The Stolen Earth / Journey’s End
26 July 2014 at 11:59 #29368Craig @craigEmperor
The finale of the tenth Doctor’s third series. Russell T. Davies really throws everything including the kitchen sink at this one. In a good way.
The Earth has moved, and it’s a race against time as Donna and the Doctor try to find it before the Daleks destroy everything. On Earth a veritable bevy of ex-companions and allies join together to contact the Doctor and take down the Daleks. Can Torchwood, UNIT, Sarah Jane, Martha Jones, Rose, Harriet Jones et al find the Doctor in time?
The end of Stolen Earth caused quite a stir at the time but my favourite moment is Sarah Jane’s reaction to the first cries of “EXTERMINATE”. How great was Elisabeth Sladen? She made sure the Daleks stayed horrifyingly scary.
And the ending of Journey’s End still makes me shed a manly tear for the wonderful Donna.27 July 2014 at 15:12 #29405PhaseShift @phaseshiftTime Lord
It’s actually quite strange to revisit this episode in a retrospective. We know Russell had made his decision to move on at this point, and was working towards an end game.
So we have a summation of his period in a way. Look who’s putting the band back together as we get Rose, Jack, Mickey, Martha, Sarah Jane and lots more familiar faces. It has a celebratory “end of an era” feel to it which the subsequent valedictory specials never quite matched.
This is “event” television – the cliffhanger in which the Doctor appears to be regenerating made the news – not just on the BBC, but on ITV and Sky apparently, with the Sunday papers rushing out articles. Russell must have laughed his head off.
I actually think that the previous episodes hang together a bit better than this, but this has an aim and delivers it well. There are a couple of misses – who would have thought the Shadow Proclamation would turn out to be so dull? The real meat is in our old friends though, as they pull towards each other. I have to echo @craig, and say Liz Sladen is just incredible in this. Her face actually sells pure terror as she hugs her son as starts to cry. That’s my first acting award given.
Second goes to Julian Bleach, as Davros. What a remarkable find he was. Watch him in the Torchwood episode “From out of the rain”. He does something remarkable here in putting in a performance that is a redux of the Davros character of the past (from Michel Wisher’s eerie calm of Genesis to the hysteria of the later years). He obviously has fun with the “DETONATE THE REALITY BOMB” lines, but he’s as creepy as Wisher with his quiet taunting of ten. Really love the work he did here.
And then we have Catherine. Donna. Of all the companions in the new series, she was the most engaging to me. She went through the mill with the Doctor (seriously – watch this series and she possibly deals with more pain, has her illusions shattered early, and grows magnificently) and the resolution to her story is very painful. In Who history, I would be surprised if they ever duplicate the peculiar magnificence of Catherine Tate and Bernard Cribbins in family terms. It’s pure casting gold. I love Donna, and I’m not ashamed to proclaim it loudly.
It’s big, it’s brash and faintly ludicrous, but it really does work. I could moan about the ending with the towing the Earth back to position, but you know – I can put up with that for the shot of the full TARDIS at the end with everyone beaming as they get to work the TARDIS. At that point you – know. It’s the end of the era show.27 July 2014 at 16:43 #29406wolfweed @wolfweed
It’s a relentless rollicking roller-coaster of a story! Indulgent in the show’s mythology, it starts off with nods to The Dinosaur Invasion (ep.1) The float with spilt milk. Saturdays. Pertwee wasn’t a fan of Sundays…
The Whoniverse crossover thing is very Marvel. Everyone’s here – even the spirit of Tosh.
Put that stuff down or run for your lives! (Somehow they manage both)
Martha thinks it’s lucky to have your drink spiked.
Sarah Jane’s bawling (of basically – You’re going to die, Luke) has me weeping (& laughing in equal measure)
The Dalek Saucers that attack New York look too small to fit Daleks in. Are they really just Amazon drones?
Mo ho! The dialogue is great!
The attack on The Valiant looks amazing. All the music is fantastic.
More tact & diplomacy. (Sorry for the loss that is yet to come.)
My vision is not impaired! Davros’ beating heart is pretty strong stuff for ‘kids tv’.
Brilliant cliffhanger. So Rose gets to keep the same Doctor. She’s luckier than Clara…
It’s a nice touch that Davros is the Dalek’s pet. Rightfully, the Dr is confronted with: ‘You take ordinary people and you fashion them into weapons.’
Donna (sort of) gives us our 1st taste of a female Doctor.
If the ‘Jimmy Carr’ Doctor has the same memories, why not the same conscience?
I wonder how that other TARDIS is coming along?
We end with real consequences, War Games style. The companion will never remember their travels – Truly tragic….2 August 2014 at 01:19 #29501Arbutus @arbutus
I thought I’d get my two cents in on this one before a new batch of material shows up tomorrow. I haven’t actually had time to rewatch, but going on my memories of it, I enjoyed it, although it was never a favourite. It was great seeing Sarah Jane Smith and company, and as others have said, Lis Sladen was marvelous. Never having seen Torchwood, I found that aspect of Reunion Week a little irritating, but that’s just me. This was also where I stopped liking the characterization of Martha, as she has clearly moved on from being a doctor to being something else. I never saw the need for this, frankly, as I thought she was a strong character as she stood, and her earlier appearance with UNIT didn’t seem particularly at odds with the Martha we knew. I agree with @phaseshift‘s views on Julian Bleach, I thought he nailed Davros. And Donna and Co. were great as always. I really enjoyed Donna/Doctor’s moment of glory against Davros and the Daleks.
Frankly, I thought that the reunion of the Doctor and Rose was a low point. To me, it felt contrived and irritatingly overblown. That being said, however, the “faked” regeneration didn’t bother me at all. I thought it was rather funny, especially when we had Donna and Clone Doctor riffing off of each other after the metacrisis. I’m not sure that any other Doctor/companion pair could have pulled that off. (Although I take @wolfweed‘s point about the two Doctors, I hadn’t thought of it before, but it’s a good point. There really isn’t any good reason why they wouldn’t have shared the same moral viewpoint.) I was both irritated and relieved by the ending: irritated at the whole overly-romantic construct, but relieved that the Doctor didn’t in the end say “the words”, and in fact, it is made clear that there could never be a future for a mortal human and an unaging Time Lord. Rose could only be with a Doctor who would grow old with her.
And of course, Donna’s terribly tragic end. Tragic both for Donna, who with her wonderful memories loses all of her growth and maturity, and for the Doctor, who loses a truly wonderful friend and companion. Donna’s horrified realization, her desperate pleading, is the standout moment in the story for me. So very painful to watch, and so very, very sad.
So a bit of a mixed bag for me, but on the whole, more positives than negatives.2 August 2014 at 15:47 #29513janetteB @janetteb
The two episodes are so typical of a RTD series ending in which he pulls all the stops to make a big noise but the result is hollow. In trying ot outdo himself he falls flat on his face. Well not quite but the two episodes certainly failed to live up to the promise of what preceded them. There are some lovely moments and it is nice to see so many “old faces”. I liked the inclusion of the Torchwood team though I never warmed to the series. I much preferred SJA and agree with previous comments about the wonderful Liz Sladden.
@arbutus makes an excellent point about Martha. Previously she was a healer. In order to make a point in this story RTD makes her a warrior. It is not consistent with the character as portrayed in the previous series and what of her boyfriend? It seems that RTD has forgotten that she is engaged.
The scenes in the Tardis with Donna and Doctor-Donna are excellent. Tennant does “motor mouth” so well. His acting was always a pleasure to watch and he gives so much to the role.
The ending it more than sad. It is bitter and cruel. I would have preferred for Donna to die than to revert to the frustrated, unfulfilled angry woman of Runaway Bride.
It wasn’t just Martha who lost my sympathy in this story. After Rose’s welcome return in Turn Left I found her to be extremely irritating in the two parter. Rose was always preferable when not being posessive over the Doctor. I always feel like reminding her that he is a 900 year old Time Lord, and not her property. I went out to make Milos when they got to the Bad Wolf bay beach. That is not a scene that stands up to repeated viewing. Likewise Rose’s conversion into warrior with big gun is also rather contrived to suit the needs of the script and not necessary consistant with her character.
Janette25 May 2015 at 23:28 #40364gamergirlavatar @gamergirlavatar
These episodes are my favorite episodes . It was great seeing all the companions and spin – off shows come together in one big finale . It was the first time I saw the Torchwood team and hub and the first time I saw Sarah Jane in her house with her son and Mr Smith . I did like seeing the companions come back but Rose was so annoying . When The Doctor regenerated into his same face Rose said ” it’s still you ” and I keep thinking ” wow Rose what happened to the 9th Doctor ” . I feel like they made her say that so people would be clear that it was still the 10th Doctor and David was still going to play The Doctor . I’m happy that Donna got to live and even though she can not travel with The Doctor any more she can still live a happy life with her husband and still have a story to tell . Martha was wonderful in these episodes . I love how she was willing to kill the Earth and every one she love , so the Daleks couldn’t kill every one and become the only creatures in the universe . Martha has been a brave companion through out seasons 3 and 4 . Sarah Jane was wonderful but I haven’t seen the classic who stories with her and I just now started watching SJA so I didn’t know alot about Sarah Jane when I first watched these episodes . As for Jack he was just sort of ” there ” . I had always liked Jack but to me he was just ” there ” when I watched any episodes with him . It wasn’t till I started watching Torchwood when I started to see Jacks character as a great character and for who he really is but now I love Jack as a character and a companion . The ending was a great ending . I loved Donna becoming The Doctor Donna and sending all the planets to there time and place . The Doctor and his companions bringing Earth back to it’s place in space puts a smile on my face every time . I think these episodes were the best I ever seen .14 July 2015 at 04:07 #41182gamergirlavatar @gamergirlavatar
Have to say that Russel was great in character development with these two episodes . You can tell that Rose has changed after being in the other dimension . She felt like a more experience character and that she could be more independent however she still had her limits . Marthas personality showed when she showed no fear when she ordered the daleks to leave Earth or she will destroy the planet . I believe that she would have killed billions of people to save the universe . Donna showed off her confidants when she said that she is a human being and though they might be legends they are still as important to the universe as Time Lords . Now that I think of it that is ironic because she becomes The Doctor Donna . I think that one of the most brave and wonderful personalities that was shown in the episodes was not Jacks , Jackies , or Donnas but Gwens ( Gwen from Torchwood ) . Even though Gwens character was not developed on in the story due to her being in Torchwood and not having much to do with the story line her personality showed when she grabbed a gun and said she was going down fighting . When she was screaming , yelling , and shooting at a dalek it show that she was brave , determined , and willing to stand her ground , proving that Gwen is a great and wonderful character .30 January 2016 at 03:29 #50655Allonsy @allonsy
Being new to doctor who and just now watching these two episodes I have to say that, besides ‘The Empty Child’, these two episodes are my favorite so far.
I’m not going to break down the episode, as that has been done quite well in the thread previously. There were some great moments in these episodes though.
Seeing the joy on The Doctor’s and Rose’s face when they first see each other in person. Then immediately The Doctor is shot by a Dalek. The cliffhanger of the doctor regenerating at the end of stolen earth must have been nail-biting when the next episode wasn’t 17 seconds away (sometimes being behind is a good thing).
Rose. Oh dear Rose. Many don’t like Rose but she is my favorite companions. With that said I see everything in her that people don’t like. For some reason though those things make me like her more. I loved seeing her a little more battle hardened to show you that though we haven’t seen her she has been busy. The pay off at the end where she gets the version of the doctor who can love her made me hold my wife a little tighter.
….. Freaking DW… making a grown man catch a case of the feels..
Donna, dear Donna Noble, I can honestly say that I did like you at first. Donna’s character development through her being the companion was just great. These two episodes made me love her though. Seeing her be the hero and then have every shred of her adventures taken away was so heart breaking.
So many more things but I will keep it short. I honestly thought these two episodes are in my top three that I have watched so far.27 October 2016 at 08:49 #54421SeverusOswald @severusoswald
These episodes are amazing! I was slightly disappointed that they didn’t feature River, who I love. Although maybe the Rose-River and Sarahjane-River conversations might have been slightly awkward!18 November 2016 at 23:44 #54763thedoctor147 @thedoctor147
well t=you have got to throw out Davros on this one. and where is the end of time?19 April 2020 at 19:58 #70491Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip
Dalek Caan! I’d forgotten Dalek Caan.
I think this was Nick Briggs finest comic Dalek performance – a Dalek who appear to have discovered a secret stash of hallucinogens during the Time War and is just so, so completely stoned.
Stolen Earth is a terrific episode, in the trademark RTD style of throwing everything at the finale, including the kitchen sink, the dishwasher, the microwave and the food processor. Not to mention probably the Best Cliffhanger Ever.22 April 2020 at 01:25 #70506winston @winston
These 2 episodes have all the chills and thrills you need. It brings back so many of our old faves and throws them together in a war with Daleks. Of course it gives us the Doctor Donna and then just as quickly she is gone, no memories of all of her adventures.How sad is that? Rose gets her Doctor and I just saw the clip where the new Doctor is given a piece of the Tardis to build a new one.The Doctor and Rose in the Tardis. I love a happy ending.This was the finale of all finales.
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