The final two episodes of series 3 of Doctor Who have received glowing reviews in the Australian media. RespectedSydney Morning Herald TV critic, Ruth Ritchie writes 'David Tennant has no trouble carrying the magnificent Dr Who . . . In these last two episodes, brilliantly written by Russell T. Davies, the Best Dr Ever has the good grace, sense and brows to let equally charismatic John Simm hog the limelight.
It never occurred to me that Tony Blair could have been a disgruntled time lord determined to involve America in the destruction of the planet. But once you see Simm portray just such a slimy, sexy PM, it really makes sense . . . Dr Who is built on rock-solid science fiction, reassuringly familiar elements such as the Tardis, great characterisation and really superior coats that move when the characters run.
There are many layers to Dr Who, as well as sexy men in flowing coats, and some of the wittiest writing on television. Tennant's ability to carry an audience on often impossibly silly journeys seals his CV as serious TV star . . . Tennant has a wide-eyed, inclusive appeal. More importantly, his famous character, the doctor, is charming, brilliant but ultimately flawed. He can sense and solve cataclysmic problems in the universe yet he is oblivious to the most obvious human emotions of all those around him. He's Superman with Asperger's. Now you don't see that every day.'
Bronwyn Thompson of the Sydney tabloid The Daily Telegraph also writes, in a review of 'The Sound of Drums', that 'it's no easy feat drawing swords against the comical melodrama of David Tennant, but the casting of John Simm . . . is genius. He's easily one of the best young actors on British TV and plays the conniving and crazy Master almost too convincingly.' Melinda Houston of the Melbourne Sunday Age also writes of the 'Last of the Time Lords', that 'another blindingly good series draws to a close . . . (Boo!) in a riotous episode that leaves us both satisfied and longing for more. (Yay!)'. Jen Rosenberg, of the Sydney Morning Herald, also gives the series final a thumbs up, writing that it 'has all the markings of a great epic, like a weird hybrid of 'Lord of the Rings', Big Brother (the George Orwell variety) and 'Star Trek', with shades of the Bible thrown in', while Jim Schembri, of The Age, says this episode is 'loads of fun, as usual'. Meanwhile, Ian Cuthbertsonof The Weekend Australian says that 'this season finale is not called 'Last of the Time Lords' for nothing. Miss it and you may regret it forever.'
Torchwood has also received some good Aussie press. Michael Idato, of the Sydney Morning Herald, writes of 'Captain Jack Harkness' that 'Catherine Tregenna's script was the best of this series, ranking alongside Steven Moffatt's 'The Girl in the Fireplace' and 'Blink' . . . for its clever and inventive handling of time travel, with both the past and present storylines playing out simultaneously, the former shaping the latter as the plots unfolded.' In other Torchwood news, Imparja Television, an Aboriginal owned television company which broadcasts over huge parts of remote Australia, has begun broadcasting the spin-off on Wednesday nights at 10.30pm.
Finally, in the ratings, Doctor Who has remained competitive during the Australian footy finals season: while 'Utopia' dipped to 740,000 viewers in the 5 major capitals, 'The Sound of Drums' rallied to 878,000 viewers. The season final, the full 51 minute version of the 'Last of the Time Lords', received 889,000 viewers and was theABC's top programme outside the news. Meanwhile, Torchwood's 'End of Days' received 160,000 viewers, its best performance in the midnight timeslot for Channel Ten. For more ratings details see the Sydney Morning Herald’s Tribal Mind.