The Time of the Doctor

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?

18 thoughts on “The Time of the Doctor

  1. Occasionally when the Doctor regenerates he gets post regenerative amnesia. It’s happened on a few occasions both the fourth Doctor and eighth Doctor are the best examples. Not being able to remember how to fly the TARDIS will most likely be down to post regenerative trauma/memory loss.

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  2. I liked some aspects of the special, though I thought there were a number of pacing issues. Still, it was pretty interesting to see those plot lines resolved, and I was glad Eleven’s last moments weren’t too whiny like Ten’s. And the resolution of his regenerations was pretty cool. Oh, and I do think Capaldi’s Doctor needs a bit of time before he’s ready to fly the TARDIS. After all, regeneration isn’t the most stable process.
    Now we have to wait till the fall for new episodes. I don’t want to wait!

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  3. you are so right, although Matt was never my Doctor and I don’t have the separation anxieties that some are experiencing, I did thought the episode has a pacing problem. It’s nice to see all the plotholes resolved, I’m not sure they had all to be resolved in the same 60 minutes…

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      • yes, in the hurry to not leave anything behind, it just looked weird. we end up not caring about things such as Handles or Clara’s family, because we don’t actually see their point =/

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      • Absolutely! Handles could have been so much more touching!! But we barely get to find out anything about him (or it). And Clara’s family just seemed weird and misplaced in the episode. They should have introduced them some other time.

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      • I was really confused, because Clara’s dad didn’t look anything like the man at the grave for Clara’s mom. And as you mentioned, the evil stepmom and the likable gran were too much. As much as I like Clara, I don’t think we can connect with her as well, because her personal life doesn’t get as much screen time as it deserves. I mean how on earth did she manage to become a teacher? When did she even talk about wanting to be one? Just because she is good with kids, doesn’t mean she has to become a teacher.

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      • yeah, that was a big shift. She goes from babysitter to teacher, is she even old enough to be a teacher? I get that they wanted to make her different from the other companions, they wanted her not to stay permanently on the TARDIS and have a life, bur come on, her life has to make sense. And, what kind of life is that when she drops everything off when she ears the TARDIS?

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      • I think it is a real pitty that Matt quit now, not just because he was my favourite, but also because Eleven and Clara had amazing chemistry. That’s one of the few reasons I liked Clara. I am really looking forward how her time with Capaldi will be, because I can’t quite see the romantic streak in their relationship.

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      • I hope they don’t go for romantic… It has been a problem whenever you get a young Doctor, all the companions like him, that’s why I liked Donna and Ten so much…

        Matt has said that he should have stayed another season with Jenna due to their chemistry… let’s just hope she and Capaldi get along well. Really looking forward to it, specially with that scottish accent….

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