Also watching this makes me think that it isn't the Doctor that has a problem with endings, it is Steven Moffat. I wouldn't be as high-falutin' as to think that this is an issue Moffat himself has with death but there's definitely a firm wish that nobody dies.
This story ends with everybody 'saved'. No necessarily alive, but definitely saved. But what is life? Is being conscious and kept in a computerised database version of a real world 'life'? Is it consciousness that makes us 'alive'. Am I thinking far too deeply about two forty-five minute episodes of a family adventure series. Yes, yes I am but I do think Moffat can't say goodbye.
Otherwise why is River Song's story never ending. They tell writer's when editing to 'kill their children', which always struck me as an over-dramatic way of describing a good piece of advice. That sometimes a writer has to be brave enough to take out something that they like: a plot thread, a character, a page, a paragraph and even just a single sentence. I think Moffat finds that difficult. Hence River Song's story will last until Moffat chooses to leave Doctor Who and he will keep bringing her back. I think Moffat is a little in love with River Song. Like I think RTD was always little in love with the Doctor.
And why not? There both brilliant characters played by excellent actors. I like River Song. I think though that - as with Rose - there is a law of diminishing returns. However I also like Alex Kingston as an actor (and if you've not seen her episode of 'Who Do You Think You Are?' you really should. It'll make you like her as a person too.)
Obviously all of the above could be utter bollocks. I'm trying to see in to the head of a complicated man via the medium of a couple of episodes of television. So fell free to ignore everything I've written and put it down to the rambling delusions of a man who should probably get out more.
And I've hardly said anything about the episodes themselves.
Well, if you want a proper review there are other reviews out there. Lots of podcasts. I recommend DWM myself they're always pretty good.
There's some nice performances but I think my favourite is Jessika Williams, as Anita. When the Doctor eulogises her in a few seconds towards the end of Forest of the Dead when trying to scare the Vashta Nerade I found myself agreeing with him. I think she'd have made a fine companion. But kudos to everyone really Steve Pemberton, as Strackman Lux; Talulah Riley as the poor, thick Miss Evangelista; Harry Peacock as 'Proper Dave' and O.T. Fagbanie as 'Other Dave'.
I think also a little mention for Jason Pitt as Lee, Donna's 'husband', in the world of the saved. We get some foreshadowing in this episode that Donna's fate isn't a happy one but the moment when Donna and Lee miss each other is probably the saddest moment in the episode. Everybody might live but not perhaps happily ever after.
Catherine Tate and David Tennant do another sterling job. It almost goes without saying now. They're definitely a Doctor-Companion team worth watching. I could rave about them both again but it hardly seems fair on you poor reader.
So well done to all concerned. This was good.
Next up 'Midnight'