Friday, 1 January 2010

Dr. Who: The End Of Time - Mini Review (Sort Of) SPOILERS!!!

Finally the most anticipated moment of 2009 has been and gone...

No, not Christmas, not New Year, but the passing of David Tennant's Dr. Who.

Yes Who fans the greatest Doctor that's ever been on T.V. passed away this evening in a rather emotional, if indeed dragged out, manner.

I'm not going to review the episode as such but instead give away almost all the plot/ story in one hit. To be brutally honest the body of the main story was actually quite naff and even I with my experience and knowledge of twisty, turny, head-throbbing sci-fi got a bit lost along the way. My poor 6 year old daughter who wanted to watch it with me didn't have a bloody clue what was happening and kept getting shhhhh'd by me every time she asked a question as I was trying my hardest to concentrate!


So anyway, the main part of the first episode (part 1 of 2) centered around the disciples of Saxon bringing The Master back to life with some sort of 'life potion' mixed with his left over DNA on Lucy Saxon's lips (RUBBISH!). As he's resurrecting from some genie-like smoke in a pot Lucy chucks in her own potion that her family connections have brewed which should cease the process and kill the master. As you're probably aware it doesn't succeed, not fully anyway, and The Master comes back, albeit as a crazed, human flesh eating, electric powered, blond haired version of his former self. We get to see the Doctor meet Wilf Mott (Donna Noble's Grandad) and we see Donna too along with her mum. Turns out Donna's getting married again to someone else! The Doc discusses his future demise with Wilf and it turns out everyone has been having bad dreams of The Master. There's a connection with Wilf and The Doctor that isn't quite apparent yet.

The Doctor figures out what's about to happen with The Master from clues given to him by Wilf and some other stuff from the Ood and sets off to stop it. Of course he's too late and attempts to track down the looney and confront him instead, thinking that The Master will be his prophesied death bringer who knocks 4 times. At this point he does indeed knock 4 times but doesn't kill the Doctor for now. Instead we discover that the drum beating that's been playing in The Master's head is actually real, he's not been imagining it, and it's so tangible that the Doctor hears it himself, making him wonder what the hell it is and realising that the old Master may not have been as crazy as we all thought the last time we saw him. Maybe this drumming, or the someone who put it there, is going to be the end of the Doctor?

Aaaaanyway, with some crappy undercover, shape shifting, cactus-looking aliens working with some stupid rich due in a mansion we get ourselves the McGuffin of the story which is the 'Immortality Gate', an alien device designed to heal its user, which actually turns out to be a planet level DNA resequencer which will rewrite the DNA of a planets inhabitants using one persons genetic template... The Master as it turns out. He gets control of the machine, turns the whole of Earths population into replicate Masters (apart from Donna, cos of her Meta- Crisis Dr. Donna fiasco, Wilf who's protected in a booth and the Doctor himself) and has the Doctor captured along with Wilf who's along for the ride at this point. Whilst all this has been going on poor old Wilf has been getting weird visitations from a strange old lady telling him that the Doctor's going to die and that Wilf has to do what she says and not tell the Doctor, saying later that The Doctor will have to 'takes up arms' to finish his coming battle, which makes Wilf carry his old WWII pistol with him when they pop off on their travels. Hmmmmm...

It all culminates in the last part of the first episode with the planet full of Masters, The Doctor powerless to stop it all and the climactic lynch pin being that we see the TIMELORDS alive and well, discussing the end of time in a Star Wars prequel style amphitheater led by Timothy Dalton himself... Yes the Timelords are finally returning from the doomed Gallifrey!

Episode two shown tonight found The Doctor escaping the Master's clutches (of course) and teleporting up the cactus aliens ship in orbit. A few tender emotional words are said between Wilf and The Doctor on the ship, showing how much he'll be missed if he dies, and how much the Doctor wants to live... although not enough to kill someone with Wilf's gun that's poised and ready to be used should the need arrive. The Timelords, a select few who are sitting around an Arthurian style table with a crazy old witch, have figured out that they're all about to be wiped out from the time-war with the Daleks (due to a prophecy) and try to find a way to save themselves, knowing that this moment in history has been time-locked and cannot be changed... unless there is a connection outside of that locked bubble that they can connect to (CRAP!).

Turns out that the drumming in the Master's brain was actually a purposefully planted signal replicating the beat of a Timelord's heart, emitting into the cosmos that the old Timelords have now discovered, locked onto, and are sending a White Point Star to. "What's a White Point Star?" I hear you ask. Well it's just a diamond from the head of the staff Timothy Dalton's Timelord holds. Seems the thing has a special connection that will allow the Immortality Gate to turn into a Time Gate/ bridge thingy allowing access for the high collared bunch to come to Earth and live again! But really The Master actually plans to turn the Timelords into replicate Masters and rule them too!

When The Doctor hears of this he craps his pants, picks up Wilf's gun (so he WILL shoot someone if the need arises eh?), gets into a Star Wars Deathstar trench run situation making a dive on The Master's mansion with Wilf and cactus boy shooting down missiles from their laser turrets like they were Tie-Fighters. Then after a rather silly and usually fatal free fall dive from The Doctor through the roof the Doc attempts to stop the Timelords from coming through. He fails (probably due to having fallen over 200 feet from a ship and hurting just a tad) and a few Timelords step through the gate into our time. It should be mentioned that at this point there are two Timelords who have opposed the decision to step through the gate and they have, for some reason, come through the gate also, with their faces covered by their hands from shame. The Master gives away his replication plan (dumbass) and with the omnipotent power in his armoured glove the head Timelord (Timothy Dalton) reverses the replication of mankind (convenient huh?). Then, and this is a big one, Gallifrey starts to emerge next to Earth and everything is about to go to hell, as if it hadn't already.

As The Doctor fights to ascertain who he should kill with Wilf's gun, The Master or the head Timelord (either of which will send the Timelords and Gallifrey back supposedly), he then catches a glimpse of one of the shamed ones who shows her face. It's the weird old woman who's been talking to Wilf! She crying and the Doctor, who seems to recognise her, now decides to save The Master and destroy the machine that brought them here in the first place (doh! Easy choice!). As the head Timelord is about to fry the Doctor with his glove, The Master decides to save him and attacks the head Timelord with his electric powers! I'm out of breath in my mind typing this...

The gate is destroyed, The Master and the Timelords are gone and The Doctor hasn't died, HOORAY!

"Knock, knock, knock, knock" (s**t)...

Yes there are the 4 knocks, and who is David Tennant's harbinger of death? Wilfred Frickin Mott. He's gone and got himself stuck in a Nuclear Bolt chamber that can't be opened unless someone else goes into the opposite door (who writes this stuff?) and it's already gone critical. The Doctor has no choice other than to go in himself and be saturated by deadly radiation. This is David Tennant's most emotional scene ever in his time as The Doctor and he throws the paddy of a lifetime saying that it's not fair and he doesn't want to die, going as far as to have a go at Wilf for getting himself stuck in there in the first place. But as we know the old Doc would never let Wilf die and in he goes.

Now he's on borrowed time, he's going to die very soon from radiation poisoning and it's a done deal, there's no way he's going to live. This is where the finale hits its high point (or low point if you're not so sentimental about the last few years and their characters) and made me cry... yes I cried. The Doctor goes off and rights some last wrongs and changes some history before he dies and regenerates into Matt Smith.

First he's off to save Mickey and Martha, who are now married, yes that's right MARRIED, and are fighting a Sontaran who is about to kill them. The Doctor saves them and as they see him in the distance he just walks away with a solemn look on his face... Then he's off to save Sarah Jane's son from being run over whilst talking on his mobile (div) and waves goodbye to Sarah Jane (who seems to know that it's the last time she'll see that version of the Doctor)... Then he goes to a Mos Eisley Cantina full of old Dr. Who enemy aliens where Captain Jack is drowning his sorrows. The Doc sorts out Jack's love life by giving him the name of the guy next to him (Being Human's Russel Tovey)... Then off to visit great the great Granddaughter of Joan Redfern (played by Jessica Hynes who also played said Grandmother too), the 1913 nurse who he has a relationship with when he hides his mind in his fob watch and calls himself John Smith in the episode "Human Nature". She's written a book based on her great Grandmother's diary and The Doctor goes to have a copy signed and ask if she was happy in life... Then he's off to see Donna finally get married (Wilf crying at the end of that scene set me off once again, damn you!) and this is where Wilf asks The Doctor who that strange woman was. The Doctor looks over at Donna of all people and changes the subject (?). Oh and he's got a winning lottery ticket for Donna as a wedding present!... And then most poignantly he goes back to 2005 to see a pre-Doctor Rose. She doesn't know him of course, but he couldn't go without seeing Rose one last time now could he?!

Then we get a glimpse of Ood Sigma in the snow telling the Doctor his song is over and finally it's off to the Tardis for his transformation into a rather mad Matt Smith, with the Tardis insides crashing down all around him. Seems his transformation was a bit flammable and set the whole inside on fire for some reason. Didn't happen when he regenerated in there before, must have been Tennant's non-acceptance of his transformation or something. Roll on a new inside for the Tardis for the next series! Before he's about to change he says "I don't wanna go" and then regenerates. It's a sad moment for all Tennant fans who are all probably shouting "then don't!!!" because the silly Scottish plum should have stayed in the role and not given it up, if it was indeed his decision in the first place. Plum.

I'll have to wait until the new series actually airs but I'm on the fence about Matt Smith for now. He seems as crazy, if not crazier than Tennant from the little scene we get, but Tennant was believable and lovable... Will Smith be the same? Hmmmm.

All in all I feel it was 90% throw away T.V. and 10% awesome, with the last 10 minutes being its saving grace for me. Shame really. Russel T Davies obviously wanted us to say goodbye to all the characters he'd created over the last few years and take us along for the ride, and that's fine, if not a little too self indulgent. It's just a shame he couldn't have found a better story to flesh out the stuff in front of that!

Goodbye dear Doctor Tennant, it's been a pleasure knowing you and watching you. ;(

Oh and here is the trailer for the next series from the BBC website below.




What a cool review Kryptonian Warrior! So much of it was flabby and defied inner logic even in sci-fi terms - the fall, The Master and Rassilon just standing there whistling and ho-humming as the Doctor decided who he would shoot, the 'nuclear bolt running' explanation for the radiation WTF???? But....BUT!!!! yeah, tears ran from Wilf's knocking onwards. All in all, the Ecclestone/Tennant/RTD era was pretty bloody good telly, what? Time for a scaling down of the concepts though methinks, and let's have little mini-classics like ' Dalek' and "Blink' for a while, stuff without loads of Nu and Old- Who myths and baggage to contend with. Fresh! Cheers, Gazzac
PS You a Supes fan by any chance? Would just like to say - and this is coming from a Marvelite - 'Kingdom Come' is my favourite comic book/graohic novel/depiction of Superman. Cheers boss!

Kryptonian Warrior said...

Cheers mate. It was a shame that the last episode of Tennant's reign was so badly written and delivered, instead of being the epic finale he deserved. And I agree with the rest of your points. Matt Smith and Stephen Moffat have some titanic shoes to fit into now!
And yes, you can probably call me a Superman obsessive... I'm a Marvelite and DC lover at heart but Superman and the Justice League won out when creating this blog!
Thanks for visiting and becoming a follower. Loving your avatar, I seem to recognise that image from somewhere! ;)


Hey KW, what Avatar? That's me after winning 'Slimmer of the Year' 2009 - you don't think my face is a little TOO thin.....????? But seriously nice screen grabs fella.....
... don't fall over in, or eat, the yellow snow. Cheers boss!