Sue isn’t impressed with the resolution to last week’s cliffhanger(s).
Sue: It’s a bit of a cop-out, don’t you think? Suddenly, the electricity isn’t as dangerous to the Doctor as we were led to believe, and now he’s put all the aliens out of action. Somehow. Don’t ask me how. Anyway, it’s a massive design flaw. That’s like having an army, but if one of your soldiers dies, they all die. It’s stupid.
Mickey photographs an alien on his mobile phone.
Sue: Poor Mickey. Instagram hasn’t been invented yet.
The aliens break the Doctor’s feedback loop and clamber back into their human disguises.
Sue: They remind me of the Hulk, but they don’t leave their underwear on when they turn nasty. I’ve never understood how the Hulk’s pants can possibly stay on when he’s angry. It’s always bothered me, that.
The Doctor tells the police that the Prime Minister is an alien. They don’t believe him.
Sue: Just point at the massive zip on his forehead! It isn’t rocket science!
The Doctor runs away instead, eventually escaping in Downing Street’s lift.
Sue: This is a bit daft. But it’s supposed to funny, I guess. I mean, you can’t take aliens like this completely seriously, can you? And I love Downing Street’s furniture… Do you think this is what it really looks like inside? Hang on a minute, does Downing Street even have a lift?
Me: I don’t think so.
Sue: I don’t know why that bothers me, but it does. It’s probably because it sticks out like a sore thumb. It’s too modern.
When two Slitheen end up together in this fictional lift, one encourages the other to strip naked so he can enjoy his magnificent body.
Sue: Gay aliens. And why not?
Meanwhile, the Slitheen off EastEnders is hunting for Rose. She taunts her prey by threatening to kiss her.
Sue: And this one’s a lesbian. Fair enough.
Me: This is all part of RTD’s famous ‘gay agenda’.
Sue: Good for him.
The Doctor comes to the rescue and Rose destroys a curtain rail.
Sue: Oh dear. The joinery in Downing Street is a bit shit.
The Slitheen are brought to life with CGI trickery and practical special effects.
Sue: I wish they’d make their bloody mind up. You can’t have both – they don’t match up. To be fair, the computer generated aliens look great; they move a lot better. But I think I prefer the lumbering costumes. It’s proper Doctor Who when you’re constantly worried that the aliens will topple over or walk into the scenery. The only problem I have with them is that I can’t tell them apart. Which one is the female Slitheen in this scene, Neil?
Me: How the hell should I know?
Sue: Exactly. They should have left their hats on. Or a wig. Then we’d know.
More VIPs have arrived at Downing Street. And they all have one thing in common.
Sue: She’s enormous, so she must be an alien.
Me: Some people have accused this episode of being fattist.
Sue: Oh, give your head a shake, Neil. That’s stupid. You couldn’t fit one of those aliens inside Twiggy!
A nice topical reference from Sue, there. And speaking of topical references.
Me: This episode was broadcast during an election.
Sue: Wasn’t it a bit risky to portray MPs as evil monsters during an election? Well, more evil than normal, I mean. I love RTD. He’s so subversive.
When Mickey calls the Slitheen “bog monsters”, Sue falls about laughing.
Sue: (Still laughing) Oh dear. The guy who plays Mickey is a terrible actor. I’d forgotten how bad he was. Still, he gets better. He gets a lot better. So that’s a relief for all of us, but especially for him.
A Slitheen policeman is sent to Jackie’s flat to finish the job he started in the last episode.
Me: Do you remember the Jon Pertwee story where the aliens were disguised as policemen, Sue?
Sue: I do, actually. Don’t ask me what it was called, though, because we’ll be here all day.
Me: When they did that in the 1970s, it caused quite a stir – questions were asked in Parliament, I think. Nobody batted an eyelid when this was broadcast.
Sue: That’s because we don’t trust the police like we used to. It’s the same for the MPs. We don’t trust them any more, either. This episode is simply reflecting that sad fact. Oh, I feel all depressed now.
Mickey uses his PC to hack into UNIT’s computer system. The password is ‘buffalo’.
Sue: Is that it? That’s their password? No capital letters or numbers or any special characters? Even eBay doesn’t let you choose a password as shit as that! That’s ridiculous.
The Doctor tells Mickey to keep repeating the password as he delves deeper into UNIT’s mainframe.
Sue: That just makes it worse!
Me: I think they kept it simple so kids could use the same password to access a UNIT website that was published to coincide with this episode.
Sue: Buffaloshit. And by kids, you mean you, don’t you?
Jackie begs the Doctor to promise that he’ll always keep her daughter safe.
Sue: He can’t answer her. How interesting is that? He knows he can’t promise Jackie shit. Ooh, this is tense.
As Mickey hacks his way through UNIT’s state of the art security protocols, a policeman appears at the front door. He leers at Jackie like a demented serial killer.
Sue: **** me! That was terrifying!
The policeman begins to strip off.
Sue: Are they more vulnerable when they’re human? I mean, why doesn’t he just kick the door in and shoot them in the face? Wouldn’t that be easier? Apart from that, it’s really good, this.
She means it. She’s having a great time. It’s even beginning to rub off on me.
Me: I really hated this episode 10 years ago, but now, with a little bit of distance, and you laughing your bloody head off, I’m actually enjoying this.
Sue: Of course you are. It’s brilliant.
Me: It’s ridiculous. But it doesn’t seem to bother me any more.
Using a process of elimination, the Doctor works out where the aliens come from: the planet Raxacoricofallapatorius!
Sue: (Clapping her hands) Fantastic!
Jackie chucks a jug of vinegar over the Slitheen, causing it to explode.
Sue: (Laughing) Come on, Neil! How can you not love this?
Joseph Green informs the world that aliens have massive weapons of destruction that can be fired in 45 seconds.
Sue: So this episode went out during an election, when Tony Blair was running for Prime Minister? Bloody hell, Neil. I bet The Daily Mail loved this.
The aliens’ plan is relatively simple: once the Earth has destroyed itself in a fit of paranoia, the Slitheen will salvage its radioactive remains and sell it on as rocket fuel.
Sue: The plot is very clever, actually. I’m glad they don’t want to invade, and they’re just out to make a quick buck. It’s almost believable.
The Doctor has a cunning plan, but if he decides to implement it, Rose will be placed in mortal danger. Luckily for him, Harriet Jones makes the decision for him.
Sue: She took it out of his hands. Look at the relief on his face. It’s very clever, this. What a great scene.
The ‘buffalo’ password gives Mickey access to a nuclear submarine. It does. Honestly.
Sue: Did Benton set the passwords? It’s just the sort of stupid thing he’d do. It’s unbelievable, this. It’s the most unbelievable thing in the entire episode, and that’s saying something.
It isn’t all bad news, though.
Sue: I love the music. It’s very exciting.
Me: Yes, it sounds like the theme to a particularly tricky invention test on Masterchef.
Humanity’s fate rests in Mickey’s hands.
Sue: Look at Mickey faffing about on his Pentium PC. And I bet it’s clogged with porn, so how he’s managing this is beyond me.
Despite this, Sue remains thoroughly entertained.
Sue: It’s hilarious. I almost feel sorry for the aliens.
The missile slams into Downing Street.
Sue: We went from day to night, and then back to day again. What the **** was that all about?
When the dust settles, the Doctor tells Rose that Harriet Jones will lead her country into a new Golden Age (and she won’t have to kidnap any dinosaurs to do it, either).
Sue: Yeah, but then she turns evil. She ends up doing something terrible. Just like Tony Blair.
The Doctor and Rose casually stroll away from the chaos.
Sue: Come on, Rose, ring your mam! She’ll be worried sick! Hurry up! What are you waiting for?!
With Rose safely home, Jackie offers to cook our heroes a nice dinner (mainly so she can get to know the Doctor better).
Sue: She’s already chosen the hat she’s going to wear at the wedding.
The Doctor refuses the invitation and Rose is forced to make a choice.
Sue: Oh, I don’t like this at all. That’s too controlling, that is. What a horrible thing to do.
Jackie is heartbroken when her daughter decides to leave her for a life of danger and excitement; I feel like this every time Nicol goes to Norwich.
Sue: Rose is upset now. He’s spoilt it. Would it have killed him to eat some shepherd’s pie before he left? I really hate the Doctor for doing that.
Jackie is worried that Rose will end up alone on a moon somewhere, a million light years away from home.
Sue: If only she knew, eh? You see, it’s all planned out in advance, this, Neil.
Rose promises she’ll return in 10 seconds flat.
Sue: After what happened last time? I don’t think so, pet.
The TARDIS fails to return.
Sue: They should have travelled together as one big happy family. Just set the Sky Series Link for EastEnders and away you go! What a shame.
Sue: I loved that; I thought it was great. Apart from the passwords. The passwords were shit. But if you can forget about the passwords, it was loads of fun. Exciting, funny and a little bit sad at the end. Yeah, I enjoyed that. And so did you. Don’t deny it.
Sue: Ooh, it’s the Daleks next time. That’s Rob Shearman’s episode, isn’t it? I’m terrified already.
Me: I thought the Daleks didn’t scare you.
Sue: They don’t. But Rob Shearman does.