Doctor Who - The New Series


TX: 2 April 2005

Written by: Russell T. Davies

Directed by: Euros Lyn

Running time: 44' 03"

Location: Platform One, Orbiting Earth

Date: 5,000,000,000,000 AD

Monsters and villains: Cassandra (the last human); spiders (tiny mechanical killers); The Adherents of the Repeated Meme (sinister monk-like creatures), the Face of Boe, the Moxx of Balhoon, Jabe and the trees (all guests aboard Platform One).

Plot Synopsis: The Doctor takes Rose on her first trip through time to Platform 1, a satellite that allows the universe's rich and privileged to watch the Earth's final moments. But when guests and crew start turning up dead, it becomes clear that there's a saboteur on board.

Bad Wolf Reference: The first Bad Wolf reference of the series comes as the Moxx of Balhoon comments that the Platform One gathering is like "a Bad Wolf scenario".

Trivia: (1) Rose mentions that she saw something about the sun exploding on Newsround Extra. This is a children's news programme put out by the BBC, designed to interest them in topical events, including scientific discoveries.

(2) The Doctor's sonic screwdriver has long been a feature of the show. His psychic paper, however, is new.

(3) The episode features an appearance by classically-trained actor Simon Day. He is unrelated to the identically-named Simon Day from cult comedy series The Fast Show, although some of their credits have been confused on The Internet Movie Database.

Spoiler Synopsis: In order to impress Rose the Doctor takes her to the year five billion, the moment in which the sun will explode and consume the Earth. They arrive aboard Platform One, a station which travels the galaxy allowing the richest creatures in the universe a chance to see once-in-a-lifetime events.

Once aboard, they meet several strange species including the Moxx of Balhoon, a little blue creature; Jabe, a talking tree; the Adherents of the Repeated Meme, a sect of monks; the Face of Boe, a giant head in a glass tank; and Cassandra O'Brien, the last human and now little more than a brain in a jar and some skin stretched over a canvas. Each party gives a gift; Cassandra gives an ancient ostrich egg, the Adherents give small metal balls and the Doctor - caught unprepared for once - gives the air from his lungs.

It's all a little bit too much for Rose, who steps into an antechamber for a breath of fresh air. Outside, she meets a maintenance girl. They chat briefly and Rose moves on, leaving the girl to her work. Once she has left, however, a group of strange metallic spiders scutter from the vent. The girl barely has time to scream as they drag her into the ventilation systems and kill her. Back inside the meeting hall, the metal balls handed out by the Adherents of the Repeared Meme begin to open, spilling out even more of the spiders...

Rose meets up with the Doctor again and asks him about his home planet. He refuses to answer, but makes it up to her by altering her mobile telephone so that she can call her mother across time and space. They return to the main hall. Whilst they mingle, the station's Steward is killed by the spiders, who lower the solar shielding on his windows and turn off the gravity shields that were protecting the station from meteors and overheating. Recognising the sound of the gravity shields shutting down, the Doctor and Jabe (the tree-woman) go off to explore the ventillation systems, whilst Rose goes to speak to Cassandra. She soon discovers that the last human is an unpleasant, concieted bigot and tells her as much before leaving. The moment she steps outside the hall, however, the Adherents knock her unconscious and drag her away.

She wakes to find herself in a small observation room, and screams in horror as the solar shields begin to lower, letting in deadly sunlight. The Doctor, having found the body of the Steward and discovered that another shield is set to lower, races to the room where Rose is trapped and manages to override the setting, though he cannot unlock the doors.

He returns to the main hall, where he reprograms one of the spiders to take him to its master. It identifies the Adherents, but the Doctor exposes them as being robots controlled by the real villain - last human Cassandra O'Brien. Cassandra reveals that she was plotting to fake a hostage crisis. Once the other guests' companies had paid the ransom she would escape unsuspected, having pretended to be a hostage as well. But with that plan ruined, she falls back on plan B - causing the destruction of the station and the deaths of everyone inside. As she has bought up shares in the guests' rival comapnies, she will still make a killing. She uses a hidden teleportation system to escape as the sun explodes, consuming the Earth, and the station, lacking its gravity shields, begins to heat up.

The Doctor and Jabe race to the gravity shield maintenance section, but find the master switch unhelpfully blocked by enormous swirling fans. The Doctor manages to leap between the first couple, but the rest are moving too fast. Jabe discovers a master control switch that slows the fans, but it only works while she holds it down. She keeps it depressed long enough for The Doctor to get to the solar shield control switch, but the rising temperatures cause her to burst into flames and she is soon consumed by fire.

The shields re-energise just in time, and the station begins to repair itself. The Doctor returns to the platform with a newly freed Rose in tow, and cracks open Cassandra's ostrich egg to reveal the control for her teleporter. He alters it to bring Cassandra back aboard the station, where the excessive heat causes her taut skin to dry out and stretch further. Rose begs the Doctor to save Cassandra, but he ignores her as the last human's skin dries and tears apart.

Back on 21st century Earth, the Doctor explains that he is the last of his people, the Time Lords. They took part in a Time War with an unnamed enemy and both sides destroyed each other. Now, the Doctor says, he travels across the universe, exploring but always alone. Rose tells him that he's not alone - they have each other.

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Sources: - The Internet Movie Database - Outpost Gallifrey - A Brief History of (Time) Travel