Doctor Who
The Christmas Invasion

Episode Report Card
Jacob Clifton: A+ | 6 USERS: A+
YOU GRADE IT
What's Past Is Prologue

"We haven't got much time. If there's pilot fish, then..." The Doctor suddenly pulls an apple out of Howard's robe: "Why's there an apple in my dressing gown?" He and Jackie have a hilarious conversation about why Howard keeps apples in his dressing gown -- "He gets hungry in his sleep?" "Sometimes" -- before the Doctor shouts again, in pain. "Brain...collapsing..." He grabs Rose's arms, anchoring himself. "The pilot fish mean...that something's coming." He drops again, this time back out of consciousness, into Rose's lap.

Rose pats the Doctor's forehead with a cold washcloth; he's begun sweating and fretting. Mickey plugs in a laptop and promises Jackie that he'll keep an account of his phone line usage. She hands out cups of tea and reminds us that it's now Christmas Day, midnight; Rose tells her that the Doctor's now down to just one heart. The news says that, after a bit of confusion, they've reestablished contact with Guinevere One; transmission to follow. Llewellyn is proud, even as he admits that she was only offline for a few seconds: "We're getting the first pictures transmitted live any minute now...I'd better get back to it. Thanks." He takes off.

Mickey pulls up some bizarre animated website purporting to explain what pilot fish are; there's a cartoon shark that charges the screen, explaining to your aunt Martha that this is what the internet is like. Type in "pilot fish," get a cartoon shark. "They're tiny, but the point is, the little fish swim alongside the big fish." Rose asks how long until the shark appears, and Mickey says not long, and the TV goes crazy, and Jackie sees some "funny sort of rocks" on the TV, but they're not rocks, Rose knows. It's something bad. The shark. "Coming live from the depths of space on Christmas morning," says the TV, and an enormous, terrifying, boneheaded alien growls at the screen. Jackie, Mickey, and Rose gasp and jump backwards; it is cute.

All over the world, the news is going crazy about the faces of aliens. "On the 25th of December, the human race has been shown absolute proof that alien life exists!" they crow. Three cars drive through the gates of the Tower of London and draw up outside UNIT; this scene is very excitingly shot, and you feel like things are about to go crazy. The driver opens a car door for Llewellyn, and he is escorted inside UNIT by a Major Blake. Inside, UNIT is going crazy. It's the "United Nations Intelligence Taskforce," a big deal for the Doctor -- the Third Doctor mostly stayed in exile on Earth and worked for UNIT, eventually dying here -- but we can't call it that anymore because the UN doesn't like to be involved in fictional alien encounters, because the UN is very serious stuff.

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