Here there be spoilers!
The Doctor is Dead! Long live the Doctor!
A lot of people tend to get the impression that if you tear apart an episode or a film or a show you hated it. I warmly enjoyed EoT. It was a nice nod to the entire RTD series and a good send off for an incarnation of the Doctor that will likely have a lasting legacy that runs as deeply as T. Baker's did. I do sense that Matt Smith will have the same uphill battle that Davison did.
So, I'm going to follow rm's process of marking some specific line items I have and then add a few more comments.
1) Wilf. I mean Wilf. WilfWilfWilf! Bernard Cribbins becomes an actor that could just sit there and stare at me and I'd be entertained, moved, elated, and sorrowful. Likewise, Wilf is one of the most solid characters created in years. His 'relevance' to everything becomes both surprising and poignant.
2) Galifrey. Everything involved with this was my giant WTF for the episode. I can accept the Lord President becoming maniacal in the face of the Time War. Time and time again we've seen the L.P. succumb to power trips. BUT! The holes are just too unmanageable. The link outside the time lock was actually a retroactive addition to the Master before the time of the Time Lock. (Too much handwavenide) And on the topic of Handwavenide---
3) I don't care what the rumour boards say. Mysterious woman is not Mama-Doctor. It doesn't make sense. It doesn't plug in. And for the love of Flavia... What was her link to escape the Time Lock to get to Wilf? I'm going to be completely schizophrenic and hold to my irrational and solid belief that mysterious woman is Romana. Especially with the line, "I was lost once."
3b) I'm going to go out on another limb of refusal to accept. Not Not NOT NOT Rassilon. I will believe that the Master yelled the name out as if he was yelling the Time Lord Equivalent of "Christ!" Rassilon to me is the genius that transcended the Dark Times of Galifrey and still lives in his tomb in the Dead Zone. The Lord President was just too ... cliché ... to fit my view. And all of you who chant Zagreus (or whatever the radio adventure was...) don't enter into my canon :) It's my little Time Lock bubble of reality :-D
4) Donna subplot. It was nice to see her. It was nice to have resolution to her life. But the "Oh, my god it's returning... Oh zorch it's not..." Really felt cheap. I've never been a fan of 'here's more kindling on the fire for the cliffhanger that we'll resolve immediately next episode.'
5) Cacti (Yes, I'm being racist)... Comic relief falls down when they become whiny and annoying.
6) Good byes... Boy... that was a long regeneration. Almost as long as the time it took the Doctor to answer the Ood call. But I liked it. It was lovely watching The Doctor going back and touching his companions one more time.
6a) Martha and Mickey. Didn't see it coming. Didn't realise at first that it was Mickey. Once I did. I sort of shrugged it off and thought... yeah.. okay. But honestly.. Do double rebounds really ever work?
6b) Luke and Sarah Jane - The concept of Luke wandering stupidly into the street completely undermines his character. But it's DW not SJA so there are probably fans who won't even think about this. Elisabeth Sladen without a doubt is one of the UKs most underrated actresses. By barely moving her eyes can communicate worlds of emotion and thought. Having interacted with three incarnations; it is obvious from her eyes, she can read the eyes of the Doctor at the end of his incarnation. And she communicates her love, hopes, and sorrow by barely moving at all.
6c) Cpt. Jack, Alonso, and a trip to Mos Eisley. (No really, I swear that there was at least ONE Lucas creature in there) This is the scene that RTD wanted in "Journey's End" We had every costume that could be mustered in one place. And a few effects. Come on... adipose falling off the bar... Nice. RTD wants to bring Jack back for more Torchwood and Jack needs to find his humanity again to do that. Especially for the countless number of fans who can't look at Jack since CoE. Gods my Gaydar must have failed over Alonso; didn't see that from a mile off. But it gives Jack that tie back to Humanity and a journey back to us. Whoever would have expected that the Doctor was also a Wingman.
6d) Verity Newman. Just full of win. Beautiful. This was one of two moments that hit me hard.
6e) Rose. I love the way it was handled. I think the only thing that would have pushed it over the edge for me... would have been if the odd stranger said something to the effect of, "Even if the next man you love doesn't tell you such... He loves you back very much." Yes... I do have a shipper bone in my body.
6f) Donna. Nice closure. Simple. We talk about characters that the Doctor has changed. We always comment about the Noble family but never really mention Sylvia. She transitioned so subtly but so amazingly. The payoff to her was very sweet.
6.999999) The Ood. These buggers really creeped me out when we first met them. They've become such amazing creatures in the Whoniverse over time. I love them transitioning the Doctor from his past to his inevitable next step....
7) The regeneration. Did I mention... This was a lonnnng regeneration. I timed it. It was about 8 minutes of episode time. This is of course from the radiation tank to the inevitable sparkly moment. It was slow and controlled. I actually adored the fact that 10 fought it off. That he'd really grown into "who" he was. I think it even hints at why the Time Lords can be corrupted by who they are over time. Watching the Tardis wrench through the Doctor's fight and implode was the other moment of absolute emotion for me. As much as the Doctor won't show, the Tardis does. There has always been an amazing link between Time Lord and Tardis and it has always supplied an amazing voicing of subtext.
8) Hi there, I'm #11. It was abundantly obvious that RTD wrote, "And he regenerates" and then handed the script over and said, "Okay Steven, tease your next chapter." I'm gonna handle this backwards. "Geronimo" is not working for me... yet. Like all things the jury is still out. Okay.. 11 felt like pure Moffit. "Still not Ginger!" Manic, happy, different. I like him. Maybe I'm just older and more experienced after resenting Davison for killing 'my Doctor'... But, I think the character has enough leg to captivate people into giving the series a chance.
Where we are...
EoT was a fun ride. Was it one of my all-time favourites? No. Actually, I don't think that any 'finale' was one of my all-times. It wasn't "Love and Demons" either. This was a good finale. I liked it. I'm going to have to make a ranked list of new series firsts, finals, and specials. It's in there somewhere :)
I think there will be Good viewership for the Next series. Which is NOT series 5. I believe it's going to be called Doctor Who (2010). I think this is good, because Moffit will need to reboot the series just like RTD did. There will be changes, but I STRONGLY believe he loves the history and the present and it WILL be Doctor Who.
I do believe that initial viewership and ratings will fall off a little. Moffit is going to have to hit very strong in the first 4 serials to hold the portion of the audience that are the 'swing vote' between the faithful that will always watch (ME) and the Tennant/RTD shippers that feel the show has been 'ruined' who will watch the premier and bail.
I'm scouring other people's reviews. But I'd love to hear your comments as well (assuming anyone is still reading my LJ ;) and you've endured this much commentary.