Blogging at home in Dundee. RL postings to resume this month - honest!
Season 3 of Dr. Who has been amazing, but again the drag factor of having RTD write the end of season finale has lowered the quality of what has been without a doubt the best season so far.
Utopia started out as a so-so episode, slightly better than Gridlock. It seemed to be a loveletter to Captain Jack, who is of course utterly amazing and can charm all species/genders just by saying hello. I've never been that taken with Jack as I've always felt he's pushed a personal agenda in Dr. Who for RTD that really wasn't within the scope of the original show. Plus there really wasn't much for him to do in the 3-parter other than fix an engine, provide the Doctor's hand and transport to 2007.
Not that I object entirely to Jack, I like the character but am not so sure about liking the "message" behind him. He does get some good lines with the Doctor. There were also references to Torchwood (laughably setup by Jack to honour the Doctor, but as we know a club for sexually deviant weirdos). The Master distracted them with a wild goose-chase (probably by simply organising an orgy being held in Cardiff centre).
Utopia was saved by Derek Jacobi rather nicely switching from the wonderfully Cadfaelesque Professor into the Master. Played with a real sinister gleam, Jacobi casually murdered his best friend and stole the Tardis, but not before being forced to regenerate into John Simm.
I was hoping for a mass-murdering Sam Tyler, a silent, lonely renegade. Unfortunately I expected the Mayor from Buffy. John Simm delivered campness, and naturally was forced to travel to London, 2007, to begin his rather mundane plot for world domination, complete with tacky pop music soundtrack. And they complained about the Master in the McGann movie?
Anyroads, part 1 was good (especially the end), part 2 was so-so and could've setup a promising part 3. Part 3 was a mish-mash of as many sci-fi cliches as could be found. To wit I present the following graphical representation of the 3rd part of the Master story I nicked from Outpost Gallifrey:-
(Yes - 1 year later the Master has decided not to kill any of the Joneses or the Doctor)
Originality is not RTD's suit. It might also be nice to have a finale without a reset button of some sort (Rose's powers, the vortex suction thingy, the paradox) some impact - not emotional impact but rather some sort of change to the cozy 2007 Earth we live in where Cybermen, Daleks and starships are all acknowledged by the public but seems to cause little dissimilarity to our own "real world".
Last of the Timelords could've been amazing. It could've been the Master trying to use the paradox machine to rebuild Gallifrey, or a battle starting on Earth and raging across time and space. Instead what we got was entertaining but a whimper compared to the bang of the season.