Saturday, 29 April 2017


Series 3, Episode 11/13: 1 x 45min episode, 16th June 2007, Writer: Russell T. Davies, Director: Graeme Harper, Producer: Phil Collinson, Executive Producers: Russell T. Davies & Julie Gardner
James Wood@face_4radio As an 8 year old nothing could be more exciting than this episode. Perfection and perhaps the best of the series!

The TARDIS arrives in Cardiff for a pit stop...

And as the Doctor explains rift energy to Martha...

A familiar figure runs towards the TARDIS...
50dw50@50dw50 absolutely no way this can be matched with the end or Torchwood season 1. It really implies the tardis lands in the hub, with all the papers blown about ect

The Doctor admits that the earthquake in Cardiff not so long ago was "a bit of trouble with the Slitheen," but to him it was "a long time ago. Lifetimes. I was a different man back then."

The Doctor clearly clocks Jack, even if Martha doesn't, and is obviously in a hurry to avoid him.
Simon Pittman@LibraryPlayer Would like to see Captain Jack return one day, think he'd work really well with the 12th Doctor! :-)

Jack isn't going to give up that easily, though, and makes a desperate lunge to keep in touch with the departing TARDIS.

The TARDIS goes to some extreme lengths in its' attempts to shake him off, careering further and further into the future.

"We're going to the end of the universe!"

Simon Threadgold@dimwittedly Well, he's had everyone else, now he's dry humping the TARDIS.
Darth Marenghi@DarthMarenghi The titles should have ended on this iconic moment, I think. You don't need to see the Futurekind yet.

Completely agree - it seems designed to do that, but then clunks to the Futurekind. I actually blame Harper for that.

At the end of the universe, feral humanoids - the Futurekind -  can smell something coming: Humans...!

And only now do we get the titles.

The Futurekind hunt one of the last remaining humans, Padra Shafe Cane.
Chris@KosmicKris Love the way they get straight to the meat here. One of the things I love about Utopia is the pace!

Simon Threadgold@dimwittedly Agreed. On first viewing this felt important. The pace is electrifying.

James Wood@face_4radio its pure adrenaline with real moments of sophistication. Russell T Davies was a genius!

Chris@KosmicKris it felt like they packed so much into the 45 mins!

The chase is monitored by kindly old duffer, Professor Yana, and his assistant Chantho.

Simon Threadgold@dimwittedly I'll get this out of the way now. I love every atom of Jacobi's performance. Adorable, tragic and sinister. Superb.

Simon Pittman@LibraryPlayer When watching originally, I thought he might be a future incarnation of the Doctor. And then we get the reveal at the end!

Darth Marenghi@DarthMarenghi Jacobi has such a lovingly Hartnellian air as Prof Yana. Brilliant touch from Russell. Also a telling insight into the Master's psyche that when his memory is wiped, the identity he picks is his best friend's.

Great point, that, think it gets overlooked - Yana is a disguise, a deliberate creation, not *just* an amensiac Master. i.e. it isn't even true that he has amnesia, really. "Being found as a child..." etc. is not true, even if Titan comics were slow on the uptake and took it literally.

Yana prefers his tea without Chantho's internal milk...
Simon Pittman@LibraryPlayer Future Daily Mail headline: Prime Minister drunk alien's internal milk in previous incarnation!

50dw50@50dw50 Chan hmmm actually feeling sick now Tho.

Yana, backed up by Chantho, assures the humans' leader, Atillo, that his work just needs some fine tuning.

Yana has a pounding headache. Sure he'll be fine.

Simon Pittman@LibraryPlayer Wonder if Jacobi would ever do Big Finish as the Master/Yana? 

I always thought this wouldn't work - otherwise Tennant would recognise Jacobi, surely?

Simon Threadgold@dimwittedly Make it an 8th Doctor story. That guy's always losing his memory.

Yana is roused when the scanner detects something new arriving...

Of course, it's the TARDIS, and aboard the Doctor seems genuinely unsure about being this far in the future ("Not even the Time Lords came this far")... 

...for about half a second!

As soon as they're outside, Martha is startled to find their hanger on...

...but the Doctor seems to know already that he'll be fine. 

Sure enough, Jack's back!
Simon Threadgold@dimwittedly He's genuinely disturbed by Jack; a really interesting idea that's beautifully explored later.

No sooner has Jack drawn breath than he's flirting with Martha. 

The Doctor's having none of it. "Oh, don't start!"

Jack knows exactly who he is, even though he's regenerated.
"Have you had a haircut?"
"You can talk!"

Simon Threadgold@dimwittedly So... no punch in the face for abandoning him on Satellite whatsit?

Jack is overjoyed to learn that Rose is alive, albeit trapped in another dimension.
Simon Threadgold@dimwittedly More happy that she's trapped in another Universe, I reckon. Know I was.

Jack explains that when he time jumped from Satellite Five he arrived on Earth in 1869 and has been living on Earth ever since, waiting for the Doctor to come back to Cardiff any time after the events of The Parting of the Ways (or Boomtown at least).

The Doctor's keen to put Jack's "Space Hopper" of a Vortex Manipulator in its place, far down the pecking order from his "Sports Car" of a TARDIS.

Martha worries that she might one day share Jack's fate. "Is that what happens, though, seriously? Do you just get bored with us one day and disappear?"

When Jack touches a raw nerve about the Doctor preferring blondes, the Time Lord accuses his companions of "blogging". Nowt wrong with blogging, mate. 
Chris@KosmicKris Tennant was rather dark in this story - agreeably so!

The planet appears to be home to a conglomeration...

They're so far in the future that all but the last few stars have burned and gone out.

The friends are suddenly drawn into the human hunt.
50dw50@50dw50 i bet Martha wishes she had a long coat so her coat tails could have flapped around impressively when she ran too!

They (literally) bump into Padra, who urges them to head for "the Silo".

Jack tries to scare off the Futurekind with his gun, but only shoots skywards after a stern warning from the Doctor.

The friends must show their teeth to prove they're not Futurekind to get into the compound.
50dw50@50dw50 i had forgotten that bit, fangs for the memory.
Chris@KosmicKris the beautiful sunny Cardiff intro combines so effectively with the dark, claustrophobia of the future! Brilliant designing!

The Chieftain taunts the compound guards, telling them that the Futurekind are watching... and they are hungry...

When news of the arrivals spreads, Professor Yana is overjoyed to hear that one of the newcomers is a scientist, and rushes to meet them.

A Blue Peter winner helps reunite families at the end of time. Gold badge for that. 
50dw50@50dw50 scary to think he will be grown up now!

The Doctor hopes to be reunited with someone he's missing: "It looks like a box, a big blue box. I'm sorry, but I really need it back. It's stuck out there."

As the party make their way through the huddled masses of refugees, the Doctor can't hide his admiration for the survival instincts of the human race.

"Indomitable! That's the word..." 

It's a happy reunion for the Shafe Cane family. Nice one, Blue Peter!
Simon Threadgold@dimwittedly Exactly why is Jack not allowed to flirt? The Doctor's got some nerve cock blocking like that.

The humans are building a rocket; headed for Utopia.

Yana arrives, and after some initial confusion as to which of the motley crew is the scientist, he hauls the Doctor off to his lab. It's "good", apparently.

Unfortunately, security measures at the compound aren't everything they're cracked up to be, and at least one of the Futurekind has slipped through the teeth check...

Martha strikes up a charming friendship with the wonderfully polite and shy Chantho.

Of course, Jack's straight in with the moves like Jagger, so the Doctor once again has to warn him to cool his jets.

As Yana shows the Doctor round his fantastical workshop...

...Martha finds Jack's "Doctor detector".
50dw50@50dw50 it is a special friend that carries your severed hand around with him.

Martha is understandably a bit taken aback as the Doctor regales her with the tale of how he lost his hand on Christmas Day... and grew it back.

Like the Doctor, Chantho is the last of her species, a survivor of the Malmooth, and the only remaining native of this planet, Malcassairo.

It's feared that the "Beastie Boys" are what humanity will become unless they can reach Utopia.

As Yana explains the plan to send the last humans off to utopia in his gravity-footprint-propelled rocket...

...his pounding headache returns - and doesn't go unnoticed.
Simon Threadgold@dimwittedly "The drumming, Doctor. Ringo's drumming. Terrible."

Chris@KosmicKris Tennant and Jacobi really do play off each other beautifully: in a very natural way! Jacobi is magnificent in this!

50dw50@50dw50 i always think Jacobi looks slightly drunk in it.

 He certainly plays it with a healthy amount of disconnect ;) which absolutely suits the role.

The Doctor provides the answer to the footprint's problems... the Professor can finally send humanity to Utopia!

The disembarkation begins...

...but the Futurekind hang back furtively, the humans blissfully unaware that the base has already been infiltrated, by the sharp-toothed woman we saw earlier.

"All passengers prepare for immediate boarding!"

Blue Peter tells Martha his mum used to say the sky was filled with diamonds. Lucy, her name was.

Everything seems to be going according to plan. Y'know, apart from the Futurekind infiltrator.

The Doctor gives credit where it's due and lauds the Professor's genius in getting a rocket off the ground with spaghetti and paperclips.

The Doctor has sussed that the footprint system only works if the Professor stays behind to operate it.

But there's good news on the way, and a way out, as a certain blue box has been found and brought into the compound...

Yana feels like someone's walked over his grave when he sees the TARDIS. 
Simon Threadgold@dimwittedly Maybe at this point I started getting the spine-tingling feeling something monumental was gonna happen.
Chris@KosmicKris definitely, by now I thought we were in the middle of something a bit special!
Simon Threadgold@dimwittedly I think I'd guessed who Yana was at this point, but it did nothing to lessen the impact.

"It's just a headache. It's just, just noise inside my head, Doctor. Constant noise inside my head. It's the sound of drums. More and more, as though it's getting closer. I've had it all my life. Every waking hour. Still, no rest for the wicked..."

Martha persuades Chantho to live a little by doing some naughty swears (that is, saying any sentence that isn't preceded by "Chan" and followed by "Tho")!

Such a charming little scene that really makes you take Chantho to your heart. RTD, you cruel, cruel genius.

All that's left to do is attach the last couplings while Yana manages the radiation levels from his lab.

As long as no one buggers up the power lines it'll all be fine.

See, when the Beastie Boys get going, though, it's inevitable there'll be Sabotage...

The radiation levels rise past safe levels and the poor technician is toast.

Jack steps in to jump start the override to stop the whole compound going up.

Yana is downcast. "Without the couplings, the engines will never start. It was all for nothing..."

But once again, Jack's back. If anyone can repair the damage despite the radiation, it's the death-proof man.

The Doctor packs Atillo off to the rocket as he and Jack prepare to trip the system.

Jack is all ready to strip down to his birthday suit, so the Doctor has to hurriedly point out that stet radiation won't affect clothing, just flesh.

Jack asks him how long he's known about his immortality. "Ever since I ran away from you."

Martha tells Yana that the Doctor travels in time and that the blue box is a TARDIS. "The sports car of time travel, he says."

For me, it's when Martha's "TARDIS" begins to echo round Yana's head that we get that extra gear. Solid gold from here on in.
Chris@KosmicKris Some of the best 15 minutes of any era of Who coming up!

Cameron Yarde Jnr@CameronYardeJnr The last 15 minutes of Utopia is the most exciting moment in new Who. Glorious!

Voices begin to echo in Yana's head. "TARDIS... Daleks... Time Lords..." 
Chris@KosmicKris Graeme Harper is surely the best director we've had in the Whoniverse? The pacing on this is brilliant!

Simon Threadgold@dimwittedly His NuWho work didn't really stand out until this ep. Then I thought "yep, this is the genius who made Caves."

As he gets to work, Jack describes how he first discovered his special talent. "Earth, 1892. Got in a fight in Ellis Island. A man shot me through the heart. Then I woke up."

The Doctor tries to put into words his unease at Jack's staying power. "It's not easy even just looking at you, Jack, because you're wrong. You are. I can't help it. I'm a Time Lord. It's instinct. It's in my guts. You're a fixed point in time and space. You're a fact. That's never meant to happen. Even the TARDIS reacted against you, tried to shake you off. Flew all the way to the end of the universe just to get rid of you."

Jack likens this to prejudice, which the Doctor has to concede. "I never thought of it like that."

Back in the lab, Martha and Chantho fail to notice the effect on Yana as Jack describes his memory of being exterminated by Daleks.

The Doctor tells him it was Rose that resurrected him. "Everything she did was so human. She brought you back to life but she couldn't control it. She brought you back forever. That's something, I suppose. The final act of the Time War was life."

The Doctor relates how Rose is now trapped on a parallel Earth. Jack lived through all that time again but didn't dare approach Rose for fear of damaging the timelines. He muses that there must be a second him out there too, and perhaps he could go and find himself.

"Well, you're the only man you're ever going to be happy with." 

"This new regeneration, it's kind of cheeky!" 

Yana is in floods of tears now. "Time travel! They say there was time travel back in the old days. I never believed..."

"But what would I know? Stupid old man. Never could keep time. Always late, always lost. Even this thing never worked."

Then that chill down your spine. The watch.

Martha recognises what it is straight away, the Doctor's recent run-in with a chameleon arch fresh in her mind.
50dw50@50dw50 it is a lovely build up and despite all the rumours remained uber exciting!
James Wood@face_4radio Yana's speech about the Silver Devastation paints pictures with words. Brilliant writing!

He tells Martha he's never felt inclined to open it as it's broken.

Martha's fears are confirmed when he slowly turns it over, revealing the Gallifreyan markings.
50dw50@50dw50 such a brilliant moment, just loved it.

Martha pretends nothing wrong as she rushes away, an exit that in itself makes Yana all the more curious about his old watch...

Jack's work is complete, so the Doctor gives the word for the countdown to Utopia to begin.

Martha tries to tell him about the watch but the Doctor is too busy thrilling at his success in getting the rocket off the ground.

Is the Doctor's refusal to believe Yana could be a Time-Lord because deep down he suspects there'd only be one other who would have survived?

As he turns the watch over in his hand, and in his mind...

...Yana hears voices from the past.
Simon Pittman@LibraryPlayer Nice effective way of using classic clips/voices, without going over the top and confusing new fans!
Chris@KosmicKris When I first saw this (gloriously unspoilt) I was on the ceiling at this point!
Simon Threadgold@dimwittedly This ranks up there with the finest moments in TV history. Just a brilliant, nerve shredding piece of work.

It's far, far too late. Yana's attention is focused on the watch, the perception filter stripped away.

From within the watch Yana hears the sound of a Time Lord's voice; HIS voice: "The drums, the drums, the drums, the never ending drumbeat. Open me, you human fool. Open the light and summon me and receive my majesty."

Remember what the Face of Boe said?

 James Wood@face_4radio is it me or is this Murray Gold's best score?

The Human Nature stuff and the Gallifrey theme from The Sound of Drums are his absolute best for me, but he (ahem) masterfully ramps up the tension here.
Jason McLaughlin@jangomac72 Proper hairs on the back of the neck moment Number 1!!
Nicholas Hancock@onenickhancock scene!!!
Chris@KosmicKris It's just brilliant isn't it? I'm breathless watching it - and I know what happens!
Simon Threadgold@dimwittedly God, this sequence has lost none of its power. Writing, directing, acting, music, editing all coming together. Perfect.
Chris@KosmicKris From doddery old man to chilling, merciless killer - Jacobi was stunning here!
Simon Pittman@LibraryPlayer Nice contrast between Yana and the Master. :-)

Yes, astounding work from Jacobi, all in the eyes. Cold and dead.

The Doctor is relieved to hear that the rocket got away alright, but his joy is short lived as the door slides shut, locking them in the control room.

"Not to worry, my dear," smooths Yana, "As one door closes, another must open." He's letting in the Futurekind!

Jack manages to fiddle a way out of the control room, and the Doctor races to Yana's lab without a second thought.

Chantho pleads with Yana to stop his sabotage, going as far as to point a gun at him. 

"Ohhhh, now I can say I was provoked!"

He begins to blame her for never releasing him...

"Chan-Professor, please..." 
"That is NOT my name! The Professor was an invention. So perfect a disguise that I forgot who I am." 

"Chan-then who are you-tho?"

"I... am... the Master!" 

And with that, he electrocutes the luckless Chantho.
Jason McLaughlin@jangomac72 Hairs on the back of your neck moment Number 2!! "I am the Master!!!"

Simon Pittman@LibraryPlayer Despite all the rumours, etc. at the time, this was a real OMG moment! And still is. :-)

A sad bum note there, for me. Just that bit too hammy, needed another take.

50dw50@50dw50 it is the wrong side of OTT

Chris@KosmicKris I'll give them a pass on this - because the rest of it is so electric ;)

Simon Threadgold@dimwittedly Poor cow. I mean, poor insect.

Oh dear, here come the Futurekind, sniffing out the only humans left on Malcassairo, Martha and Jack.

"The Professor" has really landed on his feet, awaking to have the Doctor's hand in his grasp.

The Doctor hammers on the door, begging the Professor not to open the watch.

Yana removes a circuit board from the gravitational field navigation system, and sneers. "Utopia!"

As the Master prepares to do a runner in the Doctor's TARDIS, his old arrogance leads him to overlook that Chantho's still alive, and pointing a gun at him.

Chantho gets off her shot, before dying...

...and the Doctor arrives just too late. A look passes between the two Time Lords; recognition at last.

... as the mortally wounded Master slips inside the TARDIS and deadlocks the door.

Simon Threadgold@dimwittedly Pity this Master doesn't get a proper face off with the Doctor before he gets his face... off.

The Doctor is desperate now. "I'm begging you. Everything's changed! It's only the two of us! We're the only ones left! Just let me in!"

"Killed by an insect, a girl! How inappropriate!"

"But if the Doctor can be young and strong, then so can I..."

Nowt as exciting in Doctor Who as a regeneration... 
Jason McLaughlin@jangomac72 Quite a scary regeneration with Jacobi and Simm's combined scream.

The Doctor is powerless as his old foe becomes a new man...

...and Jack struggles to hold back the Futurekind.

Here's the NEW Master (John Simm)! 

As he triumphantly races around the control room, it seems the new Master is a manic and dark reflection of the 10th Doctor himself!
James Wood@face_4radio John Simm is actually fantastic here but like the rest of this three parter soon goes downhill.

Simon Threadgold@dimwittedly Should've kept the costume. Looks like a kid wearing Dad's clothes.

The Master likes the sound of his own (new) voice, and hits a switch to speak to his old frenemy...

Oddly enough, it's a voice that rings a bell with Martha.

"Why don't we stop and have a nice little chat while I tell you all my plans and you can work out a way to stop me? I don't think!" Seems like the new Master has no intention of making all the old mistakes... 

"I'm asking you really properly. Just stop. Just think!"
"Use my name."

"Master. I'm sorry."

In a last ditch attempt to prevent the Master's escape, the Doctor knackers the TARDIS' directional  controls.

But with that, the new Master steals the TARDIS...

...leaving the Doctor and his friends stranded...

...and at the mercy of the Futurekind...

...with no means of escape. Get out of that one! 

Now THAT is a cliffhanger!
Chris@KosmicKris This was magnificent from Harper, RTD and the actors - stunning!

Simon Threadgold@dimwittedly I jumped out of my chair when I heard Delgado. I was hopping from one foot to another for the rest of the ep.

Darth Marenghi@DarthMarenghi Human Nature to this may well be the best four weeks of Doctor Who ever!

John Mark Frankland@JMFrankland It was thrilling watching it for the first time, and its done extremely well; everyone has upped their game...But once you know who Yana is for sure, I find its impact lessens on each viewing. But that's just stupid old me...

It can never quite repeat the first time not knowing for sure, but I think its' genius is the way that slowly and inescapably all the pieces fall into place with an almost doom-laden inevitability.

Chris@KosmicKris It's great to see that there is so much love for it! The finale gets some stick, but it has to live up to this!

Simon Pittman@LibraryPlayer Think the finale is when Time War starts being baggage, as they have to kill Master to keep status quo!

Well, at the risk of getting ahead of ourselves for The Sound of Drums and Last of the Time Lords... 

I actually wouldn't have killed the Master off *at all* - I think that was a total mistake. I'd've just had him get away in a helicopter at the end, much like the end of the Sea Devils.

I had a whole redux of that story worked out at one point that I should get around to blogging one day: The Master was responsible for Jack's missing 2 years, the Toclafane would have actually been the Futurekind, and at the end the Master would eventually have had to help the Doctor defeat his treacherous allies, Axos-style. At the end we'd have had the "dead" Master wearing a rubber mask, as the real deal waves from a helicopter, taking off from the Valiant. Or something like that!


Coming Soon: The Sound of Drums

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