My Tinternet is fixed again. We’ll see how long it lasts. But more on that in a later post.
Danger! Danger! Spoilers Will Robinson!
Doctor Who season four finale episode 13 (‘Journey’s End’) spoilers are contained in the following post!
So where did we find ourselves at the end of the penultimate episode? Oh that’s right - on the edge of our seats. Seriously, could that episode have been any better? Really? No, I didn’t think so either. Which brings us to the latest one:
After the amazing cliffhangers at the end of the last one, RTD now gets himself out of every single one so quickly and effortlessly, using a whole slew of Miraculous Escapes, I felt like pressing pause to make sure I’d actually seen them. If I’d blinked I would have missed it, I’m sure. At least Mickety-Mick-Mickey was back (we love Mickey!), so Sarah Jane is saved. And Ianto (oh, and Gwen) saved by a Torchwood timelock booby-trap thing set up by Tosh. Hmm.
Now then. This using the regeneration energy of his stored hand to heal himself business - what the hell? Really? Really? Was it really necessary to put the Doctor in such dire straits, just to find such a blatantly contrived and let’s face it, little silly, way to save him after all? Hmm… Not too impressed, but bearing in mind it’s a radical improvement over the finale of season three, I’m going to let it go. And it was fun to see Captain Jack’s reaction. Now, Donna and Jack in the same TARDIS? How excellent is that? But we have to have the much-vaunted hyped-up final hello-hug between Doctor Ten and Rose, or it wouldn’t be an RTD episode. Perfectly understandable.
Daleks nicking the TARDIS and everyone inside - nice work. Sarah Jane getting herself, Mickey and Jackie to the Dalek Crucible too, excellent work. Martha sending herself to the UNIT base to try and use the Oster-Häagen-Dazs key. And just when you thought the daleks couldn’t get any cuddlier, they’re speaking whatever language they need to get people exterminated. Excellent.
And we get the first suspicion that Donna is not all that she seems - all timelines converging on her? Whatever could that mean? Please let her be a Time Lord - please please please! So everyone leaves and Donna’s trapped in the TARDIS - or did the TARDIS close the door on her on purpose? Cos she needed her? She needed Donna cos she knew what she could do? Ooohhhh, I love the TARDIS… and Donna… Can she be a Time Lord now please?
Then we get more of RTD’s Miraculous Escapes as we’re landed with a fully-functional re-grown Ten. Except he’s not though, is he? He’s half Donna and half something else - and then a quick dalliance with slapstick as we find out that New Not Ten speaks a bit ‘rough’ (what’s the difference between ‘rough’ and ‘Mockney’, then?). I did like the fact that he finds only having one heart and being half human ‘disgusting’.
Martha doing battle with the great language of Germany to get herself into the secret underground bunker - ace. But daleks incinerating Jack? That’s going to really hurt. Sarah Jane, Mickey and Jackie, being frog-marched into the Crucible. We’re really jumping around now, aren’t we? Trying to draw all these strands together, to get everyone into the right position for a showdown. And we’re getting some fantastic music from past and present - Murray Gold, you are a genius.
Enter Davros - and the exchange between the Time Lord and the Kaled scientist is indeed interesting. And Dalek Caan and his crazy, crazy prophecies… Nice. Got to love a madman. And then comes the revelation of the whole Dastardly Plan - swiftly followed by another Miraculous Escape, this time by Jackie. Can’t say I blame RTD for this one - you can’t kill off Jackie. But isn’t Davros just excellent? What a fantastic bit of acting, there, well done, son. Although, if I could just point out the obvious - if you destroy Reality itself, what’s left? You’re all going to shelter from the cataclysm, are you? And when you come out again and you’re victorious, what do you do then? Retire? Tend gardens? Get a job counselling post-war daleks? Cos there’s going to be bugger all else to do if you’re truly the last race left in the entire bloody universe.
Love the meeting between Mickey and Captain Jack - cheesecake, beefcake, same-same. And then Miraculous Plot Device occurs as Sarah Jane whips out her warp-fold conjugation trapped in a carbonised shell - cos we all pick up these little trinkets from dodgy back-street markets, right? Anyway, true to form and the herding mentality, everyone then decides to do the same thing at the same time, which is give the daleks an ultimatum. Nothing at all to do with bringing everyone together, or contriving to get three different kill-or-be-killed plots going at once? But hey ho, what’s this? New Not Ten planning to whack a rubber band on the back of the daleks’ Death Star beam, so it’ll slap back and kill them all? Say whaty who now? Since when does the Doctor (or any part of him) plan to kill people? He didn’t even do away with the Family of Blood, after all they did.
And Rose likes Martha - who wouldn’t? Final clarification of all that cack flying about that there’s some kind of competition or sense of one-upmanship between Companions. Bollocks, all of it. Of course Rose would recognise that Martha - and of course Donna - are worthy Companions. Surely the Doctor wouldn’t have travelled with them otherwise? (No, he wouldn’t - and don’t call me Shirley.) Cos Martha’s not stupid, and she’s an expert negotiator - cos we know that true negotiators don’t care about the outcome. They’re willing to gamble everything. Which means she will bloody well destroy the Earth just so that the daleks can’t keep their precious twenty-seven planets. It’s bigger than just the Earth, after all, and perhaps only someone as well-travelled as Martha woulf really understand that.
Nice bit of emotional torture from Davros - how many good people have died in the Doctor’s name? A stirring montage, coupled with some expert Unshed Man-Tear wrangling by David
Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. Nothing appears from the TARDIS and she does. The Doctor-Donna, that is. Just as the Ood predicted. Weird, little bit freaky, but YEE-HAAA is she so very, very ace! Oh yes Donna, the universe has indeed been waiting for you!
And the manipulator - the meddling kid that stopped every dalek getting away with it. Oh Dalek Caan, you’ve taken it a tentacle too far. But it’s ok, cos even though Big Bad Supreme Dalek comes to clean the slate, Captain Jack is there to point and laugh at his attempts at Ass-Kickery and blow his head off. Good boy, Jack.
But there we are - Dalek Caan smooth-talks his way into New Not Ten’s head and makes him turn every dalek into a lovely fiery Catherine Wheel. Nice, emotionally satisfying, but absolutely not what real Doctor Ten would do. Hmm… But Davros. Oh, you cheeky git - had to get the last word, didn’t you? Naming the Doctor the Destroyer Of Worlds? That’s going to come back and bite him in the arse, mark my words…
And then again we lapse into Sentimental Mode as we try to jam in as many missing faces / GUIs as possible. Out comes K-9 as we roar headlong into Happy Ending Mode, towing the Earth home. (Nice mention of the fact that TARDISes actually need a six-man crew. Was wondering when RTD would get that into an episode.) But what is that music as they’re towing? Started out sounding like summat I recognised, but then appeared to turn into some semblance of some Eastern European country’s national anthem. I loved the overhead shot of everyone twiddling, pumping, fiddling with the controls - and Martha’s cheeky grin directed straight at the camera.
Very quick goodbyes from Jack, Martha and Mickey - please say Martha and Mickey are going off to work for Torchwood. Please, please? And then we’re back to Sentimental Happy Ending At All Costs Territory. Yup, the final solution - and this is where I’m not happy.
Part of it makes sense - yeah, shuck off the extra New Not Ten and leave him with Rose. I mean, next best thing, right? What she always wanted - except she weren’t careful what she wished for. Clever Doctor Ten, using a bit of subterfuge to cover his escape. However, if I’d written it, I’d have killed off New Not Ten. Sorry, but I would. It’s just not right. He’d have been a kind of hero though - wiping out daleks, whether it was genocide or not, then dying heroically. Would have gone down better than ‘now I can bunk off and die of old age with Rose, ah happy days’.
And then to top it off, we have to lose my favourite Companion in active memory. Taken back to her family, memory wiped, all those amazing things she said, did, accomplished despite thinking she was useless. All of it gone. Poor Donna. Poor Wilf and Mum. Purr wee Doctor Ten.
Donna’s complete ignorance of him as he tries to say goodbye is painful enough. But Wilf’s parting shot was worse. Calling him Sir, telling him he’ll look for the TARDIS in the night sky, oh it were heart-breaking. Bernard Cribbins, you are still a hero. And poor Ten all alone again, dripping and not caring, leaving by himself.
Finally, there's a ten second ‘coming Christmas 2008’ trailer - featuring the amazing David Morrisey! Oh, and some Cybermen. It’s going to be a long wait till Christmas, I know that. But int it weird? This episode for me were a bit 50/50. Some of it I loved, some of it were over-done, some of it were a little silly. But in the end, I know I’ll be glued to the set to watch the Christmas episode, same as I was last year. Let’s face it people - Davids Tennant and Morrisey back together ont BBC? Has to be good!
That shallot. I’m all tired out now, and have fanfiction to proof-read. Not just for me, mind. Believe it or not, other people write it too.
So soopytwist everyone - you’re not getting peach or lube tonight, and you can blame that on RTD. However, you can all have a bit of peach on account, as we eagerly away Steven Moffat’s helming of Christmas and the Easter specials beyond…
Doctor Who ~ David Tennant ~ Donna Noble ~ Catherine Tate ~ Dalek ~ Davros ~ Sarah Jane Smith ~ Rose Tyler ~ Billie Piper ~ Captain Jack Harkness ~ John Barrowman ~ Ianto Jones ~ Torchwood ~ David Morrisey