Saturday, January 2, 2010

Doctor Who: The End of Time "Part Two" Review

It's finally come to this, the end of David Tennant's fantastic run as The Tenth Doctor. Sure, Christopher Eccleston is responsible for being The Doctor that the show returned with, and I generally really liked his one season, but when David Tennant stepped into the role it was as if all of the previous version of The Doctor disappeared. It'd be an understatement to say that I and many other Doctor Who fans are sad to see him stepping down.

Special: The End of Time "Part Two"

But lets not get sad yet, we still have 75 minutes to cover here! The End of Time "Part Two" brings us back to the mysteriously reemerged Time Lords of Gallifrey, who were supposedly all killed in the Time War that The Doctor has dared not speak of after all this time. But, that's quite a bit of hefty information. In fact, I honestly think that Russell T. Davies put way too much into this episode for its own good.

While the first nearly 50 minutes of the special deals with the return of the Time Lords, the back story of the Master's insanity, and tons of more information to break your head with. It's not until the final moments of the episode that The Doctor final takes his plunge. And personally, I figured out why the show works so well in its 45 minute standard episodes, because 75 minutes is just too long (not to mention the plus 60 minutes from "Part One"); everything seems to drag on for more than it should, and in the end a lot of what was shown seemed unnecessary.

And that's really the shame of this episode, since there are really a ton of great, sad moments between The Doctor and Wilfred, just as there was the one in "Part One" that brought both of them to tears. It's like, The Doctor and Wilfred were great, but everyone else... no thanks. The Master's craziest grew old quick, the Time Lords (while an old-school Who-gasm) were boring, and the cactus aliens had no need to be there. And the ending... just cameo after cameo of those character important to The Doctor throughout the last four series, while some of them made me chuckle, and were nice nods to fans, they were also unneeded. When The Doctor left these characters, he let them go, it seemed strange to suddenly just show up in these people's lives again only to leave again.

As for the awaited regeneration, well, spoilers aside, it's certainly got me thinking about the next series. Much like the transition from Eccleston to Tennant, this regeneration leaves the new Doctor in somewhat of a predicament that will certainly lead off into the new series. And yes, the ending finally brings some sense to all of those upcoming changes for the next series that you may have seen already. To say the least, after witnessing Matt Smith as The Doctor for a brief moment, I'm curious to see where the show will go, especially since the ending seems to point out the actor's age as a new flaw. Spring can't come soon enough!

Overall Score: 8/10

I know, at the end of "Part One" I said that I really wanted to give the special a VFH Seal of Approval. But after "Part Two," I can't say my feelings are the same. It would've been one thing had it been say, a two-part, 45 minutes each story; but the time wasted on a 60 minute and 75 minute story just dragged The End of Time out more than it should have, especially when any fan could've predicted where the show was going. I mean, you know he's going to regenerate at some point, just cut to the chase.

It's a shame, yes, because David Tennant is just so damn good in this, but all of the information and characters that Russell T. Davies stuffed into this second part just killed it. I think the 8/10 is actually quite generous to be honest; I really wanted to like this special, and for the most part I did. But I can't get over some of the stuff that filled the rest of the episode. I just hope that Matt Smith and new show-runner Steven Moffat can blow me away when the new series starts later this year, because right now I'm a little indifferent.

Lastly, regarding the continuation of This Week in Doctor Who, I can't say until I get news of when the new series actually airs in the UK, and how long the gap will be before it airs in America. If the gap is over a year (which is highly unlikely) I'd have to say this feature is over; if the gap is between a month and three months, I'll consider it; and if it's a week to one day gap like it was with these last two specials, then bet your ass I'll keep doing this!

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