Hear of the fallen rain
Coming down like an Armageddon flame?
For shame, the ones who died
Without a name?
Hear the dogs howling out of key?
To a hym called "Faith and Misery"?
The Company lost their war today
Hear the drums pounding out of time?
Another protestor has crossed the line
The money's on the other side!
Can I get another "amen"? AMEN!
There's a flag wrapped around a score of men!
A plastic bag on a monument!
I beg to dream and differ
From the hollow lies!
This is the dawning of the rest
Of our lives...
DOCTOR WHO! Hey! Doctor Who!
DOCTOR WHO! Hey! The TARDIS!
DOCTOR WHO! Hey! Doctor Who!
DOCTOR WHO! Hey! The Daleks!
This is a "part two", is it? Cause to me it looks a lot more like a "part one". And if I were to compare it to another "part one", it'd be The Leisure Hive. Not that the opening shot has Donna hurling abuse at the Doctor on Brighton Beach because her tamagotchi got wet, but there is a palpable sense of a line being drawn in the sand. This is the same show, after all, who expected new viewers to randomly arrive to see a Dalek/Cyberman war, a dystopian future Earth and even Eccleston perish. Even with that they provided a handy catchup summary, working on the premise that every episode should make sense to a new viewer as long as they watch all of said episode. No such thing here. If the Doctor and Donna babbling about Rose Tyler (who?!) and dimensions collapsing (what?!) before running away from this info dump to leave a passing milkman to suffer an earthquake puts you off, chances are, the rest of the episode will too.
Of course, is there REALLY an excuse to be so ignorant nowadays? Are there any viewers TOTALLY unaware that Doctor Who is in its massive season finale? Aren't they all capable of looking up wikipedia to get the references? Doesn't anyone read the Radio Times any more? And, with the series GUARANTEED another year or so, RTD can cheerfully - for the rest of the season anyway - give the finger to anyone baffled. If you don't like it, put on a Porridge DVD! HAH!
Yes, before the titles, The Stolen Earth has already sunk its talons into fanwank (i) - that is, you have to be a fan to actually understand any of what's going on. Certainly, you need to have watched Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures to get who these disparate individuals are. Perhaps some casual viewer might try and bluff their way, no doubt simultanously noting that the cheap courier new-fonted captions aren't a patch on the ones from the Eccleston era which used the credits font. Simultaneously, it quickly becomes apparent that bar the last few seconds, Turn Left is more or less utterly irrelevent, a standalone. The whole thing could have been sparked, say, in Midnight, where the Doctor spots Rose on the screen, twigs, and his desperation to get back to the TARDIS makes the passengers turn against him. Hell, the cliffhanger to The Sontaran Stratagem could have worked had the Doctor and Donna checked their voicemail, with her noticing that the blonde woman is the same one who didn't pass the keys on to her mother.
A quick flashback to Doomsday, a bit I noticed on my dozenth viewing and - curiously enough - the moment that broke my masculinity and left me weeping like a baby man and emotionally vulnerable for quite a while afterwards. It also broke the vibe that left me blind to the stories inadequacies, but still...
ROSE (voice trembling) Can't you come through properly?
THE DOCTOR The whole thing would fracture. Two Universes would collapse.
ROSE (only half joking) So?
Thus, Rose's return terrifies the Doctor by the implication the walls between universes are dissolving. Frantic, the Doctor pilots the TARDIS back to Earth (somehow dispelling the Bad Wolf graffiti at the same time) to find... nothing's wrong at all. The world is fine. It's a Saturday. But this doesn't stop the Doctor freaking out and running back inside the time machine, until Donna calms him down, reminding him that despite all the unknowable universe-destroying chaos implicit, that Billie Piper is back. Let me repeat that: Donna calms him down. I can't think of many companions who can do it, bar maybe Ian and Barbara (does Charley count since she was fused to him that one time?). But this touching moment is ruined as, upon leaving the TARDIS the duo find themselves hanging in interplanetary void (lucky that force field stops them being sucked into oblivion, huh?), but the Doctor knows the TARDIS has not moved a millimetre.
The clue's a bit of a title to what the answer is.
And though we still have yet to reach the opening credits, we see the Earth is suffering a worldwide earth tremor. In New York UNIT HQ (ooh, tongue twister), Martha tries to take charge and presumably fight off the deja vu of the whole situation. In the Torchwood Hub, mere moments it appears after the end of Exit Wounds, Jack and his followers - his two remaining followers - wonder what the hell caused it. Meanwhile, Sarah Jane Smith and Luke (quite a while after The Lost Boy) similarly try to take stock after the cross dimensional space transference which has no doubt taken place. Ah, Luke, you gotta love him, while RTD makes the first of "No, seriously, you need to be a fan to get this" gags, like Sarah Jane shaking her head in dispair as Mr. Smith awakens with his Murray Gold tune: "You need to stop doing that fanfare!"
Unless you sat through the whole of her spin off show - which is not a bad way to pass the time - it will mean nothing. Hell, Jack blathering on about the rift would be lost on those viewers who don't remember the events of Boomtown. Of course, it comes as no surprise that Wilf is the first one to guess what's really happening, instantly charging out into the street to shout, "What do you want THIS time, you green swines?!" to the aliens no doubt responsible. Seriously, Wilf deserves his own Big Finish series. More than Bernice, anyway...
The titles finally turn up after Rose turns up with a big fucking gun in a bolt of lightning. Why do they ape Terminator by missing out the most important point: SHE SHOULD BE STARKERS! God, Russell, sometimes I think you forget there are some heterosexuals in the fan base. The Moff will sort this all out, mark my words...
And, yes, it's DAVID TENNANT, CATHERINE TATE, FREEMA AGYEMAN, JOHN BARROWMAN WITH ELISABETH SLADEN AND BILLIE PIPER! not forgetting PENELOPE WILTON, ADJOA ANDOH, EVE MYLES, GARETH DAVID-LLOYD (Note to the Moff: go for an old style opening credits without all the cast names, it's just looking stupid them having to hold back the logo so long. Can you imagine if they had to do this for The Five Doctors?!) in DOCTOR WHO - THE FANWANK IMPLOSION!!
Sorry, THE STOLEN EARTH. Though, The Fanwank Implosion was the name I used for my Yellow Fever And How To Cure It spoof where nine Doctors and their companions fought the Autons, the Master and the Rani... The big joke, of course, was that no proper TV story would ever go so overboard in bringing back characters like that. Oh, I was niave back then, wasn't I? (Note to the Moff: change the logo too.)
Where was I? Right. The Earth has vanished, and Donna shows off her brains by pointing out that even if it's just been teleported elsewhere, there will be no sun to stop it freezing to ice and destroying everything she knows and values. But, keeping it together remarkably well, she doesn't have a screaming fit at the Doctor as he marvels the technology that has been used, but asks what to do. The Doctor admits they're gonna need help.
"Donna... I'm taking you to the Shadow Proclaimation," the Doctor intones, almost lost under me kicking the desk and shouting, "Shadow Proclaimers! Not Proclaimation! NO NO NO! GODDAMMIT!"
Back on Earth, Mal Loup (look, I don't care how she's credited, her name is Bad Wolf in French and that's OFFICIAL!) is once again put on the newsdesk, making her the only on screen regular in every series. She's reported on the Slitheen 'hoax', the Sycorax youtube vid, Saxon's deal with the Toclafane, the Sontaran Smog, the American Adipose and now the "By the way, the stars and suns have vanished but stay calm, people, there's nothing to see here." Does she EVER get the Dead Donkey? And how the hell are the spin offs going to cope with the fallout from this adventure? I mean, UFOs and smog, sudden reversals of the Earth's magnetic field and zombie outbreaks you might concievably get over but... I don't see how ANYONE, even the WELSH will be able to miss this. There are riots on the streets as everyone starts looting and getting wasted in a sequence that simultaneously shows how rubbish End of Days was and also that Billie's finally remembered how to talk normally. Good for her. And if the week-long orgy that is Torchwood 3 ignores it, well, I think that'll be the final word on how highly regarded it is within its own bloody franchise.
However, on the celebrity cameos of ep 12 tradition Richard Dawkins proves he's a thinker not an actor, and Paul Grady wouldn't shut up even IF the Earth leapt frogged into a planetary traffic jam. The latter is only actually embarrassing because calm, reserved and humorless Ianto pisses himself with laughter at the joke, "I saw all them moons and wondered what I was drinking last night - shoe polish?"
Yeah. Hahah. I mean, OK, it's not UNFUNNY, but Ianto reacts like it's Monty Python's Joke of Death...
Simultaneously, Torchwood, UNIT and Mr. Smith detect a whacking great alien space fleet is in their new neighborhood and closing in on Earth. Their message for mankind consists of one word which leaves our ex-companions on the point of complete nervous breakdowns: "Exterminate!"
...come on, you aren't seriously surprised, are you?
Patrick Troughton noted that while he liked the Daleks, he didn't actually find them very frightening as he knew they were just suits worn by his pals (indeed, on several occasions he liked to try out the Dalek props for himself, leading to the infamous "I AM A DALEK!" rampage of 1973). Thus, he made it quite clear that the Doctor was terrified of them. All the joking and the manipulating ended and things became serious. Tom Baker and Christopher Eccleston followed the same rule, albeit 'take-the-piss-out-of-them-when-they-are-in-front-of-you-panic-when-they're-not' variation. The First Doctor took them seriously, but he took most things seriously. Like the Zarbi for Cliff's sake. The Third Doctor wasn't afraid of them, though Jon Pertwee's dislike for them in concept and practise made it clear he hated the bastards. The Fifth and Sixth were well and truly over them and more interested in Davros, though that's more down the writer than anything else (ref: Colin Baker's haunting anecdote of noting the props moving when no one was in the studio), while the Seventh Doctor was sick to death of the bastards and just wanted them gone for good. The Eighth meanwhile starts off with Third-style contempt that deliberately becomes Ninth-style psychotic hatred. My point is, I understand the story reasons for why our human heroes are so scared, but while Jack has good reason to declare humanity beyond help, do Martha and Sarah have the same reason to be scared of them? Especially considering everyone in London will recognize the golden bastards as the ones who seemingly saved humanity from the Cybermen...
Mind you, anyone who leaves an answering machine screaming 'kill! kill! kill!' is going to get people thinking they're not nice. So, tip for the kiddies there.
As the Dalek fleet goes all Mars Attacks on the Earth and wonder what the hell the reset button RTD will pull out of his OBE-pinned posterior THIS TIME, the Doctor and Donna arrive at the Triceraton homeworld! Well, that's a bit of a TMNT-in-joke there, but basically the Shadow Proclaimation has totally ripped off the 'upside down volcanos with domed cities on top clipped to ever larger versions of the same. The Tricertons of course were badass bipedal humanoids with Triceratops heads, and not a BIT like the badass bipedal humanoids with Rhino heads, the Judoon. After a Red Dwarf-style exchange of 'ro sho no blow ho' hakas, the Doctor and Rocksteady discover that Earth vanished along with twenty four other planet simultaneously. So presumably (I say presumably cause Donna Super Temp is pointing this out moment after I start typing) the extra three worlds are Pyrovillia, the Adipose breeding planet and... what?! Did he list Calufrax as one of the missing worlds? RTD, come on, FOCUS HERE! That's dangerously close to fanwank (ii), the type that only fans reading program guides will get, AND it's bollocks! Unless the Daleks pulled off this stunt at the same time as Zanak was gobbling up planets to do the old "sneak in a murder during a serial killing spree so as to avoid suspicion" trick from In The Red, it's...
As well as Women Wept, the Lost Moon of Poosh (clue's in the name) and Klom (Daleks verses Absorbaloffs... on second thoughts, no.) and a bunch of other planets, Earth's disappearance has caused a universal uproar. And the red-eyed little old woman who runs the Shadow Proclaimation Space Police ain't happy. Seriously, wouldn't have been cool to have Nathan and the Star Cops? OK, I'm dreaming based on fangasm overload here. The Doctor notes that these planets are being moved for some kind of funky kinetic dance with planetary mass balancing and creating power and I have NO idea where this is going but the Doctor notes "someone tried to move the Earth long ago..."
You're shitting me, Russell. You are seriously saying that Project: Degravitate by the weakest, stupidest and dumbest Daleks ever - even Nick Briggs thinks they're crap! - was actually a try out for this season finale?! Or are you, as before, pretending the William Hartnell story didn't happen but Daleks - Invasion Earth 2150AD did happen? After all, Terry Nation dubbed the plot canon... and it is a great movie... with Bernard Cribbens fighting Daleks... Oh man, my head's spinning. This is like the trailer to The Doctor's Doctor times a thousand! I'm so dazed, I only just register the Daleks are blowing the fuck out of the Valiant! You'd have thought something the Master built might, you know, have some guts to it... is the Master going to turn up to? GAH! FOCUS! FOOOOOOCUUUUUUUSSS!
Martha's right in the middle of the next on the Daleks' 'to maximum exterminate' list, and as they go around gleefully screaming "ANNIHILATE UNIT FORCES!" Martha and her pals realize the only thing that might save their sorry arses is the ominous, untested and dangerous Project Indigo or, as I predict, The Big Great Threatening Red Button Which Must Never Ever Ever Be Pressed Under Any Circumstances that works the exact same way as the Omega 13 device in Galaxy Quest. Think we found RTD's reset button.
Hmmm. Seems Project Indigo is some kind of rocket pack that Martha can use to find the Doctor. Or maybe not. And there's some fucked up "Stockholm Key" or something that she is authorized to use as a last (how last? "Post the credits of Threads" last) resort, while everyone takes a moment in the middle of Armageddon to slag off Torchwood. Go on, fanboys, try and tell me how much RTD loves the show now, huh?
As Martha teleports away, Jack loses it. Big time. So when he explains that Project Indigo is just a rather dangerous teleport bracelet, I'm kinda underwhelmed. Even when he explains Martha is now a random string of dots floating through the universe... like Trillian... in Life the Universe and Everything. Davies, put down your Douglas Adams DVDs and get back to the plot!
ZOMFG IT'S DAVROS!
Sorry, but... yeah. With an artificial hand, too. Methinks my theory that The Juggernauts was an attempt by the Daleks to rewrite history is right! They got the fucker off Lethe without going Chernobyl on the Black Dalek's ass. And Davros is... worryingly normal. In the sense he's not doing the "ranting like a Dalek" or "laughing insanely". He's having the equivalent of a normal conversation. Outside the audios, you won't find this anywhere else but Genesis. And the new bloke does the voice very well. Mind you, he's doing the voice of Michael Wisher rather than Terry Molloy. Still, it's not the voice David Segal or Witold Tirtze, so... big up.
I'll just jibber for a moment.
Somehow, Dalek Caan - the dullest, most annoyingly-voiced of the Cult of Skaro - has managed to temporal shift in such a way he's rescued Davros and saved a hell of a lot of Daleks. And, with typical gratitude he's been dubbed "the Abomination" (Daleks like that nickname, don't they? I can think of half a dozen things they call abominations), smashed to pieces and chained to the wall. I wonder why? I mean, it's not Davros' usual "I am the Supreme Dalek, you lying mofos!" issues, since he built a bloody Supreme Dalek to handle all the day to day exterminations... Is it because he's not mint green like Sec, I notice, or purple like Jubilee-wannabe, or even burnt orange like half-human ones from the Gamestation? He does look a bit like the half human ones with that vestigial face and bulging yellow eye...
Holy shit. That insane cackling laughter I swore blind was Terry Molloy... was Dalek Caan. It's Nicholas Briggs! Do you realize how important that is? That means there was a VERY REAL CHANCE that they would have got Nick Briggs to voice all the Daleks, all the Judoon AND Davros! Thank goodness RTD knows how dangerous it is to give him that kind of power. Well, anyway, whatever drove Caan crazy, Davros is keeping him as an oracle of the future. Or maybe just a conversation piece of objet d'art. Davros is kinda wierd like that at the best of times, but this version is certainly no dumbo. He warns the Supreme about his pride and refuses to take the chance that when Caan screams, "the Doctor is coming!" he might be just nuts.
I have NO idea what any newbies might be coping with by now. Maybe they've just shut down and watching Daleks blow people up, patiently waiting for the Doctor and Donna to turn up again. Ah, there they are. And Donna is left listening to her own heart beat. Um. OK. And the waitress knows about the time beetle on her back. And she's something 'new'. Uh oh. Obviously there's no time left for subtlety, which is why the waitress is now doing 'I'm sorry for the loss that is to come'. Just in case Rose telling her she's dead meat continuously last week wasn't enough of a foreboder. And...
Oh FOR FUCK'S SAKE!
The bees are disappearing because they're fleeing ala the Dolphins in Hitchhiker's Guide. What? Now I'm bitching about you steal ideas from me and DWM comic strips, you're turning onto Douglas Adams for inspiration?! Well, fine, I think you've just proved you've run out of creative juice, Russell. You got nothing left but other people's toys. If you hadn't quit already, I'd say you'd be retired after this mess...
Similarly enraged at this moment, the Shadow Proclaimation (and the entire universe) declare war on whichever sons of bitches started their own private solar system and since the Doctor's TARDIS is the only way to get there, Creepy Old Lady in Charge demands the Doctor hands over the keys. It's like RTD's remembered the completely redundant bits in New Earth and Doomsday where the Doctor says "right, I have to fight you lot as well", and then five seconds later they might as well have agreed with him at the start? Well, the Doctor has now managed to piss the hell out of... the universe. Basically.
You know what the worst bit is? We're not even 22 minutes into the episode yet!! We are essentially in part one of four! Only one other opening ep I can think of moved faster than this... and that was Time and the Rani!
Back on Earth, the Daleks are rounding up the humans and indulging in that "oh goodie, you just gave me an excuse to nuke your testicles" sort of thing all good monsters and villains like. But Wilf, the only person who was in Daleks - Invasion Earth 2150 AD knows how to stop the bastards! With his paint gun! (Sylvia's in this, by the way, but she is just the coward asking questions. As such, she's the most bearable I've ever seen her... until she puts the kettle on in the middle of an alien invasion and snaps at the others for talking about the planet Midnight and the Doctor... fucking hell... at least it lets Wilf let loose at her for being so utterly retarded in her life). And after RTD rips off one of my ideas from The End of the Road, our ragged resistance is revived by a regular remembered as... well, Rose turns up again. I was trying to be alliterative, but, you know...
The Doctor's newfound confidence in defying the biggest law enforcement authority EVER is slightly tempered when he finds out where all the planets have been taken - the Medusa Cascade. The place where, as children of only 90 years, the Doctor and the Master visited on holiday; the place where, during the Time War, the Doctor single handedly closed the rift; the place where he lost his name; the place humans should never know about; the place he considers an enticing holiday destination... Helen Raynor came up with that last one, can you tell?
As the twenty-five minute mark comes around, Donna's faith is shattered as the Doctor gives up all hope.
Yeesh. I think that, like Reset, I need a break. This is too much too quickly...
....and back again. Right. Now what? Oh dear. Gwen's doing her 'sits on sofa and silently has a nervous breakdown' acting, for a whole new audience. Ianto's shaking as he cleans up. Jack is sulking. Sarah is hugging Luke. Sylvia is sobbing, but that might be down to someone finally telling her what they think of her. Either way, Wilf's comforting her. Rose is brooding. Humanity has en masse surrendered to the Daleks. It wasn't the death squads, it wasn't their overbearing military might, it was the endless quotes from The Dalek Invasion of Earth that broke the human race. Yes, males, females, decendants, Daleks offer us life, I KNOW!!!
Egads? Is that four-tone pulsing cutting across the Dalek propaganda a tad familiar? Is that drumming I hear in my ears? Rose recognizes that voice and oddly enough, so do I... might have been more of a surprise if she hadn't been in the opening credits. Yes, Harriet Jones has returned! And she's somehow managing to contact Torchwood, Sarah Jane and the Noble household... except that none of them are interested. In unison. I'm sure the law of probability is getting a stress fracture at this point. And Sylvia dooms humanity again as she refuses to let Wilf have a webcam "because it's naughty", thus preventing Rose from contacting our lovable ex-Prime Minister. Cue "Yes, I know who you are" joke. Just in case you thought the big Welshman might let it go.
Ah, hah! Turns out Harriet's rounding up all the ex-Doctor companions, and Rose is slightly put off that she aint on the list but our favorite Dark Lady is. "Who's she?" asks blondie, puzzled. Yes, Martha is NOT dead. In case you thought we were going to do an Andy Frankham Judgement Day slaughterhouse and pointlessly murder one recurring character after another. Instead, Martha has brought in the big guns in form of Francine "Ballcrusher" Jones herself!
Oxygen getting thin... dizzy... only three minutes after I started!
Right, so as Sarah Jane smacks down Jack's flirting (ooh, did I predict that or what?), cue "Stop it" joke, and Harriet reveals that she got this formidable "tracking down ex-companions without being detected by bug eyed monsters" software from a nice old man by the name of Copper. My brain... hang on, this is very convenient? Why do I get a feeling Ms Jones is going to stab them all in their backs? Uh, Harriet Jones, I mean. Not Martha. Or Francine. Or Ianto in drag. This was always gonna bite you in the ass, RTD and I CANNOT BELIEVE WHAT I AM ACTUALLY WATCHING! (A conference call between Doctor Who, SJA and Torchwood, I mean, Harriet hasn't revealed she's actually Romana or anything... but I wouldn't be surprised.)
Martha's Ultimate Weapon is rejected by Harriet as never to be used, despite Jack's awkward requests to know what it is (hah, so-called know-it-all Torchwood suck!) and thus settles for flirting with Luke.... Moving on. Thus, they work on a new plan. Using Martha's superphone, Mr. Smith's telephone abilities and the Cardiff rift, they will contact the Doctor and get him running back to save their sorry butts from complete Dalek carnage! One drawback, anything big enough to reach the TARDIS will attract the attentions of the half-million Daleks who now rule the Earth, and ergo Harriet is toast. Nevertheless they go throough with it and...
...what? What is that? Is that my computer? What's that noise? Like sleigh bells and a 1980s power soundtrack of "ooh-hah!"s! My god, Murray Gold, WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?!? That's music for Inspector Gadget, or the Goodies or, at a pinch, Satyricon... and I might actually like it. It does feel like three TV theme tunes jammed together in stereo. But the point is, this is like Fatboy Slim in the middle of The Aztecs, music-wise. Not a bit like anything heard before in this episode.
Trivia: if the world is in danger, simply dial 07700 900461 and ask for "Theta Sigma".
Well, the SFX from Destiny of the Daleks are in full flow as the signal is sent with the distinctive oscillations of a Movellan space ship as Skaro Central Alarms go off and Davros takes the Supreme Dalek down a peg or two, cause whatever the "Children of Time" are up to, our favorite blind, one-armed wheelchair-bound cripple is ready, willing and able to deal with. Mr. Smith and the Hub are doing their best 'dying Scorpio' impressions, the Daleks storm Harriet's place, and the TARDIS bursts into flame as we watch the heroes of the world... phone for help on mobiles across the country.
God, it's the ultimate Ben Chatham moment, it really is.
Well, as the Doctor finally gets in contact with his "outer space facebook" and the flirting REALLY begins, Rose glumly realizes she's been left out of things. Oh, it's like Blake, where they continue not to bump into each other. And as Dalek Caan giggles and does a happy tentacle dance as he predicts the death of the 'most faithful of companions', Davros decides it's time to add himself to the conference call of time and space.
"Your voice is different, yet its arrogance is unchanged," muses Davros - proving a real buzzkill to the Doctor who was kinda hoping to talk to something a bit more Billie Piper-shaped. Sarah is the only other person to recognize the voice, even though, you know, that voice has changed too... forget it. Davros comes into the light. Whoa.
Just... just whoa.
With Harriet gone, Torchwood now controls the software, so the Daleks head there to kick some serious arse. Armed with his defabricator gun and favorite coat, Jack teleports to find the Doctor while Gwen and Ianto mind the stall from the xenophobic cyborg bastards of hell. Hopefully they'll use the bloody weevils for canon fodder before pulling out the singularity scalpel and frying the mutants out of their casings... no? Darn, seeing zombie Owen recover from a Dalek blast would be great to see. And as the familiar sound of Nick Briggs in ecstacy echoes throughout the Hub, Sarah Jane Smith similarly ditches her own spin-off format to find the pratt in the blue box that started it all. Rose too ditches her companions (with Sylvia actually wishing her good luck... at gunpoint) to find the TARDIS.
4 minutes and 22 seconds until the file stops...
The TARDIS drops to Earth in the middle of a ghost town (everyone's been taken by the Daleks) and as the Doctor and Donna get one last chance to explore their surroundings, at the other end of the road, Rose appears. It says a lot it took me a while to remember 'Rose's tune' from the end of The Christmas Invasion as the star-crossed lovers run towards each other, and a million fan ficcers symbollically torch their 'alt-Doomsday endings' (have you READ some of those? AWFUL!!!!)
And in slow motion a passing Dalek watches this and decides it's getting too soppy, and so, in slow-motion blasts the Doctor to the ground. Donna gasps. Rose gasps. Jack teleports in. Blows up the Dalek. And gasps. I myself have gasped so much I risk hyperventilating. And it's all gone Planet of the Spiders as Rose tries to revive the bloody-obviously-dying Doctor and...
SHUT UP VILA!
...that's my cat, who was screaming at me for milk throughout this incredibly emotional scene.
Meanwhile, Gwen STILL hasn't quite regained her sanity as, out of all the weapons in the Hub, she chooses the ones Ianto tells her DON'T work on Daleks. Because she wants to "go out like Tosh". Actually, deliberately putting yourself in fatal danger on principal is more like "going out like Owen". Nevertheless, if anything's going to scare off a Dalek, it's Psycho Cooper screaming louder than her Uzi submachine gun. Elsewhere, poor Sarah accidentally backs into two Daleks in her car. Skaroine road rage leads to a predictable response.
In the TARDIS, Jack orders Rose and Donna away from the agonized, convulsing and gurning Doctor. He's dying and they all know what happens next. Well, not Donna, but she gets a bloody good idea as the Doctor starts to glow orange... seriously, this is very close to The Night Walkers... and with the final words of, "I'm sorry... I'm regenerating..." he does the full fireworks...
Like that. Big metal letters thudding into place like a Cyberman footstep.
For the first time, I think I'm glad about a week's break between episodes. I should be just about recovered...
(I don't quite trust myself to give a final rating. Twas good though)