Doctor Who Watch-a-Thon 1×9

This is a weekly feature where Christa of Hooked on Books and myself will be watching and discussing all of the reboot of Doctor Who. Posts will contain spoilers for that episode and ones before it, so you may want to watch the episode before reading. I hope you’ll join us in enjoying this fantastic show, and don’t forget to check out Christa’s post as well! Allons-y!

The Empty Child by Steven Moffat

The Doctor and Rose chase a code mauve through time and space all the way to London 1941. There Rose meets Captain Jack Harkness, a suave former time agent who wants to broker a deal. Meanwhile, the Doctor meets Nancy and her band of homeless children who are being hunted by a child in a gas mask looking for his mummy.

This is literally one of the most terrifying episodes of Doctor Who for me. I should have realized before that it was written by Steven Moffat. I mean, all the signs were there: ordinary things becoming terrifying, female roles suddenly becoming one dimensional, the twist ending… But we’ll get into that later, I’m sure.

For me, one of the most memorable aspects of this episode is the introduction of Captain Jack Harkness. Jack is one of my favourite characters to come out of Doctor Who. He’s charming, he’s good looking, he’s confident, and he has a dark and mysterious past. YUMMY! His flirting with Rose makes my stomach swoop and soar like I’m the one sliding down a tractor beam.

Rose’s reaction to Jack is one of those things that Moffat likes to do to strong female characters. I get that she’s dizzy from the fall, but really? Suddenly she doesn’t have the ability to listen to simple conversations? Rose Tyler might not be clever, but she doesn’t go THAT gaga over a pretty face. She basically played Adam and she never got this way around Ten who could give Jack a run for his money.

The Doctor really takes a back seat in this episode. We get to see him take on more of a fatherly role as he pets a stranded cat and jokes with the homeless children. I think Moffat is really trying to focus on the contrast between Jack and the Doctor. What that says about Rose’s later choice, I’m not quite sure.

We also get to see some pretty freaking awesome normal people. Nancy is clever enough and brave enough to feed an entire band of homeless children during war time. Dr. Constantine takes care of those who no one else wants to. Both do so while suffering from personal losses. As always, the strength of ordinary individuals in extraordinary situations is one of my favourite aspects of Doctor Who.

Favourite Quotes

“When you say companion, just how disappointed should I be?” – Jack

deaths: officially…zero, I guess

New Irrational Fears: telephones, children, gas masks, hospitals, the question “Are you my Mummy?”


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About megtao

Student. Writer. Nerdfighter. Fights for love, justice, and awesome.
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11 Responses to Doctor Who Watch-a-Thon 1×9

  1. This episode terrifies me to but it is definitely one of my favourites. You’re right about Rose around Jack. It’s unfortunate but at least it’s only for a brief amount of time.

    • megtao says:

      It’s definitely one of the most memorable DW episodes for me.

      I didn’t notice it the first time I watched it. I’m surprising myself with the things I’m noticing this time around.

  2. Zoe Z. says:

    I’m a DW fanatic! This was a really creepy/interesting episode. Now that you showed that little floppy thingy I’m going to have to go back and rewatch it. SO EXCITED about the new season.

    • megtao says:

      What floppy thingy?

      I can’t wait for the new season either!

      • Zoe Z. says:

        I meant clippy thing. Stupid spell check. Lol. Who’s your favorite companion? I’d have to say Amy and Rory together. I wasn’t all that fond of Rose….

    • megtao says:

      I’m sorry, I still have no idea what thing you’re referring to XD

      Rose is MY companion much in the same way that the ninth and tenth doctors (who I see as the same) is MY Doctor. If I had to choose a favourite, I would probably say Donna, but it’s honestly impossible for me to choose because all the companions are such amazing characters.

      • Zoe Z. says:

        I’m completely agree. I guess it’s not a matter of them being my favorite as much as its a matter of: their the ones who just put out a ton of newish stuff and I’m not entirely burned out on it yet.
        I love DW but after watching each episode 50,000 times <—(slight exaggeration) I get tired of the same thing over and over. Don't get me wrong I love DW, but I'm just easily bored.
        The thing I was trying to say was: clip but it kept spell checking it weird….

  3. Samantha says:

    I love Jack so much. And I love the Doctor, Jack and Rose together. They make such a good team. *sighs because she knows what’s going to happen to that amazing trio and it always makes her sad*

  4. Heidi says:

    This story line is one of my all-time favorites for Doctor Who, but then, I love Stephen Moffat (though I’m starting to understand more and more why I love the most recent series more while you prefer the older ones). It is absolutely terrifying, but strangely sweet in the end? New irrational fears are 100% on the nose!

    • megtao says:

      I do enjoy Moffat’s storylines, but yeah, I’m a nostalgic kind of girl, and if you forced me to choose between Russell’s seasons and Moffat’s seasons I’d pick Russell’s every time.

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