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Review: Doctor Who: “Time Of The Doctor”

Twas the night of Christmas, and all through the Whoniverse, the fans were wondering if this year would be worse
For the 11th doctor’s days have been numbered from what we can tally, the switch would happen soon from Smith to Capaldi.
But wait! How can they? There has already been 13 re-generations! Well, my dear whovians, time to call shennanigans.

Ok, enough of the rhyming, let’s get down to brass tacks. This is the final part of the story line beginning with “The Name Of The Doctor,” and “The Day Of The Doctor (the 50th Anniversary Special).”

WARNING: THERE WILL BE SPOILERS AHEAD!

The Doctor and Clara go to a planet that the Doctor has been receiving a signal from, he is assisted by a modified Cyberman head called “Handles” who tells him that the planet is Gallifrey. Turns out it’s Trenzalore. We see the old crack in the wall that was the beginning the 11th Doctor’s story line. The Doctor sees that the Time Lords are on the other side and to bring them over to this Universe he has to answer the question, “Doctor who?”

We all know that this is to have him state his true name before he was The Doctor. So Clara gets tricked by the Doctor and is sent home. The woman I like to call “Super Slutty Nun” explains to the Doctor that once he speaks his name Trenzalore will burn. Well, this proves it’s a huge trap and there’s a huge Mexican standoff between all of The Doctor’s enemies and The Doctor that lasts over 300 years.

 

A lot of people have been complaining about too many enemies in shows. We had a similar case of everyone showing up for one big epic thing in the Pandorica story so repeating this seemed to leave a bad taste in a lot of people’s mouths.

Clara returns with the TARDIS, well hanging on to it as it traveled through the time vortex (ala Captain Harkness except the TARDIS extended its shielding for Clara so she doesn’t die during the trip) and meets the Doctor again. He shows her that he has found a purpose and people love him for the good he has done for the planet and they return to the TARDIS. The Turkey they put into the Time Field inside the TARDIS was finally done cooking and while Clara retrieves it, he tricks her AGAIN and sends her back home. Of course she doesn’t realize this until she is outside the TARDIS and it then disappears returning to The Doctor.

Some of the baddies scenes seemed a little throw away bits:

  • The bumbling Sontarans in their invisible Tank
  • Wooden Cyberman
  • The Church becomes another Dalek asylum
  • The Silence are… The perfect Priests and Join the Doctor in fighting everyone else?

And of course we have the final battle, which a lot of fans were wondering how the regeneration could be possible because the Time Lords have only 13 regeneration cycles. And with The Doctor we had 8 “legacy” re-generations from Hartnell to McGann, but with the new events that transpired with “The Name Of The Doctor,” “The Night of The Doctor,” (the webisode) and “The Day of The Doctor,” we have to count the following:

  • Doctor 8 – “The War Doctor” (John Hurt) = 1 cycle (the 9th)
  • “The War Doctor” – 9th Doctor (Eccleston) = 1 cycle (the 10th)
  • The 9th Doctor – The 10th Doctor(Tennant) = 1 Cycle (the 11th)
  • The 10th Doctor regenerated into himself (Meta Crisis) and DoctorDonna = two half cycles = 1 Cycle (the 12th)
  • The 10th Doctor – The 11th Doctor = 1 cycle (the last)

But wait, how can we have a new Doctor if Matt Smith’s 11th Doctor is actually the 13th regeneration? Well theories regarding this really were swarming the internet:

  1. River Song gave up all her regeneration energy so that The Doctor would have her remaining ones (which I count as about 7 more at least).
  2. Rule Number One: The Doctor Always Lies – Maybe setting up all the universe to think that Time Lords only have 13 would certainly lull an enemy into thinking they were done for and then SURPRISE! Would it not be theoretically possible for a Time Lord to have the legend of “13 and done” be spread around the universe?
  3. Travelling through the time vortex has extended the Doctor’s regeneration. Well we all see what happens when banging on the TARDIS when travelling through the vortex. Why wouldn’t this extend the Doctor’s regenerations seeing he was the one to have “gone the farthest than any other time lord.”
  4. Time Lords grant 1 more or a whole new cycle.

On Christmas we found out the answer. And it was all a Christmas Miracle!!!!

Well no, the solution was the last one. The Time Lords puked out some regeneration energy through the crack in the universe to give the Doctor not just 1 extra cycle, but a COMPLETE reset to the life cycles of the doctor. And here is where a lot of fans kind went, “UGH!”

Mainly because Clara’s little speech to convince them to give it to The Doctor was one of those, “His Name is The Doctor, DUUUUHHHHH!” type of moments. You know, the kind of statement that makes non-Whovians despise Whovians.

But one of the other UGH moments was the long speech after the Doctor explained his regeneration event.

For me it was a little touching to see Amelia and Amy show up in the last moments. As some may know that you actually do hallucinate those who have passed on in your life when yours is slipping away. I have had personal experience with family members that were chronically ill and the last days they were mentioning parents and friends of theirs that had passed 50 years or more prior.

Then after all the touching moment there was the little painful sound and POOF! He’s the 12th and glaring at Clara!

Now reasons people are disappointed with the 12th Doctor were mainly because they feel Peter Capaldi is “too old” to be the Doctor. My thought on that is we have to remember that the life cycle was actually reset.

Peter Capaldi is actually the same exact as William Hartnell when he reprised the First Doctor. Therefore he is the correct age. Not too old at all. And if you think of it, the doctor typically looked younger with each sequential regeneration. And if you were actually wondering, the average age regression of the past 11 doctors is 1.89 years younger by this post from The Reinvigorated Programmer.

So did this episode sour everything for me?

No. There were a lot of good moments for me during this show. I actually am excited to see what Capaldi will be bringing to The Doctor. The last time he was involved with the show he was Caecilius in the episode “The Fires Of Pompeii.” He also was on Torchwood (anagram of Doctor Who) as John Frobisher. And if you saw it, in World War Z, he played the character named, “W.H.O. Doctor” — which is absolutely hilarious!

Aaannnnyway, aside from the passing of the torch it was an okay episode. We all anticipated too much I guess. It wasn’t the best episode of Doctor Who by far, but it served its point.

So far Capaldi has only said a couple of things, “NEW KIDNEYS! I don’t like the color!” and “Do you know how to fly this thing?”

We’ve ended our Matt Smith times. Now onto Season 8!

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