BY DJ Forrest
The Over City is dead, wiped out by a virus that mutated from the mood sticker known as Bliss and became airborne. But in the Under City, where the motorway is the only place to get from A – B in a matter of years, the city lives, well, albeit from those with three passengers heading to the fast lane. Except the fast lane is closed, and something is lurking in the bowels of the motorway, something that has been feeding itself on the exhaust fumes of the choked motorway, where thousands of people hover within a few feet of each other, exhaust fumes belching into the enclosed atmosphere. It’s not a healthy place to be.
Many people have spent their entire life on the motorway, been born and with any luck be able to reach their destination before the children reach primary age. What an existence!
While they’re heading on the road to nowhere, the Tenth Doctor arrives, brimming with excitement, having already visited New New Earth many many seasons ago, with a completely different companion, now he returns to show the place off to his next companion, Martha Jones. Unimpressed by the fact that, she’s travelling with a man on the rebound Martha finds herself car jacked by Cheen and Milo, desperate to get off the motorway and head to the fast lane, in order to reach their new, found destination, especially now since they have a baby on the way. Of course, as we all know, things like that are never going to happen, not for a while at least, but thankful in the knowledge that while a companion of the TARDIS travels with them, and despite there being a ravaging monster, or monsters lurking in the bowels of the motorway, no physical harm will come to her.
The Doctor confesses to Brannigan his new travelling cat companion, and wife Valerie and their litter of kittens, that he has to find Martha, it’s all his fault and he must get her back. Except, life on the motorway throws up a barrel of frustration. A hologram wishing them all well on their journey, a Ragged/Rugged Cross hymn to keep them grounded, as well as the hope that one day a police car MAY actually do something, the Doctor knows that the only way he can locate Martha is by doing the unthinkable. Leaping from one car to the next till he reaches the fast lane.
Of course, once again, his plans are thwarted when a cat in a nurse’s wimple arrives toting a laser weapon and zaps him to the Senate in the Over City, in order to speak to the last of his kind, The Face of Boe.
Now if we’re all to believe that the Face of Boe is actually Captain Jack Harkness, then there’s a few things I’d like to know. Just what the bloody hell happened to Jack, that he became a head in a glass jar, nursed by a cat in a nurse’s wimple? Just who did he piss off to get to this point? Was it a few headless monks?
And why does the voice not sound anything like Captain Jack Harkness?
Of course, the last one, we already know the answer to. At this point, none of us had any idea that Jack was the ‘big old face’.
The other two, well, I guess, eventually, time will tell, but perhaps, I don’t really want to know. Perhaps it’s like the enigma of Jack. You accept that he can’t die. That he’s a good looking American hero, except that he’s not actually American. And that as a con man, he came good and saved the world, and died saving humanity. But still, a head in a jar?
But as with any Who episode, written by RTD, it was those little enticing nugget portions. The final words spoken by the FACE OF BOE. ‘You Are Not Alone.’
Of course, now we know what all that meant, and how he knew where and when to plant the seed. And it’s because of these little pieces of info that slot a complete series together that I positively love Russell T Davies and I really wish he’d bring Torchwood back if only to explain the Face of Boe and Captain Jack Harkness.