Well there we go. The old cute David Tennant-shaped Doctor has checked out and the new cute Matt Smith-shaped Doctor has arrived. And frankly, both shapes are delightful, so nobody loses here. In a two-parter clearly designed for an audience of regular and devoted viewers, at times it was tough for a drop-in irregular like myself to keep up with who was who and what the flip was going on. I lost the plot many times, but I felt I got the big picture, so that’s ok.
Much like an Agatha Christie Special, this was a star-studded affair, and The End of Time began with a manic and cackling John Simm as The Master. Over-acting is hard to call on Dr Who, given the genre, but I can say he had excessive blonde highlights. I liked the way white whooshy power jets shot out of his hands so he could zoom up in the air, it looked like it might have been fun if he wasn’t in constant torment because of the hammer-on-anvil tinnitus and the urge to keep gnawing on whole turkeys.
Anyway. With the help of two bright green pointy cactus-headed creatures (no idea who they are) the Doctor sorted out the bit of local difficulty with the ever fabulous Bernard Cribbins by his side. It’s funny how we age people as children. I thought Cribbins was old when I saw him in the Railway Children in 1970, but he clearly wasn’t, since he’s still in fine fettle.
So it turns out that the entire Time Lord race weren’t really all dead as we’d thought all these years, they were locked in a something or other, and by means of a diamond star jobby, Timothy Dalton (with some disturbing spitting) brought them down to earth along with a giant planet (Galafrey) which was about to squish Planet Earth until the Doctor made a wise choice about what to do with Bernard’s pistol and zapped the machine which got rid of the Time Lords just in time to stop them ending time. Didn’t quite get the fine detail there, but overall, big Phew.
That left the Doctor with a few odds and ends to tie up, involving helping and/or saluting old chums. He dropped in on John Barrowman propping up a bar very similar to the Mos Eisley Cantina in Star Wars and helped him pick up a date. He saved Sarah Jane’s son from being run over, and dropped by with a winning lottery ticket at Catherine Tate’s wedding. A quick chat with Billie Piper before she knew who he was, then it was time to start regenerating. This gave us a teasing glimpse of the lovely Matt Smith, who arrived clutching his endearingly floppy hair saying ‘I’m a girl!’ No, you’re definitely not a girl Mattie. Too early to say what kind of Doctor he will be, because as the music kicked in, the TARDIS was crashing to earth with him screaming ‘Geronimo!’ Bless.
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