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On Chips and Barcelona

June 19th, 2005 (10:49 am)

Being some observations upon 'The Parting of the Ways', the last episode of the first or twenty-seventh series of [i]Doctor Who[/i].

It's a stiflingly hot day today, so this entry will be brief. Firstly, I did like how the episode illustrated Rose's transformation as a result of her travels. At the end of 'The End of the World', she wanted chips; during 'The Parting of the Ways', she rejects chips, and coleslaw is a poor substitute for adventure. Rose convincing her mother and Mickey to help her break open the TARDIS console helped vindicate the series' return; if (as seemed very likely before the series was broadcast) this proved to be the very last episode of [i]Doctor Who[/i] then Rose's battle to return to the fray and save the Doctor, juxtaposed with the Doctor's injunction to his friend (and those of us watching) not to look back but to have a good life/good lives, would have made a fitting farewell episode.

But of course, it's not farewell to [i]Doctor Who[/i], simply to this Doctor, and, as he had channelled the full force of the time vortex to stop it killing Rose, we said goodbye to Christopher Eccleston's Doctor. I had felt that Eccleston was in danger of becoming an empty space in the programme at times during 'Bad Wolf', but this week saw some of his best performances in the part. The ninth Doctor's goodbye to Rose was affecting, explaining regeneration by playing on its ambiguities - the Doctor spoke as if it wasn't just the Doctor's face that was disappearing, but his conscious self.

As for the David Tennant Doctor, I was surprised to find that he spoke his first few lines in a sort of Mockney, as occasionally affected by Tennant's Casanova, but more so - this could become annoying, and I'd preferred the idea of a Scottish speaking voice suggested in recent interviews. Still, the whole performance is the thing, and I am now a child waiting for Christmas. Whether we do visit the planet Barcelona and its dogs with no noses must be considered doubtful - but the line was a good bridging one, suggesting that the Doctor's sense of humour has survived the change.


Posted by: Penny Paperbrain (pennypaperbrain)
Posted at: June 19th, 2005 11:47 am (UTC)

Thank you. But you know you want an excuse to write more. What did you make of Dalek religion?

Posted by: Naraht (emily_shore)
Posted at: June 19th, 2005 11:51 am (UTC)

It's very hard to tell from the review whether you liked it or not! Perhaps that's taken for granted?

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: June 19th, 2005 07:21 pm (UTC)

I certainly liked it - a contender for best single episode of the season, though I think this two-parter is my second favourite story, after 'The Empty Child'/'The Doctor Dances'.

Posted by: Pellegrina (pellegrina)
Posted at: June 19th, 2005 05:11 pm (UTC)


I'll reserve opinions till I've seen it. If Malaheed has been too unwell to record it, I may need to borrow that along with Castrovalva ;-)

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: June 19th, 2005 05:48 pm (UTC)

I'm going to be creating an extra borrowing copy this evening - I think there could be a lot of demand for this episode!

Posted by: Elaine of Astolat (ladyofastolat)
Posted at: June 19th, 2005 06:13 pm (UTC)

I thought this episode was stunning. I must be unique in that I have never watched Doctor Who before this series. I haven't even watched much of this series (due partly to incompetence in recording episodes, and partly to me stupidly believing King Pellinor when he said it wasn't very good.)

And how I regret that now! I loved last night's episode, and am now kicking myself for missing so much that went before it. I think Play.com is about to receive some more of my hard-earned money...

So maybe I will finally be converted and become a fan, only some 25 years late...

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: June 19th, 2005 07:24 pm (UTC)

It's never too late! As an aside, it's interesting how many of the new child fans seem to be girls who have responded not only to Rose but also the new series' spirit of adventure.

Posted by: Na'Lon (na_lon)
Posted at: June 20th, 2005 10:13 am (UTC)

Not so much a comment as a question. Are you on Outpost Gallifrey? If so, what's your handle? If you don't want to answer this on lj, please email me.