|Aren't DALEKS clever? They speak German!
|Now, where's that Endor Generator?
In case you're wondering, that was a quote from the final DOCTOR WHO episode of the current series, JOURNEY'S END. As usual, if you have not seen this particular installment of the world's greatest television show then I suggest you stop reading now. Don't even look at the pictures or skip to the last paragraph - this review will SPOIL your enjoyment of the SERIES 4 finale. Got it? OK, here goes.
Superman III, anyone?
I've felt empty all day. Or to be more precise, full
. Full of sadness because DONNA NOBLE
has gone from my screen. And, not just that, it looks like she's gone forever
. Even worse, her past has been erased. For her anyway. That's the real
tragedy; more powerful, more lasting than a 'simple' death. Donna's
adventures won't be recalled again. When I watch the past series it will be tinged with the thought that she'll never know. My favourite companion has gone, never to return (but please find a way to make her do so)
and that affects me in a real and
Cathy T in sneeze alert!
Ultimately, I guess I'm super~down
about CATHY T
leaving too. That episode neatly displayed why I lurve Donna
so much - we got to see three sides to her: the old Donna
; the Donna
we've seen recently; and the DoctorDonna
. It's a credit to Tate's
acting skills that she made it all so crushingly
brilliant and achingly
Davey T has just touched her knocker.Miss Noble
will live long (in my memory at least)
and to put it bluntly, she's probably the best, and most intriguing companion DOCTOR WHO
seen. No wonder RTD
raised her to the heights of a Time Lord
in the finale
, she deserved it. But how
cruel of you Russell
. Worse than death, a living lifeless~ness
. And that
line from WILF
, "but she was better with you."
More hurtful than a blast from a DALEK
or a bolt from DAVROS
. She was
better and now, like the aforementioned pepperpots creator's dust and atoms, she becomes
nothing. A nihilistic end to a wonderful and fascinating lady.
He's somewhere else now...
So what was wonderful about her in JOURNEY'S END
? How long have you got? Erm, not long you say? Ok then, I'll be brief (as I am aware that not everyone lurves her as much as I do, their loss)
. At first, it looked like she was going to be endowed with a very special end - dying with the TARDIS
. But it was not
to be as we were presented again with the haunting heartbeat that accompanied a particularly good moment last week. In the craziness of destruction she kept her head (well, not really)
and touched the hand of God (again, not really)
Before becoming part~Time Lord - did someone say PAUL MCGANN, no? - Cathy T got some great material with DAVEY T (more of him later, both of them) as he impersonated her. The compliment was re~payed when she mimicked him with precision, chucking out bafflegab (and more of that later too) at some rate of knots. And then, as she knew what was about to happen she pleaded, "I can't go back, don't make me go back." Heart~breaking. Her return to THE RUNAWAY BRIDE~esque Donna at the denouement demonstrated perfectly her journey. And I shall miss her very much.
"I'm a complicated event in time and space." I bet you are!
Sticking with the cast, let's look at Davey T, and we were expertly treated to a two~for~the~price~of~one here. As just mentioned, he perfectly recreates the Donna Noble Experience with some ease but we're also presented with usual end~of~series lonely Doctor routine. Sadly, he does the now patented explanation racethru' again. JULIAN BLEACH delivers a suitably macabre performance as Davros and adds some maniacal fever to the more studied display of THE STOLEN EARTH. A real good bad guy.
An arrangement? Is that half the rent plus bills?
I have to admit that BILLIE
engaging and ROSE
comes off as a rather desperate teen~in~lurve
here. Everything she does is for her relationship with The Doctor
alone and not for the greater good - unlike Martha
. The former gets another journey be herself to save the world and I've warmed even more to her - a very strong, independent woman. Will
she join TORCHWOOD
? Here's hoping! Likewise, nice to see MICKEY
and how he's grown but the inclusion of JACKIE
was odd and unnecessary. I mean, come on. Seriously?
What the flip would she be doing there with a huge effin'
MARTHA "I've Got A Job To Do" JONES is back!
The lack of PETE
only highlighted the superfluous nature of her character. And what's with leaving the dads out? Martha's
father is nowhere too! RTD
got some issues there perhaps? As last week, SARAH JANE
was terrific and I think Davros
could have been speaking for all of us when he said, "That face after all these years."
How very true 'ole
blue eye. That's some flirtin'!
Davros has his eye on you...
It was a great moment seeing all of the gang flying the TARDIS
cheeky look straight to the camera evoked Davey T's
similar fourth wall breaking
manoeuvre from last year's finale. Her glance (apart from tightening my trousers no end)
included us - we were the pilots too. And what about CAPTAIN JACK
and his pumping action, cripes!
Ready for your close~up Freema? Oh, I see you are...
As usual GRAEME HARPER
helms the direction with some applomb and the special effects
nerds also do sterling work. So to the actual writing/plot
. That guy has got balls for sure. If you are an 'international' reading this then let me tell you that the media in the UK
has been going wild over DOCTOR WHO
this week with newspapers doing stories every day and even the television news covering it all day Friday. What were they covering?
The regeneration angle. Although I watched the news and came to the conclusion that the nub of their report was that there was a programme was airing that nobody knew what would would happen in it. That's news
in the UK!
The speculation ends, the betting closes. Bad luck Mr Nesbitt. And how did it pan out?
With brevity and huge amount of cheek. Some 'fans' (and I use the term so lightly that it is probably wrong)
feel it is cheap to do so, tinkering with such a fundamental part of the show. But I admire his bravery. Last year he gave us an old Doctor
, this year he gives us two! Very
different. And I guess that's what fans dislike. Something new. He also, however, gave us something old
, and used. I'm referring to the companion~will~die
mantra that first reared it's metaphorical head in SERIES TWO
. Again, nobody actually
died. I'll be honest, once
was enough for that trick.
Now we know why he's the "three~fold man" (© Copyright 2008, Dalek Caan)
While I'm on the negatives, the bafflegab
was at full level this week with phrases like "Zed (or was it Zen, I couldn't make it out) Neutrino"
, "dimensional retro~closure"
, "human/Time Lord metacrisis"
and "reality bomb"
. Oh, hold on
, I understand that last one. Well, I understand what it is but why would Davros & Co want
to use it? Surely it would wipe them out too? Perhaps the CRUCIBLE (along with all the snooker tables)
has some kind of shield. If it does/did, I missed that bit too (and I've watched it three times now!)
Davey T comes last in the SERIOUS FACE competition.
It doesn't end there with my grievances (although they certainly did not get on the way of my enjoyment)
. On the Crucible
there's one panel which seems to control everything from the reality bomb
to the Daleks'
movement to Davros's finger~ray
and this led to some comedy pushing~about Dalek
routines. Pity, 'cos
they had been quite the foe up until that point disabling the TARDIS
an' all. Davros
also became a bit shouty
at that moment too. During this we were also treated to: "Just stay where you are mister,"
- who kissed his huge blaster (stop it)
goodbye earlier; and "Like I was saying, feel this,"
from Jack (whose coat seemed to be as powerful as he was, coming out of an incinerator unscathed - hem, hem)
as they used their weapons. An apt
display of why the Doctor hates
guns. Me too, I equate them with cars (but that's another story)
Freud would have a field day with this.
A couple of other things bothered me. Why
did The Doctor
drop Rose & Co
at BAD WOLF BAY
? It's in flippin' Norway (if I remember correctly - which I do)
, that's precisely nowhere
near where they live. Also, THE MEDUSA CASCADE
second in the future, wasn't it?
That did not
get addressed and the Earth, when returned to its original point, seems to travel in space but not
time. I know, I sound like a real geek~a~zoid
, don't I? I would have preferred
to have seen our planet being materialised with
rather than dragged through the cosmos. But it was a nice scene with the the guys and gals at it
around the console with a beautiful score from MURRAY GOLD
The Eighties TARDIS over~crowding is back!
Now, my final 'niggle'. Fifteen
minutes of goodbyes? A tad
excessive. This ain't LORD OF THE arse~ing RINGS
you know! I would have liked to have seen the post~apocalyptic
Earth on its return. The Daleks
did do a lot of damage in the first episode, would have added a bit of 'realism' to the story. But as these finales seem to get bigger, the focus seems to get smaller. They can't keep
getting bigger, it's just not possible. And, for me, not necessary but I understand the need for publicity, etc...
The gang discover SKYPE.
And now the positives, and there's much to admire. Apart from the aforementioned 'bravery' of the writing (he's not scared you know) RTD
, as always, delivers a script with such knowing
flourishes that it seems churlish to knock it at all (though I just have, a bit)
. Great move to have CAAN
the bringer of doom for the Daleks
, a bit like Rose
at the end of SERIES ONE
. He saw time (as she did)
and goes a bit mad with it all - nice mirroring. The hand plays a crucial part again and it's weird to think how long it's been bubbling away (pun intended)
, popping up now and again to feature prominently.
Put Sarah Jane back on!
There's a great sense of scale to the finale, epic and hyper~emotional with the companions now weapons created by The Doctor
. The Osterhagen (anagram of "Earth's Gone" fact fans) Key
was an unpleasant idea and The Doc's "Who invented that?"
was only matched in exasperation stakes when Captain Jack
played with the Warpstar (nice link with Sarah Jane and her 'adventures')
Is it bad form to do a chipmunk gag here?
speaking German (as demonstrated in the title of this post)
was a masterful stroke and eerie. Nice touch too to have GWEN
recognised by The Doctor
. And it wouldn't be an RTD
script without his trademark larf~worthy
lines thrown in too: Jackie's mocking "No, you plum, he's called Tony"
when The Doctor
thought she'd named her son after him; Jack's "I can't tell you what I'm thinking right now"
at the idea of three Doctors; and the "Oh, end of the universe"
Take two Doctors into the shower?
All~in~all, a superb
television event that may be lacking in plot and, at some points, sense, but it was an immense story that gripped millions and flew by. And so it's gone from our screens for the time being (back at Christmas - 171 days away!)
and, right now, I'm missing the thought of Donna
rather than the show. Bittersweet?
No. Just bitter
. But she was always
"The universe has been waiting for me" and, sadly, it will continue to do so...
'Til the next time,
PS. Yes, I realise how lame that last sentence was but I haven't written an essay in ages so I'm getting a bit wordy and flowery with my reviews these days. Davey T is the new Derren Brown, apparently.
PPS. Oh yeah, there was no "What? What?? WHAT??" at the end or a title for the Christmas Special. Unless it really is RETURN OF THE CYBERMEN (which it isn't).
Labels: 2007 Film Review, Davros, Doctor Who Finale review, Donna Noble, Dr Who Series 4 Finale, Journey's End, Journey's End Review, Screen Grabs, Screenshots