Okay so I'm posting about it! I wasn't going to because I'm all torn and perplexed and mostly WTF?! at what I found myself watching when I tuned into my Xmas Day Doctor Who. But I've had a day now to ponder it so here's my reaction to the End of Time plus, just in case of spoiler phobes some screencaps relating to some quite possibly cracky speculation I'm having on Eleven / series 5.
Largely, my opinion is that the overall Master storyline was underwhelming to average. I've felt since series 3 that the Simm Master was a pantomime villain, with all the over-acting and spazzing out and flailing. John Simm is a superlative actor capable of so much more. He could have been a truly disturbing and creepy Master but instead RTD uses one of the best British actors around to create a ridiculous and very not scary bad guy, in my opinion, anyway. I was confused at his resurrection - I get him having all sorts of secret plans in place and all that, but what actually occurred with all the magic potions and spells was just really, really stupid. I thought the plot with the super medical healing thingy was quite good... until everyone turned into John Simm and then my knee jerk reaction was hysterical side-splitting laughter.
I know being on the RTD hating bandwagon seems popular, but I genuinely dislike his writing. Often it is really great, like Midnight or Utopia, but we've also had farting Slitheen, pensioner turned elf turned Jesus Doctor, all of the fail with handling Martha, the Rose obsession, constant surprise Dalek returns, a fondness for resets, all of these prophecy/portents/hinting at the future, which I think is lazy writing and now everyone in the world turning into the Master. It's just weird and stupid and it makes me laugh AT the show.
Everyone in the world could've been coded with Time Lord DNA or something like that instead of literally becoming him. And yet again RTD makes Ten the Master's lapdog. The first thing he does on seeing the Master is ask him to stop, to think, to wait, blah, blah, just like in 3x12, it didn't work then and Ten still has not learned. Ten's inability to stop the Master every time even though they are face to face just makes Ten seem so pointless and redundant.
But the things I did like was the stuff apart from the Master. Wilf being the main companion was lovely. His troop of pensioners was hilarious and endearing and fun to watch. Minnie was great. His and Ten's interaction was great. I mean, really they are both two old blokes, despite what Ten may look like. They make a great team. And yes, I loved that moment in the cafe where Ten says all tearful "I'm going to die", very nicely acted. Seeing Donna from afar was nice too. Her fiance is pretty and seems nice - though what is it with RTD tying up all the companions stories by marrying them off or setting them up? Donna and her man., Rose and human Ten, Martha and Tom. Ah yes they can only be properly happy with romance and marriage. Martha couldn't possibly have been content with life as a high ranking UNIT official, or Rose couldn't have kicked ass over in Alt Torchwood without her consolation Doctor.
But right, I adored the Time Lord bits. I loved Timothy Dalton and his narration. He's pretty awesome. I loved him in Hot Fuzz. He knows how to not take himself seriously. I didn't realise when watching, but I am taken to understand now that he's a bad Time Lord. So what I'm getting now is that this isn't actually the Time Lord's super secretly returning, but we are seeing them in the Time War, in fact, this is just before the big red button was pushed and they and the Daleks were destroyed if I'm picking things up right. I've seen the opening clip of Part 2 and it certainly seems that way. I just wish the Time Lord angle had been the main focus of the episode, that would've been epic and way better than the Master and Ten's romantic quarry liaisons.
Wilf's interactions with the White Woman were interesting and suitably portentous, though again I don't like these deus ex machina type things where randomers we've never seen before turn up and lead the characters / provide answers etc. But she seems like a really intriguing character and the spec about her identity is making me really wonder about her - older Susan, older Romana, older Donna etc etc? Most likely just some random Time Lord character.
I was thinking part 2 was going to be a big fight, a few twists, epic showdown, Master's death, Ten's death, then he toddles off to regenerate all emotionally etc etc, but now I'm getting a weird, weird feeling. Ten talking about his death really made me pause, he talks about him possibly dying for good if he can't regenerate and then he says even if he does, another man saunters away. Firstly, I think that's bad mojo on RTD's part - viewers, kids especially, should understand that the regeneration is okay and that it is still the Doctor under the new face. Ten himself insisted to Rose that he was still the man she knew and yet now he's all bitter when talking about his next body, saying it won't
Then we've got all the confusion with series five being labelled series one by the new production team and all that. I'm just feeling like a reset is coming, like time lines will be erased, or like we will go back to the end of the Time War and things will happen differently thus making the journey we've seen with Nine and Ten not happen within the narrative. I DON'T KNOW. I'm rambling, but I'm just having a bad feeling here.
Mostly my random and probably very wrong ideas are coming from these things and the glimpses of stuff in the trailers - my own screencaps below! At the end with Timothy Dalton TIme Lord dude we've got two people covering their faces on either side of him. I thought they were ceremonial figures, but then in another trailer we see that one of them is the White Woman.
So handy helpful cap - firstly the figures with their faces covered. Both looking female to me if I'm honest, but the one of the left does have big hands and long fingers.
Then the figures from behind - one is clearly taller, with broad shoulders, the hair looks shorter from the back, so I'm convinced it's a man now.
Then this one, from the front again with the woman on the right - that is the White Woman right? Looks a lot like her. The other figure clearly looks male front to front as well now... all right I'm going to say it. He looks Matt-like. The hands, the shoulders, the tallness, and especially the hair, hairline and forehead just make me think of Matt.
So again, keeping in mind that I'm insane, most likely, and also probably totally wrong... but if I'm not... Eleven being present during the Time War, or present whilst Ten is present suggests some sort of cracky time folding on itself event, or at least a classic Who moment with two different Doctors being in the same time and place. It suggests to me that something may happen differently with the Time War, than how we have been led to believe it goes, and that Eleven is somehow present before Ten regenerates into him - some sort of time line crossing event or reset maybe. I DON'T KNOW. I'm just speculating. I just was really drawn to the face-covering figures behind Dalton for some reason and did some very slow slow-motion capping here. The Woman has taken her hands down in this above shot but the man on the other side has not - possibly because Ten is still present or still alive he cannot reveal his face or there is no face to reveal yet because technically his previous self has not died. I'M SPEWING CRAP HERE.
I'm just grasping here!!!! I'm excited and suitably intrigued, yes, but I wish the story had focused more on this Time Lord / Time War plot. But we did get brilliant Donna / Wilf stuff. There was hardly any Donna in the trailers. Hope she gets a good ending / conclusion. Oh and he married and then shagged Queen Elizabeth I, which at least ties up that bit at the end of the Shakespeare Code! And I for one laughed my ass off at the locking the TARDIS like a car gag.
But okay... OMG... Ten will be dead and gone by this time next week. That is weird. I hope Matt / Eleven / Moffat can keep the success and momentum of the show going and that the public will adapt to him and love him as much as they have Tennant. I think Matt will be as amiable and eager with the press as Tennant has been. Off to watch the Confidential now. I hope Matt is in the Confidential for next weeks episode. I'm all a-flail for anything Matt / Eleven now. Love him so much already.