Here we have the season ender, also written by Russell T. Davies. There is no way I can cover everything that happened, so I’ll have to stick to the high points, and even then, this is a long review because it was an extra long episode. You need to watch the episode anyway; it was a really interesting one packed with a lot of information, and leaves viewers asking many questions. (Tennant did really well in this eppy too.)
If you’ll recall last time in The Stolen Earth, we left off with a universal-level catastrophe; the Daleks with Davros in tow had stolen 27 planets including Earth to function as a giant engine. Also, we saw the Doctor zapped by a Dalek; Jack, Rose, and Donna managed to get him back inside the TARDIS and the golden glow of regeneration had taken over.
The Doctor manages to redirect the energy into his hand that had been cut off after his regeneration from Nine to Ten. This does two things; puts all the energy onto the severed hand in its case; in its little bubbling preservative fluid, and lets the Doctor keep Ten’s visage, memories, voice, etc… Essentially he bypassed regenerating (though the debate rages as to whether or not this counts as one of the Doctor’s twelve regens…I vote it does, any thoughts? ).
So, The TARDIS gets caught up by the Daleks’ temporal hoolahoop…I mean temporal prison, and whisked off to the Crucible, which is the Dalek ship at the center of the 27 planet formation. Think the Death star with spikes coming off of it.
Everyone exists the TARDIS to face the Daleks, everyone but Donna that is; something is holding her back and it sounds suspiciously like a heartbeat. So, she hangs back and the TARDIS door swings shut and locks. Who precisely shut the door? Dunno, and we never really find out, though we know it wasn’t Donna, the Doctor, or any of the crew. We do find out that the Daleks consider the TARDIS a weapon, not just a ship, and they want it destroyed. Of course whilst being destroyed in the core of the Crucible, what should happen but the Doctor’s hand grows a whole new Doctor. Donna, seeing what is happening touches the new Doctor and “hilarity” ensues.
The new Doctor is naked, and seemingly quite proud of that fact…he has also picked up some of Donna’s mannerisms and has but one heart being part human because of the regeneration situation. He jumps to the helm and whisks the TARDIS out of danger. After he dons a blue suit, I will now call him BlueDoctor. (BrownDoctor is the proper Doctor; “full” Timelord, and is in a brown suit.)
Donna and Blue have a short but significant discussion about Destiny. Donna displays doubt that there is any such thing, while BlueDoctor seems to come down on the side of there being a Destiny of some sort since he mutters about all the pieces not being in place, that the “pattern” is not yet complete.
Anywho, back on the Crucible, BrownDoctor and crew are being twitted by the Daleks. Captain Jack, in a planned fit, pulls a gun and shoots at one of them, of course he is struck down and presumed dead. Any good fan, and the BrownDoctor, knows that Jack can’t be killed, so it is a Jack-scheme in action. The Daleks haul him off and throw him in, of all things, a fiery furnace…later Jack emerges and his greatcoat isn’t even singed…hmmm…I’ve read this story before. Oh, yeah;
Daniel 3:26 Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the mouth of the burning fiery furnace, and spake, and said, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, ye servants of the most high God, come forth, and come hither. Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, came forth of the midst of the fire. 27 And the princes, governors, and captains, and the king’s counsellors, being gathered together, saw these men, upon whose bodies the fire had no power, nor was an hair of their head singed, neither were their coats changed, nor the smell of fire had passed on them.
Long story short, Jack meets up with Mickey and Jackie (they both wound up jumping to our dimension the same as Rose did), and Sarah Jane. The whole crew (minus BlueDoctor and Donna), are captive in the vault talking with Davros; so that’s BrownDoctor, Rose, Sarah Jane, Mickey, Jackie, and Captain Jack all there; with Martha being zapped in later. BTW, there is talk from Davros about the fact that all the helplessness, and death will make the Doctor reveal his soul; which turns out to be a sad state of affairs, as the Doctor seems to suffer from guilt, loneliness, and sorrow.
This is brought about by the revelation that the Crucible is actually a giant Death Star…I mean weapon. It has a “reality bomb” which is capable of dissolving every form of matter to dust, into atoms, and then into nothing. (At this point I have to ask; what’s there really to get upset over? Shouldn’t evolution just be able to reverse it in a matter of billions of years? You know, from nothing to atoms to dust to human and Timelord, which are, from an atheistic standpoint mere matter? Heh.)
Then the BlueDoctor and Donna arrive, and who winds up saving the day? Donna…who, through a Human-Timelord Metacrisis (don’t ask) is now part Timelord herself. Donna + the Doctor’s mind = major Dalek butt-kicking. Longer story short; BlueDoctor winds up committing Dalek-genocide. This is a huge contention point amongst fans; was BlueDoctor justified? BrownDoctor is shocked appalled at Blue’s action…which doesn’t really make much sense, unless Brown sees himself reflected in Blue and just doesn’t like what he sees.
Everyone piles on board the TARDIS, and with a final invitation to Davros to come with them, which is turned down, BrownDoctor closes the door. Daleks dead (how long do you think that will last?), whole crew safe and sound on board the TARDIS. The Earth still needs to be returned home so, in the best scene this whole season, both Doctors, and the whole crew pilot and fly the TARDIS back “home.” You see, the TARDIS was built for a crew of at least six, so now we get to see how it should really be flown. Give me a sci-fi scene where everyone is pitching in, joking around, and enjoying themselves while doing something meaningful, with a great music score, and you’ve got me. Loved the scene; how it was written, acted, and shot.
You then have the parting of the ways for this episode; Sarah Jane goes back to her son Luke, Martha, Captain Jack, and Mickey head off together. BrownDoctor drops Rose, BlueDoctor, and Jackie back in the alternate dimension…and then BrownDoctor and Donna have a reckoning; Donna’s mind cannot handle having the mind of a Timelord within it; it will kill her. So, the Doctor wipes all memory from her about him, the TARDIS, the planets they visited…everything. Then drops her back at her house to resume her normal everyday life…with her old personality in place. We are left with a very alone, very forlorn Doctor…and several ethical questions. I will explore these more in depth in my next post; hopefully it will be up by tomorrow, and I will link it here (the post is now up, which you can find here: Ethics and Morality in Doctor Who; Journey’s End).
1) Did BrownDoctor treat Rose and BlueDoctor right/in a morally correct way?
2) Did Brown violate Donna’s free will and essentially wipe her memory against her will? Did he have the right to do so?
3) Was BlueDoctor right for killing the Daleks? Was BrownDoctor hypocritical, and hence illogical for scolding Blue for doing the killing?
There is a ton of apocalyptic language used in this episode; “At the end of everything,” the “End of Days,” etc… that of course has a whiff of the book of Revelation on it. There is also a lot of fire imagery present.
At one point in the show, Davros accuses the Doctor of forming his companions into weapons, and also lays upon him the guilt of them “dying in his name.” I felt that this was a slap in the face to all the people that gave their lives for the Doctor, and the universe…how is sacrificing oneself for another mere mortal “dying in his name” as though the Doctor was God to his acquaintances…what bothered me most was that BrownDoctor stood there mute, not trying to correct Davros in the least…perhaps he has deluded himself as well, does he have a god-complex? Either that or the guilt was just too overwhelming…
Overall, I thought it was a lovely wrap up to the season, and leaves fans chatting away; Will we see Rose and Blue again? (I bet we do.) Will Martha and Mickey join Torchwood? Who will join up with the Doctor now, and will his character and personality be changed? Will Donna regain her memory? If so, how will she survive? Are there a few stray Daleks floating around space? (I bet there are.) And, why didn’t Eccleston come back to play the Doctor that formed from the hand; the part was made for him!
I’m sad the season is over for us in the US, but I look forward to the specials in 2009, and I do believe that this episode was worthy of being a season ender.