It’s time for Wibbly Wobbly season two, and you might want to hold onto something because this TARDIS is in for a crash landing as we discuss THE CHRISTMAS INVASION! Talia cries in linguistics major and needs more wine, Lucia bemoans lapses in the characterization of Rose Tyler and Harriet Jones, and we finally meet Ten!
Talia Franks: Hello and welcome to the Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimey podcast!
Lucia Kelly: I’m Lucia Kelly, expert at applied analysis and a whole new man.
Talia Franks: And I’m Talia Franks, media critic, fanfic enthusiast, and you know who I am.
Lucia Kelly: And we’re here today to talk about “The Christmas Invasion,” the 2005 Christmas special of Doctor Who.
Talia Franks: “The Christmas Invasion” aired on December 25th, 2005. Christmas! It was written by Russell T Davies and directed by James Hawes.
Lucia Kelly: Reminder that 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, the audio dramas, or even fan theories and articles.
Talia Franks: So with that out of the way, we’re going to get killed by Christmas tree! So let’s get in the TARDIS.
Lucia Kelly: Okay, so, my first note, my first note of the new season is literally just “JACKIE!” in all caps with three crying emojis after it. (Lucia laughs)
Talia Franks: Yeah, no, my first note is “Why we gotta do Jackie like this?”
Lucia Kelly: Why we gotta do Jackie like this? Oh my God!
Talia Franks: My question was actually when she’s staring morosely at that Christmas gift, did she just make that for this year? Or was it a gift she got for the first year she had Christmas without Rose?
Lucia Kelly: Why would you do that to me? (Talia laughs) I hadn’t even considered that. I hadn’t even considered that this might not be their first Christmas without Rose.
Talia Franks: Yeah. It’s their second Christmas without Rose.
Lucia Kelly: Of course, because there was the whole year that she missed.
Talia Franks: Mmhmm.
Lucia Kelly: Far out! Okay. I guess that’s canon now. Wow. How the tables have turned. Ouch. (Lucia and Talia laugh)
Talia Franks: How does it feel, Lucia? How does it feel?
Lucia Kelly: (groaning) Oh.
Talia Franks: You wanna know the worst bit?
Lucia Kelly: What’s the worst bit? Tell me.
Talia Franks: When the Doctor shows up, he says that he has something to tell Jackie and Mickey, and what he has to tell them is he tells them “Merry Christmas.” So he knows that he has arrived on Christmas. He intentionally steered the TARDIS to get them there on Christmas, even though he knows that they didn’t leave at Christmas.
Lucia Kelly: (gasps) Oh! Oh.
Talia Franks: Even though Rose had specifically said that she would only be gone for 10 seconds, and he knows that he had sent Rose back, to whatever point in time, and she had intentionally gone back, and left them in distress, and he, for whatever reason decides, “You know what? Fuck all of that. I’m just going to go back at Christmas.”
Lucia Kelly: You know what? (Talia giggles and Lucia sighs) That makes me so mad. But! But! He is in his brand new regeneration scramble. In fact, this regeneration in particular – cause regenerations aren’t usually this high stakes! So what is it that makes this regeneration quote, unquote, “go wrong”?
Lucia Kelly: Why is this one so difficult for him? Because this isn’t normal. Is there a reason or was it just for the drama?
Talia Franks: I mean, the Doctor’s always a little bit … off when they regenerate.
Lucia Kelly: Hmm. But not to this degree where he’s talking about how his brain is collapsing. It seems to be going wrong rather than the normal kind of “Er, I’m just a bit wonky.”
Talia Franks: I think it’s because like, inhaling the time vortex? Probably?
Lucia Kelly: Possibly. Cause it’s unclear whether the sort of dust – he refers to it as “time regeneration energy” or whatever, but it’s the same effect that’s used for the time vortex.
Talia Franks: Eleven also expels that same energy, and so does Twelve. And I know that Thirteen definitely does at the beginning of her episode.
Lucia Kelly: Okay. The closest thing to a canonical reason as to why Ten’s regeneration is wonkier than most is that swallowing the time vortex is some heavy-duty stuff, basically.
Talia Franks: Yeah. And tea fixes everything! A good cup of tea will help you.
Lucia Kelly: Listen. I love the sentiment. I love the sentiment. It’s very sweet, but what the hell?
Talia Franks: Can we just talk about how the Doctor being fucked up messes with the TARDIS translation circuit, and I hate it? Because also they’re somehow able to magically translate the Sycoraxic language, and I hate it, because that’s not how translation works.
Lucia Kelly: Yeah, no, go off. I’m delighted to hear all your thoughts.
Talia Franks: Languages don’t work like that! (Lucia giggles) Cries in Linguistics Major. (Lucia laughs)
Talia Franks: Languages don’t work like that! They just don’t! They just don’t work like that! That’s not how languages work!
Lucia Kelly: Yeah, no, the exact cutoff where it was like mid-sentence and then suddenly he’s speaking in English and I’m like, “So what’s the – w – how does sentence structure work in the Sycorax language? I’m curious. Is it exactly the same as English?” (Lucia giggles)
Talia Franks: Okay, so, I already have just to spend a lot of disbelief where the TARDIS translation circuit is concerned. Like, basically every time that they go to an alien planet and can talk to people. That’s the true reason why I believe that Doctor Who is magic, not sci-fi, is because if we judge the science section, according to real rules, having to do with language, then it would always get a zero because that’s not how language works.
Talia Franks: That’s not how language works.
Talia Franks: That’s not how language works. That’s not how translation works. That’s not how it works. Lucia. It’s not how it works.
Lucia Kelly: It’s nice to see you as worked up about something as I get about something. It’s just nice to have that balance. (Lucia laughs)
Talia Franks: I need more wine. (Lucia snorts)
Lucia Kelly: Thought experiment, so Doctor Who, as a show, has this problem, it travels to all these different places, but we can only ever hear in English and the companions are normal everyday people, so they won’t be speaking all the languages that they will be exposed to.
Lucia Kelly: To borrow from “A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”, how do you solve the Babel Fish problem?
Talia Franks: I mean, I’m fine with the TARDIS translation circuit being a thing. I’m fine with it. For one, it’s magic. Cause Doctor Who is a fantasy show as much as it’s a sci-fi show.
Talia Franks: I’m beefing with this specific episode, which specifically breaks the thing.
Talia Franks: The other thing I’m beefing with is when the episode makes jokes and puns that only work in English and likes to pretend that they work in those foreign languages.
Lucia Kelly: Sycorax rock?
Talia Franks: That doesn’t work, because that’s not how language works, because jokes don’t translate, because jokes and idioms are specific to languages.
Talia Franks: Sometimes they work across languages, if specific languages sometimes borrow from other languages, like if they share a common ancestor, maybe they might have sufficient overlap that like, their idioms have flowed between one another, but two completely different languages from completely different planets that have never interacted before.
Lucia Kelly: Also the fact that they were able to pull up that translation software in less than an hour. And I’m like … “Sir.”
Talia Franks: No.
Lucia Kelly: “Sir.” (Lucia laughs) Not when we have trouble translating our own languages from ancient times. Not when that takes decades.
Talia Franks: Like …
Lucia Kelly: No.
Talia Franks: No. That’s how language works.
Lucia Kelly: Also, oh my gosh, David Tennant is baby. He’s so young. He’s so small. So little!
Lucia Kelly: And also, I’m not sure if it’s just the way that the makeup’s been done, but they don’t block out his freckles as much. Just generally in terms of how makeup is done on television, you start with a blank canvas, so you block out all perceived blemishes. And usually that includes freckles, but like, I don’t know, I was just super noticing that he had so many freckles.
Talia Franks: I was super noticing how fake it looked when he had no hand.
Lucia Kelly: I know! Bless.
Talia Franks: It’s just a sleeve. The other thing I was noticing is how inconsistent the size of that spaceship is. It just took me out of the episode. Decide. (Lucia: Yeah.) How big is this spaceship?
Lucia Kelly: Talking about inconsistencies, these aliens don’t make sense.
Lucia Kelly: Let’s talk about the pilot fish, and how, what? I’m so confused. How do they have such intricate knowledge of Western Christmas rituals? How do they have the knowledge to dress up as Santa? Where did they get the Santa costumes? When did they construct this deadly Christmas tree?
Talia Franks: How did they know to attack Rose? And also, where did they get the flame thrower saxophone that also you could use as a real saxophone?
Lucia Kelly: When did they get Jackie’s address? There are so many questions.
Talia Franks: Another continuity question, where did Mickey go? Because Mickey and Jackie caught the Doctor, but then it was only Jackie who was talking to Rose, and was doing the thing with the stethoscope and everything to like, check on the Doctor. Where did Mickey go?
Lucia Kelly: I assumed Mickey was in the living room, having a small internal crisis.
Talia Franks: Cause then they left, and then they went into the living room, and into the kitchen, and still weren’t talking to Mickey, and Rose was just having that heart to heart with Jackie, and then talking about Satsuma man, Howard, and Mickey is still nowhere to be found until he and Rose go off to buy Jackie a Christmas present, or whatever, and he randomly pops up again.
Talia Franks: Also my question is, how loud is the TARDIS that they heard it before it spun out of the sky? And also another, another question that I had is, was the fish okay? Th, they had,
Lucia Kelly: Okay.
Talia Franks: Fish, in the fish tank.
Talia Franks: They had a fish tank in the kitchen, like in the space between the kitchen and the living room.
Lucia Kelly: Ohhhh
Talia Franks: And then the Christmas tree went wild and like, it was like breaking everything. And it was, is the fish okay?
Lucia Kelly: I’m pretty sure the fish is dead. (Lucia laughs)
Talia Franks: Also
Lucia Kelly: Either that, either that or like miraculously missed
Talia Franks: it was disgusting, that fish tank was absolutely disgusting and looked like it hadn’t been cleaned in forever, like forever.
Talia Franks: And I’m just like that poor fish, like, because someone dragged that fish on set and put it in a dirty ass tank and I’m just like that poor little fish. Cause it was alive. I saw it swimming.
Lucia Kelly: As opposed to a dead fish, which is perfect set decoration it’s really just really embodies the sort of emotional turmoil Jackie’s in. (Talia and Lucia laugh) Hasn’t even replaced her fish.
Talia Franks: Anyway. Also again, the Sonic screwdriver can blow up trees now,
Lucia Kelly: apparently that, okay. It’s a Sonic
Talia Franks: screwdriver. So did it just like Sonic the tree to death also,
Lucia Kelly: Like, is it a Sonic boom? Is it just going to vibrate the atoms until it goes, boom?
Talia Franks: Also, speaking of when the ship hits the atmosphere, there’s a Sonic boom that breaks all the glass everywhere. But there’s plenty of ships that also hit the atmosphere all the time in other places, like when the Titanic hits the atmosphere in a couple Christmas in next Christmas, Christmas after next Christmas, two Christmases from now that’s not like gonna break the,
Lucia Kelly: sound barrier,
Talia Franks: sound barrier, like what again, how fucking big is the spaceship. They cannot decide also like how, that’s a lot
Lucia Kelly: big enough to be dramatic. I mean, I mean, all the glaziers in London are going to have, like, cash money in the bank for the next like three months.
Talia Franks: Also, can we just talk about how bad-ass Harriet Jones is? “There’s an act of parliament banning my autobiography.”
Lucia Kelly: Okay. Okay. Okay. Do we wanna talk about Harriet Jones?
Talia Franks: Do we want to talk about Harriet Jones? (Talia asks dubiously and Lucia sighs)
Lucia Kelly: I don’t, why would you do this to her character?
Talia Franks: Why!?
Lucia Kelly: Wha, it doesn’t. It makes, it makes no sense. And that’s what bothers me. Like it’s completely against everything we’ve already built for this character. This character is built as a, like, as I hate to say it, but it’s, what’s coming to my head, but like, quote unquote, the good cop, right?
Lucia Kelly: Like they are the good person in the corrupt system. They are the person who is fighting to correct the system. And to then, so, so either have a storyline about how she has been corrupted or have her be still uncorruptable, don’t just suddenly make her corrupted in a way that feels like you’re only doing it for shock value.
Lucia Kelly: It makes no narrative sense and it bothers me, especially when, okay, so we’ve got (Lucia sighs) there’s these two sides to Harriet Jones, right? And they’re both present in this episode. So you’ve got things happening, like, I wrote them down like she hasn’t forgotten her roots. Like she gets she offers coffee to Llewellyn. She’s asks after the the girl’s name. She’s like very much that kind of personal, like keeping it consistent remembering the small guys kind of politician. But then you’ve also got like this, like that cheap shot at the American president, like being like like that, like, oh, don’t turn it into a war.
Lucia Kelly: And then immediately, like, that’s kind of when the shift happens, which is also really, really (Lucia sighs) inconsiderate to her character. Because what that actually on top of everything else, it makes her a hypocrite, but almost a self-aware one? Like the fact that she, she says you know, “use these exact words. He’s not my boss and he’s certainly not turning this into a war.” Right. And then proceeds to make all of these massive decisions, massive decisions, speaking for the earth as a whole, like as the sole representative with no committee, no consultation.
Lucia Kelly: She doesn’t even have her own parliament. She’s just doing it as a rogue as like on her own. I’m the I’m self designated leader. Like, what, what the hell? (Lucia laughs incredulously) And you’re worried about the president starting a war? What are you doing in your everyday policies?
Talia Franks: Uh-huh
Lucia Kelly: Like, (Lucia stifles a groan) it makes me so upset
Lucia Kelly: Anyway. I’ve ranted. Do you have more rant? (Lucia laughs)
Talia Franks: Yeah. I’m thinking about her Jones and I’m thinking, I mean, I get everything that you’re saying. I also think, honestly, I don’t know that any of this is out of character for Harriet? Because we never really got to see, we never really got to see the full scope of what she would be like with power in her first episode. So this is not necessarily outside of character for her. Like, I actually really enjoyed getting to explore her character in this way and getting to see what it would be like to see someone who’s always been a back bencher, see what they would do if they had power.
Talia Franks: That was really interesting to me. The idea of there’s someone who’s always been on the sidelines, never really the one in power, but seeing all these people in power, making all these like bad decisions being like, “oh, but if I had the power, this is what I would do.”
Talia Franks: And there’s also the thing of like, “oh, well, the American President would turn this into a war, but I know better,” and also there’s this idea of I mean, I don’t actually know anything about parliament, but I know like in the US people are always talking about how like the Senate can never get anything done. (Talia lets out a small laugh) And, when there’s like a huge body of people, it’s hard to make decisions. So it is like easier for one person who thinks, oh, I’m equipped to make these big decisions I can.
Talia Franks: And it is that moment Where. It brings me, it does bring me back to that moment in World war Three, where Harriet was the person who, when it was just her, the Doctor and Rose, where she was like,” it’s not your decision Doctor. It’s mine.” So this is her again saying “it’s not your decision Doctor, it’s mine.”
Lucia Kelly: Which,
Talia Franks: So
Lucia Kelly: I hear what you’re saying and I hadn’t quite thought about it that way.
Talia Franks: So
Lucia Kelly: That line in particular strikes me as where the characterization feels off because what she, in World War Three, what she says specifically was like “elected by the people for the people.” And yes, she has been “elected by the people for the people of England.”
Lucia Kelly: She has not been elected. She is not the world’s leader, right?
Talia Franks: Yeah, no, she’s not the world’s leader. But the stakes at that point also were also worldwide stakes, like at that point, measures she was taking weren’t just in defense of England, they were in defense of the whole world. And so I think from her perspective, this is again doing something in defense of the whole world.
Talia Franks: I think this could also be a little bit her taking to heart, what the Doctor actually says in World War Three. Which is, he says that his life, “isn’t funny, it’s not smart. It’s standing up and making a choice because no one else will.”
Talia Franks: And so the Doctor says that about what his life is like. (Lucia hmmms) And I think could be like, if I, I mean, I would never travel with the Doctor, (Talia gives a small laugh) but if I was like on an adventure tangental to the Doctor, like I would definitely, and honestly like having watched Doctor Who and having heard messages like that, it definitely has made me be a person who tries to stand up and make more important decisions when I have the power to do so.
Talia Franks: And I think, especially for someone like Harriet, who has been entrusted with this power and has had this experience, it would embolden her when given the opportunity, because she is given the opportunity before other world leaders, because through Guinevere One, they are contacting people in the UK.
Lucia Kelly: Hmmm. Yeah.
Talia Franks: And so,
Lucia Kelly: And I
Talia Franks: but what I was trying to get at in that I’ve been trying to get, you keep interrupting me because you like to talk.
Lucia Kelly: I’m sorry.
Talia Franks: Um, No, it’s fine. But what I’ve been trying to get at is that more than Harriet’s act any of Harriet’s actions seeming out of character, what I was particularly interested by is that this is Tennant’s debut as the Doctor.
Talia Franks: This is the Tenth Doctor. And so they decided to start the Tenth Doctor out with, first, he’s like being all like funny comical, like cutesy with Rose or whatever, but his first two major defining actions are his “no second chances. I’m that kind of man,” he kills the Sycorax leader. He goes, “Earth is defended.”
Talia Franks: And then he tears apart, Harriet Jones’, her entire, her entire career with six words. (Lucia whispers “Yeah”) And he does it by weaponizing misogyny in order to disempower a female world leader and like, keep in mind that she’s prime minister. I’m not sure about the Doctor Who’s universe, but I think at that point, if we think of Doctor Who universe has co-occurrent with our universe, I think that she would have been only the second female Prime Minister. So and she would have only been Prime Minister for a short while because the, what happened was the old Prime Minister died in World War Three and she replaced him. So she would only prime minister for like less than a year. And he de platformed her. (Talia huffs)
Lucia Kelly: Yeah. Yeah. It’s a really, as a debut, it is a really interesting introduction to the Tenth Doctor in terms of who he is as a person. Because first of all, first of all, you’ve got to just the baseline of introducing and confirming this idea of regeneration. Like getting people used to that idea first off that like, yeah, no, it’s the same person, but it’s not.
Lucia Kelly: And sort of the different aspects of I was actually having this conversation with my mum the other day about how regeneration works. And it brings to light one of my favorite theories about regeneration, which is the personality of the next Doctor is very, is tied to the circumstances in which the previous Doctor dies.
Talia Franks: Yep.
Lucia Kelly: Yeah. And I think we see that very clearly in this first episode, in terms of like, so the Ninth Doctor, is very much like the war veteran. Like he’s dealing with a lot of emotional stuff. He’s dealing with a lot of trauma stuff and he mainly hides, he mainly deals with that by being very closed off emotionally.
Lucia Kelly: And then you sort of see these bursts of emotion that kind of peak out in certain moments and certain circumstances. However, the way he died is like full of love. Like all of his actions that, and in the regeneration acts of love. He he takes on the time vortex energy in order to save Rose, he does that by kissing her, which we’ve already talked about, but whatever.
Lucia Kelly: But like as that, that is a romantic declaration, like I’m not going to argue that. And he spent his last moments affirming Rose, you know, saying that she was fantastic, like really, and so all of his actions tied up in his love, particularly for Rose, but his love of humanity as a whole. (Talia mhmms) And that’s how he dies.
Lucia Kelly: And so then Ten comes out of that. And Ten very much like, I think it’s not, I’m not, I’m not breaking any new ground by saying that like the clear parallels of between the first Doctor and the Ninth Doctor and the Fourth Doctor and the Tenth Doctor, like that is the parallels that we’re making. Ten is the fun Doctor.
Lucia Kelly: He’s the one that loves humanity. He’s the one who’s filled with awe, and like, like wanderlust, and just looking for all of the beautiful things about the diversity and variety of the universe. Like he is filled with love. He is also filled with anger. Like (Talia mhmms) he, Ten, is emotions all the way up to 11. He is never not feeling anything.
Lucia Kelly: He is never really only when he gets very, very angry, does he close off in any way emotionally. And that’s really on full display in this episode.
Talia Franks: Mhmm
Lucia Kelly: It’s a brilliant introduction to him in terms of showing in 45 minutes, the range of what this new Doctor is going to offer.
Talia Franks: Sorry, you mean in like five minutes because the majority of this episode is boring as fuck. It is, (Lucia starts laughing) boring as fuck. It’s just standing around not knowing what to do, being like, oh, I don’t know what’s going on. Oh, these people are just sorta like walking around. Oh, what’s going on? Oh, now he left me. (Talia starts making mocking noises)
Lucia Kelly: Okay. Let’s talk about this Rose.
Lucia Kelly: I’m so confused by the way they characterize her in this episode, it feels weird. And also just the way that she’s like, she honestly is acting as if her long-term boyfriend has like cheated on her in some way, or has like, like dumped her for no reason or like, it feels like an emotional, romantic breakup and that she’s going through. What’s happening. (Talia groans in frustration) It feels so discordant.
Talia Franks: This whole episode is like pulling teeth. I literally was like, it was painful. It was like scratching nails on a chalkboard. I was like, this is why I don’t watch this episode. And then finally the Doctor woke up and I was like, thank fuck. (Lucia snorts) Like thank the gods. Oh my goodness.
Talia Franks: Finally, something interesting is happening.
Lucia Kelly: (Lucia sighs) It’s just bizarre. It’s just, it’s just bizarre. The pacing is all off. The pacing’s weird. I was actually seeing a lot of parallels.
Talia Franks: The pacing is absolutely rubbish.
Lucia Kelly: Can we talk about how Mickey still has his Buffalo access, just straight up,
Talia Franks: Yeah!
Lucia Kelly: just straight up.
Talia Franks: I was going to say this lends credence to my theory, that Mickey is actually secretly working for UNIT and spying on the Doctor.
Lucia Kelly: There is, there is no way. There’s no way that that would not have been shut down. The fact that this like rogue everyday mechanic (Lucia starts laughing as she speaks) has access to one of the biggest underground military operations in the UK.
Talia Franks: He’s working for UNIT.
Lucia Kelly: Also, oh, the nostalgia of, oh, can I use your phone line? Yeah. Keep a count of it. Adorable. (Talia and Lucia laugh)
Lucia Kelly: Oh, remember when
Lucia Kelly: Also I have a question specifically for Llewellyn. Why the fuck would you put blood on the probe? That’s. Don’t, don’t, don’t, never. Don’t do that. Why?
Lucia Kelly: What was the thinking apart from like, just the, like the logistical aspect of like, so are you keeping it in a freezer box? Like how, like it will congeal, it will go, like, it will decay. It will like, it’s a it’s it’s, it’s, it’s a bodily fluid. It’s not going to like, like wheat seeds, I understand. Water, I understand.
Lucia Kelly: Or even like, honey would be understandable. Blood?
Talia Franks: Blood?
Lucia Kelly: For why?
Talia Franks: Also, like when so the first time I watched this, which was years ago, I assumed that when he said he put blood on the probe, I assumed he meant he put a few drops of blood on the probe in that they were dried up drops of blood.
Talia Franks: And that the Sycorax had like liquified it and reconstituted and used that. Rewatching, this, I realized, he said he put a vial of blood. And I was like, if that probe was supposed to get all the way to Mars, which takes years, how was that vial still a vial?
Lucia Kelly: I don’t know how that works. It doesn’t,
Talia Franks: I don’t know how that works
Lucia Kelly: it doesn’t work. You know what would have made it darker, but ultimately, do you know how you fix this?
Talia Franks: How?
Lucia Kelly: You make it a manned mission, you make it a manned mission. There, there are captured civilians, civilians get their blood taken and therefore, and that also lends to justifying Harriet’s actions because if people die, and they kind of touched on this with killing Llewellyn and the major, which by the way another tick for killing a person of color.
Lucia Kelly: You did it, well done.
Talia Franks: I was going to get to that.
Lucia Kelly: Oh,
Talia Franks: I just, I,
Lucia Kelly: it’s not safe to be a person of color in the Doctor Who universe. It’s just, isn’t
Talia Franks: it’s not safe to be a person of color period.
Lucia Kelly: I mean yeah.
Talia Franks: But, um, why are you so twisted? Make it a manned mission? (Talia laughs)
Lucia Kelly: But like but like, that’s how, like, I would have so much less issue with it. If it was a manned mission.
Talia Franks: Yeah.
Lucia Kelly: Like it would be darker. It would also be better (Talia snorts) and make more sense.
Talia Franks: I’m going to write that down. It would be darker, but it would also be better. (Transition wobbles)
Talia Franks: I just wanted to read you my note, which is, I don’t know why, but I feel nothing from Rose right now. (Talia laughs and Lucia sighs)
Lucia Kelly: Okay.
Talia Franks: And then right after that was, she was just sobbing, but now her makeup is perfect.
Lucia Kelly: RIGHT! Oh my God. Okay. What the fuck?
Lucia Kelly: It make, which just speaks to like how this episode doesn’t actually care about Rose’s, like internal journey? This episode, like no thought was put into it. No thought it’s just what it is. It just bothers me. (Lucia sighs)
Lucia Kelly: Which is, and it, I do find it interesting how Rose seems to be reacting, not so much to the, like the whole Doctor situation, but the world situation, like she shuts down, she doesn’t, she like completely knows sort of, she’s not looking for solutions she’s running away. Right. Like that is, and it struck me as interesting particularly given that the phrase like, “I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.” Becomes a sort of refrain of the Tenth Doctor. That, that, that’s what Rose says to Jackie and Mickey is like, I’m sorry, I don’t have the solutions like this is, this is it. (Lucia sighs)
Lucia Kelly: And yeah.
Talia Franks: She still has time to change her outfit and do her hair all cute with the little braids.
Lucia Kelly: Mhmm it’s just,
Talia Franks: No, no. I was thinking, I was thinking that was actually like a genuine, that was like a genuine, like, oh, that was like so nice that she actually had time to like, you know, take time for herself self-care. Like,
Lucia Kelly: I guess, yeah
Talia Franks: like I thought that was like a moment of like, oh, good on you Rose like taking some time for yourself, actually like take a shower, not let yourself be covered in green goop.
Talia Franks: Like they did in Aliens of London. (Talia laughs)
Lucia Kelly: Yeah. I guess what I feel like what could have cemented that for me is if we just see like, even a shot of that, like see a shot between her like complete breakdown in the kitchen. And when she’s perfectly made up again is to see her putting it on and like looking at herself in the mirror and like having that moment of resolution would have helped just a little bit.
Talia Franks: But then she actually does have another crying fit after she gets dressed again.
Talia Franks: So I don’t know.
Lucia Kelly: Yeah. Like it just feels like no thought was put into Rose. At all.
Lucia Kelly: So Tea. Okay. You’re telling me Russell T Davies, you are telling me that the Doctor has, Time Lord disease.
Lucia Kelly: And, the only antidote to this specific regeneration Time Lord disease is a bush on a different planet, a planet that is not native to Time Lords, that Time Lords have never been on, steeped in water, then poured over something hot and then inhaled? What?
Talia Franks: When on Sol 3!
Lucia Kelly: So it’s not even, it’s not even tea. Which also it was very clearly milk tea. So like, does the milk have an effect? (Lucia makes a series of increasingly distressed noises)
Lucia Kelly: Talia, it makes no sense. It makes no sense.
Lucia Kelly: There’s nothing there! There is no threads. The threads are non-existent. They don’t exist.
Lucia Kelly: How does tea solve Time Lord disease?
Talia Franks: I can’t believe you keep calling it Time Lord disease.
Lucia Kelly: Because that’s what it is! It’s this like, very specific, like when something goes wrong with regeneration.
Talia Franks: Except regeneration,
Lucia Kelly: Tea!
Talia Franks: isn’t native to Time Lords, but that’s another issue. We’ll get there.
Lucia Kelly: It makes no sense. The only reason, the only reason I am okay with this is because it makes Jackie the Hero. Jackie saves the world.
Talia Franks: Go Jackie!
Lucia Kelly: Jackie saves the world because she knows what’s the most important thing on a road trip? Snacks.
Talia Franks: Snacks.
Lucia Kelly: Snacks.
Lucia Kelly: This whole scene on the Sycorax ship. I actually really, first of all, I think it’s, this is one of the episodes where Rose is definitely characterized as a 19 year old.
Talia Franks: Absolutely.
Lucia Kelly: Yeah. And I love her address to the Sycorax where she’s pulling on all of her different adventures.
Lucia Kelly: Like it makes like it’s stupid. It, it, it her, reveals, (Lucia laughs) it reveals her ignorance, like puts it on full display. But I love that from a character perspective, like that’s a, that’s a choice that makes sense. And that she’s pulling on all of these different adventures that she’s had. Like, honestly, she should have just stopped with the, the fifth article of the shadow declaration.
Lucia Kelly: And that’s why you stop 15th, 15th. She’s got a bad memory than me. Rose does. (Lucia laughs)
Lucia Kelly: The 15th declaration of the shadow proclamation. That’s it? Yeah, of course. Now that I’ve said it it’s ringing the bells. That’s where you stop. Cause that’s all the Doctor’s ever. And instead she’s calling on the Parliament of the Slitheens and the, (Lucia laughs again)
Lucia Kelly: Oh honey, why would you even bring up the Daleks when you know, you, you actually know the history there. That’s a bad name to bring up. But honestly, I, I found that delightful. And then I loved, so we get the introduction, we get the final, full introduction of the Tenth Doctor. And we immediately introduce him as this kind of immediately introduce this idea that is used throughout Ten.
Lucia Kelly: That is not something that, that Nine had, which is this chatterbox quality like that he just keeps talking and talking and talking, and it’s this way of how he just, he uses that to his advantage. Like that is, that is a tactic. That is a skill. And it is a characteristic that he’s going to use way throughout his throughout his sort of reign as the Tenth Doctor of talking all the time and saying nothing. Right?
Lucia Kelly: Giving nothing away. Like he’s giving all of these like little tidbits. He’s like gabbling along.
Talia Franks: I mean,
Lucia Kelly: but but he’s not actually saying anything that will put him at a disadvantage.
Talia Franks: I feel like the Doctors do that too. I feel like the Tenth doctor does it, but that’s also a trait that carries forward into other Doctors.
Lucia Kelly: It’s a trait that carries forward, but it’s not something that was present in Nine, which I find really interesting.
Talia Franks: And it is really interesting because it’s a trait that the Tenth Doctor has it’s something that the Eleventh Doctor does too. And it’s something even that the 12th Doctor, and the 13th Doctor also I feel like does this as well where they just talk as a form of distraction.
Lucia Kelly: And as a way of masking their level of threat as well.
Talia Franks: Yeah.
Lucia Kelly: Like it’s, it’s specifically meant to disarm the opposing side, which is a really interesting that that nine felt no need to, like, he masks a lot of stuff. He doesn’t mask his threat.
Lucia Kelly: But ten is committed to feeling approachable, which is an interesting shift.
Talia Franks: Yeah. I’m thinking also of, for some reason you just made me think of that line in Pompeii, when he says “just us girls” which is just a thing.
Lucia Kelly: Yeah. What is gender to a Time Lord? Nothing.
Talia Franks: What is gender to a Time lord? What is gender to anyone, honestly? Gender is fake.
Lucia Kelly: Gender is fake
Talia Franks: Gender as a social construct that only has meaning because we give it.
Lucia Kelly: Big Mood. (Lucia sighs)
Lucia Kelly: I also love the choreography of the fight. It’s really well done. The choreography of the fight is so well done in terms of, cause clearly we’re meant to understand that the Sycorax are, like, a warrior people, like, they’re very much, their whole aesthetic is very kind of Romanesque (Talia mhmms) the way that the it’s almost set up like a gladiatorial arena and the way that the choreography is done so that the champions for the Sycorax, the leader for the Sycorax and Ten, when they fight against each other, you can see the different levels of skill
Talia Franks: Mhmm
Lucia Kelly: it’s really well done.
Lucia Kelly: It’s just really well done. I really appreciated it, that you could see how, like, see, so clearly that this is like that the Doctor is the underdog, right? Like he is not meant to win. The only way he, (Lucia laughs) the way he wins is through trickery. The way he wins is through
Talia Franks: Witchcraft.
Lucia Kelly: Yeah, basically.
Lucia Kelly: I’m going to let it go. I’m going to let the hand being caught off go. It’s a choice that I’m making.
Talia Franks: (Talia begins singing) Maaaaaaagic! Maaaaaaagic! (Lucia sighs as Talia contiues to sing) Maaaaaaagic! (In a whisper) Magic.
Lucia Kelly: I can, I can justify in my mind that regeneration, like it’s literally regeneration, right? Like it’s, it’s literally about rebuilding and healing the body. And if, if, if word of God, right. If, if the Doctor says like, if he’s within 16 hours of his regeneration cycle, he can do that. Okay. (Lucia laughs) You have residual healing energy.
Lucia Kelly: Fine.
Lucia Kelly: I’ll give you that. You’ve explained it.
Lucia Kelly: Fine.
Lucia Kelly: (One last bitter whisper) Fine.
Talia Franks: (Talia sings again) Maaaaaaagic!
Lucia Kelly: Okay. But the family vibes of this episode are so adorable.
Talia Franks: Oh my goodness.
Lucia Kelly: Oh my God. The family vibes. Like, like when the, the little the whole like final end of it, like when they get off the Sycorax ship and we have that whole moment between the Doctor and Harriet, but. Like when Rose is like on Mickey’s back and she’s like piggybacking and she was like, “yeah, don’t come back.”
Lucia Kelly: I’m like, they all have that family hug at the end. Jackie’s like, “oh you better,” like, they’re a family! They all have Christmas dinner together, they’re a family! (Lucia laughs) That’s a family!
Talia Franks: It’s, it’s honestly, I love how, I mean, you said it exactly how the, the Tenth Doctor’s full of love, and he’s all about the, he’s all about specifically love and Rose, but it’s all about the, it’s all about the domesticity too. And like the sort of like familial, like comradery and everything.
Talia Franks: And like that is really that’s really the heart of it. It’s really the heart of this episode. And it’s what makes this episode finally interesting. When you finally let them have chemistry together and not let him just lay down in a bed, being all sweaty. Honestly,
Lucia Kelly: But rose darling, I am begging you. I’m actually on my knees begging you to break up with Mickey properly. This has gone on too long. This is too much. I hate it. The fact that, okay, so we get so close, we got so close to it, which is the thing that actually frustrates me. Like they don’t just bite the bullet and have them break up.
Lucia Kelly: There’s literally a moment where they’re watching the doctor in bed, having a fever, whatever, but, Mickey
Talia Franks: And Mickey says, Mickey says, “you really love him, don’t you?” And Rose. Instead of saying anything, just like falls apart on top of Mickey. And like, and then he hugs her and I’m just like, just,
Lucia Kelly: but like that the way that she hugs him, like it actually like that whole, like the way that the body language that they’re using is so clear about like how close Rose and Mickey are. And like, they are family. Like, there is no getting out of it. You’re in each other’s lives for the long haul. And like just taking that extra step to be like, you know what I understand, I get it.
Lucia Kelly: Like, but you will always be my family. Like just have that conversation.
Talia Franks: Yeah, and because like, when they were going to get the gift for Jackie or whatever, like their comradery their like vibes was, they were like, like their chemistry is so good, but like the vibes I were getting off of them were as friends, like
Lucia Kelly: Yeah
Talia Franks: these are two bros hanging out and like the trying to make it romantic is just such a force.
Lucia Kelly: It’s so forced and it’s so unnecessary.
Lucia Kelly: Like, and even at the very end when he says “you’re never going to stay, are you?” Like, yeah, she never is. So like, let’s just bite the bullet. Let’s tear off the Band-Aid. Let’s finish this and make it official. You’re broken up.
Talia Franks: Also, because like I said, like, Billie Piper and David Tennant have so much fucking chemistry, it’s really, really hard not to ship them. It’s really fucking hard. They’re so cute! They’re so cute. Look at them.
Talia Franks: Look at them. Look at this, look at this. Yeah,
Lucia Kelly: They are, they’re adorable. Like, they’re adorable together. They’re so full of, and I’m so excited as this season goes on to talk about how like the Doctor is full of love and why that’s not always a good thing.
Talia Franks: Mhmm,
Lucia Kelly: like the different when that’s not kept in perspective when that’s not tempered how dangerous that is and how volatile Ten is.
Talia Franks: So volatile.
Lucia Kelly: But at the moment it’s just him and Rose, looking at stars and trying to figure out their plans. And that’s adorable.
Talia Franks: It’s adorable.
Lucia Kelly: This, this is the puppy love. This is the sweetest of loves. It’s very sweet. It’s very cute. But the whole time she has a a boyfriend! Mickey’s literally just off screen!
Lucia Kelly: Like either break up with him or enter into some mutual polyamory. Those are your choices, make one,
Talia Franks: (Lucia laughs) Just make a choice.
Lucia Kelly: define your relationship. It’s not fair on any one of these three people.
Talia Franks: It’s not, it’s not good. It’s not good. Just have a conversation, just, just have a conversation about it.
Talia Franks: Be open, enter into some consensual mutually agreed upon polyamory and we’re Gucci. Just talk about it. Beloveds. Talk about it. (Lucia sighs and Talia lets out a groan of frustration)
Lucia Kelly: Is there anything else you want to talk about before we get into favorite moments?
Talia Franks: Let me remember my iPad password so I can look at my notes. Oh, (Talia snorts) sorry. (Talia starts laughing) One thing. When they’re all storming off, away from, from Harriet being all, bad-ass like, we don’t want to talk with you. You made a decision. We don’t want to be a part, they’re walking away from the TARDIS. (Lucia bursts into laughter)
Lucia Kelly: Ohhh. They just went around the block. They just went around the block. They needed
Lucia Kelly: the moment (Lucia and Talia continue laughing)
Talia Franks: They were just next to the TARDIS and they’re walking away from her and away from it.
Lucia Kelly: Oh, wow.
Talia Franks: (Talia continues to cackle) They’re just like all wha, like, we don’t want to talk to you, and she’s right next to the TARDIS. Where are they going?
Lucia Kelly: Who knows.
Talia Franks: Um,
Lucia Kelly: Anyway, so (Lucia claps) favorite moments?
Talia Franks: My favorite moment. Hmm.
Talia Franks: I should’ve written this down, but I was just in like a end of the workday fog observing the episode. Actually, you know, this is a small moment, but I think it honestly was the moment when Harriet said there’s an act of parliament banning my autobiography.
Lucia Kelly: I mean honestly, wouldn’t it be the first thing you did? Being like, Ooh, wait, hang on. (Lucia laughs)
Lucia Kelly: Yeah, no. (Lucia sighs)
Lucia Kelly: What’s my favorite moment?
Lucia Kelly: I’m going to say the wardrobe the wardrobe and Christmas montage. I find that a gorgeous moment . And also the little, like just saying the whole wardrobe and seeing like little homages to previous Doctors. And also I’m pretty sure, cause there’s a moment where he pulls out this like, like kind of 18th century soldier gear, I am 90% sure that that is a reference to Casanova. (Talia laughs)
Lucia Kelly: I am 90% sure that’s a reference to Casanova, which I adore and yeah, just the whole, the whole vibe, the vibes of that last five minutes immaculate.
Talia Franks: Yeah. If only the entire episode could have been like those last five minutes
Talia Franks: and not like the previous drudgery.
Lucia Kelly: So least favorite moment?
Talia Franks: I would say my least favorite moment is probably, (Talia sighs) when the Doctor ousts Harriet Jones.
Lucia Kelly: Yeah.
Talia Franks: Although I would say there’s this one moment where the Doctor is looking at the TV and everyone is like questioning Harriet. And like, I don’t know if it’s just my wishful thinking, but it feels like when he’s looking at the TV, there’s like something like regret is crossing David Tennant’s face, but I’m not sure if that’s just wishful thinking.
Lucia Kelly: Hm. I think the characterization of the Tenth Doctor in regards to regret, is interesting because I think you really feel in the last interaction with Harriet that we see in this episode because, spoiler alert, we are going to see Harriet again.
Lucia Kelly: Like, that whole interaction. I think you really do feel the Doctor’s disappointment in Harriet and how angry he is at her. And cause also, here’s the thing, Harriet’s actions like her blowing up the ship doesn’t actually make sense, which is another thing. Like it is, it’s a meaningless slaughter. She gives the reason that they would have told others about and that wasn’t okay.
Lucia Kelly: But what is actually, first of all, the Doctor’s right. Earth is bloody noisy. They’re making noise all the time. They’re not exactly being quiet. They’re drawing attention to themselves, just fine. What the Sycorax was doing, were taking, like they were taking the message that Earth is defended. Like they were actually like rules of combat.
Lucia Kelly: This is an honor bound society.
Lucia Kelly: Like the rules were, what the Doctor said, was don’t make the mistake of thinking that this planet is easy pickings. This is a defended planet. This is a hard planet. This is a planet that’s going to fight back.
Lucia Kelly: That is a message that is beneficial to the Earth.
Talia Franks: Mhmmm.
Lucia Kelly: It makes absolutely no sense for Harriet to blow it up, which is why it’s my least favorite moment.
Lucia Kelly: The whole storyline, but particularly the actual moment it happens is just the worst. (Lucia lets out a gasping laugh)
Talia Franks: Yeah, I get that. It doesn’t make sense. And I get that it was wrong of Harriet to do, and I definitely don’t agree with her. And I don’t think that she should have done it. I think that it was meaningless slaughter, and I think that, you’re right that was a good message that would have benefited the earth if it had been able to be carried out. The reason I just can’t hold with the Doctor having deposed Harriet the way he did is because the reason for her being taken out of office didn’t have anything to do with her actions.
Lucia Kelly: Yeah.
Talia Franks: It had everything to do with the Doctor, weaponizing misogyny and ageism.
Lucia Kelly: Yeah, the fact that she’s an older woman and that is what, like, that is what he weaponizes rather than well, cause I mean, how do you, how do you weaponize her actions? Right? Cause from, from the everyday person’s perspective, that would be a heroic action. Cause they didn’t know like the only people who know about the actual, what actually went on on that spaceship were on that spaceship.
Talia Franks: Yeah, no, and I totally get that, but at the same time, it just doesn’t sit right with my spirit.
Lucia Kelly: Yeah. Yeah, no, I get it.
Talia Franks: There’s just something very wrong to me about a white man in power doing that. Especially because I think it’s in the next episode, the Doctor says something along the lines of, “if you’re looking for a higher authority, you won’t find one, it stops with me.”
Lucia Kelly: We are going to get into the God complex that Ten has next episode.
Talia Franks: The Tenth Doctor has a very strong God complex. And I think that also lends credence to your idea, that you mentioned, that’s both of our favorite fan theories about how the Doctor’s personality embodies, how the previous Doctor died.
Talia Franks: And I think the previous Doctor died having imbued the entire time vortex which turned Rose into a kind of God
Lucia Kelly: Hmm
Talia Franks: and gave her all that power. And the Doctor imbued all that power and had to give it up. But he briefly had all that power and that all encompassing God-like power. I’m just saying could give someone a God complex.
Lucia Kelly: Yeah, yeah. I am so interested. We’ll see how it goes. As we continue along Ten’s journey, I remember having a visceral hatred for how Ten’s journey ends. I hated the characterization at the end of Ten. I felt it was a betrayal of the character, I felt it didn’t fit. I am so curious to see with this close analysis, if, when we do, I know we’re at the beginning, but once we get to the end. Whether I will feel the same way or whether we see the seeds of the sort of downward spiral of Ten throughout his existence.
Talia Franks: Yeah, I think honestly, especially because, one of the other things about Ten that makes me think about, is the whole Time Lord Victorious thing. And there’s been like a run recently of interconnected stories across like comics and audio dramas and all different things that they’ve been promoting this like time Lord Victorious, like David Tennant’s done some reprisals.
Talia Franks: I think anyway, I’ve been avoiding all of it because I fucking hate that arc for Ten I hate Time Lord Victorious. It fucking sucks. I hate Ten’s God complex, which is funny because the God Complex episode is actually an Eleventh doctor episode. But, like there’s actually an episode called The God Complex, which is Eleven.
Lucia Kelly: Well, it carries over to Eleven in really interesting ways that I cannot wait to talk about. I cannot wait to talk about dark Eleven Oh my God. (Lucia laughs)
Lucia Kelly: The hero and the Adam. I mean, I said it in the body of the episode,
Talia Franks: Jackie is the Hero.
Lucia Kelly: Jackie’s the Hero.
Talia Franks: Jackie is the Hero.
Lucia Kelly: Jackie saved the day.
Talia Franks: Jackie saved the day. Jackie is the Hero.
Lucia Kelly: Jackie saved the day with snacks! We love that for her.
Talia Franks: What?
Lucia Kelly: Jackie saved the day with snacks and we love that for her.
Talia Franks: Okay. So you said with sex and I was like… (Talia and Lucia laugh)
Lucia Kelly: I mean, if she hadn’t been getting it on, well, what would the doctor where,
Talia Franks: Actually though, because if she did, because cause Howard snacks saved the day with the satsuma and Jackie saved the day with the tea.
Lucia Kelly: Howard and Jackie, power couple. (Lucia laughs)
Talia Franks: In a way, if Jackie hadn’t had sex with Pete, then Rose wouldn’t exist. So (Talia laughs) Jackie really did save the day!
Lucia Kelly: We love a liberated strong, independent woman, and that woman is Jackie!
Talia Franks: Jackie! (Lucia laughs)
Lucia Kelly: And speaking of strong, independent women. I have a feeling, I have a sneaky suspicion that unfortunately I think the Adam might be Harriet and I hate that. Is the Adam Harriet? Has Harriet got the Adam?
Lucia Kelly: I don’t,
Lucia Kelly: Who’s the worst in this episode?
Lucia Kelly: I mean, we can give it to Llewellyn for being an idiot and putting blood on the probe, but I feel like that’s a bit unfair.
Talia Franks: (Lucia laughs) I was actually gonna say that the Sycorax leader was the Adam, because he’s the one who tried to enslave half of humanity by convincing people that he was going to kill one third of humanity. And then also swore on the blood of his people and then went back on that swear to try to kill the Doctor after he had been fairly defeated.
Lucia Kelly: I mean, yeah, the Sycorax leader is a Dick. (Lucia laughs)
Talia Franks: I mean like, yes, Harriet
Lucia Kelly: But
Talia Franks: like blow up a bunch of people, but like basically (Lucia gasps) the thing is Harriet did everything with good intentions. Whereas the Sycorax leader just seemed like a malicious bastard to me.
Lucia Kelly: Yeah. I think I’ve found what bugs me. I think I’ve found the kernel of it, of why, of what Harriet Harriet’s actions, why it bugs me so much, because it feels less like a character choice and more like a setup for Torchwood.
Lucia Kelly: Like, this is more about setting up the idea of Torchwood as access to power for the government via stolen alien technology. And like how that power is unregulated so that they don’t feel that they’ve been given too much or they’ve taken too much.
Lucia Kelly: And they don’t fully understand it. Like it feels like setting up Torchwood rather than a organic continuation of Harriet’s story.
Talia Franks: We’ll see, that’s funny because I saw it as a setting up of Harold Saxon.
Lucia Kelly: Please say more.
Talia Franks: Because if there’s no vacuum from Harriet Jones being gone, then there’s no way for there to be a new prime minister in the form of Harold Saxon.
Lucia Kelly: Interesting I hadn’t even like, considered that. I, yeah. Cause of course the seeds of that storyline are here.
Talia Franks: Mhmm.
Lucia Kelly: And now grading. So. (Lucia laughs)
Talia Franks: So.
Lucia Kelly: Production.
Talia Franks: Blegh. That hand, that hand was so fake, not the hand.
Lucia Kelly: Okay.
Talia Franks: The hand was fine. The sleeve was so fake.
Lucia Kelly: I mean the sleeve let’s, let’s be very real. The sleeve is there because it’s a kids program and we can show the bloody stub of the Doctor’s hand. (Lucia laughs)
Lucia Kelly: Like we can’t actually show the moment that that’s that standards and practices. That’s, that’s making sure that they can keep a 6:00 PM time slot. That’s not,
Talia Franks: In the wind though. And the mannequin hand. No, no, I cannot! (Lucia laughs) I rebuke it. I rebuke it.
Lucia Kelly: I think on a whole,
Talia Franks: The ship is not a TARDIS. Like, it can’t decide what size it wants to be at whim.
Lucia Kelly: Okay. Yeah, that part. Okay. So the Doctors hand the questionable size of Sycorax ship.
Talia Franks: I’ll give them points for how well the glass exploded everywhere. I’ll give.
Lucia Kelly: That was good. I also, we get to see the TARDIS wardrobe, that whole design of the
Talia Franks: beautiful
Lucia Kelly: set design of all of the new areas is really nice. I did, the Sycorax were very Romanesque, like very, Romanesque, in a way that was a bit questionable. (Lucia laughs)
Lucia Kelly: But I’m willing to let that slide and everything else. I liked. I liked the um, again, we’ve got really clear, definition of location. Like the Tyler apartment is its own space.
Talia Franks: That poor fish. (Lucia and Talia both laugh lightly)
Lucia Kelly: The UNIT headquarters is it’s own space. The Sycorax ship is it’s own space. They feel part of the same world, but they don’t feel the same, which is a difficult line to sort of draw and did really well.
Lucia Kelly: Some of the, I don’t know how much you put this on direction and acting and writing. It seems to be divided among the three of them, but like again, it comes back to Rose’s characterization. It felt so out of kilter with everything else that was happening, she was all over the place.
Talia Franks: I think that’s very much a writing thing,
Lucia Kelly: Yeah.
Talia Franks: That felt very writing thing to me, but we’ll get there when I talk about how language works, (Lucia laughs) but for now let’s give production a 3.5 so that we can get along to talking about writing.
Lucia Kelly: Okay. Three by five writing, go off
Talia Franks: THAT’S NOT HOW LANGUAGE WORKS! (The audio goes slightly in and out due to Talia’s shouting and Lucia starts giggling)
Talia Franks: Where’s my wine!?!?
Talia Franks: Another! (Talia mimics Thor from the MCU and Lucia laughs harder, Talia groans in frustration)
Talia Franks: That’s not how language works beloved. (Talia inhales)
Talia Franks: Don’t try to tell me that they can translate things that fast. Don’t try to tell me that that’s how the TARDIS translation circuit works just because you want to have your convenient plot moment of, (Talia speaks in a mocking tone of voice) “oh, the Doctor’s awake now.” So, ugh, For the gods’ sake, that’s not how language works. (Quiet and sad) It’s not, if we could translate things like that, we wouldn’t need the fucking Rosetta stone! Like the hell. (Talia sighs) it’s not how language works.
Talia Franks: I rebuke it. I rebuke it also, like you said, Rose’s characterization is shit.
Lucia Kelly: It’s over the place.
Talia Franks: All over the place.
Lucia Kelly: I really just. The Doctor’s the one going for the regeneration! (Lucia laughs) The fact that the Doctor is regenerating and has a more solid character base, then Rose, the human. What is going on?
Talia Franks: I rebuke it.
Lucia Kelly: What is happening? So yeah, that’s not how language works. Roses super weird.
Lucia Kelly: The pacing is super off. Characterization is super off.
Talia Franks: Yeah. The pacing shit. The pacing is shit. This episode is boring as fuck up until David Tennant wakes up. And then it’s like, “Oh Hey, David Tennant!”
Lucia Kelly: Hooray!
Lucia Kelly: So, and the actual, the actual plot is like, middling.
Talia Franks: Yeah. No.
Lucia Kelly: So I’m going to give it a two?
Talia Franks: Well, yeah, so
Lucia Kelly: yeah. Two.
Talia Franks: I feel like the acting, we usually give it a five, but
Lucia Kelly: I know this feels
Talia Franks: It wasn’t up, to its usual standard.
Lucia Kelly: I know. This is the first time we’re not going to be giving the acting five out of five.
Talia Franks: Yeah. I’m disappointed. (Lucia lets out a small burst of laughter)
Lucia Kelly: Again, I feel kind of bad for Billie Piper because, like, what else could she have done?
Talia Franks: She was,
Lucia Kelly: But
Talia Franks: She was not given good material to work with.
Lucia Kelly: She was not given good material to work with and it was just all the way off.
Talia Franks: I feel like the fish was given more material to work with. (Talia begins laughing)
Talia Franks: Your face. (Talia continues laughing)
Talia Franks: You’re the one who told me to drink wine. (Lucia laughs)
Lucia Kelly: See me make that mistake again.
Talia Franks: I said, “should I drink tea or should I drink wine?” And you said, “it’s a Christmas episode. You should have the wine!”
Lucia Kelly: So is acting a four?
Talia Franks: Yeah, I think acting is a four.
Lucia Kelly: This feels so upsetting.
Talia Franks: I’m not happy. I’m not a happy camper.
Talia Franks: Science?
Lucia Kelly: Oh
Talia Franks: my God.
Talia Franks: THAT’S NOT HOW LANGUAGE WORKS!
Lucia Kelly: That’s not how language works. That’s not how tea works.
Talia Franks: That’s not how spaceships work.
Lucia Kelly: That’s not how spaceships work.
Talia Franks: That’s not how blood works. That’s not how chopping off hands works. Although we know that,
Lucia Kelly: Okay, I’m going to the regeneration stuff gets a pass
Talia Franks: I wasn’t talking about the regeneration stuff. I was talking about the, the hand,
Lucia Kelly: oh, the fact that it’s not bloody? (Lucia laughs)
Lucia Kelly: Regeneration stuff gets a pass. Cause apparently that’s how regeneration works. I am also
Talia Franks: specifically
Lucia Kelly: again,
Talia Franks: the fact that it’s not a bloody stump,
Lucia Kelly: I’m also as much as it pains me because technically within the rules we have established, I am also willing to give blood control a pass. Now hear me out,
Talia Franks: (Talia laughs) Oh, this is going to be a good one.
Lucia Kelly: (Lucia takes a deep breath) Okay. Blood control is not explained. We don’t get a canonical reason for how the Sycorax are actually using the blood. It’s clear that they need a sample of it to make it work.
Lucia Kelly: But the only explanation we get of blood control is one that it’s some form of hypnosis. Like it’s basically a way of controlling people, but also the Doctor responds with delight. He says, blood control, blood control, I haven’t seen that for years! Like there’s no, basically my point is that this is where we pull out the Arthur C. Clarke quote of, science is magic we don’t understand. The magic is science, we don’t understand. Blood control is magic, we don’t understand. Like I’m actually willing, to go with the Doctor being like, okay, blood controls is a thing.
Lucia Kelly: They get a pass specifically because they don’t try to explain it.
Talia Franks: Okay. I get that. Except I just, I just really want to say I’m really upset about, and I know, I know that this is a thing that a lot of people do; just because a lot of people do it doesn’t mean it’s okay. But Doctor, the Doctor calls blood control “a cheap bit of voodoo”
Lucia Kelly: Yeah.
Talia Franks: That pisses me off just because
Lucia Kelly: I feel like that’s back in writing though
Talia Franks: That’s back in writing. But fuck that.
Lucia Kelly: Yeah,
Talia Franks: because
Lucia Kelly: also
Talia Franks: that’s a whole, that’s an actual whole religion and fuck that.
Lucia Kelly: Yeah. Also the quoting of The Lion King? I don’t think it works as a joke.
Talia Franks: It doesn’t (Talia sniffles)
Lucia Kelly: it’s it’s it’s not, it doesn’t, (Lucia makes several sighs of dismay) it doesn’t work.
Lucia Kelly: It’s a cheap laugh, but makes no sense.
Talia Franks: Honestly, I actually haven’t seen The Lion King in so long. I don’t even understand the quote. (Lucia lets out a burst of laughter)
Talia Franks: So it doesn’t work on the level of what even is he referencing?
Lucia Kelly: As someone whose favorite Disney movie for many, many years was the lion king. I am upset and disappointed.
Talia Franks: Well I the last time I watched The Lion King it was in eighth grade Spanish class. And it was in Spanish. (Lucia sighs and Talia laughs)
Lucia Kelly: Fine.
Lucia Kelly: Anyway, back to science. Science gets a one.
Talia Franks: (Talia sings) Science gets a one!
Lucia Kelly: And rewatchability, how keen, Talia I’m so curious. How keen are you to rewatch this episode?
Talia Franks: I never want to watch this episode again.
Talia Franks: (Talia sings again) ZERO
Lucia Kelly: I mean, I’d rewatch it again, if only (Lucia bursts into laughter)
Talia Franks: Only because you like pain,
Lucia Kelly: (Lucia continues to laugh and then gasps before speaking) like I’m thinking about it. I’m like, which I like, but like parts of it, like only, only, only the only from the last 10 minutes,
Talia Franks: That doesn’t count. That doesn’t count. It still gets a zero. If you don’t watch the whole thing, it’s a zero
Lucia Kelly: Yeah
Talia Franks: The thing isn’t really watchable. Then it’s just, then it doesn’t count, it’s rewatchability of the whole episode. This episode is a slog
Talia Franks: Admit it.
Lucia Kelly: Yeah. I mean, if you have to put in, if you have to put in the caveat, but only the last 10 minutes, it’s not very rewatchable.
Talia Franks: I mean, if you really feel that strongly about it, we can give it a 0.5 instead of a zero.
Lucia Kelly: No, no, you’re you’re right. You’re right. I feel no inclination to rewatch the episode as a whole.
Talia Franks: 42 percent. (Talia laughs)
Lucia Kelly: Oooof.
Talia Franks: Very strong F
Lucia Kelly: Ooof, that is rough
Talia Franks: that is rough buddy,
Lucia Kelly: That is rough buddy. Wow.
Talia Franks: Very sad showing right out the gate. (Talia sniffles)
Lucia Kelly: Wow.
Talia Franks: That’s like even worse than The End of the World. (Talia laughs)
Lucia Kelly: Yeah.
Lucia Kelly: Which
Talia Franks: Damn.
Lucia Kelly: Damn. All right.
Lucia Kelly: Christmas Invasion, lowest rated episodes so far.
Talia Franks: I am so upset that this episode got 42%, but on the other hand, I’m like this sits right with my spirit.
Lucia Kelly: Thank you for listening to The Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimey Podcast.
Talia Franks: We hope you enjoyed this adventure with us through space and time.
Lucia Kelly: You can find us elsewhere on the internet on Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram @WibblyPod. Follow us for more Wibbly Wobbly content.
Talia Franks: You can find out more information about us and our content on wibblywobblytimeywimey.net And full transcripts for episodes at wibblywobblytimeywimey.net/transcripts
Lucia Kelly: If you’d like to get in touch with us, you can send us email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Talia Franks: Please rate and review us on Apple Podcasts and other platforms as it helps other people find us and our content.
Lucia Kelly: That’s all for now, catch you in the time vortex!