Sunday, August 24, 2014

Doctor Who--"The End of Time, Part I"


I am supposed to feel more enthusiasm for David Tennant and Russell T. Davies’ swan song, but it is impossible to do so when they are just phoning it in. Davies is particularly guilty here. Most of the story did not make much sense.

It starts off well enough. The Doctor arrives on the Ood home world where he had been summoned some time ago. He is reluctant to answer the call because Ood sigma prophesied his death was soon to come. The Ood are having nightmares about the end of time itself with the master’s face overlaid. The doctor realizes Lucy Saxon, the Master‘s widow, is the key and rushes to find her.

She is in prison for killing her husband. Conveniently, she has been taken out of her cell at the moment the doctor is headed her way by what appears to be a cult ready to sacrifice themselves so the Master can be reborn. How they remember who he is since the Doctor reversed time after his defeat or know how to bring him back is unexplained, as is the notion that Lucy knew all about the plan, was biding her time, and stops it before the Master can fully be reborn., sacrificing herself.

By the way, Alexandra Moen has a certain yuppie attractiveness to her. She looks like a young prime minister’s wife. Pretty hot. I am guessing the skimpy outfit she was wearing was to distract from the plot holes. It almost worked. Maye if she had been in her underwear. I dunno. That the problem with Davies; he likes boys, but he does not know what boys like, if you know what I mean and I think you do.

Obviously, the Doctor is too late to stop the Master’s rebirth, but he does find him shortly thereafter in a gravel quarry. Maybe it is just me, but the scuffle the two of them have in two separate, extended scenes that drag on reminded me of the battle between Clark Kent and drunken superman in Superman III. When that is the best allusion that pops into one’s mind, your show is failing.

I will say this; John Simm is playing the heck out of the half crazed Mater who is floating between life and death. I thought he really hammed it up obnoxiously back in the third season story arc, but I had not seen anything yet. Maybe it because the material is so absurd. His mugging for the camera, insane laughter at the sound of drums in his head, and his inexplicable need to devour food like some wild beast in more than one scene--did we really need that gross out more than one? Seth Brundle only barfed on his food once in The Fly and we got the message--are all so over the top, they make William Shatner looked subdued.

The master is eventually captured by Joshua Naismith. Who is that? Beats the heck out of me. He is apparently some rich businessman who is also some sort of self-help or think and grow rich guru. It is not made clear which, but people feel compelled to buy his book the same way the Master made them vote him into office, so I guess there isa connection. Or Davies is just phoning it in.

Naismith has captured an alien device from Torchwood. It is a medical device that can heal planet wide. Naismith wants to use it to give his daughter, who is apparently brilliant, but strikes me as more like Paris Hilton, immortality. Hewants the Master to repair the thing. He does, then uses it to change every person on Earth into a copy of himself. He calls them--wait for it--the Master race.


Bernard Cribbins reprises his roe as Wilf, but he is window dressing and comic relief. He drafts his friends into finding the Doctor because they have been having dreams about the Master, too. It appears he is going to play a bigger part in the next episode. He took a gun with him and is supposedly destined to kill someone. But for now, it is odd for the Doctor to carry around an 82 year old man into a certain battle with the Master.

Donna returns, too. She is the only other person besides the Doctor and Wilfto not become clones of the Master.

With the alien device known to heal planet wide, you can guess gallifrey has return inadvertently thanks to the Master. They have his evil edge and are bent on destroying time. They are lead by Timothy Dalton, no less. I supposed destroying time is a step up from battling Joe Don Baker and Wayne Newton as James Bond.

There were two separate references to Barack Obama as the savior of the world during a global economic depression. Somehow, I doubt Davies meant that to be a satire of Obama’s messianic ego, but you never know. This episode was written after he had embarrassed the united Kingdom by unceremoniously shipping back the bust of Winston Churchill, gave Gordon Brown a box of DVDs that would not work in his region, and violated protocol by touching the Queen, so it could be.

I was disappointed, especially after how much I liked "The Waters of Mars." This was a terrible step down from the quality of that one. there was no real drama. The plot did not resonate. Too many holes in the plot, too.

Part two is next Friday. I am going to watch it for the sake of completion, but I am not excited about it. I am mostly curious about the regeneration into the Eleventh Doctor, assuming that comes in the episode. It would be a cop out if it did not.

Rating: ** (out of 5)

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