Doctor Who

Episode Report Card
admin: B | 2 USERS: A
Explicate! Elucidate! Exposit...ate!

...and, in a series of cuts, he's got the Doctor stripped to the waist and crucified on some kind of device. Like somebody said, "You know, I like gay porn, but it's just not boring enough. Or gay enough!" Van Statten runs his scanners all over the Doctor's torso, and for some reason it's quite painful, and he wants to patent the Doctor's binary vascular system, and the Doctor finally twigs to how van Statten works: "You don't just collect this stuff, you scavenge it." Van Statten is like, "Duh," and then says that "broadband" came from Roswell, and that the cure for the common cold has been discovered in "the Russian Crater," but that of course he's not releasing it: "Why sell one cure when I can sell a thousand palliatives?" You know Americans say that word all the time. He smirks, and the Doctor is still trying to help: "Do you know what a Dalek is, van Statten? A Dalek is honest. It does what it was born to do, for the survival of its species. That creature in your dungeon is better than you." And van Statten replies in the best way he can, which is to say, "Fine, if you said it, it must be true, so I guess I'm a huge torturer, so here's a hot cup of torture." The Doctor screams again that the Dalek is going to kill everybody in the whole Vault, but this is van Statten's world, van Statten's Cage, and nothing can escape the Cage. Zap! And oh, the Doctor screams: "But it's woken up! It knows I'm here! It's gonna get out! Van Statten, I swear no one on this base is safe! No one on this planet!" I like how this scene does quadruple duty: it's telling us about the reality of "Exterminate," to which we might not have completely caught on before: that it means "everybody for real." And it's making the point that just because the Doctor is an instrument of beauty doesn't mean van Statten won't use him as a weapon, because he doesn't get it -- and continues to link the Doctor and the Dalek in ever more complex ways, including that one. And it's making the point that even while getting zapped by homoerotic pain rays, the Doctor still wants to save van Statten's innards. And it's making the point that as long as there's fan fiction, good guys are going to get zapped by homoerotic pain rays.

Adam flashes ID to get himself and Rose into the Cage, but since this is Utah, he doesn't need to mention Flydale North. Rose ignores Adam's warnings, and gets right up in the Dalek's grill: "Hello?" Silence. "Are you in pain? My name's Rose Tyler. I've got a friend, he can help. He's called the Doctor. What's your name?" She just said the magic word and she doesn't even know it. And the Dalek says, "Yes." It is in pain. "They tortured me. But still they fear me. Do you fear me?" She doesn't. It's ashamed: "I am dying." Any time Rose is nice to anybody, he or she dies horribly. "I welcome death. But I am glad that before I die...I met a human who was not afraid." Rose is overwhelmed, with sadness and pain and disgust, at what they've done. This isn't the Rose who put anything "alien" on the same ugly shelf. Guess there's a lesson here about being a bit more discerning. No blanket statements. "Isn't there anything I can do?" she asks. The Dalek plays the trump card, the one it pulled out of the deck when she mentioned the Doctor: "My race is dead. I shall die alone." And since the Doctor says this every five minutes, Rose knows what to do: reach out, tears in her eyes, and touch, remind it that it's not alone. Adam screams, too late, but something is happening. Rose's palmprint burns bright orange on its skin, she snatches away her hand, and the Dalek goes buckwild: "Genetic material extrapolated -- initiate cellular reconstruction!" Chains burst, sparks fly, Simmons shits himself. The Dalek points its sucker at him as he comes near. Simmons: "Whatcha gonna do? Sucker me to death?" Um, yes, dick. It CGIs that sucker right over his face, and his skull cracks in, as Rose and Adam get the hell out of there. The alert goes up, "Condition Red," and van Statten stares at the very sweaty, very shaky, very tired Doctor, who tells him, "Release me if you want to live."

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Doctor Who




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