Seeing a Doctor’s final episode is always a mixed feeling. It’s a time to say goodbye, but also a chance to anticipate an exciting future.
Still, a lot of people are mourning Jodie Whittaker’s history-making five-year run. She still showed the true Power of the Doctor in a massive story just before Halloween. For the third time in the series, the Master threatens her very existence. His plan is more complex than usual, with help from two other familiar Big Bads. However, the Doctor will get a lot of help, too, including two Companions we haven’t seen in decades.
The story may feature kidnappings, invasions and disasters spanning 106 years, but it comes down to one main plot: the Master deleting the Doctor by being her through forced regeneration. It’s partly an extreme version of the “Turnabout Intruder” episode from Star Trek, but mostly another plan to destroy the Earth to benefits his new pals, the Daleks and Cybermen.
It begins when CyberMasters (Cybermen with Time Lord DNA) try to hijack an intergalactic bullet train, and get its cargo. The Doctor, Yaz and Dan barely stop them, but he almost gets killed when his helmet breaks. The CyberMasters still get the cargo. It’s a boy, and he is used as part of a power source, but for what?
Before they find out, Dan decides to leave. That’s too bad because John Bishop was a great comic relief and a very brave Everyman. He’s like Harry Sullivan from the 1970s. He didn’t do much but it was great. Bishop should snag more drama roles in between his stand-up dates.
Still, couldn’t they had time to restore his house?
Meanwhile, the Master is in 1916 Russia as Rasputin, and he’s got the Czar’s family under his control. They’re worried about an extra moon suddenly appearing, but he assures them it’ll be fine. They agree because he’s hypnotized them already. Sacha Dhawan goes all out as the Master in this episode. Only he would combine cruelty and evil with dancing on what he expects to be the Universe’s grave. It’s chilling, weird and very disturbing. Perfect for Halloween.
How is this connected to paintings suddenly missing, along with some seismologists? That is what these two women want to know:
Welcome back, Tegan Jovanka (Janet Fielding) and Ace aka Dorothy McShane (Sophie Aldred). They’ve had busy lives since they stepped off the TARDIS, especially Tegan. Safe to say, they haven’t changed a bit. They’re among the best things about this special when they mentioned what they’ve been doing. The BBC should have made a show about them when they revived this series.
Their reunion with the current Doctor is a bit tense. Their reunion with the Master is even more unpleasant.
Again, this story involves a lot of moving parts. The boy is really a qurunx, a rare creature that generates power for the extra moon. Vinder (Jacob Anderson) is looking for the creature. There’s a Dalek trying to betray its species. It’s sincere, until the other Daleks find him and exterminate him. The CyberMasters are more focused, determined to turn humans into them. The Master exploits both for his ultimate plan to literally become the Doctor. After dancing to a pop song about Rasputin, he succeeds, and it’s a chilling sight. Yaz is also horrified at the sight while he delights in ruining the Doctor’s reputation.
It’s not over yet. She finds herself in a type of afterlife where she meets Doctors Five (Peter Davison), Six (Colin Baker), Seven (Sylvester McCoy) and Eight (Paul McGann). She also meets her first form (David Bradley). They all tell her she can’t die because she still has a lot to do.
It turns out the Doctor was actually prepared for what happens if she’s dead. She planted a special tracer into Yaz, Tegan and Ace, just in case. It shows that there would be a way to undo what the Master has done, but it’s a long shot. Fortunately, the pieces do slowly fall into place. Tegan and Ace wind up seeing holograms of the Doctors they knew, and it’s a wonderful reunion for both. Both women are able to settle their issues they had with the Time Lord. It’s a classic moment.
They also still in the middle of the action. Tegan vows to help Kate escape the Cybermen, but Kate thinks Tegan should try to entomb the aliens while Kate sacrifices herself. She’s definitely her father’s daughter. It’s a close call, but the women come out on top.
As for Ace, she jumps off the UNIT Building…and right into the TARDIS. She’s quite impressed with Yaz’s move and what’s inside. It’s not long before she’s clobbering Daleks…with the help of Graham (Bradley Walsh). Maybe he got a lift in the TARDIS off-camera.
The Master is convinced he’s won, especially when Yaz returns. She insists he’ll never be the Doctor…especially when the Fugitive Doctor (Jo Martin) arrives and sets up the process of reversing the regeneration. She’s a hologram, but makes quite the entrance. It works, and the Doctor we know is back but still hazy over what she missed. She gets back to the UK, where Tegan says she’s going inside the TARDIS (and does) and Kate decides to follow her.
Thanks to more complicated efforts, including merging two TARDISes, they undo the Master’s latest plan. However, he gets a bit of revenge by making sure the qurunx severely injures her before the fake moon collapses.
She eventually awakes, but sees her right hand glow. Her 13th form is about to end, but she spends her last moments with Yaz. Seeing them in earth orbit eating ice cream cones is cute. While they didn’t share a kiss, they shared memories that will last a lifetime.
Yaz finds Dan and Graham, who tell her they’ve made a new group. At last, past Companions can gather and talk about their days in the TARDIS. Although the show should have been done this long ago, but it was great to see Mel Bush (Bonnie Langford), Jo Grant (Katy Manning) and even Ian Chesterton (William Russell, going strong at 97) again. So, when will Donna, Clara and Bill learn about this?
Then, the 13th Doctor braces for the change….
It turns out to be an encore.
Ten years after being in the 50th anniversary show, David Tennant will be the first Time Lord since Patrick Troughton to come back more than once. Thing is, why is Ten back, and why is Neil Patrick Harris threatening him?
Oh, and Ncuti Gatwa will take over as the 15th Doctor, but only after Ten/Fourteen finishes his run a year from now.
Until then, fans can look back at all the other Doctors before the 60th anniversary.
The Power of the Doctor proves why this alien is so important as a hero and a person. It brought back some old favorites, and may suggest it’ll be a habit (what if Nyssa gets through a wormhole and meets the “latest model”). The plot was a bit complicated, but it emphasized the Master’s latest nasty attempt to destroy everything. It’s safe to say he’ll come back somehow. It was a fine wrap-up to Jodie Whittaker’s brilliant tenure, and shows hope that another woman will take the helm someday.
In the meantime, this man wonders when his turn is coming. So do we, but this article from Entertainment Weekly has more.