One of the things that I found boring in the old series as a kid was when they'd start off a story with the drab peasants of Quarry World. I used to fast-forward to the bits with the Doctor in them. I still get a little bored when episodes begin with redshirts, human or no, getting killed.
Rose helping to fly the TARDIS! Yay.
The Doctor reads the time/location off the TARDIS monitor and is still incorrect. I knew it was temperamental, but I didn't realize that sometimes it didn't know where it was.
Oh my God, the Doctor and Rose are actually flirting. That there is not even subtext. This sort of thing, er, startled me a little the first time around. I suppose Rose is probably a bit in love with the wonders of the universe at this point, but he's the person showing them to her. And he seems terribly delighted about showing her things and watching her reaction.
I'm glad there's some evidence for an extensive TARDIS interior. Someone once had a theory about how the TARDIS sort of rotates rooms into place adjacent to the console room, like an elevator. I prefer to think about endless corridors that a person could get lost in.
I’m just not that interested in Dickens. I keep thinking, “Yeah, but in the real world he’d be right!” when the poor guy is trying to explain everything away. Was Dickens really a big skeptic?
I sort of wish period dress had been an issue in more of the stories. It would’ve been fun.
And Rose, alas, gets the classic companion role of being knocked out and taken prisoner, for the second episode in a row. At least she gets to lay into the undertaker later, while the Doctor just stands back and grins. (And leans!)
I like that Rose is shown to be compassionate – her role of humanizing the Doctor is a vital one – and most of the time it feels natural for her to strike up a conversation with somebody like Raffalo or Gwyneth. Still, there are moments when Rose Befriends the Servants starts to feel a touch patronizing, and I’m glad Gwyneth called her on it and demanded the right to make her own decision.
And the Doctor is shown to not be infallible. I suppose his guilt blinds him to the fact that he’s obviously being pressed to make a snap decision on an emotional appeal – but still, Rose’s automatic revulsion isn’t necessarily the correct response either. She, too, is making a snap judgment, and possibly dooming a species to extinction. She happens to be right in this case, but without sufficient evidence to back her up. Given more time to think about it, surely the Doctor would have realized that the Gelth are getting stronger, not weaker, and aren’t going to fade away within hours if he doesn’t force a resolution immediately.
The Doctor, here, says that time is in flux and anything they do in 1869 can have repercussions on the future. “Your cozy little world could be rewritten like that... Nothing is safe. Remember that. Nothing.” Though that comes to a head in “Father’s Day,” the show certainly ignores it when convenient. In “The Shakespeare Code,” the Doctor dismisses any worries about Martha killing an ancestor or stepping on a butterfly, and “Father’s Day” is said to be a special case because the Doctor and Rose were there twice. But surely if there was real danger from the Gelth, and there was real danger from the Carrionites... well, is the future safe or not?
Gee, I’m glad the Gelth ghost thing turned all black with fiery eyes so we’d be sure it was evil. [/snark]. Actually, it helps, because the Gelth dialogue can be pretty damn hard to piece out.
Is it common for (hypothetical!) time travelers to think they can’t die in the past because they haven’t been born yet? Rose seems to bring it up so that it can be addressed for the audience, but it never made logical sense to me.
I can see why the Doctor is that glad that he met Rose, but honestly? Yes, she’s seen some wonders these past few days, but I really can’t imagine her thinking it’s worth dying in a morgue in Cardiff quite yet. (By the end of the season, I can easily see either of them sacrificing anything for the other, and for the most part that develops organically. But it feels a touch forced here.)
Overall, well, the first half of S1 didn’t floor me from a storytelling standpoint. Still, even this episode (which I found rather dull) had some nice character moments.