I could be snarky and say this was a good episode despite Russel T. Davies being responsible for it, and having Rose return. Because it didn’t bother me as much as I thought it would.
I see it as another one in the vein of seeing the Doctor’s influence on the people and the world around him, without having much screentime (see Blink and Love and Monsters). This one was slightly different, though, what with the Doctor dying (minor quibble: is that possible, for him to die too fast for his regeneration to kick in?). The impact that has on the Earth, and Donna in particular, was rather imposing. We never got the Year That Never Was, since he and Martha never went to the end of the universe to meet the Master, since Martha died when her hospital was taken to the moon. We do get the Adipose, but relocated to America, since a country flooded with radioactive waste is not that interested in diet-pills. There’s the Sontarans, who get defeated by what’s left of Torchwood 3. And through it all we have Rose popping up and talking to Donna, who’s sliding further and further into self-loathing. And her mother who’s given up on her daughter and seemingly life in general. Labourcamps! Honestly, I ask of you. It might have better to have the Master in charge. Don’t look at me, I voted Saxon.
All that, because of that stagbeetle on Donna’s back, who’s feeding off her time. How special is Donna, to have an entire universe bend around her like that? Earth going to wrack and ruin because she wasn’t there to stop the Doctor underneath Canary Wharf.
And there’s more to Bad Wolf than we thought. Which I must admit I had suspected before, since I never saw a reasonable explanation why Rose had left all those warnings to herself.
“Overhead, without any fuss, the stars were going out.”