Tag Archives: Russell T. Davies

Doctor Who; Journey’s End Review…

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.

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Doctor Who; The Stolen Earth (pt. 1) Review

This episode was written by Russell T. Davies (RTD), and is the first of a two-part season finale.  Season finales are always exciting…and the first part is usually a setup of the second, The Stolen Earth, part 1 is no exception.  First, as this was only the first part, it’s hard to say how the whole show will play out, but it worked really well as a hook, and to get the storyline underway.

Guess what — the Earth is in danger again; and, this time, the whole Scooby gang is on the case.  When the Earth is snatched out of orbit, literally jerked out from under the TARDIS (how exactly did this not effect our solar system?…I know, I know, that’s for part 2 probably…) the gang is on it: Donna, The Doctor, the TARDIS, Martha, Captain Jack, Ianto, Gwen, Sarah Jane, Luke, Mr. Smith, Wilf, Sylvia (Donna’s mum), and of course…Rose.

The first commercial break of the night, here in the states, comes on and in wonderful irony it was an advert for Preparation H…yes, The Doctor might have need of it before the story plays out.  So, back to the show; we see the world in the midst of panic, while the news services suggest to everyone, “Don’t Panic.”  Perhaps the human populace would have heeded the order if they had a copy of The Hitchhiker’s Guide on hand.

In the midst of the panic, Ianto is channel surfing, and in a great setup for my blog, who should appear on the TV to offer their wise opinion on the situation but Dick Dawkins, Ph.D., the proselytizing atheist himself (I had the passing thought that maybe the Preparation H was actually for the audience at this point…)  Now who in their right mind would choose Dawkins to publicly broadcast during a universal crisis?  Apparently RTD would….but wait, of course! Dawkins is smarter than everyone…he has a science degree; however, he shouldn’t quit his day job to pursue an acting career…

Ianto apparently agrees with me, and quickly changes the channel.  Anywho, we now get a “clue” who’s behind the Earth snatching as “EXTERMINATE!” blares through every speaker on the globe.  And that can mean only one thing; the Daleks. Now, the actors do a great and wonderful job communicating their characters’ fear, helplessness, and terror, esp. John Barrowman as Captain Jack…but I have to ask; is anyone in the audience actually fearful?  I mean, when I used to hear, “Resistance is futile,” whilst watching Star Trek, my blood would run cold while Captain Jean Luc Picard’s face became more stern than normal as we knew the Borg was on the scene…with the Daleks…not so much.  I mean, every time they show they get pwned by the Doctor and/or his Scooby gang.

The Doctor, meanwhile is having trouble locating Earth, it is gone without a trace to track, so he whisks himself and Donna to the Shadow Proclamation, the cops of the ‘verse, to track down the missing globe (and the other 26 planets that have gone missing as well).  With the help of Donna, he succeeds, and is off again in the TARDIS to the Medusa Cascade…where he can’t find the Earth…again.

Of course “The Children of Time” as Davros (the big bad returned from the old days) calls the Doctor’s Scooby gang, manage to link together online thanks to Harriet Jones (former Prime Minister).  They come up with a plan to call on The Doctor…seeming very much like an energy-form of prayer, and Rose manages to add in a “real” prayer as well, beseeching the heavens, I mean the Doctor, to find her.

On the TARDIS, Donna is having to give the Doctor a pep talk whilst he leans James-Dean like against a bulkhead, sulking in his Converse sneakers.  The prayer…I mean the call finally comes through, is answered, and The Doctor, after a conversation with Davros, finds his way to land on Earth…right in front of a cathedral.

Coming to the end of the hour, we know everyone is going to be stuck in a dangerous situation, but wait just a minute!  The Doctor and Donna stand yammering outside the TARDIS, and who should appear on the horizon but a certain blonde ex-companion, and love of The Doctor’s: Rose.  He’s happy, Rose fans are happy, The Ten/Rose shippers are happy…but blast it, we know that the cliffhanger is coming, and sure enough as Ten and Rose sprint toward one another in glee, the Doctor gets shot by a Dalek.  Cap’n Jack with his “great” timing pops in and destroys the Dalek only after it zaps the Doctor, and then he helps a crying Rose get the Doctor back into the TARDIS.

What’s the cliffhanger?  The Doctor is apparently regenerating; glowing golden energy and all, while Rose, Jack, and Donna watch.  TO BE CONTINUED…

This was a “fun” episode, lots of excitement, and I loved the graphics of the 27 stolen planets floating around.  I have to say that I do know that this is meant to be a season ender, and so big villains and big plots are expected, but isn’t that a bit of a problem?  We, as the audience, know that these things are going to occur, does that not take away some of the suspense?  The acting in this eppy was as good as always, and I enjoyed seeing all the major players on the screen helping each other out.  It will be interesting to see the last installment, and to see more interaction between the cast.

I’ve already touched upon most of the “spiritual” aspects that jumped out at me in this episode, the only other ones being a lot of references to pride and arrogance, as well as the focus on humanity and humans on the show.  As I said I look forward to the second part, to see if these themes persist.  I do feel the Messiah-like concept is still full force in the Who ‘verse, but we again see the limits of a limited being like the Doctor, even if being forced into a Messiah-like position; for example, not being able to be at all places at once, in all times at once.

Good episode overall, and one you need to watch to get set for part 2…

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Doctor Who; Turn Left Review…

As I alluded to before, when I do reviews here at The Christian Scribbler, I have two aims in mind; the first is just a plain review…was the book/movie/show/CD a good one from my perspective?  Is it worth the money/time?  The second aim is to share any “sacred” I find in the “secular,” anything theological, philosophical, or spiritual that makes me ponder aspects of Christianity, or other belief systems.

Let’s “turn” to the review.  Turn Left is a Doctor Who episode, that I did enjoy, written by Russell T. Davies (RTD).  First I have to say that I must have Joss Whedon’s Firefly on the brain, because that is all I could think of as the show started in an alien type of Chinatown…  Anywho, Donna and The Doctor are in a market doing a bit of touring and shopping when Donna gets “pulled” into a fortune teller’s booth.  I could have told her, from a Christian perspective, that no good could come of this, if she’d only asked (ha)…  We, the audience, quickly realize that this isn’t a nice woman we are dealing with here, it takes Donna a bit longer.  By the way, this is where an aspect of Doctor Who that all of us fans know and love makes an appearance — a really cheesy “monster,” this time a gigantic, obviously fake beetle that gets a bit friendly with Donna’s back shows up; it latches on to her shoulders like a parasite.

The main theme of this eppy is an idea that I believe we’ve all kicked around at one time or another; do the smallest action and choices we make affect our futures in some profound way?  They do with Donna at least…the “bug” takes her back into her past and influences her to make a right turn when she originally made a left turn…literally.  She is at a crossroads in her car…thanks RTD…yes, we get it, the scene brings to mind the important crossroads in life.

The whole span of universes go down hill from there; Donna’s change in choice sends major ripples through the multiverse…and Catherine Tate’s wonderful acting is supposed to send ripples through us.  I think she pulled it off really well.  Choice and consequence, what-if’s, is there really coincidence, do we have free will in our choices?  Yes, RTD’s plot is set up to make us think.

Eventually Donna is able to return to her past again, and “right” the wrong; making herself turn left once more.  The universe is righted, the cheesy parasite insectoid falls off, and The Doctor finally finds her in the fortune teller’s shop.  The Doctor soon freaks out a bit himself, as Donna passes on a message from a certain blonde ex-companion, the message consists of two words, “Bad Wolf.”  Which, sets Tennant up to beautifully emote the Doctor’s internal feelings to us via facial expression.

So what stood out to me in this episode?  First, the central role of Christmas in the Doctor Who universe (yes, I understand that’s when the execs want a Who special on TV, but nevertheless…it was featured in this eppy as well).  Big alien invasion time?  Christmas.  Time to evacuate London? Christmas.  Pivitol character introduction or development for The Doctor? Christmas.  It’s amazing how the celebration of the Lord’s birth (notice I didn’t say, the actual date of the Lord’s birth, but rather the celebration of it) has such a high rate of “coincidence.”

Moving on; the messiah-like quality of The Doctor, as discussed in a previous post, was actually shared this time with Donna.  I both liked and disliked this plot device; at first I thought RTD was trying to make the very deep, very true point that all humans, regardless of station in life are pivotal (as The Doctor himself has alluded to in the past)…but then RTD changes track a bit and makes sure we know that Donna Noble is really really special, not like the rest of us ordinary slobs.

I, as a non-Arminian, non-Calvinist Christian have my own ideas about choice, free will, etc… and I couldn’t help but be reminded of the most important Cross-roads of everyone’s life…that point, or points, where we each, with our own free will, answer the question posed by Christ in Matthew 16, “13 When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? 14 And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?”  That choice, that answer, really does have world changing implications for each of us.  I do realize that it can come across as “cheesy” for me to mention that, but when terms such as “crossroad” and “life-changing choices” comes to mind, that’s what my thoughts turn to.

The philosophical questions RTD brings up through the storyline are really interesting, and he does such a good job balancing the story; if you want to read something deeper and ask those deep questions because of the plot…well and good.  If, however, you just want to kick back, relax, and enjoy an hour long sci-fi show with the fam without giving it too much thought, it works just as well.  It was a fun, but serious episode and well acted by Tate; worth watching and mulling over.

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