This week was awesome and while John Simm certainly didn’t do it alone (all the BBC wonks who issued slurs against Freema Agyeman that she got rubbish towards the end of the series, hang your heads in shame), he bought an unbridled bucket of fun to the end of the world. The high-pantomime routine of watching Sheila Sabatini cark it at the hands of the Toclafane was great. Giving a big thumbs up after gassing his entire cabinet – I’ve always been wary of those conferencing phone dooleys – was cheesetastic. Taunting the US President stayed just the right side of offensive. And the Master eyeing up everyone more than Captain Jack does is a nice antidote to the increasingly creepy Doctor (you can imagine that it’s actually the Doctor who would be successful at murdering someone, so that everyone afterwards could go ‘but he seemed like such a nice man’. Just a thought.)
Other possible distractions were kept at arm’s length. The hilarious way that Torchwood was kept out of it (they’re quite stupid and on holiday) was a relief after the self-important music almost heralded the coming of the loved-up Welsh idiots. Martha’s stupid family was also a minor side show (I’m changing me earlier opinion of them to ‘they’re all stupid and deserve to die’).
It’s also quite incredible how the T Davies keeps finding these motifs to subtly thread through entire series of Who and not have anyone notice. Next series – that dot between ‘Doctor’ and ‘Who’ in the opening credits is a portal to another world – or is it? It will be a shame to lose him from the programme. As much as Moffat is probably a better writer of individual episodes, the T Davies does have an unparalleled ability to pull it all together for an absolutely massive pay-off.
So, I think it’s pretty safe to take a guess at where the series is going to go now, as it will doubtlessly veer off in an entirely different direction. We didn’t exactly get good resolution as to where humanity went at the end of the universe, but the toclafane don’t exactly seem bad, just a bit daft. The Tardis is hooked up for nefarious purposes. There’s no way they can’t all be linked, and it can all end with John Simm being the new Doctor thanks to some Chameleon Archiness.
Seeing as Doctor Who is on good form, it’ll be a massive surprise and probably turn out instead that the toclafane are all made of marmalade and under the control of the Tiptree Jam Company. Either way, it’s great to see the series go out on an unrepresentative high.