The leftward and other blatherings of Span (now with Snaps!)

Thursday, October 05, 2006

A new lease on life IV - the end of the beginning

So tonight's the night that Rose Tyler says good bye to the Doctor and the Tardis, and the regular pay check of being in a successful long-running series.


I'm anticipating I'll need at least two hankies. I get awfully weepy when they get rid of characters I love, even when aren't necessarily killed off for good.

Rose has been a great character, who I've already gone on and on about before. But part of the equation has been the surprise of Billie Piper - she's convincing, not ridiculously good-looking, and a good foil for David Tennant. I'm also very impressed with the actor playing her mum (Camille someone?).

If she does die I'm not sure whether I'd prefer her to find her exterminated or deleted. Or maybe it will all be much more mundane and she'll just get left behind? One thing's for sure though - no one ever dies of heart disease on Doctor Who.

In a way this post is a space-saver for a hopeful discussion about the end of Rose, and the end of this series, after it has screened tonight. Please don't post any spoilers here until after I'm safely ensconsed in front of the telly at 7.30pm.

Update, 10.38am, Sunday 8th Oct 2006: I'm not going to put any spoilers in this post in case there's anyone lagging behind, but I've seen it now and I'll post further about it in the comments below. Also added photo.

Previous posts about the new new Doctor Who series:
- A new lease on life Part I - Doctor White and Doctor Black
- A new lease on life Part II -Cult references soothe the soul
- A new lease on life Part III - the Doctor finds his heart(s)?

And the official BBC Doctor Who site, complete with a game were you get to be a dalek!


PabloR said...

I hope you get a chance to post soon...I rather enjoyed the episode last night, and was struck between the similarity to the end of His Dark Materials...

Span said...

Good point about the end of His Dark Materials, I hadn't noticed that myself - any word on the movie they are supposedly making of that trilogy?

Well I did cry a fair bit. I thought they did the ending very well, in terms of the "ILU" issue. But on the whole I thought the last bit was a bit dragged out.

There were quite a few grating plot holes. The one that really bugged me was Pete coming back through the Void and grabbing Rose at the exact right moment - how would he have known to do that?

The daleks were absolutely fragging fantastic. The argument they had with the cybermen just showed their superiority in all things (apart from dying of course, I'm still laughing about that one!). But their superiority as characters too, the cybermen are just too, well, emotionless I guess. Rose's spunkiness with the daleks worked in a way that would have been pretty useless with the cybermen I reckon.

The way they reacted when they saw the doctor was just brilliant - who would have thought they could so clearly portray the thoughts and reactions of a salt cellar so clearly!

Ok more thoughts from others please before I gush on all morning!

Apathy Jack said...

I thought it was done very well. I wouldn't say Pete's reappearance was a plot hole - Jackie had been yelling at him to go back for her. Sure, it was a great coincidence that he appeared where and when he did, but you know...

I think Rose's leaving was handled well - they didn't kill her, but they didn't soft peddle it either - from day one of the Eccleson series the message has been that if you hanf with the Doctor you will end badly, and Rose did after a fashion.

Joe Hendren said...

Great episode - the battle between the daleks and the cybermen/cyberwomen was great - an historial alogy of the cold war perhaps? Sadly there has not been as many left-wing anti-thatcher barbs in this series as the last. Was Christopher E a more left wing doctor?

I'm going to miss Rose too :(

While it was reassuring for the audience for Rose not to be literally dead - what about the world she left behind? That said, it was never spelt out whether the original world of Rose and the doctor was the same alternative reality as us.

Was the original world of Rose worth inhabiting after all the cybers and daleks had been sucked up by the vortex? It affected more than just the people who had traveled between worlds - otherwise Jackie would have been safe to stay.

Anthony said...

I think Jackie would have been safe staying, but wanted to be with Pete and Rose.

Speaking of characters played by Billie Piper and books written by Philip Pullman.

But back to Dr Who (sort of), I hope we don't have long to wait for Torchwood.

David Farrar said...

A great episode. I was cheering loudly for Rose as she was telling the Daleks she destroyed the Dalek Emporer. Very fuck you attitude to the end.

And yeah a tear sobber the last few minutes. I think it can be harder to face permament separation from sopmeone than death.

Commie Mutant Traitor said...

I really enjoyed those last two episodes, but they were a bit more lightweight than I'd have preferred. I had heard that the way the Doctor and Rose treated everything as a joke throughout the season ("hey wow, we met Queen Vic and a werewolf - isn't that so cool? So what if a few people got horribly slaughtered") would end up biting them, and was disappointed that didn't happen. My bet had been on Rose leaving the Doctor after their recklessness getting Jackie killed. Rose trapped on an alternate Earth where she can live a life of luxury with her resurrected dad, her mum, and her boyfriend just doesn't quite cut it as a tragic ending. But then, I'm in the "human-timelord relationship = bestiality" camp.

Ghet said...

I was dreading that, in that last little moment, they were going to have him tell her he loved her. I should have had more faith in Russell, really. It was nicely, touchingly done and I did cry. From a writer's POV, the stranding of Rose isn't completely irrevocable if you really needed to bring her back, it's not 'then Bobby wakes up and it was all a dream', but it's also belieavably final.

What WILL disappoint me is if they slide the new companion into having exactly the same relationship with him. You know, like in Jonathon Creek when they replaced Caroline Quentin with Julia Sawahlia.

Melanie said...

I don't think that is going to happen - none of the companions have ever segued into one another before. I'm looking forward to the Christmas special with Catherine Tate (am I bovvered?) as the Bride!. Ooo ooo was just watching BBC 3 (am in London) and saw the trailer for Torchwood - the first of the spin offs! Yay Capt. Jack!

Span said...

I think it would be great if the new companion is in fact a couple (or rather two people who aren't together yet but perhaps should be), but I think it's another woman? I'm not sure I want to know yet.

melanie you are so lucky to be able to see it all first! I imagine we will have to wait a v long time for Torchwood.

About the word that the daleks and cybermen were sucked out of - they have done a lot of odd things to our world really, like The Wire and the aliens that took over the Govt, a lot of things that just referring to the Torchwood institute don't really cover, but I suppose that's one of the things about Dr Who. It's one of the reasons I'd like to see more stories off-Earth, as I'm feeling like they are kind of running into each other too much and starting to stretch credibility across the series.

Commie Mutant Traitor said...

Yes, I'd much rather see two companions, with the Doctor as a more mysterious and alien figure instead of a love interest. And it definitely should be going off-Earth more; if they made more two or three parters, that would split the costs of constructing alien world sets.

Apathy Jack said...

The new companion is a woman, there's only one of her, and she raises the number of black companions The Doctor has had by about 150 percent.

(That's all I have - I'm working off a single publicity shot. I'm not rabid for extra info myself - I'll find out when I find out...)

I'd like to see a few more off-Earth stories. Russel Davies has said he likes the Earth-based stories because he can't work up any emotional attachment to danger faced by things with antennas a million miles away from home, and I see his point. On the other hand, we've had two full seasons, and I think the only time the Tardis has even left orbit is New Earth, which, you know, doesn't really count...

Deane Jessep said...

Yay! doctor who lovers, yay! yay! yay!.... now that I have calmed down.
I thought Christopher Eccleson was going to be completely impossible to replace, but David Tenant has ended his first series as a star! I think there really was some special spark present in his acting, brought about by a life long dream to play "The Doctor". One things for sure Tenant wont run off scared of being Type Cast.
The Final was great, some fabulous moments, eg; Rose mocking the Daleks for not being scared of millions of Cybermen but being terrifyed of The Doctor. The rescue of Rose was a little silly but if you want to suspend disbelief (a very important ability for any Doctor Who fan) there are many ways Pete could have known to return, I wont go into them but I bet you all have very vivid imaginations. Some interesting questions for you all (Rhetorical if you like):
1) Does the alternate universe have Its own Doctor?
2) Is The Doctor God?; Think about it, he bears all of the halmarks of a chaotic good trickster god. And he is always at the right place at the right time, he survived the annihilation of his species (even though he was on the "Front lines". What if he wanted to spend time with his creations... so he makes himself mortal, makes himself forget all, and programs a very cool Tardis to always take him where he needs to be.
3) Is anyone at all worried about millions of Cybermen and some very scary Daleks hanging around in Void Space waiting for an "accidental" hole to appear, they are not likely to be Dead of course.
4) Is anyone secretly hoping for a Brigadier like me?

Lastly, if any of you are from Napier... Shhhhhhh... I suspect the greater electorate is not Doctor Who fans, lol.

Deane Jessep said...

Oh yeah... Apathy Jack, check these episodes out for series 2 off earth stuff:

New Earth
The Girl in the Fireplace (50%)
The Impossible Planet
The Satan Pit

I agree its a bit of a cop out but its still near enough to 30%, I had heard that this was due to a fan demand for some off earth stuff after series 1. Also worth noting in every case he still built up an emotional attachment to earth or earth culture.

Melanie said...

Hey span I'm heading back to NZ in a couple of months so will miss some of Torchwood - it starts 22 oct. My husband is coming back to London next year so I'll get him to send me the DVD. Having said that, you should check out the BBC sites. I'm sure there is some episode downloads somewhere.

Span said...

DJ, I'm secretly hoping for a The Master!!

Jack - I saw that publicity shot too and she looks more aloof, more emotionally detached from the Doctor, than Rose was, which I think will be a good thing. I hope she's kick arse, maybe she'll be a bit like a female Spock, that could work quite well, maybe?

Melanie - the highlight of my trip to the UK (well, ok one of the highlights) was getting to see The Satan Pit in a B&B in Salisbury. I was so ridiculously excited, it was pathetic! As for bit torrent etc, I am a bit technically unable when it comes to that kind of stuff unfortunately, and I don't mind waiting for the telly to show it, I just wish NZ "networks" wouldn't stuff viewers round so much, eg The Sopranos.

PabloR said...

A bit late to join I know, but I remember Jon Pertwee's Doctor being very Earth-bound too, and he always seemed a bit lightweight, maybe as a result. Tom Baker spent a lot of time in space and those episodes are much darker, scarier (I still occasionally think of the guy turning into a giant slug on a space station, must have seen it 30 years ago in my Grandparents' front room in Dannevirke. Funny, the things you remember).

Commie Mutant Traitor said...

At least the Pertwee Doctor had a reason for being stuck on Earth. In 21 stories so far, the new series has only left Earth orbit 3 times - and that's if you count New Earth. Even the third Doctor left orbit 7 times in his first 21 stories.

PabloR said...

My god, I am so underprepared to be an anorak!

What kept the Third Doctor on earth, CMT? I don't remember...

Span said...

Thank goodness for Wikipedia, the Third Doctor was in exile and his Tardis was broken, hence being earth-bound for much of the time.

Anyone able to shed any light (beyond expense) on why the new Doctor Who is so determined to remain in Sol-orbit?

Commie Mutant Traitor said...

Well, possibly following the destruction of his original Homeworld, he's felt a need to cling to his adopted home Earth more than usual? Not an idea I particularly like, but it's the best in-story explanation I can come up with.

Pablo said...

Maybe Earth has become the Doctor Who-equivalent of a hellmouth, one for the whole galaxy?

I suspect that they are trying to limit the geek factor by reducing the number of naff aliens or dodgy sets.

Span said...

Sorry pablo you are going to have to explain what you mean by a hellmouth? Do you mean that that's where all the action is for a Doctor Who type, as a result of some structural weakness in the fabric of space/time?

It'd be quite good if the new companion wasn't even from Earth...

Surely they must be feeling secure enough about the success of the new new Doctor Who to go a bit geek on us all?

Pablo said...

A hellmouth like on Buffy where all the action is, the Doctor is drawn there because that is where the evil congregates?

To be fair, I hadn't even been drinking when I made that comment, though I may have been in a bit of pain after yoga on Tuesday (hint, don't miss a session). Anyway, you are right about stetching their wings now that they have two successful sessions under their belts.

Span said...

Thanks for the explanation, sadly the joy that is Buffy has not yet entered my life. But I do have a plan to let her into my heart.