So, what was that? It was one of the strangest yet most imaginative Who episodes in years. What started as another history episode took a sharp right turn to the edge of the universe…and sanity. It also put new meaning to the term “multi-Doctor episode.”
It starts with Isaac Newton discovering the concept of gravity….then the Doctor arrives, still trying to recover from the accident Donna had with the coffee last week. So how come the episode isn’t about that?
Well, it’s because the real story has more depth, and some really strange sights, like this:
The Doctor and Donna find themselves in a spaceship, but something is there. Someone is also saying strange names like “Fenslaw” and “Coliss” Then the TARDIS runs away? He says it senses a hostile action is about to happen, but how is that possible when the only thing is a rusty robot called Jimbo? All Donna knows is that they kick the threat’s “arse”. She wants to go home, of course. She’s worried she’ll be away so long she’ll miss Rose growing up. They also talk about Wilf, and hope to see him again. After some investigation, they find out they are at the literal edge of the universe, where it’s just nothing. They also find out someone left the ship three years before. Then we see the Doctor and Donna…with really long arms. Looks like there are aliens who are trying to copy the Doctor and Donna. They seem to be not-things from nothing. They want to come to our world, and that’s bad. It’s quite the sight seeing the Donna and Donna being chased by large and bizarre versions of themselves. This never happened to Tom Baker.
Soon the real versions are separated but each are approached by a fake version. The fake Donna claims she saw his memories from the past 15 years. she even gets him to admit that he feels guilty for the Flux and the damage it caused. Then, the fake Donna literally falls apart, and admits she sees him and his universe as a prize. As for the real Donna, she’s able to trick the fake Doctor by noticing the tie he took off to prove he was real is gone. This leads to the scariest silly walk ever. Russell T. Davies, you’ve done it again.
The not-things want to escape by being perfect copies of the Doctor and Donna. They almost made it by copying the captain, but she killed herself by leaving the airlock. They also figure out the captain set up a very slow self-destruct process involving the robot and ten code words.
The fake Doctor and Donna run to get out followed by the real thing, Then the TARDIS shows up, now that the threat is almost over. The real Doctor gets back and so does Donna….the fake one. He almost misses it except her arm is a bit too long. That was close, and it’s something they won’t forget. The real Donna says she didn’t look into the Doctor’s mind, and he’s not willing to reveal what happened to him since 2008. Maybe she’ll find out in other ways, like where the former Companions meet. Oh, the title of the episode? That was the song the TARDIS was playing when it landed on the ship. It led to a long discussion by Donna about her choir teacher.
The good news is that they get back to Earth, only a day or two after they left. Look who’s waiting for them:
Bernard Cribbins is here in his last appearance at Wilfrid Mott, Donna’s grand-dad. He admits he knew all along the Doctor would fix her. Still, since this was filmed last year, a lot of fans shed a tear or two seeing this. A tweet from @thepostmonument has a clip of Cribbins filming his scenes just a few months before his death.
Anyway, Wilf says the Doctor came back just in time. Things are getting insane, but why? Could it be due to someone who’s Horrible? Whoever it is, he also seems to know the Doctor from somewhere…
This was one of the strangest Who episodes, but it gave both David and Catherine a chance to stretch their acting skills, It was wild seeing them as the bad aliens. They still got a chance to talk about old times, and what might be next for them. His new home at Disney Plus seems to fit him well. It would still be a good idea if the latest episodes were available on regular cable, because not everyone is sold on streaming services. Let’s hope so.
The final Who special, “The Giggle” airs December 9th, followed by another special on Christmas.
SIX DEGREES OF GEEK is a production of Fandom Charities Inc.® , a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization established in 2007 for the purpose of raising funds for charitable organizations through fandom events, providing educational activities, and to serve as a hub for the latest news and happenings in the creative universe of selected fandoms. We are 100% volunteer.