Doctor Who

Season 3 Episode 13

Last of the Time Lords

Aired Saturday 8:00 PM Jun 30, 2007 on BBC America
out of 10
User Rating
597 votes

By Users

Episode Summary


The Earth has been conquered, the Master rules supreme, and the Doctor is his prisoner. Can Martha Jones save the world?

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  • Last of the Time Lords

    Last of the Time Lords was a brilliant, perfect and extremely entertaining episode of Doctor Who. I really enjoyed watching the season three finale because the story wrapped up rather nicely and had tons of action, drama and intrigue. The character development and plot progression was spectacular and the special effects were awesome! It was cool to see what happened to an aged Time Lord. There were a lot of revelations, allusions and insinuations about The Doctor which were simply AWESOME! It was interesting to see what I'll call "The God Aspect" and the writers used a familiar theme in a phenomenal way. I liked how every thing played out and the end was a bit sad and over all their were mixed emotions but I was certainly satisfied. I look forward to watching the next season!!!!!!!!!moreless
  • What happened RTD? Utopia and The Sound of Drums were so great, and then we got this episode.

    For a start it was completely out of pace with the last two episodes, with an entire unexpected year having moved on. On top of that we had the Doctors second long whisper in her ear from the Sound of Drums, which was somehow a briefing for her to pretend she was looking for a gun, when in fact she had to make everything think "Doctor" at an unexplained moment in time, this in reaction made him into superman, dont you love Scifi when it is nonsensical? Another thing I didn't like was the Creet reference: since Utopia, the adorable kid has become an evil sadistic head in a metal ball, I just can't see the two versions of the character as the same person.

    The Doctor spent most of the episode as an old man/elf which is a shame. And to put a cherry on the top, we soon discover that Captain Jack is destined to be a big head in a jar... i.e. somebody completely unrelated to Jack. Oh, and the Reset too... come on, think of a less lazy plot devise. On the positive side John Simm was a fantastic master, and there was good stuff from Martha on her quest. Good stuff from David Tennant at the end too when the master dies.

    In conclusion, ok but nothing compared to the last 5 episodes... lots of plot holes, resets and it was out of sync by a year with the sound of drums, which I personally didn't like.moreless
  • The other, smellier shoe drops.

    I am not deterred by the number of readers who disagreed with my assessment of the previous episode. I can see that I am not the only person out there that has not enjoyed this particular storyline. This episode had some high points, hence the five and not a 1. I enjoyed the twist about the gun in four parts. "Like I would ask her to kill." Indeed, sir. But aside from that, this episode leaves quite an unpleasant taste in my brain.

    It has all the makings of a bad episode:

    1. Alternate time reset button. (Yawn)

    2. The Doctor as Savior metaphor is also becoming quite tiresome.

    3. Jack Harkness is the Face of Boe? Sound like someone's been taking liberal doses or Retcon (ironic, that.)

    Wow. The Master being shot out of the blue like that, without any justification for it other than an unexplained bruised eye and an annoyed look earlier in the episode.

    I could go on, but why botehr. I expressed my dislike in this manifestation of The Master and it being completely out of character for him. And you can say what you like about how regeneration changes a Time Lord, but given the extensive history of both Master and Doctor, apparently past regenerations have only made superficil personality changes, not these broad stroked, "hey, I'm bat-sh** crazy" changes.

    That said, maybe Doctor Who will get better. Or maybe it'll get worse. Or maybe it'll just go away again. I'd prefer the first option, of course. I'm just not optimistic.moreless
  • Great finale.

    In this the final episode of series 3 Martha is left for a year fighting to kill the evil Master! As Martha's family become slaves and The Doctor and Jack being tortured on the spaceship with the Master slowly ending the world. Martha was just amazing in this episode she really surprised me she was just so strong i mean Rose could never do what she did without the doctor. The episode is well written and all actors where good as usual! The doctor has a very small part in this episode and it is mostly Martha! This finale deffintly beats series 2 finale!moreless
  • Another glaring example of why Russell T. Davies should quit writing for the series. The most disappointing finale in a long time.

    "Last of the Time Lords" along with the previous 2 episodes were meant to be the epic return of the classic Doctor Who villain known as the Master. What it turned into, exemplified mainly by the final episode, is a disappointing mess that yet again shows that Russell T. Davies needs to hang up his writing pen for good. The episode starts after the cliffhanger ending last week with a music video. And here you thought Doctor Who music videos would be confined to fan made tributes on YouTube. We have the "Master" (I put Master in quotations because it's nothing like any version of the Master we've seen before) and the shrunken, aged doctor dancing around in a silly manner. It was a sequence that absolutely doesn't belong in Doctor Who. The episode continues to plod along with Martha attempting to find a way to defeat the Master. Hey, at least the whole "anti-time lord weapon" was just a hoax. What wasn't a hoax though, was the horrendously bad ending, where somehow Martha gets the entire population of Earth to "think about the doctor" and magically that not only restores him but gives him super powers for a time. If the "peter pan" ending weren't all, we had the old giant "reset button" which made the pointless episode even more pointless. Combine that with the Return of the Jedi style funeral pyre for the Master, as well as the Doctor suddenly finding compassion for his worst enemy (who btw killed 10% of the population if it wasn't for the reset button). This finale was disappointing on so many levels. It was definitely the worst finale of the revived series and one of the worst episodes in the series' storied history.moreless
John Simm

John Simm

The Master

Guest Star

Alexandra Moen

Alexandra Moen

Lucy Saxon

Guest Star

Adjoa Andoh

Adjoa Andoh

Francine Jones

Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (13)

    • After time is reset to the previous year, the radio states that the President had just been assassinated. However, if the President was still in the room after the reset, the other people who were seated in the room should have been too; the journalists, the broadcasters, yet there is no sign of them.

    • Trivia: In the first episode of Torchwood, "Everything Changes," Jack says "Still, at least I won't get pregnant. Never doing that again". However, if we can safely assume from this episode that he is, in fact, the Face of Boe, then he will get pregnant again around the year 200,000. In the Series One episode, "The Long Game", one of the television screens in Satellite Five references The Face of Boe's pregnancy. If this is true, Jack's baby's name is Boemina.

    • When time runs backward, the view from space shows the Earth rotating east to west, which would be correct, but the Moon is still orbiting west to east, which would not.

    • It is revealed the "The Face of Boe" was previously a nickname of Captain Jack's. However, in "Utopia," after Martha has shown Yana the watch, she and the Doctor discuss the Face of Boe's last warning while Jack is in the room, and he makes no indication of recognition.

    • Trivia: Reference is made to "The Shakespeare Code," wherein it was established that psychic energy could not be used without a huge generator. In this case, the generator used was the Archangel system.

    • When Martha got off the boat at the beginning, there was meant to be an emotional scene with her brother, in which both go their separate ways. However, due to Reggie Yates being over-booked, they had to cut the scene.

    • According to the commentary for this episode, Graeme Harper came in to direct some scenes as credited director Colin Teague was injured in a fall.

    • The red Trimphone that was frequently seen on the Valliant table and various other scenes was a nod to Life on Mars, John Simm's most recent TV role prior to playing The Master, in which his character is constantly seen talking into an identical phone to whom he believes are the surgeons and family from the future.

    • According to the commentary for this episode, Russell T. Davies wrote the script in four and a half days.

    • While Reggie Yates is credited in this episode, he only appears at the end at the Jones' home and has no lines.

    • The scene where Martha gives Professor Docherty the flowers was filmed in Gorsedd Gardens in Cardiff civic centre.

    • The Master makes reference to two classic Jon Pertwee stories when talking to the Doctor: "The Sea Devils" (1972) and "The Claws Of Axos" (1971), both of which feature Roger Delgado as The Master.

    • The Captain of the Titanic was Captain Edward John Smith, curiously John Smith is a pseudonym the Doctor regularly travels under.

  • QUOTES (28)

    • (Professor Docherty smacks her computer trying to get it to work)
      Professor Docherty: Oh! Whoever thought we'd miss Bill Gates?

    • The Doctor: (While re-energizing) One thing you can't do: Stop them thinking!
      (The Doctor begins to float in his normal form while The Master looks on)
      The Doctor: Tell me the Human race is degenerate now... when they can do this!
      (Everyone watches in awe as Martha runs to her family)
      The Master: NO! (Opens fire on The Doctor)
      The Doctor: (While absorbing The Master's attacks) I'm sorry...I'm so sorry.
      (The Master stops attacking as Captain Jack watches)
      The Master: (Adjusts his Laser Screwdriver) Then I'll kill them!
      (The master points his weapon at Martha and her family, but The Doctor "pushes" the weapon aside)
      The Master: You can't do this. You can't do this, It's not fair!
      The Doctor: And you know what happens now.
      The Master: (In a state of fear as The Doctor floats toward him) No... No! (the Master reaches the bottom of the stairs) No! (pauses) NO!
      The Doctor: You wouldn't listen.
      The Master: NO!
      The Doctor: Cause you know, what I'm gonna say...
      The Master: No... (Huddles near a corner in absolute fear of the Doctor, who slowly descends to the deck and walks toward the helpless Master, and embraces him)
      The Doctor: (softly) I forgive you.

    • Martha: The thing is, it's like my friend Vicky. She lived with this bloke, student house, there were five of them all packed in and this bloke was called Sean, and she loved him. She absolutely adored him, spent all day long talking about him...
      The Doctor: Is this going anywhere?
      Martha: Yes! 'Cause he never looked at her twice. I mean, he liked her, but that was it, and she wasted years pining after him. Years of her life, 'cause whilst he was round, she never looked at anyone else, and I told her, I always said to her time and time again, I said 'get out'. So this is me... getting out.

    • Martha: (on why she's staying behind) I spent all these years training to be a doctor, now I've got people to look after. They saw half the planet slaughtered and they're devastated. I can't leave them.
      The Doctor: Of course not. (after a long pause) Thank you. (They hug) Martha Jones, you saved the world.
      Martha: Yes, I did. I spent a lot of time with you thinking I was second best, but you know what? I am good.

    • Captain Jack: I keep wondering, what about aging? Cos I can't die, but I keep getting older. The odd little grey hair, y'know? What happens if I live for a million years?
      The Doctor: I really don't know.
      Captain Jack: OK, vanity. Sorry. Yeah, can't help it. Used to be a poster boy when I was a kid, living in the Boeshane Peninsula. Tiny little place. I was the first one ever to be signed up for the Time Agency. They were so proud of me. The Face of Boe, they called me. Huh. I'll see you.
      (Jack bounds off, leaving Martha and the Doctor awestruck)

    • (The Doctor and Martha are in Cardiff, taking Jack back to Torchwood)
      Martha: Time was every single one of these people knew your name. Now they've all forgotten you.
      The Doctor: Good.
      Captain Jack: Back to work.
      The Doctor: I really don't mind, though. Come with me.
      Captain Jack: I've had plenty of time to think this past year- the year that never was- and I kept thinking about that team of mine. Like you said, Doctor. Responsibility.
      The Doctor: Defending the Earth. Can't argue with that.
      (The Doctor disables Jack's vortex manipulator)
      Captain Jack: Hey, I need that!
      The Doctor: I can't have you walking around with a time-travelling teleport. You could go anywhere. Twice. Second time to apologise.
      Captain Jack: And what about me? Can you fix that? Will I ever be able to die?
      The Doctor: Nothing I can do. You're an impossible thing, Jack.
      Captain Jack: Been called that before.

    • (The Master is shot by Lucy)
      The Master: Always the women.
      The Doctor: I didn't see her.
      The Master: Dying in your arms. Happy now?
      The Doctor: You're not dying, don't be stupid. It's only a bullet. Just regenerate.
      The Master: No.
      The Doctor: One little bullet. Come on.
      The Master: I guess you don't know me so well. I refuse.
      The Doctor: Regenerate! Just regenerate! Please. Please! Just regenerate! Come on!
      The Master: And spend the rest of my life imprisoned with you?
      The Doctor: You've got to! Come on. It can't end like this. You and me, all the things we've done. Axons, remember the Axons? And the Daleks. We're the only two left. And no-one else… REGENERATE!
      The Master: How about that? I win. Will it stop, Doctor? The drumming? Will it stop?
      (The Master dies)

    • The Master: You still haven't answered the question. What happens to me?
      The Doctor: You're my responsibility from now on. The only Time Lord left in existence.
      Jack Harkness: Yeah, but you can't trust him.
      The Doctor: No. The only safe place for him is the TARDIS.
      The Master: You mean, you're just gonna… keep me?
      The Doctor: If that's what I have to do. It's time to change. Maybe I've been wandering for too long. Now I've got someone to care for.
      (The Master is shot by Lucy)

    • The Doctor: (to the Master) Weapon after weapon after weapon. All you do is talk and talk and talk, but over all these years and all these disasters, I've always had the greatest secret of them all. I know you. Explode those ships; you kill yourself. That's the one thing you could never do.

    • Martha: I told them that if everyone thinks of one word at one specific time…
      The Master: Nothing will happen! Is that your weapon, prayer?
      Martha: Right across the world, one word, just one thought at one moment ... but with fifteen satellites.
      The Master: What?
      Captain Jack: The Archangel Network.
      Martha: A telepathic field, binding the whole human race together, with all of them, every single person on Earth thinking the same thing at the same time and that word ... is Doctor.

    • Martha: Don't you want to know what I was doing, travelling the world?
      The Master: Tell me.
      Martha: I told a story, that's all. No weapons, just words. I did just what the Doctor said. I went across the continents all on my own and everywhere I went, I found the people and I told them my story.

    • Martha: A gun in four parts scattered across the world? I mean, come on! Did you really believe that?
      The Master: What do you mean?
      The Doctor: As if I would ask her to kill.

    • Martha: I travelled across the world, from the ruins of New York, to the fusion mills of China, right across the radiation pits of Europe and everywhere I went, I saw people just like you living as slaves, but if Martha Jones became a legend, then that's wrong, because my name isn't important. There's someone else. The man who sent me out there, the man who told me to walk the Earth and his name… is the Doctor. He has saved your lives so many times and you never even knew he was there. He never stops, he never stays, he never asks to be thanked, but I've seen him. I know him. I love him, and I know what he can do.

    • The Master: (about the paradox machine) My masterpiece, Doctor. A living TARDIS, strong enough to hold the paradox in place, allowing the past and the future to collide in infinite majesty.
      The Doctor: But you're changing history. Not just Earth, the entire universe.
      The Master: I'm a Time Lord. I have that right.
      The Doctor: But even then… why come all this way just to destroy?
      Toclafane Sphere: We come backwards in time, all to build a brand new empire lasting one hundred trillion years.
      The Master: With me as their master. Time Lord and humans combined. Haven't you always dreamt of that, Doctor?

    • Toclafane: But then the Master came with his wonderful time machine to bring us back home.
      Professor Docherty: But that's a paradox. If you're the future of the human race, and you've come back to murder your ancestors… you should cancel yourselves out. You shouldn't exist!
      Martha: And that's the paradox machine.

    • Martha: The Utopia Project was the last hope, trying to find a way to escape the end of everything.
      Toclafane: There was no solution. No diamonds. Just the dark and the cold.

    • The Master: (about Utopia) You should have seen it, Doctor. Furnaces burning, The last of humanity screaming at the dark.

    • The Master: I took Lucy to Utopia. A Time Lord and his human companion. I took her to see the stars. Isn't that right, sweetheart?
      Lucy Saxon: Trillions of years into the future, to the end of the universe.
      The Master: Tell him what you saw.
      Lucy Saxon: Dying. Everything dying. The whole of creation was falling apart and I thought there's no point. No point to anything. Not ever.
      The Master: (to the Doctor) And it's all your fault.

    • The Master: Tomorrow they launch. We're opening up a rift in the Bracatolian Space. Won't see us coming. Be kind of scary.
      The Doctor: Then stop.
      The Master: Once the Empire is established and there's a new Gallifrey in the heavens, maybe then it stops. The drumming. The never-ending drumbeat. Ever since I was a child, I looked into the Vortex. That's when it chose me. The drumming; the call to war. Can't you hear it? Listen! It's there now, right now. Tell me you can hear it, Doctor. Tell me.
      The Doctor: It's only you.
      The Master: Good.

    • Professor Docherty: Obviously the Archangel Network would seem to be the Master's greatest weakness. Fifteen satellites all around the Earth, still transmitting. That's why there's so little resistance. It's broadcasting a telepathic signal that keeps people scared.
      Milligan: We could just take them out.
      Professor Docherty: We could. Fifteen ground-to-air missiles. You got any on you? Besides, any military action, the Toclafane descend.

    • The Master: My people, salutations on this, the eve of war. Lovely woman. But I know there's all sorts of whispers down there, stories of a child walking the Earth, giving you hope. (showing the aged Doctor) But I ask you: how much hope has this man got? (to the Doctor) Say hello, Gandalf. Except he's not that old, but he's an alien with a much greater lifespan than you stunted little apes. What if it showed? What if I suspend your capacity to regenerate? All nine hundred years of your life, Doctor, what if we could see them?

    • (Professor Docherty is trying to get a battered TV set to work)
      Milligan: Professor Docherty?
      Professor Docherty: Busy.
      Milligan: They sent word ahead. I'm Tom Milligan. This is Martha Jones.
      Professor Docherty: She can be the Queen of Sheba for I care, I'm still busy.
      Martha: Televisions don't work anymore.
      Professor Docherty: Oh, God, I miss Countdown. Never been the same since Des took over. Both Deses. What's the plural for Des? Desi?

    • The Master: Do you know, I remember the days when the Doctor- oh, that famous Doctor- was waging a Time War, battling Sea Devils and Axons. He sealed the rift at the Medusa Cascade single-handed. Look at him now, stealing screwdrivers. How did he ever come to this? Oh yeah, me! (laughs)

    • Milligan: There's a lot of people depending on you. You're a bit of a legend.
      Martha: And what does the legend say?
      Milligan: You sailed the Atlantic, walked across America, that you were the only person to get out of Japan alive. Martha Jones, they say, she's going to save the world. Bit late for that.

    • Professor Docherty: (regarding The Master) Martha, could you do it, could you actually kill him?
      Martha: I've got no choice
      Professor Docherty: You might be many things but you don't look like a killer to me.

    • (Captain Jack and some soldiers are fighting the Toclafane)
      Soldier: We're getting slaughtered!
      Captain Jack: Yeah, that happens to me a lot.

    • Captain Jack: Morning Tish! Ahh, smell that sea air! Makes me long for good-old British Fish and Chips, ha! And what do I get? Cold mashed swede. Some hotel; last time I book over the internet. (sees Tish's message and winks)

    • The Master: (To the Jones') Didn't you learn anything from the blessed Saint Martha? Siding with the Doctor... is a very dangerous thing to do.

  • NOTES (7)

    • At the start of this episode The Master enters the bridge of the Valiant playing "I Can't Decide", by the Scissors Sisters. He refers to it as "track 3", its place on Ta Dah.

    • Clips from Smith and Jones, Utopia  and The Sound Of Drums are used in this episode.

    • The episode has been allocated a 50-minute timeslot for its initial broadcast, as with Daleks in Manhattan previously, and 55-minute timeslots for the BBC Three repeats.

    • Uncredited as the hand that picks up The Master's ring from the ashes of his pyre, was production manager Tracie Simpson.

    • The final viewing figure for the BBC One airing of this episode was 8.61 million.

    • This episode was going to be broadcast at the Pride parade in London, which took place on the same day as its BBC One airing. This was to ensure that fans of the show would not miss the series final whilst attending the parade. However, the event was called off, due to various circumstances, including bad weather. John Barrowman and Freema Agyeman were still in attendance, though.

    • International Airdates:
      Turkey: January 23, 2011 on CNBC-e


    • Flash Gordon:

      The part where there is a close-up on the Master's ring, followed by an unseen hand picking it up while the Master's sinister laughter is heard in the background, is an obvious reference to the ending of Flash Gordon.

    • Reqiuem for a Dream
      When the Master aged the Doctor 900 years, the music played in the background is almost exactly the same played in the film Requiem for a Dream (2000); and in both it was played to sped up footage.

    • The Master: Say hello, Gandalf.

      Gandalf is an aged yet powerful wizard in the works of J.R.R. Tolkien. In the movie adaptations of The Lord Of The Rings novels, he was portrayed by Ian McKellen.

    • Professor Docherty: Oh, God, I miss Countdown. Never been the same since Des took over.

      Countdown is the popular words-and-numbers game show aired on BBC Channel 4 since its inception in November 1982. Originally hosted by Richard Whiteley (from the first show until his death in 2005), it was then hosted by former sports broadcaster Des Lynam until Christmas 2006 and entertainer Des O'Connor took over from the beginning of 2007.