Doctor Who: From the End of the Universe to The End of the World


Doctor Who continues to end the season in a strong manner in this second part of the three part finale with The Sound of Drums. (Spoilers ahead.) Last week’s episode, Utopia, was a run of the mill episode until it turned out to be a means of bringing back The Master. The episode ended on a cliff hanger as The Doctor was being chased by the cannibal race of Futurekind at the end of the universe, but by this week we were far more interested in what The Master was up to. The cliff hanger was quickly dispensed with as The Doctor, Martha, and Captain Jack returned to 21st century earth using one of the means I suggested in last week’s review. The Doctor quickly repaired Captain Jack’s vortex manipulator allowing them to escape. We never do find out if the surviving humans make it to Utopia.

Upon returning to earth, we find that The Master had returned eighteen months before The Doctor left for the future and has been posing as Mister Saxon. He uses his powers of hypnotism to transmit The Sound of Drums using cell phones over the Archangel communications network to convince people to vote for him. Once elected Prime Minister of Great Britain, he uses his authority to have The Doctor, Martha, and Captain Jack chased as terrorists. There’s even conflict between Prime Minister Saxon and the President of the United States. Ultimately we wind up in a U.N.I.T. ship flying above the earth where Mr. Saxon assists the invasion of earth with droids as seen in the clip above.

As with most episodes, there are many holes in the plot but they don’t distract from the fun. This episode was especially notable for all the points of continuity, although some might feel some details have strayed from previous works. We see a tribute to previous versions of The Doctor as he offers jelly babies and U.N.I.T. once again plays a part. While the Time Lords were pretty much ignored up until now, we do see images of Gallifrey (which turns out to not really be located in Scotland). Further events from this season become more significant, as with The Master using the technology from The Lazarus Experiment to make The Doctor too old to be a threat. Even Captain Jack’s affiliation with Torchwood becomes a point in the story.

There are many loose ends to tie up in the finale. With all the references to previous episodes, I do hope that the droids don’t turn out to be new homes for the Daleks. The Master tell’s The Doctor that the contents would break his heart I wonder if this means a connection to the Time Lords, or perhaps to the Cybermen with Rose somehow involved. Will The Doctor return to his normal age, or will he have to regenerate despite the claims that David Tennant is returning? The Master has turned the The Tardis into a Paradox Machine but this has not yet been explained I wonder if this will ultimately provide a cosmic reset switch to return everything back to normal.

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