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Doctor Who – Journey’s End and Season 4, Redux

Looking back at the episode a week later, I can totally understand why people are upset. I think I got overwhelmed with the pure fannish-ness of it. Yes, the episode was fan-wank pure and simple.You see, I know by now Russell T Davies never writes a satisfying conclusion to a series. From Jesus Doctor of last year, I’m starting to expect some elements of the show to fail. In fact, I think the Season 2 ending was the best of them all. End it with despair. In fact I wouldn’t of brought Rose back at all. Either that or kill her off. But not since Adric has a death hit Doctor Who. And most people hated the character, they were cheering when the ship crashed. (Myself? I didn’t care either way. I thought it was sad but the Adric character had some decent moments).

The technobabble? Yeah, I saw that coming. The piling up of characters? Yeah, this is Rusty’s last. Give him that at least. What annoyed me the most is the conclusion to the saga of Rose Tyler and Donna Noble. You can tell Rose is Russell’s favourite companion. Why I have no idea. She’s young, immature and “average”. Don’t get me wrong, she had some great moments and Billie Piper is not to be faulted, but I expected some kind of character development. She gets jealous at any other female who looks his way, and completely ignores the relationship between him and Reinette. And don’t get me started on the way she treats poor Mickey. I thought by the end of Doomsday, we’d get a sad departure but a moment from Rose “nothing lasts forever, I’m crushed but I need to move on”. Not so. Fair enough, she loved the guy. When I saw the hints at her return, thinking maybe this is it. We’ll see a grown Rose, moved on, trying to right wrongs on the Alt-Earth, sad but stronger with what she shared with The Doctor. Nope, we get a lot of moping, a brilliant reunion scene and the departure of one of the biggest cop outs. All this time she still hasn’t gotten over it. It shows how shallow she is as well – quite happy to accept a “copy” once the copy tells her those words she’s always wanted to hear. As for Donna? Well I understand the tragic departure but the fact she is back to the way she was really gets at me. I would have liked to have seen a small scene. Maybe a Donna who has no idea of what she has done but showing a slight glimmer of the better her, but not knowing why.

I think my gripe is with the fact that the characters who travel with The Doctor are always better for it afterwards. Look at Mickey – I hated the character at first. Cheap comic relief but slowly develops throughout the series to someone much braver, and unlike Rose realises when it’s time to move on. Captain Jack? A two bit con man who turns back to good after meeting The Doctor. Martha? Okay, she was already awesome before we met her but now she’s a part of UNIT (and now with Mickey, hopefully Torchwood) saving the Earth being even more brilliant. The fact that Donna and Rose are no better at the end really bugs me. And with Stephen Moffat taking over I have a feeling this is the end for these characters. I think it will next all be about either River or Jenny.

As for the show as a whole? Well people sometimes forget this is an entertaining family show. If you’re looking for ground breaking sci fi, look elsewhere. Sure, there are some absolute gems in the new series but I do not tune in week after week expecting 100% television. When I knew what was coming up, I put my mindset into “Five Doctors” mode. I think a lot of older fans are still looking for that darker, more intelligent series That Ace and Doc 7 were developing into. If the new series started in that direction I don’t know if it would have been as successful as it is now. Russell was writing not just for the fans, but for everyone. I don’t think he was the best writer in the world, he has elements of JNT about him, going a little over the top now and again. Judging by The Moff’s tv past, I really think we’re only going in a better direction. I have little to hate about the new series. The only episode I truly disliked was the 2010 Olympics episode, and that was because the kid ruined it.

I don’t know. I see the hate, and I just can’t join it. Each week I tune in and I am entertained. Much like Indy Jones 4, I really enjoyed the film and would happily watch again. People are putting way too much into this. If the show deals me a brilliant episode, I’m all for it. Let’s say I’d rather watch this than Battlestar Galactica, which I think takes itself way too seriously.

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