Here's a little tribute to Roy Skelton, really giving it the beans as an angry Dalek in an outtake from The Five Doctors.
Showing RTD knocking one out for 90 minutes may have been slightly less indulgent than The Stolen Earth and the second parter, which is no doubt called the Impossible Everything Apocalypse or something (I checked, it's called Journey's End).
By this time the new series was feeling very tired, and a crying out for a new broom. But RTD had other ideas. One last big wank. Until The End of Time.
Cribbins - Brilliant as always, his webcam line is the highlight of the first episode
Julian Bleach - Davros is a real success in this. Lunatic, screaming mania – but done with real conviction
Jack - When not playing some sort of weary, ageless, lonely but stupidly horny demi-God, Jack is an enjoyable character played with evident relish by Barrowman.
Dalek invasion - A few of the invasion scenes were quite good, certainly considering how weak the New Series had previously done the Earth invasion stuff.
Donna - Tate surprised me by how good she was, when she's not being written as a complete shouty twat.
The Daleks - Totally neutered by now, the Daleks in the new series have been a case of diminishing returns. Every appearance seems to be bigger and more outlandish than before; with the result that the only feeling they inspire now is apathy.
Regeneration tease - Perhaps the fourth, fifth or sixth time someone was about to die in the series and then just... didn't. Talk about writing yourself into a corner; the worst thing was no-one in their right mind believed it in the first place. Also sets up the ridiculous two Doctors, then three Doctors, then Donna dies (but doesn't) drivel later on.
The gates of Elysium...the Nightmare Child... - Oh do fuck off. All of this drivel is genuinely hard to listen to, especially when it's always delivered with Tennant's tight-lipped spittle-drenched shouting.
Rose - Rose's long-suspected but little-desired return is a predictably tedious, self-absorbed affair, but it's really not helped by Piper's quite weird, lisping appearance.
Sarah-Jane - Seems out-of-place and quite annoying here. Lis Sladen's frightened acting is just awful. Only her very brief dialogue with Davros makes any sense.
Harriet Jones - Who gives a fuck?
Close up of man saying 'Ladies and gentlemen, we are at war - Utter shit
Dalek Caan - Embarrassing
Martha - Pains me to say as it, as she's rarely helped by scripts, but Freema has one of her weaker episodes, and it shows her up alongside the others.
Jackie - I'd've preferred it if Bruno Langley had come back.
Murray Gold - terrible, terrible, terrible
An absolute car crash. It's totally incoherent; at no stage does it make even the remotest sense; fan-wank is piled on in such proportions that even fan-fic authors would baulk.
There's some kind of weird 'you know it's wrong' pleasure to seeing such a hodge-podge play out on screen, with everything imaginable thrown at the wall. Jelly, cream, chocolate, jam, vodka, Red Bull and heroin – but mainly cheese.
A very few crumbs stick, but if this wasn't evidence that RTD had run out of juice by now, I don't know what was.
• Caves and Twins? What are you dribbling on about?
Go here: Caves and Twins
The Doctor has been voted 'Best Hero' in an SFX poll of its readers; with the Daleks voted Best Monster; and The Master voted Best Villain; with various other Whoniverse characters peppered around various other polls.
I'm biased, but it's tough to see how any other genre character can really compete with the Doctor – eleven faces and personalities; bigger-on-the-inside time machine; anywhere in time and space; mysterious background and abilities. Who could compare?
Blake's 7, Babylon 5 and Farscape, three other series I have big soft-spots for, get a few mentions in the poll too, which is mainly dominated by the Trek franchise and various tedious vampire stuff.
Elsewhere The Master was voted best villain. A right and just result considering the brilliance of Roger Delgado and the sheer evilness of Anthony Ainley. Simm had his moments too. In his less interesting stories, including some of the recent ones, The Master is just a generic pantomime villain.
But gven something more interesting to do, all the actors who played the part have brought something new to the role in the way that every Doctor does. Seven shades of evil. Again, who could compete?
As it goes, I don't really have much interest in the Daleks. Every new appearance since Remembrance of the Daleks - barring Dalek - has been an exercise in diminishing returns and I'm frankly rather bored of them now.
Daleks have arguably been rebooted three or four times now, but beyond that original concept there's not a huge amount to them. Most of the best Dalek stories since the 60s have concerned how people react to their presence and existence as much as anything - Genesis, Revelation and Remembrance specifically - although Day of the Daleks is brilliant sci-fi fun.
RTD and Helen Raynor failed completely in doing anything of interest with them in my opinion, and while Victory of the Daleks had some nice moment, it was pretty incoherent stuff.
Nevertheless, Daleks are slightly beyond that now. They're such a massive icon it doesn't really matter any more.
And now, in an SFX poll, they've trumped something called Lorne from Angel, the Aliens, Gollum from Lord Of The Rings, Gizmo from Gremlins, and the thing from, er, The Thing.
I wonder what Ray Cusick, designer of the Daleks, makes of it all. Legend has it he got an ex gratia payment from the BBC that amounted to £50, while Terry Nation bought a massive house in the country and a fleet of sports cars.
Cusick may not be rich, but designing the best monster ever isn't a bad legacy.
Other Doctor Who-related results in the SFX poll include:
• K9 named fifth-best robot
• Cybermen named 13th-best monsters
• Davros voted fifth-best villain
• Captain Jack Harkness voted 11th-best hero
• Donna Noble, Rose Tyler and Sarah-Jane Smith are voted fourth, eighth and tenth as Best Heroine respectively
So that was Series Five. Or Series 31. Or Series One. Or Series Chin, whatever you want to call it.
The stakes were high, with news that filming was overrunning horribly, Matt Smith was crap and kept forgetting his lines, Karen Gillan was 'wooden' and Phil Collinson had been called back in to sort the whole mess out.
We won't reveal our sources, although it seems entirely likely that pretty much everyone in fandom knows where they came from, but let's just say there was an element of fear going into Series Fnarg.
And how wrong we all were eh? Chief among this wrongness were the rumours that Smith was crap. In fact, it's hard to imagine this being any further off the mark.
Matt Smith is wonderful, and his gentler, more alien, Doctor is perfect for Moffatt's 'fairytale' Doctor Who. The whole tone of this series feels a more comfortable place for Doctor Who, and the Doctor, to be than Russell T Davies' iteration - which was a series of ever-decreasing circles by the time the excellent David Tennant went, though his Doctor was not highly-liked in these parts.
It seemed almost unthinkable that the series, and Smith, could carry on where RTD and Tennant left off, but a fairly hefty shift in tone and pace and lead character has made it all look rather effortless.
For the first time in quite a while, the series felt much more Who than it had in a long time. Smith may just be the best Doctor... ever.
But while all the big things got sorted out, the parts that made up the whole didn't always feel right. Murray Gold's presence dragged the series back to a RTD vibe, and his syrupy/BOMBASTIC! style took away a lot of the nuances of the new series.
More bizarre still were some of the author/story choices. Toby Whithouse and Chris Chibnall delivered exactly what their previous stories suggested they'd deliver - utterly underwhelming stories that felt like a throwback to a couple of years ago.
Against rather lovely oddities like Amy's Choice, Vincent and the Doctor and The Lodger, they felt jarring in their straight-forward simplicity.
Mark Gatiss' Victory of the Daleks was, by all accounts, rather hacked to death in the editing suites and the end result was, frankly, a mess.
And stepping up to show-runner certainly sapped Moffatt's brilliance, with the slapdash The Beast Below and breakneck incoherence of The Big Bang.
There were no new, interesting monsters. In fact, the closest thing we got were the rubbish new Daleks. We had to put up with CGI thing hiding inside humans on at least three occasions, and the limits of the budget were evident in The Pandorica Opens when it turned out the Fucking Sycorax and the Fucking Weevils were in on the intergalactic plan to put the Doc away for good.
Still, Moffat handled the Autons and the Cybermen ten times better than RTD ever did - another subtle difference to the approach the two brought to the series.
And yet, funnily enough, it didn't really matter to me. The series felt fresh and fun. The Doctor seemed like, well, The Doctor. And Amy was breath of fresh air; a believable, volatile girl who didn't love her favourite Time Lord.
She may have had a slightly less healthy obsession with him, but inter-personal angst was banished from the TARDIS forever - 'I'm not that clingy!' seemed like a great riposte to the years of Marf and Wose.
Arthur Darvill's Rory eventually eclipsed the 'emasculated male' cipher that's been the default setting for most recurring male characters in the new series to become a rounded companion in his own right.
And, always at the centre of it, was Matt Smith. It's interesting to note that most new Doctors come into the role praising Patrick Troughton, and Smith took it a step further.
Watch him running - it's a straight lift from the Second Doctor. And he's always doing something with his hands - First Doctor? There's a bit of Four, Five and Eight in there too by our reckoning.
Not that The Eleventh Doctor is a pastiche; Smith has brought something new to the role again, and emphatically made it his own. He's a perfect choice.
So, series thingummy. A hearty slap on the back from us, and the best TARDIS crew in ages. No doubt tweaks will be made for next season.
Probic Vent demands Zygons and Yeti and the Dream Lord and a past Doctor and The Brigadier. And a remake of The Horror of Fang Rock. Simple enough eh? Oh yeah, and STOP RUINING OLD MONSTERS!
• Here's an end-of-season C&T for the series.
The Eleventh Hour - Fresh, fun and firmly established Smith as something new and interesting
Time of Angels/Flesh and Stone - A home run from Moffat, with plenty of twists and turns and great monstering
Amy's Choice - Offbeat and enjoyable - an episode that seems unthinkable under RTD.
Vincent and the Doctor - Intriguing, if cloying
The Lodger - Would have been horrible with Tennant. Good with Smith.
The Pandorica Opens/The Big Bang - Absolute gibberish, but wins points for not having thousands of cloned Sontarans invading the Taj Mahal and Eiffel Tower. Magic Light and Power of Love notwithstanding.
The Beast Below - Too many elements that didn't seem to add up.
Victory of the Daleks - A horrible mess, and shit new Daleks. Almost saved by performances, but not quite.
Vampires of Venice - Dull filler
Hungry Earth/Cold Blood - Dull Chibnall filler that fluffed one of the most interesting premises in Who mythology.
• Caves and Twins? What are you dribbling on about?
Go here: Caves and Twins
Below are some covers from the Radio Times prefacing Victory of the Daleks and the new Dalek design.
It's not clear if these are an all-new design or some kind of off-shoot of the usual lot or some kind of Churchillian invention specific to the episode, written by Mark Gatiss.
For the purposes of the cover, the Daleks are decked out in the primary colours of the three main UK political parties - a gimmick BMW introduced on April Fool's Day this year.
The pictures below are vaguely spoiler-y, so worth avoiding if you don't want to spoil yourself for Saturday.
• The Radio Times has a gallery of Dalek front covers on its site, including the following cracker for Day of the Daleks, by the great Frank Bellamy.
The latest new trailer for the new series, which begins on 3 April 2010, is hitting the net - boasting some pretty impressive visuals and some superbly bashed up traditional monsters.
Here's what the Daily Fail has to say on the subject:
The episode, entitled The Eleventh Hour, follows him and new companion Amy Pond played by Gillan, fight a new gruesome shapeshifting monster dubbed Prisoner Zero with just 20 minutes to save the world.
Equally monstrous is Matt Smith's jaw, which seems to be doing some shape-shifting of its own.
The clip also seems to show a rather different TARDIS interior, the return of the Weeping Angels and Nick Brigg's latest holiday down-payment.
I have no idea what to make of the swirly vortex thing, or the head that appears at the end, or what I make of Matt Smith or Karen Gillen in this new trailer for the 2010 Doctor Who series.
I really don't know what to make of the new series from what I've heard of it at the moment - and some of those alleged on-set and off-set reports I've heard from my sources are rather concerning.
On one hand I'm glad the news series with Smith, and under Steven Moffat and Piers Wenger, is getting something of a reboot - the updated visuals, TARDIS and Daleks most obviously - but the trailers and promo shots have combined to bemuse me, more than anything.
It makes that promo picture make a bit more sense, in that it puts it into perspective, but it still seems very odd. The Doctor and Amy are looking at the stars, like they're in Wayne's World.
Then they're in the swirly whirly thing, with Daleks and Weeping Angels, then they're back on the ground. I suppose it's meant to communicate the vastness of time and space and the potential adventure every star in the sky promises.
But it doesn't deliver in anything like the same way as the 'Do you wanna come with me?' trailer with Eccleston. It just feels a bit confused.
What worries me most is when I see Matt Smith saying 'I am The Doctor' I just don't believe it. He doesn't look right.
I'll be delighted, and not hugely surprised, if all of my concerns come to nothing. The series has been crying out for an injection of something different for ages now.
Will the fifth series be too different? Will that gamble on Smith pay off? Will Ian Levine dynamite his Sky+ box?
Time will tell, it always does...
Steven Moffat has unveiled his bold new take on swirly whirly thing promo photos, with this image of Matt Smith pointing at the camera and Karen Gillen looking spooked, in front of a swirly whirly thing.
It's not yet clear if the swirly whirly thing will be the template swirly whirly thing for future promo shots, which could include:
• Matt Smith and a Dalek in front of the swirly whirly thing
• Matt Smith and Alex Kingston in front of the swirly whirly thing
• Matt Smith pointing the sonic screwdriver at the camera in front of the swirly whirly thing
• Matt Smith and a Weeping Angel in front of the swirly whirly thing
• Matt Smith and Gina Bellman in front of the swirly whirly thing
There's no news as to other applications of the swirly whirly thing at present, but it's expected that in addition to promo shots the swirly whirly thing could feature on the front cover of Doctor Who Adventures comics, remaindered annuals in £1 book shops and lunch boxes.
The swirly whirly thing replaces the lens flare thing that David Tennant stood in front of for four years.
The lens flare thing is thought to be setting its sights on a career in Hollywood.