I will here and now claim David Tennant, the Tenth Doctor, as my Doctor. They say you never forget your first, well technically, Eccleston was my first. Yes, I’m a NuWho acolyte. I know I’m missing a lot from Classic but I simply haven’t gotten to them yet. I digress… so Tennant was not my first but he was the one who made me fall in love. It’s not just that I fell in love with the Tenth Doctor, but I fell in love with all of it.
“My name is Rose Tyler and this…is the last story I’ll ever tell.”
I sobbed. Yes. I literally sobbed, watching her cry, her makeup running and to this day, it takes little more than just hearing the song Doomsday to make me tear up.
Ah, the episode that spawned t-shirts and thousands of internet memes. But there was good reason. This episode, as much as any could be was iconic, with its introduction of the terrifying Weeping Angels and the inclusion of a relatively unknown (at least then) Carey Mulligan, who was wonderfully brilliant as Sally Sparrow. To this day, I’m never entirely certain of just what led her to that house (if it’s there, I tend to forget little things like that), but from the moment that she uncovers those words written beneath the wallpaper we could be certain that this woman’s life was never going to be the same. Just to what extent, we couldn’t possibly know, but we knew it.
Once she got onboard with the whole ‘sent back in time’ thing, Sally battles the Angels with a fierceness worthy of any of the Doctor’s companions, with no help from the Doctor other than a mildly vague video clue hidden in Easter Eggs on seventeen mostly unrelated DVDs. Seriously, why could we not have gotten Sally Sparrow as a companion in there somewhere? She would have been fantastic! Suffice it to say I, for one, would not mind if we got a return to Ms. Sparrow and the Angels sometime.
These two episodes are so wide in their scope that they’re nearly impossible to sum up properly. Essentially, the Daleks have stolen the Earth, as well as twenty-six other planets and moons to power a giant, universe ending super weapon. Over the space of The Stolen Earth, we see Torchwood, led by Captain Jack Harkness, with Gwen Cooper and Ianto Jones, Martha Jones working with UNIT, Sarah Jane Smith along with Mr. Smith, K-9, and her son Luke, and the return of Rose Tyler from the parallel universe she’d been trapped in. We see former Prime Minister Harriet Jones, one who had once been admired before sorely disappointing the Doctor, sacrifice herself to give Earth one last chance. I could go into so much more, but I’d be here for ages. These two episodes signaled the beginning of the end for the Tenth Doctor, and there was a moment of fear when the Dalek hits the Doctor with his ray and it looks like we’re going to suffer through a regeneration. Instead, we are treated to a second Doctor, one who is part human and part Time Lord, and a biological metacrisis that gives Donna Time Lord abilities.
In the end, ‘Ten Two’ does what the Time Lord he was cloned from would never do, and the planets are returned home. We are given two heartpounding, tear-jerking endings…Rose finally getting her Doctor, one she can grow old with; and the Doctor once more having to make the impossible choice to save his best friend’s life, but lose her in the process. I didn’t like Donna at all when she first popped up… but by the time she’d reached the end of her run, I couldn’t stand to see her go. What it comes down to is that these episodes are just so huge, and so well done, that you simply can’t think of the Tenth Doctor’s era and NOT remember this moment when everyone was drawn together, for that short, important time.