Friday, November 28, 2008

The Last of the Timelords..........................

The Last of the Timelords


AIR DATE: June 30, 2007
VILLIANS: The Master
OTHER CHARACTERS: Lucy Saxon, Francine Jones, Clive Jones, Tish Jones, Leo Jones, Thomas Milligan, Professor Docherty
LOCATION: Earth, The Valiant

A year after the events of "The Sound of Drums", Earth has been closed to all species and labelled as in "terminal extinction". Martha returns to Britain, having travelled the world since teleporting away from the Valiant at the moment of the Master's triumph. Her TARDIS key, still generating a perception filter, has kept her hidden all this time. She meets Thomas Milligan, a doctor-turned-freedom-fighter, who can lead her to one Professor Docherty. Martha herself has become a figure of hope against the Master, rumoured to be the only one capable of killing him.
Meanwhile, on the Valiant, the Master is keeping the aged Doctor in a "dog-kennel" tent as his humiliated prisoner, Martha's family as his servants, and Jack Harkness in chains. Lucy Saxon is still his companion, but shows evidence of physical abuse. The Master shows the Doctor the world he has created: the new Time Lord Empire. Across the planet, warships are being built to wage war on the rest of the universe. The Doctor has "only one thing to say", but the Master does not want to hear it. After a failed attempt by the Jones family, Jack, and the Doctor to gain control by stealing the Master's laser screwdriver, the Master sends out a transmission intended for Martha. Watching in Docherty's lab, she sees the Master suspend the Doctor's capacity to regenerate, shrinking him into a tiny, frail creature. Instead of despairing, Martha draws strength from the Doctor's continued survival.

Though the Toclafane have proven to be virtually invincible, Martha reveals that she stumbled upon one that was struck by lightning, and with the data gathered from the incident Docherty is able to replicate the required conditions. Upon examining the sphere thus captured, they make a horrifying discovery: the Toclafane contain the conscious remains of the humans from the year 100 trillion. The Toclafane claims there was no Utopia, only more darkness, and with everything dying around them the humans cannibalised and regressed themselves, becoming the child-like Toclafane. The Master brought them back in time using the TARDIS, which could only travel between Utopia and present-day Earth. The contradiction of the Toclafane killing their own ancestors is made possible by the paradox machine built by the Master. Martha is horrified when the Toclafane quotes young Creet, whom she met on Malcassairo, telling her that the Toclafane have shared memories of the last of humanity. When questioned as to why it wishes to kill its own ancestors, the Toclafane responds, "Because it's fun" and laughs maniacally. Tom, sickened and horrified, shoots it dead. Meanwhile, the Doctor (who is now imprisoned in a bird cage) warns the Master that he is changing history of not only Earth but the whole universe. The Master reminds his enemy that he is a Time Lord and as such he has the right to do so. The Doctor begs the Master to stop his plans of conquest, but he refuses, wanting to install a new Time Lord Empire, and taunts the Doctor for not supporting 'what you always wanted: Time Lords and humans, together!'. The Master also states that the human race are the "greatest monsters of them all."

When Docherty asks if the rumours about Martha are true, Martha reveals a gun, developed by Torchwood and UNIT, purportedly able to kill a Time Lord and prevent the ensuing regeneration. Martha has retrieved three of the four chemicals needed for the gun from their hiding places around the world, and has returned to London to find the fourth. After Martha and Thomas depart for a shelter in Bexley to hide, Docherty (who is desperate for information regarding her missing son) reveals their whereabouts to the Master.

The Master comes to Earth's surface to capture Martha, threatening to have everyone in the shelters executed unless she gives herself up. Martha surrenders and is forced to hand over the bag containing the special gun which the Master immediately destroys with his Screwdriver. He then tells Martha that her work is done, and prepares to execute her in the street; Tom charges to her defence, and the Master kills him instead. Musing that the Doctor should see Martha die, the Master takes her back to the Valiant, where he plans to execute her in front of the Doctor, Jack, and Martha's family at the moment his fleet is launched. Ordering her to kneel, the Master awaits the end of the countdown, but as it counts down to zero, a defiant and amused Martha laughs mockingly at the Master, then reveals to him the real reason she travelled the globe: not for a fictional anti-regeneration gun, or to fight back, but merely to talk. Docherty's betrayal was expected, engineered by Martha so that she would be brought on board the Valiant to rejoin the Doctor at the right time. For a whole year, Martha had crossed the globe, telling the human race about the Doctor, and instructing everyone to think of the Doctor at the same time the Master plans to launch his fleet. Crucially combined with the Master's own Archangel satellite network— which the Doctor has had an entire year to get in tune with — this has the effect of charging the Doctor with the combined psychic energy of all the people of Earth. Now renewed with powerful psychokinetic abilities, the Doctor restores his body to its original form and ends the Master's control. As the Master cowers, the Doctor says the words the Master was most afraid to hear: "I forgive you".

With the Master out of the picture, Jack rounds up some soldiers to destroy the paradox machine, but is delayed by the Toclafane. The Master, using Jack's vortex manipulator, teleports himself and the Doctor to Earth, where he creates a standoff by threatening to detonate his fleet and take the Earth with it. The Doctor, however, calls the Master's bluff, telling the Master that the Earth's destruction requires the Master to kill himself: the one thing the Doctor knows that the Master would never do. The Master surrenders, and the Doctor manages to teleport both himself and the Master back to the Valiant just as Jack destroys the paradox machine, rewinding time to just after the US President is killed and just before the Toclafane arrive. All those on the Valiant remember the events due to being at "the eye of the storm", but nobody else will know of the Master's reign of terror in "the year that never was".

The Master, now defenceless, attempts to escape but is caught by a returning Jack and handcuffed and stands before the Doctor, but Francine Jones grabs a gun and is ready to shoot the Master. As she says, he still committed the atrocities she was forced to witness, even if they have been reversed, but the Doctor talks her out of committing murder, and she collapses in tears. The Doctor announces that, since the Master is a Time Lord, he is the Doctor's responsibility and will be imprisoned on board the TARDIS. However Lucy Saxon, with a glazed expression, seizes the gun herself and shoots him. Rather than be a prisoner for the rest of his lives, the Master lets himself die, refusing to regenerate despite the Doctor's desperate pleading for him to do so. Just before dying in his opponent's arms the Master muses on the constant drumming in his head, wondering if it will finally stop, and with a smile says, "I win" before he dies, leaving the Doctor to weep uncontrollably for both his old enemy and the last remaining member of his species, leaving him, once again, the last of the Time Lords.

The Doctor cremates the Master's body on a pyre. However, after he leaves, a female hand wearing red nail polish is seen taking the Master's signet ring from the burnt-out pyre, with malevolent laughter echoing in the background. In Cardiff, Jack decides to turn down the chance to remain with the Doctor, chosing to return to look after his team, "defending the Earth". The Doctor reclaims his severed hand from Jack, and disables his vortex manipulator to keep him from jumping through time and space unsupervised. The Doctor then tells Jack that there is nothing that can be done about his immortality: it seems likely he will never be able to die — though he is not sure about aging. Thinking about what he might look like millions of years from now, Jack confesses his vanity and recalls how in his youth on the Boeshane Peninsula his good looks earned him the nickname "the Face of Boe", much to the surprise of the Doctor and Martha.

With the TARDIS repaired, the Doctor is ready to move on. Martha, however, has decided to stay so she can look after her family and finally qualify as a medical doctor. She gives the Doctor her phone so they can keep in touch and says she will see him again, but when someone is in love and it is unrequited, they have to get out, and as Martha explains: "this is me getting out". The Doctor sets the TARDIS controls - until the room is suddenly shaken with great force, and the bow of a ship smashes through the console room wall. Picking up a lifebuoy, he finds Titanic written on it, to which he can only respond flatly, "What?!"