The Powell Estate, London.
Me: The estate was named after Jonathan Powell, the **** who cancelled Doctor Who.
Sue: And what’s wrong with having a housing estate named after you? Didn’t Nelson Mandela have some flats named after him? I would have been flattered.
The Doctor has brought Rose home.
Sue: So the Doctor can steer the TARDIS, then. I wish this programme would make its bloody mind up.
While Rose rushes off to find her mother, the Doctor is drawn to a poster on a concrete pillar.
Sue: I remember this episode. And I know what it says on that poster. I says “Bad Wolf”.
She’s wrong, of course. It’s worse than that.
Sue: He can’t ****ing steer it!
Rose has been missing for a year.
Sue: Her mum must have thought she’d been abducted, sexually assaulted and killed. How grim is that? She probably hasn’t slept in a year. That’s ****ed up, that is.
The TARDIS is covered in graffiti.
Sue: Who was that boy? I know Rose is doing this (I remember that much), so is she mind-controlling him from the future? If she is, why doesn’t she make him tell herself what the hell is going on, and what she’s supposed to do about it later? Which I can’t remember by the way, so don’t ask. Anyway, she’s making it too complicated for herself.
Jackie Tyler slaps the Doctor into next week.
Sue: He deserved that. I would have done exactly the same thing if that had been Nicol. Actually, I probably would have punched him.
And then Rose accuses the Doctor of being ‘gay’.
Me: I remember that being quite controversial at the time. Using the word ‘gay’ as a derogatory term.
Sue: If Russell T Davies hadn’t written that line, I’d probably agree. But Russell T Davies did write that line, and I’m pretty sure he knows what he’s doing. I’m certainly not going to argue with him.
And then a spaceship crashes into Big Ben.
Sue: Wow. This is very 911 all of a sudden. Except the Doctor is laughing his head off.
The Doctor believes that this could lead to Earth’s first contact with aliens.
Sue: Eh? What? But… But Earth has been invaded loads of times. What about the Yeti on the tube. And the Daleks on Westminster Bridge…
Me: That happens in Earth’s future, love. And we have to assume that the government covered up the early invasion attempts. Witnesses didn’t have camera phones back then, and YouTube hadn’t been invented, either. Oh look, I think that’s UNIT…
Sue: I bet they still can’t shoot straight. Some things never change.
A crowd has gathered to gawp at the UFO crash site.
Sue: This is exactly like the first Quatermass.
No, my wife hasn’t turned into a geek; we watched the The Quatermass Experiment a couple of weeks ago for a side-project we’re working on. She’s right, though. The only thing missing is a BBC reporter.
Sue: I don’t believe Jackie would let the Doctor back into her flat after what’s happened. I would have put a restraining order on him by now.
The Doctor wants to watch the News, but a toddler on his knee has other ideas.
Sue: Oh no! Not that bloody set again! I hurt my back moving that ****ing table today.
Yes, my wife just named-dropped a set. The Blue Peter set, to be precise, which Matt Baker is currently using to, erm, bake on. The university where Sue works bought it when the programme moved to Salford, which means she now has to work on it every single day.
Sue: It’s not as good as your best mate turning up in an episode of Doctor Who, but it’s pretty close.
Me: John Paul wasn’t that wooden, love.
Meanwhile, a doctor named Sato is performing an autopsy on a body that UNIT fished out of the Thames.
Sue: Oh, it’s her. It’s whatsherface from Torchwood. Another one! See. Everything’s connected, Neil.
Sato wants to know if it’s true what people are saying about the Prime Minster.
Sue: That he can’t eat a bacon sandwich?
Meanwhile, the Doctor continues to monitor events from his TARDIS.
Sue: (Pointing at Andrew Marr) Oh, he’s actually real.
Me: Yeah, even his ears are real. Imagine that.
Andrew Marr is reporting live outside 10 Downing Street. Joseph Green, the MP for Hartley Dale, has been summoned there to deal with the emergency.
Sue: I bet he was the MP for Hartlepool until they got cold feet and changed it. We’ll elect anybody in Hartlepool. Our mayor used to be a monkey.
He used to be a football mascot who looked like a monkey, actually.
Sue: Oh look, it’s that guy from Teachers. And she’s famous, too. She’s the Prime Minster.
Me: Not yet she isn’t. She’s Harriet Jones, MP for Flydale North.
Sue: How do you remember shit like that? Honestly, Neil.
When a group of MPs (including “her off EastEnders“) start farting up a storm, Sue can’t help herself.
Me: Why are you laughing, Sue?
Sue: Because it’s funny! Watching people pump when they shouldn’t be pumping is always funny, Neil.
Me: I don’t see you laughing when I do it.
Sue: Do you know if Gordon Brown suffered from IBS? It could be a reference to that.
The Tylers’ flat is far too domestic for the Doctor, so he heads back to his TARDIS once again.
Sue: He’s the only Doctor who looks like he belongs on a housing estate. Can you imagine Colin Baker walking around that estate after dark? He wouldn’t last five minutes.
Mickey spots the Doctor, but the TARDIS dematerialises before he can reach him. This results in a spectacular pratfall, the likes of which hadn’t been seen on British television since The World of Harold Lloyd was repeated on BBC2 in the early 1980s.
Sue: What a dick.
The Doctor hammers the living shit out of the TARDIS console.
Sue: No wonder it doesn’t work properly!
And there’s even more banging to come. Only this time it’s emanating from a freezer in a hospital morgue.
Sue: This reminds me of the Paul McGann episode. They’ve even lit it the same way.
Dr Sato prepares to open the freezer door.
Sue: Has she never seen a horror film? What the **** does she think she’s doing? Run away!
Me: I think the scene coming up next is the first thing Christopher Eccleston filmed for Doctor Who.
Sue: This bit here, with him running down the corridor? Did they say “Just do it like Ross Kemp”? Because he’s doing it just like Ross Kemp.
The Doctor comes face to face with a pig.
Sue: Is this when Christopher Eccleston decided to leave?
Sue isn’t impressed with the pig to put it mildly. In fact, she thinks it’s ridiculous. She doesn’t even flinch when UNIT shoot the poor thing in the head at point-blank range.
Sue: I’m surprised UNIT managed to hit it. Even when it was that close.
Me: When I first saw this, I thought the pig had something to do with the Big Bad Wolf. You know, huffing and puffing the little pig’s house down.
Sue: Did you write an academic paper about that?
Me: Of course I did. It was valuable work.
General Asquith has been sent to coordinate the UK’s response to a UFO dropping out of the sky.
Sue: Don’t get me wrong, he’s very good, but it should be the Brigadier running UNIT. It doesn’t feel right, him not being there.
The Doctor examines the dead pig.
Sue: Can’t they just bring it back to life again? It’s not as if it wasn’t already dead. They stuck it in a freezer!
UNIT have been monitoring Earth’s communications for specific keywords, like ‘Blue Box’, ‘Doctor’, ‘TARDIS’ and ‘Question Mark Umbrella’. Okay, I made the last one up.
Sue: And ‘Clown’. Don’t forget ‘Clown’.
And not only did everyone believe that Mickey killed his girlfriend, he faithfully waited for her to return. For a whole year.
Sue: That’s nothing. Try waiting 2000 years dressed as a Roman, pet. Then we can talk.
Oh, and an alien has been shagging half of London whilst disguised as an MP.
Sue: I hope he put something on the end of it.
Me: Now there’s an episode of The Jeremy Kyle Show I’d like to see: “I’ll Prove My Baby Is Yours. It’s Ten Years Old And It Still Looks Like A Baby.”
Thanks to Jackie grassing the Doctor up to the authorities (Sue doesn’t blame her), UNIT arrive at the Powell Estate to apprehend the Time Lord. Mickey is so overwhelmed by this hullabaloo, he does a runner.
Sue: If this was America, they would have shot Mickey in the back by now.
Rose and the Doctor are taken to 10 Downing Street.
Sue: They look so happy. They’re having a wonderful time. It’s infectious.
The flatulence is infectious, too.
Sue: You don’t like the farting aliens very much, do you, Neil?
Me: (Through gritted teeth) What makes you say that?
Sue: Oh, I dunno. The tutting, the head-shaking, the way you keep biting your fist. I don’t know what your problem is. It’s a clever way of telling us who the aliens are, and the kids must have loved it. It’s funny and scary. But God help any overweight kids who farted at school after this.
The Doctor has been summoned to an important meeting.
Sue: This series of Doctor Who is very orange. There’s a warm glow to these scenes, although it looks as if the cast have been knocking out the zeds on a sun bed.
The Doctor has walked into a trap.
Sue: The aliens’ zips are a bit obvious, don’t you think? What about the MP who was shagging that poor man’s wife? Why didn’t she notice his zip?
Me: Something tells me they did it with the lights off, Sue.
Sue: So what happens if it’s a windy day? A gust of wind could blow her off EastEnders‘ fringe up, exposing her zipper for the whole world to see.
Me: It’s always a windy day for them, Sue.
As if to punctuate this point, Joseph Green lets rip again. “Would you rather silent but deadly?” he asks, menacingly.
Me: (With my head in my hands) Dear me.
Sue: (Laughing) Shut up, Neil. This is brilliant.
The Slitheen reveal themselves.
Sue: Oh yes, I remember this lot now. You’re right, they do look like giant babies… The only problem I have with them is the amount of time it takes them to get changed. You could easily run away in the time it takes them to sort themselves out.
A policeman who has arrived at the Powell (spit) Estate to take a statement from Jackie is also an alien. So Jackie screams the place down.
Sue: Ooh, this must be the cliffhanger. A proper cliffhanger.
Or maybe not. Now we’re back inside Downing Street, where the Doctor being is being electrocuted to death.
Sue: No, this is definitely the cliffhanger.
And then we cut to Rose and Harriet Jones, who are being menaced by that Slitheen off EastEnders.
Sue: No, this can’t be the cliffhanger. Don’t stop here. Go back to the – Yes, that’s it. Yes, this one.
We’re back in Jackie’s flat again. No, wait, now we’re with the Doctor (who’s in agony, by the way).
Sue: No, not that one. The other one.
A Slitheen chuckles malevolently.
Sue: Oh no, that was a bit rubbish. Oh dear. They were spoilt for choice in the end. If only they were making 24, they could have shown all the cliffhangers at once. Anyway, it doesn’t really matter because everyone is the trailer for next week, so they must be all right.
Sue: I’m not giving it a score yet. We’re only half-way through the story. You didn’t ask me to score Genesis of the Daleks after two episodes, did you?
Me: Of course not. That would have been silly. We wouldn’t have been half-way through the story for a start.
Sue: I’m enjoying it so far. And I can’t remember what happens at the end, either, which is good. But I can’t wait to find out.