January 14th, 2021

Ten with gun

An additional thought on "The Idiot's Lantern"

My husband points out that Rose's Catti Brie may not have been particularly useful to the episode itself, but was important to the themes of the season and the Tenth Doctor's run as a whole.

The Doctor's reaction to Rose's face-sucking was out of proportion to the situation. He was already investigating the problem when she was brought in and he growled the lines, "And as a result, that makes things simple. Very, very simple. Do you know why? Because now, Detective Inspector Bishop, there is no power on this Earth that can stop me!" Then the scene changes and he goes off to question Tommy to figure out what's going on - in other words, after that outburst, he did nothing different than what he would have done if Rose hadn't been taken. Rose's condition didn't cause him to find some hidden reserve of strength that he needed to defeat the enemy (the way that attacks on Catti Brie inspire Drizz't) or give him any insight into what he was up against or how to figure it out.

What, then, did Rose's condition do? The clue's in the Doctor's phrasing: "And as a result, that makes things simple." It turned the Doctor's focus from saving lives to anger and revenge, and thus, he never did his signature move, which was to give the Wire a choice. This is perfectly in line with the season 2 theme of the Doctor losing his purpose and moral compass due to his infatuation with Rose and the Tenth Doctor Time Lord Victorious theme of placing himself above everyone else when he doesn't have a strong companion to temper his dark side.

Nicely done. Subtle, but true to character.