The return of Captain Jack sets us up for what looks like a non-stop sprint to the end of the series.

Cast and Crew

David Tennant as the Doctor
Freema Agyeman as Martha Jones
John Barrowman as Captain Jack Harkness
Derek Jacobi as Professor Yana
Chipo Chung as Chantho
Rene Zagger as Padra
Neil Reidman as Lieutenant Atillo
Paul Marc Davies as Chieftain
Robert Forknall as Guard
John Bell as Creet
Deborah Maclaren as Kistane
Abigail Canton as Wiry Woman
John Simm as the Master

Written by Russell T. Davies

Directed by Graeme Harper

Originally aired on the 16th of June 2007 on BBC One in the United Kingdom.

Synopsis

Martha and the Doctor stop off in Cardiff to refuel the TARDIS. As they are leaving, they pick up an unexpected passenger and arrive at the end of the universe, where an old enemy awaits…

High Points

  • Derek Jacobi does evil very well
  • John Simm does it too
  • It all ties back to Human Nature, making the last half of the season start to feel like a cohesive story

Low Points

  • Why are the futurekind yet another variant on super-evolved formerly human savages? Why can’t superevolved humans ever have electricity?
  • It’s not my imagination that RTD-penned episodes seem to be rather more generic and predictable than those by certain other authors.

The Scores

Originality: The most original thread in the plot is probably that concerning the Master. The rest is fairly standard end of the universe fare. Four out of six.

Effects: Par for the course. Was it just me, or did the scene with the refugees boarding the rocket look like it had been rendered at half the necessary frame rate? There’s nothing special here, but there’s nothing bad either. Four out of six.

Story: Happily this episode is not a complete story. It brings back Captain Jack, which is definitely going to be a popular move, and it returns us to themes from earlier episodes, including Human Nature, and the Face of Bo’s prophecy. It could be a good end of season, but most of this episode is fairly humdrum. Four out of six.

Acting: Look at the new cast for this episode: Derek Jacobi, John Simm, John Barrowman. They are all in fine form, although it’s not brilliance. Five out of six.

Emotional response: I must admit this episode made me very happy, as it may signal the end of the new series’ most irritating premise. It’s also entertaining, but there’s nothing really deep to tug on the heartstrings. Four out of six.

Production: Too many anonymous corridors. Four out of six.

Overall: It’s okay, but after last week it’s rather a let down. Four out of six.

Utopia receives a middling twenty-nine out of forty-two.