Doctor Who
Doomsday (2)

Episode Report Card
Jacob Clifton: A+ | 10 USERS: A+
YOU GRADE IT
Hold The Line With Me

Jackie, still hustling down the stairwell, comes upon Cybermen; there is some patented Doctor Who running about, and she finally gets cornered and almost upgraded, but then, in a long corridor, is saved. Her attackers are shot from behind, and as they fall, they reveal her savior: Peter Alan Tyler, with the Doctor, Rose, and Mickey at his side. Jackie squints through the smoke, uncomprehending. Her eyes widen; her face turns to ash. She says Pete's name; her daughter puts hands to her mouth. "Hello, Jacks," says Pete. Her relief and joy war with her fear and exasperation. She asks the saddest question: "Said there were ghosts, but that's not fair. Why him?" This is so the greatest scene. Pete tells her he's not a ghost, and she stands firm: "But you're dead. You died twenty years ago, Pete." The Doctor steps forward to explain -- "It's Pete from a different Universe. There are parallel worlds, Jackie. Every single decision we make creates a parallel existence, a different dimension, where..." -- and she tells him, softly, to shut up. For once, he does, and steps back into line. Pete smiles at her. She gazes at him in wonder: "Oh...you look old." He smiles more deeply: "You don't." But how can he be standing there? He shakes his head, reality crashing sidelong into Peter's world: "Just got lucky. Lived my life. You were left on your own. You didn't marry again, or...?" Jackie's hands are useless. "There was never anyone else," she says quietly. "Twenty years, though. Look at me! I never left that flat. Did nothing with myself!" Pete nods back at the family. "Brought her up. Rose Tyler." The Doctor and Mickey smile. "That's not bad," adds Pete. True. Jackie whispers her agreement. "In my world, it worked," says Pete. "All those daft little plans of mine. They worked. Made me rich." Jackie shakes her head, still devouring the look of him: "I don't care about that. ...How rich?" Very. "I don't care about that. ...How very?" Pete laughs; Rose rolls her eyes, and the Doctor grins, loving this. "Thing is, though, Jacks. You're...you're not my wife. I'm sorry, but you're not. I mean, we both..." She nods, and he just looks at her, softly. Peter's World: the hard truth.

Once there were a couple of London kids, named Peter Tyler and Jackie Prentiss. They couldn't make it work: Peter was a layabout who died early, without ever pulling off that final Del Boy scheme. Jackie got hard, and lonely, and lost her daughter to the stars. Or Peter was in the right place at the right time, and won everything he ever wanted, but Jackie got hard, and lonely, and lost her life to technology and the belief that things can keep from changing. They loved each other, and in our world they even had a lovely daughter, and Jackie always told their girl that Pete was the most wonderful man in the world. Rose spun out fantasy after fantasy, and in growing up she discarded them, one by one. In his world, he lost his wife to the Cybermen, but that was only a technicality: he'd lost her long ago, somewhere as he was reaching higher. They forgot each other. That's Peter's World: the hard truth that things don't ever work out this way. That sometimes you fall in love with someone, and you lose him -- or her -- and there's no rotty magic or silly time machine that can get him -- or her -- back again. But somewhere else, there's a song, a touch of grace, a single moment in time when you can burn off what doesn't work, take half of each side and combine them together. Rose was a Yorkie, Mickey a tin dog, until they went to Hell, and came back again. And sometimes, when you jump, it's more than approximation the world hands you. You get another chance -- to be strong, to love. And if you could hear grace speaking, this might be her song: "Trust me on this. Trust me on this. Trust me on this. Trust me on this. Trust me on this." Pete stares, looks at Jackie, imagining, remembering, fighting it: "You know, it's just sort of..." Jackie nods again; just another ghost. And just when she's about to step back, it's Peter Alan Tyler, once again, who's brave enough to jump: "...Oh, come here." And he runs to her, and sweeps her into his arms, and they both begin to weep. Home again. That's the story of Peter and Jackie Tyler. It starts now.

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