Home » Episodes » Radio Free Skaro #174 – The Beginning of The End of Time

Radio Free Skaro #174 – Click here to listen

rfs174So it’s come to this. More than a year after David Tennant announced he was leaving the role of the Doctor, through endless speculation, theorizing and fanwank, we’ve finally reached the Tenth Doctor’s penultimate adventure, and….the results are not good. In fact, they’re disastrous. The Three Who Rule were moved to anger, bile, and sadness at Russell T. Davies’ constant and unnecessary need to outdo himself, at The Master’s penchant for leaping and lightning, exacerbated by the fact that all three of your august hosts were in the same room at the same time. In fact, there may have been a monkey knife fight, you’ll just have to listen to find out. Allons-sigh.
Show Notes:

Skaro Shop…Buy Our Stuff!
The End of Time…Part One!
Two Minute Time Lord reviews…the RTD era!
The End of Time, Part One…viewing figures!
The Waters of Mars on BBC America…best ratings ever!
BBC America…Doctor Who marathon!
BBC America…makes an oopsie!
Doctor Who…missing episodes!
Torchwood: Children of Earth…in Australia!
BBFC clears DVD extras for…The Space Museum!
BBFC clears DVD extras for…The Chase!
Dreamland…DVD extra!
Noel Clarke…on The Mutants DVD!
Restoration Team wins…a fictitious award!
BBC…Shownar!

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What do you think?

24 Responses so far.

  1. Simon Harries says:

    Oh you guys!! You take it all far too seriously!! What do you mean, you didn’t like the Master’s magical revival scene, Barack Obama or all the endless ridiculous coincidences?! It was a big load of Christmas fun and it was simply fab!

    Actually, I agree with you… Imagine sitting through that with your drunken relatives at teatime on Christmas Day, jeering at it and farting in its general direction while you cringe and fart alongside them… It was like being back in the Upper Sixth again, trying to defend Silver Nemesis to your pals at breaktime.

  2. Simon Harries says:

    Re: Archive on Four (Missing episodes doc) well worth listening to if you can, for the anecdote concerning Alvin Rakoff and the comments made by Bernard Kay! I nearly spat out my cornflakes when I heard them… Apparently Hartnell was very bitter about his work, “fluffing all the time” and doing a dodgy “old man” act that Kay would have felt ashamed to perform in rep. Extraordinary! I didn’t miss the Levine backstory, I didn’t object to its omission, at least this was an attempt to cover slightly different ground in a subject we all know backwards…

    I hadn’t expected to enjoy this doc as much as I actually did, and I agree it certainly covered new ground.

  3. Allen Boucher says:

    I am trying to listen to this, but for some reason it is coming up as episode #173. I’ve already listened to and enjoyed your review of Waters of Mars and can’t wait to get your take on The End Of Time. Oh well, I’ll just wait a little while and hope it gets fixed. Thanks for all the hard work guys!

  4. Steven says:

    Fixed! Thanks for letting us know.

  5. Blane Traynor says:

    sorry Steven. it’s still 173 on your wee mediaplayer thingie, i’m trying the download just now in case that’s different.

  6. Can’t believe you didn’t plug the Tachyon TV Christmas Special. It’s war!

  7. Robbie Bonham says:

    Hmmm. The mp3 download link only seems to be offering me #173! :(

  8. Steven says:

    Okay – FOR SURE the mp3 download/playback link works now. Enjoy #174, if you dare.

  9. Blane Traynor says:

    yep. works now. cheers Steven.

  10. Robbie Bonham says:

    Thankee sir!

  11. Elliot Paige says:

    Sorry to hear you guys hated it , I went into it remembering how bad The Last Of The Timelords was, and so I wasent expecting too much.

    And although I wouldent say it was a great episode, it certainly wasent the worst – I mean worst since timelash? Come on.

    Surely the cafe scene alone, makes the whole endevor worth while?
    That was the best exposition on regeneration ever given in the series and it was wonderfuly acted by Tennant and Cribbins.

    And as for disliking the magical “harry potter” style Master resurections, I just naturaly asumed that it had a scientific basis, masqurading as the supernatural through ritual. When you think of the Master raising Azal in the daemons the effect was much the same. The only diference being we didnt have the Doctor’s explination of events.

    I do think you 3 have taken it all a bit too seriously though, and I do hope you enjoy the denouement a little more. However if you think
    the show will become radicaly different under the Grand Moff, I have a feeling your going to be disapointed…

  12. Helen says:

    ‘Written by a six year-old for a six year-old’ pretty much sums up not only this episode but way too much of the RTD era for me. The man has always confused magical fantasy with science fiction and never more so than with this episode. The ongoing reliance on deus ex machina solutions is just embarrassing even for something that is ostensibly meant to be a kids’ show. It wouldn’t have passed muster for me as a kid – even kids know when they’re being shortchanged – but as an adult – and one with admittedly low standards for this series at that, it just makes me cringe. Cribbins was fantastic, the cafe scene was great, but the rest … meh. Lazy writing, just lazy and patronising.

  13. Chris says:

    @Elliot – I’d not call it the worst thing since Timelash, I’m not even sure it’s the worst thing of the gap year, so while I imagine Steven was exaggerating a bit with his Timelash comment, it was unfortunately not very good in any of our eyes. Obviously what we felt was wrong with it was stated, and we’re very glad to hear/see remarks disagreeing with us since everyone’s going to take things in differently than others.

    I’m not sure the cafe scene made the whole thing worthwhile by any stretch, though it was a very welcome respite amongst the other things going on. One thing we didn’t touch on was Catherine Tate, whose performance was good (despite the limited capacity) and indeed I’d go so far as to say the Donna writing was rather good. One of RTD’s strengths has always been characterization and Donna was amongst his best characters and I’m glad to see him still on form with her. And yes, Warren did touch on the similarity between the End of Time resurrection scene and Azal’s rising in The Daemons, which is very apt indeed.

    I’d personally like nothing more than to enjoy the next episode fully, and certainly hope it’s at least a lot better if not simply fantastic. Time will tell, of course. And as far as time telling, I think it’s quite fair to expect wholesale changes under The Moff’s reign. It’s generally been a hallmark of a production change to have at least certain elements of the show go in new directions and based on what I’ve read I think we’re in for the biggest change since Peter Bryant left and Barry Letts took over. Airlock Alpha today published a nice article exactly on that subject and anyone curious about insight into the direction of next year’s series might wish to take a look: http://www.airlockalpha.com/news/6985/doctor-who-timewarps-to-the-past.html

    Thanks for the comment, and I’d never dismiss the possibility we took it a bit too seriously, but for the grand exit of what many say is the best, most-beloved Doctor ever, the expectations were set very high and I think it’s fair to say the writing didn’t deliver.

  14. Martorano says:

    Good show…glad that other people disliked the episode as much as I did. After I watched it I went over to the Gallifrey Base forum and was absolutely dumbfounded to see how many people were raving about it. It was the first and only time I’ve ever been angry at a new series episode. It just seemed like bad fan fiction to me: the Master can fly and shoot lasers! And the Time Lords are back! And Obama! Arggh!

    (Oh, and I have to agree with Chris about “Androzani.” It’s a great episode, but it’s not the best of all time, no way. It’s not even the best of Davison’s era; I’d give that to “Enlightenment” any day of the week.)

  15. I loved it so ya boo sucks to you, pah!

    Ahem.

    As a Scientist I can say that!

    For a considered review, one unfuelled by far too much chocolate and cheap cider, a review by Scientists, you should check out the not-being-plugged-shamlessly-oh-no-not-at-all Flashing Blade Podcast.

    Now you three, go sit in a corner and think about what it is that it is that you’ve done.

    :P

  16. Chris says:

    @Al: I would definitely have to agree that Enlightenment is a contender for Davison’s best story, though there are some other great ones. I’ve always loved Earthshock for instance. Thanks for the backup about Caves though!

    As to the GB forums, I’ve avoided the OG/GB forums for a very long time but when I did bother with an account I only ever used it to vote on new episode rating polls and was often dumbfounded (to borrow your word) at how highly some of the lesser episodes fared. Last of the Time Lords is a wonderful example.

    @Tony: I’ll admit I disliked it less the second go around but it’s still all so much nonsense IMO. I’m still holding out hope for Friday though!

  17. Glenn Twenty says:

    Australia To Canada: We had “Children Of Earth” on UKTV simultaneously with the UK. Get with it and keep up before you mock! You rascals!

  18. Steven says:

    Sorry, Glenn. We really should be more up on Australian news and such, but, as Canadians, we’re just following Article 20 of the Charter of the Commonwealth: “Ignore Australia and all her demands and developments.”

    No wonder you guys keep wanting to leave…

    Seriously, though – we really should have read the entire three lines in this article to get the full story. Whoops….

    http://gallifreynewsbase.blogspot.com/2009/12/torchwood-in-australia.html

  19. Glenn Twenty says:

    Ah, the Canadian sense of humor…..

    Factually inaccurate AND unfunny. Nice work boys.

  20. Steven says:

    You’ve obviously seen our TV shows, then.

  21. Glenn Twenty says:

    When we get them. When’s Wayne & Shuster’s new show on?

  22. Steven says:

    Our nation’s only Telecine machine is down at the moment, so we, like you, await with bated breath.

  23. Mollie says:

    My 13 yr old daughter agrees with you on how horrid the episode is. But she said the whole President Obama bit was a must b/c you had to have the Master jumping up and down in a dress clapping to make the change worth it!

    I loved the cafe scene… and think it made of for what I disliked in the rest of it. Having spent the day + watching most of the BBC America marathon – DT had some really great shows and yes RTD could do some really good ones too. Not classic WHO – But really really good WHO….

  24. Harvey says:

    Wow … as much as I hate to say this, I agreed with everything you said (having just viewed it on NZ television). I’ve watched it twice now … and fast forwarded through whole sections of it (mostly the silver cloak stuff). But there was sooo much that wasn’t needed. The fondling by June Whitfield, the look on the bus driver’s face when seeing DT, the creepy father/daughter thing … anything with Donna in it.

    Two things I noticed though. First is the similarity between the pearls and earrings Donna’s mother wore … and the mysterious white woman (!!). [Also the cut of the lapels on White Woman's jacket ... rather Timelordy(??)]. And the other steal from other genres … the bit where the Master screams at the Doctor and bounces off into the wilderness. THE INCREDIBLE HULK!!! It is … its the sodding INCREDIBLE HULK!!

    Oh and he DOESN’T need to use a key … all he has to do is click his flamin’ fingers.

    And shagging Good Queen Bess … bit unsavoury of what???

    Warrghhh …

    My god the next bit has got to be flaamin’ good for me to stop me from hunting RTD down and stabbing him with sharp pointy sticks frequently and in a time-locked bubble universe forever and ever and ever.

    Here’s to the Moffat era … its got to be better. Pleaasee its got to be better …

    Harvey P, Christchurch, NZ

    ps and i’m really really bored of DT being emotional … he’s becoming a bit of a wet flannel really.
    pps did i mention that Donna is really really crap?? Waaaarghhh …
    ppps and the music/noise … please please someone please stop Murray Gold … pleeease …
    pppps NZ is far worse than Australia for tv/broadband/music/books/art etc


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