What I wrote before rewatching
What I thought at the time: My show's back, my show's back, my show's back in a swizzy modern form, my show's back, my show's back, my show's back! I loved it. I loved the Earth burning to Toxic. I loved Nine bopping to Tainted Love. I loved that Rose got to be properly freaked out by time travel like Ian and Barbara when they went to caveman times. I loved that they went to quite a bit of effort on the science and SFX sides, but that's only because the end of the Earth is a pet topic of mine. I loved Jabe. I loved Raffalo. I loved all the weird aliens. I loved Cassandra even if she's very broad satire. I loved Rose with Raffalo and with Cassandra. I loved the whole thing with Nine and Jabe and how it was used to do exposition. Even thinking about "Stop wasting time, Time Lord" still gives me chills up the spine. This is in fact the episode I have rewatched repeatedly. It's great.
What I think now: See above, really, with a side order of "why does everyone fixate on the last five minutes?"
- The matched "the human race survives"/"the Earth ends up dying" beginning and ending.
- Religion being banned. "Maximum hospitality zone." The various funny names of the aliens, especially the Adherents of the Repeated Meme. Etc. This is the sort of thing RTD is very good at, the little details that hint at things that he probably hasn't actually worked out.
- All the CGI. The space stuff, the Earth burning, Cassandra's spider things (their reflections!!!).
- "That's a classic Earth."
- Rose being initially freaked out by all the alienness (I really like it when they treat time travel as properly disorientating) but quickly realising that Cassandra and her silly racism is the Wrong Side.
- Jabe. EVERYTHING about her from her flirtiness with Nine to her distrust of technology to her awesome background to her conversation with the Doctor about Gallifrey to her nice liana to her self-sacrifice.
- The Moxx! Great bit of design work. Remember when everyone thought he was going to turn out to be massively significant?
- The Face of Boe! Ditto, except oh look he did. Incidentally, this is the first time I've watched this since the end of LotTL. I have no problem believing that's Jack. (And we're told he sponsored the whole event, which makes me assume that Rose and Nine talked to Jack about it at some point offscreen later on and it's another big predestination paradox.)
- Cassandra. She's a great bit of satire (I mean, not subtle, but funny), but she's also a proper character and it's nice that despite her bigotry she has got a bit of depth and even though she considers herself a "true human" she's very much from the future.
- The "iPod" and the songs it plays and how well they both work as soundtrack to the moments they accompany.
- Raffalo. I'm so sad she died. That scene's great. It's one of Rose's top moments.
- The Platform One font. I DID MENTION THAT I LOVE ALMOST EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS EPISODE, DIDN'T I?
- "Your machine gets inside my head?" That scene's great. It loses a bit compared to when it was the first absolute confirmation that something happened, but it is very very good.
- And then the bit where she phones her mum! I don't get how we're supposed to think Jackie's anything other than awesome really.
- The Nine/Rose relationship is perfectly pitched here. They like each other but they're not completely absorbed with each other or anything and she's properly snarky to him and stuff.
- "Humanish." It is a fairly obvious slightly silly name for human derived people, but I choose to treat it as a deliberate reference to the inhabitants of Tyler's Folly in Down. And you can't stop me.
- The fans. Not because of the meta gag, which I actually find a little self-indulgent, but just because it works really nicely, especially the bit where he messes with his perception of time or whatever.
- The last scene is of course the point where he tells us that Gallifrey's gone and he's the Last of the Time Lords. Which is why it's so significant, and it is really well done.
- I don't like the initial TARDIS scene much, actually. The acting isn't all that great and although it's heresy to say it I'm not actually that keen on the mad TARDIS console accessories (or at least not Eccleston's rather OTT use of them, they're fine as a bit of a set dressing).
- That's pretty much all I got. Because ... I love almost everything about this episode.
- Nine's letting Cassandra die bothers me far more than it ever did before, probably because of Ten's occasional forays into being psychotic. It's exactly the same sort of "letting the villain hoist themselves by their own petard" thing that I have no problem with Seven doing to Davros (and that "have pity!" line is very reminscent), in fact far less so as he doesn't manipulate her at all. But it really bothered me this time round, I think because he seems a bit pleased?
- There is a sense in the very end of the chips scene that their relationship has moved up a gear because of him showing her that and then talking about his planet and on one level it's all the "opening up about things" stuff that's so great in Gridlock but on another it does have somewhat co-dependent undertones to it.
I think I tend to forget how obvious Nine's death wish was, when considering his later failiness. (I still don't like it but it makes a bit more sense.)
I might be having something resembling a life this weekend so there'll be a bit of a gap before Unquiet Dead, I think.