In a way this is the end of an era for New Who. Russell T. Davies was the architect of the Doctor’s return and his footprints are all over the last four seasons of the show, for good or bad. It’s fascinating to watch him try to link together as many threads from those seasons as possible in Journey’s End.
To make it that little bit more special we got an extended final episode of the season. Which is probably just as well considering all the elements that had to be juggled.
Image by Kristian20 via Flickr
We open with a quick recap (ending with the “I’m regenerating” line) and then its into the title sequence. The Doctor promptly doesn’t (cop out!) but Sarah Jane is rescued by Rose’s Mum Jackie and Mickie and time freezes in Torchwood.
The pace doesn’t let up either as the Dalek’s capture the TARDIS. While most of our protagonists gather at the Daleks main base, Martha Jones heads to Germany where the Daleks are also in action. Really cool sequence of the Daleks flying through the woods.
The mystery of Donna Noble deepens as the Doctor is forced to leave the TARDIS but it doesn’t let Donna out. We’ve never really seen the TARDIS in real jeopardy before so it’s a strong scene. It was also nice to see Captain Jack playing it smart by getting himself shot by the Daleks.
The Doctor with a Donna Noble attitude, now that’s a little creepy and you know that if there are two Doctors running around, one of them is going to be written out. Why is it that Martha Jones gets all the really tough tasks? Nice job though of playing up the Osterhagen Key and it’s dangers even before we know what it is.
It’s a lovely touch to have Davros imprisoned by his newly recreated Daleks, just as they did the last time around. Just a nice nod to long time fans. I guess the Daleks were just so impressed by their Reality Bomb that they weren’t paying any attention while their prisoners walked away. I’m not really clear why the want to destroy reality though. Being lords of nothing seems a little pointless.
I really liked the double threat scenario and Davro’s question about how many have died for the Doctor is a valid one. Doctor Donna was awesome as was the final destruction. We’ve seen Dalek empires destroyed before, but never on this scale. And the TARDIS towing the Earth is simultaneously one of the most ridiculous and brilliant images I’ve ever seen.
When they introduced the second Doctor, I thought Davies might be working towards some form of happy ending and sure enough that’s what we get. Even if it is a slightly creepy one.
But you can’t have a happy ending without sacrifice and it’s Donna who pays a price as foreshadowed all season long. The Doctor pays too of course. This episode showed how many friends he has, but at the end of the day… he is on is own again.
What more can I say, this is a fitting end to the last four years of stories but leaves everything pretty open for the future. Thematically this ties in very well with the end of season one as once again it is a Dalek who is pulling all the strings manipulating things behind the scenes. We also don’t see Davros actually die which leaves it open for them to return one more time (though personally I hope they give the Daleks a break for a season).
Of course Davies is actually handling next years Doctor Who specials, but int the absence of a season I’m expecting them to be almost entirely stand alone unlike the seasons.