I’m putting this warning right here so there’s no confusion.
Beware: Spoilers below! Read at own risk!
Coming down off the 50th Anniversary special – The Day of the Doctor, I had such high hopes for the episode that would say goodbye to Matt Smith’s Doctor and introduce us to Peter Capaldi’s Doctor.
Unfortunately, this special was plagued by problems.
First off, what is up with that Cyberman head in that picture up there? The episode starts with him holding the eye rod thing from a Dalek, that’s never explained, and he’s talking to this Cyberman severed head that is also never explained.
Voice overs A voice over is used to set up a story or when your story telling doesn’t fill in all the gaps… both types were used in this story and I was still scratching my head.
Too many villains Quick! lets have some Daleks! And Cybermen! And Weeping Angels! And the Silents/Silence! Ooh! Ooh! What else can we throw in here? Every time the camera angle changed it seemed like there was a new threat for the doctor. It felt choppy and unnecessary.
Gallifrey again? So Soon? Gallifrey was just lost, put in a pocket univers or whatever in The Day of the Doctor. I thought it would take a lot longer for us to return to that subject. Certainly not the very next episode. I expected the doctor to search for a while (maybe like a whole season arc) without any trace of Gallifrey before we get a hint about the home of the Time Lords and whether or not the three Doctors were successful in their attempts to save it. This was way too soon.
All the threads Yes, this was the end of Matt Smith’s Doctor, but it wasn’t entirely necessary to take every season and tie them together with this one episode. “It’s all circuitous causation, that both led to and was caused by this one place in space and time and your decision to not commit mass genocide”. Please. But thanks for clearing up what regeneration this was. There has been much debate online which, I’m sure, is why you had 11 explain how he is really 13.
Pacing. The pacing just didn’t work for me. The passage of time was clunky. And as I mentioned before the voice overs were kind of a sign that the story telling wasn’t working. They needed voice overs to explain the passage of time!
Christmas. The town is called Christmas, on a planet called Gallifrey or Trensalore depending on who you ask. That’s how you’re going to tie the holiday into this episode? That was weak, my friends.
Last, but not least…
Amy Pond. Sure, she was the first face that face saw, but having her come back as a hallucination of the Eleventh before he changed into Twelve, I didn’t like it. It diminishes Clara as a companion, and judge me however you like, I like Clara far more than I liked Amy. It also diminishes Eleven’s wife: River Song, Remember her? In his final moments, wouldn’t he conjure her image to mind? In my final moments, I think I’d want to see the face of my love, David, more than any other. Just sayin’.
So… Yeah. I guess you could say I wasn’t a huge fan of the Christmas Special this year… Can I say anyhing positive? Sure!
Here is what I liked:
Naked Doctor being introduced to Clara’s family as her boyfriend because he didn’t extend the perception field to include them.
Eleven’s final words: “But times change and so must I. We all change when you think about it, we’re all different people, all through our lives, and that’s okay, that’s good you gotta keep moving, so long as you remember all the people that you used to be. I will not forget one line of this, not one day, I swear. I will always remember when the Doctor was me.” That was perfect.
Twelve’s first question to Clara is about whether or not she knows how to fly the TARDIS. That to me is exciting! The Doctor has always been linked to the TARDIS and it seems instinctively know how to fly her. It has also been shown that the TARDIS isn’t exactly Clara’s biggest fan. I hope that we get to see Clara kind of take the lead with a “regeneration sick” Doctor and an unfriendly TARDIS.
I’m still a Doctor Who fan, and I can’t wait til the start of the new series. I hope we have a new head writer though, sorry Steve Moffat.