So, have to say something about the big finale. The music was absolutely amazing. No, seriously, it was. I don’t always like Murray Gold but the score in this totally underpinned the emotional journey and the big themes.
Yes, I’m glad Martha left. It was the right choice for her, to walk away with dignity. I think she’ll be fabulous in Torchwood, or maybe in a guest slot on the TARDIS in future with the lovely Milligan. I felt rather sad that, as the only people who really knew what had happened in that year, the Jones family still left the Doctor on the outside, but it was probably his choice. I was struck by the similarity of the whole set up in that scene to the ending of The Runaway Bride, and there was a real sense of the Doctor reaching the end of an emotional journey. He’s become much better at recognising his inner life; he bullshits, but he knows he’s doing it and he’s learning that it’s okay to drop the guard at times. I think he knew all along that Martha wouldn’t return.
And then he gets thrown a lifebelt. Literally! Love, love, love.
But the heart of it was the death scene of the Master – yes, I know death is a reversible condition in this case, but I am prepared to foregive RTD a great deal for that scene, even the Disneyfied Doctor. It’s easy to knock that, but the show is for kids too, and in today’s diverse society you can only really play the spiritual card in the vaguest terms, or someone gets upset. The open grief was wonderfully healing and cathartic, but the real killer was the Doctor’s own admission, “Perhaps I’ve been wandering too long. I need someone to care for.”
If that isn’t character development, I don’t know what the hell is.
I don’t think we’ve seen the last of Lucy. I think she may even turn out to be Rose.
Jack as Face of Boe? Did nothing for me. Felt tacked on, and is that really a happy ending for him, a disembodied head in a jar? How much more does this poor guy have to suffer?
Doctor as Gollum? Yuck. Although I preferred that to the dog kennel, which I couldn’t bear to watch more than once.
I could bitch loads about the plot holes, but so many people have already. But, seriously, how the hell did Martha keep her hair so neat and her skin so flawless for a year under the circs? And why wasn’t there any food dribbled down the Doctor’s suit? Oh well, I guess we have to accept this is the sanitised version.
Finally, that incredible music. The theme played over the Master’s funeral pyre – still a minor key with echoes of Doomsday, but with the longing replaced by calm resolution. It was very English, in a good way, as was the theme used in the final moments of Family of Blood, which sounded like pure Elgar or Vaughan Williams to me, though I hardly speak as a musicologist.
And that’s about it, I guess.