Tag Archives: Time Lord

Doctor Who: The End of Time (HUGE SPOILERS)

The trailer hasn’t officially been released in the UK yet, but it was shown at the San Diego Comicon, and originally put onto YouTube by safia43. Don’t click unless you really want to know who is going to ‘knock four times’ and presumably bring about the death of the Tenth Doctor in the Christmas special two-parter!
SPOILER WARNING!

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Doctor Who: The Waters of Mars (Trailer)

Oh now this is exciting. Not just a creepy story in its own right but an ultra-dark lead-in to Ten’s last hurrah…

I’m sure I’m not alone in knowing mostly where this is going, but I’m dead curious to learn the hows & whys.

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SPOILERS!

Doctor Who: Planet of the Dead (Trailer)

The first of the post-Christmas Doctor Who specials, leading to the end of David Tennant’s run and the transition from Tenth to Eleventh Doctor is just days away (645pm on 11th April, BBC1):

Looks like fun (yes, even though it’s co-written by RTD…)!

Matt Smith – the Eleventh Doctor

I have to admit I’ve been caught by surprise by the excitement I’m feeling around the arrival of Matt Smith as the Eleventh Doctor. Like Neil Gaiman I’m slightly disappointed Paterson Joseph didn’t get it, but new Executive Producer and Head Writer Steven Moffat says he was an instantaneous fit for how he saw Eleven, and that’s more than good enough for me. He has the chops for serious, the chops for credible, and no baggage to hinder him in becoming an Eleven very different to David Tennant’s Ten. We have a very young man playing 900+, which should be very interesting indeed, particularly if Moffat revisits continuity he’s already introduced, such as Professor River Song

I strongly believe that David Tennant has chosen to retire Ten about a series (or part of one, think about it) too soon, and I’ll be very sad to see him go. In four years he’s managed to define the role for an entire generation, but the secret of the franchise’s longevity has been its ability to completely reinvent itself from its bad times as well as its good ones. Moffat + Smith in 2010 is now really intriguing.

Doctor Who 4:13 (Spoilers-R-Us)

Journey’s End

Journey’s End indeed, this season finale being RTD’s swan song on the ongoing series, and what a contribution this man has made, even just this week. The amount of media interest and fan speculation has dwarfed even that of series 1. And certain theories from last week were entirely correct, if a little out of sequence. Ten splits the regeneration energy off into the hand, refusing to regenerate himself. Fully reunited with his companions he asks Rose what’s really going on because her world is running ahead of this one – she’s seen the future. She remembers the stars going out, but far more important is she acknowledges that all the timelines converge somehow in Donna, and the surprises continue when the Daleks try to destroy the Tardis – not only does Donna manage to syphon off the regeneration energy, but she causes a second Ten to emerge from the hand. So far so figured out – the Darkness involves the stars going out, but who is Donna really and what’s to become of Ten and his alternate? For that matter why did the Tardis door close itself on Donna when Davros tried to destroy it?

Martha reveals the Osterhagen Key as a doomsday device, and Sarah Jane reveals her own – a warpstar, which can destroy the Crucible world engine. And they need to, because Davros’ Crucible, his world engine, powers a reality bomb, which he plans to use to destroy everything, starting with the stars. It looks like he’ll succeed too, with the companions all transmatted into the Crucible before they can detonate their weapons. And another theme is formally addressed here too, with Davros noting that the Doctor fashions ordinary people into weapons – Rose into Bad Wolf, Jack into an immortal, but Donna into…what? With all the companions and Ten and his alternate trapped and reality’s time running short, she reveals her place in Dalek Caan’s prophecy – part of the threefold man – the Doctor himself. In manipulating the regeneration energy she took on yet another aspect of Ten (his mind) and defeats Davros. Dalek Caan was indeed mad, but his prophecy all along was to destroy the Dalek race once and for all. No more for Steven Moffat to play with there – RTD too is done.

The Crucible is destroyed, the planets are restored, as is the Earth. Sarah Jane leaves back to her own spin-off for good. Jack leaves back for Torchwood, as does Martha, and it appears Mikey too. And this is where the episode falls flat on its face in agony. Rose, Jackie and Ten II go to Rose’s parallel world. And with Ten II physically human, with his human limitations, such as a finite lifespan – he offers everything Rose ever needed from Ten but he could never provide. Rose could use her ‘dimension cannon’ to continue leaping between universes, but Ten explains Ten II needs her to evolve him to the extent that she’s already evolved him – from angry, battle-weary Nine to the rounded character of now. And when Ten II tells her he loves her, she like a sap kisses him, acknowledging that he is in every other respect a precise copy of Ten, and they are left to live out their lives happily in the alternate reality. Rose and her family appear to leave once and for all, not complicating matters for Stephen Moffat either.

And then there’s Donna. The aspect of the Doctor she absorbed is killing her and he has to remove it. But to do that he must expunge her memories of their ever having met. The strange heartbeat we hear had been explained – that was Ten II – he admitted it – but no explanation is offered for how the timelines converged around her. Was it fate? We still don’t even know the true purpose of the attack on her in ‘Turn Left‘. Donna was (remains?) independently powerful since birth, and we are shown key sequences with the ring she’s wearing looming large – most importantly when she absorbs the Doctor’s essence. And was it just me or did it flicker at the very end? It’s an awfully big ring, and a woman lifted an awfully big ring from the Master’s corpse in ‘Last of the Time Lords‘ – a ring which still hasn’t been accounted for.

We know what Donna’s ‘loss’ was destined to be, as well as what she was destined to become, but it was also said outright that she already was ‘something new’. I’m convinced Donna and the Master are still in play, presumably fodder for RTD’s true final word on Who. Irritating as hell, but the endings were clumsy as anything too. Rose settles for a xerox who really isn’t anything like the original, and she still hasn’t got over her feelings? Gah. How convenient, and how demeaning of a character who’s shown so much potential. And yet again Jack’s role is perfunctory. I’m not sure why Barrowman’s still bothering. The edge the character had at the outset made him interesting – whilst he is pretty and engaging, he’s now far from interesting. The theme of time going the way it’s supposed to has run through this series, but it’s far from clear whether it’s complete. Some component subplots seem (as with ‘Bad Wolf’ in series 1) to have been ham fistedly delivered – why Rose didn’t just reveal herself to the Doctor instead of Donna in ‘Partners in Crime‘ remains confused – did she just know (as in ‘Turn Left’) the way things were meant to be? Being in the future in the alternate universe wouldn’t explain that. Or was her last minute insertion into that episode an editorial decision (again as with ‘Bad Wolf’) to catch the die hards off guard, and generate attention for the series? I have to assume the latter, given that there’s no way Rose can reasonably be used again under RTD’s stewardship.

The acting this episode was good where it mattered. Tennant shone as Ten and Ten II (whose ending wasn’t his fault), and Tate excelled as ever, although Freema Agyeman seems to have taken a step backward since series 3. I liked Ten II imprinting himself on Donna – apparently it was scripted that Ten spoke Estuary English instead of Scottish because he imprinted himself on Rose (the first being he encountered post-regeneration), and this is a nice final acknowledgment of that talent. I’m also glad Gallifrey wasn’t one of the stolen planets, and although I’m appalled at the (apparent) final word on Rose, I’m unsurprised that ‘Bad Wolf’ really was just two words, the power of which Rose has established and exploited before. But even there, what was it about Donna’s invoking the words (Rose pointedly not doing so) which caused such a powerful reaction by the Tardis? I wish RTD weren’t channelling Chris Claremont quite so well – sometimes long-term plotlines need to end definitively. Rose’s did, but Donna’s didn’t, nor has the Master’s, nor has this episode’s or even this series’.

Doctor Who 4:12 (Spoilerama)

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The Stolen Earth

So Ten is killed by the Daleks eh? I guessed as much.

The Earth is stolen by Davros and transported into the Medusa Cascade along with 26 other planets, which the Doctor discovers operate as an engine when aligned correctly, when he visits the Shadow Proclamation for assistance in finding the Earth. The purpose of the engine isn’t revealed, nor is the reason for retaining the severed hand, and yes, I noticed that Donna still has something on her back (how much of this is really happening?). In revealing his presence to the Doctor, Davros calls himself Lord and Creator of ‘The Darkness’, which remains unidentified (and just how does Rose know about it?), whilst his Daleks invade the Earth. Davros is allied with Dalek Caan, who escaped New York in ‘Evolution of the Daleks‘ through a second temporal shift, except this one went right into the Time War itself, and he saved Davros. The Doctor says that’s impossible because the Time War is ‘time locked’ (the talent for seeing things as they are, should be and will be from ‘The Fires of Pompeii‘), except Caan has succeeded in breaking the unbreakable rules, and it’s driven him mad. Davros cloned the new Dalek race from himself, and it’s subjugating mankind.

Mankind in turn hasn’t been without help. Captain Jack and Torchwood, Sarah Jane and Luke and Martha and UNIT all work to find the Doctor, without whom they and the Earth are lost. Helpless, they’re contacted by Harriet Jones, former Prime Minister (they all know who she is), who has developed a sentient technology to contact the Doctors’s former companions simultaneously. She appears to pay with her life, but she succeeds in reaching them all. All but Rose – why? Rose meanwhile is walking around London with a really big gun, and rescues Donna’s mother and grandfather. Using Harriet Jones’ technology, they manage (all but Rose) to contact the Doctor who has also been trapped in the Medusa Cascade. They all converge on the arriving Tardis, and Rose gets there first. And in his rush to meet his lost love, Ten is killed by a Dalek. Regeneration time, but what will be the outcome?

A patchy episode, trying to juggle far to many ideas at the same time, although the formal crossovers with the spin-off series are very welcome, if a bit ham-fistedly written (a typical RTD failing). The big deux ex machina is a bit painful – Harriet Jones’ motivation is sound, but her timing is awfully convenient, and getting the technology from Mr Copper’s foundation (he of ‘Voyage of the Damned‘) is similarly awkward. Also the reused locations are an eyesore – the Shadow Proclamation in the same location as the finale of Torchwood’s ‘Dead Man Walking‘ and UNIT’s New York branch in one of the Adipose Industry’s offices from ‘Partners in Crime‘). But these are small quibbles, and I was genuinely moved by the Doctor and Rose’s brief reunion. There seems to be no way out of Gwen and Ianto dying. There seems to be no way out of Sarah Jane dying too, and there appears to be no way out of Ten regenerating into Eleven, or is there? What is ‘the Crucible’? What is the ‘Osterhagen key’? What is the purpose of the Doctor’s severed hand? What is ‘Bad Wolf’ really all about, and what’s the world engine really for? If Caan was able to re-enter the Time War, what’s to stop another player following suit? And who is Donna really? Very little revealed this week, and I don’t believe for a second that most of what we see is what is really happening. Something’s still on her back after all…

I’m going to guess: Ten’s regeneration goes wrong and causes the severed hand to generate a second Ten (and ‘prime’ Ten will regenerate as himself, which ‘The Doctor’s Daughter‘ has shown he can do), whatever’s on Donna’s back might still be an entity feeding off altered timelines – last week’s conclusion might have been both a red herring and a hint, which could make this the parallel reality which many have theorised since ‘Rose‘. Maybe she just has the Master’s ring. One player – Rose? Donna? Maybe one of the two Tens looks like they’ll go back in time and end the Time War properly. Given the constant tragedy affecting Ten and Rose, I’m guessing Rose will go back and undo even her’s and Nine’s first meeting, by restoring the timeline into how it should have been (hence the possible entity still on Donna’s back having something to feed off now ). Gallifrey will be restored, as will the other companions (Jack no longer immortal?), but the Bad Wolf will end up heroically giving Ten back what he needs even more desperately than her. Who’s been systematically blocking her though, and why?

Doctor Who 4:11 (BIG Spoilers)

Turn Left

OH MY GOD

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BAD WOLF. What a blindingly timed broadside. BAD WOLF! Rose Tyler is back and she knows what BAD WOLF is really about! After all this time RTD is going to retcon his failure of series 1 and tie everything together. The theories are going to be true – nothing that we’ve seen is what we’ve thought it was, and clearly not Donna.

The Doctor and Donna are enjoying an interplanetary holiday, when Donna chances upon a fortune teller. She gives in to the hard sell but is caught by an ambush. The attacker transmutes history by preventing the Doctor’s Christmas Special first meeting with Donna. A beetle attached to her back (which she can’t see) makes it happen, and it leads immediately to the Doctor’s death. With no Doctor, Martha dies in the events surrounding ‘Smith and Jones‘, London dies when the Titanic crashes into it, Sarah Jane dies, as does Torchwood. But as England and Earth head towards dictatorship and disaster, they’re watched over by Rose Tyler for reasons she refuses to reveal to Donna, whom she visits and revisits. Eventually she reveals all, well almost all, and Donna realises what’s been done to her, but Rose also reveals the power reading from the beetle is nothing compared with the power coming from Donna; she’s far more than she appears to be. But to restore the prime reality she has to go back in time and rectify the minute change which led to the change in history, and restore the Doctor. Only thing is she has to sacrifice herself in the process, and whilst Rose never reveals her identity to her (or UNIT which she commands), she whispers two words as a message to the Doctor. And when reality is fixed she reveals them: BAD WOLF! And then the repeated meme of series 1 returns, visible everywhere and completely out of control. The Tardis responds with the cloister bell, showing the end of reality itself is at hand. To be continued…

A masterstroke of timing. The big reveal of ‘Parting of the Ways‘ never adequately explained Bad Wolf. With Rose warning of the oncoming Darkness, we now have an explanation of what happened when Gwyneth saw ‘The Darkness, the Big Bad Wolf’ in Rose’s mind. In ‘The Fires of Pompeii‘, when Donna’s mind was read, it was clearly showing the future – the same appears now to have happened with Rose in series 1. It also means that when the Doctor’s mind was read in Pompeii, it too was showing the future, so the future involves the Medusa Cascade. Now how does the Doctor’s sealing the time rift at the Medusa Casdade fit with what might yet come? Who/what is the Darkness and who/what was Bad Wolf all along? For that matter who took the Master’s signet ring and why?

Next week we have every single companion returning, we have a fully-fledged Torchwood crossover, we have Rose Tyler with a very big gun, and we can only hope that Davros (Bad Wolf?) makes his presence felt. He appears to have been manipulating events since before series 1, so it’s about time. The implication is that we needed a Little Red Riding Hood after all to trigger Bad Wolf into action. And the current companion with huge independent power she isn’t even aware of has red hair. Coincidence? Not this time. RTD’s finale is beautifully timed, and we can only hope that the expectations he’s set up this time can finally be adequately met. What a way to bow out!