The end of the world (2005)
About this episode
This episode was first broadcast on April 2, 2005. It was written by Russell T Davies and directed by Euros Lyn. The showrunner was Russell T Davies.
It's the end of the world as we know it, but nobody notices.
With this episode, the BBC shows us that they were willing to do futurism and spend serious money on prosthetics, costumes, sets and special effects. The episode also picks up where the previous one left off, showing us more of who the Doctor and Rose are and how their relationship is starting to develop. It even gets in a bit of back story about the Time Lords, and it also introduces a couple of characters who would return in later episodes.
The good news:
- The Doctor and Rose get some excellent character moments. Especially Rose's response to seeing the earth die and her realisation that's she's completely out of her depth, coming after her earlier exhilaration, is very nicely done.
- Minor characters like Jabe the tree and Raffalo the plumber are written and acted well enough to become memorable.
- The episode looks like serious money has been spent on it.
The not so good news:
- As was the case with 'Rose', the writing is a bit of a mixed bag. The story moves along at a steady pace, the dialogues and the characterisation are great, and the inclusion of another bit of back-story is handled more elegantly here than in the previous episode. The story as a whole, however, isn't that strong. We get an Evil Master Mind who, like many Doctor Who villains that have gone before, can't come up with an Evil Master Plan without overcomplicating it. The result is a plot that provides enough twists and turns to keep us all entertained for the entire episode but that doesn't make much sense.
The bottom line
Another case of 'enjoy the ride, don't worry too much about the story'.