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Series 3 end - 2 parter or 3 parter?

Filed in: Doctor Who.

Does Doctor Who series 3 end with a two-part story or a three-part story? The remainder of the post is cut to avoid spoiling people who haven't seen the end of the series yet - Utopia screens in the US this Friday.

So, are Utopia, The Sound of Drums and The Last of the Time Lords one story, or is Utopia to be considered separate?

Case for three-parter:

  • Totally Doctor Who says it's a three-parter.
  • Utopia has "TO BE CONTINUED" in big letters at the end, plus there's the whole cliffhanger thing.
  • All three episodes have the same writer, involve the Master, and the Toclafane which appear in the latter two episodes are directly related to Utopia.
  • Phil Collinson said so, according to DWM editor Tom Spilsbury.

Case for two-parter:

The BBC press release is entirely unhelpful.

Other sites vote:
Two-parter: Outpost Gallifrey, Torchwood TV
Three-parter: Doctor Who Reference Guide, Wikipedia,, TV Squad, Eye of Horus

The IMDB listing is no help, and finally trying to get a consensus in the Outpost Gallifrey thread is, of course, like herding cats.

I'm inclined to go with Utopia/The Sound of Drums/The Last of the Time Lords being a three-parter, simply because one of the producers said so. It seems that they originally said Utopia was separate so that the cliffhanger ending would be a surprise, explaining the Radio Times listing. The fact that Utopia is part of a different production block's not really a reason either, when you consider The Trial of a Time Lord (regarded by many as one story).

Posted September 18, 2007 7:07 PM


But what do we call it? "The Last of the Sound of the Time Lord Utopia Drums"?

Posted by: Thad Ritchards | September 19, 2007 7:02 AM

The Sound of Time Lord Utopias? The Utopia of the Time Lord Drums? Utopia: The Sound of the Time Lord Drummer? How to Take Over the World in Three Easy Steps?

Posted by: Alden | September 19, 2007 8:59 AM

Herding cats is easy. All you need to do is make sure it's just before their regular dinnertime and you have their favourite food to hand. I guarantee you you can herd them wherever you like!

Getting consensus on whether the finale is two or three parts though... I'm not touching that one! :)

Posted by: Paul Scoones | September 20, 2007 11:21 AM

I think the real question here is: who cares? :)

Posted by: Jeff Stone | October 1, 2007 12:03 PM

We have to know if it's one or two stories so that we can celebrate the correct 200th story. :)

Posted by: Alden Bates | October 1, 2007 12:31 PM

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