Late to the Party – LOTTL review

So, have to say something about the big finale. The music was absolutely amazing. No, seriously, it was. I don’t always like Murray Gold but the score in this totally underpinned the emotional journey and the big themes.

This was an episode about resolution and hope and moving on. Yes, really. The Titanic image was inspired, because the message of S3 came through loud and clear – losing Rose was the tip of an iceberg of grief for the Doctor. He has to go through it, and it works best for him to do that alone. Rose wasn’t part of that particular story, but she gave him the strength to face it, and now he’s gone through the fire, he might even get her back. I’m still hopeful.

Yes, I’m glad Martha left. It was the right choice for her, to walk away with dignity. I think she’ll be fabulous in Torchwood, or maybe in a guest slot on the TARDIS in future with the lovely Milligan. I felt rather sad that, as the only people who really knew what had happened in that year, the Jones family still left the Doctor on the outside, but it was probably his choice. I was struck by the similarity of the whole set up in that scene to the ending of The Runaway Bride, and there was a real sense of the Doctor reaching the end of an emotional journey. He’s become much better at recognising his inner life; he bullshits, but he knows he’s doing it and he’s learning that it’s okay to drop the guard at times. I think he knew all along that Martha wouldn’t return.

And then he gets thrown a lifebelt. Literally! Love, love, love.

But the heart of it was the death scene of the Master – yes, I know death is a reversible condition in this case, but I am prepared to foregive RTD a great deal for that scene, even the Disneyfied Doctor. It’s easy to knock that, but the show is for kids too, and in today’s diverse society you can only really play the spiritual card in the vaguest terms, or someone gets upset. The open grief was wonderfully healing and cathartic, but the real killer was the Doctor’s own admission, “Perhaps I’ve been wandering too long. I need someone to care for.”

If that isn’t character development, I don’t know what the hell is.

I don’t think we’ve seen the last of Lucy. I think she may even turn out to be Rose.

Jack as Face of Boe? Did nothing for me. Felt tacked on, and is that really a happy ending for him, a disembodied head in a jar? How much more does this poor guy have to suffer?

Doctor as Gollum? Yuck. Although I preferred that to the dog kennel, which I couldn’t bear to watch more than once.

I could bitch loads about the plot holes, but so many people have already. But, seriously, how the hell did Martha keep her hair so neat and her skin so flawless for a year under the circs? And why wasn’t there any food dribbled down the Doctor’s suit? Oh well, I guess we have to accept this is the sanitised version.

Finally, that incredible music. The theme played over the Master’s funeral pyre – still a minor key with echoes of Doomsday, but with the longing replaced by calm resolution. It was very English, in a good way, as was the theme used in the final moments of Family of Blood, which sounded like pure Elgar or Vaughan Williams to me, though I hardly speak as a musicologist.

And that’s about it, I guess.

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8 thoughts on “Late to the Party – LOTTL review

  1. But, seriously, how the hell did Martha keep her hair so neat and her skin so flawless for a year under the circs? – LOL! I think we should lodge a complaint with whoever does the make-up on this show. *grins*
    Doctor as Gollum? Yuck. Although I preferred that to the dog kennel, which I couldn’t bear to watch more than once. – What was with that? He had a dog bowl! In a show that makes such a thing about this man being so brilliant and even god-like, it was not nice to see. It wasn’t even a powerful image; it just seemed so defeatist, to me.
    is that really a happy ending for him, a disembodied head in a jar? How much more does this poor guy have to suffer? – I think this must be RTD’s ambition in life, to end up a famous TV writer’s head in a tank (rather like that stuffed philosopher at King’s College. Is it Bentham?), because otherwise I cannot see how anyone would think this is good. In any way.
    Oh, goodness, I adored the music, too. I’ve frequently found it too loud and overused this series, but this time it seemed exactly right and was saying everything the words couldn’t.

  2. And then he gets thrown a lifebelt. Literally!
    IT WAS ROMANA. Oh please let it be Romana.
    Agreed with pretty much everything you said. I just saw the episode like five minutes ago. I’m feeling the need to chew my knuckles off. I need a good stiff drink, but unfortunately, I’m headed to work now.
    Sigh.

  3. I agree with everything in here. Especially the music. But Lucy as Rose? Well, maybe. Love the interpretation in the first paragraph.
    Ah, plot holes. The thing that really ticked me off was that the Master was making stupid, Bond-villain-esque mistakes. That’s a cheap way for the writer to bring a villain down, and made the Master seem less smart than he had before.
    And Jack as the Face of Boe was twist, but I didn’t like it. Why would he be called the Face of Boe? Why not Face of Jack or something? And we never found out about those two years of his life that the Time Agency took. That was before he met the Doctor and Rose, so it couldn’t be that. I dunno. Too many loose ends.
    Maybe they’ll look at that more in Torchwood. Hopefully…
    And now we must wait until Christmas…*sigh*

  4. @##$%^, I had an entire post written, and just when I hit send, LJ went down and lost the whole thing. Grrr, hate it when that happens!
    But let’s see if I can recreate …
    I agree with almost everything you said about the finale — I groaned terribly at the plot holes, but in the end, realized I didn’t care all that much after all. đŸ™‚ And I think you make a good point about DW being a family show and that sometimes things need to be “sanitized” to make it palatable for the kids. The second half of S3 recaptured my interest and I’m definitely along for the ride again, even if I still miss the fun and “togetherness” of S2.
    Which segues into the part that I don’t agree with …
    I don’t think we’ve seen the last of Lucy. I think she may even turn out to be Rose.
    While I agree that we probably haven’t seen the last of Lucy — though from what I’ve heard, RTD isn’t planning to bring the Master back next season; he just left that opening there for future writers — I am absolutely horrified at the thought of our Rose having to live as Lucy for these years! To be married to an evil madman, who you helped bring to power? Who smacks you around and probably cheats left and right? Who spends a year torturing the Doctor right in front of you and is responsible for the near destruction of the Earth? Honestly, that sounds like Rose’s worst nightmare to me, and I would crawl into a corner and hide if my favorite girl had to go through all that. *g*

  5. Oh yes, Romana would be amazing. But unlikely, I think. They do seem to be going with the last of the Time Lords theme. Of course, you always make an exception for the Master.

  6. Oh, I think the Lucy thing would only work if it was done as a John Smith, and she had limited or no awareness of her real identity throughout. Which would explain her strange behaviour when the journo interviewed her.
    Anyway, it’s always nice to have a mysterious femme fatale with red nail polish to speculate about.
    It’s Tallulah! Oh please!

  7. FW thought the Master on Doctor cruelty was overdone for a young audience. My feeling is that said young audience would miss the sexual connotations and just register “Poor old Doctor”.
    And while we’re being cruel, why bother feeding Jack? And where was his puddle?

  8. I don’t know if I can watch this show anymore. Honestly. I was up all night projecting my feelings about my nursing home patients and my rapidly declining grandmother onto the “Face of Boe.” *headdesk* No more angst please, RTD. If I wanted to see doctors cry I’d watch Grey’s Anatomy.
    Drowning my troubles in cup after cup of imported tea. The only way to save this show is bring Billie back, or reintroduce Romana.

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