Why the Doomsday Farewell is Not the Greatest
Guest contributor Liam Catterson gives his thoughts.
Ladies and gentlemen, I love Doctor Who. I love it so much that I treat it like it was a child of my own. Okay, it is not the best thing to me, I hold that accolade to my Formula One, but I am a massive Whovian and ever since Christopher Eccleston took the keys to the TARDIS, I have never fallen out of love with it and I know the show’s supreme moments and the weaker ones. So when I heard earlier this week that SFX Magazine had unveiled Rose’s departure from Doomsday as the spot for ‘Greatest Sci-Fi Moment”, my jaw literally dropped. Are you kidding me?!
Guys, I may have been a fan of Doctor Who for nearly ten years and my awareness for the show has reached so far, but to credit that scene as the ‘Greatest’, even in Doctor Who history, is just utter poppycock! I severely question the fact it even beats the “I am your father” line from Star Wars because I love my Star Wars too and even that had a greater impact in history than Rose saying goodbye to the Doctor did. Let me analyse this scenario that is causing a lot of talk.
Do I hate the scene?
No I don’t hate the scene. I thought it was a very emotive one to be honest and really hit the Doctor right in the hearts. It was anguished and brilliantly executed. A great scene and end to another chapter of the Doctor’s life. But if that deserves to be the ‘greatest moment in Sci-Fi history’, you may as well award John Cena the greatest wrestler to breathe or John Simm as the best Master ever. Both are not the best but they are considerably good, at least. And I know we’re all open to our own opinions but I’m judging the recent negativity against the scene’s merit for number one. The scene is good, I will say that, and I do not hate the ending, but it’s not a standout marker for the rest of the guys to look at and say “Oh yeah, we have to make our finale way better than that Doomsday ending”. Hell no.
Like I said, do not get me wrong, the ending was a good piece and a great end to the series. It showed the humanity of the Doctor with his love for Rose vanishing, it showed the separation of a better love story than Twilight, the music was controlling and it was brilliant at the time. Then two years later, Rose came back and for me, it removed the purity of this scene, that goodbye was hollow for any Doctor Who fan because the Doctor got to see her again and Rose had a happy ending anyways when she had the Doctor besides her, albeit, Meta-Crisis. So no, I do not despise the scene but for it to deserve number one is a direct spit on the face to all the other scenes I can deem greater.
What should be number one instead of the Doomsday Ending?
There are a lot of scenes that excel compared to the Doomsday ending to be honest. First off, I am going to suggest, Saving Gallifrey. How many fans jumped from their seats when the Doctors managed to come up with a plan to save Gallifrey rather than fulfilling what we had thought was going to happen? Adding to this, we knew Billie Piper was leaving Doctor Who by the early stages of Series 2. Saving Gallifrey was something I did NOT see coming. What I also did not see coming and I think everyone else can agree with me when I say, the debut of Peter Capaldi as the Doctor in The Day of the Doctor. I will tell everyone right now, when I saw those sinister eyes for the first time, I jumped all around my ex-fiancee’s room, screaming because that moment was amazing.
Any more scenes? Yes, I have a feeling that I will keep you here all day if I cited them all but the handful that deserves number one spot consists of Eleven’s regeneration, which I burst down crying; Amy Pond’s departure, which I believed had a more fitting ending than Rose’s departure; the revelation of the War Doctor; The Rings of Akhaten speech; the regenerations of the classic Doctors; Love from Gallifrey; the Doctor ‘dying’ in The Impossible Astronaut, I was oblivious to wondering how they were going to work their way around that one and that was amazing. My heart was even racing at that moment. Hell they even overlooked Adric’s death to put Billie and David on top. That is not cool. Adric’s death was painful and had a huge impact. Even Ace screaming “WHO ARE YOU CALLING SMALL?!” to the Daleks was amazing.
I could go on and on but I am sure we all have our own versions on what should be top and I gave an extensive explanation to the Saving Gallifrey moment because I have a heavy feeling that will be on top of most lists. I can’t see how the moments I have mentioned have less of an impact than Rose’s departure. Even the Master saving the Doctor had more, I felt. I remember watching it and screaming for the Master, jumping for joy whereas I gave just a stare and a little ‘Aw’ to the departure scene. It was sad, yes, but was it Doctor Who’s finest hour? Not even close.
My final thoughts
I am not saying this scene is not an emotional and passionate moment of Doctor Who history and it was, don’t get me wrong, but we’re not looking for the “Saddest Moment in Sci-Fi history”. Even so, I am an emotional guy and I didn’t shed a tear at that scene. What I shed a tear too was Adric’s death, to Amy’s goodbye and I broke down a lot when Eleven said his goodbyes. This isn’t a Doctor Who list because if we’re looking for great moments in Who history, this scene would probably be tenth because it is NOT the greatest ever. Even Darth Vader killing the Emperor was greater.
The other thing is, if you’re going to keep a scene great, do not ruin its purity two years later in the storyline as well, which is what happened with Rose’s return in Series 4. I was okay with Ten coming back in The Day of the Doctor because this was before his regeneration, but Rose came back after she broke down being told she can’t see the Doctor again…
Even if it is a small number who voted from such a big fan-base, they seriously must not have seen The Day of the Doctor, that or they got incredibly bored of it. The farewell was a wonderful scene, the score is remarkable, the acting is extraordinary but it doesn’t equate to the ultimate scene of all time. It is a fantastic scene for Doctor Who but I can name a lot more scenes that are an improvement over it. Yes, a great scene consists of how well the music is played, how great the acting is, how touching it is for the characters, but it has to play for the fans too and I can tell more people got pumped when the Doctor was saving his home planet or when the Time Lords granted him a new cycle of regeneration energy. I had more of a punch to the heart when Eleven removed the bow tie. Damn you Moffat.
The farewell scene between Rose and Ten is a great scene and has the mixture on how to make a brilliant ending to a brilliant series, but I felt more scenes had impact. Adric’s death had silent credits, Love from Gallifrey had a sombre Doctor, ready for death and then the Time Lords grant him a new cycle, the last bit of The Name of the Doctor revealed the Doctor had an incarnation we’ve never seen before. If those are not as great as the farewell scene between Rose and Ten, I will collapse worst than the Doctor did in Let’s Kill Hitler. Judging from the negativity, people have a different approach to the greatest moment in sci-fi history and I don’t blame them.
So I hope you enjoyed my basic rant against how Rose and the Doctor’s farewell is not the greatest scene in sci-fi history. And I suppose, there is one last chance to say it… Doctor Who TV… (Vanishes)