Doctor Who : The End of the World
After having to come to terms with a hell of a lot of stuff in the first episode, Rose’s experience was turned up a notch in The End of the World, where she was taken far, far into the future to the time when the planet earth died and she met aliens, lots and lots of aliens, really alieny aliens, and realised that there was much more to life than going to work and shopping and hanging out with her mates!
This episode was all about showing Rose what the TARDIS is capable of, and perhaps the Doctor was showing off a little bit, but he didn’t quite comprehend the effect that seeing her own planet blown up in front of her eyes would have on her, as taking people from the planet Earth to see these sorts of things in the past has never really shocked any of them before, for some unknown reason best known to the writers of every episode before this one, so this is a bit of a new experience for the Doctor.
A few more bits of the shows mythology were reintroduced in this episode such as the fact that all aliens that they meet speak English (which again was generally taken for red before, apart from the odd mention here and there, usually when they were on a part of the Earth that wasn’t England) and the name of the Doctor’s race, and also the fact that he is the last of them, and the fact that there was some sort of massive Time War. If anything this makes the Doctor slightly more mysterious than he was before.
The most impressive thing about this episode was the fact that it features plenty of different alien species such as the Moxx of Balhoon a small blue creature who travelled around on a hover chair and seemed to be some sort of solicitor rather than an evil alien, Tree People from the Forest of Cheam, one of whom is apparently related to the Brazilian rain forest and other various alien species including The Face of Boe who is basically a massive face in a jar with dreadlocks, who doesn’t say much and looks very thoughtful.
All of the aliens were quite impressive looking, and seemed to be more realistically alien than some of the ones we had seen in the show before, and not just people in costumes (even if that is exactly what they are) which showed that the show was taking it’s seriously indeed and was trying to look like it had a lot of money spent on it. Moxxy was the most humorous one with his high pitched voice and penchant for spitting with the Face of Boe being the most mysterious of them. However the most strange of them all had to be the last human alive, Cassandra, who is basically just a stretched piece of skin with a tiny face in the middle, who is the least humanoid looking of them all, but is actually a human being!
Christopher Eccleston showed what a good actor he was in the scene when Jabe, one of the tree people realised what he was and that she felt really sorry for his loss. In one look Eccleston portrayed the anguish and the loss that he felt far, far better than any words could have done. There was even a tear in his eyes at the mere mention of his own people. That was pretty powerful stuff for Doctor Who, not the sort of stuff that we are used to, which again showed how the series had grown.
Billie was great as well in this episode and really did feel a bit out of her depth in amongst all of the aliens but soon began to realise that there was more to the universe than the just the Earth and the human race. She also got to see her own planet from orbit which must be something to see, and not something that the majority of us ever will.
The plot isn’t up to much in this story to be honest, and it is all sorted out without much of a by-or-leave, but that isn’t really the main point of this episode as it is there mainly to show the future to both Rose and to the viewers so the episode basically gets it job done, and it does it in a very entertaining fashion, which makes it successful if not that particularly impressive.
Still, where else could you see a programme that features both Soft Cell and Britney Spears on the same bill?