The Time of The Doctor

First Broadcast December 25th 2013 @ 7.30pm (11.14m viewers)

Despite being set in a town called Christmas and dinner at the Oswalds, the special is not that seasonal. It’s the end. To conclude 50th Anniversary celebrations we see Matt Smith pass on the reigns to his successor. Steven Moffat also had the unenviable task of tying together all the loose threads of the Eleventh Doctor’s era. This meant a return of the crack in time, the Silence and Trenzalore plus cameos from Daleks, Cybermen, Weeping Angels and Sontarans. Moffat also takes the opportunity to deal with the limited regeneration count, whilst he has the chance. With some creative counting the Doctor, at the end of his regeneration cycle is gifted a new one. There’s a nod to ‘The Five Doctors’ which had previously introduced the idea that the Time Lord High Council could bestow a new life cycle on Gallifreyans. After winning the day it was finally it is time to say goodbye.

Memorable Moment (Spoiler Warning)

Raggedy Man, Goodnight!

Karen Gillan as Amy Pond, Matt Smith as The Doctor - BBC The Time of The Doctor - (c) BBC
Karen Gillan as Amy Pond, Matt Smith as The Doctor – BBC The Time of The Doctor – (c) BBC

Karen Gillan’s return was kept a secret, at least to this viewer, very well. As The Eleventh Doctor’s time runs out it is only natural for his thoughts to turn to the first face that saw his face. It’s wonderfully touching and emotional. Not in the same league as the Tenth Doctor’s blubfest but teary nonetheless.

Matt Smith as The Doctor - BBC The Time of The Doctor - (c) BBC
Matt Smith as The Doctor – BBC The Time of The Doctor – (c) BBC

But then, in a blink and you’ll miss it moment. Peter Capaldi was The Doctor. What happened to the gradual merging of faces? It certainly adds to the message “Don’t Blink”. Did the Visual Effects guys run out of time after ‘The Day of the Doctor’? As is seemingly traditional the new Doctor comments on a new organ before revealing an inability to fly the TARDIS. You’d think he’d pull over on a Time Vortex lay-by to complete his regeneration. It’s a rubbish regeneration. Full of emotion yes but then suddenly it’s all over. Worst still came the realisation that we’d have months to wait for the Twelfth Doctor’s adventures to begin.

Also First Aired On This Day…

  • The Daleks’ Master Plan: The Feast of Steven
  • The Christmas Invasion
  • The Runaway Bride
  • Voyage of the Damned
  • The Next Doctor
  • The End of Time: Part One
  • A Christmas Carol
  • The Doctor, The Widow and the Wardrobe
  • The Snowmen
  • Last Christmas
  • The Husbands of River Song
  • The Return of Doctor Mysterio

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