Friday, March 23, 2012

Doctor Who Watch A Thon Season 1 Episode 4 "Aliens of London"

As an effort to justify our somewhat obsessive T.V watching Meghan (Of Coffee and Wizards and @MegTao on Twitter) and myself have decided to undertake a Doctor Who Watch-a-long. We'll be starting with the beginning of the 2005 relaunch and will be posting about one episode each Friday, on our respective blogs. We hope you'll join in – whether as a re-watch or to discover the Doctor for the first time!

*just a heads up each post will contain spoilers for that episode and then ones before it*

Written by: Russel T Davis
Directed by: Keith Boak

Episode Summary

The Doctor and Rose return to present day London where he finds that she hasn't been away for the 12 hours she thought had gone by, but 12 months. Her mother had been searching for her frantically, having filed a report with the police and putting posters with her photo on every lamp post. To their amazement, an alien spacecraft crashes in the Thames and Earth has it's first contact with extra-terrestrial beings. The Prime Minister has vanished however and those in charge are not what they seem to be. Working with the only Member of Parliament who seems to be in London, Rose and the Doctor battle a race of alien beings, the Slitheen, who want to destroy the Earth and sell if off, piece by piece.

Thoughts on the Episode
I love this episode - I can't really put my finger on why exactly. But I know that I love it.

My best guess is because it takes so many elements common in science fiction and makes them absolutely laugh out loud funny. Don't get me wrong I love my serious science fiction but I also love my Hitchhiker's Guide (as you can probably tell from the name of this blog) and similar works. It was refreshing to have the aliens and all the madness but be able to laugh at them as well.

But enough about that...

One thing that was really fun about this episode was the sheer number of ridiculous questions it made me ask. For instance, does the British government actually have emergency protocols for alien landings? And if so does the Canadian government? (I actually called my mom to discuss this possibility with her). Second of all, how are these aliens so familiar with British jargon/slang. Whatever language program they used I want some of that! (But for Spanish). I was totally convinced they were British people and not semi-recently arrived aliens.

Finally I just wanted to shake Doctor Toshiko Sato. The woman examining the "alien" that crashed into Big Ben. An unfamiliar life form is found, and persumed dead. They close it away in a morgue drawer. Why then later, when you hear banging from inside said drawer would you open it? Why wouldn't you go grab one of the many people walking around with guns in the hallway and THEN unlock the door. Jeez this is like when the guy leaned over the pod in Alien all over again. Use your common sense and good judgment people!

All in all this is a silly but wonderful episode. My partner definitely thought I was crazy as I contiually burst out into hearty laughter from the other room. It's one of those episodes that showcases all the things there are to love about Doctor Who - the ridiculous scenarios, the humour, the banter etc etc. And before I wrap this up I just want to give a huge shout out to Penelope Wilton a.k.a "Harriet Jones, MP Flydale North" - I loved when she would whip out that card!

Favourite Moment
A brief exchange after Rose arrives home and has to explain to her mom, Jackie, where she's been for the last 12 months. Jackie, of course, is obviously angry with the Doctor for taking her away...

"Did you say you're a doctor?" - Jackie
"I am a doctor!" - The Doctor
"Well stitch this then" And she slaps him.

What did you think of Aliens of London? Excited for part 2?


  1. Is that actually Toshito? I know it's the actress, but is it the character?

    1. I think so? I could be wrong but I have a strong suspicion that I read somewhere it was the same character

  2. I watched this episode today and all I could think of in every scene involving Harriet Jones was that she is on Downton Abbey.

    Is it just me, or is Rose's mother a bit annoying? She didn't seem to care much about Rose in the first couple of episodes and now she's flying off the handle about everything. I realize that Rose was missing for a year, but still.