THE TIME OF THE DOCTOR Review
Great men have come and gone, sacrificed themselves in the name of peace and sanity, because they would rather be the coward than the killer and others simply because they could not let friends suffer. With Christmas day upon us, everyone sat down to see how the eleventh(or thirteenth if you’re being technical) would bow out. The Doctor has fought many battles,many wars but this one is different, his reasoning, compassion, his rage tempered and his Tardis AWOL for three hundred years, welcome to the siege of Trenzalore.
When we meet the Doctor he, like many other aliens, has been drawn to a signal which nothing not even the Tardis can translate. The source of this signal is a single planet filled with humans. The humans are at a certain stage in their development so if any of the many races attacked the planet to find the source of the signal everyone on the planet would burn. Enter the Doctor, who decides to wage a one man war with every single alien race bold enough to try and take the prize. I won’t spoil anything with specifics but suffice to say the Doctor dances.
This episode was unique in that the Doctor was in one place for I’m going to guess five hundred years, meaning that when he regenerates(that’s not a spoiler) he is around seventeen hundred years old and that is a respectable age for Peter Capaldis fourteenth Doctor, yes that’s right ladies and gentlemen Peter Capaldi is the fourteenth Doctor. As one of the most controversial elements of the episode and the series as a whole I wondered how the Doctors final form(Matt Smith) would deal with being the last in a long line of mad men and I am happy to report Matt gave it all he got, a quiet dignity which he naturally seemed to grow into and I loved that aspect of how the story dealt with the final face of the mad man from Gallifrey. What I thought was weak about it unfortunately was how he got around it. As you know everyone for the past couple months has theorized how the writers would write themselves around this little conundrum and I gave my own theory(which you can read here if you like). What we got was what I hoped we would not get, a quick easy fix which solves the problem and every problem for the foreseeable future. I won’t dwell on that however I just want to point out there were there other avenues they could have gone down. The storyline was maybe not the grand battle we had all hoped would be the siege of Trenzalore, I personally think we should never see that particular story, it’s a personal opinion I can’t really articulate why I think the siege of Trenzalore should never be seen. As the episode plays out we see elements of the elevenths run dip in and out, we even get unanswered questions answered which is rare for a series which relies on questions, especially Doctor Who.
The final part of the episode was just heartbreaking though, with a regeneration that tugs at the heart strings and reminds you why audiences around the world fell in love Matt Smith. I myself was in tears, even more so than when the tenth said goodbye to us all. I like to think it’s because of all the Doctors in recent years even the Tenth, the eleventh has tapped into the inner child in my life. With his lines about how at eleven hundred years old he still has a Christmas list, and how cool is not cool while he flails his arms to the sky he was the child flying around saving the day. I will miss him and welcome Peter Capaldi, you have big shoes to fill but I know you’re up for the job.