Sunday, January 3, 2010

Doctor Who S04E18-The End of Time Part Two

It has all come down to this. The Master is once again in control of humanity and seeks an answer to the mysterious drumming in his head. The Doctor, with Wilfred at his side, contemplates the end and the shocking revelation of the return of his own people. With the whole of time and space at stake, The Doctor engages his most desperate gamble yet. It’s the final adventure of The Tenth Doctor…and the start of a new one for The Eleventh Doctor.

The End of Time Part Two…we’ve finally come to the end of the road, for now anyway. So there are questions aplenty I’m sure going into this the most prominent being: how was David Tennant in his final appearance as The Doctor? WHOA WOW AMAZING!!! David delivers several different sides to The Doctor that we have seen before but with much more power and emotion than ever before. Sure he is brooding and sobbing over the end of his existence (in a way we all are) but there’s still plenty of that gung ho cowboy gusto and smart quirky attitude that have made him such a cool and amazing character from scene one after his regeneration from Christopher Eccleston to David Tennant. His tearful final words echo our own thoughts and it brought a tear to my eye when the actual regeneration occurred. But more on that later. For now I’ll just say David Tennant sir, I’ve said just about all I can say on your acting in several reviews before this one and my thoughts haven’t changed. You are MY DOCTOR and thank you so much for the last four years of amazing adventures. Au Revoir mon amie.

Now that I’ve got that out of my system, on to the rest of the episode. Where to start? The Time Lords, led by former James Bond Timothy Dalton, finally return and show their true colors, justifying why The Doctor had to fry them along with the Daleks at the end of the Time War. Wow what a bunch of douche bags; that is save for mystery woman who guides both The Doctor and Wilf through their big trial. We never find out who she is. I kind of thought she was Romana (a character from the old Tom Baker adventures). Another mystery to be explored another day I guess.

The Master. He finally got the answers he was looking for all of this time and finally made his choice on where he stands in the end of the episode. Sure he vanishes without a trace, but I hope we see John Simm again one day as a new and improved Master, minus the magic powers even though they did come in handy at the end of the episode. If he does return one day it will be interesting to see how he fares on screen against Doctor number eleven. It’ll be hard to top though, John Simm and David Tennant had great chemistry in all of their scenes.

Wilfred. The heart and soul of this story gave his best performance yet and got to get in on the action in a Star Wars esque action piece. Again, Bernard Cribbs plays the sadden fan that is all of us as The Tenth Doctor’s end draws near. His tearful breakdown as he tells The Doctor he wants him to survive was a tear jerking moment worthy of an Emmy Award in the right universe. Possibly sadder than The Tenth Doctor’s end is the sense of finality brought to Wilf’s story. I get the feeling we may never see this character again or if we ever do it will be quite some time. Still, Wilf got quite the send off, even provided the smack to the face answer to the infamous “He will knock four times warning”. GREAT STUFF!!!

After The Doctor sacrifices his life to save Wilf, he gets some time to go see his other companions one last time. Here we get brief glimpses of the current states of some of our favorite: Luke Smith almost gets run over by a car only to be saved by The Doctor at the last second; Captain Jack Harkness is drowning his sorrows in a bar following the events of Torchwood: Children of Earth, only to link up with a familiar sailor from Voyage of the Damned thanks to The Doctor; the descendant of Joan Redford (from Human Nature/The Family of Blood) gets a visit from The Doctor, a tender scene; and The Doctor pays an “in the shadows” visit to Rose Tyler on New Year’s Eve 2005, the year she met his Christopher Eccleston incarnation. Oh and apparently Mickey and Martha got married? Yeah that was the only little tidbit I could get over, I mean really? Alien hunting partners maybe, but MARRIED? Sorry I can’t process that one just yet. Oh and also Donna survives her burn out with no real side effects, I wish they would have cleared that up a little bit better.

And then we finally have the regeneration we’ve all been both dreading and looking forward too. What is my verdict on Mr. Matt Smith as The Eleventh Doctor? Eh, too early to tell. But judging from the trailer that followed this episode he is going to a bit more of a proactive and action oriented Doctor, harkening back to Jon Pertwee’s karate infused Third Doctor. Again it’s too early to tell, we’ll see what he can do when the series returns later this spring with a new Doctor, new Tardis interior (and slightly redesigned exterior), new drop dead gorgeous companion and even a new title logo.

So aside from one character revelation that doesn’t sit to well with me, the rest of The End of Time Part 2 gave us all the drama and emotion we expected to see in David Tennant’s final Doctor appearance (for now hopefully anyway) What more is there to say at this point? The future lies ahead, so in the immortal words of The Tenth Doctor…”ALLONS-Y!!!!”

Next Time-Daleks, The Weeping Angels, sexy female vampires, gravity defying swordsman, guns, explosions, mayhem…The Eleventh Doctor arrives on Earth Spring 2010.


Doctor Who S04E17-The End of Time Part One

The people of Earth are having terrible dreams of a man with a menacing laugh. The Doctor returns to Earth to find his greatest fears realized…The Master has been resurrected. However, the resurrection has gone wrong and The Master is now more powerful and more insane than ever. It all comes down to the biggest game changer ever, where The Doctor and Wilfred Mott witness the fall of the human race and the rise of The Master. And elsewhere, a new and unexpected development occurs. For the rise of The Master Race heralds the return of a race once thought dead forever.

Well, here we have it: the beginning of the end for the Tenth Doctor. The End of Time Part One was a somewhat sluggish start to a grand story but there were definitely plenty of good scenes, particularly towards the end, but we will get to that in a moment.

First, while I know there are those out there who feel Russell T. Davies is running out of ideas since he is returning to the Noble Family once again, I can safely say that star companion Wilfred Mott is great as The Doctor’s companion for this story. And to be honest, Wilf was such a great character in Series 4 that he deserved every right to get at least one trip with The Doctor. Bernard Cribbs is fantastic as always playing the old granddad who is totally understanding of The Doctor’s current state and can’t bring himself to ever hate him, even after what happened to Donna and The Doctor recounting the events of The Waters of Mars. The cafĂ© scene between the two of them is well acted and well written. Wilf is the fan we all are, almost in tears along with David Tennant as they contemplate the world without this version of The Doctor. Wilf man, you are the man.

And at last, after much hype and many a fan girl scream, The Master returns, badder and more disturbed than ever. It is always a treat to see John Simm back in the saddle. However, the new powers he obtains through his disasterous resurrection were a little disappointing and even a little cheesy. The transparent skull visual was creepy and good, but the lighting bolts and the jumping like Neo through a trash site were not as satisfying as they could have been. Visuals aside, The Master is still a great villain who may or may not bring about the end of The Doctor if the prophecy has been interpreted correctly.

Lots of new and familiar faces this time out. Obviously since Wilf is involved we had to see Sylvia and Donna Noble again although their involvement is rather limited, a possible letdown for fans of Donna. David Herewood (the kick ass Friar Tuck from Robin Hood) makes a guest appearance as the mysterious Joshua Naismith but again his involvement in the story is simply just to be there just for sake of one plot point. He is sorely underused which is very disappointing since he’s such a great actor. Oh and they’re two “cactus” characters present who may or may not play a bigger role in Part 2. Doesn’t really matter though I didn’t really care for them anyway.

Arguably the biggest and best moments of the episode came in the last ten or so minutes when The Master enacts his grand plan and turns the entire human race into The Master. Oh and James Bond Timothy Dalton is the President of the Time Lords who make a surprise return to the Doctor Who universe declaring the titular End of Time. As far as cliffhangers go, this one pretty much tops the list. Never before since the infamous cliffhanger of Star Trek The Next Generations “The Best of Both Worlds” have I been this scared and anxious for the next part. How is The Doctor ever going to get out of this one?

So aside for a fairly slow pacing, the rest of the story set itself up nicely in the last quarter with the return of some great characters and some great interactions between those characters. This wasn’t the best of the 2009 specials, probably the weakest. Here’s hoping January 1, 2010 is the send off we all hoped David Tennant would get.

Next Time-The End is only the Beginning. The final adventure of The Tenth Doctor January 1, 2010