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