I’m not sure if these two episodes were originally billed as a two-partner or not, but I am choosing to combine my thoughts into one post, as they certainly were one connected story. So, as you all surely know, these two episodes are very significant in that they are the final of series 2. They are also the final episodes featuring Rose as The Doctor’s companion (though I understand she does pop up a couple of times down the road). I am a wee bit nervous about reviewing these two episodes, as I know that Doomsday and the exit of Rose are emotional soft spots in the hearts of many Who fans. Nonetheless, here I go. My apologies for any upset that some unpopular opinions expressed here may cause.
So, first off, I will say these episodes were very well done. I enjoyed them immensely and thought they were a grand end to the second series. Dramatic, emotional, fun, and tension building, they made for good television, for sure. As Doctor Who (as least the new series’ not sure about the classic Who) does so well, many of this season’s storylines came together to create one dramatic ending. Cybermen were back – as were Mickey (I was actually excited about this), Rose’s parents (from both universes), and Daleks. Torchwood was featured prominently and we even flashed back to some important notes from series 1 in order to provide background to this story (specifically a time traveler’s ability to bring Dalek’s ‘back to life’).
I loved the merging of all of these details and the roles that everyone (The Doctor, Rose, Mickey, Jackie, Pete Tyler, even the woman from Torchwood – what was her name???) played in saving the two parallel universes and fighting off the Cybermen and the Daleks. Speaking of these two infamous sets of villains - one of my favorite scenes in these two episodes was when they met. The exchange between the Cybermen and Daleks was brilliant. And, by the way, I was totally rooting for the Daleks to take them out based on their witty arrogance alone.
So, let’s get to the big finale, then. Despite The Doctor’s wishes Rose makes the decision to leave her family and Mickey forever and stay with The Doctor in the original Universe, while the rest of the lot returns to the parallel universe. Only, that goes awry, Rose is soon in danger of being sucked into a metaphorical hell with the Daleks, only to be saved by Pete. Being saved, though, means being transported to the alt-universe, where she will (theoretically) never be able to see The Doctor again.
So, here are my feelings on this ending for Rose and The Doctor.
· It was the right way to end it. As I have shared before, I do not and have never bought into the belief that Rose and The Doctor could have a happily ever after. This was the right way to go. And, though I do believe The Doctor was truly grief stricken to lose the connection with her, I think he ultimately believed it to be the best outcome for Rose (and for himself, actually).
· It was acted very well. I really appreciated the performance by Tennant especially in this episode. I definitely felt him channeling the ‘old man’ part of The Doctor that is all too familiar with loss and grief. And, Rose’s grief felt real and guttural. Good job all around.
· I’m very glad The Doctor didn’t get to say “I love you.” (I know I’m in the minority on this.) It would have seemed trite to me and I felt actions that The Doctor took to be able to say a proper goodbye were much more meaningful than those words would have been.
Finally, I thought the very final scene with Donna Noble appearing in the TARDIS was extraordinary. I was pleased that the series ended on that exchange of amusing confusion between The Doctor and Donna rather than on the emotional hook of Rose’s goodbye. It seems a good way to illustrate the fact that The Doctor always has to move forward quickly and without hesitation, regardless of circumstances, as well as a way to lure in viewers for what’s to come. Simply, in my mind, that few seconds between Tennant and Tate showed so much chemistry between the two actors and characters that it definitely left me excited for what’s next.