Holy continuity, Batman. That was practically a clip show. (Though, to be honest, I don't really like it when shows need to make points by actually showing old clips, and I'm not even sure those were really enough to clue in anybody who was really lost because half of this stuff happened TWO YEARS AGO.) They brought up how Jack was killed, how he was brought back to life, what the Doctor knew when leaving him there, the Doctor's regeneration, what really happened at Canary Wharf, the hand (the freakin' HAND? please tell me that's going to pay off in the finale, or why bother to have it around? way too much time is spent on it for it to be a simple gag, and the Master probably didn't just keep it as a souvenir), the Face of Boe (who Jack has never met? was he ever mentioned in Jack's presence, without Jack going, 'wtf'?), and, holy crap, the watch. I totally did not believe that spoiler for a minute.
The beginning, with Jack clinging to the TARDIS, was very, very silly. It was off the sillyometer. It could only have gotten sillier if he'd still been there during the credits sequence. Sadly, it also sort of fails to make sense. We were shown last week that the TARDIS can dematerialize without even bringing along people in the console room; failing to bring along somebody who's merely touching the outside, someone neither the Doctor nor the TARDIS want along, should be simple. The snow fell off of it in Unquiet Dead, after all. Though Queen Elizabeth's arrow did come with them. Damn you and your continuity, RTD! You actually had a go at foreshadowing this.
There are some curious implications regarding the TARDIS. I wouldn't seriously have thought the Doctor could be locked out of it, no matter what button was pushed, if only because it knows him. No, it doesn't go around acting of its own volition -- it's not gonna come back and get the Doctor, any more than it did in 1969 -- and it doesn't surprise me that the Master could pilot it (though, given the amount of kludging in evidence on the console, I'm a little surprised he could figure out what was what). But the properties of the lock have been, ah, variable, over the years, so I never know quite what to expect from it.
Given the quick gloss-over of what Utopia might actually be, and the moderate pointlessness of the Reavers (sorry, Firefly joke, but I cannot remember what they were actually called), they must have a part to play in future episodes as well. Was there any point to the Utopia transmission, to sending the humans there? (Also, there were no pure humans left by the 'year five billion' trilogy, so these... weren't full-blood humans, then, were they?) Were Utopia and the ship a Master plan somehow left in the Professor's human consciousness, or just an earnest attempt by his human self to do the right thing? How long had he been the Professor? I'd guess that any memory of being found as a child was a false one, but I am told I missed a Face of Boe reference in the place where the young Professor was supposedly found. God, there's going to be more about the Face of Freakin' Boe in the finale, isn't there.
Isn't it a bit awesome how much the Doctor admired the Professor?
YANA = You Are Not Alone? WTF was that? It didn't serve any purpose as a warning, since nobody interpreted it before the fact (and, frankly, you've got to be RTD to just interpret something like that in such a fanwanky way). It wouldn't be in the Master's interest to name himself as an acronym of something vague the Face of Boe said. Unless they're trying to imply that Boe named him that, which would still be stupid. If Boe knew that much, he could damn well have given a better warning.
If the Doctor, the Face of Boe and Jack are in any way related to one another, I will make threats I have no intention of carrying out regarding sticking my head in a blender or poking my eyes out with sporks.
I suppose the Doctor will have to fix the vortex manipulator, now, won't he. Without making fun of it. I really like the Doctor/Jack interplay, the obvious history there. And how Jack instantly, automatically obeys when the Doctor tells him not to shoot the Reavers.
So they have padlocks and chain-link fence in the year whatever trillion. RTD's absurdly distant futures are kind of crap. In an interview somewhere, David Tennant said something like, "If you set a story in the year six squillion, you can be really creative," and all I could think was, GOD, PLEASE DON'T GIVE THE GUY IDEAS. But! I will give him a point for not setting this on Earth, New Earth, New^23 Earth, Alternate Earth, something orbiting Earth, or a place having anything to do with Earth. It's the third time in as many years! (Filmed in a quarry, but that's traditional.)
It is a little bit horrible that the Doctor comes right out and uses Jack's immortality as a tool. "Go in there and do something that'll kill you, okay?" And yet I love it. (Although I'm not sure how immortality can prevent you from being vaporized? In every other circumstance, Jack dies the usual death, but just doesn't remain dead.)
The whole through-the-door conversation was pretty awesome, but even in context the Doctor's red-lit smile looks nothing but evil.
Others have asked why the Doctor couldn't sense Saxon, who was on Earth and a Time Lord during Love & Monsters, Runaway Bride, Lazarus, et al. I have no idea. He should be able to sense another Time Lord anywhere in the universe, from what he's said. You could fanwank away why Torchwood never bothered the Doctor until RTD invented them, by postulating some linearity to Time Lord lives, saying that perhaps he doesn't in his personal timeline encounter effects until he's actually caused them. But they've thrown that straight out the window this season, pushing hard on the non-linear timelines from the first moment of Smith & Jones. To prepare us for this. So they really ought to have an explanation, but I suspect they don't. But if you think too hard, you don't get to do time travel stories, because time travel does not actually make sense much of the time. I'll live with it. They might handwave something, or they might not. It's like being on the moon in Smith & Jones; sure, logically the windows aren't airtight, but you never know how much the show's going to respect logic this week, do you?
I actually liked Jack well enough. I think fanfic prejudices me against him. Well, fanfic and Torchwood. I was glad to see Doctor Who Jack back, not Torchwood Jack (and may the two characters have some greater degree of congruence in the future). And the credits made me a little giddy.
I don't want them to explain too much about how the Master got out of a contrived appearance of death in a rather bad movie eleven years ago. Retcon away. Please. I think all we really need here is what we get. Ooh, they didn't even bring up the 'brother' thing, did they. It's pure speculation based on that line inserted in to S&J, but I'll be surprised if it doesn't pan out. Given how many long-awaited explanations we DID get, of Jack and what he knew and what the Doctor knew and now they both know and exposition exposition exposition, I'm satisfied for now anyway.
Was the Master a little over the top at the end? Well, maybe, but (a) why even call him the Master if he's not going to retain any character traits, and (b) he was newly regenerated. Tennant chewed up more scenery in the CiN special. We don't actually know if the new series has all regenerations being traumatic or just the Doctor's, but it's a possibility.
There's going to be some kind of payoff or closure involving Rose in the finale. They wouldn't still be talking about her if there weren't. It may only be that Martha finally steps out of her shadow, but something's going to happen.
I'm very much okay with bringing back the Master -- something I was initially quite dubious about -- given that it's been played out as well as it has. But I sincerely hope they're not going to restore the Time Lords in any broader sense.
Ultimately, it was a bit old-school, in a good way. And it's going to be a three-parter! I am supposed to somehow avoid spoilers for all of this! Yikes.