Here is the Guide for Parents!!
There’s no hunt in this one. The bad guy is quickly captured. She plays mind games with the TARDIS crew, hoping to manipulate the Doctor into releasing her. Of course, she ends up failing, but only after exercising her training in rhetoric:
Margaret: “You’re not just police, though. Since you’re taking me to my death, that makes you my executioners. Each and every one of you.”
Mickey: “Well you deserve it.”
Margaret: “You’re very quick to say so. And you’re very quick to soak your hands in my blood. Which makes you better than me how, exactly?”
“Let’s see who can look me in the eye.”
There is a very entertaining scene with the Doctor allowing Margaret a final meal. They play a little poison switch game à la The Princess Bride.
The tough questions, the humor, the character stuff – this is Russell T Davies at his best.
The Slitheen’s desperation is thick in the air around this episode. Tension tightens around the viewer. “Is the Doctor right?” “Can’t he just drop her off somewhere else?” “Must he judge her?”
Great questions are asked. What we’re dealing with here is our discomfort with judgment. Even though the Doctor isn’t acting as her judge exactly, he has effectively condemned her by deciding to act as the transporter in her extradition.
It’s kind of unfair to force the Doctor (and his traveling companions) to answer these questions. If they let her stay, she’ll wreck earth. If they relocate her, she’ll probably wreck that place too. If they take her home, her own people can deal with her in whatever way they do. There is a problem in taking her home because she reveals exactly what her people will do to her: execute her.
What happens? Does the Doctor deliver her to her homeworld to be executed? Does she escape? Does she convince them to relocate her?
There’s a bit of an intervention by an unnamed player, with a power beyond what any of the known characters possess. The TARDIS, an improbable device, is introduced in the last moments to solve the tricky little plot.
Deus ex (time) machina.
Margaret attempts to commandeer the TARDIS and opens its core. Staring full into the bright white of this infinite thing’s center, she is overcome. Escaping has gone from her mind as she engages with this eternal thing. Tricking the Doctor holds no appeal anymore.
She can only stare into eternity.
“Some would be inspired, some would run away, and some would go mad.”
Confronted by eternity, she is offered a new start. She can have her past crimes forgiven. And she takes the offer!
And. Seriously. I am not just trying to stretch this story to prove the Geeks of Christ thesis. I am simply reporting on what happened; summarizing the episode.
Margaret is born again.