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Doctor Who 4[XXX].13: Journey's End

July 5th, 2008 (10:37 pm)

No, this is not how to do it. Basically this continued the string of set pieces, some good, some bad, from last week. There were some good points, but these were isolated bits of dialogue and good jokes for long-term viewers. It's going to be difficult to review. There were inconsistencies which even I couldn't explain away by relying on the emotional flow; I felt that RTD's misanthropy had the upper hand. Elements of the story which were built up were just thrown away, like the Osterhagen Key. I felt too cheated, too much of the time.

There was a strong appetite among the friends with whom I watched the episode for a series whioch didn't rely on characters created "twenty years ago", but it's more like forty-five, or thirty-seven in the case of the Master [not appearing in this story]. Perhaps, it was suggested, we can have a brand new villain, established through the season, as the main threat.


Posted by: muuranker (muuranker)
Posted at: July 5th, 2008 10:14 pm (UTC)

Misanthropy, that's the word I was looking for.

A brand new villain - I'd vote for that/him/her.

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: July 5th, 2008 10:33 pm (UTC)

RTD seems to view the human race as an outsider, which is why people seem grotesque in all his writing.

Posted by: serriadh (serriadh)
Posted at: July 6th, 2008 03:49 pm (UTC)

Which made what he did to Donna all the crueler, IMO. Especially as we got that horribly realistic view inside her head earlier (and she only got to be supergreat because of the doctor ex machina swap, not because of her own inherent greatness)

Posted by: Pellegrina (pellegrina)
Posted at: July 5th, 2008 10:30 pm (UTC)

I haven't seen it, but malaheed watched it and from his review, if even you Sir Knight are disappointed, I doubt I need bother!

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: July 5th, 2008 10:32 pm (UTC)

I love the new icon..!

Posted by: Pellegrina (pellegrina)
Posted at: July 5th, 2008 10:35 pm (UTC)


Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: July 5th, 2008 10:44 pm (UTC)

I'll need to watch Journey's End again; it had some redeeming features, and Jack is more Jack-like than he is in Torchwood, but the issue of Rose's responsibility for Jack's immortality was never touched upon as I had hoped.

Posted by: Pellegrina (pellegrina)
Posted at: July 5th, 2008 10:48 pm (UTC)

From what Malaheed said, it is not going to be worth my while watching this as the Jack content is not sufficient to make up for the amount of yelling at the television likely to ensue. I won't say any more in case this thread is meant to be only a little spoilerish!

Posted by: colinbj (colinbj)
Posted at: July 5th, 2008 10:55 pm (UTC)

It was a good evening - thank you! - but it did feel like the main concern of the scriptwriters was to keep the attention of viewers with _very_ short attention spans.

Perhaps that's a necessity for TV nowadays, but it did make me wonder wistfully what we would be seeing if the BBC had had the courage to stick to its original 'edutainment' goal (it didn't do The Archers any harm!) rather than going for viewer numbers and lowest common denominators.

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: July 5th, 2008 11:59 pm (UTC)
Hartnell words

Good to see you too! There's only one scriptwriter in this case, Russell T Davies, allegedly with no-one to seriously edit him... I was pleased that when The Daily Telegraph published their list of the ten best Doctor Who stories this week, it included perhaps the best of the 'edutainment' historicals of the 1960s, The Massacre of St Bartholomew's Eve.

Edited at 2008-07-06 12:00 am (UTC)

Posted by: firin (firin)
Posted at: July 6th, 2008 08:31 am (UTC)

I was left feeling cold most of the time during this episode, to be honest. The plot mechanisms that had clearly been intended to create suspense ultimately failed when the solution was either a weak cop-out or the result of one-button-pressing-techno-babble. Too many inconsistencies (ie. yawning holes the size of a rift into E-space) and a jerking pace reminiscent of a learner driver's first foray into changing gears spoiled, in my opinion, the parts which were actually good.

At the end of the episode, I was not left thinking, "Wow, what an excallent piece of television", so much as "Aw, I wish I had the Tom Baker era on DvD so I could watch that now instead."

Toryin hadn't seen any Who, classic or otherwise, before and so wasn't able to comment much on plot - too much insider knowledge being required to make any sense of the episode. After his comments on the flaws of Journey's End, I have a feeling it might be difficult to persuade him to try watching any classic Who now. Time will tell, always assuming that RTD doesn't mess about with it.

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: July 6th, 2008 09:41 am (UTC)

Only five RTD episodes to go now - the Christmas special this year, the Easter special 2009, and the three Christmas/New Year. I've just seen that the episode's overnight viewing figure was 9.4 million, and that it is currently the most watched programme of the week. But what if the public take away feelings of dissatisfaction? There was really just too much going on and too many plot twists which in the end led nowhere... and Donna's fate leaves one feeling empty inside.

Posted by: Penny Paperbrain (pennypaperbrain)
Posted at: July 6th, 2008 09:51 am (UTC)

Hurrah! said Ponder on hearing that you didn't like the episode. But he says that he thinks Davros is someone you can legitimately bring back to good effect.

I suppose "cram in everyone that's appeared in all three seasons of New Who" turned into a high concept that drove the show. It's a bit of a strange concept to put at the centre of everything.. But there could have been a workable story in there if you stripped it down. Elements like the Doctor turning people into weapons, and the sadness of having to send Donna back to being her rather limited previous self could have polished up lovely if they hadn't been crammed into a box with everything else.

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: July 6th, 2008 12:19 pm (UTC)

I agree with your summation, though the reiteration of the loneliness of the Doctor is a drum that has been beaten too much. There's too much wallowing in despair in contemporary popular culture, it seems to me.