Tenth Doctor: Utopia

utopia

Writer: Russell T. Davies

Director: Graeme Harper

Producer: Phil Collinson

Series: 3, ep. 11

Companions: Martha Jones (Freema Agyeman), Captain Jack Harkness (John Barrowman)

Review: The Doctor and Martha make a pit stop in Cardiff to refuel using the wormhole and the TARDIS is spotted by Captain Jack. He’d been following them (this is left over from a Torchwood episode), He hitches a ride on the TARDIS as it disappears and the three of them arrive on a world at the edge of civilization. He reveals that he’s been tracking them using a vortex manipulator. The civilization houses a facility being maintained by a man named Professor Yana and his alien assistant Chantho. The facility is ravaged by rabid beings called the Futurekind. Yana has been trying to get off the planet with everyone for years, but doesn’t know how to repair the rocket inside the facility.  The Doctor repairs it and everyone begins boarding. Yana and Martha talk and he reveals that he’s been hearing drumming in head incessantly for years. He gives her a pocketwatch similar to the one the Doctor had in “Human Nature”. Martha notices it and opens it, unknowingly awakening Yana’s true self–The Master. The Master then sabotages the facility, killing many of the humans in the facility before entering the TARDIS and regenerating. This leads into Series 3’s 2-part finale.

Review: I rather enjoyed this story. Captain Jack is his usually insufferable self, hitting on everyone, even Chantho. I have to admit, Chantho was a tad annoying with her peculiar dialect. Derek Jacobi is great as Professor Yana, and there are times I wish he had played the Master a little bit longer instead of John Simm. The facility is a great twist on what you’d expect for something to be called a utopia. Not knowing the actual source for the story (see Trivia), I have to say this is a great episode.

Continuity: This episode explains the meaning behind the cryptic message that the Face of Boe gave the Doctor in “Gridlock”, as Yana’s name means “You Are Not Alone”. This episode is the first to crossover with Torchwood. Jack uses the Doctor’s hand that was severed in “The Christmas Invasion”.

Trivia: “Utopia” was inspired by the Big Finish audio drama “Master”, which featured Derek Jacobi as the Master. He also portrayed the Master in the animated webcast “The Scream of the Shalka.”

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