Rose: “What are you doing?”
The Doctor: “Software patch. Gonna email the upgrade. You want moves, Rose? I’ll give you moves. Everybody lives, Rose! Just this once! Everybody lives!”
— Ninth Doctor and Rose Tyler, The Doctor Dances
I absolutely love this quote, and I love the scene that is contained within. Unfortunately, though the quote can stand on it’s own, it’s much more potent as part of the episode, and part of the wider context of the series. So, the point of the story is, if you haven’t already seen this episode (and the first part in the previous episode), you should watch them. That being said, I am going to attempt to tell you why I love this quote so much.
1. This quote comes at the end of a very creepy episode, possibly the creepiest (“Are you my Mummy”) of all the Ninth Doctor stories. Up to this point, it seems likely that many, many people are going to die, and die in a pretty horrific way. Rose and the Doctor have landed in the middle of London during the Second World War, and another time traveler trying to make a buck accidentally released something that turned into a terrible plague. And yet, at this point, everything changes. And the Doctor goes from angry and worried to absolutely delighted. This Doctor has clear memories of his role in the deaths of thousands of Time Lords and Daleks. There have been other deaths since he regenerated. But he has just realized that this time everything is going to be different. This time, everyone is going to live. And that makes him happier than he is seen at any other point in the series so far.
2. The Doctor is just a little bit jealous of the newly met Captain Jack. Now, this is not the main point of the quote, but it’s there in the comment about moves. You see, earlier Rose had been obviously impressed by Captain Jack’s “moves” – both his dance moves and his time travelling technology and techniques that he used. And the Doctor was jealous. And at this point he realizes that, though he might not have the same moves as Captain Jack, he’s about to do something very impressive.
3. And that brings me to my final point. A point that is somewhat an extension of point one. At this point the Doctor is so clearly excited. At this point in the series, the Doctor is starting to realize that he can make a positive difference. He is realizing that, though his decisions have often resulted in deaths, sometimes there are positive outcomes. Sometimes, though it might be rare, everybody lives.