Wow. That was ... wow. I started crying when the Doctor was telling Adelaide the future and just kept crying all the way through the TARDIS being picked up by gadget. And then it just got WHOAH! Wow, evilDoctor for a bit there. Where's Rose or Donna when you need them? Cuz, boy, would both of those two have smacked some good, hard sense into him. And, back on Mars, Donna ... if she'd been with him, she would have made him realize he had to walk away. He had to, he had to. GAH!
There were a few question marks -- the timer went 1, they were still all standing there, and then they were safe in the TARDIS. I wish we'd seen the TARDIS show up, the countdown at like 3 and then pull away to the boom!, that way you would still have a moment of suspense, but we could buy them getting into it and getting away. And, I'm not sure how Adelaide killing herself didn't change history because how is she remembered as the savior of earth when she was found dead in her home. Plus, the survivors' story didn't make sense either because if anyone was the savior of earth it was the second-in-command who blew up the ship. Adelaide's sacrifice didn't affect saving earth either way. So I was bothered by those details, and I really wish they had been dealt with in a way that made sense. If anyone has an explanation for any of this, I can buy, I'll be more than happy to hear it because, other than that stuff, this was pretty much close to perfection.
David Tennant was wonderful, wonderful, wonderful. Even the over-the-top moments fit perfectly in the scheme of the storytelling. All of the actors cast as the 1st settlers on Mars did wonderful jobs, especially Peter O'Brien as second-in-command, Ed, and Cosima Shaw as Steffi Erlich. But Lindsay Duncan, oh my, oh my, oh my, Lindsay Duncan. I've seen her in other things, but I know her best from Rome where she killed it magnificently and I absolutely HATED her character. In this one? Despite that feeling towards her in Rome, I loved her so quickly, so early on. She was utter magnificence. Just wow. Oh, I thought she was fantastic. Just WOW!
The story was fascinating, and spooky and creepy and scary. We didn't find out any answers, really, but it was okay because in the case, I don't think the answers were necessary. The set-up, the characters, the Doctor just wandering in as tension slowly, slowly began to build and it was absolutely beautifully done. Adelaide was awesome, you got enough of an idea of most of the other characters that they didn't feel stock. And there was some great dialogue throughout. Early on, I LOVED the Doctor's response to Adelaide's "State your name, rank and intention." "The Doctor. Doctor. Funnn." I laughed so hard at that, the delivery of "Funn" slayed me. LOL!
Sigh, not that the fun lasted very long. Oh, Doctor. Trying to make himself leave, unable to do so, and then when he finally did, listening to everything fall apart, listening to one by one of them be killed and it was just horrendous, and his face as he walked away. Oh, Doctor. Oh, my God, it was heartbreaking. And then he came back! And at first, I was like, yes! Go, Doctor! Because I'd spent most of the last twenty minutes asking why he couldn't at least save Adelaide, she could be his companion, she would understand why everyone on Earth had to think she was dead (while I was sniffling away). Even when he started to talk about being the last TimeLord therefore he controlled Time, I was still "yay, Doctor! Go Doctor," even while ignoring the niggling thought that, uhm, you're not supposed to do that! Then they got to Earth and 'Yay, Doctor' went out the window pretty fast, cuz he was totally approaching Master-like speech there. "Victorious TimeLord?!" Seriously? Oh no, oh no, Doctor. Do not go down that path.
Adelaide was so right that it was so wrong, and as she was looking at him and then walking away, oh man. Coming after Mia running away in horror and fear, it was like this is the first time we've seen the reaction after the Doctor's salvation not be appreciated, and it was understandable why it wasn't so. Because he wasn't being the Doctor. He was evilDoctor! Fortunately, it didn't take long for him to snap out of that what with Adelaide killing herself and all. Then, of course, there was the suddenly appearing Ood and the Doctor freaking out because he knows his time is coming to an end.
All in all, very good episode, but I do think it would have achieved excellence had it actually ended on the Doctor getting into the TARDIS, the station blowing up and us seeing him just standing there in his spacesuit shell-shocked. It would have been horrible and terrible and heart-rending, BUT, there would have been no niggling questions and it would have been emotionally (if, yes, depressingly so) perfect. However, I imagine that the end there are definite lead-ups to what happens in the next episode. And, of course, this was miles and miles and miles -- and did I mention miles? -- better than "Planet of the Dead."
Bottom-line, oh Rusty, I'll miss you so!
ETA: I forgot the Dalek bit? How could I forget the Dalek bit. I love how that was so beautifully integrated into the story. Just awesome. And, I forgot to mention -- although I totally meant to -- the whole "last of the Timelords" quotes leading up to him deciding that yes, he was the last, so he'd control time. 'Twas awesome!