‘Doctor Who: The End of Time’ Review & Discussion [Updated]

Published 4 years ago by , Updated January 3rd, 2010 at 10:27 pm,

doctor who end time Doctor Who: The End of Time Review & Discussion [Updated]

Let’s all be honest, when Eccleston announced his intentions of leaving the show after only one season the world was up in arms. There’s no way someone could replace him as the Doctor.

Cue David Tennant. Tennant started the role complaining of his new teeth, but quickly showed us exactly how much of a talent he is. Over the past four seasons (counting this year’s specials as one), Tennant has made himself known as more than just a replacement Doctor – but the Doctor.

With that we venture into his last great adventure (in this form anyway). We’ve got his most formidable opponent, the Master (John Simms) returning. With Bernard Cribbins and Catherine Tate reprising their roles as Wilfred Mott and Donna Noble, one can hope to expect one truly great adventure.

Review

Russell T. Davies has some explaining to do. After sitting through four mediocre (and I’m being kind) Doctor Who specials I simply gave up hope. I figured that Davies had finally lost his ability to write and this is why every episode of Doctor Who since July 5, 2008 (the season four finale) has been, as our British neighbors would say, rubbish.

Then something happened… Torchwood: Children of Earth. Out of nowhere Davies returns with an epic story that was able to draw in those who were not even fans of Torchwood (like myself). It was those episodes of Torchwood that continued to fuel the flame of hope that when it came down to it, down to Tennant’s finale episode, he would pull it out and deliver something great.

And does he?

No… not really.

Overall, the episode was a mess. There were signs of absolute brilliance, but sadly those were overshadowed with horrible jokes, superhero Time Lords, Nazi puns (really Davies? Master race?) and a story so convoluted that there is no doubt Davies has done nothing but surround himself with people that tell him how great he is and want to know what the Daleks are like.

What makes me angry is that he has a million excuses for why this episode is what it is. Forget the whole “I’m brilliant” aspect Davies could arguably throw out (he has written some amazing episodes) and you’ve still got “it’s Christmas, it’s for the family” or the usual scapegoat that Davies uses when his stories are crap… “It’s a kids show.” If I have to hear how Doctor Who is a kids show one more time, I’m going to go crazy. Alright, we get it, “technically” it can be considered a kids show, but you have a hard time making that argument stick when some of the greatest episodes have been about things so dark and terrifying that I had to turn on the lights while watching it.

Still, let’s not be all negative. Bernard Cribbins is a truly brilliant actor and the scene between the Doctor and Wilfred Mott about dying was just lovely. John Simms is a brilliant actor. You might not know it from this episode, but he’s proven himself in other productions to be a top actor. I’m sure if you all of a sudden had super powers and could fly around by shooting things out of your hand you’d have a hard time acting as well. How could Davies possibly write that in? Writing it out just now sounds completely ridiculous.

who booth Doctor Who: The End of Time Review & Discussion [Updated]

I guess one of my biggest problems is the introduction of new elements, especially in an episode that’s so important. This episode should just deal with people, places, things that we know. Use those familiar elements to help propel the importance of this episode. Don’t just throw in some cactus people that we saw briefly during a Christmas special two years ago and expect us not to stay quiet.

Then there’s this “healing machine.” There is no doubt in my mind that Davies was just sitting around and couldn’t think of a great way to tie everything together and have it make sense. So, he just creates a “healing machine.” The Master takes it and makes everyone like himself as well as fixes the broken Donna Nobel. Oh yeah, don’t think everyone didn’t see through that immediately.

Unlike most fans, I’m all right with the evil Time Lords making an appearance. I think that’s an interesting story and since I haven’t had the time to venture into Doctor Who past, I’d like a little taste of it. I’m just not sure if Davies’ interpretation of them will be as good as if he would have done it years ago.

It pains me to write a negative review about Doctor Who. I love this show and there have been some brilliant, brilliant moments. Unfortunately, this is not one of them. If this were episode 10 out of 23 episodes of the season, I would be happy. Sadly, it’s not. This is all we get. After next week, we basically have an entirely new show and while I have no doubt that Steven Moffat will deliver some great stories, I’m just not sure if the new Doctor will be able to match his abilities.

We’ve still gone part 2 and who knows, maybe it’ll turn around, but I wouldn’t bet on it.

Will I be watching? Of course?

Will I write up a review? Don’t I always?

Will you be here to yell at me when I get things wrong? I can only hope.

who lords Doctor Who: The End of Time Review & Discussion [Updated]

As always, don’t miss the final episode of Doctor Who for David Tennant and the demise of the tenth Doctor and make sure you come here after to check out our review and discuss how you feel about the conclusion.

Also, if you’ve yet to watch the special or are in an area of the world where it has yet to air, don’t worry as we’ve got a bunch of Doctor Who related things for you as well.

Doctor Who: The End Of Time 3-Minute Preview
Doctor Who To Become Funny Lawyer For NBC
Teaser for Tennant’s Last Doctor Who: The End of Time
Doctor Who’s TARDIS Gets an Upgrade!

john simm master doctor Doctor Who: The End of Time Review & Discussion [Updated]
UK – BBC ONE

Doctor Who: The End of Time, Part One premieres Friday, December 25 @ 6PM.
Doctor Who: The End of Time
, Part Two premieres Saturday, January 1 @6:40PM.

USA – BBC AMERICA

Doctor Who: The End of Time, Part One premieres Saturday, December 26, @ 9PM.
Doctor Who: The End of Time
, Part Two premieres Saturday, January 2 @ 8PM.

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  1. Ok. I just read all the comments and all I have to say is: don’t think so hard about time travel! Sure… it may be one year to us who are watching it or to Jackie who’s waiting for Rose to come home. But to them, traveling amongst the stars, it could only be a day. A week. A month. It doesn’t have to be a year because they could see the same day in so many different places. As long as they don’t cross themselves.

    I also wanted to mention that when I saw Timothy Dalton I thought to myself, ‘Hey! Timothy Dalton! I wonder if he’ll be a Time Lord?’ Then I proceeded to chide myself, ‘Of course he’s a Time Lord! He’s f****** TIMOTHY DALTON! What else would he be?’

    Plus… Isn’t it bad enough that we have to get used to Matt Smith, but also a new companion and a new interior to the TARDIS? My doctor is Christopher Eccleston, but I had Rose and the TARDIS to get me through his regeneration. I have nothing for Smith.

    I keep thinking that Andrew Lee-Potts would make a good Doctor, if they were looking to cast younger. I have to stop that or I’ll never accept Matt Smith.

  2. All good things must eventually end,and whatever hardcore fans thought of the overall quality of “End Of Time”, David Tennant and RTD went out on a very high note.

    The marvellous twist when it was revealed despite his extraordinary powers, The Doctor could not outrun his fate probably reduced many viewers to floods of tears. DT’s magnificent performance when he realised his terrible end is a reminder why he played “Hamlet”. This was acting of the highest quality. Many people in and outside of Hollywood would have given their eyeteeth to be able to perform like that.

    As for Matt Smith, I reckon he will be fine. RTD knows star quality when he sees it, and the show could go into the realms of the ” Twilight” films. It also has the mighty Steve Moffatt taking over from RTD, which means it will probably be the most frightening series of Doctor Who to be made. “Blink” was easily the creepiest tv programme I have seen in many years, only matched by vintage “Twilight Zone” and the BBC adaptations of classic ghost stories of M.R James and Charles Dickens.

  3. I’m actually a new fan of the good Doctor. i was introduced when the Doctor went from Chris to David. quite frankly, it has had me hooked since then. the episodes, though some have flaws, were more interesting than most crap they have on tv. (i live in america so…) I really loved the performance David gave as the Doctor. providing more than his timelord analytical stuff but giving the Doctor a, dare i say it? a soul. I will miss David as the Doctor because he really did shine in it but i will give the “new guy” a chance…but honoestly, i won’t hold my breath.

  4. To those who doubt Matt Smith’s acting ability:
    See “That Face”. Or “Party Animals”.

    He is SO Doctor-ish in the latter. In the former, he’s just so dark and so… fantastic.

    But at least one thing is certain for series five: it will seperate the Doctor Who fans from the David Tennant fans (or fangirls, or the majority of the Nu-Who fans).

    With the new old-school Doctor, new companion, new old-school TARDIS exterior, new TARDIS interior, new sonic screwdriver, new old-school Daleks, totally new production team and Moffat aiming for a classic-like old-school Who feel…

    A lot of the people used to Tennant and RTD and the orange-tinted, gay-agenda, reset-buttoned, pacificst-dont-use-violence-ever-ever themes will probably tune out.
    While the Doctor Who fans who know change is a part of Who, Tennant was just another Doctor (albiet a great one), and Smith is a great actor, will stay with the show.

  5. Ultimately, this episode gets a thumb’s down. Here’s why:

    I didn’t really cry, barely felt anything with the regeneration of this Doctor.

    I remember thinking with great loss when Peter Davison regenerated “Wow! He did that for Peri.” I remember thinking when Tom Baker regenerated, “Man he fought till the end, and took a fall to save the universe.” And I remember thinking when Colin Baker regenerated “Wow, that really fits for him!” (Yes Colin Baker could and would have done better if given the chance, but the way they worked it just worked in a strange irony).

    But David Tennant and how he regenerated? Just didn’t work for me. The whole two man chamber radiantion chamber was just not believable. I thought for a moment the Doctor was going to slump to the floor and say behind the glass to Donna’s granddad, and taking a cue from Star Trek 2:The Wrath of Khan say “Universe… out of danger?”

    But no, the Doctor walks out and gets to romp around time and space for a few more hours. No thought of going to one of those many medically advanced planets and get RADIATION TREATMENT in those hours he wasted?

    And what happened to the regeneration process? I mean, wow… I think of all the Doctors that regenerated in the TARDIS and they morphed a bit and were done. When did this HIGHLANDER quickening sequence with lightning and explosions start taking effect?

    Could you imagine Tom Baker’s Doctor as Romana was regenerating? “Oh goodness, Romana is regenerating? And I just had the TARDIS redecorated. (starts throwing switches madly on the console) Ok TARDIS old girl, get me to that barron planet with a breathable atmosphere…” And then after that promptly kicks Romana out of the TARDIS till she’s done regenerating where she creates a sizeable blast crater while she’s at it.

    It was all so staged, the Doctor had too much time to have ANGST and AGONY as he was dying. DRAMA, DRAMA, DRAMA. And to me, pointless drama. The Pertwee Doctor would have walked up and smacked his older Tennant incarnation over the side of the head and told to walk it off and quit being such a cry baby.

    Things I DID like, the fun Star Wars’ like scenes of the alien bar and flight sequences, the special effects were not wasted on me.

    It was GREAT to see the Timelords again! I knew they were out there… somewhere, especially if Daleks were still around. And I’m sure the Timelords will be back.

    Always love seeing the Master. Tennant and this Master were just pyschotic together, but worked well together.

    And seeing Jack and all the others in the end, while a bit over the top (and fan service) was good to see.

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  6. @Jamie – thats exactly why i’m worried about Series 5 – I’m new (2005) and am really nervous about this “oldschool” Doctor. I think it works better as a drama.

  7. 12 regenerations my friend, 13 lives. Old and wizened you say?

    I'm annoyed they didn't go into the history of Rassilon and what he was doing on Gallifrey during the time war… I reckon Russel T had a good idea but then had to cut it to allow time for his grand goodbye. But that's just the musing of a young and foolish fan :o)

  8. Although I'm not a big time fan of Dr. Who I have watched it from time to time and it's been interesting even though it gets down right hokie sometimes on it's limited budget when it comes to creatures and effects. I haven't seen part two of the End of Time, but I'm not all that excited to one way or other. My biggest problem with part one was in the dialog. Half the time between the accent and made up names I couldn't really make out what they were trying to explain. I gather this old guy who becomes a young guy is akin to the doctor somehow, but how he got there and how he forgot who he was wasn't clear…..As to some of the other exoplainations…I realize much of it had to do with the history of the show….I only know that Captin Jack from that short series about the kids a few months ago. So even though some of that made sense there was a lot of it that made very little sense at all. My thoughts on series is that unless a series is a constant continuation of a base story that you have a tough time explaining how everything ties in over many past episodes. It seems top me the Dr. Who is more of a series of different adventures much like the old Star Trek was.

    I haven't seen any of the new segments I have recorded with this new actor as Dr. Who, but just from the few trailers I've seen it appears that he isn't as animated in facial expressions as the past actor. Maybe that will make adjusting to the new guy an easier task since I wont be comparing him as much. It's a fun show and I'm looking ofreward to what the new version is going to be like….It does seem like they might have been able to increase their CG budget…That should help the series a lot if they did

  9. first things first,this episode was all about the doctor rather then the enemy the way other series finales were centered round the main threat. The masters plan was genious creating a ”master race” in part one the master is completley pysco like in series 3 but in pt 2 hes more the silent sinister master character. Personal i dont think the time were entirley needed as nice as they were they were more of a side bit they had a brilliant plan but it just kind of fizzed out in the 1st 30 minutes so the doctor could get his reward as nice as it was i would have prefered an 9th doctor regeneration, russell t davis i feel wrote the time lords of too easily by shooting the transmittor, the doctor dosent solve his problems with weapons, in general the episode was good but could’ve been so much better

  10. Personally, I didn’t enjoy the two episodes, the first being abselute crap! Destroying the essence of the Master by giving him super powers and I am still angry about that, since without superpowers, he didn’t need them if that makes sense. The effects were crap, the logic, the lines, the jokes and CACTUS? really? the firs half was a failure. I liked the second part just a tad more, yet still hated it. The time lord thing had potential, but was moved aside too quickly, and there were some major plot holes, non-logical things and the like in the episode. The final part of the final was a little better, esspecially with HOW he died and all, but raises the question, why did Wilferd enter the chamber in the first place? The goodbyes, of the different companions, was okay since although it was a very good idea, in essence it was put on very badly, with an alien bar, and sonotran, which shouldn’t have been there, and although Tennant’s acting was wonderful, a question is raised about why did the regenration last as long as it did? In other regenerations, of the master as well, it was always fast and with no choice, and although the goodbyes were a nice idea, they could have been portrayed in a much better way, without creating a plot hole.
    On the whole, the episides were far less than what I expected.

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