Episode 21: Aliens In London + World War 3

Jumping back to 2005 (or 2006, depending on your point of view) the Daleks Aren’t Robots crew meets the Slitheen for the first time.

How do Kari and Justin react to the fat, flatulating family of felons? Find out! (Badly. We react badly. It’s bad.)

Podcast Contents Include

Editor’s Note: The following are my original notes for the podcast, slightly edited for readability. They’re very far from the full contents of the pod, though.  – Kari

SUMMARY

The Doctor takes Rose back to visit her mom, but it’s been 12 months and not the 12 years they thought it was. Rose has been missing 12 months, and her mom is glad to see her but very worried, and unimpressed with the much-older Doctor. Mickey has been under suspicion of murdering Rose, too. Why can’t they just pop back in the Tardis and go back a year? Anyway, an alien ship crashed into Big Ben and then into the Thames in London. We see three fat politicians meet in 10 Downing Street, one of whom is farting, and they all laugh evilly over the briefcase with the alien invasion emergency plans for Britain in it.

It turns out that the fat people in these two episodes are the Slitheen, a family of evil exhibitionist fat gay incestuous hunter capitalists who want to, get this, irradiate the earth with our own nuclear weapons and sell the radioactive bits as spaceship fuel. The farting is because they have to compress down to get into even fat human skins, and Mickey saves the day by launching a missile, stopping others from intercepting it and blowing up 10 Downing Street with the aliens in it. After so many “farts.” So. Very. Many.

OUR TEAM

The Doctor is right most of the time in this one, which is annoying, but he does have some good moments. At one point the Slitheen vivisect a pig into a bipedal creature to fake an alien crash landing, and the Doctor legitimately tries to help the pig, by just bossing Unit around like a King Karen. It works but ultimately he’s unable to save the pig from the gun-happy UNIT. He does care.

He also does legitimately have concerns about putting Rose in danger. REMEMBERING ADRIC ARE WE. He calls Mickey Ricky whenever he’s around and Mickey when he isn’t, but in the end he does invite Mickey to come with and help keep Rose safe (Mickey says he can’t). He also is kind of a brat about taking Rose with him in a few hours rather than waiting a day after the crisis is over.

Rose is OK in this one but unfortunately, she’s more of a sexy lamp than anything. Her return influences the plot a lot more than she does–Jackie was devastated by her disappearance, Mickey was accused of murder and had a very difficult time. Rose is brave, though.

Mickey shines the brightest in this episode. Last time we saw him he was having an anxiety reaction of exaggerated cowardice. In the past year he’s done extensive research on the Doctor and UNIT, and he’s become very level-headed and good in a crisis. He’s the one who successfully bombs 10 Downing Street to kill the aliens. He’s upset about the Doctor but he does not hesitate to work with him, or to save Jackie’s life even though she hated him. When the Slitheen come for Jackie and him he grabs a baseball bat and gets ready to fight.

It’s a shame about the actor. >.<

Jackie is also great. She slaps the daylights out of the Doctor at one point, which is well-deserved, and she consistently expresses concern about Rose throughout the episode, worries about her relationship with the clearly older Doctor and then about the safety of her journeys with him. She’s clearly compassionate, but opinionated and fierce too. Jackie is the one who gathers the vinegar solution to throw on the alien. Which explodes with a fart sound. Siiiiiiiiiigh.

THE OTHERS

Harriet Jones is the principle one, a politician from a British backwater who gets caught up in events. She figures out that there’s something off about the Slitheen politicians and approaches Rose about it. She’s very upset but keeps a cool enough head to reach out to Rose and the Doctor for help. She even distracts the Slitheen away from Rose in a pinch. The Doctor says she becomes Prime Minister and ushers in a golden age for Britain.

The Slitheen: A family of evil aliens who can wear human skins as a suit, provided they’re the skins of fat humans. They’re evil and stuff. With extra evil, fat and farting. They’re capitalists and want to irradiate the earth so they can sell the radioactive bits. They’re all evil. That’s it. This is definitely a downward trend from previous NuWho and previous Classic Who where a lot of aliens have good and bad people in their groups. The Slitheen are the worst.

A bunch of boring politicians and others we don’t care about.

THE SETTING

  1. Earth in 2006. Why did they put in an alien invasion attempt in 2006? They had to know that would make the show out of date in a year.
  2. It’s London and some of it is in Downing Street. Is it filmed on location? It looks good but I don’t know how close it is to the real Downing Street. At the end it gets blown up.
  3. Obviously nuke access doesn’t work that way.
  4. Pretty sure British elections don’t work that way either.
  5. The Slitheen plan is a very underpants gnome plan. That’s not how nuclear fuel works normally, I guess they could have some sort of magic alien tech, but it’s dudmb.
  6. THe Doctor has a corded phone.
  7. There were a couple of good comedic beats, like when the cop evacuating the building opens the door to see a bunch of the Slitheen and then just apologizes and closes it again.

THE PRODUCTION

  1. The special effects on the Slitheen are… not great. The zipper on their foreheads are stupid looking. The babydoll faces are icky but not as creepy as the original autons were, or in fact, as actual baby dolls. The discrepancy between the men in suits and the CG aliens is vast and awful.
  2. Evil fat gay people who fart constantly, huh. Thanks. 😦 And the main actor had an eating disorder at this point.

General

From Davies’s Book – The Writer’s Tale: The Final Chapter

Eccelston and Boak

Contemporary reviews and news articles

Reviews

Muriel Frost

Girl’s Aloud Influence

Homophobia Analysis

Interviews

The Noel Clarke Situation

Locations

The Whoopie Cushion

The Original Slitheen Design (?)

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