Doctor Who: The End of Time, The End of an Era

David Tennant as the Tenth Doctor
Image via Wikipedia

You know I was plan­ning on writ­ing a normal review of David Tennant’s Doctor Who swan­song, but ulti­mately that’s point­less. The End of Time really sums up the Russell T Davies era of Doctor Who perfectly. Within the 135 minutes of story is every­thing that was great and every­thing not so great about his version of Doctor Who. You can pick apart the details from End of Time Part 1 and Part 2. There are certainly flaws, some of them quite big, but that’s really not the point.

When Davies returned the show to tele­vi­sion after it’s long absence, he had a very partic­u­lar vision in mind. While I really liked Christo­pher Eccle­ston’s 9th Doctor, really it’s clear that David Tennant embod­ies how Davies sees Doctor Who. So their depar­ture really is the end of an era even more than a regu­lar regen­er­a­tion is.

The End of Time isn’t the best Doctor Who story. It’s not the best regen­er­a­tion story. It’s not even the best 10th Doctor story. But it is a very fitting send off for Tennant and Davies.

What we get is an epic, main­stream, Doctor Who story with John Simms play­ing a wonder­fully insane Master and Timo­thy Dalton as an equally manic Rassil­lon. The scale was huge, the big action sequences were inter­spersed with some great one on one acting between Tennant’s Doctor and Bernard Cribbin’s Wilf. Action, pathos and explo­sions. That’s Davies’ approach to Doctor Who in a nutshell. And if you don’t like his vision, you won’t like this story.

There were of course also some unan­swered ques­tions (which I can forgive) and some rather large plot holes. There was also an over­long send off to all the Doctor’s compan­ions. But in the end the flaw’s don’t really matter because the emotion of the regen­er­a­tion is hard to ignore. It’s a formula that works judg­ing by the view­ing figures and audi­ence ratings. But it’s not to everyone’s taste of course. It’s not 100% to mine.

That’s one of the great things about Doctor Who though. It changes. We’ve seen radi­cal changes in style over the years. Pertwee’s “James Bond” era followed by Tom Baker’s “Gothic Horror” era, followed by his increas­ingly comic era. It’s not just the actor that changes Doctor Who, it’s the produc­ers too.

And for those who didn’t like The End of Time, take heart. Some­thing differ­ent is coming. Steven Moffat’s vision of Doctor Who is not Russell T Davies. We got the briefest of tasters of Matt Smith as the 11th Doctor. Not enough to judge the man (though I’m sure it won’t stop people), but enough to see that he will be differ­ent to David Tennant.

So appre­ci­ate the Tennant / Davies’ era for what it is an enjoy The End of Time on that level, then wait impa­tiently for the begin­ning of the Matt Smith / Steven Moffat era.

About Eoghann Irving

Overly opinionated owner and author of eoghann.com. You can get updated on his posts directly on the blog here or through the usual social networking suspects. What? You expected me to say something interesting here? That's what the blog posts are for. Eoghann has often wondered if people read these little bio things we have to fill out everywhere on the internet and, assuming they do, why?