Series 1 – Episode 2
“Five billion years in your future, and this is the day… This is the day the sun expands. Welcome to the end of the world” – the Doctor
The Doctor takes Rose to the far future to witness the day the Earth dies. On Platform One, a heavily shielded station in orbit, wealthy aliens are gathering to watch this momentous occasion. But one of them, Cassandra, the very last pure human, has sabotaged the infrastructure with metallic spiders to force a hostage situation and raise funds for her 709th surgical operation. As the Earth explodes, the Doctor battles to repair the heat shields and save the aliens from incineration. He makes Cassandra pay for her crimes. Back on modern day Earth, the Doctor tells Rose that his home world burnt too. He’s the last of the Time Lords.
First UK transmission
Saturday 2 April 2005
Location: October 2004 at the Temple of Peace, Cardiff; BBC Broadcasting House, Llandaff; Headlands School, Penarth. November 2004 at Churchill Way and Queen Street, Cardiff. February 2005 at the Temple of Peace.
Studio: September–November 2004, February 2005 at Unit Q2, Newport.
Doctor Who – Christopher Eccleston
Rose Tyler – Billie Piper
Steward – Simon Day
Jabe – Yasmin Bannerman
Moxx of Balhoon – Jimmy Vee
Lady Cassandra – Zoë Wanamaker
Jackie Tyler – Camille Coduri
Raffalo – Beccy Armory
Computer voice – Sara Stewart
Alien voices – Silas Carson
Writer – Russell T Davies
Director – Euros Lyn
Designer – Edward Thomas
Incidental music – Murray Gold
Producer – Phil Collinson
Executive producers – Russell T Davies, Julie Gardner, Mal Young
RT review by Patrick Mulkern
If Rose (the episode) reintroduced us deftly to the wonders of Doctor Who, The End of the World introduces us to Russell T Davies’s vision for the programme. “Oooh, isn’t he BOLD!” (the catchphrase of Julian and Sandy, the camp duo from Radio 4’s Round the Horne) rings in my ears as this belter of an episode unfolds.
Swagger The Doctor is gleefully showing off to Rose, flash with his time ship, pumping the controls to take his impressionable new friend to witness the very end of life on Earth. And for once, emphatically, he says, “I’m not saving it. Time’s up.” He breezes into Platform One, flashing his psychic paper for the first time, and is thus straight into the action. (No plot-slowing interrogations or incarceration for RTD’s Who!)
Spectacle The CGI is flawless, from Platform One in orbit to the awesome expansion of the sun and explosion of Earth. And then there’s the roll call of monsters, a parade of grotesque and beautiful creatures – birds, trees – as if to say, this is what we can do; this is new Doctor Who. At the same time it’s heavily reminiscent of The Curse of Peladon, the Jon Pertwee classic with an array of alien delegates. The Face of Boe, a tentacled head-in-tank, is like a giant version of Peladon’s Arcturus, and you don’t have to look far to find a modern take on the sexually indeterminate Alpha Centauri…