Doctor Who: 2007


#241

They didn't just bring back the Time Lord ceremonial robes, they dress the young Master in the clothing seen in the last part of the 2nd Doctor story The War Games.

Anyway, the episode was very over-the-top, but there was much to like about it being so.

Possibly my favorite part was simply the fact that the Master's motivations throughout the history of Doctor Who make sense: He's batshit insane.

Sure, everyone always talks about how Roger Delgado's Master was all about calculated evil, but really, most of his so-called plots were poorly thought out alliances with alien forces that he would switch sides against as soon as the Doctor pointed out that he was going to be converted to Axonite as well.

Really, the fractured mind driven to creating conflict makes me feel better about the character who's supposed to be the Doctor's intellectual equal when those half-assed plans of conquest get revealed.

At the very least, his newly revealed mental condition explains why the hell he felt the need to disguise himself as a mysterious asian magician in pre-historic earth. Or his odd obsession with children's shows.

Other than that, I also really liked the cell phone conversation between the Master and the Doctor. It makes for a nice change of pace where both Tennant and Simms tone down the wacky humor.

Another subtle item within the episode is the fact that, yet again, the Doctor is to blame for all of this. Martha tells him it's all his fault several times throughout the episode. Just like in Human Nature, he brought yet another malevolent threat right to Earth's door step. What Martha doesn't know, however, is that the Doctor was the one to make it possible for the Master to become Prime Minister when he started the "doesn't she look tired" meme in the Christmas Invasion which made Harriet Jones an easy defeat.

There are, however, some things not to like about the episode. For one thing, the Master had the perfect opportunity to kill off the Torchwood team and spare us a season two, but instead merely sent them off to the mountains, which I suspect Owen will get them out of by using his giant fish mouth to eat his way through the snow banks.

Another was the fact that despite all the money being spent on CGI, we get a Gallifrey citadel snowglobe that manages to look cheaper than any model shot during the early sixties. The Time Lord space citadel from 1986's Trial of a Time Lord wins hands down.


#242

Sure, he could have killed off Torchwood. But it's in character for him not to--the Master is evil. Therefore, he acts to keep the show alive.


#243

It's just hard to see how Martha teleporting down to where 6 billion killer globes are going on a rampage is a safer or constructive alternative to staying where she was, with her family.

Another cool Time lord lore bit -- where the Master/Doctor finally confirmed that the Time Lords choose their own wacky names. That might have been implied given their descriptive nature, but I don't think it was ever addressed in the series.

Speaking of other Who stuff -- anyone pick up the DVD release of The Invasion, with the cartoon animating filling in the blanks for the missing episodes? I'm tempted to pick it up, since it has the Brig and Cybermen, etc. and is a classic tale that I've always wondered about.


#244

She's still wearing her "hidey key" I believe.

Another cool Time lord lore bit -- where the Master/Doctor finally confirmed that the Time Lords choose their own wacky names. That might have been implied given their descriptive nature, but I don't think it was ever addressed in the series.

One thing they did add to the lore that I don't like is that Time Lords age as humans do in their regenerations. Or close to at least...

There's a number of side stories of the Doctor getting trapped on earth for a hundred or so years in a single incarnation, and it sets the normal Time Lord lifespan at 1500 years give or take.


#245

Oh, don't worry abot that. He was aged by a "DNA zapper thingy," not a time machine, so he was aged the equivalent of 100 human years. I think that's their out to avoid changing any canon. I was under the impression that Timelords stayed the same age each each incarnation (barring "DNA zapper machines"), excepting the first one.


#246

Yeah, I just assumed the aging was "unnatural" aging, basically. Given that we saw that the tech didn't work right anyway, you'd expect it to screw people up.

I was a lot more bothered by the fact that somehow a woman intelligent enough to be working to become a doctor had never heard that the world now had huge floating sky-aircraft carriers. Possible to keep something like that super-secret?


#247

Yes, I think UNIT definitely kept their huge floating fortress a secret. Is that surprising?


#248

Is that inconsistent with the aging of Tom Baker in Meglos? He got old like that.


#249

None of this matters compared to this:

The Master brought his own theme music for the end of the world. You see him switching it off later on.

HERE! COME! THE DRUMS!


#250

I prefer to think the Toclafane were singing it. It is their ancient war anthem, used to strike fear into the hearts of their enemies since time immemorial. The Master was just shutting off the mic that was picking it up from outside so he could talk to him.


#251

No.

That is, unless the Rogue Traders are the Toclafane.


#252

That is, unless the Rogue Traders are the Toclafane.

I wouldn't rule it out, but that's not what I meant. It's simply the Master joining the Sphere from Prey, which downloaded Don't Fear The Reaper into Tommy's girlfriend's bar's jukebox before launching their apocalyptic attack. It's not on there before they show up.


#253

World...collapsing...


#254

Meglos is the episode with the cactus impersonating the Doctor.

You're probably thinking of The Leisure Hive, where the Doctor is prematurely aged 500 years.

As for aging, I recall one of the Gallifrey episodes involved a conversation where one Time Lord snidely remarks that another is getting long in tooth and perhaps should regenerate soon. I have no doubt that Time Lords age during their regenerations, just very, very slowly. That's why I'm going to just pretend the Master meant 100 Gallifreyan "years", which everyone assumes are longer than ours.

Besides being batshit insane, the Master is definitely a dick when it comes to the Doctor.

Consider The Deadly Assassin, in which the Master had two goals, the first of which was to make the Doctor a wanted criminal on their homeworld.

That doesn't sound like much until you consider that, had his plan succeeded, the Doctor was going to be a criminal on a planet the Master planned to destroy a few hours later as the second part of his plan involved unleashing the Eye of Harmony to get more regenerations.

Any other villain would have just destroyed the planet and been on their way, but not the Master. He drew the Doctor into an elaborate trap just to try and discredit him and THEN blow up the planet.


#255

Yes, I was thinking of Leisure Hive, the episode before Meglos - for some reason I always get those confused. I love that season though.

I think the Master hasn't really had a consistent characterization on the show -- the Delgado version was extremely rational and calculating, and not particularly concerned with the Doctor other than as a potential hurdle to his plans. They were generally almost friendly rivals to each other (in keeping with the references during that era that they were school rivals). It was always planned that the 3rd Doctor would finally realize that he had to put aside his former friendship and fatally stop the Master, which would result in the death of the Master and regeneration of the 3rd Doctor, but those plans had to be abandoned when Delgado was killed in a car accident. But his version of the Master definitely didn't act maniacal, let alone insane, and was just after personal gain, not destruction or revenge, although he could be a ruthless killer.

When they brought back the dilapitated version of the Master during the Tom Baker era, really to wrap up the loose end of what the fuck happened to him since he just vanished from the show after Delgado died. They pretty radically changed his character, by making him obsessed with actually hurting the Doctor, and being generally bent on death/destruction instead of just personal gain/power. That characterization carried over into Anthony Ainley's performance, and although he initially tried to make him seem rational and calculating, he was gradually written as more and more over-the-top insane.


#256

Wasn't there also a conversation where someone said that, "barring 'accidents,' a Timelord can live forever," though? I realize most of the "canon" is just people putting together what makes sesne from multiple episodes, but I interpreted both of these together that Timelords age during their first incarnations (wherein they also have one heart), and then stop after that.


#257

It's not canon that Time Lords only have one heart in their first incarnation, or at least I don't recall that ever being said in the series.


#258

Wow ... various web forums are going into meltdown mode declaring the season finale the "worst Doctor Who episode EVAR!".

Mind you, there was a huge number of missed opportunities and cheaply written plot gimmicks here, not to mention that horrible Doctor as Golum thing, but I just don't understand people saying it was worse than the final part of Love & Monsters. I mean, there weren't any fat naked aliens in chase scenes or cinder block oral sex jokes.


#259

I must be odd. I thought it was quite good. Probably doesn't hold up to repeated viewings. I liked the whole ROTJ pyre thing. Though I wonder if that pyre was on Earth or somewhere else. Also the Doctor transforming ALA JC Denton at the end of Deus Ex thing as well.


#260

Well, I liked it a lot. The paradox machine causing humanity to curl inward and eat itself was just a great concept, as was the Doctor putting the "god" in The Lonely God, worshippers and all. The matter-of-fact reset button at the end was unfortunate, but there was really nowhere else they could have gone if they hadn't done it. The Master getting the last laugh was also satisfying, but I really hope he'll be back somehow. As for Captain Jack being the Face of Bo......I'm just going to assume he was messing with the Doctor's head.

Martha's not off the show, is she?