So to wrap up this 50th Anniversary year Steven Moffat gives us this final episode of the 11th Doctor in his final incarnation.
It’s Sad to see Matt Smith go. He was one of my favorite Doctors and gave a fresh lease of life to the character with his old head on young shoulders dichotomy. Chris Eccleston is still probably my favorite but Smith is a close second in my view. The whimsical nature of his Doctor didn’t come off as smug as Tennant’s 10th Doctor and Smith really brought out the humor in 11 yet also hinted at his dark underlying nature. Here in his last episode he really comes across as the gentle protector and when he visibly ages he has the old man routine down quite well.
I liked that we see a Doctor scumming to old age rather than just getting killed in some manner. I think it’s not as grand a send off for Smith as it was for Tennant. The music for example wasn’t all that great and seemed to consist of a mix of other themes from past series of Who. I imagine the budget went on the ‘Day of the Doctor’.
Steven Moffat is fairly good at connecting the dots and wrapping things up here too yet plot threads that were still hanging from season 5 were tied up with some fast exposition here. So we discover that the Silence blew up the Tardis. We all pretty much knew that didn’t we? How did they though? Who was the voice we heard that said “Silence will Fall”?
The other thing I worry about is the return of the Timelords. They are so powerful that when the Doctor runs out of his solution to the problem they’ll be around to fall back on as we saw here in this episode. Magical solutions to things is always part of Doctor Who lore but nowhere is it more apparent then it is here with Steven Moffat’s run. How many times has the Doctor been able to wriggle out of a fixed point in time by changing the timeline or by making things appear that they always happened that way but actually didn’t such as his apparent death in ‘The Wedding of River Song’ or him blowing up Gallifrey in ‘Day of the Doctor’. Yet with other fixed points such as Amy and Rory’s deaths couldn’t he have just gone back in time and written those names on the Gravestone himself and just “pretend” they had died? Here in ‘The Time of The Doctor’ another fixed point is unfixed. Even though he sees his own grave in the future he is able to escape his final fate.
I have decided to call this kind of time travel ‘The Bill and Ted’ problem. Changing the events in the timeline to make it appear that you had lost but in actuality you have always won. It works in a comedy movie but used here it starts to get messy and the dreaded “fixed point” becomes less serious to us as an audience. Timelord Victorious 10 certainly didn’t get away with it. Why should 11?
I wouldn’t have minded seeing events come to fruition. The Doctor and Tardis actually buy the far but are reborn in the distant future. A return from the grave rather than a saved again type of story.
The regeneration itself was a bit too quick. I could see what they were going for with the breath on the mirror thing but there was no last words just before it happened. It just happened. 10’s regeneration, while overly dramatic was great and Smiths appearances as 11 right after had people go from tears of sadness to laughter. It was a fantastic, exciting entrance. 11’s goodbye is just a little bit too sentimental.
Capaldi has some big shoes to fill and I imagine he’ll pass with flying colours. I look forward to the show taking a darker turn with his Doctor moving away from the fairy tale and into something else. Finally no more young female companions swooning over the Doctor.
One special note for Jenna Coleman who was perhaps the best thing about this whole episode, her performance is heartbreaking particularly at the Christmas dinner scene. Sucks to lose your boyfriend on Chrismtas day.
Favorite Quote: “I wanted everything to stop. I wanted nothing to change ever again.” – Gran