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Journey's End: further thoughts

July 6th, 2008 (11:41 pm)

On second viewing I don't think it was as bad as I first thought. I still enjoyed the lunacy (and we did see the moon...) of the Earth being towed through space, and understood the point of the Osterhagen Key scene more, that it and the warp star were meant to prove Davros's point; but the issue (being a device which RTD usually pulls off, where a plot device is meant to illustrate some character issue) was extended too far, and I really don't find the prospect of apocalypse from several different angles very dramatic. Donna's fate remains dispiriting in all sorts of ways, though perhaps some of them are justifiable; unfortunately the context doesn't help.

Comments

Posted by: daniel_saunders (daniel_saunders)
Posted at: July 6th, 2008 11:10 pm (UTC)

Donna's fate remains dispiriting in all sorts of ways, though perhaps some of them are justifiable

I wonder if it was a deliberate attempt to imitate the end of The War Games. If so, I think it was a mistake. The War Games is one of my favourite stories, but even I think the ending is too brutal. Having seen Jamie/Zoe/Donna develop over a series of stories, it is unfair to the loyal viewer to send them back to square one, with no possibility of return.

Donna essentially goes back to being the vaguely misogynistic caricature of The Runaway Bride rather than the more complex character of the better stories of this season - hardly an optimistic message about travelling with the Doctor broadening one's mind (cf. The Hand of Fear).

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: July 6th, 2008 11:23 pm (UTC)
Troughton

You know, I'd actually forgotten the parallel of The War Games... it almost makes it seem a bit better, but Jamie and Zoe were more promising characters to begin with, whereas Donna has changed more dramatically.

Posted by: Pellegrina (pellegrina)
Posted at: July 7th, 2008 06:48 am (UTC)
jayne

From malaheed's report, it sounds like once again an older woman is punished for being eeww older -- mindwiped and dumped on Earth again while the younger prettier models have a happily ever after or live on to join the Doctor or Torchwood again. Sarah Jane appears to escape this fate by having been someone RTD was fond of in his youth.

Of course I haven't seen it. But after missing most of the season due to my Fluctuating Refractive Disorder, it seems I have de facto given up on the show anyway.

Posted by: serriadh (serriadh)
Posted at: July 7th, 2008 09:03 am (UTC)

I was unhappy with Donna's fate, for quite a number of reasons - I might make a list tonight. It was needlessly cruel, I thought, and I'm not sure RTD realised what a blow it would be to his more mature viewers (I'm a temp...), especially after he'd made it explicitly clear how unhappy Donna was in her 'old' life. If there'd been a better explanation for it, or she'd gone into it more willingly, I'd be able to live with it better, I think. That said, it made for powerful drama; I can't get Tennant and Tate's faces as she begs him not to do it out of my mind.

Posted by: didiusjulianus (didiusjulianus)
Posted at: July 7th, 2008 01:30 pm (UTC)

Yeah I see all these points (by all, above). But clearly, there is room for a Donna reappearance, since the essence of the Doctor is most likely in the ring she's wearing (which is why they kept showing it and made it sparkle at the end). And in order for it/him to reappear, Donna would have to be there too. Nicely left open I think since CT clealy didn't want to do another series. I think it'd all be a bit too namby-pamby without some cruel aspect like that, after all, that ep was cheesier than cheese in many respects, although I liked it well enough.

(And the essence of the Master is probably in that, nicely echoing each other there I think).

Posted by: romancinger (romancinger)
Posted at: July 7th, 2008 07:10 pm (UTC)
cooking

I hope you're right. It made for powerful drama, but it was so damned unfair...

Posted by: didiusjulianus (didiusjulianus)
Posted at: July 8th, 2008 10:45 am (UTC)

Well, you know what they say: Life's not Fair. I've got a feeling the Grandad would encourage her (even more than he did anyway).

What I said about needing Donna back for the ring, I think ideally you would, but if CT wasn't available, you could possibly get round it without. Still, having (hopefully?) finally put the Rose saga completely to bed, and I think some other cross-over characters who I suspect will now be left in their own spin offs, for the most part at least, I think an opening for a guest appearance from CT is definitely on the cards.

Posted by: widsidh (widsidh)
Posted at: July 7th, 2008 06:08 pm (UTC)
K9

Clearly Donna's fate made an impact, although a very sad one, and therefore, in the words of _1066 And All That_, it was a Good Thing.
I was much more disappointed by the fact that Ianto and Gwen got s** all to do (excuse my French) - why were they there???? - and several others fared little better. Even if they were part of the action, some of it seemed inconsequential overall, which was a pity, given the many good (witty, sad, engaging, etc.) moments dotted over the episode.
Part of this was the overkill element of the Ostehagen Key and the Warp Star which you mention. I realised what it was supposed to do (which is bad enough - if I analyse an episode while watching, it has not engaged me enough) but I agree that the extent of the device destroyed the drama. As a result each agent again became inconsequential...

Funnily enough I still enjoyed it :-)

-- signed: Little Miss Late --

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: July 7th, 2008 06:49 pm (UTC)
DavidIcon

I don't think you're late - after all, lots of people have yet to see the episode for the first time...

You're right about the Torchwood two's cliffhanger resolution effectively writing them out of the episode. One of my correspondents observed that the pacing of the episode was inconsistent, depending on which group of characters were being attended to, which contributed to the episode's unevenness.