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Last of the Time Lords

ShowDoctor Who / Series III / Episode 14
First Broadcast2007/09/22 - 19:30 (Link: ABC Details)
Related LinksDr Who Guide
Previous EpisodeThe Sound Of Drums
Next EpisodeVoyage of the Damned

Set a year after The Sound of Drums, this is a ripping final episode with the Doctor's year long plan eventually playing out to defeat the Master. The Master is shot and refuses to regenerate to spite the Doctor. The Paradox Machine is destroyed and the last year is undone. We discover the true identities of the Toclafane and (in a big surprise) the Face of Boe. At the very end, Martha decides not to travel with the Doctor any longer. So he is now truly the last of the Time Lords and alone again.

A year on, the Master and the Toclafane have subjugated the Earth. Martha has spent the year travelling the Earth collecting the parts to a weapon that can kill a Time Lord. It was developed by UNIT and Torchwood and the parts scattered around the Earth. She evaded capture using the perception filter in her TARDIS key. She arrives back in England to find the final piece.

She meets up first with Milligan and then with Professor Doherty. Together they trap a Toclafane and discover to their horror that they are human. The Utopia project failed and the last humans, desperate to survive the end of the Universe, aligned themselves with the Master.

The Master meanwhile has grand plans to create a new Time Lord empire. The enslaved humanity work to build rockets to help him achieve his end. The Doctor is his prisoner on the Valiant. When the Master hears that Martha has returned to England he broadcasts the imprisoned Doctor and disables his ability to regenerate, causing him to shrink into a tiny creature with a large head, later kept in a bird cage.

Professor Doherty betrays Martha. The Master comes to Earth and she surrenders rather than have the humans hiding her killed. She is taken to the Valiant. The Master begins the countdown to launch his rockets. The entire Earth is focused on him.

Martha begins to laugh. Her strategy has succeeded. Inspired by the Doctor's words to use the countdown, she has travelled the Earth, not to locate the weapon, but to tell everyone about the Doctor. Now with everyone watching and telepathically linked to the Archangel network, they begin to chant the Doctor's name. The Doctor, who has spent the year tuning himself to the psychic network, is regenerated by the energy. He even seems to pick up some psychic powers, removing the Master's laser screwdriver from his grip by mental force alone. The Master is defeated and the Doctor forgives him.

The Toclafane swarm to protect the Paradox Machine but Jack destroys it. Like a swirling storm, time is undone and they all return to a year ago. The Toclafane vanish and the Earth is restored. Only those on the Valiant remember what has happened.

The Doctor stops Francine from killing the Master and volunteers to take responsibility for the Master. However Lucy Saxon shoots the Master who refuses to regenerate despite the Doctor's pleading and dies. The Doctor is left alone, crying. The Doctor burns the Master on a funeral pyre.

All that remains is to wrap things up.

We see someone pick up the Master’s Gallifreyan ring from the pyre's ashes, accompanied by a wicked laugh. Perhaps the Master is not dead after all. But who picked it up? All we see is a hand with red fingernails. Lucy Saxon? The Rani (as the producers have hinted)?

Jack decides to return to Torchwood. There is still nothing the Doctor can do to help him die. As Jack leaves he reveals his nickname in the Time Agency was the Face of Boe. Martha and the Doctor are stunned.

Martha decides not to travel with the Doctor anymore. She cites a friend who wasted years of her life on unrequited love. Martha leaves her phone, telling the Doctor to come and get her if it rings.

The Doctor leaves and somehow the TARDIS crashes into the Titanic, presumable on its maiden voyage. The Doctor says "What" three times, a-la the Season II finale. All set up for another Christmas special.