Okay, Doctor/Rose stuff first -- MUST cover that stuff, alas not much, but still!!!
- Rose's reaction to the Doctor's death. Clearly, she was on a mission and it wasn't until a few moments had passed before she allowed herself to realize the wrongness of it in regards to her mission. Those first seconds, it was all about her shock and grief. Oh, Rose and her love for the Doctor.
- "Man in a suit. Tall, thin man. Great hair." Pause, looks away recalling that great hair in an entirely inappropriate manner considering the situation and then adds: "Some really great hair." Continues looking off to the side, still clearly lost in the remembrance of said great hair until Donna pulls her out of her recollection.
Cracked. My. Shit. Up. So not the time, but HI-larious!!!! She's telling Donna about Serious with a capital "S" stuff and, yet, takes the time to comment on one of the Doctor's (admittedly awesome) physical attributes. I loved it.
- "Were you and him ..." Talk about a loaded question. And I'm so glad that it was brought up, and perfectly so. Because Rose's voice did change -- kudos to Billie Piper, whom I'm loving more and more -- after this bit ...
- Donna: If he was so special, what was he doing with me?
Rose: He thought you were brilliant.
Donna: Don't be stupid.
Rose: But you are. Just took the Doctor to show you that. Simply by being with him.
- Rose: He did the same to me. To everyone he touches.
- Finally, the end, when the Doctor began to think, to hope, to fear -- yup, David Tennant too was ROCKING the facial expressions -- that it was Rose. Oh my. You could just hear, feel the wealth of OHMYGOD! Is it?!?! What?!?! How?!?!? And then when Donna said "Bad Wolf" -- which I am soooooooo embarrassed to admit that I did not see coming!!! -- it was like BLAM!! Perhaps, it's the shipper in me, but I think the first, absolute initial reaction was one of horrified joy -- the joy due to ... hello! ROSE!!! and the horror to the badness that he knew just had to accompany her appearance, followed immediately by the realization of just the HORROR! of HOLYCRAP! something really, really, REALLY bad is coming.
Okay, that was the Doctor/Rose stuff ... on with the rest.
Honestly, like last week where I expected to be pretty disappointed at the Donna-lite episode -- since Donna Noble is, after all, a new definition of awesome; as discussed here, I wound up loving "Midnight" so much because it was so, so, so damn good, so I actually wasn't disappointed at all. This one, okay, I will admit to a wee bit of disappointment at the lack of Doctor/Rose interaction -- next week, right?!?! -- but, overall, I was okay with that because we got Rose and Donna. Donna and Rose. DONNA AND ROSE!!! ROSE AND DONNA!!! And the world is filled with squee!!! I thought while watching this: In a perfect Doctor Who world, the Doctor and Rose would be together traveling, alongside Donna, and it truly would be OT3 (without any squicky Doctor/Donna stuff, or Donna/Rose stuff) in every way possible and it would be the BEST. TELEVISION. WATCHING. EXPERIENCE. EVER!!!! So, yeah, Donna and Rose, even a bitter, never-traveled-with-the-Doctor, never-been-happy Donna, were THE awesome times two. hundred. thousand. million. billiontrillionquadrillionzillioninfinit
ETA: the_spin mentioned more accurately OT4 = Doctor/Rose/Donna/Tardis. And I must concur. The nearly dead (sniff, sniff) Tardis hummed ever so slightly when Rose stroked her like the Doctor so often did. Sigh.
The story was great, and I just don't get complaints about RTD's lack of ability to do "epic." Yes, "The Sound of Drums/Last of the Time Lords" was so-so, but for a few brilliant moments, but this is the guy who gave us "Bad Wolf/The Parting of the Ways," "Army of Ghosts/Doomsday" and, again, yeah, TSOD/LOTTL didn't live up to it, but "Utopia." Russell T. Davies can do epic. And damn well. So much to love, so many great lines, so many great moments, so many great performances ...
- Billie Piper is wonderful. Just wonderful. She's not just a fine comedic and dramatic actress; she's also warm, and likable and so very real. I feel her every emotion and it never plays like "acting." There was so much nuance, so much subtlety in her performance. It was beautiful. And it honestly felt like Rose had never left, she fit so seamlessly back into this universe. I've no doubt it will all end in devastating pain, and my little shipper heart will be in a million shattered pieces on the floor at the end of this season, but I'm still grateful that RTD brought her back, always had planned to because seeing Rose again (and so thoroughly enjoying Billie's performance) will only make me appreciate the first two seasons all the more.
- Catherine Tate is, honestly, the best thing to happen to this new Who. I know, I know. Christopher Eccleston is marvelous and holds a tremendous amount of importance for making the Doctor right and real and perfect for the relaunch of the series. David Tennant is fabulous for managing to make the Tenth Doctor as beloved as Eccleston's, without overshadowing what Eccleston did in and for the role. Billie Piper gave life and depth and breadth to the companion in a wonderful way. Freema Aygeman is a very good actress, who unfortunately came after the immensely gifted and charismatic Piper, and had they not cast THE perfect actress, with the perfect comedic and dramatic tough, with the perfect type of chemistry with Tennant, we might have just seen downgrade after downgrade after Aygeman. Instead, they got Catherine Tate. Fabulous, wonderful, brilliant Catherine Tate. I honestly don't think I can sing her praises enough. I adore her. I adore Donna and I'm so thankful to the powers that be that Tate wanted to have a go at more than the Christmas special, because I don't know that the new Who universe would have continued to succeed this brilliantly without her. Some may think I'm overstating it, but it's truly how I feel.
- David Tennant. Oh, I adore Christopher Eccleston; I adored his Doctor, and I've felt guilty on occasion enjoying Tennant's Doctor as much as I have upon rewatch (especially due to his tendency to, erm, overact, just a tad now and then), but after "Midnight" and his few moments -- so wonderfully playing the happy Doctor in the opening scenes, and then the joy/horror in the final moments, I refuse to feel guilty. He's not Christopher Eccleston; I will always love Christopher Eccleston and his portrayal of the Doctor, but for whatever reason (different stories out there, I don't know which is true) Eccleston was the Doctor for only one season, the rest has been Tennant. And he's totally earned his place alongside Eccleston as a different variation of the perfect Doctor.
Almost done, I swear. A few more random comments ...
- First casting commentary: Bernard Cribbins as Wilfrid continues to just be awesome. I love him. I also loved the return of the doctor from "Smith and Jones" who was the only survivor of the Hospital disappearance. I really liked him in his appearance in that episode, so I was glad to see him be the survivor.
- Not so hot casting? The fortune teller lady was just not that good, cliched and over-the-top, especially the last scene. Just no. She played Chantho from "Utopia" too, I remember now. The over-the-top mannerisms worked much better in that role.
- It was a tiny kick to the gut at how Martha died (sniff, sniff), Sarah Jane died (sniff, sniff). The Torchwood characters I didn't care about as I haven't watched it yet, but the knowledge of them and how it was yet another thing the Doctor's death took out was a kick. And Jack. He didn't die; but he was gone. I loved how RTD tied in all of the Earth adventures that weren't stopped because the Doctor wasn't there.
- Another kick to the gut? The "labor camp" stuff. It was so heartbreaking, but yet so believable. Not just because of what happened in World War II, but also what happened in the United States with the Japanese Internment camps. Heartbreaking, so much loss and wrongness, and RTD illustrated just how terribly wrong the world had gone without the Doctor in that one scene.
- I loved how Doctor-like Rose had become; almost like without him, and working for Torchwood in her universe (which I assume she's been doing, and it's probably been closer to six years in her universe as time moves faster there), she used what she had learned being with him and it has become part of her personality. So cool. Such an unexpected, but perfect little touch from RTD. Love him.
- And I loved how Donna was the most important person in all of creation because although it's the Doctor who mainly stopped all of the terrible things from happening, it was Donna's heart and compassion that saved him -- thus allowing him to stop the terrible things from happening -- by stopping him in his fury and devastation, still reeling from Rose's loss, from the utter destruction he was perfectly willing to impart in "The Runaway Bride." I really loved that.
- Speaking of the awesomeness of Donna, I also loved how even the downtrodden, Doctor-less Donna proved just how special she is in that even that Donna sacrificed her life to do the right thing. Stepping in front of that moving bus; she figured it out, she died to do the right thing. Donna is just, Donna. No other word perfectly encapsulates all that she is.
- I also loved how like Rose, Donna has come across (to me, at least) as a true friend-version of a soulmate to the Doctor, as opposed to "love of his life" (per David Tennant, :D) -version of a soulmate that is Rose. Sigh, poor Martha, she just doesn't compare to Rose OR Martha in my book. Poor, poor Martha. There's a quote from Billie Piper where she commented that the Doctor loves all of his companions equally but in different ways; I definitely see that with Rose and Donna. Not so much with Martha. Double sigh, poor, poor, poor Martha.
ETA: - I forgot!! My squee when I saw Billie Piper's name in the opening credits. I figured she would be in there since John Barrowman's name was when he guest-starred last season, but I didn't want to assume that it would happen. But it did. And I was filled with squee!
Phew! Okay, all done. Awesome episode. Worth the wait. Now, just another agonizing week to wade through. AAAAHHHHHHHHH!