"My Lord Doctor. My Lord Master. We are gathered... for the end."We begin with Timothy Dalton narrating over a shot of Earth, gradually zooming in to London. He states that as The End of the World as We Know It approaches, everyone on Earth has been plagued by nightmares, but they've all forgotten, save one man: Wilfred Mott. Wilf enters a church only to see a stained glass window depicting the TARDIS. A woman proceeds to explain to him the "Legend of the Blue Box" and the story of the "Sainted Physician". And then spookily disappears. Cue opening credits...On the Oodsphere, the Doctor steps out of the TARDIS wearing a cowboy hat and a lei around his neck. He decided to take a nice long holiday after his nervous breakdown. After he relates his holiday details to Ood Sigma — including a short-lived marriage to Queen Bess — he locks the TARDIS ("like a car", remote starter and all) and takes a good look at the Ood's capital. After being told it's only been a century since he was last here, he realizes it's been way too soon for the Ood to be well-coordinated enough to send a message back in time. Even worse, the Ood have been having nightmares. Ood Sigma brings the Doctor to a group of Ood, and he shares in their psychic link, showing him images of the Master laughing, Wilf, two complete strangers, Lucy Saxon in prison, and the Master's ring being picked up by a woman. After a warning that the Master's return is only part of a greater plan and the revelation that "time is bleeding", the Doctor freaks out, runs back to the TARDIS at full speed, and heads back to the 21st century.Meanwhile, Lucy Saxon is collected from prison by the mysterious woman who took the Master's ring, only to reveal that the Master set up an elaborate scheme to ensure his return from the dead. By combining the Master's ring, some Potions of Applied Phlebotinum, and a DNA sample from Lucy, the Master begins to come back quite naked. Lucy reveals that she's set up her own plan to prevent the Master from coming back and that she had her family connections make a potion to counter the effects of the Master's Applied Phlebotinum. She hurls it at him while his body is still forming. The prison explodes. The Doctor arrives too late to prevent anything. Cut to the two strangers from the Doctor's visions, a rich man and a younger woman: they're delighted to see the Master may have come back, and they begin setting up some Applied Phlebotinum of their own.Wilf, at the end of his rope thanks to his nightmares, organizes a busload of senior citizens into a search party for the Doctor.Elsewhere, a couple of homeless people get food from a stand, as it's explained that Barack Obama is about to announce a plan for ending the recession. A mystery man in a hoodie then comes up, declares himself a Big Eater, and pulls off his hood to reveal the Master's face, only with bleach-blond hair and a face of stubble. He joins the homeless guys, wolfs down his food, gets compared to Mr. Saxon, and then starts ranting about getting even more food. He hates being remembered as Saxon and had hoped that his hair dye would fool people. His head starts flashing, revealing his skull, freaking out the homeless guys enough that they run away. They try to ask the food stand attendants for help, only to find them dead and Stripped to the Bone. With a shout of "DINNERTIME!", the Master leaps way into the air and onto them.Afterwards, he grabs a stick of pipe and knocks four times on a barrel. The Doctor watches from a distance. Four more knocks, and the Doctor begins running toward him. After deducing that the Master Came Back Wrong, he gets stopped by Wilf before he can catch up to the Master. Wilf's Senior Citizen Search Party comes out of the woodwork, revealing that they've set up an elaborate communications network to catch the Doctor. While the Doctor just wants to get away and chase the Master, the Senior Citizen Search Party makes him pose for a picture, while the elderly women grope him.After riding on their bus back to town, the Doctor and Wilf stop by a coffee shop, and Wilf proceeds to talk about old times. The Doctor points out the Contrived Coincidence of Wilf tracking him down so easily (a running thread from this season, you may remember) and mentions that the four knocks he heard means he's going to die. They discuss regeneration for a while, and the Doctor admits that when he regenerates, the man he was actually dies. They see Donna through the window, and Wilf starts begging the Doctor to restore her memories, while discussing her life. She's engaged. Again. The Doctor tries to relate his recent solo adventures to Wilf, but nearly breaks down crying when he thinks about what happened to Adelaide. Wilf continues begging the Doctor to restore Donna's memories, and they leave the coffee shop together.That night, Timothy Dalton's narration declares that the pieces are in place for the oncoming conflict and that the final day of mankind has come. The two rich strangers toast each other while the Master continues eating on the streets like a feral animal. The Doctor shows up, and the Master starts zapping him with lightning. The Doctor just keeps walking forward, until the Master finally hits him square in the chest. They have a bit of a chat about food and the drums in the Master's head. The Doctor thinks that the Master is simply mad, but the Master touches his forehead to his and gently opens a psychic link. The Master is actually hearing something real. But he quickly uses his newfound lightning powers to take off flying, screaming about how, "It's real!", and the Doctor is forced to give chase. Suddenly, the Master is kidnapped.The next morning, at the Noble house, Donna gives some gifts to her mother and Wilf. For some reason even she doesn't know, her gift to Wilf is a book written by one of the two mysterious rich strangers. His name revealed as Joshua Naismith. Speaking of the strangers, we see that Naismith is holding the Master prisoner, and he explains that his daughter has heard legends of Mr. Saxon and believes he can help with their project. The family turns on the TV for the Queen's speech, but only Wilf is watching as the mysterious church lady appears instead. She tells him that in order to save the Doctor's life, he must take up arms and not tell the Doctor. Wilf goes upstairs, grabs his old service revolver, and sees the Doctor waiting for him outside. He goes outside, shows Naismith's book to the Doctor; the Doctor speculates that Donna's Time Lord brain is still subconsciously active, and suggests the book is an important clue. When Donna starts to come outside, the Doctor and Wilf flee to the TARDIS and quickly take off. As the Doctor and Wilf banter about how the TARDIS should be cleaner, the Doctor prepares to teleport to Naismith's complex.Back in Naismith's complex, Naismith and his disturbingly incestuous daughter show their project to the Master. The Master figures out that it's alien technology, and a couple of scientists flee the room. Turns out those scientists are actually kooky aliens in disguise, preparing to hijack the project for their own ends. Naismith gives the Master a turkey as an incentive to help him, and he quickly gobbles it down. Naismith reveals that the project is a healing machine salvaged from the ruins of Torchwood that, once fully repaired with the Master's help, will be able to give anyone immortality. Thus, he names it the Immortality Gate. Rather than wanting to use it to become a god, he intends to use it to make his daughter immortal as the ultimate Christmas gift. As the Master begins repairing the Immortality Gate, the TARDIS arrives outside. Remembering what happened the last time he left the TARDIS unguarded around the Master, the Doctor cloaks it with the Sonic Screwdriver and heads off into the compound with Wilf. They run into the two alien schemers, and the Doctor sees right through them. Shimmer!The Master finishes fixing the Immortality Gate. Naismith orders him restrained and reveals himself to be Genre Savvy enough to check for traps before sending his daughter through it. Back to the Doctor and his alien friends, it turns out they're of the Vinvocci, a sister species to that of the little red guy from "Voyage of the Damned". The feel that the Gate is rightfully theirs; they're a salvage team, and they intend to steal it back as soon as it's working again. They reveal the Gate mends entire populations of planets based on a single medical template, not just one person at a time. The Doctor realizes the implications of this and runs off to find Naismith. As Obama begins to broadcast his economic plans, the Doctor arrives in the control room, telling Naismith not to let the Master near the Gate. The Master busts out of his restraints and leaps into the gate. The Doctor tries to get Naismith to shut down the Gate, but it's too late...The Master is inside Naismith's head. No, he's inside everyone's head. Every human on Earth. The Doctor gets Wilf to a locked-down isolation chamber, getting the Master out of his head, but he's only one person. Less than a minute later, the Gate finishes powering up, and every single human on Earth, save Wilf (in the isolation chamber) and Donna (who's not entirely human anymore) are turned into clones of the Master. He's the President. He's newsreader Trinity Wells. He's Naismith and Naismith's daughter. He's everyone. Earth is now populated by six billion Masters. The human race has become... "the Master race". And upon seeing a transformation this bizarre, Donna starts to remember...As the camera cuts away from the six billion Masters laughing at each other and at the horrified Doctor, Timothy Dalton's narration kicks in again, revealing that this is far more than humanity's end. For Dalton isn't just the story's narrator, he's the Narrator, Lord President of the Time Lords. The Time Lords are back in large numbers, and they're preparing for war. What are they fighting for? "The end of time itself".End of Part 1.Part 2 begins with the Doctor and Wilf tied to chairs while the Master taunts them. At this point, the Doctor and the Master have a truly Ho Yay-laden conversation, wherein the Doctor once again tries to convince the Master to give up his evil ways and travel the universe with him. The Master almost looks tempted, but then Wilf speaks up and breaks the moment, earning himself a fantastic Death Glare from the Master, who then reverts to his usually hammy self. As the Master taunts the Doctor, Wilf receives a call on his mobile. The Master is understandably miffed at someone escaping his Master Race Plan; he grabs the phone, also discovering and throwing away Wilf's revolver. He then orders all of him in that area to consume Donna. Donna's mind counters with a latent superpower (a parting gift from the Doctor) that knocks out all of the nearby Masters and knocks herself unconscious. Cut back to the original Master, shocked at what just transpired. The Doctor taunts him saying he "wouldn't leave his best friend without a defense mechanism".The Master begins demanding answers from the Doctor, specifically regarding the location of his TARDIS. The Doctor happily points out the presence of the Idiot Ball in the Master's hands and notes that the guard standing behind him is "an inch too tall". The guard knocks him on the head and reveals itself to be one of the Vinvocci. Wilf is shocked and yells out "God bless the Cactuses!"
Doctor: That's Cacti.Then the Cactus-Man's friend comes out from nowhere to untie Wilf. They don't have the time to untie the Doctor however, and resort to wheeling him away. After nearly dropping him down a set of steps, the Doctor yells: "Worst. Rescue. Ever!". The Master gives chase with his many clones, but the Vinvocci teleport Wilf and the Doctor away to their ship, where the Doctor proceeds to take command and uses his sonic screwdriver to shut down every system in the ship so that the Master's radar doesn't detect them.It is around this point that we see the Time Lords. Specifically, the Lord President, who is walking proudly to a meeting with seven other Time Lords, though parts of the building are falling off around him. The Time War is happening all around them, continuously and forever. At the meeting, it is revealed that the Philosopher has predicted that today is the last day of the Time War and of the Time Lords themselves. Understandably, the Lord President is upset at this and vaporizes a Time Lady who says that maybe this is a good thing, that since the Time War is such a horrible thing it's better for everyone. After ranting a little, another Time Lord reveals that another Prophecy details the "final clash" between the Doctor and the Master, and that she keeps mentioning the word "Earth" in her predictions. The Lord President shows everyone a projection of Planet Earth, saying that their salvation is on Earth. The Lord President then demands that they find a way to move Gallifrey out of the Time Lock and save their race. We are then shown that the Lord President ordered the "sound of drums" implanted in the Master's head in an attempt to establish a link between him in the present day and the Time Locked Time Lords.We are then taken back to the ship, where the Vinvocci reveal they are simply scavengers, not a salvage team. The Doctor begins fixing the heating of the ship, and Wilf is getting lost somewhere in the bowels of the ship. He sees the Church Lady again, who talks to him about being a soldier. He pulls out his revolver from his jacket (apparently he retrieved it while the Vinvocci were trying to unstrap the Doctor) and turns to the woman, but she has disappeared. He then goes to see the Doctor, who is still fixing the heating. Wilf goes on a short spiel about how he always wanted to see the Earth from space, and is happy that he is now an astronaut. Then Wilf begins to talk seriously with the Doctor, offering him his gun, ordering the Doctor to "not put [The Master] before the Human Race". The Doctor thinks for a moment, but declines. More than once.We go back to Earth where all the Masters are concentrating on the source of the drums. Then we are taken back to the Time Lords and the Lord President, after saying "Link Established", throws a small diamond at the projection of Earth to make the link into a bridge. Then the scene cuts back to the ship, where we are shown the diamond shooting across the Earth sky. The Master is then shown, now hearing the sound coming from the shooting diamond, ordering his clones to find and retrieve the diamond. It is revealed that it is a very special kind of diamond. The Master is ecstatic.We cut back to the Doctor on the ship as a message broadcast from the Master. He addresses the Doctor, and makes it clear that he knows what the source of the drums is, and he says the name of the diamond, a white point star. The Doctor is shown to be scared since a white point star can only be found on Gallifrey. Very, very scared. He grabs the pistol from Wilf, the one he had adamantly refused earlier, showing us that he is willing to break all his rules to stop the Time Lords from returning.Wilf is confused, the Doctor's fear doesn't go well with his description of the Time Lords so far as great people. Wilf asks him why he's so scared, and the Doctor reveals that "that is only what [he] wanted to remember". The Doctor quickly restarts the ship (Saying he was repairing a bit more than the heating) and orders Wilf and Cactus-Man to man the mining lasers. Cactus-Woman is annoyed and tells the Doctor that he is not allowed to commandeer her vessel like this. His reply goes simply:
Vinvocci: That's racist!
Doctor: There's an old Earth saying, captain. A phrase of great power and wisdom, and consolation to the soul in times of need.The Doctor takes the ship straight through the atmosphere and locks on to the Master's Evil Lair. The Master orders a Macross Missile Massacre which is shot down by Wilf and Cactus-Man (complete with Han Solo-like whoops) and some very fine piloting by the Doctor. Eventually they are almost upon the Master's lair, and Wilf asks the Doctor if they will all survive, saying he doesn't mind and won't stop him, he just wants to know. The Doctor doesn't reply.We see the Lord President giving the end of a speech that says "The Time Lords will survive". It is revealed everybody save for two voted in favour of breaking the Time Lock and going to Earth. The two dissenters have their hands over their faces or, as the Lord President says, 'like the Weeping Angels of old'.They (the Doctor, Wilf and the Vinvocci) are soon almost colliding with the Master's Lair, the Doctor pulls the ship up and takes Wilf's pistol, leaping from the ship and somehow surviving a massive drop through a glass roof on to an incredibly hard floor. He is not in time to foil the Master's master plan, and is witness to the Time Lords returning. The Lord President, complete with the 6 other Time Lords from the meeting enter through a white light. The Master grins maniacally and reveals that before, he could remake the entire Human Race in his own image, and now, he could remake the Time Lords. The Lord President is completely unaffected, then uses his gauntlet to reverse the Master's actions, returning the entire Human Race back to normal. Then, the Doctor makes a disturbing Reveal: The Master didn't just bring back the Time Lords. He brought back Gallifrey.Cut to a view far from Earth, we see Gallifrey fade in to existence almost on top of it. Then to Donna's mother and fiancÚ, who run out in the street searching for her, and everyone else is also in the streets, mostly screaming and running about. We then see the salvagers' ship, without Wilf, they flee, realizing that Earth is now about to be knocked out of orbit. Cactus Man tries to mention the Doctor, but Cactus Woman is having none of it. They disappear.While all the restored humans in the mansion are running out, Wilf runs in, hoping to help the Doctor. Instead he notices one of Naismith's minions, trapped in a control booth that was part of the Immortality Gate, and which is designed so that there must always be one person inside. Wilf goes in, and lets the terrified minion go free.Back in the mansion, the Master moves onto Plan B: Unable to take over the Time Lord's bodies the same way he did the humans, he simply plans to celebrate the Time Lords' return and have them owe him one. The Doctor tells him that the Master wasn't there during the final days of the War. He tells him that Gallifrey not only had a host of leftover Daleks, but the Skaro Degradations, the Horde of Travesties, the Nightmare Child, and the Could-Have-Been King with his army of Meanwhiles and Never-Weres; all about to break free and descend upon the Earth. The Master is a-ok with that scenario until the Doctor reminds him that even the Time Lords can't survive all of them at once.The Lord President then explains his plan, if you could call it that. The Time Lords will destroy the Time Vortex itself, wiping out all life in the universe while they Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence. Just then, the Doctor stands up, pointing his pistol at the Lord President. A Mexican Standoff of sorts takes place. The Master eggs the Doctor on, saying that if the Lord President were dead, Gallifrey could be his for the taking.The Doctor swings the gun back toward the Master. The Master realizes that the psychic link holding Gallifrey outside of the Time War exists in his head and with himself gone, the planet and Time Lords would vanish. However, he knows that the Doctor would never really pull the trigger. Just so, the Doctor swings back to face the Lord President. For the first time, he notices one of the women with him; a Council member who voted against returning to the universe-at-large. She lowers her hands from in front of her face, revealing herself to be... the Church Lady! She motions with her teary eyes to something behind the Doctor and, moments later, the Doctor again faces the Master. This time, he tells him to get out of the way. The Master dodges, and the Doctor shoots the machine holding the White Point Star in place. With the signal from the diamond gone, the Time Lords and Gallifrey begin to vanish. The Doctor refers to the Lord President by his name — Rassilon — and Rassilon then threatens to kill the Doctor, to which he replies, "I know."The Master steps forward, telling the Doctor to get out of the way. He uses his lightning blasts to strike down the Lord President over and over again, walking forward and vanishing with the other Time Lords back into the Time War.The Doctor lies on the ground, half-sobbing, half-laughing, saying "I'm still alive!" in disbelief, stunned that he was able to succeed.But just then, someone knocks four times.The Doctor realizes, or had let himself forget, that Wilf was still trapped in the Nuclear Vault. The Doctor explains that the only way for Wilf to escape would be for the Doctor to take his place. Wilf urges him to leave him behind while the Doctor has a brief Heroic BSOD. The Doctor has a small moment of What Measure Is A Non-Time Lord and seriously considers leaving Wilf to die before he recovers, saying "I've lived too long". He frees Wilf from the chamber and takes his place inside while being microwaved with over a half million Rads.The Vault shuts down and the Doctor stands, seemingly fine. But when Wilf comments on the Doctor's cuts and scrapes, they heal before his eyes and the Doctor explains that the regeneration process has already begun.The Doctor takes Wilf home and tells him that he'll "see [him] again. One more time". When Wilf asks where he's going, the Doctor replies, "To get my reward." The Doctor proceeds to visit each of his previous companions in turn, saving Martha and Mickey from a Sontaran about to ambush them, rescuing Luke Smith from oncoming traffic, and introducing Jack Harkness to Alonso Frame. He also stops in on Joan Redfern's great-granddaughter. He returns to the present day for Donna's wedding and gives Wilf her present: A lottery ticket purchased with money the Doctor borrowed from Donna's father. After some final goodbyes, he leaves.Back on New Year's Day, 2005, the Doctor visits Rose on her way home. He wishes her a happy new year and says that he thinks she's going to have a "really great year". The Doctor heads toward his TARDIS but is overcome by pain, falling to his knees. Ood Sigma appears, telling him that "the Universe will sing you to your sleep". The Doctor stands and makes it into the TARDIS, setting it in motion.
Cactus Lady: What's that then?
Ood Sigma: This song is ending, but the story never ends.The Doctor takes one last walk around the TARDIS, stopping just as the music reaches a pause before the crescendo before speaking his last words: I don't want to go. Visibly distraught, his head and hands begin to glow, as they had a few times before, but this time they won't fade away, growing with intensity before violently erupting. The energy severely damages the TARDIS and sends it toward Earth in a tailspin. Moments later, the Doctor's regeneration completes and we are introduced to Matt Smith for the first time as the Eleventh Doctor.He goes through the typical self-examination common of all new Doctors, making sure he still has legs, hands, lots of fingers ("ooooh!"), his now longer hair ("I'm a girl?!"), that he isn't a girl ("No. No, I'm not a girl!") and his hair colour ("Still not ginger!"). The burning, crashing TARDIS reminds him of imminent death (again) and he jumps on to the controls with manic glee, yelling "Geronimo!!" as the screen cuts to the credits.Cue ending credits and the end of the Russell T Davies era of Doctor Who. Technically, it starts with the regeneration, as Steven Moffat was allowed to write the first scene of "his" Doctor.