Better late then never...
Well. There seems to be rather a lot of cross Whovians out there on the Internet, and in some ways I can't blame them...
I am fully with Marie about the rubbish ending Rose got, but I also think Lisa and Anna's assessments are quite fair too.
Here goes, this is what I thought of it.
I know, I know. The will he won't he regenerate being solved in ten seconds flat was a bit disappointing, but I did kind of enjoy being played with, and well... at least we get to keep David Tennant for a bit longer.
I really enjoyed Jackie and Mickey arriving to save Sarah Jane, and thank THE LORD, SJ and Jack were miles better this week. Jack and Mickey's reunion was hilarious.
Jack: Hallo Mickey Mouse
Mickey: Hi Captain Cheescake
Jack: That's beefcake
Mickey: That's enough hugging.
Torchwood being trapped in a time vault? Best place for 'em.
I was really on the edge of my seat when the Doctor finally met Davros who was properly scary just like a Dr Who villain should be, and also mad as a hatter. Great. That's how an arch nemesis is SUPPOSED to behave.
Martha transporting to Germany was fabulous, just to hear those German daleks saying Extermineren... I thought that was a stroke of genius.
I really enjoyed the companions doing their bargaining trick, while the Doctor was made to see what he did to people. That was brilliant and bleak, and David Tennant showed again what a fabulous wonderful actor he is. You don't just see his pain, you feel it. I think he deserved a bit more support from them all though. Let's face it, what he does do is inspire the best in people, they are prepared to die for him for a reason. Because he makes the universe a better place, and without him, as we saw in Turn Left things go horribly wrong. (Yes, I do realise I am talking about him as if he exists. Please don't disabuse me of the notion).
The other absolutely wonderful thing about this episode was the Doctor/Donna strand. It was brilliant. I had despite my best intentions been trawling the internet last week and seen all sorts of spoilers about Donna. I thought there would be a Timelord connection because of the beating heart, but I was really glad that Donna as the Rani/Donna as Romana never came to pass, and it was a surprise that she became part Doctor. No spoilers. Total surprise. Fan-bloody- tastic. Especially as Catherine Tate and David Tennant copied each other so brilliantly. That was hilarious. Especially when they came back, saved the day and started sending planets back home. I loved that.
I also unashamedly loved the scene when everyone got to fly the Tardis home (Not you, Jackie - ha!), and silly and all as it was, I loved the use of the time rift as a lassoo. But then I like my Dr Who silly from time to time. Cos, let's face it. This is a programme about an alien, who goes through Time and Space in a BLUE BOX. And that's NOT silly????
Now... though. To the bits I didn't like.
So it was hi hi companions, and bye bye companions pretty quickly.
Sarah Jane off to have some more adventures with Luke and co.
Jack, Martha and Mickey off to take part in the next series of Torchwood. Maybe it will be better for it. I certainly hope they can bring some of Dr Who Jack , who was thoroughly splendid in this episode, into Torchwood, where he is frankly a bit crap.
And then it was Rose.
Oh bloody hell. Why oh why did he have to do that to Rose. I'd rather she'd never been brought back from her parallel universe. I might have mentioned before, I like my romantic endings bitter sweet. Characters kept apart by being trapped in parallel universes/time slip stuff work for me (Sliding Doors/Amber Spyglass/Sterkarm Handshake/Time Traveller's Wife). I even have such a story up my sleeve to write one day, I hope. But.... oh god, this was so wrong. Dr2 (not Who) isn't the Doctor. For starters he's part Donna. And then he's only got one heart. And he's not got a Tardis. AND he's just committed genocide. Rose would have to be pretty shallow to want to stay with him wouldn't she? Please RTD don't tell me she is. I love Rose too much to see her suffer that fate.
In a way I kind of see he's done a bit of Sarah Jane on her. Dumping her back in the parallel universe because, really he is a Time Lord and he doesn't get it. He thinks he is helping her, but can't see that he's not (I'm trying to put a positive spin on this, because I hate it so much). Donna got it right at the beginning; Two hearts? Why do I want to mate with that. Rose and the Doctor can't ever be together because he isn't human. But then... how does that work with River Song then???
So yes. Very disappointed that Rose not only didn't get her Doctor but got a carbon copy. That is so not going to work. Having had people fancy me because they think I am my twin, and others fancying her because they think she's me, I can tell you categorically that no one gets over the disappointment of discovering the object of their affection isn't the right twin. Rose cannot possibly fall in love with this Doctor, because he isn't hers. Crap crap crap ending. And I think from what Billie Piper said on Dr Who Confidential, she agrees. I do hope we see Rose again, because I think she deserves better then that.
As to Donna. Again total surprise. Bloody terrible cruel ending for her too. Awful. Awful. To make her go back to what she'd been. Would it have been better to let her keep travelling and burn out? Not sure at all. It is a bit like a reverse of the It Was All A Dream Dallas storyline. And probably another copout. RTD doesn't want to kill off the Doctor's companions apparently because it's a kid's show. Well. I think they could take it, even if they were distraught. No 3 cried for WEEKS after Rose left first time around and no 1 hasn't stopped going on about how sad she is about Donna. I'm not sure they'd have been less upset by seeing her die properly.
I also always feel cheated by the You Have To Forget All About This ending - ever since I read the brilliant Susan Cooper Dark is Rising series, which remains among my favourite fantasy reading. Except the ending... All the characters you have loved over five books, who've had wonderful adventures and done amazing things then don't get to remember any of it. WHY NOT???? That is so unfair to them and to the reader. (If I ever get to my parallel universe story, I am going to make damned sure my characters remember everything, however much pain they suffer.)
So yes. Didn't really like Donna going back to normal, although I rather hope that her bloody awful mother is a bit nicer to her now. (What is it with RTD and mothers, he is pretty down on them isn't he?). And if the Doctor has any kind of compassion he will search the universe high and low for the bloke she met in the Library episode, so at least Donna can get the life she never had in virtual reality. (How I love Doctor Who for letting me write incomprehensible sentences like that).
Having moaned about all that. Oh God. I found the last ten minutes absolutely gut wrenchingly awful. Bernard Cribbins and David Tennant pulled out all the stops to make you realise the full extent of the tragedy, not just for Donna, but for the Doctor.
Now he truly is alone.
And I have to say. As endings go, I did rather like that.