What happened at the Doctor Who screening for The End Of Time!

by Gerard McGarry

Last week, I went along to the screening of part one of Doctor Who’s The End Of Time, the beginning of the end for David Tennant’s tenth Doctor.

I was expecting a small gathering of jounos, like the Waters Of Mars screening, but this was a much larger affair. It was held at BBC Television Centre in London and aside from a gaggle of tabloid journalists, there were a selected group of children and parents. Probably the most famous that I recognized was Radio 1 DJ Jo Whiley and her children.

The best bit was the sheer number of actors and Doctor Who crew present – there was Russell T Davies (naturally), but Bernard Cribbins, John Simm, Catherine Tate and David Harewood were all present. Sadly, the Doctor himself, Mr David Tennant was not present, due to filming that pilot in America.

However, there were plenty of important people from behind the scenes – Julie Gardner, Steven Moffat and others. Moffat being there was quite exciting, representing the new era of Who ahead of us. Davies spoke really highly of Moffat and said he was looking forward to the new series when he’d be out of the loop for the first time since the original series of Doctor Who.

Just before the episode began, the stage filled with dry ice, and a pair of Cybermen marched out and accosted the MC. A solitary Judoon came out as well and stomped up and down the front of the audience while two Ood came down the stairs of the audience. The Ood and the Judoon teamed up and fried one Cyberman before escorting the other one off.

These guys showed up to the drinks reception afterward and harrassed the guests. A Cyberman almost spilled my wine! How often can you say that?

The episode itself? Well, I found it varied enormously in quality. It felt like there was an awful lot crammed in there for one episode. Now, there are moments of pure brilliance in there – the resurrection of The Master is fantastic, and as always, we wonder if he’ll finally accept The Doctor’s offer to help. John Simm is every bit as manic as you’ve come to expect, with new powers that we’ve never seen a Time Lord use, certainly not in the revived series.

One big question that bothered me – do Time Lords have a particular scent?

Look out for my episode review on Christmas Day, but until then, if it’s spoilers you’re looking for, Life, Doctor Who and Combom has a fantastic two-part spoilerfest for you. Having seen the episode, I can confirm that it’s mostly accurate!

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