|Oh, and there's a final battle. I guess.|
As Lee drives the Doctor, Master, and Grace through the city, the Doctor grows more and more worried about getting there in time.
Grace: “Don’t worry, I’m on the board of trustees at the Institute.”
Doctor: “Grace, why did you not say you had access to a beryllium clock?”
Grace: “I was more concerned about the Eye of Destruction.”
Luckily for Grace, she has somebody to talk to about this delusional man.
Grace: “He likes me to I call him ‘Doctor.’”
Grace: “You know, Freud had a name for that.”
Uh, no. “Transference” is where somebody transfers their feelings for one person onto another person. Like if you meet a stranger who reminds you of your beloved Gram-Gram, so you put an extra quarter in her parking meter.
The Doctor continues to insist that not only is he telling the truth, but he met Freud and they became friends.
Grace: “Did you know Madame Curie, too?”
Grace: “She kiss as good as me?”
Master: “As well as you.”
Kudos to Eric Roberts. He might not have known much about the character going in, but that was a very Master-ish ad-lib on his part.
Due to a traffic jam, the ambulance is forced to stop in a hurry, knocking the Master’s sunglasses off. As it turns out, a truck full of chickens had a bit of an accident, backing up traffic. Fowl play was not suspected. I’d love to take credit for that pun, but Paul McGann beat me to it on the commentary track. Speaking of Paul McGann, the Doctor reaches over and nabs the Master’s sunglasses. In retaliation, he spits up acidic goo all over Grace’s arm.
|I'm not making the obvious joke.|
But… the Doctor’s possessions were stolen by Chang. And jelly babies aren’t available in America. Was the Doctor keeping those jelly babies up his….
|No wonder Grace looks so grossed out.|
So as the Doctor and Grace have a new vehicle, the Master is wondering why Lee isn’t driving their vehicle after them.
Chang Lee: “The road’s still blocked.”
Master: “This! Is! An ambulaaaaaance!”
Wow, people were even parodying 300 years before it came out.
Lee activates the siren and starts driving as the Doctor and Grace drive off. Sharp-eared viewers might notice that the background music here sounds a bit like the 11th Doctor’s theme, “I am the Doctor.” That’s not really relevant to the movie, but I thought I’d mention that instead of what happens next. Because what happens next is a chase scene. I mean, it’s a good chase scene, and an okay shout-out to Terminator 2 again, but nothing really happens except for our heroes giving the villains the slip and arriving at the Institute.
And so, they arrive a few minutes later, where it’s revealed that they didn’t actually so much give the villains the slip as give the villains an opportunity to get to the institute first. Whoops. So with the Master and Chang Lee already inside the building, the Doctor and Grace will have to attract as little attention as possible. Which is why they’re wearing a Wild Bill Hickok costume and a trench coat, respectively.
Grace tries to pass the Doctor off as “Doctor Bowman from London” to get him into the restricted area where the clock is kept, but the Doctor won’t have his credential-forging psychic paper until his ninth incarnation, so they’re forced to wait until everybody gets let in. Once in, they take a look at the giant thing as the Doctor explains that they don’t need the whole clock, just a single component of it. Grace starts asking common Doctor Who fan questions, like how the laws of time travel work and whether or not the Doctor can make himself look like other species. But they soon run into Professor Wagg, the man behind the project, so after the Doctor tries and fails to get a peek behind the scenes, he decides to perpetuate the line that angered so many.
Doctor: “I’m half-human. On my mother’s side.”
But the Doctor pilfers Wagg’s security pass and he and Grace use it to get that closer look. After stealing the necessary component, their hasty exit is interrupted by the young security guard.
Doctor: “I know you.”
Guard: “You do, huh?”
Doctor: “Gareth, answer the second question on your midterm exam, not the third. The third may look easier, but you’ll mess it up.”
Gareth is a bit confused by this, but still asks to see what’s in the Doctor’s hand. Turns out, the Doctor already pocketed the component and was holding a jelly baby. He gives it to Gareth, and they leave the area as the Doctor explains’ what that was all about.
Doctor: “Ten years from now, Gareth will head the seismology unit at the UCLA task force and devise a system for accurately predicting earthquakes.”
Yeah, remember when we learned how to predict earthquakes in 2010?
But Grace spots the Master who spots them back, necessitating a quick escape past some security guards who were on the receiving end of the Master’s slime attack.
|Nope. Still not going to make the obvious joke.|
Doctor: “You’re not afraid of heights, are you?”
Doctor: “So am I.”
|Falling off a radio telescope and dying will do that to you.|
Grace: “Oh, you mean like interdimensional transference? That would explain the spatial displacement we experienced as we crossed over the threshold.”
Um, those are not the correct words a human would say in this situation. Clearly, something’s up.
The Doctor manages to wire in the component and close the Eye, but there’s still something wrong. And honestly, I’m not sure what’s going on.
Doctor: “I have a horrible feeling we’re already too late.”
Grace: “Well, it’s 11:48, we still have eleven minutes!”
Doctor: “Yes, but there is no context.”
You got that right. As near as I can tell, the TARDIS’s “timing malfunction” means that the TARDIS is incorrectly synced with its surroundings, meaning that “11:48” is meaningless. The Doctor takes the TARDIS to one minute after midnight, and watches the destruction of the solar system on the overhead viewer.
|Some men just want to watch the worlds burn.|
|And why she suddenly looks like a Betazoid.|
|His fabulous, fabulous entrance.|
|Yeah, looks like Chang Lee just realized that a fairly-convincing Liberace cosplayer is kissing him in San Francisco.|
Grace: “I suspect you know how.”
Ignoring the implications of Grace knowing how to work bondage gear, she sticks the not-at-all symbolic crown of nails on the Doctor’s head while he yells to Chang about how obviously evil everything the Master does is.
The time is 11:55.
Bill and Ted celebrate at a costume party.
Professor Wagg meditates.
The Doctor is cuffed and subjected to the Ludovico technique.
|Why, yes, that device is actually holding Paul McGann's eyes open.|
Well, according to the redundantly-named Fourth Doctor episode “The Deadly Assassin,” you need to use the Rod of Rassilon to open it. Which the various mirrored staffs in the Cloister Room seem to be, even though the writer seems to have failed to remember that the Rod of Rassilon is in the perpetual ownership of the President of Gallifrey, which the Doctor is not. Anymore.
Second, you need to wear the Sash of Rassilon which will protect you from the powerful forces of the black hole, which the Master is distinctly not wearing.
Third, the Master already opened the Eye in “The Deadly Assassin,” just not all the way before he was stopped.
Fourthly, the Doctor was there for all of this.
|He was a different person then, but still.|
Anyway, the Master tells Lee to open the Eye of Harmony again as we inch closer to midnight. Professor Wagg is informed by Gareth that his life’s work won’t turn on as the clock strikes 11:58.
|His life's work, down the crapper. Hooray for the Doctor...?|
Chang Lee: “You lied to me!”
|“You’re a murderous monster, but I didn’t think you were a liar!”|
|Well, this sure is happening.|
The music swells.
Stock footage of a thunderstorm plays outside.
San Francisco counts down to midnight.
Over in another TV show, Alex Hopkins has just murdered his own team at the Torchwood Three Hub and hands command over to Captain Jack Harkness.
|And the Master turns into Paul McGann for a brief moment.|
Doctor: “You want dominion over the living, yet all you do is kill!”
Master: “Life is wasted on the living!”
But right now, the Doctor needs Douglas Adams quotes like a hole in his head. So he blinds the Master with one of the mirrored staffs as he lunges, causing him to lose his balance and fall into the Eye of Harmony, despite the Doctor’s attempt to save his old foe in the end.
Having finally defeated his old foe until the writers decide to bring him back, the Doctor lays Lee and Grace together on the floor of the TARDIS. The music swells, it’s all sad, blah blah blah. Then the Eye opens up, spits out some golden energy that brings the two back to life, and closes again.
Doctor: “What a sentimental old thing this TARDIS is.”
And what a convenient way to undo two character deaths. Apparently, it had something to do with winding back time, like in Superman.
Doctor: “Well, congratulations. You’ve both been somewhere I’ve never been.”
Grace: “It’s nothing to be scared of, Doctor.”
Huh. Makes you wonder exactly what Grace saw on the other side….
|"Hello? I'm... I'm sorry, but where am I?"|
|“Welcome to the Underworld. Otherwise known as the Nethersphere, or the Promised Land.”|
Doctor: “250 million light years away.”
Neat trick, considering that the galaxy is only around 100 thousand light years across at most. The Milky Way must be bigger on the inside.
The date is December 29th, so after hitting the TARDIS to make it go, the Doctor takes them to 12:01 AM on January 1st, 2000. As they all exit the TARDIS, Lee gives the Doctor back his things. He takes the bag graciously, but tells Lee he can keep the bags of gold dust. But before Lee leaves….
Doctor: “Next Christmas, take a vacation. Just don’t be here.”
Don’t look the date up, people. I checked. Nothing happened.
The Doctor almost tells Grace something about her own future, but she stops him.
Grace: “I know who I am. And that’s enough.”
|And so, the Doctor never told her that her glass door was still
Two days later, she would fall through it, hit her head, and die.
Moral of the story: Listen to time travelers.
Grace: “You come with me.”
Doctor: “Me come with you?”
It was pointed out in the commentary that this movie is absolutely terrible at introducing first-time viewers to the series. In fact, they brought up that if you honestly had no clue what Doctor Who was, the focus on Grace here might lead you to believe that it was about a cardiologist who meets strange people every week.
And with one last kiss, the two part ways.
Grace: “Thank you, Doctor.”
Doctor: “No, no, thank you, Doctor.”
And after the TARDIS vworps into the time vortex, the Doctor puts his record back on and continues his book where his seventh incarnation left off. As the record skips on the word “time” once again, the movie ends.