. thirty2flavors says:

    When I first saw this episode I totally expected that the whole show would be a series of ~whacky shenanigans~ in which Rose keeps the secret from her mom. I was very pleasantly surprised that Jackie got into the TARDIS already in episode 4.

  17. Esther says:

    These aliens grew on me. I especially love their eyelids.

  18. Karen says:

    These episodes are Not My Favorite episodes of series 1, but your review actually made me like them better. lol. I get so eye roll-y at the farting aliens and the slapstick nature of some parts of this episode, that I kind of forget about the larger themes. You're right though. I really do love how RTD deals with Rose coming home. I love that she has consequences for her actions. Time travel sci fi isn't all fun and games. And Rose's relationship with her mom and Mickey really grounds the show more in reality.

    Also awesome about this episode: Jackie slapping the Doctor.

    • kaleidoscoptics says:

      Also awesome about this episode: Jackie slapping the Doctor.

      YES to everything here, but mostly that part. Jackie Tyler is great.

  19. Wahlee says:

    As someone who has been carrying around a few extra pounds, I've seriously considered being a Slitheen for Christmas. Just stick a zipper to my forehead, and I'm good. 😛

    • Randomcheeses says:

      But then you'd never be able to have vinegar on chips again! Or pickled eggs, or, or. . . vinegary things! No salt and vinegar crisps!

    • FlameRaven says:

      This may be a spoiler; I'm not sure if the alien names have been revealed in this episode yet.

      • xpanasonicyouthx says:

        It's ok, I already knew the name, but kept it out of the review for those who might not have.

      • Wahlee says:

        I watched it last night and am pretty sure they said "WE ARE THE SLITHEEN" at one point (when they killed the General dude), but now I think about it it might have been in the "next time" part (which I didn't know until now that Mark skips). But I definitely heard the name mentioned, and thought of that before I posted. I apologize if I'm wrong. Didn't intend to spoil.

      • syntheticjesso says:

        They have been- I know because I was thinking "Hey, are these guys called Slitheen or am I confused?" and about two seconds later one said "WE ARE THE SLITHEEN" and I was all "Heck yeah, I rock."

        I have a Slitheen action figure that is adorable. I will have to post a picture tomorrow.

  20. katherinemh says:

    I don't THINK this is a spoiler, someone please let me know if it is.

    Did you know that Bad Wolf was going to be showing up before you started watching? I'm just impressed if you didn't, I didn't notice any of the references until I watched the series a second time. Then again, maybe I'm just not good at picking up on little things like that.

    • xpanasonicyouthx says:

      I had no idea! I'll tell you why I noticed it. It seemed so out of place the first time I heard it that I thought THERE HAS TO BE A REASON THEY SAID THAT. And now it's showing up more and more blatantly.

      • fakehepburn says:


        Yeah, they do that on DW. Good catch though — took me half the series to notice! Four for you, Mark Coco.

      • MowerOfLorn says:

        LOL, I didn't even notice this at all when I first watched. I was just like "Hey, the TARDIS has grafitti on it! Isn't that funny?"
        So, yeah, your are so infinitely observant.

    • Tasneemoo says:

      foreshadowing is dropped EVERYWHERE with the 10th doctor, we'll see if you get them all then Mark 🙂

  21. peacockdawson says:

    Omg, Mark. You notice all the things.

  22. Meena says:

    First post here, though I've been reading since Harry Potter. Mark, if you want to see more of Dr. Sato, you need to watch Torchwood (though do not start before you've finished Series 2).

  23. azurefalls says:

    "I like Dr. Sato! I hope to see her again."
    Best ever.

    Can't post what I wanted to because I can't figure out how to say it without it being construed as a spoiler. But oh well. 😛 Awesome episodes, these two.

  24. dreadpirateevvie says:

    I can't add much to your comments mark b/c of spoilers but just keep watching, all of your questions will be at least somewhat answered by the end 🙂

  25. who cares says:

    It's kinda sad most people hate this episode just because it has farting aliens when the rest of the episode is actually pretty good. Especially with the whole she's been missing for a year angle (even though in hindsight that probably wasn't such a good idea.)

  26. Blabbla says:

    God, I hate these episodes. IDK why, they just bore me to death.

    • pica_scribit says:

      I don't care much for the aliens, but I really like the interaction and character development of the regular cast in these episodes.

      • monkeybutter says:

        I'm with you. l love the bit with Rose coming home and the Doctor's intereaction with everyone, but the alien plot bores me in this episode.

      • Openattheclose says:

        Yes, that's it for me too. I love Harriet Jones, MP for Flydale North, and I love Jackie and Mickey. I also strangely love the secretary dude.

  27. arctic_hare says:

    Hahaha, I'm glad you weren't put off by this episode, Mark. For me, this two-parter is just kind of "there": I like some aspects of it, but not so much the farting aliens. But it's not terrible, far from it.

    As someone else said, there are multiple two-parters each season, one early on, another a bit later, and then the finales.

  28. FlameRaven says:

    Oh, wow. I didn't realize you didn't even have a visual idea of what the Daleks are. The fact that you have avoided even that cursory knowledge is impressive considering the Internet is littered with references. Kudos. You'll just have to wait and see if these are them, hmm?

    Bad Wolf is… I don't know if I can explain it, it's kind of weird. There IS a reason you keep hearing it though. You'll see.

    • pica_scribit says:

      Yeah, aren't most British kids born knowing what a Dalek looks like these days?

      • Hanah says:

        I was born in 1990 and used to have nightmares about Daleks when I was about six. XD Made worse when I saw some guy win a model of one on TV and said he was keeping it in his hallway OMG DUDE WHY WOULD YOU WANT ONE IN YOUR HOUSE WHERE IT CAN GET YOU?!

      • NB2000 says:

        I only started watching 2 years ago (with the 2008 christmas sepcial) but I already had at least a vague idea what a Dalek was even before I watched the show. It's just one of those things that you just KNOW if you're British.

  29. James says:

    An important thing to remember about these two episodes and the first episode of the season is that the director for the episode thought Dr Who was purely a kids show, hence the farting aliens and the burping bins/plastic Mickey in Rose. Think he was let go after those episodes were in the can.

    Did anyone else think Rose comes across as a really horrible person in this episode? I felt really bad for Mickey being accused of murder/kidnap/whatever just because Rose couldn't be bothered to say goodbye or anything.

    • thirty2flavors says:

      I agree that it sucks for Mickey and Jackie a LOT, but it's not really Rose's fault that the Doctor can't drive for shit and she was gone for a year instead of 12 hours, lol.

      • hassibah says:

        Plus the Doctor was the bigger dick for not at least saying oh hay I'm sorry my massive fuckup almost got you put in jail for murder before he insulted him.

        • thirty2flavors says:

          Absolutely. I am scared that if I say anymore I will be unintentionally spoilery but suffice it to say I agree.

          • hassibah says:

            Haha I haven't got past season 1 yet so if I've alluded to anything in the future it's totally accidental. I just don't get why there's a 15 comment thread about Rose being an asshole, in this case.

            • thirty2flavors says:

              I've seen all the aired episodes but I wasn't thinking much beyond s1, I just don't want to fall into the hint-at-reactions-to-forthcoming-events territory.

              But yeah I agree. I know the internet at large has a lot of issues with Rose but I don't think she was much in the wrong here. It wasn't like she could magically know the Doctor would fuck up.

    • sabra_n says:

      I didn't realize that about the Keith Boak. I do think that he did some of the weakest work of the first series, and now it all makes sense.

    • calimie says:

      Wouldn't that be RTD's fault, not the director? I mean, he's the supervisor of everything, all those things are in the scripts he fixes, right?

    • Karen says:

      How is ROSE a horrible person? She wasn't meaning to run off for a year. The Doctor fucked up.

      • sabra_n says:

        I wouldn't say she was horrible, but she was irresponsible. She'd been around the Doctor long enough to see he was an entropy magnet and the "back in one minute" promise might not come true. Simply checking in with her mother and letting her know she was going for a short ride with a friend would have prevented a whole lot of grief – Jackie might still have thought Rose was kidnapped or murdered or something, but at least she wouldn't have accused Mickey of doing it.

        This episode was about consequences. Rose thought that time travel would free her from those, but it didn't, any more than it frees the Doctor.

        • Karen says:

          She did call her mom though, in episode 2. And then as far as she knew, the Doctor was going to be dropping her off 12 hours after she had left. How was she to know that he would screw up?

          • Openattheclose says:

            I am always confused about that phone call. Was that supposed to be the day after the episode Rose, earth time? It would have to be or else Jackie would be like "OMG you're missing, where are you?" But they don't mention the strange happenings of the night before at all. I suppose it could be after this episode, but it still doesn't make sense to me.

            • thirty2flavors says:

              I think if you listen to Jackie's dialogue, it's actually earlier in the day during "Rose" — she mentions the lottery money or whatever that Rose went back for in "Rose".

  30. celestineangel1 says:


  31. karate0kat says:

    I felt so bad for Mickey here. Jackie too, of course, not knowing what happened to her daughter. But Mickey's whole life was screwed up because everyone thought he was a murderer. And he couldn't tell anyone anything that would absolve him even though he knew the real answer!

    • psycicflower says:

      I agree about feeling particularly bad for Mickey. I can't imagine living in a clearly close knit community where everyone thinks you're a murderer. I hate to think of the abuse he got, he even mentioned getting things through the door.

    • MowerOfLorn says:

      Yes, exactly. Mickey really got screwed over- his girlfriend goes off with a hot alien to explore time and space. He becomes an accused murderer/rapist for a year.

      Then the alien comes back and calls him an idiot.

      *hugs Ricky- *cough* Mickey*

    • kaleidoscoptics says:

      Mickey just can't get any breaks, can he? And then the Doctor comes back and, rather than saying "Oops, my bad" keeps needling Mickey and intentionally calling him the wrong name. :\ Sometimes I like Nine's grouchiness, but this is not one of those times.

  32. calimie says:

    I find it interesting that you love this episode, because I'm one of those who hate these aliens. I love the rest of it: Jackie. Mickey, Harriet Jones, how the disappereance was handled, the Doctor trying to watch the news… but the farting aliens? Ridiculous, I just can't stand them. It's not my type of humour at all.

  33. hassibah says:

    I am so glad you like this episode! I was pretty bummed to see so many people hated it because there's a little lowbrow humor. Yes it's silly, and personally I never minded silly things myself but there is some awesome and serious plot going on which of course I can't fully explain why I think it's so awesome till we get to part 2. Either way, I don't think that something has to be making grand profound statements every single week to be good and I like the goofy eps.

    For now I'll just say that I love Jackie in this episode and that it's totally realistic for her to act that way,! Not even to mention that they made Rose's life three dimensional by the fact that her running off had real consequences and got R…Mickey in trouble with the police, that you can't just run away to have adventures and expect the world of your old life to not be affected. And Harriet Jones is rad too.

  34. Amelia &/or Delilah says:

    # I hope we see more of UNIT. The Doctor said they wouldn’t recognize him. Is that a reference to the fact that a different actor plays him? I don’t know why he changes like that. Again, don’t tell me that.

    But… but… that's not a spoiler! ;_;

    Ah well. xD I didn't like this episode very much, but Space Pig was adorable. Poor Space Pig. xD

    • who cares says:

      If you read closely he's wondering why the Doctor changes like that. Mark only knows the doctor changes but not the how and why. At this point why he changes (so many times) is a major spoiler. The real world answer is obvious to anyone but the in-universe reason is again a MAJOR SPOILER.

      • calimie says:

        OMG, I hadn't even realized! He didn't even know he was an alien!
        Thank you for writing that, I don't know why I thought that, but I was sure that he *knew*.

        Mark, you're in for a ride.

    • Cinthya says:

      But then he won't learn about it like the rest of us! I didn't know why the doctor changed for a long time…

      • MowerOfLorn says:

        One of the very first episodes I watched of this show had a change in it. I had no idea what I was watching, and only caught the last five minutes of it….I was like "What the HELL just happened?"

  35. who cares says:

    Here's the thing the farting aliens may suck but the kids love 'em. Doctor Who is a family show there'll always be are some things that aren't meant for us and some things that aren't meant for the kids.

    • pica_scribit says:

      Yeah, that's pretty much why I am cool with them. This show is meant to appeal to people of all ages, from those who started out watching William Hartnell in 1963 to the seven-year-old hiding behind the sofa. There are plenty of things I love about this show, but I don't expect to or have to love everything they do.

    • Karen says:

      IA. Doctor Who is and has always been a family show. I do think the farting aliens veered a bit towards children's show, but in general it doesn't annoy me too much.

      • who cares says:

        Definitely agreed that farting aliens was pandering to the kids too much but it was the first series and this is one of the first scripts and the first episode they shot so you gotta forgive them for that. It's always hard to figure out what the tone of the show should be in the first series. Especially on doctor who which requires a different tone each episode.

        • Openattheclose says:

          Wow, I didn't know it was the first episode that was shot. Or do you mean the first episode after Rose? If it was the first, I'm really impressed with Camille Coduri then. She really made me buy that she was Rose's Mum and had been so worried for her. I would think that would be hard to do when she hadn't acted with Billie Piper yet.

  36. Pingback: Tweets that mention Mark Watches ‘Doctor Who’: S01E04 – Aliens of London | Mark Watches --

  37. sabra_n says:

    In the old series, the Doctor took the precaution of only taking companions with no parents to do the slapping. 😛

    Oh, and the Doctor is totally lying about his age, unless the Time War did something that somehow removed hundreds of years from his timeline. Still, it amuses me more to imagine that turning 1000 is for Time Lords what turning 40 is for humans so he just refuses to admit it.

  38. Openattheclose says:

    "He had a wife, a mistress, and a young farmer. God I was busy." I love that line!

    I feel so bad for Jackie and Mickey in this episode.

    I really like Dr. Sato too 🙂

  39. cdnstar says:

    I just made my son sit through this with me, so I don't fall behind. He's not an Eccleston-Doctor fan, but a Tennant-Doctor fan, but he made it though and was bummed when it ended mid-storyline.

    My input for this episde? I really like Mickey. He was kind of an idiot/useless in 'Rose', but I like him so much more in this episode, as they're really starting to fill out his character. I don't think he gets a big enough apology for the fact that he put up with a year of being a murder suspect with Rose gone. I think there should be a big Mickey party. *nods* I find there's something endearing about him. I always end up feeling so bad for him!

    He's in pretty good shape for 900 years old, yes? I hope I look that good in 870 years… oh, wait.

  40. Lolua says:

    Oh, Mark. You are not… prepared. As far as I'm concerned the important thing here is aliens in the government. It explains a lot, y'know?

  41. pica_scribit says:

    I figure the TARDIS has some sort of time-keeping method built into it, and he translates that into Earth-years for Rose and the other humans he meets. But yeah, his age is probably still nothing more than an estimate.

  42. calimie says:

    Maybe you shouldn't have mentioned that bit about Harriet Jones (as wonderful as she is).

  43. Vicki Louise says:

    My thoughts on this episode:
    The Rose has been gone for a year storyline. The Doctor smacking the TARDIS with a mallet, i love it when he does that, if all else fails give it a good whack! Mickey the idiot <3 (I'm certain it's actually a term of affection not the Doctor being a bumface) I love you HarrietJonesMPforFydaleNorth! "Prove it, stitch this mate!" I love you too Jackie!
    "I bet you don't even remember my name! Ricky. It's Mickey. No it's Ricky. I think i know my own name! You think you know your own name, how stupid are you?" I love you so much nine!
    Toshiko <3 Blue Peter making spaceship cakes. Real newsreaders. Starman playing in the background. The Doctor telling the Sonic Screwdriver to shush.
    Fart gags. Green Alien suits that look so big and bulky you could easily thwart them by walking through a particularly narrow doorway. The creepy Chinese dude in Jackie's flat who has his hand on Rose and doesn't take his eyes of her, creepy! Fart gags.
    "The whole world has come crashing down around them, so what are you supposed to do? You sit around and fart." Hahaha, ilu so much Mark! 😀

  44. fakehepburn says:


    … But you ARE becoming a Whovian.

    Hehehehehehe. Oh man, you're doomed.

  45. Nikki says:

    Finally, an episode I really liked! I love, love the fact that Rose has to actually face up to the reality of what she's done and how it impacts the people who care about her.

    I loved the scenes when her mom got to act like a real mom. Not just some silly side character we can laugh at, but a real mom who loves and worries about her daughter. The way she reacted to Rose when she came back was very realistic and not played out at all for laughs and I really appreciated that. I especially liked when Rose was crying and her mom said that what really scared her was that Rose still couldn't tell her what she had been doing for a whole year. It all felt very real. I'm so glad they didn't turn it all into a big joke.

    I think it's important to feel the grief, terror, and frustration being felt by the people who care for Rose because of the choice she's made to follow the Doctor. It's not just wacky fun, but has real consequences, for Rose and others. Somehow, even with Rose's life in danger in the other episodes, the enormity of what she's part of now isn't felt as strongly as it is until it's shown how it affects her mom.

    I like this so much because usually in these types of situations everything works out fine for the character. They get to leave their life and have crazy adventures and their real life somehow isn't damaged at all by this, even when it should be! And I have always felt very frustrated by this. Finally Doctor Who comes along to puts a stop a that.

    There seemed to be a lot of emotion in this episode. I felt it more here than in any other. I didn't laugh at all at the pig in the space suit. It met a tragic end. The scene with the Doctor asking why the man shot it and telling him it was just scared was very heartbreaking, I felt.

    I liked that this episode kept surprising me. Things I never expected to happen did and at just the right moments.

    I really felt bad for Mickey. And I feel like most of his troubles are brushed to the side, when they should be taken seriously. Being accused of murder is a very serious thing. I like Mickey a lot. I think he's a very sweet guy. I don't like how the Doctor is hating on him all the time.

    I also really adored the Harriet Jones character. I thought she was great.

    I wish I wasn't so bad at remembering details so I could go into them about what I liked in this episode. Because there were a lot of details I liked. Ah well. Good episode.

  46. Vicki Louise says:

    Here's a nerdy fact for you, the shot of the space pig and the Doctor running through that corridor with the plastic door thingy was the very first thing they filmed on new Who!

  47. Am I lame for tearing up over the Space Piggy? Can we name him Wilbur?

    Best bit: Jackie Tyler: How old are you, then? Forty? Forty five? What, did you find her on the Internet? Did you go online and pretend you're a doctor?
    The Doctor: I am a doctor!
    Jackie Tyler: Prove it! Stitch this, mate!
    [slaps the Doctor across the face]

    Heehee, I love you Mama Jackie, never change!

  48. nyssaoftraken74 says:

    I've signed up especially to comment on this, because I'm enjoying it so much. This must be how the Doctor feels – having seen so much already in 900 years, it must be such a thrill to see the universe through the fresh, wonder-filled eyes of his companions.

    It might be worth mentioning that these 2 episodes were the first to be filmed in 2004. Nobody in the UK had ever made a show like this before and they were something like a week behind schedule after day 1, if that's possible. So if it's a bit rough around the edges at times, I can forgive that. Not a bad couple of episodes when you consider they were only just learning how to made the show!

  49. doesntsparkle says:

    Shaun's mum! That's all.

    • calimie says:

      She's fantastic in both roles, yes.

      "We're coming to get you, Barbara!"

    • sabra_n says:

      Penelope Wilton was also heartbreaking and funny and wonderful in a previous RTD project, Bob and Rose. Which is available on R1 DVD and I highly recommend watching, incidentally. 😛

  50. psycicflower says:

    I do wonder sometimes how time travel effects keeping track of your age. Technically Rose is only a few days older but linear time she’s a year older.

    As others have said this episode is often underappreciated because of the Slitheens farting (I do like the fact though that they actual had an explanation for it) but there is a great build up through out the episode of ooo first contact to hmm somethings not right to oh god oh god, we're all going to die. I like how cleverly and simply they avoid the politics question by just having Rose not know who's Prime Minister because she was away for so long. I love the watching history unfold on the tv and the Doctor Who tv news people.

    I think Jackie calling the police is very understandable. Her daughter disappeared with a strange man for a year and now aliens have landed and no one knows what’s going on. She has every right to expect the worst especially considering her earlier conversation with Rose about how she was afraid about the fact Rose couldn't tell her where she was. I also feel very bad for Mickey with everyone being convinced he's a murderer.
    “You THINK you know your own name? How stupid are you?” I love the banter between Mickey and the Doctor.

    I'm so happy you're falling in love with the show.
    <img src="; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic">

  51. who cares says:

    900 years of phonebox travel and I've never been smacked by someones mom.

  52. stellans says:

    I'm so happy you're watching the Doctor, because I was trying to decide if I wanted to watch it again (thanks, Netflix!), and when I saw you were, it made up my mind.

    I am one of those who doesn't care for the pig aliens and all the fart jokes; I'm not a body humor fan at all. BUT… the the other parts of this episode were enough to make it worthwhile.

    I am really looking forward to enjoying Dr. Who all over again, right along with you. (As I'm doing Harry Potter over on MarkReads, and did Firefly just previously.)

  53. The Doctor is 900 years old? WHAT.

    He looks pretty good for an old boy, doesn't he?

  54. Jahizzle says:

    So as someone who had only heard of this show in passing from a friend, I gotta say…I’M HOOKED. I had a day off from work and ended up watching the ENTIRE first season! I totally did not pick up on the “bad wolf” thing at all.

    About this episode in particular…I totally thought that the pig was just an alien that looked like a pig haha. And the farts were annoying at first then I kind of forgot about them.

    • pica_scribit says:

      Hah! I got hooked when BBC America first broadcast this season all in a row. A friend had tried to make me watch the first few episodes about a year before, and it didn't take. But by the end of a day of DW brainwashing, I was bawling and cheering and shouting at the screen. I love this show!

  55. hassibah says:

    I got so sad seeing Harriet Jones, MP for Flydale North, making coffee for the secretary to get some face time with the PM :/

  56. SpiritWolf1201 says:

    It's so difficult to sit here and read your thoughts. I reeeeally can't wait for future things. 😀

  57. Cinthya says:

    Crap. I just re-read the spoiler policy and I can't determine if my comment is a spoiler or not so I'm not going t post it. Also, I am sorry for the spoilers in my last two comments 🙁 I didn't remember that saying a specific episode was particularly interesting was a spoiler. PLEASE FORGIVE ME T.T

  58. James says:

    Hey I'm a big fan of the Mark Watches/Reads stuff but haven't posted a comment because I'm a consumate lurker but just had to comment when you started doing Dr Who. You seem to be enjoying these couple episodes which is good because most people recommend the series with "it starts off ok but gets WAY better later on", can't wait til you get to the juicier stuff later on.

    People who have already watched all of these episodes get an awesome xmas present in two days, a kissogram in a WPC outfit, a roman legionaire and a madman in a box saving Christmas day.

    • Hypatia_ says:

      Unfortunately I'm with my family, who are not Doctor Who fans. They will not allow me to take over the TV to watch it. Will have to wait until it gets online (which fortunately shouldn't be long).

  59. Pseudonymph says:

    Did anyone else get a distinctly Umbridge vibe from the female Slitheen? This is the second time I've seen this episode but it didn't occur to me the first time I watched it. Imelda Staunton acted the part perfectly but this lady is a lot closer to how I imagined Umbridge.

  60. A guest says:

    Because of something you said you might want to avoid watching the "Next time" preview of Episode 6 in Episode 5. Actually I have recently accustomed myself to closing my eyes and ears whenever those come at the end of a new episode. (And yet I did watch the first trailer to the upcoming Christmas special. Several times. Then avoided the newer clips completely. Not consistent, I know, but it IS easier to wait for just one week.)

  61. MichelleZB says:

    Mark, I won't tell you anything about Daleks or whatever, like you asked. BUT the reason why the Doctor looks different, and is played by different actors, is really common knowledge and not at all a spoiler. Should we tell you?

    • nyssaoftraken74 says:

      No, please don't tell him! Let him find out for himself. This is one of the most fundamental and important things about Doctor Who and he should come to it naturally in due course.

    • Minish says:

      I didn't know when I first watched the series, Mark shouldn't either.

      It's important for him to experience that on his own.

    • pica_scribit says:

      I agree with the other posters. I came to the series knowing the answer to this in a vague way, but it's a lot more awesome to just see it played out.

    • Cassandra says:

      Yea, definitely keep it a secret — I started watching Doctor Who at the same point as Mark, and I didn't even know that changing actors was a thing, never mind why. It is definitely worthwhile letting him wait and learn for himself. 🙂

    • Hypatia_ says:

      Definitely let him find out in the show. The Doctor explains it himself, so Mark will get an explanation when it happens.

  62. Scarecrow says:

    You should seriosuly consider watching Torchwood alongside Doctor Who, at least the first two seasons, otherwise DW WILL spoil you for later events in that series. It's not too hard either. Just watch Doctor Who Series 1, Doctor Who Series 2, torchwood Series 1, Doctor Who Series 3, Torchwood Series 2 and then Doctor Who Series 4. I think you'd get the best overall experience then!

  63. Kitzo says:


  64. Vicki Louise says:

    I'm tired and ill, so goodnight Mark, and may your dreams be filled with spacepigs!

  65. rowanlee says:

    Ack, I can't say anything, for risk of spoiling. I just shall once again express my love for EVERYONE IN THIS SERIES, especially Harriet Jones.

  66. grlgoddess says:

    1. 900 years old? I don't believe that for a second. He just doesn't want to admit he broke the big 1000 (which was probably a couple centuries ago).

    2. Since everyone's been pimping Torchwood in this thread, I'm going to add a gentle reminder about The Sarah Jane Adventures. It may be aimed at a younger audience, but it's still really good and of consistently better quality than Torchwood (and sometimes Doctor Who itself).

    • Hypatia_ says:

      That's kind of my theory. He probably doesn't know exactly how old he is, but he knows it's over 1000 and doesn't want to admit it. Amusing, since it's not as though 900 or 1000 is going to make much of a difference to his human companions, since they belong to a species whose lifespan only rarely breaks 100. Personal hangup, I guess.

    • Openattheclose says:

      I love SJA and there are definitely a few episodes of that show that Mark MUST watch, even if he doesn't watch the whole series.

  67. Drewid says:

    I think this was one of the irst episodes I saw and I had the same reactions you did. 😀

  68. Pingback:

  69. Hotaru-hime says:

    I really freaked out at the end of this episode, so I quickly watched the next one. It snowballed from there on out.

  70. kaleidoscoptics says:

    I've gotta admit, this is one of my least favorite episodes because of the farting aliens and the pig in a suit. The plot is admittedly pretty intriguing–alien tech used to fake an alien invasion? Who'd'a thunk?–but the silliness of the aliens just annoys me. ):

    <img src=>

  71. Sierra says:

    Uck I don't like these aliens and I thought this arc was kind of a weak point in the season. Good to see you liked it, though, it bodes well for all the rest which are much better.

  72. meredy says:

    Never commheymented before but read ing awhile now. Omg dw! I’m almost reexcite. I love how you pick up on things! Best thing about this show taking little throw away things and giving you OMG LATER. WITHIN EPISODES AND MORESO LATER. ITS MY FAVORITE THING FOR SHOWS/SUCH TO DO. Sorry my cell is lagging and fing my typing. This was my first doctor and my favorite season.

    Def watch torchwood if you like “subtle” refs. Knowing dw makes t sooo fun. Tw rather.

    My first time watching dw… I just wanted this weird big eared british dude to shut up cause OMG stargate sg1… lollll

  73. Mauve_Avenger says:

    Rose called the Doctor gay. 🙁

    The fart gags didn't really bother me, but that's probably because my computer and/or the video were being wonky and I've had to stop watching quite a few times to refresh and wait for the video to reload again. If I had watched the entire episode in one sitting, I'd probably have felt differently.

    Possible goof: Jackie calls into the hotline about the Doctor and says that Rose called the blue box a TARDIS, but I'm pretty sure that no one has said 'TARDIS' in front of her yet, and that Rose has only said it once, when she was stuck in traffic with the Doctor. Also, the red alert screen originally pops up when the word TARDIS is entered, but afterward Junior Secretary Ganesh said it was triggered by the word 'doctor.'

    If the screening device is set to respond to 'doctor,' you'd think it'd get triggered all the time, even if it is just screening the hotline calls.

    Also, Space Pig. I'm kinda disappointed that there's no gif of him running.
    <img src=""&gt;

    • Will says:

      I think it was the combination of 'The Doctor' and 'TARDIS' that set off the alarm. Just 'The Doctor' by itself is a bit to vague.

  74. echinodermata says:

    So on re-watch, I basically just went, oh goddammit, this episode. I really dislike it – I'm sorry, fart jokes are not funny to me. And it's a two-parter, ugh.

    One thing that struck me on re-watch was that Rose just said "that's so gay" in a derogatory way. What? How did I never notice this before? WHAT THE HELL, RTD, SERIOUSLY? No really, this basically makes no sense to me. I just don't get why he would include that. And I don't care if that's how people speak in real life, because when you're telling a story about a 900 year old alien, realism kinda goes out the window.

    • sabra_n says:

      People did notice the "that's so gay" when it happened. There is a context in which it kinda makes sense, but I can't say it without spoiling things. 🙁 I wish there was a PM function here.

    • Mauve_Avenger says:

      I noticed that, too.

      I looked it up later, and there are quite a few blogs saying that Davies wrote an e-mail defending Rose's dialogue in that scene. The stuff I've found about it so far says he defended it on grounds of realism and *provoking a conversation,* but I'm trying to find the actual text of the e-mail to see his exact words.

      Though I really can't think that any defense is going to be sufficient.

    • rin says:

      Ugh, agreed, I hate that Rose says that! There's plenty of 'realistic' things she could have said that don't hurt people or encourage homophobia.

  75. Liz says:

    Technically the Doctor is actually way more than 900 – this is something that's bothered me about the new series (this, and the fact that in subsequent series they just add one year to his age per series which is ridiculous given the way time is handled in this show). In the classic series the Doctor would mention his age periodically and has actually mentioned his age as being over 1,000. It's like for the new series they decided that would make him *too* old or something? Idk. It would vary a lot in the classic series too, though. Mostly this has led to many macros with the caption "even Time Lords lie about their age," lol.

    Meanwhile you are falling in love with Doctor Who even faster than I did and I LOVE IT, lol. Also, I congratulate you on noticing the number of times BAD WOLF has appeared so quickly. I think my tally was only at one or two at this point, and I had someone TELLING ME TO WATCH FOR IT, lol.

    Sometimes I forget how much I love 1×04/1×05 because of all the fart jokes, and then I watch them again and end up making a long list of all the reasons I do actually love them after all. LISTS ARE AWESOME. But I can't share my list until you watch 1×05, lol.

    • Danel says:

      He does actually say here that he's been *travelling* for 900 years – so he could easily be a fair bit older. Of course, once this disturbs Rose it makes sense that he wouldn't correct her and point out that he's actually older than that.

      The other joke some fans made is that he's basically having a mid-life crisis and lying about his age.

  76. Will says:

    Firstly, SPOILERS!

    • Mauve_Avenger says:

      I haven't watched ahead at all, and I didn't see any spoilers in the quote.

      ETA: OK, now I see it. I thought that was just a hypothetical situation, but I guess not. Deleting it now.

      It's strange because it makes no sense for him to threaten someone for using "gay" as an insult if he actually believes his second point that the meaning of the word 'gay' is changing and there's nothing we can do to stop it.

      And his last point…ugh. There are better ways of *starting a discussion.* I highly doubt he would've had one of his more popular characters using other offensive epithets on the off-hand chance that it would provoke people who disagree into activism or lull bigots into a false sense of security before they get bashed over their heads with messages of tolerance. That just seemed like a cop out to me.

      • MeredyMer says:

        Ough I agree using something hurtful just to start dialog is a bad excusse … from character perspective part of the point of Rose and the Doctor is how much she can see and grow from her tiny bubble. althRose has a lot to learn and already in three episode I am sure she has had a lot of her perseptions expanded so why couldn’t the Doctor and any possible futur travels make her a more ..hmm worldy? Thoughtful? Not sure of the right word. Rose is only 19 basically a child espesially to the doctor he can teach her a lot. Like not to say hurtful things…
        Or not ricky…mickey…lol

  77. spectralbovine says:

    Oh damn it, a story arc? I literally yelled at the screen when the episode ended and the story line hadn’t been resolved. BLAST YOU, DOCTOR WHO!
    I TOLD YOU!! Isn't it fun? This episode is where my interest in the show went up a little (another episode made it go up a lot, and then another sealed the deal). And by the way, BBC previews are actually pretty good about being exciting without spoiling anything major. There are some really badass previews later on.

    Oh god, you guys, I love this all so very much. HOW HAVE I NEVER SEEN THIS.
    Hee. I eagerly await your continued squee.

    BAD WOLF AGAIN. WTF I don’t get it WHAT IS THAT.
    Well, in the old series, one of the Doctor's Companions was Little Red Riding Hood.

  78. DLXian says:

    I don’t know where everyone gets off saying that TW: series 1 is pre- DW series 3. The storylines run concurrently, as evidenced by the final episode of TW: S1 running into the 3rd to the last episode of DW series 3

    • Matthew says:

      TW S1 was broadcast in its entirety before DW S3 started broadcasting, so they were designed to be watched that way – and it's still the simplest way to watch them.

      Getting bogged down in the possible placements of individual episodes within a fictional timeline is pretty pointless and doesn't add anything to the viewing experience.

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  80. RJM says:

    "The Doctor is 900 years old? WHAT."

    MINIMUM. There are some of us who think he is lying about his age to feel younger.

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  82. ladysugarquill says:

    Unpopular opinion: I fucking hate Rose's mum. She's mean, meddlesome and stupid. No wonder Rose's life was a dead-end. And I sort of feel bad about Mickey, but he's kinda stupid too…

    That said, I love this episode 😀

  83. Cynkro says:

    "Excuse me, do you mind not farting while I'm saving the world?"

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