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     Home »  The David Tennant Era »  S3-Ep 13 'Last of the Time Lords'
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    S3-Ep 13 'Last of the Time Lords' Views: 15819
     Friday, July 13 2007 @ 07:51 AM EDT
    I've held off commenting in this thread since so many of my thoughts have pretty much been voiced, answered and dealt with by excellent contributions to this thread .. but hey, here's my two-pence worth:

    The last three episodes taken as a whole left me cold and the silly ending with the Titanic was the nail in the coffin. Seems like New Who can't deal with the great device they have with one of the most important characters in the show - namely the TARDIS. For instance, IT CAN'T BE PENETRATED FROM THE OUTSIDE BECAUSE IT'S INSIDE AND OUTSIDE EXIST IN DIFFERENT DIMENSIONS!!! Its not that the outer shell is strong, its just that the whole damned thing is dimensionally transcendental which means that a physical (and therefore dimensionally restricted) thing cannot pass between these boundaries - it just doesn't make sense and that kind of brilliant pseudo-science is what makes this show great. Its also a very good reason why classic who used the atrium area to separate and play with the idea of the inside and outside.

    Unfortunately New Who doesn't really care for this and so like the fact that the TimeLords are meant to exist outside of time and space and yet have been reduced to living in a glass jar up a hill (i.e. fixed in time and space), and fighting what could only be a spatial war in time - this tends to ruin the whole wonderful premise and produce pretty dull stories (Blink and Human Nature aside).

    The notion of transcending space and time is a great feature of the show, but nowadays the TARDIS (to take a good example) is simply reduced to a one-room vehicle confined to the limits of its outer shell. A shell which is now somehow permeable Eek!

    For me, the use of the TARDIS in recent years is a great metaphor for the entire New Who approach. It has great and limitless potential, but then packages it it all up into safe, silly and frankly dull boxes. The budget is there, the casting is great, there are plenty of script writers (if only RTD would bow out and let them write), so there is really no excuse for not making groundbreaking and clever 'family' entertainment.

    I love the idea of Doctor Who as a long time viewer and as a fan, but if Catherine Tate as Donna and a load of earth-bound, star studded cameos is all we have to look forward to next time, then I'm seriously losing interest.

    Trying to define what makes Doctor Who great is a pretty infinite and useless task, but I am getting very concerned that even fans of the show are starting to have their expectations lowered to such a degree that it is now becoming acceptable to say that this is just a 'kids' programme, and its 'not really sci-fi' its about 'relationships', or even worse on one of the recent Podcasts: that it is really about 'magic'!?

    Good heavens! If this really is just a magical emotional and earthbound kids show then I've clearly been missing the point all these years... Why not have done with it and set series 4 in a magical semi-detached house on the outskirts of London where the Doctor and Donna live and have emotional and exciting adventures around the housing estate full of mystery and monsters.

    I think that New Who is suffering from a George Lucas complex and we really need some fresh and daring ideas to drive the next season out of the dreary ditch it is currently satisfied with sitting in.

    In short: didn't much like this episode. As RTD often says about his creation, its just a load of 'nonesense' .. Sorry, but I need something more from my TV shows and I guess I may have to look elsewhere for now.


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     Friday, July 13 2007 @ 10:24 AM EDT
    [Quote  by:  Simon]The last three episodes taken as a whole left me cold and the silly ending with the Titanic was the nail in the coffin.
    ...
    I love the idea of Doctor Who as a long time viewer and as a fan, but if Catherine Tate as Donna and a load of earth-bound, star studded cameos is all we have to look forward to next time, then I'm seriously losing interest.

    Trying to define what makes Doctor Who great is a pretty infinite and useless task, but I am getting very concerned that even fans of the show are starting to have their expectations lowered to such a degree that it is now becoming acceptable to say that this is just a 'kids' programme, and its 'not really sci-fi' its about 'relationships', or even worse on one of the recent Podcasts: that it is really about 'magic'!?
    ...
    In short: didn't much like this episode. As RTD often says about his creation, its just a load of 'nonesense' .. Sorry, but I need something more from my TV shows and I guess I may have to look elsewhere for now.

    The Titanic thing doesn't bother me as much...yet. I'm willing to wait and hear the explanation for it. It has been mentioned numerous times by The Doctor that the TARDIS is indestructable, but The Doctor has been wrong before (weapons don't work in the TARDIS, travel between parallel worlds is impossible, etc). I suspect the explanation really won't be as blah as the Titanic really crashed into the TARDIS, but I'll bet it's more than that. For starters, I'm not even really sure if this is the famed Titanic anyway - the last 2 Christmas specials both took place on Christmas Day...Titanic set sail in April and sank a few days later. So either 1) this isn't the Titanic we all know, or 2) we're going to have our 1st Who XMas special that doesn't take place on XMas day. But like I said, I'm reserving judgement until an explanation.

    However I do agree with you about being concerned for the direction Who is going in. I can't stand all these Earth-centric stories and the romantic aspect with his companions. At least when Pertwee's Doctor was stuck on Earth, there was a decent explanation. Series 3 has definitely made me lower my expectations (maybe because S2 raised them so much), so S4 can't really go anywhere but up...I hope.

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     Friday, July 13 2007 @ 10:46 AM EDT
    One other thing that I forgot about that I wanted to comment on...

    First off, I also didn't like the "Dobby Doctor" (I would have preferred to see an emaciated/skeletal yet full-size CGI Doctor), but I don't have a problem with the transformation back to normal. Here's why:

    First off, it is well established that Time Lords are telepathic, so it makes sense that The Doctor would have found a way to tap into the Archangel Network and use it for his own purposes. I find the way that he tapped into it to be a little far-fetched, but it is still possible.

    The next thing that doesn't bother me that seems to bother a bunch of other people is The Doctor "flying". Well, that too has been established to be a Time Lord ability. In City of Death The Doctor and Romana II are in the Eiffel Tower and Romana II suggests that they fly from the tower to their next location. The Doctor says that would be "conspicuous", but Romana II is serious and The Doctor convinces her that they shouldn't fly. Now, we have never seen Time Lords fly, but Romana II and The Doctor appeared to be serious about their ability to do so, even though the story was written by Douglas Adams. So, there is precendent for The Doctor flying in Last of the Time Lords.

    As far as his clothes growing in size with him as he transforms back to normal, well this too has been done in The Invisible Enemy. Also, asking the BBC to be scientifically accurate and having full frontal nudity on a 7PM childrens show seems to me to be a bit silly.

    The episode itself has several things that I don't care for such as the Captain Scarlet/S.H.I.E.L.D. platform and this episode creates several continuity errors in previous stories of the relaunch. Some examples include The Runaway Bride where the military receives their orders from Harold Saxon to destroy the Racnoss spaceship. Since we see that the first thing Saxon does is to have people killed after becoming Prime Minister it doesn't make sense for the military to be obeying his orders in The Runaway Bride. Also, I really like the idea that Jack is the Face of Boe, but that too creates continuity errors since it was established in season 1 that he is the last of a race of "Boe kind" and has offspring. Even if Jack were to become a giant floating head with tentacles, his DNA would still be humanoid and any offspring would not likely be other giant floating heads with tentacles.

    Utopia and Sound of Drums would be 4.5 or 5 out of 5 for me, but Last of the Time Lords would be a 3 for me because of the far-fetched nature of some of the items presented and for the avoidable continuity errors that the episode created.

    Talk to you later.

    -Derek

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     Friday, July 13 2007 @ 11:03 AM EDT
    [Quote  by:  sgb1975]
    [Quote  by:  Simon]The last three episodes taken as a whole left me cold and the silly ending with the Titanic was the nail in the coffin.
    ...
    I love the idea of Doctor Who as a long time viewer and as a fan, but if Catherine Tate as Donna and a load of earth-bound, star studded cameos is all we have to look forward to next time, then I'm seriously losing interest.

    Trying to define what makes Doctor Who great is a pretty infinite and useless task, but I am getting very concerned that even fans of the show are starting to have their expectations lowered to such a degree that it is now becoming acceptable to say that this is just a 'kids' programme, and its 'not really sci-fi' its about 'relationships', or even worse on one of the recent Podcasts: that it is really about 'magic'!?
    ...
    In short: didn't much like this episode. As RTD often says about his creation, its just a load of 'nonesense' .. Sorry, but I need something more from my TV shows and I guess I may have to look elsewhere for now.

    The Titanic thing doesn't bother me as much...yet. I'm willing to wait and hear the explanation for it. It has been mentioned numerous times by The Doctor that the TARDIS is indestructable, but The Doctor has been wrong before (weapons don't work in the TARDIS, travel between parallel worlds is impossible, etc). I suspect the explanation really won't be as blah as the Titanic really crashed into the TARDIS, but I'll bet it's more than that. For starters, I'm not even really sure if this is the famed Titanic anyway - the last 2 Christmas specials both took place on Christmas Day...Titanic set sail in April and sank a few days later. So either 1) this isn't the Titanic we all know, or 2) we're going to have our 1st Who XMas special that doesn't take place on XMas day. But like I said, I'm reserving judgement until an explanation.

    However I do agree with you about being concerned for the direction Who is going in. I can't stand all these Earth-centric stories and the romantic aspect with his companions. At least when Pertwee's Doctor was stuck on Earth, there was a decent explanation. Series 3 has definitely made me lower my expectations (maybe because S2 raised them so much), so S4 can't really go anywhere but up...I hope.


    And also, the Tardis was broken up in Frontios, the Keeper of Traken got in, The White Guardian too. It was broken up in The Mind Robber as well.

    I don't think the Tardis can be penetrated by naturally occuring events, like a tidal wave or being in a collapsing building, but can ve affected by powers outside the natural realm of things. We don't know yet what the explanation will be for the Titanic penetrating the console room. It could be some outside influence we haven't seen yet.

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     Friday, July 13 2007 @ 11:32 AM EDT
    I've never understood the "TARDIS is indestructible" thing.

    Especially as it has been both destroyed before and the Timelords saw fit to install a HADS system to keep it from... erm... being destroyed.

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     Saturday, July 14 2007 @ 11:24 AM EDT
    I think that for me what series 3 has shown is that all this detailed and justified speculation that tries to join together all these tangles of plot holes and storylines will just end up being ignored by the programme makers.

    I'm losing faith here that anything is happening on the show with any thought or foresight. Instead, things are put in because they look good, are funny, make money, or because they just distract the audience from taking all this too seriously.

    This is why Jack had to be mysteriously placed back outside the Hub in Utopia (rather than inside and underground as he was in Torchwood); why the whole Torchwood thing (having been inexplicably forced on us throughout S2) just became a strangely problematic barrier to the whole narrative in the DW season finale two-parter; why Jack being the face of boe was tagged on as an afterthought; and why the Titanic entering the console room started out as a joke, but will now have to be 'seriously' dealt with in a way that will just allow the writers to steamroller into another boring and unfulfulling self-contained story.

    I think my realisation is that there is no Wizard of Oz behind the curtain planning in detail all of this daft stuff. Its just the fans who seem concerned with continuity and character motivations. RTD and co. will just carry on regardless to tell us another woefully confusing but oh so flambouyant magical tale. Its just wearing a bit thin for me now to the point that however the Doctor manages to be on the Titanic it won't be anything with substance. As a result, I'm seriously questioning whether all this is really worth my time Frown sigh

    I mean, come on, should we trust that the show is being treated with loving care when the three missing spheres that killed the president weren't dealt with at the end of the last episode? This isn't just a nit pick, or a small plot hole. Its HUGE since it was these three spheres that made the whole story (and threat) of The Sound of Drums make any senese. This lack of care for the narrative just screams out that something here is very wrong - esp. since we are encouraged to think that it doesn't matter. Well, if something like that doesn't matter then does any of it?

    I just can't imagine other shows getting away with that, but it seems that my concerns and problems with the direction the show is taking put me very much in the minority.

    Here's my prediction for xmas: the Titanic will be lost in a temporal vortex because some alien put it there..

    (why? Who cares Grandad! We need to get on with the story and an explanation will just slow this narrative down! Gotta go forward!)

    ..Ok, so the Titanic hits the TARDIS in the timespace vortex, crashes through to the console room..

    (even though the console room may not even be near the exterior of the TARDIS shell and so by rights the ship could have appeared ANYWHERE within the vast interior of the TARDIS - which we are not allowed to ever see).

    ..So, the Doctor has 45 mins to figure out a way of getting rid of the alien force - who also has an army of robot Santas at their command..

    (why? who cares, gotta keep this baby moving!)

    ..and setting the Titanic back on earth in time for it to crash into an iceberg and thus conclude what must surely be one of the most distasteful uses of an true life disaster in the whole history of the show!

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     Saturday, July 14 2007 @ 05:12 PM EDT
    I had to go into forum withdrawl for over a week as I wasn't able to see Last of the Time Lords until recently. Like a lot of fans, I think I was expecting something spectacular and instead merely got a good story.

    I felt the Doctor was shown to be too passive during his year with the Master. I would have liked more debate between the two characters. It would have been great if the captive Doctor could have won a war of words proving his point that you can't stop people from thinking.

    Also, I wish the restoration of the Doctor could have been done another way. Maybe the hand could have been used or Captain Jack could have given him a special smooch. Or perhaps it could have been tied in more with the power of words from the Shakespeare Code.

    And I was expecting to see more of the "no second chances" Doctor. Since the Doctor and the Master last met, the Doctor has become a bit darker in nature. I was thinking that somehow the Doctor was going to surprise the Master wtih some sort of action that the Master would not have expected.

    All in all, I thought the story had many good things. RTD likes to think big and I admire it but sometimes I think the parts don't always equal the whole.

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     Saturday, July 14 2007 @ 11:18 PM EDT
    [Quote  by:  Simon]I mean, come on, should we trust that the show is being treated with loving care when the three missing spheres that killed the president weren't dealt with at the end of the last episode? This isn't just a nit pick, or a small plot hole. Its HUGE since it was these three spheres that made the whole story (and threat) of The Sound of Drums make any senese. This lack of care for the narrative just screams out that something here is very wrong - esp. since we are encouraged to think that it doesn't matter. Well, if something like that doesn't matter then does any of it?
    Leaving the rest of your post to one side momentarily, what the heck do you mean here? How should they "have been dealt with"? More to the point, why should they have been dealt with individually?

    "I think of myself as ambitious in casting terms, and I know that Bonnie [Langford] has the potential to make the part totally unirritating . . ." JNT, 1986
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     Saturday, July 14 2007 @ 11:35 PM EDT
    [Quote  by:  DarthSkeptical]
    [Quote  by:  Simon]I mean, come on, should we trust that the show is being treated with loving care when the three missing spheres that killed the president weren't dealt with at the end of the last episode? This isn't just a nit pick, or a small plot hole. Its HUGE since it was these three spheres that made the whole story (and threat) of The Sound of Drums make any senese. This lack of care for the narrative just screams out that something here is very wrong - esp. since we are encouraged to think that it doesn't matter. Well, if something like that doesn't matter then does any of it?
    Leaving the rest of your post to one side momentarily, what the heck do you mean here? How should they "have been dealt with"? More to the point, why should they have been dealt with individually?


    My presumption is that Simon is refering to the 3 or 4 (whatever number) Toclafane that the Master had with him prior to the Rift opening via the Paradox machine. That small number might exist outside of the Paradox limitation, and therefore might still be a further threat.

    Cheers,
    Mike M.

    I'm a Time Traveler, I point and laugh at archaeologist.
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     Sunday, July 15 2007 @ 10:59 AM EDT
    [Quote  by:  Mawdryn] And I was expecting to see more of the "no second chances" Doctor. Since the Doctor and the Master last met, the Doctor has become a bit darker in nature. I was thinking that somehow the Doctor was going to surprise the Master wtih some sort of action that the Master would not have expected.


    That was something that was bothering me ever since the end of this season's Dalek story. The Doctor is all about "no second chances" - a fact that he then goes on to prove by bringing down Harriet Jones as Prime Minister (and thus paving the way for Harold Saxon to take over - oooh the irony). But during this series there have been two crucial times when he gives "second" chances (the inverted commas because these are much more than second, third or even tenth chances):

    a.) He tries to reason with Dalek Khan - who has just committed genocide.

    b.) He forgives the Master - who has in the past threatened the destruction of the entire universe (and wiped out a significant portion of it in the process of extortion).

    What happened to the "no second chances" rule with the two most serious threats to the universe? Wipe out a spaceship that's a proven threat and you've lost your one chance with the Doctor but wipe out whole galaxies and he tries to reason with you and forgive you.

    Hmm, maybe the Doctor is just a really clever sadist at heart.

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     Monday, July 16 2007 @ 06:34 AM EDT
    Thanks Darth. Yeah, I'm referring to how ever many Toclofane theoretically remained at the end of the episode. After the 'reset' button was pressed the events took place just before the rift opened and just after the president was killed.

    If this is the case then who killed the president? The Toclofane surely. So my point is this: if the arrival of the Toclofane as a new speciies was such an important event (and threat) in the Sound of Drums, then why was the likely presence of these sphere's at the end 'not dealt with' by the writer?

    I don't care either way for the Toclofane, but they were introduced into the reality of these episodes as an near indestructible killer threat, so in my mind the writer has a responsibility to account for their presence or absence in some way throughout the story. If we are encouraged to just ignore this important plot point, then why should the casual viewer invest emotionally in anything else that occurs in the episodes?

    That is my point, and it is used to draw attention to what in my opinion are consistent problems with many of the episodes this season which may indicate a steady downward spiral in the standard of the show. A view which seems supported by the arrival of more celebrity cameos and esp. the arrival of Donna in S4 - who is surely one of the least interesting companions the show has ever had (next to Mel).

    I'm actually surprised that the plot holes in this episode haven't been more an issue for you Darth as you made some similar points about the issue of the watch in Human Nature.

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     Friday, August 24 2007 @ 08:10 PM EDT
    [Quote  by:  Simon] I'm actually surprised that the plot holes in this episode haven't been more an issue for you Darth as you made some similar points about the issue of the watch in Human Nature.
    I suppose I don't see plot holes in this instance. The Toclafane clearly require the paradox machine for egress from Utopia. They can appear briefly and in small numbers, because the machine is in the process of "reaching critical". [The "Teletubbies" scene between the Master and the lone Toclafane makes it clear that the paradox machine is building power, and is therefore the ostensible reason that even a few of them can cross over into our time.] Nevertheless, the minimal power levels being generated by the paradox machine prior to 8:02 isn't enough. Their real exit is facilitated by the machine being fully powered. Cut off the machine, the bridge collapses and they're banished. The destruction of the paradox machine therefore doesn't make the events prior to 8:02 disappear, because the not-fully-powered paradox machine still works to bring them across for brief periods of time. But once the paradox machine is totally powered down all incursions by the Toclafane into "our" time zone instantly cease from that moment forward.

    Having said all of this, I should point out that nothing so sophisticated went through my mind when I watched it for the first time. It just made apparent sense to me on first viewing. I still can't quite see why it would be read any other way. It's a bit like trying to deconstruct the absence of light when the simple answer is that you've just blown a fuse. Light doesn't gradually fade from a lamp no longer receiving electricity. It's instant.


    "I think of myself as ambitious in casting terms, and I know that Bonnie [Langford] has the potential to make the part totally unirritating . . ." JNT, 1986
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     Saturday, July 21 2007 @ 10:26 PM EDT
    I haven't been keeping up with this thread, but I just got to listening to the live podcast today while mowing the lawn.

    Something occurred to me- I would bet that Lucy Saxon was actually the Master, who used a modified version of the chameleon arch (and the technology of Dr. Lazarus) to make a "back-up copy" of himself (and the back-up was who we knew as Harold Saxon). This would explain his willingness to die. Just a thought I hadn't seen yet in this thread.

    Did you say "74,384,338 to 1 against"? That's my lucky number!
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     Thursday, August 23 2007 @ 04:58 PM EDT
    [Quote  by:  rocko] I haven't been keeping up with this thread, but I just got to listening to the live podcast today while mowing the lawn.


    Like it!

    Nothing dies of old age on Skaro!
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     Tuesday, September 25 2007 @ 01:52 AM EDT
    I just saw the last 2 episodes on the CBC tonight and was just thinking about that whole Jack/Face of Boe thing. The way it feels to me is that Jack is pulling their leg, I guess to release some stress or something. I think he could have known about the Face of Boe when Martha was first telling the Doctor about Yana's watch, or through some obscure Torchwood files. Unless something horrible happens to Jack and he transforms into a "Boe", i just feel that he was joking around with the Doctor and Martha.

    Overall they were good episodes, but perfect. I think watching them back to back as the CBC showed them might have helped what I thought about it. I think I'd give it a 4.5/5, and the .5 is lost due to the whole revival of the doctor thing. That didn't bug me that much just when it first happened it removed me from the story for a moment.

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