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Doctor Who - The Stolen Earth / Doctor Who - Journey's End

episode 4.12, 4.13

UK 2008
produced by
Phil Collinson, Russell T.Davies (executive), Julie Gardner (executive) for BBC Wales/BBC
directed by Graeme Harper
starring David Tennant, Catherine Tate, Billie Piper, Freema Agyeman, John Barrowman, Elisabeth Sladen, Julian Bleach, Noel Clark, Camille Coduri, Penelope Wilton, Gareth David-Lloyd, Eve Myles, Tommy Knight, Bernard Cribbins, Jacqueline King, Adjoa Andoh, Michael Brandon, Andrea Harris, Lachele Carl, Richard Dawkins, Paul O'Grady, Marcus Cunningham, Jason Mohammed, Paul Kasey, Kelly Hunter, Amy Beth Hayes, Gary Milner, Valda Aviks, Shobu Kapoor, Elizabeth Tan, Michael Price, Barnaby Edwards, Nicholas Pegg, David Hankinson, Anthony Spargo, Nicholas Briggs (voice), John Leeson (voice), Alexander Armstrong (voice)
written by Russell T.Davies, music by Murray Gold

tv-series
Doctor Who, Doctor Who (David Tennant), Doctor Who (new series), Daleks, Davros, Donna Noble, Rose Tyler, Martha Jones, Captain Jack, Sarah Jane Smith, Torchwood, K9 (cameo)

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Right from under their noses, the earth is kidnapped (planet-napped), and while Doctor Who (David Tennant) and Donna (Catherine Tate) still try to figure out what has happened and where on earth the earth has gone, past companions of the Doctor - Rose Tyler (Billie Piper), Captain Jack (John Barrowman) from Torchwood), Martha Jones (Freema Agyeman) and Sarah Jane Smith (Elisabeth Sladen) try to summon the Doctor via intergalactic cellphone to come save earth - which has been thrown into another dimension together with 26 other planets to build a big engine - from the Daleks.

After much to and fro, the Doctor actually arrives on earth, but is killed almost immediately, only to regenerate as himself (rather than as another actor, as in earlier episodes) thanks to the cellstructure his hand he has lost in an earlier fight but kept as a souvenir. But no sooner is he alive and kicking again that he and Rose are captured by the Daleks and the Doctor's time-and-space machine, the TARDIS, is thrown into the core of the Dalek ship with Donna on board - which should mean certain doom. But while the Doctor and Rose face the Doctor's arch-enemy, Davros (Julian Bleach), creator of the Daleks, and learn about his plans to align the 27 planets he has abducted to erradicate the entire universe, a second Doctor springs to life int he TARDIS, made up of the cells of his hands and of DNA borrowed from Donna, and of course, he saves the TARDIS and Donna alike.

In the meantime, Davros has assembled all of the Doctor's friends, even Rose's boyfriend Mickey (Noel Clarke) and her mother (Camille Coduri) and Martha, who was about to blow up earth to spoil Davros's plans (which wouldn't work with only 26 planets), and with all of them assembled, he starts to gloat, when the second Doctor and Donna arrive in the TARDIS, and while Davros does everything to keep the Doctor from spoiling his plans, Donna, who has received part of the Doctor's mind in exchange for the DNA, stops Davros's doomsday machine and causes all Daleks to self-destruct ... and the universe is saved once more.

Once the earth is back in its place, it's time to say good-byes, with the farewell from Rose being especially dramatic since the Doctor only now confesses he has been secretly in love with her, and since she has learned to love him back, he leaves the second Doctor (the hybrid between his hand and Donna with her). And Donna - she gets so overwhelmed by having to house the Doctor's mind in her brain that the Doctor makes her forget everything that has happened, all their travels together, and he leaves her to her insignificant little life in order to save her, then takes off to wherever ...

 

Not without its ideas, this double-episode as a whole is less of a story driven adventure and more of a fanboy's wet dream, bringing together all the companions the Doctor has had in the new series (even K9 has a cameo), and falling of course into the same trap as a much earlier fanboy's-wet-dream episode, the 20-year special The Five Doctors from 25 years ago. The problem with stories like these is of course is that they feature way too many characters of at least some importance to really concentrate on storytelling all that much, and without a proper story the plot of the episode soon becomes a tad meaningless to anyone but the die-hard fanboy.

Apart from that, the finale of this double-episode does not quite pack the punch it should have while the post-finale farewells are way too extended and cheesy to really hold much of an interest.

Too bad, this could have been really good if about two thirds of the characters were axed and emphasis was put on the actual plot at hand, but as it is, it's a bit of an overblown piece of nothing.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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On the same day
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WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
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written by
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starring
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out now on DVD