This episode veered from the sublime to the ridiculous and back for me. I really do sometimes marvel at what RTD can produce in terms of scripts. He's capable of fantastic subtlety, but he can be equally heavy handed and overbearing with the emotion. And that's definitely at work in Last of the Time Lords.
I love what RTD's done with Martha. I think it's great that this myth grew around her while she was travelling the world. She almost became the Doctor himself, fooling the Master in the way she did. I love that she's matured and left him of her own volition to continue her vocation. It was such a superior departure scene to Rose's. Just the right amount of emotion, a hug and a little kiss. Similarly, the beginning of the episode with the whole 'Earth is closed' thing was quite clever and reminded me a little of H2G2.
As has been the case with previous RTD episodes (see: New Earth), the science is extremely flimsy. The whole idea of the Doctor as Tinkerbell rankled with me, as did the godlike nature of his rejuvenation (argh, it was so saccharine!). The Doctor can be Merlin or the Oncoming Storm, but he's not a god (as lovely as an epithet like the Lonely God sounds)!
Alexandra Moen was underused as Lucy Saxon. There was vast potential in that character and she barely got any lines or development. I can only hope that the character may turn up again (and if the Master comes back, I suppose there's a chance she would too).
Totally called on the Toclafane being the humans from the end of the universe. I knew they couldn't leave that particular plot point hanging. The design of the spheres struck me as quite Dalek-ish, right down to the indestructible casing and the squishy creature inside.
I felt rather pissed off about the way Ten was treated here too. For heaven's sake, give David Tennant a chance to act. The 100 year-old prosthetics were one thing, but it was completely stupid to age him into Gollum. CGI can't compare to an actual actor here, and some of those scenes needed Tennant rather than just his voice. Incapacitate him in another way! Surely they could've thought of something. ;p
Still, his final scenes with the Master were exactly what I was hoping for. I loved that Ten gave him a Greco-Roman style funeral on a pyre (traditional Time Lord burial rites maybe?). I love the anguish and the fact that Simm!Master is such a stubborn bastard
I have heard that the hand that picks up the Master's ring (which was pretty and I want one bad) was referred to by RTD as the Hand of the Rani. Yeah it's just a joke, but damn I'd like to see another Master/Rani teamup. Mark of the Rani was one of the better Six stories (which isn't saying much, but still). And another Time Lord (or Time Lady) would be great (not in the next series, but somewhere along the line).
On the whole, series three was a marked improvement on two. Granted, 42 and the Dalek two-parter were stinkers, but the writing in this series was of a much higher standard. I will definitely buy the series three box set and re-watch the episodes, something I haven't really done with series two (The Christmas Invasion, School Reunion and Girl in the Fireplace are the only episodes I've re-watched).
I am quite excited about this year's Christmas special, because OMGKYLIE! I don't care if she hasn't been the greatest actress in the past, because it's Doctor Who and if Billie Piper can do it, so can Kylie. And there is also Torchwood, which I think I'll watch solely for Martha and in the hope that Jack will no longer be emo.
On a final note...speaking of Jack? He was totally the Master's sex slave on the Valiant. I blame the manacles. And I'm quite certain that the whole Jack = Face of Boe thing is a joke, or at least something that they won't really elaborate on any further.