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05 July 2008 @ 11:00 pm
Doctor Who, 4x13 - "Journey's End" thoughts  
Okay, so I don't know how coherent this will be, but I'll try. Sadly, I did not like this one as much as I did the last three. It was really good, and it was certainly better than the conclusion of season three, but it was no "The Parting of the Ways" or "Doomsday," and just not the strongest finish to the one-two punch of "Turn Left" and "The Stolen Earth." Anyhoo, on with the rambling.

To be completely honest, the main reason I don't think that I'll ever look forward to Doctor Who again to this anxious, joyful degree isn't because, essentially, the Rose/Doctor story has been told, but because so has Donna Noble's. I love Donna. Unlike some, I actually loved her from about five minutes in from her first appearance in The RuMnaway Bride when she was rash, brash, rude and a tad dim. And my love for her just grew over this season. Partly how she was written, yes, but I think, mostly, because Catherine Tate is just brilliant. I've never seen her before, never even heard of her before, but my GOD! can this woman act. I don't think she's capable of a wrong note. I really don't.

Every moment with her on screen has been a joy to watch. And this episode was full, blinding truth of that. We got every kind of Donna tonight. We got the brash, rash, rude, dim Donna. We got glittering, gleaming, sparkling, bright Donna. We got a horny Donna; a possessive Donna; a happy one and a sad one. We got a brilliant Donna, and a vulnerable one. We got every layer and shading possible and Catherine Tate delivered every single note pitch-perfect. I believe that she and Christopher Eccleston are by FAR the best actors they have ever had on this show (new version, haven't watch old Who) ... so, of course, we only get them for one season. Sigh.

But concentrating on more of tonight, so many moments with Donna to love.

- While Rose hugged the Doctor, Donna turning to Jack and telling him that he can hug her and when he didn't, asserting that, no, he really could hug her. And, of course, later on when they were celebrating the return of the Earth, Donna seeing Jack hugging Sarah Jane and literally pulling her out of his arms to hug him herself that Sarah Jane was left stumbling for balance had me cracking up.

- Her second observation upon the regeneration of the second Doctor and how she said it, carefully looking up at his face: "You're naked."

- DonnaDoctor throwing the switches, talking like the Doctor, but in a Donna-esque way, mentioning her one hundred words a minute typing speed. Man, was she just awesomely delightful (or is it delightfully awesome?) or what?!?!? I was just grinning away the whole time. My goodness, doesn't Donna rock? Yes, indeedy. And so does Catherine Tate, who just blows me away.

- And again ... but in a totally different direction. The second Donna/Doctor scene where he's calling her out on her low self-esteem, oh my, how my heart broke for her. Her quiet "stop it, Doctor," the look on her face, in her eyes. Truly, Catherine Tate is just an astoundingly beautiful actress.

Moving on, my second favorite performance was Billie Piper's. She did a wonderful job as well, alas, she didn't really get much to do, but what she did was beautifully done. Little moments like the reunion with Sarah Jane, the constant looks towards the Doctor assessing his emotional state. Her pain and confusion on Bad Wolf Bay. She delivered beautifully and I will certainly miss seeing her on Who. (Although, I can't help but have a teeny, tiny bit of hope that if they ever need to do a companion-lite episode instead of doing something like "Midnight" where we see mostly the Doctor, instead we can see Rose and her Doctor in the parallel world. What? It could happen. Totally plausible. Seriously, it is.)

Ahem ...

Other top-notch performances: Elisabeth Sladen continues to just be delightful as Sarah Jane. I know it's totally, *totally* a kid's show, but I'm almost tempted to check out The Sarah Jane Adventures. (Hmm, or maybe I should just try and track down her original episodes from old Who.) It seems such a small moment, but I LOVED how she threw her head back with such abandon that her hair went flying when they saved the Earth. It was just so unfettered and, well, awesome. Also, Noel Clarke was wonderful in his every moment on screen as Mickey. When I first began watching this show, if you'd told me that I would love, love, LOVE Mickey, I would have thought you bonkers. But I do! I love Mickey so much!!! And he was awesome here. Seriously. Every. moment. Kissing the gun goodbye before he stepped out to surrender, semi-flirting with Jack ("cheesecake") and then manfully commenting on the length of the hug. And the final scene with the Doctor, oh I do like the relationship that developed between Ten and Mickey. It was almost as if Mickey could accept and like this version of the Doctor because he wasn't the one who took Rose away from him. In a way. I dunno, I just know that Noel Clarke is awesome.

Finally, I may not be a John Barrowman fan, or do anything more than like Jack normally, but I have to say that I really loved him in this episode. So yay! And, of course, Bernard Cribbins (Wilf), just a few scenes, but I loved 'em all. He's wonderful. Especially loved him doing the head-bounce of something when the Earth was returned, and the final scene with the Doctor where he made it clear that he was looking out for him for Donna. ::sniff, sniff:: Not only are we losing Donna, we're losing Wilf too. Double sigh.

All other performances, limited screen time and all, were uniformly good ... except for two, in my opinion.

I like Martha, I really do. I think that Freema Agyeman is disgustingly beautiful and quite, quite likeable, but I just don't think she's a very good actress. She's not bad; she's just okay. It simply wasn't that noticeable in season three, but opposite Billie Piper, Elisabeth Sladen, and especially, Catherine Tate she just doesn't compare in acting caliber.

Which leaves one more. Ahem. Yeah, I'm going there. David Tennant as the Doctor(s). On one hand, there were scenes that were BRILLIANT! Utterly fabulous. The scene where he and Donna are discussing how she sorta created him was just wonderful. He captured Tate's Donna so, so very well. As well, his final scenes with Donna, and then Wilf and Sylvia, lovely. There were small moments here and there that were delightful with his charm and style holding sway. And from the moment that Rose called both Doctors to her to ask about his final words at Bad Wolf Bay until he walked away, he totally nailed every note as the brown-suit Doctor, saying so much with barely any dialogue.

On the other hand, the rest of his performance in those Bad Wolf Bay scenes? They were just ... off. The brown-suit Doctor just seemed cold, distant and completely withdrawn from what they were discussing. I tried to tell myself that was deliberate so that the Doctor could deal with losing Rose again ... even if it was to himself. But, but, but there were no layers, no shading. There was nothing to suggest that it was a deliberate suit of armor. There was just nothing there. It was like he didn't care. I don't know, maybe if he'd been allowed to have a mourning scene after that where we saw how it was ripping him apart, it would have worked, but we went straight from this scene to the Doctor all sad and depressed about Donna. And that look on his face was totally about Donna. At first, I thought the expression was because of leaving Rose (even with him, sorta), but he was looking at Donna and asking her the questions about her experience and it was clear that the pain on his face, in his voice was for losing Donna, not Rose. Because of that, I don't want to blame Tennant for all of my issues with the final Rose scene because I felt that it was a mistake on RTD's end to not have THIS Doctor mourn what he had just given us, what he had allowed himself to lose for all of time. Sigh, more on this later.

And as the blue-suit Doctor, well, he almost hit the right notes, tentative, but hopeful ... but again, there was just the slightest withdrawal. It was very odd. I just don't think that Tennant (yes, when I'm not 100% pleased with him he loses the "The" before his name) delivered even remotely as well overall as he could have in those scenes. And that effected the scene in its entirety because without him giving all that should have been given, Billie Piper didn't have much to bounce off from (as she did in "Doomsday"). She tried, she certainly did and I felt all the right key emotions from her, but that connection from his side wasn't quite there. Oh, I know it'll get better with countless rewatches. It already has begun, and given a few dozen more watches or so, I'm sure I'll adore it and have my heart convince my mind that there is no issue, but my first reaction is that Tennant simply didn't give enough. As either Doctor.

Unfortunately, this isn't just the Doctor/Rose shipper in me being a wee disappointed because it wasn't just that scene. He was too shouty, too broad in other scenes, not enough finesse or subtlety and it's so very frustrating because I know he's capable of it. I don't know what happened because he was so very good, so very on in "The Stolen Earth." And both episodes were directed by Graeme Harper, so it's not a matter of a different director getting a different performance out of him. I don't know; maybe he was just tired, having to do double-duty for some of this episode. I don't know. Ah well, moving on ...

Okay, the plot ... honestly, it didn't quite all makse sense to me. I was like 'huh? Oh, okay, I get it. Sorta. Yeah, right. Ooh, disappearing people. Ooh, two Doctors. Ooh, exploding Daleks. Ooh, crazy Caan. Ooh, crazy and pissed off Davros. Ooh, the Earth is back. Okay.' Yeah, so a lot of the mechanics of the plot just were sorta there for me. But that's okay, I don't watch Doctor Who for the techno-babble, science-fiction type stuff. It sorta all made sense, and that's good enough for me.

Finally ... The Doctor and Rose. I love Russell T. Davies, I really do. And I AM thrilled that he found a way in the Doctor Who universe without breaking any unwritten rules of giving The Doctor and Rose a happy ending. I really, really, REALLY love that and so I really, really, REALLY love him. But I think he screwed up last week with the reunion. Because it was so over-the-top and beautiful and AHHHHH! with the running and the music and the beaming smiles of joy ... we should have gotten the hug then. Give us the hug, then the Dalek comes out screaming "EX-TERM-INATE!," the Doctor could push Rose behind him, blammo, he gets shot and carry on from there. Why? Because when they DID hug in this episode, the delay of it -- no matter how tightly and fervently they hugged -- took away the power and emotion from what that hug SHOULD have been. So, yeah, Rusty screwed that one up. Ah well, he gave us the happy ending.

It wasn't a perfect happy ending, but it was the closest thing that one could get for the Doctor and a companion on this show. And he did it in a way that still gives the fanfic writers plenty to work with (and, yes, I expect to see LOTS of Rose/alt!Doctor fic springing up like bunnies, and I can't wait!!) because there's lots of work needed to be done in that relationship. But, ahem, that's for the wonderful fanfic writers in the Rose/Doctor fandom, back to canon and what we actually got. (Which was awesome, really.)

I absolutely loved the references -- both overt and subtle -- to Nine. LOVED that so very much (partially, no doubt, as I'm just now rewatching the early part of season one). It's been speculated that Rose saved the Doctor and while he didn't quite say that, he DID say that Rose "made him better." In other words, she fixed him, she fixed his broken hearts and broken soul after the Time War. It's officially canon now. Rose made the Doctor better. And by bringing up the beginning of their relationship, it made my point (I think) that I've been saying in my write-ups of the first two episodes that the forging and building of the love story that is the Doctor and Rose began with Nine. Despite the more overtly coupl-y, shippy stuff between Ten and Rose, it began with Nine.

So I loved that; and I also loved the symmetry of Rose asking the two Doctors what the last thing he said to her was. This was Rose's way of determining that the blue-suit Doctor was still her Doctor, much in the same way that Ten when he first regenerated used his first word to her to convince Rose that he was still her Doctor.

But I'm jumping ahead. I want to comment on a few other moments before I get to the final scene. I really loved a bunch of the little things that were just so Rose/Doctor, like him wanting her to say that she basically had Torchwood working on this dimension-spatial thingie so she could get back to him and his laughing, giddy response which led to her "Shu' up" response right back. LOVED it. Entirely inappropriate? Indeed. Totally Rose/Doctor? Yup. (Which, yes, I know is part and parcel why some don't like the Doctor and Rose, or specifically Ten/Rose -- but hey, Nine/Rose had their share of inappropriate moments too, ahem. It's a Rose/Doctor thing, they just delight in each other so much, even when it's really not the time or place.)

Another small thing ... when Donna was hearing the heartbeat in the TARDIS before they went out to face the Daleks, you could hear the continued discussion in the background which was basically Jack saying that Rose could use her teleportation thingie to get out of there. Rose basically said (like Mickey) that it needed to recharge, but then added, but it doesn't matter because I'm not going anywhere. That's Rose, standing by her man. Seriously? Rusty? Such a shipper. He really is.

And, and, and ... HANDPORN!!! We got handporn!!! Rose taking his hand, and the close-up of it!! (woohoo!), her all but leaning against him, and then the two with their arms around each other when Jack was shot. As well, the constant looks that Rose was shooting the Doctor, such concern for the effect that Davros' words were having on him, and the Doctor's angered protection when Davros moved to Rose and began addressing her. All small moments, but I loved every single one of them.

Which brings us to the big one: Bad Wolf Bay. Back again. I admit, I had a duh moment where I couldn't for the life of me figure out why they had to show up there before I remembered, if the rift is all closing again, then that means that there are only a few gaps and from "Doomsday" we know that this is one of the last ones that works. So, it was a duh moment, but a quickly resolved one.

Anyhoo, so, I talked a little bit above about the Bad Wolf Bay scenes, but I want to go more into depth on those as I dig deep into the relationship stuff. I alternately either loved or was disappointed or both with so much of the dialogue.

For instance of the loving:
    The Doctor: I'll grow old and never regenerate; I've only got one life ... Rose Tyler. I could spend it with you. If you want ...
    Rose: You'll grow old at the same time as me?
    The Doctor: Together.
How can I not love that? (Especially, the slight pause and saucy way the Doctor said "Rose Tyler.") It's what the Doctor has always wanted, to be able to spend his life with someone and not have them wither away and die while he stays practically ageless. And to have that with Rose. I mean, how can I NOT love that? And I do. However, what I didn't love, or even like, or, more importantly, understand is why it was Donna who pushed him to get this explanation out there. I don't know if it was felt that Donna needed to do more than just stand there and be silent, or if it was supposed to be yet another sign that the brown-suit Doctor was holding back so that he wouldn't fall apart, but like with Tennant's performance, it didn't come across that way. Although, Catherine Tate certainly tried to sell it that way and I loved her line: "Don't you see what he's trying to give you?" and all that it implied, but it just ... the overall tenor of the Doctor (brown-suit) being a tad-stand-offish, Donna inserting herself in the conversation, it just didn't flow. There wasn't a rhythm to it that allowed this viewer to get caught up in the moment.

As I said above, I felt that it was a mistake on RTD's end to not have THIS Doctor mourn what he had just given up, what he had allowed himself to lose for all of time. Yes, he was giving Rose another version of himself that WAS The Doctor, but it was at the cost of losing her forever himself. So what's supposed to happen now? He no longer mourns her because she's happy living the life, a "normal" life with a half-human version of himself? By the lack of any kind of reaction scene from this Doctor is that what we're supposed to take from it and so goodbye, Rose and any thought of her forever?

One line during this scene illustrated my frustration with this aspect: "He needs you; that's very me." The Doctor's response to Rose saying that the blue-suit Doctor isn't him. I loved the line because, well, it was romantic and I like hearing the Doctor say he needs Rose, but it's like he's saying "he needs you, and that's like me, but it's not me now because you have him to need you." I know, confusing, right? Maybe I just can't explain it, but it all goes back to the fact that the brown-suit Doctor just seemed detached, but not in a 'I must be detached or this will crush my soul' kinda way which you'd rather expect giving the last two years of the show. Arrrgggh. This aspect, and Tennant's performance not being up to par, really bothered me in this scene. I'll get over it, I will, but still ...

I know there was a lot to fit in this and some characters got short shrift (hello, Gwen and Ianto ... but, you have your show), but couldn't we have lost a few moments here and there to give us a scene where the Doctor has that moment, mourns Rose and then, I don't know makes himself forget the depth of his feelings? Ah well, if we never hear him mention Rose again, I'm just going to tell myself that that is exactly what he did once he was alone again on the TARDIS with no Rose, no Donna, no anybody. Yeah, that's what I'll do, because it doesn't work for me character-wise any other way.

What does work is how RTD gave the Doctor and Rose that happy ending shot, though. Yes, I had a few problems with the execution, but the overall idea, I did love. I loved that we got the references to Nine and how it all started with Rose and the Doctor. I loved that Rose was confused about the whole situation, still fighting to be with him because he was the man she loved before that moment when it was made perfectly clear that she could never truly have the man that she loved fully if he was the Time Lord. That bit of the scene, the part played beautifully by the Tennant, was easily my favorite part of the entire episode. And I'm not saying so because it ended with Rose grabbing the Doctor and kissing him. No, I loved it because it conveyed so much about how the two Doctors were the same, and yet different and how that allowed Rose to make her choice without thought. How each Doctor answered Rose's question was all the telling that Rose needed to make her decision, spontaneous though it was.

The Time Lord Doctor even then couldn't say the words because of who he was, how he lived, his rules, etc., but the Time Lord/Human Doctor could say the words to her at least. And because he could say the words, Rose was able to throw down her guard and grab the man and kiss him. And the Tennant was wonderful at conveying the Doctor seeing that, taking in that her Doctor could say and do things to and with Rose that he never could, because this Doctor -- the full Time Lord -- wasn't meant to have that kind of life. But her Doctor could.

Speaking of her Doctor and what he could do and say, I mentioned above that I thought that RTD made a mistake in not having the Doctor and Rose hug after the run in the last episode. I think he made one more tiny one; I think we should have heard the words. Yes, we know he said "I love you." Yes, you could make out the words themselves ... At least I think you could, but maybe I'm being delusional, but I really do think you could; I'm fairly positive that David Tennant actually said the words "I love you" when he bent down to tell Rose. Anyway, the point is ... regardless of whether we knew what he said, we should have heard him say them ... even in a whisper. Damnit.

However, THAT is a small quibble because her Doctor did say "I love you." We know he did. And the Doctor said "Does it need saying?" which was HIS way of saying "I love you." (Yes, yet another euphemism for the words, oh Doctor.) And that means that two years ago when he said goodbye to Rose he was going to tell her he loved her. Because he did. And he still does, and proof of that was in every moment of this scene from both Doctors. The one was giving up the woman he loved forever in order for her to have the other one of him who needed Rose Tyler to make him better, so that they could live their lives together, grow old together. He was giving Rose and the only version of him who could a happy ending. The other Doctor was offering himself up to Rose, to spend his life with her without any hesitation because he could spend his life with her, because he could love her openly. And so he did. Rose and her Doctor finally kissed. A real kiss. And we got our happy ending of sorts.

But not the Doctor, not the Time Lord. Losing Rose, losing Donna ... Sarah Jane said that he has the biggest family, but in the end, yet again, he was all alone. Again. Naturally.

Phew! Random thoughts and then this sucker is done!!!

- I didn't notice this until the fifteenth rewatch, but the Doctor blue-suit is wearing the same colors as Rose. She's got the blue jacket, he's got the blue suit. She's wearing a dark pink shirt under the jacket, he's wearing a darker pink/maroon shirt under the suit. Hee, I love when couples match colors.

- Hee, Jackie with a gun blasting away a Dalek. Who would have ever thought it? Go Jackie!!

- Though, clearly, that's not how the Doctor feels. Cracked up, even as I felt bad for her, when the Doctor was giving everyone instructions on running the TARDIS and he just stopped at Jackie and was all, "Jackie ... uh, just no. Stand back." Hah! Even funnier was her reaction, a rather accepting, 'yeah, I get it' look. Too funny.

- But, heh, she got him back. We named the kid "Doctor." And he's all smiling, really? And she's all, no. Hah! GO Jackie!!!

- Like last week, I LOVED the Rose/Martha moment. Martha going on about the why of blowing up earth ("The plan is for 27 planets, but if there's only 26?") and Rose's response of "she's good," with an admiring smile, followed by Martha questioning who she was. And then Rose introduced herself and Martha, proving once and for all that she's sooooooo over the Doctor, became another member of the Doctor/Rose OTP club (which Donna is so the president of) when her face softened and she said, "Oh my God, he found you." (Which provoked a dreamy smile from Rose as she looked at the Doctor, and a confused, constipated look from the Doctor as he looked at Rose. See, Tennant? What the hell? Love of his life, remember. Your words. Your flipping words.)

- And on that train, loved the three-way Rose/Doctor/Martha hug amidst all the hugs after the Earth's, erm, retrieval.

- I know I mentioned it above, but it doesn't hurt to say again that I LOVED the Jack/Mickey hug. Squee! I think I could ship them.

- I could also TOTALLY ship Jack and Donna! Although, that might be harder because I'm a bit peeved at Jack for NOT hugging Donna when she first offered.

- Speaking of Jack, after Rose commented on there being three Doctors (brown suit, blue suit and DonnaDoctor), Jack's comment about no one wanting to know what he was thinking CRACKED. ME. UP. Oh, Jack, bringing the naughty without actually doing so.

- And good thing too because Doctor Who is a children's show after all. And for the first time in like forever for me, this episode really felt like a children's show. I don't know why, just the whole tenor of things, not has heavy or dark as usual despite Davros cackling about the end of the universe.

- Speaking of ... I know he's a sick, evil, twisted bastard, but I kinda dug Davros. That actor is GO-OOD! Even under all that make-up, he was kicking ass all over the place. My favorite was: "... and oh, the end of the universe." So calm and matter-of fact. Ooh, ooh and the taunting of the Doctor and how he kept poking at the kind of bad, bad man he was, wanting the Doctor to writhe in shame that this reveal was happening in front of Rose. Sick and twisted; it was awesome.

- You know who was also awesome? Dalek Caan. A good Dalek, whaddya know? And it made sense to me. Him seeing everything and seeing the wrong that the Daleks had become was pretty awesome, and how he was helping in his souped-up crazy madness. Awesome.

- Not awesome? Yet again, no frickin' mention of Tom Milligan! Hello, Martha's fiance? Or, I don't know, maybe he isn't her fiance any more because she sure looked cozy holding Jack's hand as they walked away from the TARDIS. Hmm ...

- Phew! SO glad that my niggle of fear about Harriet Jones was totally wrong in every way and that Harriet went out as the totally awesome, kick-ass character that I loved in every appearance. YES!!!

- Heh! I did NOT realize that Gwen was played by the same actress who played Gwyneth in "The Unquiet Dead." Now, I might have had I gotten to that one in my rewatching, but as of now, I didn't. I loved that little (although, again, so totally inappropriate Doctor/Rose giddiness) moment when they asked her about family going back in Cardiff. Squee!! Another Nine/Rose callback!!!

- Heh at the Doctor blue-suit's reaction to Mickey when he was calling everyone's name as they were rushing into the Tardis: "Sarah Jane, Rose, MIC-KAY!!!, etc." Cracked me up. As I said above, oh, I do like the Mickey/Ten relationship.

- I admit it; during the whole pulling of the Earth, the different locations shaking with the pull, I was just grinning away. I loved it.

- Uhm, what was the point of the Osterhagen key anyway then? Just for Davros to point out that the Doctor made all of the people he touched into weapons? Okay, I guess. But it was rather too much of a build-up, in my opinion.

- A few questions about the revelations from Caan that didn't happen or make sense ... why DID Rose have to be there the way Davros said? That didn't make sense. Even bigger ... what most faithful companion? None of 'em died. Well, except for Jack, but he wasn't dead. And as the Doctor was leaving, Caan called out that one would still die. Was that supposed to be DonnaDoctor? If so? Totally lame, sorry, Rusty.

- I loved that the Doctor tried (again) to save Davros. Many people may die because of his trying to help or his inability to interfere with fixed timelines, but deep down, he is a good man, who just wants everybody to live.

- I know many are problem bummed that we got nothing even remotely close to a Jack/Rose reunion (and I will never type Jack/Rose and NOT think of Leo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet), nor did we get Rose getting any explanation for Jack coming back to life ... but, for me, I don't care. I never really particularly was enamored of any aspect of the Jack/Rose relationship, so yeah, didn't feel like I missed out at all.

- Billie Piper looked SO short standing between the "two" David Tennants. So, so short. It was funny.

- As Rose and Donna are my favorite companions, I loved all of the parallels between them that were drawn in this episode. Both of them intending on traveling with the Doctor "forever" but were denied that by destiny. Both of them took a part of the power of the Time Lord (Rose, the vortex, Donna, the Doctor's regeneration-thingie) into themselves and it would have killed both of them had the Doctor not removed it. Both of them will never remember their time when they had that power within them. But, sigh, at least Rose got her happy ending. Not so for Donna. I loved Donna in "The Runaway Bride," but I still hated to see her reverted back to that woman who didn't know how brilliant and amazing she was. Just heartbreaking, but maybe this time it will be different. Sylvia finally seems to appreciate her daughter. And rude or not, I LOVED that the Doctor called her on her lack before in how she treated Donna. So maybe, just maybe this time it will be different.

But not for the Doctor. When he told her goodbye for the last time and she just looked right through him, as if he was nobody special ... Oh, Doctor. The two women who got him through his toughest losses (Rose, the Time War and Donna, losing Rose) and he lost both of them within minutes of each other.

Can anyone fix him this time? Poor Doctor.

ETA: Sincere confusion after reading a bunch of other posts. Adding this in based on some reading up of other thoughts. I honestly don't understand the anger towards Russell T. Davies based on the Doctor/Rose ending and the Donna ending. I just don't. Based on the logistics of what he had to work with -- the Who universe itself, Billie Piper done, Catherine Tate signing on for only one season/series -- I thought he did everything he could. He gave the Doctor/Rose shippers the ONLY possible outcome for a happy ending with Piper leaving the show. Could it have been made more clear that the blue suit Doctor was still the Doctor in that final scene? Yeah, but the overall intent was definitely there. And the final moments where it was revealed completely that the Time Lord Doctor just could not emotionally give himself to Rose no matter how much he loved her (in keeping with the long-term theme of the show), while the Time Lord/Human hybrid Doctor could showed that this was the only way that Rose and Doctor COULD have that kind of happy ending.

As for Donna, Catherine Tate signed on for only one go. That was it. The only option that Rusty had was killing off Donna, and I know I wouldn't have wanted that at all. This way, Donna still lives. Did she lose the memory of the last two years? Yes. But will she stay the same Donna from The Runaway Bride that she would have been had she not met the Doctor? I don't think so for a second. It was a small scene but telling when the Doctor called Sylvia on how she treats Donna. Sylvia may have been pissed, but she'll remember it. And Wilf may have loved Donna before and believed in her, but now he's seen the absolute proof of what she can accomplish. So with their attitudes different towards her, a confidence and belief in absolutely everything and anything that she can be, she'll become that same brilliant Donna we came to love. And much faster too. Because the memory may be gone,

but that self-confidence, the events that shaped her are still there written in her DNA.

Russell T. Davies gave both the Doctor and Rose, and Donna the only possible non-death, happy outcome that he could possibly give them within the confines of the structure of the show and the logistics of the actors not staying beyond this season/series. Because a Rose who didn't die would NEVER have willingly left the Doctor ... unless, she had the Doctor (albeit, with a few changes, incidentally ones that will allow him to be with her fully in every way). And a Donna who didn't die would NEVER have willingly left the Doctor ... unless the memory of all that she had experienced with him had been erased. But again, the experience is still there in her heart and soul, those who love her the most around her will encourage her in a way like never before, and will have a faith and belief in her like never before. She WILL become that brilliant, fantastic woman that we all fell in love with in no time.

THAT is what Russell T. Davies gave us even within the logistics of actors' schedules and the structure of a long-running television show. And that was on top of a pretty damn good finale that kicked all kinds of ass, used a lot of Who history and brought together a lot of what we loved about the show. So even with my few quibbles about the finale, to him I say BRAVO!!

(Note: I did make a separate post for this because I figured there were definitely some who hadn't read this post yet, but it really belongs here.)
 
 
 
siren (like the mythic monster): Queeniemyalltheworld on July 6th, 2008 09:50 am (UTC)
- A few questions about the revelations from Caan that didn't happen or make sense ... why DID Rose have to be there the way Davros said? That didn't make sense. Even bigger ... what most faithful companion? None of 'em died. Well, except for Jack, but he wasn't dead. And as the Doctor was leaving, Caan called out that one would still die. Was that supposed to be DonnaDoctor? If so? Totally lame, sorry, Rusty.


Rose had to be there a) because she'd already seen it happen in her universe, b) because she'd been fighting to get back to this universe since he'd abandoned her there, c) because someone needed to take the Doctor-Forged-In-War back, and make him better, and d) because I don't think the Doctor's emergence as the destroyer of worlds would have had quite the same effect if it had been just Martha or Donna there (they've already spent time curbing his destructive nature, and he never loved them as much as he loves Rose). Rose is the innocent of the lot, even if she's seen so much more. She's the one with the eternal hope, always dragging him back into the light.

Jack died - actually died - and it doesn't matter if he came back because he was really dead. He's immortal though - he's the face of Boe, remember? We see when he dies in New New York, so we don't panic too much when he gets killed (even though I was shouting at the tv "NO DON'T KILL JACK He'll only come back, what's the point? Oh Rose, don't panic! He's totally immortal!").
Also, Donna died - the Donna that we came to love. She lost everything that she had become in knowing the Doctor, and that was the end of Donna Noble and her all-consuming coincidences.

And I'm not sure about the most faithful companion either, because to me that would be either Rose, or the Tardis. In a way, Rose is dead again now too. I mean, she can't stay in our universe because she on the list of the dead at Canary Wharf, and in a way sending her back to Pete's world is sort of like watching her die all over again.
God, Ten breaks my heart every time he watches her go, but that story definitely started with Nine. I think the episode that it became clear that Nine loved Rose was "Dalek" (1x6), and then it was doubly clear in "Father's Day" (1x8). Just the way he's so protective over her - moreso than over any of the newer companions - and the way he goes against common sense, just so he doesn't have to see her cry. Bless.
And Rose certainly fell in love with Nine. That much was obvious from the start. It was an infatuation and it became a sort of heartwrenching love, and I adore how Billie played that. And then when he regenerated. Bless her heart she didn't trust him. And Ten was a bit heartbroken about that part, because by then he did love her. But Rose came to love Ten too. Yay.

Uhm, back to the faithful companion part. I think, going by terminology, it probably did mean either Rose or Donna - maybe both? Because both, in their ways, did die. Sadtimes.
So did the Tardis, mind. But in a different way. It was shut down by the daleks so.. yeah.

All in all, I wasn't disappointed in this ep. I loved it. It was just as epic as I wanted it to be and Tennant really did pull the subtleties for me. Also, I was inappropriately giddy when Ten/Rose saw Gwen and realised it was Gwyneth's great great granddaughter. INAPPROPRIATELY GIDDY. I've been waiting for that since Torchwood started. That reference was the entire reason I love Eve Myles on Torchwood.

--

When the Doctor tried to save Davros again? OMG I was screaming at him not to bother. The same thing happened last time!

and one tiny thing... So Dalek Caan looked into Time and saw it all, right? Well.. so did Rose. She had the Time Vortex inside her head. Surely, even if the Doctor removed it, that would have left something behind? niggleniggle!!

I want to know who the new Companion is. And I want to know NOW. I want it to be Christmas Day so I can turn on BBC1 and watch Dr Who and go "WTF Who the eff is THAT?!". Also? I'm really glad that Jennifer Saunders wasn't the Female Doctor. And I adored the Three Geniuses. It was awesome.
Arabian: Dr Who (Rose/10/9)arabian on July 12th, 2008 03:16 pm (UTC)
No, I get why (for the viewer) that Rose had to be there, but I meant from Davros' point of view. Because he said specifically that she had to be there for what was supposed to happen, and I saw nothing that indicated in any way why Rose, specifically, had to be there for anything to happen as Davros planned.

Yes, (a) Jack died, but that, as I said above, was a cop-out. Rusty said someone would die. Jack can't die, so cop-out. And (b), it was said again after Jack died, which meant? Donna? I'm sorry but losing all of her Doctor memories doesn't translate to death for me at all. In fact, I vehemently deny that interpretation as someone who accepted and appreciated Donna's end. Yes, she lost the memories of the Doctor and their travels, but that did NOT kill her, nor kill who Donna was. I think the whole point of "Turn Left" (and the Doctor's comment to Sylvia about showing Donna she believes in her) was to show that Donna doesn't need the Doctor be the amazing, brilliant woman she became. She just needs someone, anyone, to believe in her. She had the Doctor to do it the first time; but all it took was Rose in "Turn Left," a stranger. When she has Sylvia and Wilf truly, fully believing in her, the core of the brilliance that is Donna Noble will rise to the surface again. Therefore, not dead. I don't see Rose as being dead either. So, for me, yeah it was a lame cop-out because Jack didn't really die. Neither did Donna or Rose. So basically, RTD (and Caan) lied. No companion died. Yeah, the Doctor said that "this Donna died," but, I don't buy it. Semantics, and lame cop-out.

I think the episode that it became clear that Nine loved Rose was "Dalek" (1x6)

Oh, I think it was made clear in 1x5 (WW3) when he says it's a tough choice between saving the world or Rose because already Rose means THAT much to him. (God, I love how Eccleston delivers that line.) I do agree, that it really, REALLY was apparent in "Father's Day," partly why I love that so much.

And Rose certainly fell in love with Nine. That much was obvious from the start. It was an infatuation and it became a sort of heartwrenching love, and I adore how Billie played that. And then when he regenerated. Bless her heart she didn't trust him. And Ten was a bit heartbroken about that part, because by then he did love her. But Rose came to love Ten too. Yay.

Ditto all the way, LOL!

All in all, I wasn't disappointed in this ep. I loved it. It was just as epic as I wanted it to be

I liked it, but I think I'm going to really love it on rewatch, knowing what's coming and so many other things pointed out in reading other reviews and such that really sell the whole themes.

Tennant really did pull the subtleties for me.

I do love him, but he was off in scenes for me. I really found this his weakest work in ages. Ah well. The good moments were fabulous, though.

Also, I was inappropriately giddy when Ten/Rose saw Gwen and realised it was Gwyneth's great great granddaughter. INAPPROPRIATELY GIDDY.

Oh man, me too!!! I would have actually preferred had that been TenII and Rose, though, if only to give that small glimpse -- and I do feel we NEEDED at least a bit more and that right there would have done it -- that showed, rather than told, that Ten was still The Doctor.

and one tiny thing... So Dalek Caan looked into Time and saw it all, right? Well.. so did Rose. She had the Time Vortex inside her head. Surely, even if the Doctor removed it, that would have left something behind? niggleniggle!!

I still think it would be hysterical if a few years from now, Rose shows up in the proper universe, finds the Doctor and is all: "Okay, you idiot, here's the deal. We were tracking down aliens on Earth, they shot us. He died; I lived because -- YOU BLOODY BOOB!!! -- I can't die either. Time Vortex gave life not just to Jack, but me too. Do your research next time. I promised you forever. Why do you never listen!?!?"

I want to know who the new Companion is.

I think it's someone named Rosita -- there are pictures up somewhere, I believe, but I haven't looked. And, knowing RTD is writing the specials, I'm quite confused, but sure there is a point, to her name being ROSITA, for goodness sake!

Edited at 2008-07-30 12:40 am (UTC)
sammie28 on July 6th, 2008 03:44 pm (UTC)
Like you, I loved the Nine references. It brings Rose's story full circle. RTD started it by bringing in a battered war survivor and made him fall in love with Rose; I always felt that part of what drove the beauty of Nine and Rose was that Nine needed Rose so desperately at that point in his life. Ten was partly a result of Rose's healing of Nine. Now that RTD is leaving, he wraps it up, giving Rose human!Doctor who had just committed genocide; it returns back to the Nine/Rose theme. It wraps up Rose; not that she can't return, but her story feels complete (in your words, has been "told").

And, as you mentioned, the Donna-Rose "Journey's End"-"PotW" parallels - saving the world, and then being saved from what was killing her in her head by the Doctor. But having all Donna's memories wiped...that STINKS! I mean, it was beautiful writing and bittersweet and painful, but from a purely character standpoint, I'd be so mad, lol.
Arabian: Christopher Eccleston_01arabian on July 12th, 2008 03:21 pm (UTC)
Yes, I loved the full-circle aspect of it. Because, Rose/10 purists bedamned, it BEGAN with Nine. Rose fell in love with NINE! Ten was just a continuation; of course, it grew stronger, but that's because she had more time with him.

it returns back to the Nine/Rose theme

Aww, I love this line. Awww.

having all Donna's memories wiped...that STINKS! I mean, it was beautiful writing and bittersweet and painful, but from a purely character standpoint, I'd be so mad, lol.

As I said in my last response, I disagree. I'm so writing a Donna/RTD defense post. Totally, LOL!

Edited at 2008-07-16 11:19 pm (UTC)
lavender gooms: dw: omg charadesthe_spin on July 7th, 2008 01:51 am (UTC)
Even though I'm not a gigantic Nine fan, I really loved the way they looped Rose's story back to her beginning with him. That was really, really beautifully done. I just wish the beach scene had been as beautifully done as the one in 'Doomsday.' Oh, if wishes were horses.

And haha, yes, where the hell was Tom Milligan? Martha/Tom Milligan is totally one of my OTP's on this show, purely because they were unbearably hot together.
Arabian: Donna Noblearabian on July 12th, 2008 03:22 pm (UTC)
I can't conceive of not being a gigantic Nine fan, LOL! But I'm glad you liked how it went back to the beginning.

Sigh, yes, if wishes were horses. It would have taken so very little for it to just fly ... but ah well.

I loved Martha/Tom. Dangit, Freema Agyeman and Tom Willis had CHEMISTRY!!!! What the hell!?!? Where is that actor? Ah well, if Martha is going to Torchwood, maybe we'll see Tom then? That would certainly get me off my butt and watching Torchwood.
lavender goomsthe_spin on July 12th, 2008 03:36 pm (UTC)
I can't conceive of not being a gigantic Nine fan, LOL

I know, right? Everyone loves him, and I always feel a little left out. It's so weird.

And did you see that re-edit of the scene that someone posted on YouTube? It was AWESOME. I was like 'why did they not do that on the show?!?' I mean, I know they wanted it to be ambiguous and heart-breaking, but I wouldn't prefered a lower degree of discomfort.
Arabian: David & Billie Dancingarabian on July 12th, 2008 03:44 pm (UTC)
Yeah, it's just ... inconceivable. I mean, he's the male equivalent of Donna in the level of awesomeness.

Yes, I saw the re-edit. I was actually going to link to that, but figured it wasn't mine and that you HAD seen it, LOL! Yeah, take the Confidential kiss edited in and that "new" ending and it works much better.

I do get what they were going for, but they needed to do like the re-edit, or have some sort of Rose/Doctor (TenII) moment that showed Rose seeing him as The Doctor. I still think it should have been TenII with whom Rose shared the in-joke about Gwyneth/Gwen. Such a small thing, but would have been very telling, I think.

Ah well, those horses again.

Edited at 2008-07-30 12:40 am (UTC)
chalcidicechalcidice on July 7th, 2008 04:24 am (UTC)
To be perfectly honest, I think deep down I was disappointed. The purpose of the finale in my opinion was to bring closure to RTD's storylines.

I don't foresee any of the companions that have been gracing our screen returning to New!Who but that's just me. It felt like the finale was suppose to be a goodbye, but it felt rushed and not well constructed. I think it would have been better if the goodbye was the theme to the entire series, in a subtle way. I know that would make for a very dark and very sad series, but I think the writing and preformances would have been better. The two part finale could have easily been made into four parts.

That being said, I do agree the 'goodbye' on Bad Wolf Bay, wasn't right for me. The Doctor was too reserved, he wasn't expressing anything, a blank expression was all we got from him. Would have been nice to have seen him shed a tear and mourn the loss of Rose, because she is now gone for good. She will have her life with human Doctor and her Doctor will be forced to live through the ages alone, because I refuse to believe he will ever marry River Song. <--- Sorry, the bitter shipper in me refuses to allow Time Lord Doctor to marry a human, cause if he could have married River he could have married Rose, there are no excuses.

I am so disappointed about Donna. It really sucks. That's how upset I am, I can't even come up with a better word than sucks. I hate that we lose Donna. There had to have been a better way to have Catherine exit the show. It just didn't feel right at all.

However, I do love the desolate expression on the Doctor's face when he leaves Wilf. I believe when he enters the TARDIS, he is mourning for all his losses.

Rambling away, hope it makes sense!
Arabian: Donna Noblearabian on July 12th, 2008 03:37 pm (UTC)
To be perfectly honest, I think deep down I was disappointed. The purpose of the finale in my opinion was to bring closure to RTD's storylines.

I think reading analysis from people who did love it and explored some great themes will really help if you rewatch. butterfly has some awesome points of view that really help aspects that may have bothered you. And unfolded73 brings out a fabulous point in the first part of her picspam ... this specifically in reference to the Doctor listening to Davros' speech:

"The man who keeps running. Never looking back because he dare not, out of shame." This scene is CRUCIALLY important to understanding the ending at Bad Wolf Bay. I don't want to go into it a lot right now, but it is clear to me that the Doctor is eating up what Davros is saying here. He believes he does turn those close to him into weapons. He believes he is poison to the people around him. He believes he deserves to be alone.

As for closure, I think that RTD did do that. Rose got closure, as did Donna -- more on that later, Martha, Jack, Mickey, Sarah Jane, they are all off to live their lives, having been better for knowing the Doctor. And the Doctor? Well, he's where he was at the beginning of his run: Alone, which is where the Doctor always feels he has to be. Gives Moffat -- oy! -- a clean slate.

I don't foresee any of the companions that have been gracing our screen returning to New!Who but that's just me.

I don't think the goodbye should have been the theme, but I DO agree that it should have been in four parts, specifically getting rid of the Moffat two-parter which really did disrupt the emotional flow of the season (and just wasn't that good). Take away those 2, and you'd have two more to wrap it all up. However, while I do think there were some beats missed in the finale, overall, I thought it was pretty fantastic what he managed to do. Was it perfect? No. With at least ONE more episode, we may have gotten perfection, but the logistics just didn't work out, but what we got? Was pretty amazing considering all the beats that were hit and covered.

I agree (obviously) with your thoughts on the Doctor's reserve at Bad Wolf Bay. As for this ...

because I refuse to believe he will ever marry River Song. <--- Sorry, the bitter shipper in me refuses to allow Time Lord Doctor to marry a human, cause if he could have married River he could have married Rose, there are no excuses.

As I've been saying to little_aphid in her journal, I agree completely. I've decided that River Song winds up being a companion/mate closer along the lines of Donna because, honestly, knowing that he HAS to tell her, if it were Donna and the relationship they have, I could so see him telling Donna his name and such. Therefore, the same would apply to River. I simply refuse to believe that the Doctor (as 9 and 10) that fell so head over heels, epically, completely, in love with Rose would fall even harder for someone so very, very different from Rose. Therefore, since it was never named, River winds up being more of a Donna-like companion. Works for me. The whole "wife" thing came about from speculation based on spoilers ... it was NEVER stated as such in any way in the episode. Other than the Doctor saying there was only one reason he would tell her his name -- which, again, open to speculation -- there was nothing that said they were anything more than great mates to the degree like he and Donna.

I am so disappointed about Donna. It really sucks. That's how upset I am, I can't even come up with a better word than sucks. I hate that we lose Donna. There had to have been a better way to have Catherine exit the show. It just didn't feel right at all.

I think it was PERFECT. Absolutely perfect. And I'm going to run out of room here, so look for my post about why I think it was so in the next hour or so.

Edited at 2008-07-12 03:38 pm (UTC)
chalcidice: goodbyechalcidice on July 28th, 2008 03:34 pm (UTC)
Firstly, I can't believe how long it's been since I've been on LJ, sorry it's taken so long to respond. Secondly, I think I've read your post on why Donna's exit was good. I think now that I have watched and re-watch and re-watched again, I have no real problems with the ending, I think the finale had me so shocked I just didn't know how to respond. I didn't hate it and didn't love it from the conclusion which I think started my confusion.

Specifically getting rid of the Moffat two-parter which really did disrupt the emotional flow of the season (and just wasn't that good).

I completely agree. I don't understand how any of this had any major importance other than Donna ending up in another parallel universe. But I'm sure they could have incorporated that into another episode. To go off topic, I have major concerns about Moffat because his episodes never flow within a DW series arc. So I am really wondering how Series Five will be written.

Other than the Doctor saying there was only one reason he would tell her his name -- which, again, open to speculation -- there was nothing that said they were anything more than great mates to the degree like he and Donna.

That is what I have to remember that it was all speculation. Nothing was ever verified, just open for more speculation, but for some reason this notion that River Song has to be the Doctor's wife has stuck. But you are 100% correct, there was nothing that stated that River was anything other than a companion.

Going to have to go through your recommended posts. It would be interesting to see other peoples opinions and views.
yinkawills: black girl going 'squee!'yinkawills on July 8th, 2008 02:05 am (UTC)
Catherine Tate is a comedienne/comic actor famous in the UK for a brilliant sketch show,two of her characters- an elderly, foul mouthed grandmother and a stroppy teenage schoolgirl became national icons. Try and see if you can either buy the DVDs of the show or get to see it on the internet.

That said, though I am a big fan of hers, I wasnt happy that Martha got pushed aside for CT to come on the show. Freema hasnt yet got the breadth as an actress that Billie Piper and CT have, but that's because she has way less experience. I wasnt happy that she got one season then a couple of turns in Torchwood. But I did get to like Donna..

This episode had me on the edge of my seat!
Watched it with 'the son and heir' (aka my easily bored 18 year old) and we were both oohhing and aaahhhing.

I knew the Dr wasnt going to regenerate.That would have meant a new actor taking over, and if so why would they accommodate David Tennant by doing only 5 eps next year so he can go off and play Hamlet?
Having 3 Doctors was a brilliant idea. Ditto, Donna saving the day.The actor who played Davros did an amazing job- he really midfucked the Doctor. And the insane Dalek Khan betraying all of his kind..!
Loved, LOVED seeing all the gang be kick ass - it was fab seeing Jackie,Rose's Mum toting a huge gun! And as always, I was blown away by Mickey's character development, how he's changed.

Highlights:
Daleks speaking German!
Six people piloting the Tardis!
Insane Dalek Khan being bonkers yet still being able to plan the downfall of his species and keep it a secret for aeons!
Martha doing her lone hero act-again! (though could have done without total annihilation being the solution)
Captain Jack definately NOT wanting to flirt with Donna- first time we've seen that ever!
Donna dragging Sarah Jane out of the way to get to grope Captain Jack!
Donna's family- Bernard Cribbins has been amazing, Grandad must return!
Seeing Martha's Mum-but where were her Dad, sister and brother? I like the Joneses!
Stargate Atlantis has a flying city. Dr Who has the Tardis towing a f**gging planet! And it has a quarter of the budget!
The hint/foreshadowing that Mickey and Martha will join Torchwood!

BUT DONNA...
They gave us SO much foreshadowing about Donna dying- with Dalek Khan adding his two cents during the ep.

And then her memories are removed.
Brilliant.

A kind of death- especially as we know Donna is bolshie because she has low self-esteem.
As cruel as death, and Grandad played the scene beautifully, as he knew what travelling the universe had done for her...
Of course a solution will appear-a couple of seasons in the future, in a one off Catherine Tate special.

And the other thing this episode has made possible is this:
With DoctorDonna we're one step closer to eventually having a female Doctor (Judi Dench/Helen Mirren, anyone?)Possibly Catherine Tate herself??

The introduction of heroic figures like Martha and Mickey, means a black Doctor is on the event horizon after that.(Martha was the first black companion in the show's 40 year history.)

And its so fab seeing the distinguished actors QUEUEING to appear in Who.

Penelope Wilton as the Prime Minister Harriet Jones was so amazing. Her sacrifice made me choke up.RTD draws in great actors who were big tv stars in comedies and dramas from the 60s,70s 80s like Bernard Cribbins(Grandad).RTD and the casting people know their tv history.

Today (Monday) the finale has been all over the newspapers, with speculation as to whether Tennant is going to continue and mentions that the audience figures for the show on Saturday were 9.8 million. The BBC has had hundreds of emails about the finale- some rapturous, some critical.RTD has been interviewed today in the media section of one of the serious newspapers..

All this for what is, lets not forget- a chldren's science fiction show. Its watched by adults (who then get their children to watch it)because we all first saw it as 6-10 year olds so its a national institution.
Blimey, after all that, we-and the cast and crew- probably need a rest.:D:D:D:D

Cant wait to see what Chris Moffat has in store for us!

Yinka (practically on a sugar high)
nina_dS: Donna bein' awesomenina_ds on July 9th, 2008 05:58 pm (UTC)
I don't know that I have anything to add, but I just have to repeat these two paragraphs:

To be completely honest, the main reason I don't think that I'll ever look forward to Doctor Who again to this anxious, joyful degree isn't because, essentially, the Rose/Doctor story has been told, but because so has Donna Noble's. I love Donna. Unlike some, I actually loved her from about five minutes in from her first appearance in The RuMnaway Bride when she was rash, brash, rude and a tad dim. And my love for her just grew over this season. Partly how she was written, yes, but I think, mostly, because Catherine Tate is just brilliant. I've never seen her before, never even heard of her before, but my GOD! can this woman act. I don't think she's capable of a wrong note. I really don't.

Every moment with her on screen has been a joy to watch. And this episode was full, blinding truth of that. We got every kind of Donna tonight. We got the brash, rash, rude, dim Donna. We got glittering, gleaming, sparkling, bright Donna. We got a horny Donna; a possessive Donna; a happy one and a sad one. We got a brilliant Donna, and a vulnerable one. We got every layer and shading possible and Catherine Tate delivered every single note pitch-perfect. I believe that she and Christopher Eccleston are by FAR the best actors they have ever had on this show (new version, haven't watch old Who) ... so, of course, we only get them for one season. Sigh.


I was actually done with DW after Last of the Time Lords; I couldn't take it any more. And then they announced the return of Donna, and I had to watch despite myself. Unlike some, I think this has been a pretty weak series in terms of storytelling on the whole, but Donna has been consistently wonderful.

My hope for the future isn't actually directly Who-related. I want RTD to go back to writing relationship drama, which he's really best at, and write a mature, complex love triangle for Christopher Eccleston, Catherine Tate, and Lesley Sharp. They really are the actors who can put across his wild plotting with believable emotional impact.
Arabian: Christopher Eccleston_01arabian on July 12th, 2008 03:41 pm (UTC)
Oh, I agree that this wasn't the best series, but Donna is just so fabulous. Don't know nor care about Lesley Sharp, but to see Eccleston and Tate on screen together, penned by RTD? Oh, what bliss, what heaven that would be.
Arabian: Dr Who (Ten)arabian on July 12th, 2008 03:40 pm (UTC)
Oh, I know who Catherine Tate is, I've just never seen her work or had heard of her before Who. Well, as I said above, I don't believe that it was death in any way, shape or form for Donna.
Kay: doctor10.5ladybugkay on July 16th, 2008 06:04 pm (UTC)
Part 1/2 (because I wrote too much)
LOVE THIS REVIEW! So much so, in fact, that I'm going to try to respond, somewhat articulately, to certain points.

-Catherine Tate was all kinds of wonderful, as was Billie Piper--the beach scene, damn!--and Freema Agyeman's acting just wasn't up to the challenge. I felt there was way too much emphasis on her whole arc with the Osterhagen key, because we didn't need all that German and we didn't need all that build-up when it went essentially nowhere.

-We were absolutely cheated of the Doctor/Rose reunion hug in Stolen Earth. When I watch it, it makes me want to stop before the Dalek appears and skip ahead to the hug, because it's just so frustrating. I think your suggestion for them getting the hug and then the Doctor pushing Rose out of the way and getting shot by the Dalek would have been so much better. (Besides, then the bluesuit!Doctor would have gotten the hug, too, before the whole beach scene. That bothered me, a little, that Rose had very little interaction with him before having to stay with him.)

-Tennant's performance. Well, the brownsuit Doctor did come off a bit harsh and cold on the beach, because his insistence, right away, that Rose stay with his counterpart completely overrode her right to make her own decisions about her life. During the 'question' and the kiss, there were some great subtleties, such as brownsuit swallowing very hard, and then he walked away so quickly without looking back that you knew it was because he just couldn't watch, anymore.

-And I do think we should have gotten the brownsuit Doctor's moment of pain and grief at losing Rose, again. There should have been a moment in the TARDIS when he was staring into space or down at the floor, struggling to control himself, and then Donna interrupts...and then that whole scene between him and Donna. It would have taken only a second and given us so much more.

-My only problems with bluesuit Doctor is that once they were back in the TARDIS, he didn't have the chance to speak. The brownsuit Doctor took charge of everything, was the one who did the talking and assigned people to the stations, and he was the one who said goodbye to everyone--all of which seemed to indicate (at least to so many fans) that he was the real Doctor, as opposed to just the original, full Time Lord Doctor. Bluesuit's passivity felt a little jarring, although it was understandable given that Tennant was playing both roles, and trying to get coverage on that TARDIS scene with Tennant switching roles constantly would have been too hard, so they tried to limit it by having the dialogue all be by the one Doctor. (Incidentally, I think that might be what was going on with the performance not quite being up to Tennant's usual calibre.)

-The moment of Doctor/Rose inappropriate giddiness. YES! Because that's who they are, the old team back in action again, and they have always been just so ridiculously happy to be together and be experiencing life together. There was a joy to the Doctor, particularly Ten, when he was with Rose, that there wasn't when he was with anyone else. Oh, he could be happy, and definitely manic, without her, but you never see this kind of unfettered joy and giddiness from him with anyone but Rose. It's part of why she was so good for him, because the Doctor's life is pretty much unrelenting drama and action and continual heartbreak. He sees the most horrible things all the time, because he always seems to be running into trouble, and there almost isn't a good time for him to be giddy--inappropriate times or not, Rose gives him the opportunity to have that lightheartedness and joy.

Arabian: Dr Who (Ten)arabian on July 16th, 2008 11:28 pm (UTC)
Re: Part 1/2 (because I wrote too much)
LOVE THIS REVIEW!

Thank you so much!! I do spend a lot of time writing these, so I really appreciate you saying that.

Catherine Tate was all kinds of wonderful, as was Billie Piper ... Freema Agyeman's acting just wasn't up to the challenge... we didn't need all that German and we didn't need all that build-up when it went essentially nowhere.

You're absolutely right. I wish they'd cut all of the German stuff out, and just had the Osterhagen key explained to the Doctor. We could have resolved some of the Doctor (Ten/TenII) and Rose issues with those minutes.

Re: TSE hug. Yeah, it just did not work having the break between the hug. I've been thinking though that it was intentional because honestly how realistic would it have been after THAT kind of run and ecstatic joy, had they not kissed? I mean, really. I'm being perfectly serious here. By having them not hug, and all that pass -- and such a thing reminding both that he's an alien -- would have given them the breather to realize (even subconsciously) no kiss. So I think that was the point; I still am frustrated by the no hug in TSE, but I think if we'd gotten JUST a hug after that run, we would have been like, 'dude, there so should have been a kiss.' So it was damned if you do, damned if you don't.

That bothered me, a little, that Rose had very little interaction with him before having to stay with him.)

That bothered me A LOT. If I could change one thing about the episode, it'd be that. That was my biggest problem.

Tennant's performance.

Right, his performance as Brownsuit just came across as if he didn't really care all that much. Which was a shame because it SHOULD have been so powerful. Oh, David.

And I do think we should have gotten the brownsuit Doctor's moment of pain and grief at losing Rose, again. There should have been a moment in the TARDIS when he was staring into space or down at the floor, struggling to control himself, and then Donna interrupts...and then that whole scene between him and Donna. It would have taken only a second and given us so much more.

I'm trying to keep this down for space so I don't have to have two responses (LOL!), but I HAD to keep this whole paragraph because I agree so completely. It would have been so easy to do and taken so little time.

My only problems with bluesuit Doctor is that once they were back in the TARDIS, he didn't have the chance to speak. The brownsuit Doctor took charge of everything ... Bluesuit's passivity felt a little jarring, although it was understandable given that Tennant was playing both roles, and trying to get coverage on that TARDIS scene with Tennant switching roles constantly would have been too hard, so they tried to limit it by having the dialogue all be by the one Doctor.

I agree, too. SO they should have made it bluesuit Doctor doing all of that. Simple fix.

(Incidentally, I think that might be what was going on with the performance not quite being up to Tennant's usual calibre.)

Yup, I think that may have been the source right there.

The moment of Doctor/Rose inappropriate giddiness. YES! Because that's who they are, the old team back in action again, and they have always been just so ridiculously happy to be together and be experiencing life together ...

I agree with all of this except for it being more with Ten than Nine. Towards the later episodes, Nine was pretty dang giddy around her quite a bit too. He was just more healed when Ten came along. (I can't help it, I have such a softness for Nine.)

Edited at 2008-07-30 12:41 am (UTC)
Kay: doctor10.5ladybugkay on July 16th, 2008 06:05 pm (UTC)
Part 2/2 (because I wrote too damned much)
-Absolutely the Doctor fell in love with Rose when he was Nine. Did you see the way he looked at her back then? And he was willing to let the world be destroyed just to save her in "World War Three," and he was willing to let the world be devoured by Reapers just so she wouldn't have to watch her father die (again) in "Father's Day," and he sent her away in his TARDIS so she would be safe in "Parting of the Ways." There had to be all those wonderful Nine references, because that's where it all started, and because I remain absolutely convinced that the Doctor's regeneration into Ten, that the man he became when he became Ten, was very much because of Rose and how he felt about her. Likewise, his refusal to regenerate into Eleven--"Why would I?"--was also because of Rose.

-"He needs you; that's very me." Yes, I loved that line. Romantic to the hilt. Yet at the same time, it's also him saying 'I needed you more when I was still so broken by the Time War, so that's why you're staying with him. I don't need you as much, now.' And that's just OUCH.

-Bluesuit telling Rose he loves her. I can see why you feel that should have been audible. And it would have been wonderful. But I'm okay with it, because if you watch Tennant's face and jaw in that moment, you can see clearly that he's saying 'I love you.' It also makes sense that he can't/won't say it out loud, because he's gone from never saying it at all to this, and letting other people hear it might be too much of a change all at once. Also, this way it's just between him and Rose; a little, beautiful moment just between Rose and her (bluesuit) Doctor. It's a gift to her.

-Oh, and on the subject of interaction between Rose and the bluesuit Doctor, if you look at the scene when the brownsuit Doctor is saying all his goodbyes outside the TARDIS, and then we see inside and Donna walks by on the phone--in the background, the bluesuit Doctor and Rose are chatting and laughing, and bluesuit Doctor looks unbelievably happy. It's their moment of giddiness, all theirs without anyone watching.

-The bluesuit Doctor and Rose having nearly matching clothing? See, Rose has become a lot like the Doctor. We see her only ever in this one outfit, in "Turn Left" she won't tell Donna what her name is and NO ONE ever uses her name. Ever. It's like she's RoseDoctor. (In fact, I have an idea for a fic dealing with that.)

-Tennant's strange acting choice for his look at Rose after Martha's "Oh my god, he found you." Yeah. That one bothered me. What happened to "But Rose is coming back. Isn't that good?" "Yeah."?

-Tom Milligan. Yeah. Sometimes, I think Martha made him up.

-Davros's comment that Rose had to be there? Yep, never explained.

-Everlasting death for the most faithful companion? I kept thinking it was going to be Jack losing his immortality, but no. I think it was supposed to refer to Donna losing all memories of being a companion. (Although, I disagree with that, because I firmly believe that Donna becomes River Song. And that's how she knows the Doctor's name and is so familiar with the sonic screwdriver, and why they are mistaken for being an old married couple.)

-I absolutely agree that this ending was the best and happiest possible way to end the Doctor/Rose storyline. Because what else could you do, realistically? It's the best we were ever going to get, and I never expected to get that much. Anything more/better/different is the responsibility of fanfic. LOL
Arabian: Dr Who (10) - Kissarabian on July 16th, 2008 11:40 pm (UTC)
Re: Part 1/2 (because I wrote too damned much) ME TOO!
I don't believe in "wrote too damned much" -- if I did, well, you've read my post, LOL!

-Absolutely the Doctor fell in love with Rose when he was Nine. ...

Yup, I do get frustrated when I read comments (not many, but still) from people who say that her wanting him to stay Ten so much is proof that she REALLY loved Ten and that he was who she fell in love with.

I remain absolutely convinced that the Doctor's regeneration into Ten, that the man he became when he became Ten, was very much because of Rose and how he felt about her. Likewise, his refusal to regenerate into Eleven--"Why would I?"--was also because of Rose.

I believe the former was sorta confirmed by RTD (his accent specifically) and someone (I'm so blanking on who) wrote this wonderful essay detailing how obvious it was that he changed into someone Rose would like -- asking her first thing: "How do I look?" and heartbroken that she wanted him to change back. So, yeah, I totally agree with both points. Ten looks like David Tennant because Nine believed that Rose would want a "pretty boy" -- as he was always calling the men in her life -- so he put enough hope and thought into the regeneration that he would be a pretty boy for Rose.

"He needs you; that's very me." Yes, I loved that line. Romantic to the hilt. Yet at the same time, it's also him saying 'I needed you more when I was still so broken by the Time War, so that's why you're staying with him. I don't need you as much, now.' And that's just OUCH.

YES!! You explained it PERFECTLY! Why I loved it, but didn't.

Bluesuit telling Rose he loves her. I can see why you feel that should have been audible. And it would have been wonderful. But I'm okay with it, because if you watch Tennant's face and jaw in that moment, you can see clearly that he's saying 'I love you.' It also makes sense that he can't/won't say it out loud, because he's gone from never saying it at all to this, and letting other people hear it might be too much of a change all at once. Also, this way it's just between him and Rose; a little, beautiful moment just between Rose and her (bluesuit) Doctor. It's a gift to her.

Yeah, I've actually changed my mind on that now. I do love that he whispers it and it's so very clear that he says "I love you." (I'm actually boggled by the number of viewers who think he said "I love you, too" or "Rose, I love you," or "Rose Tyler, I love you." Watch his face and jaw, he says "I love you." That's it.)

Oh, and on the subject of interaction between Rose and the bluesuit Doctor, if you look at the scene when the brownsuit Doctor is saying all his goodbyes outside the TARDIS, and then we see inside and Donna walks by on the phone--in the background, the bluesuit Doctor and Rose are chatting and laughing, and bluesuit Doctor looks unbelievably happy. It's their moment of giddiness, all theirs without anyone watching.

Oh, I know and I'm glad we have that, but it was so quick that many missed it. We should have had a genuine Rose/Doctor moment between Rose and bluesuit Doctor. I think that would have helped SO much with some of the issues many have.

Edited at 2008-07-16 11:41 pm (UTC)
Arabian: Dr Who (10) - Saidarabian on July 16th, 2008 11:40 pm (UTC)
Re: Part 2/2 (because I wrote too damned much) ME TOO!!
Tennant's strange acting choice for his look at Rose after Martha's "Oh my god, he found you." Yeah. That one bothered me. What happened to "But Rose is coming back. Isn't that good?" "Yeah."?

I know!!! What the heck.

Tom Milligan. Yeah. Sometimes, I think Martha made him up.

But she didn't! We saw him in TLotTL and they had CHEMISTRY!!!!

Davros's comment that Rose had to be there? Yep, never explained.

Thank you. Glad to know I didn't miss it; I wonder if something else (like the Tardis coral given to TenII from Ten) was cut.

Everlasting death for the most faithful companion? I kept thinking it was going to be Jack losing his immortality, but no. I think it was supposed to refer to Donna losing all memories of being a companion. (Although, I disagree with that, because I firmly believe that Donna becomes River Song. And that's how she knows the Doctor's name and is so familiar with the sonic screwdriver, and why they are mistaken for being an old married couple.

Oh, I LIKE that. I've said elsewhere that I totally think that RS is a companion LIKE Donna, because I could totally see the Doctor telling Donna his name without issue if he KNEW he had to tell her his name in order for things to happen the way they have to happen.

I absolutely agree that this ending was the best and happiest possible way to end the Doctor/Rose storyline. Because what else could you do, realistically? It's the best we were ever going to get, and I never expected to get that much. Anything more/better/different is the responsibility of fanfic. LOL

Yuppers!

Thanks for the response! :)

Edited at 2008-07-30 12:38 am (UTC)