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‘Doctor Who’ blogging: “Last of the Time Lords”

(intro to my Who blogging, please read before commenting / previous: Episode 12: “The Sound of Drums”)

I call bullshit on the Sci Fi Channel. Bullshit, I tell ya.

With this episode, for the first time, I compared the British broadcast with the version that aired on Sci Fi, and I’m furious! Sci Fi cut out some really vital stuff, vital to plot and theme and character and color. What did you miss if you saw only the Sci Fi broadcast? How about this: Right at the opening of the episode is a little advisory to traffic in this part of the galaxy:

Space lane traffic is advised to stay awy from Sol 3, also known as Earth. Pilots are warned Sol 3 is now entering terminal extinction. Planet Earth is closed.

Chilling, right? And nowhere to be found for American audiences.
And then… and then… there’s this: The Master’s first appearance in the episode has him bounding onto the bridge of the Valiant to the song “I Can’t Decide” by the Scissor Sisters. The relevant lyrics:

I can’t decide whether you should live or die
Though you’ll probably go to heaven
Please don’t hang your head and cry
No wonder why my heart feels dead inside
Sold and bought and petrified
Lock the doors and close the blinds
We’re going for a ride

Oh I could throw you in the lake,
Or feed you poisoned birthday cake,
I won’t deny I’m gonna miss you when you’re gone
Oh I could bury you alive
But you might crawl out with a knife
And kill me when I’m sleeping that’s why

I can’t decide whether you should live or die
Though you’ll probably go to heaven
Please don’t hang your head and cry
No wonder why my heart feels dead inside
Sold and bought and petrified
Lock the doors and close the blinds
We’re going for a ride

Along with these horrendously dark lyrics is a frothy, bouncy tune, and the Master dances gleefully around the bridge swinging Lucy around and passionately kissing her in such a way as to suggest that he takes geniune pleasure in dominating her (and when she swings away, you can see from the look on her face that she is no longer taking pleasure in being dominated). He throws a cup of cold coffee down in front of Francine — she’s obviously not doing a bang-up job of attending to his needs. He rings a bell in time with the music to wake the Doctor, whom we learn has been sleeping in a tent on the floor — straw is strewn on the floor of the tent, and there’s a dog food bowl next to it! The very elderly Doctor crawls out, whereupon the Master throws him into a wheelchair and zooms him around the room. All the while, the Master is singing along with the song and having a grand time with himself.

(Oh, and “I Can’t Decide” is indeed track 3. The song is so perfect for this episode that I figured it had to have been written especially for the show, like “Love Don’t Roam” from the “Runaway Bride” episode, but no, it wasn’t.)

It’s a brilliant evocation of the Master’s insanity — John Simm is hilarious and terrifying at the same time — and it sets up the whole episode, thematically and plotwise and everything. And it’s nowhere to be found in the Sci Fi Channel version. Disgusting! Bullshit!

Fortunately, you can watch it on YouTube:

It’s such a fantastic scene, and I keep watching it over and over. Oh, and have I mentioned? I’m now madly in love with John Simm — not the Master, of course, he’s demented, but Simm? Sure. Perhaps not quite as madly as I’m in love with David Tennant, but still.

The bit with Lucy and look of revulsion of her face is so vitally important for later, for the end, when she shoots him: we need to understand that she is, at minimum, not exactly delighted with him anymore, if she ever truly once was. Whether he has somehow hypnotized or brainwashed her, or whether she’s just a perfectly demented match for him, something has to have changed for her to shoot him.

More missing Lucy/Master stuff: Later in the episode, she and the Master enter the bridge, and she’s got a shiner all of a sudden — he’s smacking her around, the implication seems to be. And then as this scene continues, he’s very cruel to her, psychological, tells her his masseuse, Tonya, is “gorgeous”; tells Tonya, in Lucy’s earshot, about the exotic places out in space he’s gonna take her (supplanting Lucy, that is); and then suggests, in a very roundabout way and with a cheerful leer, that a threesome might be “fun.” Lucy watches and listens, thoroughly repulsed, but she’s also jealous. She’s utterly broken by him… though later, when he is obviously leading her off to bed, she’s all over him. Is that just her placating him, so she doesn’t get hit again? And why is the Master is still wearing his wedding ring, long after there’s any need to maintain the fraud of Harold Saxon, respectable married politician? Does the marriage, perhaps, actually mean something to him, in some weird, twisted way?

It’s really complicated, and it’s all gone. Don’t these people know that we fans are all about character? We need this stuff. This stuff is what makes the show so much fun.

Oh! And then there’s this: In one scene deleted from the American version, Francine talks of how she’s going to kill the Master (and Martha’s father and sister say, no, no, they’re gonna kill him). Later, also deleted, in that last confrontation, it’s Francine who picks up the gun first and points it at the Master — and he’s all like, yeah, go ahead, do it, shoot me, do me a favor — until the Doctor talks her out of it. That’s all Francine being vindicated, for those of us who never could quite grasp why she was such a bitch early on. And it’s gone.

Also gone, though of course this was intended: An entire year! A whole year has passed, and clearly much has happened. Martha’s journeys (some of the deleted stuff is about showing how her odyssey has toughened and changed her, has intensified her love for the Doctor). All the scheming among the prisoners on the Valiant. It’s all beautifully played, and may well be the first time that the science-fictional conceit of the giant Reset button works in a way that doesn’t feel like an enormous cheat.

Random thoughts on “Last of the Time Lords”:

• It’s the Doctor’s fault… again. Even the Master knows it. Utopia, the Master’s trip to Utopia with Lucy, even, perhaps, Lucy’s complicity in the Master’s plans, and then, so, Lucy’s shooting of the Master in the end. It’s all the Doctor’s fault. Man, that’s some harsh narrative hatin’ on the Doctor.

• The Archangel satellites are broadcasting fear? Hello, today’s real world, with our media broadcasting fear.

• When the Master asks the Doctor, “What if I suspend your capacity to regenerate?” Jack looks both startled and hopeful at this, like maybe he’s wondering whether the Master could do the same for him.

• The power of a word — Doctor — and its resurrection of the Doctor seems a bit too supernatural for my taste, but at least the satellite network and its psychic field lends it a bit of a scientific (or pseudo scientific) explanation.

• Wait a second! The Doctor would be willing to settle down in order to babysit the Master imprisoned on the TARDIS, but he wouldn’t do that for Rose or Sarah Jane or whomever? Bastard. Of course, the Master won’t outlive the Doctor by exponential factors, but still: the Doctor is twisted in all sorts of strange and intriguing ways.

• Time rewound, but not quite far enough to prevent the death of the U.S. president — tee hee!

• There’s a nice quick little moment with Jack taking the gun from the stunned Lucy, and they both looked relieved in completely different ways.

• Best last words (or almost last) ever? “I win.” You can win by dying? Only the Master could come up with that one.

• Jack is the Face of Boe? Interesting… and interesting that he drops that little tidbit about being a poster boy. Because he heard the Doctor and Martha discussing, in “Utopia,” the fact that the Face of Boe had told the Doctor he was not the last of the Time Lords.

• How can Martha walk away from the Doctor after all this? Yeah, her family is suffering from a kind of posttraumatic stress that they can never see a shrink about, but they’ve got one another. The Doctor has no one. I’d stay, and be crazy in unrequited love. Because as Sarah Jane said, some things are worth getting your heart broken over.

• That’s Lucy’s hand, with her red nails, picking up the Master’s ring (not the wedding ring, the other one), with his maniacal laugh in the background. Now, is this merely the still-devoted Lucy taking a memento of the man she loved, in whatever perverse way she did, or are we meant to believe that the Master has somehow secreted himself away in that ring, which bears marking much like the pocketwatch that did the same job did? I, at least, know that the Master isn’t dead because he’ll be back in the season’s worth of stories I’m gonna write, and it’s awfully nice of Russell Davies to leave that opening for me.

• Speaking of Davies: For someone who supposedly doesn’t like the Master as a character, he certainly made the Master more fascinating than ever.

(next: Season 4, Episode 0: “Voyage of the Damned”)

MPAA: not rated

viewed at home on a small screen

official site | IMDb
posted in:
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  • http://www.dpsinfo.com/blog Laurie D. T. Mann

    Yikes, if the Sci Fi Channel ****** around with the final three episodes, what could they have done to BLINK??? I’ll have to check.

    I definitely think “the Master is in the ring.” The last three episodes picked up stuff from all over the last season. The Time Lord ability to conceal oneself (and we already know the Master’s done that at least once before) was stressed in several episodes.

    Love the detail about the president staying dead.

  • PaulW

    I despised the SciFi Channel also for what they did, by deleting entire chucks of story (they had done that as well for the Sound of Drums too. What, they didn’t notice us fans watching amd DROOLING OVER such tidbits on YouTube?). The only thing I can think of was they wanted more ad space. Makes you want to have the whole multimedia goto payperview and ban advertising forever don’t it?

    And if you’re REALLY into doing some fanfic, try this on: Davies has already established that Doctor No.9 visited the Titanic. And now we’ve got the Titanic slamming into the TARDIS. Mayhaps Davies is setting up for a Convocation of the Self: just think of Tennant, Eccleston, McGann, McCoy, both Bakers, and Davidson gathering together on the Titanic to discuss personal matters! And whilst Pertwee and Troughton have passed on, there are tricks of the trade to bring their roles back (CGI, or better still their respective sons most of them actors in their own right), and they’ve had replacement actors for the Hartnell Doctor, so there’s that… It’s been done (Three Doctors, Five Doctors, even a Two Doctors with just Colin Baker and Patrick Troughton), so it is doable… Personally, I don’t know if I can find the time to… to… oh what the hell, I’ll write it meself! ;-)

  • JSW

    The Master is indestructible. The whole universe knows that.

  • http://www.clayj.com Clayj

    The Master is indestructible. The whole universe knows that.

    Hmm. Is it possible that the Doctor and the Master are now in a Neo/Smith situation, where the only way one of them can truly die is if the other dies simultaneously?

    Some of the bits of this episode annoyed me a bit… aging the Doctor using a laser screwdriver, the way his youth was restored psychically. But I liked that the whole “Martha’s got a gun” scenario was just a diversion. And I *loved* that Jack will one day take the name “The Face of Boe” (that’s how it’s spelled in the closed captions… “Boeshane” is where he’s from) and that he will age, albeit very, very slowly.

    Of course, now we know that Jack is, for all intents and purposes, absolutely safe from ever dying because we’ve already seen his death, billions of years downstream. So that’s a bit of a cheat WRT Torchwood.

  • Poly

    Normally, the Doctor Who episodes are 43-44 mins, this accommodates nicely an one hour slot with ads, so I can’t understand why episodes like The Sound of Drums were edited for the american transmission.

    Last of the Timelords was 52mins, Russell T Davies didn’t want to trim it to fit the normal 45-min UK slot and BBC agreed. It was always going to be cut down for american broadcast, but getting rid of the “I Can’t Decide” sequence is nuts, it’s not the same programme any more.

    And think this: Doctor Who in the UK goes out at 7pm, with a family audience, children, parents, grandparents. And at 7pm, the Master / John Simm dances around completely unhinged, in a sequence scary and dark and funny, tortuting the Doctor and slapping everyone around.

  • http://www.lastvisibledog.org/blog John

    That’s a shame. It was superior, powerful stuff – and if Davies did the trimming, it’s a triple shame.

    Anyhow, the Master was always stupid. The only other time he posed any danger that wasn’t silly was in the TV Movie with McGann.

    Oh, and Martha leaving was the character’s finest moment. After finally being defined in the second half of the series after being squandered in the first, the character showed the backbone that was promised in the beginning . . . sort of. The crush stuff was lame. But still.

  • Poly

    “… and if Davies did the trimming, it’s a triple shame.”

    I am not sure whether you got this impression from my post, I just want to make clear that I have no infornation that Russell T Davies did the trimming. The Doctor Who people always knew that it was going to be trimmed for foreign markets but I have no idea whether they made the decisions for the specifuc cuts.

  • http://www.outsidethebeltway.com Alex Knapp

    The power of a word — Doctor — and its resurrection of the Doctor seems a bit too supernatural for my taste, but at least the satellite network and its psychic field lends it a bit of a scientific (or pseudo scientific) explanation

    It was a little supernatural for my taste, too, but on the other hand it was such a touching tribute to the way stories can build hope even in moments of despair that I had to give a pass to Davies on this one.

  • Drave

    Was it Lucy’s hand, though? Or was it really…

    The Rani! (Dunh dunh DUNH!!!!)

  • Barb Gorczyca

    First off, I could not believe what the Sci-Fi channel did to this episode when I first turned it on and then I remembered that it was in fact extended by 8 minutes on the original broadcast (plus the promo for the episode was changed since there was no sign of the current doctor since it wasn’t certain if he would regenerate or not in this episode). What could have been wrong with expanding the timeslot by another 15 minutes to accommodate the first airing and then show show the chopped version. I also saw the original broadcast and when the first cut was made (the Master’s dance in the 2nd scene), I just couldn’t watch the rest of the show – sorry.

    The episode itself, while I liked it, borrowed from way too may other sci-fi movies for my tastes (Flash Gordon, Star Wars, Superman, Lord of the Rings, etc.). Not sure if RTD ran out of original ideas or what but if that was the case, he should have left it a two part arc not three and why kill off the Master. Now we will probably have Lucy returning (which my thinks may be the Rani). On the flip side, I am looking forward to the Titanic episode that will be the Christmas special for the year but not how it will be butchered when aired in the States.

    On the whole, I have not been impressed with the Sci-Fi Channel’s presentation of these episodes with their subtle cuts and lousy insertion of commercials.

  • http://www.lastvisibledog.org/blog John

    Much of Series 3 examined what it means to be human and the importance of fiction in human belief systems – how untruth can save and sustain sometimes. A powerful statement coming from an atheist like Davies. The “prayer” to the Doctor in the last episode is directly thematically related to the hymn in “Gridlock” – belief transforms circumstance. The difference between the two episodes is that is that the belief system in “Gridlock” really kept them underground and unmoving – literally – while the legends stirred by Martha’s wanderings in the final episode rallied the listeners to a simple moment of action.

    I think it’s also important to the idea that we see each Doctor through the eyes of his companions – they are the hosts to his story – and this was taken to a logical story extreme with Martha – she really was the conduit through which all of the conquered earth viewed the Doctor.

    Interestingly, I’ve wrote some articles a few years back on the real history of the Bible as literature and the Bible scholar who was the centerpiece got into a conversation with me – one that found its way into the article – comparing the Jewish and Christian sacred stories to the structure of epics in science fiction, complete with the inclusion of fan fiction as “non canon” used to explain inconsistencies in the text. I think Davies understands this idea and has made the comparison himself – and he brought these concepts together for a very lovely and exciting conclusion to the series.

  • Charlie

    MaryAnn, what makes you so sure the Master won’t be back again? They always find a way to bring him back on Doctor Who. I mean, the Master has already ended his maximum regenerations. The Master was sucked into the Eye of Harmony and was turned into a glob of goo in the TV Movie. He’s still back. He’s like the Fu Manchu of Doctor Who. Whose to say the Master didn’t stage his death with Lucy shooting him, just so that he won’t be imprisoned in the Doctor’s TARDIS?

  • MaryAnn

    A powerful statement coming from an atheist like Davies.

    There’s nothing contradictory about an atheist espousing these ideas — in fact, it’s the opposite of contradictory. Atheists have a far better understanding of how religion works than ordinary religious believers do.

    MaryAnn, what makes you so sure the Master won’t be back again?

    Did I say I thought he wouldn’t be back? No, I said he would, and that I would be writing those stories. Now I just have to get Davies to hire me…

  • http://www.lastvisibledog.org/blog John

    “There’s nothing contradictory about an atheist espousing these ideas — in fact, it’s the opposite of contradictory. Atheists have a far better understanding of how religion works than ordinary religious believers do.”

    Oh, I didn’t think it was contradictory. As a very publicly outspoken atheist, I couldn’t agree with you more.

    Oh, I believe Jane Trantor has already said that the Master would return in some form.

  • Poly

    “Oh, I believe Jane Trantor has already said that the Master would return in some form.”

    Jane Tranter, who is the commissioner for all of the BBC fictional output (drama, comedy, radio etc), hasn’t said anything.

    Julie Gardner, who is the commissioner of Drama at BBC television (Jane Tranter is her boss) and executive producer for Doctor Who, has replied in the question: “End of DOCTOR WHO series three, you left it open for the Master to return?”. Answer: “It would be rude not to, and he’s a great character. John Simm is amazing and I would go to work everyday with him. His scenes were so much fun to do.”

    http://www.ifmagazine.com/feature.asp?article=2267

    Also John Simm has said many times that he ‘d love to play the role again, and given he is very outspoken about the jobs he didn’t like (a little too outspoken fot his own good), he is sincere and it’s very likely they ‘d jump at the opportunity.

  • Sarah

    You missed a pretty key omission on the csi fi channel broadcast of the sound of drums last week…when the doctor makes his quip about ‘it’s like fancying someone who doesn’t know you exist’ they cut out jack saying ‘you too?’ At the time, I thought they were trying to eschew uncomfortable references to bisexuality, but the time thing makes sense as well.

  • MaryAnn

    As I said, this was the first episode that I compared the British broadcast to the American version. Though some commenters on my blogging on “Sound of Drums” did mention the omission of Jack’s line.

    FYI, I also did not catalog everything that was cut from this episode.

  • Magess

    The Doctor’s resurrection stuff was a bit lame. But you’re right in that the power of stories has been a theme for this season. The Shakespeare ep was this season, too, right?

    I can’t believe Jack is the Face of Boe. I mean, I can, but for his sake I kind of don’t want to. And yet… he does such incredible good in his future. I kind of expected him to at least -try- to kiss the Doctor as he was saying goodbye. Or try to wrangle some kind of promise to see him again the future. I’m not sure that Jack is at Martha’s place where he can just let go.

    I feel bad for Martha, but she’s so right. If she didn’t get out, she’d pine and end up being more unhappy.

  • Brian

    “Wait a second! The Doctor would be willing to settle down in order to babysit the Master imprisoned on the TARDIS, but he wouldn’t do that for Rose or Sarah Jane or whomever? Bastard. Of course, the Master won’t outlive the Doctor by exponential factors, but still: the Doctor is twisted in all sorts of strange and intriguing ways.”

    I think a couple of things are relevant here. First, the Doctor seems to have a strong sense of who his peers are, and he regards Time Lords as his peers, while he tends to treat human beings as children (which, I think, is why it would seem a bit weird if he did get involved with a companion). Not altogether strange, since Doctor Who did at least start as a children’s show, but the current series plays with this theme very deliberately, and rather darkly, for example in the episode in which someone who resembles Peter Davidson merged with Colin Baker regains his youth by leaching off of young people, and ultimately becomes a monster. (I think this is probably a materialization of the Doctor’s worries about himself rather than a comment on what he’s actually like.)

    Rose was a sort of exception, since she helped him work his way out of the trauma of the Time War. Jack is a more convincing exception, presumably because he’s long-lived and a fellow time traveler (though I personally think it’s because Russell Davies was trying to artificially pump up the character). For example, what startled me about the scene in which Jack is in the cell and he and the Doctor talk is not that they were flirting — actually, I didn’t have that sense at all, though perhaps I was just obtuse — but that the Doctor was actually treating a human being as his peer. He takes Jack seriously in a way he doesn’t other people, and his whole demeanor changes in a way that makes you suddenly aware of how much he otherwise acts like an uncle at a children’s party.

    This comes through a bit in “Human Nature” / “The Family of Blood,” in which we have a view of the Doctor as human being, revealing aspects of his character that he perhaps tends to keep under wraps. He’s decent about it, but he does still identify with his own social class and doesn’t regard people of the class Martha apparently belongs to as quite as real.

    Note the way he changes towards Joan at the end. Yeah, he’s protecting his feelings a bit at a time when he knows he’s likely to be rejected, and being too casual, but it really isn’t the same any longer. She’s a child to him now.

    Which leads to the second point, that in “Utopia” we similarly see the Master as he basically is, or at least one of his important aspects. And he’s actually rather noble, in his bumbling way.

    So put the two things together, as you have the Master as someone who’s inherently good but whose mind was broken through a callous Gallifreyan custom, and the Master as one of the few beings with whom the Doctor really feels he shares anything. He’s a peer, and they have a common background. There’s exactly one being in the universe with that description now. Of course the Doctor is going to try to fix him; he calls himself the Doctor because that’s who he’s set out to be, as the Master points out. And the Master is also the only one left who can really understand who he is, and who he can truly relate to, if only in this broken way.

    Not to mention their having grown up together, of course, as pals if not actually as brothers. The Doctor tries to cajole him by reminding him of the games they used to play, meaning the ostensibly evil, but really quite harmless, plots the Doctor used to foil in the older series.

    A really nice piece of story-telling, the whole season, connected up from start to finish.

  • Brian

    An afterthought: if the Doctor and the Master grew up together, and were close, and the Master was mad from the age of four, then the Doctor would have been in the role of looking after him. Which is why he would have felt so strongly at the end, even apart from the Master’s being the last Time Lord.

    This puts an edge on the Master’s views on why one is called the Doctor and the other the Master. The Master presumably resents being dependent and lacking control, and hates the Doctor for taking care of him, if only because it means he’s someone who needs being taken care of. It wouldn’t have been an equal relationship, at least in the Master’s eyes. So in a basically childish way he’s going to want to degrade the Doctor to even things off. So, yeah, the name Master is a psychiatrist’s field day, as the Doctor points out.

    This might be another case in which the Doctor’s mistakes come back to haunt everyone. He does tend to be a bit blind at times, and could have missed the effect he was having. But I would guess that he was acting genuinely, out of warmth and friendship, and stuck with the friendship even though it took turns that he hadn’t anticipated, and perhaps couldn’t prevent. That’s what his response at the end seems to be telling us.

    So it raises the root question, what makes him the Doctor? And what made him the Doctor? Since this is the sort of experience that tends to set your priorities for life. He could have been as cold as the rest of the Gallifreyans, after all. It’s possible that there wouldn’t have been a Doctor without the Master, as well as the other way around.

  • MaryAnn

    the Master as one of the few beings with whom the Doctor really feels he shares anything. He’s a peer, and they have a common background. There’s exactly one being in the universe with that description now.

    Oh, of course, that’s clearly a huge part of it. But it’s the way the Doctor says those lines about changing his life to look after the Master that suggests that, gee, this is something that had never occurred to him before, the possibility of settling down.

    I think it’s probably right that the Doctor does think of humans as children, on some level, and certainly Time Lords on the whole would consider humans children. One idea I never got around to exploring in my fan fiction is the idea that “normal” Gallifreyans would consider the Doctor mentally ill for a lot of reasons, not the least of which would be because of his relationships with humans.

    It’s interesting, though, that with these Master episodes, Russell Davies is at least acknowledging that Time Lords are sexual beings, and at least some of them — though perhaps only the mad ones — are content to express that sexuality with human partners.

  • Pyre

    That’s Lucy’s hand, with her red nails, picking up the Master’s ring (not the wedding ring, the other one), with his maniacal laugh in the background.

    This replicates “The End?” of the 1980 film Flash Gordon, with a woman’s hand picking up the ring of the purportedly-dead-but-vanished Ming the Merciless.

    I very much doubt that this reprise is coincidental.

  • MaryAnn

    I hope this doesn’t mean we’ll get a crappy new series about the Master from the Sci Fi Channel in twenty years…

  • Stile4aly

    Nuts to the Sci Fi channel. They have no sense of priority, with crud like Ghost Hunters, D-movie of the week, and *WRESTLING* instead of any kind of sci fi. I had all of Season 3 torrented way back when, because I knew they would find a way to bugger them up.

  • Skip

    It has been a while since I watched the last episode, but I don’t think I have run onto an answer for this question yet. If I recall correctly (though I quite easily may just be remembering the episode wrong), didn’t the Doctor say that time had reversed to the point BEFORE the…erm, flying balls (how else to put it?) had appeared.

    Yet, when asked for a status update by the Doctor (to confirm where they were exactly in the timeline after time had reversed), a person on the radio says that they just saw the U.S. president die.

    If time had reversed to a point before the flying devices had appeared, then what killed the President?

  • Pyre

    Skip: destroying the Paradox Machine rewound time to the moment it was activated, 8:02 am, so the sky was never ripped open to let the six billion “Toclafane” through. However, we saw that four Toclafane had already been able to appear for brief visits, including to kill the American President shortly before the rift was opened — and those events were never undone.

  • Skip

    Pyre,

    Cool, thanks for the response. I had wondered if maybe the Doctor’s “before the Toclafane arrived” comment was used more in reference to the largest mass of them, as opposed to all of them (strictly speaking). Thanks for the info…as I said it has been quite a while since I saw the episode! :P

  • Andy

    When the Runaway Bride aired over Christmas I wanted to see it and found a way to get it off the web. It also led me to The Hogfather, another Christmas Special based on the Disc World book. Excellent show. I also got Torchwood, Jekyll and Series 2 of Life on Mars. BBC America is airing Torchwood and did Jekyll, not sure when Life on Mars will come back, but I’ve seen it. Another show to look for is Mary Jane Adventures, the pilot aired early in the year. Not sure when the series will start.

  • Poly

    Andy wrote: “Another show to look for is Mary Jane Adventures, the pilot aired early in the year. Not sure when the series will start.”

    I think you mean The Sarah Jane Adventures. The pilot broadcast over the Christmas period, the series just started, we are 4-5 episodes into it.

  • Jason

    My theory on the cut? Scifi probably didn’t/couldn’t pay the rights of the song to the Scissor Sisters… I blame the RIAA.

  • Cthulhu

    I loved the last three episodes of the current series, to the point that you actually feel guilty about secretly liking the Master – which I think is a critical point in Who. The Master is the absolute equal of the Doctor – someone who knows how and what the Doctor is thinking at an almost instinctual level as they are so close in many respects.

    You could imagine an entire series exploring the Master’s background as a young time lord and what makes him succumb to the “dark side”…

    And I would love to see the Time War shown in something akin to the Clone Wars series that was produced…

    Of course, there is a simpler way to avoid the cuts in the US version of the series – move to the UK!

    :-)

  • MaryAnn

    I think the thing about the Master that’s key here is that he is like the Doctor in many ways: if you were, say, Lucy, and you hadn’t met the Doctor, the Master would be the most extraordinary person you’d ever run into. The Master is, like the Doctor, magnetic and irresistible: you can’t help but fall into his orbit and never mind if you can’t pull yourself out: you *want* to stay there.

    So I don’t feel too guilty about liking him, on a certain level… :->

  • Poly

    I think a big reason for liking the Master, in addition to him being magnetic and irresistible, is that the Doctor likes him. He forgives him everything, he is happy when he thinks he can keep him, devastated when he dies.
    So we like the Master and we think there is more to him than being evil and insane because he means so much to the Doctor.

  • Skip

    Just in case anyone has a Hi-Def cable package, and, like me, hardly watches it for lack of interesting shows…Torchwood is currently airing on HDNet. (Does a Monty Python and the Holy Grail “Eating the minstrels” Yayyyyyyyy)

    Also, glancing at a previous comment, I noticed that someone mentioned the Face of Boe thing being a cheat for Jack, as now we know how/when he dies. Actually, I watched a commentary segment on the Doctor Who webpage, and the “Face of Boe” comment was not necessarily intended as admission that Jack is Boe.

    From wikipedia: “In the episode’s commentary, writer Russell T. Davies called the implication of Jack’s nickname (“the Face of Boe”) “a theory” as to the Face of Boe’s origins, prompting Executive Producer Julie Gardner to urge him to “stop back-pedalling” about the two characters being the same. There was much laughter. Davies then mentioned the addition of a line in “Gridlock” in which the Face of Boe calls the Doctor “old friend”, suggesting a strong connection between him and the Doctor.”

    Also, keep in mind Jack’s lack of reaction to Martha mentioning the Face of Boe in the first episode of the three-episode finale arc (another nod to the last-minute addition of the Jack/Boe concept). Davies certainly has the groundwork for claiming Jack is Boe, but he also has left himself some wiggle room. :P

  • MaryAnn

    I do a reaction from Jack when Martha mentions the Face of Boe in “Utopia.” It’s not a huge reaction, but he certainly is intrigued by it…

  • Skip

    I went back and rewatched the episode (don’t ask how :P), and I can see why you detect a reaction from Jack. I would chalk it up to one character simply turning to look at another character speaking, but I will grant you that one could take this turn of his head as some sort of look of surprise and/or intrigue. I guess we will have to make sure Torchwood has a long run in order to find out what happens with Jack. (Aren’t nerdy t.v. discussions fun! :D

  • boz

    First of all i must say this is a great blog. I was checking on Arthur Dent comment on “Christmas Invasion” and I stumbled upon here.

    I started watching DW with remade series, with episode Rose. Couple of days ago I finished Series 3 and later found christmas invasion, runaway bride and children in need.

    I’d like to write about the doctor, actors etc. but something has been bugging me since I’ve read all these comments.

    We’ve seen New Earth, New New York, End of the Universe, different cultures, different aliens. Yet main blogging topic is The Doctor’s lovelife (or lack of) There are countless material about his journeys. Yet you’re limiting yourself with love.

    Back with the series 3. On the whole, I’d say 7/10 till Dalek’s in Manhattan show had a good (although not great) rhythm, my favourite was gridlock. Dalek’s episode had some sparkling moments especially when Dalek Sec speaks, (though Freud help me I can’t help thinking “dickhead”) but then the episode can’t press the right buttons. 42 was quite like the impossible planet, but worse. Then came the masterpieces Human Nature, Family of Blood and Steven Moffat’s Blink. And crashlanding with 3 part season final.

    Problem with these 3 part is not their storyline, at least not all of the script. series 2 ended with daleks and cyberman sucked into rift and UK once again resumed its ignorance. now series 3 ended with a reset button. Shot the paradox machine, toclafane vanishes, time rewinds to a perfect plotwise moment (where martha’s family are nearby) and they live happily ever after. Oh I almost forgot The Doctor’s fantastic transformation from gollum to DT with help of constantly beeping (i am not censoring anything, satelites really beeps) satellite network and people thinking the word doctor. I understand the pseudo-logic there but I refuse to accept it.

    Don’t get me wrong here, I love this show. I wouldn’t hesitate one moment to jump into tardis. But I can’t stand these type of escapes. It’s like, telling God Almighty came and punched master in the face, then Abaddon the Devourer came and eat toclafanes. There was so much potential in that story, with master, toclafane, jack, doctor, the valiant. Yet he choose the easy way.

    Btw you do know that Catherine Tate(the runaway bride) will be the companion in the 4th series. And Something called Doctor Who: Time Crash will be aired next week.

    note: sorry about spellings, grammar, etc. Unfortunately this is not my native language.

  • MaryAnn

    We’ve seen New Earth, New New York, End of the Universe, different cultures, different aliens. Yet main blogging topic is The Doctor’s lovelife (or lack of) There are countless material about his journeys. Yet you’re limiting yourself with love.

    I’m not limiting myself. It’s the most interesting aspect of the show, and it’s my blog, so I get to talk about whatever I want. :->

  • PaulW

    Regarding my earlier post about possible fanfic involving all Doctors convening on the Titanic? Well word is out that it’s Doctor No.5 (Davidson) coming back for meeting o the minds.

    Didjya hear that? Davidson + Tennant = someone in New York City havin’ Whogams

  • MaryAnn

    Nah. They’d need to get John Simm’s Master in there too… :->

  • boz

    i watched doctor who:timecrash. it starts right after where Martha left and ends with titanic crashing into TARDIS. episode is about 8 minutes. nice dialogs, nothing very important. good thing to watch while waiting for the voyage of the damned. oh and it explains how can TARDIS (normally almost indestructable) be penetrated by a mere ship made of steel.

    ps: I disagree about “the most interesting aspect” though I respect your opinion.

  • MaryAnn

    Hey, boz, we’re talking about “Time Crash” over here.

  • http://chosen1.tripod.com A Friend

    if you want to find the Christmas Special for 2007 your best bet is to torrent it or check stage 6 (divx) might get lucky