The Doctor, Rose and Jack desperately try to escape the gas mask people and figure out what the hell is going on. While Jack teleports away, Rose and the Doctor are trapped for a while, and Rose takes the opportunity to ask the Doctor if he can dance like Jack can. The Doctor is a bit offended, and says he's actually got quite an amount of experience with... dancing
. Rose really can't picture him... dancing
. While the Doctor steps closer and takes her hands for an intense... dance
, they fail to look around and realize that Jack's already saved them. It also turns out that Jack isn't exactly with the Time Police
any more; he turned rogue after waking up one morning and finding that two years of his memory had been wiped by his employer.
Jack goes off to distract a gay crash site guard with his suave, omnisexual allure, and the Doctor explains to Rose that Jack is, quote, "just a bit more flexible when it comes to... dancing
". In Jack's century, people will travel the whole universe to find aliens of all sexes and genders, and... dance with them
. Meanwhile, the virus becomes airborne and everyone around the warship crash site starts mutating.
Seeing the crash site, the Doctor figures it out: the Chula warship was a field ambulance,note
and contained nanobots (here called "nanogenes") for expedient battlefield healing. When Jamie was first hit by the ship, the nanogenes swung into action and tried to fix him... but they'd never interacted with humans before, and so derived their idea of what humans looked like from a badly wounded kid in a gas mask. They sort of made it up as they went along — assuming that fully healed people wore gas masks, they made the people they "infected" sprout gas masks. But when they finally met Nancy (really Jamie's mother, not his sister
), they had a different model of a healthy human being to work towards... and the parent/child relationship between the subjects meant that the nanogenes knew that this pattern was the right one.Everybody Lives
as the Doctor re-infects everyone with the nanogenes, who now know how to fix humans. Even previously dead humans. Hooray! Also, Captain Jack joins the TARDIS, saved by the Doctor just before his ship goes kablooey in an attempted Heroic Sacrifice
. He walks in to find the Doctor and Rose... dancing
. Rose asks if Jack would like to cut in and also... dance
. The Doctor, amused to have an openly not-straight companion, wonders which of the two Jack would... dance
- Arc Words: "Schlecter Wolf", a "Blind Idiot" Translation of "Bad Wolf", on the bomb Captain Jack rides at the end.
- Author Appeal: This episode is pretty much Steven Moffat's love letter to shipping, and a manifesto on how he refuses to see the Doctor as asexual (as many fans, for some reason, do). It also marks the start of the Doctor Who TV series being completely inclusive of LGBTQ culture (which the novels had already been since the late 90's).
- Autodoc: It turns out that this is what the Chula warship is.
- Bavarian Fire Drill: The Doctor gets all the gas-mask people to leave them alone by acting like a stern mummy and telling them to "Go to [their] room!" Comes back to bite the Doctor when he realizes he, Jack, and Rose were standing in the child's room when he gets there.
- Bullethole Door: Well, Squareness Gun-hole door. Also used on the floor once.
- Chekhov M.I.A.: Jamie's mummy.
- Cool, but Inefficient: Jack's "Squareness Gun"
- Creepy Child: Jamie; quite possibly the creepiest child since Billy Mumy in The Twilight Zone.
- Dance Party Ending
- Death Glare: The Doctor to Jack, multiple times, until he finally admits that it's all his fault and tries to make up for it by way of Heroic Sacrifice.
Jack: Getting a hint of disapproval.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: Try bleeping out every use of "dance".
- In a very dramatic way, when Jack learns that the nanogenes are going to change every human being into the creepy creatures they spend the episode running away from, he says 'I didn't know!'. Who else used that excuse?
- Double Meaning: Jack swears several times that the Chula ship was "empty". He was wrong, but given that Jamie is described several times as empty, he's sort of right by extension without realizing it.
- Everybody Lives: Trope Namer! Just this once, Rose, Trope Namer!
- Family Relationship Switcheroo: Former Trope Namer as "Are You My Mummy?"
- Famous Last Words: Lampshaded by The Doctor. "Go to your room!" would be very bad last words.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: All that talk about "dancing".
- The Home Front: London during the Blitz
- It Was with You All Along: The nanogenes could've cured Jamie from the get-go had Nancy just given him a hug.
- Jamie, I Am Your Mummy: It turns out Jamie's not Nancy's brother - he's her son. Nancy deliberately lied to people about having a child that young and out of wedlock, and given how young she is and the current state of Britain, no one would question it. "I will always be your mummy..."
- My God, What Have I Done? / Nice Job Breaking It, Jack: Jack is incredibly flippant about things throughout the entire episode, until the Doctor finally realizes what's happened, and that it's the nanogenes from the ship that Jack very carelessly sent careening to Earth which are causing all the trouble. The Doctor then makes a point of explaining to Jack in very precise and no uncertain terms exactly how he's just gone and doomed the entire human race, with a look of barely-restrained fury and disgust on his face the whole time. Jack looks a lot less flippant at that point.
- Noodle Incident: While waiting for the bomb to explode, Captain Jack recalls the last time he was sentenced to death. He ordered five Hyper Vodkas, and woke up in bed with both his executioners. They stayed in touch afterwards.
- Oh Crap:
- The Doctor realizing that he'd sent the boy to his room... the room they were in.
- Also Jack, once he realizes that he's to blame for the entire situation and has probably doomed Earth.
- Older than They Look: A plot point for Nancy, who looks young enough to blend in with a group of orphans but is (barely) old enough to really be Jamie's mother. The actress really was that old, too.
- One Last Drink: Emergency Protocol 417. A Martini. With too much vermouth. Luckily for Captain Jack, he's saved by the Doctor and Rose.
- Riding the Bomb: Cap'n Jack.
- Room Full of Crazy: Belonging to the original patient, plastered in doodlings of "mummy".
- Sexy Man, Instant Harem: Jack.
- Show Some Leg: Rose offers to do this, only for Jack to explain she's not the guard's type.
- Shout-Out: Continuing the Star Trek from last episode, with the Doctor still known to Jack as 'Mr. Spock'.
- And, in light of the earlier Spock references, the computer quoting the odds of survival to Jack near the end probably counts too.
- Snub by Omission: After Jack teleports out, Rose asks why it's always the great-looking ones who vanish into thin air.
Doctor: I'm making an effort not to be insulted.
- Stuff Blowing Up:
Rose: First day I met him, he blew my job up! That's practically how he communicates.
- Title Drop: See the page quote.
- The Virus: Actually nanogenes.
- Weirdness Magnet: Albion Hospital was also home to an "alien" pig.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Jack's memory loss was never explained, although in Torchwood, we do get to meet a fellow Time Agent.
- World War II