I love David Tennant’s Doctor: he was fun and lively and likeable. He formed closer and better relationships with the people he met than did Eccleston’s Doctor. His goofy attitude and silly antics that started in “The Christmas Invasion” set the mood for the entire season, and while I did not expect it to end on an entirely good note, I was not ready for this.

Season two was all about relationships, in my opinion. The most obviously developed relationship was with Rose, of course, but the Doctor was amiable enough to form decent ties with the assigned characters-of-the-day.

Sometimes, he’d have more-than-friendly relationships with them too (see: Madame de Pompadour, and one-sided with Sarah Jane Smith). What is probably worth noting is that both women implied their romantic inclinations for the Doctor, and the Doctor neither confirms nor denies his own reciprocation; he is content to stay quiet.

Rose, though, was a special case. The Tenth Doctor was a huggy, touchy-feely Doctor; crisis or no crisis, there was always a reason for them to hug each other. It was getting more and more frequent and natural-looking too, which–I bet–made all the Doctor/Rose shippers content and happy all throughout the series.

The way the Doctor lost Rose saddened me. I wonder if it would have been better for them if she had died a proper death instead. Sure, that would haunt the Doctor, but at least there was closure. At least he wouldn’t have to bear with the idea that Rose is either floating in nothingness, stuck in the void, or unable to get back to him while stuck in the parallel world. The idea that Rose was alive but they could never get back together is, I think, a much more painful agony than coming to terms with death and moving on from there.

Rose’s loss saddened me not just because the Doctor lost his most faithful companion yet, but because she’s been our representative into the Whoniverse for two seasons now. We’ve been with her longer than we’ve been with Eccleston and Tennant. She’s been our eyes and ears, and with her loss, we have to look at the Doctor’s world again through someone else’s eyes, and that would take some adjusting. We have to identify with the new companion again, see if her personality jives with ours, and if it doesn’t, then our relationship with the Doctor and with the show will change as well.

In my opinion, I think Rose was special because the Doctor was about ready to say what could have been a declaration of love, if only the transmission hadn’t cut off. I can’t say I didn’t see that coming though–somehow I just expected that there would be a last-ditch attempt to twist the knife in further.
What I don’t like in this episode was how formulaic and deus ex machina it was on some parts. How very convenient that Pete Tyler would appear at the right moment, at the right place to grab hold of Rose. Strange, too, that the Void’s sucking-in power temporarily subsided right until after they teleported back, and not while the saving was being done. I also didn’t like how the transmission was cut off right when the crucial words were about to be said. It was something you could see coming from a mile away, except you didn’t want it to happen, because that would have been so hurtful for both Rose and the Doctor. But of course it did happen, and it did register an emotional impact on both characters and on the audience.

What annoyed me the most was Donna Noble’s appearance at the very end of the episode. While it provided a transition to “The Runaway Bride,” her sudden appearance effectively killed the mood. After such a tragic, dramatic conclusion to Rose’s story, I thought it wasn’t the right time to introduce a new character and a new (future) companion.