An official is worried about Cardiff’s plans for an unstable nuclear reactor.
Me: This is the first actor to appear in both the classic series and the new series, love. Can you remember –
Sue: No, I can’t. And I couldn’t care less, either. I mean, who gives a shit? Oh, and the director thinks he’s making The Searchers.
The Mayor of Cardiff is none other than Margaret Blaine.
Sue: Hang on a minute, I thought she was dead. Is this a prequel? I don’t remember this at all.
Margaret sheds her human disguise and kills the guy who is obviously related to the undertaker from Remembrance of the Daleks.
Sue: Oh well, I suppose the Slitheen costume must have cost them a bit, so they had to get their money’s worth out of it. It’s the only reason I can think of for bringing these things back so soon.
The TARDIS has arrived at Roald Dahl Plass, Cardiff.
Sue: Torchwood’s under that thing; I remember that much. And Cardiff looks lovely. We should visit it some day.
Me: We could leave some flowers on Ianto’s shrine.
I explain Ianto’s shrine to her.
Sue: The daft bastards. So, do all the characters in Torchwood have shrines, then? Didn’t they all die at the end, like in Blake’s 7? I’m pretty sure they did. So what makes Ianto so special? Didn’t he just make the coffee?
The TARDIS has landed on the Rift (see The Unquiet Dead) so it can refuel.
Sue: You never saw Tom Baker worrying about stuff like this. And is Captain Jack a proper companion, then? I’d completely forgotten about that. So why isn’t his name in the titles? And where’s his big coat? He doesn’t look right without his big coat on.
Me: I bet you won’t complain about that next week.
The Mayor wants to build a nuclear power station in the middle of Cardiff.
Sue: That’s ridiculous. At least Hartlepool had enough common sense to build its nuclear power station a couple of miles away from the city centre. We aren’t that stupid.
Margaret Blaine is pressing flesh at a PR event.
Sue: She could be Boris Johnson’s sister.
…when a journalist points out that the power planet has been beset by a string of unexplained deaths.
Sue: Did Fifa have anything to do with the bid for this thing? It seems a bit fishy to me.
Margaret invites the journalist to accompany her to the toilet so they can discuss the matter further.
Sue: (As Margaret) You can interview me while I’m having a shit.
Margaret reaches a cubicle just in time to let rip.
Sue: I WAS JOKING!
Margaret sheds her human disguise and prepares to attack.
Sue: What a bloody faff on.
But she has a sudden change of heart and spares the meddling human’s life.
Sue: That was a very odd scene. I understand her not wanting to kill the journalist because she was pregnant, but she changed her mind because she had a boyfriend. How weird is that? That definitely narrows down her victims quite a bit.
Margaret is feeling down in the dumps (whilst simultaneously having a dump, by the looks of it) and her day is made even worse when the Doctor, Rose, Jack and Mickey Smith (it’s a long story) arrive at City Hall to arrest her. After a protracted chase sequence, Margaret teleports to safety.
Sue: Why didn’t she do that FIVE MINUTES AGO?!
Her escape attempt is thwarted by the Doctor’s sonic screwdriver. And then the Doctor realises that the scale model for the city’s new power station is actually a front for a pan-dimensional surfboard. Yes, really.
Sue: Eh? So she based the design of a nuclear power station on the shape a ****ing surfboard? WHY? Why didn’t she hide it in a cupboard? That makes no sense at all.
The power station is called Blaidd Drwg, which means… wait for it.
Sue: Bad Wolf. What a stupid name for a nuclear power station. It’s bad enough that they want to build it in the city centre, but naming it after something frightening and, well, bad, is just taking the piss. The Bad Wolf reactor. Not very reassuring, is it?
Rose recognises the name. “I’ve heard that before,” she says. “I’ve heard that lots of times.”
Sue: Is she having a laugh?
Once we’ve established that Sue can’t say Raxacoricofallapatorius to save her life (she starts with ‘Rox’ and it gets steadily worse from there), we reach the nub of the matter: will the Doctor take Margaret back to her home planet, where she’ll executed as a common criminal?
Sue: Well, he killed the rest of her family, so this shouldn’t be a problem.
She’s wrong, of course. Mickey, Rose and the Doctor can’t look Margaret in the eye.
Sue: Hang on a minute – what about Jack? We never saw Jack’s reaction. Did Jack look her in the eye or not? I’ll lose sleep over that.
Me: John Ford is spinning in his grave.
Mickey and Rose plan a special night together. “We could go have a drink. Have a pizza or something,” suggests Mickey.
Sue: (As Mickey) Followed by a quick shag, if you’re up for it.
Mickey suggests that they, you know, spend the night in a hotel.
Sue: I WAS JOKING!
Meanwhile, back at the TARDIS, Margaret has one final request: she wants to dine with the Doctor.
Sue: This is a bit weird. I can’t imagine Tom Baker taking Davros out for a Big Mac, can you?
Jack stays on the TARDIS so he can play with Margaret’s surfboard.
Sue: So he isn’t going to hit Cardiff’s bars, then? I’m sorry, but I don’t believe that. This is Captain Jack we’re talking about here. This is even more out of character than him forgetting to wear his massive coat.
Margaret tells the Doctor that her real name is Blon Fel-Fotch Passameer-Day Slitheen.
Sue: Blon… Oh, I see. So that’s why she moved to Wales.
Margaret (I’m not going to start calling her Blon this late in the game) tries to kill the Doctor before he can order his starter.
Sue: That was brilliant. And very, very funny. You couldn’t do this every week, but it’s definitely funny.
Mickey listens politely as Rose tells him about all the exciting adventures she’s enjoyed with the Doctor.
Sue: This isn’t turning him on. Not one bit. He’s got that same bored look on his face that I get when you start banging on about Doctor Who, Neil. If they haven’t shagged yet, they never will.
When Mickey tells Rose that he’s seeing Trisha Delaney, Sue laughs out loud, and then, quick as a flash:
Sue: (Horrified) The two-timing bastard!
When we return to the restaurant, Sue can’t make up her mind. She’s like this in real restaurants, too.
Sue: I feel sorry for her. She’s lonely.
And then, a few seconds later:
Sue: Oh, the Doctor’s got a point, I suppose. They should probably kill her.
Margaret promises to mend her ways.
Sue: She tried to kill him three minutes ago! Maybe if she hadn’t done that, he would have listened to her. She should have waited until after dessert, at least.
Rose can’t believe that Mickey is going out with Trisha Delaney.
Sue: Looks like the shag’s definitely off, then.
Me: Yeah, he should have told her about Trisha afterwards.
This was one of those rare occasions where I actually deserved a cushion in the face.
Sue: Wrong answer!
Margaret begs the Doctor to “Let one go.”
Sue: (After she’s blown an enormous raspberry) Sorry, I couldn’t resist.
Margaret tells the Doctor that her father wanted to feed her to the Venom Grubs.
Me: Do you remember the Venom Grubs, Sue?
Sue: No, I don’t remember the Venom Grubs, Neil. And I don’t ****ing care, either, so don’t bother telling me.
Suddenly, the Rift opens, which plunges Cardiff into even more chaos than is usual for a Saturday night. When the Doctor arrives back at the TARDIS, he finds Captain Jack wrestling with Margaret’s pan-dimensional surfboard.
Sue: Oh no, it’s Captain Jack’s fault again. Everything he touches turns to shit.
The TARDIS can’t take much more.
Sue: For God’s sake, wave your sonic at it!
Margaret plans on using the extrapolator to escape. “Surf’s up!” she cries.
Sue: Oh, for ****’s sake.
But she’s stopped by the heart of the TARDIS.
Sue: Okay, right, I see. So this episode basically exists to set-up the time when Rose does the same thing later on (which I definitely remember). All this for that. It was hardly worth it.
Margaret stares into the light and promptly vanishes.
Sue: Okay, I’m confused. What the hell just happened?
The Doctor has a theory: the TARDIS may have used the Rift’s raw energy to translate Margaret’s innermost thoughts. Or something like that, anyway.
Sue: He shouldn’t be guessing how the TARDIS works after 900 years. That’s ridiculous!
Margaret has regressed into an egg.
Sue: What the ****? I’m sorry, but that’s… That’s rubbish.
Rose searches for Mickey, but she can’t find him.
Sue: Trying ringing his mobile, pet. Anyone would think you didn’t want to find him on purpose.
Me: When I first saw this, I remember thinking that Mickey would turn evil and betray Rose and the Doctor. It never happened, though.
Sue: He isn’t capable. I like his coat, though.
The episode concludes with a hopeful coda. Maybe this time, with enough love and support from the right family, Margaret will grow up to be a nice Raxacoricofallapatorian.
Sue: (Sighing) She’s a ****ing egg!
Sue: I didn’t like that very much.
Me: You must be kidding.
Sue: The scene in the restaurant was great, and the moral dilemma was interesting, I suppose, but the rest was just okay. And the ending was a cop-out. We’ll never know what the Doctor would have done with her now. I still can’t believe she turned into an egg. A ****ing egg!
Me: That’s a shame. I enjoyed it. A lot more than I did in 2005, anyway.
Sue: That’s because you’re an idiot. Next week looks good though – the Daleks on Big Brother. Now that’s more like it.