While the Doctor Who Series 3 finale triumphed with average viewing figures of 8 million viewers, Outpost Gallifrey report that this represented a 39.1% share of the total available audience.
Doctor Who is also likely to have beaten most soap opera episodes of the week, with Last of the Time Lords the most watched show on Saturday, beating long-time favourite Casualty by one and a half million. The Weakest Link: Doctor Who Special meanwhile garnered an impressive 4.5million viewers.
Dave Golder’s SFX review of the episode focussed on what a lot of the Kasterborous Forum members have been saying – good FX, good performances, too much “magic”:
Who didn’t breathe a sigh of relief, though, when that cod fantasy-epic nonsense about the gun turned out to be a red herring, though on the other hand the “I do believe in fairies, I do, I do” resolution may have not have been any less “magical” to satisfy a lot of fans demanding a more hard SF approach in the show.
The Gollum Doctor was just a bit too cute and manga-ish to take seriously and Barrowman fans must be moaning about how little he had to do.
Meanwhile, The Stage’s reviewer opened:
Oh dear, where to start reviewing the finale of what has undoubtedly been the best series of Doctor Whoâ€¦ The Last of the Time Lords left me feeling a bit empty. Itâ€™s like plunging your fork into a great looking pie that turns out to be all flaky pastry and no meat.
And on the matter of the Doctor’s rejuvenation…
If I was being perverse, I could make an allegorical link to the resurrection of Doctor Who, a once great show that wrinkled away due to neglect in the face of flashier, younger pretenders. It bided its time as the fan base kept the word alive through audio dramas and books. The nation still believed in the Doctor and he rose again.
There’s also another very valid point:
I knew the concept of a paradox machine at the heart of the plot was a harbinger of doom last week. And yes, time was reversed and the events never happened. Yawn. Sorry, but thatâ€™s just lazy and I was all prepared to cry foul at the invoking of such a hackneyed cop out.
Of course there is a lot to be said for reviewer Mark Wright’s view that Russell T Davies then has a whole family who went through a terrible ordeal that no one else knows about, but the overall feeling from these two reviews seems to be endemic across the press. yes it was a Doctor Who finale, yes it was the conclusion of the Best Series Yet, yes it was impressive…
…but there was something missing.