Monday, July 10, 2006

"Quite Right Too"

"Quite Right Too"

Whilst trying to walk that very fine line that means that DA isn't turned into a Dr Who Convention I can't let Saturday night's finale pass. Because you - you, Russell T Davis, you Billie Piper and especially you, David Tennant - oh, you broke me alright. Yes, I gasped at the daleks and yes, I'm pleased to have had my childhood suspicions that the daleks would thrash the cybermen confirmed. And that bit where the daleks came streaming out of the Prison Ship? Cool, cool, cool.

But, in the end, it all turned into 'were there daleks and cybermen in this episode?'. Because I didn't care. I didn't care about the monsters. You'd made me care so deeply about the characters that it was their story I wanted to see. I wanted to see how you were going to break up this couple and how - sob - you were going to leave the Doctor on his own again. And you did it with style and humour and the only way it could be done. It broke my heart.

Everyone who wants to act should be made to watch David Tennant lying his head against the wall that is the physical manifestation of of his seperation from Rose. Because what was that on paper? 'The Doctor places his head on the wall'? In the hands of Tennant we saw the entire series in his face and yet it was so quiet and unobtrusive. It was the kind of acting that makes me very excited. Or at least it would have done if I'd have been capable of doing anything but blowing into a paper bag

I can see why there might be militant whovians out there who don't like this episode. This is unchartered territory for Who. Because it had turned into a love story and we were left in no doubt as to the fact that this was the most important bit. But I loved it. Just as I loved the series. It's not always been perfect and when I note a particular episode was a bit sappy you know you're well beyond Richard Curtis territory. Plus the loneliness thing? God, you writers hammered it home. You didn't need to. We could see it in Tennant's eyes. And sometimes you've got so many balls in the air that you inevitably drop some. There are moments when I want to say - stop. I want to hear more of this story. I want to see where this is going. But I don't think there's any programme on television at the moment that has such unbriddled joy at its heart. This is not hastily spat out, brain switched off Saturday night tv, it's intelligent, giddy, thoughtful stuff. There's a real commitment at its centre - to those wonderful actors, to everything Dr Who has ever meant to five year olds hiding behind their sofa, to the writers behind it. On a weekly basis it's made me laugh, it's made me think and it's made me cry. And it's made me feel things I normally consider to be the preserve of theatre. So I applaud you all.

Finally, thank you Russell, for knowing just as I knew, that killing Rose was never an option. And for being brave enough - however much I might have wanted it to happen - to acknowledge that the Doctor could never tell her he loved her. Those words would have fractured the show. He has to be able to move on. And he will. But it's another chip isn't it?

So, if you don't mind, I'm going to put Damien Rice* on and wallow. It's really been a pleasure. And I'm sure it will be again.

*Can you do anything else when listening to Rice but wallow? Answers on a postcard...


Jen said...

Bloody Hell, I just got goosebumps again reading this and yes I bawled my eyes out Saturday night...then again watching confidential and again as I watched the whole episode again on playback.

PS...I did managed to scream out through my tears "CATHERINE TATE?!"

My Secrets Inside said...

I'm another who cried, it was a great end to the series. :-)

Val said...

I just knew you'd have to blog about this, and once again you've summed it up. I think I have stopped crying, but I'm sure watching those last few minutes again would start me off.

It has been wonderful because it's been intelligent writing and great performances. I just hope they give him a little break before they introduce a new companion (unless of course you're there to hold his hand)

My one quibble, like Jen - Catheine Tate! He needed his moment, however much they wanted to set up the Christmas episode.

Colin Greasepole (PM) said...

Nice website I happened to find while surfing Google during parliamentary recess, searching for new writing blogs. Liked the comments about the good doctor, but Doctor Who is not as mad as my government's Chief Science Officer, Professor Pumpernickel, and his secret serum.

My "party whips" confidentially inform me that the North of England's Komedy Kollective are seeking out new comedy writing talent for their satirical political musical Restart, in a ploy to help get me re-elected, come election time.

Just thought I'd warn any theatre lovers in West Yorkshire or Manchester of their dark, twisted League of Gents-style intentions,

You can check out their manifesto at

The Komedy Kollective are the "pooches's privates".

These sick and sordid vampire cats lust after new "big-drama" theatre writing blood, and they will sink their "razor-sharp talent-scouting fangs" into the necks of anyone unsuspecting writer living in the North of England, so you'd better go to sleep with the lights switched on if you have no intentions of signing-up the most unhinged, screwloose comedy writers in the whole wide world, all you creative people!!!

Restart is Doctor Who for warped adults!!!