Utopia (Doctor Who)

Utopia (Doctor Who)

Discussion
Ask a question about 'Utopia (Doctor Who)'
Start a new discussion about 'Utopia (Doctor Who)'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Encyclopedia
"Utopia" is an episode of the British
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 science fiction television series Doctor Who
Doctor Who
Doctor Who is a British science fiction television programme produced by the BBC. The programme depicts the adventures of a time-travelling humanoid alien known as the Doctor who explores the universe in a sentient time machine called the TARDIS that flies through time and space, whose exterior...

. It was broadcast on BBC One
BBC One
BBC One is the flagship television channel of the British Broadcasting Corporation in the United Kingdom. It was launched on 2 November 1936 as the BBC Television Service, and was the world's first regular television service with a high level of image resolution...

 on 16 June 2007 and is the eleventh episode of series three of the revived Doctor Who series. It is the first of three episodes that form a linked narrative, followed by "The Sound of Drums
The Sound of Drums
"The Sound of Drums" is an episode of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. It was broadcast on BBC One on 23 June 2007, and is the twelfth episode of Series 3 of the revived Doctor Who series...

" and "Last of the Time Lords
Last of the Time Lords
"Last of the Time Lords" is an episode of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. It was broadcast on BBC One on 30 June 2007, and is the thirteenth and final episode of Series 3 of the revived Doctor Who series...

".

This episode is set upon the planet of Malcassairo in the year 100 trillion, where a professor is working to send the last remnants of the human race to a place called "Utopia". The vicious Futurekind threaten to scuttle the rocket, but a greater threat hides in the shadows: the Doctor's greatest nemesis is about to rise again.

Plot


The TARDIS lands in Cardiff to refuel from the Rift
Cardiff Rift
The Cardiff Rift is a fictional wormhole in the science fiction television series Doctor Who and Torchwood, one end of which is located in Cardiff Bay, Wales. The other end is apparently floating freely through spacetime, and matter and radiation can pass through the Rift, allowing extraterrestrial...

. The Doctor states that this will only take twenty seconds (in contrast to his previous visit
Boom Town (Doctor Who)
"Boom Town" is an episode in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which was first broadcast on 4 June 2005. The Doctor, Rose and Jack travel to modern-day Cardiff and meet up with Rose's boyfriend, Mickey...

), noting that the Rift has been active recently
End of Days (Torchwood)
"End of Days" is the thirteenth episode and the first series finale of the British science fiction television series Torchwood. It originally aired on BBC Three on 1 January 2007, alongside the previous episode, "Captain Jack Harkness". The episode was written by Chris Chibnall and directed by...

. Captain Jack Harkness races towards the TARDIS and grabs onto it as it dematerialises, causing the TARDIS to fly to the end of the Universe to try to shake Captain Jack off.

After landing in the year 100 trillion on the planet Malcassairo, Jack confronts the Doctor about abandoning him
The Parting of the Ways
"The Parting of the Ways" is an episode in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which was first broadcast on 18 June 2005. It was the second episode of the two-part story that featured Christopher Eccleston making his last appearance as the Ninth Doctor...

 on Satellite 5
Satellite 5
Satellite 5 is a major location in the 2005 series of the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who. In the series, it is first seen in the year 200,000 and is the main setting for the episode "The Long Game"...

, and asks about Rose Tyler
Rose Tyler
Rose Marion Tyler is a fictional character portrayed by Billie Piper in the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who, and was created by series producer Russell T Davies...

. Jack reveals that he returned to Earth using a vortex manipulator, but was stranded in the 19th century; therefore, he went to wait at the Cardiff Rift, knowing the Doctor would eventually come back. Exploring, they find a dead city and encounter the Futurekind, cannibalistic
Cannibalism
Cannibalism is the act or practice of humans eating the flesh of other human beings. It is also called anthropophagy...

 humanoids who are hunting a human. The human is attempting to reach a transport to "Utopia", the last hope of the human race.

At the transport site, the TARDIS crew meet the elderly Professor Yana and his insect
Insect
Insects are a class of living creatures within the arthropods that have a chitinous exoskeleton, a three-part body , three pairs of jointed legs, compound eyes, and two antennae...

oid assistant Chantho, who are desperate for help. The spacecraft to Utopia can't launch due to problems with its experimental engine system. Despite the unfamiliar technology, the Doctor solves the scientific problems, and Jack makes final preparations in a heavily irradiated room. As Jack does this, he and the Doctor discuss their mutual affection for Rose and Jack's inability to die, revealing that his resurrection is why the Doctor abandoned him on Satellite 5. The rocket finally takes off for Utopia, leaving the Doctor, Yana, Chantho, Martha, and Jack behind.

A separate plot shows that Yana has been hearing a constant drumbeat inside his head — a condition he reports having had all his life, with the drums getting louder of late. Words such as "regeneration
Regeneration (Doctor Who)
Regeneration, in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, is a biological ability exhibited by Time Lords, a race of fictional humanoids originating on the planet Gallifrey. This process allows a Time Lord who is old or mortally wounded to undergo a transformation into a new...

" and "TARDIS" — elements of Time Lord
Time Lord
The Time Lords are an ancient extraterrestrial race and civilization of humanoids in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, of which the series' eponymous protagonist, the Doctor, is a member...

 lore — exacerbate the problem. When Martha expresses concern over the Professor's uneasiness, he reveals a long-standing concern with time
Time
Time is a part of the measuring system used to sequence events, to compare the durations of events and the intervals between them, and to quantify rates of change such as the motions of objects....

, and shows Martha a broken fob watch he's had since childhood, identical in design to John Smith's watch in "Human Nature
Human Nature (Doctor Who episode)
"Human Nature" is the eighth episode of the third series of the revived British science fiction television series Doctor Who. It is the first episode of a two-part story written by Paul Cornell adapted from his 1995 Doctor Who novel Human Nature...

" and "The Family of Blood
The Family of Blood
"The Family of Blood" is the ninth episode of Series 3 of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. Preceded by "Human Nature", it is the second episode of a two-part story written by Paul Cornell adapted from his 1995 Doctor Who novel Human Nature...

". Concerned about the implications, Martha rushes to inform the Doctor.

When the Doctor hears about Yana's timepiece, a flashback sequence inter-cut with the letters of the Professor's name makes clear that "Yana" is an acronym of "You are not alone
Gridlock (Doctor Who)
"Gridlock" is the third episode from the third series of the revived British science fiction television series Doctor Who which aired on 14 April 2007. The Doctor returns to a much grittier New Earth with Martha Jones and meets the Face of Boe one final time. But as New New York becomes a deadly...

", the Face of Boe
Face of Boe
The Face of Boe is a fictional character in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. Not portrayed on-screen by an actor, the Face of Boe is a wholly mechanical effect, resembling in appearance a gigantic, wrinkly human-like head with, in place of hair, numerous tendrils which...

's last words to the Doctor. At the same time, Yana opens the watch, releasing his Time Lord essence. Frantic and horrified, the Doctor races towards Yana's laboratory but is hindered as the Professor closes the doors and allows the Futurekind to enter the base. Yana reveals his true identity to Chantho: he is the Master
Master (Doctor Who)
The Master is a recurring character in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. He is a renegade Time Lord and the archenemy of the Doctor....

. He electrocutes her, but Chantho manages to shoot him before dying.

The Doctor arrives in Yana's laboratory just as the Master enters the Doctor's TARDIS, taking the severed hand (which Jack recovered after the events of "The Christmas Invasion
The Christmas Invasion
"The Christmas Invasion" is a 60-minute special episode of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. It is Christmas, but there is little cause for celebration as planet Earth is invaded by aliens known as the Sycorax...

" and had carried ever since) with him. He then deadlock seals the TARDIS doors, preventing the Doctor from opening it. Dying from Chantho's shot, the Master regenerates, in a spasm of volcanic, multi-coloured energy, into a younger body, whose voice Martha recognises. After taunting and berating the Doctor, he leaves in the TARDIS, stranding the three time travellers in the distant future, with the Futurekind about to break through the door.

Jack Harkness and Torchwood

  • Harkness was last seen at the end of the Torchwood
    Torchwood
    Torchwood is a British science fiction television programme created by Russell T Davies. The series is a spin-off from Davies's 2005 revival of the long-running science fiction programme Doctor Who. The show has shifted its broadcast channel each series to reflect its growing audience, moving from...

     episode "End of Days
    End of Days (Torchwood)
    "End of Days" is the thirteenth episode and the first series finale of the British science fiction television series Torchwood. It originally aired on BBC Three on 1 January 2007, alongside the previous episode, "Captain Jack Harkness". The episode was written by Chris Chibnall and directed by...

    ", looking off-screen while the familiar sound of the TARDIS
    TARDIS
    The TARDISGenerally, TARDIS is written in all upper case letters—this convention was popularised by the Target novelisations of the 1970s...

     is heard in the background. The Torchwood team find him gone, and the place in a mess. While refuelling, the Doctor notes that the Rift has been active recently; this was due to Abaddon escaping through the Rift in the same episode.
  • Harkness says that he used a Vortex Manipulator to travel back from the year 200,100, arriving in 1869. This places his arrival in Cardiff within months prior to the events of "The Unquiet Dead
    The Unquiet Dead
    "The Unquiet Dead" is an episode in the British science-fiction television series Doctor Who that was first broadcast on 9 April 2005 and is the first episode of the revival to be set in the past. In Victorian Cardiff, the dead are walking, and creatures made of gas are on the loose...

    ". Stolen Vortex Manipulator technology was also used by the Family of Blood in "Human Nature
    Human Nature (Doctor Who episode)
    "Human Nature" is the eighth episode of the third series of the revived British science fiction television series Doctor Who. It is the first episode of a two-part story written by Paul Cornell adapted from his 1995 Doctor Who novel Human Nature...

    " to track the Doctor through time.
  • Jack tells Martha and the Doctor that he learned of their arrival from a signal on his vortex manipulator. In "End of Days", however, he runs upstairs when sees the Doctor's hand's jar bubbling and hears the TARDIS.
  • One of the items in Harkness's backpack is the severed hand of the Doctor. This was first seen in "The Christmas Invasion
    The Christmas Invasion
    "The Christmas Invasion" is a 60-minute special episode of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. It is Christmas, but there is little cause for celebration as planet Earth is invaded by aliens known as the Sycorax...

    ", when the hand was cut off by the Sycorax leader, and was a recurring background item on the Torchwood Three Hub set. This episode confirms that the hand is indeed the Doctor's.

The Master

  • Derek Jacobi plays the fifth version of the Master whom the Doctor has encountered on screen, and John Simm is the sixth. At least one television pundit speculated whether "Mister Saxon" was an intentional anagram of "Master No. Six" or was perhaps "a big red herring
    Red herring (plot device)
    Red herring is an idiomatic expression referring to the rhetorical or literary tactic of diverting attention away from an item of significance...

    ". However, when asked, Russell T Davies stated that it was not deliberate.
  • The episode marks the first time the Master has been shown undergoing regeneration; in previous episodes ("The Keeper of Traken
    The Keeper of Traken
    -Cast notes:Denis Carey, who plays the Keeper, also played Professor Chronotis in the uncompleted Fourth Doctor serial Shada, and the Old Man in the Sixth Doctor story Timelash....

    ", the TV movie) the Master has been shown appropriating someone else's body, which is not the same as regeneration. This is the second episode to show a Time Lord other than the Doctor regenerating on screen, the first being the regeneration of K'anpo in "Planet of the Spiders
    Planet of the Spiders
    Planet of the Spiders is a serial in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which was first broadcast in six weekly parts from May 4 to June 8, 1974. It was Jon Pertwee's last serial as the Doctor and marks the first, uncredited appearance of Tom Baker in the role. It also marks...

    " (the regeneration of Romana
    Romana
    Romana, short for Romanadvoratrelundar, is a fictional character in the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who...

     occurred off-camera).
  • The Master continually hears the sound of drums; this continues through the following episodes, "The Sound of Drums" and "Last of the Time Lords
    Last of the Time Lords
    "Last of the Time Lords" is an episode of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. It was broadcast on BBC One on 30 June 2007, and is the thirteenth and final episode of Series 3 of the revived Doctor Who series...

    ".

Production and pre-broadcast publicity

  • This is the first episode in the revived series to credit three principal cast members within the title sequence
    Title sequence
    A Title Sequence is the method by which cinematic films or television programs present their title, key production and cast members, or both, utilizing conceptual visuals and sound...

    , with the addition of John Barrowman
    John Barrowman
    John Scot Barrowman is a Scottish-American singer, actor, dancer, musical theatre performer and media personality. Born in Glasgow yet growing up in Illinois after his family emigrated to the United States when he was eight years old, Barrowman was encouraged to further his love for music and...

    , who plays Captain Jack Harkness.
  • Music originally composed for Torchwood can be heard in the background of this episode: a variation of the Torchwood theme
    Theme (music)
    In music, a theme is the material, usually a recognizable melody, upon which part or all of a composition is based.-Characteristics:A theme may be perceivable as a complete musical expression in itself, separate from the work in which it is found . In contrast to an idea or motif, a theme is...

     plays when Jack runs towards the TARDIS and a motif
    Motif (music)
    In music, a motif or motive is a short musical idea, a salient recurring figure, musical fragment or succession of notes that has some special importance in or is characteristic of a composition....

     plays when Jack lies dead, having ridden on the TARDIS through the Vortex.
  • This episode was announced as the first of a three-part story in Totally Doctor Who
    Totally Doctor Who
    Totally Doctor Who is a children's television series produced by the BBC that was originally broadcast between 13 April 2006 and 29 June 2007, accompanying the second and third revived series of Doctor Who. No episodes have been produced following the third series...

    , broadcast the day before. Prior to this, only the following two instalments had been linked. Later reference material, including Doctor Who Magazine
    Doctor Who Magazine
    Doctor Who Magazine is a magazine devoted to the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who...

    s season poll, treated the three episodes as a single three-part story. Russell T Davies has said that he regards "Utopia" as a separate story, but notes that the determination is arbitrary.
  • The drum
    Drum
    The drum is a member of the percussion group of musical instruments, which is technically classified as the membranophones. Drums consist of at least one membrane, called a drumhead or drum skin, that is stretched over a shell and struck, either directly with the player's hands, or with a...

    ming motif
    Motif (music)
    In music, a motif or motive is a short musical idea, a salient recurring figure, musical fragment or succession of notes that has some special importance in or is characteristic of a composition....

     is suggestive of the fifth and subsequent bars of the Doctor Who theme tune
    Doctor Who theme music
    The Doctor Who theme is a piece of music composed by Ron Grainer and realised by Delia Derbyshire at the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. Created in 1963, it was one of the first electronic music signature tunes for television and after nearly five decades remains one of the most easily...

     as composed by Ron Grainer
    Ron Grainer
    Ronald Erle “Ron” Grainer was an Australian-born composer who worked for most of his professional career in the United Kingdom. He is mostly remembered for his film and television music.- Biography :...

     and realised by Delia Derbyshire
    Delia Derbyshire
    Delia Ann Derbyshire was an English musician and composer of electronic music and musique concrète. She is best known for her electronic realisation of Ron Grainer's theme music to the British science fiction television series Doctor Who and for her work with the BBC Radiophonic Workshop.-Early...

    .

Cast notes

  • This is Derek Jacobi's third involvement in Doctor Who. The first was in the September 2003 audio drama Deadline
    Deadline (Doctor Who audio)
    Deadline is a Big Finish Productions audio drama based on the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who. The Doctor Who Unbound dramas pose a series of "What if...?" questions.-Plot:...

    , where he played a screenwriter who believes himself to be the Doctor. The second was several months later, in the webcast Scream of the Shalka
    Scream of the Shalka
    Scream of the Shalka is a flash-animated series based on the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. It was produced to coincide with the 40th Anniversary of the series and was originally posted in six weekly parts from 13 November to 18 December 2003 on bbc.co.uk's Doctor Who...

    , where he played an android version of the Master.
  • John Bell was a nine-year-old who won a Blue Peter
    Blue Peter
    Blue Peter is the world's longest-running children's television show, having first aired in 1958. It is shown on CBBC, both in its BBC One programming block and on the CBBC channel. During its history there have been many presenters, often consisting of two women and two men at a time...

     competition to appear in this episode.
  • Paul Marc Davies who played the Futurekind chieftain went on to play the role of The Trickster in The Sarah Jane Adventures
    The Sarah Jane Adventures
    The Sarah Jane Adventures is a British science fiction television series, produced by BBC Cymru Wales for CBBC, created by Russell T Davies and starring Elisabeth Sladen...

     stories Whatever Happened to Sarah Jane, The Temptation of Sarah Jane Smith
    The Temptation of Sarah Jane Smith
    The Temptation of Sarah Jane Smith is a story of The Sarah Jane Adventures which was broadcast on CBBC on 17 and 24 November 2008. It is the fifth serial of the second series.-Part 1:...

     and The Wedding of Sarah Jane Smith
    The Wedding of Sarah Jane Smith
    The Wedding of Sarah Jane Smith is a two-part story of The Sarah Jane Adventures. It was first broadcast on BBC One on 29 and 30 October 2009. It is the third serial of the third series. It guest stars David Tennant as the Tenth Doctor, marking the first appearance of parent programme Doctor Whos...

    .
  • Chipo Chung
    Chipo Chung
    Chipo Chung is a Tanzanian-born actress raised in Zimbabwe. She currently lives in London.-Background:Chipo Chung was born as a refugee in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. She is half-Zimbabwean and half-Chinese. She spent her first two years in refugee camps in Mozambique with thousands of young people...

    , who played Chantho, would later go on to play the Fortuneteller in "Turn Left
    Turn Left (Doctor Who)
    "Turn Left" is the eleventh episode of the fourth series of British science fiction television series Doctor Who. It was written by showrunner Russell T Davies and broadcast on BBC One on 21 June 2008....

    ".
  • Neil Reidman
    Neil Reidman
    - Biography :The youngest of 6 children, Reidman was born in Birmingham, England. His parents were from Jamaica. At the age of 13 he began attending Birmingham School of Speech and Drama where he was first exposed to serious training in theatre and stage. Soon after, he auditioned for the Central...

     had previously played Tom Braudy in the Eighth Doctor
    Eighth Doctor
    The Eighth Doctor is the eighth incarnation of the protagonist of the long-running BBC television science-fiction series Doctor Who. He was portrayed by Paul McGann...

     audio drama Memory Lane.
  • Robert Forknall plays Lord Byron in the Eighth Doctor
    Eighth Doctor
    The Eighth Doctor is the eighth incarnation of the protagonist of the long-running BBC television science-fiction series Doctor Who. He was portrayed by Paul McGann...

     audio drama The Company of Friends
    The Company of Friends
    The Company of Friends is a Big Finish Productions audio drama based on the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who. The play is made of four one-part stories, by different authors, rather than the usual multi-part serial...

    .

External links




Reviews