And 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.
It 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?
The 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.
That’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…