Over at the other place I wrote about having problems saying goodbye. It’s not easy saying goodbye and even as we reflect on the Doctor’s recent departure and RTD’s decision to really crank up how long it takes the brother to say goodbye it highlights again just how tricky it is to do farewells properly.
One of the bug bears I had about the new series was the focus on Rose. The relationship between the Doctor and Rose was a bit too much for me, but highlighted again RTD’s sense of what needs to happen to make compulsive viewing for today’s mentality. Such was the unhealthy focus on the character that it was unsurprising that her departure even overshadowed what should have been an epic encounter between the Daleks and Cybermen. What was worse was that in subsequent seasons it was evident that she was still hanging over the Doctor like a bad smell even affecting the last story of the season and the Doctor’s life. Back to her farewell, though, it was just too much for me. The Doctor brought to being soppy over telling her that he … l … lo … lov … nah I can’t bring myself to even type it. It works for a soap opera, it doesn’t work for the Doctor’s character in any context, however many times they get him snogging someone or being snogged by someone.
Now Sarah Jane Smith’s return to the programme tried to make out that Sarah quite fancied the Doctor herself. Thankfully, however, history suggests that relations between her and the Doctor not only remained platonic, but was actually affectionate in its own to such an extent that when her initial farewell takes place at the end of Hand of Fear there is a sadness over saying goodbye to a much loved companion, but it’s not over the top. Don’t take my word for it, check it for yourself and see why the pairing of Sarah with the Fourth Doctor was a dynamic that worked well and helped us remember this Doctor is a Time Lord – he ain’t one of us, neither does have time to fall in l … lo … you know the rest. Enjoy.