There was a lot that I liked about this two-parter. Loved the Ood. Liked the secondary characters. Loved the somewhat creepy and mysterious element of the ‘beast’. Good stuff. I thought it had all the elements of a great Doctor Who episode and I felt the writing to be back up to par (after my disappointment with The Idiot’s Lantern). I also appreciated the ambiguous nature of the issue of the religion and that no direct answer was given as to what the ‘beast’ really was – leaving things open to interpretation for viewers and the characters in the story as well. Well done, Doctor, from your atheist friend over here.
So, let’s get to the elephant in the room, shall we? It is clear to me that this two-episode arc is supposed to be critical in the development of The Doctor’s and Rose’s relationship. There was a moment where Rose fantasized about the idea of her and The Doctor living together, the moment where it seemed like The Doctor was going to pass on the message that he loved Rose, a big declaration from The Doctor that he may not believe in much, but he believes in her, a stubborn, heartbroken Rose basically making the decision to die where The Doctor had (supposedly) died rather than go back to Earth, and finally, a joyous reunion when they found each other once again. I get it. I know that they are important to each other. Message received.
BUT … . I still don’t buy into a romantic pairing between the two. My apologies to the many Rose-Doctor loyalists out there. She clearly loves him and he clearly loves her. That doesn’t mean though that :
a) a romantic relationship would ever work between the two of them, or
b) that The Doctor would actually commit to one.
I don’t believe either of those things. And, even though I really enjoy their relationship and pairing as it is, I don’t think I would want to watch a Doctor Who with them in that kind of relationship. Anyone out there watch ‘Bones’? If so, it’s sort of like Booth and Brennan. They’re great together – until they actually get together.
Who knows? I could be wrong. I could be writing my thoughts on an episode in a few days and have totally changed my mind. Though, I don’t think that’s likely to happen. We’ll see.