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.
“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?”