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October 20, 2014

Doctor Who series one: The Doctor Dances

by Richard Keller, posted May 13th 2006 6:20PM

Christopher Eccleston, the ninth Doctor Who(S01E10)  Former gas-masked zombie: My leg's grown back! When I come to the hospital, I had one leg!

Doctor (not The Doctor): Well, there is a war on, is it possible you miscounted?

The Doctor can babysit at my house anytime. I mean, any man who can get a crazed group of gas-masked zombies to stop attacking just by saying 'Go to your room' can get my kids to behave as well.

This episode was another fine performance all around for stars Christopher Eccleston (The Doctor) and Billie Piper (Rose Tyler) as well as writer Steven Moffat and Director James Hawes. Moffat and Hawes kept the tension that they developed last episode ("The Empty Child") while bringing in a bit more levity and even a happy ending for all concerned.

To recap: when we left our intrepid duo last episode they, as well as Captain Jack Harkness (John Barrowman, who looks and sounds a little bit like Tom Cruise), were about to become alien zombies. As mentioned above, The Doctor gave them all a stern talking to, which caused all of the zombies to go back to their rooms. From that point on it was a non-stop train ride.

There were some great scenes this episode, such as the one where The Doctor, Rose, and Captain Jack discover that Patient Zero was a little boy. While they listen to a tape recording of the child constantly asking 'Where's my mummy?', we hear the tape run out, but the boy is still calling out. When our heroes all turn around the boy, Jamie, is right there. Creepy. The same can be said for the scene where Nancy (Florence Hoath) is speaking with the other homeless children and realizes that the typewriter is working by itself, printing up a continuous stream of 'Where's my mummy' messages.

There were also some surprises. For instance, the medical transport that The Doctor was looking for contained not one being, but billions of nanogenes that tried to save Jamie, but in the process caused the spread of a plague. In another surprise that threw me for a loop, Jamie was not Nancy's brother, but actually his illegitimate son. This realization made Nancy the person who needed to save the human race.

Nancy's confession led to a wonderful ending scene. As Nancy hugs her son, the nanogenes pick up on her DNA and alter Jamie's, returning the boy to health. Once that's done, The Doctor performs a 'software upgrade' with the nanogenes to restore all of the remaining gas-masked patients back to normal. The success of it all causes The Doctor to exclaim with a big smile "Everybody lives!". The show ended with a lovely scene of The Doctor and Rose dancing to Glen Miller's In the Mood. It was a warm ending to a two-part episode that was very dark and dreary.

Gosh, I was extremely impressed with this episode. I know I've said it a couple of times already, but this show really gets better as it goes along. Rose and The Doctor continue to have great chemistry, and the addition of Captain Jack (who will appear on the next two episodes and soon have his own spin-off show titled Torchwood) is a great counter for the Doctor. Moffat and Hawes are doing a terrific job with this incarnation of Doctor Who and I look forward to seeing more of their work.

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Robert Pakota

The new series continues to impress. It is worth noting that there is a running gag in this episode. Whenever someone mentions " Dancing ", they are actually refering to sex. Somewhat shocking considering the show's prudish attitude in the past. The ninth Doctor is quickly becoming one of my favorites!

May 16 2006 at 10:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Doug

I love the new Dr. Who. I was a fan of the old one, but the new guy is not as stuffy, has a better sense of humor, and is better looking too! Thank you sci-fi for my fav tv show. DougMcKeever1@aol.com

May 14 2006 at 11:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Doug

I love the new Dr. Who. I was a fan of the old one, but the new guy is not as stuffy, has a better sense of humor, and is better looking too! Thank you sci-fi for my fav tv show. DougMcKeever1@aol.com

May 14 2006 at 11:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Toby OB

Actually, Captain Jack will be in the next three episodes (Boomtown, Bad Wolf and Parting of the Ways), but who's counting? 8^)

He's a great character but would've totally overshadowed the Doctor had he stayed around much longer than that. Definitely deserves his own show and I can't wait to see "Torchwood".

For me the best part was the resignation on Captain Jack's part to the consequences of his "heroic" actions near the end. Great little scene between him and the ship's computer.

May 13 2006 at 9:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
LC

The line I liked was when the older Doctor who tried curing the patients said. "We also seem to be standing in a disused railway station. Any reason for that?" to which The Doctor replied:" Yeah, well, you know, cutbacks".

May 13 2006 at 8:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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