Doctor Who: The End Of The World

Eldhrin
writes, Doctor Who: The End Of The World
This received 36/42 from Eldhrin in total, with 4/6
for the overall score. That score would have been
higher had it been more than a one-shot episode. With
luck, they’re going the same route Buffy and
Smallville did, starting with some one-shots
to slowly build an audience, and then moving to longer
arcs after a few weeks.

Cast and Crew

Christopher Ecclestone as the Doctor

Billie Piper as Rose Tyler

Simon Day as the Steward

Yasmin Bannerman as Jade

Jimmy Vee as the Moxx of Balhoon

Zoë Wannamaker as Cassandra

Cammile Coduri as Jackie Tyler

Beccy Armory as Raffalo

Sara Stewart as the Computer Voice

Silas Carson as the alien voices

Written by Russell T. Davies

Directed by Euros Lyn

Originally shown on BBC One in the United Kingdom on
2nd April 2005

Plot:

The Doctor takes Rose five billion years into the
future to witness the moment when the sun expands and
consumes the Earth. Unfortunately, somebody is
sabotaging the space station where assorted alien
dignitaries are gathered to witness the event.

High Point:

The Doctor’s backstory (although some might consider
this the Low Point, I think it’s got a lot of
potential if it’s handled correctly). This is clearly
going to be a thrust of the series, along with the
development of Rose.

Low Point:

Sometimes the Doctor seems just a bit too childish.
Last week I liked it, but this week it was a little
excessive in places. And the sonic screwdriver fixes
everything.

Scores:

Originality: 4/6. A nice take on a fairly classic
murder mystery plot. The gathering of aliens showed a
mixture of classic and slightly unusual ideas.

Effects: 5/6. While not entirely perfect, Cassandra
looked fantastic, as did the giant alien head in a
tank. The external views, the views out of the station
windows and the destruction of Earth were also rather
impressive.

Story: 4/6. It hung together, a nice twist at the end,
some suspense, a bit of tension… come on! What more
do you want? Oh yeah, some length please. We need a
bit more than a succession of single-episode stories,
I think.

Acting: 5/6. Zoë Wannamaker was flawless with her
voice acting. Everyone else’s interactions with the
entirely CG Cassandra seemed very natural and
believable. The Doctor’s response to Jade was spot on,
as was Rose on the phone.

Emotional Response: 5/6. There’s a lot of past pain we
don’t know about, and some deep ideas about the end of
the world and the fate of humanity. Through Rose and
the Doctor, we see some of their own feelings on the
matter, and can’t help experiencing them ourselves.

Production: 4/6. Some parts were better than last
week. The cuts were cleaner and felt more like they
were in the right places. The music was better. A
couple of scenes, though, looked like they were
straight out of classic Doctor Who, and didn’t quite
match up to the modern sophistication of the rest of
the programme.

Overall: 4/6. It almost got 5, but I’m not comfortable
with these one-parter stories. This one could’ve had
such greater depth with another episode’s worth of
time.

In total, ‘The End Of The World’ receives
36/42

19 replies on “Doctor Who: The End Of The World”

  1. Dave says:

    Continuity?
    They’ve all but said that at some point Gallifrey went boom and the Doctor is the only native of that world left. Does this sync up at all with the previous 26 seasons of the show? I never saw the last few years of the show, so I don’t know if they did something like that, or if it’s something that happened during, say, the Paul McGann era (i.e. off-camera).

    • MrChris says:

      Re: Continuity?

      They’ve all but said that at some point Gallifrey went boom and the Doctor is the only native of that world left. Does this sync up at all with the previous 26 seasons of the show? I never saw the last few years of the show, so I don’t know if they did something like that, or if it’s something that happened during, say, the Paul McGann era (i.e. off-camera).

      I believe it is contiguous with the EU books.

      Also I think the review author is going to be disappointed, as I understand it there are only two two-part stories in the entire series, everything else is self contained – that doesn’t preclude an arc forming but it wont be dealt with in say a B5 way.

      • Eldhrin says:

        Re: Continuity?

        I believe it is contiguous with the EU books.

        Also I think the review author is going to be disappointed, as I understand it there are only two two-part stories in the entire series, everything else is self contained – that doesn’t preclude an arc forming but it wont be dealt with in say a B5 way.

        The bit in the blurb posted here about hoping it’s going to be like Smallville or Buffy is not mine – looks like there’s a runaway italics tag there. My expectation after this episode is for possibly a handful of two-parters, and the arc side of things being handled by the Doctor’s backstory, and Rose’s journey. I can think of a couple of plausible ways that this can be incorporated into the story – the preponderance of time travel in Doctor Who allows several interesting and non-Enterprise-like opportunities to allow it to happen and not invalidate the entirety of the old series (not invalidating any of it is pretty much impossible, as it contradicts itself anyway).

        Fingers crossed that if they do explain it, they take one of the good routes instead of the bad ones.

    • Kaki says:

      Re: Continuity?
      What does it even mean for someone to be the “last” of a race which possessed ample access to time travel? Ones from before the boom would still be showing up later, having just came from the home world. And when they get done with their trip, just pop back to the summer home on the pre-boom planet.

      • Eldhrin says:

        Re: Continuity?
        Not necessarily. What if Gallifrey was destroyed in all time periods?

        • Kaki says:

          Re: Continuity?

          Not necessarily. What if Gallifrey was destroyed in all time periods?

          What does that mean? A planet can’t be destroyed after if has been destroyed. You can’t destroy the planet at some point in time and then redestroy the planet at another point that comes after the first.

          Saying it was/is/will-be distroyed at all points in time is equivalent to saying it was distroyed as it first came to exist. Were the Time Lords negligent in protecting their planet before its formation? Did the destruction coincide with the development of time-tech, so that my premise of “ample access” is false?

          Seems to me that only someone with ample access to time-tech can even hope to take on a race with it. So another good question might be, who else(?) has a time machine?

    • Jez32uk says:

      Re: Continuity?
      I’m pretty sure that the destruction of Gallifrey and the timelords was covered in the Big Finish Paul McGann seasons however don’t quote me on that as i could be wrong. that said i’m glad to see the back of the timelord society as it was becoming a bit naff and tiresome particularly in Trial of a Timelord.

    • dumbsucker says:

      Re: Continuity?
      According to the Doctor Who Reference Guide this was actually dealt with in the BBC books made for the 8th doctor. The book The Ancestor Cell seems to be the one that’s most relevant.

  2. joe__gee says:

    I just finished watching this episode.
    I loved it. To me it’s the Doctor Who I grew up watching, with better special effects (I loved the CGI spider things — I thought those were beautifully done.) I also really appreciate the humor in this new version of the series.

    As for the sonic screwdriver, Fiziko, the sonic screwdriver has *always* fixed everything. It always will fix everything. :)

    Anyways, from the end of this episode my concern would be that I see the Doctor heading in the direction that made the American-filmed Doctor so objectionable to many fans. I am really hoping this Doctor is not played up as an open romantic interest for Rose/his assistants. That would just feel wrong to me.

    I love the take on Gallifrey. I agree with others in here who hope we see some back story about the war that destroyed the Time Lords.

    I live in the U.S., but thankfully there are ways around short-sighted domestic networks. Long live the Doctor in any incarnation. My thanks to the Beeb for bringing him back.

    -Joe G.

  3. pdavis says:

    Longer stories
    I want long story arcs. At least two parters, preferably three parters so that each arc is much like a movie. Come on BBC! My favorite arc by far has got to be the season with “The Key to Time”. I need to dig out some of my old DW books and episode guides for review. I also have only seen one of the Colon Baker episodes so it would be nice to be able to catch up. BBC America? Hello? Are you listening?

  4. pdavis says:

    Longer stories
    I want long story arcs. At least two parters, preferably three parters so that each arc is much like a movie. Come on BBC! My favorite arc by far has got to be the season with “The Key to Time”. I need to dig out some of my old DW books and episode guides for review. I also have only seen one of the Colon Baker episodes so it would be nice to be able to catch up. BBC America? Hello? Are you listening?

    • mbourgon says:

      Re: Longer stories

      Colon Baker episodes

      *ROFLMAO* Colon. I love it.

      so it would be nice to be able to catch up. BBC America? Hello? Are you listening?

      Probably not. But usenet is. (Hint – search for Drwho)

  5. pdavis says:

    Longer stories
    I want long story arcs. At least two parters, preferably three parters so that each arc is much like a movie. Come on BBC! My favorite arc by far has got to be the season with “The Key to Time”. I need to dig out some of my old DW books and episode guides for review. I also have only seen one of the Colon Baker episodes so it would be nice to be able to catch up. BBC America? Hello? Are you listening?

    • joe__gee says:

      Re: Longer stories

      I want long story arcs. At least two parters, preferably three parters so that each arc is much like a movie. Come on BBC! My favorite arc by far has got to be the season with “The Key to Time”. I need to dig out some of my old DW books and episode guides for review. I also have only seen one of the Colon Baker episodes so it would be nice to be able to catch up. BBC America? Hello? Are you listening?

      The multiple post problem bites again. :) First white.roses, then me, and now you. :)

      -Joe G.

      • Eldhrin says:

        Re: Longer stories
        Most unfortunate that it’s a multipost with a nasty typo.

        • pdavis says:

          Re: Longer stories
          Sorry on both accounts. It was if the browser wasn’t doing anything at all. Very strange.

    • max_quordlepleen says:

      Re: Longer stories

      BBC America? Hello? Are you listening?

      Not sure if it is Canada only, but BBC Kids shows complete 4 part
      episodes every night at 2 AM.

      • GrimSean says:

        Re: Longer stories

        BBC America? Hello? Are you listening?

        Not sure if it is Canada only, but BBC Kids shows complete 4 part
        episodes every night at 2 AM.

        BBC Kids, eh? Available in Canada, you say? Might be time to kick it up to digital cable and cobble together a TiVo…

        • max_quordlepleen says:

          Re: Longer stories

          BBC Kids, eh? Available in Canada, you say? Might be time to kick it up to
          digital cable and cobble together a TiVo…

          Just to clarify, it seems that on weekdays they show two eps from a four-
          parter each day and then show two complete serials on Saturday and Sunday.
          My bad, I’ve only caught it on weekends.

          Right now they are doing Tom Baker on weekends and Peter Davison
          episodes during the week. You
          can get more info on Outpost Gallifrey – search for “BBC Kids” as it is near the
          bottom of the page.

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