The ultimate episode to end David Tennant’s era with his Doctor Who companions is Journey’s End, released on the 5th of July 2008. Not to forget his final episode as the Doctor (for then at least) which came later on with The End of Time.
The round-off to an era of love, loss and rollercoasters of emotions. Plus the running, you’ve got to love the running! So many iconic and personal favourite villains were created during this time and paved the way for modern-day episodes. The Ood ran so that The Silence could walk…or linger.
Journey’s End featured all of the companions from the tenth Doctor’s reign at one time, social circle and all! Not too dissimilar to an awkward run-in with an ex whilst on a date at the pub, we see the one that got away; Rose Tyler, the rebound who’s in love; Martha Jones and the best friend/partner-in-crime Donna Noble. As well as this adventure-loving trio we see the return of Jackie Tyler, Mickey Smith, Captain Jack, Martha Jones and her mother, Sarah-Jane Smith and son Luke, K-9, Torchwood folk and Harriet Jones; former Prime Minister. And yes, we still know who she is!
Now, a lot went down in this episode where Davros and the Daleks threaten the human race. The companions and their loved ones banded together on their separate journeys to help the Doctor defeat his lifelong enemy. Only a prophecy stated that one of them will die which made for a bitter-sweet reunion among friends.
It gets messy. There are people stuck in imminent death clusters and Daleks invading homes. The Tardis is captured by the Dalek empire with the Doctor, Donna, Rose and Jack on board. Donna gets trapped inside the Tardis after being beckoned by the grotesque hand that’s always lingered around the Tardis under the console. Next thing you know, Donna faces death via a lava-like substance and the hand regenerates into a naked tenth Doctor who saves their lives (spoilers). We have one last signature comical back and forth between the pair. The light melodic whistling music sends shivers up arms as the Doctor realises how they’re cosmically tethered.
Jack gets exterminated and Rose rushes to his side. This is when we, the audience, remember that Rose was sent to parallel Earth before learning of Jack’s inability to die. So remembering the prophecy alluding to the death of one of the Doctors’ children of time, the Doctor and Rose are trapped with Davros and Dalek Caan whilst each companion is embarking on their journey towards him. Set about their plan to take over Earth, the Daleks gather the companions who are forced to abandon their plan of saving the planet. All hope is lost until the new Doctor appears with a gadget in hand and a very intelligent Donna following on behind. She had just absorbed regeneration energy from the Doctor’s encased hand becoming half human and half Time Lord. Doctor-Donna! The name that had followed these two on their journey across time and space was predicting this very moment when Donna (the best temp in Chiswick) saves Earth and space. The enforcer of this prophecy? Dalek Caan, who went against his own kind to bring down the Dalek empire (well done lad!).
Cut forward to the gang surrounding the Tardis’ console guiding the ship to the freshly saved Earth. Each companion sets about their life apart from Rose, Jackie, Donna and both doctors.
Now the moment that healed my heart as quickly as it ripped me to shreds. The Doctor returns Rose to parallel Earth in the spot on Bad Wolf Bay where they had their last goodbye. Rose is confused as to why he didn’t continue their travels. When they’re so close to their life of adventures, why break her heart with another goodbye? I mean seriously, Rose worked with UNIT to make a dimension canon that got her through to the parallel universe back to him. If this isn’t the biggest pie in the face to reject her hard work, I’m not sure what is!
OG Doctor shares that Doctor number two is exactly like him when he first met Rose- full of blood, anger and revenge before he was made better by Rose. They share the same memories, only this new doctor is part human. He’s able to grow old with Rose and give her the life the original can’t. Although a brutal move at the time, I now see that the Doctor did Rose a kindness. He’s ensured her a life with her love whereas he’s burdened with the curse of having to live on when his love dies. The new Doctor whispers the words she’s endeavoured to hear from him, sealing the deal and ensuring a life together.
Donna’s story peaks. She can’t live as part human and part Time Lord. The audience realises that not only will Donna not remember the incredible life she’s had with the doctor but if she does, there are catastrophic consequences.
The tenth Doctor is alone once again.
This episode goes down in history as monumental for Doctor Who. It’s the first time since the series was revived in 2005 that a new generation of fans saw their favourite character’s story close, later solidifying in The End of Time. As a Major Doctor Who fan at the time, the episode was heart-racing exciting! Seeing old favourite characters (*cough* Rose *cough*) come back to life was a time in my childhood I’ll never forget.
What I absolutely love about this episode is how the storylines and characters have been brought together. When Rose and The Doctor learn that Gwen from Torchwood has ancestors from the 18 hundreds (i.e. the actress that played the maid in a season 1 episode returned with a role in the spin-off series Torchwood). Or Martha finally meeting Rose and saying he found you. It’s so beautifully written by Russell T Davies.
To make us David Tennant Doctor Who era fans smile even more, we will see his return at the end of the year as The Doctor! Making history as the first ever Doctor to return in his role as the sole protagonist.
Seriously guys, what a year! Barbie is socially accepted as a cool brand to like again in the same year the Doctor / Donna combo is back on our screens. The noughties are rising and I for one am here for it! There’s no need to move on from past trauma because wounds are getting heeled. Donna, we’ve missed you, babe!
Watch the trailer for the new series of Doctor Who with The Doctor and Donna Noble here, Via BBC. Try not to gasp I dare you!: