Exile on the Tube: Doctor Who: Journey’s End – a Review

Doctor Who
Season 4 Episode 13 – Journey’s End

If you are currently watching Doctor Who on the Sci Fi Channel stop reading this now, because this is my review of the 2 part season finale, and it will contain spoilers.


To read my review of part one, The Stolen Earth click here

Come on, you knew he wasn’t going anywhere, didn’t you. Let’s be honest about that. And you also knew that that hand was going be involved, I mean why else has it been sitting there under the console all this time, and not under the decks in trunk H for hand. This is an example why Doctor Who is much more Fantasy than Science Fiction, while the universe has set rules, it doesn’t mind bending them a bit to tell the story, and it doesn’t get bogged down into the hows and whys with pages of dreadful technobable to explain it. One rapidly spoken sentence, from the Doctor explains it all away, and lets us get on with the adventure.  And while The Doctor has escaped regeneration, he, Donna, Rose and Captain Jack are still trapped in the TARDIS, which has been transported to the ominious and vaguely Death Star looking Dalek Crucible.

A few more old faces coming back, Mickey Smith and Jackie Tyler join the family reunion. Two of the better extended family characters the RTD has brought into the mythos. (Let’s face it we never saw much of what happened to the families companions left behind in the original series) I think that Mr. Davies got it right on with these two, the mother left to worry and fret, and the boyfriend, jealous and upset of being left behind. Mickey and Jackie arrive in the nick of time to save Sarah Jane, (We Smiths have to stick together) Only to have the three of them surrender and be taken up to the Dalek ship so they can find the Doctor, and the TARDIS. Meanwhile, Martha has gotten herself to Germany with the mysterious Osterhagen Key, has a mysterious conversation with a woman with a gun, and then descends down a hidden elevator. Captain Jack gets himself shot by the Dalek Supreme, so that he can be taken off, presumed dead (but we all know Jack can’t die) and be an ace in the hole for the Doctor. The Daleks have the technology to disable and destroy a TARDIS (something they have gained fighting the Time War) and they attempt to do just that, having disabled all TARDIS defenses and chucked it down the trash chute and to the fiery power source of the Crucible, but Donna is still trapped on board, and death seems certain for her and the TARDIS.  When Donna, hiding under the console, seeking protection sees the Hand jar glowing with regenretive energy.  One touch and it explodes, and vooosh! from the hand a whole new Doctor grows.  This new Doctor – identical to the current incarnation manages to get the TARDIS out of danger and quietly slips out beyond detection. At last the Doctor and Davros meet again, (not doing the nostalgia tour tho) the Doctor presses for information. The Dalek’s have taken 27 worlds from across time and space, and brought them to a time pocket in the Medusa Cascade, and these 27 worlds will bring about the power the Dalek’s need to power their super weapon and destroy everything.  The Daleks are assured of success too because Dalek Caan’s here too, all crazed and making dire predictions (The mad mutant was truly a sight to behold, Nick Briggs’ sing songy delivery of Caan’s ramblings was pitch perfect.)  As Davros goes on about the plans of the Daleks –  the unmaking of all things not Dalek with the power radiation from the Crucible’s main weapon, the reality bomb. (which apparently unrealizes things)  Twist and turns the Children of Time move into position.  Jack finds  Mickey, Jackie and Sarah Jane, and Sarah reveals her hold card, a bomb given to her by an alien fortune teller, a very powerful bomb inside a diamond.  Martha  has taken the Osterhagen Key  and with two other UNIT members, has threatened the Dalek’s master plan, by threaten to destroy the earth with 26 sub surface Nuclear Devices that will crack the planet open (Osterhagen = Earth’s Gone) and then Jack and Co also make their presence known – threatening to destroy the Crucible with the Warpstar bomb in their possession.  The Daleks transport everyone to Davros’ lab, thwarting all the attempts to stop their plan.  But the arrival of the TARDIS and the newly born Doctor and Donna arrive,  and together the Children of Time step up and save existence.  I want details a surprise for those of you have not seen it, and the revolutions revealed about Donna, the Doctor and the other Doctor (as Jack says.. “3 doctors –I cant tell you what I’m thinking right now”) Unlike the previous episode, which dragged out the re-introductions and was intended from keeping the Doctor and Rose apart as long as possible, this episode flys by, which is interesting because t runs a good 20m longer than the average Doctor Who episode. There were times where I wished they took a bit longer on things.  The goodbyes to Martha, Jack, Mickey and Sarah Jane seemed extreme rushed.  (Mickey fans, I have a feeling you will want to keep your eyes out for Torchwood Series 3).

RTD was really saying goodbye here too,  I know he still has 4 more specials coming down the pipe, but I have a hunch they will all stand alone, even from each other.  He was really out there to give fans what they wanted (or thought they wanted)  I have a friend, Thomasin who will squeal with delight when she sees what happens on the beach back in Bad Wolf Bay.  Donna however,  Donna made an incredible journey since we first met her that Christmas all dressed in white.  It was sad to see Dalek Caan’s perdiction come true in such a horrible way, but it doesn’t really come true either.

There are few moments that I loved more than others in this episode

–          David Tennant channeling a fantastc Catherine Tate impression,

–          Anything with Davros,(not doing the nostalgia tour)

–          Donna Noble Time Lady

–          At 36 minutes in and everyone is finally together

–          Donna throwing Sarah Jane off of Capn Jack

Some of the things I really didn’t care much for

–          I’m so sorry, (If I ever hear that line again…)

–          Happy ending/ bit of a fanwank  for Rose in Pete’s world returning to Bad Wolf Bay (although I loved Jackie sassing the Doctor with the name of the baby)

A fairly satisfying end to it all I would say,  giving almost everyone an end to a journey.  Jack and Sarah Jane pretty much go through mostly unscathed, of course due to their series.   And setting a pretty clean table for Steven Moffatto begin work on Series 5 in 2010.

About David Vandervliet

Once, King of all these lands, but now I am just an aging nerd. I enjoy talking about my favorite things to geek about, and hopefully I say something to make you think a little too. My favorite things include: Comics, Doctor Who, Star Wars, Star Trek, Science, Astronomy, Math, Music, theatre, movies, writing, baseball, college football (Go Blue!)
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  1. Not a TOTALLY clean slate for Moffatt; remember, he created River Song, and if THAT wasnt a set up for the future!

    Sitting here reading this blog, I’m convinced: a blog that I actually enjoy and can somewhat relate to! Fantastic! Wait, who says that…

  2. With regards to the Doctors Daughter, I don’t know about you but I was left with the distinct feeling that this might be turned into a series in and of it’s own right… At least that’s what I’m hoping.

  3. you forgot Donna what a bad deal she gets….

    So basically she has to be shielded from the outisde world because of recent events any potential news stories could trigger memories and make her die….

    Sometimes the Doctor is a jerk… And for all the help that Jack gave he mangles his teleport thing AGAIN…

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