Or does it?
I think there’s a lot of resentment directed at Doctor 10 because of that one little phrase. What I’d like to point out, though, is that it was absolutely necessary for 10 to say those four angering little words.
Okay, imagine yourself as Rose for a moment. You’ve spent the last few YEARS trapped in a parallel universe, never knowing exactly what the Doctor was saying to you when he vanished. Now your universes have collided again, after ages of planning and experimenting and guiding alternate-reality Donna, and you’ve FINALLY found the Doctor. Your Doctor. Is she even thinking about the 10 meta crisis clone? Probably not. The original Doctor is her only concern. They spend almost the entirity of “Journey’s End” side by side.
After Donna saves the universe and the Doctor drops everyone off in their rightful places, they return to Rose’s parallel universe and Bad Wolf Bay for a final goodbye. I do not think that Rose was expecting this. I think Rose was under the impression that once she found the Doctor, she would never leave him again. Yet here he is, dropping her off in a place already haunted with Rose’s memories of their last farewell.
And not only is the Doctor dropping her off (probably for forever), he’s trying to pawn his cheap knock-off on her too? That’s kind of infuriating!
Why would Rose EVER want to choose 10’s meta crisis clone over the actual doctor unless he pushed her away? Unless the Doctor GAVE Rose a reason to choose the clone instead?
Remember Amy’s reaction to the Doctor’s flesh-clone in “The Almost People”? She was awful to him. Even though 11’s flesh-clone was more or less exactly like the Doctor, Amy couldn’t bring herself to reconcile that fact. It took her almost the entire episode to realize that the two Doctors were the same–almost interchangeable–and that the clone could be just as good and kind as the original Doctor. Rose is being forced to realize this same thing, but rather than getting an entire episode to come to terms with it, she gets about 5 minutes.
How can the Doctor convince Rose to take care of this man–because the Doctor can’t have two of himself running around the universe? Could you imagine the chaos? The best course of action is to leave the meta crisis clone in a parallel universe free of the original Doctor. Both the Doctor and his clone are aware of this.
The beauty of the Doctor is how insanely intelligent he is. When there are two of him, like in “Journey’s End”, as well as in “The Almost People”, both Doctors seem to communicate wordlessly. Their brains both come to the same light-speed conclusions and, with a look, they can concoct a plan without involving any other characters. (Switching shoes, anyone?) And that’s clearly what’s happening here.
The Doctor, his clone, and Donna all know that Rose has to take the meta crisis clone with her, and, as Donna points out, the clone is truly a gift to Rose. He’s the only chance the two of them have for a happy ending.
But even though the clone is human, Rose still feels like he’s an imposter. She wants the real Doctor. How can the Doctor prove that the meta crisis clone is the same as he is, with the same memories?
Well, Rose kind of does that for him. She asks both doctors what the last thing he said to her was. Now, remember, both Doctors are aware of what has to happen here. They both know that Rose has to choose the clone.
So the orignal Doctor says, “I said Rose Tyler.” And when Rose asks him how that sentence was going to end, he says, “Does it really need saying?”
Well, of course it needs saying, but not by him. Rule #1: The Doctor LIES. When the Doctor says “Does it really need saying?”, he’s both pushing Rose away (by lying to hurt her feelings) and giving his clone the opportunity to sweep Rose off her feet, while simultaenously proving he has the same memories as the actual Doctor. There’s no way the clone could answer that question if he didn’t posses the same memories, and when he whispers in Rose’s ear, he gives her his actual answer. The answer she wanted all along.
So you see, when the Doctor says “Does it really need saying?”, he’s not being an asshole. He’s putting this whole plan into motion.
And in many ways, this interpretation makes the whole situation even more heartbreaking. The Doctor has to push Rose away, only to see her find happiness with his clone. He has to leave them in their parallel universe for good, and you kind of get the sense that both the Doctor and his clone know what’s going to happen to Donna.
So in “Journey’s End’ the Doctor succeeds in saving the universe, but he also basically loses everything he’s ever loved. Sarah Jane points out that the Doctor has the biggest family of all, but he has to watch them all leave, in one way or another. It’s no surprise then that after “Journey’s End” the Doctor becomes significantly angrier and more reckless. He demonstrates an absurd amount of hubris in “The Waters of Mars”, with disastrous results. By the time he regenerates, even though his final words are “I don’t want to go”, the regenerative change is almost a welcome one.
So, in conclusion, “Does it need saying” was, in fact, the ONLY thing that needed saying after all. I’m really interested to hear what other people think of this breakdown, so please post your thoughts in the comments!
Love Doctor Who? Check out the t-shirts by my affiliate: TeeFury.com