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.)
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.
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.)