The first part of “The End of Time”, David Tennant’s final adventure as The Doctor on “Doctor Who”, aired Friday evening in the UK and just a few hours ago States-side. In Britain the episode pulled in ten million viewers, down nearly two million on the previous year though all programs on Xmas Day this year saw notable audience drops.
US ratings have yet to be released, though BBC America is firmly planting its foot in the ‘Who’ basket with plans to run a non-stop marathon of all of David Tennant’s 48 episodes starting with “The Christmas Invasions” at midnight on New Year’s Day right through to its premiere screening of “The End of Time Part Two” the following evening at 8:30pm.
Reviews proved quite mixed for the episode with complaints of padding and it essentially serving as pure setup with all the big stuff saved for next week’s 75-minute finale. Certain moments however scored praise, such as the cafe scene with The Doctor and Wilf talking about Donna (Catherine Tate) and ruminating on death and loss.
The most talked about element though was the final scene, a left field twist with the apparent return of the long-thought dead Time Lords themselves led by Timothy Dalton. Narrating much of the episode, Dalton’s quick scene on camera has drawn a few remarks notably for the amount of spit flying from his mouth during his shouting.
After its UK airing, the BBC website released two videos fans are keen to see. The first is the BBC One promo trailer that will air during this week to promote the upcoming final episode with a bunch of new footage. The second is the first post-credits scene of ‘Part Two’, a flashback to a ravaged Gallifrey during the Time War itself and a Time Lord council meeting complete with an annoying prophetess and Dalton getting to overact.
Finally in an interview with BBC Radio 3, new showrunner Steven Moffat was asked how the show would change tonally when he took over, to which he responded it would take on a more “dark fairytale” quality. He added that when all gears are clicking on the show, it should almost be an anthology as every episode should be distinct and different from each other.
He also confirmed the weeping angels from the much-acclaimed episode “Blink” will be returning in the upcoming first season of Matt Smith’s. One unexpected change is that according to the production blocks, Smith’s first season is being referred to as ‘Series One’ rather than the logical ‘Series Five’ which is what it would be if it kept the ordering from the first series of the revival in 2005.