The Discontinuity Guide
The New Series
26th March 2005
Writer: Russell T Davies
Director: Keith Boak
Roots: Spearhead from Space and Terror of the Autons, chav culture and compensation culture. Clive is based on perceptions of Doctor Who fans and conspiracy theorists, particularly the lone gunman in the X-Files. In the opening sequence, the incidental music segues into the muzak in Henrik's and back again in a way that's reminiscent of Robert Altman's The Long Goodbye. (Thanks to Joe McKee for that). The climax with Rose on the chain recalls both Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Terminator 2. Back to the Future (photographs across aeons of time), The Twilight Zone, After Hours.
Goofs: In the original broadcast version, a Graham Norton show from BBC3 can be heard in the scene where Rose first encounters the Autons. [Does this make Graham Norton canon?]
The store where Rose works is spelled Henrik's on its sale banners, but Henricks on the BBC News 24 report.
Rose's mum blow-dries her dry hair.
We see a man putting out the wheelie bin that turns out to be an Auton, but when Mickey looks inside the bin, it's empty. [The man may be an Auton, or maybe the bin ate the rubbish.]
When the Doctor shakes the champagne bottle and pulls the cork, he doesn't spill a drop of it. A little while later, Rose presses the fire alarm, but when she takes her hand away the glass is still intact.
The TARDIS goes from having one gang-rail to two. Furthermore, the gang-rail wobbles when Rose enters the TARDIS.
When the Autons in wedding dresses are attacking Rose's mum, we see a shot of all three with hands dropped, cut to Rose's mum, and then to the third Auton's hand dropping.
There are a number of scenes where the time of day seems to shift a bit too quickly to be plausible.
Double Entendres: When the Doctor's talking about plastic things the Nestene can control, Rose mutters something about breast implants.
Rose: 'It's the end of the world.' No, love, that's next week's episode.
Technobabble: anti-plastic, warp shunt technology.
Dialogue Triumphs: The Doctor: 'What you doing here?'
Rose: 'I live here.
The Doctor: 'What do you do that for?'
The Doctor on an article in Heat magazine: 'That won't last. He's gay and she's an alien.'
The Doctor: 'Do you believe me?'
The Doctor: But you're still listening.'
The Doctor: 'Lots of planets have a north.'
Dialogue Disasters: The Doctor deactivates an Auton arm and throws it to Rose: 'There you go. 'Armless.'
Clive: 'Good point. No murders.'
An Auton wheelie bin burps.
Continuity: Rose Tyler lives in a flat with her mum Jackie and has a black boyfriend called Mickey who is presumably a football fan. The flat can receive BBC News 24, so they have satellite, cable, or digital. It probably doesn't have an internet connection as Rose uses Mickey's. She works (well, worked) in Henrik's department store. She left school because of Jimmy Stones, and has no A-Levels. She has a mobile phone and won the bronze in Jericho Street Junior School's under-sevens Gymnastics team.
The Doctor wears a battered leather jacket and uses explosives to destroy a Nestene relay, gutting a department store in the process. He drinks coffee with just milk. He comments on his face in a way that suggests he's recently regenerated and not seen his new face yet [though it may be that it was a while ago and he's just not had access to a mirror until now]. He still has his sonic screwdriver. albeit completely redesigned [it's a new model and not the same sonic screwdriver as in previous stories], and has a vial of anti-plastic. He holds hands with Rose an several occasions. He can read through a book in seconds (c.f. City of Death), but has trouble with a pack of cards (in contrast to his seventh incarnation's ability to do magic tricks)
The Autons (which are not named as such) can have their arms or heads pulled off. They need planets with "toxins and dioxins" in the atmosphere. The Nestene Consciousness is vulnerable to anti-plastic. It controls plastic by using a transmitter such as the London Eye. It still needs to keep the original human alive in order to maintain an Auton copy. The copy of Mickey can morph its hands into paddles, and the Autons at Queen's have guns built into their hands. [It's unclear if the Nestene created these Autons in a similar manner to in Spearhead from Space or whether they morphed their hands into guns. The former is easily the more likely explanation.]
There are several mentions of a war in which the Nestene's food stock of protein planets were destroyed. The Doctor fought in this war and couldn't save the Nestene's world, or "any of them".
Clive runs a website devoted to the Doctor which turns up as the top result when searching for "Doctor Blue Box". He has tracked down several mentions of the Doctor including appearances in 1963, 1912 and 1883. He tells Rose 'that's your Doctor, isn't it', suggesting that he knows of more than one incarnation of the Time Lord.
Convention 15 of the Shadow proclamation allows the Doctor to seek audience with the Nestene Consciousness.
Links: The Nestene and the Autons previously appeared in Spearhead from Space and Terror of the Autons. The Time Lords attacked their home world of Polymos in SynthespiansTM. The sonic screwdriver first appeared way back in Fury from the Deep
Location: London, 5th-6th March 2005.
Unrecorded Adventures: The ninth Doctor was in the crowd in Dallas, Texas, November 1963 when Kennedy was assassinated, he had his photo taken with the Daniels family in Southampton, 1912, the family cancelled their voyage on the Titanic the day after the photo was taken. He also appeared in a picture dated 1883. The Doctor claims that the assembled hordes of Genghis Khan have tried to get through the TARDIS door. It is implied that he has recently regenerated. There may be unrecorded adventures in between the Doctor leaving without Rose at the end and returning seconds later to tell her that the TARDIS travels through time as well as space.
Q.v: The Fate of Gallifrey, The End of the World; Bad Wolf, The Parting of the Ways; Rose's Love Life, The Doctor Dances.
The Bottom Line: 'I'm the Doctor by the way.' Rose is, essentially, a vehicle to reintroduce the general public to Doctor Who, and it fulfils this task perfectly. The new Doctor and companion are excellent and, despite the distraction of introducing the leads and the premise, the plot is pretty strong (though not spectacular) as well. Russell T Davies has proved that Doctor Who can still be top quality television (and get ratings of 10 million) over 40 years after it started and 16 years after it was cancelled.
Thanks go to all the folk who commented on Rose in the Bloopers thread on Outpost Gallifrey's forum. Without them, the goofs section would have been a lot smaller.