Doctor Who: Series One- The Empty Child

Are you my mummy??

Are you my mummy??

Four words: Are you my mummy??

Three better words: Captain. Jack. HARKNESS!!!

Oh yeah, some other stuff happens and we get a far better two-part episode than our last attempt at such things. Something about WWII and a scary child.

Captain Jack Harkness

Okay, confession time. Captain Jack is my spirit animal. I have a collection of nerd culture characters that I deeply identify with and Captain Jack is one of them.

My ex-husband was rather annoyed with my Captain Jack fixation. He thought I had a crush on him and got annoyed that I had a crush on a gay actor. It isn’t like that.

Captain Jack is the person we all wish that we were like. He’s cocky and confident. He flirts with everyone and it’s totally okay. He is just very much himself and he doesn’t apologize for it. He’s daring and charming. And I want to be him. Well, a female counterpart of him.

This is John Barrowman covered in puppies. SQUEEE!!!

This is John Barrowman covered in puppies. SQUEEE!!!

I know that the actor, John Barrowman, is pleasantly surprised at how much of a role model he has become. As an openly gay actor he had some struggles with finding his place in the world and I know that he was very happy when this character who was comfortable with himself and his sexuality became such a prominent part of nerd culture.

I keep meaning to put together a female Captain Jack cosplay, but I forget until it’s too late to order the parts. I wanted to get a vortex manipulator replica to use as the band for my Apple Watch. I have a winter coat that is a feminized version of his, which is one of the only reasons I tolerate winters in Wisconsin.

Going to stop talking about Captain Jack before I start delving into my Ninth Doctor/Captain Jack fantasies…

Plot Overview

The Doctor and Rose are called to England during The Blitz to deal with a dangerous situation. They are stalked by a creepy little boy who is inexplicably in a gas mask asking, “Are you my mummy?”

There are aspects of the beginning of the episode that I had forgotten were important plot points. There is a nice scene of The Doctor asking around if anything has fallen from the sky with a large bang. This was an integral part of the plot that I had forgotten about.

Oh, when you asked if I wanted to come to your spaceship, it wasn't a euphemism?? Aw.

Oh, when you asked if I wanted to come to your spaceship, it wasn’t a euphemism?? Aw.

I also forgot that Captain Jack was introduced as a time-traveling con man. He was heroic in pretty much every other episode after this that it was hard for me to remember that he was responsible for the problems that were caused by the episode.

Trying to strike a balance about what to talk about in the first part of this episode. This is a rather difficult post to write because so much of the payoff from this episode comes from the end of the next episode. I am trying to make sure I talk about how the setup worked as opposed to its resolution.

Also, this seems like a parental horror story of perpetually being followed by a bottomless pit of need that will follow you to the ends of the earth and possess all your electronics.


Don't answer the phone. It's a scam.

Don’t answer the phone. It’s a scam.

Nancy is a total bad-ass. I know that a lot of our kiss-ass female culture is predicated upon the idea that women shed their feminine and maternal characteristics because those things make them weak.

I disagree.

Nancy is fiercely protective of the children under her care. She is unwilling to put up with any greedy bastard’s shit when it stands between her making sure the orphans in the Blitz can have a hot meal at the table with proper manners.

When we think about bad-ass characters, they are ones that fight. Sometimes we don’t know why they fight other than they are the good or bad guys and that is what they do. We have a dearth of characters that are not particularly strong but are willing to fight for people who are weaker than they are and get away with out out of pure nerve.

Nancy is a good example of a true strong female character. Giving a girl a bow and arrow doesn’t make them a strong role model, so can we please get away from this cliche? Thanks, bye.


If anyone wants to recreate this as a first date...

If anyone wants to recreate this as a first date…

Again, this is a rather short review because there isn’t really a lot that I can talk about until the next episode. Half of this episode was Captain Jack sweeping Rose off her feet with champaign in his invisible space ship, which is loads of fun, but isn’t really conducive to literary analysis.

All work and no play makes Captain Jack a dull boy…

This was also a rather patriotic episode between Rose’s Union Jack shirt and the story revolving around the English resistance to the German war machine. I can imagine stories like this are to the British what Band of Brothers was to America. Sometimes we forget that other countries are just as proud of their heritage as we are of ours and it’s interesting for me to see.