Children In Need 2005
18 November 2005
|Written by||Russell T. Davies|
|Directed by||Euros Lyn|
|Produced by||Julie Garner and Phil Colinson|
Rose stares, stunned, as the young man who has replaced the Doctor sets the TARDIS in flight towards the planet Barcelona on Tuesday, October 5006. He then begins to poke and prod his face and torso, checking out his new bodys attributes: a slight weakness in the right wrist, sideburns, bad skin, and a mole between his shoulder blades. When he turns to Rose for her opinion, she demands that he send the Doctor back, convinced that hes an impostor — but he claims that he is the Doctor, even though he just changed every cell in his body to save his life.
To prove it, he takes her hand and reminds her of the first word he spoke to her, in a cellar, surrounded by malevolent shop-window dummies: ;Run.Rose, shaken, asks if the Doctor can change back. He tells her that he cant, and, realising shes deeply upset, asks if shed prefer to go home now. He resets the co-ordinates for the Powell Estate on 24 December, but when he cracks a joke about her mums holiday cooking, she smiles, despite herself. But just as it seems that hes starting to win her over, he convulses and coughs out a cloud of glowing yellow light.
Worried, Rose asks the Doctor to go back and fetch Captain Jack to help, but the Doctor insists that Jack is busy enough rebuilding the Earth. His is then distracted by a shiny switch switch on the console, and when he flips it, the TARDIS begins to accelerate. With a burst of manic energy, the Doctor begins to push his ship to go even faster, and in a moment of lucidity, he tells Rose that the regeneration is going wrong. The TARDIS cloister bell begins to toll, and the Doctor gleefully tells Rose that they’re about to crash-land.
Next stop, Christmas Eve — but possibly not in one piece…
- The pre-credits sequence for the mini-episode was a montage of the climactic scenes of “The Parting of the Ways“.
- Apart from the recap of the events at the conclusion of “The Parting of the Ways” and the time tunnel effects, this is one of only three stories that take place entirely within the confines of the TARDIS and features only the regular cast, the others being the First Doctor story The Edge of Destruction and the Tenth Doctor story “Time Crash“.
- Rose refers to previous adventures, mentioning nanogenes (“The Empty Child”/“The Doctor Dances”), the Gelth (“The Unquiet Dead”) and the Slitheen (“Aliens of London”/“World War Three” and “Boom Town”).
- During the Doctor’s initial spasms, Rose suggests they go back and get Captain Jack to help. The Doctor replies that Jack is too busy rebuilding the Earth (devastated in “The Parting of the Ways”), suggesting that he is aware — or at least may want Rose to believe, that Jack is alive. This could be a foreshadowing of the spin-off series Torchwood. According to his comments in “Utopia”, the Doctor knew that Jack would be immortal.
- Post-regeneration instability has been present, to varying degrees, in every one of the Doctor’s regenerations, from the Second Doctor’s casual shrugging-off of his predecessor as someone else (The Power of the Daleks) to the Sixth Doctor’s psychopathic behaviour (The Twin Dilemma) and the Eighth Doctor’s amnesia (the tv movie)
- This behaviour seems to be common to Time Lords, as the Master exhibits the same manic instability at the end of “Utopia” when he regenerates, a fact that was confirmed by Phil Collinson in the podcast for the show.
- The low chiming sound that echoes through the console room near the end of the mini-episode is the sound of the TARDIS’s Cloister Bell, first heard in Logopolis. Its ringing is supposed to signal “wild catastrophes and sudden calls to man the battle stations,” as the Fourth Doctor put it. This episode contains no in-dialogue explanation for the sound effect. As the Cloister Bell chimes in the mini-episode, another, faster and higher-pitched ringing is also heard.