“We’ve gone back in time. Dalek incoming. Two people in this building about to die unless we stop it.”
Star Trek has done it. The X Files has done it. Person of Interest has done it. Heck, even Doctor Who has done it before (Heaven Sent). But for the non-nerds in the hungover New Year’s Day audience, Dan Lewis spelled it out in a way that pretty much everyone should know – “It’s Groundhog Day”.
“The end of the universe. I always wondered what it would feel like.”
The Doctor is back, and the universe is ending. Again. I must admit to a feeling of déjà vu about this; the universe has been at stake in stories as varied as Logopolis, Terminus and most Russell T Davies season finales, and it’s still there. Experience suggests that saving the universe is not something the Doctor will have a problem with.
“None of us know for sure what’s out there. That’s why we keep looking. Keep your faith. Travel hopefully. The universe’ll surprise you – constantly!”
One of Chris Chibnall’s stated intentions as incoming showrunner was to abandon the previous two incumbents’ approach of each season having an overall plot arc which would build to a climax at the end of the season. It was often frustratingly done –witness the nonsensically shoehorned references to Torchwood in David Tennant’s first season. But when done well – and probably RTD’s Bad Wolf arc in the 2005 series is still the benchmark – it produces a real feeling of anticipation for the last episode.
“We’re all capable of the most incredible change. We can evolve, while still staying true to who we are. We can honour who we’ve been, and choose who we want to be next. Now’s your chance – how about it?”