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The End of Time, Part 2

So, finally I’m done processing what I’ve seen on “The End of Time Part 2”. And it was quite a lot. It left me kind of bereft, which was good, since that’s exactly what I’d expect from the end of an era (oh how I’m going to miss Ten).

Before I start though I guess I need to say one thing in advance: I am not really too firm in canon, as I’ve never watched the old Doctor Who series and I’ve only watched the New Who-episodes once. (Actually I started about a week ago getting through all the new series for a second time because I bought the DVD-Box-Set. And I must say I enjoy it even more than I did the first time around.)

I also might still miss a thing or two due to my English not being as good as I’d like it to be (my first language is German and I’ve never had the chance to improve my English over an extended time in any English speaking countries abroad) so maybe there are things I complain about / don’t understand just because I didn’t pay attention or didn’t get it when watching the series the first time.

But back to the finale: I liked this episode much better then EoT Part 1, as it was much more about the Doctor and what he is going through. I’ll try and list what I liked / didn’t like about this episode, but I’m afraid it’s going to be a bit random…anyway, here it goes:

The Good:

  • Lots of Emo!Doctor. Obviously I do have a thing for seeing the usually exuberant and confident Doctor getting all vulnerable and angsty. I really love him to pieces in those moments and wish I could comfort and cuddle him and make all his pain go away *sigh* (but who wouldn’t?). I fear I’m going to miss David Tennant so much. He plays those bits, as well as all the other different facets of the Doctors personality, so convincingly *cries*. David Tennant just is my Doctor.
  • I guess it was a fitting end for the Doctor, sacrificing himself (or at least this regeneration of his) for a meek human. I liked that it was Wilf for whom he gave his life, an old man with most of his life already lived, but still so invaluably precious to the Doctor. It was also great that, although the Doctor had accepted his destiny as soon as he had realized what awaited Wilf locked away in the chamber, he couldn’t just take it uncomplainingly. The struggle with this fate as “reward” for all the sacrifices he made for mankind, for the whole universe. Doing the “right thing” at (almost) every possible occasion instead of deciding not according to what’s right but what he needs, although that would be well whithin his power. And still, taking what the universe throws at him with his head held high. It broke my heart.
  • Until those last two episodes I couldn’t really comprehend the appeal of slashing the Doctor with the Master. I guess now I finally got it ;). The interaction between those two is really intense. Some of it might result from the Doctor’s need to relate to someone his equal, someone who can understand the universe around them the way he does; someone who has lived as long as he has and seen the things he’s seen, done the things he’s done, had to make tough decisions. And of course the Master being the only other Time Lord left. But that’s really not all. They do have a past together and the Doctor wishes he could save the Master, get him back the way he used to be when they knew each other on Gallifrey, when they were young and untainted. He believes, wants to believe, in the Masters potential, the untainted child still being buried somewhere inside him, even after everything he has done in the past, even right at that moment.
  • I really loved the idea that the locked away Time Lords implanted the Drums inside the Masters Head as a means to communicate with him and get him to aid them get back into our universe. He isn’t just mad by his own design, his own race made him so! Ruthless thing to do, but I guess it seems ok to them to sacrifice the sanity of one Time Lord child to have a chance to rescue their whole race in the future.
  • Almost forgot: I just loved it when the Doctor admitted that the killing of his race wasn’t really an accident but it had to be done to save the universe. And all those fond memories of his home planet and his race are just his way to cope with the loss, his way of defining history and holding onto something good, by remembering an idealized version of it all! This confession made my heart ache.


The Sad:

  • What this episode left me with was the feeling that it was actually all just done to give the Doctor an epic way to leave. It sure worked, mind you, I did my fair share of crying into my cushion while watching it, but I found it somewhat sad that the plot couldn’t be more important. I mean we are talking the Master trying to take over the earth after just being revived by a cult we’ve never heard of before; and even Time Lords returning, bringing back Gallifrey right on top of the earth! There is (at least one) story to be told! Great material for it at least. But in the end it seemed so very unimportant, just a stage setting for the Doctor to reach the moment of his regeneration, on the way visiting the most important motivators for all his actions. Which could have been really, really good, but turned out to be….well…just be. I just didn’t feel the dread and importance of it all; which it would have deserved. But maybe that’s just me.
  • Although it does take some time, the Master decides, in the end, to avenge himself on the Time Lords for messing with his head instead of joining their ascent into incorporeal form, killing the Lord President and stopping the destruction of the earth by Gallifrey along the way. (So the Master’s newly acquired super-powers did come in handy, who would have guessed ;))
    But what really annoyed me was that the Master just disappeared (with the Time Lords he banished?), not to be seen again, right after redeeming himself by saving the Doctor (and the earth, that is). There just should have been some scene between the Doctor and the Master, after he might finally have become what the Doctor always could see him to be. I say might because he might as well just have acted opportunistically (wouldn’t have been the first time) by taking his revenge on the Time Lords and doing the right thing accidentally. But I would like to think he did it for the Doctor. A final scene between those two would have given them the chance to find out! But simply letting the Master disappear without even a word about it from any character just doesn’t do him justice! *disappointed*
  • It sure was kind of fitting that Ten "died" alone in his TARDIS, since this loneliness is the underlying theme of his whole time in this regeneration. He does have companions he loves and who do love him back, but in the end none of them can be what he needs to take away his loneliness. The only one who could have / should have been there is the Master...but he had to get carried off into the Time Lock or whatever. *sigh*
    Or maybe Jack, after the Doctor finally realizing they were not so different from each other since the Captain's "accident with immortality". But that might just be me and my slashy fangirl imagination. *cough*
    Anyway, sending Ten off on his own was very appropriate, if extremely sad.


And the ugly:

  • All the goodbyes to his former companions were not really necessary. They took away the impact Ten’s dead could have / should have had. It would have been very fitting, had the Doctor died right after absorbing all the energy from the chamber instead of travelling around, visiting places first.
    But what I really disliked was the way he did those goodbyes:
  • First and foremost Jack: After leaving earth devastated from losing his daughter (emotionally), his grandson and his love (physically) it’s not surprising, the Captain can be found in some dodgy bar somewhere in the universe, drinking. But all the Doctor can think of doing when seeing Jack for the first time after those events (even if he might be a little preoccupied with his impending regeneration) is giving Jack the name of some random (former Titanic-crewmember, I know) bloke sitting next to Jack? WTF? So picking up guys in a bar makes all the pain Jack has accumulated over his long life, not least because of the Doctor, go away? That’s something Jack can really do even without the Doctor's help. In my opinion it really deprecates their relationship.
    Letting Jack die on the Game Station, stranding him in time and space after finding out what Rose did to him; running from him, not trying to explain what happened for a long time, telling him how wrong he is because of something Jack never wanted to happen in the first place and which wasn’t his fault; surviving The Year that Never Was on the Valiant together only for Jack to see how much the Master means to the Doctor -without even trying!-, even after all the suffering he’s inflicted on mankind and the Doctor himself, while with all of his sacrifices for the Doctor Jack only just manages to be accepted by him as decent human being.
    And slipping Jack the piece of paper with the name of a potential shag on it does this complicated relationship justice in any way? I really, REALLY, really just don’t think so! (Can you tell I’m really into Ten/Jack?).
  • Then Donna: She does have a nice, very human, life. She goes to work, found herself some bloke to be happy with, just lives an ordinary life. Is there really anything wrong with it? It already seemed so in EoT Part 1, when Wilf talks about her to the Doctor in the restaurant. I just don’t seem to get why that is. And why it must be helped by giving her a lottery ticket. I loved Donna as the Doctor’s companion and I think she deserves a live she can live happily. But it irks me that Rusty seems to think it must result from the Doctors benefaction instead of Donna achieving it on her own by being herself and being human.
  • When the Doctor visits Martha he loses me completely. I don’t even know where it is she runs around shooting aliens. And why is Mickey with her? And they are married? Since when? I always thought Martha had this paediatrician-guy (what’s his name, Tom?). I don’t get it. Probably missed something in one of the old episodes, I’ll try to find out while watching them again.

With those I really think RTD messed up the Doctor’s attitude towards his companions. At least I hope so. I just don’t like the idea of the Doctor being so condescending towards people he supposedly loves.

Well, I am sure I forgot a lot of things, but this is already quite long so I'll leave it at that. All in all I really enjoyed - in a achy way, mind you - the end of Ten. You always find little details you would have preferred to be handled differently but I can accept the version RTD thought up. I sure will watch the last two episodes again, blubbering my way through Tens final hours. Hopefully he will still be kept very alive in the fan fiction community, because I am obviously still not ready to let him go. Right now I can’t even start to imagine ever loving any other Doctor as much as I do Ten. *sob*

And now I'm off to watch the Confidential, finally (more sobbing on the way).


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 4th, 2010 11:18 pm (UTC)
Until those last two episodes I couldn’t really comprehend the appeal of slashing the Doctor with the Master. I guess now I finally got it

*does a dance, considers recommending a Delgado story*

Lotsa good points. I'm not as into Jack as you are, but as much as I like Alonzo that was a strange way to say goodbye.
Jan. 5th, 2010 09:05 am (UTC)
Thanks for commenting! And sure, recommend away, I'm very interested in broadening my fanfic-horizon. :)
Since I'm not familiar with the old Who-Characters I'd be glad if you pointed me into the direction of the most interesting parts.
I'm even considering watching the old series in the future, just to find out where it all started. :)
Jan. 6th, 2010 10:11 pm (UTC)
Oh! Erm, probably start with the Sea Devils. It has a sword fight, them doing science stuff and the first mention that they were at school together. Plus, it's just a good Three story to begin with, so even if the slash doesn't draw you in, you might still like it.

It's hard to choose! The Claws of Axos has them almost running away together, The Mind of Evil has hurt/comfort and the Time Monster... is just made of crack and win. I almost want to recommend The Colony in Space just for the Master offering the Doctor half the universe, but everything in that story without the Master in it is, well, boring.

For Ainley!Master I'd suggest either The Kings Demons, (because it's short and sweet, has more sword fighting, and the Master's plan is such complete rubbish that it only makes sense as a ploy to get the Doctor's attention) or the Five Doctor's (because you've gotta see it some time, you'll learn a bit about Rassilon in the process, and the Master is reluctantly trying to help the Doctor while admitting that the Doctor is in fact pretty awesome).

tl;dr version: Sea Devils.
Jan. 9th, 2010 11:34 am (UTC)
[q]has more sword fighting, and the Master's plan is such complete rubbish that it only makes sense as a ploy to get the Doctor's attention[/q]
Nothing like an nice rubbish plan to say "notice me", and sword fighting never hurts a story ;)

Thanks for all those recs, they sound awesome. Seems I might keep myself busy with them for a while :)
Jan. 7th, 2010 09:22 am (UTC)
Bit late, sorry - taking ages to catch up with all the reaction posts.

I don't think you missed anything - Martha definitely goes off to marry Tom the Doctor. It's just completely random that now she's married to Mickey.

Interesting post, I enjoyed your take on how Ten can be seen as patronizing Donna, saying that her human life without him isn't good enough without him helping. Hadn't thought of that before.

Here from best_enemies, by the way.
Jan. 9th, 2010 11:45 am (UTC)
Thank you for stopping by and commenting, I appreciate it. :)

[q]I enjoyed your take on how Ten can be seen as patronizing Donna, saying that her human life without him isn't good enough[/q]
Since I've been rewatching the series over the last three weeks and just arrived at season 4 when Donna gets back on board I must say it does have a certain symmetrie to it, though:
After meeting the Doctor for the first time she's never quite able to live her ordinary life again back on earth. She is being introduced as always trying to find the Doctor again so she can take him up on his offer to tag along with him, that being the only thing that can make her live worthwile.

She is my favorite companion of the Doctor's, but somehow I remember her being stronger than that while travelling whith him. Well, I'll see for myself (again) soon.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )