|'The End of Time'
(Story Code 4.17)
by Russell T Davies
“…a shadow is falling over creation. Something vast is stirring in the dark…” – the Ood
It is Christmas Eve, a time when everyone on the planet Earth is experiencing bad dreams, of fire, war and insanity. But with the Yuletide festivities rapidly approaching, everyone forgets their nightmares – all except one person: Wilfred Mott. Making his way home from some last minute shopping, Wilf is drawn to a nearby church, where he sees a representation of the TARDIS in a stained glass window. Seeing his interest, a mysterious woman in white tells Wilf a tale from the Thirteenth Century, of a sainted physician who saved people from a terrible demon; hinting that this saviour may yet return, the woman then disappears into thin air – and Wilf suddenly recalls the face of the man in his dreams, a man recognisable as the Doctor’s old enemy, the Master… Elsewhere, the TARDIS materialises on the ice planet Ood-Sphere and the Doctor, now sporting a straw hat and Hawaiian lei, and putting on a brave face, steps out into the snowy wastes to meet with Ood Sigma. Since receiving the alien’s summons, and all too aware of his impending death, the Doctor has taken a few detours en route, enjoying adventures helping alien races, naming a galaxy ‘Alison’, and even getting married to Queen Elizabeth I (it didn’t work out). Seeing the Ood’s magnificent city in the distance, the Doctor is puzzled by the technology in use, which appears to be far more advanced than it should be. After learning that the Ood are being plagued by bad dreams, the Doctor follows Sigma into the caves beneath the planet surface, where he meets the Ood Elder and his disciples; joining with them telepathically, the Doctor sees a number of visions: the Master, somehow resurrected from the dead; the troubled Wilf; a rich couple gloating of success to come; and finally, the widow Lucy Saxon, languishing in a prison cell. When the Doctor shows the Ood how his deadliest enemy died during their last battle, the Ood Elder explains that a mysterious woman saved the evil Time Lord’s ring from his funeral pyre – part of the Master survived. With their eyes now glowing red, the Ood voice their fear that all the peoples in the universes are now dreaming; they then warn of a shadow falling across the universe, an event that heralds the end of Time itself. On hearing this cataclysmic prophecy, the Doctor immediately races back to the TARDIS, frantically setting the ship’s controls for Earth’s past... Meanwhile, Lucy Saxon receives a visit from one of the wardens, Miss Trefusis – the woman who saved her late husband’s ring from the ashes; the warden takes Lucy to meet the new governor: one of the Master’s deluded disciples, who plans to follow the evil Time Lord’s contingency plan as laid out in his ‘Secret Books of Saxon’. Using these instructions the Governor and her staff concoct a potion, the final ingredient of which is a biometric imprint of their master taken from Lucy’s lips. A storm whirls up from the mixture, draining the disciples’ life force and creating a vortex in which the Master’s body reforms – the insane Time Lord has been reborn, and he is hungry for revenge on all of humanity. However, Lucy has been planning for this moment and has prepared a counter-plan: taking a phial from the guard next to her, Lucy throws a chemical mix at the Master and a massive explosion tears through the prison… When the Doctor finally arrives on Earth he is too late, as the TARDIS lands amongst the charred ruins of HMP Broadfell. Meanwhile, Joshua Naismith and his daughter Abigail – the rich couple from the Doctor’s vision – watch footage of the prison’s destruction, and are pleased to see that someone escaped the conflagration. Heading to a room containing an archway of highly advanced technology, the Naismiths order their team of scientists to begin the preparation of ‘The Gate’…. Sneaking out of his house, Wilf boards a coach to join his gang of elderly friends, ‘The Silver Cloak’, instructing them to search for the Doctor and his Police Box in the hope that their quarry will to put an end to their bad dreams. Meanwhile, hiding out on waste ground near the waterfront, the Master, now disguised with bleached-blonde hair and a hoodie, murders some tramps and the owners of a burger van; helping himself to their wares, the Master is clearly ill, wracked by an insatiable hunger, his skeleton flashing visibly through his skin as his body consumes its own life essence. Sensing the Doctor’s presence nearby, the Master bangs on an oil drum to summon his enemy; a confrontation seems inevitable, but before the Doctor can reach the Master he is sidetracked by the arrival of Wilf and his friends, who have tracked him down after receiving a sighting of the TARDIS. Accompanying Wilf to a café, the Doctor ponders the connection that is causing them to keep meeting, and then confides in his friend of his sorrow at his impending death. Seeing Donna and her new fiancé, Shaun, in the street outside, the Doctor is pleased to see his former companion now happy – but he still refuses to comply with Wilf’s request that he restore her memories of their adventures together. Resuming his search for the Master, the Doctor tracks his nemesis to an old waterside warehouse, where the evil Time Lord blasts him with energy shot from his hands. The Doctor is undaunted, and attempts to reason with his enemy and ask for his help in facing the threat to Time; but the Master refuses to listen, his failed resurrection having driven him completely insane, and after telepathically subjecting the Doctor to the sound of drums that fills his head with madness, the Master turns tail and runs. As the Doctor gives chase a helicopter arrives on the scene; masked gunmen rappel down, sedate the Master and then abduct him, knocking the Doctor unconscious when he tries to stop them…The following morning sees Christmas Day in the Mott-Noble household; after receiving an unlikely gift from Donna in the form of a book by millionaire Joshua Naismith, Wilf settles down to watch the Queen’s speech – only to see the mysterious woman from the church on the television screen, warning him to take arms for the terrible events to come. Retrieving his old service revolver from a box hidden under his bed, Wilf then sees the Doctor and the TARDIS in the street outside; the Time Lord asks for help in finding the Master, asking Wilf if he has seen anything strange recently; when Wilf refers to the book Donna gave him, the Doctor recognises the man from his vision, and he immediately races back to the TARDIS. Ignoring his daughter’s protestations, Wilf joins the Doctor in the ship, as they set course for the Naismiths’ estate. Meanwhile, Joshua and Abigail watch their guards wheel a heavily restrained Master into the room containing the Gate; when the Master recognises the device as alien technology, two of the scientists, Rossiter and Addams, become worried, and head downstairs to the basement to talk. Shedding their human disguises, the two spiky, green-skinned aliens consider how they can make use of the Master in their plans… Joshua explains to his ‘guest’ that the archway, dubbed the ‘Immortality Gate’, was found buried at the foot of Mount Snowdon; it was brought to Torchwood for investigation, and when that organisation fell, Joshua acquired the device; he now wants the Master’s help in reactivating the Gate so that he can use its restorative power to give his daughter Abigail eternal life. Sensing the TARDIS’ arrival on the estate, the Master agrees to help, and he sets to work… Evading the Naismiths’ private guards, the Doctor and Wilf gain access to the house and encounter Miss Addams; the Doctor instantly sees through the alien’s disguise, using his sonic screwdriver to reveal the Vinvocci’s true form. Watching events over CCTV, the Doctor looks on as the Master activates the Immortality Gate, causing a shimmering energy field to appear inside the archway. Addams explains that she and Rossiter are a salvage team after the Gate, which is actually a medical device capable of mending the population of entire planets. Suddenly realising the implications of such a device in the Master’s hands, the Doctor races upstairs to the main room – but he is too late, arriving on the scene just as the Master escapes his shackles and leaps into the Gate. As the Doctor and Wilf desperately try to deactivate the machine, the Master uses the Gate to send a pulse of energy across the Earth, transforming every human being into a copy of himself. Wilf is safe, isolated inside the control room of the Gate's power supply; however, over his phone he hears Donna’s shock at seeing her mother and fiancé changing into the Master – it tips her over the edge, restoring the memories of her adventures with the Doctor, and sending her collapsing to the floor. Back at the Naismiths’, the Doctor looks on in horror as the Master triumphantly proclaims the destruction of the human race, and the creation of the Master race… Elsewhere, across the far reaches of space, an even more shocking threat to creation has occurred: the Time Lords of Gallifrey have somehow returned, and have declared the End of Time…
David Tennant (The Doctor), John Simm (The Master), Bernard Cribbins (Wilfred Mott), Timothy Dalton ('The Narrator'), Catherine Tate (Donna Noble), Jacqueline King (Sylvia Noble), Claire Bloom (The Woman), June Whitfield (Minnie Hooper), David Harewood (Joshua Naismith), Tracy Ifeachor (Abigail Naismith), Sinêad Keenan (Addams), Lawry Lewin (Rossiter), Alexandra Moen (Lucy Saxon), Karl Collins (Shaun Temple), Teresa Banham (Governor), Barry Howard (Oliver Barnes), Allister Bain (Winston Katusi), Simon Thomas (Mr Danes), Sylvia Seymour (Miss Trefusis), Pete Lee-Wilson (Tommo), Dwayne Scantlebury (Ginger), Lucy Bond (Serving Woman), Lachele Carl (Trinity Wells), Paul Kasey (Ood Sigma), Ruari Mears (Elder Ood), Max Benjamin (Teenager), Silas Carson (Voice of Ood Sigma), Brian Cox (Voice of Elder Ood)
Directed by Euros Lyn
Produced by Tracie Simpson
Executive Producers Russell T. Davies and Julie Gardner
A BBC Wales production
TX (BBC 1 & BBC HD):
25th December 2009 @ 6.00 pm
*Featuring the Tenth Doctor, Wilfred and Donna
*Part one of a two part story
*This hour-long special was also simulcast on the BBC's HD channel
*Working title: 'The Final Days of Planet Earth'
*This is the first time this naming convention has been used on 'Doctor Who' since its return in 2005. Although several recent stories have been told across more than one episode, each part had a separate and distinct title
*As part of 'Children in Need', the BBC showed an exclusive preview of scenes three and four of 'The End of Time' Part one on Friday 20th November on BBC 1
*Tying in with the BBC's Christmas celebrations, four 'Doctor Who'-themed channel idents were used on BBC1 over the holiday period: a thirty-second ident named 'Dr Who Christmas', and three five-second stings: 'Dr Who Digging in Snow', 'Reindeer Sniffing by TARDIS' and 'Reindeer Snort'