The battle between the Daleks and Cybermen is one that every Doctor Who fan in history has been praying for this but sadly it doesn’t quite match up to the expectations. I did like the initial encounter between them when the Cybermen agree with the Daleks statement that they have no concept of elegance. This is a clear contradiction that the Cybermen don’t have a sense of humour. The idea that the Daleks could wipe out the Cybermen with just one Dalek but get scared when they discover the Doctor is around is quite a funny one.
Yvonne Hartman’s death is quite sad. She is someone who went from being the boss and not caring about anything other than her job to being terrified about being turned into a Cyberman/woman. However her final appearance comes when she is defiant against the Cybermen and repeats the line she gives before being converted. It’s a sort of redemption because we get a close up of one of her eyes and there is a tear of oil.
The problem that this story has and its one that typifies the RTD era is that it gets too bogged down in the emotional side of things. When you’ve got Daleks and Cybermen fighting each other we have to stop and deal with Jackie and Pete Tyler re-uniting. The initial moment when Rose has been taken into the parallel world is understandable because they had a romance but then the next five or six minutes is given over to this. Russell T Davies seems to have an inability of finishing of a series without having to waste 10-15 minutes on emotional twaddle.
It’s a good story for Billie Piper. Many many people don’t like her and I have to admit since we have had Martha and Donna and Amy she has fallen down the rankings in my opinions but at the time I thought that the character of Rose was a breathe of fresh air and ok the romance bit started to get a bit tired towards the end but Piper did a good job in every story that she was in. The final scene between Piper and Tennant was very sad and Tennant put in a great performance in both stories. His scene with the Cult of Skaro was one of the best of the series.
Russell T Davies doesn’t give us time to catch our breathe after what being going on in Torchwood and out of nowhere (quite literally), Catherine Tate appears in a wedding dress inside the TARDIS. This is the only time that I can honestly say that I didn’t know anything about what was going to happen. There was no mention on any website about Catherine Tate appearing and so it was a truly big shock and a big way to sign of the 28th series of Doctor Who and the second in the new era.
As a episode in its own right, it’s a good one that could have done without most of the emotional stuff that we got and the Dalek and Cybermen face-off was a little bit disappointing but as a two-parter it very good. There is a lot to like and the way that they wrote Rose out of the series was very clever and a nice way of a companion to leave a series as opposed to a Leela exit.