Bad wolf / The parting of the ways (2005)
About this episode
This two-parter was first broadcast on June 11-18, 2005. It was written by Russell T Davies and directed by Joe Ahearne. The showrunner was Russell T Davies.
The Doctor, Rose and Jack revisit the space station where 'The Long Game' was set, only it's now 100 years later, and we finally find out what the long game is.
Reviewing these two episodes in one go is a bit unfair, since 'The parting of the ways' is a much better episode than 'Bad wolf'.
With 'Bad wolf' we're back in the wacky world of Doctor Who media satire, with the Doctor locked in the 'Big Brother' house, Jack getting a make-over in 'What not to wear' and Rose getting told by the Ann-droid (shudder) that she's 'The weakest link... good-bye'.
Some bad news:
- The Doctor on 'Big Brother' is funny, Jack on 'What not to wear' is funny-ish and Rose on 'The weakest link' isn't that funny at all.
- The game shows are part of a 'long game' played by 500,000 Daleks and their Emperor. This makes no sense.
- The '... all losing contestants are killed... Rose loses and gets killed... nah, just kidding, nobody died and look, there she is...' makes no sense. It's also manipulative.
- The 500,000 Daleks that appear at the end of the episode have far less impact than the one Dalek in 'Dalek'.
Fortunately, 'The parting of the ways' is much better.
Some good news:
- 'The parting of the ways' is well-plotted and well-acted.
- The last stand against the Daleks actually manages to become sort of epic.
- The Doctor's farewell speech to Rose is excellent.
There's one bit of weird plotting, however.
- What happens is, basically, this:
The Doctor: (works frantically in order to construct a weapon that will destroy the Daleks, though it may also destroy everything else in its path)
Dalek Emperor: "Your weapon will destroy every human on earth along with the Daleks, you know."
The Doctor: "We've got colonies. We'll survive. You won't."
Dalek Emperor: "You'll be as bad as I am. You don't have the balls to be as bad as I am."
The Doctor: (stops working on the weapon) "Oops, sorry, didn't think about that. Never mind, then."
Dalek Emperor: (gloats)
Rose: (does the 'deus ex machina' thing and goes on a Dalek killing spree)
The Doctor's mild reaction to total defeat, especially coming after the emotional intensity of 'Dalek', seems completely wrong. If only Rose had shown up two minutes earlier...
The bottom line
'The parting of the ways' is a must-see episode.