Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now
"Small beautiful events". Too right you are, Sean. And what a perfect excuse to employ some bullet points in lieu of any coherent thoughts:
- The TARDIS collides with a couple of dalek missiles and we're only 90 seconds into the episode!
- The TARDIS materialises around Rose and her dalek captor - a punch the air moment if ever I saw one
- The Doctor's front drops as he leans mournfully against the doors to the TARDIS as hundreds of daleks scream for his blood outside - chilling stuff
- Rose realising that she can never go back to her normal life even if they do serve coleslaw at that new pizza place
- Mickey finally getting the bloody message
- The realisation that we can all lip-read daleks
- Jack's last-man standing routine - and he gets the best "last line" ever
- The daleks do daleky things - like mowing down rooms full of innocent civilians, complaining about their eye-stalks and waiting until the last possible moment until they shoot anyone (which I like to read as spiteful rather than stupid). And to quote Damon - there's "fausands of em"
- the Doctor has to confront what is ostensibly a rubber monster with one eye in a tank - it's still Doctor Who!
- two (count 'em) heart-wrenching goodbyes
- the best closing and opening lines from any of the Doctors. Period.
Just one of those moments cropping up in a single season would have been enough, let alone a single episode. Were we spoilt rotten, or what?
So yes, there are some wonderful, iconic moments to savour. It's just a shame about the plot.
We're supposed to be in the year 200,100. Now Jack is from the 51st century - where they appear to time travel for a living and they wear fancy digital guns - and that sounds pretty futuristic to me. But then we have to believe that this is set in the 2000th century! Where they still watch Big Brother and use machine guns! I mean, f**k-a-bout!
I don't think I'll ever get my head around that. Does it also mean that when the daleks fell through time after the Time War they fell forward? That would actually make a modicum of sense, but the whole thing is one big head-f**k when you start to think about it. So I don't. I'll have to leave it to someone like Lance Parkin to sort out.
Speaking of head-f***ks (my head - it's killing me!) I loved the promise behind the whole Bad Wolf concept. Even though it's ultimately a crushing disappointment (is anyone entirely happy with it?) I still enjoyed the initial premise. I even guessed it was Rose and the TARDIS on several occasions so various elements must have made sense at some point...
But the explanation that we finally get is just silly. How do the words Bad Wolf help Rose? Do they remind her that the TARDIS can travel in time? Doh! If she'd somehow figured out that she sent the message to herself from the future, ergo she must get back somehow, then I could just about buy it, but she doesn't.
And she scatters the words through time and space so badly too. She isn't anywhere near the Moxx of Balhoon when he says it, we never see her reaction to the TARDIS graffiti, she can't hear the call-sign in Dalek, she was kinda distracted by her Dad dying to notice an invitation to a rave, and the bomb fuselage was written in a completely different language! For a super omnipotent being she wasn't much cop, was she?
She would have been better off depositing leaflets for tow-truck hire firms through time and space.
Bad Wolf? Bad Russell!
Adam as the King of the Daleks in league with the Face of Boe and Van Statten's brain in a tank would have been more entertaining than the blatant Buffy the Vampire Slayer riffing we got instead. But what do I know?
I'm a fairly hard-core Doctor Who aficionado and I couldn't tell you what happened in the last five minutes, even after repeated viewings. What hope do the general public have?
But I don't really care. I still loved every last damn minute of this show. Even the kisses. Hell, even the bit when little Miss Nuremberg gave that cheesy wink I was willing to shrug it off, because while this wasn't the best episode of Doctor Who ever, it was certainly the most epic.
Some people have complained that the regeneration is tacked on but I don't see it like that. The whole episode feels doom-laden to me, and it's not just because we know what's going to happen (thanks Radio Times). There's that desperate image of Doctor leaning against the TARDIS door in defeat, the fact that he sends Rose away because he is in fatal danger, the fact that he prepares to give himself over to the Daleks - it all leads to the final sacrifice. He knows he's going to die as soon as he kisses her. I almost believe this really was planned from the start. It certainly wasn't just five minutes tagged onto the end.
The regeneration itself is perfect, and quite different from what I expected. The Doctor saves the life of his companion (no accidental head bangs here!), and he even manages to say goodbye properly for a change. He's even standing up! And that last line, that last grin, that last moment of acceptance. It was off the hook, mate.
And no amnesia! Thank god for that!
There's going to be a whacking great hole in my life when Saturday comes. Who's up for watching Rose at 7pm? ;-)
I was going to summarise my feelings on the season as a whole at this point but I think I'll save that for my final post instead.