Finally, some aliens! I really loved how they started this episode — the Doctor teases Rose with his ability to travel absolutely anywhere and any time. If I were a companion, I would have been beside myself, thinking about all the possibilities. Before the audience can get over the Doctor’s freedom to travel anywhere, the concept of the end of the world is suddenly thrown in their faces. Then, while they reel over that, it turns out that the end of the world is a rather normal affair for everyone else. While the audience considers the fact that it is an entertaining event, the aliens suddenly appear and they look really alien. While the aliens are parading in, the last human is presented — and she doesn’t look human at all!

It was very entertaining whenever the episode threw out random ‘facts’ without explaining them – Cassandra’s astounding age, the last remaining ostrich egg, the iPod as a duke box, how there’s a ‘Classic Earth’ pre-continental shift, etc. The Trees are my favorite aliens — I personally support environmental causes and it was quite intriguing to hear the ‘background story’ of how the Trees were descended from the Tropical Rainforest. All these random and insane ‘facts’ set the mood of the episode and show how ‘normal’ it is for crazy events to occur in the Doctor’s world.  The British are pretty good at using this technique, such as how the world just happens to be on a turtle in Terry Pratchett’s Discworld or how JK Rowling’s wizards take moving photographs for granted. It makes a world of fantasy more accessible to the audience or reader – they’re in on the secret.

I warmed up more to Rose in this episode because of the kindness she showed to the plumber. I still felt a stab of annoyance, however, when she burst into tears after being overwhelmed by the alien aliens. Most people would probably have been overwhelmed as well, but incredibly excited. It is also frustrating how she had to think about how her mother is ‘dead’ — it is such a pessimistic thought to have when you’re time-traveling and your mother is still technically alive.

Apart from that small grievance I have with Rose, I think the rest of the episode is quite wonderful. It did not condescend to the audience by saving all the likable characters from doom and it had touching elements – such as when Jabe sacrificed herself to save everyone. I really laughed out loud when Cassandra offered Rose and the Doctor membership to the ‘human club’. The Doctor showed a little more of his ‘God-like’/‘judgement-bestowing’ nature when he allowed Cassandra to die. My emotions were tugged in all directions, but it was in a really enticing and thrilling way.

The episode is a commentary on human nature. Noticeably, no humans were around to watch the destruction of their planet. In fact, not enough cared to help fund the trust that was preserving the Earth. Actually, the only human who was present and moved was Rose — Lady Cassandra was using the event for her own purposes.

The episode also points out the mysteries that revolve around the Doctor – what is this ‘war’? What is his race? The audience is told that there is more darkness to the lovable Doctor than meets the eye. This episode definitely made me anticipate the rest of Series 1 and saved the series from the disastrous pilot.

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