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April 19, 2014

Review: Doctor Who - The End of Time, Part 2

by Brad Trechak, posted Jan 2nd 2010 10:00PM
Doctor WhoSo who cried at the end? I cried my eyes out.

It's very difficult to write about this episode without using any kind of spoiler. Excellent performances all around with a little more credit going to David Tennant for his final bow. They also broke out the remainder of the special effects budget for this one, probably spending more on this episode alone that an entire season of William Hartnell's era. There were also surprises galore along with some familiar faces at the end. Anybody that accuses me of spoiling the fact that this is Tennant's final episode has not been reading this site for the past six months.

Real spoilers follow ...

The episode, while not perfect, was definitely a step up from part one, and while very little made sense scientifically (which is trademark of Russell T. Davies and Doctor Who in general), the action and the emotion of the episode more than made up for it. In the vein of "always leave them wanting more", there were several unanswered questions that will undoubtedly plague fan fiction for generations to come. Who was the mystery woman that was helping Wilf and the Doctor? Was it Romana, the White Guardian, the Doctor's mother, or none of the above?

When you think about it, it makes sense that the Time Lords would break many laws of time in order to stop from being annihilated by the Daleks. They would reach into their own past and retrieve their greatest hero. They were in desperation mode, which is likely why the Doctor would have no part of it. Historically it is known that Rassilon was a bit of a prick, particularly from his appearance in "The Five Doctors". Was it the real Rassilon or just a namesake? If it was the real one, it gives a major motivation for time-locking the war.

I slap myself in the head for realizing at this late stage, but Bernard Cribbin's character is named "Wilfred Mott", which is an anagram of "Time Lord" with the extra letters "ftw" or "wtf". Is this a secret message from Davies?

The Star Wars inspired segment with the spaceship and the lasers and the missiles was a bit too video game-ish for my tastes

This had to be the slowest regeneration the Doctor ever had. Before becoming Matt Smith, he had time to visit every single previous companion (including Rose before her meeting of the Eccleston Doctor). Admittedly, Martha marrying Mickey (say that fives times fast) was a bit of a surprise and somewhat contradicts what was established so far. In short, it's typical Davies.

Tennant rocked my socks off. His last words were very consistent with his character (and quite possibly of David Tennant's character as well) and his sacrifice for one man who wouldn't make a difference in history speaks volumes of his Doctor. His speech before stepping into the booth and saving Wilf could be representative of both Wilf's situation and his own.

We only saw a brief glimpse of Matt Smith as the Doctor, but it was a pretty good start. He was bringing down the house.

It was a good run, David. You will be missed.

I plan to watch the episode again to let it sink in some more and catch anything I missed. What are your thoughts?

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Lukas

Yes indeed, I also wonder who that Woman was....

Credited as The Woman... referred to by others as The Woman In White...

Hmmm reminds me of an old Spanish movie called The Woman In White... or more precisely in the native tongue...

"La Donna In Bianco"...

March 04 2010 at 8:54 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
rachelle

Could the woman be the former prime minister who died in Stolen Earth/Journey's End? She was dressed in all white, and appeared and disappeared like a spirit. Either way I think it was a wonderful send off for DT.

February 28 2010 at 1:32 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Mark Ifan

Quick Question: Would Mickey, Martha, Sarah Jane, Capt. Jack know that the Doctor would die??

They seemed a little uninterested in him

January 13 2010 at 6:44 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Kate

Anything is possible in the world of DW. If you recall, the doctor is a fair artist and he may have drawn all his incarnations, or an information stick from the cybermen may have fallen into her hands, or she saw files from Torchwood, or she found him online from one of the Doctor sites...

January 12 2010 at 11:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Kate

Does anyone remember at the end of the Shakespeare episode how Queen Elizabeth came in and called the Doctor her sworn enemy? Now, cut to part 1, and the Doctor telling the Ood that he married her. It would be inferred that he abandoned her as well...a woman scorned, eh? I got a kick out of that little tie-in.

January 12 2010 at 11:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jose

Probably not his mother. He is 1/2 human on his mother's side; per the movie. My guess is the white guardian.

January 11 2010 at 9:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Collette

Hey everyone! Quick question: I've been doing Dr. Who marathons at my house with season four dvd's and I was re-watching the library episode and realized that River Song recognized the Doctor's face and was searching her diary based on his face. She didn't see him again before the regeneration though... so I'm I missing something or is this yet another continuity issue? Anyone have an idea?

January 07 2010 at 7:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Cathy S.

Wonderful, beautiful episode, enough funny (and even the silly was ok) bits to contrast the very sad parts. Loved the Vinvocci characters-to the rescue !! "Worst rescue ever!!" DT jumping from the ship-HUH? If I remember right, Tom Baker fell from a tower or something, and regenerated, this Doctor falls and gets banged up...hmmm. So poignant with Wilf and the Doctor when they were stuck on the ship, which includes the gun scene. Nice little interactions at start of epi when Dr and Wilf are prisoners and Doctor winks at the Master. Donna running around-unnecessary scenes. So lovely--Dr. and Joan's granddaughter at the bookstore. So EXQUISITE-the scenes where the doctor thinks he will survive, but then Wilf knocks four times--watch Tennant's such fantastic, subtle, devastating facial expressions in those very few seconds. Absorbing radiation-scene overplayed by DT. Walking, suffering in the snow--very good, with the creepy music. Regenerating in the TARDIS-music way over the top, but "I don't want to go"- I burst into tears, and still do each time I watch. Matt Smith--UGGHH, so much for the next season.

January 05 2010 at 3:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
mj

I couldn't watch the final scene. I don't like Moffatt, and what I've seen of the new guy makes me just say no. David was the best Doctor on a long time, and Davies is a pure genius he ripped our hearts out. Watching the Doctor visiting his old friends was wrenching.

January 04 2010 at 9:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
abbenormal

Seems to me the farewell tour at the end might have had a lot to do with setting up Torchwood Series 4. RTD is still running that show. I suspect we'll see Mickey & Martha and Jack & Alonso joining Gwen in Cardiff soon.

January 04 2010 at 5:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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