Doctor Who : The Parting of the Ways
The Parting of the Ways is a very dark episode, dark in lighting and in mood. You can see, throughout the episode, that it going to send on a very sombre note and that is there from the first moment of the episode, hell even from the beginning of Bad Wolf. I know it is a cliché to say but there really was a funereal atmosphere in the episode.
This was made all the more concrete within the episode itself when the millions and millions of Daleks left their ships and all converged on the station. There really wasn’t that much of a choice for the Doctor. He had to either fight the Daleks until his dying breath (well not his dying breath) or allow the entire population of the Earth and the space station to be destroyed or to work out a way to destroy the Daleks.
In the end the only way forward for any of them was death either by Dalek fire or by delta wave which would not only destroy the Daleks but also everyone else and I am not sure that even the Doctor could survive that. The future for the planet and the space station was about as grim as grim could be.
The Doctor also had no choice but to send Rose back home in the TARDIS, which he managed by tricking her, knowing that she wouldn’t have gone of her own accord. Now after all of this consideration the selfish bitch just wanted to go back and help him and not stay in the safety of her own time.
She then saw the words bad wolf all around her and decided that that meant that she had to be there so with the help of Mickey and Jackie who both realises how unhappy she was back at home they helped her to open the TARDIS console as she had seen happen in Boom Town. I am not sure that she was entirely convinced that this would work, as how could she have been, not even the Doctor was convinced.
Poor Mickey’s little mini wasn’t up to the job so it took a lorry that Jackie was able to borrow of someone for a few hours which actually managed to wrench the console open and then the TARDIS took off with the energy from the heart of the TARDIS streaming into Rose’s body.
The Daleks reach floor 500 of the space station having killed everyone else including Captain Jack leaving just him and the remaining Daleks left. The Dalek Emperor taunts the Doctor about his inability to put his plan into action and the Doctor is unable to kill everybody on the planet just to get rid of the Daleks.
Then the TARDIS returns to the game station much to everyone surprise (especially the Doctor who assumed that the TARDIS would be gathering dust by now) and the doors opens and Rose came out of the TARDIS looking like she was taking part in an 1970s David Bowie gig telling the Doctor that she was the bad wolf and that is had been a message scattered through time.
A Dalek tried to shoot but she held out her palm and it bounced off it and return back into the Dalek’s gun. She then waved her hand and the Daleks were no more and the Earth was safe. Captain Jack was also returned to life but it didn’t appear that anyone else was.
The Doctor kissed Rose and took all of the energy from her and then expelled it before returning her to the TARDIS and taking off from the station. Jack arrived there as the TARDIS vanished but there was no way that they knew that he had risen from the dead, or had even survived in the first place.
In the TARDIS Rose recovers but the Doctor knows that his time has come to an end and regenerates in front of Rose’s disbelieving eyes. He then turned into a floppy haired man with a really fake mockney accent.
The resolution to the episode did seem a little bit deus ex machine, and didn’t really make a great deal of sense, but it seemed to be the only way to end it without everyone else dying so, even if it was a bit of a copout ending, it was probably the best way to finish that particular plot point, unless people could think of a better way for the episode to end than the way that it did.
Personally I think that the introduction of Tennant into the episode ruined it for me as it took me straight out of the loss of Eccleston which I still wasn’t prepared for and I just wanted to punch his lights out from the moment that I saw him as he just wasn’t Eccleston, who had been superb as the Doctor from day one.
Looking back on the whole series nine years after first broadcast it seemed fitting that Eccleston was a one series Doctor as this contained all of the elements of a typical Doctor’s era, just contracted to only 13 episodes which in this case worked a treat and everything that happened in the past 13 episodes for a reason and nothing was wasted not even The Long Game and Boom Town.
There were times when he looked uncomfortable with some of the more comedic moments but he more than made up for that in the really dramatic episodes where he couldn’t be bettered in the showing more in a look than a thousand words could ever have said.
It was a shame he was only the Doctor for just the one series, but what a series, and what a perfectly formed story his incarnation had with a beginning, middle and a final end. It may not have worked for some people but, for me, it more than worked and paved the way for a successful future for the series, even if it does have someone whom makes Dick Van Dyke’s cockney accent sound authentic, playing the Doctor.