Monday, March 12, 2007

My Incredibly Inaccurate Predictions: Rose - The Unquiet Dead!

101: Rose
by Russell T Davies

Roots: Bob & Rose, First Wave (the insane conspiracy nut who knows the truth), The Beast With Five Fingers (the severed Auton arm), the Doctor'sentrance obliquely references the Angel episode "War Zone" ("And just who were you expecting?"), Animorphs (mobile phones being used by alieninvaders).

Fluffs: Christopher Eccleston seemed slightly confused in this story.
"My dear Jackie, this is not the time for seriousness! This is very levity!"
"I never make stupid mistakes - and clever ones, either. I should say so,yes. Hmm."
Mickey mispronounces "Nestene" twice on location but never in studio.

Goofs: The Doctor is clearly taken aback when Rose hurls the arm at him and nearly drops it.

Clive suffocates in under a second when the bubble wrap attacks. Bit unlikely.

Considering the number of times UNIT has defeated the Autons (six times bythe end of this episode) you wonder why they didn't notice the sudden surgeof mannequins and mobile phones?

When Jackie switches on the washing machine, she is clearly miming it whilethe noise is dubbed on.

If Clive is the world's expert on the Doctor's exploits, why can't heremember which monster is which?

Fashion Victims: The Autons suffer almost as much as Clive's "winking smiley face" T-shirt.

Technobbable: The Nestene Consciousness works on an inverse frequency wavelength and thus, with modified equipment ratio, can be heard over mobilephones and radio waves. The sonic screwdriver has a 'neutrino dispersion matrix' and can accidentally erase computer disks.

Double Entendres: The look Rose gives the sonic screwdriver and the Doctor's delight at its appearance speaks volumes.

"Can I come inside this time, Doctor?" "Perhaps, Rose. If you're good."

Clive speaks for fandom: "What happened to you, Doctor! You used to be cooland now you look like an extra in the Matrix!" though the Doctor's retort is slightly more kinky.

Dialogue Disasters: "Why do you have a Nothern accent?" "Every planet has a North." and "How didthe Nestenes conquer Polymos?" "Every planet has a flourishing plasticsindustry."

"I'm the Doctor." "Oh. Doctor what?" "Near enough."

The Autons struggle to avoid cliche: "Do not resist. It's completelyuseless."

Dialogue Triumphs: "Nice to meet you, Rose. Run for your life!"

Jackie on the Auton invasion: "Bit melodrammatic, wouldn't you say?"

"Bugger! Autons! I thought it would be the Cybermen! Rose, I owe you atenner."

Rose on the TARDIS: "It's..."
The Doctor: "I know. The decor really givesthat impression of space, doesn't it."

Links: Spearhead from Space, Terror of the Autons, Ambassadors of Death (Jackie complains when The Goodies were taken off by the captive alien fiasco), Survival (Clive mentions the Doctor hasn't been seen since Perivale), The TV Movie (the Doctor finds his eighth self's cravat in hispockets).

The revelation Geocomtek funded the migration will be investigatedin Museum Piece.

Untelevised Adventures: The Doctor's regeneration, and there are several unseen Auton invasions including the "one where the almost succeeded by pretending to be traffic cones" and one where they used ventilation duct insulation to create a nerve gas that drove people insane.

Intertexuality: The Doctor refers to the Quadrant in Davies' own Damaged Goods and meeting another Tyler family. The Doctor's leather jacket wassuggested "by a friend" which seems to refer to Destrii in DWM's The Flood,and reacts to the name 'Charley' quite dramattically. The Auton spin offs,the aborted Season 23 Singapore story are referenced, as is Business Unusual.

Continuity: There are "a dozen" Doctors, but this is the first time Clive has encounted the Eccleston version. The Doctor claims to have recently gone "through something of an identity crisis" suggesting he is fresh from his regeneration. He is travelling alone but expects that to change.

Rose Tyler is a shop assistant, lives in a flat with her boyfriend Micky Webb (who is thinking of calling off the relationship when his friend "Psycho" suggests Rose's mother is making moves on him). It is her eighteenth birthday sometime in late November. Jackie Tyler "hasn't been thesame" since something nasty happened to her husband, but this is a taboo subject and we are not told what it was. She can remember what she was doingwhen Kennedy was assasinated, men landed on the moon and the Berlin wallcollapsed, but doesn't reveal what in case she embarasses Rose.

The Nestenes discovered a time-active spaceship in the year 2089 and havebeen trying to re-write their invasion attempts to be a complete success.

The [Ninth] Doctor has been on hand each time to stop them and in the lastencounter destroyed their time machine. At the end of this story the NesteneConsciousness is fragmented forever when the Doctor gives them "the exorcism equivalent of a Liverpool kiss."

Location: Earth, Cardiff, 2005.

The Bottom Line: "Who are you?" "Me? I'm back!"
A slick opening episode mixing the best from the opening stories for the first and third Doctors. Eccleston and Piper make great debuts, but the sudden jarring end as Rose enters the TARDIS isn't quite the best cliffhanger moment. The Auton invasion is fantastic until the final minuteswhen we learn they have tried to conquer the Earth a hundred times alreadyand seem insanely optimistic. A reasonable start.

102: The End of the World
by Russel T Davies

Roots: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Titan AE, Babylon 5, andinfluences from Uppenhiemer and Einstein over the development of nuclearweapons. The Damnation of Harvey McCue (in particular the end of the world episode, not to mention the brain conspiracy), Shockjock (the stock exchangecrash saves the day).

Fluffs: Christopher Eccleston seemed a bit befuddled in this story.

"This is a monstrous exercise! Monstrous! Completely monstrous! What is it, Rose? I'll tell you, it's monstrous!"

Zoe Wanamaker stumbles on the pronounciation of "Pangalactic Gargle Blaster" and finally settles on "Oh, just drink this, will you?!"

Goofs: The Earth's continents do not seem to have changed after fifteenbillion years, although it is upside down in one scene.

Although the dispersion shield is destroyed by Raquets, no one seems worriedabout being killed when the detonation is carried out. [The Doctor managesto restore the field and doesn't bother panicking anyone]

One of the delegates trips and falls during the opening scene.

Fashion Victims: Jana's tinfoil dressing gown.

Technobabble: The Thanotoid Device works on a principal of "induced molecular instability projection" and has "a decay rate potentional" unlike anything on the "Oates-Rumpole scale".

Double Entendres: "You're not really up to this sort of activity." "The question is, are you?"

The Doctor on the originality in the script: "This sort of thing hashappened before."

Dialogue Disasters: "You think this far in the future, people would know just how to get along!"

"Profit is far more important than some blue-green planetoid!"

And three cheers for, "And, before you ask, we're not spies, we're travellers!"

Dialogue Triumphs: The Doctor's speech on all times being equal.

"I'm an indigenous inhabitant of Earth and I say you can't destroy it!"
"Yes, but it's out of your hands. You invalidated the guarantee long ago."

"I'm not vain, just trying to please everyone else aesthetically!"

"That's the trouble with dissolute Time Lords, they get five-dimensionalhangovers into the bargain."

Links: Lots of references to Rose. The Doctor's cryptic comments about the future of humanity clearly refer to Frontios and The Ark.

Untelevised Adventures: The Doctor doesn't like visiting the ends of time,but has been around long enough to learn of the galactic stock exchangecrash that ultimately rendered currency obsolete.

Intertexuality: The Doctor mentions getting drunk and accidentallywitnessing the start of the universe, presumably in Slipback. There is alsomention of the Kirith from Timewyrm: Apocalypse.

Continuity: A series of ecological disasters during the twentieth centuryforced humanity begin its colonization of the solar system. By the beginningof the Thirtieth century, Earth's civilization collapsed and split up intovarious nomad groups. By the time of the story, pure-blood humans areconsidered legendary.

IMIP (induced molecular instability projection) was originally used as aweapon during "the Final Wars" some three centuries previous. When used inseries it create a wave of pure primal energy that cancels out entropy and the Theocracy of Planets planned to use it to stave off the ultimate destruction of the universe. It can also create near-immortality in a living subject.

Rose became quite environmentally friendly when she was younger when she began learning that pollution could end her world. She eventually lost a lot of zeal and blames it on her discovering boys. She doubts Mickey is beingfaithful to her. The Doctor can drink a whole pan-galactic gargle blaster in one go, suspending the after-effects for up to two days. The sonic screwdriver canmix cocktails.

Location: Space Station Kerrilon, the far future.

The Bottom Line: "They're destroying Earth for a science project?" "Thereare worse fates out there."
Surprisingly jovial for such grim subject matter, it seems not even 2005 Doctor Who can escape from trying to recreate the Star Wars cantina scenes. Zoe Wanamaker steals every scene she is in, but the Doctor's drunkenessmanages to put up a good fight. However, the whole thing (especially theairlock sequence) seems a bit to close to Douglas Adams to be truly enjoyable.

103: The Unquiet Dead
by Mark Gattis

Roots: The works of Charles Dickens, Chance in a Million (when panicking, Callow reverts to this odd method of speech), Red Dwarf (the Doctor mishears'Gelth' as 'GELF'), The League of Gentlemen, Dr. Bell & Mr. Doyle, Strange.

Fluffs: Christopher Eccleston seemed taken aback in this story.

"I'd rather not discuss it as it's the same to all of you."

Goofs: Dickens clearly has to hold the door closed after he's locked it.

The snow storm stops inexplicably during the Doctor's return to the TARDIS.

Rose refers to the effect the Gelth have on human eyes BEFORE she sees itoccur.

Double Entendres: "Not so much Ghost Light as Gas Light..."
"What you do to those defenseless corpses is not what I wish to discuss!"

Dialogue Disasters: "Duck!" "Oh, where?"

"Pea-soupers are generally defined by the way they DON'T try to hunt onedown and kill one in the street like a dog!"

"Doctor, what's going on?" (and the delivery!)

Dialogue Triumphs: The Doctor's Dickens-related puns.

An ominous foreshadowing of Dickens' real-life fate: "In an ideal world the trains run on time." "Yes. And there are no crashes..."

"That's human egotism for you. Invade their planet, conquer their people,pervert their course of technological development and most of them won't notice. But if their latest celebrity has an affair out of wedlock, woe betide anyone trying to change the subject.""Here's my latest discovery. I call it 'fire'. Catchy title, no?"Intertextuality: The Doctor refers to encountering 'sentient smells' and'gastic emissions' "once or twice" (The English Way of Death and The Curseof Fatal Death).

Continuity: The Gelth and their ancient enemies the Geith have been fightingfor "as long as the Doctor can remember" which suggests a very long time indeed. Their combined homeworld was reduced to a stunning asteroid belt in thirteen seconds by the Geith's latest armed weaponry. The gas beings canlive in most organic creatures with an olfactory system, but in beings suchas humans all brain-function must have ceased for full control. Rose compares their scent to that of rain evaporating off the pavement on a sunny day.

The Doctor and Dickens have not met before, but have heard of each other through 'mutual acquaintences'. The Doctor has been a firm believer in themoral of A Christmas Carol, that we make our own futures by our own choices. He used to sum this belief up by quoting "And Tiny Tim, who did not die..." but after having to explain the whole reference on fifteen separateoccasions (and twice to a particularly thick sky-jellyfish who wasn't paying attention) finally settled on "I'll explain later."

The TARDIS' internal compensators can be effected by cold weather, despite the Doctor claiming this is impossible. Snow slides off the exterior,although the surface is not particularly warm.

Location: London, Christmas, 1885.

The Bottom Line: "And who the Dickens are you?"
The first bona fide classic of the Ninth Doctor's era, this refeshinglychilling blend of alien zombies and Victorian Christmases owes more than alittle to the author's own League of Gentlemen Christmas Special, as well as giving Simon Callow some flowery dialogue that the real Charles Dickens would have been proud.

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