‘Utopia’/’The Sound of Drums’/’Last of the Time Lords’ (TV)

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Please feel free to comment on my review.

“I…am…the Master!” – The Doctor, Martha and Captain Jack vs. The Master

This is a thrilling, action-packed adventure story!

‘Utopia’/’The Sound of Drums’/’Last of the Time Lords’ is the first three-part story in the new series of ‘Doctor Who’ starring David Tennant as the Doctor and Freema Agyeman as Martha Jones with John Barrowman as Captain Jack Harkness. It also features the return of an old enemy of the Doctor’s, a renegade Time Lord known as the Master.

This is one non-stop action-packed story that you’ll enjoy watching again and again, as it forms the finale of Series 3 of ‘Doctor Who’. I was pleased to see it with the return of Captain Jack and seeing the new series’ take on the Master who I’d already seen before in the classic ‘Doctor Who’ episodes.

‘UTOPIA’ (Part 1)

This three-part story is by Russell T. Davies. John Barrowman returns as Captain Jack, who last appeared in ‘Bad Wolf’/’The Parting of the Ways’. It was great to see Jack again in this story!

Jack was left behind at the end of ‘The Parting of the Ways’ by the Ninth Doctor. We find out what happened to Jack after that story and why he was left behind on Satellite 5 by the Doctor.

Captain Jack has had his own spin-off series in ‘Torchwood’ and this episode, for Jack, takes place directly after ‘End of Days’. Jack runs for the TARDIS in Cardiff Bay and he calls the Doctor.

The TARDIS, with the Doctor and Martha inside, came to Cardiff to refuel. But when Jack jumps onto it, the TARDIS takes off instantly. It goes to the end of the universe in the year 100 trillion.

There, the scene is set for an uneasy reunion when Jack meets the Doctor again. The Doctor is uncomfortable about seeing Jack as he knows what happened to him when he left him behind.

Jack is now immortal as he cannot die every time he gets killed. This was seen in ‘Torchwood’ and it’s all because Rose made him immortal after resurrecting him in ‘The Parting of the Ways’.

I really liked that conversation between Jack and the Doctor in the radiation chamber when they talk about how Jack can’t die. Both Jack and the Doctor seemed to get on very well in this story.

In this episode, the survivors of the human race are waiting to go to Utopia as the universe is coming to end. They wait to go into a rocket on the planet Malcassairo to take them to Utopia.

There the Doctor, Martha and Jack meet Derek Jacobi as Professor Yana, a human scientist working on the rocket to Utopia. Yana seems a nice and pleasant old man when they meet him.

Yana has an assistant who is Chipo Chung as Chantho. Chantho is an alien insect-woman who is kind in helping the Professor. She starts with ‘Chan’ and ends with ‘Tho’ when speaking.

The monsters are the vicious Futurekind, a version of the human race that have become carnivorous. The Futurekind hunt for humans and are led by Paul Marc Davies as their chieftain.

Towards the end, Martha discovers that Professor Yana has a fob watch in his possession. It is similar to the one the Doctor had in ‘Human Nature’/’The Family of Blood’ when he was human.

Martha goes off to tell the Doctor this, and it may be possible that Yana could be a Time Lord. The Doctor remembers the Face of Boe’s dying words. “You Are Not Alone”, which means YANA.

Yana soon opens the watch and becomes a Time Lord again. But this Time Lord is evil, malicious and the Doctor’s greatest enemy. Who is he? He is the Master! I was thrilled and excited by this.

Derek Jacobi delivers a great performance as both Yana and the Master. It was a shame Derek couldn’t play the Master further, as he gets shot by Chantho and gets to regenerate. He changes into John Simm, who steals the TARDIS and leaves the Doctor, Martha and Captain Jack behind…

The DVD special features on this episode on ‘The Complete Series 3’ are as follows. On Disc 5, there is a trailer and a commentary with David Tennant and executive producer Russell T. Davies. On Disc 6, there’s the ‘Doctor Who Confidential’ episode ‘Ello, ‘Ello, ‘Ello’.


The Doctor, Martha and Captain Jack escape the year 100 trillion and return to the 21st century.

There, the Master has become Prime Minister of Great Britain and has called himself Harold Saxon. The Master is now married to Lucy Saxon (Alexandra Moen) and he now controls Britain.

John Simm is fantastic as the Master in this story. John Simm’s Master is a mirror image of the Doctor. He’s a genius; is quite charming and funny. But he’s also completely and utterly bonkers.

The Master is malicious person who relishes in the death and destruction of thousands of people. He sets his plans in motion to control the Earth and sets traps for his friend, the Doctor.

I liked that scene when the Doctor and the Master have that phone conversation together. I liked it when they talk about their past. The Doctor begs the Master to stop but he won’t listen.

The Master keeps hearing a strange drum-beat in his head. This is something he heard when he was eight years old and it has caused him to go mad when he carries out his dastardly evil plans.

There is a new evil army of the Master’s called the Toclafane. These are deadly metal sphere creatures who sound like children and love killing people when the Master commands them to.

The Master has also set up this mobile network called the Archangel Network. This is something that the Master uses in order to hypnotise the people of Britain and vote him as Prime Minster.

Martha’s family returns. This includes Adjoa Andoh as Francine, Martha’s mum; Trevor Laird as Clive, Martha’s dad; Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Tish, Martha’s sister and Reggie Yates as Leo, Martha’s brother.

The Master causes personal damage to Martha, as her family are arrested and taken to prison. The Doctor, Martha and Captain Jack are soon on the run and as they become public enemies.

I liked it when the Doctor reveals to Martha and Jack over chips about the Master’s history. We have flashbacks on Gallifrey, planet of the Time Lords before it was destroyed in the Time War.

The Doctor, Martha and Captain Jack soon end up on the U.N.I.T. ship Valiant where the Earth ‘negotiations’ with the Toclafane take place. Our heroes also find the TARDIS aboard the Valiant.

But inside, the Master has cannibalised the TARDIS and turned it into a Paradox Machine. The Master intends to do something so terrible when he’s taking control of Earth with the Toclafane.

Eventually, the Doctor, Martha and Captain Jack get captured by the Master with his laser screwdriver. The Master ages the Doctor to an old man, a method seen in ‘The Lazarus Experiment’.

Hell is unleashed as the Master lets loose the Toclafane to attack the Earth and eliminate one tenth of the population. But hope is not lost, as Martha escapes and she promises to be back…

The DVD special features on this episode on ‘The Complete Series 3’ are as follows. On Disc 5, there are two trailers and a commentary with producer Phil Collinson and executive producer Julie Gardner. On Disc 6, there’s the ‘Doctor Who Confidential’ episode ‘The Saxon Mystery’.


This episode of this arc takes place one year later after ‘The Sound of Drums’. Martha has been travelling the world since the Master has taken control of Earth. She’s now returned to the UK.

This episode is about Martha who has had to survive a year travelling the world; stopping the Master and saving the universe. She’s been through a lot and is determined to stop the Master.

Aboard the Valiant, the Master is corrupt and has enslaved humanity to his will. He is ready to unleash his new Time Lord Empire with his Toclafane and about to wage war across the cosmos.

David Tennant’s Doctor is great in his old man make-up when the Master holds him and Martha’s family prisoner. It’s a shock when the Doctor is aged further and ends up like Gollum.

Martha meets up with Tom Ellis as Thomas Milligan, a former doctor who helps to get her into the UK. They meet Ellie Haddington as Professor Docherty who helps to catch a Toclafane sphere.

To her horror, Martha discovers the Toclafane are actually the humans of the future from ‘Utopia’. Discovering what happened and why the Toclafane kill people, was terribly disturbing.

Martha soon gets captured by the Master who finds her in a London street. She’s brought back to the Valiant to be executed before everyone by the Master as the clock is counting to the end.

But Martha laughs, and reveals she’s been spreading the word and telling everyone about the Doctor. The Master’s ‘Archangel’ network is used against him as everyone gets to say ‘Doctor’ to defeat him.

There is a semi-religious element in this episode. The Doctor is brought back to life and rejuvenated to his younger self and rises up from his prison whilst the Master cowers in defeat.

Very soon, the Paradox Machine in the TARDIS is destroyed and the Toclafane are vanquished. Everything is restored to normal with time reversed and the events of the previous year erased.

The Master is taken captive by the Doctor and his friends. A debate ensues on what to do with him. The Doctor is to take responsibility for the Master, before he gets shot by a distraught Lucy.

The Doctor holds the dying Master in his arms and begs him to regenerate. But the Master refuses and dies. The Doctor is upset before he takes the Master away to be burned on a pyre.

The episode ends with the Doctor and Martha taking Jack back to Cardiff and saying goodbye as he goes back to Torchwood. It is revealed that Captain Jack could possibly be the Face of Boe?!

Martha returns to her family who are distraught and devastated after going through ‘the year that never was’. This prompts Martha to stay behind and not to travel with the Doctor anymore.

This is rather sad as Martha goes to see the Doctor in the TARDIS and say goodbye. But this isn’t the last time we’ll see of Martha. She gives him her phone and promises that she’ll see him again. It ends this epic story beautifully well on a high and gives Martha a fond farewell for now.

The DVD special features on this episode in ‘The Complete Series 3’ of ‘Doctor Who’ are follows. On Disc 5, there is a trailer and a commentary with producer Phil Collinson and executive producers Russell T. Davies and Julie Gardner. On Disc 6, there’s the ‘Doctor Who Confidential’ episode ‘The Valiant Quest’.

On Disc 5 of ‘The Complete Series 3’ of ‘Doctor Who’, there are there are David’s Video Diaries looking at the making of ‘Utopia’/’The Sound of Drums’/’Last of the Time Lords’.

On Disc 6 of ‘The Complete Series 3’ of ‘Doctor Who’, all thirteen episodes of ‘Doctor Who: Confidential’ for Series 3 are there. These are nice behind-the-scenes looks on the episodes of Series 3.

‘Utopia’/‘The Sound of Drums’/’Last of the Time Lords’ have made a fantastic epic three-part story arc with the Doctor, Martha and Captain Jack facing the Master. The three episodes have been well-directed by Graeme Harper and Colin Teague and are a superb finale to Series 3.

These three ‘Doctor Who’ episodes are ones you don’t want to miss. If you’re a fan of Captain Jack and the Master from the classic series, you’re bound to enjoy these ‘Doctor Who’ episodes!

‘Utopia’/’The Sound of Drums’/’Last of the Time Lords’ rating – 10/10

The previous story

For the Tenth Doctor was

  • ‘The Many Hands’ (Book/Audio)

For Martha was

  • ‘The Many Hands’ (Book/Audio)

For Captain Jack was

  • ‘End of Days’ (TW) (TV)

The next story

For the Tenth Doctor is

For Martha is

For Captain Jack is

Return to The Tenth Doctor’s Timeline
Return to Martha’s Timeline
Return to Captain Jack’s Timeline
Return to The Doctors’ Timelines Index
Return to The Companions’ Timelines Index
Return to Doctor Who Timelines
Return to Doctor Who
Return to Sci-Fi

2 thoughts on “‘Utopia’/’The Sound of Drums’/’Last of the Time Lords’ (TV)

  1. Timelord007

    I loved Utopia & must have watched it 5 times upon transmission as it delivered a cracking opener for the Masters return & i never suspected that twist either.

    Sound Of Drums is good story which showcases John Simms bonkers but brilliant Master & delivers a whopping cliffhanger with it’s climax.

    Last Of The Timelords while a decent season finale i felt it lacked scenes with the Doctor & Master & needed more malevolence, I’d have liked the Doctor to have saved Earth instead of Capt Jack & a big gun.

    Still the Doctor cradling the Master at the end always brings a tear to my ear as David Tennant gives such a emotionally driven performance.

    A great synopsis of these three episodes Tim, I’ve enjoyed reading your thoughts on each of them.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Tim Bradley Post author

    ‘Utopia’ is a great opening episode to this what became a three-part story. I enjoyed the cliff-hanger at the end of that episode, as it was great twist and I like how Derek Jacobi as the Master regenerated into John Simm at the end.

    I enjoyed ‘The Sound of Drums’ very much and loved the interaction between David Tennant’s Doctor and John Simm’s Master on the phone when they talk to each other about what happened to them after the Time War and what their relationship is like. The cliff-hanger at the end of the episode was terrifying, wasn’t it?

    I agree. ‘Last of the Time Lords’ isn’t as great as the first two episodes are, but I liked how it tied up all the loose ends of that story from the first two episodes and it still makes it a 10/10 rating of a story for me, as I enjoy re-watching this three-parter over and over again in ‘Doctor Who’.

    The last scene with the Master and the Doctor was moving and heart-breaking to watch indeed. But of course the Master does come back and never really dies, does he?! David Tennant’s performance in this three-parter is amazing and emotionally-driven, isn’t it?

    Thanks for your comments, Timelord Simon. Glad you enjoyed my thought on each of the three episodes of this story. Tim. 🙂



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