Rose follows the Doctor into the TARDIS, watching him babble happily, like this for the first time -- full of love for him, in love with this weight off his shoulders. The Doctor: "The nanogenes will clean up the mess and switch themselves off, because I just told them to. Nancy and Jamie will go to Dr. Constantine for help -- ditto.... All in all, all things considered: fantastic!" Rose laughs at him. I just wish we could save the Daleks somehow -- not just dancing, then, but flying -- and the Time Lords, and the Gelth. And you know me -- the Cylons, too. That'll bite me in the ass sometime. "Look at you," Rose says, "beaming away like you're Father Christmas!" The Doctor stands tall on the TARDIS deck: "Who says I'm not? Red bicycle when you were twelve." She's aghast, but the Doctor continues on: "And everybody lives, Rose! Everybody lives!" He fiddles with the console, murmuring, "I need more days like this," and Rose falters: "Doctor..." His face is alive. We've never seen this man before. He is beautiful. Fantastic: "Go on, ask me anything! I'm on fire!" She looks at his face: "What about Captain Jack?" The Doctor goes on working, silently. She continues, "...Why'd he say goodbye?" There's no answer -- just the Doctor working, and Rose watching him work.
Captain Jack flies off through space, climbing into the pilot's seat. "Okay computer," he says -- see? He's perfect! -- "...How long can we keep the bomb in stasis?" There's a stasis decay of ninety percent per cycle, equaling detonation in three minutes. Can't jettison it without detonation. No escape pods onboard. He shouts at the computer: is she sure? "Under the sink?" Even there. He nods, and asks slowly, "Okay. Out of one hundred [no]...exactly how dead am I?" 100% probability for the termination of Captain Jack Harkness in under two minutes. He sighs: "Lovely, thanks. Good to know the numbers." There's a quick shot of the ship from outside, as the computer replies, "You're welcome." Captain Jack settles in: "Think we'd better initiate emergency protocol 4-1-7." A drink appears on the dash, and he takes a sip, the purchase of a hazy escape, laughing in that wounded soldier's stance, pronouncing a bit punchily that there's too much vermouth. "See if I come here again!" he laughs, fearful and strong. He tells the computer about the last time he was sentenced to death: "I ordered four hyper-vodkas for my breakfast...all a bit of a blur after that. Woke up in bed with both my executioners. Lovely couple; they stayed in touch. Can't say that about most executioners." (Oppositional spectatorship turns over this rock: couple of what, though?) He laughs again, sadder this time. Zoom out and back from the console, back through his tiny ship. "...Anyway. Thanks for everything, computer. It's been great." It's too late. The bomb ticks, like the empty tape, like the clock at the Lloyds', like anything you can't ignore. It's a matter of time.
...But this isn't that kind of story, is it? Everybody lives. Glenn Miller is playing again, and the TARDIS is suddenly onboard Captain Jack's ship. He spins around. The thing about spaceships is that they're like houses on wheels -- they take on the feeling and the permanence of the people that live in them. The Galactica smells like Laura's perfume; the Doctor knows every creaking TARDIS floorboard and how to hit the dash just right. It's a mixture of a home and a car, which are the two most intimate possible places you can be because that's where you always are. So when we talk about the politics of location, about who's inside whose ship, that's what we're talking about: the hearth. So Rose and the Doctor found themselves quite by accident inside the Chula ship -- that one's easy. They're in the story Jack screwed all to hell, and if Rose is the only person this Doctor's got, then what must Jack's heart be like? From that last scene, the warship feels claustrophobic, or at least smaller on the inside than it is on the outside. And now Captain Jack finds himself in that lonely place, transformed by the intrusion: the Doctor and Rose are coming into his space in order to invite them into theirs -- going into his story, his ship, to invite them into theirs. Inside one small ship that looks big, a doorway to something deceptively huge. That's not something you can just ask for.