The End of Time.
Better get my tissues again. I was a wreck when these two episodes originally aired on 25 December, 2009, and 1 January, 2010 respectively. Written by Russell T. Davies, the two -parter brings an end to Tennant’s time in the TARDIS.
Running for as long as he can to prevent the Ood prophecy of his song coming to an end, the Doctor finds himself caught up in machinations that also include a resurrected Master (John Simm).
There is a plan that will not only wipe out Earth, but will restore Gallifrey, thought lost once and for all during the Time War, but actually trapped in a Time Lock.
With Donna Noble’s (Catherine Tate) grandfather Wilf (Bernard Cribbins) at his side, the Doctor goes after the Master and though he may be able to save the day, he may not survive it in this incarnation.
The story is solid, and it’s so much fun to see Simm back as the Master (he’s terrifying upon his return, and we know that doesn’t bode well for), and Wilf makes a great Companion. But as the story reaches its climax, and that four knocks comes along, my heart breaks every single time. His last line tears at me every time. For so long his catchphrase has been, Allons-y (let’s go!) and that delivery of I don’t want to go… I can’t take it.
But before all of that, the story rockets along, and is by turns everything we’ve come to expect from the reinvigorated series, smart, funny, scary…
There is a lot going in this finale, story threads are tied up, characters are checked in on, and the revelation of Gallifrey and the Time Lords, led by the Lord President (Timothy Dalton) is a gut-punch that should delight, but in fact terrifies when you realise what it will cost.
And Wilf, lords Wilf is so much fun, so earnest, honest, joyous, and human. Cribbins is perfect. And that scene between Wilf and the Doctor in the cafe… wow.
And the cliffhanger ending connecting the two parts, wow! The revelation of the Time Lords, and Donna starting to remember who she is, and the fact that it’s gong to burn her up inside. WOW!
I remember not being able to wait at all for the conclusion. Thankfully, watching both, I can get all the excitement and heartbreak in one sitting.
There are things that hurt the heart to see, the Doctor aiming a gun, the woman (Claire Bloom), the truth of the Master’s madness, the goodbyes, the four knocks…
This episode is fun, strong, smart, pays fan service and lets Davies and Tennant leave the series in a big way!
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to curl up in a ball and cry for awhile, and maybe I’ll be ready for The Eleventh Hour next week.