A nicely balanced episode, with moments of comedy interspersing the rather more serious story of Blon the Slitheen being willing, again, to exterminate the entire human race to get what she wants. The last time we met the Slitheen family, they were prepared to wipe out the whole planet for the sake of a small profit. This time, Blon/Margaret comes close to blowing up the planet to generate a wave on which she can surf back to “civilisation”. The way Blon/Margaret was trying to manipulate the Doctor, to appeal to his better nature, was uncomfortable. She had a point; his taking her back to Raxacoricofallapatorius (sp?) meant he would be complicit in her death, and not a quick or painless death it would have been either. True, a moment of empathy led her to spare the life of Cathy Salt, but that was partly from the self-pity she felt, stemming from her loneliness on Earth and the loss of her own family. Shame she couldn’t find the same empathy for all the other people she killed, or was planning to eliminate. The end result, while very much a deus ex machina, was more satisfactory than either sending her to her slow soup death or letting her go free to wreck more havoc. (And who did she say she got the transponder from?)
It was good to see Mickey again. His reference to the Doctor as “big ears” made us laugh (cross between Big Ears of Noddy and the Big Bad Wolf?). But as RTD explained in Doctor Who Confidential, his exasperation with Rose highlights the side-effects of the Doctor’s actions. You can’t help but feel for Mickey. He’s been left behind while his erstwhile girlfriend goes off on exciting adventures, and grows into a whole new person. From personal experience, that never helps a relationship, and usually ends in an acrimonious split.
On the bad wolf front, it’s payoff time. Tonight, the Doctor finally notices the many occurences of Bad Wolf references, as does Rose.
Doctor: “Blaidd Drwg. Bad wolf.”
Rose: “I’ve heard that before. Bad wolf. I’ve heard that lots of times.”
Doctor: “Everywhere we go. Two words. Following us. Bad wolf.”
Rose: “How can it be following us?”
Elsewhere, badwolf.org.uk is now live. The intro opens with an unnerving distorted recording, with snatches of the Disney tune “Who’s afraid of the big bag wolf?”, and apparently, also contains of a distorted reading of William Blake’s “The Sick Rose” (via wikipedia).
The Sick Rose
O rose, thou art sick!
The invisible worm
That flies in the night,
In the howling storm,
Has found out thy bed
Of crimson joy,
And his dark secret love
Does thy life destroy.
We were reminded tonight that the TARDIS is alive, and amongst a long list of speculations, is one of the TARDIS trying to warn the Doctor or Rose of impending doom. Who is behind the badwolf.org.uk site? Is it Mickey (unlikely as the Theories page also lists him as the potential bad wolf), someone from UNIT, perhaps even Adam? If you go to the Disclaimer page, highlight the bottom of the page. The webmaster is desperately trying to warn Rose…
Rose – Are you there? Are you getting this? You’ve got the point, haven’t you? Rose…?
The Bad Wolf is not real. The Bad Wolf is not real. The Bad Wolf is not real.