The big finish. We’ve been building up to this since they first started laying it on with a trowel back in episode 1. The Pandorica Opens and silence will fall. Or words to that effect. And having seen part 1 of the season finale for this year’s Dr Who, it swings wildly between astonishingly good and astoundingly bad.
Before I go any further, consider this your spoilers warning.
Still here? Good.
Right. Let’s go back a few years. Christopher Ecclestone coming to the end of his run as the Doctor. The whole Bad Wolf thing. Yes, it’s been there in the background but no-one’s been paying too much attention to it until the big reveal and the Daleks try and take over the world. Bit of a deus-ex-machina with Rose getting rid of them, but hey! It was good Who. We get a swift regeneration into David Tennant and before the memory of the 9th Doctor is cold, they’re laying Torchwood on with a trowel. So by the end of the series, once we finally get to Torchwood HQ in London we’ve known a lot about the arc-story for this season. And the climax can’t just have Daleks, this time we’ve Daleks and Cybermen. So far, so good. And not one but two worlds in danger. Right. Moving on, end of Tennant’s next season sees the return of the Master and the return of Russel T Davies’ favourite trick – the big, red, reset button.
Okay, so the button might not be red, but it certainly resets everything. Daleks? Erased from history, never happened. Reset 1. Daleks & Cybermen sucked back into the void. Nothing left lying around (well, nothing of significance). Reset 2. A whole horrible year of what the Master did to Earth undone, never happened. I’m seeing a pattern here.
DT’s third season sees him facing the Daleks. Again. Unfortunately, the Dr Who publicity machine didn’t do a very good job of hiding the fact that either (1) Rose was coming back or (2) Davros and the Daleks were returning. Prize for most under-used Dalek threat goes to the Red leader Dalek who’s sole purpose was to descend into Davros’ vault and be blasted by Cap’n Jack’s enormous weapon. Fnar Fnar. And then the planets get returned, the Daleks erased from existence (again, this is getting somewhat repetitive) and the Earth towed back into place. Not exactly a reset but the way the Daleks were dealt with is definitely a repeat of the S1 climax. However, this is definitely my favourite season finale to date and there are moments in it that are just perfect.
Moving on to DT’s final season and we have a collection of not-do-special extended episodes followed by my least favourite season finale. Too long, too self-indulgent. A good send-off but not the best. The Time Lords were under-used, the Master nowhere near as evil as he is usually (he ends up saving the world!). And the trip round visiting all the past companions had ne reaching for the sick bag. Best thing was playing spot the Being Human cast.
And each time the threat has got bigger and harder. This time they’ve killed the companion, the TARDIS is about to explode and the Doctor is locked away for the safety of the universe. The second part of this one has got to be spectacular. And if it lives up to the writing of the first, we’re in for a real treat. Just don’t use the reset button so obviously.