Doctor Who
The Impossible Planet (1)

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

Toby emerges into one of the corridors, scrolls tucked under his arm. A voice more terrifying than any you've ever heard steals out across the hall, coming from everywhere: "Toby..." He looks around, puzzled, even as the lights flicker out, leaving him in darkness, and then come back up again. "Who's that?" he demands, assuming it's tricky Danny. He looks about, searching for the voice, and eventually lets it go. Sometimes this place drives you mad, they said. When the world itself is twisted and strange, you can see and hear all kinds of things, and forget to take signal from noise. You go just a bit more deaf. You stop paying attention. Toby heads away from the sound, back on his way toward the control room...

...where the crew, the Doctor and Rose are crowded around the control panel. Toby informs everybody that the rocket link's fine, and Zach pulls up a hologram of the black hole on a machine that looks kind of like a Dalek. The Doctor puts his glasses on. "That's the black hole officially designated K37 Gen 5," explains Zach. And Ida fills in: "In the scriptures of the Falltino, this planet is called 'Krop Tor': the bitter pill. And the black hole is supposed to be a mighty demon. It was tricked into devouring the planet, only to spit it out. Because it was poison." Rose smiles at her: "The bitter pill. I like that." We'll see, won't we? However many times it takes you to actually swallow. "We are so far out," the Doctor fairly moans. "Lost in the drifts of the universe...How did you even get here?" Zach explains that they flew in, and demonstrates with the hologram: "This planet's generating a gravity field. We don't know how, we've no idea, but it's kept in constant balance against the black hole. And the field extends out there." He gestures: "As a funnel, a distinct gravity funnel, reaching out into clear space. That was our way in." Is it in one of the Robert Cormier books where they say, "There is no gravity; the earth just sucks"? That's what this reminded me of. But it's very important: this impossible planet is a Venus Flytrap; it generates its own directed gravity field. It sucks. "You flew down that thing?" Ida grins: "Like a rollercoaster." "By rights, the ship should've been torn apart," says Zach. "We lost the Captain...which is what put me in charge...." Ida consoles him that he's doing a good job, but his reply betrays a lack of confidence: "Well, needs must." The Doctor points out that if the gravity funnel closes, there's no way out, and Scooti whistles in the dark that they've had fun speculating about that. "Oh yeah, that's the word," says Danny, bumping her on the head with a rolled-up map or scroll: "'Fun.'" The Doctor's still stumped and confused and resisting this: "But that field would take phenomenal amounts of power! I mean, not just big, but off the scale!" Ida offers him some tech and leaves him to figure it out for himself. I like her.

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Doctor Who




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