Doctor Who 2.13: Doomsday review

Review

DoomsdayDoomsday review

The Doctor: And I suppose… if it’s my last chance to say it…

Production Code: 2.13.
Doctor Who Season: S28 (Ep13).
Story Number: 177b.

A spectacular finale…

The first Doctor Who onscreen meeting of the Daleks and the Cybermen. And it’s very catty.

“Our technologies are compatible, though your design is less elegant.”
“Daleks have no concept of elegance!”
“This is obvious.”

Beyond this amusement there’s a callback to the idea established in Dalek that was so very effective: a single Dalek being a fearsome army by itself.

“This is not war – this is pest control!”
“We have five million Cybermen. How many are you?”
“Four.”
“You would destroy the Cybermen with four Daleks?”
“We would destroy the Cybermen with one Dalek!”

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From a programme-production point of view there’s always about four physical Dalek prop-models so this plotline is handy.

Yvonne Hartman’s last words:

“I did my duty, oh God, I did my duty”

This melodramatic Cyberconversion scene exemplifies the extreme-emotion and fanwank combo that this episode excels at.

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“Kill one Cyberleader and it will download into another”

So the Cyberleadership programme is software? These 45 minutes are spilling over with DW-SF ideas but at their heart is a tale designed to tug on the heartstrings, big-style. And it does.

“Do you believe I can do that?” (The Doctor is planning the fightback.)
“Yes”
“Maybe that’s all I need”

The Doctor greets the Cybermen with a cheeky grin (and offscreen proposes an alliance). The Doctor greets the Daleks and actually it’s Tenth Doctor’s first meeting with them – he gets a “peering into the eyestalk, Dalek POV” moment like Ninth’s in Dalek but this time the scorn is masked by ebullience.

Daleks versus Cybermen and alternative-world Torchwood. It’s dripping with Science Fiction but the heartfelt emotion is still centre-stage.

“I did my duty for Queen & Country” intones Cyber-Yvonne as a tear of oil drips from her Cyber teardrop-styled eye.pics
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Rose is similarly resolute, “He does it alone Mum – but not any more!”

It’s a tidal wave of emotion by the end.

“I’m burning up a sun just to say goodbye”

“You look like a ghost”

So the Doctor is now a ghost to Rose, breaking through to the next universe to try to say those words. The scene at Dårlig Ulv-Stranden beach has the epic sweep of a movie (whether that movie be a romance or SF). It’s an epic end to an epic story, an epic season.

Rating: 5/5 (for this part of the story)
and for the two-parter 5/5.
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(Doomsday on bbc.co.uk/programmes/)

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