Anyway, I hope nobody lost sleep.
There was a lot to like. I liked John Simm's dancing-more-than-acting. I don't mind non-naturalistic performance, and I think TV ought to be able to become more theatrical and less filmic. Also it was sexy.
I liked the portrayal of the world on the verge of extinction, using minimum budget, I believed in it and I was emotionally engaged with it. If you think about it, this could have been screwed up badly. And Martha was right in there, taking it forward, being brilliant.
I thought all the actors did their best with what they were given, pushed themselves as far as they could, and I admire them for it.
I liked the slashy grappling between Simm and Tennant. Not just the physical, but the emotional grappling*. Of course I did. There should have been some explicit 'I love you' and kissing, but, that's just a specialist request really. It's not like the program missed out by not having it.
*except the funeral pyre = bad.
The floating Jesus-Doctor was a bad mistake, almost a public mental breakdown by RTD. It undermined the whole story arc to that point. I've already read several people express themselves on this matter better than I am likely to. It undermined Martha's contribution, it lost the willing suspension of disbelief, it made the doctor into something he shouldn't be, and it didn't make poetic sense.
The resolution of the rift in time was if anything more moronic than this. Jack shot the temporal paradox with a machine gun? It's one of the worst fix-ups of all time. Also, if Jack could rip himself out of his chains with brute charisma, walk through bullets, grab a gun, and shoot the universe right, then why didn't he do it minute one of week one of that year?
The resolution of the Martha arc wasn't quite as bad as any of this, but it left a nasty taste. Arguably, that's a valid thing for a TV drama to do. Bitter-sweet and all that. And it will probably be revisited at Christmas. Still thought it was a shame.
The much-aged doctor was a good idea, and I want to write a bit more about the theme of ageing and death. There's nothing wrong with having a unifying poetic theme, to do with resisting vs embracing mortality and frailty, and what eternal life would really mean. That's why I quoted Tithonus. But the little shrivelled doctor was too stupid for words. It was ridiculous. It made the whole thing into a stupid joke.