SO I don’t know if you’ve heard or not, but apparently there’s a big Doctor Who story this Christmas about the End of Mime or something. (WARNING – BIG SPOILERS IF YOU HAVEN’T WATCHED IT)
If you don’t know, you must have been living under a rock as Russell T Davies has been interviewed about the end of Doctor Dave by every newspaper and magazine under the sun, from SFX to Belgium Plumbers Monthly. I know everything from what type of pen he used to the pattern on the t-shirt he wore when he started writing it.
At the same time, David Tennant has appeared on – deep breath – QI, Never Mind the Buzzcocks, BBC breakfast, CBeebies Christmas stories, the BBc Christmas trailers, Catherine Tate‘s Nan Christmas specials and (soon to be) Alan Carr’s chat show and three radio shows including Desert Island Discs, as well as Hamlet.
In short, it is a big deal and Auntie Beeb have been going all out to promote it. So, after all that build up, could it live up to the hype?
j kjdvnedf v jkvvn fd jdv ksjdvkjdv vjkd vkjfn ndfkn kgfmff mmfd &$£!!!! – sorry, my brain lost the ability to form words there, as it was still trying to comprehend the sheer awesomeable awesomeness of what I just saw. Did it live up to the hype? Hmmm, let me see …
The Time Lords are coming back and they’re led by James Bond! My fanboy squeee must have shattered every window within a three mile radius!
They screamed ‘for Gallifrey, for VICTORY!’ – with Timothy Dalton coating each word with spitty phlegm, sounding just like the Time Lord Victorious! They’re bad!
The Master makes the Doctor hear the sound of drums! And Timothy Dalton said it is the sound of the heartbeat of a timelord!
The Master channeled Neo’s powers from the Matrix and turned everyone on Earth into the Master (the Master Race – nice pun) using the fairly lame deus ex machina the Immortality Gate – except for Wilf, who was helping the Doctor – and Donna, who started to remember her life with the Doctor! The life that would cause her to burn up!
A Murray Gold score was actually sympathetic to what was happening on screen!
Good god, it was magnificent!
Yes there were weaknesses, like Joshua Naismith’s motivation and character, the silver cloak OAPs at times, the bit-too convenient Gate, the Master in the slums bit and his resurrection.
It wouldn’t be Russell T Davies if it wasn’t uneven, yet when he gets it right, he really hits the nail on the head and that is why Doctor Who is now the biggest show in Britain and one of the biggest in the world.
But for all the shocking moments the programme wasn’t all fanboy thrills, and my favourite scene is one of the quieter ones.
When Bernard Cribbins’ Wilf meets the Doctor, they go for a chat in a cafe. Cribbins tries to get the Doctor to help Donna, who is parked outside, oblivious, and he has to refuse in order to save her life. But the Doctor is then reduced to seemingly hopeless tears as he suddenly unburdens himself to Wilf that he is going to die.
But you can come back says Wilf, trying to help his friend. Tennant replies: “Even if I change it feels like dying. Everything I am dies, some new man goes sauntering away and I’m dead.”
I have never thought of regeneration in that way with the look of despair and sadness on Tennant’s face possibly the most heartbreaking new Who moment ever (at least so far). Doctor Dave is really going to die and seems to have accepted this, with even his jokes falling flat.
Tennant must have been delighted to be able to act opposite Cribbins, who brings boundless empathy and understated, watery-eyed emotion to Wilf – while there are lots of hints about what is to come and his destiny with the Doctor being more than just Donna’s grandad (Is he a time lord? Will think more about that) He more than held his own in a scene I know I will be thinking about tomorrow, next month, next year. A mesmeric moment.
Overall then, I feel that TEOT delivered on The Waters of Mars to a large degree and on several levels, with the promise of absolutely heaps more to come on New Year’s Day. It also stood up as an episode on its own and the first part of a two parter, which can sometimes be all exposition.
Where do we go from here? I can’t wait to find out but hope it builds on this episode with the Doctor saving us all, and not a mysterious destiny thing we are all living to. And if you want me between now and then, I’ll be pressing the rewind button on Sky Plus again and again.
Allons-y with Doctor Dave, for the final time. But what a time it promises to be.
THE END OF TIME ITSELF!!!!!!! Cue evil laugh!
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