Doctor Who: The End of Time

Warning, spoilers ahead if you haven’t seen it yet…

I’ll admit to shedding a tear at the passing of David Tennant’s Doctor, and a fanboy squee! at the almost-return of the Time Lords. But really, Russell T’s era peaked at Doomsday and never quite managed to attain the same level of emotion without feeling contrived. Davies’ scripts are strong on emotion but when the plot gets too reliant on coincidence and lazy technobabble, my suspension of disbelief is destroyed and the emotional highs feel hollow, although the great acting and score usually manage to carry them off to some extent.

In this story, the Master is resurrected by some random groupies who are wheeled on for this scene and never heard of before or since. His wife conveniently has a plan to sabotage the process, which has no effect other than to give him superpowers that give the Mill more work. This imperfect resurrection manifests in three completely unrelated ways, one of which is purely cosmetic. Then he’s kidnapped by a random rich guy to fix an alien machine which conveniently gives him an opportunity to take over the world…again. It’s all too coincidental. The changes to the timeline in Waters of Mars are never mentioned – seems like the Time Lords could have used the Master to escape at any point in history. And by the end everything goes back to the way it was before, except that Wilf is stuck in a deathtrap ready for the Doctor to save him. Tennant performs brilliantly, but the story feels so transparently engineered. The greatest hits epilogue was nice but heavy-handed and felt unrealistically protracted, as if the Doctor can go weeks after a mortal wound before actually having to regenerate. I was looking forward to this because Euros “Children of Earth” Lyn is a fantastic director given decent material, but this isn’t his finest hour.

Still, hopefully the new era will be better – Steven Moffat is much better at coherent plotting and consistent use of the SF elements, so I expect his new rebranded version of the show to be more thoughtful and less hysterical. Roll on spring…

2 thoughts on “Doctor Who: The End of Time

  1. It did seem a bit random in places, and although I liked David Tennant the protracted regeneration had me shouting ‘just get on with it’ at the screen. Hopefully Moffat will do a better (more worthy?) job, if RTD hasn’t managed to persuade everyone it’s all over, with all the talk of ‘final battle’, ‘death of the doctor’ etc

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