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Jul 09, 2006

Bothered?

TateWell, that was unexpected.

No, I'm not talking about Rose's departure (I think I nailed that), I am of course referring to the left field cliffhanger featuring Catherine 'fuck off' Tate. Never in the history of lite-entertainment has a comedienne sported a more appropriate catchphrase. I can see the press release now: "We've always been a fan of Catherine and we've been looking for an opportunity to invite her to Cardiff for ages. Catherine is a very serious actress. Honestly. Hooray!"

Just when you think the season will end with a poignant and moody coda, which would have been the perfect antidote to a season peppered with bouts of insufferable smugness, we get a leaked copy of the 'BBC Christmas Tape' instead. Like Cannon and Ball gatecrashing a wake, it's just wrong. Stunt casting gone mad - piss-poor pantomime when we deserved a profound postscript. Do you honestly believe that people will be running up to each other at the water cooler on Monday morning to discuss how many tissues they went through as Rose blubbed her heart out (or, if you are a fanboy, when the Daleks and Cybermen started to kick arse)? No, they'll be prattling on about her! Catherine 'fuck off!' Tate! A woman who will always been known as "the one who does the school girl who's a bit like Vicky Pollard".

Yes, I am bothered. Thanks for asking.

"She was the noblest Romana of them all. Fuck me! It's Mrs Slocombe! What the hell are you doing here?"

See! See!

Well, that's the last 60 seconds ripped to shreds - what about the preceding 2,580?

Just when you think the season will end with a poignant and moody coda we get a leaked copy of the BBC Christmas Tape instead.  Like Cannon and Ball gatecrashing a wake, it's just wrong.

DoomfightDaleks V Cybermen = comedy gold. Epic in scope, epic in scale and epic in silliness. I loved the playground bickering ("No, you hang up first") and the Daleks even manage to crack a joke ("It is pest control!") - and I was whooping with glee throughout. The gag about there only being four Daleks was priceless and the battle of the catchphrases should be set to a jungle back-beat (or whatever it is the kids are listening to these days) and released as a single.

Oh, and the Daleks kicked the synthetic shit out of the Cybermen; just as it should be. The black Dalek even manages to escape.  Book your next appointment with him for July 2007, kids, when he'll probably be operated by some talentless hack from Titty Titty Bang Bang!.

Tennant just about passes the Dalek test, but whereas the 9th Doctor afforded them a modicum of  respect (which made them all the more scary) the 10th is predictably cocky, sarcastic and - sigh - smug. Rose, on the other hand, wipes the floor with them. A stand-out moment from this series has to be her marvellously assured put-down of Zark (or whatever the hell its name was). Wonderful stuff. Follow that, Martha.

DoomjpSadly, John Paul Green was rubbish is this episode. However, to give him his due, he was clearly out of his depth in this "alternative" role because he had to pretend to have a girlfriend. And you thought non-corporeal Cybermen starring in episodes of EastEnders between invasions was a difficult concept to swallow...

Unfortunately, the plot doesn't really stand-up to much scrutiny, despite the script's repeated attempts at papering over the super-massive cracks. A perfect example of this occurs when the Doctor raises the thorny problem of the Cybermen taking 3 years to transport themselves between realities when everyone else can zip back and forth willy nilly. Pre-empting half a dozen Outpost Gallifrey threads, the Doctor conveniently brushes it under the carpet with a quick "It must be the (cough) gobbledygook (cough)".

So ignore the flaws and wallow in the spectacle instead. There's plenty to wallow in: Daleks swarming over London, Cybermen camped out in Cardiff, and a close-quarters gunfight that was so exciting it made me feel quite dizzy. It's a shame that it has to end in tears.

Sean's completely right - it's an incredibly long good-bye. Seven relentless minutes of shameless heart tugging and throat-lumping because... you... will... CRY. Dammit!

And dammit, I did. Because it's a bugger, innit?

DoomwickerThe moment where the Doctor and Rose are separated by a wall and an entire universe my bottom lip started to go. Until the wife pointed out that it reminded her of a sexless version of The Wicker Man (you know, the bit with the stunt-arse). "Even the music is the same," she pointed out as Murray found the 'Folksy' button on his Casio keyboard.

It's a bittersweet denouement. There are echoes of Sarah Jane - Rose doesn't have a choice and she's literally dumped against her will - but while SJS took a reserved and stoic approach to her predicament Rose breaks down. And it's heartbreaking. When Tennant gave his Han Solo response to Rose's plaintive declaration of love I was in bits.

Billie will be a tough act to follow, tougher even than Eccleston. But she had to go and it felt right. The Tylers are back together again; Rose is a defender of the Earth with her loyal lap-dog by her side; and the door remains open for future appearances (impossible, my arse). And if this show is still going in five years time (and the general public certainly seem to be lapping it up) then I'll stake my life on Rose Tyler turninng up again, clad head-to-toe in leather and toting a BFG, in a cliffhanger so unbelievably fantastic Russell will give it away in a trailer two weeks before it airs. If The Sun doesn't get there first, of course.

But don't worry, the cameo by Ricky Gervais will remain shrouded in secrecy until transmission.

R.I.P. Rose (Rest In Parallel)

The Bumper Book of Made-Up Doctor Who Facts has this to say about 'Doomsday': Big Finish have already managed to secure the rights to produce a series of 10th Doctor adventures that will be set in the gap between the Doctor crying and him drying his eyes.

And that's it for another year. Thanks again to all the regular reviewers on this blog for making this place a lively - and occasionally contentious - place to be. I'm off to Italy for a week to see some ageing rockers. When I get back we'll have our annual 20 Questions Poll, the results of our Season 2 competition and I'll be outlining the upcoming viewing schedule (including Stripped Down Phooaarrrr!)

Until then, all together now: 'Our show, that art in production..."

Comments

I am genuinely confused about some people's hate for the ending. I think it really worked - Doctor Who has never really been a show about moping about being miserable, no matter what lovers of "The Green Death" might say, and I thought it was a fantastic little hook for the special.

I liked the ending too, just for the back-to-business "what the hell?" nature of it...but the Romana/Mrs Slocum metaphor is very well made! I can see with that how it could annoy.

I don't think Army/Doomsday will crack my top 3 for this season. Maybe not top 5, actually. But it was still a spectacular way to end the season and resolve Rose's time with the Doctor, and I'm very interested to seeing how he goes on from here and what the dynamic will be like with Martha.

Up and down kinda season, but the ups were "fantastic!" and the future intrigues...

Paul, I think it just came a bit too soon. There have been two seasons building up to that farewell scene and it felt dramatically undercut in such an alarming way as to completely wrench this viewer out of the drama in an instant. It needed the ten minutes or whatever it was to resolve and deal with itself because that's what the relationship deserved... and then KAPOW - we've suddenly 'moved on'. Ouch.

Totally agree Phil.

I have no idea why you watch this show. Seriously.

Honestly, the bride scared the piss out of me. I was caught up in the whole emotional moment, lip quivering, going "awww" when BAM THERE'S AN UNMOVING FIGURE IN A BRIDAL DRESS NOW JUMP THREE FEET IN THE AIR YOU SISSY.

No really, it didn't take the piss out of the ending, it scared the pants off of me. That wasn't nice, but I'd say it got a good reaction.

I was cacking myself when the Black Dalek started saying "Kneel!". I was thinking, now RTD has gone and made the Daleks gay.

That was the grand fall, them parting? Didn't make up for the over-smugness all season.

Most important plot hole, what happened to the dog?

Well, picked the Time Lord technology for the hat trick. Though you do have to wonder if it will be Ice Warriors vs Sontarans vs The Sliveen vs Cassandra for the next season finale.

Augustus, it keeps me off the streets. And besides, who asked you anyway? (Smiley face just in case you think I'm taking this all tooooooo seriously :-))

I was watching TCI on Saturday night, as part of the Official Australian Showing of Who 2006.

It may have been my imagination, but I was pretty sure that I saw JP (in his first real DW appearance?), walking up one of those fire escapes "to the roof"?

Come on, Mr Green, own up :).

That Catherine Tate appears to be filming at the end of my street at the mo. Any messages from the group?

Yeah, how about "piss off and get some new, or at the very least some funny, material, you talentless, unfunny waste of a commissioning slot." Then kick her in the shins and say "And that was for Wild West. Pass it on to Dawn French, would you."

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