Sunday, January 10, 2010

Doctor Who and His Reward

I've been meaning to talk about Tennant's final episodes as Doctor Who. I think one of the reasons why I haven't is because I didn't find them particularly good really. For me I could've done without the Master taking over the earth and the Time Lords returning. I supposed Russell T. Davies wanted something epic and grand, but most of the ideas seemed so half baked, I felt it didn't really do David Tennant's last hurrah justice.

Oh yes, there were plenty of great moments especially for Tennant. The scene in the cafe when he tells Wilf his feelings about dying and then again in the ship when Wilf tries to convince the Doctor to take his gun? Those were powerful scenes and these quieter moments were what I craved more of during these last episodes.

Then there were the last 15 or so minutes when the Doctor gets his "reward" i.e. getting to see his companions and making their lives a little bit better. Was it all overly sentimental, incredibly cheesy, and lacked narrative sense? Probably all of the above, but as a fan of not only Tennant's Doctor but also his various companions throughout the years, I did not care one bit. I wished those 15 minutes lasted for an hour. So with that said, I'd like to talk about those last 15 minutes a bit more...

Was anyone else caught off-guard by the seemingly sudden nuptials of Martha and Mickey? I mean it's possible we see them 5ish years into the future, but still, where did that come from? I'm not complaining really and I actually find it quite appropriate especially since both of them were sadly on the wrong respective end of unrequited love with the Doctor and Rose. I hope they put them together because of that and not just because they wanted to bring Mickey back, but didn't want him joining Jackie and Rose for that final scene.

As for Donna, it was fantastic seeing Catherine Tate again, but she was brutally underused in these last episodes. I would've rather Davies written a two-parter that featured Donna and her half-Time Lord-ness. It's just sad really, because as awesome a character Donna was (is!), the way they handled her character's arc is nothing sort of tragic. There was some hope that her whole deal would be resolved in these specials, but all she got was a husband and a winning lottery ticket. No chump change for sure , but damnit Donna Noble was destined for something more I thought!

Though as tragic as Donna's fate was, I still believe that Rose ended up in a more helpless situation. At the end of the S4, they framed her "happy ending" of staying in the parallel universe with her own half-human Doctor as just that, a happy ending and yet it's anything but. Rose will always know that the Doctor she's with is not the "real" Doctor and in the end I can see resenting him for it. In the same vein, her human Doctor could be feeling the same way. After all, he is as clever as the real Doctor and so he probably knows that Rose is pining for his full Time Lord self and at the same time he resents the real Doctor for more or less marooning him in a parallel universe without a Tardis. That could drive any Time Lord (full or half) crazy. Where's the happy ending in that? I supposed we're lucky that Davies didn't feel the need to pull on that messy thread and instead chose to go back in time in Rose's life before she met the Ninth Doctor. It was a good choice and really brought the Davies years full circle...

Another great choice was to bring back the Doctor's other human love in the form of her grandaughter (same actress though of course). It was unexpected, but very sweet and genuine. Don't have much to say about the Doctor visiting Sarah Jane only to say that she is clearly still pining for him. Poor woman. But finally, we get to Captain Jack, still very much dealing with his intense loss and the Doctor appears to him as if to provide him an absolution. Well, that and some grade A-gay booty in the form of Mishipman Alonso played by the adorable Russell Tovey. Ianto who? Heh, I supposed that's one way to convince me to tune in for the fourth season of Torchwood. Shameless.

Anyways, who knows if new showrunner Steven Moffatt will ever revisit these companions again. God, I hope so. In any case though, just want to steer the conversation back to David Tennant. Every generation seems to have their own Doctor and well Tennant is mine. He was bloody brilliant and the eleventh Doctor, played by Matt Smith, will have big shoes to fill. Onwards and upwards, I guess.


  1. Y'know, I am actually worried now that Moffat won't revisit any of them. It was recently pointed out to me that in Moffat's episodes, he struggles with keeping the Doctor and companion cohesive to their character arcs. That he would ignore it just to push his story onto them. And I kind of see their point. Makes me think he'd want to avoid other people's creations.

  2. That's definitely one of the complaints I've heard about Moffatt. He's a brilliant storyteller, but Davies was just SO good when it came to the Doctor's companions. I'm hoping when Moffatt comes up with his OWN companions, it shouldn't be an issue, but yeah I'm hoping that he doesn't completely forget about these companions.

    Certainly, he'd want to make his own mark on the Doctor, but to see Wilf, Donna, and Martha again would be fantastic. Though it's always possible to see Martha and Mickey in Torchwood, but who knows, you know?

    And unless they want to bring Tennant back to play his half-human, half Time-Lord self (which I can see them doing actually), Rose should be pretty much done.


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