27 Cool Things About
"The Stolen Earth/Journey's End"
(and 23 Stupid Ones)
(But we're not telling you which is which)
(We're expecting you to work that out for yourselves)
By Alan Stevens and Fiona Moore
Originally published in Celestial Toyroom Issue 479
1. This is only the third time in Doctor Who's history that a milk float has appeared onscreen. The other two occasions are "The Green Death" and "Survival" (the milk float in "Spearhead from Space" is heard, but not seen).
2. The Doctor likes Saturdays. This recalls Buffy the Vampire Slayer's “Dawn’s in trouble, it must be Tuesday”, or Arthur Dent's "this must be Thursday... I never could get the hang of Thursdays", from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
3. “The Tardis is still in the same place, but the Earth has gone.” Didn't the Ninth Doctor point out in"Rose", “The ground beneath our feet is spinning at a thousand miles an hour, and the entire planet is hurtling round the sun at sixty-seven thousand miles an hour”? So the Tardis must be matching the Earth's speed through space, as, if it were fixed, it would be thrown off the Earth instantly. Physics Fail.
4. After the planet has been transported across the universe, we hear someone at UNIT Headquarters in New York asking for a cigarette. According to the DVD transcribers, anyway, who have clearly never heard of the phrase “sitrep” meaning 'Situation Report'.
5. And at that, even if he got his cigarette we'll never see him use it; the last time anyone smoked onscreen in Doctor Who was "Resurrection of the Daleks".
6. And the scene dramatically shifts from New York to, erm, Cardiff. Covering the great international metropolises here, we are.
7. Some people have criticised the Richard Dawkins cameo on the grounds that he's not an astrophysicist, however, his inclusion is actually pretty typical of the way the media will go for the controversial soundbite-friendly personalities regardless of whether they actually have any expertise in the area in question.
8. The cutaways to news broadcasts are all of a lower screen definition than the main story, and than television in general. Just in case someone tunes in and thinks that maybe the Earth really has been invaded by Daleks and then moved to the Medusa Cascade.
9. “Someone's established an artificial atmospheric shell, keeping the air and holding in the heat.” “Whoever's done this wants the human race alive.” Well, no, they could be wanting to keep the dolphins, or the cats, or the pandas, or the cockroaches alive. Didn't think of that, did you, you speciesist?
10. According to Glynis Barber, her teenage son was utterly horrified when he found out his father, Michael Brandon, would be appearing on Doctor Who, because he liked Doctor Who, but anything your parents are involved with is automatically Not Cool.
11. This is one of those episodes where, if you know what Camden really looks like, it’s painfully obvious that this was actually filmed in Wales.
12. UNIT are no longer a UN organisation, so why are their headquarters still in New York and Geneva?
13. The Doctor addresses the Judoon with “Mo ho”. Is he introducing Donna?
14. The reference to Callufrax Minor was clearly not supposed to be just a random shoutout; "The Pirate Planet", in which Calufrax was destroyed, revolved around a group of buccaneers stealing planets in order to fuel the longevity technology of the tyrannical Queen Xanxia. However, the extra L in the name throws all that into question.
15. The 3-D image has a long history in Doctor Who. Not only did Graeme Harper manage the effect in “The Caves of Androzani” and “Revelation of the Daleks”, but Terry Nation had proposed it as far back as 1965's “The Daleks' Master Plan”, together with a detailed description of how the effect could be achieved.
16. “Someone tried to move the Earth once before”, is of course a shoutout to “The Dalek Invasion of Earth”. Incidentally, the film version co-starred Bernard Cribbins.
17. The tale keeps continuity with “Revelation of the Daleks”, also directed by Graeme Harper, in which Davros’ hand is shot off.
18. Bees being aliens, and leaving the Earth, is a near-direct shoutout to the dolphins in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series.
19.There’s no such person as the “Commander General of the United Nations”, and, since the UN is a diplomatic body set up for international negotiation, it’s questionable whether anyone associated with it would actually have the legal authority to surrender on behalf of the Earth.
20. Here's how the plot of “The Stolen Earth” can be summed up: over thirty minutes of people trying to get a phone signal.
21. Followed by fifteen minutes of people rushing around getting into position for “Journey’s End”.
22. Fun fact: the Millennium Fountain in Cardiff is now known, almost universally, as “Torchwood Tower”, even by people who don’t particularly get the reference.
23. Can nobody in 21st Century Doctor Who type convincingly?
24. Cells are literally microscopic, so either Davros cloned a gargantuan army of Daleks, or the lack of skin on his chest has nothing to do with the Daleks and he’s just flashing it to gross the Doctor out.
25. Judging by the bookshelf visible behind Rose before she teleports, someone in the Noble household is a Lovejoy fan.
26. The Tenth Doctor is exterminated by a Dalek… and doesn't regenerate into a different body. Seriously, RTD, don't get our hopes up!
27. Steven Moffat is right; the Tenth Doctor did use up a regeneration on that little stunt.
28. Rose appears out of nowhere just in time to save Donna's mum and granddad; Jackie and Mickey appear out of nowhere just in time to save Sarah Jane Smith. Though, when the plot demands Captain Jack fails to save the Doctor, somehow the teleport's magic timing element is switched off.
29. How did Jackie and Mickey "dimension jump" to Earth if the planet has been moved to the Medusa Cascade?
30. Gwen screams so loudly she can drown out the sound of two automatic rifles.
31. And she and Ianto are saved by a deus ex Toshina. Tosh being the operative word, of course.
32. They've changed the design of the dimension jumpers because Russell T Davies thought the ones in "Army of Ghosts/Doomsday" looked too much like a fried egg.
34. The German word for “Exterminate” is “Ausrotten”. Just saying.
34. The rest of the German in this adventure is actually perfectly fine, raising the question of why they mistranslated this particular word.
35. For the curious, the Daleks are saying “Stop! Or we will exterminate you! You are now a prisoner of the Daleks!”
36. The Daleks’ ship is called the Crucible. Sadly, this doesn’t mean they’re about to reenact an allegorical psychodrama about the McCarthy Era.
37. Rose lives in a parallel universe which is slightly ahead of ours in time. The Daleks haven't detonated the reality bomb in our universe, yet the effects are being felt in Rose's universe, even though the device is never detonated.
38. The human Doctor being created from a hand is a steal from the film Carry On Screaming!, where Oddbod Junior is accidentally generated from a single finger from Oddbod.
39. The German woman who tries to kill Martha is carrying a Luger. A national stereotype, if ever we saw one!
40. Also, “Osterhagen” is just close enough to “Osterhase” to make German-speakers wince (for the rest of you, that's German for “Easter Bunny”)
41. Captain Jack is immortal, fine, but why has his coat developed powers of invulnerability?
42. The Reality Bomb victim Jackie apologises to is played by Shobu Kapoor, who would later play Mrs Khan, wife of the eponymous antihero of Citizen Khan. There's a Dalek Caan pun in there for those minded to make it.
43. “This is my ultimate victory, Doctor! The destruction of reality itself!” Reality's already taken enough of a pounding during this story from RTD, Davros.
44. Since the Daleks are all genetically linked to Davros, the idea that you can destroy them by locking the Crucible's transmission onto Davros himself, is not so much science as it is contagious magic.
45. Davros’ speech about the Doctor weaponising his companions is accurate, but it is rather making the subtext text.
46. And what's with all the flashbacks anyway? Was the episode underrunning?
47. In Nu-Who, it seems, the same actor can't play two parts without there needing to be some kind of bullshit timey-wimey explanation. We really don’t look forward to the series explaining the relationship between Doctor Lawrence, Professor Whitaker and Nyder.
48. Why would a Tardis require six pilots? Isn't this just really gratuitous overmanning?
49. Pulling the Earth physically through the vacuum of space using the Tardis causes household items to shake and paper to fly around. Is this juddering effect common with lightspeed travel?
50. Enough people have already commented on how really, really wrong the whole Rose-getting-her-own-Doctor-inflatable-sex-toy resolution is here, so we won't elaborate. But really, WTF RTD?