I'm dead or about to die any second with no chance of escape.
As the Daleks attack the Gamestation led by their Emperor, the Doctor finds himself helpless. He knows he must make sacrifices if he is going to survive but does this mean losing his beloved companion Rose Tyler? And who, or what is Bad Wolf?
Following on from the end of "Bad Wolf", the Daleks turn on Rose and demand that she predict the Doctor's actions, but she refuses. The Daleks detect the Doctor's TARDIS flying in real space towards the saucer, and launch missiles against it. The missiles detonate, but thanks to the tribophysical waveform macro-kinetic extrapolator taken from Blon Fel-Fotch Passameer-Day Slitheen, Jack has rigged up a force field around the TARDIS that protects it. The TARDIS materialises on board the Dalek saucer, around Rose and the single Dalek guarding her, which Jack destroys with the gun he improvised on the Game Station. As the Doctor examines the wreckage of the Dalek, he muses that since it is now apparent that the Daleks survived the Time War, the Time Lords died for nothing.
The travellers exit the TARDIS, and are immediately fired on by the surrounding Daleks, but the extrapolator's force field continues to protect them. The Doctor taunts the Daleks, reminding them that Dalek legends call him "The Oncoming Storm", and even though they claim to have eliminated all emotion, he is sure that, deep inside, the Daleks still feel fear when faced with him. He asks how they had survived the Time War, and is answered by a low, grating voice, "They survived… through me." The voice is that of the Dalek Emperor, a Dalek mutant suspended in a transparent tank of fluid, flanked by panels of armour and topped by an equally gargantuan Dalek domed head. Around it floats an entourage of black-domed Daleks.
The Emperor explains that though the Doctor destroyed all the Daleks in the War, its ship survived: "falling through time - crippled but alive". The surviving Daleks spent centuries hiding in "the dark space", silently rebuilding, infiltrating Earth's systems, harvesting humans and converting the genetic material into an army of Daleks. When Rose suggests that makes the Daleks half-human, the Daleks cry out that the remark is blasphemy. The Doctor is surprised that the Daleks even have such a concept. The Emperor declares: "I reached into the dirt and made new life. I AM THE GOD OF ALL DALEKS!" Even though it used human genetic material, only one cell in a billion was fit to be nurtured, and the Emperor insists that its manipulation resulted in the cultivation of "pure and blessed Dalek".
Horrified, the Doctor realises that the Daleks have been driven insane by the human values they have absorbed, becoming self-loathing fanatics who hate their own genetic makeup, which makes them deadlier than ever. The travellers re-enter the TARDIS, and the Doctor returns them to Floor 500 of the Game Station.
The Doctor orders the two remaining programmers to turn up the transmitters so the Daleks cannot transmat aboard the station. Earth is ignoring the Station's warnings since it stopped transmitting and is simply sitting there defenseless. Despite the Doctor's earlier orders, Lynda Moss is still on board, unwilling to leave him. In any case, there were not enough shuttles, and there are still about a hundred people on board, on Floor Zero, including Rodrick, Rose's main opponent in The Weakest Link, who is still looking for his prize money. The Dalek fleet begins to move towards Earth, the Emperor giving orders to purify the planet with fire and turn it into its temple.
The Doctor begins dismantling the panels in the control room. The Daleks have left him an enormous transmitter, and to Jack's disbelief, the Doctor is proposing to build and transmit a Delta Wave, an energy wave that will fry every brain in its path. Unfortunately, a wave of this magnitude would require three days to build up. The Dalek fleet will be upon them in twenty-two minutes. The Doctor must work fast.
Jack attaches the extrapolator to the Station's systems so the Daleks cannot simply blast the Station out of the sky, but it will not prevent them from physically invading to stop the Wave. Jack concentrates the force field on the top six levels of the Station, so the Daleks will have to enter at Floor 494 and work their way up to Floor 500. Rose stays behind to help the Doctor build the Wave while the others, armed with Bastic bullets which can breach Dalek casings, go down to Floor Zero to try and scare up volunteers to help hold back the Daleks. Jack kisses both Rose and the Doctor good-bye.
On Floor Zero, only a few join the defenders. Others, like Rodrick, do not believe that the Daleks still exist. Jack warns them all to stay on Floor Zero and keep quiet, even if they start to hear the sounds of battle above; if they do, hopefully the Daleks will not notice them. On Floor 500, the Delta Wave starts its build-up, but when the Doctor checks to see how long it will need to build, he hangs his head in dismay. When Rose asks how bad it is, the Doctor brightens up and says it can work if he can use the TARDIS to cross his own timeline. He ushers her into the TARDIS and tells her to stay there while he powers up the Station. Once he exits the TARDIS, however, his expression turns sombre, and he points the sonic screwdriver at the ship, making it dematerialise with Rose on board.
Rose finds the TARDIS doors locked, and a hologram of the Doctor appears, explaining to Rose that if she is receiving this message, then the Doctor is either dead, or about to die with no chance of escape. This emergency programme will take her home, and the TARDIS will not return for him for fear that its technology will fall into the Dalek hands. He asks her to just let the TARDIS moulder away and die, and, in remembrance of him, to have a fantastic life. The TARDIS lands Rose at her estate in the 21st century, and despite her near hysterical jiggling of the controls, she cannot get it to work again. Outside, Mickey comes running down the street, having heard the distinctive sound of the TARDIS's engines, and Rose hugs him, weeping.
When Jack contacts Floor 500, he finds that the Doctor has sent Rose away. When Jack asks if the Delta Wave will be ready, the Dalek Emperor breaks in on the transmission, noting that the Wave can possibly be completed in time, but it will not be able to discriminate between human and Dalek; it will wipe all Daleks and humans within its long range. The Doctor replies that there are colonies in space and the human race will survive, but the whole universe is in danger if he lets the Daleks live. Jack tells the Doctor to keep working, and defiantly tells the Emperor that he has never, and will never doubt the Doctor. The Doctor questions the Emperor on how it managed to scatter the words "Bad Wolf" through history, but the Emperor replies that these words were not part of its design.
Jack places Lynda in an observation deck which has a heavy door that will hopefully hold the Daleks out for a time. From the deck, Lynda will monitor the Station's sensors and update the rest of the humans on the Daleks' progress. Through the window, they see the fleet decelerate into Earth orbit, and thousands of Daleks begin to stream out from the saucers towards the Station. The Daleks force the airlock on Floor 494, and begin to work their way up, taking the internal lasers off-line and ruthlessly exterminating the first batch of defenders, their basic bullets having no effect as they melt against the Dalek force fields (Jack's prediction that they "blow the Daleks wide open" was wrong).
In the 21st century, Jackie and Mickey try to persuade Rose to just get on with her life. Rose tells them that she cannot, because the Doctor showed her a better way to live, just as he showed Mickey: you do not just give up; you make a stand and fight for what is right. As Mickey tries to reason with her, Rose notices the words "Bad Wolf" scrawled in six-foot high letters on a paved public area of the estate, and also in the form of graffiti on the surrounding walls. Rose realizes that the words are not a warning, but a message, telling her that she can still get back to the Doctor. She runs for the TARDIS, hoping at least to help the Doctor escape. She tells Mickey that the TARDIS is telepathic, and to make contact, they need to get inside it, open the console to get at the heart of the TARDIS. However, their first attempt to pry the console open by hooking a chain to Mickey's car is unsuccessful.
On Floor 495, the Daleks encounter the Anne Droid from The Weakest Link, and it effectively manages to dispose of three Daleks before another one shoots its head off. To Lynda's horror, instead of flying up to 496, the Daleks travel down to Floor Zero, exterminating everyone left there. In the TARDIS, Jackie tries her hand at persuading Rose to give up, but Rose tells her that Pete, her father, would not have given up; she knows this because she met him. Jackie does not believe this, until Rose reminds her that a blonde girl was there holding Pete's hand when he died and Jackie saw her from a distance; that girl was Rose. Shaken, Jackie rushes out of the TARDIS.
On 2002nd century Earth, the fleet descends, bombarding the planet, the outlines of the continents distorting on Lynda's screen as they are devastated by the Dalek bombing. The Emperor proclaims that it has created Heaven on Earth. On Floor 499, Jack organises the last stand against the Daleks, telling the defenders to concentrate fire on the Dalek eye-stalks. This works against one Dalek, but the others overwhelm the barricades, killing everyone but Jack, who retreats towards Floor 500, still firing vainly at the oncoming Dalek squads. As a Dalek squad begins to cut through the doors to Lynda's position, another squad floats in space outside the window of the observation deck. One Dalek fires at the window, shattering the glass and exposing Lynda to the vacuum of space.
Back in the 21st century, Jackie returns to the TARDIS with a heavy-duty recovery vehicle. She tells Rose that she was right; this would have been the sort of mad thing Pete would have done. The heavier chain of the recovery vehicle holds, and the console tears open. Rose stares into the heart of the TARDIS, and energy from within the console flows into her eyes. The TARDIS doors close of their own accord, shutting Jackie and Mickey out, and the TARDIS dematerializes, intense light visibly streaming out of the TARDIS windows.
Jack runs out of ammunition and is exterminated at the doorway to Floor 500 just as the Doctor finishes readying the Delta Wave. The Daleks glide into the control room, and when the Doctor threatens to activate the wave, the Emperor dares him to do so, to become like it; "the Great Exterminator", to make the choice between coward and killer. The Doctor hesitates, and then says he would be a coward any day. As the Doctor prepares for extermination, the TARDIS materializes behind him. The doors open, the light from the TARDIS's heart spilling out into the control room, and in the middle of it all is Rose as Bad Wolf, glowing brightly. In answer to the Doctor, Rose tells him she looked into the TARDIS and it into her. The Doctor tells her that she looked into the time vortex, something no one is supposed to see.
Suffused with power, Rose easily stops and diverts a Dalek blast. As the Emperor calls her "the abomination", Rose explains that she is the Bad Wolf and proceeds to scatter the name of the Game Station's owners through time and space, to lead herself to this point. She can now see all of time and space: the past, present and all possible futures; all she wants is the Doctor to be safe and protected from the Daleks. The Emperor declares that she cannot hurt it as it is immortal, but Rose proves the Emperor wrong by waving her hand and killing him. All the Daleks - emperor, fleet and on those on Earth-are destroyed. Rose declares the Time War has ended. However, the power continues to stream through Rose, and she is unwilling to let go of the power of life and death, a power demonstrated when outside the room and unseen by the Doctor Captain Jack suddenly returns to life. The Doctor tries desperately to get her to relinquish what she has been given, but Rose weeps that she cannot cope with the power coursing through her body.
The Doctor knows that the power will kill her, so he pulls her close and kisses her, drawing the energy into himself. As Rose falls unconscious, the Doctor releases the vortex energies back into the TARDIS. Jack makes it to the control room only to see the TARDIS dematerialize without him.
Onboard, Rose awakens, remembering little of what has transpired. As she tries to figure out what happened, the Doctor notices a small ripple of energy sweeping across the back of his hand and his expression clouds momentarily. Turning back to Rose, he tells her that he was going to take her to so many places, like Barcelona — the planet, not the city and perhaps he will, just not as he is now. Rose does not understand what the Doctor is talking about, until he buckles over in pain. The Doctor tells her that the vortex energy is destroying every cell in his body. He will regenerate, but this incarnation will not see her again. The Ninth Doctor's last words to Rose are, "Before I go, I just want to tell you, you were fantastic. Absolutely fantastic. And you know what? So was I."
With that, blazing energy courses through his body, and before Rose's astonished eyes, the Doctors features change and he regenerates into his next incarnation. The new Doctor says "Hello," gulps, and adds, "New teeth. That's weird. Now, where was I?"
"Oh, that's right," he grins, "Barcelona!"
- The Doctor - Christopher Eccleston
- The Doctor - David Tennant
- Rose Tyler - Billie Piper
- Captain Jack Harkness - John Barrowman
- Mickey Smith - Noel Clarke
- Jackie Tyler - Camille Coduri
- Lynda Moss - Jo Joyner
- Rodrick - Paterson Joseph
- Female Programmer - Nisha Nayar
- Male Programmer - Jo Stone-Fewings
- Voice of Anne Droid - Anne Robinson
- Anne droid - Alan Ruscoe
- Floor Manager (uncredited) Operator - Jenna Russell
- Dalek (voice) - Nicholas Briggs
- Nicholas Briggs – Dalek Voice
- Dalek Operator - Nicholas Pegg
- Android Operator - Alan Ruscoe
- Dalek Operator - Barnaby Edwards
- Dalek Operator - David Hankinson
- The guns of the Game Station have Bastic bullets.
- A delta wave fries all living brains.
- The Doctor and Jack use the Tribophysical waveform macro-kinetic extrapolator to create a forcefield for the TARDIS.
- The Doctor states that in the ancient legends of the Dalek homeworld he's known as The Oncoming Storm.
- The Doctor regenerates into the Tenth Doctor - David Tennant. His first words: "Hello ... new teeth, that's weird."
- The guns used by Jack and the Game Station people are Heckler and Koch G36Ks.
- Although he is soon brought back to life, Jack's death in this episode makes him the first companion to die since Kamelion in Planet of Fire and the first humanoid companion to be killed since Adric's death in Earthshock.
- The Doctor's farewell recording to Rose - "Have a good life ..." - is quoted in the lyrics of "Song for Ten", featured in the next full episode, The Christmas Invasion.
- Jack kisses the Doctor affectionately on the mouth (after kissing Rose) before going off to fight the Daleks. This is the first same-sex kiss featured in the Doctor Who franchise.
- 6.9 million viewers.
- In one version (a fake version) Rose was to have died.
- After it was announced prematurely by the BBC that Eccleston was leaving the series, some media reports indicated that he would leave (and regenerate) in the announced Christmas special episode, not this one. This may have been intentional in order to preserve the surprise ending of this episode (which might also explain the fake Rose death reports, too).
- None; all in-studio.
Discontinuity, Plot Holes, Errors
- The Doctor states that in the ancient legends on the Dalek homeworld he's known as 'Oncoming Storm', however this was the name the Draconians gave him, the Dalek name for him is Ka Faraq Gatri. (It is possible that two races have the same name for the Doctor by coincedence.)
- When Rose was the Bad Wolf enitity, why did she not see the Cult of Skaro and destroy them? Because at that time, they would have been in the Void or maybe, since Rose could see all of Time, she saw she would enter the parallel universe, so she would never meet The Doctor again.
- Since every other "disintegrator beam" was actually a secondary transmat system, when the Anne Droid shoots the 3 Daleks with it, wouldn't they just be sent back to the Dalek mothership like the Controller and Rose? The Doctor probably thought about this and changed the transmat beam into a disintegrator beam. even if it sent them to the ship oy would buy some time to finish the delta wave
- How does the Doctor know to turn his head when his hologram appears to Rose in the TARDIS? He can't have been transmitting live because he said that "he bets" Rose was fussing and moaning - as in he couldn't see her. It's unlikely that he would have gotten to know her so well he could turn his head at the right moment and stare at the right place. the TARDIS is telepathic and a living thing
- When the Daleks were trying to get to the Doctor using the lifts, why did they stop at every floor? Why not just go straight up to floor 500?Possibly so if the Doctor managed to escape floor 500, he would be caught in an ambush.
- Rose asks the Doctor why he cannot simply travel back in time and warn the humans about the Daleks. He replies that he has become part of events and so cannot do that. However, in the TV movie, the Eye of Harmony destroys the Earth, before the Doctor basically rewinds time and prevents it from happening.
- The Doctor saves Rose's life by taking the vortex energy out of her. He then returns the energy to the TARDIS. Why, then, do the effects of the energy kill him? It should either kill them both (as they both had the energy in them) or neither of them (as they both lost it). Some novels have stated that, while regenerating, a body can absorb artron energy and feed it into the regenerative process. Assuming that the vortex energy is the same as artron energy, it is possible that the Doctor deliberately triggered a regeneration, possibly allowing him to absorb the energy from Rose. The regeneration then had to complete.
- This is the first on-screen occurrence of a Dalek in the TARDIS, however EDA: War of the Daleks and the stage play Doctor Who: The Ultimate Adventure featured a Dalek within the TARDIS.
- Rose tells the Cult of Skaro that she met the emperor in DW: Doomsday.
- Rose brings Jack back to life, an act that has far-reaching consequences for him as it makes him immortal. This becomes an underlying concept of Torchwood, is later addressed in DW: Utopia and may ultimately be connected to the Face of Boe, who Rose encountered in DW: The End of the World and would meet again in DW: New Earth.
- Humans have been made into Daleks before in DW: Revelation of the Daleks.
- Other attempts at reviving the Dalek race would occur in DW: Doomsday and DW: The Stolen Earth / Journey's End
- While an attempt at creating a different sort of Dalek/Human hybrid would occur in DW: Daleks in Manhattan / Evolution of the Daleks.
- One of the Daleks has a cutting tool instead of a plunger; this has previously been seen in DW: The Daleks.
- A version of the Doctor's holographic Doctor appeared in NA: Infinite Requiem.
- Rose learnt about the heart of the TARDIS in DW: Boom Town.
- Rose mentions the events of DW: Father's Day to Jackie.
- Mickey mentions in DW: The Age of Steel that he saved the world with a yellow truck.
- The Daleks have previously invaded Earth in DW: The Dalek Invasion of Earth and DW: Day of the Daleks.
- This is the first time (chronologically) in the 'revived series' the Doctor's kisses have had an effect on humans. The other being on Martha Jones, when the Tenth Doctor kisses her, the Judoon identify her as having traces of non human DNA (timelord). DW: Smith and Jones)
- The Eighth Doctor looked into the vortex in DWM: The Flood; in an unpublished version of that story, this event led to his regeneration into the Ninth Doctor.
DVD and Other Releases
- The Parting of the Ways has been released on a single DVD together with Boom Town and Bad Wolf.
- The Parting of the Ways has been released on a single UMD (for Sony's Playstation Portable) together with Boom Town and Bad Wolf.
- The Parting of the Ways was also released as part of the Series 1 DVD boxset.
- Official BBC Website - Episode Guide for The Parting of the Ways
- Outpost Gallifrey Episode Guide: The Parting of the Ways
- The Doctor Who Reference Guide detailed synopsis of The Parting of the Ways
- The Whoniverse Discontinuity Guide to The Parting of the Ways
- A Brief History of Time (Travel): The Parting of the Ways