Empty Child/The Doctor Dances

Genre: SF
Series: Doctor Who

Reactions by Kathryn A 26-07-2005

(Originally posted at http://www.livejournal.com/users/kerravonsen/118035.html)

I think I had better wibble on about this before the memory fades; I saw The Doctor Dances this last weekend. I actually ended up seeing both parts twice, because after I saw it on Saturday, I sat down on Sunday and watched them both back to back, because I'd actually missed the first five minutes of The Doctor Dances and was rather confused about what was going on.


I have to say that "The Empty Child" has to be one of the creepiest Whos ever. In my creep-o-meter, it ranks up there with "Seeds of Doom", and probably for the same sort of reason -- the "living death" aspect, of being turned into the alien not-self, not as transcendence, but degeneration.

"Human DNA is being rewritten by an idiot."

Seeing it the second time, it wasn't half so creepy, because I knew what was going on, and probably also because I knew it had a happy ending, so it wasn't quite so full of horror.

But I loved the happy ending. Even more, the Doctor's reaction to the happy ending: "This time, everyone lives!" Just underscoring what darkness there is in his life, that he's not ever going to take for granted days like these, where everyone lives.

"The world's not gonna end just because the Doctor dances."

This, of course, has got to be a favourite episode for those who are into Doctor/Rose 'ship. I dunno, I think they have different attitudes towards the whole thing... Rose is just the kind of person who seems to think in terms of dates and stuff. The Doctor... is trying to impress Rose, in a cocky proud way that's pure boyishness, but also mixed up with a caring that's definitely love, but it isn't necessarily eros.

Or maybe I've got blinkers on? I do find it disagreeable to ship the Doctor, as I've said before...

Even so... it was cool. Interesting also that the Doctor lost his two left feet when he changed the music -- said music which I recognised, but don't know what it is called -- but maybe that reflects the two different attitudes of Jack and the Doctor. Jack dances to a slower beat, because he dances to seduce. The Doctor grooves to the rhythm because he dances to celebrate life.

As for Captain Jack, there's some nice snark between him and the Doctor. This is good. I especially liked the whole bit about the weapons factory (and the bananas).

Also some good forethought about the tech: having a super gun which loses its oomph because the battery runs out, gives it a built-in limitation, rather than having to keep on inventing mishaps for the gizmo to prevent it being used to save the day.