Friday, January 01, 2010

Dr. Stu on Doctor Who End of Time 2

This was definitely better than Part One. However it was most definitely not Doctor Who at its best (i.e. Human Nature/Blink levels) and sadly once more my expectations were much higher than the actual events of the episode.

Some folk had been predicting an epic finale appearance of the 8th Doctor (?) and the reintegration of the Time Lords to round off the Time War stories, leaving Stephen Moffat with the opportunity to make his own mark on the Doctor Who universe. Given it was an RTD finale I doubted this...

Every single finale has had some sort of 'reset' device - the first season had Uber-Rose conveniently kill every dalek and resurrect Captain Jack (though not anyone without a player character badge like Lynda with a 'y' or anyone else on that station). The second season had the Cybermen and Daleks on Earth sucked into a void. The third season had a paradox machine that reset the entire events of the episode. The fourth season had Donna push a few levers to destroy the entire Dalek armada. And now this fifth mini-season had the Doctor shoot a machine to send every single Time Lord back into the time locked Time War.

I personally didn't like the idea of making all the Time Lords evil - smacks too much of racism for me (like saying every Welsh person became evil) - and I wish we could've had more exploration of the Time Lords and their newfound evilness. Of course it might be possible in this episode for other Time Lords to have snuck through and remained on Earth, and I did like the fact that they alluded to two Time Lords disagreeing with the President - though I hope a few more were 'co-erced' in their voting by that handy glove device.

We do not know who the mysterious lady was (Susan? Romana? The Doctor's mother?) but then this is typical of RTD finales - the reasons for things are less important than the sheer showmanship. We never understood why Bad Wolf appeared everywhere at the end of Turn Left, exactly what Bad Wolf was or why Rose was able to appear on TVs throughout Season 4 - she never even mentions trying to contact the Doctor this way in the Season 4 finale. However I'm less bothered by not knowing who the lady in white is than these other things - I've come to expect it I guess.

True to form contradictions arise - Donna remembers her time with the Doctor and suddenly zaps every Master in the vicinity unconscious rather than exploding - which is what the Doctor said would happen to her. This is just like how Rose could never ever get back from the parallel universe... but did and then got taken straight back by the Doctor.

There was some good stuff however - Bernard Cribbins was excellent. The revelation of 'he will knock four times' was clever. The cactus guys were good.

The last 15 minutes of the show were absolute self-indulgent nonsequitur with lots of ex-cast members cameoing in a shameless nostalgiafest that makes me wonder why the production team criticise multi-doctor stories so much.


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