What's Past Is Prologue
Rose and Mickey bust into Jackie's flat and Rose hangs up the phone for her and starts asking where they can hide. Mickey's mate Stan is only two streets away, but Cousin Mo lives in Peak District, so that's where they'll go. Jackie says that they're not going anywhere on Christmas Eve, and Rose suddenly stops arguing and ordering: "Mum...where'd you get that tree?" Because the tree in the corner is not the gross flocked one from earlier, but a huge green one. Jackie says she assumed it was from Rose, since the tree was delivered while she was out shopping, but before they can discuss it, the boughs of the tree light up and begin to whirl like a complicated James Bond people-slicer -- even Rose is like, "You've gotta be kidding me" -- and begins to spin toward them, singing "Jingle Bells" at a faster and faster and more delirious rate. The coffee table is immediately destroyed as the tree comes toward them; Mickey ushers them out of the room and bravely picks up a chair like a lion tamer.
Rose and Jackie run for it, but split up: Jackie ends up at the front door, while Rose is, of course, heading straight for the Doctor's bedroom. Everybody yells at everybody else as the scary tree continues its rampage; even Jackie is scared enough to leave the Doctor behind. They all three end up in the bedroom with the Doctor, and Jackie and Mickey slide a wardrobe in front of the door, screaming like crazy, as Rose tries to wake him up. She puts his sonic screwdriver in his hand and begs him to wake up. The tree finally comes in through the door and menaces Jackie, who's cowering against the far wall and squeaking, "I'm gonna get killed by a Christmas tree!" Rose leans in, to the Doctor's ear, and says just two words: "Help me."
And he does. The Doctor sits up very suddenly and blasts the tree with his sonic screwdriver: "Remote control. But who's controlling it?" They follow him out onto the balcony, as he puts on a robe over his PJs, and outside they stare down at three of the Santas. Mickey interrupts the moment and is hushed; the Doctor mutely points his screwdriver at the Santas and waits for them to make a move. They huddle together and teleport away. Mickey laughs: "What kind of rubbish were they? I mean, no offense, but they're not much cop if a sonic screwdriver's gonna scare them off." The Doctor explains that they're pilot fish, N. ductor, and then collapses again: "You woke me up too soon. I'm still regenerating. I'm bursting with energy." A bit of vortex slips out. "You see? The pilot fish could smell it. A million miles away. So they eliminate the defense -- that's you lot -- and they carry me off. They could run their batteries on me for a couple of years..." That's Rose and Jackie and Mickey, but mostly Rose: if he's the god of loneliness now, the god that realizes and can admit that Gallifrey is over forever, then all he's got is Rose; she's his defense. So as much as we sympathize with her, getting over Fantastic Eccleston, you have to feel for him: her distrust is another form of change between them. There is a long joke sequence in which the Doctor, in the grips of a "neuron implosion," needs...something. That lame white room from "Castrovalva," I guess, but I heard they got rid of that. Jackie, trying to help, gets all in his face, so the joke goes like this: the Doctor says, one hundred times, "I need..." and each time, Jackie interrupts him: "Painkillers? Do you need aspirin? Codeine? Paracetamol? Oh, I dunno! Pepto-Bismol? Liquid paraffin. Vitamin C? Vitamin D? Vitamin E? Is it food? Something simple? Uh, a bowl of soup? A nice bowl of soup? Soup and a sandwich? Soup and a little ham sandwich?" And her voice is rising higher and higher, she's worried and hysterical and the Doctor's very good-looking, and finally he focuses on her: "I need you to shut up." Twice as funny if it had been half as long ["Said the man who wrote a twenty-seven-page recap! Hee." -- Wing Chun], but I don't write the jokes. "Oh, he hasn't changed that much, has he?" says Jackie. Is this what people mean when they say Carry On? Will there be a daffodil thermometer at some point? The Doctor drops, and Jackie fusses over him some more.