Sunday, July 09, 2006

Doctor Who - Doomsday

... so the Daleks emerge from the Void Ship and say they'll exterminate everyone, but then Rose talks to them and stops them by making them think that they know more than they're saying. The Daleks have a thing called a Genesis Ark with them which seems to be a big armless Dalek thing. The episode continues with constant flitting back and forth between the Doctor, Jackie and the Cybermen and Rose, Mickey and the Daleks ... all of which is nice on screen, but a total pain to try and write up, so I'm not going to try. The gist is that the Daleks want a time traveller to touch the Genesis Ark to open it. How they knew/thought there would be on Earth in this time and place is beyond me. What if the Doctor, Rose or Mickey had not been there? The Daleks' plans would have been stuffed. And the Cybermen want to convert everyone into Cybermen and somehow the CyberLeader manages to send a transmission to all televisions about this - bloomin powerful this Torchwood place to have the ability to do that. And what would the Cybermen do once everyone has been converted? Live in Cyber-happiness? Anyway, eventually a Dalek encounters two Cybermen (numbers 1065 and 1066) in a corridor. That sounds like the start of a bad joke ... they talk, they transmit pictures of each other, and then the Dalek destroys the Cybermen. I really liked the dialogue here with the cool Black Dalek referring to destroying the Cybermen as 'pest control' and claiming that the Cybermen are superior in only one way to the Daleks ... they are 'better at dying'. Nice stuff. The CyberLeader decides to convert the humans they have captured into Cybermen and so Yvonne and Jackie along with some technician types get hauled off to their doom. The Daleks spot the Doctor on the monitor screen and when Rose IDs him to them, they are scared ... however the Genesis Ark takes up their attention and they apply suckers to it, after sucking all the knowledge about the Earth from poor Rajesh's head. What a way to go. Though why having all your brainwaves drained would either kill you or turn you into a dessicated corpse is anyone's guess. Suddenly, and with a bound, the rest of the Preachers arrive - Jake and his mates from the parallel world. Yvonne goes in to be cyber-converted in a nasty scene, and Jackie is next, but Jake's mates kill the CyberLeader with the Doctor and immediately one of the Cybermen with Jackie is upgraded to Leader status - I liked this idea that if you kill their leaders, another automatically steps in. The distracted Cybermen allow Jackie to escape, and she heads down the fire escape. Conveniently, Jake and co have their own version of Torchwood and have developed travel disks to help them move between dimensions. Very useful indeed. Back there, the Doctor meets Pete Tyler again. This is turning into happy families! All we're missing is Sarah Jane and K9 to come barrelling in and the party would be complete. Things are running along quite nicely now, and returning to 'our' earth, the Doctor brokers a deal with the Cybermen to attack the Daleks. He wanders into the Sphere room (which was sealed before - wonder how they managed to open it) and talks with the Daleks who all are revealed to have names - Thane, Sek, Jast and Karn (spellings uncertain) - and are a special secret Cult of Skaro, Daleks above and beyond the Emperor and who can think how the enemy thinks ... what? All sounds a little convenient to me. And they have this Genesis Ark thing, which is a Time Lord device, activated by touch. Of course no-one would be daft enough to touch it ... would they? Of course not. Except Mickey, naturally, who falls against it during the ensuing battle between Daleks, Cybermen and troops. Silly boy. So the Cybermen are destroyed by the Daleks, the humans retreat and the Genesis Ark is primed. The Daleks head off for more space - 30 square miles seem to be required - and so the Ark and the black Dalek fly into the sky. Meanwhile, Pete and Jackie meet and the action slows to a crawl as they talk and then hug. Sheesh. The Doctor has an idea now though, and reveals that by looking at everyone through 3D glasses he can see 'void stuff' on everything that has crossed through the void. I though the void contained nothing at all ... so what is void stuff? Anyway ... if the Doctor reopens the void breach then everything covered in void stuff will be dragged in. But that would include himself so he appropriates the clamp things we saw in part 1 to hold on to. But Rose wants to stay with him ... cue some more sentimental stuff as she argues with the Doctor and then with Jackie before Pete takes them all back to Alternate Earth and then Rose comes back on her own - there's no stopping this girl. Meanwhile the black Dalek has opened the Genesis Ark and it's not the complete backlist of Phil Collins' band, nor is it Davros ... it's a TARDIS-like thing full of Daleks which all emerge and start attacking the Cybermen. We're now into endgame ... Rose and the Doctor start sorting out the levers and clamps. The Cybermen are converging on them, but are stopped by Cyber-Yvonne who kills them. Seems her conversion was not successful for some reason and she still retains her human voice and can cry oil! This was most rubbish and perhaps the weakest part of the story. So the breach is opened and the Daleks are all dragged into it. Despite being told that the Cybermen were too, we don't see a single one go into the breach. And the black Dalek does an emergency temporal shift (as you do) and vanishes. So he's still around somewhere then. All danger and excitement now, and as we're expecting Rose to die, it's no real surprise when her lever starts to fall back and she has to grab it and push it home again ... but she's lost her hold and is being dragged into the breach and the void ... when Pete conveniently appears at exactly the right time, and standing in exactly the right spot to catch her and take her safely back to his universe. Just in time too as the breach sucks itself in and is gone. Questions here: how did he know to come back? Where to stand? And when? All a little to convenient really. The next scenes are brilliant. The Doctor and Rose. Tears. Each separated from the other forever. I cried. The acting here is the best we have seen from Piper and Tennant. And then we fade to black. But it's not all over. There's a neat coda where Rose dreams the Doctor and she, Pete, Jackie and Mickey travel to Norway to a deserted beach at a place called Bad Wolf Bay. There the Doctor appears for one final time to Rose and they get to say their goodbyes. Rose tells him she loves him, and he appears to do the same, but vanishes words unspoken. The next shot of the Doctor in the TARDIS, tears streaming down his face is the best of all - unspoken emotion and the fact that he has lost his best friend in all the universe (again). But things are afoot. There is suddenly a bride in full bridal gear in the TARDIS console room. She turns and it's Catherine Tate - a somewhat unfunny comedienne whose only decent catchphrase/character is the 'Am I bovvered?' schoolgirl. What!!!!!!! So overall I really enjoyed Doomsday. It was a fitting ending, and although I wanted Rose to die - and come to think of it, something of a wasted opportunity to do some false deaths for her (like the disintegration by the Anne Droid last year) - this was most suitable. The battles between Daleks and Cybermen seemed somewhat one-sided though - shame the Cybermen didn't have some weapon to use against the Daleks - but were a mixture of spectacle and mundaninity. And the story as a whole hung together mostly, with a few hasty elements thrown in. So what's next? Torchwood the series? Set in the Pete Tyler Universe, starring Billie Piper as Rose Tyler (well she said she was working for them)? Stranger things have been known to happen.

7 comments:

Daveym said...

All in all Excellent.

You can analyze too much - why wasn't the top of the building wrecked by all those Cybermen/Daleks being hoovered thru the portal? What effect on Earth with millions(?) of people dead? Actually that's my big gripe with this series and it's attitude to large scale invasions every month...

I theorise that the whole reason the sphere finally opened is because the Daleks were waiting for a time-traveller to arrive, which they did... problem is if Mickey had been undercover there already for quite a while that makes little sense.
Cyber-Yvonne was indeed pretty horrific - it's a mistake to think the series has mislaid it's ability to show Horror... But the idea to have her 'redeem' herself on the stairwell is indeed iffy, still perhaps that adds to the horror of it?

Rose - what an excellent send off. I think she went at the right time though, the character and actress had outsized the show and seeing her unfazed by the Daleks and actually goading them confirmed that. Where's the suspense and risk if you have such a character as a lead?
Still it was a fine end to the girl we've got to know and neatly tied up her story by giving her her ideal life - what's she going on about saying she 'Died'?!

This is your life Rose.

Mark Parmerter said...

David,

I've greatly enjoyed reading your analysis of each story this season, and would love to read a final analysis of Series Two as a whole - your favorite stories, 'magical moments,' etc. Thanks for providing us with your thoughts over the last few months, I've looked foward to visiting your blog each Monday to see what you've had to say; how about one final piece?

All the best,
Mark Parmerter

David said...

Hi Mark

That is, spookily, exactly what I want to do ... I really must also try and keep the weekend updates going ... so expect some randomness coming up and possibly not all WHO related as well.

Any requests?

D

Daveym said...

Well David, I'd be interested in knowing your thoughts on the new series use of effects, also your thoughts on the new attitude to Earth Invasions - back in the day Invasions were 'Invasions by stealth' now they are totally public and large scale and i see a huge problem with that myself. Didn't the Doctor or someone mention 'Millions' had died in the Cyber/Dalek war?! On top of the Sycorax invasion it's a bit too much to swallow - does the series have to find new ideas and ways to do things next season?

Maybe you can talk about your work in Telos in general too, what the publishing world is like to work in these days...

Regards.

Anonymous said...

I thought that the BBC had already planned Torchwood the series in The Doctor's universe with capt. Jack coming back in time and joining the team...
http://www.bbc.co.uk/pressoffice/pressreleases/stories/2005/10_october/17/torch.shtml

David said...

Yea, I know that Torchwood was already planned (and recording started) ... I was just theorising :)

Anonymous said...

I wondered why the Cybermen were not sucked into the void the same way as the Daleks. It was because everyone was sucked back into the Void at the point where they came out of it. Yes, so a handful of Cybermen should have gone with the Daleks, but hey, we just didn't see that bit huh?

and Rose did die, as far as the Doctor's universe is concerned, she is on the list og the dead.