Tenth Doctor: The Sound of Drums/The Last of the Time Lords (dual review)

saxon

Writer: Russell T. Davies

Director: Colin Teague

Producer: Phil Collinson

Series: 3, episodes 12 and 13

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

Summary: Harold Saxon has been elected Prime Minister of Britain. However, what no one realizes is that Saxon is actually the Master. He has also brought beings called the Toclafane, who were originally only fairy tales on Gallifrey. The Master zaps the Doctor with a device that rapidly ages him. The TARDIS is transformed into a “paradox generator”.

One year later, Martha joins a resistance group against Saxon, where she meets Tom Milligan, the leader. The Master has created the Archangel Network as a means of watching over everyone, Big Brother style. Martha has discovered a flaw in it and uses it against the Master in the hopes of reversing the aging process.

Review: One of the problems with Doctor Who’s two-parters is that the first part is often better than the second. This is the case here, as “The Last of the Time Lords” is pretty convoluted.  I realize that’s sort of the thing with The Master, but still. John Simm is actually better here as the Master than he was in “The End of Time”, because he’s less zany. I like the Master when he’s NOT over the top, the way Delgado played him (although there were good Ainley episodes too.) Martha really shines in the second part, though, so that makes the second part somewhat worth it. But the ending is so contrived! This has to be the worst of the finales from Davies’s tenure as producer, in my opinion.

Continuity: We once again hear about the burnt orange sky of Gallifrey, first referenced in “The Sensorites”. Saxon actually pretended to be the Doctor in the audio drama “Dominion”. We see another Magpie electronics device, referencing “The Idiot’s Lantern”. The Master’s line “People of the Earth, please attend carefully” is similar to the “People of the Universe” line he said in “Logopolis”. “The Leisure Hive” also had a scene where the Doctor aged rapidly.

 

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