With almost everyone on Earth now recast in his image, The Master controls the Earth. He's shocked however when he realises one person hasn't changed; Donna Noble. The Doctor soon ...
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With almost everyone on Earth now recast in his image, The Master controls the Earth. He's shocked however when he realises one person hasn't changed; Donna Noble. The Doctor soon understands what the pounding in the Master's head is; it's the Time Lords, who are trying to return and re-establish Gallifrey. If they succeed, it'll mean the Last Great Time War will re-start, and all the horrors which came with it. In order to stop Rasillon's mad plan, the Doctor must make a choice. Finally, the Ood's prophecy for the Doctor becomes true, and he takes the TARDIS on a trip, to see friends for one last time, before he's to regenerate.Written by
Another victim of RTD putting spectacle ahead of coherence
After its opening episode failed to impress, part two of "The End of Time" I hoped would have much more to offer. What with the closing moments of Part 1 heralding the long awaited return of the Time Lords in an aesthetically glorious and bombastic cliff-hanger. The result that I yearned for was unfortunately not what I had hoped it might have been. The upshot being that "The End of Time" proceeded on its downward trajectory. Self indulgent and lacking the basic remnants of a coherent plot it's a story that is a victim of RTD's determination to pull out all the stops and afford David Tennant the right to a colossal send off. Putting spectacle ahead of coherence it also feels like a self congratulatory pat on the back by Davies who was quitting the series as its executive producer to pass the torch on to renowned writer Steven Moffat. Fairly large in its ambitions but small in logic the Welsh writer/executive producer has become a victim of his own success. It has become patently obvious that resurrecting the Doctors own people who he long thought dead is an obligatory conceit and that he had waited to unleash upon his audience at the last moment. The mechanism of their return to be fair, although contrived functions well on its own. However with RTD at the helm it follows that he adds one strand to the plot which within the context of the narrative leaves one of numerous gaping plot holes. Not to mention that when we are initially reintroduced to the Time Lords it quickly becomes apparent that they have been reduced to becoming third rate pantomime villains with former James Bond actor Timothy Dalton leading the charge as the malevolent and determined Lord President. An antagonist whose exact personae isn't made clear until nearer the episodes conclusion and which then feels like a shamefully gratuitous, obliging nod to the shows past.
The entrance of the Time Lords also comes at the expense of one major plot line established in Part one. After setting up the building blocks he took the time to construct he unconscionably wipes the slate clean utilising an all too accessible plot device which just feels tired and lazy. Leaving a somewhat bemused looking John Simm here once more as the crazed arch rival the Master who has been reduced to being a disposable plot device rather than a major threat. In the previous plots place we're left with a supposed Time Lord stratagem which in essence and application makes zero sense as to the motive behind it. A victim it may be of RTD once More attempting to mould a clumsily constructed analogy of his views on religion.
Never the less the performances on display are uniformly of the highest order. David Tennant pours out his soul and gives a heart wrenching performance as the Docto, whose "song" is coming to an end. Although in context with previous incarnations of the protagonist his gnashing of teeth and wailing at the injustices of his symbiotic "death" seem rather undignified for the man who has gazed in to the gaping black hole with more restrained fortitude. Bernard Cribbens is once more effortlessly endearing as the Doctor's pseudo-companion the charming Wilfred Mott who combines wisdom, compassion and valour in another breathtaking performance. Dalton soldiers on the best he can with the questionable material he has been given and does manage to evoke some menace as the Lord President while John Simm is more than competent as the twisted, psychotic Master who is not at fault for how the villain's personae has been left devoid of the more rational, charming unprincipled villain audiences had become accustomed when Roger Delgado first took up the part in the early 1970's. The rest of the cast which includes Catherine Tate reprising her role as former companion Donna Noble, Jacqueline King as her mother Sylvia as well as Sinead Keenan and Lawry Lewin as the alien Vinvocci add solid support. However, neither they nor the primary actors can save the whole sorry farrago drowning in a sea of over indulgent ineptitude, leaving it wallowing in a pool of absurdity. What with a daredevil Doctor plummeting god knows how many feet from a Vinvocci spaceship and through a sky-glass, rising relatively uninjured to an overdrawn finale where the Doctor visits those select companions and acquaintances he has known throughout his tenth life. Another conceit simply feels like a convenient excuse to have John Barrowman, Billie Piper, Freema Agyeman, and Elizabeth Sladen ET AL. make obligatory cameos.
As for the final revelation as to he who will "...knock four times" to RTD's limited credit it does come as an astonishing and less overwhelmingly grand twist and nicely opens the way towards Tennants final farewell. And with him emotively uttering his final words and expressing his unwilling-less to depart us the entrance of a new Doctor is heralded. After the flashy, eye pleasing light show is over and we're left with a wavy fringed, manic, befuddled looking Matt Smith who yells the now requisite catchphrase "Geronimo!", I'm left with a feeling of uncertainty as to what the future will bring. For not only are we welcoming a new Doc at the TARDIS console but a new executive producer in Steven Moffat. But with a Dalek, the return of the weeping Angels, the now confirmed reports of the Cybermen resurfacing as well as the Silaurians, the Great Vampire and UNIT. It might be a little too chock full of old ideas but still fun.
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