“The Stolen Earth / Journey’s End”, the Series 4 finale of Doctor Who, is in many ways the climax of the RTD era. There are still a few specials to come after this two-parter, that focus on sending off David Tennant as the Tenth Doctor, but “The Stolen Earth / Journey’s End” ties up most of the character arcs and plot threads that have been running throughout Russell’s entire tenure, giving most of them plenty of closure. The Series 4 finale is basically one big comic book crossover movie, in the vein of “The Avengers”, where all the RTD era companions team up with the Doctor to save the multiverse (except for Adam, because no one likes Adam).
Russell T. Davies also uses this opportunity to confirm, once and for all, that the spin-off shows that were airing at the time are canon, by bringing in side-characters from “Torchwood” and “The Sarah Jane Adventures”. If you’ve only watched Doctor Who, and you’ve never seen “Torchwood” or “The Sarah Jane Adventures”, you shouldn’t haven’t any trouble guessing what Gwen and Ianto are to Captain Jack, because we’ve known since the Series 3 finale that Jack is working with a branch of Torchwood now. However, good luck trying to figure out who that Luke kid is who’s with Sarah Jane now, since she certainly doesn’t offer up any details. As a RTD era reunion story, “The Stolen Earth” proves to be a pretty fun and epic two-parter (the opening credits are jam-packed full of familiar, returning names this time around), and to this day, there has never been another crossover story like it with such a stacked cast in NuWho, so the hype levels for this finale are pretty high.
If there’s one significant criticism I have of this story, it’s that it relies way too heavily on deus ex machinas. Russell has always been guilty of using these in his finales, but they’re a lot more noticeable in this two-parter, because there are so many scenes where Russell backs our heroes into a corner, with imminent doom closing in on them, only for them to be bailed out by something that appears completely out of the blue. Martha uses an experimental teleport without any coordinates that should kill her dead? It taps into her memories somehow and just takes her home instead. Sarah Jane is in peril of being killed by the Daleks? Mickey and Jackie appear next to her car and rescue her, even though they shouldn’t have known she was there or that she was in any danger.
A Dalek comes to Torchwood Three to kill Ianto and Gwen? Toshiko already installed a time lock as a security system offscreen to protect them (and considering that’s time lord technology we’re talking about, Tosh was apparently a lot smarter than I gave her credit for). The Doctor has just been shot and is about to have an untimely regeneration in terrible circumstances? He funnels the energy into his severed hand to avoid changing his face, even though we’ve been given no indication that’s a thing time lords can even do until just now. Then the Doctor’s severed hand grows into a clone of him, that can be conveniently paired off with Rose later to make her happy, while the meta-crisis event also conveniently gives Donna an intelligence upgrade so she can beat the Daleks with her hacking skills when everyone else runs out of plans. There are many, many scenes where Russell puts his main cast in grave peril, but they all have so much plot armor that none of them are really in any danger of being killed off (except for Harriet. Rest in peace, Harriet).
After finally getting Rose’s warning about the end of the world in the previous episode, the Tenth Doctor (David Tennant) rushes back to Earth only to find the whole planet has vanished – stolen out of its place in the universe. The Daleks are geniuses and very good at covering their tracks, so the Doc, admitting he’s out of his depth for once, decides to take Donna to see the Shadow Proclamation we’ve heard so much about for the last four seasons, so they can regroup and come up with a plan. “The Stolen Earth / Journey’s End” is one of the more inactive roles that the Tenth Doctor has had in a season finale. He’s kept out of the action for most of “The Stolen Earth”, because he can’t find the Earth, and when he does make it there, he spends most of “Journey’s End” as a prisoner in Davros’ lair, so the action in this two-parter is primarily carried by the companions and all the other returning faces from the RTD era.
Still, even in his absence, “The Stolen Earth” builds off one of the main ideas from “Turn Left“: how important and irreplaceable the Doctor’s role in this series is. The Doctor’s former companions can take his teachings out into the world, become heroes in their own right and fill in for him temporarily, but none of them have the wisdom and experience to do what he does long term, and they spend most of the first episode trying to reach him because they know they need his help dealing with villains on the level of the Daleks. The Doctor is fatally wounded by a Dalek at the end of “The Stolen Earth” and forced to regenerate, but he manages to find a way to heal himself while cheating the part about changing his face. The show has never really touched on Ten’s feelings about regeneration before now, but this is the first glimpse we get of his vainer streak and the reservations he might have about changing his whole personality again, and those feelings are about to become very important during the year of specials.
Held captive by the Daleks, at the mercy of his greatest enemies, Ten is made to feel helpless in more ways than one in “Journey’s End”, as Davros threatens his friends. The Doctor and Davros have plenty of history, stretching all the way back to the early days of Classic Who. The Doctor could have stopped Davros’ reign of terror a long time ago, but he didn’t believe he had the right to erase a whole species from existence, even one as wretched as the Daleks, so the animosity between them only continued to escalate over the years. Davros wants to break him, expose his true self and drag him down to his level, and considering the Doctor has committed multiple genocides by now (including against his own people), Davros has a lot to work with.
After spending so long running away from his past as a soldier because of the way he compromised his own principles then, the Doctor is very disheartened to discover the influence he’s had on his friends and how he’s led them to become more like him over time, having trained them to fight. They’re all willing to kill themselves or even blow up the Earth to save the multiverse in desperation, calling themselves the Doctor’s secret army (something he would not approve of). There’s also a small but significant scene where Ten comes to feel like a complete ass: he never did forgive Harriet for her betrayal in “The Christmas Invasion“, only to discover she gave her life saving the Earth in his absence. David Tennant gets to play a double role in this story as the Doctor’s half-human clone, who’s essentially written as the Tenth Doctor on crack. His clone proceeds to kill off all the Daleks to bring an end to their empire, which the real Ten is outraged about, though I doubt most of the people in the audience will mourn the deaths of insane, omnicidal dictators who tried to nuke the multiverse only five minutes earlier.
Eventually, Ten decides to leave his clone with Rose, because in his heart he knows he could never make her happy in the long run the way his doppelganger could. He’s completely wrecked during the denouement, and not just for Rose-related reasons: it didn’t take him long to guess what the consequences of Donna’s intelligence upgrade would be, so he quietly waited for them to catch up to her. You’ll notice that each one of the Tenth Doctor’s three seasons end exactly the same way: with the Doctor depressed and alone again in the TARDIS, usually as the result of his own choices. What makes things even more tragic is he did everything right this time. He didn’t strut around the universe, showing off carelessly all season, like he did with Rose in Series 2. He didn’t shut his friends out and constantly take them for granted like he did with Martha and Jack in Series 3. But he still wound up in a position where he would either have to mind-wipe Donna or let her die, because someone had to be sacrificed to save the world from the Daleks and the universe picked Donna for the job.
Needless to say, Ten is never really the same again after the events of this two-parter: losing Donna like this affects him about as strongly as losing Rose in “Doomsday” did, and he goes into a funk for the remainder of his tenure, swearing off companions entirely. It’s understandable that the Doctor would make this decision, considering he must surely consider himself to be cursed by now and a terrible influence on all his friends, but it’s also a really bad idea. Ever since “The Runaway Bride“, Donna’s whole tenure has made it a point that the Doctor needs someone to stop him sometimes and keep his flaws in check. Without a dissenting voice in the TARDIS, the ugliest parts of Ten’s personality will steadily claw their way to surface by “The Waters Of Mars” and “The End Of Time“.
“The Stolen Earth” is Donna Noble’s (Catherine Tate) swansong as the current companion, and the climax of her character arc throughout Series 4. Donna met Rose in the previous episode and formed a bit of a connection with her, and ever since she met the Doctor, she’s seen how much he misses Rose’s company, so she’s very supportive about the Doctor’s chances of seeing Rose again, as possibly the only silver lining in this adventure. She has a great personal stake in everything that’s happening, since the Earth is her home with all her friends and family on it, and she tries not to think of the worst as she helps out with their sleuthing mission – making good use of her own intuitive streak to pick up an important clue about the missing planets – but if the Doctor is feeling lost at the moment, there’s not that much Donna can do either.
After surviving a post-apocalyptic hell for two years and committing suicide to save the world in the previous episode, “The Stolen Earth” makes it clear Donna still has a cosmic target painted on her back, and something terrible is still going to happen to her soon. Ever since “Silence In The Library“, Donna and the Doctor have been split up a lot in the second half of Series 4, and it happens to them again in “Journey’s End”, allowing her to create Ten’s clone. Clone Ten briefly serves as a red herring, tricking the audience into thinking he’ll swoop in and save the day, before Donna steps up to do the job herself with her super temp skills, having gained a time lord’s intelligence (because as you’ll have noticed since “Bad Wolf“, Russell really likes giving his main characters a last minute power-up at the climax of each season to turn the tides). Becoming a time lady, just in time to save her friends, is a pretty huge achievement for Donna. She gets to be the hero of the hour, and for once she feels proud of herself and confident in her own skills.
Donna saving the day comes at a terrible price though: cramming all the knowledge of a time lord brain into a human head is way too much for her and it will kill her, so the Doctor decides to wipe her memories, erasing all the character development she’s had over the last two seasons and resetting her personality back to what it was in “The Runaway Bride” as a consequence. What makes this outcome feel especially painful is that “Turn Left” just emphasized how bad Donna’s self-worth issues can get. Over the course of Series 4, Donna has grown wiser, more thoughtful, patient and considerate, and become a true friend – she’s finally started to value herself for the things that make her unique. Losing all of that growth in an instant, and going back to living with her toxic mother who gave her a complex in the first place feels very cruel. To add one last bit of salt in the wound, the time lord meta-crisis event that necessitated this mindwipe is the exact same plot device Russell used to give Rose her happy ending with clone Ten in the previous scene.
The only bit of cold comfort we have is that “Turn Left” made it clear that Donna always had the potential to be brilliant inside of her, and even without the Doctor there to act as a catalyst, hopefully she can still go on to live a more fulfilling life. One of the biggest overarching themes in Series 4 has been the legacies we all leave behind with the people who’s lives we’ve touched – Caecelius and his family never forgot the kindness our heroes did for them, and neither did the Ood; Ten set a positive example for the people of Messaline and hopefully changed their society for the better; Agatha Christie’s novels permanently changed the genre she was writing for; River Song will have a tremendous impact on the Doctor’s life, even long after she’s gone; and the whole universe will forever be indebted to Donna, even if she never remembers what she did herself.
Since Rose Tyler (Billie Piper) is the one who saw this whole planet-stealing crisis coming all season, she’s naturally right in the thick of it, lugging around a comically oversized gun like the one Mickey had in “Doomsday”. When Russell wrote Rose out of the show and exiled her to a parallel universe at the end of Series 2, he always envisioned her using her own skills and her knowledge of alien worlds to become a defender of the Earth at Torchwood (he even briefly toyed with the idea of a spin-off show centered around that premise, before he decided against it), and that version of Rose, who’s grown a lot more worldly, finally gets to be realized onscreen in the Series 4 finale as she jumps across universes to help her old friends fight the Daleks (and since Rose was the companion who started it all in 2005, it’s only fitting that she gets to join the party).
After forming a bit of a connection with Donna in “Turn Left”, as two kindred spirits, Rose quickly meets up with Donna’s family in “The Stolen Earth”, since they’re her best shot of finding Donna and the Doctor, confronting Sylvia with her daughter’s activities for the first time all season. Rose spends a good chunk of the first episode feeling downhearted about how, even after jumping across universes, she and the Doctor are still being kept apart. Russell really prolongs giving the audience what they want until the last act, to make them crave it, and I have to admit I grinned like a loon when the Doctor and Rose finally got to see each other again after two seasons (with “Rose’s Theme” used as the underscore, for an extra dose of nostalgia for the early days of NuWho). From here on out, Rose and the Doctor never leave each other’s side for the rest of “Journey’s End”, looking to each other for strength and support, and they face the potential end of the world together, just like the good old days.
Once Russell made the decision to bring Rose back for the big reunion in the Series 4 finale, naturally he had a new dilemma on his hands about how he would permanently write her out of the show in a satisfying way for both her and the audience, and the decision he went with was very strange. Once the danger’s gone, the Doctor decides to kill two birds with one stone in regards to Rose and his rogue doppelganger. He encourages Rose to be with his half-human clone, who can live out a mortal life with her and make her happy in the long run, giving up his own chance in the process: a bittersweet solution to the problem they had throughout Series 2. While this outcome works well enough in isolation, it feels pretty at odds with how their relationship has been written before now.
Throughout Series 2, the show repeatedly implied that, despite caring about each other a lot, Ten and Rose were not really a good influence on each other and often brought out each other’s worst traits. After the tragic ending of “Doomsday”, the show has glamorized their relationship and looked back on it with a lot more nostalgia since then, often glossing over their flaws. Ten’s clone being half-human solves the problem of the Doctor outliving her, but there’s no indication that Ten and Rose have matured enough to avoid falling back into bad habits – if anything, Rose spending years trying to find a way to get back to the Doctor implies the opposite. Since “Journey’s End” is the conclusion of Rose’s character arc spanning over four seasons, the show has sent out some pretty mixed signals about how we’re supposed to feel about her relationship with the Doctor: what was previously a cautionary tale about not giving too much of yourself to a codependent relationship has now become a story about holding on for years until you get your happily ever after with your soulmate. I don’t hate that change by any means, but it does feel very strange.
Captain Jack Harkness lends a helping hand again during the end of the world, this time bringing the entire crew of his spin-off show with him (Torchwood is looking pretty understaffed at the moment, since they’ve just lost Owen and Tosh). John Barrowman is personable and charismatic as always, and the energy of his character never fails to be infectious. We get to see all of Jack’s most important relationships in this story: the chain of command between him and his teammates, complete with his cheeky new relationship with Ianto; his supportive friendships with Rose and Martha (both of whom he thinks quite highly of); and how easily he slots into the role of the Doctor’s right-hand man, the lancer of the gang, again whenever they team up. “The Stolen Earth” provides a new bit of insight into Jack’s personality: the Daleks are one of the only things out there he truly fears, which makes perfect sense. They ended his first mortal life and he knows perfectly well how unstoppable they are, but he still faces that fear nonetheless for the greater good of humanity.
Over at UNIT, Martha Jones (Freema Agyeman) has quite the terrible dilemma on her hands when she’s entrusted with the Osterhagen Key, the detonator to a bomb that will destroy the entire Earth in the event of a doomsday scenario (UNIT, what the fuck?!), essentially putting the fate of the world in her hands, and naturally it weighs on her a ton. I really appreciate the callback to “The Poison Sky“, when Martha decides to give the Daleks a chance to back down, despite already knowing how pointless that would be. She didn’t understand Ten’s suicidal bluff with the Sontarans at the time in “The Poison Sky”, but now that she’s stepped into his shoes, making the sort of choices he usually has to handle, she’s decided to take a page from his book: it’s a nice way of showing how much the Doctor’s friends look up to him, and how they’ve all learned something from him.
Sarah Jane Smith (Elizabeth Sladen) has recently become a mother figure in her own spin-off show, so naturally her priorities are torn between keeping her adopted son, Luke, safe and helping out the other companions against the apocalypse. Like Jack, Sarah Jane is haunted by the Daleks, since she knows what they’re capable of and she’s the only classic series veteran around who’s had prior experience with their mad creator, Davros. In the second episode, she teams up with two unexpected latecomers to the party as Russell indulges in even more fanservice for the hell of it.
Mickey Smith (Noel Clarke), the defiant, gun-toting freedom fighter, naturally isn’t far from behind Rose, and neither is her mother, Jackie (Camille Camdouri), who’s come to have her daughter’s back (because even after four seasons, some things never change, like a certain someone’s overprotective streak). Surviving numerous alien invasions and fighting plenty of Cybermen offscreen has hardened Mickey over time and made him scruffier, to the point where he greatly resembles his bad-boy doppelganger Rickey from “The Age Of Steel” now. And unlike a few of the other characters, his personal status quo is left permanently changed by the end of this two-parter (Mickey and Martha walking off together with Jack is all the development their relationship is going to get onscreen, before they’re hitched the next time we see them in “The End Of Time”).
Lastly, Harriet Jones is finally given a chance to redeem herself for her fall from grace in “The Christmas Invasion”, and is even given a bit of validation when it comes to the one good point she made in that episode, since she’s the one who unites the companions and gives them all the resources they’ll need in their darkest hour, having thought ahead and made a contingency plan for how they should handle an alien invasion in the Doctor’s absence.
We haven’t seen the Daleks, everyone’s favorite space Nazis, in a while now, not since their last big two-parter in early Series 3 (“Daleks In Manhattan“), which should have been a red flag in retrospect, since they’re never gone for long in this show. They’ve been growing in numbers and growing in strength offscreen, like they always do when they scamper off to lick their wounds. They’ve built up an army, created a doomsday weapon to purge the impure on a massive scale, and now they’ve entered their endgame. Ever since Doctor Who returned to television in 2005, the Daleks have been the most persistent thorn in the Doctor’s side, the main villain of the revival series, and the greatest type of evil you could ever have the misfortune of coming across.
Even though they want to wipe out every form of sentient life in the universe besides their own species, they’ve thankfully usually been stopped before they could do too much damage. “The Parting Of The Ways” is the one exception to that so far, where they bombed the Earth and nearly drove the human race to extinction, but that finale was very purposely set in the distant future, so we’ll never have to see the long-term consequences of the Daleks attacking humanity. In “Journey’s End”, the power and might of the Daleks has grown to the point where they actually threaten the entire multiverse, giving us a glimpse of how frightening they must have been at the height of the time war, as a march of unchecked fascism that couldn’t be beaten. And this time, they’re bringing the danger of their genocidal plans to modern day Earth, letting everyone on the planet know they exist.
They have their twisted father to thank for their new surge in power, allowing them to make an excellent comeback from the weak and pitiful state they were in in Series 3. If the Daleks are space Nazis, they must surely have a Hitler analogue, the creator of their core ideology, and that would be Davros, who’s reintroduced to the franchise four years after them. By creating the Daleks so many years ago, Davros ensured the survival of his race, and he firmly believes they deserve to hold dominion over the the rest of the universe. Davros is very much an old-school villain: a campy, vain, disabled and thoroughly evil mad scientist who smugly revels in chewing scenery. As a Social Darwinist, he is very proud of children, the products of his own twisted imagination, even if they don’t respect him in return, and he had no problem mutilating himself for genetic material so he could rebuild them, stronger than ever.
“The Stolen Earth” makes it clear that Davros is completely insane (even crazier than the Daleks are, which is saying a lot), and he’s beyond thrilled to finally be living out his genocidal fantasies, with an added bonus of getting some long-awaited revenge. However, he didn’t count on being backstabbed by Dalek Caan, a Dalek who went insane, and his insanity allowed him to see how futile, pointless, and self-destructive their fanatic obsession with purity actually is. It’s really ironic that Dalek Caan is the one to turn to traitor, considering how quickly he threw Dalek Sec under the bus for the same crime of blasphemy, but it’s also a fitting way to wrap up the Cult of Skaro arc that’s been going on since “Doomsday”. Davros gets left behind to his doom, but you needn’t worry: like the Doctor and his friends, Davros has way too much plot armor to be killed off. He’ll be back.
Like the previous episode, “The Stolen Earth” is directed by Grahame Harper, who gives this story a grand, sweeping sense of scope and scale with brisk tracking shots, majestic overhead shots, and confident wide shots that really take their time basking in the landscapes of the cosmos. Doctor Who has had a fair amount of low budget episodes recently, clearly saving away money for the season finale, and that decision paid off handsomely, since “The Stolen Earth” has some of the most gorgeous and smooth CGI you’ll see from the Mill in the RTD era, mainly involving the twenty-seven planets looming overhead in the Earth’s sky or floating adrift in the Medusa Cascade. Likewise, Murray Gold pulls out all the stops with his score for “The Stolen Earth”, giving it everything, writing some of the most bombastic, larger-than-life music you’ll find in the series. Under different circumstances, it would probably feel like overkill, but since the entire multiverse is at stake in this story, the urgent and grandiose nature of Murray’s music is certainly warranted.
“The Dark And Endless Dalek Night” roars to the heavens with an ominous, thundering choir, nicely capturing both the evil and pomposity of the Daleks. The direct counterpoint to the Daleks’ menacing theme is “A Pressing Need To Save The World“, a heroic electronic variant on “All the Strange Strange Creatures”. This piece of music has been used a lot throughout Series 4, and it really drives home the fact that while the Daleks might have a fearsome armada at their disposal, the Doctor and his resourceful human allies are quite a force to be reckoned with themselves. In the same vein, “Hanging On A Tablaphone” is a bouncy, determined and adrenaline-fueled techno beat that’s used extensively throughout the two episodes, while Murray beefs up the Ood song from earlier this season in the super sentimental “Song Of Freedom“, which backs the scene where the Doctor and his friends celebrate their victory, towing the Earth home. “Davros“, “The Rueful Fate Of Donna Noble” and “The Doctor’s Theme: Series Four” make their return from previous episodes as well, taking the general atmosphere of this story through a journey of tragedy, triumph and darkness.
As far as season finales go, “The Stolen Earth / Journey’s End” sends out Series 4 of Doctor Who on one hell of a bang, and serves as a well-deserved victory lap for Russell T. Davies, his cast and his crew who brought Doctor Who back from the dead and made it a success for four years straight. There are still a few more specials to come after this two-parter, to tie up some remaining loose ends, but “The Stolen Earth” definitely signals the end of an era for the show.
* One of the extras in the prologue, the milkman, looks a lot like James Marsters, and it’s rather distracting to me.
* “It’s gone dark. It’s them aliens, I’ll bet my pension. What do you want this time, you green swine?! Look, you get back inside, Sylvia. They always want the women!” Wilfred, what the hell?
* “Right, now we’re in trouble, and it’s only just beginning!” Rose is ready, and so am I.
* “I met a soldier in a bar, long story” “When was that?” “It was strictly professional” I see your saltiness, Ianto.
* Cool companions don’t look back at explosions, like our girl, Rose.
* “Oh, look at that. Twenty seven planets in perfect balance” As all things should be.
* “Are you saying bees are aliens?” “Don’t be so daft. Not all of them” Eh, that makes sense. If there are alien wasps in this show, there might as well be alien bees too. For all we know, they’re rivals.
* “The planets were stolen with hostile intent. We are declaring war, Doctor, right across the universe, and you will lead us into battle!” Oh honey, you really don’t know him well, do you?
* “You will come with us! Resistance is useless!” It’s ‘resistance is futile‘. That was such an easy quote and you butchered it, random Dalek.
* “Oh, she can’t hear me. Have you got a webcam?” “No, she wouldn’t let me. She said they’re naughty”.
* “Martha Jones, former companion to the Doctor” “So was I, and I was here first!” Rose, honey, focus.
* “Marvelous woman. I voted for her” “You did not!”
* I always chuckle at that shot of Rose, Wilf and Sylvia furiously, desperately texting to save the world.
* “Harriet Jones, former prime minister” “Yes, we know who you are” I did not expect the Daleks, of all people, to get in on that running gag.
* “Your voice is different and yet, its arrogance is unchanged” Oof.
* “After all this time, everything we saw, everything we lost, I have only one thing to say to you. Bye!”
* When that Dalek interrupts Ten and Rose’s reunion, there’s a brief moment of terror where you’ve really not sure which one of them he’s going to shoot. Of course, it wouldn’t make sense for him to waste time killing some woman when the Doctor is standing right there, but I really wouldn’t put it past Russell to bring Rose back just to kill her off.
* As an aside, can I say that it’s kind of a dick move how the Doctor rarely ever gives his friends a heads-up about what regeneration is and what to expect until he’s right on death’s door? Because Donna is completely lost and freaking out during the cliffhanger.
* “Aww. You can hug me, if you want” “Heh” “No, really. You can hug me” Donna’s usual thirstiness levels hit the roof in this finale.
* “What, like you’re human?” “Oh, that’s disgusting!” “Oi!” Dial back your racism, Doctor.
* “Across the entire universe. Never stopping, never faltering, never fading. People and planets and stars will become dust, and the dust will become atoms, and the atoms will become nothing. And the wavelength will continue, breaking through the Rift at the heart of the Medusa Cascade into every dimension, every parallel, every single corner of creation. This is my ultimate victory, Doctor! The destruction of reality itself!”
* “So who do I find? Mickey Mouse” “You can talk, Captain Cheesecake” “Aww, it’s good to see you. And that’s Beefcake” Now kiss.
* “The man who abhors violence, never carrying a gun, but this is the truth, Doctor. You take ordinary people and you fashion them into weapons. Behold your Children of Time, transformed into murderers. I made the Daleks, Doctor. You made this”.
* “Supreme Dalek, the time has come. Now, DETONATE THE REALITY BOMB!” Bless Julian Bleach, he went all in with this role.
* “I was wrong about your warriors, Doctor. They are pathetic” Savage, Davros.
* “So there’s three of you?” “Three Doctors?” “I can’t tell you what I’m thinking right now” Jack, you naughty naughty boy.
* “Never forget, Doctor, YOU DID THIS! I name you, forever, you are the Destroyer of Worlds!” I’ll never forget how Davros is officially the biggest hypocrite in this show. Mass genocide is totally awesome, so long as it’s directed towards other people.
* Much like the Doctor igniting the Earth’s atmosphere in “The Poison Sky” without any lasting ecological consequences (that we saw anyway), the climax of this story requires the audience to suspend their disbelief quite a bit, when the Doctor and his friends manually tow the Earth back to it’s old spot in space, without killing a good chunk of the people living on the planet in the process (again, there might have been causalities, but the Doctor and company certainly didn’t see them).
* “Now we can fly this thing- No, Jackie. No, no. Not you. Don’t touch anything. Just stand back” Damn, Ten.
* Oh my God, imagine if Davros had actually taken Ten up on his offer, and during the gang’s joyful, feel-good moment of piloting the TARDIS home, Davros was just sitting there in the corner, swearing vengeance on them all the whole time.
* “You know, I’m not sure about UNIT these days. Maybe there’s something else you could be doing?” Captain Jack, shame on you, trying to steal UNIT’s employees just because you’re understaffed.
* Neither Ten or Rose will be winning any points in the sensitivity department during their last scene together. First, the Doctor decides to take Rose back to the exact same beach where she got her heart broken the last time to drop her off (classy Doctor, very classy), and then Rose decides to make out with clone Ten while the original Ten is still standing right there.
* “I want to stay” “Look at me. Donna, look at me” “…I was going to be with you forever. The rest of my life, traveling in the TARDIS. The Doctor-Donna” Ouch.
* “I just want you to know there are worlds out there, safe in the sky because of her. That there are people living in the light, and singing songs of Donna Noble, a thousand million light years away. They will never forget her, while she can never remember. And for one moment, one shining moment, she was the most important woman in the whole wide universe”.