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the film criticism aspect of cyber | by maryann johanson

‘Doctor Who’ blogging: “The End of Time: Part One”

(tons of spoilers! don’t read till you’ve seen the episode! and no comments from party poopers — this is a love fest only / previous: Episode 3: “The Waters of Mars”)

I really wanted to get this up last weekend, and if I had a TARDIS, I could go back and do that. Now, I just want to get some of these thoughts out there before Part Two debuts.

Please, don’t post any spoilers for Part Two in the comments; save those for my blogging on Part Two, which I’ll get to asap.
If I have one major objection to what Russell Davies has done with his Doctor Who, it’s this: he’s relied too much on old enemies and old monsters. Now, I get it: the Daleks are as iconically Doctor Who as the TARDIS is. But that’s part of what made the Christopher Eccleston episode “Dalek” so amazing: it turned around everything we knew about the Doctor’s greatest enemies — and here, we learn, quite literally the greatest, in that they destroyed Gallifrey and the Time Lords. It made us feel sorry for the last Dalek, and then it destroyed the last Dalek. It was a startling jolt, one that, at the time, sounded like Davies saying, “I know the past of this show, and I love it, too, but we’re gonna do something new here.” Which was mindblowing.

And then the Daleks kept coming back. And the Cybermen. And the Master. And as much as I adore John Simm — as the Master and otherwise — I’m really disappointed that the show has looked back so often, instead of looking forward. It’s a big universe out there. Hell, it’s a big multiverse. Surely there are some new monsters, some new enemies, and even one or two other surviving Time Lords we’d never met before still alive who might have philosophical disagreements with the Doctor over how best to bum around space and time in the wake of their civilization’s ultimate apocalypse. (To interfere, or not to interfere? To subjugate entire civilizations with their godlike powers and irresistible charisma, or not to subjugate?)

And perhaps the most ballsy thing Davies did to kick off his new Doctor Who five years ago was the kill off the Time Lords. That was a total gamechanger for the Doctor — he really was well and truly alone now. It’s one thing to be an outcast, even by choice, but quite another to know there’s no going home again, ever, however unlikely a propect that may have seemed for the Doctor in his own mind.

But then Davies does it again with this episode: he brings back the Time Lords. Why? Like I said earlier, If what I think is going on here — the return of the Time Lords — is going on here, it better not be. Because then Davies is tossing out the best thing about this new Doctor Who: that it really was new.

So I’m hoping that what it looks like is going on here really isn’t what’s going on here. I’m desperately afraid, as we wait for the final episode, that Davies is gonna have had the Time Lords hiding out in some bubble of spacetime all these years, just waiting for the right moment to return and reveal themselves — something like this would really suck. I’m hoping, instead, that perhaps Timothy Dalton is the Black Guardian (which is whom I’d been guessing all along he was) playing some silly game with the White Guardian — of course Claire Bloom is the White Guardian, right? He doesn’t really have any Time Lords with him, it’s just a trick. Or else they really are a few surviving Time Lords who’ve allied themselves with the Black Guardian for some reason; for mere survival, perhaps.

Even the Time Lords couldn’t bring about the end of time itself, right? It would take the Guardians to do that, wouldn’t it?

Please don’t let us find out that Wilf is a Time Lord. (What if he’s a future incarnation of the Doctor? Or the Master? He could have downloaded himself in a fob watch and been hiding all these years, for some reason.) Please let it be that the White Guardian has been exerting her influence through Wilf all these years, because — I dunno — the Black Guardian has her imprisoned somewhere, and this is the best she can do to subvert the Black Guardian’s efforts.

Or maybe Wilf is the White Guardian…

If Wilf is a future incarnation of the Doctor, though, it would explain why Donna was so insistent on not finding the Doctor sexually attractive, like everyone-damn-one else does. She’d be the Doctor’s granddaughter, and it would be really icky if she fancied him.

Also: Please let it be that we don’t see David Tennant regenerate into Matt Smith, because then there won’t be any room for all the Doctor Who movies in which Tennant is gonna play the Doctor over the next 20 years. And River Song told him he looked so young, which means he has to get much older looking as the Doctor.

Anyway, these are the things I’m worrying about while waiting for David Tennant’s and Russell Davies’ last episode…

Random thoughts on “The End of Time: Part One”:

• Nice:

But which Doctor was it who helped the 13th-century nuns?

• The secret books of Saxon? The resurrection of the Master? It’s a bit Harry Potter, isn’t it?

More than a bit, I’d say:

• Oo, they have a stargate!

• “Modern sort of hair. All sticky-uppy.”

• Nice that Wilf’s team of old folks remember real police boxes.

• Funny that they’re all waiting to hear from President Obama about ending the recession — he’s got a “grand plan, he’s gonna save the world with some big financial scheme.” Has a real political leader ever figured so prominently in a Doctor Who story before? I don’t think so. (And hey, who’s Prime Minister of the U.K. now?)

• I refuse to believe the Doctor isn’t used to getting his ass patted by people all over the universe:

• Oh, the scene in the cafe with Wilf, the Doctor on the verge of breaking down!

Honey…

…come here and let me give you a hug…

Regeneration “feels like dying,” the Doctor says. “Everything I am dies, some new man goes sauntering away, and I’m dead.” If Davies is trying to make us feel better about losing David Tennant, this is not the way to do it.

• Holy shit! Timothy Dalton is on Doctor Who!

Holy shit! Timothy Dalton is a Time Lord!

• Oh, just fuck already:

• Hey, didn’t they talk on Torchwood about something coming at us out of the dark? Yes, they did.

• I think the Master’s found his new wife… should he survive this:

• The Master’s on a leash… *snort*

• So humanity is erased. Can we get it back? If Russell Davies isn’t nervy enough to leave the Time Lords and the Daleks dead, he’s certainly not going to leave humanity erased, is he?

(next: Episode 5: “The End of Time: Part Two”)


MPAA: not rated

viewed at home on a small screen

official site | IMDb
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  • Oh just f already: PRICELESS. I’m glad I wasn’t the only one thinking this. And in a Davies universe, for all we know, they have.

  • innpchan

    Well, you got me thinking with the whole “Wilf is a future incarnation of the Doctor” bit… and what if it isn’t the TENTH Doctor whose song is ending, but the Whateverth Doctor/Wilf’s? That would make Matt Smith the Whateverth+1 Doctor, and allow the Tenth Doctor plenty of time to meet River and appear in MaryAnn’s movies.

    Practically zero chance, I know. Right up there with Donna/Romana (Which I think they really were planning to do at some point, because the clues are just too obvious. Maybe that’s why it got dropped.). Fun thought, though.

    tha pig

  • allochthon

    Somebody upload pt. 2 already!
    *refresh*
    *refresh*

  • Mel

    Related to Doctor Who but not this episode, have you seen this?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FHeZ_CsBQIw&feature=related

    Doctor Who theme song reimagined as a Belgian jazz song for Anglophones. I think it’s pretty hilarious.

  • Mel

    And River Song told him he looked so young, which means he has to get much older looking as the Doctor.

    I actually thought she meant psychologically, like his eyes looked younger, not necessarily that she had known him in the same incarnation at all.

    Anyway, I agree with everything you said.

  • Martin

    Love your comments about RTD and his treatment of old monsters.

    I’m not sure if it counts as a spoiler but the BBC has released a trailer for the next series, it’s only available for the UK so far but I’m sure it’ll be made more widely available soon.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/doctorwho/newyear/

    Eagerly awaiting your views on part 2.

  • Martin
  • Isobel

    Going to save my comments on End of Time until Part 2 is up, but man I did not like that trailer (posted by Martin, above)! They are all about 12 and Dr Who had a gun! Noooo!

  • Richyj

    There are possibley 3 other timelords still out there. Susan the original doctors grandaughter who he left on earth. The meddling monk, again the first doctor sabotaged his tardis stranding him on earth and least we not forget the doctors daughter from doctor tennant. Re river song, she knew what the doctor was hence knew of regeneration and just sees him as the same person even though he was obviously a later and older regeneration. Finaly end of time ain’t gonna tell you who she was but you can put your shirt on it that it’s the doctors mother

  • Isobel

    I thought that she might be the doctor’s mother, too – just have to wait and see what happens. . .

  • @ Mel: Ye gods I love Bill Bailey. The sound quality isn’t great on this one, but if you’ve ever watched CBS or BBC news, you’ll find this a treat:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ThuUtuvAQ1A

    Having seen Pt2, I can say nothing. And I so wish I could!

  • isobel

    Thanks for that link – Bill Bailey is great. I always love him on QI as well.

  • Matthew

    A couple more Bill Bailey links.

    This is the original version of the Belgian Doctor Who theme, from 1998:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X4ruurkdNg0

    And here he is on QI with David Tennant:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VDyXXWY6ws4

  • Keith

    Is he the Master or is this Cole MacGrath? The way the Master flew around with electricity I think someone on the production team has been playing inFamous, hehe. Enough commenting, time to watch Pt 2.

  • Aw, man. Let’s get on top of this Part 2 blog thing MaryAnn because I am dying to talk about it! Or, well… read about it, anyway.

    Can we institute a spoiler deadline or something? Surely those of us who want to see it have by now… right?

  • Jeff Moore

    I liked this episode more than the next … but will reserve comment on that for the part 2 post. I agree that Davies used the old villains too much … I do think that those villains are fun to revisit, but I think these appearances should be restricted to one only per season.

    We got the Daleks in season one, we should not have seen them again for a long while … Sarah Jane? She wasn’t a villian, but she is special enough to count as the “one revisit from the past” for the season she was in. Cybermen? That re-origin story was great … give us that and then walk away … save the Cybermen vs. Daleks story for the next season … it would be far more special then.

    And that’s the thing, isn’t it? By revisiting the past so much, the specialness is diminished. It’s not as exciting because it’s being done far too much. Now, seeing the Time Lords revealed at the end of part one did cause my geeky heart to skip a beat … I do love John Simm … but I don’t really love John Simm as the Master … but I did enjoy his performance in this episode … I just had to put out of my mind the character created by Roger Delgado and Anthony Ainley (actually, I really liked Eric Roberts version of the Master.)

    ‘Please don’t let us find out that Wilf is a Time Lord.’

    It was revealed to me (over on HeroPress.net) that the character name, ‘Wilfred Mott’ is an anagram for: ‘Time Lord WTF’

    It’s entirely possible that Wilfred is a Time Lord … I am still waiting to see.

    -Jeff

  • Matthew

    While we’re waiting for the part two bloggage, I’ve managed to track down a version of the series 5 trailer that was captured from the TV broadcast rather than the website – and so is a much higher resolution:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b69Lh4lXw2w

    It’s not spoilery for The End of Time, Part Two but it probably works best viewed after that espisode. Also, it does give away some of the elements of the next series, so don’t watch it if you want to be completely spoiler free (and don’t read about anything Doctor Who on the Internet, either, as most people won’t consider the contents of a trailer to be spoilers).

  • Jeff Moore (Mon Jan 04 10, 10:24AM):

    It was revealed to me (over on HeroPress.net) that the character name, ‘Wilfred Mott’ is an anagram for: ‘Time Lord WTF’

    Oh my god. That is awesome.

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