Review – Doctor Who ; The End of Time (Part 2)

5 01 2010

So this IS it. The last ever episode starring David Tennent as the 10th Doc. After Christopher Ecclestone revitalised the show in season 1, Tennent has been the heart and soul of it’s growth into the best thing produced by British TV. He has given the 10th Doctor humour, brilliance, soul and compassion in equal measure. And Matt Smith has some impossibly big sized shoes to fill.

After the excellent, yet flawed first part, I was praying for a great, epic finale fitting of Tennant’s Doc and of Russell T Davies tenure as head writer. However I was also aware that RTD writes great set up and usually flaccid, slightly disappointing second parters. What I got was beyond all I could have hoped for. Yes, TEOT part 2 does have it’s flaws, but they are minor quibbles, and should not be placed above what is almost a Return of the King style end for the 10th Doctor. The scope and grandeur of this episode was unlike anything I’d seen produced by British TV. The effects were top-notch, the music bombastic and calm in equal measure and the emotional content, pitch perfect.

Again the three leads were sublime. Tennant was mind-blowing in this. His emotional range veering from desperation, humilty, anger and sadness. Never has there been a better actor in the role. This is where RTD also got a lot of things right in this episode. Just like the quieter moments in part one, the character arcs were beautiful. Take the Doctor’s conversation with The Master where he claims the Universe doesn’t have to be owned, or the tear-inducing moment on the alien ship with Wilfred.  John Simm’s Master was much less manical in this episode, much to it’s benefit. His performance as the Doctor’s nemesis, friend, rival, brother was beautifully layered. Bernard Cribbins, the star of part one, again excelled here. His gentle, emotional nature was the anchor of these final episodes and his role in the Doctor’s demise was simple, understated brilliance.

The other actor here who shone and chewed out scenery like gum was Timothy Dalton’s Rassillon. Here was a villain, far more belivable than Davros or the Cybermen. His presence on screen was immense and when he finally shared space with Tennant and Simm they seem dwarfed (as they should be) by this Time Lord President.

The annoyances of part one were gone. The Naismiths were thankfully footnotes and the Cactus Aliens turned out to be kid friendly allies of the Doctor. The plot hung together really well and enough questions were left unanswered for Steven Moffat to run with.

Tennant’s death was beautifully played and here was a regeneration as an emotional experience. His visits to past companions was great and Ood Sigma’s line “We shall sing you to your sleep” was truly hair raising stuff. The 10th Doctor’s last line was also sad, desperate and true of his character.

All in all, pitch perfect Who (if not without minor flaws) that truly canonises Tennant as probably the greatest Doctor ever.

10 out of 10

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One response

11 01 2010
Brad

Can’t wait to strap myself in and go for the ride, will miss Tennant, brilliant job!

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