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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The previous episode The Stolen Earth was a legend in itself , an
episode that contained the greatest cliffhanger in the programme's 45
year history Not only that but it was number two in that week's TV
charts . Would Journey's End deliver the goods and top the TV charts
for that week ? It did . Did it deliver the goods though ? Probably not
It would be impossible to think we'd be seeing a new doctor at the helm of the Tardis because the show is so popular the BBC would never be able to keep a lid on it . Indeed watching The Stolen Earth again it's fairly obvious how the Doctor was going save his present incarnation and I don't believe for a second that Russell T Davies ever envisaged that the Doctor's hand would ever play a prominent role when he wrote The Christmas Invasion except for a vague inkling that he'd be able to use it as a cop out ending one day . He also had a cop out with his " One of the companions will die " spiel . Wasn't Rose supposed to die at the end of season two ? Yes she did but not dead in the sense you or I would understand
Much of the failings of this episode are entirely down to the pen of RTD . The writing is overblown , cluttered and underdeveloped but I imagine that's only to be expected since it straddles four seasons of Nu-Who and the two spin off shows . The episode is a hideous example of incestuous cannibalism with references everywhere , so much so that it's impossible to make head nor tail of it half of the time and when you do there's often a big plot hole there somewhere . Let's see now , The Osterhagen Key will blow up planet Earth if the world is stolen and used as part of a reality bomb ? It might make sense if you honestly believe that the Earth can be stolen but not even in a fantasy series like DOCTOR WHO does this seem credible . Even if it were why couldn't the Daleks and Davros have used another planet ? Why did it have to be the Earth ?
The irritating thing about all this is that the episode can be fairly good when it tries to be . Davros taunting the Doctor while we have flashbacks to people sacrificing their lives to save the Doctor do have an impact to them . Likewise the flashbacks of Donna but these strengths are often undermined by the nonsense that surrounds them . If we're going to see ten minutes of a manipulative character scene then why not go the whole hog and kill off that character ? Probably because RTD wants to leave the door open to that character returning at a later date no doubt . I really do fear that Tennant's final story will be the biggest fan obsessed continuity ridden mess that it is possible to make
Journey'sEnd has been typical of end of season stories from the pen of RTD butonly Bad Wolf/Parting Of The Ways can be described as being dramatic .In fact I would go as far as saying that story was one of the greatest pieces of television drama ever written so obviously Russell T Davies can come up with the goods when he tries . Unfortunately coming up with the goods is a rare occurrence from his pen and I'll be glad when he leaves the show . He does deserve great credit for being a populist though and it'll be interesting to see how well the show fares under a combination of Matt Smith in the title role and Steven Moffat as producer
Well, as the other commenters have made clear, this is an episode you either love or hate! For myself, I quite enjoyed it - yes there are plot holes (when aren't there?), but it was a very satisfactory wrap up to a strong season, tying in plot elements found in stories over the last 4 seasons. Looking at some of the fan forums, it's plain that many people are unhappy with the treatment of Donna, but it was always known that Catherine Tate was only available for one season, so the only question was how she would be written out; many of the detractors seem to view the episode more kindly after another viewing. There was a strong feeling throughout the episode that Russell Davies was tying up all the loose plot lines of his era, and clearing the decks for Steven Moffat's takeover in season 5. I felt some of the multitude of companions in this and the last episode were rather underused - the Torchwood mob were rather useless (what's new? :) ).
What an ending. I'd actually call this the best finale so far, better
than even Doomsday. This episode lived up to all its hype - it was
epic, but without being difficult to work out; unlike Last of the Time
Lords, everything was explained and fitted together perfectly. It was
full of twists and turns and dips and ducks, it all keeps you on your
toes, keeps you guessing all the way through.
Obivously I can't reveal any plot details here, so I'll keep this short. All of the acting is amazing - Catherine Tate being the star of the show in my opinion, and with good reason.
Russell T Davies has pulled off an amazing swansong here, pulling together his entire Doctor Who universe into this episode - everything is relevant. It's like he's written the entire 4 series to build up to this finale, because it's all brought together so seamlessly. The only consolation in him leaving after this is the excellent Steven Moffat taking his place.
If I was completely honest, I'd say you have to watch the entirety of the revived Doctor Who to understand this episode inside out, but it's so worth it.
Here's looking forward to Christmas and the returning Cybermen.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
It's truly a shame that Russell T. Davies' final "proper" Doctor Who
episode had to be this mess. RTD has worked wonders in transforming the
show for the 21st Century, making it current, heartfelt, emotionally
engaging and incredibly popular. But "Journey's End" is possibly one of
the worst episodes of TV ever and is a discredit to RTD's writing, the
characters and the fans.
There's no denying RTD can write. Look at the finales to the previous seasons. The Ninth Doctor's "no" speech, his heartfelt goodbye to Rose, the Tenth Doctor and Rose at the end of "Doomsday..." He sure knows how to hit the viewer hard and lay on the emotion.
But "Journey's End" was an incredibly flawed, flat effort. Yet again RTD writes himself into corners he can't possibly escape from without resorting to reset buttons or cheap get-outs. He throws in too many ideas, too many characters and too many set-pieces but doesn't give any time or effort to expanding them beyond being the most functional of scenes with characters that don't engage with each other and simply make announcements to move the plot ahead.
It's just a very badly written mess.
And worst of all, the season's end is unsatisfying, leaving a bitter taste in an episode even RTD himself said he wasn't sure about. Fans of the Rose-Doctor relationship are cheated. Fans of Catherine Tate's Donna are left angry at the treatment of the character in a resolution that's not sad or tragic - it's just pointlessly cruel, as if RTD is giving two-fingers at the fans. Fans of Torchwood and the Sarah Jane Adventures get a few cameo nods, but again, it's all somehow empty.
The worst part of the whole thing though is that with just a few minor re-writes, "Journey's End" could have been the epic it should have been. Yes, it's easy to criticise and say "I could have done better" but in this case it's also true.
Even the media has - for the first time - responded in a less-than-positive manner, with some rather mixed reviews of the episode, leading - presumably - to RTD's outbursts about critical fans being "mosquitos." But he misses the point: he's being criticised because we love the show and see his heart is in the right place. He's just wide of the mark with his writing and that's the biggest tragedy of all.
So near, and yet so far...
When series four of Doctor Who started airing here in the U.S. I had
expectations from the early episodes that this was going to be a bad
season. But as the series went on things got better and better and by
the time Turn Left aired my expectations were raised once again. Now
the end has come for this series and I'll say this: it was brilliant!
The resolving of the cliffhanger from The Stolen Earth felt a bit like
a cheat to begin with but as the episode went on, it became apparent
this wasn't a simple cheat. Instead Russel T. Davis showed a bit of
brilliance that brought a series worth of foreshadowing together in one
of the new series most amazing moments.It also gives the series two
leads a chance to show off their skills once more.
David Tennant gives what might well be one of his best performances as the Doctor. It might not be on par with his brilliant performance in Human Nature / Family of Blood but like that two part story, Tennant gets to show a different side of his Doctor in a way not previously seen in the series and it makes the resolving of the cliffhanger all the more better. Outside of just that, Tennant brings his considerable skills to bare and goes through the full range of his abilities in this episode making it one of his best.
Then there is Catherine Tate as Donna. I don't think I'm spoiling anything by saying that is most certainly Tate's final appearance in Doctor Who and as being such it is one of her best. Tate brings together all aspects of Donna's character from the unassuming temp to the amazed companion to her considerable comedic skill to pull of one of the best companion exits of the series. It seems a shame that we are all ready saying good bye to her so soon. Donna Noble...we hardly knew you.
The only real let down of the episode is its under use of supporting cast. With so much attention focused on the leads, characters such as the group from Torchwood and the Sarah Jane Adventures virtually make cameos in this episode. That said there are some terrific moments for Matha Jones, Captain Jack, Sarah Jane, Jackie Tyler, and Mickey Smith. The real stand-outs of the returning cast is of course Billie Piper as Rose Tyler and Julian Bleacha s Davros. While both seemed to be overshadowed in much of the episode, in the end both get plenty of time on screen with Bleach giving an excellent continuation of the Davros character. Piper brings Rose back to the forefront in the her final scene which finally resolves many of the loose threads of the previous series and brings the arc of the character of Rose to a grand conclusion.
Russel T. Davis' writing is (as ever) the highlight of this episode. For the first time really since The Parting Of The Ways at the end of series one he finds just the right mix between the epic and the personal. On the epic side we get what could well be the end of everything to what seems to be hundreds or thousands or millions of Daleks and their ships in the most amazing CGI display the show has ever produced. Yet it is the personal side of the story that makes all of that so incredible. From Davros speech to the Doctor to the final scenes with both Rose and Donna, Davis shows once gain his ability to pin the incredible in the most basic of human emotions: fear and love. This would appear to be Russel T. Davis final Doctor Who script and if it is, it is one of his best.
Both the actors and script are backed up by excellent work behind the camera. It starts with the excellent CGI but its mostly up to the ever brilliant direction and pacing of the episode's director Graeme Harper. Harper once again brings his energy and love of action to Doctor Who yet allows the personal moments to take center stage when they need too. There is also of course the brilliant Dalek voices of Nicholas Briggs. Briggs plays the full range of Daleks from the minions to the Dalek Supereme to what is left of Dalek Caan. Murray Gold also supplies some excellent music for this episode that feels both epic and personal all at once. Well done everyone.
Despite the flaw of underusing some of the supporting cast, Journey's End is what could be called Doctor Who at its best. From excellent performances to one of Russel T. Davis best scripts to brilliant work behind the camera, Journey's End lives up to it's name. While tying up loose ends it all proves to be thoughtful and entertaining all at once. This is an ending but also a new beginning for the revived show and like so many other's I'm awaiting what happens next. Whiel time will tell what happens next one thing's for certain: one Journey's come to a proper End.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The most EXCELLENT, SATISFYING, ALL HOLDS-BAR FINALE EVER....
Throughout the four GREAT seasons of the revived DOCTOR WHO, we've seen and journeyed with the Doctor and his companions who came and went. We've seen horrors, joys, sadness, and rebirths of many worlds, universes, and lives.
But in the end, what's next...? Russell T. Davies has finally brought his massive epic-scope of Doctor Who to full circle from the BAD WOLF warning throughout time and space, the MEDUSA CASCADE, The DALEKS, Companions of old and new, and most of all...Donna Noble's journey.
SEASON 4 FINALE TRILOGY has resurrected THE DALEKS, brought to this time by recurring Dalek enemy, DALEK CAAN, last of the CULT OF SKARO. But they are not alone. DAVROS, the creator of the Daleks and the Doctor's most evil nemesis, has returned, bringing with him the most sadistic and destructive epic-plot ever...THE END OF REALITY!!!! And now, The Doctor and Donna, along with Rose, the return of her mother JACKIE TYLER and MICKEY SMITH, former companions MARTHA JONES, JACK HARKNESS, and SARAH JANE SMITH (a welcome return), must band together to stop the Daleks, defeat Davros and return all the missing planets, including Earth back to their original galaxies.
But in the end...a tragic, bitter, and heart-felt goodbye from the Doctor's most faithful companion, will stain him forever....but as he always says...TIME GOES ON.
I wanted to acknowledge that last line because the stories are so rich, epic, and action-packed, yet in the end, its the dramatic emotional part of the show that takes the audiences in the heart. Russell T. Davies has FINALLY given us his farewell all into this MOST EXCELLENT FINALE CHAPTER in the SERIES 4 FINALE saga. Everything he's done throughout his four-year term as Doctor Who Head Writer has come full circle and there's no turning back.
The swelling bombastic epic score by MURRAY GOLD, bringing all his previous music and the great PLANET OF THE OOD finale rendition back is all so ENDURING, EXCITING, EMOTIONAL and EXCELLENT, worthy of this finale. He makes this look like Lord of the Rings in Time and Space...but for the TV screens.
Director GRAEME HARPER has FINALLY EXCELLED in this story. His direction is in pure CINEMATIC SCOPE that this finale should have been displayed in movie screens instead of Television. Thats the beauty of his work. And most notably, kudos to CATHERINE TATE, whose the most enduring companion of them all since SARAH JANE SMITH and ROSE TYLER. She's funny, witty, and annoying...then reveals her true character's self as EMOTIONAL, WARM, HAPPY, SAD, and LOYAL. Her performance is definitely the most amazing part of the stories and with good reason if you've seen SERIES 4 throughout.
David Tennant is wonder as always as THE DOCTOR (#10). Billy Piper as ROSE TYLER is emotional, funny, and feisty as always. But the most worthy performance of all goes to JULIAN BEACH as DAVROS, the sadistic, crazed, and brilliant adversary of all. He's evil, pure and calculating, smart, and scary. And its a welcome return to one of the Doctor's most brilliant and equal villains.
And so...all journeys come to an end....
Until next Christmas....
A new journey begins....
"Journey's End" is a marvellously satisfying finale to this latest
season. Russell T. Davies pulls out all the stops to tie up the loose
ends and unfinished business from previous seasons in a manner that
should please the majority of fans. Dramatic, moving and humorous, this
story contains all that is special about the "new" series.
While Davros is somewhat underused in this tale, it remains a terrifically faithful return of this old nemesis and we see his most ambitious plans to-date unfold.
This longer-than-usual installment is a joy from beginning to end. A taste of the Christmas special will keep viewers counting the days 'til the 25th December when we will be reacquainted with another old enemy.
10 out of 10. Splendid.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
In the summer of 2008, something incredible happened. Something I never
thought remotely possible before, and which I doubt whether we will
ever see again. 'Dr.Who' became the most popular programme on British
television! The final episode of Season 4 was watched by 10.57 million
viewers, overtaking 'Coronation Street' and 'Eastenders'. For those of
us who recall the '80's when it was considered so unimportant it barely
received coverage in 'The Radio Times', it was a shattering bit of
'Journey's End' continued the storyline begun in 'The Stolen Earth'. The Daleks have spirited our world ( along with many others ) across the universe, and invaded in force. With the Doctor out of the action, it is left to his plucky ex-companions, such as Captain Jack ( John Barrowman ), Sarah Jane Smith ( Elisabeth Sladen ) and Martha Jones ( Freema Agyeman ), to band together to fight the menace. It ended on a stunning cliffhanger as Rose ( Billie Piper ) and the Doctor's reunion was interrupted by a gun-blast from a lone Dalek. A regeneration commenced in the Tardis. What made this scene shocking was the fact that David Tennant had not announced his resignation from the show ( he would do so later that year ). Media speculation about its future exploded. As 'Journey's End' commenced, it became apparent that the whole thing was a cunning bluff - the Doctor was able to heal his injuries without necessitating a regeneration.
The story that followed was in the same vein as 'The Daleks' Master Plan' from 1965. Instead of a Time Destructor, the Daleks now have a Reality Bomb. Much running, shooting, and blowing up ensues, followed by a lengthy climax as the Doctor says farewell before flying off on his own. Catherine Tate's 'Donna' was written out, and how sorry was I to see her go. She made that role her own. Steven Moffat's 'A Good Man Goes To War' tried to go down this road, but failed dismally. He threw in every idea he could think of, but to no avail - the story was over-complicated, and it was impossible to care about anyone. Davies, on the other hand, constructed an entertaining, thrilling epic adventure with a genuinely emotional climax. And we get two David Tennants for the price of one!
'End' features my favourite television moment of the Noughties - the Tardis towing the Earth back to its rightful position in space. Backed up by stirring Murray Gold music, it conjures up everything that was good about the Davies era of 'Dr.Who'. And since Lis Sladen died its acquired a poignancy it lacked on its first broadcast. I was genuinely surprised at the wailing and gnashing of teeth from so-called 'fans'. What a charmless and emotionally stunted group of people they are. It was the perfect ending to a perfect episode, and we have not had many of those recently.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This is a great episode overall. They did some really cool stuff, but
as often is the case, there were a few snags too. I'm going to jump
right in and point out...
Things I like about this episode: -------------------------------- Rose was back! I love the Doctor and Rose combo. It's a shame Billie had to go and do other projects! :) I wish she'd have stayed so it was fun to see her reprise her "love interest" with the Doctor again. There could have been more time with the two of them together, but at least she was present.
That leads to a second item I like -- Rose gets her requited Doctor's love. He's not the "same" Doctor, and the original Doctor was a bit "tight-lipped" about his feelings, but we are left to believe the second is "close enough," and Rose accepts this.
This episode answers a lot of questions which had come up over the past few years in prior episodes. I think they kept a list of dangling ends and worked very hard to wrap them all up.
Even though many items were wrapped up, several doors are left open for future items. For example, we could always see the parallel universe pop up again, and that would give potential reprise for Billie and David Tennant.
Martha, Captain Jack, Mickey, and so on are still in "our" universe and can easily show up again in various episodes (I certainly hope they do).
Things I dislike about this episode: ----------------------------------- Well, with such a star-packed episode, much of the cast was totally underused! Torchwood and company along with Sarah Jane and company as well as the former companions could have -- indeed, *should have* been more heavily developed. They should have had more significant rolls, and the episode could have been an unprecedented three parter! It would have been awesome!
In light of the above, the whole pair of episodes -- particularly the second one (Journey's End) seemed rushed. It's like there was so much ground to cover and so little time to do it, everything was relegated to rushed single sentences.
Rose "loves" the new doctor! Well, I like it, but it's not terribly realistic. It needed more development too!
Finally, the whole issue with the Doctor Donna doesn't sit right. The Doctor Donna is a human timelord who's mind caves, but our new "second' Doctor is a human timelord who ends up, apparently, feeling just fine. Really???
Like I said, I love it, but it had a few shortcomings, and that's why I give it 9/10 and not the full marks!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This is a bad story, possibly the worst finale by RTD. He tries to replicate the much superior Parting of the Ways but fails. After a slow plot in Stolen Earth here he throws in loads of characters for the sake of it. Rose shows herself to be selfish here, wanting to come back despite the threat to the worlds. The aborted regeneration is stupid, the Meta-Crisis is there to give the Mary Sue her own Doctor, thank Dionysus that grow your own TARDIS was cut. The Doctor-Donna is another dea ex machine. Davros well-acted but the Doctor and the Children of Time do so little overall to help, so many plot threads go nowhere. The story is more like a self-indulgent, poorly written fanfic. I can't understand why this is so liked.
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