Aliens of London
The Doctor: Excuse me, do you mind not farting while I’m saving the world?
Production Code: 1.4.
Doctor Who Season: S27 (Ep4).
Story Number: 160a.
The first two-parter of the new era…
If the snow-crunch from Rose stepping out of the TARDIS (of the previous story) was the wonder of time-travel, this start of this two-parter illustrates the possible horrors. In an expansion from Classic Doctor Who, it’s not just the main TARDIS crew which the adventures in time and space affect from story to story, as Jackie and Mickey have an unpleasant time and a shock as Rose returns.
After this turmoil, the Doctor and Rose are back to their rather insular world, chatting about their adventures, as the next one rumbles overhead and dashes into the Thames via Big Ben. After this, there’s a great scene with the Doctor watching the news on a telly in a towerblock as regular life bustles around him (rather than checking the TARDIS scanner.)
So, UNIT, the mainstay of the Pertwee era return. Although this Doctor, with his more relaxed and anti-authoritarian demeanour might be assumed to fit in less well with this pillar of the Doctor Who-world establishment: there is a surprising moment when the Doctor utters “Defense Plan Delta!” and the soldiers fall-in lockstep behind him. That this is a Doctor who really does care about everyone is emphasised by his reaction to the fate of the space-pig (and Torchwood’s Tosh gets a – retroactive – cameo, although Torchwood doesn’t exist quite yet!)
The “Aliens of London” of the title obviously refer to the Slitheen, the very alien and green new monsters introduced, but really, for Jackie, the Doctor is the alien, until she also meets a Slitheen in the triple cliffhanger. It’s the first cliffhanger of the 21st Century…
Rating: 4/5 (for this part of the story.)