Let’s start this year by talking about the last chapter of Matt Smith’s era on Doctor Who. Indeed a really sad chapter for me, but I am going to share my opinion on the 2013 Christmas Special anyway. If for some inexplicable reason you haven’t watched it yet (maybe you’re just dreading the idea of Matt Smith leaving, like I did) you should not continue reading, because like River always said: Spoilers!
The initial idea of making the Time of the Doctor as the ulitmate Eleven episode, by including about every villain/monster he has ever encountered plus resolving the whole Silence storyline, was a good thought, but somehow the execution didn’t work out as well as I’d hoped it would. I do have to admit that there probably was no right way to let Matt go and I probably would have found something to rant about in a different sort of episode as well, but still, the Time of the Doctor just didn’t satisfy me as a proper ending for the Eleventh Doctor.
Since this all sounds very bleak and as if the episode was a complete disaster, I will first start with the things I liked about it:
- Clara was simply brilliant! She showed real emotions and while I have encountered many people who don’t like her, I loved her the entire season and especially in this episode. Getting left behind by the Doctor is about the worst thing that can happen to a person (as we’ve seen countless times with Rose) so I could defintitely sympathise with her devastation when she stepped out of the TARDIS and it vanished behind her.
- The whole Silence thing was finally resolved! We saw what the Doctor saw in the hotel room in the God Complex and why the Silence wanted to prevent him from ever reaching Trenzalore … it all makes sense now and I will never ever accuse Steven Moffat of leaving plot holes again. It might take some years, but he will eventually resolve the storyline. (Although I want to mention that I didn’t expect the silly crack to be behind the hotel room door …)
- Amy! Just like Eleven was my first Doctor, Amy was my first companion and I’ve missed her very much. I do realise that she was only a halluzination, but nonetheless I was happy to see her again for the farewell.
Now that I’ve mentioned at least something I liked, let’s get to the things I absolutely didn’t like:
- While Amy is definitely on my positive-list, she is also on my negative-things-about-the-epsiode-list. So far ever since the reboot, all the Doctors had great last words. Just think about it! Nine said: “Rose, before I go, I just wanna tell you: you were fantastic, absolutely fantastic. And you know what? — So was I!” and Ten said the iconic “I don’t wanna go!” and while Matt had an absolutely fantastic monologue, the final words came from Amy saying: “Raggedy man, Good Night!” … I was a little disappointed about that, but maybe “I will always remember when the Doctor was me.” does count anyways …
- I expected a brilliant Matt-episode for the Time of the Doctor, but mostly he wasn’t really like the Doctor we all remember him. The ancient man with the baby face actually aged – a lot! I realise that I am really critical about this, but I didn’t like those prosthetics, they looked ridiculous. And weirdly I could empathise more with Clara than I could with the Doctor and those random 300 year-jumps in time.
- Why doesn’t Capaldi’s Doctor know how to fly the TARDIS!? Is it because he has to break his new body in first before he can remember things like that? That never happened before though …
I guess I just wasn’t ready to say goodbye … I am terrible with goodbyes. What did you think of the episode? Did you think it was a worthy farewell, alright but not fine or a complete fail?