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Great Britain Is In A July 5th Tizzy Because It Just Saw Russell T. Davies’ Last Regular Installment Of DOCTOR WHO!!

I am – Hercules
The last regular episode of "Doctor Who" until 2010 just aired on the BBC. Apparently David Tennant retains the title role but lots of other changes were afoot. “Doctor Dan” says:
DOCTOR WHO 4.13 – "Journey's End" (Part 2 of 2) Writer: Russell T. Davies Director: Graeme Harper Cast: David Tennant (The Doctor), Catherine Tate (Donna), Billie Piper (Rose), Freema Agyeman (Martha), John Barrowman (Captain Jack), Elisabeth Sladen (Sarah-Jane Smith), Noel Clarke (Mickey), Camille Coduri (Jackie Tyler), Thomas Knight (Luke Smith), Eve Myles (Gwen Cooper), Gareth David-Lloyd (Ianto Jones), Bernard Cribbins (Gramps), Jacqueline King (Sylvia Noble), Adjoa Andoh (Francine Jones), Julian Bleach (Davros), Valda Aviks (German Woman), Shobu Kapoor (Scared Woman), Elizabeth Tan (Chinese Woman), Michael Price (Liberian Man), Nicholas Briggs (Dalek, voice) & Alexander Armstrong (Mr. Smith, voice) Davros reveals his master plan, as the Doctor's former-companions race to prevent the destruction of reality... A cloud of secrecy descended on Doctor Who this week, as viewers were left shell-shocked by the apparent regeneration of David Tennant as the cliffhanger ending to "The Stolen Earth". Voracious speculation sent forums and blogs into meltdown, while the nation's kids were left on the precipice of bereavement for their hero. But, as predicted by those aware of the various "get-outs" available to Russell T. Davies, the popular Tennant lives to regenerate another day... "Journey's End" continues the story with the exact same temperament; furiously paced, mostly illogical, and continually threatening to disappear up its own backside. Still, with your brain disengaged and focused on the sweeping emotion of everything, this conclusion is easy to enjoy and gets enough right to make the journey worthwhile. Perhaps inevitably, the solution to The Doctor's life-or-new-life crisis is solved within seconds -- a simple transference of his regenerative powers into the hand lopped off in "The Christmas Invasion", after his wounds have been healed, but the transformation yet to begin. From there, the storyline once again splinters into various strands: The Doctor, Captain Jack (John Barrowman) and Rose (Billie Piper) brought aboard the Dalek Crucible by Davros (Julian Bleach); Donna (Catherine Tate) trapped aboard the TARDIS as it's sent to a fiery destruction; Martha (Freema Agyeman) teleporting to Nuremburg to use the Osterhagen Key as a last-ditch effort to save the planet; and Sarah-Jane (Elisabeth Sladen) teaming up with Jackie Tyler (Camille Coduri) and Mickey Smith (Noel Clarke) aboard a Dalek detention centre. For a 65-minute long episode, events fortunately don't drag as badly as the similarly-long "Voyage Of The Damned" special did, with Russell T. Davies clearly using this finale to bring a number of plot-strands to a close – some stretching right back to season 1. Primarily, Rose's love for The Doctor is imaginatively brought to a close, thanks to the arrival of a Human-Doctor clone, grown from The Doctor's dismembered hand after Donna touches it. While the plausibility of nearly everything is stretched to absolute breaking point, the greatest success of "Journey's End" is when Davros takes perverse delight in demonstrating to The Doctor how his "children of time" have learned nothing from him – ready, willing and able to be gung-ho "soldiers" and destroy billions of people on Earth for a hollow victory. The scenes between a captured Doctor and Davros were excellent; as Tennant finally got a chance to face-off against a villain with an interesting viewpoint, beautifully performed by a raspy Julian Bleach. The sheer volume of returning characters meant most suffered: Jackie Tyler (comic-relief only), Mickey (always irritating, and now nudged into Torchwood -- god help us), Sarah-Jane (whose history with Who mythology continues to be her only interesting aspect), Martha (who came across as a reckless idiot who's learned nothing from The Doctor's teachings), Captain Jack (a character who rarely operates much above gun-toting cheeseball), and the total pointlessness of Gwen (Eve Myles) and Ianto (Gareth David-Lloyd). Fortunately, the actors that count got interesting things to do: David Tennant was kind of relegated to standing around watching his friends try to save the day at times, but was never anything less than compelling otherwise (and got a fun dual role as a Doctor tinged with Donna's impertinence); Billie Piper is lost in the mix for a long time, but the episode's poignant beach-set resolution to her affection worked better than it should have; but Catherine Tate got the memorable stuff – "mothering" a cloned Doctor, being endowed with The Doctor's knowledge (and mannerisms!) and ended the season on a bittersweet note. Overall, if you enjoyed "The Stolen Earth" you'll certainly enjoy this, and vice-versa. It's every bit as questionable and freewheeling as last week, but didn't quite contain anything to rival events in the set-up. But everything drew to an effective conclusion and left 2008/9 a clean slate for the 4 specials before Steven Moffat inherits the show in 2010. There are nitpicks aplenty and cries of RTD fooling around with the fans will doubtless echo around the internet for a few days, but this was a very entertaining finale. The strong performances from Tenn ant and Tate (the latter of whom earned a turnaround in most peoples' feelings when her casting was first announced), helped pull you through its moments of silliness, and a storyline that sometimes felt half-improvised. 'Till Christmas, then... The Good 1. David Tennant and Catherine Tate; both superb once again, particularly the latter – whose late-episode transgression into the irritating Donna seen in Runaway Bride demonstrated how far her character came in 13 episodes. 2. Julian Bleach was a perfect Davros and his grand scheme suita bly epic. In fact, how do you stop wanting to destroy reality itself in future episodes? Over to you, Steven Moffat... 3. Excellent special FX this week: the Dalek Crucible, various ships/planets, and the CGI flying Daleks were of a very high standard. Bravo. 4. The emotional moments (Davros and The Doctor's chat), Rose's (second) beach farewell and Donna's ending, worked very well and brought balance to the episode's excessive, freewheeling nature elsewhere. 5. Dalek Caan and his prophecies factored into the story nicely, and the mystery surrounding Donna's link to The Doctor was one of the few plot-strands that clicked. 6. K-9! Here boy! 7. The gathering of everyone together to fly the TARDIS back home as a group was the perfect visual for the underlying theme to this finale: team-work. 8. Bernard Cribbins; less screen time than everyone else, but he tugged at the heart-strings with twice the success of them all. 9. Donna's mostly-foiled attempts to get a hug from hunky Captain Jack. And yes, even Jack's allusion to imagining a foursome with The Doctor, Human-Doctor and Donna-Doctor made me smile. The Bad 1. German Daleks! But yeah, okay, they were kind of funny – and the Dalek parallel to Nazis gave their battle cries of "Exterminieren!" a fun edge. 2. Martha and the Germany detour with the Osterhagen plot-device was very strained, as was the silly out-of-nowhere appearance of Sarah-Jane's necklace-bomb! 3. There were too many characters involved, with most having nothing of much relevance to do. 4. We were bound to feel a bit cheated by the lack of a proper regeneration, and this episode didn't have anything to top "The Stolen Earth" in terms of jaw-dropping. No flashbacks to the Eighth Doctor, or any of the other fan-pleasing rumours that has swept the internet in the past week. Which was a shame. 5. The lack of the traditional "sting" to set us up for the Christmas Special. Instead, we just got a few glimpses of Cyberman in the post-credits trail – and seeing as the Cybermen were one of season 2's big disappointments, is anyone excited? 6. The distinct feeling that RTD is making it up as he goes along; bending the script to get himself out of dead-ends, and stretching plausibility if there's the promise of a good visual. The Geeky 1. Dalek Caan became the second Dalek member of The Cult Of Skaro to see the Daleks for the megalomaniacal villains they really are. 2. Davros mentions knowing Sarah-Jane from when he first crated the Dalek race, referencing the 1975 story "Genesis Of The Daleks" with the Fourth Doctor (Tom Baker). 3. This episode confirms that the TARDIS is designed to be flown by six pilots. 4. OSTERHAGAN is an anagram of EARTH'S GONE. Clever. 5. This episode confirms that The Doctor is not half-human, as implied by the Eighth Doctor (Paul McGann) in the 1996 TVM. 6. It looks like Martha and Mickey will replace Owen and Tosh on Torchwood in season 3, as rumoured. Rating: 3.5 / 5
“The Handsome 12th Doctor” says:
Oh Lordy where do I even begin? Well ummm, the beginning might be a good place to start. I want to appraise this without spoilers but it's going to be incredibly tricky this week. I can't even say what happens in the very first minute of it without giving something of note away. I thought about writing a hoax along the lines of "David Tennant regenerates into David Threlfall". But I suspect somebody else has by now said what really happens so I wouldn't be fooling anyone. Even if spoilers are all over the shop I'm still sticking with my practice of not giving anything big away. So with that in mind the Doctor, who was very well played by the person who plays him/her, and the plucky band of companions get right into the action of saving the universe. And it was awesome. To paraphrase the genius Charlie Brooker – "If you don't like it you can piss off." Ok, sure it's bunkum when you really analyse it. Full of techno-babble about neutrinos and using planet alignments as a huge transmitter. And it didn't make any sense for Caan to have brought Davros back to create a new Dalek empire considering Caan's real idea. But it was all done with such verve and fun that watching it made me feel like a kid again. While at the same time the grown-up me is impressed by the many new innovations brought to it. Such as seeing the Daleks get around real locations rather than only on studio sets with smooth floors. The shot of them flying through a forest looked particularly good. This gives them a more tangible sense of menace when we can see that they could turn up outside our house and blow the crap out of us. I'm looking at you TomBodet. Davros had a lot more to do this week and the ep was better for it. The actor behind him (I wish I knew his name) portrayed a convincing manic madness. The dialogue got nicely profound for a family show when he talked of what the Doctor had created in his companions. Meanwhile Dalek Caan continued to be brilliantly bonkers. I know some people didn't like him last week but I thought he was hilarious. Very much like the daffy Gremlin in 'Gremlins 2'. What else did I like? Jackie with a gun..... the Doctor's half-impression of Donna...... Donna's half-impression of the Doctor...... the beautiful choral score....... Bernard Cribbins!! But most of all I loved it when Martha broke the 4th wall and smiled straight at us. That was the sexiest thing I've seen on telly since Tina Fey winked right at the camera in '30 Rock'. Oh and that ending! You won't believe what happens. When Rose wakes up and David Tennant steps out of the shower, you'll be amazed!!! No seriously, it was a good ending(s) by RTD. He didn't pull any sudden reset bollocks and allowed time for a fine dramatic end to develop. Plus it was refreshing that no Xmas special trail appeared to take us out of the moment. Until after the credits where it should be. Roll on Xmas!
“Cand Ass Monkey Suit” says:
Hi Herc Just thought id chime in with the last who episode and give the lowdown on what went on EPISODE 13 "JOURNEY'S END" WRITTEN BY RUSSELL T DAVIES MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD..BEWARE! Well after last weeks amazing first part and the end scene which left everyone agast..i was itching to see if we had a new doctor but praying Mt Tennant would not leave did he??.....................................................NO HE DIDNT !! Hooray !! The Doc starts to regenerate as we know, but channels the regeneration process into the spare hand he keeps in a jar,thus healing himself with the regenaration energy but channeling it away to the hand!!...More on this dont end there folks!! Journeys end is a very good season finale..not quite as good as the brilliant first part"the stolen sky" but runs a close second as the pace,like last week never lets up and crams so much into its 65 mins runtime..this 20 mins longer than most who ep's. The Doc,Donna,Rose,Cat Jack,Martha,Sarah jane,jackie tyler,Mickey and oh yeah a little robot dog called K9 all get to help the doc defeat davros and the daleks. Everyone gets there turn to shine in this ep and all play their part. Davros sends the tardis with donna to its doom..the doc is ok and with rose..but the strane regeneration that never was is reignited causing the docs severed hand to regenerate back into another tennant doctor..thus we have 2 doctors who look the same!! Everyone comes together on the dalek ship and donna who tries to kill davros is blasted by his power but this ignites something in donna..the regeneration in the tardis has also been channelled into her thus causing a her to become part human and part timelord! Everyone converges together and starts the destruction of the dalek ship but this is helped in no large part to the new 2nd doctor who wants to destoy thm once and for everyone heads into the tardis before the ship explodes,our doc offers to rescue davros but he refuses saying that the doc will be remembered as "the destroyer of worlds"! The Doc drops of capt jack,sarah jane and even mickey (who says that he wants to return back to our earth as theres nothing for him in the parralel earth) back on earth who all say their goodbyes The doc and donna then travel to the beach in the parralel earth where rose said her goodbyes 2 seasons ago and offers her the 2nd doctor to stay with her..she doesnt want that intitally as it isnt him..but the doc convinces here that he is him..just only the man he was before they met..this doc only has one heart and cant regenerate..Rose can live her life with the man she loves..they kiss and donna and the doc return to the tardis..Rose has her doctor at last! As the doc returns donna home,donna starts to feel the efects of the timelord enegy inside here..this could never happen says the will end up with donna dead if she is left. The Doc decides to take her memory leaving her with no knowledge of the him like they had never met..this is the only way she can survive..if she remebers for just 1 second..she will die..the doc returns her home to wilf and sylvia saying that she must never ever know about him or what has taken place. The doc says goodbye and returns to the tardis..lonely and sad THE END Phew...well a thrilling finale to be sure..i havent given the story here justice as it would take to long but this is a wonderful finale filled with touching,heartbreaking and down right brilliant moments|!! THE DOC WILL RETURN IN "GHOSTS IN THE MACHINES" FEATURING THE RETURN OF THE CYBERMEN..CHRSTMAS DAY 2008 THE GOOD The last 10 mins..moving,touching and woderfully played by all. Julian bleaches performance of davros is equal to the great michael wisher..a worthy successor. The fx work,though good wasnt as good as last weeks but still great. THE BAD The get out of jail card used in the story to defeat the daleks was a little prepostrous but a minor quibble. Some fx work in a couple of places looked rushed..again a minor quibble WELL A GREAT SEASON FINALE..WE CAN ALL REST SAFE IN THE KNOWLEDGE MR TENNANT ISNT LEAVING (YET!) IM A BIT SAD ABOUT ROSE AS I WANTED TO SEE THEM REUNITED PROPERLY BUT I GUESS IN A WAY THEY ARE..I STILL HOPE BILLIE WILL RETURN SOMEDAY AGAIN..ROLL ON XMAS! 9/10
“dj bollocks” says:
So then a 65 mins Whostravaganza... Journey's End for someone.... There seems little point in reviewing this in the rambling way I usually do - suffice to say this may be something that needs a second viewing to appreciate it properly. There is greatness, some truly beautiful scenes but some truly awful acting and writing too. I wouldn't be surprised if the other reviewers have mixed feelings too and writing this whilst I watch Confidential the production and direction were sound enough but the desire to create something huge has probably meant that the attention to detail has affected quality control... Let's start with the writing - some parts genius, some parts largely awful - I'm sure someone will be able to nit pick and gouge out generous sized plot holes but when it didn't involve "Parallel world Dimension cannons", "instantaneous biological metacrisis" and "Single string Z Neutrino Energy" it was largely great. But some of the pantomime 'other' Doctor scenes and seemingly fan wank moments - truly cringeworthy and ugly.... That and just making shit up as RTD goes along... The hand, Two Doctors, and Half Human and Half Time Lord Donna. The great - Davros - all the best dialogue, all the best characteristics and direction... And some great moments where he compares the Doctor to changing his companions and fashioning them into an army; a killing machine just like Davros has done. And fair play to Harper in the most part at least when there wasn't pantomime - qv inside the Tardis with all the Doctor's family. Still watching Confidential - it's like they're almost apologising for the plotholes ! It's all over bar the shouting after about 40 mins and despite a few coup de graces with each companion team the whole Dalek downfall seems rushed an unsurprisingly unfulfilling - I mean c'mon way to make them look like the pepperpots. Pushing them away... ugh ! Finishing Rose's story back at Bad Wolf Bay - again (cynical moi) but other Doctor and Rose walk off in the sunset - still no sign of Rose's dad, baby sitting no doubt - and the kiss... meh ! So ultimately we end with Donna being Donna - wiped clean - and overall the feeling is not of Tater hate but In-Tater-ence - some great moments, and the last thing we'll remember her is of her pantomime persona. Leave it to the legend of Bernard Cribbens to create a nice bittersweet ending and an almost silent dematerialistaion. So ultimately unfulfilling I'm afraid - fair play to RTD he's tried, but he hasn't quite made it going for style and bravado over substance. My Doctor Who is about storytelling - maybe that's not everyone else's idea of Doctor Who. That why those of us who love The Moff's work are optimistic about the future. Real storytelling - consistent story telling that doesn't necessarily involve saving your budget for the last two episodes. Time will tell, it usually does - no doubt Davies does Dickens with Cybermen at Christmas will be more pantomime rather than great storytelling... Might see you on Christmas Day to dissect it !
“ApocalypseGuy” says:
"Right. Where were we?" Journey's End. Aka, Everything and the Kitchen Sink, plus that bastard dog, Part II… "Right. Where fucking were we?" Honestly. What a cop out… Except it wasn't really, was it? After last year's decidedly average finale, I have to admit that I was ready to tear this thing apart and after that beginning, after an entire week where every fanboy/geek/ten year old in the country seemed to have one question on their mind, after I had to make a make shift TV aerial from a coat hanger (long story) to watch this thing, I was more than ready to. But, much to my disappointment, this episode had so much that was good about it. Last year, in my review of the season three finale, I wrote that Russell T. Davies needed to grow up. He toyed around with the idea of genocide and then he made it all go away because he couldn't make his mind up whether or not the show was a kid's show or a serious adult sci-fi show. This time around, the genocide of the dalek race is actually an issue – an issue that resolves itself by punishing the character responsible with a happily ever after ending – but that is discussed and that actually means something to the Doctor, the character that we care about the most, none the less. Meanwhile, the human characters do a fantastic job of showing us that the human race is racing its way towards destruction. Slightly pushed in our faces, but never the less, it would appear to be Russell T's final statement in this universe; even though ALMOST every human in sight is seemingly obsessed with destroying something, whether it's the daleks or even the entire planet, there's always a better way to deal with things, which the Doctor always finds. Which makes it all the more heartbreaking this time when it is part of the Doctor himself who is responsible for the genocide. The Doctor hates this part of himself, the part that is becoming increasingly human, and he chooses to deal with it by locking it away in a place he can never deal with it again. He is beautifully flawed, as highlighted by the fantastic, yet short, final scene, that wasn't interrupted by a hokey mini trailer for the Christmas episode for a change. (Speaking of which – the Cybermen? At Christmas? Really? Oh c'mon…) But there's still some good people out there in the world. Rose. The Doctor knows that if he's going to lock this new, volatile version of himself away with anyone it should be with her. You'd have to be pretty daft not to see it coming, but it was a nice moment and a nice ending for Rose's character. And we finally got the kiss that every Rose/Doctor fan has waited four years for. And then there's Donna. Before I get to her, I just want to launch into one of my main gripes about RTD as a writer on Who. Nobody ever dies. Nobody who's an important hero anyway. Okay, so Harriet what's her name died in the last episode, but who cares. And then when we get that flashback of all the people who have laid down their lives in the Doctor's name and as great as it was, as much as it made us realise something about the Doctor, it only served to highlight the fact that nobody we've ever really cared about has ever died on this show before. And then we finally get to the point where RTD can round this thing off and prove me wrong, and he half-heartedly "kills" Donna. Why not go all the way? Why not make her, admittedly somewhat confusing, sacrifice mean something? Why hype up this huge prophecy about someone dying and then lead to it only killing her memories? Why, Russell T, why?! It could have meant so much more. But alas, I digress. Donna's arc, from what I've seen of it (I've missed a few episodes this year), seems to have been very nicely handled. Despite my gripes about her not actually dying, her final scene was a nice reminder of just how far she's come over the last thirteen episodes. She's grown from being someone who was just an annoying self-centred bint into a woman who was believably willing to lay down her life to save people, and then growing even more because of it. I didn't like how the regeneration issue was resolved so quickly in the opening scene, but at least this double bluff made up for it. I loved seeing Tennant and Tate realising what had happened, when they realised that the Doctor was part human (although I could have done without the silly music) and when they realised that Donna was part time lord. The acting seemed pretty solid right the way across the board, although I'm not entirely sure about how Tennant played the copy of the Doctor. He seemed to be struggling to take the Doctor to how he was in his very first episode, but I don't think he quite got there. At some points he seemed a little bit too naïve, only to seem to know exactly what was happening a couple of moments later. Maybe that was the point, I'm not sure. The effects all looked top notch – the coat hanger wasn't an ideal aerial, I must admit – and the sequence with the TARDIS tugging the Earth back home especially, was a great moment. So what didn't I like? Well, there were far too many characters running around. No one seemed to get a decent amount of screen time, but Billie Piper and her new teeth, perhaps fortunately, seemed to draw the shortest of straws. All of the cliffhangers seemed to be resolved far too easily, Martha seemed as boring as ever (especially when having to share the screen with the likes of Rose, Jack and Donna), and there are no words for that weird little Chinese girl Martha talked to… I really disliked Davros. I don't know if you can tell, but I'm not a massive fan of Who so I don't know what he was like the first time round back in the 70s, but his plans just didn't seem to come together and be all that threatening. Yes, I get the daleks want to be the superior power, just like any "evil" superpower in history, but I just wasn't convinced enough by his motivations or Davros as a character. The Randomizer, despite all of its Nazi/Jewish shower metaphor, just wasn't all that threatening. Why couldn't Jackie have died? Then we could have had a sense of loss and the feeling that this thing meant business. I could just about deal with Dalek Kahn. I didn't entirely get why he did what he did at the end of the episode, but I'm sure I'll pick up on that on a second viewing. Despite his insanity, he seemed to have a method to his madness and seemed more convincing to me than Davros ever was. Finally, everything seemed to be tied up a little bit too neatly. Just one actual death, to get a sense of people dying for the cause and the loss that made the victory happen, and I would have been happy. But despite that, I loved how everything in RTD's tenure on Who has built up to this one moment, although part of me is left wondering whether it was pre-planned or if it all conveniently came together in RTD's head one morning. Either way, I don't care, for the most part, I enjoyed it. And it was all capped off with that bittersweet final scene. Tennant's Doctor alone again, alone as ever. I don't think I'll ever completely enjoy an RTD written episode of Who but this was far better than last year's finale and a fitting send off to a series that, whether I like it or not, has put British scifi back on the map again. See you at Christmas. With the Cybermen. Oh dear.

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