Ninth Doctor: The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances (dual review)

empty childWriter: Steven Moffatt

Director: James Hawes

Producer: Phil Collinson

Companions: Rose Tyler (Billie Piper), Captain Jack Harkness (John Barrowman)

Summary: The Doctor spots a space capsule landing in 1940’s London. When they arrive, Rose spots a child on a rooftop. They separate to investigate, unbeknownst to the Doctor. Rose finds a rope and climbs it. The Doctor returns to find the TARDIS’s phone ringing for the first time (that’s never a good sign). That’s when he hears a mysterious child’s voice calling for its mother and meets a woman who tells him not to answer the phone.

Rose is caught in the middle of an air raid and meets Captain Jack Harkness, a con artist who is responsible for the space capsule’s landing.

The Doctor discovers that the woman is named Nancy and she is taking care of homeless children. He hears the child’s voice again and learns that it is a dead child with a gas mask. The child’s injuries and mask have become a plague that will soon infect everyone.

Review: This story is truly one of the best stories in Eccleston’s era. I like that it keeps with something that’s been constant with every Doctor–his connection with children. (In fact, many of his companions have been children or teenagers–Susan, Adric, Nyssa, and Rose was supposed to be 19.) Captain Jack Harkness gets a great introduction, making him instantly likeable. And after all these years, that cliffhanger for part 1 still gives me the chills.

Overall Review: 10/10

Continuity: “The Space Museum” was the first episode to mention “time tracks”. Both the Tenth and Twelfth Doctors have quoted the Empty Child. The Doctor mentions that he has been both a father and a¬†grandfather.

Trivia: This is Steven Moffat’s first official story for Doctor Who. He also wrote the script for the Comedy Relief Doctor Who parody “Curse of the Fatal Death”.


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