|Script release:||online here|
K9 Mark IV
Meta-Crisis Tenth Doctor
|Main enemy:||Davros, Daleks|
|Main setting:||The Crucible in the Medusa Cascade, 2009|
|Writer:||Russell T Davies|
|Premiere broadcast:||5 July 2008|
|Premiere network:||BBC One|
|Format:||1x65 minute episode|
|Confidential:||End of an Era|
|Doctor Who television stories|
|The Stolen Earth||Music of the Spheres|
|Another memorable moment|
|Behind the scenes video|
- You may be looking for Arkannis Major, sometimes called "Journey's End".
Journey's End was the thirteenth and final regular episode of the fourth series of Doctor Who. It was the second episode of a two-part story, preceded by The Stolen Earth. This episode marked the last appearance of Donna Noble as a companion. It also had an open ending, which was quite different to how the previous seasons of the revived series ended; they each led into the next season's Christmas special, but this one did not. However, several issues were concluded: the Cult of Skaro had been completely wiped out in this episode with Dalek Caan's death, and the relationship between Rose Tyler and the Tenth Doctor also received closure in the form of a unique regeneration where the Doctor did not physically change, but rather, served as the genesis for a half-human clone.
All hell has broken loose! Davros and the New Dalek Empire prepare to detonate a bomb that will wipe out all of existence. The Tenth Doctor is helpless, and the TARDIS faces destruction. The only hope lies with the Doctor's companions — the "Children of Time" — but Dalek Caan predicts that one will die...
The Tenth Doctor's regeneration is nearly complete. Donna Noble, Captain Jack Harkness and Rose Tyler are barely able to watch due to the light. Suddenly, the Doctor directs the rest of the regenerative energy into the container housing his severed hand. Rose, Donna and Jack are confused, as the Doctor has not changed. The Doctor explains that he used the regeneration to heal himself from the Dalek energy blast, but siphoned off the remaining energy that would have changed his appearance and personality into his other hand — a matching biological receptacle. The Doctor says he didn't want to change; Rose is relieved that "her" Doctor is still there.
Meanwhile, Sarah Jane Smith is covering her head with her arms, waiting to be exterminated by the Daleks, but with flashes of blue light, Mickey and Jackie appear beside the car and they blast the Daleks to pieces. Sarah Jane gets out of the car, shocked, but immediately hugs Mickey. He jokes, "We Smiths got to stick together". Jackie introduces herself, but asks, "Where the hell is my daughter?" Over at Torchwood, Gwen Cooper and Ianto Jones shoot at the Dalek, raging. But they notice something strange and they cease fire. They walk forward cautiously and see their bullets hanging in the air, as if stopped by an invisible wall. Gwen reaches out slowly to touch it — she can't, but her finger makes a ripple in the air; it's a time lock that their deceased co-worker Tosh was working on. However, while the Dalek is locked out, they're locked in...
Elsewhere, a patrol of Daleks have found the TARDIS. Inside, the Doctor prepares to take off with his companions to figure out a strategy. However, right as he throws a switch, the Daleks uses a temporal loop to make the TARDIS powerless. They then take it to the Crucible. Upon arrival, the Supreme Dalek orders them to depart the vessel. Jack thinks they are safe because of the extrapolator force field the TARDIS has, but the Doctor points out it's not working — "Right now that wooden door is just a wooden door".
The Doctor, Rose and Jack exit. However, Donna becomes distracted by the sound of a heartbeat and, while she is looking back, the TARDIS door slams closed. The Doctor demands that Donna be released. The Supreme Dalek denies responsibility and the Daleks dump the TARDIS, to be destroyed in the centre-core of the Crucible. The TARDIS plummets down and begins to burn up. As the TARDIS interior explodes, Donna collapses near the severed hand. She hears the heartbeat again and touches the container, and energy flows between it and her. The hand bursts out of the container, and forms into a duplicate of the Doctor, who quickly dematerialises the TARDIS. A view of the TARDIS in the core is shown to Jack, Rose, and the Doctor, who believe Donna and the TARDIS to have been destroyed.
To find the Doctor, Sarah Jane, Jackie and Mickey lay down their guns and allow themselves to be captured and taken to the Crucible. Martha Jones says her goodbyes to her mother and uses the Project Indigo device to take her to Germany, where one of five Osterhagen stations is hidden, and awaits contact from the other bases.
Aboard the Crucible, Jack creates a distraction by shooting the Supreme Dalek with his revolver, but the Dalek Supreme promptly shoots him down. The Doctor and Rose are taken to the vault where Davros is held. Rose is desolate; she doesn't know she made Jack immortal as the Bad Wolf and that his immortality has allowed him to escape.
In the TARDIS, the new Doctor has dressed himself in the Doctor's blue suit and has finished repairing the interior from its damages. He rambles on about how they have to be quiet — "not even drop a spanner". Donna then asks if Time Lords can multiply like this — "Chop off a bit and grow a new one". However, the new Doctor explains that there has been nothing like him before. He then notices that he only has one heart, like a human; he's not too pleased with this, saying it's rubbish. Donna tells the "spaceman" to watch what he says, and the new Doctor tells "earth girl" the same. Both of them are shocked by this; he's absorbed some of Donna's mannerisms. He then begins pondering what Davros could be doing with the planets.
With the Doctor and Rose contained, Davros explains that the twenty-seven planets form an energy pattern amplified into a "reality bomb", able to break apart the electrical forces holding everything together, a creation Davros calls "the apotheosis of my genius!". Mickey, Jackie, and Sarah Jane have been taken with many other humans to a testing of the bomb but they escape the test chamber just in time (unlike the other humans, who vanish out of existence). The effect of the bomb is shown to the Doctor. Both Doctors realise how it works. Jack finds his way to the three, and, with a warp star from Sarah Jane, creates a device that will implode the Crucible. Meanwhile, Martha makes contact with two other bases in China and Liberia. The Chinese counterpart wants to get it over and done with, but Martha, knowing the Doctor, first broadcasts a signal to the Crucible to give the Daleks a second chance, vowing to use the Osterhagen key to detonate twenty-five nuclear warheads under the Earth's crust to destroy it and disable the reality bomb. The Doctor is horrified that Earth would ever construct what is essentially a giant self-destruct button. Jack and the others then contact Davros and threaten to destroy the Crucible with the warp star; however, seeing all his friends driven to such extreme measures gives the Doctor pause. Davros notices this and tells the Doctor that this is what he does to people... the Doctor may be a man who never carries a gun, instead turning ordinary people into soldiers in his war. Davros then asks the Doctor how many other people have died for him and/or in his name, and the Doctor is reminded of River Song, Astrid Peth, Jenny and many others who have died to help the Doctor. Davros laughs that this is his final victory over the Doctor, by showing him his true face.
The Daleks lock onto their respective positions and transmat Martha, Jack, Mickey, Jackie, and Sarah Jane to the vault where the Doctor and Rose are being held captive, thereby preventing them from using any of their devices to stop the Daleks. The Daleks then prepare to activate the reality bomb to wipe out all matter in this and every parallel universe through the rifts in the Medusa Cascade, but the new Doctor and Donna arrive in the TARDIS. Each tries to destroy Davros and the Daleks using a weapon created by the new Doctor, but both are stunned by shots of electricity from Davros' robotic hand before they can use it; Donna is sent flying while the new Doctor is put in a forcefield. Despite that Donna and the TARDIS survived, the Doctor is glum that the reality bomb is still counting down. The Doctor and his companions helplessly watch in horror as the reality bomb ticks down to 9...8...7...6...5...4...3...2...1...
Nothing happens. Suddenly an alarm blares. Everyone looks over to see that Donna has used the controls to disable it and gives a long technical explanation as to how she did it; but Donna "can't even change a plug". The Doctor recognises that the creation of the new Doctor has had an unintended side effect: Donna is now half Time Lord herself, sharing the Doctor's intellect — the DoctorDonna the Ood saw coming. She explains that the meta-crisis that created the other Doctor had also affected her, but the effect laid dormant, needing a little spark to start it — "Thank you Davros!" Donna and the new Doctor free the others, and, with the help of the original Doctor, disable the Daleks and start to send the planets back to their proper time and space. The Daleks are left literally spinning round in circles, thanks to Donna.
The Doctors then get to work and used the magnetron to send all the planets back to their correct places. Davros attempts to stop them only for both Jack and Mickey to hold him at gunpoint. Turning to Dalek Caan, he demands to know why he didn't foresee this. From Caan's maniacal cackling, the Doctor suggests that he did see it, and Caan admits that he had seen the Daleks for what they were, had seen all the evil they caused across time and space, and secretly aided the Doctor in their destruction — "I decreed...no more!"
The Supreme Dalek descends to the vault and accuses Davros of betraying the Daleks. Though Davros insists that Dalek Caan is the traitor, the Supreme Dalek declares that he will destroy them all and destroys the magnetron before they could send Earth, the only remaining planet, back. As Jack destroys the Supreme Dalek, the original Doctor races into the TARDIS to replace the broken machine. Realising that Dalek Caan has seen the end of the Daleks, has been manipulating time to achieve this, and knowing that, even without the Reality Bomb, the Daleks can still take the universe by force, the new Doctor uses the remaining machinery to destroy all the Daleks and their fleet. All around them, Daleks and their ships begin to self-destruct. The companions flee into the TARDIS. When the Doctor offers to save Davros, he refuses. Gesturing at the destruction around them, he bellows, "Never forget, Doctor, you did this! I name you forever! You are the Destroyer of Worlds!" — an epithet the Daleks have long associated with the Doctor. Davros howls in fury as the flames surround him, while Caan ominously predicts again, "One will still die...". Unable to save either of them, the Doctor flees into the TARDIS just before the Crucible is destroyed.
The Doctor comes up with a plan: he'll use the energy of the Rift as a rope and the TARDIS as a "tow truck" to move the Earth back where it belongs. With the help of Torchwood's Rift Manipulator sending the energy, Mr Smith roping it around the TARDIS and K9 supplying Mr Smith with the TARDIS' base code, the Doctor explains to his companions that the reason that he has so much trouble piloting is that a TARDIS is normally piloted by six people — and he has to do it all on his own. He has Sarah Jane, Rose, Mickey, Martha and Jack help him pilot while his clone, Donna and Jackie watch — he specifically did not want Jackie to help.
With Earth back in its proper place, the Doctor's companions leave the TARDIS. Sarah Jane points out that the Doctor considers himself a lonely man, but he has the biggest family on Earth — his companions. She then leaves, concerned about Luke. Jack then leaves, but is stopped by the Doctor — "I told you, no teleport" — and has his vortex manipulator disabled yet again. Martha leaves with Jack, who tries asking her to join Torchwood. Mickey also departs, having been with his grandmother when she passed; he wants to stay in his home dimension, since he's guessed that the Doctor will be sending Rose back to her parallel world.
Using a closing rift, the Doctor returns Rose and Jackie to the parallel world and leaves the new Doctor with her. The original Doctor explains that by destroying the entire Dalek race, the new Doctor has committed genocide. He sees the new Doctor as he was after the Time War ("full of blood and anger"), and said that Rose made him better. The new Doctor explains that having only one heart, he will age as a human and not regenerate; he could spend that one life with Rose. Rose, upset that it's still not the same as having the original, asks both Doctors the words that the Doctor was unable to say to her when they last parted. The new, half-human Doctor, having the same memories and feelings as the proper Doctor, whispers into Rose's ear, and they passionately kiss. The Doctor and Donna quickly depart in the TARDIS and the new Doctor and Rose watch, hand in hand.
Returning to their universe, Donna finds she has trouble thinking without babbling random facts; the Doctor explains that the human brain cannot take in the Time Lord mentality: if she continues in her current state, she will die. In tears, Donna protests that she wanted to continue her adventures with the Doctor as "DoctorDonna". Saddened, the Doctor says that he is so sorry; Donna then realises what he is about to do and begs him not to send her back. The Doctor then tells her that they had the best of times. Ignoring her pleas, the Doctor presses his fingers on Donna's head, wiping her mind of all her encounters with the Doctor, rendering her unconscious as a result. He returns her home and explains to her family, Sylvia Noble and Wilfred Mott, that she must never be reminded of her time with the Doctor or she will die. Sylvia tells the Doctor that it'll be all over the news, but the Doctor answers it'll only be a story to Donna — another event she missed. The Doctor then tells them that the Donna that travelled with him is "dead", fulfilling Caan's prediction. He then tells them that the universe will be singing songs about Donna, who was, for one shining moment, the most important woman in the entire universe. As Donna recovers consciousness, she shows no interest in the Doctor and chats on the phone to her friends, who are all talking about the Medusa Cascade incident thinking she slept through it. Outside, it is pouring with rain resulting from the atmospheric disturbance created when the Earth was moved back to its proper place, which the Doctor assures Wilf will pass. Wilfred asks the Doctor who he's got now, and what happened to all his friends. The Doctor tells him that all his friends now have someone else, and that's fine with him. Wilfred promises he will look out for the Doctor every night while he looks at the sky on Donna's behalf. The Doctor quietly thanks Wilfred, then returns to the TARDIS; Wilf solemnly salutes as it fades away.
In the TARDIS, the Doctor watches the time rotor as he sets a new course. He tosses his rain drenched pinstripe coat and sits and stares off into the distance, deep in thought, heartbroken and alone.
- The Doctor - David Tennant
- Meta-Crisis Tenth Doctor - David Tennant
- Donna Noble - Catherine Tate
- Rose Tyler - Billie Piper
- Martha Jones - Freema Agyeman
- Captain Jack Harkness - John Barrowman
- Sarah Jane Smith - Elisabeth Sladen
- Davros - Julian Bleach
- Mickey Smith - Noel Clarke
- Jackie Tyler - Camille Coduri
- Wilfred Mott - Bernard Cribbins
- Sylvia Noble - Jacqueline King
- Gwen Cooper - Eve Myles
- Ianto Jones - Gareth David-Lloyd
- Luke Smith - Thomas Knight
- Francine Jones - Adjoa Andoh
- Mr Smith - Alexander Armstrong (voice)
- K9 - John Leeson (voice)
- German Woman - Valda Aviks
- Anna Zhou - Elizabeth Tan
- Liberian Man - Michael Price
- Scared Woman - Shobu Kapoor
- Voice of the Daleks - Nicholas Briggs
- Dalek Operators - Barnaby Edwards, Nicholas Pegg, David Hankinson, Anthony Spargo, Gethin Jones
|Executive Producers Russell T Davies and Julie Gardner|
|Not every person who worked on this adventure was credited. The absence of a credit for a position doesn't necessarily mean the job wasn't required. The information above is based solely on observations of the actual end credits of the episodes as broadcast, and does not relay information from IMDB or other sources.|
- Jack called Mickey Smith "Mickey Mouse" when they re-encountered each other.
- As her mind begins to melt down, Donna references the American comic strip character Charlie Brown.
- Donna tries to explain to the Doctor a way he can fix the TARDIS' malfunctioning chameleon circuit, but before she can finish her sentence, her mind overloads with ideas and she gets caught on the word "binary".
- The Osterhagen key is one of several required to set off a network of nuclear weapons buried deep beneath the Earth's surface. If detonated, these weapons would trigger the explosion of the Earth. Each key must be inserted into a control panel at an "Osterhagen station". There are apparently five around the world, but only three need to be manned with a key to initiate the detonation. Locations include Germany, Liberia, China and an unmanned Argentina. The "Osterhagen Project" appears to have been in place for decades, according to the woman who supplied food to the guards at the German station. Given the age of the German woman, and her claim that she knew of the Osterhagen key when she was in London during her youth, the "Osterhagen Project" likely dates to the days when the Brigadier was in charge of the British arm of UNIT.
- The Daleks have access to transmat technology.
- The TARDIS is captured by the Daleks in what they call a temporal prison, but what the Doctor calls a chronon loop.
- Toshiko Sato installed a time lock around the Hub at Torchwood Three and completed it before her death. When the Dalek that broke into the Hub exploded, the time lock was taken out with it.
- Sarah Jane uses her sonic lipstick in the same manner as the Doctor's sonic screwdriver.
- The "three Doctors" send the planets back to their original position through the use of a magnetron.
- Two major scenes were cut from the episode before broadcast:
- An extra piece of dialogue on Bad Wolf Bay where the Doctor hands his clone a coral-like piece of the TARDIS, telling him to grow his own. When the clone Doctor protests that it takes thousands of years to grow a TARDIS, DoctorDonna provides him with a faster solution, so that Rose and the cloned Doctor can travel through space "as it should be". This was mentioned in The Doctor's Data section of the Doctor Who Adventures magazine, and in the 398th edition of Doctor Who Magazine, Russell T Davies states that it is perfectly fine in his opinion to assume that this part of the scene did actually occur. The scene is included on the Series 4 DVD Box Set.
- An alternate ending. After saying goodbye to Wilf, the Doctor returns to the TARDIS, which dematerialises; in the kitchen, Donna hears the sound and there is a brief look of recognition on her face which she dismisses; in the TARDIS, a scanner begins receiving a strange signal, prompting the Doctor to launch into his traditional, "What? What!? What." response, after which two Pete's World Cybermen suddenly rise up behind him — a cliffhanger. Both scenes were included in the Series 4 DVD set released in November 2008; in his commentary, Davies explains that the cliffhanger ending was dropped in response to comments by a Doctor Who Magazine writer who stated a cliffhanger was inappropriate after such a sad series of scenes. In REF: Doctor Who: The Writer's Tale - The Final Chapter, Benjamin Cook is acknowledged as being the one who convinced Davies to drop the Cybermen cliffhanger. Unlike most deleted scenes from Series 4, it is not possible to retroactively work the "TARDIS piece" and Cyberman cliffhanger sequences into continuity: the Bad Wolf Bay sequence plays out as one long exchange and no room exists to reinstate the discussion about the TARDIS, and the cliffhanger does not coincide with the opening of The Next Doctor, which shows the Doctor not in peril (this due, per The Writer's Tale, to the opening being changed due to the changing of Journey's End's ending). The shot of Donna seemingly recognising the sound of the TARDIS was dropped at the suggestion of Julie Gardner who reminded Davies that it had just been stated that if Donna remembered anything about the Doctor she would die. It is possible, however, for the scene of Donna recognising the TARDIS sound to be fit into continuity. The Cybermen cliffhanger was not dropped entirely as the BBC Wales logo appears at the end of the credits, the sound of Cybermen stomping can be heard.
- Journey's End and The Stolen Earth together feature references to every episode of the fourth series. In addition, references dating back to the first series of the revived show (involving Rose) and Sarah Jane's tenure as the companion of the Third and Fourth Doctor also appear.
- Almost every companion of the Ninth and Tenth Doctors appears or is referenced in some way in this episode (including Astrid Peth), with the sole exception of Adam Mitchell.
- Blue Peter presenter Gethin Jones operates a Dalek in this episode, returning to Doctor Who after his brief appearance as a Cybus Cyberman in The Age of Steel.
- This was the longest series finale at 65 minutes long, and was longer even than all of the Christmas specials except for Voyage of the Damned, which was 71 minutes. This raised some issues with international broadcasts; for example, the broadcast on the CBC in Canada on 12 December 2008 was edited to 44 minutes to fit a regular 60-minute timeslot, with commercials (see below for examples). While the American Sci Fi Channel broadcast aired the episode in its entirety on August 1, it has not since been rerun, instead ending its rotation with The Stolen Earth. Space , however, has aired it completely uncut on reruns. However, BBCAmerica which now reairs Doctor Who only shows episodes edited down to 45 minutes except The End of Time where the two-parter is shown in a three hour block.
- Dalek Caan refers to the Doctor as a "threefold man". The meaning becomes clear in this episode with both the copy of the Doctor and Doctor-Donna.
- As with the previous episode, the opening credits are augmented to include six names, with several overflow acting credits displayed after the opening sequence.
- This episode marks the first series finale to show a preview of the upcoming Christmas Special (2008). After the credits the Cybermen are said to return in the episode. The episode is further unique for being the only series finale in the Russell T Davies era which doesn't end on a cliffhanger.
- Graeme Harper's penchant for including a distorted image of a main character is present in this story. Though not included in every single story he's directed for BBC Wales, it's seen often enough to be considered something of a directorial "signature". Similar distortion is achieved through the use of magnifying glasses in Army of Ghosts, The Unicorn and the Wasp, and Utopia, and with mirrors in Turn Left. This time, it's Mickey, Jackie and Sarah Jane that get "the Harper treatment" under a curved window.
- This story augments the notion that Time Lords have some measure of control over the regenerative process. In truth, most regenerations have added at least a little to the general mythos about the process. From the notion that a particular physiognomy could be imposed upon the Second Doctor in The War Games, details have been added about how the process works almost every time one has been depicted. In this case, writer Russell T Davies builds upon his earlier idea that a Time Lord can re-grow whole body parts during "the first 15 hours" following a regeneration (The Christmas Invasion). Here he suggests that a Time Lord can stop the process prior to entering the final stage, provided that he has a matching genetic receptacle into which he can store the energy. However it is not explicitly stated if this "partial" regeneration uses up one of the regenerations in the cycle or not until the 2013 Christmas Special The Time of the Doctor where the Doctor tells Clara Oswald he's in his final incarnation and that despite being the eleventh Doctor there was his Time War incarnation the War Doctor who didn't go by the name of the Doctor at the time. And when Clara says that he's actually the twelfth he then tells her about the events of this episode and how he used up a regeneration to heal himself but not change his appearance.
- The scene where the Daleks are speaking German is possibly a tongue-in-cheek reference to the fact that Terry Nation based the Daleks on the Nazis. It is also possibly a reference to the fact Daleks have no fear so they let the locals know exactly what they're doing.
- The word "Exterminieren", which the German Daleks use, is not in common use. In the German dubs of the episodes, the word used is "Vernichten" (literally, "Reduce to nothing"; colloquially, "Destroy"). This relates again to the Nazis, who expressively waged a "Vernichtungskrieg" - a war in order to destroy. The full dialogue for the German Daleks is as follows: "Exterminieren! Exterminieren! Halt! Sonst werden wir Sie exterminieren! Sie sind jetzt ein Gefangener der Daleks! Exterminieren! Exterminieren!" This translates as: "Exterminate! Exterminate! Stop! Or we will exterminate you. You are now a prisoner of the Daleks. Exterminate! Exterminate!"
- This story marks the departure of Catherine Tate (Donna Noble) and Billie Piper (Rose Tyler). In an interview with Doctor Who Magazine, Piper was quoted as saying she doesn't see this as a permanent depature. Catherine Tate had no plans to return at that moment, but she had not ruled out a return in the future. Elizabeth Sladen, in an interview published after the episode was broadcast, said she doesn't expect to appear on Doctor Who again, although her own spinoff, The Sarah Jane Adventures, would subsequently continue a few months later. However, all three appeared the following year for cameos in The End of Time.
- This is the third season finale of four to have a character in the TARDIS speaking about possible places to visit before the unexpected departure of a character. In The Parting of the Ways the Ninth Doctor speaks of places like the planet Barcelona before regenerating; in Last of the Time Lords, the Doctor suggests visiting Agatha Christie (among others) before Martha announces her departure; in this episode, Donna speaks of visiting Felspoon and meeting Charlie Chaplin before her mind overloads. The episodes that break this pattern so far are Doomsday, The Big Bang, and The Name of the Doctor.
- This episode is also the only finale to not include the sudden arrival of a character. The Tenth Doctor appears in The Parting of the Ways; Donna Noble appears in the TARDIS at the end of Doomsday; the Titanic crashes through the TARDIS' hull in Last of the Time Lords; the Eleventh Doctor appears in The End of Time, is remembered back into reality by Amy Pond in The Big Bang, and is revealed to have faked his death in The Wedding of River Song; and an unknown incarnation of the Doctor appeared in The Name of the Doctor.
- Jack has flirted with or shown interest in all of the Doctor's companions appearing in this episode save Donna and Jackie. It is interesting to note that Jack does not pursue the two women who have exhibited the most aggressive attitudes towards the opposite sex, and who would arguably be the most likely to return his advances. Donna even jokes in the previous episode about Jack hugging her, which he laughs off.
- The actor credits for Noel Clarke, Camille Coduri, Gareth David-Lloyd and Eve Myles are timed to appear on screen as the respective actors are shown in closeup during the first two scenes. As of February 2013[update], this is the last episode to display "overflow" guest cast credits over the opening scenes.
- Journey's End has possibly one of the largest body counts, with billions of Daleks, a substantial number of humans, possibly the death of Davros and, to an extent, Donna.
- Following her appearance, Elisabeth Sladen was quoted in several interviews as predicting she expected this to be her final appearance on Doctor Who. As it happened, she would make one final cameo appearance in The End of Time Part 2, and the Doctor would later make two appearances on The Sarah Jane Adventures.
- This is the first episode in which the TARDIS is fully staffed with six pilots, and the first time it is noted definitively that it was designed to be piloted by six.
- In the classic series, the Dalek stories after Genesis of the Daleks revolved in some manner around Davros, exploring the tenacious but ambivalent relationship between the Daleks and their creator. It would appear that the civil war between the Imperial and Renegade Daleks (Revelation of the Daleks and Remembrance of the Daleks, plus the audio stories) had been resolved, with Davros working with a united Dalek Empire against the Time Lords.
- This episode marks the last appearance of the Tenth Doctor's severed hand, which first appeared in TV: The Christmas Invasion and throughout the first series of Torchwood. The Doctor makes reference to losing it in the swordfight against the Sycorax leader, and this is the first time Rose has seen the severed hand, since the Doctor didn't retrieve it from Jack until after her departure.
- When the other doctor holds Rose's hand as they watch the TARDIS disappear, he does it with his right hand - the only part of the original doctor.
- Jack introduces Gwen as Gwen Cooper. This is the first on-screen indication that Gwen has not changed her last name to Williams, per the events of TV: Something Borrowed.
- Davros' apparent last words are "Never forget, Doctor, you did this! I name you, forever! You are the Destroyer of Worlds!". "Destroyer of Worlds" is a translation of "Ka Faraq Gatri", a title which had previously been used by the Daleks to refer to the Doctor. (Aliases of the Doctor)
- This was the first regular episode of Doctor Who produced by BBC Wales in which Will Cohen was not credited on any Visual Effects duties.
- This story was chosen by BBC America to represent the David Tennant era during their 50th anniversary programming. Edited into an omnibus format with The Stolen Earth, it was aired by BBCA on 27 October 2013, after the debut of their homegrown special called The Doctors Revisited - The Tenth Doctor.
Journey's End gained an overall, consolidated viewing figure of 10.57 million viewers in its first BBC1 airing. This placed it as the No. 1 program in the UK across all channels of the week, beating all the Wimbledon finals and all 5 episodes of Coronation Street, all 4 of Eastenders and all 5 of Emmerdale. This makes Journey's End the highest rated episode in the 45-year history of Doctor Who, surpassing Voyage of the Damned and The Stolen Earth, both of which ranked second in their respective weeks. However, the episode is not the most-watched episode of the revived series; that distinction belongs to the 13.31 million viewers obtained by Voyage of the Damned (the most-watched episode of all time remains City of Death Part 4 with 16.1 million viewers in 1979). The episode also achieved an Appreciation Index rating of 91, tieing with The Stolen Earth, a number considered unprecedented for a mainstream network drama production.
Myths and rumours
- The week between the cliffhanger ending of The Stolen Earth and the broadcast of Journey's End included some of the most intense fan speculation and media attention in franchise history. The significance of the cliffhanger, which appeared to show the Doctor regenerating, along with previously reported speculation regarding Donna and other characters, led to many speculations being circulated on fan discussion boards and the media. Among some of the most notable:
- That David Tennant was in fact leaving the series, and that leaked photos and other information regarding him being in the 2008 Christmas special (as well as media reports the preceding week that he was negotiating to return in 2010) were either a "red herring" or that the Christmas special was to include a flashback. Although Tennant had made it known to the producers that he was planning to leave the series, the intent was for him to return for a series of specials later.
- Though the Tenth Doctor did not completely regenerate, the energy he expelled used up a full regeneration regardless. This put into question how many more times the Doctor can regenerate before permanent death. After years of fan debate, this was ultimately proven true in TV: The Time of the Doctor, where the Eleventh Doctor confirmed he had exhausted a regeneration with this course of action (putting it down to the Tenth Doctor having "vanity issues"), and after factoring in the War Doctor as another incarnation, had no more regenerations left. He was later given a brand new regenerative cycle by the Time Lords as a gift for saving Gallifrey.
- The true nature of Donna was the subject of much speculation, with some fans suggesting her to actually be the Rani or Romana living under the influence of a Chameleon Arch, or a manifestation of the Master or Davros.
- Concerning Donna's ring, at the end of the series 4 finale, when the Doctor says good-bye to her it glimmers briefly into the camera. Some fans theorise that the ring is a possible Chameleon Arch containing Donna's memories of her time with the Doctor. It has also been suggested that the ring resembles a ring worn by the Master in a previous episode. Others theorise that the ring is simply large, black, and very shiny.
- The prediction that a companion would die led some to believe Donna, Martha or Rose would be the ones destined to die (since it had already been reported that John Barrowman would be returning to Torchwood and Elisabeth Sladen to The Sarah Jane Adventures, ruling out their characters' demise). Ultimately, this was a partial red herring, as it was an aspect of Donna that died, but not the character herself.
- A number of fans began to speculate as to whether or not the Meta-Crisis Tenth Doctor would eventually become to be known as the enigmatic, malevolent Valeyard. The six-issue comic book mini-series COMIC: The Forgotten became the subject of related speculation when the final cliffhanger panel of issue #5 featured the unveiling of a villain resembling the clone; ultimately it was revealed that another villain was responsible (although the Doctor still, puzzlingly, refers initially to the character as the Valeyard).
- The appearance of K9 was a surprise to many as it had been previously reported that the character would not be appearing in the episode, given that the rights to the character were held by another party for the planned K9 television series. K9 continued to appear occasionally in The Sarah Jane Adventures, too.
- Some fans believed that Harriet Jones was wanting revenge upon the Doctor for bringing down her reign as Prime Minister, so she decided to help bring the Daleks back, and she was in fact the Supreme Dalek. A supposed "leaked script" showed that Harriet Jones was helping the Daleks. This was proved false.
- The fact that Jack, Martha, and Mickey depart together sparked speculation that Martha and Mickey would appear in Torchwood, possibly replacing Tosh and Owen (Martha had already made several appearances in the spin-off). The subsequent announcement that Freema Agyeman had been signed by ITV, a rival network to the BBC, to take a lead role in the series Law & Order: London, reduced the chances of her appearing in Torchwood. She did subsequently take part in the BBC Radio adventure Lost Souls, but that story took place prior to the events of The Stolen Earth. In his book The Writer's Tale Russell T Davies mentions that he had promised Noel Clarke that he would appear in Torchwood Series 3. Ultimately, however, neither Clarke nor Agyeman did appear in Children of Earth, and dialogue in "Day 1" indicated that Martha was still with U.N.I.T., and on her honeymoon. The two would ultimately return in The End of Time as a married couple at some unspecified point in the future, with Martha no longer affiliated with U.N.I.T.
- "The Dream of a Normal Death" is heard as the Doctor remembers the people who have died in his name, and again as he pilots the TARDIS at the end of the episode. This was first heard at the end of The Family of Blood when John Smith and Joan are holding the watch and seeing the future.
- When the Doctor sees Gwen Cooper for the first time, he asks if she comes from a long line of family from Cardiff, noting the physical similarity between Gwen and Gwyneth (TV: The Unquiet Dead), both of whom are played by Eve Myles. This similarity has been explained by Russell T Davies: "It's not familial as we understand it. There's no blood tie. Spatial genetic multiplicity means an echo and repetition of physical traits across a Time Rift."
- At the end the TARDIS lands in Caerphilly.
- When the Doctor and Donna are saying goodbye on Bad Wolf Bay in the shots of the Doctor and Donna you can clearly see Rose's hair blowing in the wind yet in the shots of Rose her hair isn't blowing and it happens too often to be random gusts of wind.
- When the Meta-Crisis Doctor arrives at the Crucible and opens the doors of the TARDIS, a bright light is used to hide the rear panel of the police box prop and create the "bigger on the inside" camera effect. However, it fails to cover a small section of this panel at the floor level of the prop.
- When the DoctorDonna deactivates the holding cells, Davros doesn't move or react, unlike all other characters present. A model, or empty costume, is clearly in his place.
- Davros has previously demonstrated the ability to shoot electricity. (TV: Revelation of the Daleks)
- When the Doctor sees Gwen Cooper for the first time, he asks if she comes from a long line of family from Cardiff, noting the physical similarity between Gwen and Gwyneth (TV: The Unquiet Dead). Gwen confirms that her family's been in Cardiff since the 1800s.
- This is the first time the Doctor's TARDIS has been piloted by six people, the number first specified in PROSE: Cat's Cradle: Time's Crucible. This is the first on-screen confirmation that TARDISes are designed for six pilots; this retroactively serves to somewhat explain the Doctor's difficulty in correctly piloting the craft (TV: An Unearthly Child, et. al.).
- Davros mentions meeting Sarah Jane at the birth of his creations.(TV: Genesis of the Daleks)
- Mickey Smith and Jackie Tyler last appeared in TV: Doomsday.
- Donna tells the Doctor how to fix the chameleon circuit, which has been broken since TV: An Unearthly Child. The Sixth Doctor had previously attempted this in TV: Attack of the Cybermen, as had the Fourth Doctor in TV: Logopolis. Dialogue in Rose and Boom Town implied he was no longer interested in changing its external appearance and rather liked the police box form. In the QuickReads book, Made of Steel, the Doctor talks about fixing the chameleon circuit, but says he would worry about forgetting what it looked like.
- The fact a single TARDIS has enough power to relocate Earth harks back to TV: The Mysterious Planet which established that approximately two million years into the future, the Time Lords will again move Earth to another part of the universe, where it will come to be known as Ravolox.
- This is the fourth time a Doctor has been depicted in a way to suggest he was unclothed (though, this time, not the actual Doctor). The first time was in Spearhead from Space, in which a newly regenerated Third Doctor took a shower. The second was during the regeneration from the Seventh to the Eighth Doctor, where he was merely covered by a sheet. The Ninth Doctor appeared shirtless during the torture scene in Dalek.
- The Doctor tells Wilf that he's "fine" after he drops off Donna. This echoes a similar statement in Forest of the Dead which Donna interprets as meaning the complete opposite.
- The Verron Soothsayer, who gave Sarah Jane Smith the warp star, was mentioned previously in TV: Whatever Happened to Sarah Jane?
- The device created by the Meta-Crisis Doctor looks similar to the device used against the Daleks in TV: Remembrance of the Daleks, and that device was similar to one the Third Doctor built on Spiridon in TV: Planet of the Daleks.
- The Doctor again states his aversion to violence, and in particular his horror of genocide. The original Doctor is appalled when the Meta-Crisis Doctor destroys the Daleks, evil as they are. He recognises however, that the destructive impulse comes from himself. In Genesis of the Daleks the Fourth Doctor likewise has an opportunity to destroy the Daleks, but is faced by a moral quandry. "Do I have the right?" he asks. When Sarah Jane Smith says, "You can't doubt it! You must complete your mission for the Time Lords", the Doctor replies, "If I do this, I become like them" (the Daleks). Tellingly, however, he lets the question remain unanswered. The Tenth Doctor would appear to have resolved not to wipe out the Daleks, possibly because he appears to have been the cause of the genocide of both the Time Lords and the Daleks in the Time War. In Journey's End Davros points out the apparent hypocrisy of the Doctor's creed of non-violence. "You take ordinary people and fashion them as weapons", he says. "How many have died in your name?" In Boom Town, Blon Fel Fotch says something similar: "You keep on running because you daren't look back". In Resurrection of the Daleks, Tegan, sick of the death that seems to follow the Doctor, leaves the Fifth Doctor acrimoniously. The disturbed Doctor comments, "It seems I must mend my ways". In The Runaway Bride Donna, observing the Doctor's terrible power, tells him, "You can stop now!" Later she says, "You need someone to stop you". The Doctor himself is aware of his power and it terrifies him. In Journey's End he recognises the truth of Davros's reproach.
- In Genesis of the Daleks, the Doctor tries to convince Davros that the Daleks are dangerous by likening them to a virus that could kill all living forms. He asks Davros, that if he created such a virus, would he unleash it? Davros considers for a moment, before saying that he would do it, that such power would set him amongst the Gods, confirming his madness. In Journey's End, Davros has created the Reality bomb, a device which will destroy all of reality, and all life forms. Essentially, Davros has created the very virus the Doctor described, but in a different form.
- The Meta-Crisis Doctor describes the Human-Time Lord Meta-Crisis as "wizard". In Donna's World, Donna used this same expression when the Royal Hope Hospital returns to Earth. (TV: Turn Left)
- The impossibility of Donna holding the Doctor's memories conflicts with PROSE: Lungbarrow as his then companion, Chris Cwej, was used by the TARDIS to store his overflowing memories.
- The "Doctor Donna" was foretold by the Ood. (TV: Planet of the Ood)
- The Doctor and Mickey perform a "fist bump" in lieu of a handshake when Mickey departs. (TV: Doomsday).
- Mickey and Jack's feigned antagonism on encountering each other reflects their genuine antagonism during their initial meeting in Boom Town.
- When Davros asks the Doctor "How many have died in your name?" The Doctor has flashbacks of Harriet Jones, Ceth Ceth Jafe, Controller (Bad Wolf), Lynda Moss, Sir Robert MacLeish, Angela Price, Colin Skinner, Ursula Blake, Bridget Sinclair, the Face of Boe, Chantho, Astrid Peth, Luke Rattigan, Jenny, River Song, and the hostess, all people who sacrificed themselves for the Doctor or those he couldn't save from death.
- The Reality Bomb is conceptually similar to the particle disseminator possessed by the Valeyard. (TV: The Ultimate Foe)
- This is the first time that Rose has seen Jack Harkness since the events of TV: The Parting of the Ways, when she, as the Bad Wolf entity, resurrected him and made him immortal. She does not know that he is immortal and is surprised when he comes back to life.
- The Daleks have previously made extensive use of transmat technology. (TV: Remembrance of the Daleks, Bad Wolf)
- With the later retroactive confirmation that the Doctor does regenerate in this episode (TV: The Time of the Doctor), Rose Tyler becomes the only individual to date known to have directly witnessed two of the Doctor's regenerations.
Home video releases
- This story was released in the Series 4 DVD box set in November 2008 along with the rest of the series.
- It was released as Series 4 Volume 4 in a vanilla edition with Turn Left and The Stolen Earth on 1st September 2008.
Non-UK broadcast editing
Journey's End was broadcast on the CBC in Canada on 12th December 2008 in an extensively edited version, created in order so that the episode, which ran appoximately 65 minutes without commercial interruption on the BBC, could fit into a standard 60-minute time slot with commercials, meaning the episode itself had to be whittled down to approximately 44-45 minutes. The deletion of approximately 20 minutes of scenes renders this version of Journey's End one of the most extensively edited Doctor Who episodes in the entire history of the franchise. The CBC subsequently made an unedited version of the episode available, but only on its website and for four weeks after the TV broadcast (and the broadcast occurred after Series 4 had been released to DVD in that country).
A partial list of the major edits can be found on the Doctor Who Information Network website here. Among major scenes deleted: the Meta Crisis Doctor's connecting the dots between his/the Doctor's coincidential encounters with Wilf and Donna, the Doctor's farewell to his companions in the park, Rose's final question to the Doctor and her subsequent kissing of the Meta Crisis Doctor, and the final scene of the Doctor in the TARDIS, alone.
It was subsequently announced that the CBC was discontinuing its broadcasts of Doctor Who, with the competing network, Space, taking over broadcasts of the series beginning with The Next Doctor and continuing into 2010. BBC America also aired an extensively edited version of the episode in February 2009.
- BBC Episode Guide to Journey's End
- Original script, posted online by Russell T Davies in conjunction with the release of his book REF: Doctor Who: The Writer's Tale.