Mark Watches ‘Doctor Who’: S03E11 – Utopia

In the eleventh episode of the third series of Doctor Who, the TARDIS picks up a familiar passenger while refueling on the Rift in Cardiff, which causes it to fly to the literal end of the Universe to get rid of him. There, the Doctor finds a most horrifying discovery. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Doctor Who.

This certainly might be a complete mistake, as I am prematurely stating this, but after the mind-melting revelations of “Utopia,” I might be about to witness the best series-ending set of episodes yet. This entire revival has had the emotional base of the Time War behind it, always seeming to be at the edge of the Doctor’s thoughts.

How many times have we seen the Doctor’s eyes glaze over with sadness as he thinks about being the very last of his kind? After almost a thousand years of existence, he’s been so very, very alone since his ninth incarnation. (Possibly before that, as I’m still unsure when the Time War actually happened.) How many stories have we seen over the course of these three series that parallel what has happened to the Time Lords? Hell, even in this episode, we meet Chantho, who is the last of her insectoid species.

For people like myself, my only real experience with the Time Lords has been The Doctor. If I hadn’t seen “The Three Doctors,” I would have believed that all Time Lords were called the Doctor. In that sense, I feel like “Utopia” caters more towards fans like myself, who have no experience with other Time Lords and also don’t know if The Master is someone from the past. DO NOT SPOIL THIS FOR ME BECAUSE I DON’T KNOW WHAT THE MASTER IS OR WHERE HE CAME FROM OR WHY HE SCARES THE DOCTOR SO MUCH.

I’ll understand if there are other people who don’t particularly like this three-part story arc. I initially believed this to be a story set aside from the traditional two-part finale, so as this episode’s story began to fall apart and I realized what was happening, my mind exploded and i may never recover. So there’s that. I was even unprepared for how long this arc would be.

It’s nice to see Captain Jack Harkness again, especially as he moves his way from person to person (to creature) and hits on them immediately. Ah, I totally missed his pansexual joy. But “Utopia” certainly didn’t ignore a pivotal point: the last time we saw Jack Harkness, the Doctor had abandoned him. While there is a giant, distracting (in a good way) and fascinating plot going on in the foreground, I couldn’t seem to get past this. Why on earth would the Doctor leave someone behind? He is notorious for doing whatever he can to save people? Why does he talk to Jack with such disgust in his tone?

I’m not sure it is even possible for me to conceive of the end of the universe. 100 trillion years in the future? How does a universe end and there’s still some place left for everyone to go? How does a universe even end???

I don’t know if this is going to be answered in this three-parter, as there is a LOT left to explain at the end of “Utopia,” but I would like to ask permission to do what I have wanted to do since last night, as the episode’s credits began to roll and I shut off the television. Is that ok? Is that fine with you folks? Yes? Ok.
















  • I laughed so hard when the Doctor had a look of utter doom on his face, repeating that he and Martha need to leave this planet, and then his face breaks out into a smile and everything is wonderful.
  • OMG Chantho is ADORABLE and my face did a sad when she died. πŸ™
  • “Was someone kissing me?” ILU CAPTAIN JACK HARKNESS NEVER CHANGE
  • Oh my god HE SAVED THE DOCTOR’S HAND. what the fuck
  • So, just thinking aloudÒ€¦why did Yana hear the sound of drums specifically? Why that sound? John Smith didn’t seem to experience it.
  • “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.” WHAT DOES THAT MEAN.
  • How does this episode work if Cassandra is technically the last human in 500 billion?
  • “Hermits United. We meet up every 10 years, swap stories about caves. It’s good fun. For a Hermit.” ILU DOCTOR NEVER CHANGE
  • i can’t even. I CAN’T EVEN. Two more parts? I AM GOING TO HAVE A HEART ATTACK.

About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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693 Responses to Mark Watches ‘Doctor Who’: S03E11 – Utopia

  1. nextboy says:

    does this mean we can finally call mark professor YANP??! πŸ˜€

  2. arctic_hare says:

    Now you know why people told you that you still weren't prepared even after "Blink", Mark. πŸ˜€ I couldn't stop myself laughing quietly during the comments yesterday, because I knew what was coming and oh, how unprepared you were. AND STILL ARE, MIND YOU. You didn't think that "Blink" would be the end of it, did you? Ahahahaha.

    Jack! So glad you're back! πŸ˜€ I was so excited to see him again, I'd missed him so. Like you, I had not watched Torchwood when I saw this (and uh, still haven't), so I too was unaware of what had been going on in his life since "Parting of the Ways". DOCTOR, I AM DISAPPOINT. Leaving him behind like that, on purpose? That's cold. I disapprove. But I do approve of John Barrowman getting credited, though!

    The year 100 trillion… wow. I'd be so so intrigued by visiting a year so far in the future, I admit – if I could have access to the TARDIS, my favorite time periods to visit would all be either really far in the past (Earth's and otherwise) or really far into the future. Extremes, yes; I'm fascinated by ancient history (as you saw me gush in the "Impossible Planet" comments), but also yearn to see what lies way waaaaaaaaaaaaay far ahead.

    The Big Crunch though? Particularly the way it's portrayed here, so imminent and bleak? Terrifying as hell. Of course, that means I love it. πŸ˜€ Malcassairo is dark and spooky and scary and so otherworldly, I think it's a marvelous setting. You know there can't possibly be a Utopia waiting for these poor refugees, but you can't help but hope for them anyway. It reminds me a bit of "Neverending Story", with everyone trying to run from The Nothing, even though we know they can't escape it. Terrible and sad and hopeless. It gives this episode such a dark atmosphere that is like candy to someone like me.

    One thing I've always wondered, though – I think it won't be the end, here. After the inevitable Big Crunch, there'll be another Big Bang and the universe will start again. That's what I believe, anyway, for both our own universe and the one in this show. That idea fills me with all kinds of excitement, because what lies beyond that new beginning? What sorts of things to see and explore, all those new planets and lifeforms, unlike anything that's come before? Would anything resemble the last incarnation of the universe? I can't help but wonder if the Doctor has ever thought about that. If I were to be a companion (oh, how I wish!), I would ask him that. I would want to see, if possible, that new universe brimming with fresh possibilities. And I think he'd love it too, if we could, because it'd be so many things he'd never seen before, places he'd never gone, races he'd never met.

    YOU ARE NOT ALONE. πŸ˜€ Ah, now you see why we've kept our mouths shut on that score ever since "Gridlock"! You brought it up again a while back, wondering if that was the seasonal arc, and I grinned to myself and said nothing. I wanted it to smack you, and smack you hard, the way it did me. Like you, I've no experience with the Master in Classic Who, and I still haven't even seen any of the old show, but I was nevertheless hit hard by this, by the revelation that there was indeed one more Time Lord out there. And OMG HE'S EVIL! D: HE STOLE THE TARDIS! The main thing I know Derek Jacobi from is my favorite version of "The Secret Garden", which I basically grew up watching, so when he opened the fob watch and turned on poor Chantho, I was extra horrified, all "NOOOOOOOO MR. CRAVEN WHAT ARE YOU DOING" /dork

    Looking forward to tomorrow, for you are still woefully unprepared! πŸ˜€

    • Eric Johns says:

      If I interpreted it correctly, what happens in this episode is not the Big Crunch, but heat death (all the stars dying, galaxies falling apart, everything going dark and space is finally *actually* cold).

      Much more horrifying, IMHO.

      • arctic_hare says:

        You're probably right, oops – it's been a while since I've seen this episode, so I didn't remember everything perfectly.

      • echinodermata says:

        My question is, is heat death compatible with a cyclic universe? My physics is rusty.

        Either way, heat death is my uneducated preference of explanation for the end of the universe, just cause it's fairly straightforward conceptually.

        • Westonian says:

          If I understand it right, no, the heat death of the universe does not lead to a rebirth. All energy states, background radiation, electron levels, everything drops to their lowest possible values. All matter is eventually converted to electromagnetic energy, and that eventually drops to low radio waves. The universe dies a slow, quiet, cold, and permanent death. It's as bleak as bleak gets.

            • nyssaoftraken74 says:

              Yes, unless things change drastically in the distant future, this Universe can't be cyclical becuase the expansion is accelerating. i.e. In a way, the Big Bang isn't something that happened billions of years ago – it's still happening. Due to this Universal expansion, all matter will move further and further apart until there are simply not enough particles close enough to construct anything – even atoms. All matter will eventually decay and energy levels continue to drop.
              `This is how the world ends…not with a bang, but with a whimper.`

              We can console ourselves that there are probably other universes that will be created as this one dies, but as far as we know, there's no causal relationship. Perhaps other Universes are cyclical. Perhaps this one was in the `past` (for want of a better term) but not this time.

    • pica_scribit says:

      Derek Jacobi is a brilliant, brilliant man, and it's a rare treat to see him play a villain. The only other thing that springs to mind is "The Revenger's Tragedy" where he's an evil duke with dark lipstick and a ponytail. Eddie Izzard plays his son, and spends the movie having a snark-fest with Christopher Eccleston. It is deeply weird and everyone should watch it.

      HOWEVER, the most awesome thing Derek Jacobi has ever done was play the title role in the BBC's 1976 miniseries "I, Claudius", which has about a million other amazing British actors in it as well (Patrick Stewart with hair shagging Magenta from Rocky Horror, anyone?).

      • exbestfriend says:

        I am so happy to have some Derek Jacobi love going on. He is one of those actors that just raises the bar around him.

        • pica_scribit says:

          It makes me very sad that the one time I saw him in real life (playing Prospero in The Tempest), and didn't get to give him a hug. I would totally want him to be my grandfather.

      • cswike says:

        Another Derek Jacobi villain role: Claudius in Kenneth Branagh's Hamlet. Both of those that you mentioned sound AMAZING, must go and watch now.

        • Hypatia_ says:

          He's also the Chorus in Branagh's "Henry V". Not the villain, and a pretty small role, but he's great in that too.

        • arctic_hare says:

          I seriously don't know how I haven't watched this before, considering Hamlet is my favorite Shakespeare play ever. I KNOW I KNOW I AM HORRIBLE. D:

        • pica_scribit says:

          Yes, yes you must. I haven't seen Branagh's Hamlet. I will never understand why we watched the Mel Gibson one for my "Death and the Dead" class at uni (looking at Catholic vs. Protestant ideas about ghosts and evil spirits). Obviously Branagh would have been preferable.

          • nanceoir says:

            Maybe because the Mel Gibson one is a sort of regular movie length? Maybe now teachers and professors can use the Tennant one instead of the Mel Gibson one, since it's closer to regular movie length than the Branagh one… which I still haven't seen. And I've had it for years, even. *smacks self*

          • Hypatia_ says:

            Branagh's Hamlet…not as awesome as it sounds, IMHO. He didn't cut one word of the script, I believe, which makes it even longer than your average some-scenes-cut Hamlet, which is already quite long. Then he added in a few montages. Plus I wasn't a big fan of the aesthetic. Good acting, though. My favorite Branagh is "Henry V". I'm still sad he cut Fluellen's funny leek scenes, but it's fantastic otherwise.

            The best version of Hamlet I know of (that's on DVD, my very favorite ever was a stage production that was not filmed…I'm still sad I'll never see it again because it was utter, utter brilliance) is the RSC production with David Tennant and Patrick Stewart. Again, there were some directing decisions I didn't like, but overall it's great. It's on DVD and also on YouTube.

            • arctic_hare says:

              I NEED TO SEE THAT

              There's a promo for it on my Series Five discs, and it looks SO AWESOME.

              • Hypatia_ says:

                Get thee to YouTube and/or Amazon right now! It's brilliant. The acting is simply stellar from everyone involved (though I tend to get distracted every time Patrick Stewart opens his mouth because OMG THAT VOICE. The man was born for Shakespeare). Hamlet and Horatio have the cutest relationship I've ever seen between those two characters. They pretty much define bromance, which of course makes the inevitable all the more tragic.

                There's also an amusing moment when Tennant's accent totally slips and for about one line he sounds completely Scottish. I have no idea why they didn't just do another take, it's not like "Ha, natural accent coming out there a wee bit", it's more like "Whoa, when did Hamlet suddenly become a lowland Scot?" It's funny.

            • sabra_n says:

              The only movie version of Hamlet I actually like is The Lion King. And I've seen Branagh, Gibson, and Hawke's renditions. (Though not Derek Jacobi's, now that I think about it. Is that on DVD? Hm….)

        • Openattheclose says:

          While not a villain exactly, he has a small role in the Golden Compass working with the bad guys.

          • arctic_hare says:

            That movie, sigh. Spot-on casting and I of course drool over Eva Green, but it's just not as good as the book. I cannot say why in ANY way, though, cause Mark is going to read that trilogy (I am super excite for that).

            • Hypatia_ says:

              I don't think it's a spoiler to say that the movie was nowhere near as good because they EVISCERATED the book's centre and then stomped on it.

              I'm still bitter, yes…

            • sabra_n says:

              They were true to the mechanics of the book and completely ignored its animating philosophy. And yes, it was sad because the casting was friggin' awesome.

              • exbestfriend says:

                Right? How could a movie with THAT many awesome people make me fall asleep?

              • Hypatia_ says:

                I just had RAGE that we can apparently make the Narnia movies and leave the philosophy and allegory fully intact, but we cannot do the same with His Dark Materials because it might offend people of a certain religious persuasion. UGH.

                • Eh, the current Narnia films pretty much gutted the books too, though not nearly as badly as Pullman's books were gutted. I'm a Christian, and while I'm not madly in love with Pullman's books, I was furious that they completely removed his World View from the films. If you're putting a book to film, don't neuter the message, because it shows you don't respect the material, you know?

                  Yeah, I'm one of those dreaded "equal respect" types. πŸ˜‰

                  • Hypatia_ says:

                    I like equal respect types! I only saw "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe" and that left the allegory intact, as far as I could tell, but having not seen the later ones I can't comment on them. I was never a big Narnia fan anyway, not because of the religious message, but because the kids mostly annoyed me to no end. I read the whole series when I was 10 or so and never much bothered with them again.

                • arctic_hare says:


      • Thennary Nak says:

        I feel really bad now that the only other thing I have seen Derek Jacobi in was The King's Speech. I think I need to see about adding some movies to my Netflix watch list now.

      • elusivebreath says:

        The thing I love Derek Jacobi the most in was Cadfael on PBS, LOVED that show! It was about a monk in … the middle ages sometime?? … who solved mysteries. It was awesome, Mark you should watch it lol.

        • pica_scribit says:

          Yeah, the Cadfael books were written by Edith Pargeter/Ellis Peters, who writes some pretty intense historical fiction. I'm actually working my way very slowly through her Brothers of Gwynedd quartet. I haven't seen Cadfael yet, but my roommate has made me add it to my Netflix queue.

      • sabra_n says:

        Oh god, yes, "The Revenger's Tragedy" is such a trip. Eccleston is amazing, and you get to see Jacobi dressed up as Karl Lagerfeld. With nail polish, IIRC. Marc Warren is in it too…it's really something.

      • I wish he had been the Master for so much longer… but then, eventually I'd like to see older actors playing the Doctor again, too! (Hugh Laurie vs. Derek Jacobi, how epic would that be?

    • notemily says:

      If I had a TARDIS, I'd write the most accurate historical fiction novels ever.

      Derek Jacobi was also the voice of Nicodemus!

    • starlady says:

      "But I do approve of John Barrowman getting credited, though!"

      Me too! I read somewhere that Barrowman didn't know he was getting the credit until they brought him in to watch the final cut, and when his name popped up he cried. HUGS FOREVER JOHN BARROWMAN

  3. kilodalton says:

    Why on earth would the Doctor leave someone behind? He is notorious for doing whatever he can to save people? Why does he talk to Jack with such disgust in his tone?

    This is in the dialogue and explains it.

    That’s why I left you behind. It’s not easy even just…just looking at you Jack, ‘cause 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 a 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.

    Oh, and:

    “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.” WHAT DOES THAT MEAN.

    This isn't spoilery, I swear. I believe it means that Rose "ended" the Time War by killing the Daleks in the s1 finale … but that her final act was to say "I bring life" and bring Jack back to life (and notably not her perky blonde competition, Lynda-with-a-Y) XD

    • Kyra says:

      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.

      Heh. I know someone who did a Very Secret Diaries series for the TARDIS for…I think every season of New Who so far, and for that bit, her theory was more like "Seriously, Doctor? I wasn't trying to get rid of him, I was taking us all for celebratory drinks at the Restaurant at the End of the Universe! And…missed, but I tried."

      • Hypatia_ says:

        And where is the link to this hilariousness? I'm feeling slighted.

      • MowerOfLorn says:

        I think I read a similar one. It basically went "Oh know you don't, go pinning this on me. That Captain can do amazing things with his hands!" She wasn't exactly pleased with the Doctor for letting herself get stolen, either.

      • Elliott Mason says:

        I NEED TO READ THIS, where is the link?!?

  4. Openattheclose says:

    This totally should have been in the begining credits.
    <img src=""&gt;
    <img src=""&gt;
    So I know everything is really suspenseful at the end of this and all, but can I take a moment to appreciate the hotness of DT and JB together?
    <img src=""&gt;
    Goodness. I don't know if it's the lighting or what, but guh. BTW, DT can say "conglameration" all day long, because he says it well. And they have the sexiest run down the corriders that I have ever seen BUT I CANNOT FIND A GIF FOR IT! Also, I want to be in Hermits United!
    They play quite a bit of my favorite piece of music from Doctor Who in this episode, but I feel like even the title to it is spoilery so that's all I will say now.
    <img src=""&gt;
    Oh, and there's also some dude named the Master and he stole the Doctor's TARDIS. No idea what that's about, really, but it was awesome and YOU ARE NOT ALONE
    And lastly, because he's back <img src=""&gt;

    • NB2000 says:

      "This totally should have been in the begining credits."

      That would have been amazing.

      "So I know everything is really suspenseful at the end of this and all, but can I take a moment to appreciate the hotness of DT and JB together?"

      That scene is very distracting in that regard. They play off each other so well.

    • NeonProdigy says:

      Argh that fifth picture!

      Also *shakes fist* Barrowman!!!

      And I agree that having Jack holding on to the TARDIS during the opening theme would have been wonderful

    • nyssaoftraken74 says:

      The top gif there reminds me of 1 tiny little niggle – and it is really tiny – I wish they'd cut from Captain Jack clinging to the TARDIS straight to the titles. Could have done without the `hoomans are coming` bit there.

      • paranoid android says:

        I just listened to the audio commentary of this ep – RTD says they inserted that snippet on purpose because they couldn't cut straight to the TARDIS without Jack clinging to it!

    • prideofportree says:

      Why does my brain try to tell me that Jack is screaming IANTOOO in the first gif?

      • ThreeBooks says:

        Shipping goggles are very difficult to turn off, once you get them working properly…

        *works MARTHAAAAAA into that GIF*

        • Openattheclose says:

          Strangely, Doctoooorr works very well for shipping πŸ™‚

          • ThreeBooks says:

            Oh yes… especially if I imagine that it's Eleven or NIne in there… Sorry, but Ten is just such a dick to Jack… and Eleven is just so… xDDD

            *mentally edits the end of that one two-parter where things happens*

            • arctic_hare says:

              Nine/Jack is much hotter than Ten/Jack. TRUFAX.

              (I find Eleven ridiculously hot, but I can't imagine him with Jack. Like ever. XD I want them to meet, though!)

    • travelinghobbit says:

      Have you seen the Kiss???
      πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

    • flootzavut says:

      HAHA would HAVE LOVED that to be in the opening credits.

      Can we just say: David Tennant AND John Barrowman AND John Simm in one TV programme… does it GET any better than this? DT and JS should SO do more stuff together, they are fantastic together.

  5. Flumehead says:

    This finale. Oh my God. You will never be prepared.

    **also, I have watched this episode many times and I never even realised what 'YANA' stood for. xD

  6. pica_scribit says:

    "Blink" may be an awesome, tightly-written, flawlessly-crafted episode, but "Utopia" is designed to blow your mind. For so much of the episode, it feels like a one-off — the Doctor helping the last humans to escape from a dying world — but then it all starts to come together…. Jack Harkness's immortality (thanks to Rose, *and* he gets a credit at the beginning!), the hand, the Face of Boe's message, the watch, the fucking MASTER! Russell T Davies punches us in the face with revelation after revelation.

    Can I just say: Y A N P ;p

    I have to say, I like the way Jack is written in Doctor Who more than the way he is written in Torchwood. He's just more fun and bouncy on this show. Not that Torchwood doesn't have its moments, but it would be hard for anything to hold a candle to the Doctor.

    And can I just say how much I *love* Sir Derek Jacobi? That brilliant, brilliant man. Before this episode, he was my choice to play the eleventh Doctor. I once had the joy of seeing him play Prospero in "The Tempest". And he stars in "I, Claudius", the best BBC miniseries OF ALL TIME. Mark, I am begging you to add it to the Mark Watches calendar. You will not be disappointed.

    • MowerOfLorn says:

      Jack can be incredibly fun in Torchwood, but I do tend to like him more in Doctor Who as well. Since Torchwood is for adults, and people are dying and there's all sorts of horrible, horrible things happening, Jack has to be a lot more serious and angsty. And he sorta comes off as a angry, angsty douche sometimes.

      In Doctor Who he becomes more playful and rouge-ish, which makes me smile.

      'YANP'. Our New Acronym!

      • sabra_n says:

        Torchwood was always a disappointment to me for how it treated Jack like some DARKANDGRITTY protagonist full of mainpain and woe instead of the cheerfully devious asshole with a heart of gold that he started as in Doctor Who. I looked forward to Torchwood as a Captain Jack spinoff, and instead I got a show that mistook adult content for adult thinking. Oh well.

    • sabra_n says:

      Agreed. On everything. πŸ™‚ Except I never got to see Jacobi play Prospero, more's the pity, and my pet favorite for playing the Eleventh Doctor was always Damian Lewis.

  7. NB2000 says:

    "So, just thinking aloud…why did Yana hear the sound of drums specifically? Why that sound? John Smith didn’t seem to experience it."

    Not the actual answer (come on would I do that?) but: Mark listen VERY closely to the theme tune from now on. you might hear something familiar.

    Sharing your love of Chantho, she's incredibly sweet. The scene where Martha convinces her to try swearing is so cute (her laugh, aaaww).

    Creet, the little boy working in the silo, is also SUPER ADORABLE. His hair is amazing.

    I've often joked that my ideal career would be hermit so the idea of Hermits United is MADE OF WIN imo.

    And actually most of what I want to say gets dangerously close to spoilers for the rest of the arc so I'll shush now.

  8. Annie says:

    I love, love, love this season finale. It may be my favourite (so far). I mean… it has got Jack, the Master and the adorable Chantho! I was so sad when she died. I'll shut up now because of spoilers.

  9. Esther says:


  10. Tauriel says:

    Mark, Cassandra was supposed to be the last genetically pure human. The later humans were, more or less, mixed with other races.

    • maccyAkaMatthew says:

      And the Doctor get's a line about the humans evolving into gas and spending a thousand years as downloads (this is from memory, so it may not be exactly that) but always reverting to "the basic form". Handily, that also fits within the budget.

      • echinodermata says:

        That quote made my head hurt, so it's my canon that humans consciously chose to revert back to their "basic form." Otherwise…science fail.

        • MowerOfLorn says:

          I decided that they must have used genetic manipulation to keep their bodies roughly the same shape, mostly because of aesthetic reasons. The Doctor's also mentioned that the Time Lord's instilled some law of nature that makes most sapient life take on a bi-pedal Gallifreyean-esque form, so that also helps me avoid glaring at the bad biology.

    • Aornis says:

      I thought she was the last human to be born on the original Earth? Is that totally wrong?

    • xpanasonicyouthx says:


      I get it!

  11. James says:

    Cassandra said she was the last "pure human", so she might be the last actual human after the others have changed or evolved or something. Or she might just be a super evolved racist old crank who considers anyone not white, rich and "perfect" physically like her not human.

    • exbestfriend says:

      I believe Cassandra even stated that her parents were the last to be buried on the earth and all the other humans "mingled" and she was the last "pure" human.
      I do not particularly like people who call themselves "pure" blooded, so I tend to remember that kind of thing.

    • Susan says:

      Personally, I always assumed Cassandra was lying. I never understood why everyone took her claim at face value.

      • Tauriel says:

        It wouldn't be that hard to analyze her DNA and see that it was 100% pure human… πŸ˜‰

        • echinodermata says:

          Um, it actually could be. There's no single human genome, plus the whole 99% of human and chimpanzee DNA are the same thing.

          Whatever, I'm being pedantic, and I like the idea of Cassandra making a claim that's hard to refute, even if it isn't true.

  12. Jabberwocky says:

    I'm totally going to have to rewatch this three-parter tonight. I haven't seen it in a long time since I have issues with some of the special effects (not this episode particularly, but some of the others) but the plot is, as you say, pretty amazing. Jack Harkness! The Master! End of the universe! It throws a lot at you and it's all very surprising.

    For now though, all I can say is that when I first saw this episode, I was just SO GLAD they didn't use Daleks again. Daleks were great, but after two season finales with them, I was getting a little tired of them.

  13. who_cares86 says:

    <img src=""&gt;

    Ps: Isn't it about time for the Mark Watches Classic Who poll?

    • fakehepburn says:

      Yeah, for serious Mark, you NEED to watch another Classic Who. It is NECESSARY.

      • who_cares86 says:

        Well he will the question is will he let us pick or just choose one at random again? I mean at random is just a much fun really, we'd just pick the absolute classics which may make for a better viewer experience but doesn't really give you a balanced view of the series.

        • nanceoir says:

          Also, if you start with the absolute classics and work your way down that way, you tend to get the best stuff right off, so it becomes a situation of diminished returns.

        • xpanasonicyouthx says:

          I need to watch the Caves of Androzani. Or however you spell it.


          • maccyAkaMatthew says:

            I've sent you an email with a fallback plan, based on seeing a variety of stuff that you can stream from netflix, which should make it easy to choose if you don't get around to putting up voting posts.

            As I said in the email, if you limit the choice to what you can stream from Netflix you end up with one story per Doctor for 1,2 and 7 and a few for the others – and it's pretty easy to guess which would win a vote for each of those. After that it's just a question of deciding which Doctor you want to see next.

            The Caves of Androzani is what I suggested for the next classic watch.

          • nyssaoftraken74 says:

            Caves gets an upvote from me! Trouble is now that you *know* it's voted above Blink, it's going to be bloody hard for the story to live up to your expectations. Not saying it won't. Just saying it'll be hard. Do you think you could arrange to delete that fact from your memory when you watch it? πŸ™‚

            Edited to add: I'd like to suggest watching this on Tuesday before Time Crash + Christmas special on Wednesday. I won't say why. Just trust me.

  14. maript says:

    THE SOUND OF DRUMS! JOHN SIMM! OMG I love this three-parter so effing much I can't even articulate. I love the phrase "The sound of drums", and I don't even know why. Also, Derek Jacobi! I love when Shakesperian actors get all up in my sci-fi.

    • pica_scribit says:

      The only way I could have been made happier would be a little Jack/Yana flirting.

      • MowerOfLorn says:

        Somehow, I think Chantho wouldn't have liked that. XD (Poor Chantho. One of my favoruite one-shot characters. Why do I like the red-shirts?)

        • kitish says:

          Umm because you have excellent taste? It's what I tell myself at least. πŸ™‚ Though because you are awesome works too.

  15. Hotaru-hime says:

    There is a Restaurant at the End of the Universe where you can watch the whole thing go down.
    Cassandra said she was the last PURE human, not the last human. Plenty of hybrids out there.

    • pica_scribit says:

      That's probably where the rocket is headed.

    • echinodermata says:

      Random, but in high school we had to do a school project where we had to write a script about different characters/people we had studied meeting up and discussing the same topic.

      We decided the best way to get these characters together was to get them to meet at the Gas Station at the End of the Universe, a la Douglas Adams, and we made different cardboard vehicles of transport for the different characters.

      I played Medea and I got a dragon.

      /random OT anecdote.

    • Wow, most depressing antipasto EVER.

  16. Angela says:

    Actually the Captain is considered "omni-sexual" not pansexual. Well, that's what John Barrowman said πŸ™‚
    And about Cassandra: She said she was the last PURE human. Everyone else had some other beings in their families at some point, but I guess the human kind kept going "impure", but remaining basically the same they are today.

    • Fuchsia says:

      Pansexual and omni-sexual are interchangeable. Both prefixes mean "all". Of course, once you get into the nitty gritty details of individuals, it gets a little more detailed, (for instance, some people like almost all genders except cis males, or what have you, but there's no simple way to explain that and "pansexual" or "omnisexual" covers it best it can, and there are always exceptions to anything) but that's the basics and sexuality is a complicated thing anyway. πŸ™‚

      -Pansexual and Proud πŸ˜‰

    • Hypatia_ says:

      I dunno, I think "omni-sexual" sounds better when you're talking about not only all genders, but pretty much all sentient life-forms, including robots.

  17. letitbe says:

    I LOVE the Master. So excited.

  18. NeonProdigy says:

    Oh, Mark. Even after all this time, You Are Not Alo- I mean Prepared :p

    So yeah, all that happened.

    Chan- I also adored Chantho and had a sad when she died -tho.

  19. DLXian says:

    Cassandra was the last real human in the same sense that Whites were the only ‘real’ race 300 years ago in the US. It’s prejudice.

  20. knut_knut says:

    The last 7 minutes of this episode AKLSDAFKJASL;DKFA'SFJKD'A

  21. Openattheclose says:

    If you are willing, can you please make a gif of Jack and the Doctor running down the corridor in this episode? Thank you very much!

  22. Treasure Cat says:

    Mark Mark Mark Mark Mark I had a nightmare that involved you, a bunch of us and some Weeping Angels. This is how much you and these wonderful commenters and Doctor Who have impacted my life.

    In other news, this episode is fantastic. I will never not love Chantho, she is honestly one of my favourite side characters from any episode of DW ever, and I had a similar sad face when she died. And Captain Jack…oh Captain Jack you are truly spectacular <3

  23. Matt says:

    You have no idea how much I've been waiting for this πŸ˜€

    Just before getting to the meaty stuff, Cassandra was the last "pure" human, in other words she wasn't the result of interbreeding or genetic enhancement or cybernetic improvement. The Doctor mentions that the humans of Utopia have kind of returned to their default state after going down many different evolutionary pathways.

    There is pertinent and non-spoilery info about The Master that will only enhance the rest of the story, but I will leave to you if you don't want me to say anything.

    Chan/ Yes, yes I did speak like this for a while / tho.

    The drums. Be patient. All will be revealed.

    I think we can forgive the Doctor for leaving Jack behind because (a) at that moment he hadn't realised what Rose had done and thought Jack was dead, (b) he was dying and therefore (c) needed to be in the TARDIS.

  24. knut_knut says:

    Also, the Doctor screaming "Let me in" :'( :'( sad face forever

  25. xghostproof says:

    Okay, only going to expand on one of your points because I am all sdlkgjbodhfkgbwegoi excited and don't want to say something that is potentially spoilery.

    How does this episode work if Cassandra is technically the last human in 500 billion?

    Well, there are still loads of what Cassandra deemed non-pure humans, right? My guess is that these humans are those still basically-still-human-but-not-100%-human. They still look like and are human, just with traces of other alien species somewhere.

    In conclusion:
    <img src=""&gt;

  26. Hypatia_ says:

    This right here is why I'm enjoying Mark Watches so much. The endless keysmash and OHMYGODWTF is so much fun to see. It's like watching it all over again for the first time. And now you see why we told you that you could not possibly be prepared.

    I adore this episode. I LOVE that Jack returns and we find out what happened to him (well, we kind of already knew if we'd been watching Torchwood, but this is a fuller explanation). He is written differently on Doctor Who than he is on Torchwood, he's a bit more lighthearted here. Still the same hitting on everything in sight though. I love how when he wakes up and says "Was someone kissing me?" he kind of looks between Martha and the Doctor like he's trying to figure out who was kissing him. My theory is that the Doctor keeps telling him to cut out the flirting because he's jealous. I'm not a big shipper, but I totally shipped Nine/Jack. Ten/Jack…that works too.

    DEREK JACOBI! I was so, so excited when I saw him. He delivers such a wonderful, nuanced performance as Professor Yana, then totally changes in voice and tone and movement when he becomes the Master. Kudos, sir. As much as I love John Simm, I kind of wish Jacobi could have stayed on as the Master. I have SO MUCH to say about the Master BUT I CAN'T. ::sits on hands::

    I'm not sure if this episode is more insane if you know who the Master is or if you don't. I knew who he was, so I pretty much had some sort of cardiac incident when I realized. I worried that Mark might not be able to appreciate it as much. Apparently I needn't have worried, judging from the boldface keysmash up there.

    And? You're still not prepared.

    • who_cares86 says:

      Agreed I would have like Derek Jacobi to stay a little longer as the master too he did a great job for the five minutes he had.

    • jackiep says:

      My parents had been on holiday and I'd gone over to them for a family event on the day that The Sound of Drums aired and I knew my Dad would love this, so I ensured that he watched this before The Sounds of Drums (as watching that first would have ruined catching up with Utopia). Dad during the fobwatch scene suddenly twigged and with wonder called "The Master" just before Anthony Ainley's voice became audible. Worked for all generations that scene πŸ™‚

    • Starsea28 says:

      My theory is that the Doctor keeps telling him to cut out the flirting because he's jealous.

      Yeah, he's jealous he's not the only pretty boy in the place now! πŸ˜‰ But I wouldn't be surprised if he was a weensy bit envious of Jack hitting on everyone. Maybe you shouldn't have DUMPED him, then? πŸ˜›

      • nanceoir says:

        Ooh, that reminds me. In the Confidential episode, Freema is talking about Captain Jack and how he just makes people feel good about themselves. Which… yeah, basically. Unless you're Mickey, at any rate. Meanwhile, the Doctor likes to insult species when he's frustrated, or he acts like he's better than everyone else (sometimes rightly, sometimes… not).

        So there's that, too.

    • nanceoir says:

      I just had a thought about why Jack is more lighthearted in Doctor Who versus Torchwood. Just coming at it from the character's perspective, in Doctor Who, Jack is with the Doctor, who is a "higher" sort of authority, while in Torchwood, Jack's the boss, he's the one ultimately responsible for what goes down. That kind of responsibility is bound to bring a guy down a bit. With the Doctor, some of that pressure is lessened, so he can be a bit lighter.

      Random thought is random.

  27. nanceoir says:

    I watched this episode's corresponding Confidential this morning, and here are a few fun bits.

    Derek Jacobi has apparently been a fan of the show for a long while. During his interview, he was saying that he's wanted to be on the show since the '60s, and that Doctor Who is one of the two British institutions of television he's wanted to be on (the other being Coronation Street).

    Also, David Tennant mentioned once, during drama school (I think?), he waited outside a stage door to get Derek Jacobi's autograph. And now he's working along side him in Doctor Who. How brilliant is that?

    Speaking about the moment when Jacobi as the Master turns around on Chantho, RTD was saying something about how there's no dialogue, but you know he's just… wrong, that you can see it in his eyes, and "How do actors do that? It's brilliant!" *pinches RTD's cheeks*

    Actually, I don't remember if this is covered specifically in this Confidential episode or not, but Tennant and Barrowman totally try to outrun each other. Throughout the whole thing. Silly boys.

    About the episode itself, there are so many brilliant little and not-so-little moments. I love Jack and Martha gossiping (not blogging, Doctor; jeez!) about the Doctor, with the Doctor right there. I love Martha wishing the little boy good luck (also? "How old are you?" "Old enough to work." SO MANY SAD FACES because he's so wee), just taking that moment. It's nice. I love the Doctor recognizing and being amazed by Professor Yana's genius; that's not something we see often. I also love the whole conversation between Jack and the Doctor, the whole "you're wrong" thing. It's such a fabulously performed scene.

    I realize I've been so rude this whole time, though. Nan I'm sorry ceoir. πŸ˜‰

    • Starsea28 says:

      Actually, I don't remember if this is covered specifically in this Confidential episode or not, but Tennant and Barrowman totally try to outrun each other. Throughout the whole thing. Silly boys.

      Haha, I can totally see that. Apparently Orlando Bloom kept trying to do the same thing to Viggo Mortensen when filming the LotR series.

      • echinodermata says:

        The LotR films have some of the greatest cast stories ever. I've watched the extended edition bonus discs more than I've watched the actual movies.

        • Starsea28 says:

          Are you my astral twin?! Sometimes I watch the Extended Editions SOLELY for the cast commentaries and documentaries…

          • echinodermata says:

            I love watching the fellowship commentary track with Billy and Dom and Elijah. So hilarious. Also, I'm a sucker for the Weta workshop, and the music stuff, and the costume stuff, and okay, basically everything having to do with the making of.

            But I really, really love the Weta stuff. They basically hired New Zealand in it's entirety, it seems.

    • nyssaoftraken74 says:

      &gt;Speaking about the moment when Jacobi as the Master turns around on Chantho, RTD was saying something about how there's no dialogue, but you know he's just… wrong, that you can see it in his eyes, and "How do actors do that? It's brilliant!" *pinches RTD's cheeks*

      Exactly this. Sir Derek goes from lovely Professor Yana to scary Master *without saying a word*. How does he do that?!

    • nanceoir says:

      I just remembered something else interesting from Confidential. (I should really take notes, I think.)

      RTD said that Chantho was written to be an express parallel to the idea of the Doctor's companion, that even though he's human, the Master has a companion, too.

      Poor Chantho; her Time Lord went and killed her.

  28. leighzzz31 says:

    I was so unprepared for this episode. I'd assumed it would be a kind-of filler in preparation for the finale. But Captain Jack appeared and Rose was mentioned and – holy shit! – it's the end of the universe and, hey I like this professor-scientist man and Chantho is adorable…And then…I saw the watch…and I nearly had a heart attack, I swear. I believe I was actually spluttering at the screen trying to formulate a coherent sentence. YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Ah, it all makes sense. The Master? Who is this? Why is the Doctor so scared? What. why, how? I think my brain kept doing double takes throughout the last minutes. But then John Simm appeared and I turned into a squealing fangirl. I'd been spoiled on him appearing at some point on Doctor Who but had no idea of the context. So I was completely and utterly delighted at the regeneration.

  29. grlgoddess says:

    Chan You are not prepared Tho.

  30. Karen says:

    lol. I basically spent all of today binging on Fringe (I just started watching on Monday and I'm trying to catch up by tomorrow!), so no pictures today.

    “Utopia” is an episode that I quite enjoy in spite of the fact that it’s this weird episode without much plot. But! There is some pretty interesting character stuff that goes on here which is probably why I enjoy it so much. And, I’m ngl. I like this episode in part just because Rose is discussed.

    So let’s get this show on the road, starting with The Return of the Jack. In my opinion, Doctor Who!Jack is infinitely preferable to Torchwood!Jack. And he makes his return in typical Jack style, clinging to the outside of Tardis as it travels through the time vortex.

    Jack: You abandoned me.
    Doctor: Did I? Busy life. Move along.

    I LOVE YOU DOUCHE!DOCTOR. I think my favorite part about Jack’s return is the shitty way that Ten treats him. I’m a terrible person, but it makes me lol. Poor Jack.

    More on Jack and the Doctor later. Let’s discuss the plot. Going to the END OF THE UNIVERSE! Super dramatic, I suppose. Also, “Huuuumaaaans”. Lol. The Futurekind are kind of hilarious, if you ask me, and are really just awkwardly there to serve specific plot purposes without actually providing the central conflict. (And “show me your teeth!” will now only make me think of the Lady Gaga song. Heh. So when the guards say it, I just want to start singing it.) However, in spite of the weirdness of the plot, this episode has a bunch of fun dialogue.

    The Doctor: And Utopia is…?
    Professor Yana: Oh, every human knows of Utopia. Where have you been?
    The Doctor: Bit of a Hermit.
    Professor Yana: A-a hermit
    [sounds doubtful]
    Professor Yana: with, uh, friends?
    The Doctor: Hermits United. We meet up every 10 years, swap stories about caves. It's good fun. For a Hermit.

    Hee! That line makes me laugh every time.

    Moving on to Martha’s story in this episode. Martha never really had that “oh!” moment that Rose had in “School Reunion” because from the first time she met the Doctor, she knew that there was a friend of the Doctor’s called Rose who used to travel with him. But I do think that meeting Jack is the first time she really confronts the idea that the Doctor might leave her one day.

    Martha Jones: The Doctor sort of travels through time and space and picks us up. God, I make us sound like stray dogs. Maybe we are.

    Martha does get a few digs in at Rose in this episode that I think might be a result of really confronting a previous companion for the first time and thinking about what that might mean for her. (To wit: “Good old Rose…” when Jack is celebrating the fact that Rose isn’t dead. And “Oh, she was blonde! What a surprise!” when Jack is recounting the story of what happened on the Game Station.)

    So let’s talk about the relationship between the Doctor and Jack. When they first met in series one, Nine was a bit tetchy because he was jealous of Rose’s attention to Jack, but they quickly it evolved into a deep friendship and affection.

    Then you get to the beginning of this episode where the Doctor sees Jack on the scanner and tries to leave him behind again. Why? Is the Doctor totally bullshitting about the “you’re wrong” stuff? I don’t know. I think that’s part of it, but I think that there are a lot of reasons. I think that the Doctor doesn’t like to be reminded that he leaves people behind. I also think that he knew that if he met Jack, the topic of Rose would be sure to come up. And with Martha he can kind of just gloss over Rose and pretend that everything is hunky dory, but with Jack who knew and loved Rose, it wouldn’t be that easy. I don’t think the Doctor was really quite ready to deal with the fact of Rose being gone forever. Saying it out loud to Jack makes it real.

    Captain Jack Harkness: Just gotta ask. The battle at Canary Warf. I saw the list of the dead… it said Rose Tyler…
    The Doctor [grinning]: Oh no! She’s alive! Safe and sound! Parallel world! And Mickey! And her mother!
    Captain Jack Harkness [laughing]: Yes!
    [The Doctor and Jack laugh and embrace]

    Oh, Doctor. I see you. I see you trying to ignore the pain by pretending that everything is wonderful with Rose, and that she hadn’t been ripped away from you in a tragic and cruel twist of fate.

    • Karen says:

      My favorite thing about this episode would have to be the conversations about Rose. The absolute joy on Jack’s face when he realizes that she is alive makes me grin. Rose meant a lot to the Doctor, sure. But she meant a lot to Jack too. He’d thought she was dead, and the conversation that he and the Doctor have in the room of plot contrivance is epic.

      Captain Jack Harkness: Last thing I remember, back when I was mortal. I was facing three Daleks. Death by extermination. And then I came back to life. What happened?
      The Doctor: Rose.
      Captain Jack Harkness: I thought you’d sent her back home.
      The Doctor: She came back. Opened the heart of the Tardis and absorbed the Time Vortex itself.
      Captain Jack Harkness: No one is supposed to have that power. If a Time Lord did that, he’d become a god. A vengeful god. But she was human.
      The Doctor: [about Rose] 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.
      Captain Jack Harkness: [working a power system panel] Do you think she could change me back?
      The Doctor: I took the power out of her. She's gone, Jack. She's not just living on a parallel world. She's trapped there. The walls have closed.
      Captain Jack Harkness: I'm sorry.
      The Doctor: Yeah.
      Captain Jack Harkness: I went back to her estate in the Nineties, just once or twice, watched her growing up. Never said hello, time lines and all that.

      That is an incredibly important conversation for the Doctor. This entire series he’s been repressing the pain of losing Rose and because of that he hasn’t really been able to deal with it or move on. However, now he’s able to be open and honest with Jack and I think that makes it real.

      Finally, Derek Jacoby as The Professor/The Master is wonderful. As the Professor he’s perfect as this old man who has spent his life trying to save humanity, but it would seem like his life’s work is in vain. But then as the Master’s he’s so bitter and angry. LOVES IT.

      (Tangentially, I love the Doctor’s reaction to the fact that he might not be the last of the Time Lords. I know that the Doctor tends to wax poetic about Gallifrey and all, but really, the Time Lords were a bunch of jerks for the most part. I like it when the show remembers that. The Time Lords are nice in theory and in memory, but when faced with actually meeting another one, Ten is a bit apprehensive.)

      And then we have our EPIC ending. The Master returning! The Doctor, Martha and Jack trapped at the end of the universe! Dun dun dun!

      • Anon says:

        That's good point about the doctor's reaction to finding out another possible timelord. I'd never watched the show before they brought it back in 2005, it wasn't on when i was growing up. I had thought that most Timelords would be like the doctor, so to see the doctor actually worried at the thought of meeting another one made think they can't be like how he's described them up to this point. I did kind of know about the Master, i don't know how i knew to be honest, some kind of British cultural inheritance must have seeped into my mind. Which is remarkable really since my dad thinks Doctor Who is about Dr Kildare!

      • __Jen__ says:

        Yay a convert to Fringe! I hope you are loving it! πŸ˜€

        I totally agree about Who!Jack being preferable to Torchwood!Jack. He's just a joy to have around here. I also love the well needed therapy session the Doctor has with Jack. It really has been building this whole season hasn't it?

        Once again Karen, you leave awesome comments. πŸ˜€

      • kilodalton says:

        My favorite thing about this episode would have to be the conversations about Rose.


        It is *such* a simple line, but:

        Captain Jack Harkness: I'm sorry.
        The Doctor: Yeah.

        really for me is one of the most emotional kicks in the gut. Because you're right – Ten's not pretending everything's OK. He usually glosses everything over, or in the case of his Rose!emo this season, changes the subject. But now he doesn't try to run from his grief – he admits "she's gone" and accepts the condolences. I think that is HUGE for him. =(

        • flamingpie says:

          I love that scene too. SO hard. I want to talk about this episode so badly but I really don't trust myself not to spoil because I may be a wee bit intoxicated so I will content myself with agreeing until the end of the arc. XD

      • xpanasonicyouthx says:


        markreadsandwatches [at] gmail [dot] com

    • notemily says:

      1. You're bingeing on Fringe? A FRINGE BINGE

      2. Don't be scared… I've done this before…

      3. I really like the idea that the Doctor is a jerk to Jack because just seeing him reminds him of Rose. This was the episode that got me hooked on Doctor Who, and I had no sense of context when I watched it because I hadn't seen The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances yet, so coming back to it now is neat because I can think about it with more perspective.

      • Karen says:

        1. LOL. IKR? I have been enjoying that particular play on words all day.

        3. I just think that the Doctor is HILARIOUS when he's being an ass.

  31. Starsea28 says:

    Haha, yes! Mark, the reaction of fandom after this episode could be summed up as: HOLY SHIT. Because a lot of people had guessed that John Simm was going to play the Master but I don't think anybody guessed Sir Derek Jacobi was playing him first!

    Okay, Russell T. Davies. We haven't always got along, I admit. I'll always have issues with some of your authorial decisions. But I love you for this episode. Okay, so we never find out exactly what the Futurekind are, or how that one member managed to get inside the compound without showing her teeth, but I can excuse that. The interaction between Jack and Martha (ganging up on the Doctor, putting HIM on the defensive), Jack and the Doctor, the Doctor and Professor Yana, plus the massive WHAM! moment at the end make this one of the best Who episodes you ever wrote.

    I have to say this: Ten, you are a cold-hearted bastard. You ran away because YOU KNEW what was wrong with Jack? Without even explaining to him? I can only imagine Rose's reaction if she ever found out (she'd probably bite his head off and he might get ANOTHER slap!). Thank goodness that Jack actually calls him out on his prejudice and he admits it. Haven't seen too much of that this series. I love Martha and Jack GANGING UP on the Doctor and his reaction. That's the defensiveness of a man who knows he was in the wrong and doesn't want to discuss it. He's perfectly willing to save a man he's never met before but he treats Jack as an experiment gone wrong and acts like Martha's in the way, half the time. He's absolutely enchanted by the Professor. Seeing them working together, knowing who the Professor really is, I feel genuinely sad for the Doctor. That was what it used to be like but as soon as the Professor remembers himself, the line of enmity is drawn. The Doctor is not only on the defensive but completely helpless. After all this time missing the Time Lords, he's forced to confront a truth that he didn't want to remember: they weren't all good.

    We see a lot happening on people's face in this episode: mostly Martha but also Jack and Chantho. Martha's journey in this episode is internal: first, her irritated reaction to Jack and the Doctor being gleeful over Rose and then her displeasure at the Doctor's coldness towards Jack; her sadness as she finally discovers what happened to Rose and her quiet happiness for the Doctor and Jack as she hears them begin to bond with each other again. We see Jack taking in the Doctor's coldness towards him and his brusqueness with Martha. We see Chantho trying to hide her pain at being dismissed by the Professor and the wonderful girly moment when she and Martha bond over unrequited love (hate this subplot but this moment is wonderful).

    And finally SIR DEREK JACOBI, ladies and gentlemen. I know this is heresy but I really wish he'd had longer as the Master. The first time I saw this episode, I was absolutely terrified at the moment he turned around after opening the watch. He looks completely different, inhuman and evil, how does he do that?! (Oh wait, he's SIR DEREK JACOBI, that's how!) I do love Russell T. Davies's underlining how evil he is by despising Chantho and the fact he was killed by a girl. 'Okay everyone, this guy is evil, and just so you are in no doubt, I'm going to make him a misogynist!' I think we got the message, Mr Davies, really. πŸ˜‰

    • Hypatia_ says:

      "'Okay everyone, this guy is evil, and just so you are in no doubt, I'm going to make him a misogynist!' I think we got the message, Mr Davies, really. ;)"

      Reminds me of a certain character from Buffy. I had exactly the same reaction.

    • exbestfriend says:

      Two things-
      1. Let us remember that the Doctor had his own set of problems going on the day he abandoned Jack. Somewhere in between saving Rose and dying, I am willing to cut him some slack, but under not-I-am-about-to-die circumstances, it was a total dick move.
      2. Martha makes THE BEST FACES EVER in this episode. I'm glad we haven't had a bunch of Freema bashers hanging out in the comments, because even though I can recognize how someone could not like Martha as a companion, I cannot see how someone thinks that Freema is a bad actress. Martha is defined by how everything she is lives right at the surface and Freema is incredibly expressive. The fact that she was able to pull off all of those thoughts as she quietly walked behind Ten and Jack is really amazing.

    • __Jen__ says:

      This is such a wonderful analysis of what Martha goes through in this episode. I can't believe it's taken this long for the Doctor to reveal what really happened with Rose, and it probably wouldn't have ever happened without Jack as a catalyst. :\ Her reactions, while very subtle are, I think, a testament to what a genuinely good person she is.

      • Starsea28 says:

        Thank you! I honestly think the Doctor might have saved Martha a lot of heartbreak if he'd explained at the beginning that Rose hadn't left of her own accord, she'd been trapped in another world and she couldn't come back. I think she would have been able to understand his pain much better. I mean, even now, he's not actually telling her face to face, she has to find out by eavesdropping, in effect.

    • Angie says:

      "I know this is heresy but I really wish he'd had longer as the Master." Seriously, this is pretty much the least heretical thing ever. πŸ˜‰ I love Simm as The Master, but Derek Jacobi is a true master. Actor.

  32. maccyAkaMatthew says:

    Entropy is the reason the universe can end. All stars burn out and all the energy in the universe becomes heat that spreads out so thinly that it can't do any work. In those conditions, no life can exist.

    Obviously, humans (and others) are trying to use technology to hold back the cold and the dark – hence the heat shield on the planet that stops them from freezing. Utopia would, it seems, maybe be a place where they've found a solution to the heat death of the universe.

    As for head assplodiness, here's a YouTube video of two fangirls who filmed themselves watching the episode:


    Also, at 2:40 it cuts to them reacting to the "next time" trailer, so it'd best for maximum no-spoileriness to either stop the clip there or (perhaps better) to wait until after the next episode before watching this.

    And while I'm thinking YouTube, the Weakest Link Doctor Who Special has been safe to watch for ages now (it was shown after the end of series two):

    • mkjcaylor says:

      That Whogasm was AWESOME.

    • nyssaoftraken74 says:

      SPOILER WARNING! Right at the end of that clip, you can hear the Next Time trailer, which I believe Mark avoids like the plague.

      Up until that moment, it's brilliant. Just be warned.

      • maccyAkaMatthew says:

        Yes, I do say:

        Also, at 2:40 it cuts to them reacting to the "next time" trailer, so it'd best for maximum no-spoileriness to either stop the clip there or (perhaps better) to wait until after the next episode before watching this.

        Maybe I should have done caps for that bit as well.

        • nyssaoftraken74 says:

          So you did. Sorry. Missed that bit. I think I got as far as the link and forgot to read the rest when I came back. Still, best to be sure. πŸ™‚

    • sabra_n says:

      AHAAHAHA that's totally how I reacted while watching that episode.

    • paranoid android says:

      The Weakest Link = Made of Win

      "David, was it you decision to be sexy on the show?"
      "I was taking my cues from you, Anne"

  33. Arthur says:

    “How does this episode work if Cassandra is technically the last human in 500 billion?”

    These are probably the slightly cross-bred humans Cassandra mentions. Enough alien DNA to not technically be 100% human but not enough to not look like humans.

  34. Albion19 says:

    Holy shit this episode. THIS EPISODE! I had no idea, I just thought it would be filler before the final two parter. Safe to say I fuckin died. A complete adrenaline rush O_O

    So happy that you've freaked out! I can't find it but there's a youtube vid of some people watching this live and they basically exploded.

  35. Pingback: Tweets that mention Mark Watches Γ’β‚¬ΛœDoctor WhoÒ€ℒ: S03E11 Γ’β‚¬β€œ Utopia | Mark Watches --

  36. buyn says:

    This episode rates a 4 for scariness.

    Whenever I troll, I troll in character as The Master, just because it's so much fun.


    <img src=>

  37. Anon says:

    Derek Jaccobi is brilliant, its a pity he only got to play the master for one episode because he's an actual old school Doctor Who fan. Apparently its one of two shows he'd always wanted to be in, the other being Coronation Street. Although it was great to see John Simm, l i think he makes a great Master as well.

  38. who_cares86 says:

    Pocket watch. Best plot device ever.

    Random fact. The kid who plays Creet won the part on Blue Peter. He currently plays Toby on Tracy Beaker Returns (a drama set in a childrens care home)

    <img src=""&gt;

  39. agrinningfool says:

    OMG I have the most awesome MASTER themed video BUT – Spoilers! *wink*

  40. elivent says:

    Oh hell to the yes, this is the arc I've been waiting for! EXCITE!

  41. Hypatia_ says:

    John Simm+Hamlet? SIRIUSLY? When and where did this happen??

  42. knut_knut says:

    Oh, John…those pants…

    • exbestfriend says:

      I know. They are somehow both amazing AND tragic. WHATEVER MAKES YOU HAPPY JOHN BARROWMAN

      • knut_knut says:

        That video is so mesmerizing too. I'm freaked out by it but I always end up watching the whole thing

        • exbestfriend says:

          It's like he wanted to do Single Ladies but only knew the steps to Lord of the Dance while he was on his way to meet up with Emmett from Queer As Folk.

  43. THE Nessa says:


  44. sarasingsout says:

    My favorite note to a friend from when I watched this the first time:
    "Captain Jack Harkness walks into the room and says hello. Yes, he is hitting on you."

    • MowerOfLorn says:

      Dude, if Jack walked into a room to tell you all your loved ones died, he'd probably still be hitting on you.

  45. Kaci says:

    I love this episode so much. It blew my fuckin mind the first time I saw it. He’ll, re-watching it last night, it blew my mind all over again.

    • Kaci says:

      Damn you autocorrect. Mark, why is your site blocked on my work computers, forcing me to have to read your reviews on my phone? πŸ˜›

  46. kohlrabi says:

    I too was unprepared that this was part of the last episodes. I sat there thinking, aw, this is a nice calm episode where everything seems to be coming together neatly. Wait, what, wait, who, WAIT WAIT WHAT IS HAPPENING OMG THIS IS PART OF THE FINAL ARC!!!!

    And yay more delicious Captain Jack!

  47. who_cares86 says:

    Let us forever mourn Lynda-with-a-Y sweet sweet Lynda.

    • kilodalton says:

      Hmmm …

      In front of Rose, Nine flirts with Jabe – who dies!
      In front of Rose, Nine flirts with Lynda – who dies!
      In front of Rose, Ten flirts with Reinette – who dies!
      In front of Rose, Ten mentions talking to Lucy (the waitress in Rise of the Cybermen) – who probably dies!

      … see a pattern here? XD

  48. arctic_hare says:


  49. pica_scribit says:

    Oh, also re: the Futurekind. I am always amused when sci-fi shows have humans turning all savage and animalistic — and yet they still have haircuts. I'm left trying to picture what the Futurekind barber shop looks like.

    • arctic_hare says:

      Their barber is probably Sweeney Todd.

    • Hypatia_ says:

      I really don't like the Futurekind, they're my only dislike about this episode. They basically look like humans who are really into body modification. I suppose their teeth are just like that, but since there are real Earth cultures that actually do file their teeth into points and others that tattoo their faces rather like that, it doesn't look all that weird to me. I wish they'd made them look more alien.

      • Starsea28 says:

        Yeah, same here. They're obvious plot devices.

      • Openattheclose says:

        I agree, it reminds me of the Thunderdome, and not in a good way.

      • Ahahaha, you made my hairdresser heart sing, did you know? I always talk about that in movies, and my friends want to harm me for it!
        There was a "Red Riding Hood" preview, and my friends were all swooning, when I open my big mouth to say, "So in the1600s all woodcutters had Boy Band Hair. I guess I missed that bit in History." Yeah, I got punched for it. >_> It was so worth saying.
        Also, in Pirates of the Caribbean: "Wow, I wish the pirates that kidnapped ME would have given me a nice, smokey eye before dinner! Who knew they were makeup artists?"
        I am a terrible person.

  50. Neil says:

    Sheffield Crucible Theatre, quite well reviewed if i recall.

    • Hypatia_ says:


      • Tauriel says:

        Seconded… πŸ™

      • EofS says:

        Yup, was the production Neil said. It was very good indeed. Pretty different to Tennant's Hamlet (which I didn't see on stage, just when it was televised). Simm was very good, capturing both the reason and the frenzy perfectly. And whilst the play is hardly laugh-a-minute, the production drew them out well.

        Nice production design too.

        • Hypatia_ says:


          I do have a ticket for a francophone production of Hamlet next month though. I'm looking forward to that.

  51. CJBadwolf says:

    One of the best reveals in a long time. I'm a fan from the late 70's, avoid spoilers like the plague, and know full well the history of the Master. I put it together at the same time as the Doctor and just completely lost my shit. Fairly sure I dropped a bowl of something.

    I remember thinking later, "Well, we'll wrap this up nicely. Surely Russel Davies won't shit directly into my heart, right?"


  52. Lauren says:

    Cassandra was the last human in the year 5 billion, not 500 billion.

  53. Tauriel says:

    I love, love, LOVE Utopia. I don't know if it's just me, but it feels so much like Classic Who. Not many NuWho episodes evoke that feeling in me – not even Blink, which is my top favourite NuWho story, feels like Classic Who to me.

    Mark, if you had watched the first series of Torchwood before Series 3, you'd have known that Captain Jack can't die. πŸ˜‰ And there's a lovely bit in the last episode of Torchwood Series 1 that ties directly to Utopia – Jack hears the sound of the TARDIS, looks at the Doctor's hand (which is reacting to it – it bubbles more fiercely), realises the Doctor is there, grabs his stuff and disappears.

    Chantho is ADORABLE AND LOVELY, and I wish her species would return in some future episode. A funny clip from the Confidential – John Barrowman tries Chantho-speak: πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€


    But pity we didn't see more of Derek Jacobi's Master – it would be fun to have at least a full episode with him… oh well.

    Futurekind are ULTRA-SCARY. I think it was Freema who said in the Confidential that the looks of terror on their faces as they were chased by the Futurekind were completely genuine. No kidding, I'd be scared shitless myself!

    Jack to Martha: "You too, huh?" Awww, Jack… <3

    All in all, this is one of those rare, rare RTD-written gems that are REALLY GOOD. Pity there are so few of them…

    • Hypatia_ says:

      "Jack to Martha: "You too, huh?" Awww, Jack… <3"

      That's…not from this episode.

      • Tauriel says:

        Oh, crap! Sorry, I could've sworn it was from Utopia… Completely unintentional, I apologise! Um, what can I say in my defense… It's not that spoilery without proper context? I'm really sorry. πŸ™ πŸ™ πŸ™

        • Hypatia_ says:

          Nah, it's not really spoilery, especially lacking context. Just, y'know, heads up and all that. πŸ™‚

          • Tauriel says:

            Yeah, thanks. That's what happens when you haven't seen an episode in a while, but are over-eager to join the general gushing… πŸ˜›

        • Fuchsia says:

          I thought it was from this episode as well, so You Are Not Alone.

          (sorry, couldn't resist)

    • I am a whuss, because FutureKind had me cringing back behind my snoring puppy. ::hangs head in shame::

  54. nextboy1 says:

    Wow, this week!

    Without taking anything away from the next 2 episodes (still great) This episode for me ends the finest run of 4 consecutive episodes in Dr Who. If someone asked me straight up for top 5 episodes, I think HN/FoB, Blink, and Utopia would all be pushing it. They work as a mini story arc aswell, with the fob watch being introduced, before we completely forget about it in all the Timey-Wimeyness of Blink, and then we start watching Utopia…

    First, Hooray, Jack's Back! (Even better when watched straight after TW S1 finale, as I did thanks to a net guide last year), but then you just assume it will be a bit of a filler episode, a-la Boomtown, and then slowly it just becomes the greatest thing ever. I only had a vague notion of who The Master was the first time, but even watching it back this time it has to be the most exciting last few minutes of an episode EVER! The fear on The Doctor's face when Martha finally tells him about the watch is so foreboding, and Derek Jacobi is just brilliant.

    A couple of other thoughts:

    I love the Doctor/Jack reunion in general, their catching up, the great radiation room scene, their happiness over Rose. BUT I get really annoyed at The Doctor with his whole 'I was busy' and 'you were just wrong' thing. I think he just sounds very out of character. That being said, I love the explanation for Jack's immortality (am I right in thinking this is the first time he finds out why he is immortal as well?)

    I've been waiting to write about this episode for ages, I LOVE IT!

    • nanceoir says:

      Yeah, this is when Jack finds out why he's immortal. He didn't know what happened between dying and the TARDIS leaving. He even says in Torchwood that he's looking for "the right kind of doctor" to explain why he's the way he is, and maybe to fix him.

    • I agree. I think it was massively unfair for the Doctor to shun Jack for being "wrong" when it wasn't his fault. After all, he didn't shun Rose for MAKING Jack "wrong". Uh-ohs, here comes the wrath of Arrows!

      • CJBadwolf says:

        I thought it added a nice layer of depth. Imagine if he'd said "I'm sorry Jack, it's just…you're (black, gay, Muslim, Canadian) and my culture is kind of freaked out by that shit. Please forgive me for my ignorance, I'll try to be better." I really like that after 900 years, there is still more to learn about oneself.

  55. Tauriel says:

    Oh, and one more thing: Mark, you NEED to watch Life On Mars. Srsly. It has John Simm awesomeness in TONS. AND it has Philip Glenister awesomeness, which makes it DOUBLE AWESOME. AND there are additional awesome things like awesome script and awesome music.

  56. PeterRabid says:

    I’ve watched this episode so many times (not as much as Blink, but that’s a given), but to this day it still gives me goosebumps and makes my heart thump. So, Mark you were definitely not prepared in the least. I know I wasn’t. All I knew the first time was that holyshit Yana’s a Time Lord ohwait that’s bad apparently. As far as I’m concerned, this episode is damn near perfect. There’s so much to love, although it often gets overshadowed by the return of another Time Lord.

    There’s the return of Captain Jack! You weren’t watching Torchwood so I don’t know if you were aware of the whole immortal thing. We finally get a reason as to why the Doctor abandoned him on the Game Station. Things are tense between them for most of the episode, but I really love how they don’t really talk about it until there’s a solid wall between them and Jack is bathed in radiation. It’s just so them . Also, we have the return of the hand, and Martha’s beautiful reaction to it.

    Martha: What and you.. grew another hand?
    The Doctor: Um. Yeah I did, yeah. *waves* Hello.

    David Tennant gets a little speech about the human race that I adore. And who else squeals when he says “Indomitable, that’s the word! Indomitable!” He’s clearly channeling Tom Baker when he says it, too.

    Special kudos goes to the director, Graeme Harper. This episode is a thrill ride from start to finish, and I think a lot of that has to do with the directing. The tension just ramps up more and more and more until you’re quite literally on the edge of your seat.

    And finally, the music in Utopia is fantastic. Murray Gold, you have my heart. “Futurekind” is pretty much my favorite Doctor Who track, aside from “This is Gallifrey,” which we hear the first strains of in this episode.

    I never realized how brilliant the last half of this series was until recently. Oh, Mark, you’re in for a treat. πŸ™‚

    • Hypatia_ says:

      That first link made my day.

    • FlameRaven says:

      Haha! That fanart!

      I always did wonder just HOW Jack ended up with the Doctor's hand. I mean, Torchwood is based in Cardiff, but the Doctor was in London during that fight. So… why was Jack wandering around London? How did he know that random hand was the Doctor's? It's just a little weird.

      • jackiep says:

        There's a cut line where Jack talks about having bought the hand off a newsagent whose roof it had landed on. He mentioned that he used it as a "Doctor Detector" as clearly it responded to the presence of the right sort of Doctor. Note, it was sort-of waving at him.

  57. nyssaoftraken74 says:

    After being completely spoiler free for 2 and a half seasons, bloody Sky magazine – which hadn't mentioned Doctor Who once thus far – decided to spoil me. The reviewer referred to this episode as `A Master Stroke` in an `oh ho ho look at me aren't I clever with my oh so subtle puns` kind of way.

  58. Kyra says:

    The general fandom assumption is that the Time War took place during the Doctor's 8th incarnation and it was what killed him, so his regeneration into PTSD-Nine was a direct result of the Time War (like, whatever exactly he did that ended the war, he expected it to kill him permanently, but he regenerated anyway).

    i can’t even. I CAN’T EVEN. Two more parts? I AM GOING TO HAVE A HEART ATTACK.

    Just imagine what it was like watching it real-time, agonizing for an entire week between each episode of this insane three-parter finale.

    Which, I have to say–YOU ARE NOT PREPARED, obviously, because…well, you are just NOT PREPARED. I'll be interested to see what you think of the finale, though.

  59. Ah Captain Jack. How I've missed you and your ability to hit anything that moves πŸ˜‰ As for the rest, Mark-You are not prepared.

  60. stellaaaaakris says:

    Not much to add, except: CAPTAIN JACK IS BACK!! CAPTAIN JACK IS BACK!!!!

    <img src=""&gt;

    (Sorry it's so small. I don't know how to make it larger.) I didn't realize how much I missed him until he returned.

  61. echinodermata says:

    I think I like Jack best in S1 of Doctor Who, and this includes DW and Torchwood. I guess I don't care for angsty!Jack, which is tough when that's what his character has mostly evolved into. Also, I think Barrowman has gotten a lot more hammy as this role continues.

    But the thing is, how come you left him behind, Doctor?

    I was busy.

    Is that what happens, though? Seriously? Do you just get bored with us one day and disappear?

    Not if you’re blonde.

    (sarcastic) Oh, she was blonde? Oh what a surprise?

    You two! We’re at the end of the universe. All right? We’re at the edge of knowledge itself and you’re busy…blogging! Come on.

    I have a lot to say about this, actually. I think the Doctor really should have explained his past more to Martha, since it really doesn't look pretty from her point of view, and it must be kind of scary to realize this far in how precarious her adventuring with the Doctor is. That look she gets when Jack says the Doctor abandoned him, and the Doctor brushes him off? Amazing. And then later with the "stray dogs" comment, and then she finds out Rose got trapped. Oh Martha, you deserve all the hugs.

    And I'm glad Jack is resentful too, since he really did get shafted by the Doctor. I remember wondering after S1 whether the Doctor knew Jack was alive, and then we got a short video that did confirm that he knew about Jack, and it seemed really weird at the time that we hadn't gotten much about the Doctor/Jack relationship post S1. And then this episode, and it's explained that it's because the Doctor's prejudiced against him. I really, really do not want asshole Ten anymore. Seriously, what is up with this season and Ten? I'm disliking Ten more and more as I rewatch.

    Also, don't piss off the bloggers, RTD, because we're the ones that really like your show and buy merchandise and re-watch and stuff, and I know I don't care for this comment at all. Don't be patronizing towards your fanbase. I get so annoyed that this scene comes right after Blink.

    And on to the Master!
    Lol, when the music starts up when Yana's looking at the stopwatch for the first time, I went all omg spoilery music before I realized that duh, it's the first time we've heard this in the series, and in fact it's the establishment of the Master's leitmotif. But seriously, I think he gets the most recognizable character music yet.

    Also, I think the YANA acronym is stupid considering all the other really cool reveals in this episode. I distinctly remember making an unhappy face the first time I saw it.

    Anyway, John Simm your performance is so over-the-top but I love it anyway.

    <img src=""&gt;

    • James says:

      I don't think the Doctor is prejudiced against him so much as deeply disturbed, to a human it would be like living with a guy with a massive gaping wound that bled all the time but didn't seem to hurt or bother the guy. Or it might be like having constant white noise/blurry vision/nausea all the time. At least thats the impression I got from Tens dialogue.

      • echinodermata says:

        Eh, Jack called him prejudiced and the Doctor didn't refute it. Totally get what you're saying, in any event, but it's still not fair to Jack.

    • Starsea28 says:

      then this episode, and it's explained that it's because the Doctor's prejudiced against him. I really, really do not want asshole Ten anymore. Seriously, what is up with this season and Ten? I'm disliking Ten more and more as I rewatch.

      Welcome to my world.

    • Hypatia_ says:

      "Anyway, John Simm your performance is so over-the-top but I love it anyway."

      Well, he's playing the Master. Anyone who doesn't gnaw big chunks out of the scenery while playing that role is just doing it wrong.

    • nyssaoftraken74 says:

      Oh, I LOVE the You Are Not Alone = YANA business. It's nonsense, sure, but it's great nonsense. 4th wall breaking nonsense, because it makes no sense within the show. It's much more a clue for the audience – the kind of thing that makes me go "Of course!" as if I should have realised the instant I heard the Professor's name! Which of course would have been impossible.

      Incidentally, looking at that gif, is it just me, or does it look like the Master is saying,
      `Um Pah Pah! Um Pah Pah! Um Pah Pah!…`? O.O

    • Fuchsia says:

      Seriously, what is up with this season and Ten? I'm disliking Ten more and more as I rewatch.

      That's been my reaction on this rewatch at all. I mean, we have it just in the very first episode concerning his regeneration, when Rose calls him out on being rude. But I didn't notice/mind it as much in the second series as in this one, because he's constantly rude to Martha and a lot of other characters we've come to care for. I understand he's hurting about Rose and all that, and sometimes deep pain brings out the worst in people, but at this point, it's been quite a while and I want him to stop. This is one of the reasons he's no longer my favourite incarnation of the Doctor.

      Also, I think the YANA acronym is stupid considering all the other really cool reveals in this episode. I distinctly remember making an unhappy face the first time I saw it.

      Honestly, the first time I saw this episode, I didn't realize that the Professor's name was Yana (I honestly tend to not pay attention to characters' names on first watch if they're not recurring characters) and it only clicked when we saw the video feed and the Doctor's realization. But I still didn't get that it was his name until this watch of the episode.

    • Hurray for no more Asshole Ten! I thought I was the only one. Is your name YANA?

    • paranoid android says:

      I used to think the YANA bit was totally stupid as well, but in the audio commentary for this episode, RTD briefly summarizes a backstory he made up for Yana that kind-sorta explains the acronym. It was never used in the show, though. Can't tell you about it now because HUGE EPIC SPOILER FOR FINALE, but it actually makes a bit of sense in a Doctor Who kind of way.
      I you don't want to sit through the commentary, I can explain it after episode 13.

  62. Matt says:

    One thing I always wondered about this episode. When Chantho says "No!" to Martha, was that technically extreme verbal profanity in a prime-time family show?

  63. Caroline says:

    Well, crap. Now I have to wait a whole day for you to continue this story arc. XD

  64. jackiep says:

    On the DVD Commentary, there's loads of lovely bits, starting with DT and RTD joking about the fact that John Barrowman was supposed to be with them, but he was caught up judging pro-celebrity Crufts or something.

    DT gives a lovely story about how towards the end of filming, this lovely young woman who he'd never seen before ran up to him saying "this is me, this is what I look like". Turned out to be the actress who played Chan'tho without her makeup (he'd never seen her actual face, as she'd obviously been in the makeup truck for hours every day on set before he was required to appear).

    And wasn't the Blue Peter winner good? I'd like to see him again, someday.

  65. feminerdist says:

    "How does this episode work if Cassandra is technically the last human in 500 billion?"

    *jawdrop* Uh… um… no idea. I NEVER thought of that. Maybe cause Cassandra meant she was the only PURE human left? And she's sort of xenophobic? Maybe?

    And I think that you should just finish season 3 this weekend and take a night off on Monday. I mean, do you REALLY want to wait until Monday to finish this?

  66. Albion19 says:

    <img src="; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic">

    OMG I think he looks so unnerving in this scene D:

    And then when he looses his shit at Martha: What did he saaaaaay?!

  67. FlameRaven says:

    Minor correction: We see Cassandra in the year 5 Billion (when the sun dies), not 500 billion.

    Science quibble: the year 100 Billion is ridiculously old. The universe is currently estimated to be only about 14 Billion years old. The universe is also expanding, and expanding exponentially. I don't know what the exact guesses are, but it might actually be more likely for the universe to end many years before 100 billion.

    • Tauriel says:

      That's 100 TRILLION. 100 000 000 000 000. A thousand times more even. πŸ˜›

    • echinodermata says:

      Yeah, I thought 100 trillion was really kind of too far away too, but it's not like we can really refute it.

      If we assume cyclic universes, maybe there's a point at which the universe can't be started anymore, so it represents the end of the universes, plural.

      Whatever, I'm just saying it doesn't bug me that much.

  68. illusclaire says:

    Chantho was SO cute and it was really nice to see Martha making friends with her. About time!

  69. niamheryoumind says:

    Cassandra considered herself to be the last human, that everyone else was not pure enough to be Human. I'm sure she thought it gave her a certain coolness to be The Last Human.

  70. samarkand_ says:

    I have nothing to say except that I'm just lolololing over here. When I first saw this, I too was totally unspoiled and had no idea who or what the Master was or any of that and I would not trade having had that experience for anything in the world!

    It's all very keysmash-worthy, without a doubt. You smash those keys, my good man.

  71. virtual_monster says:

    How does this episode work if Cassandra is technically the last human

    With respect to whether the humans in this are 'pure humans' or hybrids or whatever, I believe the Doctor has that covered in his 'indomitable' speech…

    "Don't you see though? The ripe old smell of humans. You survive! Oh, You might spend a million years evolving into clouds of gas and another million as downloads but you always revert to the same basic shape. The fundamental humans. End of the universe and here you are. Indomitable. That's the word. Indomitable.'

    The implication being that they're some kind of recreated human. Like the ultimate in re-enactment for hyper-evolved post-humans perhaps?

    Incidentally, I'd be very surprised indeed if the use of the word 'indomitable' isn't a direct call back to a speech by Four in The Ark in Space, which also uses that word, not least because The Ark in Space was one of the serials that RTD made various writers / people in the production team watch.

    • PeterRabid says:

      If he'd only said "indomitable" once, I could pass it off as a coincidence. As it is, I definitely think it's a call-back to this clip:

    • msfeasance says:

      I really need to rewatch The Ark In Space at a time when I'm not giggling myself silly at the quality of the effects.

      • virtual_monster says:

        The thing you have to try to keep in mind when watching the Ark in Space is that when they made it bubble wrap was a new invention and hardly anyone had encountered it yet.

        If only they'd had an actual TARDIS they could have nipped fprward to find out how using it would look three-and-a-half decades later.

        Uh, because obviously that's what you'd do with a real, working TARDIS if you had one, right?

  72. Asta says:

    Just watch Torchwood already, would you?

  73. Imogen1984 says:

    I had a really REALLY big sad when Derek Jacobi stopped being the Master (I MEAN BEST CASTING EVAAAAAA HELL YESSSS!) but then he regenerated into Barrowman and I exploded with squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.


  74. carma_bee says:

    I won’t say anything about how much I like the next two episodes, but I do love Utopia a lot! When I saw it for the first time, it was just crazy to watch! Partly for reasons I can't tell you, haha.

    Captain Jack! Looooved seeing him again! It’s a nice change from how he is on Torchwood, too. I really like the scene where he and the Doctor have their little talk. It’s nice for Jack to get his issues out there and ask the Doctor about what happened to him. And there’s something else about it that I can’t put my finger on.

    And when I was in class today, I realized that you didn’t know that Jack’s immortal because you hadn’t watched Torchwood, and I had a silent chuckle to myself.

    I also loved the scene where we see the Doctor’s hand, and Martha’s so confused, and with Hermits United. Love it.

    Fist pump!
    <img src="; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic">

    The Master! I won’t say anything until more is revealed soon, but I really like him! I also really like John Simm, he’s awesome!
    <img src="; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic">

  75. MowerOfLorn says:

    Heh! I remember watching this episode for the first time. I was spoiled for the Master's return, so that had less of an impact on me- but it was still so awesome to realise he was Professor Yana! Amazing!

    I hadn't watched Torchwood at this point, so I had no idea about Jack's immortality. However when he first revived, I found myself thinking "Okay….this seems suspicious." I started thinking about what Rose had done, and then my face was like O_O. "He's immortal, isn't he?" It was incredibly strange to think (but also good, I think) for the Doctor to be prejudiced, especially towards someone he used to like.

    Anyway, I was looking forward to this review, and having your head explode. You thought it was over? IT IS NEVER OVER MARK.

  76. Ali says:

    Loved Chantho, the conversation between her and Martha about 'swearing' was adorable. πŸ™‚

  77. hassibah says:

    It's so hard for me to comment on these epic episodes that everybody likes because usually like 50 people have said what I would. I'm way better at defending crap that nobody likes.

    Anyways, I don't really trust myself to talk about the story at this point without getting spoilery so HAY I'm just going to link to today's quantz because I think it's totally apt for this blog today:

  78. arctic_hare says:

    Apologies for using your comment like this, but I have to do this –


  79. carma_bee says:

    A link to this episode's commentary, with David and Russell:… BUT should not be listened to unless you've seen the finale, because they mention finale stuff.

  80. __Jen__ says:

    Yay this episode! πŸ˜€

    <img src="; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic">
    The Doctor's gleeful sense of adventure will never get old.

    <img src="; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic">
    I love the callback to the lost hand. Also, Martha continues to make awesome faces. πŸ˜€

    This episode not only brings Jack back, it is also jam packed with mind-blowing arc revelations. And who could forget Derek Jacobi as the Master? As much as I love John Simm, I wish we got more of Jacobi after he opens the watch. That moment of total personality turnabout was almost chilling. He is simply a fantastic actor.

    Once again YOU ARE NOT PREPARED (OR ALONE), and isn't it grand?

  81. MowerOfLorn says:

    A thought I had- what I find sorta sweet is how Jack acts around the Doctor. I mean, he's still bitter, but otherwise he goes around holding his coat and definitely acting like the Doctor's in charge. This really is at odds with how he acts in Torchwood, where he's the leader, and I suppose it just shows how much he respects him. Despite everything, they still seem like friends.

    • Starsea28 says:

      I think it's a RELIEF for Jack to let someone else be in charge, especially after having to lead Torchwood (jolly as that is *snark*).

  82. kilodalton says:

    HAHAHA!! I totally forgot about that line – good one XD

  83. sabra_n says:

    You don't know who the Master is? Holy moly. I actually think that having a faint idea of that can enhance your enjoyment of the upcoming story, but it seems like your brain is melting just fine without that knowledge. πŸ˜€

    "Utopia" just killed me when it first aired. I was a screaming, keyboard-smashing fool thanks to that ending. I mean, the A-plot was so perfunctory except for the return of Jack and then ZOMG WTF WHAT IS HAPPENING HE IS STEALING THE TARDIS AAAAAH!!!

    *cough* If you know what I mean. I think "Utopia" was the most agonizing cliffhanger of my TV-watching history, until maybe the end of Chuck's second season. And of course, the A-plot was perfunctory on purpose – "Utopia" does mean "nowhere".

    Derek Jacobi just killed it both as Yana and the Master, and Chantho was probably the coolest alien design since the Ood. And there was Jack! I really, really hated what was done with Jack's character in Torchwood, and then he was back in Who and acting like the Jack I'd been so fond of back in the first season I was just delighted, even as Ten was doing his asshole best to ruin the reunion. Oh Ten. You are such a douche. But Tennant is about to do the best acting of his run. Mark, I AM SO EXCITE for you to see the last two episodes.

    And cool, you're a John Simm fan! Where have you seen him before? It was because of Simm's performance as the Master that I quickly tore through State of Play, Life on Mars, and the first series of Clocking Off when this series of Who was over, cementing my British TV addiction for all time. Oh, and my Michael Winterbottom admiration, because Wonderland is an amazing movie. Simm does a great over-the-top satire of Ten in this episode, no?

    Other things:

    -"Is that what happens, though, seriously – you just get bored of us one day and disappear?"

    "Not if you're blonde."

    BURN! Oh god, I laughed myself sick at that line. But in a way, the fact that they're conscious of how dickish the Doctor has become and why only makes things worse. πŸ™

    -I loved the "Hermits United" bit – it's right up there with "The Angels Have the Phone Box" as a good geeky T-shirt slogan.

    -I'm sorry, but Tennant looked CREEPY AS FUCK when he was grinning against the little window in the door while talking to Jack. The red lighting and the expression on his face wouldn't be out of place in a horror movie. They used that moment in the promos for this episode and I screamed.

    -Poor Chantho – no one even knew her real name, and for all the years he knew her Yana didn't even seem to care to try. Which I thought was quite sad enough on its own – again, adding unrequited love into the mix just made things annoying.

    -"Use my name."


    Me: "KINKY."

  84. You Are Not Alone says:

    Hahahaha I've been waiting for the inevitable keysmash reaction to this episode and you did not disappoint πŸ˜€ I love how the revelation was orchestrated to SHOCK!GASP!BRAINASPLODE! the fans watching the moment Yana pulls out the fobwatch. In that second, all the fans brains are going: John Smith's fobwatch! Chameleon Arch! Time Lord technology! A Time Lord disguised as a human! That's why the Doctor couldn't sense him like Nine said he could! The Face of Boe was right! He's not alone! Holy shit Y.A.N.A.!

  85. Selthia says:

    I've been waiting for this review gleefully. Utopia is one of my absolute favorite episodes in the Tenth Doctor's run, especially the conversation with Jack in the reactor room, which is pure gold. So is the Master reveal. And the ending, with the TARDIS stolen and the crew trapped? YES.

    Regarding the watch, same device yes, but not the exact same watch that the Doctor had in the other two parter. Like having the same brand of a cell phone as another person but not owning the exact one. Except Time Lord-y and ten times cooler.

    I won't say anything else because I might spoil on accident, but this is definitely one of my favorite reviews you've done (it's like watching your mind melting as Utopia goes along), and looking forward to what you'll think about the other episodes.

  86. Cassandra was the last human born on EARTH, I believe. That's probably already been answered 600 times.

    Also, OMFG, Mark, you just have no idea. None. No idea at all. You poor thing.

  87. arctic_hare says:


  88. EofS says:

    Secondly did I miss any trivia? Of course if it has spoilers it doesn't count here.

    Doesn't seem to have stopped you for the other spoilery trivia you've posted here! Can you edit comments on here? Because if so, you should definitely remove at least one of those – and probably also the one listing the names of some future episodes.

    • mkjcaylor says:

      Yea, I don't understand. Most of those are spoilers. πŸ™

      Mark needs a non-Mark moderator.

    • fusionman says:


      • Mauve_Avenger says:

        Isn't it possible to delete it yourself, or does that only work if you have an account?

        I'm really glad that I haven't been actively trying to avoid spoilers like Mark has.

        • fusionman says:

          It only works if you have an account. GOD DAMN 2 DAYS IN A ROW!! I'M SLIPPING!!

          Hopefully Mark still likes me enough from before I failed.

          • echinodermata says:

            Get an account, then?

          • exbestfriend says:

            Seriously. Get a fucking account. This isn’t the first time you have posted a spoiler and even though I enjoy your trivia that spoiler is a fucking UPPERCASE ‘SPOILER’ I hope Mark did not read not read that post, but I’m angry that you posted it period.

          • redheadedgirl says:



            • xpanasonicyouthx says:

              Please get an account fusionman? I really like you and I KNOW you just made a mistake, ok?

              I do have a moderator but you guys HAVE to report comments when this happens, ok?

              • fusionman says:

                Getting account now. Thanks Mark for knowing I goofed. It's not like I would spoil moments on purpose. It seems series finales make me mess up…

              • thisyearsgirl says:

                Maybe I'm missing something really obvious but I can't see where to click to report comments here? On Mark Reads I see a "report" link next to every comment, but not on this page.

                • fakehepburn says:

                  I've never seen a "report" option on here…
                  Mark, how do we go about doing that to prevent future spoilage?

              • maccyAkaMatthew says:

                The report post option isn't enabled here (it is on You need to switch it on:


                Once it's here people will definitely report spoilery posts very quickly.

                Reading that link, you can set it to put posts into moderation as soon as they're reported or even to be deleted if enough separate people report them.

              • Mauve_Avenger says:

                Seconding (fourthing?) the "we don't have a 'report post' button" comments, and adding a request for YouTube video embedding like the Mark Reads site has.

                It seems like a feature that would have a lot of utility on this site, and it would definitely make it easier not to spoil people, given the <spongebobvoice>"FOR THE LOVE OF GOD WHATEVER YOU DO DON'T SCROLL DOWN; SPOILERS IN COMMENTS"</spongebobvoice> that tends to go along with video links here.

  89. LittleCaity says:

    Dear Mark:

    You are so not prepared there are not words to describe it. SO NOT PREPARED.

    I've been waiting for you to reach this arc, oh man, your brain is gonna EXPLODE.


    Little Caity

  90. ThreeBooks says:

    ffff, I think you forgot that Last of the Time Lords happens, what, on monday? >:\

  91. stuffandthings says:

    ~my excitement for you is almost uncontrollable~
    but to be honest I’m excited for you to watch things in Doctor Who series way, way to come.
    why must everything be so amazing??

  92. testcase says:


  93. lastyearswishes says:

    omg the end of this series. You are in for quite a ride, Mark, quite a ride indeed.

  94. Cinthya says:

    F. is kind of spoilery … just saying

  95. trash_addict says:

    Such an appropriately key-smashy reaction to this episode.


  96. Sheilla says:

    The Return of Captain Jack is bittersweet. When Rose had the time vortex kissed out of her, Nine ushers her into the Tardis, she asks about Jack, Nine kind of glosses over it. And then he gets out of dodge quick. He changes into Ten Rose pretty much forgets about Jack with her meltdown about the regen. Rose gets over the regeneration and they about season 2. With all that in mind, that Rose just had all of time and space within her and she used that power to destroy (the Daleks) and then to give life (Captain Jack) I think the doctor didn't want to deal with the wrongness that is an eternal man. Jack is a walking talking flirting time paradox. And back in S1 we see how a time paradox works. What damage could a being "fixed in time" do? So, to the Doctorthe best thing to do is leave and not be forced to deal with a time paradox. I have always thought that the Doctor here is attempting to avoid pain and a problem that he doesn't think he would like the answer to.

  97. fakehepburn says:

    OH FUCK.

    Seriously, my initial reaction to this was a keymash of rage.

    I know you're just trying to bring trivia to the masses up in here, and I'm sure most of us appreciate it, but SPOILER POLICY, FOR GOD'S SAKE.

  98. fakehepburn says:

    Dude. No.

  99. whatsername says:

    I was so happy when Captain Jack came back. I'm glad you were too!

  100. HungryLikeLupin says:

    Darn it, most of the things I want to say about this episode are about the Master. XD I suppose I'll just have to wait a little while longer.

    (I will say that I've had 'Drumming Song' by Florence + the Machine stuck in my head since I read this review on my lunch break.)

    I do adore the moment when Martha and the Doctor are talking, and Martha tells him about the watch with such obvious hope and anticipation, like she's telling him that SANTA CLAUS IS REAL AND HE HAS BROUGHT YOU ALL THE PRESENTS OMG! The Doctor's spent the entire show's run so far dealing with the fact that he's the only Time Lord left, that he has to carry the burden of watching over space and time all on his own shoulders. He should be ecstatic, right? The fact that he isn't, that he doesn't even have a moment of elation at the thought of another Time Lord having survived, is the most ominous thing that could conceivably happen in this scenario.

    (I will also say that I had just enough knowledge of classic Who to know who the Master was, and throughout the entire end of this episode my eyes were the size of saucers, and I kept muttering under my breath, "Please be the Master, please be the Master, please be the Master!" So thanks, Russell T. Davies, I appreciate your cooperation. -_-)

    ETA: I also really wish there was going to be a liveblog for 'The Sound of Drums'. Like, a lot. πŸ˜†

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