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Doctor Who 2013 Christmas special recap/review: The Time of the Doctor

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Doctor Who 2013 Christmas special recap/review: The Time of the Doctor


Doctor Who, which aired tonight, December 25, 2013, on BBC America was the last episode with Matt Smith, and while the overall episode was a manic, rushed storyline, the last minutes of Matt’s time as the Doctor was absolutely brilliant and sad.

The overall plot of this Christmas Special has the Doctor going to a planet, along with other’s to find out why a signal is being broadcast from there. The Doctor, along with a Cyberman head, is there to find out what is going on, except he keeps ending up on his enemies’ ship.

Then the phone rings, and it is Clara back in modern England, cooking Christmas dinner for her family. She needs the Doctor asap, because she accidently created a boyfriend and well he fit the bill.

Once he comes through, he is naked, because he is waiting to be summoned to the Church of the Papal Mainframe, because they apparently don’t wear clothing. They go back to the planet and just like that the Doctor is summoned by the Mother Superious, Tasha Lem, who apparently has history with the Doctor.

Clara, while waiting for the Doctor and Tasha Lem, sees The Silence, which she quickly forgets as soon as she breaks through the door into the room that the Doctor and Tasha are in.

Tasha sends them down to the planet, where they come upon Weeping Angels, and realize that the planet is actually Trenzalore, the planet that the Doctor is meant to die upon. The Doctor along with Clara walks into a tower, where they find a crack in the wall, the crack where the Time Lords are transmitting the signal. They are asking for the Doctor, to find out if it is ok to come through. There is a truth field around the town; because the Time Lords apparently want to make sure the true Doctor gives them the truth.

Tasha Lem advises the Doctor to not let them through otherwise there will be war. She then turns her church into the Church of the Silence. Can you see the trend that is happening here? Everything about this episode is both an homage to Matt’s Doctor as well as a way to close out his overall story arc.

The Doctor being the Doctor fools Clara to send her away, however, she jumps back onto the Tardis. Instead of her going right back to Trenzalore, she ends up coming back hundreds of years later, where the Doctor has aged some. The Doctor decided to stay on Trenzalore to help save the town but also because he is meant to die on this planet.

The Doctor and Clara go back to Tasha Lem, however the Church has been infiltrated by Daleks. The Doctor and Clara escape, but the Doctor fools Clara again and sends her back to her time.

As Clara is sitting with her family sad over the Doctor she hears the Tardis and runs to it. Inside is Tasha Lem, letting Clara know that the Doctor is dying. Clara sees that years have passed and the Doctor is truly old. He tells Clara that there are no more regenerations and he has done all they could. But Clara refuses and sends a plea through the crack that they, the Time Lords, must help the Doctor. They give the Doctor extra regeneration where he proceeds to destroy a Dalek ship, and eventually changes into Peter Capaldi.

For the most part, this episode felt jumbled and erratic as if Moffat was throwing everything he could but the kitchen sink into this episode. But it was the last few minutes that made everything pale in this episode, because there finally was a closure to the crazy episodes of Matt Smith’s era. There was even a nice cameo with Amy Pond.

All the big, crazy episodes from the past couple of Smith’s seasons were basically blended into this one episode, a swan song if you will, that gave the fans a final good-bye to a crazy, arc-filled saga and really that is all that really mattered.

Maybe because the 50th anniversary was such a huge deal, maybe that is why this Christmas special felt overstuffed, yet as a farewell, it did what it needed to do.

What did you think of the episode?

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© 2013 Acquanetta Ferguson, All rights reserved.

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