Previously on Doctor Who...
Gallifrey, on the last day of the Time War...
Still quite thrilling to see Gallifrey in the modern era. Especially then.
The Time Lord President sweeps into the meeting room of the High Council.
On a war footing, it's certainly changed from its' chintzy appearance during the 5th Doctor's era.
The President eyes his council suspiciously, and demands an update on the Doctor's whereabouts.
He's scarpered, apparently. "He still possesses the Moment, and he'll use it to destroy Daleks and Time Lords alike."
"The Visionary" predicts doom and gloom for Gallifrey: "Ending, burning, falling. All of it falling. The black and pitch and screaming fire, so burning." She's a cheery soul.
"The Partisan", weary of the neverending Time War, suggests that the fall of Gallifrey may even be for the best. "At the heart of the Time War, billions are dying, being resurrected and dying repeatedly. The never-ending carnage is a travesty of life!"
It's a suggestion that goes down like a cup of cold sick with El Prez, who's not so good with constructive criticism.
"I will NOT die! Er... again."
Simon Pittman@LibraryPlayer "You want the posh biscuits from M&S at this session of the High Council? How dare you!" *activates glove*
The Chancellor draws the President's attention to the only part of the Visionary's prophecy that may give them cause for hope: "two survivors beyond the final day; Two children of Gallifrey, locked in their final confrontation, The Enmity of Ages."
No prizes for guessing to which two Time Lords that might refer.
One word keeps being repeated in the prophecy - Earth.
The President wonders if Earth could be the source of their salvation.
There, the Doctor is at the Master's mercy, with Wilf watching on, helpless.
The Master wants to know where the Doctor's TARDIS is.
With 6,727,949,338 versions of the Master at large, the Doctor and Wilf are rather outnumbered.
Wilf berates the Master for taunting the Doctor. "Oh, your dad's still kicking up a fuss!"
When Wilf's mobile rings, the Master is flummoxed.
"Everybody on this planet is me. And I'm not phoning you, so who the hell is that?"
He searches Wilf, finding first his service revolver, and then the offending phone.
The Master's non-plussed to find that Donna's not been Master-ised, and is on the phone to her gramps...
Wilf explains about the Metacrisis. "Ugh, he loves playing with Earth girls..."
The Master sets his lookalikes to hunt Donna down...
...and she's soon cornered by hungry Masterlings.
Her plight begins to trigger dangerous memories.
But as the returning memories overwhelm her, instead of burning her up, the energy released blasts out, incapacitating the Masterlings...
...and causing Donna to black out.
Of course, the Doctor knew that would happen.
Davad@davadsteel Tennant doesn't speak until 8 minutes into the episode. That feels a bit wrong. Too much going on?
Maybe but I love that first Gallifrey scene, and let's face it, the last 15 mins probably OVER compensate! I know what you mean, but he does get at least two truly spellbinding scenes with Cribbins, so there's that.
The Doctor proposes that he and the Master shack up together and go on the road. What goes on galactic tour...
Chris@KosmicKris I’m so enjoying this that I forgot to tweet :) Loving this three-hander between Wilf, Doctor and Master!
The Master is sceptical. Would running away really make the sound of the drums in his head stop?
The Master has heard the never-ending drums since childhood...
Simon Pittman@LibraryPlayer Despite never mentioning it during Classic Who!
True, but it genuinely is an in-fiction retcon here!
Si Hodges@SiHodges79 So for the classic series Masters there were no drums (though it is tempting to blame some of Ainley's madder moments on it!). The way it's played out leaves it vague enough to accept either option. The great thing about RTD's writing!
The President recalls the source of the Master's madness as that rhythm of four, and works out that it's the heartbeat of a Time-Lord.
The prophecy can be worked to his advantage...
The Master plans to use his 6 billion clones to trace the source of the drums.
Once again he needs to cannibalize the Doctor's TARDIS, and threatens to have Wilf killed if the Doctor doesn't reveal its' location.
But the Doctor's ready to make his move now, and points out the thing that the Master's failed to notice: his guard is an inch too tall...
That's because the gate was only set to rewrite human DNA, and the "guard" is one of the Vinvocci, Rossiter, who soon knocks the Master unconscious.
Rossiter, Wilf and Addams don't have time to untangle the straps fixing the Doctor to the chair...
...so they just have to wheel him away...
...including down several flights of stairs, which doesn't go down so well with the Doctor.
"WORST. RESCUE. EVER!"50dw50@50dw50 nice to have some fun before the end!
The Master and his clone army are hot on their heels...
...but they make a getaway by teleporting up to a ship the Vinvocci have hidden in orbit.
They're not safe yet, though: the Master controls every missile on Earth and they're sitting ducks.
Wilf, however, is just amazed to find himself in space!
Chris@KosmicKris Wilf on the space ship is full-on surrogate me!
The Vinvocci ship reminds me of Starbug from Red Dwarf.
As the Master scrambles to try and force a fast return...
...the Doctor knackers first the teleporter, then the main systems.
... that silent running is the only way to duck an all out attack from the Master.
The Master scours space to no avail. All he can do is listen and wait.
Addams rails at the Doctor for disabling all their main systems.
But Wilf has faith that the Doctor will have another trick up his sleeve.
The Master listens...
...he hears a familiar drumming sound. "Someone could only have designed this. But who?"
The answer is on Gallifrey...
...where the Lord President throws his "Whitepoint Star" Diamond out...
...past the time lock, to Earth, to make their link to his pet madman physical.
In orbit, the Doctor is repairing his earlier vandalism...
...when he sees the diamond fall to the planet below.
The Masters feel the approach...
...and recover the diamond from its landing crater.
The Master's victorious!
Aboard the Vinvocci ship, Wilf encounters the Woman in white a third time.
"This is the Doctor's final battle. At the end of his life, he must stand at arms, or lose himself and all this world, to the End of Time."
Wilf tells her that the Doctor never carries guns. Oh aye?
When Wilf asks who the woman is, her only reply is that "I was lost, so very long ago."
And Wilf is alone. With his gun.
Wilf joins the Doctor, who's busy trying to fix the heating.
Wilf worries that his dead wife in her grave might have been changed. Nah, they'd never go that far on Doctor Who, would they!
Wilf recalls his army service in Palestine in 1948. "It was like a blizzard, all them bullets in the air."
The Doctor rather bursts Wilf's bubble when he points out that he's the elder of the two, but he responds to Wilf's "We must look like insects to you." with "I think you look like giants."
Wilf tries to get the Doctor to take his gun, but he refuses.
Wilf reminds him of the prophecy of his death: "You were told he will knock four times and then you die. Well, that's him, isn't it? The Master. That noise in his head? The Master is going to kill you."
When Wilf urges him to kill the Master first, the Doctor tells him he won't because that's exactly how the Master got started.
The Doctor faces up to the fact that he's caused a lot of deaths in his long life. Long lived he may be, but he suddenly feels all too mortal. "Sometimes I think a Time Lord lives too long."
When the Doctor admits that killing the Master would snap the template and return humanity to its proper state, Wilf implores him again to take the gun.
"Don't you dare put him before them. Now you take this. That's an order, Doctor. Take the gun. You take the gun and save your life. And please don't die. You're the most wonderful man and I don't want you to die." Bernard Cribbins breaks hearts.
Suddenly, though, they're interrupted by a broadcast from the Master, announcing that he's worked all night to use his sparkly Christmas prezzie as a lifeline...
"Keep watching, Doctor. This should be spectacular!"
The Doctor makes the connection immediately. Whitepoint diamonds are only found on Gallifrey, which means that the Time Lords are returning.
Wilf thinks that's a good thing...
...until the Doctor takes his gun.
By using the Gate to send the diamond's signal back, the Master has opened a pathway that the Time Lords can follow.
The signal is coming from every single transmitter on Earth.
The President prepares...
...and the High Council overwhelmingly vote...
Wilf is confused because the Doctor always waxed lyrical about his people.
But of course, he always described them how he wanted to remember them, when in fact the Time War changed them to the core. The Time Lords are more dangerous than any of the enemies Wilf's seen him face.
The Doctor has no choice than to go after the Master if he's to stand any chance of preventing what's coming, so he repairs Starbug.
The old salvage ship has laser cannons for blasting asteroids, so the Doctor orders Rossiter and Wilf to man the battle stations, despite Addams' protests.
"There's an old Earth saying, Captain. A phrase of great power and wisdom, and consolation to the soul in times of need: Allons-y!" WORST. LINES. EVER.
Chris@KosmicKris not RTD’s finest hour was it - but he’s allowed the odd clanger after that cafe scene ;)
"Allons-y" is & always was a cringe-inducing affectation so to have it so ridiculously lionized is too much!
It was always employed utterly meaninglessly so to pretend it had any sort of value like that just rang hollow.
The Master launches all the world's missiles at Starbug...
...as the Doctor heads directly for the Naismith mansion.
The Masters quickly get a fix on the incoming ship...
...and it's not long until the Master's missiles are breathing down their neck.
This calls for some fancy flying from the Doctor...
...and some fancy shooting from his gunners.
"Oh, I wish Donna could see me now!" Don't get cocky, Wilf!
The Time Lords have voted, and it's almost unanimous. "Only two stand against, and will stand as monument to their shame like the Weeping Angels of old."
Always thought the floppy hair on the one on the left (the President's right) made him look a bit like Matt Smith...
At the Doctor's behest, Addams plots a course that has them on a collision course with Naismith's mansion.
Recalling the prophecy that the Doctor will die, Wilf begins to wonder if the Time Lord is going to take them all with him in a Master-killing fireball.
The Master's excitement grows as the Time Lords begin to break through...
Here comes trouble!
The Doctor takes up Wilf's revolver...
...and jumps from the ship...
...crashing through the skylight and into the Immortality Gate room.
He knows how to make an entrance, that Doctor, doesn't he!
Chris@KosmicKris there is precedent in canon for Dr Who to survive a big fall - he did it in the Paradise of Death!
RobotOfDeath@Mr_GWard must be Doctor specific, Tom couldn't manage it in Logopolis!
Chris@KosmicKris that was quite different!
Addams is intent on doing a runner until Wilf demands she turns round to drop him off at the mansion so he can lend a hand.
The President notes the irony of the Time Lords being saved by a paradox involving their "most infamous child".
The Doctor has realized that the Master plans to use the Gate to make the Time Lords part of his "Master Race".
Just for a change, the Master hasn't thought his plan through, having underestimated the President - who undoes his "race" with a wave of his gauntlet.
Deluded, the Master still thinks he can get some credit with the Time Lords for bringing them back.
It takes the Doctor to point out what the Master has failed to realize...
...it's not just the Time Lords who are arriving, it's Gallifrey - the whole planet.
Chris@KosmicKris totally ridiculous and completely OTT… An RTD series finale in fact :)
Having dropped Wilf off at the mansion, Addams and Rossiter do a runner.
The President smiles with satisfaction as the planet shakes.
Naismith falls to his knees, quaking with fear as Gallifrey looms ever larger.
As the Master tries to stay onside with the Time Lord President...
...Wilf returns to help the Doctor, freeing a trapped man in the nuclear control booth but trapping himself in the process.
The Master still doesn't get it. He thinks that the Time Lords' restoration is "fantastic", but the Doctor knows that if the Time Lock has been broken, then all of the other horrors of the Time War are on their way too.
Love all this: "the Skaro Degradations, the Horde of Travesties, the Nightmare Child, the Could-have-been King with his army of Meanwhiles and Never-weres..."
The Master's response? "My kind of world!"
The President reveals the full horror of what the he had planned to unleash on the final day of the Time War: "We will initiate the Final Sanction. The end of time will come at my hand. The rupture will continue until it rips the Time Vortex apart."
The Lord President believes the Time Lords will ascend to a higher plane, and becomes creatures of pure thought. Okaaaaay.
The Master wants to tag along, but the President sneers that he is "diseased... albeit a disease of our own making."
Chris@KosmicKris I love Tim Dalton here “You’re a disease” (and I like the way he says Master).
But as the President raises his gauntlet to strike the Master down...
...the Doctor stands, and takes aim with Wilf's gun.
The President warns him to choose his enemy well.
The Master urges him to kill the President. "Gallifrey can be yours!"
But the Doctor turns to point the gun at his old nemesis.
They both know that if the Master dies, the link inside his head that brought the Time Lords to Earth will break, snapping them back inside the Time Lock.
But the Master goads the Doctor, calling him a coward, and the Doctor seems to contemplate that the President is the other end of that same link.
"The final act of your life is murder," sneers the President. "But which one of us?"
The Doctor catches sight of the figure over his shoulder, the woman lowering her hands from her face.
It's the woman who appeared to Wilf with her call to arms.
She seems to have a profound effect on the Doctor. Who is she to him? (His mother, according to RTD! Yes, really!)
The woman casts her gaze behind the Doctor, and a realization dawns on him. It's the White-Point Star Diamond maintaining the link, not the Master.
The Doctor barks at his nemesis to get out of the way, and shoots the diamond, destroying the link.
As the Time Lords are dragged back into the Time War, the Doctor condemns the President to go "back into Hell", and names him as the resurrected Rassilon!
Chris@KosmicKris this is just brilliant isn’t it? What a hoot!
Rassilon vows to take the Doctor down with him.
But this is not the prophesied death of the Doctor. The Master orders him aside and then begins to beat Rassilon back with energy blasts, determined to have his revenge for the centuries of being manipulated.
The Master blasts his tormentor back to the beat of those drums, one, two, three, four!
Finally, it's done, and the Master has trapped himself with Rassilon and the others, back on Gallifrey, back on the final day of the Last Great Time War.
It seems the end of the Time War is subtly changed, with the Master now on Gallifrey, preventing Rassilon's plan, right up to the point the Doctor used the Moment. Or thought he did...
In the streets, Sylvia watches as Gallifrey fades away...
Miraculously, it seems the Doctor has survived!
And it's Wilf.
Chris@KosmicKris I just loved this pay off - something so mundane and innocent!
When Wilf stepped into the booth to rescue the technician, he didn't realize that the Master had left the nuclear bolt running. The machine is about to overload, and release a lethal dose of radiation.
Even the sonic screwdriver would set it off.
The only way to save Wilf is if the Doctor takes his place in the adjacent booth to take the radiation blast himself.
Wilf won't have it. "I'm an old man, Doctor. I've had my time."
"Well, exactly. Look at you. Not remotely important." As if he means that. This is just GUTTING.
The Doctor rages at how much more he could have done...
...but having indulged himself for that moment, he comes to realize that saving Wilf would be "an honour".
Chris@KosmicKris And how superb is Tennant here? This little speech is just magical - his thinking out loud.
The Doctor enters the booth, releasing Wilf in the nick of time.
The radiation blasts his every cell...
...as Wilf watches helplessly.
Wilf holds his breath, fearing the worst...
...but not for the first time today, the Doctor has pulled off a miraculous survival.
"Oh, now it opens, yeah!"
Wilf can hardly believe his eyes; the injuries the Doctor sustained in his fall seem to be fading.
For a second, I thought when Tennant rubbed his face, that that might even be the regeneration, unexpectedly subtle and low key.
But the Doctor's remarkably healed cuts mean only one thing: "It's started." He's going to regenerate...
Wilf's just pleased he's still alive!
At home, Donna awakes from her earlier ordeal. "Did I miss something again?" That's our Donna!
Sylvia, hearing the familiar sound of the TARDIS, runs out to see the Doctor returning her dad, safe and sound.
The Doctor promises Wilf, "I'll see you again, one more time."
The Doctor then goes to get "his reward" - a farewell tour saying goodbye to all his companions...
Chris@KosmicKris I loved how RTD played with the concept of regeneration here “I’m going to get my reward”
First he travels to an abandoned warehouse, where a Sontaran sniper has Martha Jones and Mickey Smith (now married!) pinned down...
...until a timely intervention from the trusty hammer usually reserved for giving the TARDIS console a good whack.
As he turns and leaves they seem to know that there was something very final about this encounter.
On Bannerman Road, Luke, Sarah Jane Smith's adoptive son, is on the phone to his friend Clyde, explaining that their super-computer "Mr. Smith" has "put out this story saying that Wi-Fi went mad all across the world, giving everyone hallucinations."
But Luke is not looking where he is going, and steps out into the road in front of a car.
Of course the Doctor is there to save him...
...his reward in this case being to save his one time best friend's son for her.
In an alien bar, amongst the many familiar faces...
...Captain Jack Harkness licks his wounds after sacrificing his grandson to defeat the threat of the 456.
He receives a note from the Doctor, pointing him in the direction of another lost soul: midshipman Alonso Frame.
Jack salutes him, because he too gets that unshakeable feeling that he's seeing the Doctor for the last time.
Chris@KosmicKris this is controversial but I really liked this: we got a proper pay off with all the loose ends being tied up :)
I think it might've worked better if he was obviously deteriorating the whole time. Or it just didn't go on for SO long.Ruther@Ruther2 Doctor Who And The Milking Of The Moment.
Author Verity Newman, the great-granddaughter of Joan Redfern, is signing copies of her book, "A Journal of Impossible Things"...
...when the Doctor arrives to ask if Joan was happy in the end.
She seems to detect that he's the Doctor from her great-grandmother's diary and tells him, "Yes. Were you?"
Funny that the Doctor's first and last sightings of Donna are of her in a Wedding dress.
It's Sylvia that first spots the watching Doctor, and she and Wilf move over to speak with him. Donna still mustn't see him.
He asks them to pass on a wedding present...
...a winning lottery ticket purchased with a pound given to him by Sylvia's late husband, which will set her up for life.
Chris@KosmicKris I did a little cry at Geoffrey Noble :)
Wilf fills the Doctor in about the fate of Joshua Naismith and his daughter: both arrested for "Crimes Undisclosed".
Like Jack before him, Wilf salutes the departing Doctor...
...but he breaks down at the finality of the Doctor's goodbye. Cribbins the heartbreaker once again.
As a final indulgence, the Doctor's last trip is to the Powell Estate, on New Year's Day, 2005.
He stands in the shadows to wish pre-Rose Rose a fantastic 2005.
GET ON THE BOAT, FRODO.
Come in, number 10, your time is up.
He's so close to the TARDIS now, but collapses...
When he looks up, he once again has a ghostly vision of Ood Sigma.
Lovely singing voice that Ood has.
"We will sing to you, Doctor..."
"The universe will sing you to your sleep."
On the Ood homeworld, the Ood sing "Vale Decem" (Farewell Ten) in chorus.
"This song is ending..."
"...but the story never ends." That's Doctor Who, folks.
Finally, the Doctor makes it to the safety of his TARDIS, and steps inside.
The 10th Doctor enters the TARDIS, but he won't leave it ever again...
He tosses his beloved coat aside, and now the regeneration is only moments away.
He sets the TARDIS moving one last time, leaving the Earth behind...
It's the end, but the moment has been prepared for...
"I don't want to go!" Tough.
John Mark Frankland@JMFrankland Is this what the Doctor feels everytime he regenerates I wonder? Is it a brave admission?
Chris@KosmicKris wonder if the General thought that before the Doctor gunned him down? What a brilliant last line though :)
Simon Pittman@LibraryPlayer Could his fear of regenerating/changing be partially due to knowing its his last regeneration! (which Time of the Doctor retconned)! :D
Mmm, now that's tasty retcon :-P Doesn't really fit with what he says in the cafe scene in part one, though, and it's slightly arsed up by the Impossible Astronaut, of course, where the Doctor starts to regenerate - in what Moffat later decides is his last incarnation - and is shot before he can finish.
Finlay HS@finlay2016 Well, him 'regenerating' is the Teselecta presumably just putting on a light show, so to speak.
Simon Pittman@LibraryPlayer And Angels take Manhatten. But both kind of screw up the whole last incarnation retcon in Time anyway!
M.R.Michael@The_Cybermatt 10th Doctor loves being him. Hence regenerating without changing in TSE/JE. He really doesn't want to go. You get the sense 9 was tired of life. Same with 11 in an odd way. Not so with 10.
True, guess it makes it more satisfying that when it comes to it, he's still able to put it aside to save Wilf. I like that, the contradictory nature of it, very real, and vanity as fatal flaw.
Finally, he can hold back no more, and the 10th Doctor erupts with regenerative energy...
...that blasts through the control room, destroying its' supporting pillars.
Once again, the Doctor's face changes...
Welcome to 11th Doctor, Matt Smith!
Davad@davadsteel I ended up hyperventilating. Crying at Dave going and then laughing at Matt. My sister just shrugged at me!
He makes a quick assessment of his legs, chin, hair and gender, before realizing he was in the middle of doing something important...
Davad@davadsteel "Nose. I've had worse. Chin. Blimey!" Absolutely hilarious. Matt fully present and defined!
Yeah, a cracking little intro scene for him, that. :-)
He suddenly remembers the important thing he was doing: crashing towards Earth!
John Mark Frankland@JMFrankland Bit underwhelmed by Smith here. Shows what I knew...
The new Doctor clings to the console for dear life as his ship spins out of control, but he actually seems to be enjoying himself!
Chris@KosmicKris thanks for the wonderful tweets :) It’s got it’s flaws but it’s an awful lot of fun as well :)
Yes, I still think it's highly enjoyable to watch :-)
Chris@KosmicKris certainly compares favourably to Time of the Doctor I think?
Yes, very superior to that one, for me. Apart from Matt's old man act & the last TARDIS scene, I find Time Of very poor.
Chris@KosmicKris totally - that last TARDIS scene tries to salvage something
Finlay HS@finlay2016 To me, Time's infinitely better.The clock tower and the "I will remember when then the Doctor was me" scenes are sublime.
Yes, *those* are the good bits.
Chris@KosmicKris absolutely - loved those bits and thought they really showcased how good Matt Smith had become.
Coming Soon... A Christmas Carol