Doctor Who – Bad Wolf/The Parting of the Ways

Reinstated from Scary Rob’s Doctor Who Blog

From a damp squelch of an ending for the books to a wonderful explosion of an ending for the first TV series in 16 years. This, although not one of Russell T Davies’ best, is a wonderful way to end one of the best seasons of Doctor Who ever. The parodies of current TV were great fun to watch and the revelation of a fleet of half a million Daleks was just one of the highest points of a series that has more peaks than the Himalayas. The special effects were amazing and the cold-blooded killing capacity of the Daleks was breathtaking. They haven’t been so scary since Genesis of the Daleks (and to think that was 30 years ago!).

Things niggle in my mind, though. For one, I hate god-like beings as a means to resolve plots: it smacks of lazy writing. But this is just my personal taste and I have to hand it to Davies and the production team for pulling off the ultimate cop-out so well. The effects and the music made the whole scene so beautiful, and the I would brand anyone a liar who claims now that they guessed the nature of the Bad Wolf before seeing this episode. It’s so clever it’s untrue. I will never let go of my belief that Davies is a writer who puts individual ideas so far above actual plots that he stretches the credibility of his story lines to breaking point but in this instance it really didn’t matter: the ideas were so good they’d have probably held their own without petty inconveniences like a plot.

On that note, I have to praise the handling of Captain Jack. Yes, he’s a bisexual character; but that isn’t his be-all and end-all. In fact, it only serves to exaggerate the promiscuity that is central to his character. And his kissing the Doctor is so matter of fact that the moral watchdogs who are allegedly up in arms need a kick up the arse. The scene neither laughed at nor overplayed homosexuality, it just slipped it in as a fact of life. And if portraying a gay kiss like this on a family show, with no deliberate sense of shock and no attempt at manipulating the viewer’s gut reaction, means one less teenager gets bullied to suicide by his peers or disowned by his parents for coming out, then this scene deserves the highest praise ever given to television.

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~ by Scary Rob on 21 June, 2005.

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