The season 4 finale to “Doctor Who” airs this Friday, but through the magic of the internet, I – and pretty much everyone else who goes nuts with all the commercial edits SciFi makes – already saw it during its BBC airing a few weeks back.
I want to talk about it, but I can’t really recap it with the…well, let’s just call it “sense of urgency” required to really do it justice.
So I’m passing those duties off on the Global Stronghold’s intern, Randy. Randy is a 12-year-old boy whose brain is positively riddled with ADHD. And to prepare for his first-ever recap, he's just shotgunned three Red Bulls.
You can take it from here, Randy:
“Ohhh mygod it was awesome you guys first, right? First Earth gets stolen and then the Doctor and Donna go see those rhino guys from last season and Rose is back and Jack is back and Martha’s back and Harriet’s back and they all talk with webcams and then the DALEKS come and shoot at everyone and they’re all like EXTERMINATE! But sometimes in German!
“And then the Doctor gets shot and has to regenerate but he doesn’t really regenerate because he gets better and puts all the extra energy in his other hand before he regrew it and it’s in a jar under the TARDIS console and then they all get captured by the Daleks and their creator’s all mean and messed-up looking and one of the Daleks is crazy and giggles and it’s TOO FUNNY and but, right, Donna’s still in the TARDIS and she touches the hand and it grows into a another Doctor and Donna gets all Time Lord smart and they fight and win!
“And then all of them fly the TARDIS together and they lasso Earth back to where it should be and then Rose has to go back to her Earth and she gets to keep the other Doctor and they kiss whichisAWESOME and then to save Donna’s brain he takes out all her Time Lord memories and it’s sad and then he goes back to the TARDIS alone and he looks sad MAN I gotta pee bye!”
Thank you, Randy. Now head out to the drawbridge, I think you’re mom’s here to take you to piano practice.
Now then. I wish I could say that Randy’s explanation lacked the nuance or pacing of the actual finale, but he pretty much nailed it. Showrunner Russell Davies is stepping down, and apparently wanted to cram every freaking idea he didn’t get to use into two hours of show.
But he didn’t bother to edit any of his ideas, or fit them together with any particular care or concern, and so this is what we get: a plot so frantic we need the addled brain of RANDY to properly filter all these plot points.
Still, there is always a sense of joy and importance to a “Doctor Who” finale, and in that respect, I can’t say this disappointed.
There are some minor concerns that could be pointed out – that Rose is stuck with some kind of cut-rate Doctor-knockoff, or that Donna’s fate is unnecessarily cruel, or that God help me, I might have to subject myself to a third season of “Torchwood” in the near future – but I suppose I’ll just let Davies take his victory lap, hope he gets some rest, and look forward to incoming showrunner (and writer of some of the new series’ best episodes) Steve Moffat.
Who hopefully will realize that bringing the Daleks back for a FIFTH time might maybe weaken the characters. Something that might not have occurred to Davies.
Or the ADD-ravaged child ghostwriting for Davies. Whichever.