The one where the Doctor's bummed he's rude and not ginger.
Written by Russell T. Davies.
It's become traditional for a new Doctor's first story to deal with regeneration trauma. The Tenth's is fairly mild compared to, say, the Sixth's brief homicidal mania (He thankfully didn't wear a technicolor coat this time) and consists of him spending Christmas unconscious in bed. It's rather close to the Fifth Doctor's regeneration process, where the Doctor spent a lot of time sleeping before running around a lot.
The story is an interesting foreshadowing of what would become important themes in the next few series of Doctor Who and its spin-offs: what happens when the Doctor isn't there to save the day.
Christmas Eve, and the TARDIS comes screaming down out of the sky into the Powell Estates. The new Doctor stumbles out of it and into the arms of Jackie and Mickey; he wishes them a happy Christmas before passing out in their arms. Understandably confused, they nevertheless help Rose carry him up to chez Jackie and get him settled in bed.
Mickey takes Rose out for a bit of last-minute Christmas shopping, where they are attacked by deadly robot Santas. Back at the flat, they are attacked by a deadly robot Christmas tree. The War on Christmas has never been so literal. The Doctor wakes up long enough to explain that the robot Santas aren't the threat they're just after the residual energy from his regeneration the real threat is the Sycorax warship that's just coming into view.
Meanwhile, about a third of humanity has zoned out and started climbing to the rooftops. This includes the Royal Family, but Harriet Jones, Prime Minister note encourages the British people not to panic. This doesn't exactly work, as the Sycorax leader pops up and demands that either the leaders of Humanity sell half of the species into slavery... or that third will leap off the rooftops. Rose and her companions have been paying attention to what's going on, thanks to Mickey's hacking skills, and they all slide into the TARDIS.
Unfortunately, without anyone realising it, the TARDIS is quickly stolen up into the Sycorax spaceship. Rose and Mickey exit the TARDIS in shock, finding themselves alongside a delegation from the Earth led by Harriet Jones (Prime Minister) trying to bargain with the Sycorax. Mickey dropped a thermos of tea on the TARDIS floor, dripping onto a light fixture, as he went out to see what Rose was screaming about, but it seems to be fine aside from some random smoke and sparks. Rose, realizing how utterly screwed over everyone is without the Doctor, tries to bluff her way out of the problem by using random phrases and words she's picked up from the Doctor. It doesn't work.
Luckily, however, Rose has bought enough time for the Doctor to finally finish off his regeneration cycle. As it turns out, the tea that Mickey dropped was just enough to jump-start the Doctor back into consciousness. Within a few seconds, the Doctor gleefully bounces around their ship, gives them a speech, realizes it's from The Lion King and improvises a brief investigation instead, and decides that the Sycorax are simply bluffing that their blood control can't get people to kill themselves. All the while, he's running around and trying to figure out what kind of man this new body will make him. Manic and lucky, apparently. Within seconds, the Doctor challenges the Sycorax to a quick challenge for the fate of the Earth, to be decided in a swordfight to the death. You know, the usual.
Luckily, the Doctor wins the fight in his jammies and dressing gown "very Arthur Dent" but not before losing a hand. Which he grows back, thanks to still being early in his regeneration cycle. The Doctor then demands that the Sycorax leave the Earth and tell any aliens who wish to conquer the planet that it is defended. Also, since no one can possibly deny alien life any more, Earth has now officially made first interstellar contact. Finally. And all ends well on Christmas Day...
... until Reality Ensues and Harriet Jones has them shot out of the sky by Torchwood London. The Doctor, suddenly quite serious, decides to say a few simple words to begin the end her time as Prime Minister ("Don't you think she looks tired?" to her aide) and then he and Rose go off into the TARDIS and fly off all happily, though a bit troubled by the fact that the government of the UK is now crashing quickly (it's not as if that'll come and bite him on the ass later on) and the "Christmas snow" is really ash from the Sycorax spaceship. Merry Christmas, everyone!
- Absurdly Ineffective Barricade: During the attack of the Christmas Tree of Death, Jackie and Mickey barricade the door of Rose's bedroom with a wardrobe. Unfortunately, it's made of flimsy medium-density fiberboard, and the terrible Tannenbaum just rips through it like balsa.
- Actor Allusion:
- The TARDIS wardrobe contains a Hogwarts uniform. This is a nod to David Tennant's appearance as Barty Crouch Jr. in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.
- There's also an item of clothing that looks like it's from the Restoration period (red, blue collar, made of silk). The costume was one of Tennant's outfits from Casanova, which was also written by Russell T. Davies.
- Adult Fear: On what should be a normal Christmas Day, a mother finds her husband and kids just suddenly walking out of the house, going completely unresponsive and walking to the tallest building they can find.
- Arc Words:
- Harriet Jones, Prime Minister note calls Torchwood to take out the Sycorax warship.
- "Who am I?"
- An Arm and a Leg: The Sycorax leader cuts off the Doctor's hand during their duel, and he grows it back moments later.
- Artistic Licence Astronomy: London seems a bit too sunny for a city at 51°N latitude four days after the Winter Solstice, don't you think? Not only that, but the Astronomic Zoom at the beginning appears to be from June. (See more at Writers Cannot Do Math.)
- An Ass-Kicking Christmas: Starting a NewWho tradition, complete with a swordfight, severed limb and Wave Motion Gun.
- Astronomic Zoom:
- The beginning re-uses the zoom from "Rose".
- The news broadcast shows one with the Guinevere 1 probe going to Mars.
- Attack of the Killer Whatever: At one point, the protagonists come under threat from a Christmas tree.
- Backstab Backfire: After the Doctor wins their duel, the Sycorax leader gets up and charges him from behind. The Doctor (without looking or breaking his stride) throws the satsuma he's just found in his dressing gown pocket at the hull switch, opening it under the Sycorax.
- Badass Boast: When Llewellyn wonders why Harriet Jones is speaking so casually about aliens as a matter of fact, she merely quips, "There's an act of Parliament banning my autobiography."
- Bad Santa: A whole brass band of them, complete with weaponized instruments.
- Big Eater: Howard, the original owner of the pajamas and robe the Doctor ends up wearing, judging by the fact that he keeps fruit in the pockets of his robe because "he gets hungry in his sleep".
- Big Red Threatening Button: That should never, ever, ever be touched. "I really don't know who I am. I don't know when to stop. So if I see a great big threatening button which should never, ever, ever be pressed, then I just want to do this!" (He hits the button.)
- Big "SHUT UP!":The Doctor: I need...
Jackie: Is it food? Something simple? Bowl of soup? Nice bowl of soup? Soup and a sandwich? Bowl of soup and a nice ham sandwich?
The Doctor: I need you to shut up!
- Blood Magic: The Sycorax use "blood control" to hypnotize a third of the population of Earth. Technically it's Magic from Technology, but one of the UNIT characters commented that it appeared like they were casting a spell. The Sycorax reverse-engineered their technology from invaders, and think of it as magic.
- Bloodless Carnage: There's no blood to be seen anywhere when the Doctor's hand gets cut off.
- Bond One-Liner: "No second chances. I'm that sort of a man."
- Borrowed Catchphrase: The Tenth Doctor borrows Nine's "fantastic" to reassure Rose about the adventures they could go on.
- The camera focusing on the newly regenerated Tenth Doctor's face, as he's unconscious on the ground. This is more or less the exact same pose many of the classic Doctors were in before and after their regenerations.
- Harriet Jones makes a point of knowing the names of everyone she meets. The explanation isn't given, but since the last time she appeared she never learnt the name of the man Blon Slitheen murdered, it's likely to make sure she knows this time.
- Catch-Phrase: Harriet Jones' has been accordingly upgraded to reflect her new status, which is met with some exasperation from everyone else since when did the Prime Minister need to introduce herself?
- Celebrity Paradox: The Doctor makes reference to Arthur Dent. But Douglas Adams, who wrote the Hitchhiker's Guide books, also did writing work on Doctor Who in the 1970s.
- Chekhov's Gag: The Doctor finds fruit in the dressing gown Jackie had, since the man who she's currently seeing tends to get snacky during the night. He later uses a satsuma he finds there to defeat the Sycorax leader.
- Chekhov's Gun: The Doctor's severed hand. It wasn't intended as such at the time, but it would go on to be a very important item throughout the remainder of Russell T. Davies' tenure in charge of the franchise.
- Christmas Episode: It's Christmas in London and therefore supposed to be a "day of peace". Because the Sycorax don't respect this, the Doctor has to kick their ass. Then Harriet Jones, Prime Minister, blows their ship out of the sky.
- Clarke's Third Law: The Sycorax's blood control technology is described by one character as "like casting a spell".
- Combat by Champion: The Sycorax leader demands that the Earth send their best as champion, or "your world will be gutted, and your people enslaved." The Doctor obliges.
- Continuity Nod:
- Rose's address to the Sycorax is basically her rattling off whatever useless bits of knowledge she's gained about aliens over the course of the last series.
- Big Ben is still covered in scaffolding from not being completely rebuilt.
- This isn't the first time the Doctor's regeneration almost failed... or, for that matter, he spent a portion of the adventure sleeping.
- The Doctor's hand regrowth is also seen by some fans as an explanation of how Romana managed to do "trial" regenerations at the beginning of "Destiny of the Daleks".
- On seeing the Sycorax, Mr. Llewellyn wonders if they're actually Martians. UNIT Major Blake dryly informs him that Martians look completely different.
- The Fourth Doctor's outfit can be seen while the Doctor chooses his new clothes.
- Converging-Stream Weapon: Used by Torchwood London against the fleeing Sycorax.
- Corpsing: It's not very obvious due to camera angles, but Noel Clarke struggles to keep a straight face in the cold open.
- Deadpan Snarker: Mickey's moved on from being hostile, and now just taunts Rose about how she never stops talking about the Doctor, and the TARDIS.Mickey: Oh, yeah, because I just love hearing stories about the TARDIS. "This one time, the TARDIS landed in a big yellow garden full of balloons!"note
- Declaration of Protection: Courtesy of the Doctor:"By the ancient rites of combat, I forbid you to scavenge here for the rest of time. And when you go back to the stars and tell others of this planet, when you tell them of its riches, its people, its potential, when you talk of the Earth, then make sure that you tell them this... IT! IS! DEFENDED!"
- Disney Villain Death: The Sycorax Leader has a particularly nasty one here. Like in most Disney movies, you never see the body, but boy, that was a very LOOOOOOOOOONG fall there.
- Disproportionate Retribution: The Doctor derails history by deposing Harriet Jones, all because she did something he disagreed with. This has become one of the show's biggest What the Hell, Hero? moments.
- Don't Touch It, You Idiot!: Lampshaded: The Doctor discovers the "Big Red Button" the Sycorax are using to control any human with A+ blood, and says, "How am I gonna react when I see this? A great, big, threatening button. A great, big, threatening button which must not be pressed under any circumstances, am I right? [...] Which leaves us with a great, big, stinkin' problem. I really don't know who I am. I don't know when to stop. So if I see a great, big, threatening button which should never, ever, EVER be pressed, then I just want to do this." [presses the button]
- Double Entendre: Jackie's comment when Rose was explaining to her about how the Doctor has two hearts. This while she's eyeing him up and down."Anything else he's got two of?"
- Duel to the Death: The Doctor duels with the Sycorax leader. After winning, the Doctor graciously decided to let him live (despite the fact the aliens had come to enslave humanity and had previously killed two diplomatic aides in cold blood), but when the humiliated alien captain attacked the Doctor from behind, the Doctor finished him off by dropping him off the edge of the spaceship hovering over London. By throwing a satsuma at the release button.
- Eagleland: The United States immediately demands to take over the situation... not that Harriet cares.
- Edible Ammunition: The satsuma.
- Epic Fail: Rose's attempt to talk to the Sycorax using random words she picked up from the Doctor. The vast majority are just the names of previous aliens of the week, and the Sycorax just wind up laughing at her.
- Establishing Character Moment:
- The entire episode is basically one for Ten, as he tries to find out "what sort of man he is".
- He answers the question when the Sycorax leader tries to kill Ten after the Doctor commanded his race never to invade Earth again. He then promptly throws the satsuma in his pocket at a switch, which makes him fall to his death. "No second chances. I'm that sort of man."
- Evil Plan: The Sycorax come to Earth looking for slaves and minerals. They demand surrender so they can make another conquest.
- Evil Sounds Deep: The Sycorax leader has a low, rough voice.
- Flynning: A particularly bad case between the Doctor and the leader of the Sycorax. Most notable is a moment when the Doctor charges the Sycorax leader with an overhead strike. In any realistic fight, the Doctor would've ended up with a sword through one of his hearts.
- Fruit of the Loon: As provided by Jackie's friend Howard, who regularly keeps snacks in the pockets of his dressing gown.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: Rose remarks that the Doctor has two hearts.Jackie: Anything else he's got two of?
- For an added bonus, Jackie is clearly looking at the Doctor's crotch while she says that line.
- Group Hug: The Doctor, Rose, Mickey and Jackie, after the Sycorax have left.
- Ham-to-Ham Combat: The Doctor argues with the Sycorax leader.Sycorax: I DEMAND TO KNOW WHO YOU ARE!
The Doctor: I! DON'T! KNOW!!
- He Had a Name: Harriet Jones is shown making a point of asking even minor flunkies she talks to for their names. It's not explained why she does it, but it was probably meant as a Continuity Nod to show that, even without the Doctor getting all self-righteous about it, she learned her lesson from her previous appearance.
- Heroic Second Wind: The Doctor recovers after regenerating his hand, and proceeds to win the duel.
- He's Back: "Did you miss me?"
- Hypocrite: The Doctor in regards to the Sycorax. He says he's now someone who doesn't give second chances, yet expected the Earth to just let the Sycorax leave after they were fully willing to kill a third of the population and had made it quite clear that they wanted to take over the Earth, not to mention having the gall to say that he should have told the Sycorax to warn the galaxy that Humans Are the Real Monsters, despite the many, many, many different alien species both in the old and new series that have come to Earth with the intent of turning it into their personal playground.
- Impact Silhouette: The animated killer Christmas tree leaves a Christmas-treetop-shaped gap in the top of the doorframe at Jackie's place.
- Instrument of Murder: The robot Father Christmases wield brass instruments which double as weapons, including a trombone flamethrower and a tuba which, by dint of launching rockets, manages to make itself just barely more dangerous than the usual sort.
- The Ketchup Test: The Doctor, upon discovering the blood sample the Sycorax are using, gets a bit of it on his finger and tastes it, declaring it to be "A positive, with just a dash of iron". Rose looks somewhat squicked.
- Limb-Sensation Fascination: When the Doctor's hand gets chopped off, shortly after his regeneration, there's a short focus on it as he grows a new one. "I've got just enough residual cellular energy to do this." [regrows hand] "... Wanna know the best bit? This new hand it's a fightin' hand."
- Literal Disarming: During the duel between the newly regenerated Tenth Doctor and the Sycorax leader, the latter cuts off the Doctor's right hand which was holding the sword. However, thanks to the Doctor being within 15 hours of his regeneration he was able to regrow his hand with a stronger better fighting hand, where he proceeds to overwhelm the Sycorax leader and knock him down.
- Living Battery: The Doctor says that the "pilot fish" could use him as one with his excess regeneration energy.
- Lower-Deck Episode: The Doctor spends most of the story unconscious, leaving most of the action up until the end focused on UNIT and the prime minister.
- Mars Needs Women: Parodied; the Sycorax demand our minerals, our cattle, and our women. The reference to women was edited out of the spoken dialogue, but one of the characters has a translator and the text can be seen on its screen.
- Mass Hypnosis: The Sycorax control of a third of the Earth's population.
- Mauve Shirt: Mister Llewellyn and Major Blake, who are beamed to the Sycorax ship with Harriet Jones, and killed shortly after.
- Moral Dissonance: The Doctor deposes Harriet Jones, Prime Minister (yes we know who she is), violating his own standards of not altering major historical events... and nobody ever, ever pulls him up on it. Not in this episode or anywhere else in the series.
- Nations of the World Montage: We see people walking to the edge of buildings in Paris and Rome. With, of course, the Eiffel Tower and Coliseum.
- New Powers as the Plot Demands: A common complaint about the Doctor's ability to have his "Don't you think she looks tired?" comment turn into a successful vote of no confidence, where he implies that he and only he could speak a sentence that would result in the whole country turning against someone.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!:
- The Guinevere-1 probe has a sample of human blood on it, which is what allows the Sycorax to hold all those people hostage with blood control.
- The Doctor deposing Harriet Jones creates a power vacuum (and disrupted timeline) that leads to the rise of Harold Saxon, the Big Bad of Series 3.
- Non Sequitur, *Thud*: The Doctor on stepping out of the TARDIS in the intro. "Merry Christmas!" [thud]
- The Nth Doctor: David Tennant makes his debut as the Doctor. Regeneration is explored:
- Rose has no idea what's going on. All she knows is the man she knew and loved has changed, and there's some skinny guy in his place. She even compares him unfavourably to the Ninth Doctor, saying he'd sort everything out, and later breaks down crying over being "left alone".
- Harriet is also pretty confused, wondering briefly if Ten is Nine's son.
- Offhand Backhand: The Doctor pulls this on the Sycorax leader with a satsuma.
- Ominous Floating Spaceship: The Sycorax ship hovering above London, demanding surrender.
- Pajama-Clad Hero: After spending most of the episode laid up in bed, the Doctor does the climactic confrontation and duel still dressed in jimjams and dressing gown.
- Paranoia Gambit: The Doctor's "six words" that bring down Harriet Jones's government are to tell her aide "Don't you think she looks tired?", then refuse to tell Jones herself what he said, leaving her to worry herself into a total mess who really does look agitated and exhausted.
- Patrick Stewart Speech: Attempted, but the Doctor gives up halfway when he realizes he's just quoting "Circle of Life" from The Lion King."But the point still stands; leave them alone!"
- Pardon My Klingon: Just after making a big deal out of the translation mechanism, the Doctor lapses into Sycorax when insulting the alien leader. Since the Translator Microbes are linked to the Doctor's mind, it's not quite clear whether he's doing this for effect, or it's a suspiciously timed failure of his still-unstable mind. An Expanded Universe story claimed previously that the Translator Microbes have a "swear filter".
- Phrase-Catcher/Running Gag:Harriet Jones, Prime Minister: [flashes ID badge] Harriet Jones, Prime Minister.
Everyone (including the Sycorax): Yes, I/we know who you are.
- Pop-Cultured Badass: Ten, starting as he means to go on, quotes The Lion King and references Arthur Dent.
- Power Walk: After defeating the Sycorax leader, the Doctor's Power Walk is coupled with the dialogue in classic Western-showdown form "No second chances. I'm that sort of a man."
- Pre Ass Kicking One Liner: "This new hand it's a fighting hand!"
- Protagonist-Centered Morality: In a quite controversial moment, the Doctor gets Harriet Jones fired for destroying the Sycorax when they were retreating. There are good points to be said for both of them, however the Doctor just uses it to portray her as the monster. This, despite him killing the Sycorax leader for not honouring the bargain earlier, and how the Sycorax might have ended up attacking another planet. Ten uses this as an excuse to bring down Harriet Jones in a contrived and ridiculous manner, thus changing history and cheating Britain out of its Golden age. In other stories the Doctor was very adamantly criticising others for trying to change history, even if they thought it was for the better. And stories like Torchwood: Children of Earth seem to show the Doctor changed history for the worse.
- Psychic-Assisted Suicide: The Sycorax threaten to do this by taking control of about a third of the Earth and making them all march to the nearest high place. They'll order them to jump if their demands weren't met. It turns out to be a bluff the form of mind control used can't overcome the survival instinct.
- Punctuated! For! Emphasis!:
- The Sycorax leader and the newly-regenerated Doctor both speak like this: "I DEMAND TO KNOW. WHO. YOU. ARE!" "I. DON'T. KNOW!"
- Also, the Doctor's Declaration of Protection:"By the ancient rites of combat, I forbid you to scavenge here for the rest of time. And when you go back to the stars and tell others of this planet, when you tell them of its riches, its people, its potential, when you talk of the Earth, then make sure that you tell them this... IT! IS! DEFENDED!"
- Rapid Fire Interrupting: Jackie does this to the Doctor during the balcony scene, trying to guess what he needs while he can't get a word in edgewise due to his regeneration sickness-induced headache.
- Rationalizing the Overkill: Harriet Jones, Prime Minister, justifies her blasting of the Sycorax spaceship out of the sky by saying that though the Doctor scared them off, who's to say they wouldn't have turned right around and attacked once the Doctor was gone, just like their leader did after being defeated and giving his solemn word on the blood of his race. Thus, she had to Make an Example of Them to show that Earth could defend itself without him.
- Replacement Scrappy: In-universe, this is how Rose initially views the Tenth Doctor. She warms up to him later.
- Resurrection Sickness: The Doctor briefly becomes extremely erratic and irrational before collapsing into a dramatic coma which lasts for most of the episode, and at one point, thanks to being woken up too early, his brain almost collapses.
- Rule of Empathy: In spite of Jackie's often harsh words and attitude towards the Doctor (demonstrated in this very episode where she encourages Rose and Mickey to abandon him so as to save themselves), she becomes very caring for him as his condition worsens. The Doctor, likely aware of everything that happened within earshot, later thanks her for saving him with the tea by pulling her into a Group Hug.
- Screw Destiny: Harriet Jones, Prime Minister, becomes the victim of the Doctor's decision to significantly alter her history after her first year as Prime Minister.
- Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: The Doctor deliberately creates one of these to get Harriet Jones kicked out of office, saying he could bring her government down with 6 words. "Don't you think she looks tired?" whispered in someone's ear. This got spread around, until there was a huge controversy regarding her health. Meanwhile, the stress of her not knowing what he said, and the resulting media circus, actually affected her health and she ended up kicked out of office.
- After the defeat of the Sycorax leader, the Doctor mentions that he did "not bad for a man in his jimjams" and that this is "very Arthur Dent. Now that was a nice man."
- He also tries to convince the Sycorax that Humans Are Special by saying "Look at these people. These human beings. Consider their potential... from the day they arrive on the planet and blinking, step into the sun... there's more to see than can ever be seen, more to do than no, hold on. Sorry, that's The Lion King."
- Does that scene where the Doctor is hanging over the edge of the Sycorax spaceship, having had his hand cut off remind you of anything?
- What about the weapon Torchwood uses to destroy the Sycorax mothership?
- Evidently he still has The Lion King on his mind when he has the defeated Sycorax champion hanging over the edge at sword-point "Leave this planet, and never return."
- Sick Episode: The Doctor spends most of the episode unconscious in bed at Rose's flat while he recovers from the recent physical trauma of his regeneration, occasionally gasping up wisps of yellow energy. Which apparently inconveniently attracted an alien invasion.
- Skewed Priorities: Before dealing with the Monster of the Week, the Doctor asks Rose how his latest regeneration looks and is somewhat peeved to discover he's not ginger.
- Sophisticated as Hell: The Sycorax deliver an ultimatum demanding the Earth's every last resource, which is all fine and threatening until they end it with "Sycorax strong, Sycorax mighty, Sycorax rock!!!" (and no, this is not a "Blind Idiot" Translation, as Harriet's assistant clarifies, "... as in the modern sense, they rock.")
- Soundtrack Dissonance: The Christmas tree attack is accompanied by a slightly deranged version of "Jingle Bells".
- Spot of Tea:
- Tea is responsible for reviving the Doctor and ultimately saving the world. Did we mention that this show is British?
- In an earlier scene:Mickey: [after Rose's mum insists they bring in a load of food into the TARDIS] We're having a picnic while the world comes to an end. Very British.
- Squee!: The Doctor's voice goes all squeaky when he figures out the Sycorax are using blood control."I haven't seen blood control for years!"
- Super-Powered Robot Meter Maids: Super-Powered Robot Santas; they have weaponry.
- Sword Fight: Between the Doctor and the Sycorax leader.
- Take That!:Harriet Jones, Prime Minister: You may tell the President this, and please use these exact words: He's not my boss and he's certainly not turning this into a war. note
- Title Drop: Jackie uses the words "Doctor who?" in the series' long-standing Running Gag.
- Tranquil Fury: The Doctor kills the Sycorax leader by irising open the floor beneath his feet, announcing, "No second chances. I'm that sort of man." Moments later, he has a second moment against the Prime Minister, after she shoots down the retreating fleet, killing thousands needlessly, as he sees it. He talks over her pleas, saying "I could bring down your government with a single word... no... six words. Six." He then turns and whispers to her aide, "Don't you think she looks tired?" This alters the course of history and strongly reverberates all the way through to the end of Series 3 of Doctor Who and the Torchwood miniseries Children of Earth. Between Harriet Jones' speech proving that sometimes the Strawman Has a Point and the aftermath, this has gone from a Moment of Awesome to a What the Hell, Hero? moment.
- Twisted Christmas: The Tenth Doctor's first adventure had him spending most of the day going through regenerative sickness, almost being killed by a Christmas tree, and then had his triumphant moment getting rid of the aliens spoiled by Torchwood shooting the alien ship down. And he has a huge falling out with Harriet Jones, Prime Minister, which ends with him getting her sacked, destroying "Britain's Golden Age".
- Wacky Wayside Tribe: The Pilot Fish attack the Doctor, Rose, Jackie and Mickey early in the episode and are never heard from again after the Doctor destroys their Christmas Tree of Doom.
- Waxing Lyrical: The Doctor starts accidentally quoting the lyrics of "Circle of Life" from The Lion King when addressing the Sycorax leader.
- What Does This Button Do?: The Doctor parodies it when he finds the Sycorax's Big Red Button, describing it as "The Great Big Threatening Button That Must Not Be Pressed Under Any Circumstances"... before pressing it.
- What the Hell, Hero?:
- The Doctor gives Harriet a tongue-lashing when she shoots down the retreating Sycorax ship. Harriet defends herself by saying the decision was "contingent to tactical necessity", especially given that the Sycorax proved untrustworthy, such as when the leader tried to kill the Doctor after swearing on his blood that he wouldn't."THAT WAS MURDER!"
- The Doctor is also angry that Rose gave up on him. Then he admits that was rude.
- The Doctor gives Harriet a tongue-lashing when she shoots down the retreating Sycorax ship. Harriet defends herself by saying the decision was "contingent to tactical necessity", especially given that the Sycorax proved untrustworthy, such as when the leader tried to kill the Doctor after swearing on his blood that he wouldn't.
- Wounded Hero, Weaker Helper: The Doctor needs to be cared for by Rose (and to a lesser extent Mickey and Jackie), and they have to try to deal with the alien invasion for him while he recuperates.
- Writers Cannot Do Math: During the swordfight the Doctor's hand gets cut off. He can regenerate it, because he's still within the first fifteen hours of his regeneration cycle. Except that he arrived in London on Christmas Eve, while it was still light, and his hand gets cut off the next day, also during daylight hours. Christmas is only a few days after the Winter Solstice, and the night lasts longer than fifteen hours in London at that time.
- "I'm gonna get killed by a Christmas tree!!"