Reviewed By: adamelijah
Review Date: 6/9/15 11:28 pm
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Parting of the Ways is many things: It's a blockbuster episode, it firmly established the Daleks as a truly terrifying menace, providing fitting conclusion to the 9th Doctor's character arc while being packed from beginning to end with memorable moments.
Starting with Genesis of the Daleks, Dalek stories were focused on or were connected to Davros, who was ultimately the center of the story. "Parting of the Ways" is the type of Dalek story people hadn't seen since Patrick Troughton was the Doctor. The Daleks are menacing, violent, and killers who are driven to destroy even those who represent no risk to them whatsoever because they are driven to destroy that which isn't Dalek or to make it Dalek.
Davies and Director Joe Aherne succeed in making the horror of the Daleks more powerful by making victims people we care about, and it's not just Captain Jack's brave facing his own destiny, it's characters we've only spent minutes with, including Lynda and the couple on Floor 500 that only finally found the courage to tell each other of their feelings for one another minutes before the Daleks arrive. Yet, we still care which is a sign of how well-directed the story is.
The Ninth Doctor's final adventure is one that shows great gallantry in sending Rose home. The scene of the Doctor's hologram speaking to Rose is so definitive of this Doctor. ". I'm dead, or about to die any second with no chance of escape. And that's OK, I hope it's a good death...And that's OK, I hope it's a good death. Have a good life. Do that for me, Rose. Have a fantastic life." The words, as well as there are delivery are powerful. The Doctor faces the same choice as he did in the Time War. Having wiped out Gallifrey, he's given the chance to destroy the Earth to once again to stop the Daleks. It's a torturous decision.
Billie Piper is superb as Rose, playing a gamut of emotions and puts in some of the most memorable moments in the show's history as she "looks into the TARDIS" and faces down the Daleks in one of the most memorable scenes in Doctor Who history.
The regeneration scene is pure class and style, as the Doctor first prepares Rose for the regeneration and after all the struggle and scars of his life, the Doctor leaves with a word of praise for his companion and a smile.
The story isn't without its flaws. For me, the biggest one is having the Daleks having built a religion around the Emperor. I have no clue what the point of this was it. If it was some veiled point about religion creating fanatics, than it's kind of dumb since the Daleks have been fanatics with no religion at all. As it is, it really has no effect on the Daleks.
Others will complain about the dialogue particularly the line, "You need a Doctor." Yet, as cheesy as that was, it seemed perfectly in-character for the 9th Doctor and taken as a whole, I wouldn't change anything about this story, even the so-so moments because it's a master tapestry or if you like a tailored garment that fit this Doctor perfectly. In addition, it's the standard by which all the finales that would follow would be judged.
As a regeneration story, I rank it just below Caves of Androzani. It didn't do everything right, but it did enough, enough to be well, fantastic.