Now there’s a story arc

Last night’s Dr Who 3rd season finale and the future story of Captain Jack.

There be spoilers ahead. If you haven’t seen the episode you really don’t want to click the link if you hate surprises being ruined.

Jack’s immortality means that he ends up with an eternity of adventure, death and resurrection and ultimately becomes THE FACE OF BOE!!!!


Gratuitous Jack Links: BBC Doctor Who Captain Jack Gallery | BBC Torchwood Gallery | John Barrowman’s Website

Neil at the classic Dr Who blog Behind The Sofa has a mixed reaction to the Return of the Master espisodes and the season finale, but how could he not even mention the Jack/Boe revelation?

I agree with Neil on some points, although I didn’t notice them while I was watching the show: this is agreeing in retrospect. The science stuff was all HarryPotterish, the shrunken doctor was bloody Dobbie, and the foiling of the Master with telepathic woo and a Peter Pan Doctor plus the turning back time thing was a weirdly disappointing lack of a spectacular finale as well as more badscience. Freema was wasted as Martha wandered around looking all resigned and weary in her determination. I expected more badarse from Martha: I know the minimal aggression succeeding where frontal attack would fail was meant to be kinda the point, but that point sucked.

More gratuitous Captain Jack, an alternative:

Categories: arts & entertainment

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17 replies

  1. Well my question about what could Martha do on earth all by herself was answered. Oh me of little faith. I kinda enjoyed it actually. Belief was readily suspended and I didn’t worry about the science. It has to be a happy ending after all. I will miss Martha. She was different to Rose, but still good. I wonder who will be next?

  2. Oh well, if you want to know: [link] (teasers and minor spoilers)

  3. I loved it. I actually thought that the Harry Potterish bit came in when Martha was being set up as the only one who can save the world from the Master (very Chosen One-ish), but the resolution did not follow a Potterish pattern (and besides, I love Harry Potter, so I probably wouldn’t have minded if it had :P). I loved David Tennant’s acting; the death of the Master scene was heartbreaking.
    I did think that the whole reversal of time thing was a cop-out at first, but they handled it well– since the Doctor, Jack, Martha, and her family can remember it, it’s not completely reversed, and I think it works that that year was only sustained by a paradox.
    I thought the Face of Boe twist was great. 😀 I was sorry that Jack didn’t snog the Doctor though. The poor Doctor needed a good snog after all that crap with the Master.

  4. Hehe, I just discovered that Harold Saxon has an actual website:

    Make sure you click on the legal note at the bottom, after reading everything. 😉

  5. I rewatched these episodes a couple of weeks ago, and I noticed that the Doctor mentioned The Face of Boe’s prophesy in front of Jack some time before Jack mentioned that he was The Face of Boe.

  6. Bloody grate! Not my favourite episodes of the season, but a great finale all the same.

  7. I was underwhelmed by the finale, but I’m an obsessive who can’t watch it without nitpicking. I dug the Jack revelation, though; it’s saying “this is strange” rather than “this is cool”, which is what separates Who from 99% of modern SF.

  8. I saw it a few months ago…Emule I love you.
    My only problem with the whole thing was that Derek Jacobi didn’t stay as The Master….hello that man rocks..keep him!
    The Face Of Bo relevation was pretty cool and I loved how Capt Jack flirted with everybody and the Dr just rolled his eyes.

  9. Very happy Tigtog, very happy.

  10. I liked the eps, hated the Jack revelation. 😦

  11. I completely agree that the resurrection of the Doctor through telepathic mumbo jumbo was absolutely ridiculous. It wasn’t just the inadequate scientific explanation for the whole event, it was the semi-deification of the Doctor in the process. I just don’t want to see that sort of thing in SF, it feels wrong.
    Though I haven’t been tuning in to this season, I did see the last episode, and thought it was ridiculous. I dislike the way the sf plots in the new Doctor Who always seem to be emotionally exaggerated melodramas, usually about the impending destruction of the earth (always are when I tune in, anyway). Seems to me that this is a regression from many of the old Doctor Who plots (and traditional sf in general) which had a more realistic perspective and a greater sense of adventure.
    I also think the Master should have kept his moustache…

  12. Well Martha will be turning up in Torchwood next series as well. So she’ll be around, which is nice.

  13. Beppie: too right the Dr deserved a good snog. David Tennant needs snogging loudly and often and I want to complain to Russell Davies, stat!
    Paul Tomblin: yes, I remember them talking about the Face of Boe with Jack. I just wonder how long it took Jack to work it out himself?
    coz: so happy to see Derek Jacobi. He looked like he was having a great time, had to work hard to suppress the twinkle in his eye while being all serious. Digging out the I CLAVDIVS series again as we speak…

    I just don’t want to see that sort of thing in SF, it feels wrong.

    Dr Who has always straddled the fantasy/scifi divide IMO, and the classical archetypical Hero, with all the semi-deification that implies, has always been a part of fantasy. At least it’s made clear that the special powers are only temporary due to the telepathic amplification of humanity focussing on him in unison: once the time-reversal does the reset that’s all gone, so no more special powers beyond what a Time Lord normally possesses.

    I dislike the way the sf plots in the new Doctor Who always seem to be emotionally exaggerated melodramas,

    But that’s not unique to the new Who, surely? Certainly villains threatening genocide and planetary destruction in most episodes is absolute canon: Dr Who has always been about Saving The World(s). The new series perhaps does concentrate a bit more on adventures on earth rather than on other planets, but it’s also the most broadly popular Who ever, and being an egocentric species the two are probably connected.

  14. Posts crossed, Lost Clown. Glad to hear that about Martha! (Maybe she’ll get to snog Captain Jack at least?)

  15. Thanks for your response. There’s a long, half-worked out argument in my comments above, and I’ll try not to be too longwinded here…
    I think the ‘end of the world’ meme has been in sf for a while, though in previous decades it hasn’t been as prevalent as it is now. (In the 1960s, Michael Moorcock probably helped to change things, as most of his major works tend to be about the end of the world). If you actually look at a lot of previous ‘end of the world’ plots in traditional sf, the author almost always makes it clear that there is a future for mankind/the earth, though not necessarily an enviable one. The classic example is ‘War of the Worlds’, where Wells implies that mankind will have a future – as cattle and food for the Martian invaders. There are other examples of sf literature set after a vast, world-wide ecological or military catastrophe. (The latest example is probably ‘The Road’).
    In a lot of the Dr Who episodes nowadays, I often get the sense that this nuance has been lost on the writers. They use the ‘end of the world’ meme because it leads to simple plot lines that are easy to write.
    My theory is that the continued focus on the here-and-now, combined with the prevalence of the end of the world meme, reflect the ecological perspective taken by the writers. That’s fair enough, but I still think that the sense of adventure and discovery in many old sf plots has a lot that can be said for it.
    As for the deification of the Doctor, well, there’s another longwinded argument possible there! Suffice to say that I’m willing, at a stretch, to accept the telepathic plot gimmick that led to the ‘resurrection’ of the Doctor, but the implied/symbolic deification really ticked me off. For me, the Doctor has always been an adventurer and something of a father figure – not somebody to worship. That’s one plot-twist too many, IMO. If I want someone to worship, I’ll go to church. (There’s another long essay here possible about what values that SF or fantasy reflect, and why.)
    Okay. That’s enough out of me. I hope you have a great day!

  16. David Tennant needs snogging loudly and often
    *Is distracted by snogging David Tennant thoughts*

  17. They’re rerunning his turn in “Casanova” on cable very soon. He gets plenty of snogging done there.

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