Tuesday, 31 December 2013

The Time of the Doctor

And so we bid goodnight and goodbye to Matt Smith as the curtain also comes down on 2013. ‘Time of the Doctor’ finishes my marathon too, begun back in February and I have to say, if you ever want to get to a point where you are partially ‘over’ your favourite TV, for a short while at least, then try watching 800 episodes of it in one year. In fact, try it in 11 months. That’s something like three episodes a day on average. So yeah.
The Oswald Christmas
‘Time of the Doctor’, like Moffatt in general, is dividing the Doctor Who ‘community’ with a very clear between those that think it (and he) is brilliant, and those who loathe it all. There are very few in the middle there. ‘Time of the Doctor’ for me is full of fantastic stuff, with equally as much stuff that made my eyes roll like some cantankerous old man who thinks only the Lambert era had anything of value yet watched the following 48 years of the show complaining all the way. And I really don’t want to be that guy. Honestly.
Clara and 'Handles' - the Cyberhead.

So. I really loved the last fifteen minutes, and I adored the way that this Doctor, now the 13th as David Tennant regenerated into David Tennant officially according to the extrapolation in this episode using up a regeneration and counting John Hurt’s Doctor, died of old age. This consisted of two makeup jobs on Matt Smith, one to age him a bit which was very unconvincing, and
Orla Brady as the curious Tasha Kem.
another for right at the end which was superb, and very Hartnell-esque. Matt Smith deserves kudos for his portrayal as much older as well.
The way that he was given a new life cycle, to use the regeneration energy to destroy the Dalek fleet, also, was much better than I feared it was going to be. Something given to save his life through the crack on the wall because Gallifrey was on the other side of it and without the Doctor they will be stuck there forever. So it made sense.
Inside the Papal Mainframe.
Clara’s father, as he is now, was seen for the first time with little impact as was her grandmother and presumably father’s girlfriend. They were treated as mostly irrelevant. The Christmas stuff didn’t work so well, and you’d think the episode would have been much darker had it not gone out on the 25th of December. So I guess we have to make allowances but really, a town called ‘Christmas’. What I wanted to see was it play out over a longer period of time, for the Doctor’s relationship with this town to develop as a little love affair.
Karen Gillan makes a fleeting appearance.
There was a lot of attempts at humour that for me simply fell flat I am afraid. The Doctor being naked essentially for the sake of it, wearing holographic clothes which Clara’s family couldn’t see. Just to show that after all this time, and Matt Smith’s Doctor is supposed to have lived for many hundred years, he still doesn’t get social skills to the point of utter stupidity. I don’t buy it for one second but I also for one second do not blame Matt Smith for it either.
There’s so much I could analyse and
A Hartnell-esque farewell to Matt Smith's Doctor.
say why I didn’t like it, but at least the big questions on my mind were answered, if pretty much in an expedited paragraph of dialogue somewhere in the middle. The Silence and its purpose, Madame Kovarian, the exploding TARDIS. Bit odd to wrap up stuff that hadn’t been mentioned for two series, but hey, that’s the way the Moff rolls.
The change from Doctor to the other was lightning quick and we get to see Peter Capaldi in a very impressive 15 seconds as the Doctor. More traditional? Looks that way. Hopefully a better bunch of eccentricities than we’ve seen from Matt. I liked his Doctor for the most part, but at times he went too far for me. C’est La Vie. I am more excited by the new than upset by the leaving!


1 comment:

  1. And so it ends eh Prof? Congrats and well done on your reviews.