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Did anyone else think the potential Master plotline which was briefly foreshadowed by the Doctor (ie keeping the Master under his guard in the TARDIS) was far more interesting than what RTD ended up doing with him in the end?
Now, the Doctor mentioning THAT got me very excited - I started thinking of the Mirror's recent report that [possible Series 4 spoiler:] "he'll be getting a different sidekick. And this is a major addition to the cast" and then imagining the constant danger that would underpin the next year if the Master is always there waiting for his moment to escape, and the "Silence of the Lambs"-style conversations the Doctor and the Master might have throughout the season.
[Quote by: daveac] Oh I agree with that - but there's a big jump between 3.5 and 5.
Perhaps on a second viewing it will reach a 4!
Perhaps it is another case of - the number of spoilers read - the less the enjoyment?
Actually, no. I'd pretty much steered clear of the spoilers this year (with the exception of the John Simm/Master one) so I didn't really know how it was going to resolve itself. Opening with "One Year Later" was a nice touch but again I was waiting for the roll-back using the paradox TARDIS - a la Star Trek Voyager (The Year of Hell) - so I knew that it was all going to be alright in the end. The problem this gives you is that it's a bit like the "Bobby in the shower" scene in Dallas - it kind of disinherits all that you've watched up until this point. I also didn't really like Simm's portrayal of the Master very much, which is a pity because I know he's a bloody good actor but Harry Lloyd beat the pants off him this season - which is also ironic given the dire part he was lumbered with in 'Robin Hood'.
And 3.5 to 5 is only 1.5 so not that big really. It would equate to a 7/10. It might go up to an 8 on second viewing but I'm just going by how it grabbed me at the moment. Human Nature/The Family of Blood and Blink were much better stories and saying that this one was as good as them....? Well, that just wouldn't feel right to me. I'd put it behind them.
I felt a great sense of worry when I saw the legend "One Year Later" as I knew then that the "reset" button would be used. I am truly fed up with this manner of tying up a complex story and get very irritated when writers use it. However, I feel that RTD gets away with it this time as all the main characters remember the year that never was (unlike Voyager "Year of Hell"). This allows the events to have had a direct impact on "our" characters. I will say, that although this episode is not perfect it is one of those episodes where I am proud to be a Doctor Who Fan. As the series is pure family entertainment and many children will be watching I feel that this story sends out so many positive messages to them. The Doctor forgiving the Master for the year long humiliation that he was subject to (wasn't that horrible to watch), The Doctor mourning the Master... The positivity of faith and hope (and I am not a religous person myself). I feel that although RTD does have some faults in his writing he does this kind of thing well. I felt the same way in New Earth when Cassandra states that she is dying but that "It's Okay". All these things are very sophisicated for the younger audience who will, hopefully, not only want to aspire to be like The Doctor (as much as possible) but also make them crave quality television. Maybe after the next generation we will say goodbye to reality television and other nonsense and a further emphasis put on quality drama.
[Quote by: Dalzo] I will say, that although this episode is not perfect it is one of those episodes where I am proud to be a Doctor Who Fan. As the series is pure family entertainment and many children will be watching I feel that this story sends out so many positive messages to them. The Doctor forgiving the Master for the year long humiliation that he was subject to (wasn't that horrible to watch), The Doctor mourning the Master... The positivity of faith and hope (and I am not a religous person myself). I feel that although RTD does have some faults in his writing he does this kind of thing well. I felt the same way in New Earth when Cassandra states that she is dying but that "It's Okay". All these things are very sophisicated for the younger audience who will, hopefully, not only want to aspire to be like The Doctor (as much as possible) but also make them crave quality television. Maybe after the next generation we will say goodbye to reality television and other nonsense and a further emphasis put on quality drama.
Well said, Dalzo. That is an aspect of the new Who's philosophy, and in particular RTD's writing, that we probably don't acknowledge enough here. A lot is made at times of how vengeful the Doctor is in the modern series, but fundamentally the show always has very strong and warm humanist values, which makes it family viewing that manages to be both challenging and inspiring.
Definitely - well said Dalzo! You made some great points! It seems like a long time ago now (although it was actually about 9pm last night!), but I gave the episode 5/5 on principle, and a large part of that was for the kind of reasons you gave. And well said Lucas too.
As with most of this series, the finale left me feeling indifferent. It was an ok episode, but definitely not up to par with the finales of the 1st two series.
- I was glad to see the Utopia angle resolved, although not necessarily the way I would've liked.
- I still don't buy why the Toclafane killed present-day humans, when they themselves used to be human.
- The super-small Doctor was just foolish. The Master fast-aging The Doctor with the Lazarus technology I'll accept. The Master treating The Doctor like an animal with the dog dish and the bird cage I'll accept. But the mini-Doctor was just dumb.
- Killing The Master? Doesn't make sense on 2 fronts: 1. He's the arch-enemy of The Doctor, and the whole season had been building up with the Mr. Saxon mystery, and now he's gone just like that? 2. Right before he got shot and was about to implode Earth with all of the black holes, The Doctor called The Master's bluff and said The Master wouldn't do it because that'd mean he'd also die. Yet 2 minutes later, The Master purposefully doesn't regenerate and chooses to die just to spite The Doctor ("I win")??? Come on...they can do better than that. Oh, and by the way, I don't really believe the master is dead...and in case anybody does, I've got some swamp land down in Florida I'd like to sell you.
- Sad to see Martha go. I liked her more than Rose, but I don't feel she ever really got to show her full potential. Whoever they replace her with, I hope they abandon the whole romance angle. The way they portrayed The Doctor and Rose's relationship leaves very little room for there to be any other significant other in his life, beyond that of they typical classic series companion. If they did try it, then they risk turning The Doctor into a womanizer like James Bond.
It's been mentioned in the forums several times, and I totally can see how the producers had this ending in mind in case there was no series 4. If you imagine for a minute that, prior to the finale, the BBC had said they weren't renewing Doctor Who for another series and this episode would be the last Who for the foreseeable future, this would definitely be the way to end things (minus the Titanic). This left few, if any, loose ends to wrap up for now. Haven't watch Confidential yet, but I would almost be willing to bet money that the scene of the female hand picking up the Master's ring was shot way after principal photography had wrapped on S3, and just after the BBC announced they had commissioned S4. "Ooops...looks like we're not going on hiatus after all...better keep The Master around in case we need him."
Jack is the Face of Boe? Genius. If it's true, it makes you wonder if he felt bitter or contempt towards Rose the 2 times he met her knowing that she was responsible for him living this long. I was going to give this episode 3 out of 5 groans, but the Jack/FoB angle bumps it up to 3.5.
Here are a few random thoughts before I start addressing points made by other people..
I was really worried with the opening "One year later". That usually doesn't bode well for me. In this case it ended up being ok. I wasn't especially bothered by it after all.
I wonder if the Doctor being fast-aged into his little munchkin thing was to set up the idea of Jack long-term aging into the Face of Boe.
[Quote by: mindless]4/5. wanted to give it a full 5, but despite enjoying it a lot it just didn't hit the spot i really wanted it to. i thought the "power of words" thing was just way too corny.
I agree. I'd probably give it a 4 out of 5. I think I liked it a little better than Sound of Drums, so I'll have to doublecheck what I gave that.
[Quote by: Abersoch] That little sequence reminded me of the end of the Flash Gordon movie. If the painted fingernails weren't a red herring (pardon the pun) then there really can only be one person who took it. This would perhaps tie in with her constant 'spaced-out' look throughout the story. Perhaps she's not the only one in there, so to speak.
When I read your post, I immediately remembered the end of Flash Gordon, and you're right. It was very similar, from what I remember. Hey, they already gave the Doctor something like the Vulcans' mind-meld. Maybe the Master put his Time Lord equivalent of a Katraa in Lucy.
[Quote by: Tardis-Knight]The last 5 minutes were just brilliant. The scene with Jack, Martha & Doctor was a short one, but it so worked. And the final scenes with Martha were also just spot on. Although the original rumours of her leaving at the end of this series havent been proved completely true, she's definitely had the last laugh with that performance. Superb. Wonderful. I've almost got a tear in my eye as type.
One other thing. The Face of Boe they called him. Yeah. Like it. Like it a lot.
Yeah, as I mentioned briefly in my stand-alone post last night, I think they got Martha out of the way just so they didn't have to account for her in the next Christmas episode. That way they can do something similar to Runaway Bride and have the Doctor with a one-episode guest-star companion. Then in Series 4 Ep 1, the Doctor will get a call from Martha. Maybe a year or two later in her subjective time-line, when she is completely over the Doctor.
[Quote by: Abersoch]A good solid episode with plenty of new material but I knew there was always going to be an element of "it never happened" once they'd mentioned that the TARDIS was now a paradox machine. The fact that her parents still remembered it all was a good twist though and frees them up to do other things as well (except for her brother, of course, who won't remember any of it except for the fact that he was told to hide - hmm, wonder if they ever found him).
Yeah, with a name like Paradox Machine, you had to figure on that. The one reason I don't mind it as much is that, with the wibbly-wobbly nature of time in this show, you can argue that the events did happen and then were resolved. It's less Bobby in Dallas as someone else mentioned.
[Quote by: Abersoch] Actually, no. I'd pretty much steered clear of the spoilers this year (with the exception of the John Simm/Master one) so I didn't really know how it was going to resolve itself. Opening with "One Year Later" was a nice touch but again I was waiting for the roll-back using the paradox TARDIS - a la Star Trek Voyager (The Year of Hell) - so I knew that it was all going to be alright in the end. The problem this gives you is that it's a bit like the "Bobby in the shower" scene in Dallas - it kind of disinherits all that you've watched up until this point.
There's the Bobby quote. I knew I saw it. I need to go back and watch Voyager's Year of Hell. That was a good ep.
[Quote by: daveac] Not many comments yet - the luggage handlers on the Red Eye fights must be on a go slow.
I wonder how many people were affected by the green demon's absence. I was able to find an alternate alternate means, but others might still be working on it.
I'm going "Full Circle" and putting my avatar back to what it was when I first joined. :)
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all, and in the darkness bind them.
I'm a little at a loss of words now. I mean, this being the finale and all and most plot threads being tidied up, There's not too much left to ponder as there was in the last 2 cliffhangers.
I like it. I surely liked it a lot. I found it very satisfying as I had been dying from waiting since last weeks episode. Yes one could get bogged down in all the little nitpicks about the finer points in the story (i.g. power of a thought or word), but seriously, when it comes to Doctor Who, I threw most of that out the window long ago when I first became a fan. I just go along for the ride and here I am left pleased.
Although I've only watched half of the Torchwood series as of now (I've been saving the rest for a rainy day), One thing I have throughly enjoyed since "Utopia" has been the return of Captain Jack. Albeit the older, more reserved, somewhat more sullen version of Jack. The introduction of his character way back in "The Empty Child" was one of the first things that really made me perk up while watching series 1 for the first time. And I'd been missing him in Doctor Who since his departure at the end of that year. So to have him simply wandering back to good ole Torchwood.... I'll be missing him more than Martha.
Esco, "The Bachelor" has regenerated into Bullitt33!!!!
Well, I realize I may be stepping into a minority here, but I absolutely loved this episode. It was thrilling and wonderfully engaging until the very end, and a fitting and satisfying close to the end of a gangbusters year for the show.
Admittantly, I was quite at odds as to whether or not this finale would truly deliver - last week's was fun, but IMO terribly unbalanced for a Doctor Who story. Ultimately, I had to be patient with my uncertainty and let the story arc round itself out.
Well, my patience expired (lol) as I wound up reading many spoilers about this one beforehand, including some of the initial discussion/feedback on here before sitting down to watch it. And frankly, after doing that, I was prepared to dismiss the end of this season, as well as the 3-part story overall as a failure from my feelings about what I was reading from some who'd just seen it.
But then I watched it. And WOW. RTD and Co. actually managed to pull off yet another triumphant close to the third year of New Who. Completely, utterly, fantastic.
I'm finding it altogether fascinating (if not slightly amusing as well) at the backlash this episode has brought about, especially considering how much many seemed to enjoy last week's, yet hated this. And I'm not just talking about the Podshock community - I'm talking worldwide, here. The general consensus from the overall fan community, on the whole, seems to have flipped. If you were unsure about last week, you thought this episode really drove it home. If you loved last week, this conclusion ruined it for you. It's really quite bizarre...
Frankly, I can't see (aside from the usual minor plot holes here and there) what the big deal is. This was a perfectly delivered conclusion for all intents and purposes - inevitable reset-button ending and all. Look - it's a family show. We all knew with the reverse-engineered TARDIS-Paradox Machine there was no way they'd end this story arc with the events of one-tenth of the world's population left dead and gone. No way. To me, after accepting what you knew they would do to get around this, it was all about the dramatic impact of how it reached that point - and I was quite satisfied by how it all came together in the end.
John Simm really won me over in the second half of his direct appearance in this story arc. It was, in general, a perfectly realized balance of what I was expecting to begin with - more menace and vengeance, less mugging and silliness. His behavior works more so for me now in the beginning of "Drums," as he really drives home the essence of the character in the conclusion here - he's having fun up front, and then turns on the dread for his curtain call. It's ironic, too, that after all this doubt about being able to like him overall in the role of the Master (pertaining to him playing the role ongoing for a period of time) and then being sold on him by the very end - he's scrapped. But that's ok. His performance will ultimately stand alongside the other Master incarnations just fine, short-lived as it actually turned out to be.
As to the fate of the character itself - well, c'mon. It's obvious Lucy was spaced out for a reason. Anyone else notice her black eye early on? Damn - I guess the Master is a bit of a womanizer as well. But in all seriousness - it's got to be the 'ole Texas switch here - he took her body as a failsafe fallback "out" in case his plan came crashing down. He'd never let himself die that easily, per the Doctor's own admission. How, exactly, the Doctor couldn't perhaps see through this "greatest trick the Devil ever pulled" gag at the end is beyond me. It falls into the category of slight plot hole syndrome. But you have to figure the Master truly outwitted him again and found a way around the normal cycle of Time Lord life all over again. He is, after all as time attests, excellent at stealing bodies in order to survive. I just know this angle makes perfect sense. Lucy was a shell by the end. Her shooting him was likely by his own control (hypnotism!)- as for her saying "Doctor" in that key comeback moment, think of it as a final cry for help, due to her being enslaved by the Master's will to carry out his final magic trick - faking his own death!
Martha's arc this year was very well done. She decided to save herself from a path that would not ultimately pave itself to her liking. And that's an admirable thing indeed. Why drag on with the Doctor when the payoff was not up to her standards? He had, after all, put her in some very sticky situations this season, ultimately leaving his fate and others in her hands - more than once, mind you! So - for her to feel shortchanged in so much responsibility therein, without feeling the Doctor's affections towards her in the desired fashion - it only makes sense for her to bail from a full-time life with him. She can't entirely let him go, but she won't be taken for granted any longer, either. A splendid turn of events here. It shows growth in her character - more growth than Rose could've ever been capable of. Bravo!
Jack as the Face of Bo was, quite obviously (aside from his time-hopping device and some good company), the real reason to bring him back here - a big final reveal of his own that ties things all together in the brilliantly non-linear fashion that has been Series 3 in a nutshell. Beautifully done. And lots of food for thought, here - as has been mentioned, gotta wonder what he's thinking in "The End of the World" when they meet again after all that time.
Once again, Tennant shines golden. His emotion of losing (heh heh, though not really, eh?) the last of his kind outside of himself as the Master died in his arms was exquisitely done. One might truly wonder if all that emotion did indeed hint at them being more than just of the same race - perhaps brothers after all?
As for the other major controversial points in the episode:
* The Toclafane - it only made the most sense for them to be the Utopia-bound future humans. We all knew this, more or less. It tied up that loose end from the beginning of the story and made it all come home in a well-rounded sense of storytelling. I mean C'MON - the "sky is made of diamonds" kid turning into THAT? Superbly dark and unflinching there. As for their motivation to kill off their ancestors - well, how would you react to being charred at the end of all space and time, then given the opportunity to go back and change the world to survive in your own right, all while housing yourself in a metallic, weaponized form? It was a very human motivation - one that meant survival for the victims of Utopia at all costs - even re-writing the fate of all mankind to save themselves. That was the Master's point all along - to exploit this nasty little trait and make it work for his own devious means. And it was very well done.
* "Dobby Doctor" - This really didn't bother me. And trust me - after reading the spoilers, I was prepared to spit blood. It was actually kind've cool. While, overall, I would've enjoyed the Mill's final take to resemble something much closer to the original design as seen in the accompanying Confidential to this episode, it was still good enough to sell the story angle and make the Doctor hit the lowest possible point he could reach, without the Master actually killing him. He makes him from a leashed pet into a caged one - humiliation opposed to eradication, in this case. A well realized character trait staying true to form here.
* The "Power of Words"/Archangel network angle - What is people's beef with this? The Doctor had a year to prepare to exploit this weakness in the Master's plan while Martha insured its success by planting the seed all over the world. If the Master could influence events such as his rise to power over the network, then why not the Doctor? This was just classic! The Doctor finding a loophole in the Master's grand scheme and then utilizing it to turn the tables - it's been done before and it always satisfies. You're telling me you'd have preferred they actually followed through with the silly tripe of that James Bond gun angle? Ugh - I almost died when that came into play - thank goodness it turned out to be a patsy smokescreen for the real plan. And the Doctor driving the point home about the good in the human race was, yet again, the perfect counter to the Master's faith in their evil, selfish nature through the vengefully-inspired Toclafane. Nice.
* The ‘X-mas cliffhanger - Again, I think many are simply overreacting to this turn of events. The Doctor was just as shocked as we were (ala last year with Donna) and the "reasoning" that will explain away the plausibility of what we saw is not yet known. That's why they call it a cliffhanger, folks. It will all come together on Christmas day. Somehow, some way, it always does. Let the final act of this 3-part story stand as a perfect example. As to the redundancy of the twist at the end, I agree there. But it's all in good fun. And next year will likely end on a much different note, if Tennant does in fact depart the series. So two cliffhangers in a row on the same note can be forgiven, I think.
All in all, this episode just flat out rocked. I really ate crow for doubting this storyline would all work out. So congrats to the team behind the show - after 3 full years of solid finales, I'm not going to worry about the quality again until the impending regime change takes place down the road. The show has been in good hands, and after last night's brilliance, it continues to be so.
Can't wait for next year with all the tweaks to certain dynamics in the series. Another companion! (Please, oh PLEASE let it be Sally Sparrow - LOL) And 'X-Mas should be another fun, one-off hoot for the holidays - just please, no Robot Santas this time - unless they turn out to be Zygons or Sea Devils - LOL. J/K
Now I'm off to watch "The Infinite Quest" - Cheers all!