So we’ve just watched the final part of Doctor Who, and it was definitely a great episode.
Rather than an entire forty-five minutes of dalek mayhem it was split into four parts, with the daleks in only the first and third parts. Surprisingly the cliffhanger with Rose trapped on the dalek spaceship was resolved pretty quickly with the Doctor landing on the flight deck, and the reveal of the new style Dalek Emperor (a bit more spectacular than the 60’s version), and then the Doctor escaping back to station 5 to defend the Earth.
Then we have what seems as if it is going to be a long bit of filler with the Doctor, Rose and Jack preparing for the oncoming dalek invasion, but this gets a lot more interesting when the Doctor sticks to his promise, and sends Rose back home – tricking her knowing that she wouldn’t go willingly, so then intercut with the preparations, we get Rose back in the past.
Then the daleks invade, but with Rose still stuck in the past.
It is interesting to note at this point that Beth has never really found the daleks frightening, possibly because unlike me she didn’t watch them as a child. However she said after one particular scene in tonights episode she now finds them frightening! The scene in question involved the hundred or so civilians who were left on the station. The daleks only need to enter the station near floor five hundred, so the civilians are left out of the way down on floor zero. However part way through the action, the daleks stop their march on floor five hundred, and divert to floor zero just to exterminate the hundred unarmed civilians. Other classic moments are when one character, stuck in a room with the daleks trying to cut through the door, turns round to see three daleks float up outside the window. You don’t hear them say exterminate, just see the lights flash before the window shatters, and then she gets exterminated too. As with most dalek stories it is absolute carnage, with every human apparently killed.
Meanwhile, back in the past, Rose is trying to work out what to do, and sees Bad Wolf everywhere, and she realises that it is a message, telling her she can get back. Although she can’t fly the TARDIS, remembering where the Doctor tells her that the TARDIS is telepathic, she tries to open the TARDIS console in order to get back to help the Doctor. Ultimately she gets the console open, and the TARDIS takes off.
Back on the station, the Doctor has built a device that will destroy the daleks, but will destroy the Earth too. Surrounded by daleks, the emperor challenges him to do it, which he cannot, at which point the TARDIS appears, containing Rose, but transformed by a golden light. At this point we finally find out about Bad Wolf – it is Rose, or at least Rose with the help of the TARDIS. In a classic paradox, the Bad Wolf references through history have been scattered through time by Rose to bring her to this point, so Rose has created the Bad Wolf references in order to become the person that creates them – confusing.
Anyway, the Rose/TARDIS superbeing destroys the Daleks, but ultimately is going to die because she can’t contain the power of the time vortex she has absorbed. In a gesture of self sacrifice, the Doctor absorbs the power himself (through a kiss), and takes her into the TARDIS.
With the TARDIS in flight and Rose regaining conciousness and not remembering anything, the Doctor reveals that he can’t contain the power of the time vortex either, and explains about regeneration, preparing her for the possible changes to come. Then we get a pretty spectacular regeneration as the power of the time vortex explodes outwards, two lines and a quick smile from the new Doctor, David Tennant, and then the credits roll.
All in all, a great episode, and a brilliant finish. Some of the best bits were the daleks, especially the ones at the window, and a time paradox that, unlike the Star Trek efforts doesn’t annoy me!
Interestingly, I’d half guessed the Bad Wolf thing watching the documentary before the show, wondering whether it was significant that Bad Wolf is painted on the side of the TARDIS earlier in the series (particularly as that picture has been pinned on Russell T Davies wall behind his desk all the way through Doctor Who: Confidential). However I didn’t get the Rose bit until just before it happened, I kept expecting someone else to appear as Bad Wolf!
The whole regeneration was well done, and does pose the question of whether it was filmed with the main episode, in which case they knew about David Tennant when the news of Chris Eccleston leaving leaked, or was added later. Anyway, I look forward to Christmas, and then to series number two of the new run.