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April 19, 2014

Doctor Who: The Last of the Time Lords (season finale)

by Martin Conaghan, posted Jul 4th 2007 8:40PM
Doctor Who?(S03E13) It almost seems inevitable that a series finale doesn't quite live up to everyone's expectations, with a few minor exceptions (such as the recent series finale of Lost).

I eagerly anticipated the series finale of Heroes, and while I was significantly entertained enough to have enjoyed myself, I felt kind of cheated when it was revealed that Syler was probably not dead after all.

I felt the same way with this last part of the current Doctor Who series; it was great to watch, but the inevitable cop-out at the end left me feeling a little bit like I'd been pick-pocketed.

Warning: Spoilers after the jump.

Don't let me give you the wrong idea; it wasn't bad -- in fact, it was rather good.

Top marks go out to Russell T. Davies for an inspired re-imagining of The Master in the shape of John Simm.

Similarly, it was great to see John Barrowman return with an above-the-credits return-to-form as Captain Jack -- and, for once, one of The Doctor's assistants played more than a peripheral role in the conclusion to a mammoth story (Rose Tyler at the end of series one aside).

Much of what everyone expected turned out to be true, and it was a reasonable enough conclusion to a complex story; The Toclafane were indeed the humans sent out from the edge of the Universe to find Utopia (kept in place by the paradox machine made out of the TARDIS) and Martha was set up as a major recurring character both in Torchwood and the next season of Doctor Who itself.

The d'enouement wasn't as bad as some might suggest; The Doctor used The Master's technology and telepathic methods against him when he returned from his ultra-advanced state of enhanced age (the considerably-aged Doctor almost seemed like he would never return to normal).

However, it was the contradictory ending which made me feel cheated, when The Master refused to regenerate after taking a vengeful bullet from his wife, despite the begging pleas from The Doctor, who did not wish to be truly left alone in the Universe.
But his death wasn't where the audience was robbed; it was the ultimate finale when a female hand lifted The Master's ring from the burning embers of his funeral pyre, setting us up for the return of the last of The Doctor's main villains in season four; The Rani.

Of course Mr Davies denies this connection, and if he leaves The Rani out of the next season, it's almost certain we'll see her at some point in the future (or the past).

However, there were a few consolations in the news over the past few days; Kylie Minogue is set to appear in the Christmas Special (entitled "Voyage of the Damned"), which will pick up from the very end of this finale, where the TARDIS crashes in to the Titanic; Martha will return in at least three episodes towards the end of season four (in addition to a feature role in Torchwood), and The Doctor will pick up a new assistant, in the shape of Donna (played brilliantly by comediene Catherine Tate in last year's Christmas special "The Runaway Bride", which I shamefully neglected to review).

And, of course, we'll get more Torchwood with Captain Jack in the autumn.

As for this episode, it wasn't a classic like "Blink", but it rounded things off nicely.

Was this a classic Doctor Who?
Yes189 (45.4%)
No47 (11.3%)
'Blink' was better180 (43.3%)

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Eric

#22: Sarah Jane was in an episode in Series 2, called "School Reunion". So, they actually have brought her back, but she now has her own (children's) show, which has already aired its pilot and will air the main series in September, IIRC.

August 01 2007 at 11:27 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Janna

I thought Catherine Tate was great in the Runaway Bride, if a bit over the top. My husband, who is a bigger fan that I of Doctor Who, really LOVED the TARDIS/car chase. As for the Last of the Time Lords, I thought it was a bit too slick. Could have spent less time on the Valiant and more time running about on Earth. I also thought the levitating Doctor was a bit too much, although, come to find out, it wasn't as much CGI as we may have originally thought.

July 16 2007 at 7:51 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dawn

Well they can't bring back Adric as he's well and truly dead, but PLEASE, not Mel, she was awful. If they had to bring back a former assistant, there will never be anyone better than Sarah Jane.

July 09 2007 at 6:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
foolish5501

No Torchwood this autumn. John Barrowman said on GMTV last week that the new series would not be on screens until 2008. They expect the run to start at the end of january, and run for 13 episodes, and have a 2 week break before Dr Who starts again

July 05 2007 at 9:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Motr3k

Comment#18 I agree about that... although I loved Catherine Tate in the Runway Bride. She was so not the average companion. Yes I agree please do not bring Tegan back!

July 05 2007 at 5:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
William

Last Christmas I remember my friends (who know what a Doctor Who fan I am) saying "She (Catherine Tate) isn't coming back is she?" and me responding "Thank God no!". why don't they just bring back Mel and Adric and be done with it! But I enjoyed the Master story.

July 05 2007 at 2:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dawn

I agree on the language thing, in the US it's called a season and we call it a series. It means exactly the same thing so can we all shut up about it. I personally use whichever word comes to mind first.

I'm dubious about Catherine Tate, but think she could be ok and NOBODY could possibly be as bad as Tegan, not even Peri or Mel. Jack is NOT the face of Boe. He/she/it would have been a well known character in Jack's time so it seems likely that his friends just nicknamed him after a celebrity which happens often.

July 05 2007 at 1:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
lori427

Ladies and Gentlemen,

British English isn't American English (isn't Canadian English, isn't Australian English, etc.) and some of the differences are too many, varied, and slight for your average Joe (or Martin) to keep track. Let the British reviewer type in his own language, and translate it to yours. Everybody knows whether Lost, Heroes, and DW are returning next year. Adjust in your head accordingly. Thank you.

As a DW and Torchwood fangeek, all I can say is that most of the online fandom that has seen Last of the Time Lords was all WTF? and that they're having a lot of fun at RTD's expense (especially the macro-making communities.) That episode ripped-off half-a-dozen other sci-fi / fantasy mainstays, and I think the fandom wished for a little more originality.

July 05 2007 at 12:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
maritn

Don't you mean 'Heroes', not 'Heros'?

How's that for pointless, childish, pedantic nitpicking?

July 05 2007 at 11:11 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
David

That's nice Martin, but did you even read what we said? No of course not, why would you do that.

In AMERICA, it's called SEASON finale. If you read what we said than you would know we were talknig about the fact you said SERIES finale for both Lost and Heros, those are American shows.

Read what we say before you reply.

July 05 2007 at 10:15 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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