Sunday, July 09, 2006

Doomsday Take II

Ok, let's do this.

Was it any good? I'm not sure I'm really the one to ask. Bridges blown up? Cybermen vs. Daleks? Jackie and Pete meeting 20 years after his death? Everything being sucked into a diabolical void? Nothing affected me. My viewing was completely subsumed by the knowledge that Rose was leaving; it coloured everything. I could see all this incredible, epic stuff, but none of it meant anything. It's only now that I can start to analyse it with any clarity, and as much as we all want to avoid the problems - because both Billie and Rose deserved a perfect departure - there were undoubtedly a few, and I'd rather get them over and done with.

First, the reliance on His Dark Materials. This was blatant, persistent and, unless I missed any direct references, unacknowledged. Having Rose and the Doctor separated into different universes with no possibility of a reunion was completely justified; the parallel world had already been introduced, and, as RTD said in Confidential, this was the only way of getting Rose to leave the Doctor without killing her. But there was so much else - the 'radiation' (Dust), everything being sucked in unless the rip is closed and never re-opened, looking through the specs (the amber spyglass) to see that radiation. It was just too much, and that was a real shame.

The Doctor watching as Rose is swept away. Now, this was a problem that really couldn't be solved. I know that the Doctor couldn't essentially commit suicide to try and save Rose, that the Doctor has been through this before, that he had to stay and close the breach to save an entire world. But that doesn't mean I wasn't absolutely desperate for him to let go and try and save the life of the woman he so evidently loves.

So that's the bad stuff out of the way. Onto the good.

This was the darkest episode yet - forget The Impossible Planet and The Satan Pit - this made my stomach churn in a rather unpleasant manner. Seeing all those Cybermen in people's homes... urgggh; it made me shudder, and I always thought the Cybermen were a bit rubbish.

The comedy. Don't ask me to remember specific lines, I was in no position to take anything in properly, but I do remember the odd chuckle - which were, of course, desperately needed. Catherine Tate's little cameo was a massive relief too. Her writing may be woeful, but she's a delightful comic actress, so The Runaway Bride is something to look forward to.

And finally - what else - Billie and David, Rose and the Doctor. Our DT's not quite been the Doctor we hoped he would be, but this episode showed what we've known all along - that if would just calm down a little, he'd show the world that he's one of the finest actors we've got. The look on his face as he leant his head against the wall... well, it brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it. He didn't need to cry to show us what this meant, just an expression that conveyed utter desolation, as though his very soul (daemon?) had been ripped out. He could have played the rest of the series with a limp and I would still forgive him. That look was incredibly special. As for Billie, well she was as brilliant as she has been all through the two series she has graced, enriched, improved. Passionate and inconsolable, she was the perfect foil to DT's quietly broken Doctor. The whole separation scene was bravely shot too, giving the viewers a good four or five minutes of nothing but reaction to the separation.

So it wasn't the perfect ending that we wanted, but we've come so far with Rose that it was probably impossible. They got their final goodbye and Rose got to say that she loved him, which probably meant more to her than hearing it being said back. Freema's got one hell of an act to follow.

1 comment:

Deano said...

I've only seen the first 4 episodes this season. The others are sitting awaiting viewing, should watch them really!