Massive spoilers ahead. (I’ll stick a photo of Rose here in case anyone reading this hasn’t seen The Parting of the Ways yet.
Tonight, the Doctor finds redemption. That was, for me, the highlight of tonight’s episode. After his display of hysterical hatred of the Geocomtex Dalek in the Dalek episode, we were made to wonder how far the good Doctor would go to eliminate the Daleks, how much to the bad he would slip, how much he would become like the very thing he hated. A destroyer. Tonight, however desperate the situation, the Doctor held his hand. He could not find it within his conscience to destroy an entire world to eliminate the Daleks. He could not be an exterminator. This whole season has been about the Dcotor’s mental and emotional state following the loss of the Time Lords. From the very first episode, with the Nestene, we see a defiant character. He feels guilty about the fall-outs of the Time War. He’s had to make tough choices (but thankfully not in a Blairite way), and looking back now, this makes the resolution of The Empty Child all the more poignant. “Everybody lives.”
Jack too, finds redemption. From the first time we meet him as a buccaneer in The Empty Child, he’s grown. And while he still obviously thrives on adrenaline and has no qualms about using violence, he has shown himself to be capable of caring for someone other than himself. Like Rose and the Doctor, it doesn’t even occur to him that they can escape in the TARDIS. He’s willing to stand and fight. Although he might have an ulterior motive since he’s from the future and thus could be a paradox should the Doctor blast Earth with a delta wave. (Although, as the Doctor explains, there are outposts of humans elsewhere. Which allows Jack to be a good guy again…) And it is particularly touching when he bids both Rose and the Doctor goodbye in the exactly the same fashion. (And how many complaints will we get on Points of View for that one?)
On to Rose. What a deus ex machina! It’s the third wish scenario. Having said that, what a fantastically strong character Rose is. To have the bravery and strength to attempt to use something as vast and powerful as the Time Vortex. To be able to deal with the task at hand calmly and rationally. First, the message. Then the dispersal of the Daleks. And finally, just because she is human and has feelings, Jack. Would anyone else have the moral courage to stop there and not abuse the absolute power?
To take it back a little, it was also a very courageous and selfless thing that Mickey and Jackie did. They could have prevented Rose from going back. She was, to all intents and purposes, pretty likely to perish along the Doctor. She made it clear that the Doctor was fighting a losing battle 200,000 years in the future. Instead, they could see beyond keeping Rose for themselves, and gave her not only the freedom to go, but their assistance too. It’s nice to get some storylines that celebrate humanity.
Comments on the very end to follow. Liked it though. Very cool.