Days left till the 50th: 80
Episodes watched: 23
Today’s Episode: The Satan Pit
Writer: Matt Jones
One thing I just noticed, is that this is Matt Jones’s only outing with Who. He did a really really good job with this story, one of the best Rose/Ten stories in this season, simply because he lets the Doctor do a lot of talking and thinking out loud… helping make the conclusions that he draws.. especially with the Doctor trying to figure out what to do next.
One great thing is that we all have to deal with that impulse… especially with Ida and the Doctor deciding to go up top, or to continue on down into the pit. He puts one foot on the edge of the Pit and intones, “I am the Temptation.” Ida asks if maybe there’s something hiding out in there, and the Doctor allows that they may have opened the prison, but not the cell. Ida wants to jump in immediately — but the Doctor just laughs: “That is so human. Where angels fear to tread.” This stuff is put in to make you enjoy it more, not less. The Doctor: “Even now, standing on the edge. It’s that feeling you get. Yeah?” The moment that Mickey had in Age of Steel, just jumping in, erasing it, starting over, when he left the Doctor and Rose. That Krillitane moment when you realize it could be easier, in School Reunion before Sarah Jane butted in. The Doctor is fascinated. He is more human in this moment. “Right at the back of your head. That impulse, that strange little impulse, that mad little voice saying ‘Go on, go on, go on…Go over, go on…'” His eyes are lit by something new. Something like Toby’s with the Devil inside. “Maybe it’s relying on that. For once in my life, Officer Scott, I’m going to say…” The Doctor looks at Ida, and she looks at him, and his terrible history and his new pain are all the same to her. “…Retreat.” It hurts him to say, this wisdom pulling him back. He sighs, and pulls his foot back from the edge of the Pit: “Now I know I’m getting old.” The Doctor opens communications, and to whom? “Rose, we’re coming back.”
Once Doctor and Ida are back in the pod, the Ood then begins translating for the Devil again.. and he begins spouting out prophesies, about each person, spouting out one little tibit after another, all truths. What is interesting if you think about it, the Devil will speak the truth, even if you don’t wish to hear it, whilst on the other hand a God tends to lie, or omits the truth. This harkens forward a bit into Moffat’s era.. Rule One. However during that moment, on the show.. everyone is just shocked that someone would just speak the truth about everyone. They all begin to speak at once, until the Doctor begins this simple statement..
DOCTOR:(after a slight pause) Okay, but what makes his version of the truth any better than mine? Hmm? Cos I’ll tell you what I can see: humans. Brilliant humans. Humans who travel all the way across space. Flying in a tiny little rocket into the orbit of a black hole! Just for the sake of discovery, that’s amazing! Do you hear me? Amazing. All of you. The captain – his officer – his elder – his genius – his friends. All with one advantage. The Beast is alone. We are not. If we can use that to fight against him–
With a loud bang, the cable for the capsule snaps. It falls down the shaft.
Whoops. No more communication between the Doctor/Ida and those up top. Rose then manages to get the boys thinking about how to press buttons, and they all manage to get together in Ood Habitation and use some disease to kill off the Ood.
Down below.. Ida and the Doctor decide that he should abseil into the pit using the 10 miles of cable they have, the only route to go is forward, otherwise they will both run out of air, as they only got 55 minutes left. Well the Doctor has a wee longer due to his bypass.. but eh.
That’s the plan. All of a sudden, the Doctor gets a message from Common Sense and realizes that this is a retarded idea. “Ha! There it is again. That itch.” He bobs up and down crazily: “Go down, go down, go down, go down, go down.” DO IT! SHOW ME WHAT IS DOWN THERE! I AM FREAKING OUT! “The urge to jump,” hums Ida. “Do you know where it comes from, that sensation?” NO! DON’T CARE! JUMP! “Genetic heritage. Ever since we were primates in the trees. It’s our body’s way of testing us. Calculating whether or not we can reach the next branch.” DO IT! LOVE THE THING! THIS IS WHAT I AM TALKING ABOUT! THIS IS THE ONLY THING I AM EVER TALKING ABOUT! “No, that’s not it,” murmurs the Doctor. “That’s too kind.” WORD. “It’s not the urge to jump, it’s deeper than that. It’s the urge to fall!” Capital F. Did Adam fall? Or was he pushed? How about Lucifer? Ask the Jagrafess, the God Emperor, Rose Tyler, Mickey Smith, Adam, (The sucky one from S1, not the other one.) Lovely Lynda with a Y, lovely Captain Jack! Gwen from Torchwood! Torchwood as a group; they keep killing secrets. Jump! Jump Victoria, jump Jackie Tyler, jump Cassandra, jump Mrs. Moore, jump all Preachers, and all would-be Preachers! Jump Kenny and jump Alfred Lord Tennyson! Doctor Nine and Doctor Ten, jump TARDIS, jump everything true and everything right and everything that ever scared the shit out of you: into it, jump. JUMP! IF YOU LOVE ME YOU WILL JUMP.
The Doctor…jumps. See?
As he gets lower into the pit, Ida and the Doctor discuss religion. Ida was raised “Neoclassical Congregational” which doesn’t have a “devil”. When asked what he believes, “I believe…I believe I haven’t seen everything,” he replies. “I don’t know — it’s funny, isn’t it? The things you make up. The rules. If that Thing had said It came from beyond the universe, I’d believe it, but before the universe? Impossible. Doesn’t fit my rule.” Couldn’t have said it better myself, you right idiot. Go get a mortgage before God knocks you to your knees again. “Still, that’s why I keep traveling. To be proved wrong.” Indeed. And that’s how there was a show called Doctor Who.
Then no more wire left.. no idea how much further down it is… and the Doctor decides to fall.. after realizing he can’t go back after going so far.. he has to know what is down there.. that itch.. that impulse… that reason he keeps going on…
Rose then is pretty much drugged and dragged onto the rocket ship…
The Doctor, having had safe air and landing, looks around the cavern and sees these paintings, and realizes that he was expected down there, especially after matching the vases to the paintings. He ruminates a bit, realizing that this is the prison for the beast.
“I accept that you exist,” the Doctor grants Him. “I don’t have to accept what you are, but your physical existence, I’ll give you that.” The Beast growls, and the Doctor takes a few steps toward It. “But I don’t understand. I was expected down here. I was given a safe landing, and air. You need me for something. What for?” The Beast lunges, straining against His chains. “Have I got to…I dunno, beg an audience? Or is there a ritual? Some sort of incantation or summons or spell? All these things I don’t believe in. Are they real?” The Beast just stares. “Speak to me! Tell me!” Words. The Beast is silent. “You won’t talk. Or…you can’t talk?” The Doctor talks to himself at length: “You spoke before. I heard your voice. An intelligent voice. No, more than that: brilliant! But, looking at you now, all I can see is Beast. The animal. Just the body. You’re just the body, the physical form.” The thing we share. It’s us that give it power. “What’s happened to your mind? Hmm? Where’s it gone? Where’s that intelligence?” And then he knows.
Rose then wakes up on the ship and grabs the bolt gun and demands to head back to the planet. Zack tells her that pretty much ain’t happening. Toby, beside her is so happy to be leaving, and is just counting down the stats of the gravity field. Rose then ruminates as to why the Devil allowed them to leave…
“You’re imprisoned, long time ago, before the universe, after, sideways, in-between, doesn’t matter. The positioning is perfect. It’s absolutely…it’s eternal. Oh, yes! Open the prison, the gravity field collapses! This planet falls into the black hole! You escape, you die. Brilliant! But that’s just the body. The body is trapped, that’s all. The Devil is just an idea. In all those civilizations…just an idea.” Stop it, stop it, stop it. Not only are you squeezing the butterfly toward an end of sciencing the fiction that didn’t need it, but you’ve got David Tennant — a twitchy little sex bomb on his calmest day — emoting and screaming and talk-thinking at a green screen and…I mean, MONKEY! CRACK! But at the same time? Devil’s WAY gorgeous-looking, Ten always was, and yet: yelling. At nothing. About shit we already knew. For an eternity. “But an idea is hard to kill. An idea could escape. The mind — the mind of the great Beast — the mind can escape! Oh, but that’s it! You didn’t give me air, your jailers did! They set this up! All those years ago! They need me alive. Because if you’re escaping, then I’ve gotta stop you.” He picks up a rock. The Devil yells and yells. “If I destroy your prison, your body is destroyed. Your mind with it.” The Doctor swings the rock, and then stops so that he can fucking talk some more. “…But then, you’re clever enough to use this whole system against me. If I destroy this planet, I destroy the gravity field. The rocket. The rocket loses protection and falls into the black hole. I’ll have to sacrifice Rose.” The Doctor looks sick, the Devil laughs. JUMP. You were always going to have to do this. If you don’t do it this week, you’ll do it next week, or next season, or next Doctor. Fucking grow a pair and jump. She’s not worth anything if she’s not handing it on her end. She’s only worth something if she’s worth losing; that’s what love is. How did you forget that? Stop clutching, you fool. Old lonely boy. The enemy’s gate is down. JUMP. “So, that’s the trap. Or the test or the final judgment, I don’t know. But if I kill you, I kill her.” The Beast laughs, and then roars at him. “Except that implies — in this big grand scheme of Gods and Devils — that she’s just a victim. But I’ve seen a lot of this universe, I’ve seen fake gods and bad gods and demigods and would-be gods. Out of all that, out of that whole pantheon, if I believe in one thing.” God, just say it. “Just one thing.” Really?
Just at the same time.. Rose realizes… the devil is still in Toby..
Then both the ship and the planet go spiraling into the black hole, as the Doctor smashes the vases, and Rose shoots the window and manages to unbuckle Toby and let him go out the window, just as Zack throws up the screen, protecting them. The Doctor gets launched backwards by the Devil, right into the TARDIS! He then manages to rescue poor Ida quickly, and manages to nab the ship just as it was about to head into the black hole. Luckily a Tardis knows how to stay out of one, due to Time Lords apparently inventing black holes for some reason, and gets everyone headed their way, by doing a quick swap between Rose and Ida.
I loved this the first time I saw it.. just for that Devil Rant. I think that should be the next speech to get all the Doctors to say.. as right now everyone’s trying to get all the doctors to do the Pandorica speech.. they forget about this awesome one, about the different gods.
See this video of Sylvester McCoy doing the Pandorica Opens. Takes a bit to get up to it as he discusses why his Doctor had no sonic screwdriver.
Till Tomorrow.. THE SECOND WORST EPISODE EVER.