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"Doctor Who" The Sound of Drums (2007)

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44 out of 67 people found the following review useful:

Just when you think, "Surely, the series can't be any better?"...

Author: DVD_Connoisseur from England
23 June 2007

With "The Sound of Drums", Russell T. Davies shows that despite a smörgåsbord of treats throughout the season, there's still a lot more surprises in his TARDIS-like bag.

A dark, tense and highly original episode, "The Sound of Drums" is so good it's difficult to know where to begin. Davies' teases fans with references to The Doctor's brother (a few seconds pause seemed like an eternity in this scene), jelly babies and so on, while giving long-term viewers the best Gallifrey treat they could ever wish for in this episode. The short, beautifully shot clip of The Master's back-history is informative and manages to honour the memories of anybody who has grown up with "The Deadly Assassin" and the various subsequent Time Lord tales. This is epic stuff - there's a legendary feel to "The Sound of Drums" and the show appears bigger in scale than a television programme, having an almost movie-like feel to the proceedings. After watching this series of "Doctor Who" other science fiction offerings are going to feel tired and drawn-out compared to this lean and mean, multi-faced beast. We have seen a diverse number of stories this year but the quality has remained constant throughout.

John Simm steals the show as the psychopathic Master. He has all the best lines and eats the part up like the world's most scrumptious meal. Simm is the very picture of a maniacal genius and it's hard to imagine anybody delivering a better performance in this role. His scenes with the cabinet and the President of the USA will be difficult to forget.

The Jones family are proving more entertaining and likable than the Tylers - Trevor Laird and Adjoa Andoh are excellent as Martha's parents and Gugu Mbatha-Raw is wonderful as younger sister, Tish.

The episode finishes on the ultimate cliffhanger. This is black as night "Doctor Who" and it's an absolute delight.

10 out of 10. Again, thank you Russel T. Davies and Phil Collinson for delivering such a treat to fans everywhere, young and old. This is more than anybody could have ever expected and as each season progresses, the creative envelope is pushed ever further. Genuinely jaw-dropping entertainment.

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21 out of 33 people found the following review useful:

Strange Mixture Of Good And Bad

Author: Theo Robertson from Isle Of Bute, Scotland
21 August 2008

Watching this episode is like someone giving you all your favourite food . Salmon , steak , pasta , , curry , blancmange and apple crumble all on the same plate . Seeing as the chef is Russell T Davies he'll also give you everything you don't like such as rabbit , marmite and appropriately tripe on the same plate as your faves .

The Sound Of Drums gets off to a bad start with a quite terrible resolution to the previous week's cliffhanger . What is with episodes dovetailing in to one another ? The writers can't seem to make an effort at all with The Doctor Dances and Age of Steel both suffering from ridiculous resolutions and this episode is no different . The story continues with aspects that left me thinking I was watching a children's programme . We see a bunch of red sticks with the word " Dynamite " written on them which is kind of like seeing a cannonball with a burning fuse , and we're treated ( RTD's words not mine ) to umpteen ridiculous examples plot contrivance like " perception filters " , what a load of nonsense

There are good aspects too such as John Simms take on a Tony Blair type of character and the use of The Rogue Traders rave track Voodoo Child which shows Nu-Who in a radical light . Imagine away back in 1973 we had Roger Delgado's Master as a prime minister who was in to sailing and conducting orchestras battling against Jon Pertwee against a Slade soundtrack . You'd never be able to conceive that would you ? All this helps The Sound Of Drums but it's far from being a classic episode

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12 out of 21 people found the following review useful:

different and refreshing

Author: figgis86 from United Kingdom
26 June 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

''basically...end of the world'' This episode begins with uneasy humour and ends with league of gentlemen-esq humour, though the tone is incredibly dark. Whereas last season's finale saw millions of daleks hovering above Caray Wharf and slaughtering countless humans, this story sees that element of catastrophe being upped a notch. It was surprising and unexpected. If you thought it was one thing, it was something else. RTD could have used cybermen, daleks, gelth or another recurring villain, but chose to do something new. Oh yes, and the Tyler's would not have done what the Jones's have done, which adds a soap opera element, but is immediately overshadowed by the fact that the Master has been manipulating event son Earth without arousing any suspicion. The Sweeney-esq shootouts and the rather humorous treatment of the gassing scene is a classic example of how originality can make the simplest techniques entertaining.

This episode is not camp, but is so much fun to watch. The contradicting use of music with 'here come the drums', the tense but highly amusing chase sequences all build up to something unexpected. And what the show deals out best comes in a big way at the end of this week's episode.

This, unlike some other eps this season, gets my approval

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7 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Life on Mars

Author: movieman_kev from United States
10 May 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The trio of the Doctor, Martha, and Captain Jack return to Earth, present day. The Master (superbly played by "Life on Mars's John Simm) under the guise of Harold Saxon has just been elected England's new Prime Minister and if the trio think that the dire situation can't get much worse, the Master and his metallic ball Toclafane will prove them how wrong they can be.

After the brilliant opening gambit that was "Utopia", this episode couldn't help, but feel like a step down, however a slight one. It still remained captivating and i still wait with baited breath as to how it will all end. It's just that it felt, to me at least, that their was a tad more levity in this episode somehow. Not that it's all grins (it isn't), just that the mood didn't seem to fit in some way i can't really explain. But I digress, the fact remains that it's still a fairly tight episode.

My Grade: B

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It's a high impact penultimate episode

Author: Paul Evans from Swansea, United Kingdom
19 August 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

First of all I'll say whoopey doo, a finale that doesn't feature the daleks, this tried to do something very different. The tenuous link from Utopia to Cardiff begins, and we learn of Saxon's rise into Blair-esque Prime Minister and the reveal of his plan to end the world. All seems lost, and all eyes are on Martha to save the world.

John Simm's performance is boundless, his energy and pizazz are phenomenal. He brings the script to life, and even at this early stage I want more of him. He steals the show.

The tapping and drumming asks a lot of questions, it's cleverly realised, the concept of the phone network is a good one too.

The brief appearance of Nicola McAuliffe was fun, and I can't answer why but I'm really drawn to Lucy Saxon.

I like that we get an insight into the Doctor's youth, finally we see some of Gallifrey, we see Time Lords, and we get to see a young Master, at last!!

I kept wondering about Utopia, were the humans left to be destroyed by the Future kind, and the resolution is a nasty one. Not too sure about the Toclafane though.

Martha's family story continues and starts to be revealed, they are still annoying and i'm still missing Jackie, but at least they're given more then just bickering.

Finally the question i'd asked about Torchwood's link from Who and from the show is answered.

It's very good, pieces of the jigsaw from the series are coming together, a few little flaws stop it from being brilliant, the Toclafane, little irritations with the script, but it's big and bold, the use of The Rogue Traders Voodoo Child is so fitting, it fits John Simm's Master so well.


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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Spoiled such a nice show

Author: Sk Rashid Ali
17 September 2016

Introduction of this character called Martha Jones in season 3 ruined such a nice show.

Bad acting, almost no dialogues and just a luggage. The worst acting in episode 11.

It clearly shows that director have cooked up something to just keep the character alive.I think Tish character should have been given more weight-age as she works in the govt.

The Doctor losing all his charms and dialogues. Hopefully next season will give it the desired momentum.

The only episode Martha got something to do and screwed it straight. Miss you Rose Tyler.

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9 out of 19 people found the following review useful:

Excellent Who episode (mild spoilers)

Author: sub_mish from United Kingdom
26 June 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Dark, weird, funny, Not Just For Kids - this is more like classic Doctor Who, blending psychology and political science with the usual ray guns and aliens. Shades of The Omen in the flashback sequence as well! Much better than The Parting Of The Ways and even better than last years season finale, this episode sees all the little bits of info that have been, almost subliminally, given the viewer throughout the series come together to make a blockbusting slam-bang of an episode, as they say in movieland. Find out why people keep mentioning "the election", the identity of the sinister Men In Black who have been taping Martha's calls to her mum, and much more.

And I couldn't help noticing - Simms has really got Tony Blair's twitchy freak down pat - right down to the speech patterns and crazed grin.

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10 out of 23 people found the following review useful:

John Simms The Heath Ledger of Dr Who

Author: nwestwood1 from United Kingdom
7 November 2007

Lke Jack Nicholson/Heath Ledger in Batman, John Simm totally was the star. He made David Tennant look like Colin Baker in the Dr Who stakes. Every bit of screen time he had, was classic. It's always more fun to play baddies and he needs to come back to this show ASAP. The Master has always been the No1 Dr Who baddie- period. However compared to John Simms, The previous actors come off as Dick Darstidly gone wrong! I have worn out my VHS seeing his scenes. Don't forget the Scissor Sisters Scenes- very funny and when regenerates- pure quality. Even when he dies, he refuses defeat. Please resurrect his character, as you need a flamboyant pyschopath with a taste for camp retro themed disco music on Saturday Evening TV!!!!!!!!!!

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11 out of 26 people found the following review useful:

Russell T Davies MASTERpiece

Author: philip-prise-1 from United Kingdom
17 July 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

So this is *it*. The Greatest episode of Doctor Who I have ever seen.

Its the sheer scale of the story that's just incredible, never has the Doctor been so vulnerable and never (for all the brilliant funny moments) has it ever been quite so dark and the situation seemed so helpless.

John Simm simply steals the entire series as The Master, who has become Prime Minister of Britain under the name of Harold Saxon. He is every bit the mirror of David Tennants Doctor (as the Master should be) complete with human companion Lucy (only he did the dirty and married his - poor Rose+Martha...).

After their brief encounter in Utopia, where the Doctor's universe literally ends before him, we find ourselves back on Earth in 2008. From the second our heroes arrive its clear the situation is already lost. The Master is controlling the country and is just 24 hours from his big show in front of the world. He is having the time of his life.

Some accuse Russell T Davies of dumbing the Master down by making him so jovial and outrageous failing to realise that if the Master is as happy as he is here then its very very BAD news indeed.

The episode is essentially a cat n' mouse chase between the Doctor and the Master but in reality that is exactly what the Master wants. He could have them arrested and killed at any point in this episode, but where is the fun in that for him? He is deliberately chasing the Doctor deeper into a trap because he wants him there for his final performance.

What a show it is: First up a seemingly innocent "monster of the week" episode comes back to haunt the Doctor- The Lazuras Experiment- which we now learn was the brainchild of The Master, all so he could create a weapon to incapacitate the Doctor.

Then he tears a whole in the universe (the best CGI yet) unleashing a race called the Toclafane whose real identity is as yet unknown -the name is actually an invention of the Master's. They immediately set about murdering 600 million people on the Master's instruction.

Its a scene that is both awesome in its scale and funny in a perverted way. The whole thing is done to the sound of Rogue Trader's "Voodoo Child" a personal favourite of The Master who boogies at the window in a manner befitting a sexual deviant as he watches the destruction below. Meanwhile his wife jigs along awkwardly like true air head.

In short never has it been so tense, so dramatic, so funny and so action packed as this. I had the same feeling watching this as I did watching the first part of Star Trek's Best of Both Worlds- the realisation that my favourite series had just produced its best hour of television yet.

If I could rate it 20/10 I would but I cant so its a big fat 10 from me.

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10 out of 25 people found the following review useful:

Alexandra Moen is a stand—out

Author: Cristi_Ciopron from CGSM, Soseaua Nationala 49
20 January 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Alexandra Moen is a stand—out

The bad thing is that this episode is far—fetched, over—the—top and phony, very unconvincing even in terms of WHO—Ish fancy; the very good thing is that it offers one of the hottest actresses in this series—a classy blonde: the Master's wife, Alexandra Moen—the girl is as sexy as she's beautiful.

This Master—plot seems too thin, and played for meager laughs only; the girl who plays the Master's wife is very sexy.

She seems to be a nice well—mannered babe.

With this uninteresting arch, the series is only drifting.

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