The fourth series of the reinvigorated Doctor Who comes to a close this week with Journey’s End. It also sees Donna Noble’s (Catherine Tate) departure from the TARDIS.
The conclusion was penned by Russell T. Davies and aired on 5 July, 2008.
The Doctor (Tennant), Donna, Rose (Billie Piper), and Captain Jack (John Barrowman) are exactly where we left them with the cliffhanger last week, mortally wounded by a dalek, in their takeover of the Earth and the twenty-six other worlds they have moved through space-time, the Doctor has begun to regenerate
Thankfully he is able to stave it off, thanks to the hand he previously lost. And he is ready to confront Davros (Julian Bleach), the creator of the daleks.
What they don’t count on is the melding of Time Lord genetic material, (from the hand, which also creates an additional Doctor – the Daleks are going to have their hands full) combining with Donna – Doctor Donna! It’s brilliant watching Tate bring Donna so far from where she came from, and heartbreaking to see where she ends up. It gets me every time, and the scenes with Wilf (Bernard Cribbins)… sob.
All the loose story threads get wrapped up nicely before the end of the episode, and we check in with all the companions we’ve come to know over the past four series.
It’s fast moving, and has some great moments, but it doesn’t have all the kick of the previous episode. I love seeing Martha (Freema Agyeman), Jackie (Camille Coduri), Mickey (Noel Clarke) and Sarah Jane (Elisabeth Sladen) joining the rest of our heroes in the TARDIS – that is such a great bit that it makes me smile every time.
There are some brutal moments, like when Davros confronts the Doctor over his own nature – he won’t carry a weapon, but he has fashioned so many people into them. That’s a tough moment to handle.
The Christmas episode, The Next Doctor, kicked off a collection of specials that aired between Christmas 2008, and New Year’s Day, 2010. A grand total of five specials had to get through the year, and we knew that the last one would herald a regeneration.
Airing on Christmas Day, 2008, the story was written by Davies, and for a moment, you think, during the course of the episode that the Doctor has met another incarnation of himself in the form of the next Doctor (David Morrrissey), who has his own Companion named Rose (Velile Tshabalala).
It’s 1851, and the Doctor arrives in London. He quickly encounters the next Doctor, who may not in fact be a regeneration, but just someone who has blocked something terrible that has happened to him.
But the Doctor will need all the help he can get as he squares off against Miss Hartigan (Dervia Kerwin) and the Cybermen – who seem to be at her beck and call.
The Cyberman are up to no good, again, but this story isn’t as engaging as some of the other Christmas episodes, and definitely not as solid as the previous episode. I will say I like the interactions between Tennant and Morrissey especially as the Doctor finally leans the man’s identity.
It’s not my favourite of the Christmas episodes, and definitely not my most beloved of the specials. It has some nice moments, but considering I had to wait from July until December, it was a bit disappointing. Then, I had to wait until April 2009 for the next special.
But then the stories really started to take off..
Next time we travel to The Planet of the Dead.