Doctor Who The End of Time part one Christmas special review (big spoilers)

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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6 thoughts on “Doctor Who The End of Time part one Christmas special review (big spoilers)

  • Sam Shepherd

    on

    Well…. I think, like most RTDs, if you look at the plot objectively you’d have to conclude it was rubbish. BUT, like a reverse Somebody’s Else’s Problem field, as long as you look at it sideways you won’t see the holes. It was brilliant. The scene in the cafe with Wilf was heartbreakingly awesome. The look on the Doctor’s face… just brilliant. Oh, and 50p says the Doctor-Donna will be in some way the key to saving time.

  • The fact that im annoyed that i have to wait a week means that it was indeed a success.

    John Simm as the master was again amazing, Wilf i have missed so it was a delight to see him back and as a good friend of the Doctor.

    As Cliff hangers go, the Timelords coming back, Donna remembering and the end of the Human Race, well what more can i ask.

  • My review:

    http://www.behindthesofa.org.uk/2009/12/waiting-for-gallifrey.html

    On the one hand, it’s a shame that it’s not a standard adventure ala Caves of Androzani, but on the other I’m pleased that RTD is doing something else different at the close of his tenure. God knows what the not we thought of it.

  • That has to be the quickest hour I’ve spent in ages. There seems to be two very different camps on the Internet and twitter tonight. Those who loved it and were captured by it and those who just thought it was crap.

    I am firmly captured by it! I enjoy the Wilf/Doctor relationship and can’t wait to find out just what links the two of them together. I find that John Simm does well playing The Master. He does crazy quite well too!

    When I saw Timothy Dalton and he did the whole Time Lord speech at the end my fist went into the air, I almost shouted YES out loud and was on the edge of my seat.

    I really can’t wait for New Years day and the next part. I NEED to know what happens next!

  • I thought it was utterly awful I’m afraid. I’m off to watch Mindwarp.

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