Okay, before I even do anything
after looking up the episode title, that seems so corny. If there isn't an Epic Mystery that must be solved by an unlikely duo I will be mightily disappointed.
This particular episode doesn't (for me) have an opening preview, so we shoot straight into the theme song. Catherine Tate's in this episode?! But I thought she was Donna from 'The Runaway Bride' back in the 2006 Christmas special! I think the Donna just came back.
I think of all the intros I've heard so far for Nu Who
this is my favourite. I can hear the drums, the red and vibrant backgrounds are much more of a contrast to the TARDIS, and this version seems a little more rock-like.
Now, to mini-cap what I remember of Donna Noble, she was very Catherine Tate, but
she also told the Doctor that he needed someone to stop him from genociding people all over the place. And she rejected his offer of travel because he scared her. I foresee hijinks and interesting personality clashes here.
She was still annoying though.
The writer for this episode was good old trusty RTD.
Oooh! Oooh! Oooh! After our UK meetup Archie accidentally let slip there would be a mystery themed episode, I bet this is it! Awesome sauce.
So Donna's walking around, looking harried, and I do believe she's had her hair cut as well. Cut to Ten walking down the same street, so this is going to be an Awkward meeting along the same lines of bumping into that one person you never really liked at school, but had to pretend you did because your friends were also theirs. I still love Ten's coat. I covet it.
Donna walks into Adipose Industries, and I'm sure that's got a punny name somehow. It certainly sounds sciencey . . . I blame Little Sister's Biology revision. Can't be bothered to look it up though, but I'm reasonably sure it's a tissue type of some sort. And now the Doctor walks into the building.
You know, I'm starting to think they're not working together at all, but that it's cunningly cut to make it look that way. Plus that last option has the viability of her not having seen him for about a year, assuming a linear time line for the both of them etc.
That and Ten's being sneaky in the back door type of way, while Donna seems to work there, well, she works in Health and Safety now. Although I could have sworn that she was a temp at the security place. Big jump up then from temp work to Official official type person. Maybe her meeting with the Doctor made her less annoying and more willing to actually do
something with her life.
And I just realised that sounded really insulting towards people who work as temps, and implies they've never tried doing something with their lives. Oh well.
And that guy totally checked her out. Can't fault him, she has some legs
Oh, a verification, "John Smith, Health and Safety." The Doctor and Donna definitely don't know they're here. I have wacky hijinks and a mystery to solve! To the Mystery Machine
! And I have just discovered some horrifying things about Scooby Doo
. Not only do you meet their parents, but . . . how can I put this? Shaggy/Velma is canon.
You're wondering how I know about this desecration of a classic cartoon? because my brain blanked on the name of the Mystery Machine, and so I asked Little Sister. Shaggy/Velma is much no. So. Much. Wrong.
, yes, Who
, let's not get NoYay up in my Who
about reboots of classic Scooby Doo
. Bet the masked villain isn't even the first person they meet any more.
On track Koorly. Get on track.
There's a chick with stilettos giving a speech about "the twenty-first century way to lose weight. No exercise, no diet, no pain, just lifelong freedom from fat". Ugh. One: obvious satire is obvious. Two: shame it's true. Three: adipose is
fat. Thank you absurdly retentive brain.
Also: she is Evil. She just is. Red nails, glasses, hair done in an updo, all in black; slightly skeletal face and frame. She's Evil. Big nose too. This whatever
that she's talking about is "[t]he Holy Grail of the modern age" (Pie Iesu Domine, dona eis requiem), and she hold up a pill. Me, I'm more concerned with the freakishly large eyelashes Miss Evil is sporting. They're terrifying!
This pill though, apparently twenty-one of them over three weeks is enough to make the "fat just [walk] away". It's a scam. Then again, as Ten and a possible new Companion are both in the building faking Health and Safety concerns, we know this already.
Miss Evil is actually Miss Foster, and so this Penny Carter chick (who looks uncannily like Martha or whatever Martha's sister was called) asks the obvious question: 'Is this a scam?' Miss Evil's response and body language remind me uncannily of Sarah Palin. Looks like her too
. SO much so that I'm calling her Sarah Palin from now on.
"But if you want the science," she takes off her glasses, "I'll oblige." YEAAAAAHHHH!
Oh, this'll be good. Bet you an 'apenny it's technoTreknobabble. The capsule is "composed of a synthesised mobilising lipase bound to a large protein" the camera pans up to Ten in the projector room looking quite creepy, and we're now in the room with him "molecule. The mobilising lipase breaks up" Ten takes off his shades too, "breaks up the triglycerides stored in the adipose cells which then enter" and then it's obscured by some Dude being curious and Ten saying he's from "Health and Safety . . . Film Department". But the gist of the technoTreknobabble is that it absorbs fat and breaks them down. Without explaining how or why.
Remember: science is not my strong point, and neither is it the strong point of sci-fi shows in general. Of course, this is a broad generalisation.
The Nosy Reporter butts in again with another question; she's so going to be dead in five minutes isn't she?
Apparently adipose pills are very popular, with them having over one million customers in the Greater Londinium area alone. I call bull. This was released in 2008, and when I was doing my GCSEs in 2007 I was told the Greater London area had a rough population of twelve million. Even factoring in an extra three million for migrants, illegal immigrants and people who were caught in the census I refuse to believe a tenth of the people in one isolated test area
were willing to try such a thing. Especially as this seems to be its initial nationwide launch.
And seriously, if there were
one million people using it, and receiving as excellent a result as Sarah Palin says, why haven't the tabloids, broadsheets and sundry local papers caught onto this Miracle Pill? Particularly as I'm reasonably certain that the UK's most popular, well-known or reputable newspapers are all London based. There's a reason they still call the UK's national press Fleet Street.
Oh Sideways Gods. I'm a finicky slip of a chit of a cheel aren't I?
But I'm, if I'm honest, an impossibly naive and fairly uneducated person, 'specially regards the world and cynicism; and all these little titbits of knowledge that I've picked up from who knows where just make this Blatantly False Scheme even more blatantly false, lying, cheating, schemish, deceitful and Obviously Evil. This is Evil like a. Like a. Like a well-broadcast storm that everyone has fair warning about, so naturally you prepare for it, get the sandbags ready in case of storm surges, and seriously, you didn't bother to prepare for the storm? but they've been warning about it for nearly two and a half days now! This couldn't be more obvious unless the villain put on her Spike Dastardly
outfit and began cackling outrageously whilst twirling his Evil Moustache in an Evil manner from the Evil shadows. Evilly.
And because of it, well, the people who are taking Sarah Palin seriously are just morons.
But then again, obviously people are
suspicious, these people being a time travelling alien from outside space (and time), a temp worker and apparently one
journalist. Where are the reporters from The Time
?! The Telegraph
?! The Mirror
?! The Sun
?! The News of
- scratch that. What self-respecting journalist wouldn't be all over the supposedly revolutionary, miraculous fat-busting pill from an apparently well established business??!!
I'm sorry that I can't get over this, but I honestly don't believe the reaction of these journalists, I don't even think I can buy the "one hundred percent legal" status of these pills; except then I remember 'Boom Town', and people can
be bribed. Stupid overthinking of shallow satire.
Is it even within the UK's medical laws to have such a wide testing - no, she called them "customers"
(my emphasis) indicating that they're being sold. And how would these be distributed anyway? This seems like a drastic action, so I'd assume they'd be prescription drugs, but again, they're "rolling them out" so it seems like over the counter medication. And that is seriously wrong.
How can these people not notice her cartoonish villainy?! "And Britain will
. . . be thin." All you need is an Evil sting of music. Or this.
I swear she's half a smirk away from a Diabolical smile and an Evil chuckle.
So now we have one of those annoying call centres, and this is - really £45 for three weeks worth of treatment. There is no way this is a legal form of distributing legal
medication. Lies on top of lies, sprinkled with deception and amazing gullibility on behalf of everyone who believes these fibs. If I'm lucky and pray to Jesus!Doctor maybe it'll turn out that the Archangel Network is still working and Sarah Palin got her hands on it. I have too much faith in humanity and its intellect to believe they'd fall for such a thing.
Anyway Donna and the Doctor are being Health and Safety dudes and finding things out. An adipose pendant? Really? Maybe I'm an odd duck for knowing what adipose is, but why would people wear medication jewellery unless it was, you know, actual
medical bracelets and things? If nothing else it's impossibly tacky, and more than a little ugly. Also, I bet that's how everyone's being controlled. Emitting a limited psychic field and so on. And there's no way that those things are made of sold nine karat gold. Maybe plated. But not solid gold.
Now we get some comedy bits of the Doctor and Donna both popping their heads up over the partitions enquiring about printer stuff. This serves several purposes: comedy being the most obvious, but it also shows just how in sync the two are even though they've never really met. Not to mention it shows that Donna's intelligent in a sensible way. Honestly? I'm getting a much better second impression from Donna than I have from the two other main companions.
Sarah Palin then stalks Evilly into the room and pulls a domineering boss lady attitude on them, see, she doesn't think them each selling an average of forty-five packs of pills a day is good enough. Now there look to be about fifty people in the room so that's two thousand two hundred and fifty packs a day, per room
. At £45 a pop that's £101 250 per room per day
. Seriously, if we assume that there are five such rooms per floor, and five floors total for telemarketing, that's . . . many pounds
. Demanding woman. Even subtracting pay, rent, marketing and so on, there's still got to be a respectable profit margin. Especially if they're getting government grants and waivers for their research.
"I want one hundred sales per person per day, and if not you'll be replaced! If anyone's trimming the fat it's me. Now, back to it." Seriously, how can they not tell she's Evil?! If nothing else she's just doubled their expected workload and levied unmeetable demands upon her workforce. Unions! Strikes! Take her to court! Doesn't the Who
niverse's world have these things? Or common sense? Outside of isolated plebs obviously.
And one more thing. Isn't this a breach of customer privacy them printing off these lists without permission from customers or higher ups? Neither of these workers seems to have demanded ID from the interlopers, nor are they acting suspicious about them.
Then the Lady Dude who was chatting with the Doctor gives him her number, along with the inimitable chat up line, "You be Health, I'll be Safety." and poor old Ten looks so flustered. It's adorabubble. And now Ten can't find the papers as Donna took them, even though she should have only taken one copy. Cut to Donna outside Purple Lady's house, huh. She flashes the Lady some ID, smarming "You're on the list of our valued customers," at which point I would ask for a close up of her ID, and try to remember if I gave permission for my address and personal details to be distributed in such a way. Not to mention suspicious as it's clearly late evening, and no self-respecting business would be making door-to-door calls at such a time.
Ten does the same.
Okay Purple lost "eleven pound" in five days. This is medically unsafe in so many ways
. A safe amount to lose would be four to five pounds a week
at first (or more depending on weight, health and other factors), dropping to two to three pounds after your body adjusted to the diet/exercise/whatever you were doing. Purple has basically lost one stone (6kg) in five days, or two pounds (1 kg) a day. She should be in hospital. And apparently there are no side effects.
The Dude Ten's talking to has only lost 14kg in two weeks, or 1kg a day; something slightly more believable. If we convert it to proper measurements that's 7lb in two weeks; whereas Purple lost 11lb in five days
. Buh. And from his
reactions he makes it seem like the 2lb a day thing is the normal amount to be lost. He then prefixes his statement with something most befuddling, "Well, technically it's gone by ten past one every day", before telling Ten that he's woken up at that time every day (what kind of person goes to bed that early?), and so that's when he weighs himself.
This is most peculiar. Clearly it's a Strange Thing That Is Worthy of Investigation.
Back with Purple, she's dumping her boyfriend! Callow. Even Donna seems to agree with me as Purple nicks off to the loo.
Back with Dude, and this rapid cutting between the two is really not conducive to a good write up, so much hopping around. While narratively it showcases parallels, two different attitudes towards the pills, and reveals more of the overall conspiracy it can be a bit much for the discerning writer. But that's my
problem. If it were just watching for the sake of watching it'd be very fun, if getting mildly tedious. Stick with a plot long enough to develop it. These one minute scenes are getting dull.
Huh. Dude gets up at the same time evry day because that's when the burglar alarm goes off. Aren't those connected to the police? I'd have turned if off, and or bought a new one by now.
So Ten's confused eyebrow has been raised, and this Dude is as logical as I am. About the burglar alarm at least. There's nowt wrong with the alarm. Any of them.
Ten: "Tell me Roger, do you have a cat flap?" He does even though he's not a cat-person; Ten on the other hands, "has known act-people". They tried to kill him that one time, then there was the delightful
Brannigan (who I firmly believe to be one of the best characters from season three) and his adorable
cat-babies and that cat-nun again. Mixed bag, cat-people.
Potentially, the alarm could be going off by having cats get inside the house; except cats often go inside alarmed houses. Ten: "The thing about a cat flap is that they don't just let things in, they let things out as well." Which is why people tend to seal up
cat flaps they're not using.
Dude: "Like what?"
Ten: ""The fat just walks away." Cue a startled sting and a zoom out. Seriously? The slogan of the Evil Business is how things really
happen? And how does fat just get up and walk away? Est-que c'est une type de la science extraterreste? Probably.
Why do aliens want human fat?
Why are they in Londinium when, to be frank, the most obese nation on earth is Americaland? Well, Naura is (94.5% of its adult population as of 2007
), but that's only got 13 000 people; the US has much
more people in it and 75% of its adult population are considered obese. Not to mention it's the capital of Skinny Culture Land - Hollywood. California in general really.
Realistically, I know it's budget constraints, and Donna lives there, but still. And yes, I know the UK has an obesity problem too - Scotland's the most obese nation in Europe after all, but it's still buggy to me.
So Purple's doing whatever it is girls do in bathrooms while Donna plays with the necklace she nicked from Adipose Industries, noticing it's one of those screw-unscrew capsule things. She twists it shut, and Purple's tummy suddenly goes grumbly.
OH MY GOD IT'S AN ABDOMEN BURSTER! Somebody call Ridley Scott, someone's stealing his special effects!
So this sets off an alarm in Sarah Palin's office, her back's currently turned to the audience, but any second now she's going to swivel around, smirk Evilly and say a one-liner. I bet
Ooooh, almost. What she says into her spy communicator watch
is "We have an unscheduled parthenogenesis." This being fancy talk for asexual reproduction in females
, so far mpreg doesn't seem to be a viable form of reproduction anywhere outside of sci-fi and slashfic. Okay, fanfiction in general. Oh gross
so humans are giving birth to fat babies!
What a smarmily Evil look Sarah Palin has at 07.46.
So Ten tells Dude to quit the pills, probably because men giving birth to fat babies is fairly icky; and then there's a beepy noise! Made by a thing! So we get some running, at eight minutes in.
And Sarah Palin sends out the fuzz. Farmer's mums are packing, I've heard.
OH MY GOD I JUST SAW A BABY BORN!
And it's cute. Fat babies shouldn't be that cute and make those adorabubble squeaky noises. How does Sarah Palin know an adipose has been sighted? Is she some sort of queen bee or mother brain or something?
What's full parthenogenesis? You get get any more parthenogesistic than giving birth! Sarah Palin then picks up a necklace, turns it and Purple nstarts giving birth again! They're still cute.
If terrifying. Giving birth to aliens. Donna's freaking quietly, and Purple's body is swelling with babies!
SHE JUST TURNED INTO FAT BABIES!!!!!
Okay, fridge moment. They're made of fat. But human beings aren't one hundred percent fat; so what kind of technoTreknobabble converts all forms of biological tissue into fat? What if the person who's turned into fat babies has a metal plate, a pacemaker or other forms of non-biological tissue in a human body?
Where did the babies go? Out the window?! It waved to her! And now Ten's running around the general area, but his bleepy thing's broken and the van of Lurch's is out catching fat babies. That must be one of the most undignified and weird
jobs ever. How do you tell your family about your job?!
it drives past Donna, and then nearly runs over Ten. The bleepy thing then gets really
bleepy and he runs after the van. Donna however, being freaked out that Purple turned into absurdly cute fat babies and died
and perturbed, standing in the middle of the road when the taxi rolls up.
Given that last season I missed some posters of Plot Points, I'll note now there's an ATMOS sticker on the cab, even though it's got nothing to do with the plot, but Chekov's gun insists that if something's in prominent display it should be used later on.
The two investigators (if only there were three
- still can't find my books) are left stymied and even baffled. And they walk off, never realising they were within about ten yards of one another. Lovely eagle eye shot for that part (11.53).
Sarah Palin exposits things, and decides it was Donna - or so I'm assuming as Sarah says "There she is [...] what shall we do with her?" before we cut to Donna. Living with her mother. There's some nagging going on, with her mum doing the usual spiel, "Move out, get a job," and it's all echoey which is annoying. Ironic foreshadowing: "No one's going to come along with a magic wand to make your life all better!" Well, a sonic screwdriver isn't exactly a magic wand . . .
And Donna goes to see her granddad. On the hill in the allotme - it's GRUFF OLD MAN! AWESOME! Granddad is an astronomer. Like my dad. And he has a cute grandfather-granddaughter moment about Venus. From the wistful music, and that Donna sought Granddad out after a stressful moment, she's taking her refuge in the stars.
Wasn't there a short-time Companion who said that meeting the Doctor ruined life for them because after knowing what's out there, it's so hard
going back to normality? Let me slap myself. It was Miss Sarah Jane Smith. I think Donna's going through the same thing. Granddad's got a touch of the star traveller bug too as he wants to go to space.
Granddad's cute. "If I wait here long enough", given what happens to Londinium every Christmas he has a good point. And yeah, Donna wants the Doctor, hopefully not in that way.
Donna's not telling her family about what happened at Christmas that time. But aliens are common knowledge! Every Christmas for three years! Granddad "You seem to be drifting sweetheart", but Donna's waiting for a man, "I don't mean like that!"
But you'd better not pull a twist on me and have Donna/Doctor love.
I adore Donna/granddad interaction. There must be more
. I demand it.
This scene has cemented Donna as Awesome. She's grown so much
from her bratty Catherine Tate persona of 'The Runaway Bride', and though, yes, her life's stagnated because she wants to travel with the Doctor she's still doing something
. I can't even complain because not five minutes ago I drew parallels with Sarah Jane Smith. And no one
mocks the Doctor's Sarah Jane. Catherine Tate can act
, and this scene shows her off wonderfully. The music, writing, direction and most importantly, the chemistry between the two make this work amazingly well. It's only a few minutes long, but because it's one of the few long scenes without any flashy editing or sound manipulations, that we linger on a touching family moment like this, in the middle of the fast-paced cutting from earlier makes this a really touching, heartwarming scene.
Cut to Ten in the TARDIS and he starts expositing, but stops when he remembers he's all on his lonesome. The only sound here
is the heartbeat of the TARDIS. Contrasting scenes are contrasting.
Donna and Ten reappear in the same alley outside Evil Corp., missing each other as normal, and follow the exact same manner of infiltration as before
. I almost think it's recycled footage, except the outfit is different.
They walk through the usual places, but this time Ten sneaks into a janitor's cupboard, and Donna into the ladies' room. Sarah Palin orders her Lurch's to keep an eye out of Donna, but the Intrepid Investigators merely waited until the building closed for the night. Oh, and Donna's mum phones up to nag her about needing the car.
And now Sarah Palin's brought two dudes into the ladies' room, with guns!
They "do it the hard way" (hehehe), which is the stereotype way. And that was my second guess: Reporter Not-Martha was doing the same thing.
Heh, could have had a picnic in the loos.
Ten's on the roof. The same roof as was seen in 'The Lazarus Experiment'. No, really. Exactly the same. Talk about recycling your settings.And it's a distinctive one too as it's got the same generator type thingy on it.
Ten then gets on one of those window cleaner machine, and coincidentally
happens to come across Not-Martha in Palin's office; and Palin pulls off the fat-free hammy speech of the episode. And no. Despite the aesop (fat people are bad
, but so are diet pills; look you shameful freaks, if you want to lose weight do it the proper way. With your own sweat and blood) the UK is not
one of the fattest countries in the world. Again, need I point out that in 2007 the US was the ninth fattest country in the world with nearly three-quarters of its population over fifteen being considered overweight or obese.
And coinicidentally Donna's outside the office too. But that's more 'followed the bad guys' than coincidental. They listen to the conversation inside. The pills are "the spark of life"; hopefully not the Allspark though. I shudder at the thought.
Okay, really the pills bind fat to the pill and galvanises it, giving it life. Tch, so it's just like a sci-fi two hundred year old Italian experiment then.
And Foster is a pseudonym, as in "foster mother". Well, great way to tell children that foster parents are Evil. After all, it's not like they're caring for children who are unwanted or unable to be cared for by their blood relatives.
Ten looks as confused by her pseudonym as I am. Yeah, you're raising fat babies, but lady; Evil names juts aren't your thing. You just pun your way through life. Doesn't really explain where she got the technology from either. Oh. Torchwood.
The babies are still cute, and the music rises on a triumphant note as, 22:45 into the episode, Donna and the Doctor finally
meet. Through a pair of windows.
This is going to be fun. I just know it. Argh. Lip reading time. T is Ten, D is Donna. And it's all silent as well, with the comedic trombones supplying the dialogue and humour.
D: Doc. Tah! [She's pulling this expression :D)
T: [mumbles] What?
D: OH! MY! GOD!
T: H-how? [Funny face time: Ten Is A Goldfish at 23:03]
D: It's me! [she points at himself, mugging like a Toby mug. Also, he knows who you are Donna, not like everyone knows Harriet Jones, but still.]
T: [nods] Yeah, I see that.
D: Oooooooo, this. Is brilliant! [Suddenly I'm having flashbacks to gasmask!Master]
T: What the heck(? possibly Hell?) are you doing there?
D: I'm looking for you.
T: [he points to himself] What for?
D: [I have no idea what she's saying. Neither does the Doctor. From the miming maybe 'I was reading, then rarrrrgh' - she she became a dinosaur?]
T: *is clueless*
D: *does a wiggly thing with her hands*
D: *mimes tiptoeing around, points backwards* [Funny Face Time: 23:40. Just 23:40. Oh! She's recapping her adventures this episode!]
Then Donna looks aside and sees Sarah Palin standing there looking extremely peeved. She looks exactly like the really strict Headmistress you had back in Primary whose frown was so terrifying it made people wet themselves.
This scene was hilarious, and that chirpy and comic background brass was fantastic.
Palin: "We interrupting you?" Yeah, you're interrupting an amazing comedy duo, so sit down, stop interrupting their act, and enjoy the show. I'll even buy you some popcorn.
They run. And do some sonicy thing to make sure no one can follow them. The two Lurchs have automatic weapons. Um. No. Not in this UK. Gun ownership is very strictly controlled, and yes, guns slip through the cracks in the countryside
and probably in urban areas too. But not to the sum of automatic machine guns
. Especially not ones that leave holes a good two inches in diameter through a solid wooden door.
Stupid Not-Martha then yells "What about me?!" as the two gun weilding nutjobs and their boss leave her tied to a chair but still very much alive and unharmed.
Ladies and gentlemen: our Idiot of the Episode!
Cue frantic music, leading to Donna having a fangasm and hugging Ten. They then do more
running, "Just like old times!" Oh, Donna should have joined LInDA, she's stalking Ten so much; except if she did she would have become an alien's body fat. Or a cement block with a sentient face on it. Weird how 'Love and Monsters' has an alien plot similar to this episode. But this episode did it right. Unlike that episode
which did everything wrong. With a capital Ruh.
Oddly, the one thing she doesn't believe happened was what happened in 'Voyage of the Damned'. I'd have thought myself, that if it made national news, chances were it really happened. I mean, yes, only the Queen (despite actually holidaying at Sandringham as a well-established Christmas tradition) and her Grandfather
were in Londinium at the time, but it's hardly something you can miss is it?!
It must have made at least Continental news as well! Unless alien disasters befalling the UK are now so common they don't even warrant the exasperated sigh every Britlander gives upon finding out it's another cold rainy day in the middle of July every single day
of July for their entire lives.
Why isnít she believing what her Grandfather told her?
This. Makes. No. Sense.
T: "What do you mean bees are disappearing?" This is such a random thing to say, and given the context
being a bunch a random possible extra- terrestrial or straight up weird
events I call plot point. So ATMOS and bees are linked then. What Classic Big Bads haven't we had in Nu Who
I'll go ask!
Some kind of fish-devils; dudes whose weakness is the back of the neck; an Egyptian Martian; the Rani, various villain Time Lords; The Guardian; ice men and original
Cybermen. Mum took great care to stress that there were original
Cybermen, and then the zeppelin!verse Cybermen. Dad thinks they might be called Mundas Cybermen, but he's not sure. He also mentioned Sontaruns(?).
So I can discount Mundas Cybermen and zeppelin!Cybermen because of season two, same again for Daleks; last season we had the Master, so no more villain Time Lords; fish and bees don't mix; nor do ice men; so Egyptian Martians, Guardians, back of the neck dudes and Sontaruns look good. Mostly because I don't know who they are or what they do.
Um, Donna was on internet conspiracy sites when she found all this information about bees buzzing off, Adipose Industries and so forth; while ordinarily I'd immediately call this crackpot theories, the Apidose Industries thing has become true, and waaaay back in 'Rose' that kooky conspiracy theorist was correct.
But that's me playing around with future episodes. Back in the action the Doctor seems to have done some jiggery pokery with the window cleaner's box to make it work only for them, unless she has a sonic device, "but that would be very unlikely". hard cut to Sarah Palin, she has a sonic . . . pen. It's no lazor screwdriver. She sonics the box, and it freefalls.
Then the Doctor sonics it into stopping, before trying to sonic open a glass window. Donna decides to break it with a spanner. But after deadlocking the building (how? Can that even happen? And against sonic anythings?) Sarah Palin sonics the wire holding the box up on fire. I don't think you can sonic things on fire. Because fire isn't sonic
But! Many years of sci-fi love, primarily Star Trek
, birth place of technoTreknobabble have enabled me to technoTreknobabble my way out of anything. Regardez-vous! The sonic pen resonated the wire filaments to such a high degree that the free electrons built up such a strong frictional force that it 'spontaneously' combusted the wire. And that's the simple version.
Donna looks up and sees the fire. They start to fall, and Donna - wow that's some bad green screen - falls out the box. It's always the woman isn't it? She should go back to the kitchen where she belongs. She ends up pulling a Tombo from Kiki's Delivery Service
and the Doctor shouts down to her "Hold on!" To which Donna responds with a hilariously angry expression and growl, "I. Am
The music is frantic and rises to a climax as the Doctor . . . fails to pull her up. Obviously, Donna's a thirty-something year old woman, and that's a taut wire cable there. The Doctor's weedy at the best of time, and this, this is the worst of times. So the Doctor gave up on the Macho thing and decided to go back to doing the smart thing, you know, the thing he does best.
So we have a sonic off (I couldn't make this up if I tried) and the doctor sonics the sonic pen out of Sonic Palin's hand! Sarah.
Back inside with Not-Martha who hasn't been trying to escape
we get the classic "What the Hell is going on?" line that would be more apropos if she didn't know what was going on
, as we see Donna's legs kicking against a window.
Damn, Donna's get some great upper-body strength if she can hold on this long. And she lays the blame squarely on the Doctor. Who falls into a room, runs some more and - oh my God Not-Martha, grow some brains and a pair of balls you insipid little freak
. Right, Donna and the Doctor are back together again, they bitch a little bit at the journalist (good thing too) and do some more running.
Cue a title drop by the villain back in the call centre (although it's also the title to a colelction of short stories by the wonderful Agatha Christie)! "And obviously off-worlders given your sonic technology," Oh dear. Another really long name for the villain.
Matron Cofelia of the Five Straitan Classabindian Nursery Fleet Intergalactic Class. No dear, he asked for your name
not your work place.
T: "A wet nurse, using humans as surrogates." Um no. A wet nurse provides milk to an infant. A surrogate, yes, that's someone who willingly (or at least knowingly) bears children that are intended to be raised by another family from birth, either due to infertility in one of the couple desiring children, or an inability to safely bear young. And seeing as fat babies appear to be wholly independent once birthed there's no need for a wet nurse. As far as we know.
Sarah Palin "I've been employed by the Adipose First Family to foster a new generation after their breeding planet was lost," So in other words: for the loss of a small amount of money humans are helping a species to continue living. And the pills they bought are
doing the job they were promised. Yeah, it means unknowingly birthing a baby a day for however long your course of treatment is, but still, saving a species.
And while Purple was entirely consumed by fat babies it seems like it's a highly selective thing so only one person gets converted to fat babies at a time.
I hate to say this, but the blatantly Evil Sarah Palin isn't actually evil
, she's doing her job, and helping ensure a species survives. Really, I've seen worse ways of ensuring the safety of a species.
She's offering a service (fat loss) for a service (birthing fat babies).
As for how one loses a planet Doctor? Euphemism for destroyed, diseased, currently uninhabitable. Although what with all those aliens out there I wouldn't be surprised if people were playing pool with planets again, but forgot to check to see if the planets in question were inhabited.
Sarah Palin says politics aren't her concern (oh the jokes I could make), she's just here to care for the children. D: "What, like some kind of outer-space Super Nanny?" That's another person Sarah Palin reminds me of. That lady on Super Nanny
T: "Seeding a Level Five planet is against Galactic Law. [...] I'm trying to help you Matron. This is your one chance. 'Cause if you don't call this off, then I'll have to stop you." From helping to repopulate a species that will die out after the current generation?
Ummm. Accidental genocide? I know it's against the law and all, but there really doesn't seem to be a major problem here. People take some pills, give birth, lose the weight they want, stop taking the pills. Everyone's happy.
The Doctor holds "two identical sonic devices against each other" and makes a sonic rainboom.
And because of this, Sarah Palin decides to accelerate the birthing process. Doctor? You're an idiot too.
But Not-Martha's been caught again - idiot
. Question: why doesn't Sarah Palin force feed her a pill then accelerate the birthing process? Oh, the Doctor's found something green and glowy, so it's important.
Sarah Palin, "We had planned to seed millions, but if that man's an alien then he's alerted the Shadow Proclamation; so the first one million humans will have to do." Yup. It's the Doctor's fault one million people are going to die.
You know, seeing as the world knows aliens exist now, if Sarah Palin had just asked for people to take the pills, explaining the effects and what would happen I'm fairly sure people would still go for it.
So the Lurchs have a kill order. And somehow the Doctor knew exactly what part of the building to elctrocute
to stop the villains. Donna tells the Doctor he looks older, and is he still alone?
No, no he's not, well, he is now, but he had a great friend
called Martha Jones and OH MY GOD ROSE IS BACK!
Time to reinstate that stupid counter. Anyway Rose
is "still lsot". Except she's not. She in a parallel universe of zeppelins with her mother and father, fighting crime and being all daring. Probably that universe even has its own Doctor, so they've hooked up there. NOT!
Donna didn't end up travelling the world, that one day ruined her. This is a very poignant piece (Rose aside), with sombre, gentle music, and the quietly introspective tone Donna takes is sweet. And the Doctor accidentally (I think) asked her to come along, and she obviously said yes.
The inducer goes off. Cut to some Red Lady, who - and a dude in the background - cue a montage of people freaking out as they give birth to fat babies! One at a time.
OH MY GOD THOSE BABIES ARE SO CUTE!
Aaawwww! Some got run over. That's terrible. No seriously, they're that cute.
Okay, from the music this is meant to be scary and terrible and everything, but they're so cute, and it's the March of the Penguins. But without Morgan Freeman.
Seriously, this is really cute. Weird as all get go, but really? What's so wrong with what Sarah Palin's done? She's killed one person. Kind of.
Actually, Donna was responsible. So what she's done is something that is illegal, which is bad; but for - wow what I'm saying is verging on all kinds of easy to take out of context stuff.
And really, the people were horrified, yes, but they're still watching and taking photos. Oh, and I saw another ATMOS sticker back around the 36:00 mark. The humans are being fairly responsible, not touching the babies
. Ah, now we get the Bad Things. This is emergency parthenogenesis.
Which leads me to this: Sarah Palin said she was getting one million babies. But emergency parthenogenesis releases about a dozen at once. Eleven million is a big number to miss.
So we cut back to people freaking out an giving birth. Back to the Doctor, he technoTreknobabbles an autoboost or something; but Palin overrides it.
D: "Is there anything you can do? [...] Tell me Doctor, what. Do. You. Need?" And the Doctor's basically in meltdown, refusing to, oh what's the word? Think
. This boy still has some serious angst issues, and possibly a hero complex. He needs
to save people, because he can't
save people. Not in 'Voyage of the Damned', he only saved two of his Titanic
crew, before that well, one-tenth of the population of the Earth, the Master, the entirety of humanity at the end of the universe, and that's just the past three episodes and a Christmas special!
This boy has some issues.
And Donna, being sensible, and not traumatised by seeing billions upon billions of people die, can think logically. So she gives him that extra pendant she's been carrying around for most of the episode.
This gives the Doctor a happy :D face, and easy as pie he stops the parthenogenesis. This makes Sarah Palin cranky, and Idiot Not-Martha is all curious.
And now Palin's backtracked. Even though she has one million customers there were only ten thousand babies born. Eh, if it's total I can let it slide. Anyway, the mother ship's coming. *slaps self* Bad pun.
Palin and the babies are going home, and Not-Martha's left behind in another running gag. And then a classic reaction from Random Lady "What on Earth is it now?" That's so British.
Cut to Granddad who's looking the wrong way when the ship arrives.
Then we cut to the babies and one waves. It's so adorable I squee'd aloud.
There's some dull stuff with the Doctor and Donna about instructions - really, I don't see what the Doctor'll need to do now. Palin's leaving, she's done her job. And attacking the ship would literally kill tens of thousands of babies. Something I'm betting he doesn't want on his conscience.
back with Palin outside, she tells the babies they're going home to "all your new mummies and daddies", and it's sweet, if vaguely Hitlerish in the way it's shot, but it's cute. The babies are going home!
They get beamed aboard. Hopefully by Scotty. And it's adorable
. And now Palin's in trouble, so the Doctor and Donna run off to save her.
Palin: "Take me. The children need me." Well, I suppose.
Yay! The Doctor's not going to blow them up. "They're just children."
D: "That makes a change from last time. Martha must have done you good." Ladies and gentlemen, as much as I hate internet slang and leet speak, the Doctor just got PWNED
Back to saving Palin, he's trying to stop her from dying. They're going to get rid of their accomplice. But "mum and dad have got the kids now, they don't need the nanny", and she drops. I wave adieu to the cutest alien babies I've ever seen.
Not-Martha's still a moron. "Some people just can't take it." Donna's ready though. She's all packed. Even with a hatbox.
D: "Planet of the hats. I'm ready!" Donna's so perky and the Doctor's all maudlin. T: "It's a funny old life in the TARDIS." He's backing off a bit, so Donna thinks, and the Doctor says, "It got complicated [with Martha]. It was all my fault [yeah, it kind of was]. That was all my fault. I just want a mate."
D:" You want to mate?!"
T: "I just want a
D: "You're not mating with me sunshine!"
T: "A. Mate. I want a
D: "Well just as well because I'm not having any of that nonsense [YES1!!11!!
No hold to it Donna. Hold to it.] Your just a long streak of [urine?] nothing. You know, alien
T: Well, there we are then. Okay."
D: "I can come."
T: "Yeah. Of course you can, yeah. I'd love it."
Then Donna runs off, presumably to return her mum's car; leaving the Doctor to carry her baggage in. Oh no, Donna just put her mum's car keys in the bin. Awesome. And then she hangs up on her mum.
She runs up to a blonde woman - or possibly man - and tells her - or him- emphatically that Sylvia (her mum) should look in that specific bin.
The woman - or man- turns around and DAAAH! IT'S ROSE. WHAT THE HELL IS SHE DOING IN THIS DIMENSION?! GO. AWAY. ROSE. Nobody likes you!
And I thought the seal between universe was permanently
sealed. I'm sure that the Doctor said he wasted a supernova just to slide through the last crack between universes before it sealed itself forever. Forever means forever. Doesn't it Pinkie Pie
And then she just walks away leaving poor old - how did she ghost out of that universe?! Is the universe falling to pieces again?! Hate Rose so much.
Awww, this is so sweet. Donna's first trip is to go see her Granddad from the TARDIS as it flies away. And the Doctor waves too. This is so sweet and cute and adorable.
Ancient Rome! Crazy cultists hunting for a blue box - oh no it's Roman LInDA! Is that Amy Pond?! Romans in Roman clothes, sexism. Explosions and human sacrifice! And fires. Pompei! "The sky is falling" - again?! People, it's "Volcano Day". Like back in 'The Empty Child'/'The Doctor Dances'?
Hey, mum says there was a Doctor story or two set in Ancient Rome, and I swear dad said the Doctor'd been to Pompei before. Is he referring to the next episode or a Classic
any interaction between Donna and her Granddad. And I got a lot of giggles from the scene where Donna got icked by the the thought of Doctor/Companion romance. I know it's an odd thing to love, but I have so. much. hate
for Doctor/Companion romance in Nu Who
. As I said, the only possible Doctor/Companion romances I could possibly endorse would be Nine/Rose or Nine/Ten/Cpt. Jack.
You have three guesses. The first two don't count. (It was Rose). Second moment was Not-Martha in general.
Best Special Effect:
The fat babies. So. Cute.
Worst Special Effect:
That green screen effect of the box falling down the building.
Catherine Tate and Sarah Palin
Number of Times Rose Is Mentioned:
One. TWO! She's back in the normal!verse! The hay?!
This was a really fun episode all things considered. Sure we had Rose
and the Idiotic Not-Martha, but Sarah Palin was fun. And the fat babies were impossibly adorable. Catherine Tate had an amazing
first episode as a proper Companion, and there were genuinely lovable interactions between Donna and her Granddad.
Sure, internally, the logic makes no sense, as really, Doctor. You were willing to let the murder of thousands of people at Dalek hands slide in order to create - ugh - human Daleks. But when it comes to letting people unwittingly give up their body fat in order to create a new generation of Adiposians this was a big No. Yeah, one person died, but guess what? That was Donna's
In short, great opening to season four; there looks to be some fantastic Doctor/Donna friendship or at least interaction along the way, the season plot seems to be bees, ATMOS and (sadly) Rose. Stupid disappearing universe. Or merging one.