Utopia (2007)

Utopia is the first part in a three part story which is the first that Doctor Who has done in the new era. This story sees the return of the Master to the show since his wonderful and extremely underated* performance in the TV Movie. It also marks Captain Jack Harkness’ return after he was ‘killed’ by the Daleks in Parting of the Ways in 2005. He’s been busy containing aliens in Cardiff and returns in a understated fashion by clinging onto the TARDIS whilst its in the Vortex.

The story about some humans trying to find Utopia was all a bit of fodder because it didn’t really grip me at all and so I wont be talking about it very much. The thing about this story is the return of the Master. When we meet Professor Yana we see him as an elderly scientist trying to get the ship launched. Derek Jacobi is very good in this role and it would have been forgettable had it been done by someone else. Every one and their dog (if I had one) knew that this is when the Master would be returning. The build up was excrutiating because I just wanted the Master to return. As luck would happen it came towards the end. Professor Yana shows his Fob Watch which is the same that the Doctor used in Human Nature/The Family of Blood and this leads us to the realisation that Yana is a Timelord and then RTD spells it out in almost pre-school fashion when The Face of Boe says “You – Y, Are – A, Not – N, Alone – A” Its at this point that I think Jacobi really shines when he has to be evil and he does it brilliantly. However his time is all too short and before we know whats going on, Jacobi regenerates into the John Simm and his opening moments are very good indeed and lead to another fine cliffhanger. Finally RTD gets the hang of them.

David Tennant is a bit odd in this story and he bounces between the three important characters. With Captain Jack he has issues because of what Jack has become and this rubs off onto Martha who pretty much stands in the background for large chunks of the story and unfortunately Freema just has to do the classic female companion thing which is a shame because she’s been so good throughout this series. Why they had to leave Cardiff without Captain Jack because I’m sad to say that John Barrowman lends nothing to this story and seems to be around just to keep up the numbers of the story.

I will briefly mention the stuff that fills the early part of this episode which is set in a quarry (sorry Malcassairo) in the year 100 trillion. Is this the furthest that the show has been in time terms before? I don’t know but it’s a question that’s going to festure. I thought that the Futurekind were a good idea however there’s nothing really to them and as a result it’s a lost oppertunity.

Utopia is a good start to the Master/Saxon story and third series. True the people going to Utopia was something I could have done without but it did the job in keeping my involved in the storyline until the big stuff started to happen. When I was watching this episode I came to the conclusion that I couldn’t wait until the next episode but was resigned to the fact that unless I find a time machine and go forward in time, I would have to wait.

*= I’m being sarcastic!


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