My review of the the Doctor Who finale:



It only took four years. Although, all things considered, it was way more than even my shippery heart dared hope for.

And that's that. Ten/Rose OTP FTW UNTIL THE END OF TIME.

Okay, no wait, there's more. But we'll get to the review later. Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] katiria, I've been inspired to use pictures in my summaries. And thus, I bring you: A Guide To Doctor Who For The Uninitiated (With Pictures Of Very Pretty People), Followed By A Review Of The Series Finale.


: Hi, I'm the Doctor. You can call me Ten. I used to be played by William Hartnell.

: Yo.

: But then it was 2006, not 1963, and they wanted someone younger and prettier. They even gave me a love interest, Rose Tyler

: Except we can't snog.

: This show is supposed to be appropriate for kids, Rose.

: I crossed whole universes for a snog and I can't even have one?

: You're giving away the plot!

: Sorry.

: Anyway, I travel through time and space in this spaceship that looks like a blue 1950's phone box. She's called the TARDIS, and she's my BFF.

: You know I'm inanimate, right?

: ;_;

: Then one day he met me! And I helped him save the world, so I got to ride around in the TARDIS.

: Then you met me, Cap'n Jack Harkness, during WWII. Hi, Rose. Hi, Ten. Orgy?

: No more orgies, Jack!

: Fine, I'll go hang out with my spinoff peeps!

: Yes, Jack, let's have an orgy!

: YAY :D

: Hi, remember us? We're the Daleks! We were your arch-nemeses back before you defeated us some time in the late 1990's OUTSIDE TIME AND SPACE IN THIS GREAT BIG WAR THAT WILL NEVER BE SHOWN ON SCREEN!

: Oh yeah, I killed all the Daleks and all my own people too.

: It's okay, Doctor. I'm the Bad Wolf now, so I can wipe them out!

: NOOOOOO! WE ARE FOREVER!

: You can't be the Bad Wolf! It'll kill you!

: ... It's a children's nursery rhyme.

: Oh. Wasn't I supposed to regenerate at some point?

: Yeah, but that'll take too long to explain.

: WE'RE NOT DEAD! MWUHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

: Bad Wolf power, activate!

: ...

: >.> That should've worked.

: It's okay, I can trap them in the Void! It's like Hell, but that's that other planet with Satan.

: *waves*

: But I'll be trapped away from you forever in a parallel world that I can never ever return from!

: No, you can stay :D

: Whoops, clumsy me. I'm such a butterfingers. I let go of the handle. I guess that 'trapped apart forever' thing is trufax, after all.

: No, I'm a genius like Reid from Criminal Minds! I'll find a way back to you!

: Um. Hi. I was walking up the aisle but now I'm in a spaceship. Care to explain?

: OMGWTFBRIDE. I will help you save the world and be a better person and learn the values of caring and friendship... but I have to be really emo about losing the love of my life while I do it.

: I HATE YOU AND I NEVER WANT TO TALK TO YOU AGAIN! Come back when you're less distracted and have better morals to impart!

: I'll take him if you don't want him!

: Who're you?

: Dr. Martha Jones, reporting for duty!

: But you're not as awesome as Rose or that bride lady.

: :( *sulks*

: Oh, Teee-eeeen! Watch me take over the wooo-ooorld!

: Oh no! It's the Master, my childhood sweetheart nemesis! He's also regenerated into someone attractive and young!

: OMGWTFORGY!

: No orgies, Jack.

: But I left my spinoff for this!

: Well, you can help Martha save the world... ?

: Nope, already done that.

: Martha, thanks to your plucky heroism that allowed you to realize you are every bit as good as Rose, I am so totally dead.

: No, it's okay, Master! I'm a genius like Reid! I'll find a way to bring you back!

: Nope, I don't wanna be your buttmonkey forever. I'm gonna die now. Buh-bye.

: ;_;

: Are you feeling less depressed yet?

: Not really.

: Too bad. I'm your new sidekick.

: Did you ever have a name or were you just The Bride?

: Someone called?

: NO!

: I'm Donna Noble. In Latin, my name means "Give Peace." Also, parallel universes seem to form around me and then get destroyed. And I practically parked my car on top of the TARDIS.

: Then I guess we're destined to be together.

: Oh, Teeee-eeeen!

: HOSHIT IT'S DAVROS! He created the Daleks and now he's created another horde of Daleks to take over the universe!

: Who're you?

: Sarah Jane Smith. I travelled with the Fourth Doctor back in the 1970's.

: I remember you, Sarah Jane Smith. This is totally DESTINY!

: I have a bomb.

: I have a bomb, too!

: My bomb is bigger than all your bombs combined!

: And what will your bomb do, Davros?

: Well, let's see. First it will... KILL YOU!

: Nope, due to some random thing that happened in Season 2, I don't have to change my body when I die!

: Oh good, 'cause I really did travel across parallel universes for a snog and I intend to get one from a hot young Doctor!

: Well, we can't. We still have to save the universe.

: :(

: Now that you're finished not snogging your girlfriend, Ten.2, let me explain my bomb.

: Wait, first let me absorb the regeneration energy and channel it back into this hand that's been lying around for the past three seasons to create another Ten. Ten.2.1!

: Why did you do that?

: ... It was shiny?

: Ahha! I'm Ten.2.1 and I will destroy you all!

: Doesn't anybody want to hear about my bomb? It will destroy all of CREATION! Only the Daleks will survive!

: What happens if I push this button?

: All the Daleks will die horribly and the rest of the universe will be spared.

: Oh, okay. *pushes button*

: NOOOOOOO!

: Aw. I wanted to wipe out the Daleks again.

: Hey, my head feels funny.

: Whoops, you've absorbed my brain. Can't have that, must wipe your memory. If you ever remember anything about me or the TARDIS or anything we did together, your brain will explode.

: So I have to go back to being a brainless chump who knows nothing about the great value of caring and friendship?

: Yup. Bye :D

: Hey, what about me? I want my snog!

: Well, you've wiped out the Daleks, and Ten.2.1 has wiped out the Daleks. Plus, bonus, he's half human so he'll age and die just like you. You guys can bond over being genocidal humans.

: Can I snog him?

: Yes please :D

: Why do I always end up alone?

: Because you just dumped the only two people who really love you!

: What who now huh? Oooooh, Pringles!

: Later. I'm busy with Ten.2.1.

: *is sad*



And now that we've had the pretty pictures, we must move onto the review. For all intents and purposes, this functioned as a series finale in the American sense (as in, the end of show), so I will review it as such.

First, let me say that I'm very proud of myself for holding out a whole week to watch the entire finale in one go. So I'm coming from a place of having watched two whole hours right in a row, instead of half last week and half this week. That probably makes a difference (oh, and I'm really glad I did wait).

First the story as a whole. The whole Davros thing was clearly just an excuse to get the whole gang together and wrap up all the loose ends. I really didn't mind that they saved the day by pushing a button. I just wish they'd done more with Ten.2.1 feeling angsty about committing genocide (again). All together, it felt a bit rushed and even slightly incoherent. I think they needed another half hour to really do the whole thing justice, but they already got an extra twenty minutes, so I supposed fifty would have been pushing it >.> As it was, some of the characters *cough*Rose*cough* felt slightly manipulated for the sake of tying their stories up with neat little bows, but if you can move past the slight incoherency of the plot and accept things like "Ten.2.1 is really just like Ten but with one heart" (which is admittedly a little hard to do considering how little he speaks in the beach scene and how Ten talks of Ten.2.1 as a completely separate entity), it's not to hard to appreciate for the character interactions and the way RTD managed to balance all the characters and give them each their shining moments/subplots, while still focusing on Rose but making Donna the Big Damn Hero. All in all, a valiant effort that really needed more time, but was probably as good as we could hope for in a brief 110 minutes. Moffat may be a better writer in terms of the words, but RTD creates extremely compelling characters and uses them to hit all the right emotional points. And that's way more important to me than a clever plot.
So therefore... on to the characters!

Caan

I don't have much to say other than the Cult of Skaro is very seriously FTW. Sec and Caan pwn all other Daleks, especially Supreme Dalek Of Lame Red Shiny Armor Who Donna Pwned Easily. In my personal canon, Caan is totally not dead. And penis-face!Dalek wasn't really Sec, that was some other Dalek posing as Sec, and the real Sec is floating around space somewhere being cheeky and awesome like he was in Doomsday.

Harriet Jones, MP Flydale North

I have very few words that could express how wonderful a character Harriet Jones was. She was always one of my favorites, and in her last moments she still stands firm by everything she's done, which I loved. She's not one to back down, either to the Doctor or the Daleks, and she never does. And of course, they manage to turn on its head that gag that's been running since season 1:

Harriet: Harriet Jones, former Prime Minister.
Dalek: Yes, we know who you are.
Harriet: I don't think you know anything, about a single human being.

Rock on, Harriet Jones.

Jackie Tyler and Mickey Smith

Well, it's not really the end for Mickey, is it? He'll be (as I thought) heading to Torchwood next season. It's still sad that he never got any proper time with Rose, or time to say a proper goodbye. But I think their relationship, even as friends, has been over for a long time. They probably never properly reconnected after he left in season 2.

But it is goodbye to Jackie. Quite apart from the Doctor and the companions and the Daleks, I will very much miss good ole Jacks. In spite of the Big Damn Gun we see her with at the start of the episode, she's still funny clumsy Jackie, who Ten won't let touch the controls of the TARDIS. It's plain where Rose learned her compassion, her sense of humor, and her complete disregard of mortal danger from. Seasons 3 and 4 lacked without her and I'm glad we got her back, if only for one or two jokes.

A brief aside: I'm also very glad RTD didn't kill Pete yet again and just mentioned something about him holding down the fort. Or whatever.

Sarah Jane and Luke Smith

Again, it's not really goodbye as they've got their spinoff. But I do love Sarah Jane, and I loved her brief interactions with Mickey and Rose. I doubt anyone ever told her what happened to them, and it sort of showed by how not surprised she was to see them. I'm also glad she's found herself a life beyond the Doctor, and will one day hopefully have grandkids to tell her story to. She pwns.

Captain Jack Harkness, Gwen Cooper, and Ianto Jones

I quite liked Ianto, whereas usually I find the Torchwood characters less engaging than the DW characters. I also liked Gwen, and was glad to see Ten and Rose do a double-take when they saw her (and have an explanation, even if a timey-wimey sci-fi write-off explanation for why she looks so much like Gwyneth).

Oh, and Jack. Jack and Sarah Jane, Jack and Donna, Jack and Mickey, Jack and Martha. I love Jack when he's with his DW peeps. I really think Rose does remember Bad Wolf, since no explanation was needed when he showed up alive. Although I loled when he "died" and she freaked out about it and Ten was just like, "This is a terrible sadness, Rose. But there's nothing we can do. We must fight on in his good name!" And then she flipped out more when he came back to life. And he hit on Sarah Jane and Mickey and Martha, of course. He was just so glad to see them all, and it made me smile :) He didn't seem so interested in Donna, though. But Donna's interest in him more than made up for it.

Dr. Martha Jones

I think if Donna had been on the ins with the rest of the gang this ep, she would've had a thing or two to say about Martha. Martha was ready to save the world one last time by destroying it. She's still strong and brave and fierce and always ready to do the right thing no matter the cost to herself, but she's also a lot harder and colder than the light, sweet, peace-making Martha we met at the beginning of season 3. But at the same time, the one place she wanted to be at the end of the world was in her mother's arms. Which is something else that's very different between her and Rose, really. At the end of the world, Rose would probably want to be with Ten. She loves Jackie dearly, but the most important person in her life is Ten, and always will be. Martha doesn't feel like that about Ten, which isn't necessarily a bad thing and I don't fault Martha for only wanting her mom when the world starts falling apart. It shows that not all of her has been beaten into a rigid little soldier girl.

Rose Tyler and Ten.2.1

Rose. Oh, Rose. She came so very far only to be dumped right back in Bad Wolf Bay. That almost felt like Ten cutting her off, like, "I've dealt with the pain of losing you, I can't cope with it again. It's best for me just to pretend this didn't happen and that we never found each other. Stay away from me in your little box." But at the same time, he was giving her the happily ever after she could never have with him. Ten.2.1. was theoretically very much like Nine, and Ten knew that Rose had fixed Nine and could fix Ten.2.1. Part of me has an issue with this, since it seems like RTD just finding an excuse to get rid of Rose so Moffat can start over again. And part of me understands that Ten wants Ten.2.1 as far away as possible.

Rose is different than she was in season 2 - she seems able to recognize when she can help Red Shirts and when she can't, and not bother with them when they're beyond her help. She's figured out that she can't save everyone, and that makes her a little less lovable. People like Donna who push to save someone even when it's impossible will always win the day, while people like new!Rose will defeat the badguy and move on, regardless of the cost. Over the course of the first two seasons, she was becoming more and more like the Doctor. Now, she's a lot more like Nine and less like the teenage kid we met in her eponymous first episode. I wish we could have seen some of Ten.2.1's angst instead of having Ten explain it all, but if he really is feeling like Nine, he and Rose will have to help heal each other.

Of course, that moment where she was messing with the guys in the shop and pointing her Big Damn Gun at them made me giggle. That was old-school Rose.

As for why she picked Ten.2.1 over Ten... it's simply that he can give her the happily ever after she wants. She's in love with Ten and always will be, but Ten.2.1 is in most regards the same man, only human. And unlike Ten, he's able to tell her that he loves her. Maybe if Ten hadn't been cut off at the end of Doomsday, if he'd been able to say the words, this episode would have turned out very differently. As it is, Rose hears those words in Ten's voice and that's all she needs. But then she hears the sound of the TARDIS leaving, and she runs after it. I think her heart breaks just a little there. After all the time and effort she put into crossing the worlds, he leaves her again. She wanted to go back to the same old life, same old TARDIS. Instead she got a human man she could live with for the rest of her life. Part of her is probably thrilled, part of her is probably destroyed. We'll never know. The last we see is her and Ten.2.1 staring at the place where the TARDIS disappeared, holding hands. Ten.2.1 was probably just as upset, because the Doctor, no matter whether he's half human, adores the TARDIS completely. Perhaps this is like The Impossible Planet/The Satan Pit, with the TARDIS gone and Ten and Rose having to be content with each other. No time and space and adventure, just a guy and a girl living a normal life. I like to think it's enough for them.

Donna Noble

Donna Noble breaks my heart. Rose got her happily ever after, Donna never will. She saved the universe, she traveled to the far corners of time and space, and she had the knowledge of the cosmos in her head. And then she went back, before Lance and the Racnoss, before she turned left. Just an idiot who shouted at the universe because it never listened, to whom the height of excitement was a new flavor Pringle, who slept through the Sycorax and the Cybermen and the Daleks.

And given the chance, I think she'd do it all over again. Because she's that awesome. I would have liked to see Donna actually save the universe instead of just making a new Ten so he could save the universe, or channeling Ten's brain and saving the universe with cleverness that wasn't really hers. Donna is so very human, the humanest human in the world, and I would have liked her to save the world on that alone. She did, sort of. It was that humanity that made her reach into the regeneration energy, that gave her the imagination to turn the Daleks into life-sized toys. But I would have liked her to do it on her own with her own mettle.

That said, I think part of the point is that the moment she lost her humanity, she lost everything. She had to revert back to the pure, innocent potential of humanity that she had before she ever met Ten.

Ah well. For one moment (not even necessarily the one in this ep - when she turned left, when she took his hand and shared the blame of destroying Pompeii, when she made him go back and save just one person), she was the most important woman in the universe. And it's a complete tragedy that she'll never even be that person again. She was so different in TRB and to see her go back to that was painful to watch. Catherine Tate, as always, acted the crap out of the whole thing. The look in her eyes when she realized what was going to happen broke my heart. If she could pretend it wasn't happening, it wouldn't, but she knew she had to own up and sacrifice everything she had become.

This is why this show is so dark. For Donna, going back to the way she was is a fate worse than death. Death is death: it's final and it can be epic and heroic. But to return to the hopeless life she once had, totally oblivious to everything except her own insufficiency... It's really tragic because the Donna who had met the Doctor was such a massive force, but without him she's just cranky ole Donna. She has so much potential that she will never live up to: she'll live out her days as a temp and probably die bitter and alone. And I honestly have to wonder, if he had given her a choice, whether she would have chosen to die rather than live out a pointless, useless existence like that.

And this is a weird character flaw of Ten's. He can't watch someone die, even if the alternative is worse. I mean, trapping River inside the computer? Weird and creepy. Wiping Donna's memory? Condemning her to a life she'll only regret she never did anything with.

Frankly, I could probably write a book about Donna as a classical heroine and a pawn of Ten and the Racnoss Empress and various superhuman creatures. And I would definitely like to hear how Ten phrases Donna's story to River. Something like: "Oh, she helped save the universe but then I had to mind-wipe her and dump her off in Chiswick where she died a useless, pointless temp." Maybe River's look at Donna was less of a "HOSHIT SOMETHING TERRIBLE WILL HAPPEN!" and more of a "How could he do that to someone like you?"

But on the other hand, Alt!Donna gave her life to save the universe, and the real Donna gave her memories. New!Donna still has that somewhere, and given the occasion, she will rise to it. She's not dead, just slightly fobwatched ;)

My main hope lies in the unnecessary ring and the chameleon arch reference. I know they'll never bring her back, and even if they had her regenerate it wouldn't be the same without Catherine. But maybe, years down the line, Catherine will agree to do more and they can bring her back bigger and badder and awesomer than ever. 'Cause she makes a kickass human and a kickass Time Lady, and I'd love to see more of her. Even if she didn't turn out to be Romana.

She didn't pwn the Grim Reaper, but she certainly pwned life, the universe, and everything.

And god bless Ten for chewing Sylvia out. Someone needed to do it, and it wasn't gonna be Wilf or Donna. I would've loved to see Jackie beating Sylvia with a rake, but alas, I've been informed that it's not an unwritten law that good TV moms must beat bad TV moms with rakes.

Ten

There's so much to say about him. First, everything Davros said was true. He takes perfectly nice, happy people like Rose and Martha and Mickey and Sarah Jane and turns them into killers. He's a dark guy, and it rubs off. That's why he and Rose need each other so badly, if'n you ask me: season 2 was the most lovey-dovey no-guns-or-violence love fest of all time. Without each other, they fall apart. Together, they are perky and happy. But then of course, look what he did for Donna. He took a snide, thick, aggressive temp from Chiswick and turned her into a self-sacrificing, compassionate person who cannot be contained by the seven small letters in the word AWESOME. Of course, he'd never believe it in a million years. He just sees all the pain he's caused people.

Which is probably one of the reasons he abandons Rose. He's already hurt her, he doesn't want to hurt her more. And of course, he doesn't want to hurt himself more. But I think part of him is completely broken by watching her snog another man (even if it's technically him). He knows it's for the best, but he just turns and leaves without even saying goodbye.

In the end, as always, he's left completely alone. I wish Donna could have become a proper Time Lady and stayed with him forever. If this had been the real series finale, that would have been my ideal ending. As it is, I understand why that can't happen. But the poor guy :( It just shows how nearly-naive Sarah Jane is when she tells him he's got One Big Happy TARDIS FamilyTM. He may have, but they've all got someone else, too. Jack, Mickey, Martha, and the Torchwooders have each other, Martha's also got Tom, Rose has Ten.2.1, Sarah Jane has Luke, and now Donna's got to go back to her life. They all run off to live their normal, happy lives and he has to travel on through time and space with the only constant: the TARDIS.

Bless Wilf, though. I love Wilf. Somewhere, on some world far away, people are singing Donna's name in praise. And on a little rock there's a little old man named Wilf, looking up every night in hopes of seeing a little blue box. What happens to Donna probably breaks Wilf more than it breaks Ten, even. He was living vicariously through her, and now he she's trapped on Earth with him. I wish Ten had taken Wilf on one trip - the man wanted nothing more than to see the stars.

In the end, I've gotta wonder why Ten keeps traveling. With Rose, it was clearly just for a lark. With Martha, it felt like he was running away. Like he almost enjoyed the pain because at least he was feeling something other than Rose-related angst. And with Donna, it felt like he was just doing to help people out (she gave him a Noble purpose please shoot me now for that pun). But he always knows it'll end in heartbreak. So it makes me think that the only reason he keeps traveling and picking up new people is because there's nothing else for him to do. Which is very, very sad. He needs Romana. They can travel together forever and be awesome 24/7/365.

But of course, it's not over for Ten. There's still 2010 and the fifth season. And Moffat. Please bring Sally Sparrow back, Moffat? Ten, Sally, and Jenny, y/y? It'll be fantastic.


P.S. German-speaking Daleks? FTW. Schaunzie, ein Dalek!
P.P.S. Well, I'm a Shakespeare nerd and Ten flirted like hell with the Bard, so here's a quote. Maybe it's where RTD got the name of the episode?

"Journey's end in lovers meeting
Every wise man's son doth know"
~ Twelfth Night

Journey's end for Rose and Ten.2.1. Donna didn't meet her lover (Lee), so maybe it's not over for her? Why do I insist on bashing my head in about this? IT'S OVER SHE'S GONE IT'S DONE SHE WILL LIVE OUT HER LIFE IN POINTLESS MISERY.
P.P.P.S. Unexpected Naked!Ten was very welcome. Donna didn't seem to mind, either ;P I was surprised Jack didn't wind up naked, though, considering he got set on fire. His clothes really should have burned off. For the good of humanity.
P.P.P.P.S. Why I shouldn't venture into this fandom: stop whining that Donna left! That was the actress' decision, not RTD's! No creative planning went into that, it was simply Catherine Tate saying, "I'll do one season, but that's all." We got her for one season, and I'm thrilled we did. It's sad we have to let her go, but don't blame it on the PTBs. If you're going to blame someone, blame Catherine, but really... should you be heaping blame on someone who can act circles around the entirety of London and still have energy to pwn a huge Dalek fleet? No, I don't think you should. I'd love some stability, too, but Billie and Catherine both chose to leave. If you want to blame the PTBs about a companion's departure, that would be Martha's. But I'm not to upset because if she hadn't left we wouldn't have had Donna ;)
P.P.P.P.P.S. I just watched an interview with Billie Piper, and she seemed all sorts of bothered and confused by Ten.2.1 and Rose's ending. I think she thought it was a bit of a cop-out. She's totally a T/R shipper. She said it was like the ending of Beauty and the Beast where Belle kisses the Beast and he turns back into a Prince, and you're happy that they can live happily ever after but you kind of miss the Beast. Which is a very apt comparison.
 
 
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