Review of The Empty Child (9th Doctor)

Posted by: Whochick

Review of The Empty Child (9th Doctor)
The Empty Child - Episode 1.9

This is the first half of the two-parter for which Steven Moffat received the Hugo Award. I would like to note here that I want Rose’s t-shirt. I have a Union Jack hoodie, but it’s not the same. Okay, onto the spoilery stuff!

Episode: The Empty Child by Steven Moffat
Rating (1 to 5): 4.5
Baddie: Gasmask Zombies/ The Empty Child
Rose is Trapped: surrounded by the gas mask people
The Doctor is Trapped: surrounded by the gas mask people
The Doctor Enjoys: Nancy’s plan to feed the children.
The Doctor Dislikes: When companions wander off. Jack.
Doctor-y Strangeness: The way he approaches the ringing TARDIS phone…like it might explode if he touches it.
Scary Stuff: Mummy! (especially right at the end of the episode), The gas mask zombie transformation, the monkey with cymbals.
Does someone local help out? Nancy, Doctor Constantine, and Jack (who is kinda local)
Bad Wolf? Next episode.
What we learn: Mauve is the universally recognized color for danger. You can knock around in space for about five days before running into Earth. It’s best not to wear a Union Jack t-shirt in the middle of an air raid. Jack is omnisexual. The Doctor knows that it isn’t easy being the only child left out in the cold. The first rule of active camouflage is park somewhere you’ll remember. We’re reminded that The Doctor was once a father and a grandfather.
The Doctor’s Death Wish: Well, he’s wandering around during an air raid…
The Doctor Apologizes To: No one this time.
My Favorite Bits: The Doctor talking to the cat. “Excellent Bottom” “You’re not even in focus” “My nose has special powers.” “-I like to think of myself as a criminal. -I’ll bet you do.” “-Are you a doctor? -I have my moments.” “-Before this war began I was a father and a grandfather. Now I’m neither, but I’m still a doctor. -Yeah, know the feeling.” “Flag girl was bad enough, but U-boat captain?”

Observations and musings:

Rose and The Doctor spend most of this episode apart. Lucky for her that Captain Jack saw her dangling from that balloon. It’s good to know someone with an invisible spaceship when you’re about to fall out of the sky to your death. I love that during Jack and Rose’s “negotiations” she refers to The Doctor as her “companion.” When Jack does a scan for alien tech, after Rose had asked The Doctor to do that exact thing earlier (he didn’t), I couldn’t help but think that The Doctor had a few problems in his future. Look out Doctor, Rose fancies Jack.

When Nancy told The Doctor that he needed to speak to “The Doctor”, I’ll bet that he was wondering exactly who she was referring to. The Doctor knows something about motivations, doesn’t he? He knows that Nancy is caring for those kids because she lost someone. I wonder if he realizes that he has a similar motivation for his constantly trying to save everyone. The Doctor does some medical stuff this time around. I suppose after hanging around with humans off and on for 900 years, he knows a thing or two about their physiology. Gotta love that Rose has decided to give The Doctor the pseudonym of “Mr. Spock.”

Behold! Captain Jack. He who has the thousand watt smile. So, of course because Rose likes him, The Doctor automatically doesn’t. As I recall, “Chula” was the name of a restaurant where the series one scriptwriters gathered to discuss work. I think that it was in one of the extras on the DVD box set. I love Glenn Miller. Hmmm…Jack and the Doctor have fancy binoculars, spaceships, and psychic paper. A bit similarly equipped, eh? Albion Hospital, where The Doctor goes to see “The Doctor” is the same place that the pig alien was taken in Aliens of London. I love the camera work in this episode, especially the bit where The Doctor goes through the gates of Albion hospital. Ack! Scary ending! The resolution? Next week!

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About the Author

Whochick is a huge Doctor Who fan. She loves the show so much that she not only co-authors a blog on the topic, but also a podcast that you should listen to. Whochick resides in California with her husband (the Shadow Architect), and occasionally refers to herself in the third person.

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