Doctor Who End of Time Pt1 Dissection Thread

Short promotional clip showcasing the hoydenalicious June Whitfield:

BEWARE: There will be SPOILERS in the comments.

Categories: arts & entertainment

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17 replies

  1. I have to say, I was fairly unimpressed. I was expecting something dark and creepy (but still fun and exciting) following on from Waters of Mars, but this was just… silly. The whole thing with the Master’s ressurection just felt like a badly done parody, and Lucy Saxon’s acting was dreadful. I have no idea what was up with the totally unnecessary super-powers that the Master seems to have now, and all that eating, was, I think, supposed to be a commentary on Christmas gluttony, but it fell completely flat.
    The only redeeming feature was, of course, Wilf (and it was wonderful to see Donna again too). The conversation between Wilf and the Doctor in the cafe was definitely the high point in the episode — beautifully written, and beautifully acted.
    I just hope that things pick up in the second part — I’m keen to see what happens now that Donna has her memories back (though I am scared that she’ll die), and of course the Time Lords (although how random was that announcement that the Time Lords are returning at the end of the episode — it didn’t feel like there was any real buildup to it).

  2. I was expecting Christmas-special super-silliness and fun, but this seemed an odd sort of mish-mash, especially the Macbethy resurrection scene, as you say. I’ve no idea what the Master-eating stuff was supposed to be all about, apart from shorthand for “Look! Madman!”. There seemed a lot of other elements just thrown in there without sense to them; maybe some will be tied up in the next episode, but how that will all be done while progressing the story is hard to imagine.
    Totally agree that the cafe scene was the high point, by miles and miles and miles. I loved it.
    At this stage I’m actually looking forward to Ten’s death and regeneration. I love Tennant, but I think he’s well and truly done in this role. But I blame Rusty for this ep, of course.
    And WTH was with that throwaway crack about marrying the Queen, at the beginning? It seemed cheap and pointless and dude-boasty. Bleagh.

  3. I think the crack about the Queen was supposed to explain the bit at the end of The Shakespeare Code, where Martha and the Doctor have to run away from Queen Elizabeth.
    Part of the problem with this episode, I think, was that normally we’d have a full series leading up to something this big, with lots of little things seeded along the way. But because we’ve only had three specials, only the big things have been seeded, and the disjointed expositiony nature of the first half of this ep was RTD’s attempt to play catch-up — badly.
    *sigh* Why couldn’t the whole thing have just been the Doctor and Wilf in the cafe? It’s so weird that in the midst of all that drivel, we had this one shining example of how very very good RTD’s writing can be.

  4. I found it a bit disappointing, and also watched it with someone who is a Harry Potter fan who pointed out the really obvious Voldemort-style resurrection. Even I spotted the Matrix ‘peril’ – Agent Smith anyone? She argues homage. I say: 1=homage, 2+= derivative.
    It felt like an effort in spectacle at expense of plot, rescued only by a) the comic relief [June Whitfield: how jealous am I?] and b) the touching conversation with Wilf in the cafe. And yes, the return of the Time Lords moment. Excuse me, but aren’t you DEAD?! Nice to see what appears to be the return of the white Guardian from the mythology of the series heyday (now can we have the proper Cybermen back while you’re at it?).

    And WTH was with that throwaway crack about marrying the Queen, at the beginning? It seemed cheap and pointless and dude-boasty. Bleagh.

    Mind you, explains why she was so shirty in the Shakespeare Code…
    Not as bad as the bus one, but this only functions as a set up for the finale, not as an episode in its own right. Given the occasion I had expected something a lot more chewy, especially if the Time Lords have come back to spank him for going free range in The Waters of Mars. ‘Bad Wolf’ and the Rose Return was foreshadowed through entire series yet now we have an entire race blinking back into existence in a single episode? Poor, Rusty. VERY poor.

    • She argues homage. I say: 1=homage, 2+= derivative.

      It’s not like either of those tropes is original to either the Potterverse or the Matrix. When one’s Hero With A Destiny meets the Fated Foe there’s a certain number of other boxes that tend to get ticked.

  5. Bleh. The bit in the cafe was the only bit I liked, and I like that a LOT, but the rest was just very silly. I kept getting more and more irritated as the episode went on, so very disappointing.

  6. I was enjoying the Silver Cloak business, and then it turned out they were only there to delay Ten. Very disappointing. Is it just me, or was the portrayal of the Master all over the place? The superpowers didn’t help with that. Simm’s version has always been broad, but blimey. And that megalomaniac and his daughter with the look-what-we-found-in-Torchwood’s-basement setup needed a lot more buildup.
    I really hope they give Donna something to do in part 2, whether it’s to get her self back or to go out in a blaze of glory. And do something spectacular with those green aliens, otherwise they’re just a repeat of the not-Slitheen gimmick from the Sarah Jane Adventures, and that was mediocre to start with.
    .-= Susan´s last blog ..Happy Holidays =-.

  7. It’s not like either of those tropes is original to either the Potterverse or the Matrix. When one’s Hero With A Destiny meets the Fated Foe there’s a certain number of other boxes that tend to get ticked.

    I’ll concede the point with the Potterverse – there are only so many ways you can resurrect a dead character from the ether, and most ritual magic tends to look the same and work on similar principles – but the Matrix multiplication is pretty specific.

  8. See I took the ‘get married’ bit (River Song!) and ‘Queen Bess’ bit to be two separate things, but since the Doctor was babbling quite quickly there, it is easy to think that they’re the same event…

  9. Overall I enjoyed it despite the excessive silliness. But with the Doctor, I admit I have low standards. Put Tennant on the screen and I’m going to have a good time. Now, more Donna please.
    The evil father & daughter totally fell flat and were the weakest part of the ep, IMO. They’re pretty much interchangable with any of the other human villains who use alien technology only to be shown to be puppets of more powerful forces, and they don’t give us anything new or memorable (except maybe the creepy incesty vibe). In such a significant trilogy I expect more.

  10. Purrdence: I’ve watched it over and over, and I’m struggling to get that reading. If mine’s a misinterpretation, I think it’s a result of deliberate misdirection, not just fast talking.

  11. Ok, I’m only halfway through, but I’m disappointed that there are only 3 characters: The Doctor, The Master and Mr Exposition (albeit played by many actors).
    Also, sometimes the entire Earth has a night? What was it, an eclipse?*
    Also, if people “bear the imprint” of ex-lovers, I’m off to have a good long shower and scrub before watching the other half.
    *Small quibble, but dear god.

  12. Have to say, the guy does look good in a dress.

  13. I found the whole thing boring and silly, but it’s just what I expected from Rusty after season 4 (especially the finale). The show may never jump, but Rusty certainly has. I groaned pre-emptively when I saw his name in the title credits.
    I’d already been spoiled about Simm’s return, but Timothy Dalton as a Time Lord was an unexpected surprise! Although my partner picked it in an early scene, I thought the whole ‘Immortality Gate’ thing was alluding to the return of Gallifrey when you had the last 2 Time Lords in a room with it.
    I also thought there would’ve been more allusion to the Doctor’s megalomania being a bit pre-emptive when they brought the Time Lords back.
    All the other things I’ve heard about the finale give me little hope for part 2. I’m just hanging out for when Moffat takes over and we don’t have to put up with Rusty any more!

  14. Lauredhel – I’m having problems finding the script or that dialouge written down, so for now we’re just going to have to have different views of that…

  15. The comment about Queen Bess’s nickname seems to be a nudge-nudge, ‘I gave her a right rogering I did’ kind of comment, though? Given that the Queen Bess in question was known as the Virgin, yes? Or is Queen Bess another of the Elizabeths?
    I was bored. 😦 I was unhappy to be bored, but I was. It was lumpy and didn’t flow, and even the Doctor felt strained, somehow, to me. Sigh. I am looking forward to Moffat, concerns about his problematic sexual politics and all…

  16. Though I quite liked the inclusion of a traditionally feminine superpower, and the use of it to emphasise the Doctor’s limitations.
    All the real work was done with the power of friendship – Wilfred finds the Doctor with the Silver Cloak, Lucy uses her social connections to make a potion of death (not that it did anything at all, but what they hey), and even the Master needs minions to get his darstard on. But for all the Doctor’s brilliant intellect and the like, the one thing he’s missing is some good old social capital. I thought that was nice, anyway.

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