Set in the height of the Blitz in World War II, the Doctor and Rose find themselves in one of the most dangerous places to be in London. A lot of bombings were going around, sirens wailing here and there and a child seems to be “terrorizing” the empty streets, apparently lost looking for his “mummy.” This show had a good mix of sci-fi and horror, as the child utters “mummy” in a way one would in horror films. This isn’t the first time that the series had a good mix of horror in sci-fi, as one would remember seeing in the unquiet dead episode. However, this one had a good twist into it because it was set in London, at the height of the war. The recurrence of the child in a gas mask looking for her mother gives a good mystery setting for the episode.

Another character was also introduced in this episode, in the form of handsome and dashing Captain Jack Harkness. Here we are presented with a handsome, typical American stereotype hotshot. A love triangle emerges, however, with his mild flirtations with the Doctor, one would wonder how that came to be. He introduces himself as a Time Agent, with the same time-wielding paraphernalia as the Doctor’s. It kind of bothers me that the Doctor tolerates Rose’s flirtation with other people, when at this point, he is already emotionally attached to her in a way. The mix of romance with the horror and sci-fi nature of the episode gives two distinct themes that amazingly enough, worked well for the overall feel of the episode. The romance part, with the love triangle and Rose’s flirtation eases the heavy feel of the situations, with the war going on and the child going around looking for his “mummy”.

In the latter part of the episode, I think it’s also important to realize the fact that the Doctor’s starting to grow human emotions. He started to realize the heaviness of the war and the havoc it wreaks on the people and their future. I think he began to realize this when he met Nancy, a teenager who would do anything to feed other children. The sight of children having to scavenge for scraps of food and to hide from the war may have made an effect on the Doctor somehow. When they finally managed to break inside the hospital, they get an unexpected shock when they set sights on more patients with gas masks on, uttering the words, “are you my mummy?” Like all cliffhanger episodes, this one ends with an impending doom for the main characters. Among all the episodes so far, this one sits in well for me because of the good mystery it had set up, and I was quite excited to see how this two-part episode would end.

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