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PARTING OF THE WAYS
Thus ends the all too short Chris Eccelston era (months) in a great story. Okay as usual I have some questions and comments. Jack. Uhm, I can understand why I liked him then and why he's so popular even now after he's killed his own grandson and betrayed youngsters in the past but here he...he buys the Doctor time. But it is unclear if he did so by lying to the people he conned into helping him or if he was just plain stupid and a jerk to boot. The lady who dies believes Jack lied to her that the bullets would stop the Daleks. Clearly the bastic (bas#$%) bullets don't. Jack was also stupid or lied about the fact that the Daleks would go up but he made it clear that was a big probably go up. He was also wrong about a few other things. Did he do this just to get people to sacrifice himself along with himself to give the Doctor time? Who knows? It's never fully explained but he gets himself and everyone else before him killed. Perhaps he knew they were all going to die anyway. The Doc and Jack are both stupid to allow Lynda to think she was safe too. She wasn't. Clearly.
Another point is that the forcefield on the station prevented the Dalek fleet from blowing them out of the sky (Well what sky?) but allowed Daleks to invade one by one in rows? Did they slip in through holes in the forcefield? WTF?
Also unclear is that the Daleks were not really Daleks, were they? How could they be half human if...if they were made from humans? Did the Emperor have them mixed with his own DNA? Did he have some other Daleks with him? I guess there must have been Daleks on his own ship so that might explain it.
I also notice that...and perhaps he was just protecting DW continuity with future events intact but the UK is the only safe place really or one of the one continents not blown apart. North America and Australia get destroyed. And stay that way. NO reset there. On that matter, why does Rose return Jack to life but no one else? The bi$*#*ch. I mean maybe she did and we didn't see it? Maybe she restored Earth, too? Although to be fair, Rose is seemingly stopping as the Doctor pleads with her to stop so maybe she didn't get a chance to bring anyone else back to life.
BTW is there a scene between the Doctor putting Rose in the Tardis and his regeneration scene? In the DAVID TALKS part of the regeneration during CHILDREN IN NEED (and I like that short scene too), he talks of Jack restoring the Earth...how would he know that? Indeed, it doens't make sense because later on Jack asks the Doctor why he just left him? Maybe he put Rose in the Tardis, found Jack alive (indeed how would the 10th Doc know Jack was alive?), then left him again! Then regenerated.
All those things aside, nothing in this is prevented from being just truly wonderful and chilling and amazing. Poor Lynda. The death scenes are all well done maybe except of Jack offering himself with his hands out, "I kinda figured that." He's so...well, you know. Anyway I almost always liked Jack but seeing it now, colored by the tragic, awful TORCHWOOD, it kinda takes away from it a bit.
Rose, Mickey, Jackie: Terrfic stuff. Rose just wants to help the Doctor and frankly she goes on and on about RTD's "better way of living" but what's that? Show up by mistake, save some people, let others die, kill the aliens, and leave before you put down roots? I guess the Doctor showed them how to live their lives but honestly it feels like Rose just doesn't want to miss out on the action and wants to prove to the Doctor she can save him. Either way, it's still riveting stuff. Some people complain about the Doctor not doing anything heroic here but to be honest, he does. He does what the Doctor always does: tinker with wires and things to save lives and he makes a choice: not to kill. That's heroic.
Frankly, Mickey is the big hero here. At first, he just wants Rose to consider forgetting the Doctor and he's a bit mad at Rose still ("Cause your'e better than us?"---uh and Rose does seem to think this) but he rises above that and forgets her ever staying with him to build a new life for herself because she callously tells him that there's nothing here for her anymore (sounds ALOT like Adric! in EARTHSHOCK!) and later still the biartch doesn't want the 10th Doctor asking Mickey to stay in the TARDIS in SCHOOL REUNION. Even after he does all this!!!! Jackie, too just loves the Doc for sending Rose back to her but then rises above her own selfishness (loving her daughter and wanting her safe if that can be seen as selfishness, maybe? maybe not!) and giving her daughter the help she needs to get into the HEART OF THE TARDIS. AMAZING character stuff all around from the trio.
I've said my bit about the stupid BAD WOLF words scattered through time and space as a warning and won't go on about how dumb it really is. It really seems as if it was made up at the last moment to mean something. ANd it's stupid. But even that can't take away from the greatness of this episode. The action, the dialog, the beliveable acting in unbelieveable situations, the visuals, the great effects and especially the fantastic music (there's never been a better use of the 9th Doctor/Doctor theme than in the climax of this) is just great and if you don't get chills when the Doctor hologram looks right at Rose and says, "Have a fantastic life," then I doubt you really like DW at all!
The regeneration is just amazing, standing up, a novel thing. Of course RTD uses it again for the Master and again for the Doctor (you know when he fake regenerates in the awful JOURNEY'S END's beginning as RTD gimmicks us ito thinking David will leave--and for one was sorry it wasn't David's last story!) but here it's novel for the show. And it's wonderful, again because of the effects, acting, dialog, and music. One odd thing is that it really looks like Piper filmed her shots SEPARATE from Chris's here and the same thing seems to happen when Piper appears with David in some of the scenes in the CHILDREN IN NEED regeneration aftertalk. Cut to Doc, cut to Rose, cut to Doc. They don't really seem to be in the same room with each other. It does seem to cut down on the excitement. Imagine a companion trying to hug the Doctor when he's changing like that! Now that would be a great idea. What would happen? Anyway, this is all great despite some curious RTD stuff (Barcelona being an alien planet name and the dog with no nose joke, someone explain that to me, I don't get it! or I do and it's not funny).
So Goodbye Chris and you will be sorely missed and yet David will do some good stuff in years to come but your time, Chris, ended all too fast and I'm glad that almost all of your stories were good ones (bar THE LONG GAME where your Doc was a prat and a jerk and a traitor).
A great ending for a great Doctor. Great motion in the lives of Rose, Mickey and Jackie! Truly awesome with great big Daleks armies in space, frying windows and stuff! And the Daleks are truly powerful here. The Emperor was creepy and the twist of the Daleks having a sort of religion strange and interesting. It was a bit of a mystery that the Emp didn't know the words Bad Wolf but...RTD and most DW writers suck at mystery and this is no exception.
Still 10/10 for this story, very watchable, enjoyable and energetic and the last 15 min are just tense even after knowing the ending! Just thrilling!