Doctor Who Series 3 Finale

So, we're now into the final three-part episode of season three with Utopia having screened on Saturday. I'd like to do some commenting and speculating about Utopia, as well as the two episodes yet to come, and Torchwood.

First up, I liked Utopia. It didn't surpass Blink, which has shot straight to the top of my "best Doctor Who episodes ever" list, and given me some odd twitches around four in the morning, but it was still a good episode.

I do have one or two nitpicks in the characterisation with regard to Jack and Martha. First, Jack goes from being brooding, angry Jack in Torchwood to being cheerful Jack in Doctor Who in pretty nearly no time flat. I know some of this is due to Doctor Who being pre-watershed and a different series and so on, but he really did seem to be proceeding on a basis that the Doctor could do no wrong, even when he abandoned Jack. I'm amused, though, by the notion that time travellers fear immortals, because that's a principle I've used myself elsewhere.

Second, Martha's exchange with Chantho about her sentence construction wasn't written for Martha, it was written for Rose. That's exactly Rose's style of interaction, whereas Martha would normally be much more interested in Chantho's species, or how humans are essentially the same after all that time, or even the footprint-technobabble the Professor was using.

The flashbacks were kind of cheesy. I'm aware at some level that there are probably people watching who don't follow the whole series, and might have not seen the Christmas special or previous season finales. But there's no need to actually cater for that in the scriptwriting either.

Right, on to the good bits. It was very very good to see Jack meeting Martha, very good to see the Doctor interacting with Jack again, excellent to hear Jack's story from when we last saw him in Doctor Who and the start of Torchwood, and the bit where Jack said "fantastic!" was, well, fantastic. I liked the subtlety of just expression shots of Martha while Jack and the Doctor talked about Rose, and I liked the detail where Jack dropped by the estate a few times while Rose was growing up. I'm also a little interested by the line where he said he was waiting for the right version of the Doctor to show up - because his Doctor detector must have been going berserk from about 1900 onwards. How many times did he meet wrong versions of the Doctor? Or did he avoid those ones?

Onward, then, to the last two episodes, The Sound of Drums and The Last of the Time Lords...

The blurb for The Sound of Drums says, "The Master arrives in 21st Century — as Mister Saxon, Prime Minister — and the UK enters a period of terror when contact with an alien race known as the Toclafane is announced." Now, there were posters up in the WWII Dance Hall that Jack and Toshiko visited in Torchwood for Saxon, so I'm wondering if he didn't stop off in a few more places before he ended up in the 21st century. I'm also greatly amused by cameos in the cast list for Sharon Osbourne, McFly, and Anne Widdecombe.

The blurb for Last of the Time Lords is even more extreme: "Earth has been conquered and the Master rules supreme, with the Doctor a helpless prisoner. The entire human race has been reduced to slavery, as the mighty warships of a new Time Lord Empire rise from the ashes. Planet Earth relies on Martha Jones to lead it out of the darkness..." Which, really, just boggles the mind. I don't know how they're going to deal with that, especially with forward continuity - people may have blanked and denied the spaceship that crashed into Big Ben and the Cyberman invasion, but it'll be hard to ignore this one. And if Torchwood shares any of the same continutity, it's going to be an interesting show in the second season...

Posted by Drew Shiel at June 20, 2007 8:44 AM

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"Now, there were posters up in the WWII Dance Hall that Jack and Toshiko visited in Torchwood for Saxon"

The posters were on the Cardiff Ritz before they went back in time.

Posted by: Taras at June 22, 2007 12:07 AM

I'm pretty intersted in seeing how they get out of the situation at the end of Utopia. I personaly think that the Doctor opens the air vent behind where the TARDIS took off, all three leg it inside, Doctor locks the vent, Doctor uses sonic screwdriver to fix Jack's timewatch, just as the Futurekind get into the vent, then they all get back to good old yet-to-happen 2008.

Posted by: Dr. Phil (Back a year on!) at June 23, 2007 2:15 PM

they use capt. jack's wrist watch transporter thingy : but u know that already!

Posted by: at June 26, 2007 9:44 AM

Now I wanna know more about the last episode :p. All I know so far is it's set a year after the last one, there's a big red button on the ship which plays an important role (Suprise suprise :D), Jack is tied up in chains and Martha and her gang use electricity to knock down a Toclofane and look inside it. Rumours about a mountain-top battle between the doctor and the master. I hope the maste escapes in his current body, becaus Simm is hillarious as him. I'm also interested to see what happend to Torchwood, considering it's a year on and they'll be out of the Himilayas by now.


Posted by: Dr. Phil (Took the TARDIS to a year on!) at June 30, 2007 5:14 PM

in the final episode [i'm gonna try and not give too much away in case people havent seen it yet], after the doctor does his magic, right at the end captain jack says that he was the first model used by the time agency and was the face of bo. what does that refer to? does anyone know? cos it is driving me INSANE. it would be really helpful if someone could answer me. thanks

Posted by: saffy at June 30, 2007 8:54 PM

Jack's the face of BOA ok there i said it but i still cant believe it, i really didnt see that coming at all.

Given everything else that happened in the last 3 episodes who'd guess that was the fact that would stick with me the most. Have to give Marta some credit though she saves the world and then gets out where to go girl, she can always go to work for torchwood, id say she's qualified now

Loved John Simm as the Master, he played the role brilliently

Posted by: phoenix at July 1, 2007 1:51 AM

Well actuall in the papers it says that now martha is no longer the doctors companion they are sending her off to the spin off series of torchwood where she will become a stronger character then appear in the last 3 episodes of series 4

Posted by: Draco86 at July 5, 2007 12:58 PM

Captin Jack was the face of boe???

Posted by: LIz at August 26, 2007 3:09 PM

hi im a really big fan or torchwood i just want 2 say that jack gwen owen ianto and toshiko r great and i hope there will be another series lv kel x

Posted by: kellycaz at April 11, 2008 10:12 PM