The Doctor abandons Rose with a genocidal Donna in Tennant-form and there’s no sign of The Shadow Proclamation anywhere!
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Everyone survives the cliffhanger from last week’s The Stolen Earth, as the Doctor takes his uncontrollable profusion of regenerative energy and directs it precisely at his glove compartment.
Martha teleports to an ominous-looking castle in Germany, whence to destroy the world. Meanwhile, everyone else — including all of the companions who didn’t get to feature in part one — head to The Crucible.
Except, of course, for Gwen and Ianto, who are busy fingering a bullet time effect, and Luke and K-9, who are just hanging out. Also, Donna’s hearing heartbeats. Weird.
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‘Activate the Reality Bomb!’ ‘Exterminieren!”You are the Destroyer of Worlds’. There is so much to love about this episode (the return of Dalek time measure ‘Rels’ for instance!). Surely a contender for the best Dalek story ever. Every line uttered from Davros is perfection, from his softly spoken taunting of the Doctor to his final maniacal laugh.
The Dalek’s scheme is the most bonkers in their entire history. Destroying all matter, other than Dalek matter, takes the concept of the Daleks to its extreme. Dalek plans in subsequent episodes (if they even have any) are a tidily in comparison. Davros is clearly a bad influence.
The only element not to like is the Doctor-Donna stuff. I recall being utterly baffled by this at the time, and, on rewatching, I remain utterly baffled (I look forward to you explaining it to me). Not killing off Donna after the series-long build-up is a total cop-out. Far worse has happened to other companions (accelerated ageing in ‘Dalek’s Master Plan’ and being blown up in a Cyberman-infested ship in ‘Earthshock’). At least she’s still alive – jeez, get a grip Doctor. Still, Rose and Fake-Doctor shacking up is an emotionally satisfying ending.
Five-out-of-Five Exterminierens from me!
Next time – the cybermen return. Woo Hoo!
Tracey here! We waited all summer to see if that blast did anything to the Borg ship, and if Picard is dead. Err I mean to see who Tennant regenerates into. Oh! He doesn’t.
Crossover characters are dropped safely into a time lock, and Luke is guarded by Mr Smith. Let’s focus on the folks we know.
Donna gets trapped in the TARDIS as the Daleks are going to use it to replenish their ZPM or whatever. And then, OMG I legit forgot we had double Tennant!! (While this is great, it doesn’t explore the twice person trope very far. For an in-depth exploration of the twice person trope, watch Farscape. Go do it. Now. Seriously.) Donna touches the creepy severed hand so HumanDoc and DoctorDonna can save the day. Yay! Everyone on earth is ok! Except for the people the Daleks vaporized. And people with severed spines from the turbulent return flight?
Now the ending. Oh boy. Rose gets a guy who looks like the Doctor with Doctor memories, but who still clearly isn’t. It could have been interesting to leave her Doctor there and have HumanDoc stay in our universe. Perhaps he could magically take the Time Lord part back from Donna? Instead Donna starts unraveling. She’ll die if all those memories stay in her mind. To fix this, Doc mind rapes her as she says no repeatedly.
Rating: Just have her say “I understand I’ll miss you.” Goddamn it.
You spent a couple minutes of this episode debating how the half-assed regeneration in this episode is counted among the Doctor’s regenerations.
I’m really surprised a whole podcast full of “Doctor Who” fans seems to have not paid attention during “The Time of the Doctor,” in which there’s a *whole scene* specifically explaining the Doctor’s regeneration status: War Doctor was 9, Eccelston was 10, Tennant was 11 and 12 (that so-called regen happened in “Journey’s End”), and Smith was 13. Smith’s regeneration into Capaldi was made possible by the Time Lords after Clara begged them (through the crack) to give him more regenerations. The Smith-to-Capaldi regeneration was extra powerful (wiping out the Dalek ships attacking Christmas), apparently due to this one breaking the rules, either “resetting the clock,” or possibly giving him infinite regenerations. Nobody knows, not even the Doctor himself.
As for how Doctors are numbered for the purpose of fandom, Hurt is the “War Doctor,” Eccelston is still 9, Tenant is still 10, Smith is 11, and Capaldi is 12.
Now, if you want to argue whether any of this makes sense, by all means, have at it. Especially if you want to argue the off-the-charts stupidity of the “hand-assisted” non-regeneration regeneration in “Journey’s End,” go for it. But you really need someone among you who watches the show and remembers it.
Thanks for a very entertaining podcast!
I didn’t consider this classic Who back when and repeated viewings just made me think of more stuff that bugged me about it. Some used to say Who was like a pantomime but it could be a bit of a circus under RTD’s stewardship! Still, he did give the show a great big heart, which elevates Stolen Earth/Journeys End for me. Donna’s exit is one of the most tragic in the show’s history, although RTD would utterly undermine this by giving her a happily-ever-after later (much like the travesty of the return to Bad Wolf Bay in this ‘sode?!). Cannot forgive the dodgy plot, so riddled with holes I don’t know where to start! Although, moving planets is a Who call-back and we have to let it slide or judge Pirate Planet as harshly (which is name checked in this story). I’m calling bullshit on the regeneration cop-out, which really disappointed at the time.
My two-cents about the reality-bomb: in Genesis of the Daleks, the Doctor debates with Davros about creating a virus that would destroy every living thing and he says, with characteristic megalomania, that he would do it! So I guess RTD assumes we know that Davros would go to these extremes of extermination!
Keep up the good work!