THE PARTING OF THE WAYS

The Doctor rescues Rose from the Daleks by audaciously materialising his TARDIS around her.

The Parting of the WaysSue: That was impressive. I can’t imagine one of the older Doctors trying something like that. He would have ended up in Aztec land or something.

It’s a setback for the Daleks, but a booming voice tells them to be patient.

Sue: Are you sure that isn’t Davros? Who else can it be?
Me: Well, you’ve definitely seen the character before –
Sue: Is it the Dalek that was touched up by Rose in Rob Shearman’s episode?
Me: No. He – it – appeared in the classic series.
Sue: So it’s Davros then.

The Doctor doesn’t understand. The Daleks were wiped out. He was there. He saw it happen. He made it happen.

Sue: This makes sense, I suppose, because it didn’t really happen; he just thinks it happened. In fact, it would make less sense if there weren’t any Daleks roaming around the galaxy. You know, because it never actually happened.

The Oncoming Storm strolls onto the Dalek mothership.

Me: That’s a reference to the Virgin New Adventures, love.
Sue: For the last time, Neil, you’re not reading them to me in bed.

The Emperor has been turning failed game show contestants into Daleks.

The Parting of the WaysMe: Do you recognise him, Sue? He appeared in a Patrick Troughton story called The Evil of the Daleks.
Sue: (Rolling her eyes) Not really, no. Anyway, I thought Davros was in charge of the Daleks.
Me: Don’t you remember the Dalek civil war in the classic series?
Sue: Vaguely.
Me: You don’t, do you? In fact, do you remember anything from the classic series?
Sue: Yes, I remember Davros.

According to the Emperor, the Dalek race was wiped out (thanks to the Doctor), but his ship survived and fell through a whole in time.

Sue: Hang on a minute. So did that happen or not? I’m more confused than ever now. How could that Dalek escape from something that never actually happened? That doesn’t make any sense.

The Daleks don’t like being reminded that they’re half-human. “Blasphemy! Blasphemy!” they all cry in unison.

Me: And that’s a reference to the 1996 TV Movie.
Sue: These Daleks remind me of Isis, or whatever it is they’re calling themselves this week. I bet they’ve got suicide Daleks and everything.

The Parting of the WaysThe Doctor returns to his TARDIS with a cheery smile, although it turns out that he’s just putting on a brave face.

Sue: He’s thinking to himself, “Not these ****ers again. Why does it always have to be these ****ers?”

The Dalek fleet converges on Satellite Five.

Sue: Doesn’t this look amazing, Neil? I’m really pleased this series ended with the Daleks. It wouldn’t have been the same without them.

Me: There was a time when this episode was filled with silver balls instead. Remember?
Sue: The Yeti? I don’t see how that would have worked.
Me: No! The Toclafane!
Sue: Okay, keep your hair on. What’s left of it. You’re talking about the balls that Rob Shearman was forced to use. Yes, I remember. Which means we’ve wasted loads of time talking about something that didn’t actually happen.
Me: Just like the Doctor and The Time War.

Lynda (with a Y) promises to do her best against the Daleks.

Sue: Aww, that was sweet. She is so dead.

Captain Jack bids farewell to Rose and the Doctor the only way he knows how – by snogging both their faces off.

Sue: That was probably controversial 10 years ago, but thanks to Russell T. it wouldn’t raise an eyebrow today. Good on him. Who’d have thought there would be a time when Doctor Who was the most progressive show on television. Weird, isn’t it?

Jack tries to rally the game show contestants to his cause.

Sue: You can see why they gave Jack his own show. He deserves one after that speech.
Me: Only three people agreed to follow him. The rest didn’t. It wasn’t that motivational, love.

The Parting of the WaysThe Doctor tricks Rose into the TARDIS so he can evacuate her to safety.

Sue: He’s going to keep his promise to Jackie, bless him.

The Doctor has left a hologram that explains everything.

Sue: Don’t look so sad, Neil. He turns into David Tennant and everything’s fine. More than fine, actually. So pull yourself together, lad.

The TARDIS has taken Rose back to the Powell Estate.

Sue: I’d move straight out of her flat and into the TARDIS. There’s loads more room, and you wouldn’t have to pay any council tax, either. Shame about the view, though. The Doctor should have programmed it to land in a nice field somewhere. Or a beach.

If the Doctor triggers his delta wave generator, Nyssa will finally get a good night’s sleep. Sorry, I mean: life as we know it will cease to exist.

Sue: He’s going for the hat trick. He’s wiped out the Time Lords and the Daleks, and now he’s after the full set with Earth.
Me: Except the first two didn’t actually happen, of course. And to be fair to the Doctor, he’s only committed genocide once (although he tried and failed more than once), so we shouldn’t be too hard on him.

The Doctor asks the Emperor to explain Bad Wolf to do him. The Emperor doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

Sue: Good. I mean, why would the Emperor want to attract the attention of the one person who was capable of stopping him? That would have been insane, even for the Daleks.

The Parting of the WaysMeanwhile, back on 21st century Earth, Rose is eating chips.

Sue: Wow. What a scene. The script is incredible. Old Doctor Who was never this good. I’m sorry, Neil, but it wasn’t. Hey, don’t get upset about it, love.

Rose storms out of the cafe in an existential huff.

Sue: Good on you, Rose! Now I understand why the Doctor loves her so much. Have you stopped crying yet, Neil?

The Daleks are swarming outside Satellite Five.

Sue: I love the music. And look at how many Daleks there are, Neil! This is more like Babylon 5 or Battlestar Galactica than Doctor Who. Not that I’m complaining.

Rose is suddenly confronted by two very familiar words.

Me: Does this make any sense to you, Sue?
Sue: A bit. I think.
Me: Good. Can you explain it to me, please.

Sue’s explanation makes even less sense than Russell’s.

The Parting of the WaysMe: You haven’t got a clue, have you?
Sue: It’s definitely something to do with the egg (see Boom Town). The words should have been Bad Egg. That would have made more sense.

Back on the space station, Jack’s rag-tag team of game show contestants are being picked off by the Daleks. One of them takes it badly and blames Jack for lying to them.

Sue: So did Jack lie to her, or is he just stupid? Either way, this can’t be good.

At least the Anne Droid managed to take some Daleks down with her.

Sue: Brilliant. I love it.

What she doesn’t love is the news that the Daleks have decided to exterminate every human being on the station, including the helpless ones cowering in the basement.

Sue: And I thought Game of Thrones was grim.

Back on Earth, Rose can’t open the TARDIS console, no matter how hard she tries. And then she confesses to Jackie that she met her father before he died.

Sue: I like the way everything connects in this series. It’s very clever, don’t you think, Neil? Oh, don’t tell me you’re crying again. For God’s sake, get a tissue. You’re leaking all over your notepad.

The Parting of the WaysEven Sue gets a bit choked up when Lynda is exterminated. I wanted to ask her if she managed to lip read the silent Dalek, but I was too devastated to get the words out.

Sue: ****ing hell. What a way to go.

Jackie comes to rescue with a recovery truck – a favour owed by Rodrigo, which gets a huge laugh (and we needed one, believe me). And then Rose stares into the Heart of the TARDIS, and doesn’t turn into an egg, thank God.

Sue: The TARDIS never used to be this windy when it took off. It could do with some Gaviscon.

When Captain Jack is exterminated by the Daleks, Sue gasps (even though she should know better).

Sue: I bet that was really shocking at the time. The goodies are dropping like flies.

The Doctor has a decision to make. Is he a killer or a coward? “Coward, any day,” he declares.

Sue: Except for that day he was a killer, but wasn’t really. Oh, it’s so complicated.

And then Bad Wolf (it was Rose all the time!) turns up and explains everything. And I do mean everything.

Me: It still doesn’t make any sense.
Sue: Oh, give it a rest. I don’t care.

The Parting of the WaysBad Wolf destroys all the Daleks (this definitely happens, by the way) and then the Doctor and Rose kiss.

Sue: Look away, Neil… Okay, it’s safe now; it’s finished.

The kiss was purely platonic; it just happened to be the easiest way for the Doctor to consume
the energy that was threatening to blow Rose’s head off. Just so we’re clear on that.

Sue: The Doctor should do this every time he runs into the Daleks.
Me: Snog somebody?
Sue: No, stupid. He should open up his TARDIS and kill all the Daleks with it. Job’s a good ‘un.
Me: You do know what happens next, don’t you?
Sue: Yeah, he dies. I know. Next time he should crank open the TARDIS, take a sip, not the whole thing, mind, and then he’d be sorted. Just enough power to zap the Daleks, but not enough to kill him. I’m surprised he’s never tried it again to be honest.

Captain Jack has risen from the grave.

Sue: I’d forgotten that Rose was responsible for his superpower. I notice that she didn’t bring Lynda back to life. I knew she was jealous.

Back on the TARDIS, the Doctor tells Rose that she was fantastic. And do you know what? So was he.

The Parting of the WaysSue: I bet he can’t wait to go.

The Doctor doubles over in pain, there’s a flash of blinding light, and then, before you can say “Chim chim cher-oo”.

Sue: Oh look, it’s my third husband.

 

The Score

Sue: Phew. That was incredible. I’d forgotten how good that was. Everything about it – the script, the acting, the effects, the direction, the music – I can’t fault a single thing. Even the colour grading was excellent – it looked very cinematic. I’m giving it 11 out of 10.
Me: You can’t do that.
Sue: Wanna bet?

11/10

 

And Finally…

You can learn more about the fabulous John Callaghan here. And my wrist is much better, thanks.

 

38

Comments

  1. Duncan  June 18, 2015

    I still think Bad Wolf is the TARDIS rescuing her Doctor, Rose is just the vessel to make it happen.

    • EJRT  June 18, 2015

      It certainly does fit with the TARDIS’ way of thinking.

      How do I tell the Doctor that the fast return switch is stuck? Let’s see… are there any clocks to melt? Ooh, here’s a pair of scissors — maybe if I convince Susan to stab the Morris bed a dozen times…

      • Nick Mays  June 18, 2015

        When the TARDIS’s ‘soul’ was placed in a humanoid body (The Doctor’s Wife), her thought processes were scatalogical at best. So yes, perhaps ‘she’ did manipulate Rose into rescuing the Doctor in that way.

        • David Cole  June 18, 2015

          Her thought processes were scatological? 😮

          • Nick Mays  June 18, 2015

            Or did I mean scatter-brained? 😉

            Oh darn that pesky spill chukka!

      • Nick Mays  June 18, 2015

        Great pair of episodes and a worthy season finale. When I re-watched all of Chris’s episodes recently I found myself wishing so much that he’d done one more season. I confess I didn’t like him much to start with, but from ‘Dalek’ onwards, I really ‘got’ him … and he was brilliant! 🙂

      • Andy Luke  June 19, 2015

        That makes the why of ‘Bad Wolf’ a lot clearer.

  2. Dave Sanders  June 18, 2015

    Honestly? 11/10 still makes more logistical sense than Bad Wolf does. But Patrick Troughton did it once so that’s OK.

    • John Miller  June 19, 2015

      And Paul McGann already did the “absorb the TARDIS energy, and use it to wipe out the bad guys” bit, and all that did was ruin his jacket. Eccleston is a weedy weed compared to that.

  3. Flynn Sullivan  June 18, 2015

    This is my favourite episode of Doctor Who ever. I’m so glad Sue enjoyed it as much as I do every time.
    It’s got everything, the fantastic music, the dark atmosphere, the terrifying Daleks, the comedy game shows… I love it, I love it, I love it. Why can’t DW be like this nowadays?

  4. Lorcan  June 18, 2015

    That’s my new favourite song

  5. Mike Bond  June 18, 2015

    99% of the Time War always happened. It’s only the last day that got changed.

    • Sean Alexander  June 18, 2015

      Yes. The Daleks still annihilate themselves with collateral fire once Gallifrey disappears into its pocket cuppa soup universe (except for those that fell through handy gaps in time, obviously).

  6. Roy Watson-Davis  June 18, 2015

    Oh look the Daleks are wiped out, but they will be back *huge yawn* as the writers lack the balls to actually kill them off= deeply pointless ending. Great idea to do standing regeneration though.

  7. EJRT  June 18, 2015

    Honestly, the game show thing never hit me as anything but an abstract form of satire. I’m not familiar with any of the shows in question, so my frame of reference has always been on a formal level. In response to Neil’s concerns about future-proofing, I have to presume future generations will take those segments in much the same light.

    Davies did a good job of abstracting things, so that you understand the nature and role of the show segments even if you’ve no clue of any specific cultural references.

  8. encyclops  June 18, 2015

    The Emperor has been turning failed game show contestants into Daleks.

    I just now realized how little sense this makes. Wouldn’t it at least want to turn the winning contestants into Daleks? Rather than the ones who couldn’t even pass a quiz or be ruthless enough to get their roommates kicked out?

    If the Doctor triggers his delta wave generator, Nyssa will finally get a good night’s sleep. Sorry, I mean: life as we know it will cease to exist.

    Nice. 🙂 I guess augmenting them is restful and generating them is deadly? Oh well.

    I can’t believe this is over AGAIN. I’m glad I’m not the crying type. But you were both…fantastic. One more time.

  9. Mrs L  June 18, 2015

    I’m glad somebody else cries over this episode as much as I do, although I managed to hold it together first time round for the sake of the kids (aged 8, 6 and nearly 3 at the time). They didn’t know that it was Christopher Eccleston’s last episode – I did, and had a real dilemma about whether I should prepare them for it or not. I didn’t tell them, and they were devastated when he regenerated. Number 2 daughter never really came back to Doctor Who as a result, although Number 1 and the young boy did, and can never decide which Doctor is the best.

    Where did that decade go? I’ve loved reading the blog – it takes me straight back. Every Saturday we all sat together to watch the ‘new’ Doctor Who and it was such a special time. Perhaps that’s why this episode sets me off.

    I was part of an intense internet discussion throughout the series, as we talked about each episode and put forward theories about what Bad Wolf meant. One participant predicted that it was a message so Rose would know what she had to do and/or that she could do it. The rest of us were subsequently very impressed. (My moment came a few seasons later, when I said I thought there would be two doctors, but Donna would die).

    I’m completely with Sue on 11 out of 10. I can forgive RTD a lot, just because of this episode. And yes, the Bad Wolf thing does make sense.

  10. Frankymole  June 18, 2015

    The Dalek Emperor could well have survived a massacre of all the others – they were all attacking Gallifrey when it disappeared in “Day of the Doctor”, and the crossfire of all their beams destroyed every ship that was enveloping the planet in a sphere formation. A bit like the Fed guards at the end of Blakes 7 😉

  11. John Callaghan  June 18, 2015

    Excellent stuff, as ever.

    I’d also like to speak in defence of RTD – not that he needs it. After this ending, some fans would talk about his disposition toward having ‘deus ex machina’ resolutions. But the ending is very tidy and makes the necessary thematic sense – by choosing to get involved, Rose saves the day. I reckon they got the role of the Doctor just right in this series. When he’s a superman at the centre of the story, the message is “someone better than you will save you, if you’re lucky”. In this series, he catalyses others to make a difference themselves.

    How a marvellous show, eh?

    • Matt Blanchette  June 19, 2015

      Eh? It’s not tidy at all! :-/

      • John Callaghan  June 19, 2015

        Let’s agree to disagree – although it would be comical to end up in an argument on a thread where I had a song mentioning how fans like to argue online over the details of the show!

  12. Sean Alexander  June 18, 2015

    This remains the best season finale RTD ever did (subsequent ones got more and more gimmicky and nonsensical) and while it has its faults (the devastation unleashed by the Daleks on the Earth of 200,100 is casually glossed over) the set pieces and the performances – Eccleston, Piper, Barrowman…even Noel Clarke and Camille Coduri noticeably up their game – raise this to a level above the sum of its parts. The hologram speech remains perhaps the best piece of writing RTD did on the show, and is about as life-affirming as Doctor Who gets.

    Bad Wolf makes no sense, and I’d certainly find the idea it was the TARDIS’ ‘soul’ that was the instrumental element in turning Rose into the vengeance demon with an Axon makeover more rational. Nice meme, but not a lot of substance once you give it more than a cursory analysis.

    Ten years have flown by, and it’s been a real pleasure (and honour) to remember them these past thirteen weeks. WifeinSpace is dead (again); long live WifeinSpace.

  13. siobhan gallichan  June 18, 2015

    Am I allowed to be incredibly sad and say that it was the Draconians who called him the Oncoming Storm in Love and War. The Daleks called him the Ka Faraq Gatri.

    Oh, Im just going to go and smother myself with a pillow. It’ll save everyone else the time…

    • Nick Mays  June 19, 2015

      Nah, you’re okay Hon, I knew that too… But I’m glad you said it first. 🙂

  14. Jordan  June 19, 2015

    I’m with Sue when it comes to RTD’s finales – yes, there were some unusual developments in the plot (to say the least), but his handling of character is usually so brilliant, then I find myself going along with it with little concern. That’s a testament to his writing.

  15. KatieC  June 19, 2015

    “The kiss was purely platonic,”?? no way, don’t kid yourself Neil…

    • Nick Mays  June 19, 2015

      I think Neil must be with JN-T and some of the very “old school” Whovians on this one – doesn’t like to think of the Doctor having sex. 😉

      Susan=Granddaughter= family = sex… 🙂

  16. Chris-Too-Old-To-Watch  June 19, 2015

    Somebody once said (I don’t know them personally, but someone MUST have said it), that everyone has a good DW story in them. This is RTDs. Not just this episode, but the entire series as producer. In a similar way to “Queer as Folk” and “Cucumber/Banana”, the running threads of story and backstory come together into a beautiful tapestry of wholeness. I’m not just talking of the Bad Wolf here, but everything done in this, from the inclusion of Mickey and Rose’s mum, to the meeting with Rose’s dad, Jack willingness to sacrifice himself (The Doctor Dances), first appearance of satellite 5 and the reappearance of the daleks.
    I always regard this series as almost a preface to the re-emergence of the real Doctor. I see Eccleston’s character as the post-War Doctor, filled with guilt and loss, and unable to interact with people properly. We don’t know (from TV) how long he’s been wandering alone, but I like to think that this series shows him re-adjust to getting to know people again, and how to interact with them (oo-eer missus).
    Simply magnificent. And I must go now, as I’ve something in my eye…….

  17. Andy Luke  June 19, 2015

    I really enjoyed re-watching this series with you lot. I had pretty much the same symptoms Neil and Sue often get with a good episode, that is, not much commentary to make. Thankfully, yous found some this time.

    “Next time he should crank open the TARDIS, take a sip,”

    ARF.

  18. Richard Lyth  June 20, 2015

    What stands out most about rewatching this episode is the death count – pretty much everyone on the station, the entire population of planet Earth, all the Daleks in existence and finally the Doctor. Only Rose manages to stay alive throughout, and that’s a close thing. It really should feel grimmer than Game of Thrones, but thankfully there’s enough uplifting moments to make it exhilarating to watch, rather than hideously depressing, and a fitting farewell for Eccleston. 11/10 may be a bit excessive, but I suspect Sue would give that to any episode featuring David Tennant…

  19. Anniew  June 20, 2015

    Just as I’d settled down to become a loyal follower pfff regeneration time. I was so mad…. It’s like Neil and Sue divorced and restarted the blog with a new partner. Never forgave Rose for transferring her allegiance so quickly and for me, Tenbant was never a patch on Ecckeston – he lacked the crazy, unpredictable edge that could be magnificent or just plain old embarrassing that all The Docs should have.

    The end for Eccleston but surely not for you guys? You’ll regenerate won’t you? New blogs I can read, learn from, Marvell at, laugh myself sick. Brilliant trailers by John Callaghan. Please…don’t make me beg….

    • Frankymole  June 20, 2015

      When the new series started, Dr Who Magazine’s “Time Team” suddenly turned into a bunch of young whippersnappers too, and the old team were gone. I felt bereft…

    • John Callaghan  June 23, 2015

      I appreciate your kind words and enthusiasm about my work very much!

      I should, in fairness, point out that the trailers were by Glen Allen – I did the songs.
      (JC puts on Glen Allen mask and practices the voice, to further his own world takeover.)

  20. Mike  June 21, 2015

    I was SO glad to see the back of Eccleston at the end of this series. It was (surprisingly for me) Piper’s portrayal of Rose that had me hooked throughout the new series, so I welcomed the arrival of Tennant with open arms. Sadly, Piper would become the WORST thing about series 2. Still, a glorious comeback for the series (and the blog) though.

    • Mike  June 22, 2015

      Just to add that it’s such a shame that the blog ends here though. I stumbled across you guys on the internet after the original experiment had reached its conclusion. I’ve spent many a happy hour (or three) revisiting my favourite stories from the classic series and reading the hilarious commentaries and either agreeing or disagreeing with Sue’s scores for them. Sue’s comments have made me re-appreciate the old series and enabled me to laugh at it. I bought the book and loved it. So much so that several fellow Who-loving friends have also received copies as presents.

      I wish you were continuing with the rest of the new series, but I do understand why you’re not. I’m being selfish when I long to know what Sue made of Sarah Jane’s return in ‘School Reunion’, Martha’s lack of character development when she promised so much initially, Donna’s journey from annoying to amazing, Rose’s bizarre acquisition of a lisp when she came back in series 4, the bewilderment of the convoluted Ponds/River Song/Pandorica/Crack-in-the-wall storylines, and finally Capaldi and Coleman’s chemistry.

      Whilst all these things make me sad, I am happy that this time round I got to comment in real-time as you two brought a smile to my face every Thursday evening after I’d clicked on the link when it popped up on Facebook.

      So, thank you for coming back (albeit briefly), but most importantly, thank you for starting the blog in the first place and for the endless hours of enjoyment you have given me and countless others. Wishing the lot of you well for the future.

      Mike
      x

  21. Neal  June 24, 2015

    “Old Doctor Who was never this good.”

    BLASPHEMY! BLASPHEMY!

    • Chris-Too-Old-To-Watch  June 24, 2015

      INFAMY, INFAMY, they’ve all got it in for me……..