What's Past Is Prologue
Windows everywhere smash and shatter; there's glass everywhere. The Sycorax ship has hit the atmosphere, sending a sonic wave through everyone. Mickey walks through broken glass, down in the street below. Rose and Jackie join him, staring up as a huge asteroid spaceship floats into the sky, blacking out the sun right over central London. (Big Ben's still in scaffolds after last time; at one point they were going to have the Sycorax ship barely miss it, and then everybody would go "Whew"...and then a wing would suddenly unfold, knocking Big Ben over again. It's as funny to think about as actually see it happen, I think.)
Rose stares up at the ship, gets her feet under her, and then charges back up into the flats and the Doctor's bedroom: "Mickey, we're gonna carry him." She gets him ready, ordering Jackie to get some food together: "We're going." Where? "The TARDIS. It's the only safe place on Earth." Politics of location: right now Rose is responsible for her family, Jackie and Mick and the Doctor, and that's it. She's the Prime Minister of the United Commonwealth of Rose Tyler, and her duty is to keep them safe. Jackie, awesomely, is like, "What're we gonna do in there?" and Rose says, "Hide." But what about the Spirit of the Blitz? "Mum. Look in the sky. There's a great big alien invasion and...I don't know what to do, all right? I've traveled with him and I've seen all that stuff, but when I'm stuck at home, I'm useless." Complete the circuit, Tyler! "Now all we can do is run and hide, and I'm sorry. Now, move."
Rose is doing a good job, I'm not complaining. It's just...the whole point of the Doctor is that Rose only thought she was a shopgirl. She was never just a shopgirl, and neither were you, or I. And the entire first season is like a ramp, an inclined plane, taking Rose higher and higher until she could touch God without his intermediary or even that of the TARDIS herself. And now we're on the other side of the apex, heading down and away like a sun after zenith, all her charms o'erthrown, forgetting that what strength Rose has or ever had is still her own. And I think that, if anything, that's the point: you walk with a god and you watch him warp the world around you, that's just another cage. The presence of God is defined by the moments of his leaving, of ein soph, the space defined by the fall from the Garden and which, in terms of relative property, defines faith itself: belief without and against proof. Lest too light winning make the prize light. If Rose is just a shopgirl, she gets to say, "Oooer, whatever will we do, I'm stuck at home, I'm useless, all my charms o'erthrown," and that's easier than saying, "I guess I have to be the Doctor now." I just think it's a natural side effect of traveling with him: assuming that because he's always right and he always saves the day, nobody else is ever right and nobody else can save the day. It's a cognitive process that wins out because it sparks a circuit along the path of least resistance, because if nobody is going to save the day, you get to not do anything at all. The brain and pleasure principle will always travel the most obvious path, because people are lazy and being a superhero is hard. The show has always kept one eye on taking the Doctor/Companion thing apart and looking at it like grownups, well, here's one: being a Companion makes you fucking weak. And you either deal with that or you don't. It's possible to live in the world.