Doctor Who
Army Of Ghosts (1)

Episode Report Card
Jacob Clifton: B+ | 4 USERS: A+
Et In Arcadia Ego

In a gleaming white laboratory, to a Torchwood song, a scientist pulls a lever down. A light dims down. A woman -- Yvonne, as we'll see -- takes off a pair of sunglasses, at the fading of the light. The pride of touching magic. The ghost shift ends.

The ghosts disappear. The Doctor stares around, more confused even than before; these three head back to the Estate.

The engines die, and Yvonne steps out of her office, separated from the busy main lab by a beautiful glass wall reading "Torchwood." She addresses the staff: her tone is that wonder crossed with coked-up power-tripping that we'll soon (we hope) see characterizes the Torchwood approach to the infinite. "Ladies and gentlemen, I'd like to announce: we've just measured the ghost energy at five thousand gigawatts. Give yourselves a round of applause." They do that a lot, applauding themselves. That's how you can tell. They fall in with her, and the clapping continues, on and on. And all over the world, people bite their lips and smile sadly, knowing that there's no longer any such thing as "Goodbye" -- just the wait until the next ghost shift. In Torchwood, the applause continues.

The Doctor sits on Jackie's floor, watching her television. Jackie sits on the sofa, Rose perched upon an arm. They're watching Ghostwatch, violently hot presenter Alistair Appleton's new venture. "On today's Ghostwatch, claims that some of the ghosts are starting to talk, and there seems to be a regular formation gathering around Westminster Bridge." Ghosts stand on the bridge. "It's almost like a military display..." The real-life Alistair would never stand for this: he's a Buddhist, he doesn't stand for anything less than evanescence; none of this Orpheus bullshit. And also we're going to get gay married. "What the hell's going on?" asks the Doctor. Um, it's called true love, dude. He flips the channel because he is jealous. It's the weather, only rather than weather, it's little pictures of ghosts on a U.K. map. I know Davies does this in every third thing, but it's still really funny and inventive: "And tonight we're expecting very strong ghosts; from London, through the North, and up into Scotland." Meanwhile, on Trisha Goddard, the bottom-third reads, "I Married A Dead Man!" Which is funny in a shore-transcending way, but also specifically, considering that Trisha Goddard did the same interview with a zombie-fucker in Shaun Of The Dead, which of course starred editor and surprising hottie Simon Pegg. But which is also kind of sad, because love is the one thing that'll get you to go Orpheus faster than anything else. Only love causes you to go this crazy; only love makes you look back. "He's my ghost and I love him, 24/7!" shouts Eileen, the guest, in tears, with a ghost hovering around, and the audience applauds. On another channel, Derek Acorah (who I think is like John Edward over here) humorously bitches that nobody's gonna need him anymore. On another channel, a cheesy advertisement for "Ectoshine": a housewife in a flowered apron addresses us from her kitchen, while a sad-looking animated ghost hovers around above the worktop. "My ghost was pale and grey until I discovered...Ectoshine!" Only love.

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Doctor Who




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