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The opening is retarded with Jack running in public screaming, "OC--TOURRRR!" and then clinging to the TARDIS in the vortex. OMG that was so friggin stupid.
Then things get a bit better and the dialog is sharp and interesting. The Doctor becomes unlikable again as he's prejudiced against Jack, reveals he left Jack on purpose, and can't do anything about Jack's condition. He didn't even have the decency to tell Jack what really happened and why Jack was like that. THIRD DIMENSION states there is far too much past stuff talked about here but I just love it. It also says that the prosthetics are awful but I cannot agree. The mask for the deightful Chantho is adequate and workable, the Futurekind (more Dr Moreau than Mad Max) are also quite good.
The acting is all well done. A few things: WHO or WHAT made the call from Utopia to go there? More humans? Are the Futurekind humans who came here with the Jacobi humans or are they humans who were here after the others arrived or before? We never find out. What killed Chantho's people? Are the humans mutating into the Futurekind? How did the female Futurekind get into the base or was she a mutating human who was okay before that? What makes everyone think that is what the humans will become? How does YANA get any meaning from the Face of Bo as Yana? If that is Jack then Jack told the Doctor that Yana was the other Time Lord although a nicer message might have been , PUZ the Prof named Yana is the Master and watch out. It does'nt make sense. And if Bo is not Jack, then how did it know? How did Bo know? And why use YOU ARE NOT ALONE as the Master's name or whatever--none of that makes sense beyond a sort of sensationalism. The story gets only a 4/5 because of all this unanswered stuff. I also don't like the Doc's attitude toward Jack. The rest is good and the action picks up and the music is fast paced and brilliant.
Nothing is as chilling or goosebump inducing as when Prof Yana and the entire sequence of Jacobi becoming the Master...the actor doing it with his eyes mostly and his voice is amazing. Another thing that doesn't make sense is that Jacobi's Master kills or electrocutes Chantho and says, "Now I can say I was provoked" when she attacked him with her gun...but...he was already letting in the Futurekind to kill the Doctor, Jack, and Martha. What was he planning to do? Maybe he was planning to go to Utopia and mingle with the people there. As it turns out the Simm Master seems to do this and help the humans become Tocalafane (Maybe? or maybe they were dying as the Toclafane?). None of that is properly explained and it's a major fault of this trilogy. As part of the threesome it's as poor as the other two but not really. Standing alone, it's grand due to the last 20 min or so. Pity that the handsome man in the suit had to die and ..was that the same man Jack first flirted with when they arrived?
Once John Simm arrives, all goes downhill. And why do we always have to have a regeneration standing up? Anyway Simm prances around the console, seems fully adjusted to his new body already, and makes fast paced unfunny comments to the Doctor. Tennant is amazing in the entire story and his rapport with Jacobi is obvious and great. All in all a 3/5 for many unanswered questions, the Doc's attitude at first, and Jack's silly ride on the Tardis, the many stolen bits for FUTUREKIND, and Simm's poor performance. It won't get better either. Oh and for all the stolen bits from LOIS AND CLARK for this three part trilogy.
Oh and one more major thing: seeing this after LAST OF THE TIME LORDS, it makes it even more depressing that all the hope the humans have going to Utopia is misplaced and they will all end up butchered and as Toclafane. That's just sad, that is. Very sad. RTD really knows how to be dark and downcast. I keep hoping the show will return to Utopia on Utopia itself and sort out the Tocalafane issue and the Master there. I hate that humanity ends THAT way.