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November 26, 2014

Doctor Who series one: The Parting of the Ways (finale)

by Richard Keller, posted Jun 9th 2006 11:59PM

doctor who(S01E15) The Doctor (to Rose):  You were fantastic! And you know what? So was I.

Okay, much to talk about this episode. So, no dilly-dallying around, boys and girls. Let's get right to it!

We begin where we left off last episode: Rose (Billie Piper) is a prisoner of the Daleks, who are on a direct course to Earth for a little invading. Luckily, our heroes The Doctor (Christopher Eccleston, in his last episode) and Captain Jack Harkness (John Barrowman, also in his last episode) come to her rescue and appear right in the middle of the Daleks' command bridge. It's here that The Doctor learns about the resurgence of the Dalek population. To summarize . . . after the Time War ended the Emperor Dalek escaped and began to repopulate from dead humans. Ripping away all vestiges of humanity the Emperor created a new army of Daleks. After doing this about half-a-million times he began to think of himself as a god, and he wants to continue that streak of good luck by assimilating the rest of the human population.

Of course, The Doctor isn't having any of that.

Escaping with Rose firmly ensconced in the TARDIS, The Doctor returns to the Game Station to devise a plan to defeat the Daleks once and for all. He comes up with a Delta Wave, a nefarious device that will fry the brain of every Dalek that is coming to invade. Of course, it will fry the brains of everyone on the station and on Earth. But, as The Doctor believes, there will be other humans on colonies far away from Earth that will pick up the slack. Rose is right there with him, until The Doctor tricks our heroine back into the TARDIS and speeds her back home.

Meanwhile, Captain Jack is trying to put together a human resistance to fight the Daleks as they enter the space station. Unfortunately, there are still cowards even in the year 200,100. So, with his small team he tries to hold back the invasion, only to have the Daleks kill all of the humans on board, including Jack himself. This brings up the question 'Hey, isn't he supposed to be in his own series, named Torchwood?' Read on, true believers.

Back in the present day Rose is devastated that The Doctor would leave her behind. That is, until she sees the words 'Bad Wolf' written in graffiti along the walls and concrete of a parking lot. It turns out that the appearance of Bad Wolf was not a product of the Daleks (which The Doctor found out in the future), but a sign connecting Rose to her time-traveling partner. It's then that she realizes she must look into the heart of the TARDIS to return to the future and save The Doctor.

With the assistance of ex-boyfriend Micky (Noel Clarke) and mother Jackie (Camille Courdi), who come around after they realize how The Doctor had affected their lives, the heart of the TARDIS is opened. However, rather than just speaking to Rose, like it did to Margaret Blaine in the episode Boom Town, it interfaces directly with her, and Rose becomes the keeper of the time vortex, which enables her to go back in to save The Doctor.

It also turns out that she was Bad Wolf; that she was the one who put all of those clues together throughout their travels. Using her new found powers she destroys all of the Daleks and restores life to Captain Jack. However, this all has a price:  with the power comes certain death. So, in one of the best scenes of the episode (and probably of the series), The Doctor calls Rose over with the quote 'I think you need a Doctor', takes her in his arms, and kisses her. At that moment, surrounded by the light at the heart of the TARDIS, they are forever connected as the power of the time vortex flows from Rose to The Doctor, who returns it back to his ship. They then leave the Game Station, without Captain Jack (who seems to be a bit stranded).

However, saving Rose's life comes at a price to The Doctor as well. Because he absorbed so much of the time vortex's power he was now dying. And, in a final scene, the Chris Eccleston version of The Doctor dies in a fiery light to be replaced by David Tennant as the tenth Doctor.

An excellent, excellent episode! Writer Russell T. Davies and director Joe Ahearne pulled out all of the stops to make the season-ender a wild ride. All of the major players had some great scenes, both together and alone. The special effects were nothing to be ashamed about, either. Especially the scene where thousands of Daleks leave their ships to invade the Game Station.

It will be sad to lose Eccleston as The Doctor. I'm sure that he will be ranked right up there with the legendary Tom Baker as one of the best actors to portray Doctor Who. He was funny, charming, and dramatic and he played The Doctor in a whole different way. And, while I look forward for the next Doctor Who series to come to America, I will always miss Eccleston.

Thanks for joining me for this ride. Have a good summer.

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Ian A

Dave - the Tardis has got more than one room in the new series. Admittedly so far we've only seen the wardrobe room on screen in series 2, but theu talk about the other rooms and giving tours. Hopefully we'll see more over time.

June 14 2006 at 7:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
dave

You ARE allowed to be critical of Dr. Who.
Does no one object to the 'god in the machine' ending?
It was a bad, non-written ending to the episode, plain and simple.
Good show, and like classic dr. who, it still has it's flinchingly bad moments.

And did anyone else notice the scene where the Tardis was hurling through space? That's not how the Tardis works, (until now, for some reason) it materializes and rematerialises. It doesn't hurl through space.

I've been told that season two rolled with it, too. Disappointing because dr. who never did things just because special effects allowed it too. Granted, it was never consistant either, but why add a feature to the greatest space ship in the universe making it less efficient?

Does anyone know any good fan sites? I'm looking for a good discussion about the new season. What happened to the Time Lords? They clearly weren't wiped from existance as claimed if the tree lady and captian jack know who they are. And what is a time agent?
Also - doesn't it appear that this tardis is only one room? It used to have catacombs going back forever.

June 13 2006 at 6:39 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
CHRISTIAN

Loved his Doctor, but I have been watching Tennant, and DAMN, he kicks ass as well, may be better.

June 11 2006 at 2:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Katherine

Christopher Eccleston has been a superb Doctor and I'm very sorry he didn't stay longer. I will miss him. And the chemistry with Billie Piper as Rose was great. The first season finale was a perfect mix of drama, tears and laughs. Sci Fi would be crazy not to keep this show in the lineup. I'm sorry that science fiction in the States doesn't get more mainstream respect. I understand that in the UK, Doctor Who has received awards as a quality drama. I'd love to see the series get recognized here (Emmy, People's Choice Award, etc.)

June 11 2006 at 1:33 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Akbar Fazil

Jimmy- Rose romantic with the 9th Doctor? I dont think so in the least bit. Show me one bit of evidence that proves that.

June 11 2006 at 1:31 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Judy

Christopher Eccleston was a revelation to me as the Doctor. I thank Russell T. Davies for bringing back the Doctor and having the genius to cast Eccleston, who I had never heard of till I saw this series. He blew me away with "Run for you life," in the first one and he blew me away with the final kiss. His ability to go from manic to serious to delightful in a millisecond conveys the Doctor's other-worldness much better than a long scarf (and I adore Tom Baker). Eccleston is the No. 1 Doctor for me now (I've seen some of the second series with Tennant, who I think is very, very good, but he fits the pretty boy category unlike Eccleston the Manc.) I hope Sci Fi sticks with the series and continues to attract new viewers. I've told everybody I know about it. I've ordered the DVDs. And if you get a chance, rent Revengers Tragedy with Eccleston if you want something really off the beaten path. Retro glam, retro punk 17th century play filled with death and destruction directed by Alan Cox, the director of Sid and Nancy.

June 11 2006 at 12:27 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jimmy

Let me second everyone else's opinion. This was a damn good episode. The touchinhg scenes between the Doctor and Rose were beautifully written and acted. There was a palpable sense of drama and emotion from beginning to end. I so hope SciFi has the brains to get season 2, and I agree it would be an excellebnt pairing with Battlestar Galactica this fall. David Tennant is a great actor, but will surely be different from Christopher Eccleston. Billy Piper's Rose had a much more romantic relationship with Eccleston's Doctor, so it will be interesting see how she works with Tennant.

June 10 2006 at 4:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dee

How can a woman in mid-life cry because of Doctor Who? (well, I did cry when Adric died) This series has touched me, made me laugh, and got me through the week anticipating it. I will miss Eccleston and mourn that he didn't do it longer, but the emotional impact of his short tenure maybe was the best thing that could have happened story wise. The whole season wrapped up in one hell of a finale...this is not my father's Doctor Who!

June 10 2006 at 6:50 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
JMC

Eccleston rocks. He did something for the Doctor no other actor I've seen did: he made the Doctor kick-ass cool. I love Baker, but I can more personally identify with Eccleston's characterization.

It's probably the coat. Well, let's raise a pint for the Docter:
The Docter is dead--long live the Docter.

June 10 2006 at 5:59 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Elean

I completely agree about the last episode and about Christopher Eccleston. I now have two favorite Doctors; the other is, of course, Tom Baker. Chris Eccleston had me when he introduced himself to Rose and then said"Run for your life". It was just a perfectly 'Doctor' thing to say. I really hope SciFi carries the next series. I've really missed the good Doctor for a long time and it's great to have him back.

June 10 2006 at 3:05 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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