by Billie Doux
Eric: "You surprise me. That's a rare quality in a breather."
Sookie: "You disgust me."
Eric: "Perhaps I'll grow on you."
Sookie: "I prefer cancer."
Sookie nearly died, for a second time. More than enough to make her realize that the supernatural world is, well, dangerous. And dating a vampire isn't like dating someone of another race, or the same sex. It's a whole other thing.
by Paul Kelly
Doctor: "I promised Jackie I'd take you back home."
Rose: "Everyone leaves home in the end."
When the visual effects are as stunning as this, it kind of makes you wish we were off-world more often. So a gold star to visual effects gurus The Mill tonight. K37 Gem 5 looked spectacular, as did Krop Tor and the ruined city. Even the Ood, despite their rubber exteriors, were a triumph. It's amazing what you can do with a ballcock float, a bulb and a beard made of tentacles. It was, however, difficult to know what to make of their predicament. Is it ethical to wish the emancipation of a species which have no desire to be free? From a human perspective, it's easy to think that all slavery is wrong and that freedom should always be striven for. But what if that freedom means death?
by Billie Doux
Kyra: "We'll share the bed. Under strictly honorable circumstances."
On to immortal babe audition episode number two: Alice Evans as an immortal named Kyra. According to the Watcher Chronicles, she was born in 450 BC in Sparta. And more recently, she worked as a bodyguard until she lost her longtime mortal boyfriend (shades of Tessa) and came down with a bad case of hysterical amnesia.
by Billie Doux
Frank: "I'm asking if you know fantasy from reality, Roger."
Roger: "I think I do. Do you know what's real, Frank?"
Virtuality is the sort of high concept science fiction show that is exactly my cup of tea. It's also the sort of show that gets canceled immediately. And that's if it even gets the chance to go to series.
by Billie Doux
Duncan: "Your father died to save your life. It was his gift to you. Don't throw it away."
This episode wasn't bad. But it wasn't exactly all that good. Plus it was recycled; the "bad son of a good diplomat" was the plot of season one's appallingly bad "Nowhere to Run."
by Paul Kelly
Tommy: "Don't you get it? You were fighting so little twerps like me could do what we want, say what we want. Now you've become just like them."
This was a hard episode to write about -- mainly, I think, because I neither loved it nor hated it. So it inhabited that dreaded dead-space reserved for all things unremarkable. There were bits of it I liked. But it felt far too much like a Who-by-numbers. The characterisation was uneven, the plot lacklustre and I hate to say it, but even the Doctor got on my nerves this week.
by Paul Kelly
Pete: "I thought I was broadcasting to the security services. What do I get? Scooby Doo and his gang. They've even got the van."
A marked improvement on last week's episode. I'm not sure it was enough to lift "The Rise of the Cybermen" and "The Age of Steel" up to epic status. But it's certainly not languishing on the naughty step any more. The clever dialogue returned, as did the witty retorts; in fact, all the things which make for an enjoyable episode. That's not to say it was perfect. I did have a few gripes with it (which I'll get to later). But let's start with what did work.
by Billie Doux
Joe: "Let's see what we got. We got a mystic symbol. We got some ancient cave paintings. Some old German saying all we need is love."
Duncan: "The answer's got to be in there somewhere."
Well, at least it's over.
by Jess Lynde
Objects: Cow Creamer, Crime Dog
Missions: “Have a pancake,” “Bring her home,” and “Right on red”
‘Crime Dog’ is a fantastic episode, centered around the Tyler family’s efforts to save their beloved housekeeper, Yvette, from deportation. In a nutshell, when Yvette gets caught up in a local crackdown on illegal workers, Jaye and Aaron team up to go find her in Canada and smuggle her back into the country (with Karen’s blessing and all the cash in her purse). Along the way, they meet Yvette’s family and discover she’s actually Cindy, the neglected daughter of well-to-do Toronto parents, who ran away from home when she was 16. After a violent altercation with Cindy’s parents, Jaye and Aaron get arrested attempting to cross back into the U.S. with Cindy/Yvette in the car’s trunk. In the end, Mr. Tyler comes to the rescue, securing freedom for Jaye and Cindy and restoring family order.
I enjoyed Yvette’s story, especially the fantastic reveal that Yvette is really Cindy and the incredibly awkward and surprisingly emotional scene at her parents’ house. Poor, woefully neglected Cindy. “I wasn’t gone two hours and these children came to another country to find me. But you ... I spent four months in a local youth hostel praying you’d find me. Did you even bother to call the police?” Sadly, the answer is no. Harsh. It seems the only one who truly cared about Cindy was her family’s housekeeper, Yvette. What a sweet (and yet heartbreaking) scene when she brought out the sandwiches and told Cindy she remembered her winning word from the fifth-grade spelling bee. No wonder Cindy emulated the real Yvette when she started her new life!
Although Yvette and her troubles are the main plot driver in ‘Crime Dog,’ the Tyler siblings and their dynamic are the heart of the story. Aaron, in particular, comes to the forefront in this episode, as he beings to notice Jaye’s disturbing new fixation on inanimate objects. I think it is awesome that the guy who couldn’t care less about his sister’s ‘sode in the pilot, seems to have developed a genuine concern for her sanity. He tried so hard to get her to talk about her issues, despite getting repeatedly slapped down and shut out. Then he got downright angry when Cindy’s parents suggested Jaye was crazy, probably because deep down he was beginning to think she really was losing it. (And given that, at the time, she was locked in a car yelling at a cow creamer, how could he not?) I loved that in the end, Aaron did what he could to help Jaye by breaking the head off the cow creamer.
Sharon also got some quality screen time this week, but she generally wasn’t painted in a very flattering light. From her hilarious “evil smoking” scenes, to her asking in a sinister tone “how far down” Jaye could go for her latest stunts, Sharon was often presented as a pretty vindictive bitch. But all the while, she was really trying to help Yvette and her siblings. I feel pretty bad for Sharon. She always seems to be stuck on the outside looking in, trying to be a good sister, but rarely getting any recognition for it. Especially from “mean-spirited” Jaye and Aaron, who spent the better part of the episode referring to her as “what’s her name,” “bitch,” and “horrible, horrible person.” At least Yvette defended her. “She has a good heart. That maybe beats too fast.”
Jaye’s lesson this week is that maybe her “overbearing” family isn’t as bad as she seems to think. In fact, letting them into her life might just be a good thing. She spends most of the episode resisting all of Aaron’s and Sharon’s attempts to help her, and doesn’t seem to comprehend why they’d want to come to the rescue instead of sabotaging her. “You’re my sister,” is all the explanation Aaron and Sharon need, but Jaye just finds that perplexing. At least she starts to come around in the end. Of course, it takes almost getting jailed in a foreign country for her to see the light, but it was still nice to see her reach that point where she actually wants to have a pancake at the family breakfast.
‘Crime Dog’ uses lots of quirky storytelling and visual techniques, but the arrest scene is the visual highlight of the episode. Everything about it clicked: from Sharon getting out of the car and blowing smoke, to Jaye and Aaron doing the slow-mo perp walk past Sharon. “You were all backlit and evil smoking, like that guy on The X-Files!” I loved the lighting, the hazy smoke, the kitschy music, and the looks that Jaye and Aaron shot Sharon as they were led away in handcuffs.
My main quibble with this episode is that we are expected to believe that Yvette means a great deal to the entire Tyler family, but we’ve never seen her before. We are five episodes in and we’ve spent a fair amount of time at the Tyler house, but not only have we never seen Yvette, no one has ever made mention of her either. Is she really their live-in housekeeper? If so, why haven’t we seen her before?
How long has it been since the last episode? In ‘Wound-Up Penguin’ it was winter, and now all of a sudden it seems like spring or summer.
Eric telling Sharon she’s mean cracked me up. “I saw you on the news. You’re a horrible person.”
I also really enjoyed the quick scene cuts with the female interrogator. First when she was brutally cursing Jaye out and the scene cuts just before she dropped her first F-bomb. I laughed even harder when she’s telling her fellow detective how she can tell that Sharon’s a lesbian, and the scene cuts before she reveals just why it is that lesbians keep their nails trimmed short.
Aaron often seems to have his shirt unbuttoned way too much. It’s kind of funny, but why doesn’t anyone ever comment on how inappropriate it is? He looks like a disheveled lounge lizard.
I loved the little moment when Yvette got nostalgic over the “teddy bear blankie” they put in the trunk for her, and Aaron got defensive because “they’re Ewoks.” Note to Lost’s Hurley: guess not everyone hates Ewoks, dude.
Aaron: “By emergency do you mean there’s poop everywhere?”
Karen: “Yes, Aaron, there’s poop everywhere.”
Male Interrogator: “I was hoping this was one of those odorless cocaine cows. I’ve never seen one of them before.”
Interrogator: “So. What’s with the cow?”
Aaron: “I like cows. They’re docile and keep to themselves. Most of the time.”
Jaye to Aaron: “I expect the entitled invasion of my privacy from Mom and Dad and what’s-her-name, but not from you.”
Aaron: “This is not an isolated incident. The last time you were at the house, you got mad at those little pig-shaped salt-and-pepper shakers. Is this about farm animals or is it about condiments?”
Darrin: “So you’ve been lying to your entire family about this for 20 years.”
Karen: “I haven’t been lying the whole time. There was that initial lie and then I never bothered to tell you the truth. I’m not proud of it.”
Aaron: “You wear your trailer park-hillbilly lifestyle around your neck like a ring of garlic. Are you trying to ward us off?”
Jaye: “I thought you and I had an unspoken agreement never to get into each other’s business uninvited.”
Aaron: “I never said that.”
Jaye: “That’s why it’s unspoken, dumbass.”
Jaye: “’Cindy’? Well she’s just a great big liar. Awesome!”
Aaron (about Cindy's father): “You laid that guy out.”
Jaye: “I barely tapped him. Old people go down easy.”
Jaye: “So you recommend this whole running away from your family thing then? ‘Cause I’ve kind of been considering it.”
Yvette: “Dear, I’ve met your family. You may have wheels on your house---it’s not gonna help.”
Jaye: “I guess you’re right. I think Mom had a lojack surgically implanted in me when I was born.”
Final Analysis: ‘Crime Dog’ is another one of my favorite episodes. With lots of Tyler family focus (including a “family member” we’ve never met), a fun flashback-style narrative, strong sibling dynamics, lots of quotable quotes, and an awesome arrest scene, ‘Crime Dog’ is a real standout. I love it!
by Billie Doux
Sookie: "I don't normally cuss, but you have completely fucked me here."
I just got the biggest charge out of this episode; I watched the whole thing with a big smile on my face. I did not have this reaction to any episode in season one. Have they hit their stride? Are they going further, taking more chances? I can't put my finger on what has changed; I just know that I'm loving it.
by Paul Kelly
Doctor Kendric: "It's alive!"
Well, after a promising start to the season (and two of my favourite episodes ever), we came down to earth with a bang this week. No TV show's perfect. There's always something to complain about. But tonight, the negatives far outstripped the positives. Which is a shame, because the return of the Cybermen should have been a cause for rejoicing. But, as has been the case so many times this season, something went drastically wrong. So I apologise in advance for the negativity of this review.
by Billie Doux
Sophie: "I don't understand."
Horton: "You soon will, Sophie. It's the morgue. Off you go."
It's a year later, and the tiresome Ariman story isn't over. I suppose they couldn't just introduce the demon plot and not finish it. But I really wish they had.
by Paul Kelly
Reinette: "Godspeed, my lonely angel."
After last week's episode, I wasn't expecting another emotionally charged story so soon. But that's what we got. And somewhat surprisingly, it was an absolute delight! It didn't resonate in quite the same way as "School Reunion;" Sarah Jane was a well known and much loved companion, whereas Jean Antoinette Poisson (apart from clanging some vague historical bells), was a bit of an unknown quantity. But by the end of the 45 minutes, my heart strings definitely felt moderately jangled.
by Billie Doux
Byron: "There's a fire inside, and stories to tell. Do you have one?"
Mary: "I do. Mine will be about the anguish of immortality."
In the summer of 1816, Lord Byron, Percy Bysshe Shelley, his future wife Mary, and Dr. John Polidori spent the summer together in a house near Geneva. One night, they decided to see who could write the most frightening story. Out of that house party came Mary Shelley's Frankenstein as well as Polidori's The Vampyre, the first vampire story in English. It's one of those delightful historical events that has always tickled my fancy; it's been written about and dramatized many times.
by Billie Doux
Keane: "What happened to your friend?"
Duncan: "It's Tuesday. He doesn't take heads on Tuesday."
Interesting twist on the standard Highlander episode. Evil immortal blows into town, big battle, Duncan takes him out. But this time, it was reversed. Duncan was the bad guy. And fortunately, nobody died.
by Jess Lynde
Case: A homeless man found in the woods, partially dismembered and cannibalized.
Destination: Atlantic City, New Jersey and outskirts
‘The Jersey Devil’ is our second “freak of the week” episode, and is penned by series creator Chris Carter. Unfortunately, this outing pales in comparison to the outstanding ‘Squeeze,’ and the monster of the week---a wild beast woman---is only memorable because she’s so utterly ridiculous. The “urban legend as reality” well wasn’t necessarily the worst place to go for stories (after all, it works pretty darn well on Supernatural), but the notion of a man-eating Big Foot living in the woods outside Atlantic City is completely laughable and the presentation wasn’t creepy in the slightest. Maybe it was more chilling the first time I saw the episode, before I knew the monster was just some dirty woman with matted hair, clean-shaven legs, and manicured fingernails. But in retrospect, the episode holds absolutely no tension. In fact, instead of being scary, the confrontation between Mulder and the “beast woman” is just awkward.
by Paul Kelly
Doctor: "You can spend the rest of your life with me. But I can't spend the rest of mine with you. I have to live on. Alone. That's the curse of the Time Lords."
This was a hard episode to find fault with. I'd even go as far as saying it was my favourite episode of New Who thus far. Sarah Jane was the first companion I ever knew, and tonight's episode offered a fascinating insight into her life, some thirty years on. Her face when she first saw the TARDIS was a delight... as was her reaction to seeing the Doctor again. He's a different looking man these days. Gone is the curly dark hair and shark-like grin. But if any two Doctors are alike, it's four and ten. The burning question is, why didn't he return for her all those years ago?
by Billie Doux
Sam: "I don't know about you, but I think I've seen enough dead bodies to last me a lifetime."
Just outrageous. I alternated between gasping with surprise and laughing out loud. That's a good sign.
by Paul Kelly
Queen Victoria: "What exactly is that creature?"
Doctor: "You'd call it a werewolf, but technically it's more of a lupine-wavelength haemovariform."
"Tooth and Claw" was a curious mixture of the good and the not so good. In terms of atmosphere, it was right up there with the best of them. It had a genuinely creepy feel to it (helped massively by some beautiful location shoots at Treowen Manor and Penilyn Castle) and the period costumes were effective enough so as to be unobtrusive. So in terms of ambiance, it scored big. But what on earth was going on with the Doctor and Rose this week?
by Josie Kafka
“Go, then. There are other worlds than these.”
I promised you this review weeks ago. I have a billion excuses, but I think my delay boils down to this: it is one thing to review a book or series that you like or find amusing in a bizarre way (I’m looking at you, Fringe). It is another to review a book or series that you absolutely love. It’s even harder to review just the first part of a series—What should I include? What should I omit? Do I hint and spoil, or ignore and cause you to miss out?
I’m going to err on the side of hinting but not spoiling. Having read The Gunslinger four times, though, it’s not clear to me anymore what the first-time reader experience is like. In other words, some plot moves feel obvious the fourth time around. And it’s not like suspense is really Stephen King’s strongest strength—I’m not even sure it’s supposed to be, at that. But I’ll try.
There are two things you must know about The Gunslinger and the Dark Tower Series in general: They are not horror, and they are absolutely epic. Not a horror fan? I don’t care. Read them anyway. By epic I mean big but not overwhelming, universalizing yet personal, philosophical yet rarely dry. Epic like the Odyssey, the Divine Comedy, the Canterbury Tales, Dickens’ oeuvre, Proust’s In Search of Lost Time, and Lord of the Rings. Tolkien himself was a huge influence on the books, as King himself acknowledges in his introduction and prologue to the newly revised edition (more on that below).
But any of the texts I just mentioned—all of which, except the Comedy and Proust, are specifically referenced in the book—are about not just individual journeys, but also the styles of civilizations that make up the world. In the Odyssey, our hero “saw the townlands and learned the minds of many distant men” (that’s Fitzgerald’s translation). That is, Odysseus must travel and see the world before he can be fully prepared to return to Penelope; Homer obfuscates this highly personal narrative arc by mosaic-ing the plot. In the Comedy, Dante must see the sins, vices, and virtues of his friends, his enemies, his heroes, and his villains before he can put aside his primary sin (artistic pride) and attain truly enlightened caritas (divine love). In Lord of the Rings, Frodo and Sam must see all of Middle Earth in order to come of age. The intimacy of the hobbits’ emotional growth against the large-scale backdrop of the war of Good versus Evil (or penis versus vagina, in the Freudian reading of the filmic representations) mirrors The Gunslinger’s emphasis both on the hero, Roland, and the stakes of his journey, which are no less than saving the world and reclaiming the penis, um, the Dark Tower, as his own.
Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, and Dickens’ final novel The Mystery of Edwin Drood, are mentioned twice in King’s introductory material. The Canterbury Tales are an estates-satire, which is the medieval version of a class-satire: Chaucer’s pilgrims are from all walks of life, and they are poked fun at, and poke some fun themselves. But the Canterbury Tales are also unfinished, as is Drood, and for many years, King’s fear was that the Dark Tower would be relegated to the realm of great unfinished books (much as the Game of Thrones series seems to many of us now: sigh). The publication schedule is therefore more than a little lopsided: The Gunslinger was published in 1982, but the final three parts were not published until 2003, just months after each other.
The sudden rush to finish his magnum opus, spurred by his own brush with death, also led King to revise the first few books, especially The Gunslinger. He added and subtracted, and fixed a few bloopers. I’ve never read the original (it’s hard to come by), but the new result doesn’t feel patchy, and still retains the sense of being “a young man’s book” as King calls it.
Six paragraphs in, and I still haven’t given you a review! Drat, this is hard…
The Gunslinger is a tight novel. At only 231 pages, it’s one of King’s shortest. It’s also one of his most experimental, narrative-wise: as King himself notes (I won’t tell you where, yet), it’s a story told backwards. This is how it starts:
“The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed.”
The gunslinger, Roland, is traveling across a desert reminiscent of the landscape of "The Hollow Men" (another text obliquely alluded to). He encounters a desert dweller, and describes where he’s been (the town of Tull), then moves on to encounter a boy named Jake, who appears to have slipped into this world from one that resembles our own—well, if we live in 1970s Manhattan, that is. After meeting and taking up with Jake, the back-story becomes a mixture of memories of Roland’s childhood and stories that he tells the boy. Which is which, and what Roland actually says, is left intentionally ambiguous.
Roland is a tough man (Clint Eastwood in those spaghetti westerns was a huge inspiration). He’s unimaginative, slow but not stupid, and almost entirely humorless. He has been nearly beaten down by his quest—but the true nature of that quest, and the entirety of what it has included, is given to us only in bits and pieces. The first sentence signals both this fragmentation and the questionable motives of our surly-but-loveable hero: the gunslinger is following. He’s not leading yet, and he’s not taking mastery of his situation. He’s only reacting. Indeed, the man in isn’t really fleeing, we soon realize: he’s leading Roland to a final showdown on the far edge of Mid-World.
This sense of needing to re-read, or at least to re-evaluate, the first words once we know what’s going to happen permeates the entire novel, even the entire series. The back of the book tells us the hero is named Roland Deschain, but the first time we hear his name it is presented through the mouth of another, and in the context of already having happened, even though we didn’t see it: “The man that Allie had called Roland…” Before that, he’s just the gunslinger.
The gunslinger/Roland dichotomy isn’t a false one, either. Roland’s fatal flaw (recalling Odysseus’s hubris, Dante’s pride in artistic creation, even Frodo’s nostalgia) is his loneliness. He connects with Allie, a woman in Tull, but that doesn’t end well. More poignantly, he connects with Jake, in whom he sees both himself and the son he might have had. But Roland must sacrifice these people, and his relationships to them, in order to pursue his quest and to live up to his duties as the last gunslinger.
The universe that Roland inhabits is unique and hard to determine in this first book. I remember the first time I read it, I assumed that Roland lived in the future—it would explain the snatches of “Hey Jude” that he hears at a roadhouse bar, the discarded and disintegrating machinery, the constant mention of the world having “passed on.” I’ve never seen Mad Max, but I think that’s much the same vibe.
It’s not spoiling anything to say that Roland is not in the future—although how his universe relates to our own is something I’ll get into in later reviews. But really, Roland is inhabiting a particularly literary universe: both one created out of other texts (there’s that intertextuality again) and one that takes place in the weird geographic distortions that are the occasional hallmark of fiction. I’ve not once been able to create a “mental map” of Roland’s journey, and it certainly can’t be mapped onto any existing geographical formations. But as King notes in his introduction, one character in The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly seems to think that Chicago is somewhere near Phoenix—it’s the representational view of the American West through the eyes of an Italian director who isn’t looking for accuracy, but rather art. And symbolism.
I’ve mentioned the texts that The Gunslinger alludes to: the Odyssey, Canterbury Tales, Edwin Drood, "The Hollow Men." But The Gunslinger is also based on the mythic character of Roland, who first makes his appearance in the eleventh-century chanson de geste (song of deeds) The Song of Roland, and is a player in Italian and Spanish Renaissance romances, two Shakespeare plays, a novel by Virginia Woolf, and another novel by John Connelly (The Book of Lost Things: check it out; it’s good). Roland is also the main character in the poem “Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came” by Robert Browning (c. 1855). King claims that the Browning poem was the key reference in choosing the title and quest of his work, and even provides it in the appendix to the final book in the series. But I would argue that King is actually engaging the entire Roland tradition, particularly the themes of time, space, and lonely quests. (And if there seems to be demand, I will write up my theory later.)
The particularly literary quality of the landscape, the fragmented narration, and the isolation of the hero—as well as the simple fact that this is just the first entry in a gigantic series—mean that Roland’ past and future, and even his present goals, are a bit muddy. It’s on purpose, of course: if you look at an image with your nose pressed to the paper, you’ll only see colors and lines. Stand back, and you’ll get the full picture.
More philosophically, as humans we can only see bits and pieces—even Odysseus, who wanders the world, never leaves the Mediterranean. The God’s eye view, however, enables a being outside of the universe to see all moments and all places simultaneously, like that Watchmen character. Roland is given a chance to see the world from the God’s eye view (I’m using the term “God” for convenience, by the way) and it nearly killed him. In other worlds, we’re not supposed to get the full image in just this novel; rather, we’re supposed to get to know the world and the hero in bits and pieces.
If this is your first time reading The Dark Tower Series, this is what you would learn from this book once you’d read the entire series (I hope that makes sense):
• Roland is the last gunslinger, of the line of Arthur of Eld. Gunslingers appear to be knights crossed with 1970s Clint Eastwood.
• Roland is from In-World, on the far west of a geographically contiguous area that also contains a large desert and Mid-World.
• The society of In-World was one of chivalry, grace, beauty, and light. However, even if Roland’s youth, it had already been in long decline, and civil strife made the whole world unclean.
• Technology, broadly defined, has come and gone: paper is a rare commodity, and machines used to work, but have long become defunct.
• The Man in Black is Walter O’Dim (Irish bastard!). He was also known as Marten, back in Roland’s youth, and is some sort of sorcerer.
• Walter/Marten works for a real badass, and somehow that guy is related to the Dark Tower, which appears to be the navel of the universe.
I haven’t mentioned Lost yet, because I hope that some of the relevance is apparent. But in case you didn’t know, J.J. Abrams, Damon Lindelof, and Carlton Cuse bought the rights to the series for $19—a number that’s important for the Dark Tower.
So should you read it? Absolutely, yes. If you like any of the shows and movies that we review here, I think you’ll love it. If you like Stephen King, you’ll love it. If you don’t like Stephen King, but do like the Lord of the Rings, I think you’ll love it. C’mon. Just read it already.
by Jess Lynde
Objects: Wind-Up Penguin, Wax Lion
Missions: “Bring her back to him” and “Break the taillight”
‘Wound-Up Penguin’ is another twisty installment that, in addition to being fall-down funny, is surprisingly heartwarming. The adventures kick off when Jaye and Eric---who are hanging out at Eric’s new “home” in the back room of the bar---discover a woman residing in the large decorative barrel in the bar’s main dining room. Per the direction of the titular penguin, Jaye and Eric embark on a quest to find the woman and help her, believing she’s a homeless prostitute trying to escape her pimp.
They soon discover she’s actually Sister Katrina, a nun who fled her convent after having a crisis of faith inspired by cheese. “It was the cheese. The cheese was my undoing.” The suspected pimp is actually a priest from the convent trying to bring the runaway Sister Katrina back home. Jaye becomes convinced that her mission is to help restore Katrina’s faith, and in the wackiness that follows she becomes the victim of an impromptu exorcism, Eric gets to explore his feelings of guilt for not returning home following his wife’s betrayal, and Katrina’s priest discovers and reunites with a daughter that he never knew he had. It is this last and completely unexpected twist that leads Sister Katrina to believe that Jaye’s “gift” is a miracle, restoring her faith in God, and convincing her to return to the convent.
I really liked the main story in ‘Wound-Up Penguin.’ It was funny and quite moving, especially the scene in which Father Scofield is reunited with his daughter and Sister Katrina’s faith is restored. Both Sister Katrina and Father Scofield were engaging characters, and I found myself really feeling invested in what happened to them, especially Katrina. How can you not be charmed by a woman whose profound spiritual crisis was brought on by cheese? “What if it’s just cheese? What if I’m just cheese? What if this sack of meat is just a bacterial flirtation, and my soul is only a co-mingling of friendly microorganisms?“ I so wanted her to find a reason to believe again, especially since she was clearly devastated by her doubts. When she’s moved to tears by the “miracle” that Jaye’s voices hath wrought, I actually teared up a bit myself. Great, great moment.
The whole episode was a pretty unique way to address the issue of what might be speaking to Jaye through the objects. They cover all the possibilities, from good to evil, and leave us feeling pretty firmly that the voices are a force of good. (Was there ever any doubt? They are coercing her into helping people, after all.) I had to laugh at Jaye initially accusing the animals of trying to make her kill herself, but then backtracking when she realized she couldn’t do their bidding if she were dead. Her later willingness to believe they were demons, if that meant she could cast them out, was also pretty hilarious. Of course, when faced with an actual exorcism, she has a quick change of heart. “The voices, the animals ... I was just mad at them. But they aren’t demonic. It just feels like that sometimes when they make me help people.” In the end, she still seems a bit on the fence about what might be speaking to her, preferring to believe the events of the episode were “maybe a happy coincidence” rather than a miracle orchestrated by God.
I really enjoyed getting to spend a lot more time with Eric in this episode, especially since he got to deal with some of his post-breakup issues. Poor guy. His whole world was completely shattered by his wife’s infidelity, but he always manages to be so mild-mannered and positive. Turns out his sweet, nice guy façade is really covering up a pretty conflicted emotional state. He goes from light-hearted banter with Jaye, to casting sad little looks at happy couples and the Jersey-bound trains on the schedule board, to downright angry and defensive. “If the good sister wants to move on with her life, I suggest you stand aside and let her move on!” Sister Katrina’s loss of faith and desire to not return home really brought all of Eric’s resentment and guilt to the forefront. “I lost faith in that whole other life. And I don’t know if I want it back.” I’m glad he got the chance to talk things out a bit in the hilarious men’s room confessional. “While you’re figuring out whatever you’re figuring out, can you hand me some toilet paper, please?” I guess we’ll see where this takes him and Jaye, since he seems to have come to terms with his decision to stay. At least for the time being.
On that subject, it was a lot of fun seeing Jaye and Eric out and about, trying to help a wayward soul. The two of them listening at the motel room wall was especially fun, and I loved the way he put his arm around her as they left the train station at the end. The two of them work pretty well together. It cracks me up the way Jaye always manages to make his problems about herself, but he only sees her as altruistic. “You’re like a saint.”
I’m running out of creative ways to express how funny and enjoyable I find this show. I feel like I use “hilarious,” “hysterical,” “laugh-out-loud,” “riot,” and “too funny” in every other paragraph of every review. Sorry to be so repetitive!
I loved the initial confrontation with Sister Katrina and Father Scofield in the seedy motel room. From Eric assaulting the Father and then being mortified to learn he’d attacked a priest, to Sister Katrina thinking Jaye and Eric were there because she didn’t pay for a turkey club, to Jaye’s comments about how she and Eric were going to hell.
Jaye: “Yeah, missionary man. Where do you get off beating a hooker? Jesus was nice to prostitutes.”
Father Scofield: “Sister Katrina isn’t a prostitute.”
Jaye: “Now I’m going to hell.”
The scene with the janitor at the train station was also very funny. Again, like the milk and cookies scene from ‘Pink Flamingos,’ it had exaggerated camera angles and sinister music to make it seem very cloak-and-dagger. The heightened realism just cracks me up.
Similarly, the scene in which Aaron tells Katrina how to cast out demons had me rolling. It’s even funnier when they hype up the sinister aspects and then close on a completely benign note. “They would chant the Lord’s prayer over and over and over. Until the demon knew the righteous were having none of him. And then he’d … you know, I guess … leave.”
Great little moment when Aaron shoves the cat salt shaker in Jaye’s face and makes it start talking, “It’s not always gonna be, ‘Hello, Jaye.’” “Stop that!”
Jaye’s parents staging a religious intervention was also pretty darn funny. Karen’s anxiety over Jaye possibly turning to the Catholic faith was very amusing, especially her nervous smile. I loved the way Darrin supported her: “Your mother and I are tickled to death that you’ve turned the Lord for guidance, sweetheart. We just think it should be our lord.”
Eric: “Yeah, but if Heidi had stuck with a hospitality basket, or a more traditional definition of the term room service, we’d both be back in New Jersey right now, starting our married life together.”
Eric: “Heidi wouldn’t allow it. She always said I shouldn’t open my mouth to strangers.”
Jaye: “Ironic. You know. Considering.”
Janitor: “Strange looking sort. Dressed in all black. I remember thinking, if Johnny Cash had been born an Irishman, his music would’ve been more lilting.”
Jaye: “What if we’re too late? What if he’s already beaten her to death with a bag of oranges for withholding trick money?”
Eric: “Well if she had any trick money, I don’t think she’d be living in a barrel. I know I wouldn’t be.”
Jaye: “Yes, but maybe she’s just a lazy whore. That happens, right? They can’t all have hearts of gold and good work ethics.”
Katrina: “It was just a turkey club, for the love of God. You don’t have to hunt a person down.”
Jaye: “Did you Agnes of God her? I bet he Agnes of God-ed all over her.”
Katrina: “This is the miracle of life melted over these chili fries. A bacterial flirtation with enzymes. The co-mingling of friendly microorganisms giving birth to curds and whey. ‘And from dust he created the universe.’”
Jaye: “The Dairy Board must love you.”
Karen: “Tupperware is not an eating vessel.”
Jaye: “I didn’t do anything wrong. I shouldn’t have to go to church.”
Jaye: “Katrina, untie me. Untie me now.”
Katrina: “I can’t. You’ll be flailing soon.”
Jaye: “I don’t wanna flail! I don’t want you to do whatever it is you’re gonna do that’s gonna make me flail!”
Final Analysis: I’m a big fan of nearly all the Wonderfalls episodes, but some I find particularly enjoyable, and ‘Wound-Up Penguin’ is one of those. It’s the first episode where the convoluted and hilarious story eventually led to a place that was truly heartwarming, and it really made me appreciate the show all the more. Plus, it was fun seeing Jaye and Eric take some more baby steps in their budding relationship.
by Billie Doux
Sam: "Bill asked me to look after you while he was away."
Sookie: "Did he ask you to do it buck naked?"
A vampire tribunal seems to be a cross between a kangaroo court and the Inquisition. It was a good thing Eric backed Bill's story. (Reluctantly).
by Billie Doux
Kronos: "The four of us. Reunited."
Methos: "Gives a whole new meaning to the phrase 'dream team'."
After frantically playing both sides as hard as he could, Methos finally had to make a choice. He made the right one, of course. But we knew he would.
by Jess Lynde
Case: The disappearance of Ruby Morris, a “Teen Taken from Tent by Aliens” according to the tabloid headlines.
Destination: Sioux City and Lake Okobogee, Iowa
If you go by the box sets available on DVD, ‘Conduit’ is not considered a mythology episode. My guess is that, even though it features the alien abduction theme, it didn’t make the cut because it doesn’t address the overarching government conspiracy to cover up the existence of aliens. Nonetheless, I’ve always considered it a mythology episode because it deals with the personal fallout associated with the abduction of Mulder’s sister.
by Billie Doux
Eric: "Humans. Honestly, Bill, I don't know what you see in them."
So Sam is a part-time dog, after all. I loved how they revealed Sam's second nature, something they've been teasing since the pilot episode. Bill had to have known. Which was why he left Sookie in Sam's care.
by Paul Kelly
Rose: "I love this. Can I just say... traveling with you. I love it."
If memory serves me correctly, this is the first New Who adventure to take place on an alien planet. We made it into outer space last year with "The Long Game" and "The End of the World." But I don't recall us actually landing on alien terra firma. And the visual effects team certainly went to town this week, making New Earth look as futuristic as possible. Good job guys! So a promising start to what's essentially the new Doctor's first full adventure.
by Paul Kelly
Jackie: "What do you mean, that's the doctor? Doctor who?"
I have to admit I'm not usually a fan of Christmas episodes (of any show). They're a little too sickly for my tastes. Too much good will to all men going on, and not nearly enough maniacal Santas trying to blow up London with mortar-launching tubas. So imagine my joy when a sanity-challenged Santa showed up in the first 15 minutes! And his musical weapon of choice? You've guessed it. Which can only mean that Russell T. Davies has been reading my Christmas wish list.
by Billie Doux
Lafayette: "It ain't possible to live unless you're crossing somebody's line."
When Gran was alive, she protected Sookie from Uncle Bartlett. Bill took on the job. He was just a bit more proactive about it.
by Billie Doux
Fox ran the pilot of their new fall show, Glee, a week or two ago. I just got around to watching it. And I fell in love with it in the first five minutes. It's wry and clever and funny and joyous; I must have laughed out loud ten times. I got to the end and wanted to watch it again.
by Paul Kelly
The Doctor: "Back to your mum. It's all waiting. Fish and chips, sausage and mash, beans on toast... No! Christmas! Turkey! Although, having met your mother, nutloaf would be more appropriate."
The Children in Need Special follows on directly from last season's finale, "The Parting of the Ways." After a fairly lengthy recap, the story picks up minutes after the Doctor's regeneration. The Doctor's full of energy, enthralled by his new body, his new appearance and his new existence. Rose, however, is far less enthusiastic. On finding herself aboard the Tardis with a man she's never seen before, she can only conclude that the Doctor's been captured and the man before her is an impostor.
So this vignette primarily focuses on the Doctor and Rose as they work through the changes forced upon them by the Doctor's regeneration. Both actors I think did brilliantly. Billie genuinely looked freaked out by the Doctor's metamorphosis and subsequent weirdness. And Tennant put in a brilliant performance as the Doctor, projecting a perhaps more familiar, affable persona than Eccleston's darker creation. Like the Doctor of old, Tennant's Doctor's unpredictable... a little manic... and prone to talking gibberish. Which I found pretty encouraging.
There was a lovely moment too at the end where the Doctor wasn't sure Rose still wanted to travel with him. And, likewise, Rose wasn't sure the Doctor wanted her around, either. Again, great acting from both Tennant and Piper. This was truly a time of confusion for both their characters, and Russell T. Davies captured the emotional struggle perfectly. They both looked vulnerable. Neither were sure where they stood with each other. So some tender, touching moments, all of which led us nicely into "The Christmas Invasion."
Amidst his ramblings, the Doctor managed to garble something about his regeneration going wrong. Yeah, we'd kind of figured that out, Doc. Best forget Barcelona and hot-foot it back to Earth then, eh?
Roll on "The Christmas Invasion!"
Bits and pieces:
-- For those of you wondering what Children in Need is, it's an annual British charity appeal that airs on the BBC every year. Popular TV shows produce truncated episodes in order to raise money for various children's charities. They're usually aired across one evening.
-- Is it just me, or does Billie pronounce Slitheen Sliveen? Tennant gets it right. But I was watching Billie's lips and it definitely looks as if she enunciates it incorrectly.
-- Tennant usually speaks with a Scottish accent, yet his Doctor speaks Estuary English. I wonder whether they were afraid of having two strong accents so close together (what with Chris having a strong Mancunian accent).
Not much to add. I actually missed this little mini-episode the first time I watched the series, since it was hiding in the special features of the DVD. And it was only seven minutes long, some of which was recap.
But it did give us Rose's first awkward minutes with the new Doctor, and it wasn't surprising that Rose was pretty much thrown. Not exactly an easy adjustment to make. Even though the Doctor seems to be much like the Doctor. Except Rose never met Tom Baker.
And what's with that throw-away line about Jack being busy rebuilding the Earth? They just left him in 200100 without knowing Rose/Bad Wolf had brought him back. How could they know what Jack is doing, or even that he's alive?
Doctor: "Rose, it's me. Honestly, it's me. I was dying. To save my own life, I changed my body. Every single cell, but still me."
Rose: "Can you change back?"
Doctor: "Do you want me to?"
Rose: "Can you?"
Doctor: "No. Do you want to leave?"
Rose: "Do you want me to?"
Doctor: "No, but, your choice. If you want to go home."
by Jess Lynde
Objects: Mounted Fish, Stuffed Chameleon
Mission: “Get her words out”
In ‘Karma Chameleon’ Jaye gets her very own stalker, Single White Female style. Meet Bianca Knowles, a young woman with a bad stutter who initially just appears to need gas money and a job, but turns out to be an investigative reporter doing a story on disaffected twenty-somethings. Bianca has chosen Jaye as her prototypical Gen-Y loser (a.k.a., “Winners, who haven’t won yet. Or ever.”), and decided the best way to do her article on this overeducated generation of underachievers was to study and essentially become Jaye.
Bianca’s covert efforts to understand young people that “don’t just fall through the cracks, but jump through,” lead to some truly hysterical moments in which Jaye discovers she’s being stalked and doubled. My favorite is the confrontation in Bianca’s van in which she finally confesses that she’s studying Jaye. Jaye actually seems more horrified by that prospect than by the possibility that Bianca might stitch a skin suit out of her dead corpse after she stabs her and steals her organs. Just thinking of the look on Jaye’s face in that moment makes me laugh out loud.
After the initial shock and confusion wears off, Jaye agrees to help Bianca with her article, partly because her current mission is to help Bianca “get her words out” and partly because she’s still stinging from only getting 5 words in her mother’s bio blurb (compared to her siblings’ combined 51 words). I got a huge kick out of Jaye granting an all-access pass to her life. Bianca’s observations of Jaye’s mannerisms and choices were highly entertaining:
-- “There’s nothing aimless about the choices the Gen-Y non-winner makes. Everything they do is for a single purpose: to avoid engaging with the world around them.”
-- “Subject routinely affects slight slouch and subtle sneer, which seems designed to repel others.”
-- “Your home is a trailer. Don’t you see the beautiful poetry in that? It’s a thing that’s been designed to go some place, and yet the hitch isn’t hooked up to anything. So it just sits here. Never living up to its potential, but never in any danger of breaking down either.”
The delightful irony of this episode is that once Bianca is done investigating her subject, she becomes so enamored of the stress-less, expectation-free zone that Jaye has created for herself, that she decides to drop out of her own life and become Jaye. Jaye, in turn, discovers that for all her complaining and inward/disengaged behavior, she kind of likes her crappy life. So she decides to actually contribute something to society by writing Bianca’s article and letting Bianca take the credit in order to get her own life back.
In addition to the fun and twisty main story, we got more fun with Jaye’s family. We finally learn everyone’s names: Karen, Darrin, Sharon, and Aaron (yet another humorous example of how Jaye couldn’t be more different). The various scenes around the dinner table were quite amusing, especially the opening in which Darrin reads Karen’s bio blurb. I love the way her “well-meaning, but let’s just say it, overbearing” parents consistently support her. I couldn’t help but smile at Karen’s defense of Jaye’s short blurb (“Your brother and sister are older than you. They require more words because they’ve lived more. … they’ve had more opportunity to excel. Don’t worry, your time will come,”) and Darrin’s encouragement about writing a new blurb (“Let those 15 words show the world what a unique, one-of-a-kind daughter I have,”).
I also loved seeing Eric’s flirtatious support for Jaye. I’m really enjoying the way the writers are slowly building their relationship. She’s such a negative, self-involved person, but he always puts a positive spin on things for her and manages to make her smile. It was cute to see how excited he got about her being mentioned in a bio blurb, and his insistence that Bianca isn’t Jaye, and wasn’t crazy for wanting to be, made me feel all melty.
Jaye: “I mean, my crappy life? […] Who’d choose that? Hell, who’d even want to read about it?”
Eric: “I would.”
Jaye: “You would?”
Eric: “And if there are pictures, I’d buy two copies.”
Awwww. Watching those two dance around each other makes me smile.
I loved Mahandra and Jaye’s reactions to Bianca being a better Jaye than Jaye. “I think maybe you’re the cover band.”
It was fun getting to see a little more of Lee Pace as Aaron in this episode. I’m not sure it was really notable for me the first time around, but now that I’ve grown to love him as Ned the Pie Maker on Pushing Daisies, I’m highly amused by this earlier role.
The family’s looks of excessive horror after Jaye broke the plate during her fight with Bianca were too funny. I also got a big kick out of Sharon, Aaron, and Darrin all wearing some form of maroon for pizza night. Even Jaye and Bianca kind of fit in!
Jaye’s First Blurb: “Jaye, a daughter, is 24.”
Jaye: “What if by the time my mother’s next book comes out this sentence hasn’t changed?”
Mahandra: “It will. Well, the digit will.”
Bianca: “Thank you for shopping at Wonderfalls. Come again!”
Jaye (shaking her head): “Don’t encourage them.”
Mahandra (about Bianca shooting Alec): “That is the most frightening thing I’ve ever heard.”
Jaye: “What? It was just a rubber dart.”
Mahandra: “Shot into a real eye!”
Jaye: “He’s fine. Except for the detached retina. We all got to leave early.”
Jaye: “You should come out with us. I thought we could take her clubbing.”
Mahandra: “Baby seals?”
Jaye to Bianca: “Well there are laws against stalking, and my sister, a very successful lawyer, will see to it that your pale imitation of my ass lands in jail!”
Jaye: “And why the phony stutter? Some people might think its offensive and not just funny.”
Jaye: “Look, Bianca, this isn’t you. And I’m a little horrified to think it might actually be me.”
Jaye’s Final Blurb: “Daughter Jaye lives in Niagara Falls. Her blurb, and life, are a work in progress.”
Final Analysis: What a fun and clever way to tackle the completely slacker lifestyle of your main character! This one made me laugh out loud numerous times, and features fun with the entire Tyler family. Very enjoyable.
by Jess Lynde
Case: A series of murders in which the victims’ livers are ripped out, and in which there is no discernable point of entry.
Destination: Baltimore, Maryland
‘Squeeze’ is our very first “freak of the week” episode, introducing one of the series’ most memorable monsters, Eugene Victor Tooms. (To this day, I can’t see actor Doug Hutchison without mentally squealing “Tooms!”) Tooms is a genetic mutant who comes out of hibernation every 30 years to consume five human livers, tearing them out of his victims with his bare hands. As though that isn’t disturbing enough, he possesses the ability to stretch and contort his body so that he can squeeze into nearly any size opening, breaking into homes and offices through chimneys and ductwork.
by Paul Kelly
Rose: "You are tiny. I can see the whole of time and space. Every single atom of your existence and I divide them. Everything must come to dust. All things. Everything dies."
This was such a good episode I'm not sure where to begin. For a start, it was a very emotional episode, similar in tone to "Father's Day." And I have to admit, I did shed a tear or two at the end (and maybe in the middle somewhere, too). Too much heroism. Too much loss. And maybe I'm a big softie, too.
Since the beginning of the season, the Doctor's had a patchy run of things. At times he's been quite unlike the Doctor of old. His greatness has been spasmodic at best. He's made mistakes. And even tonight, in the last episode of the season, he almost failed again. Not that it wouldn't have been a truly heroic failure -- the Doctor and his small gang against the full-on might of the Dalek army -- but against those kind of odds, it was always going to take a miracle. And a miracle is precisely what we got. The Bad Wolf -- at first glance, a message spread throughout space and time -- then later, Rose, transformed, a god-like being endowed with powers of life and death.
After being thrown back to her own time by a Doctor devoid of ideas and resigned to almost certain death, Rose's frustration is palpable. How can she sit there, listening to Jackie and Mickey prattle on about pizza and coleslaw, when 200,000 years in the future the Doctor's dying and there's not a single thing she can do about it? As far as Jackie and Mickey are concerned, Rose is in the safest place she could possibly be... several thousand years removed from the Doctor. They have no concept of what's transpiring in the future. So to some extent Rose's outburst... that the Doctor is better... that a superior way of life does exist... and that you don't just capitulate in the face of danger, you stand up and fight... is as much a wake up call to herself as it is a justification for what she's about to do. Rose's life has changed since meeting the Doctor. And for the better. There can be no going back. So when Mickey tells her that returning will probably mean her death, Rose doesn't need to think twice. Life in South London is a second rate existence in comparison to what she's seen, where she's been and who she is now.
So she follows her heart and heads back to the future, where, transformed by looking into heart of the Tardis, she manages to save the Doctor and tear Jack back from death's cold embrace. Was that the sound of the whole of womankind breathing a sigh of relief I just heard? Most probably. Maybe even some of mankind, too.
And as much as this episode was about Rose, it was about the Doctor's journey, too. It was clear from last week's episode, as the Doctor stood inside the Tardis, head pressed up against the door in a gesture of desperation and hopelessness, that they were up against it this time. And this week, after coaxing Rose into an empty Tardis and sending her back to the safety of her own time, you could see it in the Doctor's face that he thought his end had come. The emergency hologram confirmed it -- activated because of death or mortal danger -- a touching final message to companion Rose, about to become trapped in another time; safe, but helpless.
Yet in the end, the Doctor proved himself better than the Daleks. He took the higher moral path. It may not have been the most effective solution. It may even have been the cowardly option (certainly from the viewpoint of the Daleks). But it was the right decision. The death of mankind is too high a price to pay.
I was sad to see Lynda (with a Y) go. She would have made a good companion. She may even have made a decent love interest for the Doctor, who certainly took a shine to her. I loved the scene where he awkwardly went in for a kiss, bailed out half way through and then settled for a polite handshake instead. I would like to have seen Lynda around for a little while longer... but it wasn't to be.
Jack's changed, too, from the selfish criminal we first met back in "The Empty Child." His speeches were heroic and his death fearless. When he says to the Doctor "I was much better off as a coward," we instinctively know it's not true. Jack was never a coward. He just never had a cause. Until he met the Doctor and Rose and learned a new way to live.
And what is there to say about the regeneration scene? They're always the highlight of any season and this one was certainly no different. The ninth Doctor's closing speech was beautiful, draped in exactly the right amount of regret and pathos, to bring Eccleston's reign as the Doctor to a satisfying conclusion. He tries to prepare Rose for the trauma. Humorous to the last, he mocks his looks, bemoans the things they never got a chance to do together, and then burns out of existence in a brilliant burst of golden energy. But Rose hasn't experienced anything like this before. And to be fair, neither have we. The change was dramatic... kind of like we remembered it... but somehow better (and favourably enhanced by CGI for once).
And the Doctor telling Rose she was fantastic, before conceding that he was fantastic too, held meaning for both the ninth Doctor and Eccleston himself. I'm not sure who else could've reinvigorated an old, tired series so successfully. So fantastic... yes... he truly was!
A thoroughly satisfying end to what's been an excellent first season (or twenty seventh season, depending upon just how annoying you are). ;-)
Bits and Pieces:
-- If "Bad Wolf" was a message for Rose, then why did it occasionally appear in a foreign language? Can Rose speak German, I wonder? Or French? Welsh? I'm guessing not.
-- As Bad Wolf, Rose lost her cockney twang.
-- That was some clever hologram. How did it know where Rose would be standing when it looked right at her?
-- Fans of Torchwood will know that Rose bringing Jack back to life renders him immortal. Which is the basic premise of the show. For those of you who don't know about Torchwood, it's a Doctor Who spin-off series, with a more adult bent.
-- The Emperor Dalek's cry of "I cannot die" reminded me of Davros in "Resurrection of the Daleks." Of course, Davros came back. Maybe the Emperor Dalek will, too. In the end they all come back... don't they?
I'm not a Dalek fan. It didn't make a lot of sense that looking into the heart of the Tardis would give Rose such extreme superpowers. And there was something about a tow chain attached to the Tardis that just felt silly to me.
But this episode was all about the emotions, about the parting of the ways. And the emotions were so strong and true that it worked for me. It was like revisiting the core meaning of the episode "Father's Day," that some things are just more important than personal survival. That's why Jack sacrificed himself to protect the Doctor from the Daleks. Why Rose decided to return to the future, and almost certain death. And why the Doctor sacrificed his current existence to save Rose.
I thought Christopher Eccleston did a fine job in this final episode. There were so many touching moments. The way he sent Rose back, and his final recorded message to her. Kissing her in order to take back her power. (Tell me again why it killed him, but not her?) The gentle way he joked with her right before he died, as if he were unselfishly trying to prevent her from getting truly upset about losing him.
And the regeneration scene was terrific. In just a few seconds, David Tennant *felt* like the Doctor. Bravo.
Jack: "The extrapolator's working. We've got a fully functional force field. Try saying that when you're drunk."
Jack: "Don't I get a hug?"
Rose: "Oh, come here."
Jack: "I was talking to him."
Doctor: "Do you know what they call me in the ancient legends of the Dalek home world? The oncoming storm. You might have removed all your emotions, but I reckon right down deep in your DNA, there's one little spark left. And that's fear. Doesn't it just burn when you face me?"
Doctor: "Die as a human or live as a Dalek. What would you do?"
Jack: "You sent her home. She's safe. Keep working."
Emperor: "But he will exterminate you!"
Jack: "Never doubted him. Never will."
Jack: "I kind of figured that."
Rose: "I am the bad wolf. I create myself. I take the words. I scatter them in time and space. A message to lead myself here."
Rose: "I can see everything. All that is. All that was. All that ever could be."
Doctor: "That's what I see, all the time. Doesn't it drive you mad?"
Rose: "My head."
Doctor: "Come here."
Rose: "It's killing me."
Doctor: "I think you need a doctor."
Rose: "What happened?"
Doctor: "Don't you remember?"
Rose: "It's like, there was this singing."
Doctor: "That's right. I sang a song and the Daleks ran away."
Doctor: "Rose, before I go, I just want to tell you. You were fantastic. Absolutely fantastic. And do you know what? So was I."
by Billie Doux
Bill: "A vampire would have drained those girls of every last drop. How's your Fresca?"
Poor Gran. Why her? She didn't have sex with a vampire. Not that we know of, anyway. But she was certainly nice to one in front of half the town.