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Stolen Earth/Journey's End


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Old 28-11-2012, 11:07
John_Strange
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You can see how this story was designed as an ending to the RTD era, and Tennant's reign. The regeneration held back - Donna's sacrifice of mind - everything brought full circle from "Rose" and the war-damaged Doctor, all that is lacking is the Doctor's ultimate sacrifice - which would probably have happenned with him alone in the Tardis - just as it eventually would.

But we turned left, so that is another story (or set of stories); after this Dr Who really is in extra time.

This is utterly superb for all the reasons Daveboy says, Donna's loss is utterly devastating because we realise how much she is denied. In the end, he is left with Wilf, who, as a fellow old man and ex-soldier, perhaps understands him the most, and then finally, he travels alone.

One point - it is utterly fitting that Martha spends much of the story apart form the others - she ceased to be a companion long ago - she is the Doctor's friend who walks alone - at least until Mickey Smith, Defender of the Earth catches up with her.

There is so much in this story that it would take pages and pages to work through - yes it is epic show, but we've just had several episodes that are anything but that, and it is utterly appropriate for the climax of an era.

Magnificent.
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Old 06-12-2012, 17:31
RingoJ739K
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I loved these episodes! A really gripping finale for series 4! Stolen Earth is much better than Journey's End, I loved the cliffhangers (Sarah Jane, Torchwood etc) But I still like both episodes and Donna's final scenes were very sad. I thought these episodes were brilliant!
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Old 09-12-2012, 14:15
RingoJ739K
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One funny moment was when Sarah Jane told Mr Smith "I wish you'd stop playing that fanfare, just tell me what happened!"

The sad thing is that I miss hearing that fanfare now.
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Old 09-12-2012, 23:12
Listentome
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One funny moment was when Sarah Jane told Mr Smith "I wish you'd stop playing that fanfare, just tell me what happened!"

The sad thing is that I miss hearing that fanfare now.
That annoys me. It's like RTD is apologising to his more adult audience. Like he's embarrassed about a feature he added to the wonderful SJA, then throwing out for Doctor Who. He introduced the fanfare for SJA, why is it embarrassing in Doctor Who?
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Old 12-12-2012, 01:12
RingoJ739K
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That annoys me. It's like RTD is apologising to his more adult audience. Like he's embarrassed about a feature he added to the wonderful SJA, then throwing out for Doctor Who. He introduced the fanfare for SJA, why is it embarrassing in Doctor Who?
Personally, I never found the fanfare embarrasing or annoying. I liked it but I just found that line quite funny.
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Old 12-12-2012, 02:07
Abomination
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The culmination of everything over the past four years unfolds here, in what very much feels like the end of the RTD era...I'm not really certain where my mind quite puts the following set of Specials... it tends to just pretend they were a bad dream

Whilst Series 3 crossed Jack over from Torchwood into Doctor Who for its conclusion, Series 4 decides to bring the whole of Torchwood into affairs... hub and all. What's more, we get a nice pay off from the success of School Reunion... if there's one thing better than getting Sarah Jane back for this thrilling finale, it's getting her son, her attic, her supercomputer and her tin dog for good measure too - thanks you SJA for successfully developing a whole new avenue for the show. So yes, we have a three-way crossover, which is probably the most ambitious thing the show has managed to pull off in it's eight years back on air. Scoff if you will at the story, bemoan the sentiments if you don't enjoy them, but everyone has to surely admit that the first time you saw the opening credits of The Stolen Earth, you were at least marginally impressed by what RTD and his team managed to pull off... c'mon, the rest of us will proudly admit to wetting our fanboy/girl knickers!!!

The Stolen Earth kicks things off sensationally in what was probably the fastest paced story of the entire RTD era. Every other minute, the episode would hark back to something or another... scenes of Torchwood, Sarah Jane zooming off in her Figaro, Harriet Jones, Shadow Proclamation? Have a whole Judoon Platoon! Rose is given the honour of best entrance ever... which makes up for her rather low key reintroduction in Turn Left. Could you imagine how much more powerful it would have been if the first image of Rose in the whole series was her sudden teleporting in, with that gun?!
The Children of Time element was managed wonderfully, particularly in this first episode - everyone got a bit of screen time, everyone had something to do no matter how big or small, and there was a real sense of scale. All issues of the Daleks being over-used went out of the window as soon as we saw the Dalek fleet descending over Earth. RTD had already used his "year that never was" card on Series 3... everything happening here, we knew was to stay...
It's a shame then, that Harriet Jones meets her end here. I'm glad she stuck by her decision with the Sycorax... I think it says a lot about RTD's writing of characters, and her strength as a character after just four episodes. It is only a shame we didn't get to see more of her - I think The Doctor could have used a friendly recurring politician. Her role in affairs here is noble and heroic. The fact The Doctor never gets to meet her is cruel, especially when he has to find out from Davros and Rose about her sacrifice - it brings his story full circle, given that Jone was there at the beginning of it.
The effects team went all out and I enjoyed seeing the invasion done properly - it's what The Parting of the Ways couldn't afford to show us, but it had enough to it to be its own story. Dalek Caan was terrifically used, whilst Davros had some eerie screen time setting up his diabolical plans. Julian Bleach was a godsend in these two episodes, particularly the latter.
Before long, everyone is teaming up and we get a Doctor down...then the infamous regeneration. I would have been mightily impressed had they decided to end it there... more on that at the end.

Journey's End slows things down a lot... leaving things feeling a bit back to front. The action scenes draw you in, but then we're left with this overly long episode (the longest bar EoT:P2 I believe? ) which is mostly made up of talking in a dungeon. The best shots all seem to have been used up and things fall a little flat with the Dalek invasion. The Crucible looks impressive from the outside but the interiors are incredibly dreary to look at - it definitely feels like the lesser of the two episodes. Had it maintained the momentum of The Stolen Earth, this finale might have been nigh on unbeatable. Instead, I feel the chatting in the vault went on for too long, there wasn't anything much new added to the story and it just becomes a whole 70 minutes of banter over whether or not Davros is going to push his big red shiny universe-detonating button. It wasn't a complete waste though, and there was plenty to commend...mainly coming from Bleach's Davros. His terrifying plan is revealed with a hushed, understated score as he tells everyone how the wavelengths of the reality bomb will destroy everything. His insane glee at his near-success was brilliantly acted, as was the scene where he revealed the Doctor's soul. It was that scene in particular that felt like it had longevity - the Doctor seemed changed from that point on, and to their credit The Specials maintained that as well. Also to commend - The Doctor, Metacrisis Doctor, Donna, Rose, Martha, Jack, Sarah Jane, Mickey, Jackie, Luke, K9, Francine, Wilf, Sylvia... all involved at some stage, and how many shows can boast a line up like that in a single story?
My biggest cast criticism isn't that there were too many characters - I was more than fine with that. But the wonderful Donna hardly spent any time with her Doctor... because of that, I couldn't buy into the fact that the Metacrisis Doctor was in fact the same man in every respect bar one. It gave some comedy en route, but this is a finale of epic proportions...comedy can wait. In the end it did wait, and Tate gave the most tragic farewell performance I think we'll ever see. Worse than death in my opinion, we lost the Donna we knew in every respect, and The End of Time would only go and rub salt in the wound.

It was the ending of all endings, and I think RTD thought it was too. Beyond this was borrowed time, and you can tell. Journeys End wasn't perfect, but it would be remembered better if it genuinely was the end. The Stolen Earth was the surprise after the scare and the shock that were Midnight and Turn Left. Three of RTD's best offerings in quick succession. And what a success they were.

On a final note, I would have loved to have seen The Stolen Earth end differently... I'd have loved a legitimate regeneration. You could have done it too, albeit with a few plot adjustments. I'd have had The Doctor regenerating just as The Daleks make everyone vacate The TARDIS (Donna would have boardd the Crucible as well, and this would have reinforced the theme revolving around companions for the finale). The Daleks attempt to destroy the TARDIS in the core, but near episodes end we see it appear as it does on The Crucible and Tennant emerges. It's the MetaDoctor, instead produced from a new Doctor's excess regeneration energy. We wouldn't see the new Doctor, but you could write that off by saying he was still recovering from the regeneration in the TARDIS. Donna is somehow linked to MetaDoctor, she and MetaDoctor succeed in killing all the Daleks, then The MetaDoctor takes everyone home (with actual Doctor recovering off-screen). We could see Donna's exit before MetaDoctor returns Rose home, maybe giving Rose a final day in her original world Post-Doomsday to collect some sentimental items to take back to Pete's World. Once Donna's exit is done, we'd get a near silent but poignant scene with Ten, Rose and Jackie going back to Bad Wolf Bay. MetaDoctor leaves his sonic screwdriver on the console, and leaves with Rose hand-in-hand, the final shot of Tennant being him and Piper walking away down the beach. The TARDIS sits on Bad Wolf Bay, empty except for the newly regenerated Doctor who we only see the hand of, picking up the sonic screwdriver, and piloting the TARDIS back to our universe, with a shot of the TARDIS in the vortex closing the series. Ready for Series 5!
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Old 12-12-2012, 02:23
jenzie
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even though i've not seen it in ages, and i've got it on dvd ..... it's STILL one of the damnest pieces of sci fi tv i've ever seen!

the first part of TSE is ASTOUNDING ..... exciting, breathless and superb!
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Old 24-12-2012, 09:37
tszujme
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Really? I was certainly under the impression that the shortened season was to accommodate David's desire to do Hamlet and RTD wanting write other stuff. I can't think it would be financial Doctor Who makes money for the BBC. I wonder if Sherlock was part of it.
Absolutely 100% untrue. DT only approached the RSC in the first place about the possibility of doing a play there because of (and after) the BBC confirmed to him they would not be making a full series that year. Essentially he was informed he was going to be unemployed for a certain time period so he looked for another job to fill that time period. He was extremely careful when he started talking to the RSC, to ensure any play he did with them would not affect his Doctor Who commitments. (I work for the RSC.)

It was because of budget cuts, supposedly. The BBC is publicly funded, not a commercial broadcaster. From everything I've read and heard the BBC Drama department cut Upper Boat Studios from two production teams to one, meaning they could no longer shoot both shows (DW and Torchwood) simultaneously. SJA gets their funding from the children's department so that's entirely separate. The only way to continue was to cut both shows down to only a few episodes, and RTD already wanted to do Specials for creative reasons and to ease the transition to the new Doctor and showrunner.

There was never any plan for Stolen Earth/Journey's End. to be DT's (or RTD's) final episode. When RTD started writing it, he knew about the Specials. Read The Writer's Tale (the extended second edition), he goes into a lot of detail about the writing process and how those episodes were developed.
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