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David Hines [userpic]

DOCTOR WHO: "Journey's End"

July 6th, 2008 (05:42 am)

So far, the overwhelming reaction of my flist has been horror at the fate of Donna. Which is surprising to me, really. Because yes, it's terrible that Donna doesn't get to remember any of her adventures with the Doctor, and that she's joined Zoe and Jamie in the Mindwipe Club -- and her situation is even worse than theirs, really, because while they were forcibly taken from the Doctor by the Time Lords, the Doctor was the one who did it to her. To save her life, yes, but still.

To me, though, that wasn't what knocked me out of the episode. The worst, the absolutely horrifying and freakish stuff, was the bit with Other!Ten and Rose. The Doctor has a one-off human hybrid version of himself, and at the end he takes Rose back to her parallel earth and tasks her with looking after said hybrid. Who is slightly unbalanced and bloodthirsty. And says, basically, "Here; go fuck him."

Really? I mean, *really?!*

I could have accepted it, maybe, if the idea had come from Rose; if she'd seen something that made her think about the futility of living life with the real Doctor. Even if it had come from Other!Ten, saying, "Look, he can't give you what you want -- me, I can." But no, it's Regular!Ten who presents this as a fait accompli. We needed something there -- Ten talking it over with Other!Ten, or a scene with Rose and Sarah Jane where Rose sees how Sarah has fashioned a new life, a real life, outside of the TARDIS. This just felt horrifying and creepy, and it disturbed me so much that Donna's sad end was almost a relief. At least her horrible fate was, in character terms, the Doctor's way to save her life; that's sad, but I can deal with it a lot better than I can with a supposed happy ending that comes about because the main character can't be bothered.

But then, I'd always thought that the good way to handle Rose's relationship with the Doctor would be to give the shippers what they want. One episode an unending Doctor/Rose schmoopfest, going through the years and whatnot, with Rose aging all the while and finding it harder and harder to run hand-in-hand, until she finally drops dead from old age. She gets exactly what she wants, and the end still sucks.

Comments

Posted by: PROBE UNIVERSE (liviapenn)
Posted at: July 6th, 2008 10:13 am (UTC)
who: time is running backwards


I think the difference is that it's *pretty* easy to imagine the Rose/OtherTen situation not sucking. But there's no way to fix the Donna situation without outright denial of what we saw on screen actually happening.

I mean, if you really do take it as canon that ProperTen *couldn't* ever honestly give Rose what she truly wanted, then the options are basically (1) OtherTen goes off by himself somewhere, Rose goes with ProperTen and eventually breaks her heart on him, because he's not human and won't ever age, (2) OtherTen goes off by himself, Rose goes home and is sad and alone forever, or at least for the next twenty years, and then maybe she can adopt a kid and find some happiness, but still never love again, or (3) give Rose a project to work on, ie fixing OtherTen, and they fall in love and have babies.

I would have liked it better without the love and kisses part-- if he hadn't so obviously been matching them up, but seriously, once somebody actually decides they're going to DUPLICATE TEN in order to GIVE ROSE AN EXTRA TEN, then I don't really expect them to execute the idea with any subtlety whatsoever. I mean, it's like coloring in Jack Kirby pencils with watercolor. You really can't, you just gotta go with it. "WHICH ONE OF YOU LOVES ME!" "I DO, FOR I HAVE A HUMAN HEART." "OKAYZ, TIME FOR KISSES." "YAYZ" (THE END.)

Posted by: David Hines (hradzka)
Posted at: July 6th, 2008 06:12 pm (UTC)

I mean, it's like coloring in Jack Kirby pencils with watercolor. You really can't, you just gotta go with it.

I love this so much.

I can see your point, but it's the fact that they just unquestioningly go with this that freaks the hell out of me.

Posted by: cmar_wingnut (cmar_wingnut)
Posted at: July 6th, 2008 01:17 pm (UTC)

This two-parter both disturbed and enthralled me so much I'm doing my own post - but in brief:

Donna's fate is terrible because the one thing that made her special - the Doctor and her adventures with him - was taken away. After all her recent heartburning over this issue that's pretty awful.

Other!Ten/Rose - I had much the same reaction, it felt very much like an awkward attempt to tie up Rose's unending love for the Doctor satisfactorily, yet it was unsatisfactory on many levels. I don't quite agree with you that Other!Ten is bloodthirsty, though, I see him more as practical and realistic. I would have done the same thing faced with an empire of Daleks which would inevitably come back to exterminate again.

LOL for your last suggestion - I'd love to have seen it.

Posted by: David Hines (hradzka)
Posted at: July 6th, 2008 06:14 pm (UTC)

I don't quite agree with you that Other!Ten is bloodthirsty, though, I see him more as practical and realistic.

Well, so do I, but the *Doctor* seems to see him as bloodthirsty, which is a bit confounding. "He's nine kinds of screwed up! ...here, Rose, you'll love him."

Posted by: cmar_wingnut (cmar_wingnut)
Posted at: July 6th, 2008 07:14 pm (UTC)

Point taken - yes, that's how Our!Ten sees him, and yeah, that's pretty much what he's saying: "Here, Rose, and here, alternate universe. He's all yours."

Posted by: Cathryn (formerly catslash) (remindmeofthe)
Posted at: July 6th, 2008 02:06 pm (UTC)
where the fuck

Personally, I feel sorry for other!Ten, because he's never going to measure up in Rose's eyes. He'll always be Not Her Doctor. I mean, there was nothing about that scene that was not completely wrong - hell, there was nothing about the last ten or fifteen minutes of the episode that wasn't completely wrong - but that was what stuck out to me as most depressing about that.

Ugh. I don't want to think about this episode anymore. I wish I'd turned it off after they all piled into the TARDIS. That should have been the end.

Posted by: David Hines (hradzka)
Posted at: July 6th, 2008 06:15 pm (UTC)

It's odd, isn't it? The light stuff is really entertaining; it's the way the characters get finished off that leaves people unhappy.

Posted by: Cathryn (formerly catslash) (remindmeofthe)
Posted at: July 6th, 2008 06:24 pm (UTC)
Doctor implode - credit discordanticons

Yeah! The ep was good, if rather nonsensical (in a way that reminded me of the series three finale) up until that point. Then BOOM! Let the hideous missteps and Round Umpteen of RTD's Issues With Women begin! Hell, even the driving the TARDIS bit, which should have been cool, was ruined for me because of the gratuitous Jackie bashing.

Man. Bring on Steven Moffat.

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