Doctor Who: The End of Time, “The Narrator” Figure by Character Options

2009 was a surprisingly great year for Doctor Who figures considering that the show was on hiatus and we only got five specials instead of the regular thirteen episodes. Thankfully, the regular show is coming back this year and with it we’ll be getting a whole slew of new figures from Character Options. But before moving on to the 11th Doctor, CO took one more look backwards.

2010 kicked off with a small wave of four figures based on the two-part special “The End of Time,” unfortunately, the selection of figures left something to be desired. Its a pretty crazy world when we’re getting so many Doctor Who figures that I can afford to be picky, but out of the four figures, there was only one that I really wanted. The three I passed on consisted of yet another 10th Doctor (got enough of those, thank you), the first figure based on the 11th Doctor (cool, but I’ll wait until he’s released in his proper outfit), and The Master. Now, I love The Master but this figure is basically just John Simm with a bad bleach job wearing a hoodie. Pass! In fairness to Character Options, “The End of Time” didn’t exactly introduce a lot of desireable characters for action figure fodder, although Wilfred would have been a welcome addition, as would a few more Time Lords.

So anyway, the one figure I couldn’t resist was the Time Lord President, played by Timothy Dalton. There’s still a lot of speculation about who this character actually was. He was originally billed only as “The Narrator,” and that’s how his name appears on the figure’s packaging. I’m guessing this was done to prevent spoilers, but since the figures came out after the episodes aired, it didn’t seem necessary. He was also referred to once by The Doctor as Rassilon in the episode, and working out how the continuity of that could be possible makes my brain hurt. But those are debates better left for the dark recesses of nerd forums and since I refuse to call him The Narrator, Rassilon is good enough for me.

I certainly didn’t expect new packaging on this one-off series of four figures, but that’s exactly what we got. Its still a sealed clamshell, but almost everything else is different. This should be the last time we’ll see this Doctor Who logo, but apart from that the insert is completely new. It has a cool hologram style reflective finish that shows half of the 10th Doctor’s face on one side of the figure and half of Rassilon’s on the other. You can also make out bits of the TARDIS interior among the backdrop. The back panel shows the four figures in this series. The presentation here is so nice, I almost felt bad about tearing this baby open to get to my figure. Then again, if I was a MOC collector, I’d be kind of pissed that the name on the card is “The Narrator.”

First off, CO did a marvelous job on the likeness of Timothy Dalton as well as replicating his majestic Time Lord garb. Even without the trademark cowl often seen on members of Gallifreyan High Council, this figure is obviously a Time Lord through and through. I did think it interesting that the round seal on his chest isn’t recognizable as the Seal of Rassilon, but rather a new and different Time Lord symbol. His robes are nicely sculpted and feature gold leaf decorations around the trim. His clothes underneath are all black. About my only complaint is a little paint slop along his hairline.

Also worth noting is the sculpted gauntlet on Rassilon’s left hand. The very thing he used to obliterate an uppity Time Lady for speaking out of turn. This artifact was one of the many things that still gnaw at me about that episode. Its never been seen or mentioned before in almost 50 years of the show’s history, so what the hell was it? I suppose since there was a Sash of Rassilon and Key of Rassilon and Headpiece of Rassilon, why not a Gauntlet of Rassilon. Either way, its nicely represented on the figure.

Because Rassilon is a robed figure, CO could have easily skimped on his articulation, but instead they really decked him out. How much of it is actually useable is another story. His head rotates, his arms rotate at the shoulder, his elbows are hinged and he has swivel cuts in his biceps and his wrists. His upper legs are jointed, his knees are hinged and there are swivel cuts at the top of his boots. Basically, most of the articulation below his waist is hampered by his cloak.

Rassilon only comes with one accessory, his staff. The shaft is very thin, but he can hold it in his left hand quite well and the sculpting on the head is quite nice.

All in all, I’d say this figure makes up for the fact that I didn’t want any of the others. He looks great and at least now I have someone to keep my Time Lord figure company. On the downside, he didn’t come cheap. While you could easily get the complete set of four figures for around $55-60, Rassilon here cost me $20 all by himself. It seems I’m not alone in only wanting him out of the lot, so naturally he sells for the most. Granted, I’ve had to pay $20 for single Doctor Who figure before, but those were Classic Doctors and not figures from the current series. Still, this is fucking Timothy Dalton… playing Lord Rassilon… how the hell could I not by this figure.

 

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