A blooming 5/5 or 10/10 and that's mostly due to Catherine Tate. Reliving things is not always a good idea but to see how things worked out differently...I still think it would have been better served if we saw Torchwood attacking the Sontaran ship and Gwen and Ianto die but that would change the focus from Donna. There's also a funeral like atmosphere throughout moreso than LOGOPOLIS which is referenced at one point (THE NEXUS bit).
In fact, all the reactions of Donna, Wilf (was he in the military as the Italian salutes him), and Sylvia are all very real in the face of such defeat. Syliva in both parallels is annoying but the thing is: her nagging is very real and so much moreso than Jackie (whom I love more) and Martha's mum. Some of this makes little to no sense. Why would the Doc stay in the waterworks to die? He's been alone before (MIDNIGHT for one) and in spinoffs alot and been through worse so why stay to die? Rose cryptically says Donna is going to die but which one? Most of that is to set us all up to think Donna will die in the next two episodes and I think that stinks. It's another RTD gimmick. Bad Wolf never made any sense and still doesn't so that shock ending while wide eye opening is, when you think about it, stupid. Other stories that this reminds me of include INFERNO (parallel) and PLANET OF THE SPIDERS (which RTD must have been trying to fool us into thinking the spiders were back on the back). The mirror thing reminded me of KINDA and the Chinese marketplace reminded me of the market in Chinatown but also of the market in SNAKEDANCE.
Much of what Rose says is strange. And why are the stars going out? And it seems to be Davros. It's coming. From across the stars. If Rose knows this and knows it's the Daleks why not just say so? Causual nexus? And if Donna saves everything...I guess it all relies on THE STOLEN EARTH and JOURNEY'S END...why do the stars keep going out? The soldier killed in THE POISON SKY after first having been taken over in SONTARAN SRATAGEUM is back here and alive so I guess he's one that loses out when the Doctor returns to life in our parallel. How did Donna know that throwing herself under the truck would make the other Donna turn left? How was Rose travelling around so much? ANd which UNIT was this?
The atomic bomb/blast thing is scary. Scarier than any monsters even the beetle thing on her back. PANIC IN THE YEAR ZERO, an older movie and all movies after that including THE DAY AFTER and TV mini series of that ilk that depict the dying during and after an atomic or nuclear bomb blast are very depressing and very scary and hopeless. I named a few but there are more and the futility of such a thing is shown in almost all of them. It's depicted well here and the labor camp thing...probably would happen.
In any event, this story while pretty depressing is pretty good in that it holds attention, brings a buck toothed Rose back (even if she's trying to act all Doctor-y), has UNIT, and shows us what things would be like if the Doctor died (in a stupid fashion but never mind!). It has our three leads, Tate as Donna and the actors who play her grandfather (love Wilf's reindeer ears), and her mum, acting their socks off.