The Doctor and Rose have taken Adam to a space station in the year 200,000.
Sue: What a dump! It looks like a bloody garage. If Rose wants to impress Adam so she can shag him later, she should have taken him somewhere nice, not a shit hole like this. I think the Doctor is jealous and he did this on purpose.
When Adam is presented with a spectacular view of Earth, his slack-jawed expression says it all.
Sue: If I had a TARDIS, I’d do this all day, every day.
Me: You’d impress other people’s boyfriends?
Sue: I’d pick someone new up every day and then I’d do this to them, just to see the look on their face. And then I’d take them back home so I could do it again with somebody else. It’s the same feeling you get when you give somebody a Christmas present they weren’t expecting and they absolutely love it. It’s a great feeling, that.
Sue: So is Adam a proper companion, then? I barely remember him, so I guess he can’t be.
Me: You barely remember Nyssa.
Satellite Five is suddenly transformed into a bustling promenade full of hungry people queuing next to burger vans.
Sue: It reminds me of the Bigg Market in Newcastle, only they’re wearing more clothes and nobody’s punched anybody yet.
The Doctor doesn’t understand why there aren’t any aliens on this space station.
Sue: It’s because you blew your alien make-up budget a couple of weeks ago, silly.
The Doctor meets two journalists – Suki and Cathica – who agree to show him around. They work for one of the many news channels which broadcast from the station, including Bad Wolf TV.
Sue: Did Rose actually see that? I bet she didn’t. What a massive waste of time. If her future-self is trying to get her past-selves’ attention, she should stop treating it like a game of Where’s Wally?
Satellite Five broadcasts 600 channels of content.
Sue: It’s basically Media City in space. And it reminds me of Brazil. The film, not the country.
Me: It’s nothing like Brazil.
Sue: Yes it is.
Me: Oh look, it’s Simon Pegg.
Sue: My doesn’t he look young.
Me: I wonder what happened to him.
Sue: Yeah, you don’t see Simon Pegg very much these days.
Me: I was joking, Sue. He’s Scotty in Star Trek!
Sue: Oh yeah. But apart from that.
Me: Well, he’s in the Mission Impossible movies and –
Sue: All right. Calm down. If you ask me, it’s all been downhill for him ever since Spaced. They should bring Spaced back. Or make a new one, like a British Big Bang Theory, only funny.
I tell her that RTD sent the basic idea for this episode to the Doctor Who production office in the 1980s, but it was rejected.
Sue: That doesn’t bode well. How bad could it have been? I’ve seen some of the crap they produced in the 1980s. I’m worried now.
The Doctor, Rose and Adam watch as Cathica broadcasts the news through a spike that’s been implanted in her head.
Sue: Ah yes, I remember this now. This is the episode that turns into Big Brother.
Simon Pegg’s Editor answers to a higher authority.
Sue: Am I supposed to understand a word of this conversation?
Sue: Good. Although I think they missed a trick here. They monster should have growled with an Australian accent. Cos it’s obviously supposed to be Rupert Murdoch.
Before I can ask Sue to demonstrate what this would actually sound like, Rose makes a fatal error.
Sue: Big mistake, girl! Never give a boy you hardly know the keys to your house. That’s how Neil moved in.
When Suki arrives on Floor 500 to accept her promotion, she finds herself in a dark and deserted anteroom. Thankfully, she came prepared.
Sue: Who brings a torch to work with them when the walls are supposedly covered in gold? Who the **** does that?
Suki explores her frost-covered surroundings.
Sue: It isn’t the Cybermen, is it? Plastic curtains always remind me of the Cybermen.
Suki finds some desiccated corpses instead.
Sue: I don’t remember this episode at all. Have I actually even seen it? I could have sworn this had something to do with Big Brother.
Suki eventually confronts the Editor. But she isn’t really Suki – she’s actually a freedom fighter called Eva Saint Julienne!
Sue: What is she waiting for? SHOOT HIM IN THE HEAD! What kind of terrorist is she? How on Earth did she last this long?
Suki is killed by the unseen creature who lives in the rafters.
Sue: Oh no. I really liked her. That’s a bit of a downer.
Adam, meanwhile, has sloped off to acquire as much knowledge as he can about this era’s computer technology so he can make a quick buck in the past.
Sue: Why not ask for a list of winning lottery numbers instead? Wouldn’t that be a lot less chew?
Adam is sent to Floor 16, where he meets a friendly nurse played by Tamsin Greig.
Sue: Oh, I love her. She’s brilliant. She should be the next Doctor. I’m serious – she’d be perfect. I’ve been saying it for years.
The nurse persuades Adam to have a spike implanted in his head.
Sue: I don’t blame him. I’d have done the same thing in his shoes. Although it’s going to a complete waste of time when they leave this place in a couple of hours time. It’d be like getting a tattoo of Hawaii on your arse during a thirty-minute stopover. Only worse.
Whatever it is that resides in the space station’s roof, it isn’t very happy.
Sue: It sounds like a pissed off Klingon.
The Doctor decides to investigate Satellite Five’s central heating system. “Never underestimate plumbing,” he says. “Plumbing is very important.”
Sue: I told you this was like Brazil, Neil, but you wouldn’t listen.
The Editor is told to promote another “non-entity”.
Me: Okay, maybe it is a little bit like Brazil.
Sue: And you call yourself a fan.
Adam learns how to activate his new info spike.
Sue: I wish I could turn myself on by clicking my fingers like that.
Me: You and me both, love.
And then Sue gets her first look at the mighty Jagrafess of the Holy Hadrojassic Maxarodenfoe. Or Max for short.
Sue: That’s pretty scary, actually. It looks like something you’d see in Aliens. Although I’m surprised they didn’t notice it sooner, what with the dribbling. They should be drenched in slaver by now.
Me: It looks like a vagina dentata.
Sue: You say that about everything, Neil.
Adam has a cunning plan to become the next Bill Gates. All he needs is a mobile phone, an answering machine and a huge leap of faith.
Sue: This makes no sense at all. I thought the Doctor said they forget everything after they’ve been through this process. I’m confused. And the lottery numbers would have been easier, surely?
The Editor, who has successfully captured Rose and the Doctor, represents a consortium of bankers.
Sue: Why am I not surprised? It’s always the ****ing bankers!
Me: And this episode was made before everything went tits up in 2008.
Sue: Russell knew the score. It’s very political, this. It’s warning us about the power of the media, the bankers, and how you shouldn’t let yourself become a mindless slave.
Me: Yeah, and a fat lot of good it did.
Thanks to Adam’s stupidity, the bad guys learn that the Doctor is the last of the Time Lords.
Sue: How the hell does Adam even know that? I thought they’d only just met? Does the Doctor tell everyone he meets that he committed genocide? Even though he didn’t.
Sue’s patience with Adam has finally run out.
Sue: He may be very easy on the eye, but he’s ****ing useless. He makes Mickey look good.
This leads to an action-packed denouement.
Sue: It’s really good, this. It was a bit slow to get going, but it’s really exciting now.
Cathica does something really clever and the Jagrafess explodes (like Mr Creosote after too many wafer-thin mints).
Sue: The Doctor didn’t do very much.
Me: He inspired her to rise up against her alien overlord. That’s what the Doctor does. He’s basically an intergalactic Russell Brand.
Sue: I quite like that aspect to it, I suppose. It’s clever. But I still wanted him to headbutt Simon Pegg.
The Doctor takes Adam home.
Sue: He can’t leave him like that, can he?
I tell her that some fans were half-expecting Adam to take his revenge on the Doctor later in the series for leaving him like this.
Me: A few people even thought he was Davros. You know, because he has a third-eye in the middle of his forehead.
Sue: (Laughing) Really? The ****ing idiots.
The Doctor leaves Adam to deal with his now thoroughly useless augmentation.
Sue: He needs that like he needs a hole in the head.
And then Adam’s mother inadvertently triggers her son’s orifice.
Sue: I knew that was going to happen. Still funny, though.
Sue: Well, that certainly wasn’t as good as some of the other episodes we’ve seen recently. Still pretty good, though. I liked the episode’s politics, the performances were excellent and the special effects looked great, even now. It didn’t leave an impression on me the first time, though. I barely remembered any of that. And I’ll probably forget it again tomorrow.
Sue: Ooh, I definitely remember next week’s episode. I’d better stock up on tissues, just in case. You’re bound to cry, Neil.