2007 episode 3.13: what next?

n03-13-jelly-snakes.jpg

Picture caption: Two jelly-snakes speculating about the next casting of the Master – could Lime jelly-snake really be in with a chance to be Master No. Seven? He really hopes so.

(If you don’t know what that is all about, I recommend that you watch the 1996 TV Movie.)

The episode Last of the Time Lords has now been broadcast – but if you have not seen it – please note the plot is discussed here…

Well.  I’m not sure whether that episode was good or bad.  I know what made it such a disorientating experience.  Two things:

the minature Doctor.

the Face of Boe “revelation”.

The rest of the episode was potentially great – a real epic finale that would complete a wonderful three-part story.  But, for me at least, any enjoyment was overshadowed by the sheer bafflement generated by “Boe” and the minature Doctor.  Like the Doctor at the very end of the episode, I was saying “What?!” – except at the halfway point.

If there had been some mention of the Classic-style miniaturisation-by-the-Master (perhaps a TCE button on the Laser Screwdriver?) I might have enjoyed the episode more.  Maybe.  (If you watch the Doctor Who Confidential, Russell does seem to imply this idea.)  The “Boe” thing was just utterly bizarre and it undermines any pathos that Torchwood’s Jack or the Doctor Who 2007 season has – even if it was a joke.

The beginning of the episode, with Martha arriving on the shore to meet the Resistance, was wonderfully atmospheric, and the song-and-dance from the Master was inspired.  Moments of comedy like that were definitely required to add some light to the shade, as this was actually one of the most bracingly grim episodes of Doctor Who ever – for example, the dazed speech from the now half-crazed Lucy Saxon about the end of the universe was hardly cheery tea-time viewing.  There really were some enthralling sequences.

The passing of Simm-Master provided a moving scene with Tennant-Doctor pleading through the tears for the Master to “REGENERATE!”, but it was perplexing too.  After such an elegant resurrection for the character of the Master – 100% a Time Lord once again – for him to leave the episode like that… well.

Jelly-snake again?  What next?

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2 Responses to “2007 episode 3.13: what next?”

  1. TimC Says:

    “I recommend that you watch the 1996 TV Movie”
    Well, there’s a sentence you don’t often hear…

    Fair point about the two disorienting things, especially the ancient wee Doctor, but I still don’t really understand why some viewers should find that lessens their enjoyment of the whole thing. Yes, it was disorienting, unexpected and felt deeply wrong, but surely that’s a good thing? You’d be hard pressed to call it formulaic, at least.

    The flipside to this, I think, is the rather over-rated ‘Blink’ which, for all its fine points, remained a not particularly rigorous ‘time twister’ story of the kind that 2000AD used to pump out every other week.

  2. John Nor Says:

    TimC!

    Welcome to planetzogblog.

    It certainly was unexpected, the minature Doctor. It was also presented rather confusingly – the Simm-Master had a line, something like, “Let us see your 900 years…down, down, down through the years” and for one moment I took this to mean his (900 years of age) would run backwards.

    I was expecting a fan-pleasing rapid journey through the previous Doctors (though how they were going to show this I did not know) – Eccleston, McGann back through to Hartnell!

    The next moment – WTF?

    I was reeling for the remainder of the episode.

    Good point about Blink, but it was done so well, (and the words-behind-the-wallpaper/dvds was a ‘time twister’ by itself – the brilliance of the Weeping Angels being another ‘time twister’ idea on top of that.)

    And the dialogue was great (though the ‘time twister’s had great dialogue too when Alan Moore did them!)


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