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How would you have written Last of the Time Lords? (Merged)


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Old 15-11-2012, 18:05
Scorpio2
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This episode was probably RTD's most laziest one he ever wrote so if you could rewrite it what things would you change?
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Old 15-11-2012, 18:26
davrosdodebird
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I dont think it was lazy, but thats how it was executed. The "planet Earth restored" line gave the impression of laziness which didnt help.

The episode would have been great without the "lets take the Doctor to the lowest point he's ever been at" mantra RTD went into writing it with. Without that, there would have been no Dobby Doctor and no floaty Jesus Doctor at the end.

I would have liked to see the theme of paradoxes explored a little more, and have the Doctor and co travel about avoiding the Master, with the same feel as Frodo and Sam avoiding the gaze of the all powerful Sauron in Lord of the Rings, attempting to defeat the master at first before finding out about the paradox and attempting to break it. That way there would have been more of an intellectual solution than there was shown to be in the actual episode (the idea of the Doctor tuning himself into the psychic network over a year, using Martha and prayer to restore him to normal, whilst using Jack to destroy the paradox machine could have worked as part of the plot, but not enough emphasis was put on the Doctor's side of the plan, so it came across as pure magic IMO.)

Just want to say that despite crazy Master, I quite liked The Sound of Drums, the downbeat feel of the episode was well done, and the Gallifrey flashbacks were good, I didn't expect those at the time.
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Old 15-11-2012, 18:52
sovietusername
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I dont think it was lazy at all, everything that happened had an explanation to it, just cos you thought it might have been a bit silly doesent suddenly make it lazy. It's actually my favourite RTD finale, if you ask me his 'laziest' point (not that I think he's a lazy writer at all, he just suffered from this weird idea that, for sonme reason, the series finale has to ALWAYS be the biggest thing EVER, he was always trying to outdo hiimself, and as he was a good writer he was hard to outdo, thats what led to the occassionally lazy seeming script) was Journeys End which was bloody awful and in need of some major changes. There was NO explanation given for the destruction of the Daleks, it was literally:
DOCTOR/DONNA: Trip the sonic macro waveform magnetc kinetic emiterr
Presses a few button.
All the Daleks blow up.
Bloody awful, lazily written, in need of considerable rewriting. Anyone who thinks that was good writing and a good end to the story need shooting. Last of the Time Lords on the other hand, there is an explanation for whats going on, there is stuff beforehand in the story to explain it all, and it still manages to be epic.
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Old 15-11-2012, 19:01
Abomination
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I don't think the writing was lazy, but there were a couple of things I would have done...

- Firstly, tone down the 'crazy' of The Master. It reached the point where his craziness outshone his sinister side, and it should never end up that way around. There was one or two moments where you think 'even the kids are going to see this as childish'.

- Secondly, the wasted and pointless bit with The Doctor and The Master on the edge of the cliff near the end. I'd have done something particularly cruel then - don't transport them back to The Valiant until AFTER time has gone back. Have The Doctor be totally unaware of how much Martha has done for him, and have The Master unaware of why his wife shoots him dead. I think for the sake of The Doctor and Martha's characters, it would have been more in tone. The Doctor would have been grateful for what Martha had done, but he doesn't have the experience of 'The Year That Never Was'. We could have avoided the guilt he felt for Martha, and given her more of a reason to leave.
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Old 15-11-2012, 19:12
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No better than RTD I'm sure. I'm not a writer
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Old 16-11-2012, 09:17
daveyboy7472
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As Iíve said previously, Iím not a big fan of this Finale. Itís not so bad as to be unlikable but it had a lot of stuff in it I didnít take to that well.

The Sound Of Drums is okay, thought maybe the tension of how The Doctor and Co would get back to Earth was blown away by seeing them arrive immediately, slightly devaluing the cliffhanger from Utopia. Aside from that, thereís not too much of a problem with the episode. John Simm just goes all out mad in this but itís still not as bad as The End Of Time. However, at times, I didnít feel as if I was watching The Master really. Compared to Delgadoís charming portrayal and Ainleyís cold but manic interpretation, it just didnít sit well with me. He was also very childish at times which I didnít like either. Liked the fact he had a wife though I sometimes feel she should have been as mad as he was, what sort of person would have married him otherwise, unless he hypnotised her into doing so, which is possible. I also liked the nod to The Sea Devils when he is watching with some bemusement the teletubbies on his laptop

The Series Arc with Francine is brought back and she is understandably more of a victim in this. Didnít see the point of bringing Leo back for a few scenes though. It was nice to see Francine make her peace with The Doctor at the storyís conclusion with that smile through the window. Plus getting back with Marthaís Dad as well, neatly done.

The episode builds up nicely to the final confrontation at the end where The Doctor is aged quite a few years and Martha ends up alone again as she begins her quest to walk the Earth.

The real problems for me surface in the second episode. Now with The Eleventh Doctor, he rose further than he ever had before apparently, in this he went completely the other way and he went as low as he ever had in the New Series. And for me, this is where the problem is. I can see what RTD was trying to do here by having the whole episode hit a low point so The Doctorís comeback had more impact. However, in the interim time he was utterly humiliated by The Master and then aged further and therefore had very little to do for the first half hour. IMO the situation went on for too long and I got bored of The Master having his own way and being in control for the majority of the episode. I would liked to have seen The Doctor and The Master really slug it out like they did in the Classic Series but by the time The Doctor is revived it left very little time left for a proper battle. I think the whole revival thing should have come sooner than it did to allow more time for a Doctor/Master fight. I just hated it that The Doctor was allowed to be treated so badly and as Iíve said, the fact he wasnít that active for most of the episode when he could have been fighting The Master was a major disappointment. The only scene that came anywhere near it was then they both teleported of the valiant and The Master threatens to blow everything up but The Doctor knows he wonít destroy himself. After that, it was The Doctor who then took control, though I wasnít keen on the emotional stuff following The Masterís death. Liked the fact the ring was found at the conclusion to suggest he may be back one day.

Saying that, though, I thought when it did arrive, the whole scene with everyone calling The Doctorís name was a wonderful moment. As Iíve said, I like the way the episode was shaped to make it look as if all was lost and then suddenly everything was turned on its head. Could have done without the whole God-Like status thing The Doctor had going on though.

Martha certainly had come a long way since her debut and itís clear in the intervening year that she has changed as a person. It was good she had this storyline, it was nicely done to divert attention away from her real plan with the supposed invention of the gun, etc. Her last scenes in this Series, though considerably less dramatic than Roseís departure are still interesting to watch. We donít know if sheís gonna stay with The Doctor or whether sheíll go but it soon becomes clear her experience has changed her and I like the fact the viewer was never really sure what she was going to do as she does come back to give one last speech to The Doctor.

I donít know about anyone else, maybe Iím being dim, but Iíve always found it difficult to pinpoint the moment The Doctor realises Martha has fancied him all along. Logic dictates it should have been when Martha does her íGetting outí speech but he seems so emotionless during and after sheís left, itís not really clear if he has taken on board by what she was saying. However, by the time Donna pops up again he is well aware of her feelings.

As for Captain Jack, as I said yesterday, didnít think he was needed that much in the story. Aside from filling in The Doctor about Torchwood, he was really just action man as he had been in POTW. He then spends most of the second episode locked up. Thereís already a thread on him possibly being The Face Of Boe so wonít say too much about that but it was a nice touch as well.

Overall, though this story had some nice pacey moments, I donít rate this finale that highly. It was a wasted opportunity for me. Itís still better than some of the episodes from this Series but as a Finale, Iím afraid the others are way, way better for me.

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Old 16-11-2012, 12:16
lordOfTime
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<snip>

I donít know about anyone else, maybe Iím being dim, but Iíve always found it difficult to pinpoint the moment The Doctor realises Martha has fancied him all along. Logic dictates it should have been when Martha does her íGetting outí speech but he seems so emotionless during and after sheís left, itís not really clear if he has taken on board by what she was saying. However, by the time Donna pops up again he is well aware of her feelings.

<snip>

To me, The Doctor knew very early on that Martha was being led on. It all started from the Kiss (or genetic transfer if you prefer) which the Doctor knew full well that Martha could easily misinterpret. He did make it clear about the genetric transfer but from that moment on, Martha was taken.

He's been lieing to Martha throughout the early part of the series. He's still hurting from losing Gallifrey and his people and he'd lost someone who had made him a better person, kept him grounded. That person was Rose, so we see an altogether different Doctor in series 3. A Doctor Who knows he's treating Martha badly but is far too hurtng to care very much.

Even after The Doctor accepts Martha as a companion, the shadow of Rose is still very much evident and Martha still feels "second best".

That is all laid bare in her "getting out" speech in the finale. You see that the Doctor is acknowledging everything he's been trying to avoid all season. He's doesn't need to say anything. Martha knows she's struck a chord, and knows that the Doctor is sorry. And although she is saying her goodbyes at this point, their relationshp hereon in was very much improved.

After this, The Doctor is probably feeling a little bittersweet. Once again he is alone, but he also knows he's free from the hurt he caused Martha or more that there are no grudges between the 2 of them, or for that matter between him and Martha's family.
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Old 16-11-2012, 12:59
tinny
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May i say the finale was excellent, loved thee countdown and martha as a person got a pair though later marrying mickey ????? but thats another story, find jack harkness at times though loyal a tad wet , at least the mum tried for the dr and the sister too , loved the dad very his own man , got to say the dr forgiving the master a tad sickening , ok they were friends like but was that was mentioned 1974 to 96 , russell kind of masshed that up with candy
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Old 16-11-2012, 13:13
lordOfTime
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May i say the finale was excellent, loved thee countdown and martha as a person got a pair though later marrying mickey ????? but thats another story, find jack harkness at times though loyal a tad wet , at least the mum tried for the dr and the sister too , loved the dad very his own man , got to say the dr forgiving the master a tad sickening , ok they were friends like but was that was mentioned 1974 to 96 , russell kind of masshed that up with candy
If the only other surviving member of my race was dying in my arms, i'd be pretty upset too.
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Old 16-11-2012, 14:29
tinny
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the best ending ever in dw history was Tom Baker regenrating into Peter Davison , class tv!
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Old 16-11-2012, 14:52
chuffnobbler
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The Sound Of Drums/Last Of The Time Lords

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Ugh.

That is all.
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Old 16-11-2012, 14:58
saladfingers81
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On a typewriter probably.
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Old 16-11-2012, 15:30
daveyboy7472
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To me, The Doctor knew very early on that Martha was being led on. It all started from the Kiss (or genetic transfer if you prefer) which the Doctor knew full well that Martha could easily misinterpret. He did make it clear about the genetric transfer but from that moment on, Martha was taken.

He's been lieing to Martha throughout the early part of the series. He's still hurting from losing Gallifrey and his people and he'd lost someone who had made him a better person, kept him grounded. That person was Rose, so we see an altogether different Doctor in series 3. A Doctor Who knows he's treating Martha badly but is far too hurtng to care very much.

Even after The Doctor accepts Martha as a companion, the shadow of Rose is still very much evident and Martha still feels "second best".

That is all laid bare in her "getting out" speech in the finale. You see that the Doctor is acknowledging everything he's been trying to avoid all season. He's doesn't need to say anything. Martha knows she's struck a chord, and knows that the Doctor is sorry. And although she is saying her goodbyes at this point, their relationshp hereon in was very much improved.

After this, The Doctor is probably feeling a little bittersweet. Once again he is alone, but he also knows he's free from the hurt he caused Martha or more that there are no grudges between the 2 of them, or for that matter between him and Martha's family.
One of the reasons that made me think that even by this point The Doctor doesn't know is that in this story, in reference to the perception filter key thingy, he says something along the lines of it being like 'Fancying someone and not realising they're there.' (Can't remember his exact words even though I only watched this on Weds)

In those few words, it would seem to indicate he still isn't aware of Martha's interest in him. That's the way I see it anyway.

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Old 16-11-2012, 15:30
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Good story, lots of action . . . and those last 15 minutes were heartbreaking.
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Old 16-11-2012, 16:58
lordOfTime
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One of the reasons that made me think that even by this point The Doctor doesn't know is that in this story, in reference to the perception filter key thingy, he says something along the lines of it being like 'Fancying someone and not realising they're there.' (Can't remember his exact words even though I only watched this on Weds)

In those few words, it would seem to indicate he still isn't aware of Martha's interest in him. That's the way I see it anyway.

Well, the Doctor was on top TimeLordy form at that point. It was just his natural eccentricities coming out. Mind you, if he does know, it is quite insensitive of him even if he doesn't realise it.

But imo the Doctor must have known. I just think at the goobye scene at the end, The Doctor's silence speaks volumes. He's dissapointed Martha is leaving him alone again but he understands he's been a bit silly throughout.
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Old 16-11-2012, 19:37
thorr
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the best ending ever in dw history was Tom Baker regenrating into Peter Davison , class tv!
For the uninitiated...


As the Doctor lay there, dying, and suffering from multiple compound fractures to his spine and limbs, his companions rushed to his side to crouch down and do their best to look concerned. Despite the traumatic event that had just unfolded before their eyes, the companion's shock resulted in a puzzling silence akin to that of an awful amateur dramatics society whose lead role has forgotten his lines. Nyssa was particularly affected into "blank expressionlessness", as they call it on Traken.
They all said his name at him but the Doctor simply lay there with a pissed off look on his face. Lying on his deathbed, he summoned up the memories of happier times and better, more convincing companions than the numpties who now surrounded him.
There was Sarah Jane, the 'Brig, Harry, Leela... His old friends seemed to possess more emotion in their finger tips than his current social circle could ever convey. He even remembered the robot dog he used to know. Ah yes - K9! Even he was more expressive than these damned prats...
Suddenly a ghost-like figure appeared next to them for some reason.
The annoying youth to his side was still saying his name.
"Doctor! Doctor!" said Adric like a possessed boy in pyjamas.
The Doctor perked up a bit but his voice betrayed the excruciating awkwardness of the scene. He could barely speak, but when he did it was with the honest lack of conviction of a man too pained to carry on.
"It is the end," he croaked half-heartedly (and who could blame him) "but the moment has been prepared for."
The gormless companions were all as puzzled as each other but it didn't stop them from not doing anything. They continued their inactivity with blank determination. Especially Nyssa, who briefly fell into one of her regular trances.
The Doctor, as he lay there dying, finally mustered up the strength to point to the ghostly figure who had appeared behind him. Reacting to the Doctor's gesture, the transparent, mystical phantom figure slowly began to ponce his way forward, as though he had a broom stuck up his arse.
"The Watcher!" exclaimed Adric (although his mouth didn't seem to move and neither did he as he crouched down, casually not really doing much at all). Adric had suddenly recognized the unexplained apparition.
Once the Watcher had finished poncing his way towards the Doctor the two figures began to merge together in a weird, blurry green glow.
Whether it was because they all understood the intricacies of the Gallifreyan regeneration process or whether they just couldn't be bothered with what was happening we may never know but the three companions continued to twiddle their thumbs.
Fortunately, Nyssa had come out of her trance. She seemed to understand intuitively what was going on and had the grace to attempt an explanation for the benefit of her time-travelling companions, or anyone else who may have been observing but was confused, bewildered, befuddled or otherwise flummoxed by the whole series of seemingly unconnected events.
"He was the Doctor all the time!" she said, without moving her lips.
The companions knew then exactly what the hell had happened and they all kept quiet about it in knowing silence.
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Old 16-11-2012, 19:38
davrosdodebird
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I don't see why one of Davey's regular review threads has been merged with this one...

Well, I do, but davey's threads have always been and deserve to be their own thing. They inspire much debate and comment.
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Old 16-11-2012, 20:20
daveyboy7472
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I don't see why one of Davey's regular review threads has been merged with this one...

Well, I do, but davey's threads have always been and deserve to be their own thing. They inspire much debate and comment.
Because of your nice compliments I feel I owe a bit of honesty here.

When Scorpio started this thread last night, I did dither whereas to add to it or start a new one. I went for the latter option as he was only discussing Last Of The Time Lords.

However, I realised later on that maybe it was a mistake; It seemed pointless having two threads on one subject so I asked the mods to merge them. I was hoping they would merge Scorpio's thread into mine but they decided to do it the other way round.

Hope that helps and thanks again for the compliment.

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Old 16-11-2012, 20:25
davrosdodebird
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That makes sense. No more feelings of injustice and rage about this will be heard. Especially now there's the moon to deal with
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Old 16-11-2012, 22:25
krikkiter68
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I think this is a great, strange and sad finale to an extraordinary series. These two episodes don't quite have the intensity and excitement of Utopia to my mind, but I still think they're great. Martha's facing off with The Master is fantastic - what an excellent way to bring down a bully, by laughing at them!

She shows such bravery throughout the series, and walking away from the Timelord she's come to love is even braver. And as for the Doctor, I think he was slightly aware of her attraction towards him from the start, but being someone with the weight of the universe on his shoulders, he tends to see the big picture and (sometimes) overlook the details. He certainly seems to accept her version of events, and express genuine remorse, at the end. And at the end, I love the mutual glances between him and Francine, too, and the small, sad smiles they exchange. They say everything.

And as for the 'laziness' suggestion - I don't think that RTD, or any other DW writer, has written a lazy script in their lives!
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Old 16-11-2012, 22:48
sovietusername
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As Iíve said previously, Iím not a big fan of this Finale. Itís not so bad as to be unlikable but it had a lot of stuff in it I didnít take to that well.

The Sound Of Drums is okay, thought maybe the tension of how The Doctor and Co would get back to Earth was blown away by seeing them arrive immediately, slightly devaluing the cliffhanger from Utopia. Aside from that, thereís not too much of a problem with the episode. John Simm just goes all out mad in this but itís still not as bad as The End Of Time. However, at times, I didnít feel as if I was watching The Master really. Compared to Delgadoís charming portrayal and Ainleyís cold but manic interpretation, it just didnít sit well with me. He was also very childish at times which I didnít like either. Liked the fact he had a wife though I sometimes feel she should have been as mad as he was, what sort of person would have married him otherwise, unless he hypnotised her into doing so, which is possible. I also liked the nod to The Sea Devils when he is watching with some bemusement the teletubbies on his laptop

The Series Arc with Francine is brought back and she is understandably more of a victim in this. Didnít see the point of bringing Leo back for a few scenes though. It was nice to see Francine make her peace with The Doctor at the storyís conclusion with that smile through the window. Plus getting back with Marthaís Dad as well, neatly done.

The episode builds up nicely to the final confrontation at the end where The Doctor is aged quite a few years and Martha ends up alone again as she begins her quest to walk the Earth.

The real problems for me surface in the second episode. Now with The Eleventh Doctor, he rose further than he ever had before apparently, in this he went completely the other way and he went as low as he ever had in the New Series. And for me, this is where the problem is. I can see what RTD was trying to do here by having the whole episode hit a low point so The Doctorís comeback had more impact. However, in the interim time he was utterly humiliated by The Master and then aged further and therefore had very little to do for the first half hour. IMO the situation went on for too long and I got bored of The Master having his own way and being in control for the majority of the episode. I would liked to have seen The Doctor and The Master really slug it out like they did in the Classic Series but by the time The Doctor is revived it left very little time left for a proper battle. I think the whole revival thing should have come sooner than it did to allow more time for a Doctor/Master fight. I just hated it that The Doctor was allowed to be treated so badly and as Iíve said, the fact he wasnít that active for most of the episode when he could have been fighting The Master was a major disappointment. The only scene that came anywhere near it was then they both teleported of the valiant and The Master threatens to blow everything up but The Doctor knows he wonít destroy himself. After that, it was The Doctor who then took control, though I wasnít keen on the emotional stuff following The Masterís death. Liked the fact the ring was found at the conclusion to suggest he may be back one day.

Saying that, though, I thought when it did arrive, the whole scene with everyone calling The Doctorís name was a wonderful moment. As Iíve said, I like the way the episode was shaped to make it look as if all was lost and then suddenly everything was turned on its head. Could have done without the whole God-Like status thing The Doctor had going on though.

Martha certainly had come a long way since her debut and itís clear in the intervening year that she has changed as a person. It was good she had this storyline, it was nicely done to divert attention away from her real plan with the supposed invention of the gun, etc. Her last scenes in this Series, though considerably less dramatic than Roseís departure are still interesting to watch. We donít know if sheís gonna stay with The Doctor or whether sheíll go but it soon becomes clear her experience has changed her and I like the fact the viewer was never really sure what she was going to do as she does come back to give one last speech to The Doctor.

I donít know about anyone else, maybe Iím being dim, but Iíve always found it difficult to pinpoint the moment The Doctor realises Martha has fancied him all along. Logic dictates it should have been when Martha does her íGetting outí speech but he seems so emotionless during and after sheís left, itís not really clear if he has taken on board by what she was saying. However, by the time Donna pops up again he is well aware of her feelings.

As for Captain Jack, as I said yesterday, didnít think he was needed that much in the story. Aside from filling in The Doctor about Torchwood, he was really just action man as he had been in POTW. He then spends most of the second episode locked up. Thereís already a thread on him possibly being The Face Of Boe so wonít say too much about that but it was a nice touch as well.

Overall, though this story had some nice pacey moments, I donít rate this finale that highly. It was a wasted opportunity for me. Itís still better than some of the episodes from this Series but as a Finale, Iím afraid the others are way, way better for me.

My favourite RTD finale to my favourite of his series. It's all so spectacular, never get tired of watching it. Of course, the nest thing it is David Tennant's Doctor vs. John Simms Master which is just brilliant. I love this version of the Master, in fact he's my favourite incarnation of the Doctor's nemesis, he's just brilliant. Everyone says Delgado and Ainleys versions are most like what the Master should be like, but their not. Think how different the Master in the Deadly Assassin is, or Eric Roberts. Here's what I think the Master should be like, the equal of the Doctors, a bad Doctor, and like Delgado with 3, this is exactly what Simm does. He's the perfect match for David Tennant's 10th Doctor and I always thought Tennant should be against Simm's Master in his final story, though I'd have preffered it if that had all happened a bit differently. This episode though, I wouldnt change a thing.

Sound of Drums is definately the better of the 2, the Master ompletely dominates in every scene and, it seems, really has defeated the Doctor. i love his manic turns, I always thought the Master should be funny and liked him here. One of my fave senes ever was where he gasses the ploiticians, the old guy shouts "your insane!" and the Master puts his thumbs. I like guys who know their crazy. He reminds me of the Joker in The Dark Knight, or the Sherlock version of Prof Moriarty. But of course, he is still menacing. Notice how, when the guy dies the Master leans it, and sort of looks at him weird, curious. That's really menacing and shows great ating by Simm. He's also really dark when he kills that journalist. "My faithful companion..." But of course, the teletubbies scene is great.

Sound of Drums just oozes quality, not just from the Master, but the sense of defeat for the Doctor and companions. The scenes with chips are brilliant. These stories are so important for Martha and Agyeman has some really great acting here. And of course, it goes without saying Tennant's brilliant. Heck, even Barrowman's watchable. Lucy Saxon's also good (and hot) and those scenes with Gallifrey are great, really beautiful, although 1 criticism I've always had is the drums which I've never seen the point of (not only do they make no sense considering the Masters past adventures but I like the mystery in why the Master does what he dies, just like there's mystery surrounding the Doctor).

Last of the Time Lords isnt as good, but still great. The conquered Earth is great and the music is something really special, especially in the scene where the Master/Martha explain the Paradox Machine and the Toclafane. I really like the Toclafane and do think they should have reutrned. They look cool and different, and their a very good monster, they are better at showing the dark side of humans than the cybermen ever were. "Human race, greatest monsters of them all..." Martha's great, she really gets her independence and I do feel really good for her when she helps stop the Master. I also like the restoration of the present day Earth, I realy dont think it's as crap as everyone makes out. It makes sense, andit allows series 4 to carry on as it was without everyone conveniently forgetting the past alien invasion etc as in seres 2 and 4. I also quite like all the Doctor/God stuuf, it just shows how good he is to the seemingly all powerful Master etc. The mini-Doctor is a tad silly, but these 2 episodes are really good and, in my op, the BEST RTD finale EVER!!! Very little has topped my first viewing of these episodes in terms of enjoyment and I llok back on it with really fond memories
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Old 16-11-2012, 22:59
codename_47
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How would I have written it?

Probably a long, drawn out, 2 hour conversation between The Doctor and The Master about their business and whereabouts during the time war, complete with battle strategies, information on Time Lord and Dalek wins/losses and of course, flashbacks.

But then there's a difference between fanboyism and good writing.

Sometimes I fear fandom doesn't realise this. There's a big difference between episodes that are unpopular with the fanboys and the ones that are unpopular with the general public.
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Old 17-11-2012, 00:27
daveyboy7472
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Everyone says Delgado and Ainleys versions are most like what the Master should be like, but their not. Think how different the Master in the Deadly Assassin is, or Eric Roberts. Here's what I think the Master should be like, the equal of the Doctors, a bad Doctor, and like Delgado with 3, this is exactly what Simm does.
I'm sorry but I disagree with you here.

As with Hartnell with the Doctor, Delgado setup the basic character for The Master and basically didn't stray far from his original performance. Peter Pratt was more similar to his Master than some realise. He may have lost the charm Delgado had but the basic evil nature was still there. And remember it was only a one-off performance.

Geoffrey Beevers also played it very similar before Ainley took over and what he did originally was infuse the New Master with some cold, calculating insanity before his Panto version took hold. However, I still think he had regained the calmness of Delgado's Master, less the charm.

Eric Roberts was hit and miss, but the first part before the TARDIS Scenes, the cold calculating Master was still there and Derek Jacobi continued this also.

Always these various characterisations are what The Master should be like imo, they may all be different but the aren't too far of the established Master character less Ainley's Panto and Roberts camp TARDIS Scenes in the TV Movie.

So I seriously disagree Simm's portrayal is how he should be when his interpretation is so far of the mark of the other Master's.

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Old 17-11-2012, 00:44
JCR
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Last of the Timelords remains the best season finale the show has had, and one of the best episodes.
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Old 17-11-2012, 01:24
Abomination
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You want your finale to have everything, and in terms of its performance the Series 3 finale was just that. It was absolutely brilliant, downright awful, wonderfully timey-wimey, annoyingly pretentious, wonderfully acted and woefully paced...all in two episodes! There was no coherency to these various elements...it was all just thrown in, and resulted in something a little different, not too bad at the end of the day, but widely debatable.

The Sound of Drums was a more than decent enough continuation of Utopia, and the beginning of an intriguing plot that had been building in the shadows of Series 3 (and some of Series 2, if you pay attention to the media in Love & Monsters). It was brilliant to see the Cabinet Office back in Doctor Who, and with a slightly more maniacal villain on Downing Street. John Simm played the eccentric and evil Master brilliantly, and probably beyond expectations for what was on the script. But as finale villains go, I think the flips between sinister and stupid were a little too excessive... they certainly exceeded my belief. This was a dark story but the bad guy was only 'sometimes dark' to go with it. I know he's a bit of a loose cannon, but this Master seems to just come across as annoyingly childish at times. More than once he fell into the pantomime villain role - thank heavens he didn't have a moustache to twirl. Tennant was doing as well as ever here, and Agyeman has definitely settled into her role. Jack is given very little to do and feels a bit more secondary than he did back in Series 1 where you felt he was more of a match for The Doctor. I can't say I particularly like the way his character was written after Torchwood, but it was nice to get a reference in to the team.

The fugitives aspect of the episode was done rather well, and the Gallifrey scenes were a lovely additional treat, even if I thought the orange colours were a little less than impressive at the time. What I thought was criminally underused was the namesake of the episode...the sound of drums was a fantastic element to The Master's character and to the story. It was interestingly creepy, and something wildly different to what we had seen before, particularly for a finale. I really think it should have been played up more.

Overall, the plot was gripping, there was a sense of direction and it built into something interesting as it went by. The occasional grimace at the overly-childish Master character, and some highly cheesy moments that I only feel held the episode and the story back, but The Sound of Drums was a dark and brooding beginning to tale that dared to get darker in its second part.


Last of the Timelords initially disappointed me to no end, and only with time have I come to prefer it to The Sound of Drums. The biggest deterrant for me was the 'One Year Later' that we saw - it was a big jump in time for Nu-Who to take, particularly in a finale. Although it really ups the scale of the story and allows for the final episode to take a refreshing direction, it does feel very overblown.
So, this has to be The Doctor at his lowest. The pathetic little alien he ends up in a cage..it's degrading and humiliating, but I liked it as a plot element. It was good he was still in here, as it is Doctor Who after all...not Martha Who. But credit to Freema Agyeman for pretty much carrying this episode - she excels in this closing piece to the series, and does brilliantly. Simm is predictably eccentric, though his character is written to have more depth than I would have imagined. His wife and Martha's mother were also written brilliantly for secondary characters - their brief sequences each had a massive impact, be it Lucy's explanation for what she saw at the end of the universe, or Francine's gunpoint gesture. The guest cast did admirably as well, and it was great to see Ellie Haddington as Professor Docherty.

The plot ties into Utopia really nicely, and it was a creepy and dark way to end the series. Showing the grotesque innards of the Toclafane and saying that's how we all end up was a grim development, but one that really improved the episode. The Toclafane were a wonderful invention and considering only appearing in just one episode (briefly in the previous too) left quite a significant mark. It was also a genius way to continue to the theme of Series 3, of "what it means to be human", with The Doctor broken at the revelation that that's how we end up, whilst The Master mockingly stating that humanity is the greatest monsters of them all.

As endings go, I never saw it as a pretentious "god-status" thing... I was only peeved at the time rewinding being a bit of a cop-out. I don't know what I expected from such an intense story, but it seemed to remove a bit of consequence from the piece. I think The Doctor and The Master should have remained stranded on the hillside until AFTER time switched back. The Master would return to a bullet that he doesn't quite understand, whilst The Doctor would return to a companion who he doesn't even know saved the world. It would give Martha a more dignifying, less domestic and more powerful exit, whilst allowing The Master character to take a new direction in his ultimate return.

Overall, I really enjoy these stories. They're far from perfect, but they're a wonderful non-Dalek finale, with a brilliant and mostly original story. A few things I'd change, and I'd dial down the crazy a bit, but they're enjoyable and re-watchable without being repetitive.
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