I’m so sorry

“I’M so sorry … “

So said the Doctor when he wiped Donna’s memory and so – I hope – RTD was thinking when he decided on her fate.
As I have said before, Catherine Tate has been a wonderful companion for the Doctor, surpassing my expectations by a mile, so to reduce her back to Donna mk1 was beyond cruel – it was unforgivable, but it made the end of series four unforgettable.

She has been a true touchstone for us throughout this series, without ever falling into the doe-eyed ‘I love you Doctor’ camp. When she became DoctorDonna – putting aside the jarring change of tone and seeming ease of defeating the Daleks – I marvelled at what she was doing and wondered what could happen next.

What I didn’t expect was such a downbeat and sad ending for her character – back to Big Brother and the X Factor, alcopops and temping, and saying goodbye to the Doctor like he was nobody, because to her, he was.

It was like the ending of Butch and Sundance or Planet of the Apes – triumph and tragedy blended together, so you struggled to know what to feel.

As he has done throughout this series, Bernard Cribbins as Wilf perfectly captured the mix of pride and sorrow about ‘his girl’, who saved the universe but can never know.

I think it was the stillness of those final scenes that helped them stand out so much, coming after an episode that was crammed with action.

Probably too much action really, as even at 65 minutes it seemed rushed in places. But when your complaint is that there was too much great stuff, that’s not too bad a thing.

While the hand regeneration thing felt like a bit of a cop out, the regenerated half-human doctor showed the depths to which the character can sink and at least allowed the Rose storyline to be completed.

Davros was truly chilling – considering Ben Kingsley and Anthony Hopkins were linked with the role earlier this year, I don’t think anyone could have done a better job than Julian Bleach.

The shot of the companions helping to fly the Tardis was great too, and I was so carried away by that stage that I was willing to accept the Tardis dragging the Earth.

But then there was poor Donna, who ensured that Russell T went out with a much deeper and darker conclusion than anyone expected.

Steven Moffat will have to go some when we start again, but I bet no-one knows that more than him.

So here’s to Donna. To RTD. To 2010. And to days to come.

8 thoughts on “I’m so sorry

  • Rachel Noy

    on

    “By the way, I’m currently nuts deep in rocket-firing robots on the moon. Mass Effect is a great game, have you played it?”
    Yeah I have, one of my favourite games! Are you playing it on PC or console?
    Oh, and I got one of those interchangeable Force FX sabers for my birthday. It’s SO fun! =D

  • Rachel Noy

    on

    As always, your comments are spot-on.

  • Anonymous

    on

    Good,very good but unfortunately ‘someone will die’ didn’t happen and if you keep building up to finalities that don’t happen you’re going to lose some of the tension that keeps people gripped. Actually before the episode was broadcast a couple of girls (9 & 10 years old) were chatting to me about the previous weeks episode and they said they weren’t sure if they’d watch on Saturday as the program kept lying to them, e.g. Rose was gone then she wasn’t, Jenny was killed then she wasn’t, The daleks were destroyed now they’re back etc.
    I asked them if they thought tne Doctor would regenrate and they said ‘no, because it’ll be not true like the other things’ Ouch!

    I run Doctor Who club at my school showing episodes of the classic or ‘old’ doctor whos and their two favourite episodes were Genesis of the daleks and Earthshook – two of the darker, more death filled episodes.

    Hopefully Mr Moffet will inject a bit more darkness and ‘finallity’ (he already does spooky really well) however he also has an ‘everyone lives’ thing happening in all his stories as he admits in the last DWM.

    Still after all this criticism I’m really looking forward to the Christmas special!

    ipswichjon

  • Glyn

    on

    RTD you swine! To undo all my preconceptions about Donna – to develop her across the series and make her fun, feisty and intelligent.

    To make her three dimensional and someone you could relate to, only to return her to the raw stuff from which she was made – everything I hated about Catherine Tait’s sketch show.

    I know this isn’t Torchwood and you can’t just brutally murder two of the cast – that was shockingly brilliant though – but what a harsh thing to do.

    Donna may not have been everyone’s cuppa, but she fared brilliantly and it was great to see how the new assistants aren’t wets like Sarah Jane (she got right up my nose, didn’t like her as a kid either TBH). Even Rose and Martha seemed a bit drippy by comparison.

    Like Cod Rot, I was getting amazed at how many tie ins and references were going on.

    Looking forward to the future though, and I can always use my trans-temporal recording device to reaccess the current series.

    Cybermen for Christmas – hooray, the gift that just keeps giving.

    Now, if my suspicions that Captain Jack walking through the park with two of the Children of Time means he has two new team members, one of whom just happens to be a doctor…

  • how cod rot

    on

    Another thought – memory wiping/frozen bullets/evil geniuses regaining their powers through cans of spinach …

    (well, maybe not the last one).

    .. , after all the above, I did somehow expect Hiro to appear and slice Davros in two with Kensei’s katana.

    Maybe telly today is too referential ….

  • How Cod Rot

    on

    With you on pretty much everything there – and a big wooly hats off to Bernard Cribbins … someone else with ‘Dr Who Previous’.

    It’s all a bit of fun but it’s a bit like RTD fancies himself as a tribute Quentin Tarantino, all clever references and hidden bits and bobs.

    But that’s not a bad thing – and I’ve enjoyed trying to spot some of the leitmotifs he’s hidden during his time in charge of the Who empire – Bad Wolf being the most obvious.

    And after quoting a bit of German, how cool were the German Daleks? “Exterminaten! Exterminaten!”

    Still thinking about tonight’s massive episode, but one thought – one little motif hidden beneath the surface – is that the Doctor’s severed (left?) hand saves his life … which is further saved by Donna, who took the left hand path … after being zapped by Davros – who also had a severed hand.

    Anyway, a big hand for Russell T Davies, who had the imagination and ability to reinvent Dr Who into one of the greatest pieces of TV drama we’ve seen in the UK … and which my five-year-old loves as much as I do.

    So I’ve got the brains of a …

  • Alison Gow

    on

    Hello Capt’n!
    I only watched this by accident (I missed almost the whole series) but I still enjoyed it, although I found it a bit lacking in menace. I thought Catherine Tate was pretty good and can even overlook her shouty Nan-accented outbursts towards the end.
    But I don’t like David “Brilliant” Tennant (I watched every episode with Christopher thingy) and I don’t think I’ll that bothered about Dr Who again til he regenerates into someone with a bit more gravitas.

  • Anne-Marie

    on

    We’ve got the specials under the helm of RTD next year before Moffat takes over.

    There’s was a few two many cop outs, but Davros was brilliant, loved the nod to Genesis of The Daleks.

    Could have done without the scene in Bad Wolf Bay (but then I could have done without the last scene there too at the end of series two!) apart from Jackie’s line about what she had named her baby. Ha!

    You’re right, Donna’s “demise” is cruel. I would have preferred her to be killed off than go back to a pre-Doctor Donna.

    The hype with the cliffhanger last week was genius! The buzz was amazing, and the theories were still flying back and forth up to the second the episode started. It just didn’t quite match up for me. Still it had some fabulous moments and it’s still Doctor Who, and it’s brilliant to have it on the telly. Roll on Christmas!

    But I’ll miss Wilf!

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