Doctor Who “The Time of the Doctor”

Oh, dear Steven Moffat. Moffat, Moffat, Moffat. How do you do it? How do you manage to split the fanbase just so… and then put me in this awkward position?

People have been asking for my opinion of “The Time of the Doctor”, the last episode of Matt Smith’s run as the Doctor. Except, they don’t seem to want my honest opinion; they just want me to tell them how much I dislike the episode, and exactly what’s wrong with it.

Except… I don’t dislike the episode! In fact, I quite like it.

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I’m a big fan of Moffat’s work, and prefer Matt Smith’s run over David Tennant’s; which means that, not only do a lot of people disagree with me, they also want me to change my mind and apologize. Sorry, guys, I have a strict policy of honesty in all of my reviews. I only say what I genuinely feel at the moment in time I’m writing (or filming) them.

Is Moffat’s run the picture of perfection? No, of course not. It’s flawed in many ways, some I’ve even pointed out before. And Russell T. Davies’ run wasn’t perfect either, but both knew the core approach to make Doctor Who work: they had fun!

Doctor Who has always been fun to watch from when it came back in 2005, all the way up until now. Yes, there have been bumps in the road, but it’s been a wild road trip going to all kinds of unimaginable places, just like the Doctor himself, and it’s been exciting the whole time. With this show, you never know what you’re going to get.

“The Time of the Doctor” was to be a milestone episode, following on the heels of another milestone episode, “The Day of the Doctor”, the 50th anniversary special that brought back David Tennant as the Tenth Doctor to play against Matt Smith.

Doctor Who "The Time of the Doctor"

But “Day of the Doctor” managed to be a milestone in yet another way, as it firmly ended an era of the show which had been running for eight years, which was all about the Doctor’s guilt about what he did, and his sorrow about being the last Time Lord. Also, in doing so, it brought the show into an era of hope, where a huge burden was finally lifted from the Doctor’s shoulders, and he earned just some of the forgiveness he had craved for so long.

Some people hate this new direction, but I don’t. Doctor Who is a show that’s constantly changed over the years. It’s a show that can adapt to the current times, and keep itself fresh and new, and frankly, it was running rather thin lately. It’s been about this “lone survivor” thing for eight years now! That’s the better part of a decade, and as the Doctor so firmly states in this very episode, “Everything must change, and I have to change with it.”

So let’s take a look at “The Time of the Doctor”.

Doctor Who "The Time of the Doctor"

You can tell right away that it’s a Moffat episode, as Moffat likes to start off his stories with some kind of a surprise, to both hook you in and pull the carpet out from under you. Here, the Doctor steps onto a ship with a broken Dalek thing in his hand, asking what kind of ship he’s on… only to find out he’s on a Dalek ship, surrounded by Daleks. Whoops!

Doctor Who "The Time of the Doctor"

Luckily, the Doctor now has a teleportation device in his TARDIS, and all he has to do is ask Scotty to beam him up. Okay, it’s not Scotty, but actually the head of a Cyberman that he now has connected to the TARDIS.

Doctor Who "The Time of the Doctor"

So, why did the Doctor find it necessary to beam onto a Dalek ship in the first place? Well, the planet Trenzalore has been brought up previously in Doctor Who, and it’s been teased that it’s the place where he’s both going to die and be buried, and unfortunately for the Doctor, he just can’t get away from this damn planet, and he keeps going back to it.

This time around, it’s because a strange message is being constantly transmitted from the planet. The message is so powerful that it has an effect on everyone who hears it, despite the fact that no one understands it. All the aliens with space travel that we know of—Cybermen, Daleks, Sontarans, the entire lot—have all come to try and understand this one message.

Doctor Who "The Time of the Doctor"

But oh well, no time for that. Clara is having Christmas dinner with her family, and asks the Doctor to be her pretend boyfriend. And well, since this is the last episode for a while where we’re going to have a young actor playing the Doctor (the next one will be over fifty), we might as well get some gratuitous nudity while we still can! Whoo-hoo!

Doctor Who "The Time of the Doctor"

It turns out he’s nude because he’s going to church. Not a human church, of course, but an alien church that apparently requires nudity. I’ve got to say, I love the Doctor’s complete obliviousness towards how other people may feel about his nudity. It’s something I really adore about Matt Smith’s performance as the Doctor in general. He may be the youngest actor to ever portray the character, but he’s also the one who comes across the most like a strange alien. He can act discreet sometimes, and completely oblivious other times, and then you remember: Oh yeah, he’s not human!

The Doctor and Clara then go to this nude church, but totally cheat, as they’re wearing holographic clothes that we the viewers can see. Damn cheap bastards. This episode needs more nudity!!

The church is stationed right above Trenzalore, and is supposedly here to protect the planet and keep out unwanted guests. It’s not doing a very good job though, as Weeping Angels and the like keep sneaking in.

The Doctor talks to the high priestess, asking to be allowed to go down to the planet. This would be the high priestess that some people like to call “River Song 2.0”. Not me, though. I’m just calling her “typical Moffat woman”. She’s the same as all the other female characters, which is a huge flaw in Moffat’s writing, but not something I feel like getting into now. That one needs its own video or article. But for this episode, she’s barely here. She fulfils her plot function, I don’t care, moving on.

Doctor Who "The Time of the Doctor"

The important thing is that Clara and the Doctor are allowed onto the planet and discover everything is centered around just one small town called Christmas. Pretty convenient naming there. I guess they had to shoehorn a Christmas element in here somehow.

The first thing they see is those damn Weeping Angels digging around town. Not too surprising, really. The entire planet is overrun by alien ships.

Doctor Who "The Time of the Doctor"

The second thing they find out is that a truth filter has been laid over the town, so that no one is able to tell a lie. And the message that no one understands is coming from this very town, through one of those cracks in time and space first seen all the way back in season five.

The Doctor, using his Cyberman head, manages to translate the message, and it turns out to be a question. It’s a question that’s been built up ever since the ending of season six, and it is: “Doctor who?”

Doctor Who "The Time of the Doctor"

This is a question which must not be answered, or the world will come to an end. Why? It’s actually pretty neatly explained. In the previous episode “The Day of the Doctor”, the Doctor managed to save Gallifrey, but only by storing it in another dimension, so to speak. Gallifrey is now trying to emerge through these cracks in time and space. They’re awaiting a signal to know if it’s safe to come through, and the signal is the Doctor telling them his name.

Trouble is, the Doctor’s plan in “Day of the Doctor” didn’t entirely succeed. The Daleks were supposed to wipe themselves out, but that didn’t happen. It seems they’re out there in full force, able to reproduce just fine. The Doctor was prepared to blow up all of Gallifrey as a last resort, because if he didn’t, the entire universe would pay. That’s because the universe itself is in the crossfire of the Time War between the Time Lords and Daleks.

But time hasn’t moved for Gallifrey, and the Daleks aren’t about to retreat or let go. If the Doctor gives the word and Gallifrey comes back, the Time War will simply start where it left off, as if no time had passed at all, and the universe would burn anyway. So the Doctor can’t speak his name, because then he would be responsible for the Time War starting again. But neither can he just close the crack, because then he would be dooming his entire people… again!

The Doctor is in a complete no-win scenario, and this is the very situation that the priest council has been trying to avoid the entire time, by blowing up his TARDIS and creating an assassin to kill him. They tried everything to avoid the Time War starting again and potentially destroying the universe, but nothing worked.

And now the Doctor is here, and so are the Time Lords, waiting on the other side of the crack. They’re all locked in a place where the Doctor can’t go back or forward. He’s just… stuck.

Doctor Who "The Time of the Doctor"

The Doctor knows he could be stuck here for a very long time, in this deadly combat. And thus, he tricks Clara, sending her home, fully intending to stay on the planet until he eventually dies.

However, Clara kind of follows in Rose’s footsteps, and wont let go so easily, and sticks with the TARDIS. Though, due to the fact that she’s outside of the TARDIS while it travels, and because of timey-wimey stuff, the TARDIS arrives on Trenzalore three hundred years after the Doctor first arrived, and he’s now elderly.

Doctor Who "The Time of the Doctor"

For three hundred years, the Doctor has been fighting this lonely fight. Not to gain anything, not for his own personal pride, but because it’s the only thing he can do. He has the TARDIS back now, so he could potentially just leave, but he doesn’t because it’s not the right thing to do. So the Doctor stays to fight another day.

And well, if something doesn’t work once, try it again! He tricks Clara once again, and this time the TARDIS vanishes without her, leaving Clara with a cooked turkey, home in time for Christmas dinner with the family.

Doctor Who "The Time of the Doctor"

Back on Trenzalore, decades go by, and the Doctor continues to stay. Until finally, after a few more centuries, the Doctor’s time has simply run out. He’s now old, worn out, and dying.

The entire situation that the Doctor singlehandedly has kept in check for all of these centuries is about to blow up, and there’s nothing he can do about it. He can’t stop his own death from happening.

Doctor Who "The Time of the Doctor"

But the high priestess wont stand for this, and calls upon Clara, so Clara may speak to the Doctor and find a way to stop this. The Doctor calmly explains to Clara that this is really it. This is actually his thirteenth regeneration, and thus the last one he’s allowed to have. Perhaps that’s why he’s been so careful with this body. David Tennant’s body only lasted for four years, apparently, and that’s kind of wasteful. Just because you can regenerate on a whim, it doesn’t mean that you should, does it?

Doctor Who "The Time of the Doctor"

But the point is, this is it for the Doctor and he knew it all along. From the day he first stepped on Trenzalore, he knew that he might never leave the planet again. The Doctor now intends to go out with his head held high, and also with a bang. So he walks out to meet his own death, towards all the enemy aliens, taking one last glorious stand.

But Clara goes to the crack that leads to the Time Lords and begs for the Doctor’s life. She’s only able to speak the truth due to the truth filter, and tells them, “His name is the Doctor. All the name he needs. Everything you need to know about him. And if you love him, and you should… help him.”

Doctor Who "The Time of the Doctor"

The Time Lords hear her and they understand the situation, so finally they take action and close the crack in time by themselves. The Doctor has been fighting for this crack, this little glimmer of hope for the Time Lords for centuries. And now, he’s being allowed his reward: a new chance! A new life, and freedom away from Trenzalore, as the Time Lords close the crack themselves and try to find another way back.

The Doctor is granted a new set of regenerations, and uses his regenerative power to wipe out the enemy aliens threatening the town of Christmas. Now that’s going out with a blast!

Doctor Who "The Time of the Doctor"

And it’s all over. With the Doctor technically dying and now regenerating, we get one last glimpse of Matt Smith as he makes his goodbye speech, which is about how the world changes and how we must change. With a heavy hand, he takes off the bowtie he made famous, and drops it on the floor.

Doctor Who "The Time of the Doctor"

And with a whoosh, Peter Capaldi is there, ready to haunt my nightmares with those psycho eyes as the Twelfth Doctor.

Doctor Who "The Time of the Doctor"

Sheesh! Now that’s a madman with a box, but not in the good way. Damn.

Once again, I must say I really liked this episode. I think it tied everything together pretty well, and gave Matt Smith a satisfying, emotional goodbye, which did cause me to shed a tear once or twice.

I know people won’t like me for saying this, but I prefer this over “The End of Time”, by a lot. What I mainly prefer here is that while the Tenth Doctor seemed to fear his own death and tried to avoid it at all costs (in spite of knowing he was just going to regenerate), he clung to life to the very last second, where he stated, “I don’t want to go.” Just desperately clinging on, like a puppy to your leg that just won’t fucking let go!

Matt Smith’s goodbye is about the Doctor facing his own doom and destiny with a raised head. He’s not happy about it, but he understands it and faces his destiny with dignity. He seems to consider running away at one point, but never attempts to do it.

The entire episode has a sad somber feeling, which can be quite heavy at times, but it’s fitting to the theme of the episode. It’s about the Doctor being stuck in this eternal dilemma, and if he hadn’t died at that point, he would have just continued in this situation forever and ever.

Matt Smith’s run has been filled with ups and downs, but quite frankly, so were David Tennant’s, and also Christopher Eccleston’s. Doctor Who is just that kind of show.

I’m going to miss Matt Smith dearly. I first got into Doctor Who rather late, in the break year where David Tennant had a few specials spread across the year. So Matt Smith was the first Doctor I got to follow weekly, and well, that basically makes him my Doctor. I’m far more emotionally attached to him than Tennant, and I wish he would have stayed on for another few years at least.

Doctor Who "The Time of the Doctor"

But I’m also looking forward to the future with excitement. With this episode, Steven Moffat finishes off his previous chapters, and the show is free to start with a completely blank page. This would actually be a great time for Moffat to leave the show, and let fresh blood take over, but I guess that’s not going to happen. We shall see how it goes.

I’m hopeful and looking forward to what it’ll be like with an older Doctor in the driver’s seat. That hasn’t happened since the old show, before the original cancellation. Christ, the last gray-haired doctor was the third one, Jon Pertwee, back in the ‘70s! So this ought to be very interesting, indeed.

[—Major editing/cleanup/revisions to this article provided by Dr. Winston O’Boogie. Also, special thanks goes out to Elliot Hodgett for pre-editing this article!]

TV Show: Doctor Who
Tag: Doctor Who

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  • TheScottCSmith

    Great review, Sofie. I’m more a fan of 10 than 11, but that’s the thing about this show…we come away with our own favorite Doctor. Looking forward to Peter Capaldi’s run!

    • Sofie Liv

      Every-body is allowed to have a favourite.. I mean shesh, what would the point be of having more of them if every-one just simultaniously agreed that only one works.

      Beside this is hardly any new issue, all-ready back when the second doctor took over, the fighting began, and then it just continued each and every-time we would get a new doctor -_-;

  • Richard Eriksson Hjelm

    In spite of not being a who fan I do sometimes watch it and it was a pretty entertaining episode

    • Sofie Liv

      Glad you liked it 🙂

  • I get excited when a regeneration comes along. I like seeing the new take, and there’s never been a Doctor I found unwatchable, though I certainly didn’t care for a few of them.

    I do hope that the show gets back to smaller scale, more personal stories, rather than the season-long cosmos-ending arcs, but I’ll probably be disappointed.

    • Sofie Liv

      I guess that’s what most people thought it would be after the Doctor staged his own death to “retrieve to the shadows.”
      But evidently that didn’t happen regardless.. I still think that was, what was meant to happen, it just didn’t work out that way,

      But oh well, Peter Capaldi, like Matt Smith, is now starting out from a compleately blank slade laid out for him, and litterately any-thing can happen. Moffat made sure that this new show, will well.. be a new chapter. Like Matts run seems to be a compleately different chapter from Tennants and Ecclestons, it can almost be watched sepperately and be accepted as two different shows entirely, only with the same core concept.
      Which is good, believe it or not.. for a show to run that long, it does need to renew itself, so well.. here’s for crossing fingers and hoping for the best.

  • Gallen_Dugall

    I enjoyed the episode and I agree there’s no point in arguing with the haters. Moffat’s writing doesn’t particularly bother me – the way he hand waves the details, and his fondness for Mary Sue female characters. Moffat himself comes off as figjam.
    I will say that I got the distinct impression that Smith was getting bored with the role, perhaps because they had him essentially doing the same thing in each episode, and I’m glad he can move on to something more challenging.

    • Sofie Liv

      Now that you say it.. yeah.. yeah I could imagine Matt having grown kind of bored by it now.

      It’s great it can’t be seen in his performance though, the doctors enthusiasm is still there, and that’s just great.

      What the heck is a Figjam?

      I have litterately never ever heard that word before..

      • Gallen_Dugall

        Figjam may be a term created by Larry Niven who is quite good with acronyms
        F* I’m Great Just Ask Me

        • Sofie Liv

          I got no clue who Larry Niven is either.. as far as I am concerned you just took the typing short-cut languet to a new level.

          Usually you can at least guess what the slang typing means.. Figjam is just the name of a Fraggle from Fraggle Rock we havn’t met yet..

          • maarvarq

            I got no clue who Larry Niven is either
            I take it you don’t read much hard SF then. He was the top “big concept” author during the 60s to 80s (in my opinion the quality of his work dropped sharply after that), the most famous of his creations being the Ringworld.

          • Gallen_Dugall

            His early work is clearly superior although he still has flashes of brilliance, “A Hole In Space” being the work I most recommend and the Ringworld series I feel is overhyped a bit because of the not quite bestiality. I don’t consider anyone a serious science fiction fan if they haven’t read his work. I don’t consider many people to be serious science fiction fans.

          • Sofie Liv

            Well.. urhm.. living here in Europe, in Denmark, the litterature i have been educated in, may be quite different from you guys.

            I like sciense fiction, and I have tried to follow up in it, but well.. ask me about the european fairytales, I am an exspert in those.

            Shesh.. Thanks.. I never claimed to be the worlds biggest sci-fi, but come on. I’ve watched all of Star Trek, yeah, all the series. Read hitchikers guides to the Galaxy, own all issues at the book series, as well as listened to the original audio show. And I enjoy my occasional sci-fi movie, and I am a big fan if Isaac Asimov, I own like four different isses of collective stories of him, in huge binders .. What do you want from me!?

          • Gallen_Dugall

            A HUG!
            Oh wait, that’s not what you meant.

          • Sofie Liv

            Meet me at a con, you can get a free hug, just be warned, that would mean you had to go to Denmark or England yourself.

          • CaptainCalvinCat

            So no Sofie Liv at Germanys Fedcon?

          • Sofie Liv

            Unless some-one invites me. No I don’t think so.

            Technically I shouldn’t even go to Alcon in England, I don’t really have the money for it.. hurrai for noodle diet! it’s cheap..

            But well, get some-one to invite me and I am more than willing to talk.

          • Thomas Stockel

            Well Jill and I are very much on the same page where David Weber’s Honor Harrington is concerned. On Basilisk Station is an awesome read and a great introduction to the Honorverse. You can download it free from the Baen Books library. At least I can. I don’t know if you being in Europe might have a problem.

            http://www.baenebooks.com/p-304-on-basilisk-station.aspx

            Lois McMaster Bujold’s Miles Vorkosigan saga is another awesome read, although I would start with the two books about his mother, Shards of Honor and Barrayar. They’re also collected in the Anthology Cordelia’s Honor.

            Elizabeth Moon’s Serrano Legacy series is pretty darn good. Start with Hunting Party.

            Those are my immediate recommendations. If you want something truly grim then David Drake’s Hammer’s Slammers is among the best in military sci-fi. Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle’s Footfall is a fantastic sci-fi story of alien invasion. Niven, Pournelle and Steven Barnes’ The Legacy of Heorot is a great story of human colonizing an alien planet. Niven’s The Mote In God’s Eye and the follow up novel The Gripping Hand are great stories involving first contact with an alien species.

            Hell, I better stop there, I could be doing this all day…

          • CaptainCalvinCat

            Whom I can highly recommend: Wolfgang Hohlbein. I don’t know if – and if so: how many – books of him are translated in other languages, but if you find works of him: buy them – they are great, entertaining books.
            In especially the books “the druid gate” and “the adversary” are great mystery-sci-fi-thrillers.

            Another great Author is Andreas Eschbach and one of my favourite books, he wrote has been published in english. “Jesus Video”. Great book, entertaining read. And even the movie “Jesus Video” (“The Hunt for the Hidden Relic”, “Ancient relic” for u.s. video title respectively) is quite good and a great watch.

          • Sofie Liv

            Honestly guys.. I am more of a “Fantasy Geek.” than I am a “Sci-fi” Geek.

            And well, Doctor who manages to cross the line by being both.. arguable he is even more fantasy than he is sci-fi.

            I just, enjoy occasional sci-fi, it’s not some-thing I feel I must know every-thing about. So well.. i’ll think about it okay?

          • maarvarq

            arguabl[y the Doctor] is even more fantasy than he is sci-fi.

            I thought with The Family of Blood Doctor Who had given up any claims of being science fiction at all (he trapped someone in a mirror), so at the very least, much more fantasy than sci-fi.

          • maarvarq

            Niven’s The Mote In God’s Eye and the follow up novel The Gripping Hand are great stories
            My mileage definitely varied. The Mote In God’s Eye is definitely one of the greats (BTW, Pournelle co-authored that one too) but for me, The Gripping Hand varied between mediocre and awful.

          • Thomas Stockel

            I don’t disagree, mostly because it’s been a couple decades since I read both books and it’s likely the fog of nostalgia just puts it all in a cheery haze. 🙂

    • CaptainCalvinCat

      Maybe that’s the reason, why Matt Smith quit after 3 years? ^^

  • maarvarq

    I too preferred Smith to Tennant, as I preferred Davison to Baker (Tom, that is … Colin who?) and I have very much enjoyed some things that Moffat has done, but this episode tried a bit too hard to be mythic (which is the only reason I can see for the bleeding voice-over) at the expense of actually making any sense – the payoffs of “Doctor Who?” and the Silence “falling” and all that just seemed shoehorned in, rather than being logical consequences. It was OK but it could have been a lot better.

    • Sofie Liv

      I thought it was pretty cohesent and made very good sense.
      Not entirely flawless no, but I really enjoyed it and loved the epic scale of the story, even though we are confined to just one small city.

      I immensely enjoyed it, but then again, you are not alone in being dissapointed, so there’s that.
      Difference of opinion when it comes to Doctor who, all around!

      • Muthsarah

        And still you maintain that you don’t love everything. If you really DO have such a policy of honesty, then have the courage to admit what you are: You are an alien, composed entirely of Ecstasy and gummy bears.

        Actually, this episode doesn’t sound all that bad; at least it seems consistent with the whimsical, fairy-taleish Doctor of Moffat’s run. Now, bearing in mind I still only know of this specific run second-hand, but given how long I’ve been hearing the Moffat-backlash, I too am disappointed to hear that he’s not stepping down after this. Even if I end up liking his episodes, Doctor Who is indeed an institution, far bigger than any one showrunner or actor. Moffat had his turn, and he should give the fans (both the ones he’s kept/made and the ones he’s lost) and the new Doctor a clean slate. Especially especially because he already has another hit show to focus on.

        • Sofie Liv

          I am offended good sir, I am made from sugar, spice and every-thing nice. Obviously.

          The thing about Moffat is, that there is no doubt, what-so ever, that he wrote the very best episodes of the “Russel T Davies” run, where T Davies was the show-runner and Moffat only wrote single episodes.

          The episodes he wrote back there, stands out as being some of the best in the entire show, those are the stand-out episodes of all of the season.

          And well, the single episode considered to be the best Doctor who episode, of it’s entire run since the re-launch in 2005, is the episode “Blink.” which is also written by moffat.

          It was first as he stepped in as show-runner, and started to be behind the over-arching story archs, instead of just single episodes, that he flaws began to stand out. And I think, mostly people are just dissapointed that.

          That when he wrote single episodes, we though he was a protege and that his writing works were genius as well as flawless.

          And now that he is the main man behind the show, we realise that that is not true..

          But one is for certain, his episodes from the T Davies run are still very beloved, Moffat earned his spot as show-runner.

          But yeah I agree, Moffat seems to have been running a bit in circles the last few years, and the only thing he seems to be able to do is to repeat himself, writing stuff he has all-ready written but BIGGER!

          His biggest problem doesn’t seem to be lack of talent, but rather lack of restraint, he is a big fan- boy in the biggest candy-land ever, and he doesn’t know how to pull the show back on a road that is not to Timey whimey in lack of better words.

          So yeah, he had his run now, this should be his time to step back, I agree. The show is renewing itself ones again, and it would have been natural to change the show-runner ones again, to get a different over-all feel, ones again, to keep the show from running thin and old.

          Meaning yeah, The Moffat era is clearly vastly different from the T Davies era, they do feel like two different shows.. which in this case is actually good believe it or not, that’s the nature of doctor who.

          But oh well, lets see what the future brings. A good friend of mine pointed some-thing out that should have been pretty obvious.

          There is a pretty big “Tom Baker” vibe coming out of Peter Capaldi in his one minute screen-time.. so that ought to be interesting.

          • Muthsarah

            Yeah, “The Doctor Dances”, “The Girl in the Fireplace”, and “Blink” are still the three best episodes I’ve seen. And I saw the first two before I even knew who wrote them. I have the fourth Moffat coming up soon, so we’ll see if he can get the…quadrafecta, or if it somehow falls short of “Father’s Day” and ends up fifth.

            Here you write that the Weeping Angels are back. Why…? They were perfect as they were in “Blink”. The were original, they were creepy, they were obviously not cheaply-done, they were vanquished (in a very logical, non-ass-pullery way for the show); it was perfect, in a way that sci-fi/fantasy rarely is. Bringing them back here could only be disappointing, like they’re saying “remember that PERFECT episode way back? Yeah…this is probably not going to be as good. Enjoy!” It could at least makes sense (cheap sense) if they re-appeared as a coda, the end of a showrunner’s/Doctor’s run, but that doesn’t make sense here, as Moffat isn’t leaving and Matt Smith wasn’t in “Blink”. Is this only their second appearance, or have they been dusted off before?

            Since I’m not a long-time Who fan, the Daleks and Cybermen still feel somewhat new to me. I like the presentation of the Daleks in the few episodes I’ve seen them, but the more I hear about the whole run of the show(s), the more I realize just how friggin’ often they’ve showed up, and how little they’ve changed over the years. That must have been wearying. Of course, there’s the Star Trek comparison with the Klingons and stuff, but sorry, the Daleks are absolute one-note villains whose inflexibility is part of their core identity. A few appearances is all it takes to get all you’re gonna get out of that premise. That goes double for the Cybermen, who lack the Daleks’ charm. You need BIG changes to keep stuff like this fresh, or else you have to keep coming up with new villains to replace the old.

            You say that Moffat is getting too big with his stories. I wonder if there was just nowhere else for him to go with them anymore. All the more reason the show needs fresh blood. Get someone who can come up with their own NEW aliens; the Weeping Angels were new (I assume….), and they were a wonderful addition, though were done so well, and in such a specific way, that there was just no good reason to bring them back, without risking their Borgification. Or else change the entire tone of the show, so that even the Villains-of-the-Week feel different because everything feels different. Which makes the regeneration of the Doctor the absolute perfect gimmick for a long-run series. Especially one that’s had peaks and valleys, and covers old ground for nostalgia (today) and cost-concerns (Old Who). But this is only a partial regeneration for the show, a cosmetic one. Seems like a big mistake.

          • Sofie Liv

            Well, the Weeping angels are the Moffat Aliens, it’s the most popular original alien created for the new run of the show, which he created. So they are his, and yep, they do return a good couple of times.

            Though in this episode, they are just one of the many aliens trying to prevent the Crack from opening and let the time-lords through.

            So yeah, they could just as well have been Daleks or Cyberman, it would have made no freaking difference, except for the fact that people love weeping angels.. until Moffat over-used them that is.. yeah that happened.. sorry.

            Well, both the amusing and kind of awkward thing about Steven Moffats doctor who writing is that he thinks. “WOHO! I got a time-machine device to my exsposal! Why the hell do we only use it for changing destination? We can try and move backwards, forwards and sideways in time, all in the same episode!

            Interact with your future or past self, see a future version of you dying, meeting a person in the wrong order of time, so the first time you meet her is the last time she sees you and from her point of view, you had a life-time together you don’t even know of, but will happen. Changing the here and now present, by going to the past and talk to kid you, while photos mysteriously appears in the present of these new memories I now grant you. “YES! AHAHAHA! TIME-TRAVEL!”

            It ends up getting very confusing by the end… You’ve seen Blink right?
            That gives you a good idea with the lenght Moffat are willing to get with his time-travel ideas and how to use the concept… It worked in Blink, because the episode was so compact and tightly written.. but imagine a man who likes to play with that kind of plot device, like.. all the time.. he also did it with “Girl in the fireplace.” if you think about.. imagine him being put in charge of the over-arching plot of the entire season! Three seasons in a row! ….. head-aches here I come!

            His ideas are very good, and he gets some very good moments across, but withour restrictions, he just runs to wild.

            A show like Sherlock he can handle, cause it got the limitations of real world physics to it, to limit him in his wild ideas.

            But here he is a time-machine and spaceship at his full disposal, and no clear rules about how ANY-THING works.

            He is litterately a doctor who fan-boy, whom grew up watching the show. Now writing all the stuff he has wanted to see since he was that boy, no matter how ridicoulus it is.

            Which is both good and bad.

            Good because.. oh wauw, this show really goes places, and it’s really entertaining. You got to give him that he got imagination! And a really good interesting one to. Weeping angels, the doctor Dances, all of that shit he made up by himself.

            And bad because.. well.. Too much stuff!

          • Muthsarah

            I’m just about done with Series Four, and I’m going to allow you the HONOUR of choosing how I shall take my next Moffat. Because I’m indecisive.

            1. Doctor Who, Season Five.
            2. Sherlock, Season One.

          • Sofie Liv

            sherlock season two. there’s only like three episodes, and the last episode of season three will be released tomorrow, so you can follow up on that.

            If you began on Doctor who season five now, that would be like upstarting an entire new series, and well, probably take a lot of your time.

          • Muthsarah

            So….you mean Sherlock….Season ONE, right? ‘Cause I haven’t seen it. Or….should I start with…two….? Can they be watched in any order? It’s fine if it can. I’m watching Who mostly out of order as well.

            BTW, I just watched Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead, and it’s right up there with Blink and Empty Child/Doctor Dances. Prolly just between them; the first half was a little slow and not super-great, and I could see the similarities with Blink (which I only now discovered is because they were both taken from the same original story idea). But the second half was so good, the similarities no longer mattered. It’s probably my second-favorite overall. So, yeah, my Top Four are the four Moffats. It’s never happened before, one writer always being the best, in any show I’ve ever seen. Had I been watching Who back in Season Four, I’da been giddy at the prospects of Season Five. As maybe I should be now.

          • Sofie Liv

            Oh. Sherlock season one.. I just assumed you all-ready had seen the first season.. dunno why. But yeah, take a break from Doctor who and go watch Sherlock 😉

            Yeah, that is the paradox with Moffat, no one can claim his single episodes in the early run to be bad, in fact, they are what raised the entire show to another level.
            Sherlock, is also a show which is an up an above excellent stand-out show.
            Hell, his mini-series “Jekyll.” is also a series that deeply impresses me, I really love it.
            So no, to say that Moffat is a bad writer would be… well.. wrong, in lack of better words.

            But neither is he perfect, as it turns out when he is now running Doctor who. I don’t think his run is bad, and I am not as dissapointed as many other people, but I freely admit that no, no since he has taken over he hasn’t made any single stand-out episodes as good as the single episodes he made back in RTD’s run… unfortunately.. :/

          • Thomas Stockel

            Well said.

  • Nuclearademan

    I liked the episode I thought it was a nice way for the 11th to go out. It’s defiantly better than the End of Time which seemed to try it’s best to make the viewer hate Matt Smith before he even started.

    I love how throughout Matt Smiths run his character grew a lot more than most of the other Doctors. He started off as like a weird imaginary friend in the first two seasons then after Angles in Manhattan he was still fun and quirky but a more mature character and he was a lot more parental to Clara which I think is going to pass on to his new incarnation.

    Looking forward to seeing Capaldi in action, the man is a great actor and it’s cool to finally have a doctor with a scarier face than Tom Bakers.

    • Sofie Liv

      There was a kind of Tom Baker vibe coming from him in his ten seconds appearance wasn’t there..

      Yeah, I think this is going to be interesting. I wonder how Riversong will act around a doctor whom is no more in his sexy twenties, but is a fifty year old dude.

      • $36060516

        I have a Tom Baker vibe. It’s sculpted in the shape of a large jelly baby.

        • Sofie Liv

          I to have the vibe, I can make crazy eyes to if I wanna.

          • Muthsarah

            Really? Is there anything your eyes can’t do?

          • Sofie Liv

            I can’t shoot ice-cream beams with them, which saddens me, as I would have loved that unlimited supplie of ice-cream.

            But other than that?

          • $36060516

            You can have that feature installed when you make your second million krone anyway…

      • The_Stig

        Since we have confirmation that Madam Vastra and Strax (hell yeah!) will be returning for Capaldi’s run it’s safe to guess that River will as well. She’d react well I suppose, but I suspect their relationship will change because he’s not ‘her’ Doctor anymore….but that’s only speculation.

        And besides, Capaldi’s closer to Alex Kingston’s age than Matt Smith.

        • Sofie Liv

          I actually do think it’ll feel nicer and more natural if River would just gor for it with Capaldi without even carring.
          I don’t know how many thought about it, but perhaps it does leave an unconcious bad taste when fourty some-thing year old River, smooshes over the twenty some-thing year old doctor.
          Not that I am against age difference relationships or any-thing.. but.. you know..

          • The_Stig

            I get what you’re saying. River’s what we over here call a “Cougar”

          • Sofie Liv

            Well, we do know that this doctor do like sex with pretty women of the mature age.
            So I guess that’s a win win for them.. just weird for us the viewers.

            But then again, it’s british television, they really like to show-case all these weird sexual stances, it was only natural that this would come up sooner or later.
            At least it will never be as weird as Benjamin Button or Twilight when it comes to sexuality!

          • Muthsarah

            I always figured the Brits considered you continentals to be the real libertines.

      • Nuclearademan

        Defiantly if Tom Baker did his doctor with full on intensity. It’s difficult to judge what his character will be like from such a small scene.

        I’m guessing Rivers probably older than she looks since she’s part Timelord so I don’t think the Doctors age or how handsome he is will effect her as much as the Doctor she loved and went on all these adventures with is gone. As far as I am concerned the Doctor true love is the Tardis.

      • Thomas Stockel

        Sweet Jesus Christ, I hope that doesn’t come to pass. River Song has been done to death, it’s time to retire her.

  • I really liked this episode and, honestly, the entire Matt Smith/Steve Moffat run. It’s different than the more opera inspired tone of RTD and certainly VERY different from the classic series, but I’m okay with that. I like all eras of the show equally but for different reasons.

    • Sofie Liv

      I feel with you, it’s kind of hard picking favourites when the show had so many different eras with so many different feels to them 🙂

  • MalteseLizzieMcGee

    I don’t hate Moffat’s writing, but his story arcs tend to be very convoluted. And I agree that he tends to write the same female character over and over, and there are these weird lines that come across as being a little sexist.
    Sursum Ursa mentioned that the Doctor recently seems to be able get away with anything, and I agree. He’s always right, even when he really is in the wrong (Small rant: why did he spend all of season 7 lying to Clara? Seriously, why not tell her the truth? Was there something I missed? I had the same problem with season 6-why didn’t he mention to Amy that she’d be kidnapped, or at least that the scanner kept showing she was pregnant? I think she deserved to know-it’s her body after all.),
    The character has almost become a Mary Sue, yet there are enough episodes where he’s well written enough to keep me watching the series (I love ‘The Crimson Horror’)