It's Christmas time, and you know what that means... a new Doctor Who special (and a new This Week In review...)! (I don't know what you were thinking, but I can't think of anything else...) But this Christmas' special isn't like anything before it, as it's the first part of David Tennant's final story as The Doctor.
Special: The End of Time "Part One"
The End of Time "Part One" opens with Wilfred Mott, Donna Noble's grandfather, walking about at Christmas time, before going into a church, and being reminded of his experience with The Doctor, and finding himself somewhat distraught. But we're soon reintroduced to everyone's favorite Time Lord, who arrives on the Ood's home planet, noticing a weird shift in time, and soon learns that The Master is still very much alive despite his supposed death back in the Series 3 finale, "Last of the Time Lords".
The much of episode is mainly divided between the seriousness and strangeness of The Master's resurrection and the goofiness of Wilfred and his child-like antics while looking for The Doctor; but it is Christmas, can't be all gloom and doom now, right? But after the Doctor makes pretty emotional speech about death and the consequences of his actions, Donna Noble is reintroduced, and narration comes in from a familiar voice (for James Bond fans at least), as Timothy Dalton's character gets his first moment of screen-time as well. But as that passes the halfway mark of this 60-minute special, I'll cut off for spoiler's sake; leaving the follow up for next week's review of "Part Two".
What to say about this special? There's a lot actually; much of the scenes with newly psychotic Master are some of the freakiest scenes this show has produced, and John Simm is eerily delightful in all of them. As for Mr. Tennant, he is fantastic as usual, even when showing an extremely an emotional side that's never been seen before. But Simm literally steals the show this time around (I'd love to say more, but you'd have to watch to understand); even when two new unnecessary alien characters are introduced by the end of the episode and kind of break the mood. Regardless, this is by far one of the series' best episodes ever, and next week's finale looks to be even more promising!
Overall Score: 9/10
I really want to give this episode a VFH Seal of Approval, like, I'm fighting it in my head. But the preview for next week just looks too epic for me to give The End of Time "Part One" the award as it is... perhaps, if "Part Two" is as epic as it seems, I could give both parts one Seal? Considering they are the parts of the same episode (technically speaking), would anyone object to that?