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Jul 11, 2006

Goodbye England's Rose

So that's it!  The end of an ear-ache!  Although given the lethal combination of the impact that New Who's longest-serving cast member has made on the programme and Rusty's tendency to show slushy loyalty to his actors, she was never really going to die, was she?

Like the leading character in that recent ITV two-parter featuring a pre-Who David Tennant, who's gravestone was shown at the beginning, this two-parter also started with a false sense of giving the game away.  Rose HAD died insofar as this unverse was concerned; furthermore, a very large part of Rose Tyler had died forever when she was disconnected from the Doctor, and she was certainly afforded an epic departure akin to a Meatloaf ballad.  And beautifully handled it was too.  The beach scene was TARDIS-ful of emotion and provided a dignified finale for Rose even if I personally would have preferred her to have drifted into a longing beachside madness where she just couldn't 'let go' ala Nicole Kidman at the climax of Birth, or even woken up screaming away her nightmares like Amy Irving's character at the end of Carrie.  But hey, that would have been far too dark for New Who.

So instead Rusty decided to put on a Live 8-type concert for his soon-to-be dearly departed as she lay on her metaphorical death bed.  No need for a Who re-union - this was the real Parting Of The Ways, but where Mr Geldof played Henry Kissinger to regenerate Daltrey and Co as well as The Floyd, the probably soon-to-be Sir Rusty revived those other monsters of rock we never truly believed we'd seen the last of...laydeez and gennelmen, for the first time on the same bill...Daleks and Pet Shop Cybermen!

And having psyched myself up for the inevitable shoot-em-up shit, it was more bearable than it could've been.  The learning that one Dalek can take any number of PSCs at least added a touch of reality to proceedings - never again must the Doctor be seen to soil his pants at the mention of the PSC words.  This end-of-term concert was rather better than last term's TPOTWays insofar as at least the bullshit made some kind of sense to me; Ways' Rose-is-Bad-Wolf finale was Jacksons beyond belief but this at least was plausible sci-fi - and touchingly so, too.  Indeed, given the cleverness of the final parting location, I feel that last year's two-parter titles would have been better employed to this finale.  If Davies really did have this as Rose's final departure location then how much more kudos and applause does he deserve!  Somehow, one feels that this was merely an afterthought!

I personally despise the all-new flying Daleks, especially when they all fly in uniform, and have mentioned before how Rusty cannot grasp the concept of less-is-more.  Like souped-up versions of classic cars, for all their power etcetera they just lack that retro class of their forefather models which is so indefinable.  For those classic numbers, read the sheer characteristics that were the Daleks of Genesis compared to today's tediously mass-produced versions.  Having said that, I was still relieved to find that the Genesis Arc contained millions of the flying fuckers and not Phil Collins nor their creator - the legendary Davros, if and when he does return (and surely he MUST) deserves a two-parter of his own and not be made to share the stage with all and sundry.

So Rose Tyler's very own tribute concert concluded with that rarest of sitings - Doctor Who's Lonely Hearts Club TARDIS for all of a few brief hours before the fast mover took a bride in what is thematically becoming a Tubular Bellsian interlinking of storylines, not to say shameless plug number whatever.  Darius had long since been a confirmed booking on the concert bill as the Doctor increasingly relies on his bloody X-Factor Machine to escape the improbable.  But hark!, there's someone missing.  The bandwagon that is the Rose Tyler farewell gig has room for one more aboard and in the distance there is a faint voice crying 'Rose'.  The call is followed over land and sea (I presume showing the Tyler clan queueing for the cross-channel ferry was deemed not sexy enough for transmission) until the voice is at its clearest on a haunting desolate beach.  The piano starts to play and the breaking solemn voice starts a singing..."Good-Bye England's Rose..."

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