Rose and the Doctor head to London 2012 for the Olympics, only to find themselves on a suburban street where the children are disappearing. After a bunch of herrings both red and anvilicious, it is discovered that one lonely little girl named Chloe is responsible: she pulls her neighbors into her art by drawing them. She's also got her mean scary demonic dad locked up in a very scary picture in her closet. After a billion years of gumshoe and lots of sardonic twitticisms, it is discovered that the girl is actually possessed by a colony of tiny aliens called the "Isolus," whose separation from their mothership (drink) has caused them to go shit nuts. Chloe draws the Doctor and TARDIS in as well, leaving Rose to save the day. She does this, and meanwhile Chloe and her mum sing "Kookaburra" at Mean Dad until he goes away. Then the Doctor reappears, grabs the Olympic torch, and things get stupid. Considering that next week's double-header is the season finale, this is a shit way to go out. But most of the episode is pretty awesome, even for all the cheese at the end -- the effects are neat-looking, and the performances -- especially those of Chloe, her mom, and Rose -- are fun to watch. The fun of being Doctor and Companion again after last week is infectious, if claustrophobic, and it's nice to see Rose react to the Doctor's absence with something other than total meltdown. And there's a happy ending, which is getting rarer all the time. Not recommended, but a good close to the story before the final denouement.
London, 2012, proud host of the Olympics. Music like The Little Mermaid on an ordinary suburban street, with well-kept houses. "Idiot's Lantern" on fast-forward. You just thought you knew what a child's rage looked like. A woman wheels her baby along, waving to her neighbors, her postman, past Tom's house, where he's playing soccer with his friend Dale. Tom's dad is washing his car. On the lamppost, there's a poster advertising the disappearance of Jane McKillen. Somebody's daughter. From a window far above -- up, up -- a girl named Chloe watches, hand pressed against the glass. Like she's begging to be touched; like she's cut off by forces she can't name. Down the lane presses an old woman pulling her trolley bag behind her. She gets suddenly confused, hears a buzzing that nobody else can hear. She looks around, suddenly worried. A woman -- Chloe's mother, Trish -- notices her discomfort and comes out onto the porch to ask if she's okay. "No, love, I'm not," says Maeve, in that British way. Trish asks if she needs a doctor. A Doctor, maybe, could help -- we're back in Albion -- but Maeve knows the score: "A doctor can't help." The old woman stares around, goggle-eyed. "Can't you feel it, Trish?" And Trish says, truthfully, that she can't feel anything. At all.
I love Trish, you should know: she's beautiful, and my best friend for appearing in Much Ado with...gosh, everybody -- Rose, and Sarah Parish whom we'll be meeting again soon, and sexy old Tom Ellis, and Derek Riddell who I kind of wanted to hug in it, and then wanted to mack on hardcore once I'd seen him in a few more things. The whole Shakespeare ReTold thing launched a thousand ships, and not the fandom kind. Far as I'm concerned, Riddell's still in possession of the best sex scene of all time: have you seen The Book Group? It's like a reality show about a shallow American trying to recap the relaunch of a huge piece of Commonwealth culture, while blindfolded. Not surprisingly, given the similarities, I kind of despise the American character. Nobody wants to know that shit. We forget because we must.
Anyway, Chloe watches the boys playing soccer, watches crazy old Maeve usher them inside like a crazy person, only to have Tom's dad wonder WTF. "It's happening again!" Trish looks up, up at her daughter, in the window, and goes back inside. She leans against the door, keeping the world out.