Doctor Who
The Impossible Planet (1)

Episode Report Card
Jacob Clifton: A | 2 USERS: A+
YOU GRADE IT
When You Were Young

"Well, it could be worse," says Rose. "This lot said they'd give us a lift." And then what? the Doctor wonders. "I dunno, find a planet," says Rose. "Get a job. Live a life, same as the rest of the universe." They both scoff at the idea. They're too good for all that, aren't they? "I'd have to settle down," says the Doctor. "In a house or something, a proper house with...with doors and things, carpets! Me! Living in a house!" Rose laughs, but the Doctor's barely kidding: "Now that...that is terrifying." Rose teases that he'd have to get a mortgage; he decides to die first. But only because it's his stock answer. "What about me?" says Rose. "I'd have to get [a house] too. I dunno, could...could be the same one, we could both..." The Doctor looks at her; she catches his eye: "I dunno...share. Or not, you know. Whatever." She jumps quickly into the gaping silence: "I dunno, we'll sort something out --" The Doctor nods, feeling awkward, remembering somehow to break open the wish: "...Anyway," he says. And she laughs it off: "We'll see!"

Rose and the Doctor sit in silence for a few: the god who thought he was a human, the shopgirl who once was God. You get used to rooting for something, a bond, love, and if you can't break open that wish, if you invest too much, you maybe forget just how much this diminishes them both. Picture a circle, revolving forward. Pick a point on its circumference. Every time you reach π in the journey, and come back home, you inscribe a sine wave -- like a roller coaster. Rose stepped out of a shop and into a street, and ramped up to divinity. Nine stepped out of genocide and into love, and ramped up to love. It's only a coincidence that these roles, the Doctor and Companion, caught each other on such an auspicious day. A little bit of grace, and a little bit of the other kind. But at the end of the day, they've somehow managed to stop in the middle of the story, because they like this part best, because it makes them feel good. They're on a pedestal together and grace is massing its armies as we speak. Three times, we'll go to Hell and back, and they only touched Heaven for a moment. It hardly seems fair.

"I promised Jackie I'd always take you back home," the Doctor says sadly, and Rose mouths along to the tune: "Everyone leaves home in the end." But that's not the end; that's the beginning. The Doctor shakes his head: "Not to end up stuck here." Rose says that being stuck anywhere, with him, is not so bad. I would agree; this isn't the end either. "Yeah?" he asks. They've already burned off what doesn't work, but it was just a trial run: it didn't hurt. You can tell when you're really earning it, because it hurts like hell. "Yes," says Rose sincerely -- meaning it all, all of it at once, and it's terribly sweet and not weird at all, because love is love -- and the Doctor smiles back. Rose's phone rings -- the phone with no bars, the phone that brooks no communication -- and she answers. "He is awake," says the Beast; Rose tosses the phone to the floor, shocked and creeped out.

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Doctor Who

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