Whoydensday: nearly the S4 finale here in Oz

Update Sun 28 8:35pm: the finale episode has now aired in NZ and Oz, so SPOILERS! SPOILERS! SPOILERS! in the comments – BEWARE!

This can be the basic discussion thread for the final three episodes of Season 4, just so long as you remember that people here in the antipodes don’t see the absolute final episode until Sunday night (when I will post a reminder to come and revisit this thread, because various corners of Mount Fandom will explode, and various threads of narrative throughout this season will suddenly make a lot more sense).

As you will have seen in Episode 12: The Stolen Earth, the final double-parter is where Rosie Gets Her Gun:

If you were paying attention to the trailers for this week, you might have seen a few more familiar faces, to whit The Collected Companions:

So, whaddayareckon so far?



Categories: arts & entertainment, fun & hobbies

Tags: , , , ,

33 replies

  1. Bloody awesome – the Junior Grendels love episode with Daleks more than any other. The was dead silence in the room Sunday night except for the occasional whispered question like: “why are all the people going with the Daleks?” from the younger Junior Grendel.
    I have no doubt that this Sunday’s episode will be watched as intently.
    Grendels last blog post..Surviving Pirates

  2. All I can say from this vantage is ‘what a mess’, and leave it at that.

  3. Perhaps it’s just me, but I’ve always found Mickey a royal pain in the proverbial with no redeeming features whatsoever.

  4. The part where everyone heard the Daleks voices was chilling. Sarah Jane’s tears for her son and Captain Jack kissing Ianto and Gwen and telling them there was nothing they could do were powerful scenes.
    Amazing how the cry of “Exterminate” is still quite terrifying so many decades on.
    Can’t wait till Sunday.
    Shauns last blog post..One kind favor

  5. We finished watching them a month or so ago…(downloaded).
    Davros, always glad to see him. Apart from the Master he was always a fav.
    I cried in the last episode, but then again I cry at pretty much anything…I’m a sook.
    Can’t wait for next season.

  6. My son has a league table of baddies and Davros leapfrogged over Voldemort to be number one with a bullet. Lovely to see Sarah Jane (but where is that ‘boilersuit’ of which I was so envious as a child – bring back the boilersuit!) She and Rose are definite faves of mine.

  7. It’s just finished in NZ!
    Really, really awesome episode … with a giant “but” attached to the end because DAMN YOU TO HELL, RTD, I LIKED THAT COMPANION BEST.
    Also, taking her out with a plotline I saw done 10 years ago on Stargate SG-1 was particularly suckful.

  8. “Damn you to hell, RTD” has been a pretty common reaction to that plotline, QoT!

  9. “Damn you to hell” was my reaction too. The last episode was an urgh bluh where nothing made sense.
    Donna will always be brilliant. In my mind she ran off with her pseudo-husband and one of her friends in the temp agency after seeing the wonders of the universe. (and she possibly cloned an adult TARDIS so she could go see some more)

  10. Count me in with the “damn you RTD!” chorus.
    Donna was my favourite companion in a long, long time.
    The next series better find a way to bring her back.
    Shauns last blog post..One kind favor

  11. OK, I’ve just added a spoiler warning to the post, so be as specific as you like from this point on.
    spoiler space just in case
    spoiler space just in case
    spoiler space just in case
    spoiler space just in case
    NOT DONNA! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!
    Was anyone else intrigued by just how flashy that ring of hers was at various points? (Maybe it’s something you have to watch it more than once to catch) What’s that going to mean in future episodes? Anything? Nothing?

  12. I, er, actually really liked the season finale. *ducks*
    I’ve watched it several times now, and I like it every time. I feel like I’m a really bad fan and a lousy feminist for liking it, but there you have it.
    Mind you, I think that Donna’s ending was tragic and horrible (and I love her greatly) and the Doctor’s actions were morally ambiguous at best, but I think it worked on a tragic level (although it is VERY problematic that Rusty is playing into a tradition whereby women who become superpowerful loose their powers, while men who become superpowerful get to keep them).
    As far as the mindwipe itself goes, I think it’s interesting to note that this does have a precedent in Old Who– Zoe and Jamie, companions of the Second Doctor, had all memories associated with the Doctor erased by the Time Lords, and as much as the Doctor always tried to distance himself from the other Time Lords, he certainly shares a lot of their arrogance. Sarah Jane was also presumably mind-wiped after the events of The Five Doctors, since she didn’t remember that in School Reunion– but that would still be a retrospective Rusty addition to canon, rather than something carried over from Old Who.
    From a storytelling perspective, the part that I found least satisfying was the Blue!Ten/Rose ending in Badwolf Bay– after Rose and her return had been built up to be such a big thing, it just seemed to fall a bit flat. However, fanfiction can help with that– I found that In Another Life by Sam Storyteller (i.e. the author of the famous Trying to Communicate AKA the Alien LOLcat fic), helped greatly with that.

  13. Beppie, as we’ve discussed before, there were many things I liked about it as well – huge amounts of awesomeness in many ways (although more than a little overblown). I still hate that ending for Donna.

  14. Nobody liked it? I loved the episode, especially the part where they were all driving The TARDIS together. I was distraught at what happened to Donna, but other than that I loved it.
    It’s not the same as Zoe and that guy, though. They had fantastic lives before they met The Doctor. I was so sad when it happened to them, but it’s nothing compared to what happened to Donna. Donna had a shit life and was completely cut off from fulfilling the smallest fraction of her potential – or even realizing she had any. It was horrifying to see her permanently go back to that point. We all knew something bad was going to happen to her from the Silence in the Library episode, but I really didn’t imagine it would be that awful.

  15. The Collected Companions all driving the TARDIS together was wonderful for my inner fan-girl, lala.
    As Beppie has said before, and I’m going to steal it, I have three distinctly grouped sets of reactions to the finale (and the final 3 as an extended narrative): the fan, the litcrit, and the feminist.
    As a fan, there was a lot of wheeeee! stuff going on that I really, really enjoyed. From a litcrit view, the plot was hugely overblown but there was some nice work tying off various ends of narrative arcs from the beginning of the season. The gender politics really got me though, and not only Donna, although that was the worst (not just the mindwipe, but why the hell wouldn’t Jack give her a hug after the Doctor siphoned off the regeneration energy to still be himself?). What on Skaro was it with making Rose such a whiner?

    Image Source: one of the Team SMASK macro tales on ihasatardis

  16. It’s not the same as Zoe and that guy, though. They had fantastic lives before they met The Doctor.
    But from an ethical perspective, it’s still a matter of taking someone’s memories against their will– an invasion of their bodily and mental integrity. And looking at it that way, Zoe and Jamie had their memories wiped simply because the Time Lords thought that humans shouldn’t have that sort of knowledge, while with Donna it was a matter of saving her life.
    Er, I should probably not go on about this, since I’ve already talked about it here when we had the spoiler thread for this episode a few months ago. 😛 So I’ll just reiterate that I DO think that what happened to Donna was unfair, and if I could change anything about it, I would place a greater emphasis the questionable ethics of the Doctor in doing this (although fandom at least seems to have latched onto that anyway)– but I do think that the tragedy it provides a poignant counterpoint to the fast-paced excitement of the episode.
    And, now I promise not to say anything more about this, unless I can make a point that I haven’t already made elsewhere on this blog. 😛
    (And Tigtog, I’m sorry, I do know that there are plenty of people liked the finale, including you– the *ducks* was an attempt at humor, based more broadly on fandom reactions to the episode, but I can see that it comes across as dismissive towards you and others in that, so I apologise.)

  17. No need to apologise, Beppie – I totally took it as a nod to Mt Fandom exploding and nothing more.
    For anyone who is interested in our previous discussion of the finale from a few months ago, where detail regarding the gender politics got a lot of play, that thread is here.

  18. why the hell wouldn’t Jack give her [Donna] a hug
    I know, and try as I might, I can’t fanwank this one away! If it was anyone but Jack, I could do it– the Doctor/Rose reunion was poignant enough that Donna’s request for a hug from a stranger might have seemed a bit out of place to most people– but this is Jack Bleedin’ Harkness! Unfortunately, there does seem to be a pattern of Jack not responding well when women try to initiate something with him– for instance, when Martha kissed him in A Day in the Death, he just stood there with his eyes open, instead of indulging in a nice little snog (which is what I would have expected him to do).

  19. The whole “here Rose, have the Dr’s identical twin” thing was a bit yuck for me. Like RTD was going to fans of Rose – here, now STFU abouut Rose. He may have all the Dr’s memories, but it’s not the same.
    I couldn’t believe they could do that to Donna. Rose got something, Martha has her b’friend, even Micky has a new life, but Donna got nada. that really sucked. The writers need to find some way to re-unite her with the guy from the library. Damn them.

  20. It’s really not that I hated the finale – I fucking LOVED it, and my partner may have been slightly freaked out by the amount of time I spent bouncing up and down in my chair out of excitement.
    But screwing with Donna that way (and because of aforementioned STARGATE DID IT-ness,* it wasn’t even surprising to me) just left all the awesomeness – every single series crossing over, K-FRACKING-9, Daleks speaking German – on a really flat note. Donna did not fucking deserve that shitbox ending while Rose gets fucking EVERYTHING. Yes, RTD, we know you love Rose and think she’s the Best Companion Ever, but surely there’s a solid stack of market research that shows she simply doesn’t stand up to the combined BRILLIANCE of Martha/Jack/Donna?
    Also, the fact that at one point in the subwave phone call there were 3 people with the surname “Jones” on the line made me giggle strangely.
    *O’Neill somehow absorbs the collected knowledge of the Asgard, human brain cannot contain so much knowledge, human brain starts flipping out, requires mind-erasing intervention.

  21. Is there a “Donna got short-changed” group on Facebook yet?

  22. In our house we are a bit over the Dr being so Earth bound. How about a strong, alien compnaion, who comes to the Tardis with her/his own strengths and weaknesses? Then they can go explore her/his part of the universe.
    I thought the Jack no-hug thing was a bit odd too.
    I agree, the combined companions driving the Tardis was awesome – maybe the new companion can have more than 2 arms and they can fly Tardis together…

  23. Is there a “Donna got short-changed” group on Facebook yet?
    There’s the ‘why do all the women get denied agency’ group, but that’s just in my head.
    *still furious*

  24. Something that irritated me in the final 2 was the use of the term ‘The Female’… i.e. alien-lady (rhino thingy) who referred to Donna as ‘the female’ and then Davros who referred to someone (possibly Donna, I forget) as ‘the female’. Like, how do these mofos even have a CONCEPT of ‘femaleness’? it’s like the script called for the character to be belittled, that their status as a non-Timelord was made clear, and somehow rather than being called ‘underling’ or ‘human’, they are ‘the female’. maybe my imagination. but it icked me.

  25. jess, I think that was meant to be biological precision (biologically we are female, sociologically we are women), but I agree there’s no reason she couldn’t just be “the human”.
    Circulating Library liveblogged it, as usual. Good discussion there as well. LP has a lively thread going, and Memes of Production summarises Donna’s tragedy very neatly:

    In “School Reunion” Sarah Jane said something to the effect that travelling with the doctor was dangerous, and heart-breaking, but completely worth it. Mde La Pompadour said that the Doctor was worth the monsters. And it is that privilege that Donna has lost. And that is what was tragic about the final.

    We know tragedy can be powerful, and there’s a lot of reasons outside the Whoverse and inside the Brit-thespverse that Tate couldn’t continue playing the Doctor’s Companion. This is a really grand ending for Donna, a true tragedy, not the faux tragedy of Rose in a parallel-world. Donna’s ending will be remembered so much more strongly, and thus her whole character arc will be remembered, because of this ending.
    I still hate that this happened to Donna though. I wanted her to at least end up with her lovely library chap.

  26. That’s what got me pissed, TT. Rose ended up, sort of, with her Dr, but Donna got sweet bugger all, despite being one of the best companions yet.

  27. DEX – crosses her arms, tucking hands away.
    Write 100 times – I will not get into the Fate of Donna/Euthanasia argument again, I will not get into the Fate of Donna/Euthanasia argument again…

  28. I got spoiled inadvertently early on in the season with a filming shoot report of Donna losing her memories so I can’t work out how I feel about that! Agree that super Donna losing powers was gender-skewed. (Rose lost her superpowers with a kiss, this was a far suckier fate.) In context, while watching the ep, I found the narrative worked for me (although the cheese of everyone driving the TARDIS was personally a bit much). Conflicted about the question of mind-rape, although I feel I probably would have done the same with Donna, erased her mind rather than let her die, I felt it was a bit like someone saying in a survival situation “don’t amputate my limb, I’d rather die” because they were so shocked and scared. I also think that Donna’s life after was, taken by itself, not horrible, it was ordinary. Ordinary “shallow” women obsessed with gossip, fashion, booze and boys are not living a tragedy.
    RTD needs to not write his plots in one big bingeing hit at the last possible moment. Guy’s got great vision, great dialogue etc. but needs some perspective so he doesn’t drop any of the balls he’s juggling.
    I still think that the Doctor, on the face of it, doesn’t get enough questioning of his behaviour. Certainly I felt Martha’s treatment in S3 was not, but I was partially mollified by the acknowledgment in Partners In Crime that he had behaved badly (and that he was seen to be a bit of an egotistical cad about it too). I think it’s difficult though for the writers to have too much explicitly textual moral ambiguities or low points for the Doctor. People like heroes, especially children. I think the ambiguity that the fans, who like to analyse things, see is mostly intended, but I wonder if the writers think the Doctor is as much of a sexist prick as I do?

  29. Excellent review from Behind the Sofa (back from July, when the finale screened in the UK): Joanne was not best impressed.

  30. Joanne rocks. I feel so much better after reading that now.

  31. I think now is the time to introduce the newbies to Team SMASK (a doctor who macro community). Start at the linked post, and work through the collected stories at your leisure.

  32. I just want to point out that Sarah Jane was referred to as “the female” twice by a Sontaran in the new Sarah Jane Adventures episode, and once as just “Female,” as it it were her name.
    I’ve seen it in loads of Old Who, too. It would make sense that it’s just descriptive to say “the human female” or something, but I have not once seen men referred to as “the male.” Plus, it’s just annoying that their gender is considered so important to so many different species.

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