So I just finished watching the season four finale of Doctor Who. I have to say, I enjoyed it thoroughly. Now I trolled the net and have seen quite a few reviews of this episode, mostly leaning towards a negative viewpoint. Which I suppose in our technobabble world is somewhat understandable. Afterall, much of the “science” in this episode is questionable and we do have our usual Doctor Who “quick fix” solutions to some otherwise insurmountable problems. But for what this episode was, Russell T. Davies’ swan song to fans, I thought it was rather brilliant
First off, I would like to say how stunned I was by the performance of Elisabeth Sladen as Sarah Jane Smith. Her reaction to hearing the Daleks was powerful. I even said “wow” outloud. Her shear terror was so real, so gut-wrenchingly genuine, that for a moment it made me afraid (though this being Doctor Who I knew it would all be sorted in the end). And watching Catherine Tate and David Tennant mimick each other was downright hillarious! When this season began, I had some doubts about Tate’s character being a companion. But she has totally pulled it off and her rather tragic exit from the series was too bad in my opinion. In some ways, I was very intrigued by the idea of the Doctor traveling with someone who was as brilliant and knowledgeable as he is (not seen since the days of Tom Baker’s who with Romana).
Seeing Davros return was very welcome indeed. With the glut of Dalek stories we’ve had in the past four years, it seemed like a gaping hole having him absent. But I would complain a bit because his ultimate plan seemed a little flat. It just didn’t seem as brilliant and twisted as I thought it would. Not to mention that he was made to appear a slave of his own creations. I doubt that the Davros we’ve seen before would allow such a thing to happen.
But this episode isn’t about punching plot holes. God knows you could probably find some truck worthy ones if you looked, oh, not so hard. This episode was a big, Doctor Who blow out! Let’s get all the major players back together. Let’s give Rose the happy ending she was denied in Doomsday. Let’s setup the next incarnation of the Torchwood team. Let’s make sure our lonely, anguished Doctor is set and primed for his guest stars for the next few films over 2009 so that Moffat can have a virtually clean slate in 2010. Let’s finally get rid of that damn hand that has played as a prop in so many stories. Let’s give our f/x guys some really good, Dalek blasting fun to work on! And for all these things, I’d say the episode was a success. This show was not for die hard sci-fi fans who pick things apart and want to be impressed by the brilliant science of everything. This was a show meant to quicken your pace and wink at you cause you’ve followed the series and know all the inside jokes. I mean, come one people, this was the show that last year delivered the Doctor, engulfed in light and flying across the room in perfect Jesus pose (or wuxia flying fighting stance, depending on your preference )
So was I satisfied. I’m sure you can tell by now the answer is yes. Do I acknowledge there were some weaknesses, hell yes. But Doctor Who is my guilty pleasure show. I watch it not for the science, or the stunning, bullet proof plot. I watch it because it is so f#$!king fun. And this episode delivered to my fun factor!
Now, to Stephen Moffat taking over, please, let the Daleks go for a while. They have been key players in 3 of the 4 season finales we’ve had so far, and it’s starting to feel stale.