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The Empty Child

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Rose Tyler

London, 1941, the Blitz. Homeless children are being terrorised by an unearthly child.

The TARDIS is following a cylindrical-shaped object through the Time Vortex; the Doctor is pursuing it because it appears to be an emergency craft, and is heading toward Earth. The ship loses it in the void, but the Doctor (Christopher Eccleston) materializes the ship in London, circa 1941, at the height of the Blitz.

While the Doctor goes after the mysterious craft, Rose (Billie Piper) is enticed by the cries of a young boy asking for his mummy. She follows the voice and attempts to climb a rope to get up to the top of a building; however, the rope is attached to a barrage balloon, and soon Rose finds herself floating over London. She accidentally releases the rope, but during her plummet to the ground she caught in a tractor beam from an invisible spaceship owned by Captain Jack Harkness (John Barrowman), a former Time Agent from the far future... and now a mercenary who believes he’s met up with his contact for the sale of the century.

The Doctor also hears the mysterious cries of the young boy, but during an air raid, he meets Nancy (Florence Hoath), a young woman who seems to know more than she should. Nancy is a philanthropist for local orphaned children; during air raids, she enters homes to steal food. During one of her meals, the Doctor confronts her, but soon the dining table is cleared when the mysterious boy, whom Nancy knows and says is “empty”, comes calling.

Rose and Jack get to know each other atop the invisible spaceship, tethered just off the top of Big Ben, while Jack begins to wonder where her accomplice is; he’s somehow involved in the crash of the object here on Earth. Elsewhere, the Doctor follows Nancy to her hideout, and she tells him to look for answers with Dr. Constantine (Richard Wilson) at Albion Hospital. There, the Doctor discovers a mysterious plague has striken many of the residents of the community... physical manifestations of plague, for they all now seem to wear gas masks and appear to be dead. Except they’re not, and the plague is communicable, because Constantine becomes its latest victim.

Rose and Jack come to the hospital and meet up with the Doctor, who discovers Jack is really a con artist who was trying to pawn off the cylindrical object: a Chula medical transport ship, somehow related to the plague which started the same day it crashed. However, the empty child is looking for his mummy with renewed interest, and as the plague victims suddenly revive, the Doctor, Rose and Jack are trapped inside the hospital...


Thanks to Outpost Gallifrey for the story synopsis.