The second episode of the New Series of Doctor Who shows Rose and the Ninth Doctor on their first real adventure together. This episode marks the first real mention of what the Time War meant for the Gallifreyians. It also begins to show Rose what it means to travel with this alien throughout time and space.
This episode picks up exactly where the last one let out. Rose finishes her jog into the TARDIS right up to the console when the Doctor asks her exactly when she wants to go. The Doctor, in common fashion, shows off bringing her to a space station. They look out the window to the Earth which is about to be taken out by the expanding sun. Rose’s questions about the event actually give a good insight into what she knows.
She asks about the Earth looking exactly the same when the continents should have shifted. The Doctor responds they were shifted back. She asks about the people. The Doctor explains they’re all gone. The greatest part is she then asks about him saving it. And he says ‘No’. She asks the same thing at the end of the episode in terms of Cassandra, the episodes villain. He basically comments that everything has its time. It’s interesting looking forward that everything about this episodes forebodes (spoilers) the Doctor’s own regeneration at the end of the first series.
“End of the World” also introduces two characters that feature in later stories. The villain, Cassandra, comes back in the next series with Rose and the Tenth Doctor. The Face of Boe shows up again in the same episode as well in series three. Each time he references the next meeting. Cassandra and Rose create interesting contrasts specifically because of their idea of what it means to be human. Rose has compassion, where Cassandra does not. It’s the thing that makes them completely different. It also is a huge difference between the Doctor and Rose.
Jackie Tyler makes a second appearance here. Rose speaks with her on the phone and realizes where she stands her mother and everything she knows is gone. She actually has a similar thought in the next episode where no one has yet to be born. When she says this, it’s almost like she’s looking into the Doctor’s mind. All his companions haven’t been born, have already died, and are still living simultaneously because of his ability to time travel. There’s a happy sadness to it all that Davies embodies in Rose’s realization.
After the battle has been won, the ship has been saved. Cassandra stands drying out and the Doctor simply watches. Rose looks on at her and asks the Doctor to help her. He watches saying that everything has its time. The Ninth Doctor here embodies a lack of compassion that very few of the other Doctor’s have. It’s an interesting moment to watch the Doctor allow a corporeal punishment of letting her die like she planned to let them.
“End of the World” creates another nice look into the world of Doctor Who. The future always feels ripe for the picking in terms of stories, and this one gives Rose a good look into the world of this Doctor. She sees the man he is as well as the world of aliens and adventure in inhabits. It’s a great fun watch with a strong villain to continue the premiere New Who series.