The second series of the reinvigorated Doctor Who comes to a close this week, as things pick up exactly where the previous episode ended.
Doomsday aired on 8 July, 2006 and was penned by showrunner Russell T. Davies. The Doctor (Tennant) and Rose (Billie Piper) find themselves in what will become known as The Battle of Canary Wharf, as the Daleks and Cybermen clash in combat.
Tying together threads, including Bad Wolf, from the beginning of the relaunched series, including the parallel universe that allows Mickey (Noel Clarke) and Pete (Shaun Dingwall) to play their part in the episode’s climax.
Of course the real heart of the episode is the relationship between the Doctor and Rose, and for the first time, we see the real impact on both Doctor and Companion, when they lose one another.
Rose is trapped in the parallel universe, separated forever. In a heartrending scene, the Doctor uses the energy of a supernova to broadcast a hologram of himself to make his final goodbyes, and just as Rose and the audience are waiting for the big moment that they’ve longed for since the chemistry between the two first surfaced, the transmission cuts out.
It leaves both parties, and a number of viewers, in tears.
It’s a lovingly crafted episode that embraces the continuity of the new series in the best of ways, tying up loose ends, and as the episode comes to a close, sets up new ones (who is this woman in a wedding dress in the TARDIS?), for the now, annual, Christmas episode.
This episode gutted me the first time I saw it. Whether you were a fan of Rose or not, the story, the performances are all spot-on and the emotions feel so real… Oh the feels.
The Runaway Bride was written by Davies and aired on Christmas Day 2006.
The story introduces Donna Noble (Catherine Tate) and you just know from their first scene together that you want to see the Doctor and Donna travelling together.
It seems something very strange has been happening to Donna, and on the day she was hoping to be married to Lance (Don Gilet) she begins to glow before disappearing and finding herself on the TARDIS.
Donna is fairly self-involved, occasionally angry, and provides some nice moments in the episode, and brings a completely different vibe to the series. It’s still Doctor Who, but it feels completely different to travelling with Rose.
It seems her husband-to-be isn’t really interested in her, romantically, it seems he’s been dosing her with huon particles to convert her into a key that will unlock something in the Earth’s core. Something that the Time Lords thought they had eradicated.
As confrontations escalate, the Doctor becomes increasingly angry against the story’s villain, almost destructive until Donna reigns him in.
One of the things I love about the Christmas specials is how they play with typical holiday things, and turn them scary or deadly.
This episode was exceptional, and sets up the Doctor and his continuing journey quite nicely. We also get the first mention of the new English Prime Minister, Mr. Saxon…
Next time, the Doctor takes on a new Companion in Smith and Jones…