Journey’s End


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Journey’s End

Series 4

Episode 13

First Transmitted

5 July 2008

Final Ratings



Series 4 set


Series 4 Volume 4


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Regular Cast

David Tennant (The Doctor), Catherine Tate (Donna)

Guest Cast
Billie Piper (Rose Tyler), Bernard Cribbins (Wilfred Mott), Jacqueline King (Sylvia Noble), Freema Agyeman (Martha Jones), John Barrowman (Jack Harkness), Elisabeth Sladen (Sarah Jane Smith), Noel Clarke (Mickey Smith), Camille Coduri (Jackie Tyler), Gareth David-Lloyd (Ianto Jones), Eve Myles (Gwen Cooper), Tommy Knight (Luke Smith), Adjoa Andoh (Francine Jones), Julian Bleach (Davros), Valda Aviks (German Woman), Shobu Kapoor (Scared Woman), Elizabeth Tan (Anna Zhou), Michael Price (Liberian Man), Barney Edwards, Nick Pegg, David Hankinson, Anthony Spargo (Dalek Operators), John Lesson (Voice of K9), Alexander Armstrong (Mr Smith)


Written by Russell T. Davies
Directed by Graeme Harper
Produced by Julie Garner and Phil Colinson


All hell has broken loose!

Davros and the New Dalek Empire prepare to detonate a bomb that will wipe out all of existence. The Doctor is helpless and the TARDIS faces destruction. The only hope lies with The Doctor’s companions, but Dalek Caan predicts that one will die


  • 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. (Also if you look closely the clone Doctor is still holding the coral piece in the actual episode.)
  • An interesting note about this scene is that in it The Doctor says, The Doctor. In the TARDIS. With Rose Tyler. As it should be. This very closely resembles a line said at the end of The Age of Steel by Mickey Smith: That’s The Doctor. In the TARDIS. With Rose Tyler. Whether this is intentional or coincidental is unknown.

  • Cybermen in the TARDIS.
    An alternate ending. After saying goodbye to Wilf, the Tenth 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 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 Baysequence 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 Tenth 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 ed 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 ed down to 45 minutes except The End of Timewhere the two-parter is shown in a three hour block.
  • Dalek Caanrefers to the Tenth Doctor as a ‘threefold man’. The meaning becomes clear in this episode with both the copy of Tenth Doctor and 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 theCybermenare 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.
  • Mickey, Jackie and Sarah Jane hide from the Daleks in a shot that demonstrates an effect nicknamed the Harper treatment.
  • 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.
  • 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). 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. The
  • 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, 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 Tenth Doctor would later make two appearances on The Sarah Jane Adventures.
    Julian Bleach, who plays Davros, previously appeared as the Ghostmaker in the Torchwood story From Out of the Rain.
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