nick730 (nick730) wrote,

Doctor Sandman and the Gollum of Ming

Oh, I do wish Russell T. Davies hadn't read/seen all the same books/films/TV shows as I have. 'Cause I enjoyed "Last of The Time Lords" for the most part, I did, but right from the start I'm distracted by spotting all the references that RTD doesn't bother to conceal. Straight from the off we've got "One Year Later" which is, in fairness, fantastic - it takes us to a post-apocalyptic Earth we didn't expect to see on Doctor Who. But it's also straight out of Battlestar Galactica. Then we've got Martha being the Chosen One, the only one who can kill the Master. Not an original concept in fantasy, of course, but repeatedly calling her "The Child" only made the resemblance to Harry Potter more obvious. Then the Doctor got turned into Gollum, used roughly the same conceit as the Sandman story "A Dream of Thousand Cats" to turn into a cross between Mr. Jesus and the same uber-Buffy that got ripped off in the first season finale, before defeating the Master who turned into Ming the Merciless.

But! But! I really enjoyed it for the most part. It was quite a "different" season finale for Who, with a particularly bleak feel to it, and really vindicating Martha as a character - I loved her having to travel the Earth for a year spreading the word. I also really liked the resolution of who Lucy Saxon is: As the Master is the dark mirror image of the Doctor, he's also taken on a human companion, but one who instead of enjoying the sights of the Universe has been driven insane by them. John Simm was better than ever this episode, and it must be true that bad guys are sexier 'cause he's never seemed hotter. Yes, a very different Master to the earlier ones, his performance has been compared to The Joker, but I think his portrayal will be remembered fondly. Sad to see him go but of course there's the hint that, as ever, The Master isn't so hard to get rid of.

David Tennant has been a much more watchable Doctor this season so it's good that he's not regenerated just yet - he wasn't in the epsiode much since he spent so much of it being Gollum but once he returned (if we can forget about the bit where he was Jesus) he was very good again this week, going from his full-on god trip to being held to ransom by the Master finally deciding to die (or has he? etc) and leave him alone in the Universe again.

Let's not forget we had Hot Tom; he was very nice to look at and his sudden death was pretty shocking. Let's hope now he's resurrected Martha actually talks to him on the phone now, and next time we see her she's glowing warmly in the wake of a Mister Tamsin Outhwaite injection. The blond guy in the resistance was pretty too, shame about the acting ability which he didn't have.

So... Martha. I've liked Freema Agyeman from the start so it's sad to see her go, even if she will be reappearing as a recurring character. But at the same time I do think that it's the right thing to do with her character, she was always too good to be the rebound girl. And with rumours that she'll be popping up in both the parent show and the spin-off, it seems Martha's returned to Earth to carry out a nigh-on impossible mission: Making Torchwood watchable.

There were other things that annoyed me and really, someone should script-edit RTD much more carefully, does nobody notice all the plot holes he leaves in? Since he wants to be Joss Whedon so much he might remember Joss' insistence that having clear rules about your fictional universe is crucial, rather than just doing whatever comes to mind and saying "it's OK, it's only fiction" - and it's not like Joss is infallible, "The Gift" is full of plot holes. So all I'm saying is, FFS let someone check your homework before handing it in Russell!

Also, too many endings. Martha's big exit was spoiled a bit by being at the end of so many codas - by the time we found out Jack was the Face of Boe there'd been too many for me to even know if I like that twist or not. And seriously, do we need the cliffhanger into the Christmas episode every year? Last season, Catherine Tate notwithstanding, we needed that little light moment after the tears of "Doomsday" but this time having the Titanic crash into the TARDIS didn't feel necessary: Come on, you can end a season on a full stop rather than an ellipse, the Xmas special will get huge viewing figures whatever happens.

So, a lot to nit-pick about, but if you could ignore some of the plot contrivances and just enjoy the fun "Last of the Time Lords" was a fitting end to what has probably been the best season of New Who so far.
Tags: doctor who
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