Season 1, Story 2 (Overall Series Story #158)
After all those years waiting for "Rose," we only had to wait a week for "The End of the World"! How cool was that? Good times.
So, at the end of "Rose," we saw the Doctor was willing to negotiate with the Nestene, or at least give it a chance to leave Earth before resorting to force. It was important for the series to re-introduce him as a hero who believed in talking things out first. But, early in this episode, he did something, I think, even better in terms of illustrating his character: he made that crack about the rich I quoted in the title of this post. Now we know that, while he taunted Rose while inviting her aboard the TARDIS with that bit about the alternative being eating chips and watching telly, he's on the side of (to use the current parlance) the 99%. Like I said, he's the Doctor we needed, and still need. By bringing Rose to an event that only the snooty super-rich could attend, he's democratizing it and sending them up. Plus, at the end of this one, he and Rose go out for chips.
Gotta love that at a party to view the end of the world, they're listening to Soft Cell's "Tainted Love"? This, as much as anything we'd seen in the first episode, told me Davies was the right man to bring the series back. (We'll just gloss over the inclusion of Britney Spears's "Toxic".) Also, love the way Eccleston starts head-bopping as the "iPod" starts playing. I don't get why people aren't more fond of him.
If we learned in "Rose" that the Doctor will give the opposition a chance, we learned "The End of the World" that he won't give a second chance when the first is squandered. Rose is inclined to help Cassandra after everything, but the Doctor is content to let that bitchy trampoline explode. He's the last of the Time Lords (for now), and "last human" is going to get what's coming to her.
I have no problem with his lack of mercy there. The only problem I have with this episode is the bit of mystical hoo-hah when he closes his eyes, the music swells, and he steps through the fan blades unharmed. If we were meant to think he had timed it perfectly, was in tune with the rotation of the blades, there were ways they could have shown that instead of suggesting ... some sort of miraculous luck? Whatever that was. That's the only demerit I can mark against this story. Unfortunately, it's especially irksome. Otherwise, the themes of appreciating that everything ends and the importance of living in the now, and of not being twat just because you're rich and think you're therefore entitled, all that worked really well for me.
|Nine and Rose at the end of the world.|