Tuesday, 17 June 2014

DW 01-04: Aliens of London (part 1 of 2)

A Guide to Classic Who references in New Who episodes.
Doctor Who (2005): Series 1 episode 4 (Story 4 part 1):  Rose & the Doctor return to her home.

Warning: May contain Spoilers for

"Aliens of London"

Viewing Order

  • 1-01 "Rose(Suggested viewing - introduction of characters.)
  • 1-02 "The End of the World" (Unnecessary viewing - the fact they travelled to the future is referenced briefly.)


[1ST] - The first appearance of things in Doctor Who series.
[NEW] - Stuff seen previously in the New Series.
[OLD] - Things that first appeared in the classic series (or the film.)  Episode List.
[INJ] - An In-Joke or reference outside of Doctor Who.

  • [NEW]  Bad Wolf - The graffiti is the third reference to this, later episodes will reference it, too, but I won't unless it's a plot point.

  • [OLD]  Companion - a shortening of the phrase "Travelling Companion" a term used for the Doctor's assistants or sidekicks, especially those he travels with.

  • [OLD]  "Is this a sexual relationship?" - as a family show from the 60s to the 80s, the relationship between the Doctor and companions was completely platonic and it upset many fans when the Doctor kissed Grace in the 1996 movie.

  • [OLD]  "900 years of time & space" - The last time he mentioned his age on screen the Doctor was 953.  Assuming "of time & space" means travelling in the TARDIS this could make him quite a bit older than that (some estimates put him at about 236 when he took the TARDIS.)  The phrase does seem to be a rough expression, too, not a solid number, however he follows it up by agreeing with Rose's assumption that he's 900 years old, although that could be for simplicity's sake.

  • [OLD]  "I'm the only Person on planet Earth who knows they exist" - Not the only one.  The were a number of mini-invasions, etc, in classic Who.  Some people know (like Charles Dickens in the previous episode and UNIT in this episode), some people suspect (like Clive in the first episode), but generally, yeah, most people don't know.

  • [1ST]  Spaceship - As he states, the Doctor doesn't recognise the spaceship.

  • [1ST]  Albion Hospital - First appearance.  Albion means "White" is the oldest known name for Britain (possibly named after the white cliffs of Dover) but that's probably not important.

  • [1ST]  Dr Sato - Just a random young doctor.  Nothing to see here.

  • [1ST]  Officials, including Harriet Jones (MP for Flydale North)  - All new, obviously.

  • [OLD]  TARDIS Key - Obviously, the key to the TARDIS.  It has appeared in a number of forms and in some cases could only be used by the Doctor.

  • [OLD]  UNIT - United Nations Intelligence Taskforce.  A group who worked with the Doctor, especially the Second to Fourth.

  • [1ST]  The Slitheen - the first appearance of these creatures.

  • [OLD]  To Be Continued - The first multi-part story of the new series.  Most of the original series stories were multi-part serials, usually 4 or six episodes but could be as short as two or as long as 12 parts.  Most (not all) were "half hour" episodes rather than full "hour" episodes, though.  

The 10 Rules to Doctor Who.

10.  TARDIS:  The TARDIS is used (inaccurately) for travel at the beginning of the episode and for travel from place to place within the episode. [1]
9.  Meeting Yourself:  No one tries.  [X]
8.  Non-sequiturs:   Yes, especially the Doctor disarming Mikey be making him say he doesn't know his own name.  [1]
7.  Serious/Frivolous:  Shows aspects of both personality.  [1]
6.  Series Final:  This is not a series final.  [X]
5.  Companion:  Rose, contemporary British female.  (Contemporary British story).  [1]
4.  Emotionless:  Not applicable  [0]
3.  Title Spoilers:  The meaning of the title is clear from near the beginning.  [0]
2.  The Threat:  The viewer and Harriet Jones are aware of the aliens before the Doctor, the Doctor realises that it is a trap and explains it in detail to the experts.  [1]
1.  Last of It's Kind:  The aliens are not indicated to be the last of their kind.  The Doctor is known and considered dangerous, but doesn't really show it.  [1]

Score:  6/8.

Previous:  "The Unquiet Dead"
Next: "World War Three"

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