Mark Watches ‘Doctor Who’: S03E13 – Last of the Time Lords

In the finale of the third series of Doctor Who, Martha Jones is left to fend for the entire world by herself. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Doctor Who.

As the words “One Year Later” scrolled across the screen, I assumed we’d be treated to a familiar storytelling technique: a scene from the future, and then an episode leading up to that moment, giving it a new context. Sometimes, this works well. It can be an exciting way to tell a story if the answer is given first. Other times (I’M LOOKING STRAIGHT AT YOU, STEPHENIE MEYER), it can be one of the more contrived and pointless forms of writing. No, seriously, Stephenie Meyer, you couldn’t even make that exciting.

I watched Martha Jones run to meet Thomas Milligan back on Britain. She’d been traveling the world for a year. A year. She was seeking the help of a Professor Docherty and then it hit me: this episode wasn’t flashing back. A year had passed. We were not traveling back in time to discover what had brought Martha here. Unlike any story arc we’d seen, the plot just jumped ahead a year. Which means…the world has been under the power of the Master for a year.

Wait. That means….millions of people have died. Possibly a billion. OH. OH MY GOD.

But it’s so much worse than that. The Master is not just content on conquering earth; he’s intent on BUILDING ANOTHER GALLIFREY. He means to go to war with the universe, to establish the Time Lord Empire. The horror of that idea resonated more with me because of what it means to The Doctor. The Doctor is sort of responsible for this happening. He had to destroy Gallifrey in order to win the Time War. If The Master had had a Gallifrey to return to, I think it stands to reason that he wouldn’t have created the Troclafane or used the Archangel angel network to convince the world that he was Harold Saxon or changed the TARDIS into a Paradox Machine or AGED THE DOCTOR UNTIL HE LOOKED LIKE A HYBRID OF DOBBY AND YODA AND GOLLUM. Oh my god that made me so sad.

Let’s talk about those details, actually, because even those were completely surprising to me. The Toclafane were part of a myth on Gallifrey and I was excited for Martha when she was taken to Professor Docherty to hopefully capture one of the spheres. I hadn’t really commented on them in the past review, but I wondered why The Master had such an affinity for them. Once the rebels captured a sphere and the story switched between them dissecting the sphere and the Master telling the Doctor what they were, I guessed what they were: evolved Daleks. It made sense. It was what the Doctor was so fond of, as the Master said. I assumed he was being sarcastic. As the camera peeked over Prof. Docherty’s shoulder, I saw some sort of creature that was the same color as the Dalek. It’s settled. But how did that one remaining Dalek end up being cloned or bred to become the Toclafane?

Except once the camera reveals the full creature…wait. What? What is that? That’s not a Dalek. What the fuck is that thing?

Humans. THE HUMANS FROM THE ROCKET THAT WAS SENT TO UTOPIA. HOLY FUCKING SHIT OH MY GOD HUMANS HAVE RETURNED TO THE PAST TO EXTERMINATE THEMSELVES. The Paradox Machine. Utopia. The Toclafane. IT WAS ALL TIED TOGETHER. I had completely forgotten about the rocket to Utopia. Oh my god, RUSSELL T DAVIES, YOU GENIUS.

This episode, more than anything, is about the ascension of Martha Jones from companion to hero, from someone who pines after the Doctor to someone who accepts herself as independent from him and does whatever she can to save the world. In hindsight, it’s easy to see how she was able to travel the world for a year, telling everyone the story of the Doctor and spreading the plan to use the Master’s countdown against him. But in terms of character development, I was incredibly satisfied with Davies’ focus on Martha, entirely separate from the Doctor. In that sense, when she says good bye to him at the end of the episode, it’s not bittersweet. It’s her way of insisting that the Doctor take her seriously as someone more than her companion, more than someone who just travels around and assists the Doctor. What Martha pulls off in “Last of the Time Lords” is immense in scope and courageous in execution. After saving the whole world, what else can you do but spend time with those you love?

Watching the Doctor transform back to his regular form was an emotional moment, but it compared to nothing to the scene following this on board the Valiant. The Paradox Machine is destroyed and time is reversed to correct the paradox. The Doctor, now clearly in control, informs the Master that he’ll essentially be imprisoned inside the TARDIS, since no one can trust him. Despite it being an uncomfortable reality, you can see the joy in the Doctor’s eyes. He’s no longer alone.

But that lone gunshot from Lucy Saxon ruins the Doctor’s plans. He doesn’t expect what the Master does next: refuse to regenerate. The Master would rather die than be imprisoned for life with the Doctor. As the Master dies in the Doctor’s arms, we’re reminded yet again of the solitary life of the Doctor. He was so close to having someone with him, but he is now alone. Again. Unsurprisingly, though, David Tennant knocks it out of the park in this scene, conveying the grief and terror of losing the only remaining Time Lord in existence.

This episode does give us two unbelievable moments towards the end. Besides the not-as-depressing-as-expected departure of Martha Jones, the Doctor and Martha also bid goodbye to Captain Jack Harkness, who denies yet another request by the Doctor to be his companion. Torchwood is too important to him. As he reflects on the fact that he can’t die, he mentions that his good looks earned him a nickname back on his home in the Boeshane Peninsula.

The Face of Boe.

NO. NO!!!! YOU ARE FUCKING KIDDING ME!!!!!! HOLY SHITA;LKSDJFASDF;LJ;ASDKL

As if that isn’t mind-blowing enough, the Doctor reluctantly returns to the TARDIS, alone this time, uncertain where he’ll go. Martha has admitted that the Doctor cannot return the love she feels for him and that it’s time for her to move on. The Time Lord is alone again.

OH WAIT THEN THE FUCKING TITANIC BREAKS INTO THE TARDIS

My god, I love this show so much.

THOUGHTS

  • The Master dancing to the Scissor Sisters. Perfection.
  • SOMEONE TOOK THE MASTER’S RING. dun dun dun
  • “Say hello, Gandalf.” HAHAHA My god. The Master is the most enjoyable villain ever. I’m sad he’s gone. πŸ™
  • I don’t really have an interest in ranking companions at this point. I liked Martha Jones a whole lot. I thought we’d get a peak at the next companion, but I guess it’s the Titanic. That’s a pretty good trade-off, I suppose.
  • No more Reggie Yates. πŸ™
  • I don’t know if I could have handled two depressing series finales in a row, so I’m glad this one ended on a much more positive note.

All right, scheduling! Tomorrow, I’ll be doing “Voyage of the Damned.” After that, I’ll be delving into classic Who with “The Caves of Androzani,” which is apparently rated even higher than “Blink” and that’s basically impossible so I am very excited to watch it.

This time around, I PROMISE to post another voting post so you can choose what I watch after I’m done series 4. Deal? DEAL.

About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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459 Responses to Mark Watches ‘Doctor Who’: S03E13 – Last of the Time Lords

  1. nanceoir says:

    Okay, let's get this out of the way right off:

    Mark can has Time Crash now? Pleasepleasepleasepleaseplease?

    Also, gif request time! Whoooooo!

    (Now, to read.)

    • Guest says:

      Yes, but I think he also plans to watch "The Caves of Androzani", which I think he should do first. "Time Crash" is another mini-episode made for Children in Need btw. (like the post-9/10-regeneration one).

      >> (Now, to read.)

      Me too.

    • psycicflower says:

      I love Time Crash so much. I think it's my favourite Doctor Who related Children in Need thing.

      You know I purposely thought oh I must remember that would make a good gif if nanceoir's offering during the episode but now I can't remember any of them.
      Could you do Martha giving the flowers to Professor Doherty towards the end of the episode please?

      • nanceoir says:

        See, this is (part of) why I offer to make gifs: because I don't remember the bits that would be good!

        Anyway, here's Martha being absolutely lovely (with some judicious edits on my part, actually):

        <img src="http://img130.imageshack.us/img130/678/flowersi.gif"&gt;

        As for "Time Crash," if I'm ever feeling down or blue or anything, all I have to do is watch it (or "Music of the Spheres"… or sometimes both) and I feel so much better. It's just… *mwah* perfection. I love it.

        • psycicflower says:

          Thank you. It's such a lovely moment. Like I said the other day, you're great for offering up your gif making skills.

          Time Crash is such a feel good thing. I'd nearly forgotten about Music of the Spheres. *goes to rewatch*

        • __Jen__ says:

          Your gif making skills are amazing, and you're so generous for offering them. Thanks so much!

          <img src="http://i55.tinypic.com/1o9fh3.jpg&quot; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic">
          *Disclaimer: I am not awesome in the ways of gif-making like nanceoir so I just found this gif*

    • Shiyiya says:

      Yes, Mark, you MUST watch Time Crash before Voyage Of The Damned. And just in general, because Tennant is SO CUTE in it.

    • MowerOfLorn says:

      Time Crash, I believe, is a good example of seven of the best minutes Doctor Who has to offer. But yes, I could see why watching Caves of Androzani would be a smart move first.

      Trust us, Mark.

  2. Stephen_M says:

    Ugh. I understand why people like this but for me, well….

    Such a frustrating episode this. There's some great ideas and moments here, the Master / Doctor confrontation on the cliff deserves to be a real iconic shot f'instance, but it just doesn't work as a whole.

    First, the good. John Simm is still superb as the Master. A true magnificent bastard of the highest order, likeable (to a point obviously), nuts, relatively effective and charismatic as all hell. Well played sir, well played. I know I'm probably in the minority but I kinda like the idea of the combined psychic powers of the human race restoring the Doctor (even if it is a bit Disney in execution, more on that in a bit) as it shows WHY the Doctor has so much time for Earth. And… uh… hmm. Hang on I'll think of something… uh…. oh, I like that it's Lucy that shoots the Master. Nice bit of closure there and believable. Plus Martha getting her moment of awesome by laughing at the Master is very nicely done.

    Sadly the rest of the episode just falls apart. The pacing is terrible, this feels more like act 2 than 3 and there's a general sense that there ain't enough plot to go around here. Worse, RTD cheats with the Archangel network restoring the Doctor as there's no indication that could happen and the network itself isn't mentioned for… what, almost an hour of screen time between this and Sound of Drums? The resolution of the Toclafane arc – shooting the Paradox TARDIS – is flat-out WEAK, if that's all it took why confront the Master in the last episode at all? Just stay in the TARDIS, wait for it to turn on and wallop it with a wrench. And then there's the big showdown…

    I said above I didn't mind the psychic network thing but WHY did we have to have the Doctor flying? That just makes no sense at all and pushes the scene a little too far into Jesus-parable land to be totally comfortable. Seeing the Tenth Doctor – he of the righteous fury and impulse control problems – simply hold his enemy and say he forgives him feels totally out of character. What happened to 'you get one warning"? Then when it's all over and the Master is defeated the Doctor says he'll imprison him in the TARDIS… oh come ON! This is the fraking Master we're talking about, that'll work for about three seconds flat then he'll be free again. Considering that with no real tools or starting point he took over the whole world in 18 months flat and was ready to wage war upon the galaxy in another year how the hell can the Doctor justify that attitude? And when he lies dying in the Doctor's arms and he begs him to regenerate… oy vey.

    One last complaint (I have many, many more but it'd get more boring than this already is) is Martha's departure. It feels… rushed somehow and, again, weak from a storytelling point of view. She's just had a year proving to herself just what she can do and how bad ass she can be yet she leaves because she needs to get out of a relationship that's never going to happen? Here was the PERFECT opportunity to banish all those ridiculous unrequited love moments and move the character on and it's thrown away so cheaply. Actually that sums up the episode for me: wonderful opportunity to pay off the most astonishing run of episodes (Human Nature through Sound of Drums is just about perfect Who) with the best ending since Who came back and it's squandered for a cheap bit of emotional blackmail.

    • nanceoir says:

      That's interesting, that you find Martha's departure weak and cheap.

      For me, I see her going back into the TARDIS to tell the Doctor about her friend, and how this is her "getting out" as her getting out for her own good, because she has to take her own advice, that she has to get out of what is, for her, an ultimately emotionally destructive relationship and not put her life on hold in the hopes that he'll change. And, by telling the Doctor this, she's confronting him a bit ("he liked her") but not blaming him for anything, and that, for me, is such an emotional mature thing to do. Because sometimes, the only way to move on is to take yourself out of the situation, and that's hard.

      Personally, I can't say enough good things about it.

      So, basically… that's interesting, because I've never seen it as cheap.

      • RocketDarkness says:

        For me, at least, it would have meant a lot more if she realized how much of an ass he was and fell out of the crush. The way she describes it, it sounds like she's still crushing but has realized it'll never be.

        • FlameRaven says:

          I don't know that you can just stop loving a person, even if you've realized they're no good for you or it won't work out. I respected her character so much more for the way she left, because she let herself be ignored or pushed around for so long and then was able to stand up and say "You know, I love you, you're amazing, but you don't even think about me and I deserve better." That's hard, and I'm glad she did, because she DOES deserve better. Also because it showed the Doctor what a dick he'd been to her all that time.

      • Anon says:

        I think Martha had to leave, that's where her character arc took her if she hadn't i think i'd be disappointed in her.

      • Stephen_M says:

        Sorry, I didn't express myself clearly in that paragraph. I tend to look at things (especially on reflection after having watched them a couple of times) from a storytelling point of view and from that view, yep I consider this a weak option.

        Why? Simple, it throws away the year (in universe) of character development she just went through. No, sorry, more than that it throws out the entire series and retroactively changes her reason for entering the TARDIS into a simple crush. Here was an opportunity to leave for the right reason, to move on with her own life after having been shown the wonder and terror of the universe and be the magnificent ass-kicker we've seen (sadly not consistently) this season. Heck have her stay home to try and help her family recover from the events they witnessed and remember even though the rest of the world does not. Instead RTD decided to go for blatant emotional manipulation and revisit the love story which, frankly, never worked this season and more often than not got in the way. Worse she actually flunks even that initiative roll by getting out… yet leaving him her phone so she can call him. In other words she hasn't said goodbye at all, she's always got that way of calling him back if she decides to.

        It's just so frustrating especially in this series as it REALLY detracted from what could and should have been a really good companion. We didn't need the unrequited love story, certainly not so soon after Rose, and it was a huge drag on the character. Maybe, given a second season, they could have overcome that but it was not to be. Instead that ending really had a feeling of 'this is the emotional part, now cry damn you, CRY!' about it. At least Rose in the alternate universe pressed to the wall of Torchwood had some genuine emotional wallop that grew from the story.

        • nanceoir says:

          I've never seen, from a story-telling point of view, Martha's exit retroactively changing anything. As you say, the unrequited love storyline was there from the beginning of the series (whether it was a drag or not, well, that can be debated; it clearly wasn't a drag from the producers' viewpoint, at any rate). Had Martha never had any of those moments before and then whipped out her exit speech, that would have retroactively changed things.

          As it is, I tend to think that Martha's initial venture into the TARDIS was half-escapism (all the family ruckus) and half-flirtation (the alleyway scene with Martha and the Doctor is total flirting on both sides).

          And, really, Martha has two exit speeches, one with the logical reasons she's leaving (she's trained to be a doctor, she's seen humanity in dire need of help, she can't not help) and one with the emotional reasons (as previously discussed). And, honestly, I don't think the logical reasons are just a show, even though, considering her second speech, it could be taken that way. I really think the logical reasons make up a part of her decision, while the emotional reasons make up the other part.

          I see the phone thing as the Doctor losing a companion without losing a companion. If that makes sense. It's also Martha telling the Doctor in not so many words that she doesn't blame him for anything's that happened, which I see as a good thing.

          (I was half-tempted to just respond with, "You raise some interesting points, but I LIKE MY TAKE ON THIS LALALALALALA!" But that would be silly. :D)

        • hassibah says:

          The crush storyline throughout the season was definitely my least favourite but I actually thought there was more going on than that. I mean she does say that the world needs her so she's planning to move on to bigger and better things. Plus throughout the season she does realize she's getting the short end of the stick ie she complains about support the doctor in 1969 and when she realizes in 42 that she could die and no one would know what happened. I mean yeah, I wish the whole season hadn't centred on the crush but in spite of that I like how she handled herself.

          I didn't think the ep laid the sappyness on thick except for the bit with 10 crying over the Master. I actually like that the ending didn't end on a really sad note, but to each their own.

    • JoanieM says:

      I laugh at the Doctor's whole deciding to keep the Master and forgiving him. He thinks he's this impartial guy but let's face it: he so isn't. He doesn't treat the Master like any other villain because the Master is emotionally significant to him. The last bit of home. I think Ten just has trouble understanding other people's emotions sometimes. So when he's emotional and wants the Master alive- oh, of course. It's the right thing to do. But when it's, say, the Family of Blood, who do seem to care about each other, no mercy! He's an interesting character but so very flawed.

    • NB2000 says:

      "What happened to 'you get one warning"? "

      Yeah this ending is the sort of thing that makes me roll my eyes when rewatching The Christmas Invasion. "No second chances, I'm that sort of man." Yeah, right.

      • RocketDarkness says:

        Yet another example of Ten being a two-faced, self-serving asshole but not getting called out on it.

        • psycicflower says:

          Exactly. I understand there's an emotional connection because it means he'll no longer be the last Time Lord and that's probably affecting his judgement but it does rub me the wrong way a little in light of the whole 'no second chances' aspect of Ten's personality. Plus I honestly can't see the whole arrangement working out in the long term.

          • Shiyiya says:

            The Doctor in general is pretty indecisive over whether murder and genocide are okay or not. Kill this entire species! Depose Harriet for killing these aliens! Kill this other species!

        • Stephen_M says:

          I hate to say it but… I do at times get the impression that RTD will occasionally sacrifice character integrity on the altar of plot (to be fair I also suspect it's at 3am with a 9am deadline and no other alternative which is kinda understandable). Hence Ten being just a teensy bit inconsistent in his judgement calls and why I will forever rank him pretty close to the bottom of my personal Doctor list despite being so well acted.

      • MowerOfLorn says:

        I've come to the conclusion that Ten's (the Doctor in generally acutally) has a really complex morality, that if he were to examine would realise just doesn't make much sense.

        Some villians, who in the grand scheme of things, aren't that bad, he'll kill without mercy. He'll dish out fates worst than death. But when he comes to the Master, who has just killed billions of humans, was planning on killing trillions of other sentient beings- and has done so in the past…but the Doctor wants him to live. Slashiness and being the last of your species in the universe does not mean you should forgive each other.

    • klmnumbers says:

      I agree with almost everything you said here. I thought the pacing was weak and a lot of the plot twists were bizarre. The Master is amazing, and the scene between him and the Doctor was fantastic. I also got irritated with the deification of 10 throughout this series. I agree that him floating up and reaching out his arms was a bit much. I've never been a big fan of 10, and that moment pretty much encapsulates why. He was too bombastic for me. Ah, well.

      I also agree about Martha. I thought she was a brilliant companion and a truly amazing person. I felt like she never got a shot and left too soon. All of her series dealt with being ignored. First, all of the villains mock her with references to how amazing Rose was. Then, the Doctor inadvertently does with all the references to Rose. Then, when he is John Smith, he ignores her and barely pays attention to her. Then, Martha Jones, without the help of the Doctor spends a year and saves the world.

  3. Openattheclose says:

    Mark, don't forget to watch the Children in Need Special, Time Crash, before you go onto the Christmas Special! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=szuP0oBZX4g

    I love the Master's dance to "I Can't Decide." Here's a Master MVid for you! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4jmN9kUJWT4&fe

    And 44 years in Four Minutes http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l9OnB7dcChw

    And my favorite Doctor Who mvid of all time, "His Name is the Doctor," featuring my favorite music, "This is Gallifrey: Our Childhood, Our Home" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p4YpH6TgqCY It has one little split second shot of the Doctor that you haven't seen yet, but it gives nothing away.

    Edit: I agree with Merrick's post below, watch Caves of Androzini before Time Crash!

  4. Stephen_M says:

    Also Mark, I know you've got your mind made up on your next classic but I'd really really recommend Genesis of the Daleks first while the previous Dalek stuff is still fresh in your mind.

    • maccyAkaMatthew says:

      Genesis of the Daleks isn't available to stream from Netflix, which makes things a bit more complicated.

    • Baz says:

      Seconded. I love Genesis of the Daleks.

      • F.A.R. says:

        Yeah, Genesis of the Daleks is the one I also usually recommend to new Who fans (or New Who fans). It's essential to see a little Fourth Doctor & Sarah Jane, and the Dalek history lesson is worthwhile for any new fan. Besides all that, it's good to see that Daleks were scary even back when they looked like spray-painted trash cans!

      • Hypatia_ says:

        Oh, I adore Genesis of the Daleks. It features one of my favorite Fourth Doctor moments. It's a just a small thing, but it's a perfect demonstration of Four's personality.

  5. Karen says:

    I kind of forget how much I do like this episode until I start talking about it. Then all the themes that I think are so fascinating really start to come up and I remember why I do like it so much. Also, that is something that I love about RTD’s work. On the surface this seems to just be a huge and explosive finale, but there really is a lot more going on with the characters and larger season arcs than it seems.

    First up, I want to talk about Lucy for a bit. Some people have made the point that she’s sort of like the anti-Rose and idk. Maybe there is something to that. Her choice of phrasing in “The Sound of Drums” echoes Rose’s “I made my choice” from Doomsday, I think.

    Lucy Saxon: The thing is I made my choice.

    This is expounded upon more in this episode. With Rose, the Doctor took her across time and space to show her the wonders of the universe. But with Lucy, the Master showed her the horrors of it. It’s not hard to see what that might do to a person.

    <img src="http://i52.tinypic.com/2ptq5w2.jpg"&gt;
    The Master: I took Lucy to Utopia. A Time Lord and his human companion. I took her to see the stars. Isn't that right, sweetheart?
    Lucy Saxon: Trillions of years into the future, to the end of the universe.
    The Master: Tell him what you saw.
    Lucy Saxon: Dying. Everything dying. The whole of creation was falling apart and I thought there's no point. No point to anything. Not ever.
    The Master: And it's all your fault.

    You’ve got to wonder why Lucy turns against the Master in the end. I personally think she was traumatized by the whole experience. First the Master shows her the horrors of the universe and then he basically keeps her captive on the Valiant as she watches him destroy the Earth. Her posture and the way she acts just reminds me so much of someone who has been through a traumatic experience.

    <img src="http://i52.tinypic.com/1zwjdkw.jpg"&gt;
    Moving on to more plot related things…. aaaaaugh. Gollum-Dobby!Doctor! D: WHY, UNCLE RUSTY? I forgive you for Tinkerbell-Jesus!Doctor because at least that’s is still David Tennant and therefore pretty to look at. But the monstrosity of Gollum-Dobby!Doctor is just too much. LOL. Ok, now that that is out of the way, let’s talk about ACTUAL plot and thematic stuff.

    • Karen says:

      The Master: You still haven't answered the question. What happens to me?
      The Doctor: You're my responsibility from now on. The only Time Lord left in existence.
      Captain Jack Harkness: Yeah, but you can't trust him.
      The Doctor: No. The only safe place for him is the TARDIS.
      The Master: You mean, you're just gonna… keep me?
      The Doctor: If that's what I have to do. It's time to change. Maybe I've been wandering for too long. Now I've got someone to care for.

      LOL. DOCTOR. WHAT ARE YOU EVEN DOING? HOW IS THIS A GOOD PLAN? But it totally makes sense in light of the Doctor’s arc this season. He’s just lost so much (Gallifrey, the Time Lords, Rose) that he is desperate to save even the Master, just like he wanted to be able to redeem the Daleks and just like he avoided killing the Family of Blood.

      <img src="http://i51.tinypic.com/28rgjgx.jpg"&gt;
      The Master: Dying in your arms… happy now?
      The Doctor: You're not dying, don't be stupid. It's only a bullet, just regenerate.
      The Master: No.
      The Doctor: One little bullet, come on.
      The Master: I guess you don't know me so well… I refuse.
      The Doctor: [desperate] Regenerate. Just regenerate! Please, please! Just regenerate, come on!
      The Master: And spend the rest of my life imprisoned with you?

      And once again, the Doctor loses everything. Sure, it was just the Master, but the Master was a bit of a constant in his life. It was something of home and life before the Time War. Something that could maybe make him feel at peace.

      The Doctor: Then you know what happens now.
      [the Doctor starts to hover towards the Master]
      The Master: [scared] No! NO! NO! NO!
      The Doctor: [serious] You wouldn't listen…
      The Master: [cowering] NO!
      The Doctor: [serious] 'Cause you know what I'm gonna say.
      The Master: [terrified] No!
      [the Doctor touches down, the glow of light vanishes, the Doctor kneels next to the Master and puts his arms around him]
      The Doctor: I forgive you.

      The idea of the Doctor forgiving the Master like that just reinforces all the religious imagery in this story and throughout series 3. The story between the Doctor and the Master is very much about forgiveness and redemption. Martha is the faithful disciple, walking the Earth telling stories of the man who can save them all. The Master even describes her as “Saint Martha”. I feel like this also ties back to themes that were touched on in Gridlock where rituals like the hymn that all the people trapped on the motorway participate in as a communal experience gives them hope. Here, it is the story of the Doctor that gives people hope and something to believe in which does lead to their salvation.

      <img src="http://i56.tinypic.com/2iacwmb.jpg"&gt;
      Martha Jones: I travelled across the world. From the ruins of New York, to the fusion mills of China, right across the radiation pits of Europe. And everywhere I went I saw people just like you, living as slaves! But if Martha Jones became a legend then that's wrong, because my name isn't important. There's someone else. The man who sent me out there, the man who told me to walk the Earth. And his name is The Doctor. He has saved your lives so many times and you never even knew he was there. He never stops. He never stays. He never asks to be thanked. But I've seen him, I know him… I love him… And I know what he can do

      I think that in a lot of ways, Martha’s arc is about recognizing her own awesomeness and self-worth. She spends a lot of series 3 pining away for the Doctor when he’s clearly uninterested and she seems to view the Doctor as better than her. Even at this point, she is still idolizing the Doctor, in spite of how awesome she’s been that whole year (but I suppose it was necessary to the plot- it was her devotion and hero worship of the Doctor and made her able to inspire others to believe in him). The Master preys on that insecurity.

      The Master: Such a disappointment. Days of old, Doctor, you had companions who could absorb the time vortex. This one’s useless.

      It’s not a storyline that I love, but I see how it was necessary. It’s not that Rose wouldn’t have walked the planet for the Doctor, but to really get the full symbolism and impact, you had to have Martha having this reverential view of the Doctor so that she could be the disciple to his Tinkerbell Jesus. As viewers, WE’VE recognized how awesome Martha Jones is, way back at the beginning of series 3, but Martha’s story was all about being able to recognize her own awesomeness. Anyway, after going through all of that, I think she was able to see how capable and amazing she really is. I think there’s this moment on the Valiant when she really does become fully aware of how amazing she is, when she starts to pretty much laugh in the Master’s face. ILU, MARTHA JONES. So this is what enables her to make that fantastic speech at the end of the episode. Go Martha!

      • Karen says:

        Martha Jones: I spent a lot of time with you thinking I was second best, but you know what? I AM good.

        Damn straight!

        Martha Jones: Cause he never looked at her twice. I mean, he liked her, but that was it. And she wasted years pining after him- YEARS of her life- because while he was around, she never looked at anyone else. And I told- I always said to her- time and time again, I said, “Get out.” So this is me, getting out.

        I love that Martha was able to recognize that she was in an unhealthy situation and had the strength to get out. So while I wasn’t the hugest fan of the way that her character arc played out while she was in the middle of it, the ending is so completely satisfying to me. Martha Jones is fantastic and she finally realizes it and is ready to take her awesomeness to the rest of the world.

        • nyssaoftraken74 says:

          >The Doctor: No. The only safe place for him is the TARDIS.
          >The Master: You mean, you're just gonna… keep me?
          >The Doctor: If that's what I have to do. It's time to change. Maybe I've been wandering for too long. Now >I've got someone to care for.

          >LOL. DOCTOR. WHAT ARE YOU EVEN DOING? HOW IS THIS A GOOD PLAN?

          LOL! Yes! I've thought this myself. The Doctor is planning on keeping the Master captive INSIDE THE TARDIS?! WHAT?! Frankly, it's amazing the Master didn't leap at the opportunity. I mean, in that scenario, the Doctor only has to let his guard down once – just once – and The Master will steal the TARDIS…again. This is a Very Bad Idea (TM).

          But as you say, it's an understandable one, given where the Doctor is, emotionally.

          • PJG says:

            yes to all of this, and to earlier comments too, but reading through it all makes me wonder…. why would the Master NOT want to be "kept" on the TARDIS…. Im starting to think that his "punishment" on the TARDIS would have been to look into the vortex and get the do-over, like the Slitheen becoming an egg. The Doctor would have kept him, and raised him all over again…

    • Scarecrow says:

      I'd assume Lucy Saxon turned o nhim because she became less interetsing over a year and he began beating her. Subtle but Lucy Saxon sports a number of bruises on and around her face during Last of the Time Lords.

      • Karen says:

        I'd guess that too, but I didn't want to outright say it because the episode itself doesn't and I didn't want to make light of real life victims of domestic violence. But yeah. Lucy has definitely been through a lot in this year.

        • Scarecrow says:

          Ten knew about the countdown because he knows The master. The master even says on screen hoew he could "never reists a ticxking clock" or soemthing. It's right there.

    • FlameRaven says:

      So much THIS to the special effects. Old!Doctor is creepy, Dobby!Doctor is freaking terrifying (and the Jesus moment was a little deus ex machina to me… why was that necessary? Why couldn't they just reverse the effect with the laser? Eh.)

      It's the one thing above all that keeps me from rewatching what is otherwise a solid arc, because the effects are so upsetting. I mentioned it before, but when I rewatched this, I made sure I was level-grinding on a video game, so I didn't have to pay attention whenever there were terrible graphics on screen. ):

  6. NB2000 says:

    "I guessed what they were: evolved Daleks."

    I'll probably be beaten to this but it's rather interesting that that's where your mind went. Back when "Dalek" from series one was being written there was a period where it looked like they weren't going to be able to get the rights to use the Daleks so (I think it was RTD himself) came up with another type of alien to use if they couldn't get the Daleks. The alien was what eventually became the Toclafane in these episodes.

    I forgot to mention this in the last post but, I always get inappropriatly gigglig at the word "Toclafane". It sounds so much like Toblerone to me that I just think it sounds REALLY DELICIOUS AND CHOCOLATEY and yeah missing the point of them slightly.

    • Stephen_M says:

      But Toblerone IS the world's only sadistic chocolate… don't believe me, try eating one straight from the fridge! I can see that as a Who villain..

    • NB2000 says:

      As for the episode itself:

      I said it last time, I'll say it again, The Master is a complete evil monster but man does he have good taste in music. Yay Scissor Sisters. On the other hand, after being so savvy about what NOT to do as a villain in the previous episodes (no stopping to chat about his plans in Utopia, not falling for the perception filter in the last one) I'm rather disappointed that he goes and indulges in a ticking clock. Way to trip at the last hurdle.

      Martha is completely awesome but how much do I hate that she didn't get credit and actively refused it. "I am good" Hell yes you are girl! And hello there Tom Milligan, love her checking up on him in the corrected timeline.

      Something I've been wondering having rewatched this, Martha, Tish and their parents were all on the Valiant and all remember the horror of the Year That Never Was. Which makes me feel really bad for Leo who probably DOESN'T remember and is thus going to be very confused by how traumatised his family are.

    • nyssaoftraken74 says:

      The Toclafane make me think of the sphere things from Gerry Anderson's `Terrahawks`, except the spheres were with the good guys and the evil witchy things had the cubes.

      (Hopes I'm not the only one to remember Terrahawks.)

    • Mauve_Avenger says:

      I called them "Toblerone" in a comment on the last review because I'm reading Infinite Jest right now, in which Toblerone seems to be mentioned with surprising frequency.

    • You Are Not Alone says:

      RTD even made a drawing of Eccleston and a Toclafane. It's interesting how the design of the Toclafane remained unchanged from how he had imagined it years previously:
      <img src="http://i53.tinypic.com/2jez0pu.png"&gt;

  7. flamingpie says:

    I was gonna post a whole ramble here in the comments, but I have been waiting for this episode in order to point something out, so I think I'll be doing that now instead.

    Let's look at a few basic facts about Time Lords, shall we?

    Time Lords have very long, possibly infinite lives.

    Time Lords have a lower body temperature than humans.

    Time Lords can manage on significantly less sleep than humans.

    Time Lords have superior senses to humans.

    Time Lords have mild psychic abilities, including some mind reading (ala Girl in the Fireplace).

    Fanon tells us that the Doctor likes to watch Rose sleep.

    And now, of course, we see evidence of a Time Lord sparkling.

    Does this remind you of anything?

    You're… beautiful.

    <img src="http://www.themindrobber.co.uk/sexy-billie-piper-images/rose-billie-piper-new-earth.jpg"&gt;

    Beautiful? I'm a killer, Rose. This is the skin of a killer.

    <img src="http://i51.tinypic.com/211nyg0.gif"&gt;

    (note: if anything here would be considered spoilery by anyone, tell me and I'll edit it. I figured it was all fine as the facts all came either from new Who up to this point or random mentions in old Who/the Expanded Universe)

  8. kaybee42 says:

    So much squeeing through this review! I'm glad you are someone who, like me and many others, overlook the absolute SILLINESS of some moments (Tens Jesus moment! :P) and just see how fracking AMAZING it was πŸ˜€ I love Doctor Who. Just love it. The silly shit, emotional stuff, BAMF moments, hilariousness…god, all of it was in this episode πŸ™‚ so yay!
    And have you seen Time Crash?
    Oh, HAPPY VALENTINES DAY ALL!

    • nanceoir says:

      I know I have some mixed feelings about this episode (Jesus!Ten isn't my favorite thing ever, particular how it ends up looking here), but on the whole, there's a lot that I love. While watching it today, when Martha's using the countdown, I was literally tearing up.

      For me, what ends up happening in a lot of these RTD finales is that emotionally everything's pitch-perfect spot-on, even if the logic or execution is a bit off. That said, I find that I'll happily overlook those things. (The reverse is true, too, I think, that I'll overlook odd emotional connections if the logic and execution are perfect. At least if it's a show that I love. :D)

  9. Albion19 says:

    <img src="http://i53.tinypic.com/2s1lzd2.gif&quot; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic">

    <img src="http://i55.tinypic.com/25jxop4.jpg&quot; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic">

    *CLAPCLAP*

  10. Spugsy says:

    This episode is good, frankly RTD does amazingly well to conclude it all within 45 minutes, but I'm still not entirely happy with the Doctor becoming youthful again just because everyone thinks of him. It bothered me less second time around, but still doesn't make sense to me!

    Oh and I read somewhere the whole Face of Boe thing was meant as a potential theory, not necessarily true. But speaking of Jack, have you still got plans to watch Torchwood?!

    • Shiyiya says:

      Tennant and a few other major players I can't recall off the top of my head have stated they think Jack is definitely the Face of Boe. RTD waffles. (And there are continuity issues if he is, but this is Who, there are continuity issues with everything.)

      • sabra_n says:

        RTD said he put the "Face of Boe" line in as a joke. He was pretty much trolling us, IIRC. He may have decided since then that it's canon, but it definitely doesn't have to be taken that way.

  11. JoanieM says:

    BAMF!Martha!!!! BAMF!Martha dressed all in black is my favorite. I love how intense she is, how unflinching. The scene where she laughs at the Master is so amazing because she outwitted him. The Master was so focused on the Doctor, on the idea of an epic clash between the last two remaining Time Lords that he forgot that what actually is the Doctor's greatest strength (in my opinion, anyway) – that the Doctor has friends, that the Doctor inspires people to be the best they can. We saw it with Rose, especially in the Series 1 finale, and now with Martha, too. She had the strength, the courage and the fortitude to save humanity and the Doctor.

    Also, I love that she saves people by telling stories. It's a bit meta, which often makes me annoyed, but it works so wonderfully here that I LOVE it instead. She tells stories about the Doctor, which gives people hope. In the real world, we're watching stories of the Doctor (and of her telling stories of the Doctor) and it can give us hope. Isn't that the role of stories? To inspire emotion, to inspire strength.

    The Doctor's sadness at being alone is always so sad to me. Poor guy. Ten isn't my favorite, but not because he is "whiny", which is many fan's given reason for disliking him. He has every reason to whine! While I do completely agree that it was right for Martha to leave, that she needed to (and I might have lost respect for her if she had stayed, considering) I still feel so sorry for the Doctor. We often have gotten these glimmers, if not outright stated, that he has a lot of self-hate going on. When he's with a companion, he can at least see some of his awesomeness reflected in them but when he's alone… he's stuck with all the negative thoughts.

    Until, of course, he's distracted by the Titanic πŸ˜€

    • ldwy says:

      I agree. I'm glad Martha found her BAMF and is off to do her thing. But really? I feel like the Doctor has huge stretches of moments where he struggles with self worth even more than Martha did, and that as you say, it stems back to a lot of self hate and internal self-questioning. We've had pieces of how it centered around the decisions he had to make in the Time War.

      I pity the Doctor. I feel bad for him. Imagine being the last of your species. What an end-of-the-road feeling. And then add to that the sadness that comes from knowing, even when you make fantastic friends, that it can never be permanent due to the inherent longevity of your species! That's always looming over your head even when you are happy! I wouldn't want to be in a situation like that. I truly feel sorry for the Doctor, and would like to give him all the Valentine's hugs.

    • FlameRaven says:

      You're right– Ten has every reason to be upset. My issue with Ten is that the more I see of him, the more I realize he's a hypocritical jerkass, and that the longer he spent in the role, the more his character started to suffer from Angst Poisoning. Which was really too bad, because he started out so fun and chipper– I like the Doctor best when he is running around licking random things, not moping over every loss. I feel like the Doctor is sort of in denial here about the simple fact that people die. It happens. It's terrible and you need to grieve… but then you need to move on. I feel like the Doctor is so caught up in Saving People because he lost Rose that he can't move past it and starts trying to save everyone and everything– including the Master, who honestly, is flat-out crazy and had to die if he was going to be stopped from, you know, murdering billions of people and hundreds of civilizations. :/

      • JoanieM says:

        Well, I'm not the person to argue in Ten's favor since he is my least favorite Doctor (and my least favorite New Who main character). I think his stories just disappoint me. He is so flawed and if they had really examined that, it could have been great. But I feel like in this season, and a bit of the one before, they fell into this rut with him. They got so into bad things happening to him and him being angsty about it, the universe screwing him over, that it became almost tedious. That's why I singled out the Martha-leaving moment. It was one of the moments of his angst that really worked for me, maybe because it was so quiet. He wasn't crying in the rain or weeping over a dead body or fondling a wall sadly. He was just standing, in the Tardis, with the reality of being alone again hitting him. It worked, for once. It was quietly heartbreaking. Especially since it was one time where I felt like he did get how his own actions contributed to his present distress- Martha basically told him that staying with him was bad for her and not emotionally healthy. Ouch. Very, very true, but ouch. I just respond to quieter moments more than the loud ones, I guess.

        And oh, Ten, he is so freaking inconsistent with the killing thing. The Sycorax should have been kept alive and it was Very Very Bad thing to kill them, even though they had killed humans. It was fine to kill the werewolf (although apparently amusing to think that the creature survived and was living to the present day, despite killing so many people.) Krillitines- they can die. The cybermen die as humans, which upsets the Doctor greatly. (When they return, though, there seems to be no mentioned of that aspect.) The Wire? Planned to destroy, though we never see him completely do it. It is trapped, though. The Abzorbaloff- kills. The Racnoss- killed but remarked upon and shown to be an at least Somewhat Bad Thing. The blood sucker thing- set up to be killed. The witches? Trapped. Daleks? he always tries to kill all of them except for the mutants, who he tries to save. The Family of Blood? Fate worse than death, aka trapped, which might make the other instances of trapping creatures also fates worse than death. Weeping Angels- sets it up (presumably) for them to trap each other. So I wasn't surprised he flip flopped on the Master. How much mercy he shows seems to have a lot more to do with how emotional he is at the time and how personal it felt for him.

  12. Emily Crnk says:

    I, like you, had completely forgotten the spaceship going to Utopia by this point (TWO WHOLE episodes ago! TOO MUCH!) and the revelation that the toclaphwhatties were actually the PEOPLE… wwwhhhhaatttt
    Things like that just make the nerd in me smile, how cool is the idea of a Paradox machine?

  13. who_cares86 says:

    ["After that, I’ll be delving into classic Who with “The Caves of Androzani,” which is apparently rated even higher than “Blink” and that’s basically impossible so I am very excited to watch it."]

    Hmm better than Blink? Nah I think you need to lower your expectations just a little bit. Sure it's highly regarded but expecting something to be better than Blink will just set you up for disappointment.

    • nyssaoftraken74 says:

      Yes. The Mighty 200 DWM poll was voted for by a wide demographic. There is little doubt that Caves represents one of the pinnacles of Classic Who, and as such has the benefit of The Nostalgia Factor.

  14. Anon says:

    I have to say i though both John Simm and David Tennant were brilliant in this, they really work well together.

  15. juliekrose says:

    I've been a lurker here (and over at Mark Reads HP!) so first I'd like to say thanks for these reviews. It's loads of fun to relive these stories with you.

    RTD tends toward the bombastic and operatic (sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't), and he really gave Simm and Tennant a feast of chewable scenery in this one. This is my favorite of this series-ending three-parter, if only for the Scissor Sisters lip-syncing interlude, which still makes me laugh, and cringe (so. totally. batshit.) every time.

    I'm sure it's been suggested before, but let me add my voice to the chorus: definitely add Life on Mars and Ashes to Ashes to your to-watch list. I think the premise is right up your street.

    (edited because I can spell, really.)

  16. Kaci says:

    When you were talking about how the face of boe freaked you out thefirst time you saw him, all I could think was “but…but jack!”

    The scene where the master refuses to regenerate is why David Tennant wins my personal best actor award hands down. Heartbreaking.

    Also: please watch Time Crash. For you, if not for a review. It is my favorite “episode” of doctor who ever.

    • nyssaoftraken74 says:

      When I saw this episode for the 1st time, and got to `Jack = Face of Boe` all I could think was…Jack wants to basically shag everything that moves and he's going to end up a head in a jar? That's got to be, like, torture! O.O

      Yes, I know. My mind is a very strange place.

      • prideofportree says:

        well, as we leared in Love and Monsters, having a sex life while being a head is fully possible…

        I mean, seeing as the Face of Boe is mentioned becoming pregnant and all…

  17. Amy says:

    Did you know there's a Doctor Who novel that basically is the story of Martha Jones during that year?
    It's a collaboration from a few writers who write for Doctor Who.
    Check it out πŸ˜€

    • nyssaoftraken74 says:

      The Story of Martha available in book form and as an audiobook, read by Freema herself. I have the latter and it's awesome.

  18. Maya says:

    I didn't love this episode…I think it was Tennant!Jesus and the really terrible makeup job on old!Ten that bugged me. But everything having to do with the Master? Fabulous.

    Here's a video of the beginning with the music stripped down so you can hear John Simm: http://thisisgallifrey.tumblr.com/post/2101548286

  19. Albion19 says:

    I loved that Martha "got out," such an empowering moment. That she forgave the Doctor for making her feel second best was amazing, frankly. She's a wonderful character.

    But as a member of the audience? I never, ever want a companion to utter those words again. No companion should be made to feel like that, it's something so against the grain of the show.

    About the Toclafane: The Master didn't create them, they cannibalise themselves, he found them like that.

    OH OH: YOU HAVE TO WATCH TIME CRASH FIRST OMG.

  20. maccyAkaMatthew says:

    Leo was supposed to be part of the resistance, welcoming Martha back and introducing her to Tom Milligan. Unfortunately, Reggie Yates' agent double-booked him and he couldn't make the filming.

    To echo what others have said, the best order would be Caves of Androzani, Time Crash, Voyage of the Damned. But even if you watch Caves of Androzani last (as planned), Time Crash is designed to fit just before Voyage of the Damned. It's less than eight minutes long, though. There's also a seven and a half minute "making of" which is worth a look:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2wQowjsWjwI

    As for Caves of Androzani, it's very good, but there's no definitive way that such different stories can really be compared. I hope its reputation doesn't put you off and you can enjoy it on its own terms.

    For people who want to watch who don't have Netflix or their own copy, here are some legal streaming links:
    http://www.youtube.com/show?p=Ps0e32nFzs0&s=2
    http://www.blinkbox.com/TV/Series/343/Doctor-Who-
    http://www.seesaw.com/TV/Drama/p-10027-Episode-1
    http://video.uk.msn.com/search/caves%20of%20andro

    The YouTube one is probably the best bet for people outside the UK – I suspect the others will only work here.

    If none of the above work for you, then doing a search on Daily Motion should prove fruitful.

    • nanceoir says:

      The Time Crash Confidential is so adorable. I love how all everyone's, all, *OMGSQUEE!!!* and Peter is all rather nonchalant.

      (I think, basically, anything relating to Time Crash renders incapable of saying anything other than, "How adorable!" I wonder if there's a twelve-step program for it.)

    • gaeri says:

      Thanks for providing the links!!!

    • psycicflower says:

      Thank you for the legal links. Just a note that the youtube, seesaw and msn videos are regioned to those outside the UK but blinkbox seems to be working fine.

  21. elusivebreath says:

    Mark, it was so hard waiting all weekend for this episode! We rewatched it last night and I couldn't remember all the details so it was good fun πŸ™‚

    My only complaint is that it felt like the whole "Time's reversing!" thing is a bit of a cop out. Now the show doesn't have to deal with the devastation that the Master caused. I mean, I can see why that might be better, just because that would be a MASSIVE undertaking, but still, I guess I'm just not a fan of the whole "oh, that never happened" thing.

    Everything else, though? PERFECT. Loved Martha, loved Lucy shooting the Master and his refusal to regenerate (Ten always makes me cry ~all the tears~), and particularly loved the whole bit about the Face of Boe.

    All in all, I just LOVE this show <3

    • Scarecrow says:

      But that's why it subverts the cliche. what is reset? The lives of a billion people we never see nor know? BUT for ALL the main characters, everyone who matters within the story, caught at the eye of the storm, it STILL happened. So the effect and impact of the eyar DOES continue on for the stories characters. Genius.

  22. Starsea28 says:

    Martha Jones, everybody. Martha Jones walks the world, spreading the Word (wow, that's not a religious allegory at all) and then LAUGHS IN THE MASTER'S FACE. And then at the end, she turns around to the Doctor and says "No, thank you, I'm better than this. I'm not going to be treated as second best any longer. You could have behaved better but it's okay, I'm moving on." I love the parallels drawn between Rose and Lucy, then Rose and Martha. Rose chooses to stay with the Doctor as Lucy chooses to stay with the Master, but Lucy is abused, both mentally and physically (that was very subtle make up on the eye, well done). She's beaten down until she's practically a zombie but there's still enough human spirit in there for her to stand up when it counts. Rose chooses the Doctor over her mother, her only living relative; Martha, on the other hand, chooses her family. She tells the Doctor that he's not the most important thing in her life now (ironically after a year during which she did nothing but eulogise the Doctor). I think it also has a lot to do with the fact she has a career ahead of her, she has goals. The Doctor WAS Rose's goal.

    Oh God, Tinkerbell Doctor. There was a comic strip about this, I wish I could find it, with RTD expounding on how the Doctor would be restored by the faith of the human race and the power of words and Steven saying "That's… brilliant, Russell!" And then RTD starts babbling on about "and he'll start glowing with light and float across to the Master" and Steven facepalms. Good idea, horrible execution.

    Oh and the Face of Boe comment? Total Asspull. RTD even admits it in the commentary, well, he says you can believe it if you want to. No, Mr Davies, no. It would make a good crack!fic, I agree. But you are not WRITING the crack!fic, you are writing the canon and after an episode in which billions of people have died, it just doesn't work.

    • Karen says:

      The Doctor WAS Rose's goal.
      I think that's unfair to Rose. It wasn't that ~The Doctor~ was Rose's goal. It wasn't just about a romantic relationship. It was about the whole life in the Tardis. Yes, the Doctor is part of that and Rose isn't any less of a strong woman for being in love. But it was more than just that. It was about seeing all of time and space, traveling the universe and saving the day.

      • samarkand_ says:

        Yeah, if being in love with someone and wanting to be with them forever makes you less strong, I'm screwed because I've been married for a long time now and that does sort of involve wanting to be with someone forever, even if it means making some other sacrifices.

        • Starsea28 says:

          I never said it made Rose less strong and I'm sorry if I implied that. Just that the lack of direction in her previous life made her focus very strongly on the Doctor as the answer to that.

        • hassibah says:

          I think more that it's shitty because the doctor had no respect for anyone else that was in Rose's life: he manipulated her into leaving with him to wriggle out of hanging out with her mum and almost put Mickey in prison and insulted him instead of apologizing and then the show treats him like he's the dick for resenting 9 after that. Also he just seems to decide on his own that Jackie is going to live on an alternate universe and never see anyone else she knows ever again. Rose is just one of many people on the show that don't ever seem to question this. Even if Rose wants to abandon everything else about her life, that's not really cool of him.

      • Starsea28 says:

        Yes, life in the TARDIS as personified by the Doctor. He was a massive part of the appeal.

  23. Vicki_Louise says:

    Martha Jones 100% official BAMF!

    I don't really have anything to add that you haven't covered already, so here are some appropriately shocked and surprised animals that have just found out that Jack is the Face of Boe! (I'm soooooo glad no one spoiled that for Mark)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-sgaHRY1qE
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=plWnm7UpsXk
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y8Kyi0WNg40
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4hovBAKn1Zg
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EdfOY82_YsA
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1dwdcxDVDh0
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=opGVNLImgw4
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C_S5cXbXe-4
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XjpQ1qK12is

    I don't know if anyones posted this already but here are the series three out-takes. My favourite is the last one πŸ˜€ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=26UvsRZSqTY

    Also, anyone that has the DVDs you have to listen to the audio commentary for this episode it's hillarious! here are a few moments from it: (i'll see if i can find the full version) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pju-C8nfzrs

    Also, here are David Tennant's video diaries from S3. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=myAQ90WrEG4
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YEW-aEH36gM
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k4ZmM5WyxoE

    Sorry for all the videos, i'm not in a very talkative/expressive mood today for some reason.

  24. jennywildcat says:

    There are so many elements to this finale and I found it difficult to follow the first time through. I had to rewatch the part where the Toclafane and the Paradox Machine and Utopia were all explained because it made my head all asplodey (I don't do well with paradoxes – just tell me it's wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey and I'll go with it!). And I know so many, SO MANY people complain about Crystal-Dragon-Jesus!Doctor – but after the creepiness that is Dobby-Gollum-Raisin-Tweety Bird!Doctor, I'll take the sparkliness (at least, for a little while). Seriously – that little creature is the stinking creepiest thing in the world!

    But here's something I noticed on my last re-watch of this three-parter: This story takes elements from all the episodes of Series 3 (Series 1 and 2 does this as well, but I don't have a detailed list for either season). Consider the following list:

    – The Runaway Bride – Saxon orders the Racnoss ship be shot down; Donna tells the Doctor he needs someone to be with
    – Smith and Jones – "Vote Saxon" posters in the background; Martha saves the Doctor
    – The Shakespeare Code – Words as weapons (Martha tells everyone the story of the Doctor)
    – Gridlock – In "LotTL," The Master scoffs at the idea of people using prayer/calling upon the Doctor – there was a definite religious theme in "Gridlock." Plus, "You Are Not Alone" and the Doctor's description of Gallifrey
    – Daleks in Manhattan/Evolution of the Daleks – A glimpse at the Doctor as he was in the Time War; reminders of that war and that Gallifrey is gone
    – The Lazarus Experiment – The Lazarus technology use to age the Doctor
    – 42 – Francine (Martha's mother) is aiding Saxon in finding the Doctor
    – Human Nature/The Family of Blood – Time Lord Chameleon Arch and the loneliness the Doctor feels
    – Blink – Stable time loop without a paradox machine (Steven Moffat does this much smoother than RTD does, IMHO)

    That's what I found, at least. If anyone has something to add, feel free!

    And one last thing –

    TIME CRASH, TIME CRASH, TIME CRASH – YESSSSS!!! *does happy fangirl dance*

    • nyssaoftraken74 says:

      You missed Victor Kennedy's newspaper headline about Mr Saxon, way back in S2.Ep10

      So did I, the first time, so you could almost say that You Are Not Alone is this. πŸ™‚

  25. Terri says:

    I love this episode for the way it twists and turns within the Messiah narrative, making it work as a story about a Doctor who's been airing increasingly on the godlike side of things and not in a good way. I do get how this story looks kind of stupid. The special effects are frankly embarrassing and I know the religion thing is kind of off-putting for a lot of people. I've always really into religion and myth, despite being an atheist, so that aspect didn't bug me. I think about the Passion; I think about Aslan, shaved and chained; I think about Steven Baxter in RTD's Second Coming. Because that's actually a really, really good story: Imagine seeing the most wonderful thing in creation broken on the altar, for the sake of all the world. Every single person saved, whether they deserve it or not. So I love it for that, because that's an awesome story no matter what, you know? I haven't been to Mass in years, but that still resonates with me.

    But even more than that, I think it's the perfect ending to the Doctor's arc in this season. In a season in which nearly every story questions what it means to be human, in which the Doctor gets scarier every week, in which he shuts down his human heart until there's almost nothing left: this is the best ending I can imagine. I think even more than the religious stuff, that's the key to this season. It's the Doctor getting father and farther into his god bullshit; getting ever closer to becoming unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. It's ugly and hard because he has to get worse as time goes on. (The way he treats Martha, the scary shit he pulls with the Family of Blood–I think his escalating douchery actually has a purpose.) It isn't a story about healing– it's what happens when the Doctor leaves his human heart too far behind. So when he's finally redeemed, I don't think it's really about the Doctor as Tinkerbell Jesus, per se. It's more about the grace in kneeling down and allowing himself to be brought low. And even more, it's about the human strength that saves him and the way it was forged: in stories, in hope and love, and yes, in faith. The reason the Master dies is he's too far into the god side of things: he doesn't know what it is to be human, so he never sees Lucy or the Archangel plan coming. The Doctor almost forgets, but in the end he remembers: he puts his fate into the hands of humans once again, and is saved.

    Plus, John Simm dancing + Martha's infinite badassery + the hot doctor she meets along the way are like three of the best things in Who-dom. Automatic A for those things alone!

    • Starsea28 says:

      Tom Milligan is bloody awesome.

    • juliekrose says:

      I find it fascinating, the different ways RTD explores messianic/religious/existential themes – he covers them in a lot of different works, including the miniseries The Second Coming with Christopher Eccleston: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0353104/

    • Karen says:

      I AM religious and I too really love the Messianic themes explored in this story. I think that Doctor has been through a lot this past series. After losing Rose, he was in a bit of a downward spiral: drowning spider babies, treating Martha poorly, trying to redeem the Daleks, the stuff with Joan etc. It hasn't been a good time for him. And I think that in this episode we just see him so desperate to reconnect with the Master. He needs to save SOMETHING.

    • nyssaoftraken74 says:

      >I love this episode for the way it twists and turns

      Can I just say, `It twists and turns like a…twisty turny thing`?

      Thanks. πŸ™‚

  26. __Jen__ says:

    <img src="http://i51.tinypic.com/2qbuhxz.gif&quot; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic">

    <img src="http://i52.tinypic.com/mb4kue.jpg&quot; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic">

    <img src="http://i52.tinypic.com/14vkaco.jpg&quot; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic">

    <img src="http://i55.tinypic.com/rli6nt.jpg&quot; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic">

    <img src="http://i55.tinypic.com/o9oemv.jpg&quot; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic">

  27. petite-dreamer says:

    Now that they are unspoilery, moar Doctor Who/Horrible videos for your enjoyment!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BqmHv5Fzqbg http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H_BM-db3m7E&fe

    …and, um, for future use, how do I embed videos? *sheepish*

  28. jackiep says:

    Respectfully suggest watching Androzani first. There is a big break between the end of the series and Christmas, so that's the natural break point. Androzani is directed by Graeme Harper, who is the only Classic Who director to have directed on the new version and this shows why, as quite simply it does not look like it was shot in the year that it was, it looks and feels like it was done 10 years later (apart from some of the special effects of course). Then watch Time Crash before Voyage of the Damned πŸ™‚

    The scene with the Master dancing on the Valiant was really chilling. The impression was given that they've all gone through this every day, with the threats, the implied violence, Lucy's black eye indicating that her marriage has become the stuff of nightmares. In fact, just how broken Lucy was was fascinating. She really is the mirror companion. The Doctor seems to turn his companions into something awesome. The Master totally broke Lucy down. Other violence is artfully implied, how many times had Jack been tortured to death? How many times had the Master threatened to force himself on Tish? (How many times HAD he forced himself on Tish?). "One Year Later" doesn't even begin to suggest the full horrors of that year for those living at the Master's whim on the Valiant. Yikes.

    And wasn't it nice to see Creet again in the Toclafane? Bet he didn't expect THAT when he won the Blue Peter contest!

  29. arctic_hare says:

    CITIZENS REJOICE

    THIS COMMENT STANDS ON HIGH

    DISPLAYING TWO GIFS

    <img src="http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v516/Libertis/DW3x13-MasterCantDecide1.gif&quot; border="0" alt="Photobucket">

    <img src="http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v516/Libertis/DW3x13-MasterCantDecide2.gif&quot; border="0" alt="Photobucket">

    That scene is my favorite thing about the episode. <3 Which… okay, so I'm not the biggest fan of the episode, but I think this says more about the awesomeness of this bit, really, because I've watched it about a zillion times and it never gets old. The song is perfect, Simm is just so hilariously magnificent as the Master, I love how he has the dog dish and all for Ten, always cracks me up… yeah, it's a brilliant bit of comedy. More villains need to be this fun to watch!

    Because really, if I were a world-conquering megalomaniac, this kind of shit is exactly what I'd do.

    Anyway, though, in more serious news, there is something WE REALLY HAVE TO TALK ABOUT. I mean, just LOOK AT THIS-

    <img src="http://valhalla.antipyretic.net/who/vlcsnap-231403.png"/&gt;

    THAT IS AN EGREGIOUS VIOLATION OF HOUSE ELF RIGHTS IF I EVER SAW ONE. First of all, he's locked in a cage like a common pet! Second, those are clothes he's wearing. Clothes! Presenting a house elf with clothes means he's free, something I doubt just slipped the mind of Mr. Prime Minister Harold Saxon over there. We have to notify SPEW of this at the very least, does anyone have their contact info on hand? I refuse to let this appalling injustice stand. Down with Saxon!

    And then there's this.

    <img src="http://i51.tinypic.com/2552cl0.png&quot; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic">

    <img src="http://i51.tinypic.com/143f1bn.jpg&quot; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic">

    Much like Katniss in THG, I wish that I could doubt that this ever happened due to the fact that he's glowing. Unfortunately, I have no such refuge, and cannot deny it was real. Alas, I must settle for trying to forget the sheer WTFery that is Ten turning into some kind of fluorescent fairy. This is one nightlight that won't be kept on in the birdhouse of my soul, I'll tell you that much. And why was he suddenly able to use the Force to knock away the laser screwdriver?

    The Toclafane reveal was appropriately horrifying and sad, I really liked that. Martha was just a BAMF at multiple points, especially when she had the guts to just laugh at the Master after all he'd done, when she was kneeling defenseless in front of him. I like that the Master's genre savviness ended up coming back to bite him in the ass, and I like the idea of turning the Archangel Network against him. I just don't like how it was executed. All that marvelous build-up and then… this disappointing, unsatisfying mess of a conclusion. There were good bits mixed in there, but overall it's just a big letdown, and that makes it worse for me.

    Praise be to Martha for walking away. I've seen people call her "whiny" and "ungrateful" for what she says, for her reason for leaving. I couldn't disagree more. Why should she put up with being treated like dirt by someone who's supposed to be her friend? It's not about him not returning her feelings, it's about him treating her with respect regardless, which he hasn't done. Even right here, after all that she did in the Year That Never Was, he doesn't even say anything when she tells him that she's not second best, that she is good. Adventures through all of space and time are nice, but I wouldn't want to have them with someone who viewed me as second-best and treated me the way Ten treated Martha. I can't blame her for leaving, I wouldn't want to stick around for more of that either. I'd love to travel with a Doctor myself and have adventures, but quite frankly it would not be Ten I'd go with. In the end, this episode has some good things in it that I really like, but it's not enough to save it from its own ridiculousness. It ends up casting a pall over the entire arc, which makes me sad, as I really do love Simm's Master and think he's a fantastic villain.

    Don't know what to make of the "Jack = Face of Boe" reveal. It's so bizarre.

    • NB2000 says:

      "THAT IS AN EGREGIOUS VIOLATION OF HOUSE ELF RIGHTS IF I EVER SAW ONE."

      ROFL oh god that whole paragraph is win!

      • MowerOfLorn says:

        I'm am now currently imaging a fanfic where the Master accidently tears a rip between the Whoinverse and Potter-verse and Hermione comes to lay some smack down on the Master. Meanwhile the Doctor's just like "HOW ARE YOU REAL?!?" but all the wizards think he's just a poor deluded house-elf.

    • __Jen__ says:

      Oh Woody, your face says it all.

      Fantastic job summing up all my thoughts, once again. πŸ™‚ DobbyJesusDoctor is something I really can't get over. It's the major thing that sticks out in my head with this finale, besides MARTHA'S ABSOLUTE FUCKING BAMFNESS. Like Mark said, she is now a hero in her own right and has honestly moved beyond the role of Companion. Rewatching has done wonders for my memory of a lot of the awesome aspects of this series end and John Simm as the Master was totally one of them. The Doctor's reactions to him at the end, much less awesome for me, but you can't win them all.

      In sum, this episode:
      <img src="http://i53.tinypic.com/hsrytv.jpg&quot; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic">

    • Starsea28 says:

      Wow, thanks for that Woody screencap, I'm definitely going to save it for future reference.

  30. NB2000 says:

    "I think this makes me very hesitant about the Doctor's plan to keep the Master on the TARDIS (the poor girl was treated terribly as the paradox machine)."

    Now I'm imagining that if the Doctor HAD gone through with that plan the TARDIS would have tried to throw the Master out somehow, like how she tried to get away from Jack in Utopia. (My mind goes to weird places sometimes).

    • psycicflower says:

      After seeing just a few seconds of the Master laughing while he changes her with a blow torch, it wouldn't surprise me in the slightest. I'm now seeing her changing about her internal layout so that the Master is trapped in the furthest corner and guaranteeing he'd never get out and no one could ever find him again.

      • NB2000 says:

        I actually put that moment in my notes for the episode: "Oh god the Master in his gloves and apron like an evil butcher in the TARDIS". Yeah she'd never go for this whole idea of him staying on board after that sort of treatment. She so would rearrange herself like that.

        • __Jen__ says:

          She would rearrange herself, and cause things to malfunction just as he was going to use them. Like a toilet, or shower, or cupboard, etc. He would never get a moments peace.

          • NB2000 says:

            You know, I've changed my mind, now I kind of wish they had gone through with it just for the antics of TARDIS vs. The Master.

            That or look for fanfic of it.

            • psycicflower says:

              I believe you mean the antics of TARDIS pwning the Master. He wouldn't stand a chance. Of course when the Doctor asks she'll just pretend it was a just a simple mistake or that the Master is just making it up to make her look bad. He is evil after all.

              • NB2000 says:

                You're absolutely right, he's completely outmatched.

              • MowerOfLorn says:

                My bets are that she'd refuse to land anywhere interesting where the Master could hurt anyone, until the the Doctor was driven so insane with boredom that he needed to do something.

                • psycicflower says:

                  She didn't mean to land on that barren lifeless planet. Or than one that only had microscopic life forms. Or that moon with no atmosphere. Navigational mistakes are made all the time. It's really not her fault. Honestly.

  31. nyssaoftraken74 says:

    I have a lot to say about this story, so be prepared for long consequtive posts…

    Firstly, about the `Reset Button` as I've seen this ending referred to.

    There's nothing wrong with a Reset Button, as long as there are still consequences at the end of the story. In fact, I would go as far as to say that if the consequences are sufficiently big, then it isn't a Reset Button at all!

    So, let’s look at some of the consequences:

    The Doctor: Having briefly entertained the hope that there might be another of his kind – albeit one he would have to keep prisoner and watch like a hawk for the rest of eternity – he is once more the Last of the Time Lords. The emotional wounds of the Time War have been given a rather unhealthy does of salt poured into them and he is both literally and figuratively alone.

    Lucy Saxon: Shot and killed the Master in cold blood – that has consequence all its own, besides any judicial enquiry that might result from these events.

    Martha Jones: Travelled the world alone during the Year of Hell. Always on the run. Always hunted. Surviving flood, fire and famine. (For more, read or listen to `The Story of Martha`.)

    The Jones Family: Tortured and humiliated for a whole year – it's going to take a long time to come to terms with what happened. And let's not forget Leo! He was outside the `eye of the storm` when time reversed. How is he going to relate to what the rest of his family went through? To him, that year never happened. It's like he had a specific place in his family, but the shape has now changed – overnight from his perspective – so he doesn't quite fit anymore. How is that going to affect his relationship? In a way, he's now an outsider in his own family.

    Captain Jack: Who knows how many devious and sadistic ways the Master used to kill him over and over before he got bored and just had him chained up?

    The Master: Having survived millions of Daleks in the Time War, he is brought down by one caged Doctor and killed by a `lowly human`.

    The World: The Year of Saxon might have been erased, but the world still saw the US President assassinated by the UK Prime Minister. That's huge all by itself!

    So, with such massive and all-encompassing consequences to all the major characters and the Earth…are we still going to call this a Reset Button? Really? I vote no.

    • Karen says:

      I 100% agree with this comment. It's not really a reset button because there are still repercussions for all the major characters. None of their histories got rewritten. It's only a reset for the general population of Earth. So yeah, I DON'T think that this is lazy writing at all. There are lasting effects of the events of this episode.

    • samarkand_ says:

      *clap clap clap*

      Fandom loves its buzzwords, but they are so often misapplied. See my little PEDANTIC LECTURE below about "deux ex machina."

    • Starsea28 says:

      Lucy Saxon: Shot and killed the Master in cold blood – that has consequence all its own, besides any judicial enquiry that might result from these events.

      Yeah, but given that the world just saw the US President being assassinated by the Prime Minister AND he was abusing her… I would think they'd cut her some slack. I mean, she did the world a favour!

  32. nanceoir says:

    Mark, I'm so glad you came away with a positive view of this episode. Among my Whovian friends, it's… not well-loved. (Then again, neither is Martha, to which I have to say, "Haters gonna hate," 'cause Martha rocks.)

    Emotionally, this episode hits the mark. I mean, when I'm tearing up at Martha's big post-laughing-at-the-Master speech, when I've seen the series rather a few times, well, that's spot-on.

    One thing from the Confidential episode (that was a lot of Martha montagey goodness) that made me giggle was this choice bit from John Simm, about his death scene: "What I remember from that scene is David Tennant's man stubble in my eye."

    And, if there's anyone who finds themselves in need of some Tennanty goodness, his appearance on Top Gear is fun and charming and fits in nicely right about here.

    • Karen says:

      Billie's appearance on Top Gear is pretty charming too!

      (Although I'm currently boycotting Top Gear due to Hammond being a completely racist asshole a few episodes ago.)

      • Anon says:

        I've stopped watching it too. I don't mind Clarkson at least he knows he's a bit of a twat, Hammond just pisses me off cause he's that kid that just goes along with the bully.

      • Shiyiya says:

        …Billie Piper on Top Gear what? This I have to track down. (We get BBC America and my dad watches it. For the cars – he rebuilt his first engine at 14! And I occasionally watch with for the hehe they're WRECKING cars.)

        The shit about the mexican cars was ridiculous. Yeah they're equal opportunity (and generally amusing) assholes, but you can be an asshole without being a *racist* asshole.

        ETA: Have you seen this article about it? http://www.guardian.co.uk/tv-and-radio/2011/feb/0

    • __Jen__ says:

      I will have to track down the Confidential episode for the Martha montagey goodness! Thanks for the tip.

  33. csq says:

    This episode really made Martha stand out as a companion for me. She deserved an episode like this, and she managed to travel the world alone for a year, to save it and the people she loved.

    Made this one for the occasion, since the master is one of my favourite villains πŸ˜€ (and he does that first spin so amazingly)
    <img src="http://img59.imageshack.us/img59/1420/dwdance.gif"&gt;

  34. kaleidoscoptics says:

    RTD is great at making lots of allusions to some unseen events or places that are never touched on, but are intriguing and make the world feel more fleshed out. We'll never see the radiation pits of Europe, but hearing about them makes your mind start to imagine it. It's the same with a lot of the elements of the Time War and the 'between the episodes' adventures. Sometimes RTD goes a bit overboard with it (as he does with a lot of things) but generally these little elements are done really elegantly.

    • psycicflower says:

      Agreed. Every little tidbit about the Time War makes me more and more curious. It does also make you very curious about what potentially happend to you and you're own country during the Year That Never Was.

  35. nyssaoftraken74 says:

    This is an extract from The Writer's Tale 2: Russell talks about his writing style, with particular reference to The Sound of Drums. (There are 1 or 2 spoilers for this conclusion, so I had to wait until today.( This is going to be long. Brace yourselves…

    Sometimes, I swear, I can sit and watch things like a viewer, like it's all happening as new right in front of me. I can watch my stuff and get this disconcerting draught of… well, of how it must look to other people, sometimes. Of how unplanned it all seems. Like I'm making it up as I go along. I'm refusing, on screen, to do all those normal things that would make an episode more coherent, with a beginning-middle-end wholeness. It really struck me when the Doctor discovers the Archangel Network. That comes completely out of the blue. I mean, completely! It could have been foreshadowed – Saxon could have been talking to the Cabinet about his satellites, for example. More significantly, with the entire world hypnotised, it's interesting how little the Doctor even asks, "How is the Master doing this?" Technically, this is a major plot strand, but I'm more interested in running on, to find new things. You're left with this Hugely Important Network that it only discovered…in the exact moment that it's revealed to be Hugely Important! No warning, no ground-laying, nothing. Then, to make it even odder it's dispensed with in the same scene. And I'm being casual with a plot element that, in the next episode, saves the world. That's bordering on reckless!

    It's the same with the discovery of the Valiant. The Doctor opens a door…and there it is! But actually, look back, when did the Doctor last worry about where the TARDIS is? I'm not sure he's even mentioned it at all. And neither has the Master. And then we discover that the Master has turned it into a Paradox Machine…well, we had no sign of that, did we? Where were the traditional scenes of the Master plotting with Lucy, or the Toclafane? "Soon my Paradox Machine will be complete," etc. I don't use any of the available opportunities to explain anything, or to make the structure clear, or to reassure people that there's a plan at work here.

    • nyssaoftraken74 says:

      The Valiant is another good example. That's not just the reveal of a ship; it's the reveal of a different world order in Doctor Who. In one, big picture, I'm transforming UNIT from a secret society to a massive, expensive, sci-fi organisation, `protecting the skies of planet Earth`! Have I seeded it in? Built up to it? Given any sort of notion that this is the world in which UNIT now exists? No, I just throw it in as brand new. And then I don't dwell on it. I move on. Actually, the next thing you discover is that the Master helped to design the Valiant, which is massive – that's what allows the TARDIS/Paradox Machine to be in place, and the whole plot revolves around that – but it's thrown away. It almost sounds like a gag, to make his wife laugh.

      What I'm saying is, I can see how annoying that looks. I can see how maddening it must be, for some people. Especially if you're imposing really classical script structures, and templates, and expectations on that episode, even unconsciously. I must look like a vandal, a kid, or an amateur. No wonder some people hate what I write.

      Of course, I'm going to win this argument. (Did you guess?) Because the simple fact is all those things were planned. All of them were my choice. They're not lazy, clumsy, or desperate. They’re chosen. I can see more traditional ways of telling those stories, but I'm not interested. I think the stuff that you gain from writing in this way – the shock, the whirlwind, the freedom, the exhilaration – is worth the world. I've got this sort of tumbling, freewheeling style that somersaults along, with everything happening now – not later, not before, but now, now, now. I've made a Doctor Who that exists in the present tense. And I think that's exactly like the experience of watching Doctor Who. It's happening now, right in front of your eyes! If you don't like it, if you don't join in with it, then…blimey, these episodes must be nonsensical. But those classical structures can be seen in Primeval, in Merlin, in all of them – and yet we stand with millions more viewers. And I think that's partly why. So, ha!

      (No breach of copyright is intended. I simply wanted to present Russell's case in Russell's own words.)

      • swimmingtrunks says:

        Thanks for this. It's… enlightening, even if I don't agree with his reasoning. I don't agree that the deliberateness of a decision gives it more merit, and I always get the feeling of pretentiousness when someone thinks that bucking tradition automatically gives them some sort of legitimacy. That "in the now" idea of storytelling is not that revolutionary- I would go so far as to say it's the popular thing to do these days. This is why current media is riddled with pop culture references that aren't going to age well, why society is obsessed with reality stars only to discard them after their season of relevancy expires.

        It's not so much that I want scenes that take time out to explain what's going on, but I really don't think you have to sacrifice a pace that keeps you "somersaulting" along to lay groundwork for an idea that will make your work more comprehensible. If you don't, yes, it's going to look like a sloppy ass-pull and saying you intended that does not really make it any better for me.

  36. Nikki says:

    Wow, for the first time I can actually say I was not prepared! I seriously didn't expect the story to go the way it did. Martha traveling around the globe for a year! Becoming a legend and surviving many battles. It's AMAZING! Martha kicks so much ass. I like her SO much more than Rose now. (I still absolutely HATE that crush she has on the Doctor and I think it added nothing to the story just irritated the hell out of me. However, I am so very proud of her for recognizing her situation and *choosing* to get out. Go Martha! <3)

    Everything to do with Martha's journey around the world is love. Everything else, however, was kind of.. meh. I really wasn't a fan of the Doctor's magical transformation at the end. And the psychic energy explanation was just..a bit on the cheesy side, as was its execution on screen. The Doctor's distress over the Master dying was well played, though. I liked it.

    As far as Jack being the Face of Boe goes… I honestly don't know how to feel about that..

  37. kaleidoscoptics says:

    IMO this is one of those finales where RTD's ambition overwhelmed him. I LOVE the premises in it. A story that saves the world, the ultimate paradox of the humans from the end of the universe destroying their ancestors, the conclusion of Martha's character arc. But somehow it just doesn't come together well. There are scenes that I like, but it feels awkward and jumpy, as if there are bits missing. The rest is just way too much Narm for me to stomach.

    In the end, though, it's all Martha. She's come such a long way from the uncertain medical student to the BAMF savior of Earth (let's face it, SHE did all the work), and I love her to pieces for it.

  38. Nikki says:

    Aw, you say everything I want to say, only a million times better! I agree with it all! I wasn't sure how to feel about Martha at first and I HATED her unrequited love, but in the end I love her to death, by far more than Ten! Between the two of them, she is so much the bigger person to me. I'm actually kind of irritated at Ten for never apologizing to her. He must have known what he was putting her through. =/

  39. psycicflower says:

    I may love you forever for that reference.

  40. Angie says:

    I agree with other posters recommending the order of The Caves of Androzani, then Time Crash followed immediately by Voyage of teh Damned.

    I can't wait for you to "meet" one of my favorite Doctors!

    • Starsea28 says:

      I love the Fifth Doctor, too. Far too much, actually, as he left when I wasn't even eighteen months…

  41. Karen says:

    THIS IS A SLIGHTLY OFF TOPIC COMMENT, BUT WHATEVER IT IS VALENTINES DAY. So to all of you commenters here, I present this e-card.

    <img src="http://bbcamerica.com/media/doctor-who/images/ecard-03.jpg"&gt;

    It's been a pleasure watching a discussing Doctor Who with y'all.

    • kaleidoscoptics says:

      Aww Dalek. I saw this one on Tumblr earlier:

      <img src=http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lgh7k2ko7X1qbfrk2.jpg>

      • flamingpie says:

        ew, the effects on this just makes Eleven look GROSS. Why would they do that? XD

        • kaleidoscoptics says:

          To make us feel like we were sent back in time and were looking at late-90s jpg files? I have no idea, man, but it does make me have flashbacks to the era of dialup.

    • Yep, you can get them all on the bbc site, though some of them might count as Spoilery for series 5.

    • Hypatia_ says:

      Not a DW one, but this reminded me of Mark and one of his favorite phrases for characters he hates.
      <img src=http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd161/DanaanMI/181604_10150112959404617_103137454616_6096889_2172015_n2.jpg>

    • turtle_turtle says:

      Karen, your comments are always my very favorite.

      *HIGHFIVES*

  42. Bilbo-sama says:

    I'm de-lurking to add in on the #-ing for Caves of Androzani – Time Crash – Voyage of the Damned.

    Random fact that you probably know by now: Peter Davison's 5th Doctor is David Tennant's favorite and is basically the reason why he went into acting.

  43. carma_bee says:

    I know it’s generally the unpopular opinion, but I actually enjoy this episode, even with the somewhat corny Tinkerbell Doctor part at the end. I think it's a fine ending to the season.

    Bloopers: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9wfDtXjnUkw
    David and Cake!:
    <img src="http://i51.tinypic.com/vpvrqt.jpg&quot; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic"> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dSyg5J0J4eE

    Some behind the scenes on Mini Doctor:
    <img src="http://i54.tinypic.com/344pjc9.jpg&quot; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic">
    <img src="http://i51.tinypic.com/21oxamv.jpg&quot; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic">

    <img src="http://i53.tinypic.com/mhr9k9.jpg&quot; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic">
    Oh yeah…

    And last but not least…
    <img src="http://i53.tinypic.com/e8rbyd.jpg&quot; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic">
    <img src="http://i54.tinypic.com/2cqd5jq.jpg&quot; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic">

    ALSO, something REALLY worth listening to is the audio commentary for this episode. It’s on the DVD in the UK but not in North America, sadly. But thankfully, it’s online, woo! It’s David, Freema, and John, and it is really hilarious. There’s lots of laughing and references to stuff, and John does an impression of Yoda, and him and David reveal that they’ve seen Madonna together. No spoilers for future episodes. http://www.david-tennant.com/sitebuildercontent/s

  44. Neon Prodigy says:

    Ah, I loved this three parter season finale.

    And now we move on to my personal favorite season of Doctor Who.

    I am excite!

    Also, I just want to leave this here, though I don't know how to put images into comments here, so I'll just give the url: http://roflrazzi.files.wordpress.com/2011/02/e066

    When I saw this, I figured: Mark loves Doctor Who, Mark loves the X-Files. Match made in heaven πŸ˜€

  45. Randomcheeses says:

    Here: the most fantastic tribute to the Master ever.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D4gJuwGdBIg

  46. trash_addict says:

    My promised comment:
    HOLY HOT TOM ELLIS.

    Did he make up for the lack of Reggie, just a little? Because in my case the lust he inspired in this episode led me to discover my spirit animal, in the show Miranda:
    <img src="http://29.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lghfn5eMJj1qablyvo1_500.gif&quot; alt="">

    ETA:
    <img src="http://30.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lftr0qurDJ1qzeapgo1_500.gif&quot; alt="">
    Miranda's gift to us all. I can't find him dressed up in period costume…

    One more because HEY I NEVER DO THIS and Tumblr keeps coming up with the goods:
    <img src="http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lerpl6YLFY1qdrcsuo1_500.jpg&quot; alt="">

  47. Hotaru-hime says:

    Aren't you going to review series 5? You must! You absolutely must!!!!
    I never quite understood why Lucy Saxon shot the Master. There never seemed to be any reason.

    • psycicflower says:

      It's implied that he's been treating her badly, both physical abuse and openly cheating on her. She appears to have a bruise on her eye and at one point in the episode he's asking another woman to massage him and rather pointedly asking Lucy if she's met her and that she and that girl should be friends. In the end she even chanted the Doctor's name right along with everyone else so I'd say it's safe to assume that the Master was no longer the loving husband he appeared to be back when he was elected.

    • Tauriel says:

      Of course he must review Series 5, it's the best so far! πŸ˜‰

  48. Tauriel says:

    FINALLY I can post this amazing picture by the wonderful Amy Mebberson:

    <img src="http://fc00.deviantart.net/fs24/f/2007/310/2/f/2f99a98df0ada74c.jpg"&gt;

    πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

    Also: MARTHA JONES + TOM MILLIGAN FOREVAH!!!!!!! <3 <3 <3

  49. feminerdist says:

    You know what's strange, I've seen this episode many times on BBC America or Syfy, but when I watched it on Netflix this week, there were a lot of scenes that I had never seen before. I mean, A LOT. I wonder if network tv just cut some scenes for time or what? I had never seen that bruise on Lucy Saxon's face before, which is really important to leave out, in my opinion. Her being an abused woman completely helps the audience understand why she shoots Saxon at the end. It's also a very interesting parallel to the Doctor's companions, since the Master abuses his companions. There were a few more smaller scenes, but more than once in this episode I kept saying "whoa, where'd THAT scene come from?!" I don't remember having that reaction to many other episodes of Doctor who either.

    • nyssaoftraken74 says:

      That'll be because this episode was about 5mins longer than normal. So it would have been cut to fit in the usual timeslot.

    • PeterRabid says:

      "Doctor Who" is not meant to be watched with commercials. To make time for breaks, American networks sometimes cut quite a bit from "Doctor Who." A lot of episodes are 42-45 minutes, so they stay intact, but a lot of specials/finales are 50-60 minutes and they suffer a lot from cuts. You will definitely notice more as we go along. In "Planet of the Dead" they cut out a vitally important piece of foreshadowing. "The Eleventh Hour" is usually completely butchered.

      • sabra_n says:

        The Skiffy version of "The Empty Child" is notorious for cutting the nanogenes scene, which only explains…well everything about the denouement.

        • flamingpie says:

          Totally unrelated but this happens with a LOT of UK shows here in the US. When the Mighty Boosh aired on the US, they cut the curtain scenes along with several more. There were a LOT of jokes that made very little sense without them. My particular favorite being the fact that in one episode, to US the credits seemingly out of nowhere feature Noel Fielding dancing about in dressed as a hedgehog. granted this is the boosh so i bet no one questioned it, but still. it WAS explained in the cut opening. XD

      • Amanda says:

        Yes, when they broadcast this episode on BBCA they cut the Scissor Sisters bit πŸ™

  50. trash_addict says:

    On a non-squeeing-over-pretty-men note: I love Martha's departure. I don't know if I did the first time I watched it. But about, oh, two months ago, I extricated myself from the Doctor-Martha-ish relationship that I've mentioned on here before. I did it in a fairly similar way to her, too, by telling him exactly why I was doing it. I didn't have to make the choice not to travel all through time and space though, so that's alright, but on re-watching I appreciated the strength it took from her to step away and say goodbye – to look after herself. I feel a lot more of a connection to Martha these days, and it helps me appreciate her character more than I did during the first run.

  51. Caroline says:

    Yup. I was right. You were not prepared. XD

  52. Shiyiya says:

    I am having such a hard time reconciling the Master in Old Who with the Master in New Who. They're both great, but they're very…. disparate.

  53. Roxanne says:

    This was pretty much my face at the Face of Bow revelation:
    <img src="http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lga26ovtax1qdlj86.gif&quot; alt="what" />
    Followed by a loud outburst of "ARE YOU FUCKING SHITTING ME?!?!?"

    That part blew my mind. In fact, my mind is still blown.

    • Roxanne says:

      *Boe* not bow.

      I fail so much.

    • fantasylover12001 says:

      Heh. I kind of went like "WHAT?!" and just pointed to the screen with my mouth open. I pretty much stayed that way till the end of the ep trying to process it and trying to figure out the story behind how Jack becomes a giant head in a jar. Someone should write a fanfic about this, assuming someone hasn't already…

  54. Karen says:

    Just letting you know that I'm deleting this comment because it contains a mild spoiler.

  55. prideofportree says:

    omg love on that.

  56. kytten says:

    I love this show too. I would have babies with this show if that were physically possible.

    Oh and HELLO everybody! In a non-fandom note I want to say happy commercial-butchering-of-a-medieavel-saint day (valentines, google what happened to Saint Valentine sometime), and inform you that not only do I have a new addition to my rubber duck collection that is BIGGER THAN MY HEAD but that I am wearing a cow-print all-in-one pyjama's and my beloved is manfully trying to find me attractive as I prance round the house dressed like a six-year-old. He is failing. Also, I'm really very drunk. Not that anyone cares, but still.

  57. totiebinds says:

    Why? Because it's fun.

  58. hassibah says:

    1st: oh shit THAT's who the Scissor Sisters are.

    2: Next, this ep before I read the comments:
    From reading the spoiler blog I get the sense that a lot of people think this ep is a major letdown and I kind of get that, but it's still my favourite finale of the RTD era. So there's serious problems with how Martha's family was treated here and I'm sure someone else has gone into detail about that by now but as far as storytelling goes I totally think it's the strongest of the four.
    The whole tinkerbell/doctor story was over the top but that didn't do much to take away from my enjoyment of it and dudes I'm sorry but when 10 went over and hugged the Master and he was all No no, NOOOOO I just about died, I will love RTD forever for doing that.

    3. I can't say enough how much I love that Martha was the hero and saved the world without gaining some kind of superhuman power, that's not something you see a lot with female scifi heroes and not something that would be possible on most shows other than this one. Just a regular girl getting shit done, which is exactly who she was when she started out.
    I love so much that in almost every episode where something shitty was happening to her, every single time she'd stop and be like "wtf, this sucks" and by the end she'd figured shit out and left on her own terms. Seriously my favourite improvement from the earlier seasons and it helps redeem a lot of my issues with the rest of the season. Plus she calls up the hot doctor at the end.
    That said seeing Leo as a resistance leader in the UK would have been awesome.

    4. Francine you know you could have shot his hands feet and kneecaps and not killed him rite? Just checking!

    • psycicflower says:

      I remember reading that Leo was originally supposed to play a part in the finale but they ended up not being able to use him because of scheduling conflicts for Reggie Yates.

      • hassibah says:

        I read that somewhere, too, I can't remember where, I figured trivia guy would have posted it by now. That would have been awesome to see, and a really interesting considering what they did with the rest of their family.

      • carma_bee says:

        This is true, it's mentioned in the commentary for this episode. David thought he was off doing Radio 1's Big Weekend or something.

    • __Jen__ says:

      2. As much as this episode is sort of a let down for me-the religious imagery and themes just really aren't my cup of tea- I think I agree with you that it's my favorite RTD finale. I really cringe at the CGI, but upon rewatching there's a lot of good that outweighs the bad for me. And actually I don't think people have really discussed the treatment of Martha's family, so feel free to expound!
      3. You are right about Martha saving the world without superpowers. It's such an affirmation of who her character has been from the beginning when she logicked shit out and pulled out the instruction manual to save the day. Calling up Tom at the end is such a great moment. It really shows how much confidence she's gained through the course of the season. Early on, the implication seemed to be that she lacked experience/confidence with men as a result of her focus on her studies. Now you know she's going to go and wow the hot doctor and just take charge. It's great.

      • hassibah says:

        I guess also I don't automatically think that sobfests are superior to episodes that make me feel good. I love to cry but TBH I think it's way easier to make people depressed than to make them happy. The ending's not perfect in that respect but it's got some hope.

        And oh, well, there were a bunch of discussions about race before alluding to the finale before but not really getting into it cause of spoilers, I hadn't read the comments before I wrote that. A little while back somebody linked to a blog post post about the problems with how Martha and Mickey were treated on the show and also the servant imagery, it was actually pretty convincing, I'll see if I can dig it up.
        The Master is obviously a bad dude and on top of it and he's a misogynist, so you know it's clear we're not supposed to like him and what he does but it's just pretty unfortunate what came up here.

  59. Mauve_Avenger says:

    I just had to start watching this episode about thirty minutes before Watson's Jeopardy debut. :'(

    Now I'm watching in between commercial breaks and Tom just got zapped a few minutes ago. :'''''(

    Oh, and Mark, do you have the link to the Children in Need special yet? It's called "Time Crash": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x0cyxb2kG9E

    • doesntsparkle says:

      Watson scares me, he will be our computer overlord one day.

      • Mauve_Avenger says:

        Well, not until Watson figures out that "knee" isn't another term for "the bent part of the arm, as well as a word for criminal," at least.

        I thought the stat screens below his avatar were really interesting.

        • doesntsparkle says:

          That's a relief, I was multitasking when it was on and couldn't pay complete attention. I'll watch it again.

    • Mauve_Avenger says:

      I like how I completely forgot that the "Time Crash" link was included in the very first comment here and has probably also been posted by several other people at least.

  60. doesntsparkle says:

    Random observations:

    Tom Milligan is too cute. But, if you want to kill someone, it's not a good idea to charge them with a gun and shout "NO!!"

    Lucy Saxon is a tragic figure, how do her bruises heal so quickly.

    I'm conflicted about Jack being the Face of Boe.

    Goodbye Martha, I will miss you.

  61. Hypatia_ says:

    I'm just gonna leave this here.
    <img src=http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd161/DanaanMI/28e00a8051tuallyjpg.jpg>

  62. ather says:

    I’ve been waiting for you to get to the Face of Boe reveal since the very first episode, when you said he scared you. I literally started sobbing when I figured out what Jack had said. YOUR REACTION MADE THE WAIT WORTH IT.

  63. Hypatia_ says:

    I have some mixed feelings about this episode, but mostly it is win.

    I got ragey when Martha first landed in the UK and met up with Tom and she subtly hit on him. I was like, “Go Martha, you hit on Tom!” But then he asks her if there's anyone in her life, and she’s all “There used to be someone…” with flashbacks of the Doctor. Oh for chrissake, why can’t we have undiluted Badass!Martha for just a second without her unrequited crush on the Doctor coming into it? DAMMIT.

    I like the idea of everyone using the Archangel Network to restore the Doctor. It makes sense with how the network seems to work, plus it's well established that the Doctor is telepathic. However, I don't quite get how he's suddenly telekinetic. Also, I just really dislike the whole the-Doctor-is-Jesus thing Series Three had going on. I don't have a problem with using Christ imagery in general, even though I'm an atheist, but it just seems like it went a bit too far there.

    However, the Doctor insisting on saving the Master is absolutely in character. He's terribly lonely, plus helping people is sort of instinct for him, even when he maybe shouldn't. It's like how Hermione describes Harry as having a "saving people thing". The Doctor has a "helping people thing". The scene of the Master dying in the Doctor's arms is heartbreaking to me, every time.

    I definitely got the sense that the Master was abusing Lucy. It wasn't just the bruises she had, it was the way she behaved around him. It screamed "battered wife" to me. For some reason, that more than anything else makes me feel guilty about liking the Master so much. Which is maybe weird, here's this villain who kills countless people, is a genuine evil overlord and enslaves people, but the thing that disturbs me about him is that he apparently hits his wife. Maybe it's because evil overlords of Master-caliber are few and far between in the real world, but abusers are unfortunately not rare. The whole thing reminds me very much of a certain character in Buffy who I won't discuss here, but who I have the exact same feelings about.

    I loved Martha's exit. The Doctor didn't even seem to really thank her until he realized she was leaving. She SAVED THE FREAKIN' WORLD while he spent the year being the Master's bitch. He did seem sincere when he thanked her, but I think he only realized how much he appreciated her once she'd announced her intention to leave. Sigh. I love Ten, I really do, but he does piss me off a lot in Series Three. "I spent a lot of time with you thinking I was second-best, but you know what? I am good." HELL YES MARTHA JONES.

    • Starsea28 says:

      I think he only realized how much he appreciated her once she'd announced her intention to leave.

      Oh yes, I definitely agree. I see that as the last bitter irony of Series 3, personally: Ten finally realises how amazing Martha is, how good she'd be for him (and I'm not talking about romantically, I mean just as a person) and she tells him, "Sorry, I can't be your carer any more, I have to take care of myself and my family first."

  64. kaybee42 says:

    Hey guys, currently looking for some fanfic that takes place in the YTNW on board the Valiant to fill in the holes with some personal headcanon (which is why I don't need Martha's story, I've already got that!). Any recommendations of stories or places to find them?

  65. You Are Not Alone says:

    Yay, another Last of the Time Lords lover! This episode has its ardent fans (including Steven Moffat: "Bloody loved it. Brilliant, audacious, cheeky, mental. Does things that only Doctor Who can do. And Doctor Who should never waste time doing anything else."), but it also gets an unbelievable amount of bollocking from fandom, because of the reset button, Dobby-Doctor and the religious imagery involved in the Doctor's rejuvenation. So, without further ado, why Last of the Time Lords is awesome, in chronological order:

    -You're right, "one year later" was very cool and ground-breaking for the show
    -Thomas Mulligan *yum*
    -Martha gone commando. So fierce!
    -Martha's changed. She been toughened up by those 365 days of horror. Pitch-perfect acting by Freema, which will continue throughout the episode.
    -'I Can't Decide' Like in the Sound of Drums, the Master's evil doings made me laugh very hard despite my best efforts not to do so. Which is rather painful. Which in the end made everything funnier. Simm does it brilliantly.
    -Secret signals
    -Jack tied up, looking like he's had a hard time, yet still positive and joking with Tish. His "Last time I book over the Internet" joke brings back memories of his "Too much vermut. See if I come here again!"
    -The Master had himself carved into Mount Rushmore
    -"There used to be someone…" [flashback to Smith and Jones] Awwwww.
    -Yeah! They're gonna do it, they're gonna do it… oh damn.
    -"Ooh, that famous Doctor… how did he come to this? Oh, that's right… me! HAHAHA!"
    -"She can be the Queen of Sheba for all I care… God, I miss Countdown… Des-y, Des-aye?"
    -"The Doctor's still alive" That's our Martha.
    -"The skies are made of diamonds." WHAT!?! "We share each other's memories." PHEW.
    -Big explanation of everything. Clever and well executed. Given a week to do so, I worked out the Toclafane were the Utopians, but it was still exciting watching it unfold here. Very creepy. And I like plots where everything ties together.
    -The drums haven't stopped. "It's just you." Dobby!Doctor is so steely. Can I also bring up here the hilarity that is David Tennant in the Confidential acting 900 years old with orange dots all over his face? Bless him, even that he does well.
    -Martha tells everyone about the Doctor. 'The Doctor's Theme' plays. And you feel that she really did walk the Earth, because that amount passion I've always admired about Martha (see her speech about the Doctor in The Family of Blood) would give her the strength to do anything. And just like the Doctor inspires people to be better, a room full of people take that strength from Martha. Oh, Martha. You said one must earn the title of Doctor and you certainly did.
    -Martha walks across the Valiant towards the Master. So much faith has been put in her. The Doctor is diminished, but he still manages a smile and she has no problem returning it.
    -The Master takes out his laser screwdriver and my brain is screaming 'NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!'. "…This one is kind of useless." But Martha smiles. She's long past feeling second-best now. It was stupid of her to have ever thought that she was, just as it was stupid of the Master to have believed not just that, but in a gun divided in four parts. And I'm so relieved that it was a hoax, because it HAD seemed rather lame.
    -As if he would have asked her to kill. As if she would have killed. Instead she saves the world and the Doctor by telling a story. The single best, most rousing sentiment in the whole series: "No guns, just words". I like to brag about that one to those who don't watch the show. What's more, like "Are you my mummy?", it was there all the time for us to see, but I never guessed it.
    -Talking about bragging, it feels so right that this is what becomes the Master's downfall. Maybe next time he'll consider resisting a ticking clock… or announcing to the whole world what track is he playing, for that matter.

    • You Are Not Alone says:

      -Floaty!Glowy!Doctor. Not more of a Deus Ex Machina than anything else that ever happens on the show. I found the use of the Archangel Network pretty clever, actually. Again, I like plots where everything ties together. Exciting, a fantastic special effect and, after the darkness of Master mocking the human race, and the Toclafane, it was uplifting to hear the Doctor say: "Say the human race is degenerate now, when they can do this!" Great Doctor Who moment.
      -The Doctor is constantly sacrificing himself to save the world. Submitting himself to the Master's will for one whole year to give Martha time and to tune himself to the phychic network can't have been easy, but the best thing is how, for once, the world saves the Doctor. Not the other way round. I love that he had so much faith in human beings, and especially in Martha, to leave it all in their hands. So much was hanging on Martha's success: the Doctor's rejuvenation, the breaking of the universal phychic field of terror, so that the Master's power would be broken and the Paradox Machine could be destroyed. So hurrah for Martha, and for the Doctor for undergoing a year of hell to help bring the plan to fruition…
      -…and became legends for it. After all, everyone was going to forget about it, so might as well go all the way with the chanting and supposed messianic imagery.
      -Master curled up into a ball. "I forgive you." Which would really be a kick in the balls for someone whose life's mission is to break the Doctor.
      -I liked everything about the scene on the cliff. Finally, a stand-off, and the Doctor comes out on top. "I've had the greatest secret of them all. I know you." After all the damage he'd done, I liked me some Master-humilitation.
      -I'm not fond of the idea of the world having lost one tenth of its population and then some, inlcuding the whole population of Japan, apparently, so I'm glad about the reset button. Again, it was something I suspected would happen before seeing the episode. And it was a carefully set-up one too, with the Paradox Machine. Another plot point used to good effect. And the idea of the main characters sharing this massive experience whilst the rest of the world remains unchanged around them is interesting too.
      -I was moved by the Doctor vowing to give up his life's joy to nurse this last piece of home he had left. I believed it too. *sigh* I was crying. Good acting on Simm's and Tennant's part too. Nice that it was all part of a Masterplan too, judging by that shot of someone picking up his ring, not just honestly dying just to spite the Doctor, although that alone would have been cool enough.
      -Murray Gold's music has been lovely, especially since The Doctor's Theme right to Martha's Triumphant at the end.
      -"Just to say, I don't blame you."
      -Jack salutes Martha and the Doctor. He's much better now. Roll on Torchwood S2!
      -Face of Boe: HAHAHAHAHAHA! Don't say it doesn't make sense. Genius. Aaaaand: another plot tied up!
      -Tom Mulligan, yay!
      -Martha's goodbye is lovely. The Doctor's denial: "the sky is like oil on water!", "Agatha Christie!", until simply: "OK, then." Aww. "Now I've got people to take care of." "Thank you." "Is this going anywhere?" "This is me, getting out." So brave of her to admit it. "I'll see you again, Mister." Not such a hopeless ending for the Doctor after all, then! Martha leaves with a smile and her head held high.
      -Awesome cliffhanger. And the return of the 'what x 3'. Hee.

  66. clodia_risa says:

    The gif for the Face of Boe? BEST GIF EVER.

    The Master really is such a fun villain.

  67. MowerOfLorn says:

    Okay, let’s get this out of the way first:

    *snicker-snort* TINKERBELL-JESUS DOCTOR LOL.

    It’s not even that I hate the idea that much in principle. Yes, its definitely got the dues-ex machina in there, but it’s not too horrible. The physic abilities of both Time-Lords in general and the Doctor had been established, as was the arch-angel network. And too be honest, this peaceful no-gun solution seems far truer to Doctor Who. But it honestly seems like RTD chose the most ridiculous way of pulling it off. People all around the world, chanting ‘Doctor’ while Tennant floats and glows blue? It had me in fits of giggles.

    Other than that, I really think this is probably one of my favourite finales. I love how it begins with Earth having been shut off from the rest of the galaxy- as if too remind us that there is so much more at stake. I also love how they’ve given a whole year since the last episode; it gives shit so much time to have gotten real.

    Also, Martha has become a total BAMF. She has had to do a lot for the Doctor, more than I think other companions have had to cope with (although it’s a pretty hard job, all round). She’s had to watch over John Smith in a racist time, and support him when stuck in 1969, as well as generally fight aliens. Here she had to basically become a dystopian rebel fighter, and I admire what a true bad-ass she became.

    I love the characterisations of the other humans in this episode, particularly Martha’s family. When they began, they were just normal folks, probably never thought about killing in their life. At this point they’ve been so horrified by the Master’s actions, not only to them, but to the entire human race that they fight over who gets to kill him . That’s a pretty dark, but realistic turn. I also love how it seems to have re-inspired the parents’ love for one another, to show that at least something good came out of this horrible situation.

    I do have to wonder how the whole family had to deal with going back to normal society. I mean, over 1/10th of the world’s population dead? That seems like it would give you some serious PTSD. Of course, who could they turn to? Even Leo probably wouldn’t understand, and I can’t imagine them trying to explain it to a psychiatrist.
    I also feel sorry for poor Jack. I can only imagine how many times he was tortured and killed at the Master’s hands. Jack’s described being resurrected like being “pulled over broken glass”. Ouch.

    Oh, as for Jack being the Face of Boe- I think Mark now understands why we found his initial hatred of him so amusing. It just made my smile, thinking of when he’d watch this particular episode, and have his world shattered.

  68. Mauve_Avenger says:

    Apparently, after writing this episode RTD had the dialogue in which the Face of Boe and the Doctor referred to each other as "old friends" added into the audio for "Gridlock," to help bolster the idea that Jack was Face.

    ETA: "…Jack was Face." "…Jack was the Face of Boe." Because I'm pretty sure no one's arguing that Jack is this guy:
    <img src="http://27.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lauyoh5A5s1qzodceo1_500.gif"&gt;

    • bookling says:

      …oh my god. FACE.

      One of my favorite Face of Boe tidbits is in "The Long Game" where one of the news reports in the background reports that the Face of Boe is pregnant. If any man could figure out how to get pregnant, it's Jack!

      • swimmingtrunks says:

        Seriously. I can't remember if I did end up making a comment on that, because I didn't want to be spoilery, but really- the man gets around. Consequences were bound to catch up with him some day!

      • ldwy says:

        Hahahaha, I forgot all about that! You're totally right. I feel like if, years and years into the future, Jack as the Face of Boe got pregnant, he would be simply delighted!! Heck, I feel like if human Jack found a way to be pregnant he'd be delighted!

  69. hassibah says:

    I actually felt that Martha repeatedly recognized how much her situation sucked throughout the season, not just the crush aspect and the being underappreciated aspect but in a lot of different ways. Put me the camp that thinks her departure was badass and awesome.
    "I am good" YES!

  70. Fusionman29 says:

    OK I hate to say it but I feel lazy today.

    Can someone do the trivia for me?

  71. swimmingtrunks says:

    OKAY GUYS I PROMISED MARTHA STUFF

    But first a word about the episode as a whole: I'm in the camp that doesn't really feel comfortable with the references to religion here- and I wouldn't say it's because I'm agnostic-leaning-athiest and am bothered by references to religion in general- but I feel like it's kind of a shallow approach, and I always end up confused at exactly what it's trying to say. I am also tired of characters being Jesus, so maybe I'm somewhat biased there. DobbyDoctor is equally unnecessary, etc etc.

    There were good things about this episode- the reveal of the Utopia humans was wonderfully horrifying. This was actually the first time that I'd caught the fact they'd done this to themselves, not the Master. The last interaction between the Master and the Doctor was great- RTD is good at the break your heart stuff, I'm not going to argue that. I remember being really moved by it my first go around.

    (IN CASE THAT WAS TL;DR, HERE'S WHERE I'M TALKING ABOUT MARTHA)

    And that leaves Martha. She was BAMF in this episode like many have said, and for all the issues I have with her character arc, she leaves on a great note. There was one "wtf" moment for me when the Master compares her to Rose by talking about how the Doctor's past companions were so badass they looked into the time vortex. Unless he was talking about an old companion (feel free to correct me there)… what? How did he know that shit? Like so many other points where Martha is compared to Rose, it felt forced in. But I'm getting to that.

    My opinion of Martha has changed a lot on this rewatch. This was me a couple of years ago: "Martha, I wish I could've liked you better during your season as a companion. In fact, I might have not minded you swooning over your emotionally unavailable travel partner (I've been there. Sort of. We weren't traveling. Or partners of any sort.) if at every single turn some person you just met was speculating about you and the Doctor in such a way that let you CONSTANTLY remind us that YOU loved HIM but woe is you HE is still stuck on ROSE. "

    With my prejudice in mind, I watched this series focusing on the other aspects of Martha, and I found that she was intelligent and down to earth and charming and did I mention bad-ass? I have come to believe that my initial distaste was due to the mess of her character arc.

    (Cont'd…)

    • swimmingtrunks says:

      In Smith and Jones, we meet a young woman. She's talking on the phone to her family, who is each looking to her to solve their problems, but she handles them all and brushes them off with expertise. She is shown to be level-headed, a negotiator but not a doormat to their needs. We follow the young woman to her work, and find her to be fairly average among her piers, and see her as neither insecure nor competitive in her attempts to please her instructor. She meets the Doctor, she gets a hell of a kiss, and a crush develops.

      I feel like in setting up Martha as the anti-Rose, the writers may have forgotten they were going to need to do things with her. I'm not saying she's perfect, but if the idea for her storyline was already that she would deal with feelings from an unavailable Doctor over the season, they missed a great opportunity to lay groundwork. For most of the season, she's left in a strange position where they're continuously trying to establish the problem in her arc which leaves them very little room to go anywhere with it.

      The writers are anything but subtle about it. Martha is often prompted to remind us that she likes the Doctor, but he isn't into her. I don't know if they thought the chemistry between the actors wasn't enough, or that no one would know if it all depended on Freema's acting, but there you go. They ask, she answers, and the answer doesn't change much. It doesn't go from hopeful to progressively more jaded, it stays the same: "I like him, but he doesn't even notice me." She doesn't really try to get him to notice her, but remains rather non-confrontational about it. She has a bit of a thing for another guy, nothing changes. The Doctor has a bit of a thing for another woman, nothing changes. The arc is in stasis for the majority of it's duration.

      It's not that I don't find Martha's situation unrealistic. I've been there before too, liking someone who doesn't seem to interest you and being too spineless to confront them about it for fear of the answer. It could make great storytelling- the frustration, the denial, the rollercoaster of emotions you go through, especially once you figure out that maybe his shit does stink, but you still like him, or maybe the idea of him. But in this series, it doesn't. It's left to spurts of jealousy, moments of rebellion, and lots of sad little reminders that it's still there, all the while staying in basically the same place.

      Then you have The Last of the Time Lords. Last we saw, Martha was finally standing up to the Doctor, choosing the concern for her family over his direction, finding a kindred spirit (apparently?) in Jack, and overall prioritizing the situation at hand. Now, after the way the Doctor has treated her this whole series, she's made his apostle, his Mary Magdalen sans benefits. It is her duty to spread the word of how wonderful he is, and she does it without any signs of regret or hesitancy- indeed, she uses it to once again proclaim her love of him to anyone but him. What does this do for her? Sure, she's badass, but all the while she's making herself second fiddle to the Doctor, telling the people, oh, don't remember me, I'm not that great, think of the Doctor. He's great. Was there a reason the ArchAngel network couldn't have imbued Martha with the power to stop the Master? The Doctor says something about callibrating himself to it- I'm sure he did, sleeping in a tent for a year- could he have calibrated it to her? Think of it- Martha, beaten down over the course of the season, only to pick herself up and save the whole planet and the Doctor to boot. Yeah, she is good, writers, so let her be!

      In the end, she's a capable woman destroyed by a crush, and her leaving the Doctor seems like only the second step on the real character arc that we don't get to see.

      Discuss.

      (PS: I wrote this on the fly, so it's not the most well-organized thing. Given how long I've been talking about doing this, I'm sorry I wasn't typing it up as we went along! But I'm hoping the discussion will clarify my and everyone else's opinions, if there is any.)

      • __Jen__ says:

        This is also on the fly so expect disorganization. (Yours was good though!)

        I've loved Martha since her very first episode, and my affection has only grown but I definitely also have issues with her arc. She has been competent and adventurous since we were first introduced to her, so that aspect of her character simply increased in levels of magnitude. I loved that she gained confidence in herself by the end of the finale, evidenced in her "this is me getting out speech" and her phoning up hot!doctor Tom. I think this is the area in which she developed the most, and most of that came from her getting continually tossed into impossible situations and rising above-largely on her own efforts.

        On my first couple watches through the season I absolutely hated the crush storyline. I thought it marred an otherwise really fun season. I actually still think that it hurts the season, but not for the same reasons. First of all, I don't really mind that she fell for the Doctor. He was charming and fun and he kissed her at their first meeting. I also don't mind that her crush lingered; like you said, it could have gone to interesting emotional places, but sadly it didn't. My problem was with the way it was presented to us. She'd go along being awesome, and then BAM, just in case we forgot about it, there's a perfect stranger to remind us that she's into him and he doesn't care. I can't believe how many times they actually made Martha say that. Her getting out was definitely the best resolution to that scenario and such an amazing moment, but for the rest of the season it went absolutely nowhere. It seemed to serve no purpose but to drag her down.

        I'm definitely in the camp that's irked by the religious imagery, so the proselytizing aspect of the finale wasn't my thing, but I have to admit that it seemed in character for Martha to try to downplay her role in the whole thing. She wasn't in it for the fame or the glory, she just wanted to do her thing and help save the world and her family. For me, those lines about her not really mattering were redeemed by the suggestion that people just rolled their eyes at her modesty, recognized her bravery and shared her story. She was their hero and in the end, the Doctor wouldn't have mattered to them at all if not for her. I found her hero arc one of the most interesting things about the season. The writers really brought it when showcasing her competence and bravery and intelligence. I just wish that if they had to saddle her with this unrequited love storyline, they could have given it more depth.

        The bigger reason I have for thinking that storyline marred the season, was what it did to the character of the Doctor. I've ranted about it before, but the Doctor became pretty unlikable for me this series for the way he treated Martha and others. Yes, he got his redemptive moment in this episode (Literally!), but it never really addressed his actions towards the people around him. The Doctor's character arc in this season was made ultimately unsatisfying for me because of the way his personal relationships were handled.

        Ok, that was a lot more than I intended to write and sorry if I just ended up paraphrasing what you said, Swimmingtrunks!

        • swimmingtrunks says:

          No, you make good points about it being IC for Martha to downplay her role. I still don't understand exactly what the Doctor whispered in her ear, but it wouldn't it have been awesome for both the characters for him to be like, "Go travel the world and become a legend, Martha Jones!" instead of "Spread the word of your Lord Jesus Doctor!" But I suppose that would have depleted the awesomeness of her moment at the end. Hmmm….

      • HungryLikeLupin says:

        Right, so I'll get into my SRS BSNS literary discussion of Martha's character down there *gestures vaguely down the page*, but I want to reply to a couple of things up here. First:

        I'm in the camp that doesn't really feel comfortable with the references to religion here- and I wouldn't say it's because I'm agnostic-leaning-athiest and am bothered by references to religion in general- but I feel like it's kind of a shallow approach, and I always end up confused at exactly what it's trying to say. I am also tired of characters being Jesus, so maybe I'm somewhat biased there. DobbyDoctor is equally unnecessary, etc etc.

        I am in total, absolute agreement with you here. Watching this, my first thought was, "LOL, the Doctor is like Jesus." Then a couple of minutes later, that turned into, "Wait . . . that was a joke . . . is this really going there?" Not because I'm opposed to "[GIVEN CHARACTER] = Jesus" story lines, but because like you said, it felt ham-handed and sloppy. That's a really powerful theme when it's used well (please see: Harry Potter), but in this case i felt over-the-top and unnecessary.

        Second: I'm completely with you on the Martha front, too. I liked her much more on rewatching the series than I did the first go-round, and a large part of that is because I knew that the "I love the Doctor WHY DOESN'T HE LOVE ME BAAAAAAACK?" thing would end eventually. In retrospect, she had so many fantastic moments in this series, but for me they were all overshadowed by her being constantly forced into fits of emosad. As you say, I've certainly been in this situation before, and I definitely empathize with her. But for the love of all things holy, is it really necessary to have her constantly mourning out loud? If nothing else, her actions here don't seem to fit the rest of her character. She's strong, intelligent, self-reliant, and for some reason completely abandons that every time she's reminded that the Doctor is sad about losing Rose.

        (Side-note: I actually really liked the moment in Utopia when she overhears the Doctor and Jack talking about Rose, and hears the full explanation for Rose's absence for the first time. Maybe up until then she'd thought Rose simply decided to stop traveling with the Doctor, something that an infatuated Martha can't imagine doing. In that moment, however, you finally see something like sympathy cross her face. There's a world of difference between the Doctor still pining over someone who's abandoned him, and him mourning someone he can never see again. Martha seems to understand that here, and it makes me like her better.)

        Okay, on to the rest of my SRS BSNS now. XD

        • Bobcat says:

          QUOTE:

          >>>> There was one "wtf" moment for me when the Master compares her to Rose by talking about how the Doctor's past companions were so badass they looked into the time vortex. Unless he was talking about an old companion (feel free to correct me there)… what? How did he know that shit? <<<<

          The Master heard Jack and the Doctor discussing it over the intercom in Utopia. Jack's in the booth, and the Doctor explains precisely what happened. Yana hears this and shits himself. They do draw attention to the fact that Yana's listening, and cut to shots of him during the conversation.

      • notemily says:

        I love this comment. I would have liked for Martha's doctor crush to have been more of an actual arc–like maybe she hopes he's into her for a while, and finally confesses it to him, or almost does. I always wanted to see her getting up the nerve to actually DO something about it, even if she ultimately decided against it. Like, he doesn't know you exist–well, make him notice you exist!

        And yeah, I was kind of bugged by the whole "My name isn't important, it's the Doctor" thing. She did an awesome job saving the world, but she was still second to the Doctor.

  72. RJM says:

    So this fanvid exists. It makes me happy:

    <iframe title="YouTube video player" width="425" height="349" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/O2A9UvJlTHU&quot; frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

  73. canyonoflight says:

    As he reflects on the fact that he can’t die, he mentions that his good looks earned him a nickname back on his home in the Boeshane Peninsula.

    The Face of Boe.

    Holy crap! I totally forgot about this!

  74. sabra_n says:

    Let's call a spade a spade when it comes to the Doctor's behavior: He cares more about his murderously insane ex-schoolmate than about the woman who saved his ass (and the universe) from said schoolmate, pretty much because the former is the "right" species. With all of the Master's talk of a new Gallifrey, I really thought that the Toclafane would somehow turn out to be Time Lords (one foiler that was circulating before the finale said they were unused regenerations), because that would really hit Ten's pathology on the head – it's about the Time War.

    Without spoiling anything specific? The Doctor was never particularly fond of his species when they were around. He saw them as fusty, selfish, and hidebound, and they didn't like him much better. In all his years of travelling he had one Time Lady companion, Romana, who was foisted on him by Gallifrey, as opposed to many, many companions of other species, especially humans. But if you just watched him in this season, you'd be convinced that he enjoyed the company of Time Lords his whole life and humans were a distant second best – not an untenable position in and of itself, but it's one that's totally out of line with his whole history.

    My point is that on one level? Ten is as lonely as he makes himself by always longing for what he can't have and being blind to what's in front of him. That theme was made explicit on the micro level of Martha vs. safely unattainable and idealized Rose, but it was also there on the macro level – humans vs. safely unattainable and idealized Time Lords. The truth is that the Time Lords were a deeply flawed society, just as the truth is that Rose wasn't a saint but merely a person. They deserve to be mourned, but the false idealization Ten engages in only acts to his detriment. And that's why I felt a bit let down by the ending of "Last of the Time Lords" on a storytelling level, in spite of some sensational acting and great moments. I wanted the choice to be that stark – humans or Time Lords, what you have vs. what you dream. Making the Toclafane what they were was an easy out by comparison.

    Oh, and the fiftieth or so comparison of Ten to Jesus was really too much. *facepalm* Sometimes RTD deals with his fascination with religion in good ways – as in "Gridlock" or The Second Coming – and sometimes he gives us Disco* Tinkerbell Jesus. The underlying idea was cool in its way – it was a humbling to have the Doctor so dependent on humans and on Martha especially for his power – but the Christ imagery was just unnecessary and distracting IMO. There are other mythologies out there, TV writers of the Anglophone world!

    (*Yes, an actual disco ball was used in lighting that flying scene. Honest to Betsy.)

    And on a final sad note, Jack kind of got fucked over by this whole storyline, no? I don't just mean that in the "stuck in a ship with a sadist who knows you can't die" sort of way – I mean he got pretty much nothing to do past the red room scene in "Utopia". Bringing Jack back served some thematic purposes, but oh, his departure scene was so unsatisfying. Just a condescending "let me deactivate your wriststrap because you can't be trusted with it" and that's it? Boo.

    But wait! Let's talk about what's awesome in this episode:

    -The "I Can't Decide" scene is so uproariously funny and sick and awesome it defies description. Why so delightful, Simm!Master?

    -MARTHA JONES. I loved the play on expectations, the way her kick-ass mission turned out to be one of storytelling rather than violence, the way she became a legend in her own right. And most of all, I love how she laughed in the Master's face. I found her departure scene a bit unsatisfactory, but man was I glad to see her get away from Ten and out to live her life.

    -As I mentioned, a lot of the ideas underlying the Doctor's big plan were quite cool. I found it fascinating that "no second chances" Ten, that easy slaughterer of spiders and torturer of the Family of Blood, would go through so much trouble (and put his allies through so much pain) to get rid of the Master in the most non-violent and merciful way possible. It says something awful about Ten's priorities, but I like that sort of plan much better than the "ooh, I'm dark and gritty" type overall, so I appreciated the change nonetheless. For a year, the Doctor was humble, and I think that means a lot.

    -Did I mention that John Simm is awesome? Because he is. And Alexandra Moen deserved some kind of award for managing to almost create a coherent character out of the written mess that is Lucy Saxon.

    -As FUCKING ANNOYED as I was with so many things about this season, no arc felt more epic than the S3 one, ever, and no finale drove me crazier with anticipation, and that remains true today.

    • juliekrose says:

      Fantastic comments here!

      I was most disappointed with how Jack was treated in this three-story arc. I won't say much because of Torchwood spoilers, but…yeah. Let's just say Ten is no Nine and the Jack-and-Doctor reunion was very disappointing on many levels.

    • Starsea28 says:

      Let's call a spade a spade when it comes to the Doctor's behavior: He cares more about his murderously insane ex-schoolmate than about the woman who saved his ass (and the universe) from said schoolmate, pretty much because the former is the "right" species.

      Right? When the Doctor accuses the Master of changing history, the Master says, "I'm a Time Lord, I have that right!" and the Doctor DOESN'T EVEN CORRECT HIM. He's so desperate to not be the only one, he'll let that slide!

      • sabra_n says:

        I'm pretty sure that at the height of Ten's arrogance – which is where he was for most of this season – he doesn't think all that differently. The Master really is his evil(er) mirror.

  75. sabra_n says:

    No, it never had to be Jesus. You can have empowerment, resurrection even, without drawing on Christian mythology yet a-freaking-gain.

    I'm sorry, but it just annoys the shit out of me the way the Christian mythos is just assumed to be neutral/universal in Anglophone media. It very well isn't.

    • Karen says:

      Holy non sequitur, Batman!

      I wasn't talking about whether RTD needed to refer to Christian mythology specifically in order to make the story work. I was talking abut the fact that the Messiah moment was necessary vs just solving the problem with the laser screwdriver because it tied into larger themes that RTD was already dealing with. I get that you're not a fan of using Christian mythology, but that wasn't really what we were talking about. And I don't think that RTD used Christian mythology because he thinks that it's neutral. He's an atheist himself, but clearly this is something that interests him (as seen by the fact that he wrote The Second Coming). These are clearly themes and ideas that he likes to explore. But obviously you have every right to dislike it, if you don't find those themes interesting.

  76. whatsername says:

    THE FACE OF BOE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    That's all. Gods I'm glad that's out there now.

    (And btw, I know RTD waffles, but Barrowman, Tennant and Agyeman all think Jack = Boe and I do too. It's much more epic that way imo.)

    • pica_scribit says:

      What I don't get is that the Doctor and Martha talk about the Face of Boe right in front of Jack in Utopia, and he doesn't bat an eye. On some levels, Jack = Boe makes sense, on others, not so much.

      • whatsername says:

        Yeah but I actually disagree with that reading. When I re-watched it I thought Barrowman did a subtle "what?" face.

  77. HungryLikeLupin says:

    AHAHAHAHAHA FINALLY TIME TO TALK ABOUT THE MASTER WITHOUT WORRYING ABOUT SPOILERS! You have no idea how long I've been waiting for this. Siriusly. This also means going all the way back to Utopia OH WELL.

    1) The Chameleon Arch. We've received hints throughout the series that there's a part of the Doctor (certainly a larger part in Ten than in Nine) that envies what he sees as the adventure of a normal human life. A job, a family, beans on toast, growing old, dying. It's an adventure he can never have, especially now that he's the last of his kind, and (probably because he can't have it) it's something that a part of him longs for. He can't settle down and grow old, not now that he's the last of his kind; not since his actions made him the only remaining being that could enforce the laws of time and space. When the Chameleon Arch made him human, it made him John Smith–an ordinary, average man who could have that kind of a life.

    When the Chameleon Arch made the Master human, it made him . . . the Doctor.

    Okay, hear me out. As Professor Yana, the Master's main goals in life were pursuing knowledge and, even more than that, helping people. He's willing to sacrifice his own future to give the people on the rocket (humans, the very race of which the Doctor is so fond) a chance at life. He's done amazing, wonderful, miraculous things, and yes, he's like a little bit of appreciation, but nothing extreme. He's traveled from place to place his entire human life, helping people and trying to make the universe just a bit better.

    But wait, there's more. There's Chantho, his devoted female companion, in love with the Professor but unnoticed as more than a friend and assistant. There's his very name, which he admits is "an affectation". Trivia time: during the seventh's Doctor's run, he had a companion named Ace (probably my favorite of all time, btw) who didn't call him the Doctor. Instead, she referred to him as the Professor.

    Conclusion? It would seem that there's a part of the Master–perhaps not a large part, granted, but present nonetheless–that wants to be like the Doctor. Which leads into . . .

    2) An overall theme of the third series, which seems to have gotten a little sidetracked from time to time, is the Doctor going off the rails a bit in terms of fulfilling that responsibility to watch over time and space. It's first apparent in The Runaway Bride when he has to be pulled back from allowing the Racnoss queen and all her eggs to die. Then in Human Nature/Family of Blood he isn't held back, and the result is one of the more disturbing scenes in the series. In Blink, he traps the Weeping Angels in each other's gazes forever (okay, until the light burns out, but maybe they have dark vision idk).

    The point being, the Doctor has been getting more extreme in how he deals with threats. He's taken on responsibility for the universe, and in so doing has declared himself judge, jury and–more often than ever now–executioner. He has essentially declared himself the final word of law in all of time and space. Last of the Time Lords is, I think, designed to force him to face the inevitable end to that way of thinking. He has two options, really: chill the fuck out a little bit, or end up like the Master. The Master has always existed as a kind of anti-Doctor, and at the end of this series he plays that role to perfection.

    3) Speaking of the Master as the anti-Doctor, one of my favorite things about it is the detail the show pays attention to, down to having his clothing and personality change to mirror the Doctor's. When he goes from Derek Jacobi to John Simm he immediately becomes more manic and active, and eventually even changes his wardrobe to mimic Ten's habitual suit. The real genius of this, of course, is that it gives us a sly little hint about the Doctor during the Time War. Professor Yana's rather antiquated outfit is remarkably similar to that of the Eighth Doctor; it's likely, then, that the Doctor didn't change into Nine until towards the end of the Time War. (This would seem to be borne out by the fact that when he looks into the mirror in Rose it seems to be the first time he's actually taken a look at his new body.)

    And now I'm going to cut myself off before I start rambling too much about Martha and how I think she was meant to function as a companion from a literary standpoint, etc. etc. etc. I'll just say that I absolutely adore her moment at the end, enough that watching it for the first time made me like her more retroactively. -_-

    • swimmingtrunks says:

      Nonono! Ramble about Martha and how you think she was meant to function as a companion from a literary standpoint! I have been waiting to be able to have such discussions spoiler-free, and made a thread just for that a while ago!

      Also, great points about the Master and the Doctor being two sides of the same coin.

      • HungryLikeLupin says:

        Okay, well. XD Here goes. Apologies if this is a bit scattered, I had to rewrite it after my last attempt got eaten by the internet.

        Related to what I said above, I feel like Martha's function as a companion got sort of lost along the way. She says in Family of Blood that she's with the Doctor because he's lonely. And while I definitely believe that from an in-character perspective, from a meta stance I think it's only a tiny part of the story.

        As I already said, I think that the main theme of Series 3 is the Doctor turning into exactly what he warns Jack a Time Lord is capable of becoming: a vengeful god. It's a danger that's hinted at as early as The Runaway Bride, when Donna says, "I think sometimes you need somebody to stop you." And it's true; Rose had to pull him back from the edge in Dalek, just as Donna did with the Racnoss. A major function of the companion–in the new run of the show, at least–is to sort of serve as the Doctor's Jiminy Cricket, the voices of his better angels. Now–when he's so full of pain after losing Rose, after seeing the Daleks come back again, after being reminded that even after all he's sacrificed the Time War simply refuses to end–he needs that more than ever. And that's where Martha comes in.

        Rewatching and looking back on this series, I can't help but think that Martha was meant to be a companion who failed to be that for him.

        To be fair, Martha makes a determined effort–especially early on–to pull him back into the rest of the world. (Er . . . universe? You know what I mean.) She gets him to talk about Gallifrey, gets him to realize that he does actually need a companion despite his attempt to ditch her in The Lazarus Experiment. She stands up to him, but she only does so sporadically, and generally only when it directly relates to her. She takes the Doctor at his word that he's the universe's ultimate authority, and as a consequence she never questions his dispensations of justice.

        (Continued . . .)

        • HungryLikeLupin says:

          Though the Doctor starts out the series (after the Christmas special) attempting to be merciful–he tries to save the Daleks, for heaven's sake–we see him grow gradually harsher and less forgiving. He seals the Family of Blood in a variety of eternal prisons, and he does so without batting an eye. (As a matter of fact, throughout Son of Mine's entire monologue at the end, it's only ever the Doctor we see; Martha is nowhere to be found.) He traps the Weeping Angels. And in one further scene, one that's always overlooked, I find something that's (perhaps accidentally) telling.

          When Sally Sparrow stops him at the end of Blink, the Doctor and Martha are in the middle of some never-disclosed adventure. As the Doctor stops to speak with Sally, Martha keeps calling him on. What I find interesting–and odd, even on first watching–is that they're carrying a bow and arrows. The implication in that scene is that they're off to stop or contain whatever the "hatching" business is, and that they're going to do so with the weapons they're carrying. Now, one of the things that's stayed consistent about the Doctor so far is his disdain for weaponry, his insistence on trying to save lives rather than end them. Now, all of a sudden, he has a deadly weapon. Sure, it could be part of some wacky Rube-Goldberg device that's meant to end with a net dropping down on the alien menace, Scooby Doo-style. The fact that we're given no explanation, however, and are left with only the evidence provided in that one scene, makes me think that we're meant to infer the bow and arrow being used for their original intended purpose. It seems that, wherever they're off to, the Doctor and Martha are going to kill. As I said, this may have been completely unintentional. However, given the attention to detail that this show usually displays, I rather doubt that's the case.

          Enter the Master. The anti-Doctor. The Master represents, by the time they meet up in The Sound of Drums, an exaggerated view of what the Doctor has been heading towards. How does this relate to Martha? Look at the Master's wife. His faithful companion, as he calls her. Yet a companion who makes no attempt to stop him when he declares himself Master of all, when he kills for no more reason than that he decides he wants to. Just as the Master is a reflection of the Doctor's more dangerous qualities, Lucy is a reflection for Martha. She's a companion who's chosen love over responsibility, who's more concerned with being in her husband's favor than in doing what's right.

          The problem that I have with the Doctor's resolution at the climax of the episode is the same problem that I have with Martha's character throughout: it seems sloppy, and while I can more or less identify what I think was intended, it's not terribly clear. And hell, it could be that I'm entirely wrong about all of this. But the evidence is there, and I think I would have liked Martha more overall if her purpose–from a literary perspective–had been clearer.

          All that said, her speech to the Doctor at the end took rock-solid balls (ovaries?), and made her more of a badass in my eyes than all of her action-hero moments beforehand. Keep on being a BAMF, Martha. You kind of rule. -_-

    • notemily says:

      I love this comment! I never made the "Master turning into the Doctor" connection before. +1

  78. Openattheclose says:

    I've been going through my favorites every couple of episodes to see which ones are postable. I have been waiting a long time to post "His Name is the Doctor." I really miss all of the great mvid posting we had for Harry Potter.

  79. mintypixie says:

    Dispite the fact that this season had some of my favorite episodes; Gridlock, Family of Blood, Daleks in Manhatten and Blick. Overall I just dont like it. I think its Martha, as an actress I don't rate her, she is rather 1 dimentional. As a character she is both rightous and whiney at the same time. Ok you fancy the pants of the doctor, we get it, but seriously do you have to be so damn clingy. So yeah I find her really annoying.

    • echinodermata says:

      I massively disagree, but upvoted anyway cause this comment was at -3. PLEASE, can we not just downvote unpopular opinions?

      Also, this? "As a character she is both rightous and whiney at the same time."

      This is a Ten episode, and you're complaining about Martha about this?

      • Starsea28 says:

        Also, this? "As a character she is both rightous and whiney at the same time."

        This is a Ten episode, and you're complaining about Martha about this?

        Took the words right out of my mouth.

  80. hassibah says:

    Question: is there a way to watch "The Caves of Androzani" without Netflix or the DVD?

  81. Minish says:

    I ADORE THIS EPISODE.

    …Right up to the BIGGEST FUCKING ASS-PULL EVER. The episode was resolved with THE POWER OF WISHING. RTD, I love you and I hate you.

  82. Bobcat says:

    "you can choose what I watch after I’m done series 4."

    How about… series 4.5, followed immediately by series 5?

  83. WinterRose says:

    So umm… would anyone care to comment on Jack getting pregnant as the Face of Boe? Wotwotwot, you're asking? Go back to the Eccleston season, and watch the station 9 episode where they have to deal with the Mighty Jagraphas in the attic. Pay close attention to the news reports on the monitors in the background where it's announced that the Face of Boe is pregnant. AGAIN.

    There's lil' Jacks out there.

  84. Esther says:

    I've been waiting for you to find out about The Face of Boe since the first episode.
    Now let's ask a very important question. . . How can the Face of Boe get pregnant?!!!!!

    • pica_scribit says:

      How can the Face of Boe be a giant, tentacle-haired face?

      • Esther says:

        If there are people who are stretched-out bits of skin, the Face of Boe can be a giant, tentacle-haried face. Just makes me wonder what happened to the Body of Boe.

        • DBeR says:

          I could see how the Body of Boe may have gotten used up and eroded away with all the um… "action" Captain Jack has gotten over the years! πŸ™‚

  85. The Beellsor says:

    John Simm. I want him. Inappropriately.

    The Master would've made the best companion ever. *iz bitter forever*

  86. Bobcat says:

    Right. My thoughts on LotTL, just to join in.

    Loved it. Think it was brilliant. Only bit I didn't like was the bit where the Doctor was revived – and, even then, only 'cause the effects seemed far too precise. I don't feel it was well built up to. Was talking about it on Gallifrey Base the other day…

    >>>> Yes, it made narrative sense, with psychic manipulation being the entire premise of the Master's plan in the first place. But "tuning into the psychic network" doesn't sound plausible to me, regardless of how long he was given, and I think the effects of chanting "DOCTOR" were a little too… focused, given how non-specific the command was? A bit like trying to fix a motherboard using a sledgehammer. There's no finesse. The Master's plan was a. significantly less fiddly, with the only hypnotic message being the much simpler "trust him," and b. implemented off-screen, so we can assume that there was a lot of fiddly technical wizardry going into it, just as the laser screwdriver will have been painstakingly built from the ground up. <<<<

    Aside that though, loved every second. And even that only lasted for a minute or so – and wasn't free of redeeming features by any stretch of the imagination. Lucy Saxon chanting Doctor was a lovely moment. Ridiculous amounts of character development packed into a single WORD. That's mad!

    Martha was wonderful. The Toclafane were wonderful – and the paradox machine was a genius bit of plotting. Above all, though -The Master- was wonderful – was very upset that he died at the end, didn't want him to leave. Every second he was on screen was wonderful, and I got really excited by the prospect that he might be a companion for next series – although, with benefit of hindsight, it was never gonna happen.

    Think John Simm gives the ultimate performance as the Master. Ended the episode wanting more of him. What an actor.

    Aaaaand that's it for series 3! Can't wait to see what you think of series 4. And the specials. And series 5. My favourite thing about the revival of Doctor Who is that it just seems to get better and better. Ohhh the best is yet to come.

  87. buyn says:

    Welp, this is the last rated episode with the fear forecast. It got a three. I'm going to rate season 6 myself, but until then, I'll just have to comment differently…
    BUMBUMBUM.

  88. drippingmercury says:

    So, late to the party because I just got around to re-watching this episode and something is bothering me. Jack has been wearing that time travel thing on a leather wrist strap FOR HOW LONG? I worked at a jewelry shop and had to repair watches for ages and let me tell you, anything worn persistently like that STINKS TO HIGH HEAVEN. Watches/time travel wrist holsters gather sweat, oil, and dead skin and just start to smell SUPER FUNKY (and develop a gross pasty crust that I won’t even talk about). I imagine that the device is quite important to Jack as it is his last link to time travel, so he probably rarely takes it off, except for cleanings. Even someone as meticulously clean (looking, at least) as Jack Harkness would – especially over so many years – seep enough sweat and dirt into that leather band that… UGH.
    I suppose this is just a testament to the olfactory trauma of my jewelry store years, but now I can’t even see Jack flip open the leather case on his wrist thingy without imagining a stench cloud bursting out at the same time. If, for inexplicable reasons, you are incredibly curious as to what I mean, go find someone who never takes their watch off, especially if it’s a leather watch. Take the watch off of them and sniff the inside part and hope to god they haven’t been wearing it so long that they’ve formed a stinky crust of nasty debris that you might inadvertently suck into your nostrils. Or, hypothetically, have to chisel off in order to repair their watch. FEEL MY HORROR.
    Sorry for the gross post… I assume/desperately hope that Jack is enough of a gentleman to refit his time traveling device in a new leather strap every decade (at least). This will have to be my headcanon, otherwise I will be too grossed out to find Jack sexy.

  89. notemily says:

    Blarg, I don't like the idea that Jack actually IS the Face of Boe. I wanted the FoB to be kind of mysterious and wise–if he just knows stuff because Jack knew it, that takes some of the mystery out of things for me. Also, that the Face wouldn't reveal himself as Jack to the Doctor at any point seems off.

  90. Openattheclose says:
  91. Openattheclose says:

    Testing

  92. Kirei says:

    This finale was the first full new Who episode I ever saw (I did see a little over half of Sound of the Drums leading into it, though). While the whole thing was pretty ridiculous at times, I also found it utterly irresistible, and in short order had hopped aboard the DW bandwagon.

    One thing that disappointed me in season 3 was that I wanted to like Martha more. She was so smart and capable, and truly she had her moments (as in Family of Blood, and of course the finale where she essentially saves the world by backpacking across a dystopic planet Earth, holy crap), but I felt like she could have been given more opportunities to be awesome. And I sort of felt like her TOTES OBVIOUS CRUSH was played pretty hard – would have loved that to be less of a characterizing aspect of her dynamic with the Doctor. It didn't seem like the lovesick puppy bit suited her. Though I did love her departure speech – "This is me, getting out." – as it brought that whole thing to a fairly neat conclusion.

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