Doctor Who: The Newbies Guide
This is the final episode of Series Two. It is the second half of a two-parter, following on from Army of Ghosts. This guide does not tell you about characters introduced in the first episode.
Where does this fit?
This follows on immediately from the cliffhanger ending to Army of Ghosts.
Other Guides to this Story
The tenth Doctor wears a brown pinstripe suit with trainers. He is much more jovial and good-humoured than his ninth incarnation, appearing to have largely recovered from the mental scars of the Time War. He does, however, have a hard edge to his personality, being the sort of man who doesn't give second chances.
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 she worked in Henrik's department store when the ninth Doctor was investigating Auton activity in the store and 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 the Doctor upgraded her mobile phone, tying it into the TARDIS so that she can call home no matter where or when she is.
In Rise of the Cybermen/The Age of Steel she left her boyfreehd, Mickey Smith, in an alternative universe.
Recurring and Historical Characters
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 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 iwa Rose Tyler's boyfriend. He encountered the Doctor on several occasions before deciding to travel with the Doctor in School Reunion. In Rise of the Cybermen / The Age of Sreel he chose to stay behind in a parallel universe which had just experienced the creation of its own race of Cybermen. He hung out with Jake Simmonds.
In Army of Ghosts he found a way to travel back home to help stop these Cybermen spreading to his own dimension.
Pete Tyler is Rose Tyler's father, who died in a car crash when she was still a baby. In Father's Day Rose went back to meet him on the day he died. She discovered that he was a "Del Boy" character, always coming up with hopeless schemes to get rich quick, and that his marriage to her mother Jackie was not as happy as she had been led to believe. In Rise of the Cybermen/The Age of Steel, she met a version of him from a parallel world where she was never born, and he still lived. This version of Pete was very successful, although the parallel universe version of Jackie (his wife) died in that story.
Torchwood is a secret government organisation created by Queen Victoria following the events of Tooth and Claw. Its goals are to prevent the Doctor from interfering with British history, and to ensure that alien technology is used in the service of the British Empire.
In Rise of the Cybermen/The Age of Steel, the Doctor encountered and defeated an alternate universe version of his old enemies the Cybermen. These Cybermen were the creations of mad genius John Lumic, and sought to "upgrade" the human population into Cybermen by removing their brains and placing them in new cybernetic bodies. They also had a new catchphrase, "delete". In the previous episode, they attempted to cross into our universe in vast numbers and plan to upgrade the entire population of Earth.
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 when he visited their home planet of Skaro. He has fought them on numerous occasions since then.
Eventually the Daleks were involved in a Time War against the Time Lords. The Doctor was responsible for destroying their entire race - he watched them burn, and the Time Lords burnt with them. He thought them dead, but has twice encountered survivors of the war (in Dalek and Bad Wolf/The Parting of the Ways.
It is very highly recommended that you watch the previous episode Army of Ghosts. The pre-credits sequence gives you most of the key plot points, but you'll follow things much better if you watch the whole episode.