I’m pretty sure that blasted hand hanging about is a bit of a “gimmie” to somehow re-ungenerating Tennant. That and Martha’s mystery chip being some sort of Apocalyptic reset at the end… and while we’ve all been set up that Donna is toast with a big sacrifice in the offing, surely it’s Grandad Cribbins with his undisclosed (medical?) secret (Poision Sky) who is going to make the sacrifice. Donna and the Doctor are still somehow mysteriously linked tho – prehaps he’ll regenerate into her?
I just watched it again tho and I get the horrible sinking feelling we’ve seen it all before and it’ll end up a bit of a mess. The whole dalek fleet take on the Earth smacks too much of the Toclafane (and even the invasion of Canary Warf & Parting of the Ways), Turn Left’s phantom/alternative year as the world goes to custard was also lifted straight out of Last of the Time Lords (even down to the troops on the streets and red-lit Tardis) though rather than walking the world like Martha, Donna had to just jog four blocks. And the Donna “impending doom” thing too, they’ve been seeding that one for an age now… like they did with Rose’s “death” in Doomsday…
And the Daleks are 3 for 4 in the finale monster stakes, with Davros and Supreme (and we are all waiting for that egg to hatch – looks like it’s designed arround the dramatically important Hasps) joining the long line of uber-Dalek baddies (Emperor/Cult). The planets were hidden a second in the future, we haven’t seen that since the Sontarans and the ATMOS systems a few episodes ago (or one ago if you are in a retcon mood). Copper gets name checked, coz he really looked like the type of chap to be into sub-wave communications, and yeah, for the second year running we have a plot device reliant (or should that be “Reliant“) on phone systems. And did anyone else get a funny feeling watching Rose and the Nobles “praying” (and the world calling) for the Doctor over their mobiles?
Deja-vu all over again.
And other things have just been thrown into the companion heavy mix (and doesn’t anyone else find use of the expression “companions” a little jaring when used by charcters in the context of the story), the Shadow Proclamation and Harriet Jones bits only served to carry truckloads of exposition. (As well as making them both seem far too dull and pompous). The thing with the bees just petered past, a waste after all that build up; the Darkness… well that had nothing to do with the story – how does the stars going out fit in? How does the Cardiff rift power still work if the planet has been moved from the space/time location it was fixed at? Bad Wolf anyone – what was that about, really?
I would love all this to pay off, but I just get the feeling it’s very nice looking window dressing and repeating memes pulled out of Rusty’s bucket o’cannon (it even had Richard Dawkins in it!)And I’m sorry, but I just don’t see them getting away with a year of “specials” with a new Doctor, you would want a season, a strong run, time for the new man (or woman) to get his/her boots under the table. While the Hamlet thing and recent reports of renegotiating contracts is a bit of misdirection, why would we have a cut down run of stories if it wasn’t true? And why scan out a future with River Song if you’re going to chuck it in the bin four episodes down the line?