Actress Shirley Henderson has a guest spot here. She was Moaning Myrtle in the Harry Potter series. Oh, and she was in her thirties when she made those movies.
We now return to our regularly scheduled whatever-this-is.
In an interesting twist, the Doctor (and Rose) aren’t really in this episode very much as, instead, the episode focuses on what effect the Doctor can have on ordinary people who just so happen to cross paths with him. That’s what this episode is as Elton, a young man living in London, remembers seeing the Doctor in his house when he was about four and then kept running into weird stuff involving aliens (basically, all the different alien stuff that happened on the show since its revival). He’s making a video blog/documentary about his encounters with the Doctor, and how it all went horribly, horribly wrong.
It didn’t go entirely wrong. Without these encounters, Elton figures he never would have met Ursula (Henderson).
He also wouldn’t have met the mysterious Victor Kennedy. That would have been a good person to miss.
He likewise might have never met Jackie. Jury’s out over whether that’s a good thing or not.
So, anyway, here’s the deal. Elton got suspicious, and looking around, he met Ursula, who herself has been looking into the mysterious Doctor, and then three other people who also were looking. But the group found they liked hanging out with each other and soon got into other things like doing covers for the Electric Light Orchestra or listening to Mr. Skinner’s fiction. But then some fellow named Victor Kennedy, who refuses to be touched, shows up and snaps them into shape to really go looking for the Doctor.
And they get so into it, they don’t notice some members of the group disappear from time to time.
Now, Elton does luck out after failed attempts to find the Doctor. See, Victor Kennedy then said they should go looking for Rose, someone they had less information on, and Elton managed to find Jackie. Jackie took a liking to Elton, and Elton almost went for it (don’t!) only to realize he was really in love with Ursula (much better!). But then Jackie found a photo of Rose in Elton’s jacket and told him off, getting rid of the generally well-meaning young man who didn’t know why Jackie’s stuff kept breaking and needing him to fix things.
Of course, by then the group was down to just Mr. Skinner, Ursula, Elton, and Victor Kennedy. And then Mr. Skinner disappeared…like seconds after Elton and Ursula left but before they went back for her phone.
See, Victor Kennedy was this fat alien that carried a special cane and absorbed anyone he came into physical contact with for sustenance. And then Ursula gets sucked in. Elton flees, but the flabby thing corners him in an alley and all hope seems lost…until the TARDIS shows up.
Oh, the Doctor didn’t come to save the day. He came because Rose wanted to tell Elton off for upsetting Jackie, but seeing what was going on, it didn’t take the Doctor much effort to save the day by suggesting the victims, all seen as faces on Victor Kennedy’s flabby body, all pull in different directions, allowing Elton to smash the cane, the one device capable to keeping Victor Kennedy from absorbing, well, everything as he became one with the sidewalk, seemingly killing him and his victims.
But the Doctor is able to save the last victim, Ursula, while explaining why he was in Elton’s house when Elton was four (tracking a rogue alien but the Doctor was too late to save Elton’s poor mother). As such, Elton and Ursula have each other…even if Ursula is just a talking face on a sidewalk square. Well, the two seem to be working things out apparently, but Elton does realize something.
Coming into contact with the Doctor is dangerous. And it probably won’t end well for Rose or Jackie…
You know, the general lack of danger Victor Kennedy gave off aside, this was interesting. Exploring the world of the Doctor without really showing much of him. That hadn’t been done before. Good idea.