Review – Doctor Who : The End of Time (part one)

28 12 2009

So here we go. Tennant’s final foray as the 10th Doctor. I’ll try to avoid any spoilers, but sadly they might be inevitable.

The End of Time marks the end not only for Tennant, but also for Russell T Davies as head writer. Davies has to be commended for bringing back Who to a whole new audience and making it addictive, emotional, fun and vital. Sadly his writing has veered between the brilliant and the excessively bloated and silly. So where does TEOT part 1 sit ?

Well actually somewhere in the middle. It has moments of excellence, emotion, humour, excitement and shock. Sadly it also contains some poor dialogue, silly, cliched moments and, like Christmas dinner, a feeling of overindulgence.

Right , first what is great about this episode ? The acting, for the most part, is top notch. Tennant again proves his worth, by ditching most of the goofiness and shouting that grated during the regular series and plays most of this episode with a quiet, understated desperation. The Doctor knows his final days are coming and it shows. Despite the fun and witty banter in his opening scene with Ood Sigma, the Doctor of TEOT is serious, focused and taut with internal emotion. Bernard Cribbin’s Wilfred Mott is the gem of the episode. His scene with the Doctor in a quiet cafe is one of the best RTD has ever written and it is a fine character moment for both of them. Cribbins also carries most of the episodes humour (which is isn’t overdone and fits in perfectly with the tone of the story). John Simm, also does well with a more manical, desperate reborn Master. His madness and desperation was perfectly potrayed in my opinion. Here is a man that has lost everything and has nowhere to go, except into the arms of his greatest nemesis.

The episode also packs a punch in it’s final ten minutes which will divide fans and then pull them back together again. Personally, I thought this was silly, but absolutely brilliant at the same time.

One the downside, not all of the acting is on a par with Cribbins, Tennant and Simm. The Master’s Resurrection scene contained some awful acting and really poor dialogue. Shame on you RTD!

Also at times the episode felt bloated with the Joshua Naismith/Cactus aliens feeling all incident and only existing as plot devices or expositional characters.

I would say that TEOT 1 is a good set up episode for what could potentially be, the best Who yet. Any scene that involved the 3 principles was as good as anything in the whole series, but it also contained all of the flaws renowned in a RTD episode.

7 OUT OF 10

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2 responses

15 01 2010
Brad

Ok, just watched part one, I might be a bit controversial here and say that was possibly the worst Dr Who I’ve ever watched. It was like RTD had a mental block and then sat down and watched the Matrix Reloaded and then thought yes….thats a brilliant idea. Sadly it wasn’t. After that he went on to watch Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and thought yes, bring back the master via Horcrux…ridiculoso! Science fiction has no boundaries and he chooses to steal plot ideas from other stories….shame. The car alarm on the TARDIS, groan….now Dr Who is about gags? The rest of the thin plot seemed to be filled with overly long scenes of the master in seizure and eating stuff and I felt he was reduced to a bad parody of a supervillian in a b-grade superhero movie. A man that was conniving and sinister reduced to lightning bolts and jumping really high. As much I love Dr Who and can sometimes forgive the occasional cheeziness and bad acting, this time I can’t. I was hoping Tennants final swan song as the Dr would have been much grander, maybe it will redeem intself in ptII, I hope.

15 01 2010
Brad

Sorry that was a bit scathing for your blog, I shold have posted that on facebook. Feel free to delete my spiteful words.

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