Doctor Who: The Newbies Guide
Other Guides to this Story
The Parting of the Ways
This is the series finale of the first series of the revived Doctor Who.
Where does this fit?
This follows on from the cliffhanger to Bad Wolf
The characters listed below are the series regulars, important recurring characters, and real life historical characters. If a character's appearance is a major spoiler, then their details will be hidden in spoiler tags. In general, recurring characters are not listed here on their first appearance unless they become a series regular during the story, or they are a real life historical character.
Rose Tyler is a 19-year old girl from London 2005. Before meeting the Doctor, Rose lived with her mother, Jackie Tyler, on a council estate and had a boyfriend called Mickey Smith. Her father, Pete Tyler, died when she was a baby. In Rose (New Series Series 1), she worked in Henrik's department store when the ninth Doctor was investigating Auton activity in the store, and she saw him blow it up. Rose then helped the Doctor defeat the Nestene Consciousness's attempt to take over the world, and he offered her a chance to travel in the TARDIS. In The End of the World (New Series Series 1), the Doctor took her to the far future to see the day the Earth is destroyed. During this trip, he upgraded her mobile phone, tying it into the TARDIS, so that she can call home no matter where or when she is.
Captain Jack Harkness is a time traveller from the 51st Century. In The Empty Child (New Series Series 1), he saw Rose hanging off a barrage balloon during the Blitz, and saved her life. He was in this era in order to con another time traveller into buying a useless piece of space junk which was in the exact spot where a bomb was due to explode. His con had unwittingly unleased a plague of nanogenes on London. However, Jack helped clean up the mess. His ship was blown up, but the Doctor saved him, and he joined the TARDIS crew.
Recurring and Historical Characters
The Daleks are a genocidal race of aliens created by mad scientist Davros. They have a fanatical hatred of all other lifeforms. The Doctor first encountered them in The Daleks (Classic Series Season 1), when he visited their home planet of Skaro. He has fought them on numerous occasions since then. In The Chase (Classic Series Season 2), we saw that the Daleks had discovered time travel technology. In The Evil of the Daleks (Classic Series Season 4), the Doctor engineered a Dalek civil war. In Genesis of the Daleks (Classic Series Season 12) the Time Lords sent the Doctor back in time to influence the creation of the Daleks; they were concerned that the Daleks would become the supreme beings in the universe. By the time of Remembrance of the Daleks (Classic Series Season 25), the Doctor was prepared to arrange for Skaro to be destroyed, although War of the Daleks (BBC Eighth Doctor Adventure) establishes that the wrong planet was destroyed. At some point after this, the Daleks were involved in a Time War, fighting against the Time Lords. The Doctor was responsible for destroying their entire race - he watched them burn, and the Time Lords burnt with them. Apart from the one single survivor of the Daleks, whom he met in Dalek (New Series Series 1), the Doctor believes that the Daleks no longer exist. However, at the end of Bad Wolf (New Series Series 1), he discovered that 200 Dalek ships, each containing over 2000 Daleks had been hiding in Earth's Solar System.
Lynda Moss (Lynda with a "y") was one of the contestants on Big Brother in the year 200,100. When the Doctor appeared in the Big Brother House in Bad Wolf (New Series Series 1) he escaped and took Lynda with him. Lynda is sweet, and the Doctor clearly likes her.
Roderick was one of the contestants on The Weakest Link in the year 200,100. When Rose Tyler appeared on set as one of the contestants in Bad Wolf (New Series Series 1), he protected her by voting out other contestants, hoping to keep her in the game because she was "stupid" and gave him the best chance of survival - as all losing players were apparently disintegrated.
Jackie Tyler is Rose Tyler's mother, and is very protective of her daughter. She briefly met the Doctor in Rose, before Rose decided to leave with the Doctor. In Aliens of London/World War Three (New Series Series 1), Jackie had spent the last year trying to find Rose after her disappearance with the Doctor. She also discovered what the Doctor's lifestyle is like, and that the TARDIS is a time machine. She is not a big fan of the Doctor.
Mickey Smith is Rose Tyler's boyfriend. In Rose (New Series Series 1), he was captured by the Nestene, and witnessed the Doctor and Rose defeating the Nestene, saw the inside of the TARDIS, and was there when Rose departed with the Doctor. Because he had trouble adapting to what had happened, the Doctor took a dislike to him. During the year since Rose went missing, Mickey did a lot of research into the Doctor and his impact on human history. He met the Doctor and Rose again in Aliens of London/World War Three (New Series Series 1). In that story, he helped the Doctor and Rose defeat some aliens called the Slitheen. He gained the Doctor's respect and was willing to wait for Rose's return. In Boom Town (New Series Series 1), he and Rose effectively split up. Although Mickey was still hopelessly in love with Rose, he knew that the Doctor would always come first for her. Unfortunately for him, Rose didn't really take in what he was saying about how he wanted her to come back for him.
The following stories and other resources are not necessary in order to follow the plot (we've summed up the essential bits for you). But being familiar with them will probably enhance your enjoyment of this story.
As this is the second half of a two-parter, it is strongly recommended that you watch Bad Wolf (New Series Series 1) before watching this episode. In that episode, the Doctor, Rose and Jack were transmatted into various programmes on the Gamestation, a space station in the year 200,100 AD. The games were deadly to the participants, however the Doctor and Jack escaped and took over the control centre. Rose was apparently disintegrated, but in fact was teleported to a Dalek ship. She was held there as a prisoner, to be used to control the Doctor. The episode ended with the Doctor promising to rescue Rose, save Earth from the Daleks, and wipe the Daleks out of the sky.
In Dalek (New Series, Series 1), we learnt that the Doctor had destroyed the Dalek race along with his own people, the Time Lords. This was the conclusion of the Last Great Time War, which was fought between these two races, although other species were involved. In Dalek, the Doctor encountered one survivor of the Time War. At the end of Bad Wolf (New Series, Series 1), he discovered that others had survived.
Throughout the first series (and, indeed, in the ninth Doctor novels and ninth Doctor comic strip The Love Invasion) the phrase "bad wolf", or a foreign translation of it, has turned up repeatedly. The only episode to escape a Bad Wolf mention is Rose. Some mentions are very subtle, and the mention in World War Three is the name of a newsreader which was only revealed on one of the tie-in websites (the one run by Mickey). In Boom Town, the Doctor and Rose commented on how the phrase seemed to be following them around. In Bad Wolf, both of them remarked on how the Gamestation is run by the Bad Wolf Corporation.
In Father's Day (New Series Series 1), Rose went back in time to see her father before he died. She learnt that he was a bit of a "Del Boy" character - always coming up with strange ideas that might make some money, and earning a modest income from them. When he was run over by a car, she ran to him and comforted him before he died.
In Boom Town (New Series Series 1), we saw that the heart of the TARDIS (located underneath the console) had special powers. In addition to telepathy, it regressed an adult Slitheen to an egg.