Watched the 2nd part of end of time online yesterday since I didn’t know if I”d have time to see it tonight, but to avoid spoilers I’m scheduling this review after the fact so you can see it yourself in the US before you hear my thoughts.
Be aware this is one big spoiler.
First of all, an awful lot of work for John Simm in this episode, I hope he got a proper paycheck for it but it seemed to me that he was wasted a bit, not enough “Masterly” stuff.
I agree with my son, there was absolutely no reason for Donna Noble to be there.
The device of the Time Lords using the beat in the Master’s head to bring themselves back was pretty clever and was a really worthy plot, but it was used poorly.
The suggestion that the time lords as a whole went mad was kind of loony as was the idea that they were going to destroy themselves and become “disembodied” was very star trekish. Davies decision to re-write the entire Time lord psyche from science to superstition was really bad.
Ironically this can fit in seamlessly with the audios in the sense that Romana was dealing with an upheaval, she can escape with a small group of Time Lords. Perhaps due to the conflict between Science and superstition. Rassilon going nuts and returning also actually fits with the audios.
Wilf seemed to have very little to do, I thought it was a good parody that he was huffing and puffing, he’s not built for running. He was under used, and there were just too many unanswered questions.
The comic relief aliens were cute but seemed to have not much to do other than the first of two “star wars” sequences.
The climax/solution was lame. It had a lot in common with the climax of Simm’s first episode, it’s as if Davies just doesn’t know what to do with him. Simm makes a great master but it seems that Davies just can’t write a 2nd part for him. Both of his Master stories started great but finished poorly.
This episode was clearly the worst of the two parts although there was plenty of sentiment particularly near the end. All of the years specials were superior. I would rank them (Planet of Dead, Next Doctor, Waters of Mars, End of time. If you consider part 1 separate then that would be above Waters of Mars and just barely below the Next doctor.
I’ve head of a slow death but that was ridiculous.
Of the sentimental stuff at the end, the Captain Jack stuff was predictable, pure Davies. The Mickey/Martha stuff was odd, It would have made sense to spend more time with Sarah Jane as she had dealt with this stuff before. The Rose stuff was very bad to say the least, the Wedding stuff was ok.
I must confess however the book signing brought tears to my eyes. It was a classic moment.
The regeneration itself seemed poor, I think it would have been better with Sarah Jane there but the device of him being alone was the theme of the entire series of specials. The first season regeneration was far superior.
Matt Smith seemed better with a second look, It’s all a question if the scripts can keep up.
It looks like David Tennant becomes Sylvester McCoy in the end, a manic and fun doctor becomes a brooding one.
If it was an amazon review I’d give it 3 stars
Performances 4 1/2
Plot 3 1/2
This really could have been a great episode but it turned out average, it doesn’t hold up well against the other episodes of the Tennant series, and is the weakest of the specials. I can name several worse (Fear Her, Midnight and Last of the Time Lords come to mind at once. I think Tennant deserved a better send off.
I don’t think I’ll buy the DVD.