A very big episode of Doctor Who, The Sound of Drums performed well against the competition as the Doctor and the Master came face to face at last.
But then, what do you expect from an episode that features Gallifrey, a young Master and Martha Jonesâ€™ mother finally realising what a stupid woman she has been.
Outpost Gallifrey reported that unofficial overnight figures indicated that 6.9 million viewers tuned into The Sound of Drums, giving it a 38.2% share of the total television audience and making it the most watched program on Saturday.
Before we get into the swing of things, I note that notorious Doctor Who writer Lawrence Miles changed his initial blog entry into something lessâ€¦ “Boring”, a word he managed to use around 15 times. I think Mad Larry needs a restâ€¦
SFX threw 4 stars at The Sound of Drums, noting that John Simm seems to based his interpretation of the Master on several personalities:
Thereâ€™s a pinch of Tony Blair in the sh*t-eating grin that launches us with a laugh and a shiver into the title sequence, a cartload of Jack Nicholsonâ€™s Joker in the scene where he gases the cabinet and, bizarrely, what appears to be a brief channeling of Simon Pegg (“I donâ€™t know! Itâ€™s crrrrrrazy!”).
Not sure if they need a bit of revision to their scoring system over at SFX, but thatâ€™s neither here nor there.
Over at The Stage, meanwhile, the reviewer noticed that proceedings might have got a little bit sillyâ€¦
Itâ€™s quite bonkers and audaciously brilliant, the kids and fans will have loved it, but the series might finally have stepped over into the realm of being just a bit too silly for the more po-faced in the audience. But where else are we going to get this kind of exuberant fun on TV on a Saturday night, let alone any night? Iâ€™d rather something was bursting with ideas and had too much going on, than too little.
Itâ€™s a good point â€“ thereâ€™s more though, with reviewer Mark Wright loving the Davies season finale.
Itâ€™s fast, itâ€™s furious, itâ€™s mental and I loved every second of it! Aside from worries over the adults perhaps finding it all a bit silly, my one down note is that the climax aboard the aircraft carrier is a bit too Marvel Comics/James Bond â€“ but then Doctor Who has the ability to be all things to all people, so itâ€™s a minor grumble.
Besides, any show that gets away with playing Voodoo Child by Rogue Traders at a climactic moment has got to have some big cahones!
Some good points there â€“ but letâ€™s face it, for a big episode it was always going to be watched with interest. With part two to come next week – The Last of the Time Lords – this contrastingly light and dark story does have a lot to offer, and I suspect weâ€™ll be more than satisfied with next weekâ€™s final instalmentâ€¦