Doctor Who: The End Approaches

For the discussion of Movies, Television, Comics, and other existential distractions.

Moderator: Moderator

User avatar
Steve Evil
Posts: 3519
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2004 3:22 pm
Location: Some Cave in Kanata
Contact:

Re: Doctor Who: The End Approaches

Postby Steve Evil » Sun Dec 27, 2009 1:13 pm

Okay,here we go:

I have always maintained that RTD's main strength as a writer was his build up of scenerios, and his main weakness the resolution of them. (and for the record, I think his best work was on "Torchwood: Children of Earth", where the strength was in fine form and the weakness under control). But now I couldn't even get into the build-up.

What we've got here is:

The Master is brought back in some wierd pseudo religous ritual and inexplicably develops super hero powers. He is Neo from the Matrix, able to leap into the sky and land miles away, he is Rayden from Mortal Kombat who can shoot lightning from his fingers. He is a bigger cackling idiot than ever, never uttering a coherent sentence, and his masterplan wouldn't be worthy of Scooby Doo. To drive the point home, we get a long montage of people's heads shaking like something out of "Benny Hill", and then dozens of cackling idiots all over the planet. Personally I thought it was filler, but what do I know?

An old lady who appears out of thin air to voice sweet cryptic nothings.

Another rich and powerful supervillain who appears onscreen only long enough to smirk at the camera so we know he's up to no good.

A pair of cactus head aliens with a plan of their own.

Once it all comes together, it sort of makes sense - I bought it and went with it - but I couldn't help wondering how all this was going to lead up to "The End of TIME timetimetime. . ." I mean, they've been clumsily hinting at it for so long now, that something BIG, SPECTACULAR and STUPENDOUS, was going to happen, but none of this actually felt BIG, SPECTACULAR or STUPENDOUS, and I was wondering when that was going to start. (When when the Doctor stops crying?)

Then, when it did happen, it felt. . .ad hoc. Taped on. Last minute. Thrown in because it was only the thing the author could think of to top last season. It was completely separate from the action. It did not arise from the unfolding of the plot, or a logical extension of events. It just sorta happened. And it didn't send chills down the back of my neck because it felt so arbitrary. And because it was so apparantly unconnected to events of the previous hour, it was difficult to care about any of that as well.

Maybe he's reversed the trend, and the s resolution will be better than the build up this time.

Alejandro Riera
Posts: 83
Joined: Tue May 27, 2003 9:40 pm

Re: Doctor Who: The End Approaches

Postby Alejandro Riera » Sun Dec 27, 2009 11:26 pm

Here's a very good review of the episode. It's spot-on on its evaluation of the episode's weaknesses and strengths:
http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/cult/s7/doc ... rdict.html

And I agree with Steve on Russell's overreliance on DEM in key episodes. By far, the best episodes of this new iteration of the Doctor, from Eccleston to Tennant, are those where Davies has allowed his writers enough room to play like "Dalek," "The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances," "Human Nature/The Family of Blood,""Blink."

And you know, Steve, funnily enough, it is now Sarah Jane Smith who more often than comes up with the clever solutions, playing The Doctor if you will, in The Sarah Jane Adventures.

User avatar
Steve Evil
Posts: 3519
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2004 3:22 pm
Location: Some Cave in Kanata
Contact:

Re: Doctor Who: The End Approaches

Postby Steve Evil » Sat Jan 02, 2010 4:35 am

I actually really liked the Sarah Jane adventures. I'm just an overgrown kid really.

For all my bitching about the first episode, I found myself really digging the conclusion. Sure, there were a few little things, but nothing to piss me off. Almost a reverse of the usual RTD formula. Timothy Dalton was awsome. I'm really optimistic about this Matt Smith guy, from the half minute we got to see of him. . .

Alejandro Riera
Posts: 83
Joined: Tue May 27, 2003 9:40 pm

Re: Doctor Who: The End Approaches

Postby Alejandro Riera » Sat Jan 02, 2010 9:33 am

Then Steve you should check out the trailer for Series 5 pronto. What I saw looked very promising indeed. Looks like, based on the trailer, Smith will bring back a little bit of that Eccleston darkness to the role. I'm really looking forward to this new iteration.

Saw the episode last night, seeing it again tonight. Will share my thoughts later in the evening.

Alejandro Riera
Posts: 83
Joined: Tue May 27, 2003 9:40 pm

Re: Doctor Who: The End Approaches

Postby Alejandro Riera » Sat Jan 02, 2010 9:34 am

Forgot to mention: the trailer is floating around in You Tube and cal also be seen at:

blogtorwho.blogspot.com

User avatar
swp
Posts: 366
Joined: Sat Dec 31, 2005 5:59 pm
Location: Philadelphia, PA

Re: Doctor Who: The End Approaches

Postby swp » Sat Jan 02, 2010 9:11 pm

ok, saw 'the end of time' just now. I must confess myself .. disappointed. Rassilon being the lord president, isn't he dead since the Tom Baker days? you know, that whole thing about barrusa dying and being just another bas relief on that tomb. And the final words and thoughts the doctor spoke weren't about Rose, they were about himself. "I don't want to go" just seems so .. common. the last repent of a man who didn't live his life fully. I don't like admitting this, but I am on the "lazy writer" side of the fence now having seen this. I didn't go into it that way, and I sure wasn't thinking about that while I watched, but that's what jumped out at me in the end right after they rolled credits. don't get me wrong, there were parts I did like. but overall, I am disappointed.

swp

User avatar
Steve Evil
Posts: 3519
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2004 3:22 pm
Location: Some Cave in Kanata
Contact:

Re: Doctor Who: The End Approaches

Postby Steve Evil » Mon Jan 04, 2010 9:17 am

He did seem kinda petulant towards the end, no? Kinda spoiled bratty. Contrast it to Baker's grim resignation all those milenia ago. ..

And yeah. Why Rassilon? Why not just. . .The President. Kinda has a grandeur to it. I know its not fashionable to cite continuity, but it does kinda throw the whole mythology through a loop (is that the expression I'm looking for?), for what appears to be a throwaway line.

That said, Timothy Dalton was cool.

User avatar
Moderator
Site Admin
Posts: 10607
Joined: Sun Jan 15, 2006 12:17 pm
Contact:

Re: Doctor Who: The End Approaches

Postby Moderator » Mon Jan 04, 2010 10:31 am

SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT

I've held off posting any thoughts on the END OF TIME, PART 2 (sounds like the sequel to a movie that more or less hadn't expected -- or called for -- one...), until I allowed it to properly ferment.

Cris and I watched it again last night. I liked it. Yes, I have my quibbles -- ranging from the at-times confusing exposition on who the Time Lords were (will be?), through to the Master's continued use of supernatural powers. Yeah, yeah, he's burning himself up by doing magic stuff, but c'mon. And the doctor surviving a fall of hundreds of feet through a tiffany-esque glass dome without suddenly going all glowy and Matt Smithy on us. And that the all-powerful Rossolon and Master would let the doctor keep standing there with a gun once his back was turned?

But I liked it. Quite a lot, actually.

Let me first note that Cris sometimes watches the show for fun, but isn't an avid fan. Regardless, she was openly crying when Wilfred was saying his final goodbye to The Doctor. (This is a testament to Bernard Cribbins' talent. He was stunning in this performance.)

As someone noted earlier, Davies can write emotion very well. This was an emotion-packed episode against a spectaculoar background. (I've recently participated in an online discussion of films which did this well, versus those who completely collapsed. Casablanca is the classic example of a romance againstt he backdrop of war.) In this case the "romance" was between The Doctor and The Master. The scene of The Doctor attempting to convince The Master to join him in the TARDIS and "tour" the universe instead of trying to "own" it was excellent as you watched the range of emotions run across The Masters' face. This was interrupted by Wilfred's blurting out of a comment, which completely blew the reverie and brought The Master back to his original demeanor. So close, but yet so far.

There were so many little moments in this episode, so many things going on in the foreground AND the background. Again, fully realized characters against a huge backdrop. That the science and continuity didn't always work was secondary for me. And while the final scenes where The Doctor revisits old friends was interesting I felt it was a little ham-handed. (Suddenly presenting two of them as married? Really?) Again, Cribbins' scene was excellent without being cloying.

I also appreciated the set-up and payoff of several items. The RAD cabinets, for instance. It had been positioned as a cast-off piece of equipment, just part of the overall gate. I, for one, didn't suspect its true purpose in the episode until the gasp-inducing final "knock, knock, knock, knock". The trap was set, and the play-out was well done -- with one lone quibble: the doctor's long-term survival of the irradiation. Previous iterations of The Doctor succumbed much more quickly to their injuries (heck, even Spock died faster).

But again: a quibble, not a major issue.

Now, as far as the final statement is concerned: it didn't bother me. The Doctor was drawing a clear delineation between his survival as the Doctor, to the survival of this specific personality. It is a heavily dramatic moment because it reveals that the transition isn't without an emotional cost. The regeneration of Eccleston to Tennant was echoed in this episode. Eccleston's Doctor gave a speech to Rose which talked about their time together, and indicated that there was the pang of regret that he wouldn't be seeing her "with this daft old face" any more. Here we see the Doctor, alone, no one at his side -- which is different than most previous regenerations -- and after his angry rant at Wilford about how much more he, The Doctor, wanted to get done.

This was not a grand sacrifice to save a world, or the universe, but willingly and deliberately destroying himself to save one solitary man. A man he had grown to love and respect in a way he hadn't really touched other humans. In many ways, Wilfred was an equal, a friend. The same man who had, just a short time before the knocks, had forcefully told The Doctor not to dare put the interests of The Master ahead of those of Mankind. And yet, here The Doctor is putting the interests of Wilfred against his own -- and, in a way, against the Human Race's.

That is good writing, IMHO.

So, yeah, niggles and bits, but on the whole a very satisfying and ironic finale to the Tenth Doctor.

Matt Smith looks interesting, though I really prefer Allons-y to Geronimo -- but we'll see....

My two cents.
- I love to find adventure. All I need is a change of clothes, my Nikon, an open mind and a strong cup of coffee.

User avatar
Steve Evil
Posts: 3519
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2004 3:22 pm
Location: Some Cave in Kanata
Contact:

Re: Doctor Who: The End Approaches

Postby Steve Evil » Tue Jan 05, 2010 4:54 am

I prefer to think it was the fall that did him in. Goes to show that even the death defying doctor gets into circumstances which he can't escape. Not that it matters. Fanboys are allowed to graft their own meanings onto things.

I say Cribb should be the next companion. I mean, they've already got the youngest Doctor ever, why not stick him with the oldest companion? He was definately one of the bright lights of the era.

TRIVIA: Did you know, Cribb was in Doctor Who before? With Peter Cushing in Daleks: Invasion Earth 2100 AD. Personally I thought it was a blast, but it wasn't terribly well recieved. . .

User avatar
Moderator
Site Admin
Posts: 10607
Joined: Sun Jan 15, 2006 12:17 pm
Contact:

Re: Doctor Who: The End Approaches

Postby Moderator » Tue Jan 05, 2010 7:42 am

Daleks: Invasion Earth 2100 AD was my first exposure to The Doctor. Would love to see it again after so many decades.
- I love to find adventure. All I need is a change of clothes, my Nikon, an open mind and a strong cup of coffee.

User avatar
Steve Evil
Posts: 3519
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2004 3:22 pm
Location: Some Cave in Kanata
Contact:

Re: Doctor Who: The End Approaches

Postby Steve Evil » Tue Jan 05, 2010 10:41 am

Daleks battling rebels to the sound of swing jazz must surely be one of the highlights of sixties cinema.

reddragon70
Posts: 516
Joined: Wed Oct 15, 2008 5:06 am

Re: Doctor Who: The End Approaches

Postby reddragon70 » Tue Jan 05, 2010 11:51 am

Barber wrote:Daleks: Invasion Earth 2100 AD was my first exposure to The Doctor. Would love to see it again after so many decades.


I assume you are refering to the movie starring Peter Cushing as The Doctor?

If memory serves, Bernard Cribbins was in that film, so this makes his later appearance in the current Dr Who all the more remarkable.

I would also reccomend the movie "The Mouse On The Moon" with mr Cribbins. Its bloody hilarious.

User avatar
Ben W.
Posts: 443
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2008 12:07 pm

Re: Doctor Who: The End Approaches

Postby Ben W. » Tue Jan 05, 2010 12:05 pm

Any guesses as to who "The Woman" was supposed to be? Romana? Susan? The Doctor's mother? The Doctor's wife? The Doctor's daughter? (No, not THAT one...)

The only real clue we were offered was the Doctor's vaguely meaningful glance towards the just-wedded Donna after Wilfred asked him about the Woman's identity. But otherwise, I suspect this is something they'll either pick up in a future season, or leave conveniently ambiguous.

User avatar
Moderator
Site Admin
Posts: 10607
Joined: Sun Jan 15, 2006 12:17 pm
Contact:

Re: Doctor Who: The End Approaches

Postby Moderator » Tue Jan 05, 2010 4:36 pm

IO9 posted a fascinating assessment of some of the more long-term implications and meanings behind cenrtain elements of THE END OF TIME.


http://io9.com/5439138/figuring-out-doctor-whos-lingering-mysteries?skyline=true&s=i
- I love to find adventure. All I need is a change of clothes, my Nikon, an open mind and a strong cup of coffee.

reddragon70
Posts: 516
Joined: Wed Oct 15, 2008 5:06 am

Re: Doctor Who: The End Approaches

Postby reddragon70 » Tue Jan 05, 2010 5:21 pm

Ben W. wrote:Any guesses as to who "The Woman" was supposed to be? Romana? Susan? The Doctor's mother? The Doctor's wife? The Doctor's daughter? (No, not THAT one...)

The only real clue we were offered was the Doctor's vaguely meaningful glance towards the just-wedded Donna after Wilfred asked him about the Woman's identity. But otherwise, I suspect this is something they'll either pick up in a future season, or leave conveniently ambiguous.


My guess would be a former lover. It could be romana but I doubt it. Mother is also a very strong possibility but too obvious. In my experience the writers go for a left field answer. We shall see but I'll give you good odds on lover/wife. Possibly daughter though..... How about Alex Kingstons daughter????


Return to “Pop Culture”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests