-> ''♫ I can't decide whether you should live or die ♫''
-->-- '''The Master''' (showing his love for the Music/ScissorSisters)

It's [[WhamLine one year]] [[TimeSkip later]].

The Master is the supreme ruler of the planet. Most people have spent this year in slavery (or dead) while the Master forces them to build a space fleet of makeshift (yet deadly) rockets to start a new age of space conquest and terror. Meanwhile, Martha Jones has been WalkingTheEarth, picking her way amongst the ruins, and following the Doctor's last instructions, looking for the [[GottaCatchEmAll four segments]] of a weapon that can allegedly kill the Master (permanently). She also discovers that the Toclafane are mutated remnants of the humans from the end of time.

Meanwhile, the Master has made Martha's family into his personal slaves. He's also got Jack chained up as a toy to kill over and over. He plays with the Doctor for a bit while singing along to the ScissorSisters, then uses his laser screwdriver to make him age extra centuries, turning him into a heap of ConspicuousCGI.

Martha's returned to Britain, where she tells her story one last time and then is captured by the Master's {{Mooks}}. Up aboard the ''Valiant'', the Master makes her KneelBeforeZod and prepares to kill her while a clock starts the final countdown to launch his war fleet across the universe.

Then Martha laughs at him. Come on, she says, {{Plot Coupon}}s? Seriously? And the Doctor asking someone to ''kill?'' No, what she was ''really'' doing was telling everyone about the Doctor. Thanks to Martha's stories, and using the Master's global countdown as a timing guide, the whole Earth manages to ''think'' the Doctor back to health and youth [[HoistByHisOwnPetard with a feedback effect through the Master's own mind-controlling cellphone satellite network, keeping people under his influence]]. The Master absolutely ''freaks out'' at this brutal turn of events, and after ordering the Toclafane to kill everyone he teleports away, followed (and soon captured) by the Doctor. Jack manages to sneak by the Toclafane and destroy the Master's paradox machine, which reverses time to exactly one year ago, with everyone's memories neatly wiped and all the mutated humans having disappeared from the present day. But everyone in the "eye of the storm" -- including Martha's family -- keeps the memories of everything they've seen.

The Doctor attempts to stop everyone from killing the Master, since being a Time Lord he sees it as his job to deal with him by keeping him prisoner in the TARDIS. (Plus, evil or not, the Master is the only other Time Lord left to keep him company.) Suddenly the Master's wife shoots him. The Doctor urges the Master to regenerate the damage, but the Master smugly refuses to, and [[DiedInYourArmsTonight dies in the arms]] of a wildly sobbing Doctor, leaving him once again all alone in the universe.

The Master's corpse is burned. Martha's family remains deeply traumatised. The Doctor puts a stop to Jack's vortex manipulator; "I can't have you walking around with a time travelling teleport. You could go anywhere, twice. The second time to apologise". Jack leaves because he misses Torchwood Three, but not before telling the others that he's ''very'' slowly aging into something unknown, and that his nickname was once "The Face Of Boe". [[FlatWhat What]]. He dashes off to [[Recap/TorchwoodS2E1KissKissBangBang go rejoin Torchwood]]. Also, Martha finally understands that the Doctor will never return her affections. She hands him her phone, as she realises that she may need his help again some day.

Meanwhile at the Master's funeral pyre, a mysterious woman removes a maniacally laughing ring with Gallifreyan symbols on it. Is the Master not dead after all?

As The Doctor sets off for his next adventure, he gets a rather rude surprise. A ship. Crashing straight through the side of the TARDIS. The name on the ships life preserver? Titanic...


* AfterTheEnd: Most of Earth.
* BeautyIsNeverTarnished
** Martha has spent the last year traveling solo around the world, running from homicidal aliens, yet there isn't a scratch on her. She also sports make-up and straightened hair.
** Subverted with Mrs Saxon, who's sporting bruises.
* BigWhat followed by FlatWhat: A CallBack to the [[Recap/DoctorWhoNSS2E13Doomsday last series cliffhanger]]. This time the Doctor really has something to "What?" about -- the ''Titanic'' crashing through the wall.
* {{Birdcaged}}: The Doctor, as seen in the picture.
* BrokenBird: Lucy has clearly fallen off the deep end in the last year; she is noticeably skinnier and hardly talks. Considering the fact that she had seen the end of the universe first-hand and the most likely disturbing creation of the Toclafane, can you really blame her?
** She's also bruised and it's implied the Master has grown bored and started assaulting her.
* BloodlessCarnage
** The Master gets ''fatally'' shot but no blood at all is visible.
** And Jack; despite being brutally tortured by the Master for a year and later gunned down by a squad of soldiers, his clothes haven't a drop of blood on them.
* CantSpitItOut: Subverted; Martha comes as close as she'll ever get to telling the Doctor she loves him, and even though she doesn't say the words it's clear the normally ObliviousToLove Doctor knows exactly what she's on about.
* ClapYourHandsIfYouBelieve / GodsNeedPrayerBadly: The episode came under some fire for relying on this, albeit with a HandWave involving a {{Phlebotinum}} assisted telepathic field that focused the belief, causing what fans call [=TinkerBell=] [[CrystalDragonJesus Jesus]] or Fairy Doctor.
* CombinedEnergyAttack
* ContinuityNod
-->'''The Master:''' I remember the days when the Doctor, oh, that famous Doctor... was waging a Time War, battling [[Recap/DoctorWhoS9E3TheSeaDevils Sea Devils]], and [[Recap/DoctorWhoS8E3TheClawsOfAxos Axons]] -- he sealed the Rift at the Medusa Cascade, single handed.
** The Master's greatest fear being an all-powerful Doctor hovering over him, as previously shown all the way back in "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS8E2TheMindOfEvil The Mind of Evil]]".
* CrapsackWorld:
-->'''Martha:''' "I travelled across the world -- from the ruins of New York to the fusion mills of China, right across the radiation pits of Europe; and everywhere I went I saw people just like you living as slaves."
* CruelMercy: The Doctor's relentless attempts to forgive and rehabilitate the Master probably weren't intended this way, but the Master views them as worse than death.
* DeusExMachina: A glaring example. A satellite network which was used for subtle mind control by the Master is suddenly capable of giving the Doctor superpowers (telekinesis, regeneration (not talking about [[TheNthDoctor that kind]]), de-aging, flight and a force-field) provided everyone in the world thinks the word "Doctor" at the same time. This one comes with consequences: [[TheWoobie Martha's family]], being aboard the ''Valiant'', were at the eye of the storm. The Year That Never Was still happened for them.
* DidYouActuallyBelieve: A rare heroic example.
* DiedInYourArmsTonight: No, seriously, we weren't kidding about the [[FoeYay/DoctorWho Foe Yay]].
* TheDogBitesBack: "It's always the women."
* DoubleMeaningTitle: The title refers to the Master's plan to rule Earth as the last Time Lord (with the Doctor out of commission), but also to his decision to let himself die so that The Doctor will have to live out the rest of his life as the LastOfHisKind. OK, neither plan really works out, but still...
* FateWorseThanDeath: The Master considers death preferable to being imprisoned by The Doctor, hence why he refused to regenerate after getting shot.
* FirstGrayHair: Captain Jack Harkness is immortal and apparently unaging, but at the end of the episode he mentions having found a grey hair, and theorises that he is aging, just very very slowly.
* ForcedToWatch: The Master made Martha's family watch as he burned down Japan. Small wonder Francine still wants him dead after the paradox machine is destroyed.
* {{Foreshadowing}}: At the end, the Doctor suggests that they visit [[Recap/DoctorWhoNSS4E7TheUnicornAndTheWasp Agatha Christie]].
* ForTheEvulz:
-->'''Martha:''' But why? Why come all this way just to cause all this death and destruction?\\
'''Toclafane:''' Because it's ''FUN''.
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar: "You two should get to know each other... that could be fun!"
* GottaCatchEmAll: SubvertedTrope. Martha talks about having to travel around the world to collect the four hidden pieces to a gun that could kill the Master and prevent him from regenerating. When the Master catches her and reveals that he knows her plan, she laughs at him and says, "You really believed that?" Turns out the whole thing was a bluff and her actual plan was something else altogether.
* HoistByHisOwnPetard: The Archangel Network. The Doctor uses that year to tune his alien physiology to the frequency of the Network, just like an old mystic.
* HowDareYouDieOnMe: "Regenerate. Just. Regenerate. Please, PLEASE, just regenerate! Come on!"
* HumansAreTheRealMonsters: The Toclafane are the future of humanity, who turned themselves into cyborg {{Psychopathic Manchild}}ren in a desperate attempt to survive the collapse of reality. And why are they slaughtering their own species? Simply because it's fun.
* InelegantBlubbering: Creator/DavidTennant is not a pretty crier in this episode. Which makes it bloody ''[[TearJerker heartbreaking]]''.
* InternalHomage: The revelation regarding the Toclafane's origins and its aftermath mirrors what happened to the First Doctor in [[{{Recap/DoctorWhoS4E2TheTenthPlanet}} "The Tenth Planet"]]. In it, Earth's sister planet, Mondas, returned with mankind's dark mirror, the Cybermen, who have replaced their organic limbs and organs with mechanical ones in a bid to survive indefinitely. This knowledge ends up knocking the aged [=1st Doctor=] out of narrative (this was caused by Hartnell's failing health), just as the decrepit [=10th Doctor=] spends most of this story in dog kennel and cage, respectively.
* KneelBeforeZod
* LargeHam: The Master
* LoadBearingBoss: The TARDIS has been reconfigured into a Paradox Machine. Jack breaks the Paradox by shooting at the console.
* MadnessMantra: "We shall fly and blaze and slice! We shall fly and blaze and slice!"
* MeetTheNewBoss / SameStoryDifferentNames: The Toclafane's origin story mirrors that of the classic Cybermen in "The Tenth Planet." In it, the Earth's lost "sister planet" of Mondas returned along with our evolved cousins, who turned out to be metallic fossils of their former selves. Those events proved too much for the [=1st=] Doctor, who died of exhaustion. Ten fares a little better here, though he still ages a ''lot''; and his faith in humanity is once again shaken.
* TheMessiah: [[BlatantLies What? No! Definitely not!]] The glowing and flying? Just... time lord... magic... ness. ...Yeeeeah.
** Justified (and handwaved) in-episode as the Doctor spending the past year tapping into the Master's satellite network, allowing him to gain a psychic power-boost from ''entire'' human race from Martha spreading stories about him.
* MiniatureSeniorCitizens: The Doctor shrinks significantly after he's aged a few centuries.
* MythologyGag: The Doctor and the Master's confrontation in a wasteland obliquely echoes the end of "Survival," in which the Seventh Doctor refused to kill his arch-nemesis on the Cheetah Planet.
* NietzscheWannabe: The Master turns Mrs Saxon into one by showing her the end of the Universe.
* NoOneCouldSurviveThat: Yeah, right. It's ''[[JokerImmunity the Master.]]''
* NoOntologicalInertia: So the Master "cannibalised" the TARDIS into a Paradox Machine? So Doctor, if it was really ''that'' bad, do you want to explain how you managed to get her fixed so incredibly quickly? The following special "Time Crash" implies this is about as complicated as changing the desktop theme of a computer.
* NothingIsScarier: Why, exactly, was Utopia nothing but hellish furnaces? [[FridgeHorror Fuck you, that's why.]]
* OhCrap: When Martha mentioned the satellites, the Master stopped being amused by the situation.
* OminousFloatingCastle: The Aircraft Carrier ''Valiant'' acts as one for the Master.
* OneWorldOrder: The Master seems to have taken over the entire planet... or at least what's left of it after the Toclafane attacks.
* ThePlan: Martha's plan to defeat the Master.
* PoliticallyIncorrectVillain: The Master has ''issues'' with women, it appears.
* PowerFloats / PowerGlows: The Doctor, empowered by the thoughts of all the humans.
* ThePowerOfFriendship: Martha escapes the Master's takeover of Earth and spends one year traveling the world telling everyone about the doctor and how they're supposed to say (and [[ClapYourHandsIfYouBelieve believe!]]) "doctor" over and over during an onconming countdown. When said time arrives, everyone in the world doing this (even the Master's human followers and '''[[HeelFaceTurn his own]] [[InTheBack freaking wife]]''') gives the Doctor the strength he needs to overpower the Master and undo all his evil.
* RealityEnsues: The Doctor talks Francine out of shooting the Master and declares he's got someone to care for - and enter Lucy. BANG.
* ResetButton: Wrecking the Paradox Machine resets the timeline, undoing most of the Master's atrocities (although [[EagleLand President Winters]] is conspicuously still dead).
* RippleEffectProofMemory: Everyone on the ''Valiant'', due to being at "the eye of the storm".
* RushmoreRefacement: Mentioned though not seen.
* SealedEvilInADuel: What the Doctor effectively offers to do before Lucy intervenes.
-->'''Doctor:''' You're my responsibility from now on. [...] The only safe place for him is the [=TARDIS=].
-->'''Master:''' ''(smirking)'' You mean, you're just gonna...''(the smirk fades)'' ''keep'' me?
-->'''Doctor:''' Mm. If that's what I have to do. ''(to his friends)'' It's time to change. ''(the Master rolls his eyes)''
* SequelHook: The hand that takes the Master's ring. Russell T. Davies even joked that it was "the hand of The Rani". Notable as this was initially designed as purely a generic hook with no actual plans to follow up on it. RTD didn't want to use the Master again, but put it in as a way for his successor as show runner to use if they so desired. Then he changed his mind and used it himself at the end of his run.
* ShootTheShaggyDog: The final fate of the entire human race. [[SarcasmMode Thanks, RTD!]]
* ShoutOut
** "Say Hi, [[Literature/TheLordOfTheRings Gandalf]]."
** The Toclafane bear an uncanny resemblance to the spheres from ''Film/{{Phantasm}}'', right down to being powered by the brains of the creator's human victims.
** The scene where The Master is burnt on a funeral pyre by the Doctor is reminiscent of Luke setting ablaze Darth Vader's armour at the end of [[Film/StarWars Star Wars: Episode VI]].
** A woman with red-painted fingernails picking up the Master's ring as his laughter is heard in the background is one to the end of [[Film/FlashGordon the 1980s Flash Gordon film]].
* StatusQuoIsGod: The Master's year of terror is undone, and the Doctor is still the last of his kind (until the next time the Master shows up).
* SuperMode: The Doctor temporally gains an upgrade when he's revived by the world, gaining the ability to [[PowerFloats float in mid-air]] and telekinesis.
* TakingYouWithMe: The Master tries to do this when the Doctor and Martha foil his plans by detonating his fleet of rockets (thus triggering an EarthShatteringKaboom). However, the Doctor points out that the Master would never take his own life, and convinces him to surrender.
* TimeBomb: The Master never could resist a ticking clock.
* TerribleTicking: The drums.
* ThanatosGambit: The Master refusing to regenerate just to make sure the Doctor is the last of his kind.
* ThemeSongReveal: Lucy Saxon's bruises are briefly visible on camera when her face falls, just as the vocalist sings, "No wonder why my heart feels dead inside." Foreshadows the climax.
* ThrowAwayCountry: The Master slaughters the entire population of Japan and fills Europe with radiation pits.
* TookALevelInBadass: Martha
* VillainBeatingArtifact: Subverted. The episode features Martha Jones spending a year trying to locate a weapon divided into four parts that can defeat the Master, only to reveal at the very end that the Villain-Beating Artefact was a ruse to distract from Martha's real goal.
* VillainousBreakdown
** Mrs Saxon turns against her husband in the end.
** The Master is reduced to a screaming, terrified mess when all of humanity psychically restores the Doctor back to health.
* VillainWorld. Also VichyEarth thanks to the mind-control satellites which keep everyone terrified of Saxon.
* WalkingTheEarth: Martha has been.
* WhamLine
** Martha's revelation -- Ridiculous for some, awesome surprise for others. It starts with:
--->'''Martha:''' A gun in four parts, scattered across the world. I mean, come on. Did you really believe it?
** And then the full impact comes there:
--->'''Martha:''' Right across the world. One word, just one thought, at one moment, but with ''15 satellites''!
** Also:
--->'''Jack Harkness:''' The Face of Boe, they called me.
* WhatCouldHaveBeen: A deleted scene would have the Master taunt the Doctor with the fact that it was ultimately [[NiceJobBreakingItHero his interference]] with the timeline, such as causing Harriet Jones' untimely downfall, that allowed for Harold Saxon to become Prime Minister.
* WhatWouldXDo: What Would the Doctor Do?