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. My 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! Allons-y!
The End of the World by Russell T Davies
The Doctor and Rose embark on their first adventure together travelling all the way to the end of the world, an event to be watched by rich aliens as part of a cruise. But something isn’t quite right, and now it’s up to the Doctor to save the day!
For me, this episode is all about how both Rose and Rose’s relationship with the Doctor changes and grows. Maybe I’m reading into the show way too much, but the sexual tension in the opening scene nearly knocked me over. They’re both challenging each other, seeing how far they can push it. And come on, how is that Tardis pump thing not a sexual innuendo?
As far as first dates go, this probably was a poor choice on the Doctor’s part, but it’s pretty clear why he did it. He’s recently lost his planet and his entire race, so by bringing Rose to the end of her world, to a time where everyone she’s ever known and loved is long gone, he’s showing her how he feels rather than telling her. Not sure how much of this was conscious on his part, but I think a part of the Doctor wants and needs to talk about this aspect of his past, and later in the episode he finally does.
This episode also shows us the continuing transformation of Rose from average to extraordinary. She’s initially overwhelmed by how alien everything is, but when she reveals that to the Doctor his back goes up. I think it takes him a second to realize it’s not the differences that bother her, it’s how nothing is the same, and that’s when he’s able to empathize and gives her the phone. Overall, I think Rose handles herself pretty well (except for her blow up at Cassandra, which was completely out of character in my opinion). We get to see Rose’s ability to connect with other’s in her conversation with Ruffalo, and her compassion is revealed when she asks for mercy for Cassandra, despite her trying to have Rose killed. The return to Earth scene is fantastic, and you can clearly see that Rose has changed and how different from the crowds of people around her.
Other than character development, there was a pretty nice commentary on the topic of body image in the modern world. Cassandra serves as a warning to people that there are points where cosmetic surgery can go way too far, and in the end that is her downfall. Cassandra nip and tucked herself until she was literally dependent on the cosmetic industry, moisturiser, to stay alive.
Cassandra herself is one of my favourite characters in the episode. I’m not, however, sure how I feel about her being a transgendered character considering she’s the bad guy. I felt the comment about her once being a boy on Earth was off-hand and unnecessary. I don’t think we get to see a whole lot of transgendered characters on television, and for one of the few to be selfish and evil doesn’t send the best of messages.
“J’accuse!” – Cassandra (my French major heart skipped a beat at this reference to Zola)
“You passed my little test. That makes you eligible to join the…human club.” – Cassandra
Death Toll: 5 + probably some additional bodies
Unsung hero: Jade is completely awesome. I teared up during her death, which had to be freaking painful. She knew exactly what she was getting into, and I wish after the danger was over the Doctor had given her a bit more recognition. I guess it really is true that those too close to the Doctor get burned… too soon?
Headcanon: This cruise was sponsored by the Face of Boe. Those who have seen season three know what I’m getting at. Boe totally sponsored this because he knew what an important part of Jack and Rose’s relationship it was.