Where to start? I should at the beginning, right? Yeah, but, yeah no. Totally doing the Rose/Doctor stuff first!!!!!!!!!!!!
Okay, I got one of the things on my wishlist (I'm not saying what any of them were/are until they happen!) ... The Doctor ran to Rose. (And boy, did he RUN!!). We've seen them separated and then find their way back to each other in so many episodes, but it's always been Rose who ran to him, while he just stands there smiling and waiting for her to launch herself in his arms ... which of course, she always does. This time, I really, REALLY wanted to see him run to her. And, again, BOY DID HE!! It was fabulous, awesome, glorious. The swelling music (has "Rose's Theme" ever sounded so romantic?), the smiles on their faces ... wait, wait, I'm getting ahead of myself. Let's start from the moment when we knew indubitably what was coming ...
It was so obvious as soon as Donna saw Rose by the subtle change on Catherine Tate's face (Catherine Tate really rocks, have I mentioned that yet? If not, Catherine Tate REALLY rocks!) and then I mouthed the line before she did because I so knew what she was going to say, but it was the best kind of predictable. You know, the kind where you really want the character to say or do something because that is how it should be. And so she did. And the Doctor was confused and then Donna just got the most, well, let's just that she totally ships the Doctor and Rose. TOTALLY! which equals me=loves!!! And then, and then, he turned and the smile on Rose's face -- really, Billie Piper just shone, she looked so beautiful in that shot ... LOOK:
And they ran towards each other, him, smiling, running so fast, the swelling music, her smiling, her running, him, her, music swelling, romantic chords filling the air and then the stupid Dalek!!! Rose notices. Stupid Dalek! Then "EX-TER-MI-NATE." The Doctor notices. And then blast! goes the Doctor and THEN Jack shows up.
I've rewatched that scene about six times since I finished watching the episode about five minutes ago, and every time I rewatch I invariably do and say four specific things:
1. When they are running, I wave my hands in the air in excited joy like a stupid girly-girl.
2. I tell Rose to take the gun off.
3. I yell "Stupid DALEK!!"
4. I yell, "Too late, Jack!!!"
Seriously. Every time thus far, I've done all of the above. Sigh. Anyhoo, back to the reunion (such as it was). She finally takes the gun off, she holds him, they exchange pleasantries. She begs him not to die as he starts to die. STUPID DALEK!!! Then there's the whole bit in the TARDIS. And I have two thoughts on that ...
1. After what happened with Rose and his 10th regeneration, you'd think, just maybe, that the Doctor might realize it's a bloody good idea to tell his companions what could happen. But did he do that? Obviously not based on Donna's confusion.
2. Speaking of his 10th regeneration, I was a bit, well, I don't want to say peeved, let's just say edging towards there that Rose was so upset about him changing because it could be construed that she loves Ten more than Nine, and I don't like to think that. The Doctor is the Doctor, Nine or Ten. Then I thought, well, she was messed up after it happened the first time (for her), and she did grow closer to the Doctor in his 10th regeneration simply by the nature of all that happened, them knowing each other longer, etc. So I came back from the edge. (Okay, okay, I admit, we all know a small part of her was genuinely upset at losing this specific Doctor because of the "great hair. Some really great hair.")
Back to the reunion (such as it was). I have read no other thoughts yet, but I kinda expect to read some disappointment because we didn't actually get a full-on reunion, no hug, not even a hand-hold. However, I wasn't disappointed. At all. I got the Doctor running, the joy on both of their faces, the swelling, romantic music (can ya tell I REALLY loved that?), all of that making it neon-bright that the Doctor and Rose? LOVE EACH OTHER. That there was enough for me because as much as I love the Doctor and Rose, Doctor Who is not a romantic drama and so the focal point is not going to be a happy, happy, joy, joy reunion. It should be science-fiction, darkness, drama, conflict and danger. And that's what we got ... Rusty was just nice enough to give us a good dose of the happy, happy, joy, joy reunion as well. I mean, come on ...
-- Faces beaming - Check
-- Joyfully running toward one another at full speed - Check
-- Multiple shots of them joyfully running toward one another at full speed - Check
-- Swelling, romantic music filling the air - Check
I'm damn happy with what we got.
Hmm, other Doctor/Rose moments ...
- What we saw in the trailer, but still nice: His genuine smile and "Yeah," amidst all of the worry when Donna asked "But, Rose is coming back, isn't that good?"
- I loved how Rose held her phone up and said, "Find me, Doctor. Find me." And THEN it went to the Doctor finding the signal. Awwwww. Oh, RTD, you shipper, you!!!!
- Rose's face as she saw the Doctor on the screen. Ah, just was so, ahhh ... take a look yourself:
And then her face falling when he said "Everyone except Rose," because he couldn't see her. Sniff, sniff.
Okay, about the rest of the episode now. First of all, let me just say that I loved it, as much as I loved "Turn Left," which is a nice sign of things to come. I adored "Utopia" last season, but was disappointed with "The Sound of the Drums," so already -- adoring these two equally -- we're doing much better than season three in my book. Alrighty then, scattered thoughts presented in bullet form because it's easier that way (brain overload otherwise!!!) ...
- Hmm, we got a shot of the Doctor's hand in the jar in the opener. Why?
- I knew from spoilers (vague, vague ones ... I've actually been keeping myself fairly free of them, go me!) that Davros was the big bad, but I really didn't know who he was. I looked him up on Wiki and have a better idea now, but it does sorta suck that I haven't watched any earlier Who, because I'm sure it had a helluva lot more impact for long-time Who viewers. Still, it was cool. He was ooky and scary. And when he pulled his tunic aside to show his flesh removed to create his Dalek children. Ewwww.
- The opening bit was AWESOME!! I don't know Ianto, Gwen or Luke as I haven't watched Torchwood or The Sarah Jane Adventures yet, but I know Jack, and Sarah Jane and Martha and that enveloped the other characters enough for it to work. I gotta say when they were all looking up, I was thinking, 'okay, so the stars are out. So? We have pitch-black skies all the time.' And then we saw Rose appear with her big, bad-ass gun and then she looked up and we finally saw it and I admit it, my jaw dropped a tad. Coolness. Overload of planets. Damn. Seriously imagine if you stepped outside one night and looked up and saw a multitude of planets just hovering overhead. Would be freaky as all get-out!!
- I was right about the credits, the Doctor, his companions and Jack. I love that Billie Piper got the "and." They were fun credits!!! They actually didn't go by as quickly as I thought they would; I'm almost tempted to check if they were a bit longer than normal, but nah, I don't care that much.
- Speaking of (sorta) I laughed out loud, literally, at the over-the-top TO. BE. CONTINUED. presented in that hard tablet form. Cracked me up. Oh, Rusty!
- But, but, but ... no previews for next week!!! WAAAAHHHHH!!!!
- I thought they did a great job balancing all of the characters with the Doctor and Donna still being at the center of it all. Regardless of what happens after this season, and despite the return of Billie Piper, Catherine Tate is still the companion this season, so I love that all of those fears that many had that she would be overshadowed or backgrounded have been proven wrong.
- Speaking of Catherine Tate on a very shallow level. I think she's awesome, an AMAZING actress -- as stated elsewhere, I think she's the best thing that's happened to new Who, but looks-wise, I tend to not think the most flattering of thoughts when I do think of it. However, I thought she looked really, really good in this episode. Great make-up job, great hairstyle. She looked really lovely.
- Oh, and speaking of hairstyles ... sooooooooo glad that Rose's hair did not have that middle front part pulled back again. I HATE that style on anybody, and it really sucked having the return of Rose hampered the tiniest bit by an icky hairstyle (yes, her return was hampered a tiny bit by a hairstyle for me ... I'm very, very, very big on good hair. Hee, no wonder I like Ten so much now.). So, loved her hair this time, much nicer and I was quite happy that we got a much nicer hairstyle for the (interrupted! STUPID DALEK!!!) reunion.
- Cool that we went to the Shadow Proclamation, and a couple of notes on that:
a) So, we're still getting some vibe about how special Donna is. What the hell?! Tell us!!! Though, I must say that rabid1st has some doozy-licious theories. And her Time-Lady theory of sorts could be born out by the sound of the heartbeats. Yeah, I said "beat(s)" because it sure sounded like two going a thunka-thunk there.
b) I LOVED Doctor's response to the Shadow Proclamation's leader (?) saying he was going to lead them in war: "Right. Yes. Course we will. Just, uhm, getting the key." And then he runs in, smiles madly at Donna and gets the TARDIS going. Hah! Quick backtrack, so, I love the delivery of the line, but also, there's an emotion behind it all on his face that I got before he spoke that he'd already been in a great war, and nuh uhn, wasn't happening again. Heartbreaking moment there.
c) The bees. We got an explanation for the bees. I admit, it was actually kinda disappointing. Ah well. When the explanation for the bees disappearing is the only disappointing part of the episode, well, I'm okay with that.
- I loved Sarah Jane's "I'm sorry" about her car to the Dalek's and their response: "Daleks do not accept apologies." I know they're evil, and horrible and the biggest scourge in Who history, but I love the Daleks, they crack me up. One of my favorite Who moments ever is the robotic insult-fest between the Daleks and the Cybermen and how other than naming themselves, the Daleks totally kicked the Cybermans' ass verbally.
- Speaking of cool moments, and this is from a character we're supposed to love: Wilf and his paint gun. Bless his heart, he was wrong, but loved his thinking on his feet and logical rationale: They got one eye, I'll cover it with paint. And then the Dalek response (I'm sorry, they crack me up): "My vision is not impaired." And then "EX-TER-MI-NATE." And then Rose -- I KNEW it was Rose! -- blew its head off. I actually sat up and yelled, "GO ROSE!!" even before we saw it was her.
- Other cool characters: Harriet Jones, former prime minister. Oh, I LOVED seeing her again. And I hope we DON'T see her again in the next episode because I'm a tad worried at how it was left, and what she did. Yes, she allowed them to reach the Doctor, but she did so by exposing the Doctor TO the Daleks, and then they said ""EX-TER-MI-NATE" but we didn't see or hear them blast. The screen just went bye-bye. And her actions, attitude and words during the conversation, there were just things, moments off where it seemed like she was hiding something. I just have a bad feeling, because the Doctor DID destroy her career, and ... oh, oh, I hope I'm wrong because I love her so much. I love that we still had her introducing herself with her badge, and, yup, gotta go there again, the Dalek (of all creatures!) response to the last time we heard her say it: "We know who you are." Funny, haha, right? But, yeah, it just added to my fear that, I don't know. I just know that I wished I'd seen her die onscreen doing the totally awesome Harriet Jones thing she does so well. Being Harriet Jones.
On the plus side, though, her final words were SO Harriet Jones and certainly gave off a vibe of being the Harriet Jones I've loved all along: "You know nothing of any human, and that will be your downfall."
ETA: On the negative side, several people have commented that when we first see Harriet or something, you hear the drumming sound of the sound of the drums. Oy, bad vibe GO. AWAY. I want Harriet to say Harriet Jones, former prime minister!!!!!!!!! Don't ruin her, Rusty!!!
- Alrighty, then, small character flirting moments (so loved that we had time for those ...): Donna noticing Jack, and the Doctor shutting her down before she could start. Hah!! You so know that she'd think Jack was hot. Gwen finding the Doctor yummy, HAH! Cute little moment there. And, of course, Jack flirting with Sarah Jane before Harriet shut him down. Sex may not rampant in the Who verse, but they get their little moments of fun in.
- Finally, my absolute favorite part of the episode (aside from the Doctor's beaming face, running to Rose, Rose's beaming face, Rose running to the Doctor, swelling, romantic music cued, and all of the other Doctor/Rose moments) was the fact that Rose was jealous of Martha. I. LOVED. IT. And I'm a Rose fan, and while I like Martha, I wouldn't call myself a fan. But I freaking loved that we got all of these little asides and comments from Rose about Martha ...
-- When Martha shows up on the fourth screen and not Rose: "Who's she? I wanna get through."
-- Re: Martha's introduction as the Doctor's companion: "Oi, so was I!"
-- About the Doctor having Martha's phone, but no contact made: "Nor me. And I was there first."
I just thought it was such a lovely, perfect little boon to the fact that poor Martha had to endure being jealous of Rose and the Doctor's memory all season, and so here we have Rose seeing Martha -- beautiful, classy, intelligent Dr. Martha Jones -- and her automatic response is jealousy. I don't know why, but I just loved it. For the above reason, but also because it was sooooooo Rose, and this hardened, battle-worn Rose is different enough from the Rose we knew that it was nice seeing shopgirl from London still alive and kicking.
Phew! So overall, I loved the episode. Love this show. Will miss Russell T. Davies so much. But, hey one more, right? One more for this season. I just really, really did love this as I loved the last two weeks.
Sigh, okay, just for fun, here's the Rose/Doctor running to each other bit to rewatch up to her begging him not to die (over and over and over again for those so inclined.)
Download for better quality and computer-save-age at mediafire, or watch it here via youtube embed:
ETA: I just realized reading other comments that I didn't talk about the regeneration bit at all. I guess it's because I just don't think we're going to see a new Doctor because, well, we already know that the Tennant filmed the next special. And even if we didn't, I still wouldn't expect him to just go and regenerate into someone else with only one episode left. The last episode of the season? Yes. (Hello, "The Parting of the Ways.") But, not with one full episode to go, and a big, honkin' cliffhanger at that. Would make NO sense whatsoever. So, uhm, yeah, not sure how it's gonna work -- I assume the hand in the jar, thus seeing it so clearly in the beginning -- has something to do with it, but it honestly never crossed my mind that we wouldn't still see the Tennant as the Doctor come next week.