So maybe this is it! First contact! The day mankind officially comes into contact with an alien race. I'm not interfering because you've got to handle this on your own. That's when the human race finally grows up. Just this morning you were all tiny and small and made of clay! Now you can expand!
1x04- "Aliens of London"
Meh. It’s just an ok opener to the weakest episodes of series 1, if you ask me. And I love you, RTD, but this isn’t your best work. Ooooh, farting Slitheen. Great.
The one good thing about this episode is seeing the ramifications of travelling with the Doctor. The old series never really deals with what happens to those who are left behind, and I love that RTD decided to explore that. It is amplified by the fact that the Doctor is a bit of a fail and he brings her back a year later than he intended.
Oh and Jackie slaps the Doctor. That is also awesome.
I think we also get to see one of the major differences between Nine and Ten. Whereas Ten was quite happy to spend Christmas with Rose and her family, Nine has opened himself up to Rose, but he’s not ready to really build a family for himself.
Rose: My mum's here.
The Doctor: Oh, that's just what I need! Don't you dare make this place domestic!
Mickey: You ruined my life, Doctor. [the Doctor turns and looks at him, irritated] They thought she was dead, I was a murder suspect because of you!
The Doctor: [looks at Rose] See what I mean? Domestic!
Mickey: I bet you don't even remember my name!
The Doctor: Ricky.
Mickey: It's Mickey!
The Doctor: No, it's Ricky.
Mickey: I think I know my own name!
The Doctor: You think you know your own name? How stupid are you?
The last bit is especially funny in context of Rickey in Pete’s World in series 2. Also, it’s fun to contrast Mickey’s relationship with Nine to his relationship with Ten. I think that Ten and Mickey were (slightly begrudging) bros whereas Nine and Mickey just kind of see each other as rivals and are antagonistic.
1x05 – “World War Three”
The plot is still kind of lame in this one, but it is marginally better than the first part because it has some neat character development. Yay the Doctor beats the Slitheen. Hurrah. Good for him. Harriet Jones, blah, blah, blah. To be honest, I wasn't SO enamored of Harriet Jones that I was so pissed about what she does in Christmas Invasion. She's just not my favorite character ever. Now let’s talk about the main characters.
Firstly, we get to see Mickey as a bit of a hero (yay Mickey!!), but unable to fully join the Doctor. This is the beginning of his character arc. Can I just say that I love that RTD gives even the secondary characters growth? Also, Mickey is my favorite Companion family member. Well, second to Wilf. I adore Wilf too.
But for me there are really two major moments that I want to talk about here. The first is that moment in Downing Street where the Doctor has to make a choice.
The Doctor: [talking about firing a missile at 10 Downing street] That's the thing. If I don't dare, everyone dies.
Rose Tyler: Do it.
The Doctor: You don't even know what it is. You'd just let me?
Rose Tyler: Yeah.
Jackie Tyler: Please, Doctor, please, she's my daughter, she's just a kid.
The Doctor: Do you think I don't know that? 'Cause this is my life, Jackie - it's not fun, it's not smart, it's just standing up and making a decision because nobody else will.
Rose Tyler: Then what are you waiting for?
The Doctor: I could save the world but lose you.
I love that Rose, without hesitation, tells the Doctor to do it. She just knows that it could save the world, and that’s what is most important. Rose can be really selfish, but when it really counts, she’ll do anything to save others. But Rose doesn’t take it laying down She still fights for her life, hiding in the closet, hoping to ride it out. It’s everything I love about her.
Also important in that moment is that the DOCTOR hesitates. He actually pauses in saving the world because he doesn’t want to risk Rose’s life. That’s how much she’s come to mean to him in such a short time. He was alone before, but he’s not now. He’s not about to lose her so easily. And it's not his life that he's worried about. The reason that he hesitates is because he doesn't want to lose Rose, not because he's afraid of death.
The ending to this is a bit gut wrenching. The Doctor is totally being a manipulative little bastard.
Rose: [on the phone] Um... my mother's cooking.
The Doctor: Good, put her on a slow heat and let her simmer.
Rose: She's cooking tea. For us.
The Doctor: I don't do that.
Rose: She wants to get to know you.
The Doctor: Tough. I've got better things to do.
Rose: She's my mother.
The Doctor: She's not mine.
Rose: That's not fair!
The Doctor: Well, you can stay there if you want! [persuasively] But right now there's this plasma storm brewing in the Horsehead Nebula. Fires are burning ten million miles wide! I could fly the TARDIS right into the heart of it and ride the shockwave all the way out. Hurtled right across the sky and end up anywhere! Your choice. [he hangs up]
For once, Rose wasn’t being selfish. She was considering her mum’s feelings. And then the Doctor tempted her with thoughts of space and adventure that Rose just couldn’t say no to. The Doctor doesn’t want to deal with families and all that messy stuff, and he knows just what buttons to push to get Rose to come away with him again. (It’s also interesting to compare Nine here with Ten at the end of “The Christmas Invasion” where he is again asking Rose to come with him. Totally different attitudes and methods.)