Review: The End of the World

Last Alteration: Monday 19 September 2005

Episode Two: The End of the World by Russell T Davies

"This is the year five point five slash apple slash twenty six...five billion years into your future!" the Doctor gleefully informs Rose after she dares him to show her the future and the TARDIS brings them to the space station Platform One just in time to see the destruction of Earth by the sun. What follows is a joyous mix and comic and serious moments as the story unfolds with elements of space opera and murder mystery cleverly interwoven.

The variety of different life forms assembled on Platform One is a testament to greatly improved production values this series has over the classic series. They all look amazing. Especially worthy of note are the trees from the Forest of Cheem, the Moxx of Balhoon, the host, and most of all the Lady Cassandra O'Brien dot delta seventeen, a CGI masterpiece voiced by Zoë Wanamaker whose 4 minutes of screen time almost steal the show. However this is a Russell T. Davies script and whilst the story boasts the visual spectacles of the afore mentioned creatures, as well as some superbly realised shots of the space station and the "Earth death" there is a witty and intelligent story which keeps the Doctor and Rose at the centre of the action at all times. A welcome addition to the plot is the expansion of the Doctor's back story however there are still many unanswered questions. Even to those of us who know all his previous incarnations the Doctor is once again shrouded in mystery..

Christopher Eccleston continues to amaze with his wonderfully versatile performance. One moment clearly relishing the prospect of saving the day, the next showing genuine anger that lives have been lost and sparing no compassion for the person responsible. Likewise Billie Piper is great as Rose. One moment enjoying a friendly chat with an alien plumber next moment taking on board the enormity of travelling to the far future with a total stranger. Billie plays every situation perfectly her best moments in this episode being her phone call to the distant past to have a chat with her mum (a welcome cameo from Camille Coduri) and the very ending where she and the Doctor go for chips. Other stand out performances included Simon Day as the host, Jimmy Vee as the Moxx of Balhoon (I almost cried after the Moxx was killed), and Yasmin Bannerman as Jabe.

Overall, the high standard set by .Rose. was continued and expanded upon. To sum this story up in a single word from the lips of the Doctor: "Fantastic!"

Richard Brinck-Johnsen

  • Read Richard's review of episode one, Rose and episode three, The Unquiet Dead.