This was a lovely episode, and I was in tears by its end. I felt truly devastated for the Doctor because once again, he was all alone. I had always been optimistic about him finding a way to revive his race, but I was certain he would never see Rose again. Plenty other moments in the episode tugged at my heartstrings.
The first time I teared up was when Peter and Jackie were finally reunited. Interestingly, they never had a reunion before in Series 1 or 2, even if Rose had the opportunity to meet Peter. Even if they technically were not the same people as their deceased spouses, they still had the same personalities that made them love each other. This was a great moment because they were both given an opportunity that many people would do anything for — the chance to reconnect with the deceased. In this case, they were doing more than just reconnecting — they were rekindling a lost romance. When they ran into each others’ arms, I was absolutely beaming.
Humans have always been portrayed as resilient by Doctor Who, and in this case, they had to deal with what must have felt like the end of the world. I think budget constraints prevented the producers from indulging in shooting more scenes that showed ‘chaos’ across countries (like in Transformers), but I think the episode still managed to give off the feel that everything was ending.
The presence of both Daleks and Cybermen was masterfully integrated in the story. The tandem presence was not there as a convenient prop to heighten the suspense and action in the episode; it served as a vital part of the plot’s many twists and turns. The ensuing conflict really dampened society’s efforts to fight back, because they had to contend with both species. The sight of Daleks swarming the skies and battling Cybermen on the ground, with humans both targeted and caught in the crosshairs, was rather hair-raising.
One of my favorite moments in the episode is what must be one of the most epic dialogues to ever occur in scifi television: the insults exchanged by the Daleks and the Cybermen. The exchange seemed slightly out-of-character, considering that both species weren’t supposed to experience emotion and appeared to be engaging in testosterone-fueled machismo one-upping. However, it was wildly entertaining. It was a moment similar to when legends chance upon each other, and then try to prove who is the better one.
It was really hard for me to say good-bye to Rose, and it was heartbreaking to have the potential of her relationship with the Doctor squashed to bits. In saving his life, she ended up sacrificing a glorious future with him. When they pressed their cheeks on opposite sides of the wall, it was over for me and my supply of Kleenex.
Their final good-bye was quite touching. I think it gave everyone some sense of closure, because it showed that the Tyler family had the resources to move on, and that Rose and the Doctor at least finally acknowledged their love for each other. The presence of a brand new Tyler baby also indicated that life would move on.
Preventing the Doctor from fully saying ‘I love you too’, while heavily implying it, is like a way of keeping his options open. Yes, he did love Rose, but he might move on as well. Also, I think committing to a steady relationship would change the Doctor in a way that would make him less entertaining to watch. He would be somewhat domesticated if he had a — the word ‘girlfriend’, sounds highly inappropriate and beneath him, so I’ll use the term ‘romantic companion’.
The sudden apparition of a bride was quite ironic, because brides are part of weddings, which in turn symbolize everlasting relationships. The Doctor would never have the opportunity for this with Rose. However, I was also highly intrigued by the bride’s presence, and I was left wondering how on earth she had managed to breach the TARDIS, which had withstood the ‘hordes of Genghis Khan’.
I loved Series 2 more than Series 1, and I am very happy with the way they concluded it. The series developed characters that I fell in love with, in a story that grew richer in detail with the passing of each episode. It even made me excited for the Christmas special.