Thursday, April 2, 2015

Doctor Who - 10th Anniversary of NuWho "The End of the World" Review

Doctor Who:
The End of the World
By Russell T. Davies

“Moisturize Me.”

The Doctor takes Rose 5 Billion years into the future at the time when the planet Earth will be destroyed by the expanding sun.  They land on a platform that is hosting a viewing party for the death of the Earth hosted by the Face of Boe.  There are tons of alien races and Rose is feeling a bit overwhelmed as she walks away to clear her head.  The Doctor catches up with her and tells her about the psychic connection she has with the TARDIS that allows her to hear the different alien dialects.  When all of a sudden the space station shakes which The Doctor claims should not have happened and goes to see what is happening.

It appears someone has sabotaged the station defenses against the heat and light of the sun and will cause the station to explode when the sun expands.  The Doctor with the help of Jabe go and investigate what has happened and find that the to fix the problem they have to reset the shields which happens to be behind a bunch of fan blades.  Jabe volunteers to hold the switch to slow the blades down but that act costs Jabe her life as she ends up combusting from the heat but her sacrifice allows The Doctor to save everyone one the station by resetting the shields.

The Doctor returns to confront the person responsible for all this as Cassandra reveals she did it for the money by collecting the insurance claim from the accident.  But since The Doctor returned her from her spaceship that was hiding she begins to creak.  Since the temperature of the station has gone up considerably her skin dries up until it splits apart thus ending her life.  The Doctor and Rose feel a little remorse as the return to Earth where The Doctor tells her a little bit about his life as the eventually succumb to the smell of fish and chips and head off to have some.

The End of the World is a pretty simple story. What RTD does is introduce the newer fans that the TARDIS can travel in time.  For this episode he writes a story that takes place in the future and uses The Doctor and Rose’s relationship to tell this story to the audience by having Rose being surprised that the TARDIS can go all the way to the point in history where the Earth is destroyed by the sun. RTD uses Rose to convey the point to the viewer as we see him do this again in the next story The Unquiet Dead when they go to the past.

The End of the World is a decent story that is quite simple but pretty entertaining.  We are introduced to a whole bunch of alien races.  Some of which we will see again like the Face of Boe and the villainous last human Cassandra.   There are some good moments as Rose questions The Doctor over the use of the psychic link that the TARDIS gives Rose as she claims it is an intrusion and that The Doctor should have asked first.  We’ve not seen a companion question The Doctor before as this will be the first of many times a companion will challenge The Doctor.

The End of the World will never win any awards for being the best Doctor Who story of all time or even for the 9th Doctor era but it is a story that is very simple to watch with some great performances.  We learn more about The Doctor’s past and that Gallifrey is no more.  We see The Doctor shed a tear which we have never seen before and we get a sense that this Doctor has more feelings and less alien than the ones who came before.  While The End of the World is the second story of NuWho it shows us so much more and opens  up a bunch of mysteries into The Doctor’s past so much so that it took up to 10 years for some of them to be answered.  The End of the World is a decent story that isn’t that bad and it still holds up today.
Grade B

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