With speculation over this coming Saturday's finale of Doctor Who
's fourth season running rampant across the web, I decided that it was about time I jumped on the band wagon. Some of the theories I've read have been pretty wild (and highly entertaining), but most, I suspect, are pretty wide of the mark. What surprises me is that nobody (so far, anyway), seems to have attached any significance to the final episode's title - Journey's End
. Titles are usually, in my experience, pretty significant, giving a good clue as to the episode's content. Now, obviously, this title refers to the fact that it is
the last episode, and implies, with its note of finality, that someone is going to leave, perhaps even die. However, we shouldn't forget that Journey's End
is also the title of a play by R C Sheriff (famously filmed by James Whale back in the 1930s), inspired by his experiences in the trenches of World War One. Now, I think it a bit of a stretch to draw an analogy between the world weary officer hero of the play and the Doctor's experiences in the 'Time Wars', but I'm sure there will be some thematic
link between the two, with regard to the futility and horror of war.
But if we just want pure, wild speculation, then let's not forget that R C Sheriff later had a highly successful career as a Hollywood script writer, adapting H G Wells' The Invisible Man
for James Whale in 1933. Playing the title role was, of course, Claude Rains, and, as we all know, in Heroes,
former Doctor Christopher Eccleston played a character who called himself Claude Rains. Ergo, David Tennant will regenerate back
into Christopher Eccleston at the beginning of the episode, as the moody, black leather jacketed Ninth Doctor is far more suited to kicking Davros' mechanical arse than the more effete Tenth Doctor. Adding further credence to this theory is the fact that James Whale was gay and therefore Russell T Davies, being a gay man, will be a huge fan of his and will want to pay an (indirect) homage to him with this plot twist. How's that for speculation? I think I've got it all in there; the tenuous links, the complete lack of concrete facts and even the gay angle for those homophobes obsessed with the alleged gay subtext in the current Who
. I've come to the conclusion that the people who make up the online Doctor Who
speculation are the same people who make up the football transfer speculation over on NewsNow
. (Perhaps that's
where the truth lies - Robbie Keane will be the new Doctor in a transfer coup which sees David Tennant moving to White Hart Lane to fill that tricky left of midfield slot).
If you want to know what I think will really
happen on Saturday - I think it highly unlikely that the Doctor will
regenerate into a new incarnation (at least, not permanently), as David Tennant has already started filming the specials to be shown next year and features in several sequences filmed for the conclusion of the last episode. I'm guessing that the conclusion of the episode will hinge on a dilemma for the Doctor as to whether to go against his principles and alter the past in order to defeat Davros and restore the 'natural order'. The rights, wrongs and consequences of such actions have been a recurring theme in this series, featuring in several episodes. Which companion will, as Dalek Caan has predicted, die? Bearing in mind that Caan said it would be the "Doctor's most faithful companion" who would suffer "everlasting death" (or words to that effect), I'll speculate wildly and say that it will be his severed hand in the jar - after all it was once part of him (you can't get more faithful than that), and it has (for the past three series), effectively been dead-yet-alive. Ultimately, of course, I haven't a clue what will happen. Maybe the Doctor will
regenerate permanently - in which case it will have been an amazing coup for the BBC to have kept this secret and I applaud them) - perhaps Donna/Martha/Rose will
die. I just don't know, and neither does anyone else outside of the production team, cast and probably senior BBC executives. So, ignore the speculation and just sit down on Saturday and enjoy what's shaping up to be one of the most entertaining TV events of the year. It's what I'll be doing.
Labels: Musings From the Mind of Doc Sleaze