(repost from my Livejournal – “Doctor Who: The End Of Time” review)
… I will miss you. Terribly.
Okay, first of all, before I really start with the episodes – am I the only one who thought of naming the last Confidential with Ten/DT “Allons-y” as cruel? I read it and thought, they can’t be serious. I mean, we all know how much Ten loved this “Allons-y” and… well… it hurt. Me, at least.
So, after almost trying to ignore the episodes because I didn’t want to watch them at all – I even carefully avoided every review that popped up in the web after EoT II was aired, although I normally read every spoiler I can get – I finally brought myself to sit down (lie down, actually, I cuddled into bed, very well knowing how it would end…) and watch The End Of Time – Ten’s final episodes.
Let’s start with the funny things. Minnie, of course, and the photo session. Hilarious. Minnie probably did something many fangirls are dreaming of… ^^
Something made me think the Vinvocci were bad aliens, and I was surprised when they turned out to be the good guys. And very funny good guys. How they saved the Doctor and Wilf, and the whole rescue thing (“Worst. Rescue. EVER!” -*rofl*) – just great. And, of course, the exchange of words about the “cactusses cacti” 😀 (“God bless the cactusses.” – “That’s cacti!” – “That’s racist!”).
I also totally liked how nice Sylvia suddenly was. I think it was sweet to show her more friendly, especially towards the Doctor in the end. It was a bit like RTD made peace with every character he had ever created and/or used.
Unfortunately, besides this, there was not much to laugh about. Ten’s final episode was mostly as it was expected to be – sad. Heart-breaking.
I was up half the night because I couldn’t stop crying. This was the third time I cried so much over the (“)death(“) of a TV series character. The first one was Aeryn Sun; the second Jenny Shepard (very bad, because it reminded me of the death of a dearly loved family member), and now the third the Doctor. And every time I wonder whether this is normal. I mean, the Doctor is a only a fictional character, not real, only a puppet on writer’s and actor’s strings. Or is he?
The longer TV show characters “accompany” our daily life, being present week after week, the more we get attached to them. They become part of the family; we feel like we know them, really know them. Sometimes we talk to them, yell at them when they do something stupid, laugh with them. Cry with them. And, ultimately, for them.
And suddenly, they’re so much more. They are there when we need them, when we need distraction from a stressful daily life. They’re our escape from reality, and they’re always how we’ve gotten to know and learned to love them. They don’t ask for anything in return; they’re just there and in some way or the other, they comfort us.
I know many people out there can’t understand how one can cry over a fictional character. But then, some fictional characters are closer to us than one or the other real person. Sad as it is, but we live in a world where this is normal. Every man is for himself.
In the end, with being part of our life, they prove often enough to be worth every tear we shed when they get hurt, or when they go.
And so, I cried again, while watching this two-parter; and though I knew how it would end, I was unprepared.
The first scene that brought me to tears was when Wilf and the Doctor sat in the cafe. And oh God, Ten told Wilf that he was going to die and had tears in his eyes. It might not be different from knowing you’ll soon die of a disease that isn’t curable; may the Doctor live on – Ten will be dead.
The second was the conversation on the ship of the Vinvocci. How the Doctor still didn’t want to take a weapon (gun), because that’s just how he is. All brains and words, but never real, cold violence. He’s still our Doctor.
Also when the Doctor said that he’d be proud if Wilf were his dad. That was wonderful. They are a good team, and I like(d) them together.
The third moment, and the one that was the worst, because I didn’t stop crying again after it, was when the Master told the Doctor to step aside. The Master saved the Doctor’s life and, I think, sacrificed himself. I remember kinda hating the Master when he first appeared (in New!Who). But I grew to like him over the time. And like I said, as RTD made peace with all the companions, he also made it somehow with the Master in the end, showing that the seemingly crazy man had also a good side. I liked it.
I really had no idea whether the Doctor would shoot Rassilon, or the Master. Though I know it wouldn’t have been like the Doctor to really use the gun to hurt someone, this situation was so dfferent from everything we had ever seen… but I was glad he only shot the machine. So he stayed in character. Despite the situation, and the insanity of it all, the Doctor didn’t forget who he is and that he would never hurt anyone like that. He’s the Doctor. He doesn’t use guns. His most useful and proven weapon is his mind.
Not going for the easy solution here is another evidence of how genius RTD is.
It wasn ever said in the episodes (but in an interview, as I read I few minutes ago), but somehow I know from the moment the “woman” appeared on the TV screen in Wilf’s house that she is the Doctor’s mum. I can’t explain why, but I just knew it. And the ending, when she lowered her hands and she and and the Doctor looked at each other proved it for me. Another heart-breaking moment, because we know he also consciously decided to kill his mother when he destroyed the machine and therefore connection.
By the way, just a thought, the pictures of Gallifrey, the broken Citadel and the battlefield (the shield!) surrounding it, it reminded me much of medival battles, and also a bit of “Kingdom Of Heaven” or “Lord Of The Rings”.
Since I had avoided all spoilers, I had no idea what would trigger his regeneration. Of course I knew of the knocks, four times, that would bring his doom. But there had been a few people, knocking four times, throughout the two-parter, and I was convinced it would be the Master who would be responsible for the Doctor’s end.
Of course it was curious that Wilf wasn’t unaffected by everything, especially that whole “Master race” transformation. Why not him? Donna I can explain; she had been and maybe still was the DoctorDonna (just think of the “defense mechanism”, when Donna gae a wave of Vortex-energy). And I guess it would already been enough to just having travelled with the Doctor. So, okay, before the Master’s plan was carried out, Wilf was in the TARDIS, and travelling with the Doctor. A very little tiny bit. But he was the only one seeing the Master’s face before. I knew, suspected Wilf had to have a special meaning for all these events.
But I would never have suspected him to be the one to, in some twisted and terrible way, be the reason for the Doctor’s death/regeneration.
He will knock four times.
When Wilf knocked – and I realized it was Wilf – I felt like crying “No!” at the top of my lungs. It wasn’t fair – just like the Doctor said. He had survived everything to this point, he had restored timelines and events, sent back the Time Lords, his own people, killed them again – and his own mother – had even the Master sacrifice himself. He was going to live. All these events, and the Doctor was still going to live. He had survived.
And then his death comes with a man who’s a friend, the granddad of his best friend, and a faithful companion. Because he can’t let him die. Because he’s still our Doctor who rather gives his own life than let a friend die.
In the end, I almost choked because I was crying and sobbing so hard I couldn’t breath anymore. I wanted to cry out loudly, but it was two in the morning and the walls are too thin…
I don’t even want to start with his “reward”, with Ten visiting really *everyone* he had learned to love over those years, everyone WE had learned to love, and saying goodbye. And it felt like it wasn’t only Ten saying goodbye, but also us. Like we had the chance to say a final farewell to those characters Steven Moffat probably won’t bring back.
– Martha and Mickey. Married – huh – I wondered whether this was some kind of another timeline, as I though Martha was married when we met her in S4 and before she met Mickey. Not that I mind them being together, they’re a cute couple, and with Mickey so grown-up now, they’re perfect for each other. Did they know? Hard to tell. Maybe they felt it, that it was a farewell when the Doctor appeared, saved their lives, said nothing, but just watched before he vanished again.
– Jack and Alonso. My God, they brought Alonso back! That was sweet. As was the Doctor coupling them. Such a cute gesture. And we got to see where Jack now is, after Children of Earth. Also we got to see soooo many aliens we might still know very well from Ten’s era. Jack also might have suspected something. There was this hint of sadness. Friends feel it.
– Luke and Sarah Jane. She knew. She so knew. You could see it in her eyes that she knew he was going to regenerate. After all I think she had witnessed it before (was she with him them? I’m not entirely sure). She didn’t follow him, run to him, she didn’t call for him. She just watched, silently saying goodbye.
– Verity Newman: I liked how they brought in Joan again. In some way. Joan was a great character and certainly would have been a wonderful partner for John Smith, though not necessarily for the Doctor. And the existence of Verity showed that in the end, she may have found another true love afterwards. Maybe this was some kind of consolation for the Doctor.
– Donna, or more, Wilf and Sylvia. I so hope Donna now had to right man and will have a good life. It’s sad that Ten couldn’t say goodbye to her, but at least he had Wilf and finally-nice-Sylvia.
– Rose. I only need to write the name and I have tears in my eyes again. I’m not sure whether I liked it. I know it was the only way. But… she didn’t know him. And she also won’t know in the future. If Rose still has only one timeline, then she should have known Ten when Nine regenerated to him. Because then this encounter from EoT also would have happened before Rose. But she didn’t know him. However. That’s the one part. The other is that she appeared anyways, and I’m thankful that we saw her again, that Ten said goodbye to her. His love. And yet he never got to say her he loved her. It’s the end for the Doctor, but it will be the start of a great time and a new life for Rose soon.
Thanks to RTD for the little fact that Rose was the last person he said goodbye to. I think that was very meaningful. The last person he saw (aside from Ood Sigma, but we leave him out at this point) was his Rose.
I know there’s so much more one could talk about, so many impressions and new information that came with the two-parter, but it was simply too much, it IS too much to think about and deal with it now. At the moment, all I know is one thing: It hurts. It hurts so much.
Nine was my first Doctor – but Ten will always be my Doctor. I liked Chris Eccleston very much, and I’m sure I’ll like Matt Smith. I also liked what I saw of earlier Doctors; certainly they all were great.
But love I will always only one actor: David Tennant.
Because for me and my understanding of who and what the Doctor is, DT was and will ever be brilliant. I doubt that anyone will ever again show so much passion and enthusiasm when playing the Doctor. I only hope that those people who always criticized him – esp. some of the Classic!Who fans – will sooner or later also recognize what DT has given us. He is the man who saw Doctor Who as a little boy and from this day on dreamt of nothing else, wanted nothing more than to play the Doctor. This is a dream come true. And he showed in every single second how thankful he was for this dream fulfillment.
Ten broke my heart, with his last words. I thought it was already broken, after the two episodes, and especially the scene with Rose, but… the pieces shattered again when he said these final words:
David Tennant had stated in an interview that he was surprised about his final words, tha he didn’t see it coming, but he thought of them as absolutely perfect. And he’s right, because that’s exactly what one would expect of the Tenth Doctor to say as a final line, since we all know how much Ten feared his regeneration.
And I bet that the majority of fans (of Ten) out there were shouting at exact this moment: “And we don’t want you to go!”. It was what I was thinking, though I didn’t say it out loud then.
Only afterwards I read what Ood Sigma had said – I hadn’t been listening and I had to force myself to watch anyways – and maybe “We will sing to you, Doctor. The universe will sing you to your sleep. This song is ending, but the story never ends.” would have made it even worse. The story may never end. But it’ll be a lot poorer without our Tenth Doctor.
I end this with words, said by Sarah Jane, of which I think are more true than anything anyone could ever have said about the Tenth Doctor:
“No one’s ever going to forget you.”
And certainly not we fans. Thank you, David Tennant. Thank you.