"Trust me on this" — Doctor Who underrated moments
For all this episode gets attention for its re-raising of the Father’s Day era question of “will Rose choose the Doctor or Pete?” and for resolving Mickey and Rose’s on-again-off-again relationship, Mickey Smith really doesn’t get enough attention (or credit) here.
At this moment in the episode, Rose is in a triangle (literally, from the way this scene is filmed), with three men—Pete (her alt!dad in the Vitex ad), Ten, and Mickey. Mickey—her past—is at her back. Ten—her present and future—is in front of her. The relationship triangle at this point between Ten/Rose/Mickey is still unresolved, and it’s interesting to note that the two men are visually juxtaposed here as well, both wearing brown and blue, both giving Rose all their attention. (And, for the record—Billie Piper confirmed on Doctor Who Confidential that the wardrobe staff chose outfits to compliment character arcs—the outfits weren’t random, according to her).
But it’s not just Mickey and Ten’s clothing that is parallel here. Note their actions as well. You can’t see it too well here, but Ten has grabbed Rose by her upper arms (you can see his thumb holding her in the top gif)—he’s stern here, and what he’s saying makes sense but damn… it’s a bit cold. Meanwhile, Mickey’s facial reactions to Ten’s words look even more pained than Rose’s do—note the clench of his jaw, the way his eyes drop, how he shuffles uncomfortably at Ten’s words. Like Ten, he touches Rose as well—but instead of being a demanding action like Ten’s, it’s a consoling squeeze to the shoulder, a supportive, protective gesture.
Mickey is the only man in this scene that doesn’t TELL Rose to “trust him” (Pete does via the ad, and Ten does in the dialogue). He doesn’t have to. Look at his actions, and his empathy. Mickey—both literally and figuratively here—SHOWS us here that no matter what, he has Rose’s back.