Dr Who – Doomsday: The Review

Posted: July 9, 2006 in Doctor Who, Reviews, Television

dday001.jpgAnd so season 28 of Doctor Who comes to a close, with an episode that had many highlights and only a few negatives. So what was the episode ‘Doomsday‘ like and just what were the positives and what could have been better? Read on if you like spoilers…

The biggest highlight of Doomsday was obviously the interaction between the Daleks and the Cybermen, both as stubborn as each other and possessing similarities in philosophies which would have been fascinating if they had been examined more closely. Still, there were some great dialogue exchanges throughout the episode such as;

Dalek: You are superior in only one respect.

Cyberleader: What is that?

Dalek: You are better at dying.

dday008.jpgIt was made clear that the Cybermen were no match for the four Daleks present, with the most the Cybermen were able to do (even with help from Torchwood personnel) was momentarily inconveniece the Daleks. On the other hand, a single Dalek energy attack was enough to kill a Cyberman every time. Combat wise, they were definitely not on an even footing by even the wildest of imaginations.

The Genesis Ark … this had some people guessing as to what it really was, that’s for sure. Was it Davros? A special weapon? I don’t think anyone guessed its true nature, that it was a Time Lord prison ship holding potentially millions of Daleks. The premise of the idea is certainly a good one, though the reasons behind the Time Lords wanting to take Daleks prisoners are unclear – they know exactly how dangerous the Daleks are and they certainly could never be rehabilitated. Specimens kept to help develop weapons againste the Dalek race maybe?

dday007.jpgThe Doctor, for the most part, comes across as a character who isn’t in complete control of the situation but is still a quite influential player on the field – he confidently strides into the group of Daleks without any weapons and has a good conversation with them all without faltering once. It would actually seem that it is the Daleks who are still afraid of him, continuing their reaction seen in The Parting of the Ways. This conversation actually highlighted a difference between the 9th and 10th Doctors – the 9th seemed to have great trouble with his role in the Time War yet the 10th seems more accepting, stating he fought on the front lines and was present at the ‘Fall of Arcadia’.

The short Cybermen vs. Dalek fight alone makes the episode worthwhile, though you get the distinct feeling the upon the release of the Dalek prisoners from the Genesis Ark that the Cybermen (and Humanity for that matter) are rather screwed. Of course, the Doctor saves the day but in a manner which accommodates a sudden change in the cast. Yep, pretty much every supporting character from the previous two seasons gets shunted to the parellel Earth seen in the Cybermen two-parter from earlier in the season. Jacki shacks up with that Earth’s Peter and Mickey goes there as well to continue, apparently, working for that Earths Torchwood. Then there’s Rose … unfortunately she doesn’t snuff it though she certainly leaves the TARDIS crew.

dday010.jpgThat’s right; she ends up stuck on that parallel Earth as well and gets a pretty cushy life as part of the deal. She’s listed as dead on the real Earth so technically it is the story of how she ‘died’ but she doesn’t really kick the bucket. Oh well, she’s gone so that’s probably all that matters in the long run. Rose’s departure is actually probably one of the negative sides of this episode – it just went on for too long. There was an entire ten minute stretch of goodbyes and tears which really did feel stretched out; more focus on the action side of things and less crying would have helped things along. Still, the scene with the TARDIS flying around the super nova was worth that, I think.

The Bride … Catherine Tate is apparently some British comedian who you either love or hate. From the eight or so seconds she was on, she seems to have the same approach to acting as an Irishman has to drinking – lots of it even if it’s far too much. Still, I suppose that’s a plot point that will need to be picked up at the airing of the next Christmas special The Runaway Bride.

Overall, it was a fine send off for a season which had great heights and terrible lows (more on that in a day or two). Humour was subtle and appropiate while the action between the two groups of villains was very well done. And, of course, Rose is gone.
Plot weirdness: If all those who had ‘void stuff’ around them were the ones who were shunted into the Void, then why did the Cybermen created on the Doctor’s Earth vanish? They had never jumped realities thus would not have beene exposed to the Void…

dday001.jpg dday002.jpg dday003.jpg dday004.jpg dday005.jpg dday006.jpg dday007.jpg dday008.jpg dday009.jpg dday010.jpg

  1. Dave Morris says:

    I had the same question about why the cybermen created in the Doctors universe got sucked in to the void as well…. a plausible answer would be that the cybermen armour for the “upgrades” needed to come from the alternate universe “via the void” because there is no way the cybermen had time to create factories and stuff for the production in the Doctors universe.

  2. Drew Shiel says:

    The drawn-out goodbye was really infuriating. And I’m willing to bet that RTD can’t leave well enough alone – we’ll be seeing the supporting cast again, parallel universe or not.

  3. Nonsanity says:

    There’s always the question… Is there a Doctor in the parallel world? 🙂

  4. ruby says:

    i really enjoyed the last episode of dr who but im not quite sure that freema adjeman should be the sidekick come back billie i love dr who and catherine tate will be great as the bride and im a huge fn when is it coming on christmas i hope david stays as the dr and i hope it never end s me and my mate sapphire loved it and i said rose will like me better cos rose is red and ruby is red we were in tears one last thing am i bovvered
    lol lol lol

  5. Joseph says:

    A little late, but If you are browsing the Net, and you come across this site, it might do you well to see this. The Ending of “Doomsday” was an absolute insult to Doctor Who. The ending went on for far too long. RTD clearly added this entire 10 MINUTES of goodbyes as a tribute to Billie Pipers acting skills. The ending should have finished with her banging the “Void Wall”, which I thought was quite powerful, but what do they do?, they add 10 minutes of Irrelevance. My personal view is that RTD thinks we care more about Rose and her woes, than what the doctor immediately feels. Wouldnt it be better to leave us on a cliff hanger that we give a S*!T about, like the Black Dalek Materialising somewhere interesting, or anything but that dud ending. RTD fails to realise that Mulder and Scully spent 9 seasons and 1 film together, and never gave us 10 minutes of boredom , which left the viewers somewhat confused.

  6. Alex says:

    Well I for one thought the ending was brilliant. The problem with Doomsday is that it really caused Whovians to show their true colors, in terms of those who don’t mind the romance in the series with thsoe who really don’t want anything but Daleks and Cybermen blowing stuff up.

    The fact is this new version of Who was completely from Rose’s point of view. In order for the show to move on, this “infuriating” ending as someone above put it was completely necessary and I thought extremely well handled. The only part I disliked was the abrupt appearance of the Bride, which I felt spoiled things a little.

    Maybe too many of today’s viewers have short memories or simply no memories of the previous companion departures — nearly all of which were perfunctory and unsatisfying, with the departure of Romana and Peri being probably the worst-handled. By comparison, Rose’s departure is satisfying, was well handled, and now the show can move on to Martha Jones.

  7. Jazeker says:

    I totally agree with Alex. First time I saw such an emotional band between the doctor (9 and 10) and “the sidekick” Rose Tyler. Oh I do like cybermen here and Daleks there and some visual fireworks of fast paced action, but this parting was a masterpiece. Anyway, almost no movie can make me cry (or I watch the wrong movies for that matter) but this parting made it hard on me. A bit stretched maybe? Yes… but I am not really furious about it.

    What else have we got? Oh yes, I do think the reviewer left out the most brilliant part of the conversation between the Daleks and the Cybermen. But he’s not to blame, since you have to see and hear the fragment to appreciate it fully and it’s so very hard to express in written text… Let me (unsuccesfully) try. What is next is about how I remember it as I am not that kind of freak that will go and look up the exact words, but it goes something like this:

    Cybermen Leader: “We have 5 billion Cybermen. How many are you?”
    Dalek “religious” Leader: “Four!?” (with a voice shouting and that same time in an asking tone as saying “what a stupid question is that? does size matter?”)

    Yes, that really was a highlight for me. This small black Dalek saying it all in that one little answer. Four, and why would that matter. It’s all in the tone, intonation, etc… and maybe not even intended by the makers, but it made me smile and even shiver a bit. Very nice moment.

    The rest of the episode was not that wonderful. Most things a bit too far fetched even for a Dr. who episode. The music was quite good at supporting most scenes though. Once again… from this one I will remember the emotional stuff rather than the action.

    The time lord prison cell was a nice surprise only revealed by the doctor when it was already happening. Quite nice… I guess nobody ever expected that. Although I did expect something Dalek inside, I did not at all know what it was… maybe the – yet again surviving – remains of the emperor. No… this was a nice one, certainly for RTD. Timing was perfect story wise.

    All in all a very good episode that I will like to watch again in the future. Bit of gadgets for the Dalek and Cybermen lovers, and enough emotions for people wanting a break of that and that were hoping that the doctor and Rose really had something between them. RTD might be too gay to let the doctor say he loves Rose too though. A pity… I would have felt much better if he could have said that. One might like an open ending but this one on the shores of Norway was ridiculous. Let the poor sod say he loves her too. Even if he doesn’t he could get away with it as she’s locked up in a parallel universe.

    And once again I agree with Alex. The abrupt appearance of Catherine Tate, aka “the bride” back then, was totally wrong. You can’t simply have footage of the holocaust followed by Itchy and Scratchy. If they had that appearance left out and put in some more serious “teaser” that felt a bit more threatening, then things would have looked a bit more believable.

  8. Mikki says:

    The goodbye scene was not stretched out!
    It was soooo sad and perfect and beautiful, but so awful and wrong at the same time!
    But its so obvious that she will return, because you cant just kill the love of the main characters life without a proper ending… all he said was “rose tyler…”
    and then it cut out! NO FAIRRRR!!!
    Doctor/Rose fanatic 4eva! ❤

  9. Nicky Widdowson says:

    i think that the episode doomsday was the best episode of doctor who i have ever watched so far even when my niece was two – four months old she wouldnt go to bed without watching the episode (she is now 2 and love’s watching it with me. i’m a megga who fan and i fell in love with the episode the moment i watched it ….i started crying when the doctor got cut off after he said “rose tyle…” that was compleatly sad. i know listen to the doomsday track all day everyday it makes me feel so sad =(
    BIG! dr who fan / timelord nicky xxx

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