The Week of the Doctor: Day One – Are You My Mummy?

Over seven days, I’m watching a selection of stories from the rebooted Doctor Who series, and reviewing them in celebration of the 50th anniversary.

The Empty Child・The Doctor Dances
By Steven Moffatt

Please, Mummy...

Please, Mummy…

A little boy appears outside, ostensibly looking for his mother.  He’s wearing a gas mask.  “Are you my mummy?” he says in his innocent voice, but don’t you dare let him touch you, or you’ll become like him:  Empty.

Tonight, I’m watching The Empty Child.  This story seems innocent enough at first, but as it progresses, it becomes terrifying.  The scene where Doctor Constantine turns, after being infected, is one of the most frightening moments in the life of the Ninth Doctor.  It’s a pretty good effect, too.

Doctor Constantine

When I selected this story, I didn’t deliberately choose a Stephen Moffat story (more on this later).

I haven’t seen this story in years.  Life gets in the way sometimes, so watching it again reminded me of all the good one-liners:

Two of my favourite one-liners:

“GO TO YOUR ROOM! … I’m glad that worked; those would have been terrible last words!” — The Doctor.
“Who looks at a screwdriver and thinks, ‘this could be a little more sonic!'” — Captain Jack Harkness.

The theme of this story isn’t revealed until near the climax of the story in the second episode, and deals with very serious issues – motherhood, unintended consequences, love, and all set against the backdrop of the Blitz.

While a very good story, I found the ending a little rushed.  It struck me as a bit of as case of Deus Ex Mahina.  So, while not bad, it does exhibit a case of Doctor Who still finding its feet after the 2005 reboot.

About Steven Britton

Steve is a freelance programmer, partial billionaire, dad, Recovering Atheist, Conservative, and occasionally prolific blogger.