More papers and websites have published their reviews of The End of Time, Part Two, and again it’s a mixed bag with positive words from the reviewers, questions from the bloggers and anger and frustration from the posters – has any Doctor Who story ever been so divisive?
Whether its down to Russell T Davies being perceived as a writer who does great things with dialogue and characterization and bonkers things with plot, or David Tennant being seen as a staring, lanky loon with a mockney accent, Matt Smith’s squeaky “I’m a girl?!” or the huge value of Bernard Cribbins, The End of Time, Part Two seems to have got everybody talking!
AVClub.com describe Tennant as “tough to replace” while also observing:
Last weekâ€™s episode, â€œThe End Of Time, Part 1â€ (nicely covered here by Todd VanDerWerff) did a lot of setting up for this week. Iâ€™m not sure it quite paid off
In retrospect, a lot of the business leading up to the final confrontation felt a bit like padding… if youâ€™re going to bring in Timothy Dalton and make him look as awesomely intimidating as he does here, canâ€™t you allow him to do something more than just look awesomely intimidating?
Meanwhile io9.com’s reliable Charlie Jane Anders was a little more… precise, with her summary and review of David Tennant’s swansong. In particular I liked this observation of the nature of the threat from the Time Lords:
Davies has escalated the threat in each of his finales â€” in “Journey’s End,” it was the destruction of the universe, and this time around, the threat was so grand and metaphysical, it could only be conveyed in abstractions.
If Davies had one more go-around, I’m afraid the giant, all-encompassing threat would be “eternal ennui,” or “cheese will no longer melt,” or “universal Belgianness.” (“If I press that button there, everyone in the universe will be Belgian! Forever!”)
Many bloggers and commentors are querying over the identity of Claire Bloom’s mysterious “woman in white” character as well as the lack of any fallout from Donna’s “brain burning” which knocked out half a dozen Masters and Donna herself throughout most of the episode. These are discussions best left to the Russell T Davies and Julie Gardner commentary of the episode – but lest we forget, this leads to an interesting question: if you have to make commentaries to explain your work, is your work good enough to be broadcast?
ScreenRant.com’s Anthony Ocasio seemed to have enjoyed The End of Time, Part Two, although he’s under no illusions as to why:
This special is a perfect example why Davies needed to step down as head writer. While most of the episode was rubbish, there was enough brilliance peppered in to keep me watching and the ending of this episode was most certainly brilliant.
Someone ill-prepared to be a TV reviewer is The Mirror’s Kevin O’Sullivan. Surely the point of reviewing TV is that you like television? Still I digress – but the boy’s a fool, apparently requiring help to follow the plot (such as it was), and dismissing it with:
The Doc was droning on about hordes of travesties and â€œa nightmare child who could have been a king with an army of meanwhiles and never weresâ€. The Master carried on causing chaos for no Âapparent reason.
And, keeping us in the loop, actooor Timothy ÂDalton boomed: â€œThe Ârupture will continue until it rips the time vortex apartâ€¦ we will ascend to become creatures of Âconsciousness.â€ Yes dear, of course you will.
In other words, business as usual in nerd-land.
Well, whoever said The Mirror was highbrow?
Apparently The End of Time, Part Two was…
…Witty, infectious and wearing its heart on its sleeve, this was a barnstorming hour of family entertainment. And the death of the Doctor, who sacrificed his life in place of Wilf’s, was so tenderly acted and sad I half expected the phone number of a Doctor Who helpline to flash on screen to help a nation of heartbroken eight-year-olds get over the shock.
…so says The Telegraph – and with a summary like that, who are we to argue?