- You may wish to consult
Utopiafor other, similarly-named pages.
It notably featured the first televised re-appearance of the Master since 1996's Doctor Who TV movie. This marked not only the first time two new different incarnations of the Master were seen in an episode of the show but also the first time the Master was seen properly regenerating on-screen.
This story continued on from the end of the Torchwood episode End of Days, with a six-month gap in between broadcasts. It also continued in The Sound of Drums leading some, including the DWM survey, to take it as a three-part story. (DWM 385) However, Utopia, The Sound of Drums, and Last of the Time Lords writer and series 3 head writer and executive producer Russell T Davies always took it to be a separate story. (DWM 406)
Synopsis[edit | edit source]
As Captain Jack comes into the Doctor's life again, the TARDIS is thrown to the end of the universe. As the last remnants of humanity struggle to reach "Utopia", unknown to all, the Doctor's greatest enemy is about to rise again...
Plot[edit | edit source]
The TARDIS arrives at Cardiff to refuel at the Rift. The Tenth Doctor notes in surprise that the Rift has been active, and so refuelling should only take 20 seconds. Martha asks about the earthquake that happened in Cardiff, to which the Doctor replies, "A bit of trouble with the Slitheen." A figure suddenly bolts toward the TARDIS screaming "DOCTOR!" from the distance...
The Doctor, shocked, sees Jack Harkness running towards the TARDIS on the monitor and takes off. Jack leaps onto the TARDIS as it dematerialises, and the TARDIS console sends out sparks, knocking the Doctor and Martha to the floor. The Doctor is astonished that they are accelerating towards the future, ending up at the year 100 trillion — the end of the universe. Jack holds on tightly to the TARDIS, screaming for the Doctor as they hurtle through the time vortex... Somewhere else, a humanoid face with fangs turns and announces that "humans are coming!"
In a desolate area, a human is running from the Futurekind. Within his laboratory, Professor Yana notes that there is movement on the surface: a "human hunt". His assistant, Chantho, asks if she should alert the guards. Yana tells her not to, as they can't spare them. Yana is asked for a progress report over the radio but evades it by having Chantho answer. While she speaks, he is unable to focus due to the sound of drums in his head. Chantho gains his attention to show him that the surface scanner has now detected the TARDIS. He remarks, "It would seem something new has arrived..."
The Doctor tells Martha that he doesn't know what is outside — none of the Time Lords ever came this far. Gleeful at seeing the unknown, they leave the TARDIS. Outside, they find Jack on the ground. While Martha rushes back into the TARDIS to get a medical kit, the Doctor apologises to the unconscious Jack. Martha returns and, after examining him, says that Jack is dead, but Jack then takes a deep breath and sits up, grabbing a shocked Martha by the arms. Jack immediately begins flirting with Martha, and an annoyed Doctor tells him not to.
The Doctor and Jack greet each other tersely. The Doctor playfully asks if Jack has had any surgery, which Jack scoffs "you can talk", referring to the Doctor's regeneration. Jack accuses the Doctor of abandoning him, which the Doctor shrugs off. Jack asks after Rose, having seen her on the list of the dead after the Battle of Canary Wharf. The Doctor happily tells Jack that she is safe and sound on a parallel world along with Mickey and Jackie. Jack and the Doctor embrace in relief, while Martha shows subtle resentment over the mention of Rose again.
As they explore the planet, Jack tells Martha of being stranded in the year 200,100 after the Doctor had left without him, much to her indignation. In response, the Doctor coolly claims that he had been "busy". Jack shows Martha his vortex manipulator — which an unimpressed Doctor considers a space-hopper in comparison to his "sports car" TARDIS — and explains that he had used the manipulator to try to get back to the 21st century, but ended up in 1869 and had to live through the following decades, basing himself at the Rift until his life coincided with one of the Doctor's incarnations that would know who he was. Martha asks if the Doctor just gets bored of his companions. Jack says, "Not if you're blonde", to which Martha displays sarcastic surprise at the fact Rose was blonde, causing the Doctor to become irritated at their complaining.
They come across a city-like conglomeration. When Martha asks about humanity's fate, Jack spots the man running from the Futurekind. Jack catches the man, and pushes him towards the Doctor, drawing his service revolver. The Doctor stops Jack from killing the Futurekind, and Jack fires into the air, scaring them. The Doctor plans to head for the TARDIS, but they are cut off by more Futurekind. The four head for "the Silo".
They approach the gates, with the Futurekind closing the distance. The guard yells at them to show their teeth, admitting them to the Silo once they show their normal human teeth. A soldier fires an assault rifle at the Futurekind to force them back; when Jack remarks that the Doctor didn't tell him to put his gun down, the Doctor points out that the soldier is not his responsibility. The Futurekind leader reluctantly orders his minions to fall back; they retreat a short distance where they can keep watch on the Silo. The man asks the soldier if he can be taken to Utopia, which the soldier happily responds to affirmatively.
Professor Yana learns that the Doctor, who claims to be a scientist, is in the Silo, and rushes upstairs to find him. The Doctor asks for the men to help retrieve the TARDIS. The Doctor is happy when he discovers that humans have survived to the end of the universe, remarking that though they "spent a million years evolving into clouds of gas", they revert to the same form eventually.
Jack flirts with a male refugee, with the Doctor once again telling him to stop. Jack helps the Doctor open a deadlock seal, and the door opens to show a deep rocket shaft, into which the Doctor blindly steps and nearly falls down before Jack yanks him back. They see a large rocket in the shaft, with neither the Doctor or Jack recognising the engines. The Doctor muses on what "Utopia" can mean if the universe is collapsing.
Yana arrives, dragging an amused Doctor away, followed by Martha and Jack, but the four pass a woman whom nobody notices baring her teeth, revealing her to be one of the Futurekind. Back in the lab, Jack immediately flirts with Chantho while Yana shows the Doctor all the machines within the rocket. However, the Doctor can't help, as the technology is unknown to him.
Martha is shocked and disgusted to find the Doctor's hand (which Jack describes as his "Doctor Detector") in a glass case in Jack's backpack, and the Doctor explains how he lost it "Christmas Day, in a sword fight". Yana enquires as to the Doctor's species, and the Doctor is saddened that the Time Lords are no longer remembered in this time.
Chantho reveals that, like the Doctor, she is also the last of her kind, the Malmooth, and Yana says that this was originally the Malmooth homeworld Malcassairo before the humans took refuge. In response to Jack's query about who the "Beastie Boys" upstairs are, Yana tells them of the Futurekind, which in themselves are a myth. It is feared that they are what the humans will become unless they reach Utopia.
Yana shows the Doctor the co-ordinates of Utopia, supposedly a project of the Science Foundation to find a way to save mankind from the end of everything. Yana once again hears the sound of drums. The Doctor surmises that the rocket will not fly, but Yana hasn't told the others to keep them from losing hope. Impressed by this, the Doctor applies what knowledge he has and uses the sonic screwdriver to get the system working. The passengers board the rocket, the outside guards secure the gate against the Futurekind and retreat into the Silo, and the Doctor, Yana, and Jack work to speed up the launch process.
The Doctor notices that some of the wires are odd looking, and Yana tells him they are crafted from gluten extract. The Doctor remarks that Yana has built the system of "food and string and staples", calling him a genius who would be revered in a different time. Yana admits wistfully that some admiration just once would have been nice. The Doctor has also realised that Yana must stay behind to launch the rocket, which the Professor admits — Chantho has refused to leave, and he considers himself too old for Utopia, instead, wishing for death. A message comes over the radio that the TARDIS has been found. The Doctor gleefully remarks he may have a way for Yana to go too, though Yana barely hears him, for as he looks at the picture of the TARDIS, the sound of drums in his heads grows louder.
The Doctor uses the TARDIS to provide extra power. Yana tells the Doctor of the sound of drums and how they are growing louder as if they are getting closer; he says that he has heard them all his life.
Chantho tells Martha she has been with the Professor for 17 years, letting slip her unrequited love for him, something Martha sympathises with. Martha asks about the sentence structure she uses, starting sentences with "Chan" and ending with "Tho". Chantho replies that it would be rude not to, before trying once with a fit of the giggles.
Atillo communicates with Yana, who gives him instructions as the communication line fails and then gets Martha to reboot the system every time the picture goes. Atillo sends Jate into the couplings room, which is flooded with Stet radiation, to enable the launch with a gravity footprint.
The female Futurekind damages the system, and Jack and Yana furiously try to correct the radiation levels. Finally, Jack sends a massive (and lethal) current through his body in order to jump-start the override system, but Jate is vaporised by the radiation. As the Doctor points out, no one can enter the room without dying, but as Jack comes back from the dead, remarks he has got just the man for the job.
The Doctor and Jack race down to the couplings room — ordering Atillo to board the rocket — and Jack asks the Doctor how long he has known that he is immortal. The Doctor grimly replies, "Since I ran away from you", as Jack enters the couplings room — unlike his predecessor, he just winces instead of disintegrating. As they watch the process, Martha tells Yana and Chantho of the Doctor's ability to travel through time and space. Yana hears new sounds in his head, including the reverberating word "TARDIS".
Jack explains that it wasn't until 1892 that he found out he was immortal after getting killed in a fight on Ellis Island, then waking from death. His past deaths included falling off a cliff; getting trampled by horses; World War I; World War II; poison; starvation... even a stray javelin. The Doctor tells Jack that to him he is "wrong" — a fixed point in time and space, a fact. Just looking at him is an effort for the Doctor. Even the TARDIS knew what Jack was — it had travelled to the end of the universe to try to shake him off!
Jack recalls facing three Daleks and his death at their hands, and the Doctor explains about Rose and the Bad Wolf entity, remarking that if a Time Lord had done what she did, they would have become a powerful and vengeful god. The Doctor then tells Jack that because of her humanity and compassion, Rose used her new-found power to bring him back to life, but unable to control the power, the transformation was irrevocable; the Doctor muses that "the final act of the Time War was life". When Jack asks if Rose could reverse the process, the Doctor replies that not only did he remove the power from her, but she is trapped in the parallel universe and can't return home. Jack says that he went back to the Powell Estate in the 1990s, never letting Rose see him (to avoid temporal contamination) but watching her growing up. When asked if he still wants to die, Jack admits that he isn't sure anymore. The Doctor points out that Jack has the potential to meet other incarnations of himself across time — and that he might still be around in this time — joking that "it's the only man you're ever gonna be happy with". As Jack says that this new regeneration is a cheeky one, "regeneration" is another word added to those reverberating around Yana's head.
Yana is in tears, remembering stories of time travel from the old days that he never believed. He pulls out a fob watch, remarking that he was always late with time and the watch never worked. Martha is shocked, recalling the Doctor having a similar watch which he used to become human to avoid the Family of Blood. She asks where he got it, and Yana remarks that he was found with the watch, "an orphan in the storm", on the coast of the Silver Devastation. Yana says it is broken, and Martha asks how he could know if he has never opened it. Martha turns over the watch and finds Gallifreyan inscriptions on it.
Martha rushes to find the Doctor, having inadvertently piqued Yana's interest in the watch. The countdown for launch begins. Martha tells the Doctor of the watch, and the Doctor dismisses the idea as impossible. Jack says he may not be the last Time Lord, and Martha says it should be brilliant news — though the Doctor says it depends just which Time Lord Yana is. The Doctor yells at Martha, desperate to know exactly what Yana said.
As Yana inspects the watch, malevolent voices call to him from it, demanding that he open it. Jack remarks that the end of the universe is the perfect place to hide, and Martha recalls the dying words of the Face of Boe: "You Are Not Alone" — for which "Yana" is an acronym — and the Professor opens the watch. A burst of golden energy swirls into his face and radiates through the laboratory, which astonishes Chantho. The rocket launches and the Futurekind watch in frustration as it leaves. Chantho tries to speak to Yana, but the look in his eyes has changed — they are now dark and sinister.
Yana deliberately closes all the doors, barring the entrance of the Doctor, Martha and Jack to the laboratory, then coolly opens the front gates, allowing entrance by the Futurekind to the Silo. Chantho frenetically attempts to reason with him, but he fails to yield. She holds a gun to Yana to try to stop him, but he advances on her with high-voltage cable in hand. As the Doctor and the others try to get back to the lab — having to double back after running into the Futurekind — Yana blames Chantho for never asking about the watch and spitting that her constant "chan" and "tho" drove him insane. Chantho begs "the Professor" for his forgiveness, but he shouts that it is not his name — merely a disguise so perfect he forgot his own identity. When a terrified Chantho asks who he really is, he replies, "I... am...the Master," before electrocuting her with the cable as the Doctor, Martha, and Jack reach the lab and try to get in. As the Master pulls the cable from the TARDIS, Chantho shoots him before dying. Jack finally smashes the control panel to open the door, but the Master retreats into the TARDIS, putting the catch on the lock to prevent the Doctor getting in with his key as well as deadlocking it against the sonic screwdriver.
As the Doctor shouts desperately that everything's changed, Jack and Martha struggle to close the lab's door against the Futurekind. Fatally injured, the Master fumes on being killed "by an insect... a girl..." and then proclaims that if the Doctor can be young and strong, so can he. With a deranged wail, the Master explodes in a spectrum of regeneration energy, his eyes glow violently, and he changes into a younger form, collapsing to the floor as the pain of his regeneration overwhelms him. The Doctor stands outside his TARDIS aghast and helpless while Martha and Jack desperately block the Futurekind from gaining entrance.
Now as a new, even more psychotic version of himself, the Master springs up from the TARDIS floor. Laughing in triumph, the Master uses the TARDIS' intercom to speak to the Doctor — sarcastically remarking about his past propensity to tell the Doctor his plans and remarking that he won't do so this time — and Martha realises that she knows his voice. The Doctor begs him to stop, to which the Master demands that he use his name. The Doctor then says, "Master... I'm sorry." The Master pauses and shouts, "Tough!" as he prepares the TARDIS for launch. The Doctor uses the sonic screwdriver and stops the launch momentarily. The Master overrides it and gleefully bids the three a sarcastic goodbye. The TARDIS dematerialises as the Doctor looks on in horror, while the Futurekind pound at the door...
Cast[edit | edit source]
- The Doctor - David Tennant
- Martha Jones - Freema Agyeman
- Captain Jack Harkness - John Barrowman
- Professor Yana - Derek Jacobi
- Chantho - Chipo Chung
- Padra - Rene Zagger
- Lieutenant Atillo - Neil Reidman
- Chieftain - Paul Marc Davies
- Guard - Robert Forknall
- Creet - John Bell
- Kistane - Deborah MacLaren
- Wiry Woman - Abigail Canton
- The Master - John Simm
Crew[edit | edit source]
|Executive Producers Russell T Davies and Julie Gardner|
|Not every person who worked on this adventure was credited. The absence of a credit for a position doesn't necessarily mean the job wasn't required. The information above is based solely on observations of the actual end credits of the episodes as broadcast, and does not relay information from IMDB or other sources.|
Though not credited in the original broadcast roll, Simon C. Holden was depicted in CON: 'Ello, 'Ello, 'Ello as a visual effects supervisor, and appeared to have been particularly involved with the John Simm/Derek Jacobi regeneration sequence — which logically would have made him an on-set visual effects supervisor. It's unclear why the credited on-set visual effects supervisor, Barney Curnow, did not represent the visual effects crew on Confidential for this episode.
References[edit | edit source]
- Yana hears the voices of two of his incarnations, one of them calling him a fool.
Individuals[edit | edit source]
- Rose Tyler is mentioned, including reference to the Battle of Canary Wharf and that she lives now in a parallel world with Mickey Smith and Jackie Tyler.
- Yana asks how the Doctor could be a hermit with friends.
- Chantho became Yana's assistant 17 years ago.
Timeline[edit | edit source]
- The Doctor lists the years 1,000,000,000, 5,000,000,000, 5,000,000,000,000, and 50,000,000,000,000 as the TARDIS accelerates into the far future until it finally settles at the end of the universe.
Time Lords[edit | edit source]
- Yana is an acronym of the Face of Boe's last words "You Are Not Alone."
- The Time Lords never travelled far enough to see the End of the Universe.
The Internet[edit | edit source]
Story notes[edit | edit source]
- This episode is part of a continuous arc that begins in the Torchwood episode Captain Jack Harkness, develops in the Torchwood episode End of Days, switches over to Doctor Who in this one, continues in The Sound of Drums, Last of the Time Lords and Time Crash, before ending in Voyage of the Damned.
- This episode marks the start of the first three-part story since Survival, which also featured the Master. In terms of actual screen time, it is actually more the equivalent of an old-style six-part episode, making this the first story of that sort since 1979's The Armageddon Factor (Shada would have been this length if completed, but in its official release is much shorter). In terms of its overall time slot, it is the first story to span three hours since The Two Doctors.
- This episode was not originally promoted as being connected to the finale two-parter.
- This episode shows flashbacks from The Parting of the Ways, The Christmas Invasion, Gridlock, and Human Nature.
- Each sentence heard from the watch were spoken by Derek Jacobi and Roger Delgado respectively, the latter taken from an audio clip from classic series episode The Dæmons, where in The Master is bargaining with Azal and utters the line “Destroy Him! And you will give your power to me!”. The chuckle is Anthony Ainley's trademark laugh from his classic series appearances, though it is not (currently) known which specific episode the audio clip is taken from. Delgado and Ainley (both now deceased) portrayed the Master. Eric Roberts gave permission to use audio of him as the Master from the Doctor Who TV movie but Fox refused permission, so the clip was cut.
- Graeme Harper's penchant for including a distorted image of a main character is present in this story. Though not included in every single story he's directed for BBC Wales, it's seen often enough to be considered something of a directorial "signature". Similar distortion is achieved through the use of other magnifying glasses in The Unicorn and the Wasp and Army of Ghosts, a curved window in Journey's End, and with mirrors in Turn Left. This time, it's the Master that's under the magnifying glass.
- For the first time, three names are presented in the opening credits; prior to this only the Doctor and his "current" companion's names were ever displayed, even when the series featured other actors as companions, such as Barrowman and Noel Clarke. Hereafter, most guest companions, such as the returning Martha Jones in The Sontaran Stratagem and the multiple companions of The Stolen Earth / Journey's End receive similar credit treatment.
- This story features the second regeneration scene in which the Time Lord subject is shown to be standing, and the first time in the revived series where a Time Lord other than the Doctor visibly regenerates.
- This is the sixth televised Doctor Who story which actually shows a regeneration occurring within the Doctor's TARDIS. It was preceded by The Tenth Planet, Destiny of the Daleks, The Caves of Androzani, Time and the Rani, and The Parting of the Ways. Additionally, Spearhead from Space implies, and COMIC: The Night Walkers confirms, that the regeneration resulting in the Third Doctor actually occurred in the TARDIS as well. Since then, The Day of the Doctor, The Time of the Doctor and Twice Upon a Time have all shown regenerations occurring in the TARDIS.
- The Master last appeared on-screen in the Doctor Who TV movie.
- Just before the start of the opening credits, the scene shifts from showing Jack clinging onto the TARDIS as it flies through the vortex to the Futurekind preparing for a human hunt. According to the DVD commentary, this had to be done, otherwise the opening credits — showing the TARDIS flying through the vortex — would have felt out of place without Jack being seen clinging to the outside. David Tennant and Russell T Davies joke that they could have re-made the titles with Jack clinging onto the TARDIS and that a "special edition" may be released in the future with a computer-generated Captain Jack attached to the TARDIS.
- The keyboard Chantho uses is a keyboard for Japanese hiragana.
- This is the first episode to identify the severed hand Jack possesses as belonging to the Doctor.
- Captain Jack last appeared in Torchwood episode End of Days. This episode continues directly from the end of that episode, which had been first broadcast six months earlier. He last appeared in Doctor Who itself in The Parting of the Ways.
- This is the first time in the revived series that the Doctor uses his sonic screwdriver in a vertical fashion, reminiscent of his old sonic screwdrivers.
- Doctor Who Adventures issue 22 mentions the Doctor and Martha "discovering" Utopia, suggesting that it is a real place.
- John Bell, who played Creet won his role on the British children's television show Blue Peter during a Doctor Who special that aired the same night.
- Jack's immortality is finally explained: when Rose Tyler as the Bad Wolf resurrected him, she couldn't control the power and brought him back forever as a living fixed point in time.
- The Doctor learned to make the TARDIS inaccessible to anyone other than himself and his companions after this story. For instance, he leaves it one second out of sync with the rest of time in The End of Time and bio-locks any potential thieves out of it in The Eaters of Light.
Ratings[edit | edit source]
- 7.3 million viewers - Overnight
- 0.82 million viewers - BBC Three Sunday repeat
- 7.84 million viewers - Final BARB ratings
Filming locations[edit | edit source]
- Trident Park - Cardiff Bay
- Wenvoe Quarry - Cardiff
- Argoed Quarry - Llanharry
- Roald Dahl Plass - Cardiff
Production errors[edit | edit source]
- When Jack goes through the time vortex, he clings onto the TARDIS. At the start the windows are clearly blue, reflecting the vortex, but when zoomed out, they are white.
- When Martha and the Doctor emerge from the TARDIS, it is briefly seen to be raining. This stops as they find and approach Captain Jack's body.
- Captain Jack's hair is noticeably different from the style he sported in the final scene of End of Days.
Continuity[edit | edit source]
- When Martha asks about the Cardiff earthquake, the Doctor claims that he "had a little trouble with the Slitheen." Additionally, he claims he was a "different man" back then. (TV: Boom Town)
- Jack isn't phased by the idea of regeneration, having previously met the Sixth Doctor. (AUDIO: Piece of Mind)
- Jack scoffs at the Doctor for asking if he's had any cosmetic work done, referring to the Doctor having regenerated since he last saw him. (TV: The Parting of the Ways) Cassandra made a similar remark when she saw the Tenth Doctor, (TV: New Earth) believing the Ninth Doctor underwent plastic surgery since their last encounter. (TV: The End of the World)
- Jack refers to the human race as "fantastic", to the delight of the Doctor. (TV: Rose - The Christmas Invasion)
- Yana tells the Doctor that he hears "the sound of drums". (TV: The Sound of Drums, Last of the Time Lords, The End of Time)
- Yana states that he was found naked on the banks of the Silver Devastation, which is also where some believed the Face of Boe was from. (TV: The End of the World)
- Yana hears a phrase in the voice of a previous incarnation of the Master whilst being tempted by the chameleon arch biodata module. (TV: The Dæmons)
- The Doctor had also previously referred to the human race as "indomitable" during his fourth incarnation. (TV: The Ark in Space)
- The Doctor previously referred to himself as a doctor of "practically everything" during his third, (TV: Spearhead from Space) fifth (TV: Four to Doomsday) and ninth (COMIC: The Cruel Sea) incarnations. Here, he drops the word "practically".
- The Doctor says that not even the Time Lords had ever travelled this far into the future. The Fifth Doctor revealed that there was a rule among the Time Lords that they mustn't travel beyond a certain time. (TV: Frontios) In fact, when the Eighth Doctor attempted to travel to the end of the universe, he was prevented from doing so because it was forbidden. (AUDIO: The Great War)
- Jack isn't the first to grab onto the exterior of the TARDIS as it dematerialises. Father Kreiner also managed this in PROSE: Interference - Book Two.
- The Doctor states that the Rift had recently been active. This was due to Owen Harper activating Torchwood Three's rift manipulator. (TV: Captain Jack Harkness/End of Days)
- The Doctor has had his TARDIS stolen before. (TV: Blink)
- Chantho would be among those remembered when Davros asked the Doctor: "How many have died in your name? (TV: Journey's End)
Home video releases[edit | edit source]
- This story was released along with The Sound of Drums and Last of the Time Lords on the Series 3 Volume 4 DVD.
- It was also released as part of the series 3 box set.
[edit | edit source]
- Official BBC Website - Episode Guide: Utopia
- The Discontinuity Guide to: Utopia at The Whoniverse
- Utopia at The Locations Guide
Footnotes[edit | edit source]
- According to Jack's "missing" poster on the Torchwood website, he was "last seen in February". This would lead straight in to the events of Utopia, placing the Doctor and Martha's arrival in the same month.
- Doctor Who - consolidated ratings