It’s a double feature episode! Today we’re talking about both ALIENS OF LONDON and WORLD WAR THREE. Talia & Lucia dig into some heavy topics as they discuss fatphobia, Rose’s communication issues, the Doctor’s problems with domesticity, and whether Davros had a point.
Talia Franks: Hello and welcome to the Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimey podcast!
Lucia Kelly: I’m Lucia Kelly, expert at applied analysis and MP for Flydale North.
Talia Franks: And I’m Talia Franks, media critic, fanfic enthusiast, and the emergency protocols no one warned you about.
Lucia Kelly: And we’re here today to talk about Aliens of London and World War Three, the fourth and fifth episodes of series one of Doctor Who.
Talia Franks: Aliens of London aired on April 16th, 2005. It was written by Russell T Davies and directed by Keith Boak,
Lucia Kelly: World War Three aired on April 23rd, 2005. It was also written by Russell T Davies and directed by Keith Boak.
Talia Franks: Remember, time isn’t a straight line, it can twist into any shape, and as such, this is a fully spoiled podcast. We might bring things in from later in the show, the comics, the books, or even fan theories and articles.
Lucia Kelly: With that out of the way, stitch this mate! Let’s get in the Tardis. (Transition wobbles)
Talia Franks: Hello, this is Talia from the future here, making a quick note, because we wanted to put in a content warning for this episode, for discussions of police brutality, gun violence and discussions regarding abuse of power. Thank you for your time and your attention, and we hope that you enjoy this episode. (Transition wobbles)
okay. But can we just talk about Rose and her “I’m the only only one on Earth who knows that aliens exist.” (Lucia laughs) Spaceship!
Lucia Kelly: Ah, poor Rose. She’s right. It is not fair. She has this secret – she has this secret secret and then, nope, not anymore.
Talia Franks: Okay I just wanna say, so Rose, why doesn’t she tell Jackie? Why doesn’t she tell Jackie? Why didn’t she just tell her? (Lucia lets out a deep sigh)
Lucia Kelly: I think – I mean, you’re right, she should, but we’ve established before, we have established that Rose has bad communication problems. So I don’t think that’s out of character for her, but we have starting out of order as it our wont. So we should probably – (Lucia dissolves into giggles)
Talia Franks: Rose has been gone for –
Lucia Kelly: “12 hours”, quote unquote. And so she and the Doctor are super jokey and –
Talia Franks: Sorry, no, I’m going to jump ahead. Something that bugs me so much and just makes me so furious and I’m just so upset and sorry, I’m jumping super head because this is actually at the end of next episode, but it makes me so (Lucia hmms in encouragement) angry I have to talk about it now.
Rose has a Gran who thought she was in France the entire time, au pairing, and this Gran is never mentioned again, which means that either she died off-screen and that was never mentioned, or it means that when Rose and Jackie were stranded in the parallel dimension, that Gran thinks that her daughter and granddaughter died.
I mean, clearly Jackie also has communication issues and that’s something to talk about –
Lucia Kelly: Yeah!
Talia Franks: – But can we just say that poor woman!
Lucia Kelly: I hadn’t even thought about that. I though you were going to talk about: What’s the story there? Why doesn’t Jackie go to her mum, or – she just says Gran, we don’t know whether it’s Peter’s mum or Jackie’s mum, but like why, what is Jackie and the Gran’s relationship like that Jackie doesn’t feel like she can share this very important information, which is her daughter is missing.
Talia Franks: Yeah.
Lucia Kelly: with this woman…
Talia Franks: It might be Peter’s mum. So it might be her mother-in-law, but either way, her granddaughter is like dead, like –
Lucia Kelly: Fully missing. Like, fully missing.
Talia Franks: And Jackie doesn’t tell her.
Lucia Kelly: Yeah.
Talia Franks: And we get to the end of Season Two, like she’s just full stop dead, and so it was Jackie, and someone’s gotta tell her that? And that also brings me to, I wanted to mention this earlier, when Mickey is “dead” in “Rose”, Rose is like, “I’m going to have to tell his mother,” but the thing is we later find out that Mickey was raised primarily by his grandmother, and Mickey, when he decides to stay in the alternate universe, stays there because he wants to take care of his Nan there.
Why doesn’t he want to stay with his mother in the main universe? So that means that he has such a bad relationship with his mother that he doesn’t want to stay with her, or – but wait, Rose is close enough with Mickey and his mother that she would have to tell his mother he was dead.
So that made me think, “Oh shit, Mickey’s mom died in these 12 months!” So my theory is that his mom either died, or became so estranged, that he didn’t mind just leaving her at a drop of the hat and making her think that he’d been wiped off the face of the planet.
Lucia Kelly: Yeah. I personally think that what was more likely is that the writers have not thought about Mickey and any kind of depth until they had to say goodbye to him. And so they fully forgot he had a mother and then they just wrote that new backstory for him because it’s literally one line where it’s like, “I’ll have to tell his mother,” and that’s the only reference we get to Mickey’s mother. Ever. So I think it’s – I think it might be a bit more likely that –
Talia Franks: You are ruining the premise of this podcast, of deconstructing Doctor Who.
Lucia Kelly: I mean, I’m fully for this honestly, much more interesting and in-depth analysis of Mickey’s life, where he has a much more complicated and elaborate backstory, but I think the more likely thing is that he was just a vague concept that they only crystallized when he had to leave. (Lucia laughs)
Talia Franks: Speaking of Mickey and his life beyond just being a vague concept, he was taken in for questioning five times because they thought that he murdered his girlfriend, this Black man and his white girlfriend who was missing, (Lucia: Mmhmm) that they thought he murdered.
Lucia Kelly: Yeah.
Talia Franks: What (Talia hisses)
Lucia Kelly: Yeah.
Talia Franks: And that’s just –
Lucia Kelly: And then he runs from the police later on in the episode.
Talia Franks: Oh my goodness.
Lucia Kelly: Which hits different.
Oh. So, we open with the Doctor and Rose being like “lol lol lol, we’ve only been gone for 12 hours, but I’ve done all this stuff. I’ll just say that I’ve been at Shareen’s blah, blah, blah.” – also, we mentioned Shareen – love to see that.
Talia Franks: Also, can we just give props to production for this music that tells us something is wrong before we know something is wrong?
Lucia Kelly: Yeah. The direction in this episode, I adore.
Talia Franks: I love it.
Lucia Kelly: The way that they build, particularly the opening scene, the use of silence is really interesting. They don’t use a lot of music and when they do it’s really powerful. And I don’t know whether it’s just this was filmed in 2005 and that’s the way it is, but I was really noticing the lighting as well, like, the way everything was lit was really beautiful.
Talia Franks: These episodes would be so beautiful, and so epic, and so wonderful, if it wasn’t for the fart monsters, like everything about this episode is just chef’s kiss, like wonderful, so thought out, so – and then there’s the fart monsters and it’s like, why y –
Lucia Kelly: Yeah.
Talia Franks: Why you gotta, but we’ll get there.
Lucia Kelly: We’ll get there. And then we see Jackie. Well, no, first of all, Rose has gone up then the Doctor notices that there’s a little poster and he goes looking at it and it’s like, “Oh, it’s a missing poster for Rose,” and is like,
Talia Franks: “Oh shit.”
Lucia Kelly: Runs up the stairs and – Oh my God, oh my God, Camille Coduri, Camille Coduri is so good. Her face, the way everything about her is so shattered, so broken, so tired and like, Oh my God, my love for Jackie this whole episode, the way she holds the Doctor accountable, how scared she is, the mother jumps out and the amount of care she has for Rose, the little moment where she and Rose talking in the kitchen and it’s just the two of them, and Jackie is so scared for Rose. And she’s just like, “Why can’t you tell me? What was so bad that you can’t tell me what happened to you?” My emotions are everywhere. They’re just scattered across the living room.
Talia Franks: And then, my whole heart was breaking, and she’s just like –
Lucia Kelly: And then she laughs about it with the Doctor on top of the roof!
Talia Franks: Like, (Lucia growls in frustration) I just can’t!
Lucia Kelly: It makes me so mad. Jackie deserves better.
Talia Franks: Jackie deserves the entire world. And I know that the payoff for Jackie at the end of all this is going to be good. Knowing the end of Jackie’s arc is the only thing that is keeping me together through all these episodes. (Talia sad laughs)
Lucia Kelly: It makes me so upset.
Talia Franks: Knowing the end of this Jackie’s arc is the only thing that’s keeping me together for these episodes.
Lucia Kelly: Yeah. So she slaps the Doctor. Well done. Appropriate response. We love that for her.
Talia Franks: That’s the appropriate response (Talia claps for emphasis) because the Doctor’s 900 fucking years old. And I just –
Lucia Kelly: Which, which – it gets called out. The fact that we have that textually, the fact that like the, like “That’s a hell of an age gap.” You literally – you call it out and then you still go ahead.
Talia Franks: My skin is crawling.
Lucia Kelly: Ugh! And the way that they talk about Rose and the Doctor’s relationship throughout this whole episode is very interesting. So, there are multiple references to this idea of – so the police officer immediately assumes that this older man has engaged this younger woman in a sexual relationship and they both go, “No!” Right? And then, Jackie is like, “Well then what is it? I don’t get it.” And we can talk about how Mickey is held responsible for Rose’s disappearance, but when he does turn up, his main beef with Rose is that he 100% assumed – because let’s be real, that’s how it was framed – that she left Mickey for the Doctor in a romantic sense. And that she ran off with this new guy and he’s her boyfriend now. And so he’s like, “Yeah, some boyfriend, he turned out to be,” which Rose then fights back with like, “He’s different. Not a boyfriend. He’s much more important than a boyfriend,” which – interesting phrasing to your current boyfriend.
Talia Franks: Also that line where she’s like, “Have you been seeing anyone else?” And then he’s like, “No.” And then she’s like –
Lucia Kelly: “Aw.” And then it’s like “Yeah, mainly because everyone thought I’d murdered you!”
Talia Franks: Yeah, most people don’t want to date murderers.
Lucia Kelly: Like, “Oh yeah. Right. My actions have consequences.”
It’s the worst. I hate it. And then, another thing that happens on that roof, which is like, “Oh great. 2005.”
The “that’s so gay” joke.
Ugh! You know, I was going to say, “Poor Rose. She had this secret and now the whole world knows.” This one? Fuck Rose. You don’t deserve secrets. You don’t get to have a little secret adventure. (Talia: No) Treat the people that are in your life better, and then you can have special secrets. (Lucia laughs)
Talia Franks: I was going to be nice to Rose, but I’m like, you know, fuck Rose.
You know, actually when I was watching this with my roommate, I was saying to them, “This is the moment when I started to hate Rose.” I was like, “Yep. Here we are. This is it.”
Lucia Kelly: Yep. Episode three. Episode four? Episode four.
Talia Franks: This is, this is where the Rose hate comes on. For me.
Lucia Kelly: So, the spaceship crashes into the middle of London, destroying Big Ben, which – okay.
Talia Franks: Yeah. And, and then they just run off and I don’t know where they are. I don’t know how they’re seeing all this stuff. And then they’re just like, “We could always do a normal people do just watch it on the TV.” Yeah.
And then all these people are suddenly in their apartment, and then Jackie’s like, “Well, what else am I supposed to do?” and she’s just being so fucking accommodating and she’s still letting him hang around, and I’m just like, “The way my mother would never?”
Lucia Kelly: My mother would never.
Talia Franks: My mother would never.
Lucia Kelly: That man stays outside of the house.
Talia Franks: Like, the way my mother would never.
Lucia Kelly: Yeah. Yeah.
Talia Franks: If I had disappeared for a year and came back with that strange man, like –
Lucia Kelly: Who was the last person that was seen with me?
Talia Franks: Who was the last person that was seen with me? That man would never be seen again.
Lucia Kelly: Yeah, no. It’s definitely breaking character to make the joke about how – like, the channel keeps changing and the the Blue Peter episode where it’s like, ‘here’s your very own little spaceship,” and all that kind of stuff. All that is just so we can have the joke, and the continued joke later, about the Doctor having to deal with humanity, like messy humanity, not the like, idealized version that he has in his head of like, “Oh, you people are so full of potential.” The down in the dirt, this is what people are actually like kind of humanity, which he doesn’t like, which he’s kind of pretty speciesist about.
Talia Franks: Yeah, no. And then he’s all like “Domestics,” and stuff and that’s why I think –
Lucia Kelly: Oh, oh, oh! I have things to say about his – like, the reason that he doesn’t like domesticity is trauma. This episode and the next episode in particular, really highlighted for me just how close Jackie and Rose and Mickey all are, and we also see that through the extension of like how many people are in Jackie’s house. How many people Jackie knows. Jackie’s a social person. She loves to gossip and be around people. And I think, especially Ninth Doctor, you know, right out of the Time War. Very isolated, just killed everyone, (Lucia laughs) everyone he loves and everyone hates, and just went on this whole genocide mission.
I think it’s deeply, deeply upsetting to him to be around people who openly love each other. And that’s why he’s so standoffish about it, and that’s why he’s all like, “Oh, domesticity, can’t stand it.” Is that it hurts. It hurts to see that. And it hurts to see the people that he can’t see it anymore.
There’s this – I can’t remember if it was 10 or 11, but there’s this really beautiful moment, which I can only vaguely remember, where I think it must be 10, because I think Martha asks him about his family, and the Doctor actually has a genuine little moment or it mi- it was either Martha or Amy.
And it was talking about how he has kids, or had kids, past tense.
Talia Franks: It was Donna. It was in “The Doctor’s Daughter”. And Donna says, “Sudden unexpected -“
Lucia Kelly: “Sudden Unexpected Fatherhood.” Yeah.
Talia Franks: Donna says, “You’ve got dad shock.” Doctor says, “Dad shock?” Donna says “Sudden Unexpected Fatherhood. Take a bit of getting used to,” Doctor says, “No, it’s not that. I’ve been a father before.” And Donna’s like “What?” And he says, “I lost all that a long time ago, along with everything else.”
Lucia Kelly: Yeah. I was mixing that moment up with another moment – in one of my favorite episodes that I’m excited to talk about, “Gridlock.” I adore “Gridlock”. I can’t wait to talk about it. But there’s that tiny little moment at the end where he and Martha – because Martha wants to go to Gallifrey, and he can’t take her there, and then he ends up talking to her about it and describing it to her, and it’s really beautiful and gorgeous. And I was just thinking about how this Ninth Doctor, right now, does not have that capacity. It’s too recent for him. It’s too soon for him to look back on that without pain, or without – the pain outweighs the joy in looking back on those memories at that point.
And so he can’t, he just can’t, and that’s why he hates domesticity. In case you didn’t have enough feelings about the Ninth Doctor’s journey.
Talia Franks: Okay, so, the thing I wanted to say specifically about it being a journey for the Doctor. This whole relationship of Companions and everything being a journey for the Doctor. It’s really interesting to parallel this, as we’re just starting to get to know the Ninth Doctor. Next episode, Rose and Jackie are going to ask the Doctor to have tea with them. He says, “No, I don’t do that.”
Lucia Kelly: Yeah.
Talia Franks: In the fourth episode of Season 11, with the Thirteenth Doctor. Yaz offers to have the Doctor have tea at her place. And the Doctor says “Definitely yes, I would. Thanks. I love tea. Tea at Yaz’s. Amazing. Are you coming? Are we all going for tea at Yaz’s?” And so the Thirteenth Doctor is like super into it. The Thirteenth Doctor is all about domesticity, like she calls them her “Fam”, like Team TARDIS. Like, she has actual family members, like Graham and Ryan on the TARDIS with her. They’re all a little family, a little unit, and so it’s just really fascinating to see that shift, because it’s a slow shift.
Lucia Kelly: Also, because particularly in relation to fam, I think the Ninth Doctor explicitly says in this episode, “I don’t do families,” like “I don’t bring families with me,”
Talia Franks: But it’s funny because he also invites Mickey to come with them, and that would be inviting domesticity on board. So he is open to it.
Lucia Kelly: I think at that point – because it’s part of the journey, right? The Doctor goes on a journey during this whole two episode arc and part of that is sort of, working through his very racist view of humans, which is basically like “You’re all at this level, and then some of you rise above, but most of you are apes,” right? That’s kind of his mindset from go. He’ll choose companions and be like, “You’re pretty cool for a human,” and then he’s got a superiority complex over literally everyone else.
Talia Franks: And I do think that it’s important to recognize though, when using terms like racist, in science-fiction, that is bad, because when talking about differentiations in humans (Lucia hmms in agreement) like, race is as a biological thing, in the real world, isn’t really a thing.
Lucia Kelly: Yeah. I guess a more accurate term would be speciesist.
Talia Franks: It’s a real problem in science fiction, actually, (Lucia hmms in agreement) when people use “race” to differentiate between different species, because it solidifies race as being real, when race isn’t real, it’s a social construct. It’s a social construct with real consequences. But it’s not actually rooted in something scientific and when science fiction makes race real, it makes it seem like race is bound in science, when it’s not.
Lucia Kelly: Yeah, absolutely.
I think the arc between the Doctor and Mickey during this two episode arc, is the Doctor recognizing Mickey’s worth. So by the time that we reached the end of it, where it’s like, no, actually, you know, Mickey’s a fully realized creation and he’s his own person, and he’s actually got a lot of things going on that you are not acknowledging. Once he does be like, “Oh no, you’re okay.” Then it’s “Okay, you can come on board.” Like, “I see your potential,” but it’s still rooted in this superiority complex where it’s like, “I bring out the best in these people,” (Talia: And I would say) which is not great.
Talia Franks: I would say also that one problem that does have to do with race is that because the Doctor is so speciesist, and because Mickey is Black, there’s the issue of the Doctors issues with humans comes across as a white person having issues with a Black person.
Lucia Kelly: Yes. Very much.
Talia Franks: Cause he’s presenting as an older white man being condescending to this younger Black man, not knowing his name, and calling him an idiot, and just –
Lucia Kelly: Well, deliberately getting his name wrong. He does know his name.
Talia Franks: He does know his name. He’s deliberately getting his name wrong.
He gets told that his name is Mickey. He’s like, “No, your name is Ricky.” Which the thing is I have had people tell me that my own name is wrong, and it is the absolute worst. It’s why I get super triggered when someone tells me – there’s a pronunciation of my name, but I’m not going to say it on here because I know that there are trolls who are going to try to say it to me just to rile me up. But anyway, there’s a pronunciation of my name that really pisses me off because people would – and I’ve gotten over it by now – but when I was little, there was this one lunch lady or teacher, I forget who it was, but who told me that I was saying my own name wrong. Like she told me, “No, that’s not how you say your name. Your name is pronounced this way.” And I’m like, “I know how to say my own fucking name.”
Lucia Kelly: Yeah! Yeah, no. I also have a name that is pronounced three or four different ways, and so it is very unusual when I first meet someone that they will pronounce it the way I pronounce it. And again, it’s sort of like, “Ugh!” and like, depending on how often I have to see that person again or whatever, I’ll be like, “Okay, I’ll let it go,” but it is, it’s so – Names are so important, (Talia: Mmhmm) and they are so tied to identity, and so when you refuse to acknowledge someone’s name, you were also refusing their identity, and refusing respect to them as a person, and to see the Doctor deliberately and repeatedly, just this constant disrespect towards Mickey, for no reason! Like, the only reason he would be that rude to Mickey would be jealousy about Rose.
And that’s such an awful thing to put on all of them. That doesn’t make sense to come from the Doctor. It doesn’t make sense that Rose wouldn’t call them out on it. And it also doesn’t acknowledge Mickey’s history with Rose.
Talia Franks: And there’s so much history there. We’ve talked about how their relationship is problematic, but that doesn’t mean that there’s not history there, and that doesn’t mean that – (Talia struggles for words) It just makes me so upset.
Lucia Kelly: It doesn’t mean that they’re not important to each other. We’ve said that we don’t think that they work as a romantic relationship, but the fact that they’re in each other’s lives and they’re so entangles in each other’s lives is important and should be acknowledged and celebrated.
Talia Franks: “The Idiot’s Lantern,” but we’ll get there!
Lucia Kelly: We’ll get there! So, we’re watching the television, we get the first view of the American newscaster. So this newscaster will return again and again, whenever we need to be like, “This news affects more than just Britain.” (Lucia and Talia laugh) Like we’ll get an insight of American news and it’s always this one woman. So we see her for the first time. And then, we fast forward to the hospital where we meet Tosh! She’s not called Tosh in this episode, but it is the same actress and it is the same character as Tosh from Torchwood. So, this is her little intro.
Talia Franks: This is the second time that we have a Torchwood actor showing up, and the first time that they are the same character.
Lucia Kelly: So I think we need to talk about the elephant in the room, which are these aliens and (Talia groans) the whole, like the whole thing, the whole thing, and I want to start with a conversation about fatphobia, because holy shit, how do you get this so, so wrong? Like how do you manage that? It makes me so upset.
Talia Franks: I am so upset. I think the worst moment is, they’re in the elevator and Green is like, “I need to be naked” and then Asquith says “Rejoice in it. Your body is magnificent.” And that moment made me so upset because it took body positivity and made it into a villainous joke.
Lucia Kelly: Yeah. Yeah.
Talia Franks: And I hate it.
Lucia Kelly: Yeah. So, taking common things and making them scary is a very common horror trope, but there is a difference, there’s a huge difference between making snowmen scary, or angel statues scary, and making fat people scary. That’s a whole nother level of insidious and gross, that is not okay or required in any way, shape, or form.
And the fact that they double down on that and then say, “Not only are we going to make fat people scary. We’re also going to make them a joke.” So we’re going to make a joke about how these aliens, the reason that they need big bodies is because they are big, but they have this compression field and it needs to go somewhere.
So we’re going to make it also a fart joke, and also specifically about how fat people fart all the time, and no one thinks twice about it. Cause fat people are gross. Fat people are stinky. Fat people are ugly.
Talia Franks: Yeah. And the other thing that I thought was particularly disturbing to me, was the fact that they were wearing them. These were literally dead people. That they were walking around inside of dead people. So that’s a violence that’s being done to those people.
Lucia Kelly: And we’re going to explore that theme in “Boom Town” later on, which is one of my favorite episodes of Season One, which I think doesn’t undo the damage that this episode does, but it does a fairly good job of unpacking it a bit more.
Talia Franks: But the thing is, I don’t know if that’s the same one though, cause at the end of the episode, when they’re all trying to escape, and they’re fighting over the skin suits, they’re fighting over hers.
Lucia Kelly: Oh!
Talia Franks: Yeah. They’re fighting over the Margaret skin suit -it’s just so creepy to call them skin suits – but they’re fighting over who gets to be Margaret and escape.
Lucia Kelly: Interesting. When we get to “Boom Town”, I will double check if that Slitheen says their name, because the Slitheen that originally has Margaret’s body does say their name, and if they match then it’s the same person, but if they don’t, it’s a different person. And that would be exciting and interesting to look at.
So, yeah, is there anything else you want to say about this whole Slitheen as a concept?
Talia Franks: The other thing that I wanted to say, that I found really disturbing about the Slitheen is the jokes that they make, where Asquith says that he enjoyed being Oliver because he had a wife, a mistress, and a young farmer.
Lucia Kelly: Yeah. “God, he was busy.” Like, gross, bad, no, bad, wrong, bad. Stop making jokes like this in my kids’ show, please.
Talia Franks: I did not like that. Especially because this episode was the episode that they made specifically to appeal the children. That’s why it had fart jokes.
Lucia Kelly: Yeah. It’s that whole thing about how kids media will often have very adult jokes in it, and by adult jokes, I mean explicitly sexual jokes, which are designed to go over the kid’s head and basically entertain the older people who are watching this to supervise the kids or whatever.
And, I hate that? I hate that specifically because there are lots of jokes that you can make that only adults all get that are not about sex, and are often much more funny and much more clever.
Like you can show off your skills as a writer by making adult jokes that are not about sex. And it also implies somehow that the only thing that separates children from adults is sex, which is not at all true.
Talia Franks: I think it also sets a troubling precedent, because it sets the norm that sex is the norm.
Lucia Kelly: Yes!
Talia Franks: The whole idea that adults are focused on sex all the time is really allonormative, which is that it’s really focused on the idea that everyone is allosexual and interested in sex and engages in sex and all that, which is just patently not true.
And so it’s really problematic, really messed up. I don’t appreciate it.
Lucia Kelly: Yeah.
Talia Franks: And that’s not me advocating for purity culture or saying –
Lucia Kelly: Yeah!
Talia Franks: – that kids shows shouldn’t ever mention sex. I’m just saying there’s no need for crude sex jokes in kids media.
Lucia Kelly: Yeah. So, we meet Harriet Jones. We meet Harriet for the first time.
Talia Franks: Harriet Jones makes me so angry, I wrote a whole article for Nerdist about it, but that has to do with 10. So we won’t go there.
Lucia Kelly: Yeah, no, the Harriet Jones in these two episodes, I adore. I love Harriet Jones in these two episodes. And I think they really set up a really interesting woman that they then deliberately give power, in a way that is reinforcing the idea of real power comes from care, right?
The people who earn power, the people who should be in power, are the people who actually put in the work, the backbenchers, and the way that she thinks, the way that she engages with the problem, are all incredible. And then “The Christmas Invasion” happens and it’s a lot.
Talia Franks: Deep breaths, (Lucia laughs) deep breaths.
Lucia Kelly: But also, we meet the secretary? The intern? T his young man, who later dies, who in the second episode we’re told –
Talia Franks: Okay, his name is –
Lucia Kelly: His name –
Talia Franks: Indra Ganesh! He has a name!
Lucia Kelly: Yes, it is! He has a name!
Talia Franks: He has a fucking name!
Lucia Kelly: Use his name, Indra Ganesh. Gone too soon. You did your job very well. I’m sorry that you had to die.
Talia Franks: But why did the POC have to die? Why?
Lucia Kelly: A very good question. The answer is racism. And with that segue, let’s talk about how Mickey was taken in for questioning five times for the murder of his white girlfriend.
Talia Franks: Yeah. Let’s talk about that.
Lucia Kelly: Oh, Jackie, Jackie, Jackie.
Talia Franks: Yeah, and let’s talk about how Rose, instead of being concerned about Mickey, instead of being upset, is just making excuses, making excuses, making excuses, and then as soon as Mickey is like, “Well, your boyfriend ran off,” instead of engaging with what Mickey’s saying, as soon as she hears the Doctor’s gone, she’s gone too.
Lucia Kelly: Yeah, no. The fact that this is the second time, this is the second time, that something incredibly traumatic has happened to Rose and she just, has not called Mickey, has not contacted Mickey. So first her job blew up, then she went missing and came back, both times she did not contact Mickey. Mickey had to do that on his own.
And Jackie’s little comment like, “Oh, what was I supposed to think?” I think you were meant to look at the evidence beloved!
Talia Franks: And also, Mickey has been around Rose since she was a little baby, according to that episode. He grew up with her. Jackie knew Mickey his entire life.
Lucia Kelly: And knows what a wuss he is, at this point in time, right?
Talia Franks: The thing is Jackie watched Mickey grow up. I feel like she has an estimation of his character.
Lucia Kelly: Which is, sort of, reaffirmed after Mickey saves her from the Slitheen and they’re in his apartment. And there’s that little moment where Jackie’s coming out of shock and she’s fully realizing what’s happened to her, and she starts to break down, and then Mickey kind of, interrupts it.
And also, the whole time he’s calling her Jacks instead of Jackie, which is so like – Oh my gosh, there’s a whole history there. They have a whole little family, and he just has this little moment where he’s like, “If anyone’s going to cry, it’s going to be me!”
Talia Franks: The little half hug that he gives her?
Lucia Kelly: Yeah. And it’s just like, “Oh!” Like – And this is what the Doctor did! The Doctor disrupted all of that with no thought, and this is where his speciesism comes in. Unless he cares about you, he’s not going to think about you as a fully fledged person.
He works better on big concept stuff. He does not like thinking about all the individual little people, which again, given the fact that he’s just murdered a whole planet worth of people, makes a lot of sense. But yeah, also the fact that Jackie, after this whole journey has gone through, is like, “No, I’m going to make dinner for him, but he’s an alien, so I don’t know what he eats, so I’m just going to double check, I’m going to make sure that I’m doing this right.”
What he does – he manipulates Rose in the most awful way. And so, Rose –
Talia Franks: It’s so gross.
Lucia Kelly: So first of all, he makes a joke about like – Rose says, “My mum’s cooking,” and he’s like, “Oh, put her on a low simmer,” fuck you. And then, she’s like, “No, she’s cooking dinner. She wants to meet you and do it properly.” And instead of like – so he says “That’s not for me. I don’t do that.” Which is – Okay, fine. But if you genuinely can’t bring yourself to be in that level of intimacy, fine, say no. Don’t do the next bit, which is a Dick Move, which is like, “But right now, I’m going to entrance you with my little adventure, come on me with an adventure, instead of being with your mum who hasn’t seen you for a full year, and for that whole year thought you were missing. Instead, come with me. This thing is happening right now. Don’t think about the fact that our spaceship is a time machine.”
There is no urgency. There’s literally no urgency.
Talia Franks: There’s literally no such thing as “right now”, when it’s a time machine.
Lucia Kelly: There’s no such thing as “right now”, when you have a time machine, and, plus! You literally just said, you opened this conversation with, “We’re going to be stuck for a couple of hours.” Like… Ugh! It makes me so angry. The Doctor is not a good person.
Talia Franks: The Doctor is not a good person.
Lucia Kelly: Which is fine, as long as the narrative acknowledges that, which it doesn’t.
Talia Franks: It does not.
Oh, the only other thing I want to talk about is just, continuing on our theme of cleanliness.
Lucia Kelly: Oh yeah!
Talia Franks: Did they not take a shower? If they got up (Lucia, distressed: Why?) at 3:00 AM, and they didn’t make the decision about the codes until midnight in New York, which means that depending on daylight savings time, it was either 5:00 AM or 6:00 AM in the UK, either way they had two or three hours to shower and yet they were still covered in goop.
Lucia Kelly: Yeah. The only way I can justify it, is that the production team were so pleased with themselves of having figured out how to do exploded alien guts, that they didn’t want to get rid of them.
That’s the only reason, because it’s so gross! It’s been hours, you’re spreading Slitheen guts all over the apartment! You’re sitting in new chairs! Just even take off the shirt, change into a new set of clothes, anything, literally anything!
Talia Franks: I’m not about it. I’m not here for it.
Lucia Kelly: Confused and disturbed. What else do I want to talk about? I do want to talk about, this is actually a good episode for science. They did a good job with science this episode. I am proud of them for that. I hate everything to do with the way that the Slitheen’s work, but they fulfilled requirement.
They explained it all. It works within the context of the show. They did the whole thing. And also the triple flammability joke, which I adore.
Talia Franks: I love the triple flammability joke.
Lucia Kelly: I love the fact that they first established “Oh, the Sonic screwdriver can do this.”
And because we’re not super familiar yet with what the Sonic screwdriver can do, we go along that journey. And so this whole time, it’s like, “Oo! The Doctor can do this.” And then there’s the moment, and the Slitheen was like, “Wait, hold on a minute. Your Sonic screwdriver can do what now?”
I was like, “Yes, this is good science. Well done. (Claps for emphasis) I’m so proud.” I think this might actually be the first episode that gets a full science rating. And the fact that the Slitheen are destroyed through chemical reaction and all of that like – Good job. Good job.
Talia Franks: Okay. A few rapid fire things. Rose’s joke about wanting to fit into a size smaller. Harriet is right. That is totally not the right thing to say at this point in time. Another point to the fatphobia. And also, Rose’s already pretty skinny. So, I feel bad for Billie Piper, honestly, that someone made her say that.
Lucia Kelly: Yeah! It always rubs me the wrong way whenever there’s a comment – particularly within a TV show, because at that point, you’ve got your established characters, you’ve got your established cast – when there’s something in the script, that people have to say out loud, about someone else’s physical appearance.
And it’s like, Is that how you view me?” It just feels really invasive and rude, in a way that’s not okay.
Talia Franks: Yeah. Also, because it’s going to be rapid fire. The Doctor says that Mickey was born in the dark, that feels racist. Jackie opens the door in, sees that the Slitheen guy has got there. She closes the door without locking it, but he still tries to break down the door without trying to see whether or not it opens. So that was just bad playing on his part. If he had just turned the door, it would have opened because she didn’t lock the fucking thing. Also you know, you said it gets a full rating from science, but how did they all get shocked? How does that collar work?
Lucia Kelly: Oh yeah!
Talia Franks: Also, how does –
Lucia Kelly: No, it doesn’t get a full rating.
Talia Franks: How were they able to tell when he died? Also it’s a family business, but what kind of family are they? What’s the level of incest going on? I’m just curious I just want to know. We’re they cousins?
Lucia Kelly: I think so. I’m pretty sure. Yeah, no, I totally forgotten about that stupid taser thing, which is literally just a cheap way to get out of the fact that you’d written all these characters into a corner. I don’t like it. I will say, I’m not as mad about them all knowing that that person had died.
Only because, we don’t know how the Slitheen work. Because they do seem to have some level of awareness, where they all know where each other are.
Talia Franks: Cause they’re all cousins.
Lucia Kelly: So I’m willing to give that one a cautionary pass, but yeah, no.
Talia Franks: I would say they’re going to four on science.
Lucia Kelly: Yeah…
Talia Franks: Speaking of, should we go to the rubric?
Lucia Kelly: I think we should.
Talia Franks: Oh wait, no, no, no. (Lucia: So -) We have to We have to do the other – we have to do the other things though. I’m jumping ahead. (Lucia laughs) Oh no.
Lucia Kelly: Yeah. Oh! Also, very quickly, before we go to the wrap up and everything, the last five minutes of the last episode, of “World War Three” is so sad. First of all, that Mickey and the Doctor have this moment where they genuinely – Notably! Rose is not in the room, or in the alley, or whatever, but they actually talk to each other as people and the Doctor recognizes Mickey’s worth, and what he’s done, and Mickey, good on him, it’s like, “Actually, you know what? Your life seems wildly dangerous. And I don’t want to do that. And – no. I’m going to say no to that, because it seems like a super bad idea.”
Also, the fact that the Doctor knows that it’s dangerous, and knows that he can’t keep Rose safe, and still chooses to bring her with him. (Lucia sighs)
Talia Franks: I – I cannot.
And also the fact, okay. Rolling it back. When Harriet says “It’s not your choice, Doctor. It’s mine,” (Lucia: Mmhmm!) and the Doctor just grins, that sent a shiver down my spine, because you knew he was just waiting for someone to give him permission to Do The Thing.
Lucia Kelly: Right? Yeah. That’s a great moment for Harriet, because she’s like, “Actually, you know what, I’m the only qualified person in this room.” But, yeah.
Talia Franks: He has that whole speech about what does he say? He says, “It’s not fine. It’s not smart. Just standing up and making a decision cause no one else will,” but he doesn’t (Claps for emphasis) make the decision. He waits until the last minute to make the decision. Everyone makes so many decisions and he lets himself get backed into a corner, until he has to make the decision.
The Doctor always waits until the last minute to make the decision, and always waits and hopes for someone else to make the decision for him. He’s forced to make a choice.
The whole point of the Doctor is that he lets other people make choices. It’s – sorry. I just remembered another Doctor who episode that I never rewatched because fuck “Kill The Moon”. So much. That episode can just die in a hole. Sorry.
Lucia Kelly: Yeah. I think to bring another episode in, “Journey’s End”. When Davros basically is like, “Hey. Look at all these people that you have manipulated into sacrificing themselves for you and how you use other people to make hard decisions so that you never are held responsible.”
And you know what, Davros? You make some points. Some points were made.
Talia Franks: Yeah. The article that I mentioned, I wrote for Nerdist, is all about how Doctor Who leaves a path of destruction in his wake. Like I wrote a whole article about that.
Lucia Kelly: Yeah.
Talia Franks: And it mentions both Harriet Jones and Davros.
Lucia Kelly: Sure hope you’re going to put a link to that in our show notes…
Talia Franks: Sure, sure will.
Lucia Kelly: Sure will? We’re going to self promote.
Talia Franks: Although, it doesn’t have to do so much with the Ninth Doctor, as the Tenth Doctor, because – Oo Ten!
Lucia Kelly: Oo! Ten, Ten, Ten.
Talia Franks: Sweet baby boy.
Lucia Kelly: Ten is lucky he’s pretty. And I’m going to leave it at there for now. (Lucia laughs)
Talia Franks: At some point talk about the fact that the Tenth Doctor only lived for three years.
Lucia Kelly: Oo, Yeah.
Talia Franks: Because this Doctor talks about being 900 and the 11th Doctor talks about being like 904, or whatever at some point.
Lucia Kelly: 907, I believe. Is the number.
Talia Franks: 907?
Lucia Kelly: Yeah.
Talia Franks: But, so Ten only spent five years being Ten.
Lucia Kelly: That’s because Ten was the most self-destructive version of the Doctor there has been in a while.
Talia Franks: Yeah.
Lucia Kelly: It’s like, “Ooo, let me just continually throw myself in dangerous situations on purpose. Surely nothing will go wrong!” (Lucia laughs)
Talia Franks: Ten is the definition of burning the candle at both ends.
Lucia Kelly: But yeah, so we have this moment between the Doctor and Mickey, which is then interrupted by the most heartbreaking conversation, where Jackie is literally begging Rose to stay, and she’s begging her by promising to be a better person? In a way that is just so – It makes me so upset. She’s like, “I’ll get a real job,” like, “I’ll do -” She slut-shamed herself?! She does all of these things where it’s just so terrible!
Talia Franks: Yeah, she says, “I’ll get a proper job. I’ll work weekends. I’ll pass my test, and if Jim comes around again, I’ll say no, I really will.” And it’s just –
Lucia Kelly: It’s heartbreaking. I hate it. And then, again, Rose kind of just laughs at her, and dismisses her. I was like, “No, this is your mother. So there’s some goddamn respect.” And then, not only does she laugh at her, not only does she dismiss her, she follows this up with this assurance, of like, “Mum, you’re forgetting. It’s a time machine! I’ll be back,” having just established that the time machine is not – functional. The whole reason this whole thing has happened is because the time machine didn’t work properly. So that’s actually no assurance at all. And then, has the audacity to say, “I’ll be back in 10 seconds.” and then doesn’t.
How dare you, Rose Tyler? How dare you?
Talia Franks: I literally put in all caps, “THIS IS THE EPISODE WHERE I START TO HATE ROSE”
Lucia Kelly: And Mickey waits for her. And that’s how the episode ends, is Jackie leaves and Mickey stays and Oh my God, Rose doesn’t deserve either of them.
Talia Franks: She does not deserve either of them.
Lucia Kelly: It makes me so upset.
Talia Franks: I am so upset.
Lucia Kelly: And on that note, what were your favorite moments and least favorite moments of these episodes both?
Talia Franks: I think I get to have two.
Lucia Kelly: You do. Yeah.
Talia Franks: So I would say probably my favorite moment. I would say, for “Aliens of London”, hmm.
Easily. My favorite moment is when Jackie punches the Doctor and says, “Stitch this, mate!” Like the best moment.
Lucia Kelly: Yep.
Talia Franks: I wouldn’t say my least favorite moment is probably when the officer shoots the pig, that made me (Lucia hmms in sympathy) so sad. I literally started crying. I was so upset. No, cause it’s not just that I get sad when I see animals die.
It’s also, just like, the the whole, it was just scared, and the officer shot it, and it just so traumatic because –
Lucia Kelly: Yeah.
Talia Franks: – (inaudible) people get shot when they shouldn’t.
Lucia Kelly: Yeah.
Talia Franks: And they weren’t doing anything wrong. It was just scared. But the officer saw it as a threat, so he shot it, and that’s just – it was just massively triggering.
And so I just hated that part of the episode. Cause there was this officer who is in a position of power, and has a gun, and saw this being that was just scared, but because it was unfamiliar to him, and he didn’t understand it, he just decided to shoot it, and kill it. And I just –
Lucia Kelly: Yeah.
Talia Franks: And it’s not a good comparison because it is literally not a human, but it does invoke similar feelings in me when I see something like that happen and it just, yeah, sorry.
Lucia Kelly: Yeah.
Talia Franks: Feeling a lot of things.
For “World War Three”, I would say my least favorite moment is definitely when Rose says she’ll only be gone for 10 seconds, because the audacity.
Well, it’s a toss up between that, and the Doctor being super manipulative and trying and succeeding in getting Rose to abandon her mother.
I would say my favorite moment, is when Harriet says “It’s not your decision, Doctor. It’s mine. As the only elected official, chosen for the people, by the people, and I’m telling you to do it.”
Lucia Kelly: Okay. So, I have a weird one for favorite moment.
My favorite moment is a tiny little second where – Harriet’s hiding in the cupboard. The Slitheen are all having a joke about how like, “Oh, look at humans! So easy to manipulate!” And the officer, who at this point is still alive and is still human, is basically holding them accountable.
He’s like, “No. This is wrong. If you don’t clean up your acts, I’m going to be forced to take procedures,” and the Slitheen are making all these fart jokes and whatever, but then there’s this moment (Claps for emphasis) where it all shifts (Snaps for emphasis) and suddenly they are so sinister. And it’s all down to the actor who play as Joseph Green. David Verrey. It’s actually chilling. It’s a really incredible moment, and just on a pure production level. I love it.
Cause, we’ve already talked about the fatphobia and about all the problems with the Slitheen’s as a concept. But I do appreciate that they actually come through. It actually is sinister. They actually are dangerous. And also, you know, I hate that this is a thing, but a lot of fat actors got roles, because of this job, because of this choice.
And the fact that the only reason they got them was because of their body, and the only reason they usually don’t get roles is because of their body, is a problem.
Talia Franks: Yep.
Lucia Kelly: But yeah, so the reason that this is my favorite moment is basically for meta reasons, which is not enough people who fit the thin, pretty profile, get jobs because of stupid, stupid reasons.
But there are plenty of incredible actors out there, who are not “conventionally beautiful” or whatever, but have skill, and have ability, and should be given opportunity to perform, and to be incredible, on stage, and on film. And this moment is indicative of that. And I love that, that is given space.
Talia Franks: One moment I really like about this scene, is that you can see Harriet looking through the crack of the door (Lucia: Mmhmm) and from the angle, you can see that Asquith, while he’s still Asquith, can see her.
Lucia Kelly: Wow. I had not registered that before.
Talia Franks: When I was looking at it, the way that the camera was angled, I got the impression that I was seeing his perspective. So, he would be able to see that she could see what was going on.
And that’s just something that I noticed.
Lucia Kelly: Yeah.
Our least favorite moments?
Talia Franks: Yes.
Lucia Kelly: So, my least favorite moment of “Aliens of London”, was, I mean, it’s probably the “that’s so gay” joke. It just feels so wrong. It takes me out every time I watch it. I hate that that was so normalized. I hate that it’s still so normalized. Like, everything wrong with using “gay” as an insult. We’ve got so many instances of Othering in this episode, we’ve got that comment, we’ve got the fact that the Slitheen depended upon using fat people as skin suits, we’ve got the racism against Mickey, we’ve got the Doctor deliberately isolating Rose from her family. There are so many things happening that are just awful? In this episode?
And that feels symbolic of a lot of what is wrong (Talia hmms in agreement) and more so, because that was a comment that – How do I say this? The fact that that line got all the way to production and broadcast is indicative of how normalized that was, and how no one pulled it up.
Like, a lot of television, a lot of media, it’s sort of, contained within the story of the show.
It’s like, “Yes, this is awful. But, at least it’s not happening in the real world,” right? Especially when we’re talking about science fiction and fantasy shows that play with reality. But when I say at the top of every show, “applied analysis”. This is what I’m talking about.
Like, applied analysis is, seeing the impact of fiction on reality and reality on the fiction, and how our media influences the way we think about the world. And when you have a character like Rose, who is literally the audience insert, who is literally the person who we, as the audience, are meant to see the show through, say something like “you’re so gay” as an insult, as something that is derogatory towards the Doctor, it’s so harmful.
Talia Franks: Yeah.
Lucia Kelly: And I hate it.
Talia Franks: Yeah. And I think the other thing is, I know we’ve said a lot, like “this is so 2005” or “this show is so 2005.” And yes, this is a product that is from 2005. And this is always a thing when we’re critiquing media, we think about when was this media created, and giving it context.
At the same time, while we’re giving it context, I feel like a lot of times, when people talk about, things being “products of their time”, they sometimes try to use that as an excuse as saying like, “Oh, this was a product of its time, and that’s why it’s okay.” But I think the important thing for us to consider, and I expect you agree, is that: this was a product of its time, and that was not an okay thing, even in that time.
Lucia Kelly: Yeah. The argument, I always say when everyone’s like, “Oh, it was a product of it’s time” as a way to excuse it is – particularly because the context which I hear that argument in, the most often, is within the context of slavery. There has been opposition to slavery for as long as there has been slavery. It was always wrong. It was always wrong. It was always known to be wrong. The fact that Thomas Jefferson put “Freedom of man” in the opening sentence of the Declaration of Independence was criticized from the moment it was written down. (Talia hmms in agreement)
America was made a mockery of because of that sentence, because slavery was so embedded in the system, from the moment it happened. And it is the same, across the board, just because something is a “product of its time”, or something was done within a time, is not a statement of the morality of that incident.
Talia Franks: Yeah. And, you know, United States, the only country that still uses an 18th Century constitution. And I think it shows.
Lucia Kelly: Yeah.
Talia Franks: Speaking of products of it’s time.
Lucia Kelly: Yeah. But, I think it’s just – there’s something about these two episodes – like, the fact that this is the episode that’s meant to draw kids in, that it’s specifically built for children, it kind of, puts all of the problems in stark contrast, (Talia hmms in agreement) and makes them stand out a lot more than I think they do in other episodes, which don’t have that.,
But for “World War Three”, I think my favorite moment has got to be Triplicate Flammability. I love it. It’s such a good joke. It’s so fun.
Talia Franks: So great.
Lucia Kelly: Although a close contender, and again a weird moment, is the little scene where – the domesticity of the moment when Margaret is inviting all of the Slitheen in, and it’s like, “Just upstairs, if you want to get changed.” and she goes around and then she puts the skin suit on like, a coat hanger and like, puts it away. I adore that moment so much. It’s so cute. It’s like “Oh, we’re having a family get together!”
Talia Franks: Somewhat charming, but so disturbing.
Lucia Kelly: It’s so disturbing and charming, and I adore it. It’s so funny.
My least favorite moment, definitely 100%: 10 seconds. Stop. Don’t do that.
Talia Franks: Don’t do that.
Lucia Kelly: Don’t do that. Also just throughout the episode that Jackie keeps making points, that are legitimate and real, and people keep dismissing her. Hate that. Hate that as well.
Talia Franks: People need to stop dismissing Jackie. They just need to stop.
Lucia Kelly: They just need to stop!
Talia Franks: It makes me so mad because, rewatching all these episodes is making me remember my love for Jackie, and it’s making me even more upset in a way that I didn’t realize how (Lucia coughs) about the fanfic that I read for the first episode of “Into the Archives”, which –
Lucia Kelly: Yeah?
Talia Franks: – they make Jackie homophobic.
Lucia Kelly: Well, hang on, let me think about this. Cause we know she’s racist. (Lucia laughs)
Talia Franks: I mean, yes. (Talia also laughs)
Lucia Kelly: But, I feel like Jackie’s probably got a lot of unexamined racism and homophobia, that I’m willing to acknowledge. I also feel, and maybe this is just me wanting her to be a good person, I feel like if that was actually called out, Jackie would do some self-worth examination.
Talia Franks: Yeah.
Lucia Kelly: I think it’s just unexamined, and she hasn’t questioned her worldview, because that’s not the kind of person Jackie is, but if she was called to do it, she’d do the work, I feel.
Talia Franks: Yeah. I mean, to be fair to this fanfic, her arc is not actually fully explored, the fanfic is unfinished. So like, in the fanfic, Tony is starting to grow up and Tony is very obviously queer in some way, like he’s experimenting with makeup, he’s acting in a way that’s more subtly feminine, and so we’re meant to understand that Tony’s exploring with gender and all that sort of thing, and it’s sort of implied that it has to do with either gender or sexuality, and so the implication is that he’s not cishet. He’s definitely somewhere under the queer umbrella.
Because Peter is the President of the United Kingdom. They have like (Lucia snorts) an image to uphold, and Jackie doesn’t want Tony exhibiting any of these behaviors where other people can see it. And so she like, is very, not wanting to let him explore any of those aspects of himself.
Lucia Kelly: Alright. We’ve had fun.
We’ve done least favorite and favorite moments. Who was the Hero and who was the Adam for you?
Talia Franks: Harriet Jones is clearly the Hero.
Lucia Kelly: Yeah. I’m gonna say the Doctor was the Adam.
Talia Franks: The Doctor was definitely the Adam.
Lucia Kelly: Yeah. The Doctor was the worst this episode, like, actually the worst.
Talia Franks: Yeah.
Lucia Kelly: And do you know, what’s so fun and exciting.
Talia Franks: What?
Lucia Kelly: Next episode, we will meet Adam. We’re actually gonna meet Adam next episode. So that’ll be fun.
Talia Franks: So fun.
Lucia Kelly: Now, in terms of a grade – I feel like giving “Aliens of London” and “World War Three” a combined grade, cause they really are one story.
Talia Franks: They really are one story.
Lucia Kelly: Yeah. So what will be really funny (Talia laughs) if this two-parter manages to get a higher grade than “The Unquiet Dead”, (Talia laughs) which is slightly possible, but I don’t think it is.
I don’t think it’s going to happen.
Talia Franks: Oh, we’ll see. We’ll see.
Lucia Kelly: We’ll see. We’ll see. We’ll see. Okay. Production.
Talia Franks: Production –
Lucia Kelly: – is a real mix for me.
Talia Franks: Honestly –
Lucia Kelly: Cause –
Talia Franks: I want to give it a three.
Lucia Kelly: Yeah. It’s solid. It’s middling. It’s solidly in the middle.
Talia Franks: When they came out of those suits and their faces smoshed? 2005 CGI…
Lucia Kelly: But – I do want to give props for – despite the fact that Jackie and Mickey don’t wash it off afterwards, I do think the defeat of the Slitheen – that whole sequence is really good. I love the way that communication is used in this episode. I’m not sure if that goes in production – it’s kind of a combination of production and writing – but the way that – so, they all get blocked off from all communication in their little box, so the only communication they have to the outside world is through Rose’s phone. The fact that the phone is used so many different ways, really appeals to me.
The fact that a picture is sent, it’s put on speakerphone, because there’s only one line of communication, Jackie and Mickey are constantly stealing the phone back and forth, the way that Mickey puts the phone up to the television, so that they can hear the report. All of that stuff, it’s really good storytelling. It’s really good taking advantage of the fact that you’ve removed communication, and you’ve only got one path. I feel like that was all really good. And the more I’m talking about it, the more that fits into writing, but just the way that it was visually presented as well was done really well, but yeah, then you’ve got other stuff and it’s just not good.
Talia Franks: Yeah.
Lucia Kelly: And I feel like that’s the same for Writing as well.
Talia Franks: Yeah. I feel like – Writing was a bit better though. Jackie’s lines were really good. Jackie’s lines were really strong. I mean also Camille Coduri was like, chef’s kiss.
Lucia Kelly: Above and beyond, above and beyond.
Talia Franks: Like, she really carried that.
Lucia Kelly: Got the five out of acting all by herself today.
Talia Franks: Yeah. (Talia giggles) But I would give writing a four, honestly.
Lucia Kelly: Yeah?
Talia Franks: I really liked the writing here.
Lucia Kelly: Yeah. I’m trying to think of, what’s making me feel like it feels like a three, but I think it’s everything we’ve already said. Cause with the writing, that also includes the story itself.
Talia Franks: Okay. Let me clarify. I think that the Production and the Writing both feel like 3.5’s to me, so I want to round one down to a three and one up to a four, just to be fair. (Lucia laughs)
Lucia Kelly: We can do that.
Talia Franks: And for science, I’m want to give it a four.
Lucia Kelly: Yeah.
Talia Franks: I do think the science was pretty good aside from –
Lucia Kelly: Aside from the taser.
And also there was another thing that I wrote down. I guess this isn’t quite in science, but the fact that this high security system has one override password. That’s the same for everything. (Lucia shrieks in uncomfortable concern) That’s very, very bad. That’s very, very bad. That’s a major security risk. Don’t do that.
Talia Franks: Yeah. That is a major security risk.
Lucia Kelly: Mickey can send missiles anywhere he wants now. The Doctor has given him that knowledge. He has access to that now. Just saying.
Talia Franks: He has access to a hell of a lot of stuff. I actually read a fanfic where the government did the thing that they obviously would do, which is track down Mickey’s computer, because tracking his IP address would be the easiest thing in the world.
Lucia Kelly: Yep.
Talia Franks: And then they recruited him to spy on the Doctor.
Lucia Kelly: Yes!
Talia Franks: And I was like, “Yes! Mickey!”
Lucia Kelly: Also speaking of the missile, the fact that it literally only destroys 10 Downing Street, and nothing else is hysterical to me. Like, good job, good job to that random U.N.I.T person who was like, pulls the fire alarm, and is like, “Everyone out! Everyone leave! There’s a missile heading towards us!” (Talia laughs) but the fact that not only was Rose quote unquote, “right”. About being in a cupboard will save you from a missile attack, which is not true.
It literally only destroys one building and that’s not how missiles work. So, it gets marks in Science for how the Slitheen work, and how it talks about how the Slitheen’s work, how you can defeat the Slitheen, how the Slitheen use technology in order to manipulate humanity. All of that’s great. On a practical level – Yeah.
Talia Franks: It’s a three.
Lucia Kelly: It’s a three. Rewatchability. I’m not sure I want to watch this episode anymore, these two episodes, I feel like they’re real bad. I feel like the only good things about them are Jackie, and even that is not fun.
Talia Franks: This rubric doesn’t have a zero.
Lucia Kelly: Do you want to give it zero?
Talia Franks: No, I mean, it’s fine. I’m going to give it a one, but –
Lucia Kelly: Yeah.
Talia Franks: All right.
Lucia Kelly: Okay. This show is literally saved by its actors.
Sometimes this show is so bad and the only thing saving it from being absolutely terrible is they managed to grab some stellar actors.
Drum roll, please!
Talia Franks: What?
Lucia Kelly: These two episodes have in fact managed to be lower than ‘The Unquiet Dead”.
Talia Franks: What’s the rating?
Lucia Kelly: It is a D. It is a solid D, with 64%.
Talia Franks: This has been the Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimey Podcast.
Lucia Kelly: We hope you enjoyed this adventure with us through space and time.
Talia Franks: If you’d like to find us elsewhere on the internet, we are on Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram as @WibblyPod.
Lucia Kelly: You can also find out more information about us and our content on wibblywobblytimeywimey.net, and full transcripts for episodes at wibblywobblytimeywimey.net/transcripts.
Talia Franks: If you’d like to get in touch, you can send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lucia Kelly: That’s all for now. Catch you in the time vortex!