Review of "Journey's End"
Written by Russell T. Davies, Directed by Graeme Harper                                                                                      5 July 2008

The TARDIS crew bring the Earth back home.

 

The DoctorDonna and the Doctor prepare to leave Rose in the parallel universe.

 

Rose asks the Doctor and the new Doctor what they would have said to her just before their original parting on Bad Wolf Bay.

 

The new Doctor and Rose kiss!

 

 

by Monika Lewis

"Journey's End" is one of the biggest, best and most epic ever episodes of Doctor Who.  It is also a joyous and satisfying ending to many of the storylines set up since 2005, with both the Doctor and companions' journeys concluding and setting off in new directions.  The very thematically complex story represents the end of an era which started four years ago with the triumphant return of the series.  The way in which all the plot lines from four series is like another major recent event in fiction, J.K. Rowling's finale Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.  The companions' journeys, like Harry Potter and his friends at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, is from a newcomer to an unknown and magical world to an experienced player and savior of worlds.

Both in the Doctor's story and behind the scenes, the next episodes will be a new start for the Doctor and his companions.  This is reminiscent of 1969's "The War Games" when the Second Doctor called on the Time Lords to help him defeat the War Lord, who had gathered soldiers from wars throughout history in a great battle.  The Time Lords then cast judgment on the Doctor for interfering in other planets himself.  They altered the memories of the Doctor's companions Jamie and Zoe so they didn't remember their travels together, returning them to their original homes.  The Time Lords then changed the Doctor's form and sent him to Earth in exile, unable to travel in time and space.  This transition saw the exchange of the role from Patrick Troughton to Jon Pertwee, and companions played Frazer Hines and Wendy Padbury left to give way to the UNIT team led by the Brigadier (Nicholas Courtney).  Like Donna, Jamie and Zoe couldn't go back to the Doctor (only appearing as false images in "The Five Doctors") because they didn't remember their adventures with him.  In today's era, "Journey's End" is when producers Phil Collinson and Russell T. Davies, as well as actress Catherine Tate, begin to move on from Doctor Who, leaving the show to new showrunner Steven Moffat and returning Doctor David Tennant to continue evolving in new directions.

The Doctor in this episode didn't regenerate, but in drawing energy from his other hand set in motion events that created a new version of himself.  Like the creation of his daughter Jenny from his DNA in "The Doctor's Daughter," it's an event he must come to terms with.  Although he thought Jenny died, she in fact healed herself while keeping the same form, as the Doctor did in this episode.  Here, he guides his other self to a new life with Rose.  While the Doctor can't love Rose in the same way she loves him, his human-Time Lord alter ego can share her life.  The new Doctor can have the life that John Smith in "Human Nature" dreamed of having with Joan Redfern, without having to die in order to let the original Doctor live.  In the previous episode, John Smith had to give himself over to the Doctor in order to defeat the Family of Blood.  The Doctor made himself human to give the Family a chance to give up their pursuit of his Time Lord self, but when they threatened the people of Earth, Martha had to ensure that he returned to his true self.

In "Journey's End," Donna Noble after realizing her full potential since she became part Time Lord and saved the universes, must have her memory erased or she will die because her human mind wasn't meant to have all the Doctor's knowledge.  The Doctor saves Donna's life, but returns her to how she was before they met.  Unlike the other companions, Donna can never return to the Doctor's life.  This was a very sad moment, as Donna doesn't know what she has experienced but the Doctor will always know what she meant to him, and how she was "the most important woman in the whole of creation," as Rose tells Donna in "Turn Left."

The Doctor also brings his relationship with Rose to an end, but leaves her with a clone of himself that was created when he channeled his regenerative energy into his other hand (from "The Christmas Invasion") and Donna later came in contact with it when she and the TARDIS was about to be consumed by flames in the Dalek ship.  This brought into being the new Doctor who was part human and part Time Lord, and also gave Donna the Doctor's knowledge.  She was the only one who could have saved the universes, since the other companions and Doctors were captured by Davros and the Daleks.  Davros explained that he had created the new race of Daleks and gained control over time and space so that he could exterminate all life except for Daleks.  However, Donna with the Doctor's help turned his plan against him by controlling anything with Davros' DNA.  The new Doctor, from the time when the Doctor still wanted to destroy the Daleks as revenge for the Time War when the Time Lords were wiped out, in turn destroyed all the Dalek ships.  The original Doctor wouldn't have done that, but this is similar to Series One's "The Parting of the Ways" when Rose gained control over the time vortex and destroyed all the Daleks.  The Doctor teaches his companions and empowers them, but also leads them to destroy his enemies when he couldn't bring himself to do it, as Davros told him.  As Jackie Tyler told Elton Pope in "Love & Monsters" about the Doctor and Rose, "Let me tell you something. About those who get left behind. Because it’s hard. And that’s what you become, hard. But if there’s one thing I’ve learnt, it’s that I will never let her down. And I’ll protect them both until the end of my life."

While Harriet Jones was the only associate of the Doctor to die from the Daleks' actions, many other people were killed during the invasion of Earth.  Martha Jones, and Jackie, Mickey, Captain Jack and Sarah Jane, were prepared to blow up the Earth and the Dalek Crucible in order to stop Davros' plan from being carried out.  Donna and the Doctors saved them, and all the companions worked together as the crew of the TARDIS to tow the Earth back home.  Their departures imply that Martha Jones and Mickey Smith will join Torchwood along with Captain Jack, Ianto and Gwen now that Toshiko and Owen are gone.  Sarah Jane will go back to her son Luke and continue defending the Earth along with Maria and Clyde.  Rose will perhaps marry the new Doctor, after their kiss which many fans had been waiting for since the Doctor and Rose first met.  I certainly enjoyed seeing them find happiness together, even as the original Doctor is left without Rose again.  Producer Julie Gardner says that the new Doctor whispered, "I love you" to Rose just before they kissed.  Since the new Doctor is more able to connect emotionally with humans, he is able to express his love for her when the Time Lord Doctor wasn't able to.  Jackie and Pete Tyler along with their new son are living in the parallel universe.  Pete is another version of Jackie's husband from the other universe, like the new Doctor is a version of the original Doctor.  Since it's science fiction, anything can happen.  Originally it was said that Rose could never meet the Doctor again, but after the walls between the universes broke down she was able to cross over and find him again.  And the Doctor?  He will keep traveling as he always does, finding the next great adventure and saving the universe all over again.

 

10/10 

 

The Doctor will return at Christmas 2008, with the return of the Cybermen, as well as David Tennant's Blackpool co-star David Morrissey.  Also look for the continuing adventures of Captain Jack Harkness, Gwen Cooper and Ianto Jones (and maybe Martha Jones and Mickey Smith?) in Torchwood series three, and Sarah Jane Smith, Luke Smith, Maria Jackson, and Clyde Langer in The Sarah Jane Adventures series two.  It's been a great ride following the Doctor's adventures, with many more outstanding stories sure to come in the future.