Monday, January 4, 2010

Doctor Who Series 30.5: The End of Time pt 1&2

Part One
The Doctor, aware of prophecies that warn that his death is near and that "he will knock four times", travels to the Ood Sphere after the events of "The Waters of Mars". The Ood warn him of the Master's return, but that this is only the start of something much larger emerging from the darkness. The Doctor returns to Earth on Christmas Eve, too late to stop a cult dedicated to the Master from restoring him. However, Lucy Saxon sacrificed herself to inject a component into the ritual that disrupted the process, leaving the Master with superhuman powers but an unending hunger as his life force drains away. The Doctor encounters Wilfred Mott, curious as to how the man found him so easily, and explains his fear of death, describing regeneration as a form of death. The Doctor tracks down the Master, but the Master subdues him with his new powers, and forces him to telepathically listen to the sound of drums in his head. The Doctor realizes the drums are not a product of the Master's insanity, but before he can ask more, the Master is captured by troops under the employ of billionaire Joshua Naismith.

On Christmas Day, Wilf receives a warning from a mysterious woman in white about needing to take up arms, and retrieves an old service pistol. He meets the Doctor with a book given to him by Donna Noble, authored by Naismith, giving them a clue to the Master's location. At Naismith's estate, they discover Naismith has recovered an alien device, naming it the "Immortality Gate" in hopes that the Master can make it operational and give his daughter Abigail immortality.

The Doctor encounters two Vinvocci aliens working undercover, attempting to salvage the gate which is a Vinvocci medical device designed to heal populations of entire planets based on a genetic template. Before the Doctor can stop him, the Master alters the programming of the device, escapes his bonds and jumps into the Gate. All of humanity (apart from Wilf, whom the Doctor has put inside an isolated chamber, and Donna, who is still part Time Lord) are transformed into clones of the Master; the Master proclaims humanity has been supplanted by the 'Master race', and he and his doppelgangers taunt the Doctor in his defeat.

Part One ends revealing that the Narrator, who has appeared throughout the episode warning of the end of humanity on Christmas Day, is the Time Lord President, addressing a chamber full of other Time Lords, and proclaiming that this day will be "the day the Time Lords returned".

Part Two
The Doctor and Wilf are saved from the Master by the Vinvocci, and go into hiding in their orbiting ship. The Master becomes aware of the "sound of drums" amplified by the billions of clones, recognizing it as a signal calling to him. When The Master discovers a fallen Gallifreyan diamond, a Whitepoint Star, he uses it to further enhance the signal and creates a link to the Time Lords. These elements are revealed as part of the Time Lords' plan to escape from the last days of the Time Locked Time War before they are killed by the Doctor. The Master broadcasts the Time Lords' impending return across the globe, forcing the Doctor to return to Earth. He grabs Wilf's gun, jumps out of the ship's hatch, and plummets right through the glass roof of Naismith's house.

The Doctor arrives too late, just as the Time Lord Council appears. The Master plans to use the Gate now to imprint himself on all Time Lords, but the Time Lord President stops him and undoes the previous change by the Gate, restoring humanity. The President then reveals that, now freed of the Time Lock, the Time Lords will end time and creation itself to live eternally as pure consciousness. The Doctor tells The Master that that is why he had to stop the Time Lords at the end of the Time War, as he knew of their plan. Gallifrey begins to materialise by the Earth, and the Doctor reveals that it will soon be followed by all the other horrors from Time War's end.

Torn between killing the Master or killing the President, the Doctor catches the gaze of one of the women on the Council, the same woman in white whom Wilf has seen. Inspired, the Doctor uses Wilf's gun to shatter the diamond that maintains the link. On the verge of being drawn back into the Time Lock, the President prepares to kill the Doctor, but the Master, furious that he has been manipulated since a child, attacks the President in a final act of revenge. The Time Lords and Gallifrey are drawn back into the Time Lock. The fate of the Master, who also seemingly vanishes into the Lock, is unclear.

The Doctor enjoys only a brief moment's relief at surviving before he hears four knocks, the sound which will precede his death. He turns around to find Wilfred, having returned to help the Doctor, still trapped in an isolation chamber which will soon become flooded with lethal radiation; only by self-sacrifice can he be freed. The Doctor hesitates and rages about his fate, but concludes he may have lived too long; he releases Wilfred, and suffers a massive dose of radiation poisoning.

Although he survives initially, the healing of the Doctor's wounds shows that his regeneration has started. He takes Wilfred home and brief scenes show him fleetingly visiting several past companions. The Doctor collapses near the TARDIS after the last of these goodbyes, but Ood Sigma appears and says the Universe will sing him to his sleep, and remarks "this song is ending, but the story never ends". Pushed on by this, the Doctor reaches the TARDIS and flies it away from the Earth. Not wishing to change, the Doctor completes his regeneration in an unusually violent manner with the TARDIS windows shattering and the console room bursting into flames. The newly-regenerated Eleventh Doctor explores his new body before eventually recognising that the TARDIS is hurtling back to Earth, taking the controls and gleefully shouting "Geronimo!"

No comments: