Doctor Who : The Empty Child

The Empty Child begins with the TARDIS chasing an erratic space craft bouncing through space which crash lands on the Earth. The TARDIS goes after it but, as it keeps slipping in time, the Doctor isn’t sure if they had arrived on the Earth before, or after, the craft did.

The Doctor decides to try and find it by asking the people if they had seen anything whilst Rose wanted the Doctor to ‘give her some Spock’ and scan the area for alien tech, which he doesn’t do but probably could with his sonic screwdriver, which he did tend to use for that sort of stuff a lot of the time later on in the revised series.

Rose is distracted by a small boy wearing a gas mask standing on top of a building calling for his mummy and wanders off on her own. The Doctor enters a party and makes a fool of himself by asking if something had fell from the sky recently before an air raid siren is heard and the Doctor realises what he has said.

Rose climbs to the top of this building using a rope which just happens to be in front of her without thinking of the consequences of doing so, which is a very typical Doctor Who companion thing to do. It turns out to be the rope from an air balloon, and Rose is soon hanging in the air from the balloon.

She suddenly gets caught in some sort of tractor beam and lands in the arms of an American man in military uniform and they immediately starting flirting. Captain Jack Harkness is the man’s name and he believes Rose to be a Time agent, and he says that he has something and she wants, and hopes, that she will be willing to buy something from him.

Rose goes along with the charade as she is literally swept of her feet by Jack, who is virtually the opposite of the Doctor, and even scans the area for alien tech for her, as well as repairing her injured hand by using nanobots which his space craft is apparently full off.

The Doctor meanwhile meets a young girl who is looking after lost of children living on the streets who goes into people’s house during air raids and steals their food whilst they are otherwise engaged.

The girl Nancy intrigues the Doctor and he soon works out that she had lost someone which is why she is taking care of the other children. She tells him that she has lost her little brother Jamie not that long ago about the time that the missing craft crash landed.

She shows him where it landed, which is now out of bounds to the public. She tells him that there is this Doctor who knows all about what has happened at the hospital and that he should see him.

The Doctor goes to the hospital which is, coincidentally, the same hospital from Aliens of London where he meets Doctor Constantine who asks him to examine a group of people who all exhibit the same symptoms that of a gas mask fused to their faces and all with the same mark on their skin, which Constantine also has.

He also tells them that they aren’t actually dead and then the same happens to Constantine and the people rise from their beds calling for their mummy. Just before this Rose had arrived at the hospital with Captain Jack. At the same time Nancy is in another home getting supplies when the masked little boy approaches her calling for its mummy. Nancy seems to recognise him as her brother Jamie who she says should be dead.

The Empty Child is an exemplary example of a first part of a two part story as it gives you just enough information to have a guess at what might all be happening, and to have an idea about how the story might conclude.

Captain Jack is an interesting character from his first appearance and will certainly ruffle Doctor Who fans feathers with his constant flirting with everything that moves as this episode already shows that Jack isn’t bothered about who he flirts with. He also seems like a character that you cannot really trust as, as far as we can tell from this episode, he is likely to sell his own grandmother if the price was right!

This is a very strong episode and I hope that the second part is just as strong unlike the previous two part story this series, which ended with a damp squib!