Doctor Who: The Time Of The Doctor review

Review Simon Brew 26 Dec 2013 - 10:15

Spoilers! Here are our thoughts on Matt Smith's big farewell episode of Doctor Who, The Time Of The Doctor...

This review contains spoilers.

The Time Of The Doctor

You got a big clue as to the ambition of The Time Of The Doctor by the sheer amount it crammed in even before the opening titles had played.

By then, the Doctor had already had a face off with both the Daleks and the Cybermen (separately), had a comedy conversation with Handles the Cyberman head (we liked him), been invited to Christmas dinner as Clara's pretend-boyfriend, and told us about a strange message that needed working out. It was an exhausting, exciting start for what proved to be a dense Doctor Who Christmas special. And in truth, it had so much to cram into a 60 minute running time that it felt like it never stood a chance in that sense. Another 15 minutes would have helped enormously, just to buy the odd bit of breathing room.

As it stood, The Time Of The Doctor had lots of things in it to like, but it's hard to shake the feeling that it was some way off the best Doctor Who Christmas special, and some way off the best Matt Smith episode of the show too. That said, there's an argument that it was the best performance Smith had given in the role, but we'll come to that in a bit.

Doctor Who has dealt with regeneration at Christmas before, of course. Arguably the best Yuletide special remains The Christmas Invasion, which gave David Tennant an hour just to introduce us to him as the Tenth Doctor (or, arguably, the tenth and the eleventh). Tennant himself then had a couple of hours over Christmas with The End Of Time two-parter to wrap his adventures up and say a proper goodbye.

It makes it a bit disappointing then that Matt Smith didn't get a little more, especially when The Time Of The Doctor was trying to fit Christmassy things in as well. Inevitably perhaps, the Christmas element got in the way if anything. Notwithstanding the fact that a large chunk of it took place in a town called Christmas (where Raquel from Only Fools And Horses lives, fact fans), Clara's festive feast felt fleeting and - in more than one sense - undercooked. There wasn't space to spend much time in the company of Clara's family, and it's hard to see what those segments really added here. As a festive episode, The Time Of The Doctor didn't really work.

When it got down to other business though, it was more successful. After all, there was the spectre of Gallifrey back on the horizon, as Handles the Cybermen head deciphered the aforementioned message and declared its origin. And as the Doctor and a good selection of monsters sat waiting in their assorted craft above a planet they couldn't get on to, it was left to Orla Brady's Blade Runner-inspired Tasha Lem as the Mother Superior of the Papal Mainframe to get the Doctor, and Clara, to the surface of the planet.

The planet, we found out, was Trenzalore. And as it turned out, it was on the surface of Trenzalore, in that town of Christmas, that lots of questions about the Eleventh Doctor's tenure were answered. In fact, they were answered in abudnance, at speed, and not always with much impact. We know why the TARDIS blew up now for instance, why the Silence first came for the Doctor, and a bit more about River Song.

And then there were the cracks in the wall. These have been explained before, of course, but now there's an extra ingredient: we're told that behind them are the Time Lords trying to return to the universe. Furthermore, the question hidden in plain sight is being asked by them: "Doctor Who?" So is it supposed to be that the crack on Amelia Pond's bedroom wall from The Eleventh Hour was the Time Lords all along? And is it just us that wonders if that's an explanation that's been added later, rather than the idea from the start? Mind you, reinvention and revisiting past threads to throw differing lights on them is not uncommon to Doctor Who. Nor is the Time Lord's inefficient ways of trying to get messages to people. Logic hasn't always been their strength.

Anyway, once these assorted explanations were in place, the narrative set up something of a stalemate. There was a slight dose of the Tom Baker story Destiny Of The Daleks to this. That's the one where two sides find themselves tactically the equivalent of each other, and thus locked into a war neither has a chance of winning. The Time Of The Doctor also centred for a while on a long-running stalemate. However, this had more of a Mexican standoff about it.

After all, the Doctor's found himself on the planet where we're told he ultimately dies, albeit now with the Time Lords asking for help. They need him to say his name so they can come through the crack. But if he does that, as Tasha Lem warns, war will follow "and this world will burn" (her line about an "unscheduled faith change" was one of our favourites, incidentally, and we have concluded that Orla Brady is terrific). If he doesn't ask for their help, he'll eventually die. If he does, everyone will die. A nice, classic Doctor Who conundrum that.

As such, a lot of time passes. Tons of it. So much time, in fact, that if Matt Smith isn't the longest-serving Doctor in screen time, in the narrative history of Who he certainly seems to be. This episode saw him waiting for centuries in the town of Christmas, holding an uneasy peace. He protects the place, and the occasional foe who breaks through - a wooden Cyberman being the best one - tends to be defeated, prompting a small party. 

The reason he's waiting, though, is he's going to die. He's resigned to it, and after everything, he's set to die of old age (a lovely irony, given the cavalcade of monsters in orbit desperate to kill him). And we're back to Time Lord regeneration counts here. As it turned out, Tennant's first aborted regeneration at the start of Journey's End counted, so Smith's Doctor brings the Time Lord up to the twelve regeneration limit. Don't worry though: it turns out that a request from Clara and a special effect later, and a full regeneration cycle puts off the whole question again for another few decades.

It was always going to be so when facing the long-standing question of regeneration limits. Precedent for more regenerations being granted had been established before, and Steven Moffat led just about enough crumbs to the key moment to deal with the issue, without dwelling too much on it. Job done, whether you like the way it was done or not.

If you're thinking that all of this was a lot to take in in a one hour Christmas special, we're with you there. If last month's wonderful The Day Of The Doctor was a broad, welcoming church for Doctor Who, that's seen lots more new people becoming interested in the show, The Time Of The Doctor required at the least a good grade GCSE in modern Who to get the most out of. Some will, of course, have kept on top of it, but we'd imagine that The Time Of The Doctor left more than a few behind. Especially given that Christmas episodes tend to be amongst the most accessible, that was something of a surprise.

Perhaps a bigger problem was that the middle of the episode felt a little flat though. Matt Smith found himself naked and bald (the latter courtesy of his turn in Ryan Gosling's upcoming film, How To Catch A Monster) for parts of this episode, but for longer periods, he was under ageing make-up (when he got really aged, that was a lovely touch of Hartnell about his look). And as the Doctor aged, surrounded by drawings of some of his past adventures, the sparks went out a little. He was waiting for the end, time was passing, and things felt like they were repeating themselves just a little. The Time Of The Doctor was an instalment with an exciting start and a memorable ending. The middle section, whilst not without merit (the production design, once again, was strong), proved to be far less interesting in truth.

But if the episode itself had problems, there were two performances throughout that both soared. For Jenna Coleman's work as Clara shouldn't be understated here. Where the character goes moving forward will be fascinating to see. After all, the key mystery of Clara has been solved. Yet what we have instead is a companion of real strength, intelligence and determination, one willing to seize the initiative. Coleman's proving herself to be a massive asset to Doctor Who, and the relationship between her and Capaldi's Doctor promises a lot.

And then there's Matt Smith. An awful lot was asked of him in The Time Of The Doctor, and an awful lot was given. Smith's always been a gifted comedy actor, but he's also added requisite weight as and when needed. He was simply wonderful here, arguably his best turn as the Doctor. Sombre and dark, yet funny and accessible, we'd wager hard cash that it's not the last time we see him on screen in the TARDIS, but this was still a clear farewell. And how sad was it to see him go.

Interestingly, whereas Russell T Davies wringed everything he could out of the farewell to David Tennant in The End Of Time, Steven Moffat went a little the other way with Matt Smith. In fact, we didn't even get the now-traditional one-face-changing-into-another prolonged moment of transformation. It was hardly blink and he's gone, but it was an efficient passing over of the TARDIS key rather than a spectacular one. Some may prefer that of course, and there was no shortage of sadness as Smith built up to his goodbye. It just felt a little bit like he walked out of the door and didn't turn around for one last wave. That said, the Amy Pond "raggedly man" goodbye was a lovely touch, and a real surprise.

Doctor Who goes on, of course, and this time in the guise of Peter Capaldi. We saw nothing in the few seconds we got of him here to dampen our enthusiasm for his casting. He's not disguising his Scottish accent much, we learned that much. He has kidneys too, we learned that. Oh, and he can't fly the TARDIS. That should be fun. It's a shame we've got another eight or nine months to wait until we see more of him, but the thought of getting a full, uninterrupted series run with Capaldi's Doctor is a very, very welcome one.

The Time Of The Doctor, then, brought the curtain down on what has to be classed as a successful 50th anniversary year for Doctor Who, that's had its bumps, but also given us some absolute treats. The Time Of The Doctor in itself is unlikely to go down as one of the Who highlights of 2013 in truth. We quite enjoyed it, but it still felt underwhelming. Still, Smith's performance as the Doctor is undoubtedly one of the year's highlights, and it's very clear that the show is going to miss him a lot. What's also clear is that there are further exciting times ahead.

One last thought to consider, too: the Doctor didn't die at Trenzalore here. So: is it still where he dies, ultimately? Or has The Name Of The Doctor been rendered a little moot? Even in the midst of questions been answered, there are still threads for future Who. And that's just how it should be.

A decent, bumpy Christmas special then, with some strong moments, not least the departing Matt Smith. But it's over to you now Mr Capaldi. It'd be fair to say that we've very much on your side...

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I'm in two minds about this. Either Moffat has had a master plan since the beginning of Matt smiths tenure. Or this episode was a desperate attempt to tie up all the plot threads he's left hanging since series 5. Probably the latter.

This definitely wasn't an episode for casual "we only watch at Christmas" viewers. This was for hardcore fans dare I say "whovians".

Matt smith was excellent as always. May I say he has been one the most consistently brilliant Doctors. He's definitely up there with Troughton, T.Baker and Tennant.

Theory time. As the doctor is at the start of a new regenerative cycle. He regenerated into a much older looking body. As time lords get older their outward appearance looks younger. Tennant and smith was the doctor near the end of his regenerative cycle that's why they were young looking. But when he was Hartnell and Troughton he was only a Time Lad so he was physically older. With a brand new set of regenerations the Doctor now has an older looking body. After all capaldi is the same age as Billy Hartnell when he took the role. the doctor is like a time lord teenager again. I hope the 12th doctor is as crotchety and brilliant as the 1st

I can't wait for Capaldis turn

Things I'd like to see when Capaldi takes over the controls of the Tardis

1. The Tardis to be lit properly. I like the new design but as pointed out in the brilliant fivish doctors reboot it's a bit dark.
2. Murray Gold given the sack. I'm sick of his overtly bombastic orchestral themes. Bring back the radio phonics workshop.
3. A proper male companion like Jamie or Harry. Rory was ok but he wasn't a properly developed character just a facet of Amy's character. I'm tired of the same pretty young women companions
4. The Time Lords to come back in a very limited form. They shouldn't be a major aspect of the show, only popping up occasionally so the doctor doesn't have a "last of the time lords" personality complex"
5. Hour long episodes or two parters. 45 minutes isn't nearly enough time to have a narratively coherent story. This has been evident over the past series. I'd love to see the show back in a serial format but I know the BBC wouldn't be able to sell the show to the Americans anymore.
6. No more Sonic Screwdriver. It's a power tool not a magic wand.

7. The Sea Devils. They're long overdue a comeback.

Ill admit I lost it when Amy said goodnight to him it was beautifully played, enjoyed the whole episode did anyone spot that it was the crack in the Doctors room in the God Complex? I really thought he had seen the Hurt Doctor didn't think the crack was still a mystery, loved the wooden cyberman and the angels bit was creepy so sad to see Matt leave but his goodbye speech was perfect.
Also did anyone else catch Jack's old Boat yesterday morning with Bernard Cribbins written by Russell T Davis? it was quite lovely and quite brilliant.

I doubt this was the episode intended for the Christmas special but was instead overtaken by fact of Smith's leaving. So what we end up with is a "normal" episode of Dr Who with extra Christmassy elements bolted on to turn it into a Christmas episode.
I was one who had reservations about the casting of Smith but I have to admit he was a wonderful Dr will be missed.
One hope I do have for Capaldi is it will stop the annoying assistants falling in love with him storylines. That has become a really tiresome theme of the new Who.

After the utterly marvellous Day of the Doctor I really expected more from this. A second rate finale for a first rate Doctor.

I enjoyed it but thought the crack in the universe being the Time Lords wanting to come back was just stupid and a lame excuse of an idea. And the whole thing about the Doctors name being mentioned was just poor, why would the Time Lords want to know that for anyway just stupid. I enjoyed it and the 60 minutes went quickly but for me Moffat's writing at times is poor. Hope he goes soon. Capaldi is going to be a great Doctor unless Moffat keeps writing poorly.

I would like to see an older male companion and/or mature woman.

I think that was one of the worst Christmas Episodes we've had. There was no bad guy to really hate, it was disjointed, the passing of centuries left me feeling disconnected from the whole plot, Clara seemed to be stuck on repeat going back and forth in the Tardis and I always hate old make up. As well, everything was cleared up too quickly, there was no satisfaction to the solutions, no good answers, only plasters on plot hole cracks. Still, Matt Smith was brilliant, his farewell was moving, but he deserved a better episode to end it on.

Can people please stop saying the whole "as time Lords get older, they look older" stuff. That isn't part of the mythos, never has been. Just coincidences of casting

I hope they're now done once and for all with the whole 'The Doctor has an expanded lifespan and so centuries can pass' - between episodes or, as in this case, within an episode. It's been done, what, three times during Matt Smith's tenure? For me, the Doctor's age should just be a throwaway line, not a recurring plot device, and the drama loses almost all tension if the companions don't experience events in the same timeframe as the Doctor does.

You weren't really paying attention were you?

The crack was from Tardis exploding and the time lords saw the crack as a weak spot to get through.

They asked the question as it was one only the doctor could answer and they knew it would be safe to come out into the universe, he never said it as it was never safe to come out.

Umm, where did you get that from?
It was the TARDIS in the room in the God Complex, you can see the reflection in his eye.

Good god people are cynical. For me this was a masterful way of not only wrapping up Matt's time on the show but of giving the show a future direction away from the dark, depressed Doctor we've had since 2005. Most of the criticism seems to be along the lines of "but it wasn't what *I* thought the cracks / silence / whatever should be therefore it sucks". It was a character piece rather than an action-packed finale and I suspect it will be regarded with far greater affection once time has passed.

I reckon he will ultimately die in Trenzalore. He'll probably pull out a whole "I wanted to die in my favourite place... the place I spent the most time... the place that was closest to my home" speech.

I enjoyed it and I think it will reward repeat viewing.

Couple of points Simon IMHO

The time Lords behind the Crack , I didn't take it as they were always behind the crack. The doctor explained that the cracks were the tardis exploding and he had sealed them BUT they had left scar tissue on the fabric of the universe. The Time Lords trying to get back into the universe are trying though these scars as they are the weakest points.

The other thig regarding the Name of the Doctor, essentially that episode creates one huge paradox as it's events could no longer take place as it's events are set after this episode in Trenzelores timeline if not the doctors. The time stream of the doctor's grave that Clara entered only went as far as Smith so he has changed his fate by changing to Capaldi. The Name of cannot now have happened as his grave isn't there now for the GI to enter.

What I liked
I appreciated the explanation of why the doctor's name couldn't be said as I had always found that strange and if that wasn't always the plan then it was very clever writing to tie it up.

Overall I really enjoyed it, it made sense how it tied things up and as I said will reward repeat viewings. I only wished they had played the regeneration longer as it seemed to too abruptly kill the emotion as we didm;t get that fade away of Smith, a similar feeling i got when 10 morphed to 11 too quick. but that is nit picking, yes it should have been two episodes and it needed the battle to be bigger at the end but overall it done it's job and I can't wait to watch it again.

As with all Who episodes I need to watch it again, but I don't think I'm going to shift from the view that the extra fifteen minutes of running time for the 50th Special have, with hindsight, showed this episode up rather badly. And I agree that the "Christmassy" elements contributed little and only got in the way.

A bit of an iffy one, this. Not a disaster (which you'd believe if you looked at Twitter) but not a great example of the show either. Bogged down answering questions only dedicated fans will remember - AND trying to serve as a festive special to the casual audience, it didn't really accomplish either with huge success.

Popping in an out of the cold war just distanced it emotionally really. I had HUGE problems with The End of Time but the actual cause of death of Ten was neat and effective. Here it was supposed to be big and dramatic, but we'd long since lost track of The Doctor's struggle.

You'd also be forgiven for thinking that the sky opened up, granted The Doctor with magic powers so he could kill the Daleks. Because that's what happened.

People spout term "deus ex machina" when discussing Doctor Who endings and almost always use it incorrectly. But the term does seem to be being repurposed as short-hand for "That was a slightly rubbish conclusion".

I wasn't a massive MS fan, as each generation of the Dr was supposed to be different sides of his personality, and MS was far too like DT. Ofc tht was more the writers than anything and I'm really looking forward to PC turn and hope that we get some real dark moments as those eyes he has just say death!

The episode for me was MS best work as the DR, and for me it was a real shame it took him 3 years to do it but I think I will look at his tenure a little more favourabley now because of the epp.

On Steve Moffat I have to agree with my dad on this, he just isn't no Russell T Davis, but maybe he too needed time to grow into the role of show runner and we will see better things from him i the furture

Like Donna?

It had some terrific moments and performances, and I will admit to enjoying it immensely. But, the big stuff we have been trailing along all these episodes and years was dismissed very easily, and there were some very lame concepts, not least the name of the Doctor - that seems rooted in little more than the 'if you clap, an angel dies', kind of thing; there's substance missing from that. That's not cynicism, but where there are few roots and no follow-throughs, the story can lapse, or just fade out to nothing, as some of this did. But that's Moffat's storytelling and writing - hard to know if he had a grand plan all along or was just winging it in chunks.

I liked that regeneration energy was now shown to be a powerful weapon.

So he is not the last of the Time Lords now. Gallifrey was not destroyed. Fixed points in time, as they were supposed, were actually not, as we saw in The Day of the Doctor. The future is changed and the Doctor has been granted a new cycle. Much as I hate the term, towards the end, this felt like the eve of a reboot to me. The past 8 years have been great, but this (and Day of the Doctor) was pretty much a wrap on all of those stories. Moffat has effectively fixed it for the BBC to run Doctor Who for decades again, to the point that future actors playing the part may not even have been born yet!

It was in the episode when the Doctor sees the crack again we got a very brief flashback to the God Complex and the Doctor looking in the room and we see the crack on the wall, it doesn't make a great deal of sense since in the episode he says something like "of course who else?" implying a person was there.

That's quite quote a good summation of it. I think if they had made it one huge battle rather than a cold war then they could have given the casual viewer more to watch while still answering questions for the fans the way they did (fast nods to past episodes and quick dialogue inconsequential to the current story).
I just needed more in the middle

I like to think that, as with the fourth Doctor now having retired and curating a very special gallery at the end of his own timeline, Trenzalore is indeed where Smiths' 13th incarnation ends his timeline.
Bit of a mixed bag of an episode. I rarely, if ever, like ageing make up, too many, same old same old, foes in one story (yet very little actual threat!?) and cutting back and forth with Clara's family was pretty distracting. However, it looked fantastic, Smith was great and I loved Capaldis entrance! 'I've got new kidneys. I dont like the colour.'

Not the best but it had a few moments. I like to go back and watch regeneration stories, but the full on Christmas setting makes this unwatchable for most of the year, like mince pies, it can only really be consumed during the festive season. That was one of the aspects of Tennent's swansong I liked, it really bypassed all the festive stuff, it was there but not in your face.

Overall I was disapointed, some moments even reminded me of 'The Doctor The Widow And The Wardrobe', which is my least liked episode of 'New Who'. I hated the spoken narrative, it would have been fine if it was just at the begining, but it got a tad tiresome and invoked a few cringes. I'm still not sure I totally understand what happened in this story, and after the wonderful 'Day Of The Doctor' it seems like Moffat had worked himself a little too hard and maybe suffered with writters block.

Not a great episode, but Matt was on top form and we have the wonderful Capaldi to look forward to.

Thanks - now I need to rewatch 3 years worth of DW ;)

The episode showed him opening the door, looking inside the the room and then a shot of the crack with the same wallpaper. I thought it was pretty obvious.

After watching the episode I went online and couldn't believe how everyone was saying it was terrible.

I loved it, it was a thoroughly entertaining 60 minutes, there were a couple of things I'd like handled differently but as I'm not currently show runner I can hardly expect to have everything my way.

I think I'm alone in my thinking and that's ok. I loved it, possibly my favourite Christmas episode to date. Matt Smith was amazing, 'Handles', the wig, Sontarans in the snow, Wooden Cyberman, the referencing of the Seal of the High Council of Gallifrey taken from the Master, so many many things.

Did I mention I loved it? I got a lot of pleasure out of it, sorry y'all didn't!

ALTERNATIVE ENDING: Whilst I loved the entire episode and the wrapping up of numerous plot threads, I would have introduced Peter Capaldi in a slightly different manner...

THE ELEVENTH convulses in pain as his face disappears from view. The TARDIS lands back on Earth, outside CLARA's apartment. You see the Doctor regaining his balance and standing up, his face obscured before we get a good look. CLARA has an expression of utter shock and disbelief.

INT. APARTMENT - CHRISTMAS DINNER (Ignore the Turkey being brought in earlier)

DAD. Ah Clara, better late than never.
MOTHER. Sit down so we can finally eat!
GRAN. Did you bring that nice man back?
CLARA. In a sense...

PETER CAPALDI walks in, still wearing THE ELEVENTH's clothes, clasping the cooked Turkey and greets the family with an awkward smile.

THE DOCTOR. It's a tad overcooked, bit crispier than I would've liked, but it'll do.


Any BBC script writers needed?

Well I liked it way more than you simon. Regeneration episodes never seem that popular and I wonder if it's partly cos people like me don't want to say goodbye. That said Tennants was too bloated but this needed another 15 minutes. I think the regen happened differently, quicker, cos the main burst happened at the tower. And it was a re set generation cycle of course. Feel sad now. I feel we were cheated of a final season of him with the split.

I agree Richie, I'm not sure why everyone is having a tanty.

To quote a great man
"Picking on this episode is a bit like bagging a cricketer for hitting a 4 when his previous score was a 6!" - Wonder Llama on Facebook

That'll be interesting, come the day - the absolute last episode of Doctor Who, with the death of the Doctor. That will be something to see. Though I suspect we are many years from such a thing, and the BBC would need a seriously good reason to do that, if indeed the BBC are still custodians of the character by then ...

No, you're not alone - I loved it. I'll nitpick the hell out of it, but I still loved it. This and The Day of the Doctor were grand celebrations and farewells, and sad for sure, and poignant, but I loved last night's.

yup, really enjoyed it and I just watched the end there again and when amy says good night it was even more emotional. it really really needs more viewings away from they hype of being the regeneration

I also thought it was great. Some people just like to have a good old xmas moan I guess :)

Good points made.

One question for us to think about. If The Name of the Doctor "cannot now have happened", does that mean that Clara's scattering herself along his timestream also cannot have happened? And if so, how does the Doctor come to be acquainted with Clara if his encounters with multiple "Claras" never happened? But the Doctor's coming to know Clara was already a huge paradox (because if he hadn't come across the multiple editions then he would not have had any visible reason to track down the "original" Clara and so the original Clara would never have had opportunity to scatter herself along the timeline.) This latest episode only compounded the paradox that was already there.

Personally, even though there were some great moments, I found this the most underwhelming regeneration since Colin bashed his head on the Tardis console. Sure, it wrapped up some plot contrivances from the past 5 years, but overall, I found it boring. And not worth watching more than once. Say what you like about RTD stringing out 10's regeneration, but at least when he did go, it had emotional resonance. When Matt bowed out, I felt noting at all. And Clara is the most boring companion, for a very long time. Moffat cheaply wrote in a new set of regenerations, he didn't brig back the time lord's, just wrote in a deus ex mccguffin. Now the Dr as a new set of regenerations to burn through, will we see this become an annual thing? I was investing all my hopes in Capaldi's new version, and yet his first lines left so much to be desired. only his first ever lines in the show, yet already, he seems so tired, and perhaps, bored with the whole thing. "New kidneys, they are a different colour", come on Moffat, was that the best you can manage? It was all so, cliché, as if written on a fan fiction forum. The whole Moff era pushes my interest further away. Instead of a new Dr, I think we needed a new showrunner, one who doesn't think "dark" means the dull grey tones they use in the colour palette. RTD's Who was fun to watch, Moff's is dull, lifeless, and seen it all before. He thinks he is clever, but he isn't. And we didn't even get a teaser for the new series. At this point, I have other, more interesting things to be doing than watching Cliché Who. It used to be event TV, now it's "meh" TV.

Loved it.

I particularly like how The Doctor aged and Clara was the one popping in from time to time unchanged. The Doctor got to experience time the same way so many experience him.

well here is my view of it. matt smith was excellent and gave a very touching final speech. the scene with the weeping angles was good. a good way to use them, even if it was briefly.all the monsters did there part.

i do have a few wee issuses. i think moffet has his fingers in too many pies. writing scripts for sherlock , he did tin tin as well. i feel he should commit more to the one thing. also the regeneration was short and kinda stunned me out the sad moment with a WTF moment.

it was always going to be hard to follow 50th but this will do. and for some reason matt smith in the full make up towards the end reminded me of doc brown. clara gave a good performance when it was needed ( begging to the time lords ).

peter popped up for something like 2 mins.he looks like he will be a good call. but i have a wish for his doc. tie up the time lords returning quickly ( within a season ) as technically there return has been going on since matt smith first episode.

One thing really irritates me. This Doctor's life has now lasted up to a thousand years, what with the time spent on 'Christmas' and the couple of centuries he spent on his farewell trip prior to The Wedding of River Song (as well as however long he spent looking for Clara). This on its own is pretty weird, as it means this incarnation is older than all the others put together. But what really bothers me is that, during all that time, in real terms he spent maybe a few months with the Ponds and a couple of weeks with Clara - yet we're supposed to believe that these are the people most important to him?

Barely a fraction of one percent of this regeneration was spent with the companions, and it feels as though their relationships have been diminished incredibly because of that. They've gone from key figures to people he met once or twice a long time ago.

Sherlock is three episodes a year, for Capaldi's sakes. If Moff can't manage such a hefty workload, then he is the wrong guy for the job.

How would we get a teaser? Series 8 hasn't started filming yet.

i liked the high seal ref as well. and saying i love handles has made me giggle. i thought it was fitting as i said before i just worry moffet too busy with other things. was always going to be hard to please people after 50th. and i do wish they had stuck a trailer on the end, i miss that.or even if they made a promo with the new doc but we got Sherlock without andrew scott lol

He's had five years...

excellent point, I suspect it is a timey wimey being at the eye of a storm effect (well that's the explanation). the knock on effect goes back to the Asylum of the Daleks but I'm guessing we're not supposed to think to much about it.

Amy's crack saved the day, once again, I guess Moffat really likes Amy's crack, even if it is bald now :)

So there may not even be a series 8? I was under the impression they had already done it, they had plenty of time. Just goes to show, the BBC really do not care about this show, outside how much dough it makes.

Moffat can only write, dark depressed, so I doubt Pete's Dr will be any different.

Probably because Timey Wimey Bollocky wollocky. Fed up with nothing making sense in this show anymore!! A puzzle is not fun without seeing the pieces to put together and then watching them come together. It annoys me how often things are resolved by a totally new idea that came out of nowhere, and worse still makes no sense in the context of past events!!

Speaking of timey-wimey and paradox, I've just looked at Ed Whitfield's (rather surreal and then some) blog "Is That All There Is", and he asks the rather pertinent question of whether when Smith's Doctor was talking about being out of lives, he had "forgotten" about the fleeting appearance of the Capaldi Doctor in the climactic scene of TDOTD. Hmmm....

It starts filming next month and will screen in the autumn.

Having watched I have to add my hat to the 'i'm not sure why do many people hated it' camp. It was a strong episode, yes there are still some loose ends and the aging for centuries shtick has been a bit too much at time, but apart from that it was good. I was always a fan of Matt Smith and Moffet and I think they've both done well.

I remember sitting down with my family to watch Xmas specials under RTD- giant cyberking anyone? Massive shouty spider? Jesus-Doctor? No, this is better. It really is.

The entire planet of Gallifrey, the entire tech of the TL's, and they had to ask the Dr if it ws safe to come though? Why didn't they just use some "spock" and scan for alien tech?

That is brilliant!

Please, don't torture yourself.

It was like gran's Xmas crackers! Sorry, but it was the most disappointing regeneration story ever! Let's get the sentimentality out the way, there, done. Otherwise, it was a snooze fest of epic proportions. Moffat lapsed back into old habits by explaining a long held mystery in a sentence. Great. The only saving grace is that with the talent and chops signed-up for the new series it hopefully won't be a bland and boring as this proved to be. I mean, I hated the flying shark but even that was more exciting that this waste of Xmas day.

But had he seen that doctor? The timelords saw it on their monitors, but Smith didn't have to have seen it?

A turkey of an episode written and produced by the king of Turkeys. Thanks again, Moffat - another nail in the coffin and another fine actor whose talents are to be wasted.

Moffat's a kunt.

I really enjoyed it!! There are definitely a few loose ends, but that's hardly a bad thing. If everything was wrapped up in a neat little bow at the end of an ep, that would be terribly boring!

Matt Smith was (of course) incredible. I shed many, many tears in the last 10 mins. Amy's 'Raggedy Man' moment, and the Doctor taking off the bow tie just finished me. Jenna Coleman was wonderful also, I really hope we get to see stronger stuff like this for Clara next year!

Very much looking forward to the start of Capaldi's reign in the TARDIS. Roll on autunm :D

I thought it great fun, moving, charming and witty.

Matt Smith has, for now at least, pushed his way to the top of my fave Doctor list.

All the others share and mooch around the 2nd best position anyway...except for a couple of 'em ( older gen Docs ).

It was a fine way to end Matts tenure, and Peter's incredibly sudden appearance was a massive shocker.

Peter has a big job ahead of him, but 80% of that job will be down to the writers.

If they don't get it right, an episode simply fails, like the last half of Matt's last season.

BUT if the writers DO get it right, then Peter will become the Doctor and we shall all love him for it.

I've been on a couple of DW forums since the Christmas day episode was broadcast, and there is an amazing amount of negativity about the episode.

People, people...when will you learn? If you complain too much, eventually that MAY turn into falling viewing figures, and if the viewing figures fall, the show will get cancelled. AND no one wants that do they?


I say good luck to Peter and the team, the last two episodes of DW have been very strong in my opinion ( the 50th Anniversary episode and the Christmas day episode), so if it keeps going on the same track, Dr Who is in safe hands.
Peter Capaldi is gonna rock !

i mentioned that in other comments and forums. capaldi's Doctor could not have appeared at galifrey in DOTD as the Doctor's timeline at that point ended with smith which we'd seen. Seeing Capaldi was just fan service since he was cast. but totally and completely wrong in terms of story

I loved it and would have it in again but yeah story wise it didn't fit

Well, the reason I disliked it, is the same reason I have disliked all of Moff's tenure, it was drab, dull, lacklustre, depressing, and not very much fun. That's down to the tone,, I guess. Ever since Harry Potter 4, we have had every film and show take on that "washed out" look, and now it is even worse after the Nolan Batman trilogy. The writing seems to fit this tone, perfectly, dire, lifeless, uninspired. It's as if Moff, or the beeb, have drained all the fun out of the show. This Christmas episode was the same as the last four, under Moff, tiresome, and sleep inducing. It's boring. They cram as much runny wunny, timey wimey, flashy washy stuff in as possible, the pace is ratcheted up to the max, yet it's completely flat. And a chore to watch. This was a regen story, yet my concentration faltered from the half way point, started watching my clock hoping to get it over with so I could see the trailer for "coming soon".

So did he then not hear the Gallifreyan officer saying "No sir, all THIRTEEN!" ?

I think I had very high expectations. Being a hard core fan of DW, I have to say that this episode felt rather drab. It started off strong and then voiceovers took over. Every time I saw Clara crying, I didn't feel anything except boredom. The only time I felt truly sad was when little Amy ran around the TARDIS and when older Amy said 'goodnight, raggedy man'. Those parts brought tears to my eyes. Peter Capaldi elicited a cheer. I thought he was lovely. I'm really looking forward to his turn as the Doctor. But I desperately wish we could have another Donna-like companion.

Yes, I can buy that.

Well said.

If Moffatt watched Smith's first and last episode back to back, do you think he'd be satisfied? It seems that as budget and scale has increased over time, in my opinion storytelling, logic and ultimately quality have decreased.

I liked the episode and thought Smith was superb, but I think Moffat is tired as hell and it shows, Loved Karen Gillans' brief appearance (God that woman is too beautiful to articulate) and Jenna Coleman is the unsung hero of the 50th anniversary run. Her performances have been very effective even tho she has had little to do. As for the future Moffat, if he doesn't jack it in, needs to concentrate on finding new writers, RTD had Moffat, Moffat, easily the best writer the show has ever had, needs a good wing man. Someone fresh that can write for Capaldi, maybe a competition for all to write a scene, (round 1) and the finalists to write a whole episode. The winner to have their episode produced. A program saved and kept alive by the fans deserves this. Heaven knows undiscovered genius is hard to find as there are so few of us left.
If no seeds are planted then nothing ever grows.

The epic, universe ending Time War.....

Fought by a handful of people, a few silents, a couple of Sontarans, and a couple of cgi rendered Dalek ships.

Dr Who, as always, suffers from severe budget limitations.

Agreed, he is.

Mate, you're just a negatroid!! I aint the biggest fan of the way the Moffat era's gone but your comments are simply trolling. Of a pretty high order.

That wasn't the time war in last nights episode! D'uh!!!!

And Dr Who has always done the best with the, admittedly, limited resources available and proudly so. But with the UK still living in a time of severe austerity to get two episodes with production values of such a high order I think the team should be commended. Not sneered at by the likes of you.

Well he's the thirteenth in his mind randomly in yesterday's episode.. you know.. just cos.

I dare you to watch The End of Time and The Time of the Doctor and say that Moffat's take is the darker, more depressing version with a straight face.

That's right, it reminds me of the "oh my god, they killed Rory, again" phase we went through. Nothing as any relevance or importance. When Adric died, it had weight, he only died once. When DT bowed it, I was in tears, on the edge of my seat, and gutted he was moving on, when MS went, I felt nothing, not even the Amy cameo could inject emotion into it. And Clara is the most boring companion ever, Moff built her up into this game changing, gigantically important person which fell totally flat. 9 months is a long time to wait for a show you no longer care about. And it will be an even longer wait for the oodles of kids who will be bored by Pete by the end of his first episode, and demanding a new one, already. The BBC should have had the new series ready to go by April.

The Time Lords didn't cause the cracks. Eleven explains that even though he rebooted the universes the "walls" were still weak, and the Time Lords simply broke through where a crack used to be.

The timelords weren't behind amy's cracks they told us in the episode what happened. The silence blew up the tardis creating the cracks. And although the doctor pieced it back together the scars were still there and the time lords were using these scars to try get back in

RTD was able to inject life into his characters, I actually cared when DT went, when MS went, I was busy checking my watch to see how much longer I had left to sit through yet another hour of Moff boredom.

Yet the budget as not increased, because the beeb shut down the Mill, who were responsible for the great effects we saw in series 1-4.

We saw Capaldi, and the Timelords in the War Room saw Capaldi, but there didn't seem to me to be any indication that Smith's Doctor saw him. Maybe, at a pinch, he might have counted TARDISes…

Haha I was worried Geronimo wold be Matts last words never liked that catchphrase.

Off you go them to write a new series of doctor who, writing all the wrongs etc. There's a reason RTD in his book rips apart the online critics and claims he never listened to them. Because they all know better yet none of them will have the talent to actually undertake the roles people like RTD and Moffat.

Love and Monsters was far superior to Blink, the most boring episode, and overated, of the RTD era. At least it was fun to watch.

I will give the next series a chance, but I just think it's a shame to watch how things have changed since Smith's first series, which in my opinion that was a great series. With all the messing about with episode numbers, series formats AND poor stories, as well as the fact Moffatt simply NEEDS to keep messing with the series' mythos - it's not entertaining me, it's frustrating me.

And with that comment you expose yourself as the true troll you are. Well done :)

Nope. I did think about that, but it doesn't cover it, because one of the regenerations was into the same body - "vanity issues!" :) I'm happy to go with JP's response to one of my earlier comments - the Capaldi appearance in TDOTD was fan service and nothing else.

I was referring to the 50th, and last night's was more or less, a continuation of that. All the enemies had gathered to fight the TL's, yet we only saw a few cg ships, a wooden cyber, a few cybers, a couple of silents, two Sontarans (what relevance did they have) a few angels (stolen from the set of Blink) and not much else. When RTD did the daleks, we had masses of ships, and daleks, heck, we had masses of ships in The Pandorica opens. What did we get last night and on the 50th? Not very much. It seems we have a smaller budget now than back when the show was rebooted in 2005.

So in terms of story, it failed.

Nor I.

I don't find the Moff dull or drab but yeah there is something with his tenure I just can't quite put my finger on that has never quite sat right. I genuinely prefer it over RTDs time (without disliking RTDs)

However I think this might sum it up in my mind. The best writers and creators need good editors, they need someone to say no or to tell them when to dial back. JK Rowling when given free reign wrote The order of the Phoenix which desperately needed trimming. Peter jackson was given free reign after the success of LOTR. King Kong an the Hobbit movies really need someone to pull him back. I'm sure there are other examples but my point is that I would say that the very best episodes of new who have been moffat's while RTD was show runner, when someone could say no correctly and in a proper creative way. I think as show runner he has just went wild and a lot hasn't quite worked he needs someone (not an accountant), a creative and someone he trusts to look at his plans objectively and pull him back where needed

I enjoyed it quite a lot, but I'm still not sure about Clara. I think that the episode itself was pretty good. A little rushed, but that's something I was expecting considering that Moffat had the pen. Too much innuendos too, something I truly hate here, but nothing I couldn't deal with.
If anything, it gave closure to every possible plotline in the series, which is good. Efficient. I loved the fact that the Silence were all confessional priests! Made me laugh.

There's something I missed, though... How did Clara get out of the Doctor's timestream after that epic series finale? I can't recall. I'm sure it was explained, but I can't remember it!

Can you just stop commenting on every post with negative points. We get it. You don't like Dr Who. Fine, well done. Ypu made your point, why you feel you have to repeat it over and over is beyond me. There are plenty of other places to go and share your feelings. Call someone a Nazi on youtube, for example.

I think the whole budget for the, mostly, pitiful series 7 was spread to cover the 50th and also last nights show. I dont work on the programme but that would be my guess having heard how they need to spread costs on various commentaries over the years.. I also believe the budget has been cut DRASTICALLY from the golden times before recession and the overly sentimental RTD era.

BUT its STILL the best thing on the box in the UK.

Could well be true about the budget. I'm a sad enough person to have checked out the latest accounts for BBC and BBC Worldwide. BBC Worldwide returned quite a lot less to BBC in 2012/2013 than it did in 2011/2012. And, meanwhile, the licence fee is frozen for several years yet.

Why am I troll? I would rather be a troll than a deluded Moff fanboi/girl. Moff fanbois are even worse than Lindlehack fanbois.

It was an awful awful let down, Matt deserved so much better. I literally have no idea how Moffat considered that good. Maybe an extra half hour running time would allow all the ideas to be coherently fleshed out....but I haven't had such a sense of revulsion since they all starting singing in Rings of Arsearten. I maintain that Smith is probably the best Doctor thus far, if only we'd seen the Amy/Rory story ended much earlier, and some better scripts. Still the 50th was largely excellent. But YEESH did Moffat drop the ball on this ep. HORRIBLE

Apologies my typo :)

Nothing wrong with sentimentality, I mean look how much of it Moff shoe-horned in on the Ponds final outing?

You're a deluded RTD fanboy who claims L&M is better than Blink. Possibly the only person to say that and even RTD disliked Love and Monsters. That in itself is enough to call you a troll. You want to annoy and get a reaction. If you want to point the finger, you'll get it pointed right back at you.

Didn't the Doctor just throw that bloody leaf in or some such silly nonsense, which lead her back to him....befflegab in the click of a Moffat typewriter key

I agree. He was wonderful when writing episodes and he's awesome in Sherlock where he shares the responsability. But as a show runner, well, I don't like the whole. I like some moments, and the good ones are AWESOME, but when he misses the point, he misses it in a pretty impressive way too...
I wouldn't like to get rid of him as a Doctor Who writer, but I'd like to see another show runner.

Oh yes, I think I have some vague memory of that... I'll have to go back and look for it because I seriously can't remember and it's bothering me! Thank you.

I love Dr who. Why should I not comment? Oh yes, because apparently this forum is only for the Moff-hats who adore him. Well sorry, this is a public forum, and the thing is, I have only commented on a few posts, mostly, my own. If you are not mature enough to deal with people who are biased against Moff writing, then you need to grow up. Check out the rest of the review forums? Most people found it average, at best. It was regeneration story, for Pete's sake! It should have been the most memorable episode of tv, all year, but guess what, it was instantly forgettable.

yup and that, too, was a terrible story. The End of Time was nearly ruined by so many goodbyes....only being saved by Tennants last lines for me.


Don't agree with that - Blink was very clever, simple to follow and featured realistic new characters in a single episode. But here is my issue... This first introduction to the weeping angels took place mainly in a derelict mansion with a few angels who's only power was to send people back in time by touching them. The next time we saw the angels they had new ridiculous powers such as talking through the dead (they now randomly broke people's necks) and could climb into your brain through your eye, and the episode featured a whole cave full of them.

New information is tacked on everytime we see the doctor now - you never know where you are with anything because it has to have a new power or function (which apparently was there the whole time) the next time you see it. E.g. the cracks; the dalek humans who can now choose to be good; Clara casually following every doctor around but we never saw her until Smith; John Hurt.

Moffs fans think it was the second coming, or going, I guess, if you disliked it, they will tell you not to comment on here. Well, it's still a free country,sorta, so sod them.

I don't want to go, still brings a tear to this old cynics eye.

It's completely open to interpretation, man. Relax. Thats MY interpretation. And I like it.

Agree totally!

Definitely. Also the bit in the chamber when he's saying he could do SO MUCH MORE!

I agree with you I thought it was crap. IT answered questions sure but with very little information such as the tardis blowing up. How did they do it? And for matt a wacky doctor for him to grow old just didn't seem right. And it didn't answer the question on regeneration's, Jenna spoke to a crack who heard it and passed on a regeneration. A crack that couldn't put a proper message through in the first place

You don't like Moffat. WE GET IT. But guess what? People didn't like RTD either, and people won't like whichever poor sod is picked as Showrunner next. You don't have to reply to every comment that expresses a like to it with bile and hatred. State your opinion in your own comment, or reply where you feel you have a point, but only where you have a point. Doctor Who is always about change, and so there will always be people who are unhappy. But it's people like you who have to try their best to rip everything apart for the sake of it that make being a Doctor Who fan far more trying than farting aliens, underutilised characters and all of the deus ex machina we get from EVERY head writer.

Believe me, I had many issues with RTD era, yet I was still hooked to tune in and watch the following week, under Moff, I couldn't care if I missed it or not. Not even the season finales. The greatest show in history as devolved into just another, miss-able tv show. It was like Heroes, the first season was great, it built up into something, then the preceding seasons completely fell flat. RTD Who was the equivalent of Heroes S1, Moff Era is the equivalent of Season 2-4. Or better, RTD was like season 1 and 2 of Lost, Moff is season 3-5. The same thing as happened with Sons of Anarchy and Walking dead. First two series were great, then after the writers strike, they all went rapidly downhill.

Unwatchable nonsense. Can kids actually watch this stuff?

No one has a problem with you commenting to express your opinions, but the way you dismiss the show and make it seem as if every single person who enjoyed it is stupid is what's getting people's backs up.

I didn't say you can't comment and don't make this an argument about being allowed to give your opinion.Of course you're allowed to do that, and you did. There's nothing wrong with giving an opinion but you're pipping in on every conservation, talking about some Moffat conspiracy where there isn't one. You've made your point, you don't like Moffat, or the episode. Absolutely fine. Now you're turning in to a troll.

Yet this thread is littered with posts from you repeating yourself over and over and over. Are you in the mindset that your option is so important it needs to be repeated as many times as possible?

I guess though if it still counted as a regeneration, and the doctor knew he had used all his up, he could have assumed the timelords simply knew every incarnation was represented? Lord knows!! It's getting complicated now.

As an aside though: Why did he even need to get the different faces to come back? he could have just gone multiple times with the same face! it doesn't have to have anything to do with his regenerations if you think about it!

Moffet at least mixes things up, RTD had a tried and tested formula for his episodes and seasons, and while it was a good formula, and it worked,by the end of the Tennent era, it was getting very obvious he was running out of ideas, the endings for far too many of the episodes were pulled out of the Doctor's backside with no real set up (after he'd said 'what' and 'that's impossible' the required number of times), and frankly I was getting very bored of it.Had his last year been a normal series, instead of the (generally excellent) specials, I think Moffet's job would have been all the harder to pull off.

On Moffet's era, whilst it hasn't all been perfect (no one's has) I'm still excited for each new episode, and his stuff has always felt a lot more a part of the classic run, where RTDs (as good as they were) always felt apart from them, more reboot, less continuation.

It was a very very good episode. I watched it a second time playing closer attention to the dialogue and the storyline and Moffat crafted a wonderfully intricate and a very intelligent tale. It does demand the viewer's attention and it is worth multiple viewings. Matt Smith was outstanding and deserves all the accolades. He really is the finest actor to play the Doctor. And Jenna was beautiful and smart. It is quite sad to see their all too brief partnership end. And Amy's farewell was touching and appropriate. Vale 11.

He will knock four times, chilling when it turned out to be Wilf.

I like it. The Peter Jackson analogy is quite apt. We KNOW Moff can deliver the goods when required. Night of the Doctor was sublime and even outshone a lot of the actual 50th ep but being the overall showrunner, and inventor of RIver and the, now very tired, Weeping Angels, has dulled his creativity seemingly. A wing man - Paul Cornell, Neil Gaiman, Gatiss would be a great idea.

Well, I for one would join in the chorus that you'd have to be a dimwit to enjoy it. Does anybody have any standards anymore? Doesn't a show have to make sense in order for you to suspend your disbelief?

Sorry Lex I'll take Matt Smith era over the RTD run any day - too twee, too rushed, too silly, too sentimental. In fact this episode reminded me EXACTLY of an average RTD type episode. All bombast, no coherency, and frankly silly. I agree Moffats run has not lived up to expectations but the look and Matt Smith have been absolutley the very best.

People like me? Who exactly do you think I am? I am a fan of the show. I am pointing out the flaws in it as I see them. It is no different from how Moffat fanbois praise everything he does. Even when those things completely ruin what was good about the show, for eg, River Song.

Moffat may not even be the one writing it. The BBC may, in fact, be farming out the writing job to actual eight-year-olds. And not very bright ones at that.

To you it has, to millions (now globally as the show is more popular globally today than it has ever been) it hasn't. Series 2 of DW was terrible. Both the Doctor and Rose were completely unlikable with Rose losing all motivation as a character and just became an annoyance with so much smugness I stopped watching the series. See when something becomes so unlikable I stop watching it. I don't feel the need to post online again and again and again, replying to every thread possible that I do like something. It makes me look like an attention grabbing troll

I could argue the same about much of RTD's era being dumb, soapy drama with nothing but ridiculous plots and all those liking it would be better served by Eastenders. But I don't, because I respect that other people have different opinions and something I hate will be amazing to somebody else.

Please point out an example where I have repeated myself?

I like the fact Smith's Doctor has been allowed to actually use the extended life span Timelords have. It's always bugged me that Hartnel's Doctor was something like 750 years old, then the first few Doctors only appeared to live for between 3 and 7 years (and at most, 150 years, if the Doctor is to be believed), then, (again if the Doctor is to be believed), his last few (classic) regenerations barely managed to muster up 50 years between them, despite the fact that McCoy's clearly hung around long enough to reach old age.

Moffet has managed (not for the first time) to answer a long running problem by clearly showing both that we don't see everything the Doctor does, so there's time for him to age, and that the Doctor's full of lies, so don't worry about it, and just get on with enjoying the show.

I think, unfortunately, it's perfect for kids. Lots of monsters for no real reason and some explosions. It's us adults who are less than impressed with the actual storytelling.

Isn't that what the "reply" button is for?

I actually got the sense this episode was infected by the dreadful influence of suits at BBC "we need to see christmas, daleks, cybermen, slients, - JUST CRAM EVERYTHING IN SO IT ALL BECOMES MEANINGLESS"

I would say RTD's era was dumb, soapy drama, etc, just as you say. Well put. I happen to draw the line at respecting opinions that sort of imagine the show to be good for sentimental reasons, maybe longing for the show of the past. The show just isn't good entertainment by and large. I wish it were.

May account for a lot of it. Most of the NuWho episodes unfold thus: THIS happens, then THIS happens, then THIS happens ...

So has there ever been a time you like Doctor Who?

I've heard this before, but I think it's less for kids than for corporate suits' perception of what kids are. Kids can be far smarter than for what this show allows.

Notice how most people here post their opinion and then leave. You post and post and post and reply to threads that agree with your opinion and post on threads that don't agree with your opinion. Over 50% of this thread is made up of you popping up in a thread to tell people what we all already know. You love RTD, you hate the Moff era and DW isn't good anymore. Do you really need to post multiple times to get that point across or are you so bad a writer that you need to post 20 odd times in a thread against multiple people? For someone who dislikes the Moffat fanboys you do an incredible job of painting yourself as an RTD fanboy so why is it ok for you to be an RTD fanboy but not ok for others to be Moffat fanboys.

I just forgot the part where Tom Baker was elderly and didn't regenerate into Peter Davison.

Sure. Much of the old run. Does that mean I'm lost in nostalgia? A get-off-my-lawn crank? I'd rather think that I don't lower my standards to whatever's on the telly. As I said: I'd love if the show were actual entertainment, for adults and kids alike.

I agree with all that except the episode and the dialogue (mostly). It TOLD us stuff where it should have SHOWN us with a little more coherency and a steadier pace, maybe a longer running time or 2 parter... All the elements were insubstantial and brushed off in a few lines of dialogue. It was a horrible script.

Oh definitely. Kids can be far more sophisticated but I dont buy the suits angle. It's Moffat solely in charge and no doubts about it. That's part of the problem.

They do say 'love is blind'.

Dude, if I reply to your comment, I will be accused of being a repetitive anti Moff troll :)

You are quite right, however. Not much of this episode made any type of logical sense. I get that it's Sci-fantasy, but even still, there as to be a grounding of internal logic that works within the boundaries of the show. It feels like Who, is now Lost, where they just throw everything at a wall, see what sticks, then fit in one line back stories, the next season. It's a spaghetti junction of tangled nonsense, that not even the most discerning viewer, can piece together. And if an educated, older person can't work out what is going on, then there is no hope for the children who have very much shorter attention spans. Also, it would help if it was fun to watch. RTD gets a lot of stick for the farting aliens, but guess what? They were fun to watch. The humour worked on a level that kids and adults, could quite easily grasp. Most of Moff's humour revolves around sexually hyped word play between the Dr, and yet another, highly sexed female who was a clone of River Song. In last night's offering. We get this every episode, after the first three times, it grows stale. I understand that Moff is trying to be clever and stick a load of sexual innuendos in a show aimed at children, that goes over their heads but their parents can have a cheeky nod at the Carry On shenanigans. That would be fine, but does it need to be every episode?

Not at all, I happen to love the old run and think that much of it is better that a decent percentage of the new series. But it had flaws and low standards at times itself. My problem wasn't with you, it was with Lotharr. Though I will say you could have some respect for the people who do enjoy it. Just because you consider it to be rubbish doesn't mean everyone who enjoys it has low standards - just that they turn to the show for different things.

All the doctors forgot meeting their future selves, stands to reason that the 11th (that's what I'm still calling him) would forget to?

As opposed to lesbian lizard tonguey flickey jokes and constant sexual predatory Dr hitting on everything with a pulse? And I thought Captain Jack was bad. He ain't got nothing on River Song.

Ha. Well, you shouldn't construe this as a personal attack -- because I don't know you and am only writing to an avatar. But saying that people watch it for different things to me sounds like someone who, forced to eat trash, says, well, yes, but trash has some unique features!...old crust has an interesting texture, and mold has an interesting feel on the tongue -- and curdled milk can be quite invigorating with some getting-used-to!...

The standards of all aspects of life in the UK have fallen drastically, this includes Dr Who.

Love and Monsters IS misunderstood, mainly because of the last 5-10 minutes, wich were really bad. Fear Her was the worst actually.

Oh yes, Colin Baker was the last great Dr.

You can count the US in that, too.

Yes, in fact, we imported it from there :)

The first rule of Camera, show, don't tell.

I don't at all take it as a personal attack, and like I said you are at least not going through the entire comment thread and shouting down everyone who enjoyed it like Lotharr. You make good points, and you're far more pleasant to debate with than many - even if we seem to disagree on many points. So I'll depart with this: One man's trash is another man's treasure: and vice versa :)

I don't think kids care much, either way. It is just something the parents stick on in the background to keep the kiddies amused with the rubber suited monsters. This is most apparent on Christmas episodes, as opposed to standard one's, due to viewer increases.

Exactly, it is the PC si-fi show.

true but add in the time he would spend promoting it and writing it. . im just concerned thats all am saying.

I can't be bothered to back through your history on this site and look at all your comments, but from this thread alone, which has over 30 posts (and counting) from you, you have complained about

Moffat fan boys on more than one occasion (while painting yourself as an RTD fan boy in the process)

New Who storylines

Moffats writing to many times to count

Moffats storytelling to many times to count

Gushed over RTD era eps like Love and Monsters on more than one occasion.

Thats just this thread. I've seen you in other threads just repeat the same things over and over again. I can only summarise you have an incredibly fragile ego and feel the need that you must repeat yourself over and over again in order to satisfy it.

The "grave" in Name of the Doctor could still exist on Trenzalore if a bit of clever writing explained it as something that formed when the Doctor was given a new cycle of regenerations. We did only see the first 12 from Clara's point of view anyway, no Capaldi and no other future Doctors (obviously). So rather than a grave it could be a sort of footprint of the last regeneration cycle.
It wouldn't explain the huge TARDIS or the fact that there was no "grave" when the Master was given a new cycle, but hey - it's a start!

I suppose the ADHD generation just likes to stare a glowing screen. Still, for those few who actually want to be entertained, it must be like watching a nightmare.

Not sure where you found me mentioning sexual politics Old Bean, none of that bothers me in the slightest.

As someone who is so well versed in writing, I look forward to seeing your new show which will of course be expertly written and showered with awards :)

I don't write for glitz, glam, or fame, nor fortune.

thanks for the crack.

It is.

This seems to simply be a conflict between those who want to come here and commune in their enjoyment over the latest episode, whatever that may be, and those who 'spoil' their enjoyment by calling it all rubbish, etc. You have no real position other than that you don't like him doing that -- which I can understand. But it's not a position, and it's not worth creating a comment about.

As most writers usually start out, they do it because they love it. Then they're so talented and write something so well that it will get picked up and turned into a show, which leads to more jobs and because of their talent, they will be able to create new shows and characters. I guess you don't write for that either, you just like to tell people how they should write. Probably explains why you're flooding this thread with posts while other writers are busy working on scripts and stories.

It is corrupting to young minds, it as no place in Dr Who. Not in it's current context.

Most other writers are probably still sleeping off the festive spirits.

OMG you're so right! Hating on the gays is a time honoured tradition that we definitely shouldn't end !!11!1!!

I'd have to say I find that incorrect. I made my position clear in an earlier post. I believe that it was a good episode- far from perfect but I like Matt Smith and I have, in general, enjoyed Moffat's era. In my opinion it is much better than the RTD (baring the first series, which I also enjoyed).

I do not feel the need to pop in on every other comment to express that opinion, whether they were talking about it or not.

As for your own position- here we should at least have a uniting thread of enjoying Dr Who. I'm not going to comment on a forum on a show I don't watch and call it crap so I assume all of those who hated this episode still in general enjoy Doctor who. So if you have something to say that's negative, perhaps we should talk about ways to improve it. JP made an excellent point about reigning Moff in- good stuff.

To come on here and blast dr who on every thread, then use it as an excuse to bemoan the loss of society in general is not constructive.

Or working hard, not following "rules" voiced by people on the internet who seem to think they know more than people who make money from their profession and who started out doing it because they loved it and managed to turn it into their job. LIke I said earlier, there is a reason RTD despises people who post online, as he said in his book;

That bastard internet voice gets into writers’ heads and destabilises them massively. I read that stuff and it doesn’t stop me, not ever. I’ve got quite high-flown and fancy beliefs about art that maybe put it all into perspective. Principally: it is not a democracy. Creating something is not a democracy. The people have no say. The artist does. It doesn’t matter what the people witter on about, I
think it’s right that they are excluded. It can mess writers up when they read that endlessly critical voice. It’s completely, completely destructive. I cannot see one iota of it that’s helpful.”

I understand most writers feel the same about online critics and I say respect to them for that.

What happened to all the moral conundrums the Dr used to solve? Instead of saving the innocent monsters from humanity (I always felt humans were the true villains of the piece), the Dr now spends most of his time hitting on women, and behaving in a very decadent manner. The Dr used to teach kids to stand up for the oppressed, question their masters, defend the weak, now he teaches kids to hate anyone the media tarnishes, conform to the expected norm, and never go against the establishment. The Dr used to inspire children to do better, become more, help others, now all he inspires them to do is follow authority, never think for themselves, and make sexual innuendos at every step of the way.

Regarding the apparent Great Trenzalore Retcon, that seems to have been a running theme of the Matt Smith era - set up a great, historical moment and then change it with a wave of a sonic screwdriver into a massive illusion or misunderstanding that never happened. River's great crime, the genocide of the Time Lords and now the Battle of Trenzalore have all been shown to never have happened as history evidently records. In my opinion, it's a kind of cowardice on the part of the writers that they ultimately shy away from the dark implications of some of their ideas but instead feel impelled to find a way to make them go away, often in ridiculous ways.

Whilst 'Day of the Doctor' was ultimately unsatisfying for that very reason, 'Time of the Doctor' was far, far worse. It struck me as a rushed and basically incoherent story that never seemed to make sense and continually raised expectations that were never addressed properly or even mentioned again. Overall, I think the team were trying to write an epic valedictory episode for Matt Smith and, fundamentally, instead produced a confusing and disappointing kludge of a show.

My rating: 3/10 - Probably the worst Doctor Who cop-out episode since 'Bad Wolf'/'The Parting of the Ways'.

That's not what I meant. I meant shoving sexuality and sex lifestyles down the throats of minors, like they don't get enough of that stuff in their lies.

I think the writers are constantly trying to be really clever, but ultimately failing to deliver these sweeping, multi-series storylines. I don't want DW to be dumbed down to having zero continuity across a series, and I am in favour of there being one or more narratives per season, but for Moff to expect us to accept that 'there was a grand plan,' right from the start of Smith's tenure is, frankly, bollox. I wonder if he really thinks he isn't dealing with a fan base who will examine everything in minute detail, referencing events right back through the show's history? He must know that he won't get away with some casual reference to a bygone event, and not expect fans to pick it apart! The problem, I think, the writers have is the expectations of viewers, hardened fans or casual alike, is that the writers are trying to reconcile a whole mess of 'time lines,' and history. Stories that we all know were initially meant to be one-off, stand alone pieces of entertainment, are having to be shoe horned into the show's continuity. The viewing public can, rightly, demand a more intelligent show, with more thought put into the future consequences of each episode, but Moff & Co have now made this show so complicated, convoluted and, frankly, difficult to enjoy without a decent knowledge of it's back story that it is in danger of losing the support of those casual viewers, who might have become ardent fans.

Ha. But I'm not convinced comment threads are supposed to be 'constructive'. Or for that matter, that anyone here has any power to 'improve' a television show. But there again: for some people the nuWho is inexplicable (I count myself in this category) other than save for the fact perhaps that kids today are dosed up on psychoactive drugs, and that the species is entering into a manic stage right before its extinction. --But again, I get where you're coming from!

I think that you're seriously underestimating the ability of your average eight-year-old to write a coherent story.

I agree, which is why there is no excuse for Moffat, a full grown, well established, well paid writer, to churn out the nonsense he does. The Sarah Jane adventures deals with ethics and morality better than Moff does, and that's on CBBC.

Oddly enough, I feel that the attempt to close off every still-open plot line is one of the weakest parts of 'Time of the Doctor'. It gave me the feeling that they want to start Peter Cipaldi off with a completely blank sheet. However, that just meant that the fans are left with a long list of unfulfilled expectations.

Um, no. I think people have good reason to moan actually.

More like you found a cheap cop out in answer to my request, no wonder you like Moff :)

Well said, amigo.

I'd take Amy's crack--bald or otherwise.

I'd say there's a difference between showing a tolerant future (or universe at large) on the one hand, and sort of shamelessly propagandizing youth on the other. The constant injection of sex in general into the show bothers me more than, say, male on male kissing or lesbian reptilians.

I'm just following up on my comments, it's a discussion thread, what good is a discussion if you just leave one comment, then leave?

Spot on imo

Well that was a cheap cop out of an answer to the evidence provided, ignoring every single thing you've said before just to make your current comment work. You have more in common with your criticisms of Moff than you might thing!

Yes, that is exactly what it is, propaganda aimed at children to desensitise them. The old Who was a bastion against that type of thing. When MTV, sexy pop songs, etc, were all doing the rounds, influencing youngsters into having relationships from early ages, the Dr was the one thing you could count on to educate children against the perils of this type of thing. Now the Dr as become the thing he hated most. Brainwashing liberal propaganda.

I rather suspect Moffat will be bowing out soon. In classic television industry fashion, he's taken on a bold new choice for Doctor (Capaldi, whom I'm inclined to like), and then he'll cut and run so that any subsequent catastrophe will be blamed on his successor. I, too, think that if Capaldi doesn't seem already tired exactly, he won't be a hit with the kids. The rather dry Scot doesn't emote constantly like a spastic or, say, the last two Doctors. If he tries to do so, he'll fail. If he doesn't, the kids will become bored as they're trained now to watch their Doctors as if they should be manic monkeys.

How do you know I'm not him?

I have to agree.... It was good but there was no real umph to it... It just sort of tottered along and then ended. He comes to a planet, stays on the planet then regenerates thats basically all that happened. The acting was good and the overall look of the episode was good but the actual plot and excitement of Doctor Who was lost... Matt just grew old and fizzled out in comparison to Tennant absorbing poisonous radiation to save Wilf and Eccleston absorbing the time vortex...

That and Matts final speach really irritated me. It just sounded like Moffat shouting at the fandom 'Yes Matts leaving, get over it'. Don't get me wrong like when he took off the bow tie and with Amy I did cry and Matt delivered it perfectly but the words themselves sounded a tad hollow....

I really enjoyed it but not one of my favorites at all....

I love a good redhead :)

The whole episode was narrated!! It nearly drove me insane!!!

If they aren't wibbling wobbling and eating fish custard, whilst handy waveying the sonic around, and spitting out sub par, hastily garbled dialogue at the speed of light, the kid's won't want to know. The moment they cast Capaldi, my hopes for the show were raised, once again. He is akin to the style of Dr I love most, older, snarly, regal, as presence. The moment I saw his eyes on the 50th episode, I instantly thought "Hartnell" For the first time in five years, I was excited to see Dr Who again. Sadly, as you say, Moff will write him as a disaster, then cut and run before the fallout strikes. And all the fanbois will lament at his passing, saying how he was the best thing ever to happen to Who, and that the new team as ruined it.

It seems to me that the difference between the NuWho and the old is that the concept of real heroism is lost. Proof of that is the extent to which the new Doctor goes out of his way to announce to the world what a hero he is. David's Tennant's megalomanical Doctor comes to mind. This Doctor spent most of his world making grandiose pronouncements about himself and his own power (used to be The Master would do that sort of thing). Then when it was time to regenerate, we got a truly pathetic 'I don't want to go!' speech, combined with overwrought sentimental extravaganza. I wouldn't call the nuWho Doctors decadent per se -- depraved might actually be nearer the mark. You could have a great Doctor who was a decadent dandy as long as the true hero in him came through. But today's Doctors are really just aging emo-meets-autistic spastics. As far as being heroes go, they're all bark and no bite. And as far as entertainment goes, none of the NuWho episodes will be looked back on years hence as classic television.

to be frank, the use of a narrator didn't really fit. It just didn't feel right, didn't add anything, and rather detracted from it.

It's not Moffat, it's the way RTD rebooted the show. Made it more fluff than substance. Moffat has continued on in that vein, some of it good, some of it way too much like something RTD would have done.

A fabulous fairy-tale story to say goodbye to an equally amazing Doctor. Tied up a few loose ends and answered the 'oldest question' in the most perfect way possible. The question was never about the Doctor's name. It was about who he is. And his stand on Trenzalore was the very definition of that.

Wonderfully written, incredibly acted by Smith and Coleman and beautifully shot. That'll do for me.

To be honest I think it's generally held up pretty well during the Moffatt era so far. I know this is heresy but I prefer it to the RTD stuff.

Dr Who isn't the programme I would like it to be but that's fair enough. Judged on its own terms it's still pretty good. yesterday's episode was a real let down though.

I much preferred it when TB, or PD, or SM, would drop in, do his thing, then depart without even waiting for a word of thanks. That is true heroism. TruWho was not all about the Dr. It was about whatever conflict or ethical dilemma the Dr happened to wander across, he would gauge both sides, then help them settle their differences, as amicably as possible, a true diplomat. NuWho, the Dr is the most important thing in the universe, and all the stories revolve around him. Every other sentence is the Dr or his companion banging on about how fantastic, how godly, he is. The show as become a self centred, self referential pile of dreck. As much as I liked DT, you are right, he was a spastic emo Dr with attention deficit disorder, "look at me, look how great I am". I miss the times when the Dr was just an average bloke, who stumbled onto a mess not of his doing, and tried his best to fix it, even though that was not always possible. He dealt with the scenario in the best way he could, sometimes making it worse. Then he dealt with the fallout. NuWho, there is no fallout, all conflicts are resolved with the Potter Wand and gibbly gobbly tellytubby dialogue. Can you imagine Matt taking on Davros in Genesis? LOL

Um, really? And?

Lots of us loved it.

RTD made it a huge success, though. No RTD, no nuwho. Plus RTD wrote it as if it was a human drama, Moff writes it as if it is a medley of star wars (new trilogy) Harry Potter, Twilight, and Batman( Nolan).

Agreed, though I would say that device was simply a part of many such 'glossings over' type problems with this. It needed meat on those bones, and it was just bare-bones.

I just liked how so much of the mythology was used: Even tho it wasn't said I think the Cybermen managed to infect The Forest of Souls from The Doctor, The Widow and The Wardrobe (the Cyberman in question just had that look), the cracks in time, Dalek Zombies and the (still!) mysterious Omega-symbol-sharing church. Another inspiration laced episode, The Doctor, The Widow and The Wardrobe - it's quite clear what's the inspiration there but The Doctor and Handles the Cyberman head...that's so Tom Hank's castaway and Wilson. Just two questions: Who is Tasha Lem? Is she a Time Lord? Related to them? It was said the Daleks had to kill her several times before making her a puppet. And why was Bowtie's regeneration so quick? Maybe that's something us fans just don't know! NEway bring on Autumn '14 and the first non-special episodic outing for the new First Doctor...tho I'd love an Easter special prehaps 'bout an hour long?

Yeah, but Press Gang and Coupling, come on, that was dark, edgey, and challenging telvision.

Moffat is a great writer. He has made Matt Smiths doctor so good. So what if it's dark, it's on of the best written seasons there have ever been, and the storyline is so much better than Eccleston and Tennants. There is so much drama and yes it gets confusing but................thats what Doctor Who is. I hate to say i have a favorite Doctor, but because for the story line of Matt's Doctor (thanks Moffat) he IS my favorite doctor, and Moffat involes the doctors companions so much more, Amy the first fact 11 saw, and Clara the impossible girl that saves the doctors. i mean come on how can you not think that that is amazing???
So yes it is dark but if that's where Moffat gets these fantastic idea's, he sure can go on

I'm wasn't finished! Clara read The Doctor's name in a book recently, I thort she mite remember it somehow and say it - U know no one (enemies F.I) would be expecting that! In conclusion my inner fan boy really wants to see that Tardis explosion (the one that created the cracks) on screen, why haven't we seen that yet! Brilltastic episode all the same.

You could argue that today's self-centered Doctor is just a stand-in for self-centered kids today who are taught from Day One that they are absolutely precious, fragile, and indispensable creatures whose slightest feeling of hurt is cause for the family to rend their clothes, to break into spasms of grief, etc. But that point aside: they could do a wild thing with Doctor Who now, if they wanted to (they surely don't): Capaldi is a capable actor -- capable of being very forbidding. If they wanted to, they could go back to the old formula where the Doctor was mysterious, even slightly dangerous. The main character would be the *companion* (or companions) and the show could take on that quality that the original Grimm's fairy tales had of letting kids experience real fear in a fantasy context so as to work through it better in real life. I don't think there's any authentic fear generated by NuWho, and that tired old 'behind the sofa' trope used to describe it makes me want to reach for my gun. There are absolutely zero dramatic stakes in NuWho, not a single dramatic situation that isn't self-consciously undermined by glib, out of place dialogue designed to *prevent* kids from experiencing any real emotion associated with the characters, their situations, etc. If they wanted to, they could do something daring and re-apply the old formula. But the new formula is too much a success, and too many people are content to slop it up.

Oh the salt...

Love and Monsters, with Peter Kay in a nappy and implied paving stone sex better than Blink!!!!!!! Surely sir, you jest?

Pretty much, my sentiments, echoed. If they wanted to shake things up, to get away from the spoilt, self important, mememe Dr for the mememe generation of kids, they have a pro actor who can run rings around the CBBC acting of Smith, to do so. Ecclestone played the darker, emotionally guarded Dr, to perfection. The moments of "madness" from him (Dalek) were chilling. You genuinely believed he could commit genocide if it served the needs of the many. I haven't seen a lot of Peter, but I have done my research on him, and that seems to be the logical direction he will be taken. But, again, this is Moffat we are talking about. So he may write Peter for the lowest common denominator, meaning he will probably turn him into a cavorting buffoon.

I just finished watching it. Dr Who has been going down hill for the past few years but I really liked this episode. It's not the best but it certainly tied everything up.

P.S. Christmas TV has been absolutely terrible overall.


My mum said the same, life in the UK seems absolutely terrible, these days, so I guess the tv execs want our programs to reflect this "great depression". Because god forbid, an episode of Dr Who should actually be fun.

Would you like some tea?

Wasn't the lead female character from Jekyll the template for Amy, River, Clara?

I just read this on another site, and it summed up my feelings perfectly.

"Finally, the twist of the knife, the excitement of the casting of Capaldi was replaced with what can only be described as an ‘oh crap, this show is doomed moment’ And this is from a guy who loves MS as the Dr, and thinks Moff was the best thing ever.....

Yeah, you have fun watching peter kay running about dressed as a regected telle-tubby

So the crack in the wall in Amy's bedroom was created by the Time Lords, even though the big eyeballs and prisoner 0 was on the other side. Though I would like to know what happened to all those who were drawn to the crack and vanished and were 'forgotten'. Are they on Gallifrey? plus the 'original universe' Rory? How about the countless Weeping Angels that were sucked into the crack, are they running around Gallifrey causing havoc?

I really liked the episode. I basically have no bones to pick with Moffat and no two cents to give, he can keep doing this until he burns out. Capaldi's introduction might have been underwhelming at first, but when I immediately went back and watched it again I found his nonsensical kidney colour griping a real delight. A darker Doctor? I think he's going to be loads and loads of fun.

I'm also so bloody glad people can shut up about the regeneration count now. I like to over-analyse as much as the next fan, but that became so tedious this year in every thread. Now we can go back to claiming every new female character is Susan or the Rani.

I didnt get a feeling of doom from Capaldis' entrance. I liked his 'dont like the colour' line although the kidneys was very reminiscent of Smith feeling his legs and Tennant with the teeth. Im really looking forward to his take on it.

Werent the cracks from the Tardis explosion? The timelords are trying to get through scars left behind after the Doctor healed the cracks...or some gibberish......


Clara is probably my favorite of all the companions I have watched so far.
This episode was great, I liked it. It was very touching watching the Doctor spend what could have been his last days on that planet, doing what he does best, saving people's lives.
The people I watched it with were much more jaded about it, one even said it was "dreary" and that the regeneration was too drawn out. Some of their criticisms weren't unfounded though, this episode moved at a breakneck pace in places, Tasha Lem just came out of nowhere, was very uncompromising, was packed with exposition, but tbh I liked that, because it answered a lot of questions. Definitely one of those "need to rewatch" ones. I can see why some people would struggle with it being so into it's mythos and not another jumping-on point for newcomers, but again I liked it.
The episode was fine, it just could have used a longer run time.
Ask yourselves, is this episode even supposed to be the best one? I think Matt Smith's time as the Doctor was more about the journey, for instance we'll always have his epic stonehenge speech, and how many other memories. After going through all that, is there really any perfect way to say goodbye? Guess not.

Question: Can anyone clear it up for me why the Doctor was actually aging while he was living on that planet?

lol. agreed about the regen limits. Like they were never going to come up with a convenient way to solve that problem.

You're not alone. I don't normally expect a lot from the Christmas episodes apart from an entertaining and well-written hour - I haven't felt the need to re-watch any of the last few - but this was something different to round out the celebratory year of fan service. I don't think they could get away with being this self-involved again.

because he was apparently there for hundreds of years. So he aged just like John Hurts' The War Doctor :)

I was as hyped as anyone for Capaldi, but his opening lines seemed rather forced. I sincerely hope this is not another buffoon clown Dr. Ecclestone captured the humour with perfect underplaying. DT was outrageous, but I still liked him, because he had some great, "don't fock with the Doc" moments. Matt couldn't pull those moments off, eg, his speech at Stonehenge, his speech at Demons Run. Yet he was great at overacting the comedy angle. But that is all he was. A parody. I don't want another Dr like DT or Smith. I want a sombre, serious Dr, who as the occasional moments of humour. As opposed to a clown who as rare moments of seriousness.

Wibbly wobbly...

I visit DoG a lot and have never commented before, and am worried my first ever comment will win me few friends, so first I'd like to point out - I love Doctor Who, I've seen all of the revived series and am a huge fan of the classic series too (though as it finished before I was born, there are huge swathes of it I've not seen). I know how good the show can be when it's at its best. Hence my disappointment with this special.

It doesn't help that I watch all the festive specials with my family, all of whom have no interest in the show and some of whom actively hate it, so the problematic elements of those episodes stick out for me all the more. The only xmas episodes that stand up as genuinely good episodes for me are The Christmas Invasion and, to a lesser extent, The Snowmen. But I tried to watch this again last night to see if I enjoyed it more on my own, and found myself equally infuriated by it.

None of my problems with it are fanboy gripes - I don't mind the way in which it resolved the cracks in time/Silence mysteries, I don't mind the way the Doctor regenerated, etc.But I'm frustrated with how badly it managed to tell a story, and how often it tripped over itself in trying to deliver a compelling drama. First there's the Christmas dinner scenario added as an afterthought so that the entire situation feels like an underwritten distraction from the story, with the opportunity to develop Clara in relation to other human characters squandered (that whole "the story about the pigeon" bit felt like writing-by-numbers to get us to care about this family we had no investment in). Then there's the unforgivable use of a narrator to move the story along - Doctor Who has told stories before that spanned centuries, and never resorted to such a cheap shorthand. It's a horrible way of advancing things that robs a situation of any emotional investment at all because suddenly we're watching a report of a situation rather than enjoying the situation itself. I just feel that Moffat should by now know how to make the best use of the time available in an episode and should be able to find better ways of fitting the story he's envisaged into that timeframe than having a character intone "then things continued in the same way for three hundred years."

The repeated abandonment of Clara also felt like the episode had run out of idea to reach its intended endpoint and therefore decided to just put the story's events into a repeating cycle in order to move things ahead and hope viewers wouldn't notice how formulaic the narrative had become (not to mention that the "Doctor on point of death abandons companion in order to save them" idea was done back in The Parting of the Ways). I was also infuriated by the relentless score, which I'm pretty certain didn't stop once - it felt like there was no faith in the acting or the dialogue itself to carry a scene, so everything was drowned in manipulative musical cues that just made everything numbing rather than resonant.

That final scene won things back for me a little bit, and I have high hopes for the new era on the horizon, but I just feel that the team behind this show are capable of so much more. So much of this episode felt clumsy and poorly thought-through not from a fan perspective but from a technical, narrative and storytelling perspective. Moffat is capable of much better than this, and it was really disheartening to see poor old Matt Smith sent off with such a clumsy episode.

Hope I'm not crucified too much for this and that hopefully I've justified my opinions enough to not make lots of enemies! Merry Christmas, all. x

Good for you mate. Im glad people enjoyed it, but those who didn't have their reasons, besides simply "looking for a moan"

Sorry for stealing your name by the way. Blame my parents.


Clara is probably my favorite of all the companions I have watched so far.
episode was great, I liked it. It was very touching watching the Doctor
spend what could have been his last days on that planet, doing what he
does best, saving people's lives.
The people I watched it with were
much more jaded about it, one even said it was "dreary" and that the
regeneration was too drawn out. Some of their criticisms weren't
unfounded though, this episode moved at a breakneck pace in places,
Tasha Lem just came out of nowhere, was very uncompromising, was packed
with exposition, but tbh I liked that, because it answered a lot of
questions. Definitely one of those "need to rewatch" ones. I can see why
some people would struggle with it being so into it's mythos and not
another jumping-on point for newcomers, but again I liked it.
The episode was fine, it just could have used a longer run time.
yourselves, is this episode even supposed to be the best one? I think
Matt Smith's time as the Doctor was more about the journey, for instance
we'll always have his epic stonehenge speech, and how many other
memories. After going through all that, is there really any perfect way
to say goodbye? Guess not.

Question: Can anyone clear it up for me why the Doctor was actually aging while he was living on that planet?

Yeah, much as I've personally enjoyed most of Smiths' take, Im over the clowning and yearn for a darker Doctor. Like Hinchcliffes Tom Baker years or McCoys last 2 seasons, once the Cartmel masterplan was working away or indeed, Ecclebumps scarred portrayal :)

Lol indeed or as someone else said, bollocky wollocky. Oh for some simple adventures in time and space.

I think the BBC are tip toeing around real storytelling for fear of offending people, or upsetting, the heretofore successful apple cart. Also Moffat is trying to hard to be clever, and amaze himself with how brilliant he is, instead of concentrating on developing a story with depth, and feeling. A lot of people say, he only has 45 minutes to an hour, so cut him some slack, but the thing is, Batman the animated series, Batman Beyond, Superman TAS, and many others only have 20 minute running times yet are crammed with an invested, and well written story. They are cartoons for kids, but employ some genuinely good story writing. Moff can not be excused for his lack of creativity.

I thought you were fans of "Friends".

The Rossatron and Spudnik.

Indeed. I watched some old episodes of Batman TAS to rid myself of the bad taste left by this episode of Who. It's not timey wimey but it sure is good storytelling.

Poor Chris, now universally hated by the Whoniverse because he did the right thing for his career. I just wish Moff would follow his lead.

I don't think I've ever found an episode where most people enjoy it. At least Moff is entertaining us real fans, the rest of you don't seem to like dr. who so maybe stop watching it if you find it so boring? (not talking to those who like most episodes but not this one however) I think they summed up Smith's tenure as the doctor really well with so many resolutions I'm just happy with that.

I love Dr Who, but this, as a standalone episode was wontedly incomprehensible.

As a changeover episode - absolutely disappointing.

If I was watching for the first time, after this I'd never watch again.

Less is so much more !!!!! Bring back RTD ASAP. J

Moff is hated by the true real fans, because he as turned their show into Twilight fodder to appease teenvamp goth fan girls who occasionally like a look at Daniel Radcliffe.

yeah, I read your post further up (or down) about the writing in the likes of Batman or perhaps good anime. How very true. And then you only need to look at Star Trek TNG or Battlestar Galactica or even Farscape for some smart inventive sci fi writing in the 45 min category.

Don't discount "Misfits on channel 4. Same category, same amount of time, but had real character development, and reasonable story aesthetics. The episode where the time travelling guy goes back in time to save his ex from prison is a good look at how Dr Who should be written. It shows how all the parallels play out, and then how it affects the future, for the whole crowd, not just him. All done, tied up, and thought provoking within the 45 minute slot. And not a wibbly wobbly in sight. Just good, impacting human drama laid over a sci-fi-esque backdrop.

No its really not misunderstood. It was an Eastenders episode, much like every other RTD script

I think this episode was a victim of Moffat wanting to give Capaldi a fairly clean slate. This meant that all of the dangling questions needed to be resolved, and they needed to do a regeneration story AND it had to feel like a Christmas special. Unfortunately, it didn't manage to be completely successful at any of those things.

It was, however, a good episode. Great Matt Smith performance, all of the regeneration stuff was great (Karen cameo!) and it was good to see the Silence and Weeping Angels again (the latter were rightly used sparingly).

But it was all in too much of a hurry to work properly.

matt smith was excellent, i quite liked the papal mainframe, and it was nice to see Amy back (even as a hallucination), i also quite liked Claras Gran, definate back story there. The problems- trying to tie everything up too quickly- its as if they went down a big list of fanboy complaints going tick done that, tick done that- and the plot (what little there was) suffered as a result. Messy. I hate to say it but I hated every second Capaldi was on the screen looking like a rabid ferrett, I hope he proves me wrong!

And y'know, Moffatt CAN do it! He can do it in 7 minutes. Night of the Doctor was perfect..

Great points. Excellently summed up. No crucifixion required lol

Yes, he even got a reference to Karn in there.

No, that comes at easter :)

No kidding, I misunderstand the hell out of it!!! The absolute nadir of Who in my opinion. Id rather watch The Gunfighters and The Krotons any day!

Lol. More than a reference! It's set on Karn dude! ;)

yeah but no Who til Autumn :(((((

Kind of liked it, but it has bugged me more than almost any episode of the show since the relaunch. So much so that even little thins like Christmas being a farming community on a planet that only has a few minutes light a day, and trying to work out who the Hell the third person at the Christmas dinner was in relation to Clara have been annoying me, and I found myself wondering why there weren't 26 Doctors at the end of the special, being that a new regeneration cycle was gifted.

I usually am far from a pedant. I loved a lot of the acting, I liked what it was trying to do and I thought the regeneration was pretty well done, I personally didn't find it a damp squib like many seem to have.

But Jesus, the story was far too disjointed and messy to really work for me personally. I also think that maybe sometimes there are so many potentially more interesting red herrings peppered through the series that the solution is often less interesting for me than I would like (I genuinely thought the Doctors ganger was going to come into play at some point re the new regeneration cycle)

However, sad to see Matt Smith go, he has been a joy to watch

It was reffered as a minor skirmish by the GI so your argument falls down pal

Yes, in my eyes, that is the beeb committing suicide. The people their show is aimed at (youngsters) will have lost all interest in the new Dr by that time. I guarantee, by the time he has his first full outing, most of the youngsters will chirp "He's not Matt Smith, wibbly, I hate this new Dr Who, wobbly"

Fan service. Even though most fans of the show now don't have any idea who Morbius is, let alone about the planet Karn.

Whatever, it still looked cheap. The Eastenders Christmas episode had better production values than our "flagship" show. Which is bad.

That's all very true. While I don't share your Moffat hate -- I rank RTD and Moffat equally as corporate shepherds, er, I mean 'showrunners' of the Doctor Who 'franchise' -- it does seem true that having written a couple of clever episodes, he found somehow along the way that he could write nonsensical ones that *appeared* to be clever and no one would really notice. That is, the ratings wouldn't suffer all that badly, so who cares? It's funny: there's really such neurosis bound up with Doctor Who, it's as if it's impossible to criticize it (for some people). The classic Doctor Who had many faults, but those faults (the campiness, plots that didn't always work, etc.) were unintentional failings. The NuWho is created as if by someone saying that classic Who's failings were all that show ever was, so let's do the worst of it shamefacedly! Anyway, I fully agree: there are 'kids' shows out there totally under the radar that aspire to much because they have little to work with. They tell a good story. NuWho has all the advantages these shows don't have, and yet is scared to death to actually tell a story, to be one thing that isn't just a big mess, a manic farce full of schmaltz and sentimentality.

It wasn't incomprehensible, I wonder if people actually pay attention when they're watching it.

I thought the episode was good, not the best granted but with wonderful flourishes and anchored by an incredible lead performance. As gifted an actor Peter Capaldi is, he has big shoes to fill.

I've noticed something about the regenerations we've seen in the modern era: they are getting simpler. CE into DT was a full on face morph, the next was seemingly just a simple transition, and this recent one was done in a flash.
I wonder if the next one will done in a frame.

If it was done properly, it could have a core adult audience who dont need pandering to and the kids would still love it for the monsters. I suppose its the female side of the audience (well the ones who fancied DT or MS) who could, potentially, go cold on an older Doctor, however, if he's written properly that shouldnt be an issue and it could be the best series ever.

I would suggest that this is a nonsense - being a 46 year old bloke that has been watching the show since 1970 and who is in complete control of all my critical faculties and who has somehow managed, as a true fan with an understanding that each era of Who has a distinctive style and tone, to find quite a lot to love about Moffat's tenure. And to be honest, delineating between true real fans and people who have a different opinion to you is quite a teenvamp goth fan girl attitude to exhibit.

You speak much sense. A lot of the NuWho fans think you have to be a script writer for TV in order to criticise a show written by somebody else. As you say, for all it's faults, old Who was a victim of it's budget constraints, but terrible fx or not, that didn't stop the writers, or the actors, from taking it seriously and delivering a good show. The NuWho seems a parody of itself. It has better production values, more people like it, and it has none of the trappings of old Who (technology is far better now) yet fails to deliver an engaging story, 9 times out of 10. It is as if writing, and actor conviction as been replaced with the comedy quote of the week, and general larking about, on set. As long as it looks flashy, most people don't notice. The general defence for shoddy script work, and pc pandering seems to be "It's a kids show, don't watch it expecting a serious synopsis, watch it for the fun" which would be fine, if it wasn't so boring to watch. I have also noticed there is a lot of government rhetoric put into it now. Perhaps Moffs superiors want the ruling party's agendas ingrained into the youngsters at an early age, and what better way to do that than by propagandising their fave TV show.

The BBC are trying to appease all people, at once. That never works.

In the immortal words of my goth teenvamp daughter, whatever. PS, I bet you only watch it for the short skirted companion, and liberal sex jokes.

I do like a spirited defence

You would have got that yesterday, I'm sober today-ish.

I enjoyed it to Richie but it was one of the weakest passing of the baton Doctor Who regen's I can remember.I kinda wished it had more bang for the departing Matt Smith,who certainly deserved alot more love than I think was offered by the writers.Bittersweet,but welcome aboard Mr Capaldi,just make sure you hit the floor running...
Oh, and Happy New Year to all and sundry.

What about the laser beams coming out of the Dr's hands, which he used to blow up a dalek mothership? At that point, I felt I was watching the "brokeneck Zod scene" from Man Of Steel.

I agree, there is only so much RTD Deus Ex Machina that I could really deal with. It was just getting frustrating. Saying that, I'm interested to see what's happening with Moffat. No-one can deny that he's produced some utterly amazing episodes - Yes, I'm going to point at Blink and that Fireplace ep, but he does seem a tad inconsistent. He can do it, but I think he's tried upping the scale too much. Dr. Who can be hard to follow sometimes for non-scifi fans/geeks (I am one before people complain), pushing a season long arc time after time was being hard - this wrapped up an arc from 3 seasons ago.
I think we need to return to smaller arcs - 2/3 episodes, or maybe a few strong standalones like Blink.

I have to agree. And I should say that I still enjoyed it, but not as much as the most recent brilliant efforts. It felt a little like a step back into recent series where it was fine but inconsistent or convoluted sometimes. Which is a real shame considering it was Matt Smith's swansong. I think it would be difficult for any show to pull off the passage of a lot of time in just an hour, and do it convincingly. I'm still 'back in love' with the show though, I just hope I've not been spoiled by 'event' episodes (and minisodes) of such top notch quality.
But back to the original point - quite right, it's not moaning for the sake of it. This is something I see levelled at critics quite a lot on DoG, that negativity must just be the sake of it, and I just don't think it's true for the vast, vast majority.

Guess this one was a bit divisive then…

I think part of the problem is that regeneration stories just have far too high expectations set for them (sometimes by the writers themselves, of course). They have to give a fine and worthy send-off for the incumbent Doctor while telling a compelling story in their own right that creates a credible reason for the Doctor to change at the same time as dealing with the fact that pretty much everyone knows how this particular story will end. So it’s no wonder writers struggle with them.

For me, “The Time of the Doctor” struggled because the run-time was just too short. It should have been at least atwo-part story; there was enough story in there to actually fill a season. As it was, we had an hour to go from light-hearted nudey Christmas banter through to the death of an old man while fitting in a quasi-Armageddon for the planet Trenzalore. It was no wonder the pace seemed all over the place, and some of the parts of the story (such as the Dalek attack on the Papal Mainframe/Church of the Silence) felt just flat add-ons with little value. And while I am prepared to kind to Moffat and believe him when he implies that he always knew
what was the explanation to the exploding TARDIS back in Season Five, I struggle to extend the same level of generosity to him when said explanation comes as almost superfluous chat toward the end of the story. It is one thing for him to know the explanation of why that event happened, but it is another thing altogether to be able to show it effectively. And frankly he failed at that one – which is a bit of a flaw for a story-teller. If anything, the part of his writing ability that seems to have suffered recently is being able to pace the story he wants to tell.

Yet the whole thing managed – just – to work in the end for three reasons. Firstly, Matt Smith was just awesome. And this was certainly one of his finest moments as the Doctor. In every scene he was in – be it being the phoney boyfriend, the defender of Trenzalore, the old man emoting with a dead Cyber-head or the slightly sad, lost old-yet-young man who still hadn’t quite got over the first face his most recent face saw despite her choosing to be with her husband rather than him – he owned it. He was a successful Doctor because he had that magnetism that the best of them have, and that magnetism made this episode. He will be missed. Until the next multi-Doctor story, obviously. Secondly, I thought that the rising feeling of melancholia – befitting of the story of a man growing older – worked really well, and was a far better tone for the story than some of the forced hi-jinks of the early parts of the episode. Thirdly, while the experiment only worked in parts, it was a bold way of telling a regeneration story. In a way it was the story of (a substantial part of) this Doctor’s life rather than just the details of his death. Moffat does deserve some praise for trying something a bit new when it comes to such a defining an adventure as a regeneration story. So in a sense I would rather watch this one over and over again than the majority of the other regeneration stories, including “The End of Time.” That said, “The Caves of Androzani” is still far in the distance of the horizon marked “brilliance” when it does come to tales of the Doctor changing.

Overall, I think Moffat managed to pull off a set of sound adventures when it came to the four stories that covered the anniversary (yep, “Night of the Doctor” is definitely included). But each of them (barring “Night…”, which was over before it had really begun) had me at times sitting in my chair wondering, with a mounting sense of dread, as to whether Moffat was going to be able to pull off a decent story given all of the elements he was throwing into the mix. And each time he made it, but each time it felt a little bit more like he only made it by the skin of his teeth. So here is my wish for the next year of “Doctor Who” – Mr Moffat, you have done the epic, iconoclastic stories that have effectively rebooted the series (at least in part) for the next 13 Doctors. Now let’s go back to tightly-paced, clever yet contained stories that exist within the trappings of the legend rather than trying to change that legend. In short, the likes of “The Day of the Doctor” are done for now; let’s go back to stories like “The Eleventh Hour”…

It was a character piece that failed to find its identity or theme. It didn't seem to know if it wanted to focus on the monsters, the town, the crack, the Doctor and Clara, or just the Doctor. It was messy.

RTD deus ex machina? What about the far bolder, far more common Moffat deus ex machina?

The Last of the Time Lords was deux ex machina, I'll give you that. Some can interpret Parting of the Ways as deus ex machina too, but I don't really agree with that.

Then we have The Big Bang, The Wedding of River Song, and the apparent reversal of events in Name of the Doctor. I agree with what you've said about Moffat though, he needs to be bolder and less fearful of change. People need to die, we need to see a vengeful and angry Doctor rather than an amicable one. Hopefully Capaldi will give him the opportunity to inject some real seriousness into the show. I think it's time he began to lose his "fairytale" theme.

Are you kidding?! Have you seen Tennant's "baton-passing"? That was utter garbage and by far the worst departure of any Doctor! This surpassed it on almost every single level. It was a wonderful end for Matt Smith! I suggest you have a good ol' rewatch.

I feel that this episode felt great as a bookend to 11's era, but fairly bitty and all over the place as an episode. It's disappointing as I loved the logic of the stories conclusion of. The Silence and the way it's messing with the doctor helped him-exploding the tardis made the cracks for the timelords to try and get through, using river to kill him ended up helping him etc which I thought was very elegant but skidded over and we weren't even given time to appreciate that before dalek sticks were coming out of everyone's heads! I felt it was very uninviting to casual viewers- even my sister who has watched all of the last series's and the 50th was struggling to follow (and my mum just thought it had quite anti religious overtones which actually did feel a bit much on Christmas- there's only so much naked in church jokes that can be made, while having a church attack everyone too)
So here's my problems with the episode:
A) why did 11 age so much? In an impossible astronaut, he was a couple of hundred of years older but coincidently not any difference in appearance- convinient for that story? It just felt a bit unnecessary to me as Matt has always played himself as old very convincingly while looking young
B) Clara bouncing back and forth twice cheapened the story hugely! Couldn't they have thought of anything else to do? It had a fraction of the emotional power of 9 sending of rose, and how many times did she run down those flat stairs?
C) I would have much preferred to do away with Clara's family Christmas- I didn't care about them at all
D) the storytelling voice clearly placed there to try and hold to story together really should have made them realise they were trying to do too much at once. I wish they had focused down on the silence and the timelords an dispensed with Clara's flitting about and the doctor making toys. So much of the exposition was just the doctor talking to Clara and was totally squashed in

But despite all that, the fact we found out what was behind the door in the god complex made me really love the detail that has been in this arc since the beginning of series 5. Matts fairy tale era has ended and its a shame this episode wasn't quite what it could have been! Given all of that Moffat has always been better at setting up a mystery than solving it- fingers crossed for Sherlocks 'death' explanation presented in the way it deserves!

Ah there's so much I agree with here! There was so much quality in the episode but it was trying to hold so many elements together. You can't fault the ambition. But the simplicity and excitement you get from stories like the eleventh's hour, where so much story to be told ahead rather than wrapped up, is like nothing else. It makes everything seem full of potential rather than weighted down by expectations of the end of an era and a regeneration

Did no one else notice that the doctor sends Rose home in "The Parting Of The Ways". That really is the only similarity between them (Apart from the basic format of the show before anyone gets all pedantic) as that was pretty horrible in my opinion.

I don't think you know what deus ex machina means. Seasons 1,3 and 4 had deus ex endings. In all of them a character becomes a near omnipotent being and suddenly and unexpectedly solves everything in a manner of seconds.
Big Bang used a paradox solution, which you may not like, but it definetely was not a deus ex. Teselecta in Wedding of River Song was a pre-established plot point and The Name of The Doctor used a paradox solution to clear clara's story (which i didnt like to be honest). None of them were deus ex machinas.

The problem with combining a Christmas episode with a regeneration episode is that by it's very nature it has to be very "family friendly" as it is being shown at tea time on Christmas Day. This means that fans like me who are hoping for another "Caves of Androzani" are going to be disappointed. I personally thought Matt deserved better but what is done is done....I now look forward to seeing where Peter Capaldi and the Moff take the Doc next :)

Very few Doctors have come straight out of regeneration and started acting like themselves. All the modern regenerations have shown the Doctor starting off at his most hyper and manic, and Capaldi's version of this is slightly more understated than Smith or Tennant's. I wouldn't worry about a comedy Doctor - I suspect Capaldi will bring a lot more gravitas than those few seconds of dialogue would indicate.

That would be funny and clever. I'll rather take the emotional moment with Pond; but your version makes me smile. .... Never mind that, can the Doctor and Amy not have one more adventure together? :'(

The writing and production values in the Moffat era are vastly superior. RTD era looks like it was knocked up on Windows Movie Maker and was written by a fourteen year old girl.

I like the quick flash regeneration. If it had been like Ten's emotional regeneration the complaint would have been "Oh, it was just a copy of Ten's regeneration." The suddenness of it brought good shock value. Maybe (maybe) it hints at Twelve's character. No nonsense, straight to the point. Bang.

Wibbly wobbly timey wimey. A wizard did it.

And you say this because you read the script with notes? you are Moffat?
It wasn't said anywhere why they were asking for the name and also "where no one can fail to answer..." so why the doctor choose to die before answering....... then there was a way to not answer the question..... just admit it, Moffat is not a perfect writer (not saying that RTD was.... but i see so many defending Moffat as if he is a great writer.... you can't leave so many things to be "guessed" by the viewers, of course you can leave some secrets and expectations but no so many as Moffat did.

I agree with everything you say about NuWho seeming afraid to just tell an honest, straightforward story, and choosing to hide behind gimmickry and glitz.

Moffat once said somewhere that his writing didn't have "themes". He said something like "in my stuff, a theme is just something that happens to appear twice". That, to me, really explains why his stories are so shallow: he doesn't write *about* anything. His stuff has no depth whatsoever. (I would say that the 50th Special was the one exception to this, being about ethics, morals, young and old, etc.)

Another complaint I have about Moffat is his handling of character. To me, he just doesn't care. How many times did Amy and Rory go through traumatic experiences, and yet be completely unaffected by them because Moffatt couldn't be bothered dealing with it? And as for River Song, I think all she had going for her was the backward/forward relationship with the Doctor, and when that became tedious Moffat replaced it with the nonsense about her being Amy and Rory's daughter. (I honestly couldn't give a damn about River Song, because once you overlook her story gimmicks, there is nothing to her other than the tedious "hello sweetie" catchphrase.)

I'm intrigued by your statement about there being "government rhetoric" in NuWho. I can't say I've noticed anything. Could you give some examples?

Well said. Yes, there is a lot of pro "whichever party is in" propaganda in NuWho. For eg, go back and watch "the beast below", it is a perfect example of Britain, more or less, a totalitarian state, or near enough. The spaceship UK, where we have a pc black Queen, and you have to vote every four years, and people live in terror of the government oppression. Where the undesirables (anybody who doesn't follow the political dogma) is fed to the beast. Seriously, there is a huge amount of political overtones in that episode alone. You don't pick up on this stuff first time around, but when you watch each episode a few times, and analyse it, then compare that to what is in the media, demonisation of certain groups, etc, or appeasing of other groups, at that time, it's hard not to notice that there is a very sinister agenda just beneath the surface of our beloved family show. Don't forget, Orwell worked for the BBC. Read 1984. The beeb is the ministry of truth. It's not just Who, either, there is rhetoric in nearly every program now, subtle "programming" that guides the minds of the young. I'm not a conspiracy nut or anything like that, but the evidence is all there. Watch TW Children of Earth, listen to the bit where the politicians are deciding whose children to sacrifice to the aliens. It's more or less a word for word copy of the DM news, on a daily basis. I think the Dr has been hijacked by a group of elitists, the same people who run our news media (Murdoch and co) to manipulate the minds of our children into following the elitist agenda, whatever that may be.It was the same in RTD era, it's just a lot more prominent under Moff.

Moffat writes with an agenda. That's why he gets paid the big bucks. What better way to mould future generations into what the establishment wants, than by using their fave tv show? How many children watch this show, every week? How many memorise it, word for word? Then, how many learn from what it teaches them?

The Doctor does age, just very slowly. Maybe it didn't kick in properly until his last couple of centuries of life?

One little criticism of the review, it was mentioned that the time lords were using the weak point between universes (the crack) to send through their message. They didn't cause it, that was the exploding TARDIS, just used it.

Lets just agree to disagree,thats why I like to frequent DoG.
Bah,humbug. :D

Oddly enough, I thought that they already did that in the "kill Hitler" episode, when River gave up all her regenerations to save the Doctor. Obviously I misunderstood that plot device.

Dr Who was the most watched thing on TV, yesterday. It came in at around 10.2 million viewers. It beat Eastenders and Corrie.

Didn't love it, didn't hate it. The f/x and action sequences maintained the very high standards that we saw in Day of the Doctor, but much of the plot felt flat and muddled compared to Day.

The regeneration was a bit of a dogs dinner, although at least the farewell was mercifully shorter than Tennant's (lovely surprise to see Amy). The wrap-up of plot threads was a section of the church blew up the Tardis...just like that, bet the Daleks wished they had realised it was so easy.

Top performance from Matt Smith to end on and Peter Capaldi looks great though.

I thought this episode was absolutely terrible.

You mean sober-ish today.

I'm a conspiracy nut, but I do agree: there's certainly a certain kind of political outlook to NuWho. I don't believe, however, it's party based -- or if it is, it's based on what's in common among all parties: politically correct, pro-corporate orthodoxy. You won't find any ideas in NuWho or any other corporate television show that truly raise eyebrows. If there's anything provocative, it's always the sort of faux-provocation that innervates only the working class: male-on-male kissing, lesbian reptiles, sexualizing the Doctor, etc. The joke here is that it's a 'liberal' elite promoting the message. True, urban lifestyles are considerably looser when it comes to mating customs than more rural places (where sexual authoritarianism rules), but the message that everybody should just be able to shag whom they want and this will be the sum of our ethics -- this is just corporate capitalism's philosophy, which wants all social antagonisms to be mediated by money. Anyway, you'll never hear a giddy Doctor saying in passing: 'Of course, silly companion, 9/11 was done by the American Government. Look at Building 7! And you call yourself an empirical scientist...'

It feels to me like Moffat has been trying to even out the age issue, the Doctors age has always been a mess, he seems to have been 900 or so since the sixth Doctor, I think that the Moffat is been trying to extend it out to a sensible age. Also on your point about it not being important, didn't the 11th Doctor say (in the 50th anniversary special) that he'd lost count? Maybe the age issue is being addressed that way...

Or maybe galifreyan years are a different length to our years....

I'm with Zaphod99 there, Tennant's regeneration was overdone, sickly-sweet and just total cheese. I felt like I was going to cry, then I didn't, then it got awful with him wandering about and checking up on all his friends, then got a little teary at his "I don't want to go" bit.

Matt's exit was beautifully done. It had bits of action, yeah, but it played out more like a melodrama, which I think for his Doctor was the perfect way to do it. I was bawling, totally. I had to gather myself and rewatch Capaldi's few seconds of screen time, I was that affected by it. Beautifully done.

on your point about the Tardis lighting, when it was mentioned in the fivish rotors about being too dark, that was a joke at the expense of the classic series. one of the big criticisms of the classic series was that it was too brightly lit
and I disagree with your second point, I love murray Gold's work. it has been a vital ingredient in the higher production value of Who

good point, I guess my perfect regeneration would be a cross between 9-10s and 7-8s

I am a very 'casual' fan (living in Australia dealing with the vagaries of the TV schedules here I catch it when possible) and I was a bit bored and struggled to understand a lot of it as the review stated I might. However I still love Who and can't wait to see PC's Doctor (albeit expecting him to drop the C-bomb at any moment).

Hmm - yes. As I said in my comment, there is the slight sense of a reboot going on. Not on the grand scale, but almost every loose end got some kind of explanation, in a sentence, with a bit of wit, and that was that. As well, although the regeneration allowed some very poignant moments, the energy was also used to take out Dalek ships. It just seemed to me like a full stop under the past eight years, and what we see next autumn will be something quite new. Given what Moffat has engineered, we may well be seeing the start of the second half century of DW.

The daleks probably aren't stupid enough to try, given that it destroyed the entire universe.

Maybe it's because I didn't quite enjoy the last series, but I was glad they wanted to start Capaldi with a blank sheet. I liked the ideas, but not the way in which they were developed. I was expecting a new start, and so I liked that. I want Capaldi to be the Doctor in a new, better planned series. Something a bit more regular, instead of the unsteady rythm of masterpiece-dreadful I perceived lately.
I guess it's just a matter of taste.
I agree that it was too much, though. As I said, it was rushed. Moffat does that all the time.

I don't get the hate for it, I thought it was fine (I did have to rewatch without all the turkey/stuffing/wine I'd had on Christmas Day to really appreciate how much Moffat had put into it though).
Moffat wrapped up the "Fall of the 11th" story line with as much grace as you'd expect a decent show runner and writer to do. My one nitpick, Clara fell for the same trick twice? Doesn't seem like her.

I agree on a couple of your points, The Sea Devils...definitely!

Moffat has said in interview that the Doctor just makes up his age because he honestly doesn't know any more.

That did really bother me. That he spent a few months with the Ponds then took two whole centuries on his own. How many companions could he get through in two hundred years? And then comes back to the Ponds like he's never known anyone else. No - I don't think he really aged two hundred years. #ruleone

Gosh! Are you saying Capaldi isn't as handsome as David Tenant? Ouch, Peter.

Does TV shape culture or does culture shape TV? Probably a little of both. I think the cart's pushing the horse as much as the horse is pulling the cart.

I'm not sure why an older gent can't appeal to kids. Young kids still appreciate characters like Gandalf, Dumbledore, Obi Wan Kenobi. Boys don't always need to look up to younger men. Girls have a great role model in Clara. And frankly I don't think little girls ought to be encouraged to swoon over men as old as Tenant or even Smith, so let's not talk about this like it's a sex appeal issue. That said, I do expect there to be a young male assistant alongside Clara in S8. Heck, I'd be keen to see a troupe of four companions in the Tardis this time around to really mix it up.

Not unlike Timothy Dalton in the End of Time...

I rather think you need to give the kiddies a little more credit. You'd be surprised how decent a child's bulls*** detector can be. Someone in the comments has already pointed out how many kids show keep a better pace than most of Moffat's recent Doctor Who with only a twenty minute running time- they're used to some pretty good stuff. I think Capaldi's going to be just fine. Still, I agree that Moffat seems to be getting to the end of his tenure.

They're starting to make me feel like I've stumbled into a Daily Mail comments section.

There was some garbled explanation about the fact that he'd been given thirteen new regenerations was what cause the light show. I'll let them have it, but it's a skin-of-their-teeth thing.

1 - totally! Good call. The Swiss Cheese TARDIS was well lit, but the latest is a bit dank.
2, no chance, Murray Gold is a scholar and a gentleman and one of modern Who's most notable alumni. Gold goes when he wants to - any producer would be beyond daft to throw him out.
3, Rory was his own character! Rory was great, what's wrong with Rory?
4's already solved, The Doctor knows he's not the last of the Time Lords and has for over a month now. (Or 300 years, rather!) They gave him a full set of regenerations and hence solved the whole plot, how much more back do you want them to come?!
5 - deffo!
6 - sonic's fine! He doesn't solve big plots with it, he just uses it to get past negligible plot hurdles. We all have phones, and he's cleverer than us, it'd look silly if he never carried a similarly multipurpose gadget - sonic's just a technological interface. Doesn't solve all his problems, and he can still be clever with it. (E.g., bluff a wooden cyberman without lying!)
7 - agreed, bring them on!

The aging didn't make sense, though, since in canon it's been stated that Smith's Doctor is already 300 years or so older than when he regenerated, so that face shouldn't have aged that much in the same time again. He's already gone 300 years without aging, what was different about these ones? It really annoyed me, since it felt like a blatant and cheap way of saying "look how long he's been here this doctor's really old now" when I think Matt Smith can portray an "old beyond his years" thing rather well without loads of pointless, expensive makeup and prosthetics.

Not as bad as when the Master started flying about and attacking people with seemingly infinite laser beams from his hands .

I might be the only one who thinks this, but the amount of plot threads being wrapped up in an hour really annoyed me. If you essentially have the same character - meaning the same mind and the same memories - continuing in the show, there is no need to finish off all the stories that went before. I think it would actually be more interesting to see how Capaldi's doctor finishes off some of Smith's storylines, since it would be an obvious way to show the differences between them (not that I like obvious ways, just an overwhelming love for parallels in fiction).

Trying to pull together all the storylines Moffat has written for the past however many years was, to me, a bad move, and one that's potentially alienated the people who think "oh let's put Doctor Who on, it's the Christmas special". We didn't need to see the Silence (who most people, I believe, had practically forgotten about). Fair play, the crack was a nice way to set up the return of the Time Lords, but it all felt a bit like Moffat had gone into the writing room saying "How much of the stuff we've done recently can we pile into an hour, so we can start again with Capaldi?". It's as if they're admitting that these storylines can't carry on any longer and binning them off while they've got the chance.

Overall, I was very disappointed with the episode, as I have been with most episodes since RTD left. I feel like Matt Smith deserved a better exit than he was given.

(Don't even get me started on the pointlessness of the Weeping Angels. As it so often does when they crop up again (and again, and again) it felt to me that Moffat had wanted to say "Look at these wonderful monsters that I created and everyone loves! Aren't they brilliant? Aren't they clever? Look at me! Look at me!)

Basically my view! Inelegant, but not unpleasant. Doesn't quite succeed at any of its aims, but I love the ambition. It's the kind of weird episode that only Moffat could ever do, and I'll very much miss them when he's gone. Often clever, with mad, dizzy ambition - but we see thirty minutes or so of three-hundred years; that's little more than a montage. Undersells the clout.

This is kind of the episode I feared Day of the Doctor was going to be. It's a good episode, but I'm glad it took second billing in the anniversary year. A flawed gem.

That's exactly how I assumed it would end when they ran off with the turkey. Glad someone else thought so too.

Moffat has some great ideas but he's a terrible writer and plotter. Production values may be up but writing definitely isn't where it should be. Better than RTD, I'll give you that.

Would anyone like a jelly baby?

Felt like a two parter rewritten and squeezed into an xmas episode. 'Stick in a turkey and change the name of a town, add some snow and we're there...'

I'd have loved some cut aways showing the schism'd church's set ups to snag the Doctor, rather than poor set ups to wedge meaningful philosophical quotes in there.

The regen power thru the crack was on the lame side. Personally I'd have liked a new Gallifreyan to take on the Doctor mantle and the Tardis rather than get a new set of regens, then we could have cut free from this almost too large history the show has acquired in terms of old companions etc. Sometimes lately DW has been an exercise in up-their-own-bum sentimentalism.

That said we did kind of get answers finally in this episode and everything from Smith's Big Mystery can finally be left alone for good hopefully. Also the show wasn't as maudlin as the previous two Doctor deaths.

Am I wrong, or has River Song never met Clara? I find it odd that The Doctor wouldn't seek out his own wife so she could be there when he thinks he's going to die. Surely she hasn't disappeared from the show entirely, has she?

"I was also infuriated by the relentless score, which I'm pretty certain didn't stop once "

Indeed! The bom bom bom, ba-bom-bom-ba-bom tune for the action sequences has been bugging me for seasons now.

Won't the kids be saying:

'What the heck's going on? I was 4 when that storyline started'

It did answer the question. The Doctor had burnt up his first 12 regenerations thanks to the War Doctor and Ten's meta-crisis. He had none left - his next would kill him. As previously shown by the Master, additional regenerations can be granted past this, which is what the Time Lords chose to do.

Sending pure energy through a crack is easier than sending a message.

" Another 15 minutes
would have helped enormously, just to buy the odd bit of breathing room." Cutting out all that Turkey and family nonsense at the start would have delivered that. Not a bad plot but badly let down and detracted from by all the inane attempts at comedy. The Doctor etc naked. Why? Same reason as the Doctor hanging out of the Tardis to land at Trafalgar Square in the 50th. Cheap laughs. And the worst regeneration ever. Many people hope Doctor Who returns to being a drama under Capaldi. But with Mr M still in charge, I'm not optimistic. Doctor Who's target audience appears to be five year olds. Sigh.....

I loved this episode too. It was full and required paying attention, but I don't think there are many questions left unanswered from the Eleventh's run. Did I catch a shot there of the labyrinth hotel and what was in the Doctor's room?

I loved Matt Smith here, and that was probably the most believable aging makeup I've ever seen. He sold it, too, but then we've always known Matt Smith was good at playing old. I wonder if he'll look anything like that when he actually does get old...

I also liked that they used his having to wear a wig in the plot. And I liked poor Handles. And I liked the wooden Cyberman. And I liked the moment when the Doctor takes off the bow tie and drops it to the floor, such a symbolic gesture. I like the dignity he faces his "death" with. This is a Doctor who has faced the true end of his life more than once, it makes sense he'd be prepared to accept it in exactly the way that Tennant's Doctor wasn't.

I wonder though. If this was his final regeneration and has been all along, then what was that in The Impossible Astronaut? Was that just the process starting with never a hope of completing?

Why did Clara keep changing her skirt? That's all I could focus on,! I did cry buckets at the end though. Thought it was a fab 60 minutes

no it delayed it, as they will have to answer it again next regeneration

Hang on. Troughton's Doctor was a lot younger than Hartnell's! He was in his mid forties when he took on the role, which is about ten years younger than Capaldi.

Thankfully I never look at twitter. Very dangerous group think generator, and the most efficient lynch-mob/witch hunt kick starter ever made available to the species (which really doesn't need any more help in turning viciously nasty).

Of course, it is a god-send to novelists who want to fill in the gaps...

The new Gallifreyan angle sounds like a good idea. It was my opinion that they should have let this Dr bow out gracefully, with dignity intact, at the end of his regeneration span. When you think about it, the character as been done to death, every conceivable angle and development as been covered. I mean he has been on air 50 years. So as Corrie, and look at what has become of that, what were once considered great storylines, and boundary pushing character arcs, have now been rehashed to death, over and over. To the point of nausea. They should have let that Dr die, then Jenny could have popped up right at the end, and taken on the mantle. Think of all the new dynamics, new character arcs, that could be done if the Dr was a woman. Instead we get the same old Dr, doing the same old things he has been doing for the past 50 years. The regeneration used to be exciting, now, it's a chore, because we know he as 12 new one's to go through. So there is no element of danger to the show, any more. Plus now we know they will all get younger, each time. I know not many want a woman Dr, nor did I, but thinking about it, it would have shook up the Whoniverse in an immense, interesting way. And kept things fresh.

I absolutely loved this episode. Matt's farewell had me shedding buckets of manly tears, and the explanation about the regeneration cycle was brilliantly handled as well. Amazing episode, and the only thing I hate about this, is that we have to wait until autumn 2014 before we get to see Peter Capaldi as the Doctor.
The Doctor is dead! Long live the Doctor!

After much contemplation, the best new direction the show could have gone in, is if the new Dr was a woman. I thought the BBC were pc, and loved feminists? So why are they so afraid to make a woman the lead of their flagship show? Clara could have been the new Dr, formerly Jenny, regenerated. Her time as a companion could have been explained by saying the old Dr was schooling her. Teaching her the ropes. Also that would fit in well with the impossible girl stuff. How could she be in the Dr's timeline at every point? Because she too is a Timelord, the Dr's daughter. There are many other methods of time travel, in the show besides Tardis's. Moffat went for the easy, lamest choice.

Answer me this:

Why was Smith's Doctor worried about not being able to regenerate when Capaldi's Doctor was there to help him out at the end of Day of the Doctor?

I liked the episode. But I feel that Moffat would have been better off not including Tennant's non-regeneration in the limit and having a whole series of episodes with Capaldi assuming this was his last form. Would have made for some interesting drama with perhaps a more risk-averse Doctor. And rescuing the Time Lords at the climax of Capaldi's tenure could have seen him rewarded with his new cycle.

But hey, still liked it...

I might have been the one making that point. Or more specifically: how can kids with any intelligence watch an episode like this latest one and bear it? I'd be thrilled, personally, if kids would protest when their entertainment is garbage. But the ratings on NuWho still seem pretty solid...

i missed it live, and will soon be buying it when it's available online. but honestly, i'm not looking forward to capaldi. there are a lot of people who could do great jobs as the doctor but i don't think he is one of them.

Re, your comment, I believe this says it best:

"Obviously, we are setting ourselves up for a fall by convincing ourselves that these questions will be answered satisfactorily, but more worrying is the way that we tolerate mediocrity because we convince ourselves the finale will be triumphant."

Or this:

"Its biggest hindrance is the reliance on arc plotting. In the first Russell T Davies series, the words “Bad Wolf” were hidden in several episodes. This wasn't intrusive, even if it did hamper the end of the series with too much expectation upon one phrase. By the time of Davies's final full season this had grown out of control. Each episode would contain references to the fact that "all the bees have disappeared", disappearing planets and something called the "Medusa Cascade", and in the season finale the lucky viewers were told what these things meant. This "Sesame Street was brought to you today by the letter A" style of television is a serious menace to quality drama, and the art of fiction itself. It's flourished in America, with shows like Desperate Housewives, Flashforward, Heroes,Lost and 24 teaching viewers to judge tv in terms of how good the thing they think might happen in the next episode will be, rather than how good the episode they just watched was."

Moffat as carried all the worst self indulgences from RTD to his era.

If you have online, it is on BBC Iplayer, failing that, you can torrent it. I love a good pirate :)

"Downloading comics from the future, I never know when to stop"

I love a good torrent too, but if I really enjoy somethign and feel it is worth it, I have no problem purchasing it and spending money on it. I actually buy all my Dr. Who through my PS3 adn the PS network. I've got all of the runs and hte specials, though I am missing the 1st of the new series, which I sometimes regret not buying when I go online, but I can't watch that much of billie piper without wanted to throw something at my screen. I hate Rose.
I even bought the animated dr who game and all the animated specials. All the best of and the new revisiting so and so. Though I wish they would do the others. They've only put out 5 of them.

You know what guys? I agree with the consensus that it wasn't great, it was incredibly forced and didn't tell a story properly and blah blah blah. But I wasn't scathing at it, this is a show I've loved since I was little, a show that's essentially raised me. I wasn't alive when the old Who was running but thanks to my love of nuWho it inspired to go back and watch the old run too, which I am incredibly grateful for. After Time of the Doctor I sat on my sofa and said 'well, that wasn't great' just considered it a non-event and started looking forward to Capaldi's series in 8/9 months. Because yes, series 7 is horrible, and I do agree with that but it's just one season. You're not supposed to give up on a show after one bad season (or in this case, 2 bad years with little highlights - not to say I didn't enjoy a couple of episodes, I really have a lot of love for 'Hide') but reading the majority of comments here made MY hatred for the show flare up, a hatred that doesn't really show up too much. Sure, I can criticise the show for its faults but this is ridiculous.

My hopes were set on Capaldi making Dr who good again, but as soon as he opened his mouth, I instantly knew the Moff dreadfulness would continue.

I've only just come online to check out the Den of Geek review and didn't even know there was a negative reaction. My favourite X-mas special of Smiths run was A Christmas Carol and my least favourite the lion, witch, wardrobe type one with Bill Bailey in it. I thought this was a perfectly fine entry. I actually liked how they wrapped up a few of the plot lines and it doesn't bother me at all that they weren't all grand reveals but some were just throwaway lines, I kind of like that. I thought Smith was just excellent and his final monologue delivered perfectly. I much prefer the abruptness of his change and the fact that he didn't hang around too long dying. It sort of annoyed me in the Tennant finale that he spent so long feeling sorry for himself, especially considering it was following a far less enjoyable episode than this.

I won't remember this as one of my favourite episodes of Smith's run but I certainly didn't think it was bad. I wonder if we're a bit spoilt these days and everything that isn't the best thing ever gets a cavalcade of hate. There seems to be a scale with two points for a lot of geeks 'Amazing' or 'Terrible' with no middle ground. I am genuinely sad to see Smith go though. Although Doctor Who will go on (and I love Peter Capaldi), it will be different in ways and that that version of the show is finished makes me legitimately sad.

But I don't think I've ever had a positive first reaction to a Doctor...

What a clever review, followed by a quiete clever discussion.

It's much more pleasure (!) not to follow the "whovian-media-hype", instead "just enjoying the show" - that's fact - but hard!

Every single Episode should be watched more than twice in order to post comments on it - that's fact too - and very easy!

Well, maybe if the episodes warranted more than a single viewing, you'd have a point.

Did anyone else chuckle at the gag where Clara uses the Tardis instead of BBC iPlayer for catch up viewing?

I didn't like the episode itself much, but I liked the passing from Matts last gasp for regeneration - DT's was so damn drawn out by the time he'd said goodbye I couldn't wait to see the back of him! I thought Matt Smith got a genuinely touching end.for an underrated doctor.(wasn't a huge fan of DT,and was very much alone in that opinion). Cannot wait for next year now!

Something you need to remember. There are many Doctor Who traditions, and one of them is "many fans automatically hate the old Doctor's final episode, the new Doctor's first appearance, and the first full episode with the new Doctor." Research the history of the show back 50 years as I have and you find NO exceptions. Troughton was hated, Tom Baker was hated, Caves of Androzani was hated, Matt Smith was DEFINITELY hated. This is normal. It just seems"louder" because of the Internet and because of the opinion some have that long-form arcs are only allowed on shows like Lost and Game of Thrones.

9 months is a long time. They better have something good planned to hold my attention. I think they believe they can have a respite because they put out an extra episode for the 50th. Sorry, but we brits are demanding viewers.

Have to agree. Smith's was startling, and Capaldi came in literally with a bang. Terrific stuff.

You Whovians have it too good, try being a trekky :D

Think yourself lucky, you only get one shitty film every two years, destroying your show, and at least it puts in the pretence of trying to follow the source material, us Whovians have to put up with 13 episodes of crap, every year, that are absolutely nothing like the source material.

I fully expect to see "Inelegant, but not unpleasant" on the DVD cover now.

This is seriously one of the funniest things I've read today. Google "Thatcher" and "Sylvester McCoy" and see how much a government shill the series is. If you want politics, go watch Fox News. This is a sci-fi show.

Then stop watching it and go back to enjoying the Thatcher-bashing McCoy era. People who read conspiracies into everything forfeit the right to enjoy shows like Doctor Who. Go Netflix the two Atlas Shrugged movies if you want to see political propaganda disguised as entertainment. You cannot rationally think of Doctor Who in that same category.

I saw the paparazzi video of Capaldi and Tom Hiddleston being mobbed by women outside a theatre in London a couple weeks ago and it was Capaldi the girls wanted to get their photos taken with, not Loki. I'm not worried.

Where is the conspiracy? It's a well know fact that the beeb hated the show and tried to bury it for good, back in the 80's.

I thought the ending section was awesome and well done. Can't wait to see the PC take on the Doctor

"I'm in two minds about this. Either Moffat has had a master plan since
the beginning of Matt smiths tenure. Or this episode was a desperate
attempt to tie up all the plot threads he's left hanging since series 5.
Probably the latter."

Having gone back and looked at some of the highlights of Moffat's tenure, I'll be generous and say he had a sketchy idea of what the hell was going to happen in this episode. Whilst I'll always be convinced that the Silence arc never properly worked, there is a timeline of events that make a certain amount of sense.
Even the stuff from Day of the Doctor has been crafted into it but I'll concede that one as a last minute addition to his story.

Wait. I'm sure I replied to this message...and my comment is gone. ?

I enjoyed it, it wasn't the best episode but it was a decent one and my wife was in tears. That is a pretty good result. :)

My only real bugbear is the Daleks are always defeated far too easily and I can't remember the last time they actually killed anyone. Make them more threatening!

Second time I've replied to this comment. My comments keep disappearing. Anybody else having the same trouble?

Then she can grab her tits and declare wide-eyed like a maniac: 'My tits are the wrong color!'

But what's more heroic than having the opportunity to flee an impending war and choosing instead to stay and protect those who need protecting, even though you know that it will lead to your death?

Did you gather that somehow from the plot? Because the plot was impenetrable to me. was a bit of a curate's egg really (appropriate perhaps, given the Papal Mainframe's involvement!).

Matt Smith did a sterling job. The writer less so.

The thing about SF is that you have to be completely consistent within whatever rules you make up for your imaginary universe; start contradicting yourself and sticking bits of plaster over the logical holes and the viewers' suspension of disbelief pops like a balloon.

So, here's a quick collection of some plot holes you could fly a spaceship through:

1. As I remember it from The Day of The Doctor (correct me if I'm wrong, someone!), Gallifrey was going to be "frozen in a single moment of time, like in a painting". That's got to make it a bit difficult to send out either a message or a puff of magical fairy dust!

2. If you can get over that hurdle, there's then the message itself. This is a message from someone on Gallifrey to The Doctor. You'd think that the one person in the universe who would understand it, without any help from a broken Cyberman, would be...The Doctor!

3. Having got the message, there's the matter of its content: "Doctor Who?". But we've already been told, quite often, that "The Doctor" is a name that he chose for himself. It's not Doctor Anything, it's just The Doctor, and has nothing to do with his secret Time Lord name. Have the Time Lords have gone dotty in their frozen/not frozen prison?

I could go on, but it's all too depressing!

Okay, I'll admit this view has lost me but it's one that I've seen repeated elsewhere so let me try and explain why I don't agree. This was a character piece focused entirely on the Doctor. The monsters, the town (and the people), the crack (and the timelords behind it) and Clara are all aspects of that one character and all feed into one theme - forgiveness or, if that is too much to grant, acceptance.

I've written all this out elsewhere and it'd take up a ridiculous amount of space here so the short version: "You want to be forgiven." "Don't we all?" - straight quote from the Doctor's wife and applies all the way through Matt's Doctor. Here we have a decision that - much like the Moment - there's no way to get right. Let the timelords return and the universe descends into chaos, refuse and they're trapped possibly forever. Again the Doctor takes a third option but now protecting his companion and spending centuries defending one small town. A microcosm of his entire life since he first started travelling all in one little town. Even when he gets the TARDIS back he stays and fights a war he knows he can't win.

The end result (sorry, missing out a huge chunk of explanation here, hope it still works) is the timelords granting him a new lifecycle (whether full blown forgiveness or enlightened self-interest driving acceptance remains to be seen) but, more than that, he can be around people again. He becomes part of a community, something he hadn't been able to do since, what, 9 realistically? At the end, briefly young again, he sees the TARDIS covered with their thanks. He has finally forgiven himself for his actions in the time war and can see his effect in the universe for what it is, something he couldn't really do even as recently as The Wedding of River Song.

And then there's Amy. Damn this one hurt when watching but it was the perfect end IMO. She'd forgiven him with her last words in the epilogue to Melody Malone but he never really accepted it. If he had he wouldn't have been on a cloud over Victorian London. Finally, at the very end of his life, he lets go of that last piece of guilt, accepts what she's told him was the truth and leaves at peace.

Yikes, that's the really short version, sorry! Hope it makes some sort of sense even with big chunks cut out.

Suspect the vast majority of people would have enjoyed this but, for whatever reason, the Moffat haters are in full voice and the Internet Echo Chamber is doing its usual job. I swear the biggest threat to this show continuing is its own fan base! Certainly everyone I know who watches the show - which includes the full range from lifelong fans to newcomers with Matt and Karen - hasn't had a bad thing to say outside of tiny niggles.

Think Matt's leaving shone a huge spotlight on what was wrong with David's last hurrah. It wasn't the emotion or the storytelling or the acting (though all could be criticised that's personal preference). It was the utter lack of any comfort for the audience. When 10 left it was treated like the show as you knew it was dying, very unfair on the new crew. 11 though went out of his way to reassure both Clara and the audience that while saying goodbye to him might be heart-breaking it's okay because the adventure continues.

Solid. Gold. Genius.

I would have settled for them using the holographic clothes that were a throwaway gag that didn't really work. The new doctor wears his old face to give Clara a real chance to say goodbye and a final turn for young Matt Smith is even more bittersweet.

It's interesting how they've started treating regeneration as being almost the same as dying. Compare that to Eccleston's swift changeover! Though I suppose it's not unprecedented - Tom Baker's regeneration was essentially a death scene.

Note to self: Become the Seventeenth Doctor.

(That should be long enough to become a good actor, right?)

I think one of Moffat's biggest problems is he keeps aiming for these "big" "epic" and amazing episodes and storyline's...that he doesn't have the time nor the budget for. A Doctor Who storyline doesn't need to be big and epic. It doesn't need to have big arcs like "Doctor Who?" or "Who is River Song?". Heck some of the greatest episodes were simple and basic, Genesis of the Daleks, Blink - one of Moffats own episodes. If you do want to make it epic, practical effects can be just as awesome (Remembrance of the Daleks).

Not every episode needs to bring back every villain and have an amazing battle sequence. Genesis (haven't watched it in ages, don't shoot me) had hardly any Dalek killing action - but it still made the metal foes menacing. I think Moffat's greatest weakness is that he doesn't have anyone telling him "No" (like what George Lucas had). Although RTD said he never tampered with Moffats scripts, I'm sure he guided him in some way.

I think Moffat just needs to tone it down a bit and he will deliver some cracking Doctor Who episodes.

It also feels like (DON'T SHOOT ME) Moffat is running out of ideas. Time of the Doctor felt like a amalgamation of previous story's (I won't list them but there is a few...and they are pretty obvious when you take a look).

As someone with a 7 and 10 year old child, yes they certainly can and do. As do many adults.

Jesus... you are dreary, repetitive and now insulting. Like the 'haters' that have spent months spamming the man of steel forums with tripe you contribute little apart from vitriol and negativity.

Like Cushing I am in my 40s who started watching in the Tom Baker era, and I avidly watch (and in most cases greatly enjoy) every episode with my family.

Negativity breeds malcontent. Try looking on the bright side, you may be surprised.

Having now watched it a second time, I thought it was a brilliant central story about the Doctor giving one last wonderful gift of life to others, but which was somewhat distracted by the apparent need to tie up loose ends which in all honesty could have just been left. And the 'nudity' joke fell flat. BUT I loved the quieter moments, the philosophical reflections on all our perpetual changing identities and the 12 regeneration reboot which is Moffat's own gift to future show runners. In many ways it summed up the Matt Smith/Moffat era - lots of great ideas, lots of bold risks, some brilliant story-telling at times, respect for the show itself, and a magnificent portrayal of the Doctor from Smith. BUT always something that didn't quite work, a risk too far, an occasional discordant note - perhaps the price of ambition.

Moffat ran out of ideas in series 5. Look how much he built it and hyped the finale up, and what happened? A big fat nothing. Then in S6 we had the deplorable Amy's pregnancy, child snatching, Dr marries a child who grew up on the tardis, nonsense. That was warped, at best, at worst, contrived and somewhat the product of a disturbed mind. I find it difficult to believe people are still watching. myself included. At least under RTD we had the promise of a big bad returning, under Moff, all we are promised is more boring, sanitised, timey wimey mumbo jumbo filled hollow Who.

Self evidently false. The best stories of the RTD era were mostly Moffatt's - Blink, for example, and The Doctor Dances. I love his writing - it pushes the envelope in every dimension!

LOL, yes, Moff's writing blows.

Just read this review and there seems to be a bit of confusion, so shall attempt to clear it up.

"So is it supposed to be that the crack on Amelia Pond's bedroom wall from The Eleventh Hour
was the Time Lords all along? And is it just us that wonders if that's
an explanation that's been added later, rather than the idea from the

No, the cracks were the result of the TARDIS exploding, season 5 tells us that through some cracks you see different worlds and through others, Silence. The crack at Trenzalore has the Time Lords on the other side, just like the crack on Amy's wall had the Atraxi prison. During this episode, The Doctor says the crack is scar tissue, nothing has changed with the explanation of the cracks, the story has just gone back to them. When Kovarian's gang blew up the TARDIS, they actually ended up creating the crack at Trenzalore as well as all the others we saw in S5..

"One last thought to consider, too: the Doctor didn't die at Trenzalore here. So: is it still where he dies, ultimately? Or has The Name Of The Doctor been rendered a little moot?"

The latter, obviously. Trenzalore in The Name of the Doctor is a gigantic graveyard and where The Doctor is buried. When the Daleks made their final attack, the stage was set for the Trenzalore in this episode to become the future version we saw in TNOTD, but thanks to Clara, the Time Lords intervened allowing The Doctor to regenerate and take out the daleks at the same time. The future has been changed, The Doctor doesn't die there and the planet doesn't become a grave yard.

Just a thought but have you considered watching a different show instead of putting yourself through such predictable boredom and disappointment? I watch this with my kids, because its a kids programme, I am nostalgic for it because I watched it as a child (TB) and occasionally there is an episode of genuine merit Dalek, Fathers Day, Waters of Mars, The Girl Who Waited but broadly speaking the show is disposable Saturday night telly. If as a 40/50 something it's not floating your boat why not watch The West Wing, Game of Thrones, The Sopranos, Bleak House. You state that you are fan of the show but repeatedly slate it for being what it is, sci fantasy escapist fluff. Are you really so sure that in the 70s and 80s a karate chopping Pertwee or over complicated McCoy were really so different to this incarnation? You sound like someone complaining that Wagon Wheels are half the size than they were in 1985 without realising that if your hands are twice the size in 2013 than they were in 1985 the perception may be different but the dimensions aren't. That you continuously cite RTD as someone who got it right is even more confusing. Is Rose blowing everything up in TPOTW really a clever solution? The Master flying around like a power Ranger villain in TEOT? or the episode Love and Monsters in which the whole plot seems contrived to insinuate that the shows main character receives oral sex from a paving slab? Good god 2001, Bladerunner and Planet of the Apes are spinning in their graves! I get that you didn't enjoy TTOTD I for one thought it was structurally flawed, confused (not confusing) and despite throwing EVERY villain at the doctor, lacking in any substantial menace. So I won't bother myself with watching it again, if people did enjoy it good for them and good for the show. I suggest you remove you Rose coloured glasses and watch grown ups telly if you find this so, understandably, unsatisfying.

I can't believe the number of times you have generalised about the stupidity and attention spans of children, but your own vocabulary can't think of a better word to use than "spastic". Perhaps if you watched some more intelligent and progressive telly you'd sound less like Alf Garnett.

Did you or didn't you watch it yourself? If you did then by your own definition you are part of the problem not part of the solution.

He cinematography in the latter potters is nothing short of beautiful. The drab colours and bleached palettes of the Deathly Hallows, or the chiaroscuro of Half Blood Prince illustrate how uncomfortable and dangerous Harry's world has become, a far cry from the technicolour of Philosophers Stone. Don't slam artistic integrity and appropriate use of film grammar in a thread where you attack how juvenile and disposable something is. I think Pacific Rim and the new Spider-Man looks very colourful, if that's your thing...

Stop slating all kids, you sound about 90.

No however good or bad the episode was, that element was pretty clear, perhaps all old codgers have short attention spans too?

You watched Eastenders as well? Did you learn nothing from Why Don't You?

The fans don't own the show, the BBC does. I suppose they are doing their best to get a return on their investment. RTD introduced the soapy element to the show, something Moffat has toned down a little, so on that score you should be pleased with him. The economics of TV extend far beyond Dr Who. The Doctor has to compete with umpteen repeats of come dine with me, the X factor, I'm a celebrity, youtube, etc etc etc. Maybe Moffat's achievement of establishing a global audience will lead to an edgier programme more to your liking. In the mean time if you don't like it don't watch it or people on the internet might assume you are a brainwashed idiot only watching it because you fancy one of the leads...

You are aware that this comment totally invalidates every negative comment you've made about new who being written for "teenvamp goth girls" who only watch the show because they fancy the doctor.

I loved the last 15 minutes of the episode, I thought it was fantastic. But the other 45 minutes just felt like wasted oppurtunities - the episode didn't feel like a proper tribute to Matt's Doctor, instead it felt like Moffat trying to satisfy us by wrapping up all the arcs.

Interestingly, in the behind the scenes video, Moffat states that they didn't treat this regeneration as dying "because nobody dies". And they didn't.... it was quite an upbeat goodbye after he figured out he had got a new regeneration cycle.

Great review. It was a fun as final romps go, but it was a bit of a let down after the amazing 'The Day of the Doctor'. The Christmas elements feel tacked-on at best, the middle meanders a bit.

Regarding the cracks and their relation to the Time Lords: the dialogue in the episode indicates that despite the Doctor repairing the original damage in 'The Big Bang', there was still some scar tissue left in the 'skin'/fabric of the universe which could lead to other universes and/or dimensions. It isn't a retcon making Gallifrey always having been there; even if the shape is the same, the cracks in Series 5 were closed, leaving to the one in this episode as a scar and both are, in fact, gateways to different things.

Just to clarify, I still did enjoy the episode greatly, despite its defects!

Almost certainly. For me to be able to say unequivocally that something occurred -- like a plot point -- it'd have to make even a slight bit of sense. And not be contradicted by everything else. You know, like by the acting, the dialogue, etc.

Hurt your little feelings? *sniff*

Be a part of THE SOLUTION. You going to go have a march?

Did you have to look up what the word 'spastic' meant before you went and cried all over your beer?

True but I still think it was treated more like a death - weighing his character and actions with this identity, flashing back to someone he loved, the trauma in Clara. These were all aspects of grieving more than responding to a difficult change.

It's understandable. Though the Doctor remains, his actor leaves so to the cast and crew it is as if the character he's playing dies and that makes it sombre to those involved. That definitely carried into the writing and the performances, both at the end of Tennant's run and now at Smith's, making it more of a death than a birth.

You said "a spastic" the word is a verb so would you also say "a overweight" or "a red" Without citing the thing you were describing as such? i think it's pretty clear you meant the colloquial derogatory term and not the adjective as you imply. Unless of course your command of English is very poor, which, given your response, may well be the case.

Well you did just say you'd be "thrilled if the kids protested" so I don't know it's your point? You are attacking yourself here? It's just very hypocritical to expect the kids you berate to stop watching and protest whilst you watch like a sheep and then moan that everyone else did. Be a leader not a follower.

No you haven't but I am standing up for the 6 million or so PEOPLE under 18 in the country that you just lump together like an arrogant ill informed fool. If only there were a programme for you to watch about a man standing up to people who held oppressive and vile opinions? Clearly it's your feelings that are hurt because you can't engage me on an intellectual level since there is no opposing point to make. The facts speak for themselves, are all kids stupid and self centred? No. Checkmate!

Well I am not a fan of the episode, I thought it was muddled, and a bit of a mess. But it was a pretty clear plot point that the doctor stayed on the planet trenzalore for well over 300 years to protect the people from being killed by the numerous aliens. Evidence to support this is:
the doctor shown, at various stages of his life, on the planet trenzalore.
The doctor defeating enemies such as the wooden cyberman
The children's pictures of the doctor illustrating his long relationship with the people.
The voice over narration telling us the doctor stayed at trenzalore to defend the people.
The puppet retelling of the doctor defending trenzalore

Given the sheer volume of elements that were skated over or resolved in throwaway lines this was a strange point to pick up on. Almost like you are doing it to be argumentative without having an actual point to make. After all when you saw the aged hartnellesque doctor what exactly did you think had happened? That he'd simply stopped back at trenzalore aft a life of adventures? Did you not hear it being described as a siege? I just think if you want to have a pop at the story/script this is the most secure element of it.

and here I throw my rant in the pot:

there was some bad tosh there. Moffat knows it by now. It's taking flak all over the internet. God love him having to manage this property, but he crashed that episode into the wall.

And why didn't he rest the mythology of a hidden galllifrey for longer than one episode? That was a gigantic reveal on the 50th. You're supposed to let that breath in the viewers mind for a bit in the background?

Not have them firing life energy spunk at the doctor through cracks in the universe in the very next episode. That was such bollocks. And the cracks were never a particularly strong device in the first place. In a way he fundamentally damaged the grandeur of his gesture reworking the mythology on the 50th by piling a cobbled together ton of stuff on top of it one episode later. God that christmas episode felt really bad - I was nearly gritting my teeth - it felt like delicate new mythology was going through a meat grinder for 60 minutes.

I came away with a gnawing feeling that he had damaged the new mythology extremely early by having it be a stupid deus ex machina. Literally *one* episode later. and that episode has massive problems anyway. clara's repeated pointless re-introductions were insanely jarring. the whole middle section was a bombsite.

I'm really annoyed with moffat basically. He kind of screwed things up in that episode. I get there may have been issues with Matt not being able to run another series, but if that's the case, then you almost have to presume that he tried to collapse nearly a seasons worth of mythology into three episodes. He got away with it in the first two, but by Christ the wheels came off in a big way on the Christmas episode. It was hard to watch - it was a narrative structural car crash.

They had to have started to realise it in the edit suite. But as the man says - too late then. Or worse, Moffat couldn't see there were massive problems with the pace and structure of the ep as he was banging it out.

Either way- annoying. Not the end of the world - but annoying. He's basically a genius and we're lucky plebs to a certain degree to be getting globally watched who after the dark times, but he really really really REALLY needs to lay off the 'compressed storytelling' for a while methinks.

that was a dangerously bad episode given how much of the mythology it was pissing in all directions. you don't get to do that too often without the air fundamentally coming out of the balloon.

they want careful feet for a while. They definitely need to put gallifrey on deep ice for an extended period. perhaps the new doctor is far more ambivalent about the return of gallifrey than his predecessor. either way no one is to have conversations with them through cracks ever again. unless we want to have the long distance chats of later voyager vibe going on. you know - gallifrey is just a chat away. for the curious that is a complete nightmare and basically gutshots the entire thematic basis for the new who doctor. i thought moffat was clever when he tinkered with the core concept fashioned by davies. now I wonder strongly at how safe a pair of hands he actually is full stop.

more than anything that episode reminded me of the worst of later fringe - one minute you're revelling in the hardest core fan service and the next you realise that the entire mythology is being burnt up in dog years.

moffat needs very badly to chill out and let the series re-settle. then he hands over the reins at the end of this next series. realistically he's been at it for a while. time for a bit of a change possibly.

Quite possibly the most patronising comment I've ever seen on Den of Geek. People share opinions, here - that is how this works. If people did not enjoy something and would like to get off their chest why that is, this is the place they should feel comfortable enough to do it.

Genuinely, I think you should evaluate your personality a little. To refer to someones opinion as a simple "Xmas moan" is quite insulting, on the comment section of a website devoted to the people who tend to look a little deeper into what they watch.

I think a facebook status update is more your level, to be frank.

yep. man this one bummed me out - they need to really step back - weirdly i just popped in a whole rant and coincidentally used the balloon metaphor too - it was on such a delicate point after the 50th with the big twist.

hard not to feel moffat rather crashed the pram into a wall there.

rather heartfelt sigh. they really and truly need to be careful here.

yeah. an awful lot of people got to see that episode. I'm not entirely sure that was a good idea.

Sure, I lump them together. Generalization is the basis for knowledge. I generalize when I say that dark clouds lead to rain. I generalize when I say drinking a bottle of gin leads to drunkenness. I generalize when I say rotten fruit tastes bad. I generalize when I say kids in the UK must be idiots since the ratings for NuWho are far higher than they ought to be. By the way, your checkmate was very cute.

That is very sophisticated logic you are using. When will you be entering puberty?

You're having a terrible time inventing arguments to make when all you're really trying to do is express how hurt you are that someone could make fun of kids in the UK (your special tribe). Read what you wrote. You claim that I said the word 'spastic' is a verb. I'd love to see you show where I said that. Second, 'spastic' can be used as a noun -- precisely how I used it. Compare the phrases 'like a spastic' and 'like a crying offended teenager'. You may want to visit with your school counselor so you can get a new prescription.

Golly, the most patronising? Really? I can only presume you've not spent much time here...

I joke of course, and the Xmas moan comment was a flippant, unthought through offhand remark written in the adrenaline fuelled moments following watching something emotive and fun - and was at no point intended or imagined to ever be conceived as anything other than in the fun manner in which it was typed.

I'm sorry it caused you annoyance, I'll delete it for you.

43.42 seconds in - after clara exits for the second completely pointless time.

child on christmas trenzalore gallifrey with two minutes of daylight asks the doctor as the tardis pointlessly reappears after dropping clara off for the second time - with the turkey -

"if you're not leaving why did you bring it (the tardis) back"

"its a reminder"

it is at this point on the second viewing that i again checked out of this entire episode.

it just sort of breaks apart as you watch it. none of it makes any basic dramatic sense. tell me you didn't checkout watching this ep.

the scene with tasha lem before everyone sprouts dalek eyestalks was also the worst piece of basil exposition in god knows how long.

moffat has way way way too much faith in the throwaway stuff he has already come up with. the dalek eyestalk stuff was always iffy - its not something to base a major dramatic lever on - why don't the weeping angels and the cybermen get dalek eyestalks at that rate. the cracks were never that resonant - except for the moment he pulled the shard of the tardis out of them - bar that they aren't, and never were, much of anything.

yes this is carping but moffat broadly deserves it - this is late stage george lucas I am the word carry on. watching the 12 minute behind the scenes thing i got vaguely terrified at the congratulatory shots of him sitting moodily in the directors chair looking omnipotent. seriously - too much is at stake people. we need him reined in by christ. he may be smelling the fumes of rampant self congratulation.

he's messing with the basics of the entire new run at this point.

basically i always thought that the people gunning for him were coming from the cheap seats, and i got an incredible high from the last few eps - we all did - but this ep was just bananas. dangerously, dangerously heavens gate scale bananas. particularly given how seriously expensive it all looked.

corral him bbc. he may be gone a tad mad. protect the the doctor at all cost!!

To be honest yes I made a mistake here I thought your response said "did you bother to"not did you need to", that was my brain giving you the benefit of the doubt by not assuming you went straight to name calling on the Internet. However you are quite right you did go straight to name calling. So to answer your point properly, if I saw a word I didn't understand how on earth would I then be offended by it? You are implying I would both understand and not understand the word at the same time, which is not possible. Secondly rather than just apologising, regretting and or removing the outdated offensive and puerile remark you continue to defend it now claiming its a noun! So what is it that spastic is the name of exactly? You claim to love doctor who, which incarnation of the doctor would use a term like spastic? It's indefensible and betrays a very unpleasant mindset, one that is evident in your instant dismissal of simple arguments with name calling. As for your assumption that I am young and need a new prescription, again no idea exactly how that comment justifies or explains how and why you came to use a term that belongs in school playgrounds and building sites in mid 70s Britain? Do you always call people names who point out your errors? No more name calling, just explain how your use of the word spastic is not a reference to the severely disabled and thats me put in my place far more effectively than your vitriol.

Good response??? Again a comment about my alleged age meant to insult me but still no reasoned answer as to why you expect others to boycott a show you refuse to boycott yourself? Again can you reply without name calling?

Dark clouds lead to rain is an assumption and an inference. A generalisation would be that all clouds are dark, which would be easily proved false because some of them are white. I think the ratings are approximately equal to that of he dr who movie when that was aired therefore I'd say there is a core audience made of families, adults and children who will watch something called doctor who, whatever the quality. I do not understand why you blame children for the ratings when you clearly watch the show yourself! Your points make no sense do you really think it's fair or reasonable to say all children are idiots? which incarnation of the doctor would say this? Did you not see the excellent An Adventure In Time And Space which celebrated the love children have for the show? You blame children for the shows ratings, it's direction and it's resultant lack of quality. You foolishly argue the point that all children are idiots, something demonstrably untrue. Your stubbornness in the face of clear reasoned arguments and your continual name calling in other posts shows that you are trying to present as an unpleasant fellow. And I will take no more time educating you

You are aware of course that by definition someone with ADHD would not be able to sit and stare at anything, the clue is in the name Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder.

Whilst most of the points you make in your many comments on here are true (your views on Peter Capaldi not withstanding, what makes you think you know he is going to be bad already is beyond me), I hope your ideas never get used.

Good job it clearly wasn't meant to be watched as a first timer.

Matt Smith's Doctor is anything but dark, he can not pull off the angry doctor or the violent doctor well however he does play comedic and touching well. the storyline isn't confusing, most people know what RTD is attempting to do, it just does not work and goes against everything thing ever set out in doctor who before him, making it nonsensical. and if your praising dark but saying that the two darkest NuWho Doctors are the worse ones, you didn't think this through.

the last few series in a nutshell "OMG that happened this will have a huge effect on the shows direction in the future, oh no wait a paradox somehow solved it all without any consequence"

i wouldn't mind but its close to lucas saying that the kids love it. which is moffat's defence three times every tuesday lately.

he has written the greatest who scripts standing but he needs to completely lay off the mythology. it will live.

the last three episodes feel like a night in soho that starts great, brilliant things are said, and at the end you realise that he has given everyone an incredible hangover.

moffat is basically the motherlode for who as it stands, and he has done some of the most incredible things. he needs to completely ease back, take a walk in the country and reset.

None of what he has done is a misfire plus he ignited who in the states in a very serious way. he just needs to sit in a field, breathe, relax, and put some iron girders down. its the one thing he hasn't done- write simple episodes on his own terms that demand absolutely nothing.

those episodes could prove to be girder episodes, moffat needs to write dramatically girder episodes.

moffat: chill out and relax. there is an audience. forget starvation theories, forget compressed storytelling - sort of - don't try and break the dam every time - it won't take it. just have some fun and trust in the audience.

just for gods sake write some episodes well within the mythology. stop tearing it apart every two weeks.

enough is actually enough. back off. right now.

I already quite fancy him.

incorrect - on an important level it was a dangerously poor episode. ten million people actually saw that insane mess. that wasn't drama. it didn't function as basic drama. he's nude, she's nude, she leaves three times, the planet makes no sense, the christmas trappings make no sense. there are cracks against religion because it occurred to him, the time shifts were nonsensical, it was impossible to care about anyone, he re-introduced motifs that made almost no sense to people who actually cared about the series - it hangs on dalek stalk people until it doesn't. there is a mythically perfect moment where he aligns with the silence that lasts for all of three seconds as he twirls his cane. that actually was that - his alignment with the silence lasted three seconds of screen time. compressed storytelling my ass moffat.

that was almost the worst. thats compressing storytelling to the point where you are actually a maniac. twirling his cane for three seconds for all that.

moffat took it to a point where those that care about it barely had any clue what the hell they were watching. there is a limit to eye stalks and cracks in time.

moffat needs to calm the * down. the asterisk is an expletive.

he is burning up the entire fifty year thematic apparatus for kicks now apparently.

This was the main flaw I found in this ep. All the rest to me was typical nu who silliness (which is all good) but the time lords waiting on a word, then sparkle a new round of "lives" bc the doctor was going to die and they retreat? The time lords have been established as arrogant and self centred, not to benevolently retreat from re entering their universe because the doctor's latest squeeze asks nicely. Didn't buy it. Matt was great tho.

Matts Doctor won't have remembered Capaldi being there, the older Doctors never remember when they assist the latest one. Memory stays with the oldest incarnation at the time of multiple Doctor stories.

what did you expect? a body?

bodies are boring. I've had loads of them.


god listen to that - he just needs to settle and allow the series to breathe - unless he has a sense that it has to run like a greyhound. if so fine.

still - he has to let the mythology breath for a second. it really needs it.

you could nearly hear bones breaking at the christmas ep.

you'd beg him to be careful.

Youre absolutely right, utterly so. The fact he spent centuries with Tasha Lem, yet valued Clara appearing made no sense from a sensible point of view. Sadly this is one of those suspension of disbelief/dramatic effect moments that really, is for the people that DONT put so much thought into this, the viewing public, not the true fans. Its illogical, but it made it a kind of sweert ending for him, despite the lack of logic

Probably true, but at least with Capaldi i will be able to take it seriously

I'd imagine some kids watching it hadn't got out of nappies yet when this story line began, can't see a kid keeping up with a 3 year illogical storyline.

"It's interesting how they've started treating regeneration as being almost the same as dying."

Interesting or annoying? Personally the half hour syrupy love-ins that accompany the regens these days are starting to turn my gut.

It's akin to Mrs. Bear weeping for an hour before I pop to the hairdressers.

Is it only me who winces each time the show puts the word who after the word Doctor?

It'd be nice to get in all in one run this year, none of this US split season baloney.

No, I winced. It felt like product placement of the lowest order.

Isn't it funny when kids think they're clever, but they're really just being pedantic? --There I go again complaining about kids: don't burst into tears.

'Dark clouds bring rain' is a generalization as not all dark clouds do. --But I see that you claim you will 'take no more time' educating me. Huzzah! Cheers.

You've summed up my feelings in that episode totally. It's not that it was a sub par episode, it's that it was mostly one of the worst episodes of recent memory.

Oh, to be a veteran of the William_Bradley days of Den of Geek. This place has been far more peaceful in recent months than I've ever actually seen it, even where Doctor Who is concerned. Comment section used to be just vile.

Either way, your comment was utterly ridiculous, and I'd like to thank you for removing it. Enjoy your day!

It was a brilliant roller coaster of a ride from start to finish. Action packed yet emotional. I really wonder if some people are watching the same programme at times. If some people seem to dislike a show for minor reasons, then watch something else. Did it have a lot to pack into the hour it got...yes. longer is always better. But a resounding 10/10 from me.

Speaking as an absolute non-fan who watched it by accident, I really enjoyed it, the first time I can honestly say that about Dr Who.

Finally got time to re-watch it (without baffled grumbling relatives) and it's really pretty good. Name/Night/Day of the Doctor were for me an almost perfect finale for the Smith era and this works nicely as an epilogue. There is a simple but strong story in there which allows room for all the fan-demanded thread-tying-up business. That was all handled fairly economically - nothing mind-blowing but some nice touches like the Silents being engineered as confessors - and got us back to Doctor Who with minimal continuity baggage in time for the regeneration. I particularly liked the idea of seeing an incarnation grow old which is something genuinely new, although it was all a bit too busy and distanced to be truly poignant. Happily it went easy on schmaltz and the snappy regeneration was a nice bit of subversion. Christmas decoration was unnecessary but inevitable. Cheers Matt, welcome Peter!

Three things disappointed me slightly:
1. grand mysteries that have been built up throughout the eleventh Doctor's tenure were resolved with such throwaway, missable answers (why the Tardis exploded, the Silence etc)

2. It was quite a cheap resolution to the regeneration problem - if the time lords were so keen to be brought back through the crack at Trenzalore, would they really have just granted the Doctor his regenerations and closed the crack, accepting being stuck in a separate pocket of time and space?

3. In the grand scheme of the eleventh's time frame, he only spent a really small fraction of his time with Clara and Amy. Slightly upsetting to think they are framed as his most cherished friends, but would really only be greeted as very old, brief friends (think this probably goes down to poetic license, allowing their narrative a bit more emotion).

HOWEVER: Overall, in my opinion the answers are really satisfying and the majority of questions are given a tidy resolution. Matt Smith and Jenna Coleman were brilliant - for all the complaints about convolution and confusion the story was really just a stage for a brilliant bit of acting from the both of them.

I liked it alot. It was fast, fun and festive. Fitting end to certain plot lines and a great send off for Matt.

Oh yes, I remember William_Bradley. Quite the 'character'. He must have been engaged in about 1,500 different angry exhanges at one point, none of which he aggressively, humourlessly maintained had anything at all to do with his outrageously anti-social attitude. I'm surprised he hasn't appeared again as the self appointed leading authority on Doctor Who (and, whatever else he has an opinion on), spitting vitriolic insults at anyone that has the temerity to disagree with any aspect of his mounumental 'critiques'.

People are so blooming picky!! Personally I thought this episode was great! Do you know what even if the biggest "whovian" in the world wrote this episode with all the ridiculous add ons you lot want it still wouldn't be enough would it.. there would always be room for complaint compared to preposterous standards.

Yep, it's still awful.

So, can I ask (without any sarcasm please!), is Gallifrey back in our universe now? :)

"It'd be fair to say that we've very much on your side..."? Typo?

I love dr. who but this really was terrible, nothing against Moffat either (i also love Sherlock) but I thought that, after an epic start full of major references and enemies, it all stopped then suddenly new regeneration, how do you fly this thing...
So sorry to poke a hole in your theory but hardcore fans such as myself found it shite too x

I think that this was one of the worst episodes of doctor who ever.FULL STOP. I'm not complaining about Matt Smith, he is a good doctor. However, Clara (Jenna Coleman) is both good and bad, in Name of the Doctor, when she is falling into his timeline and is giving it all the "I am the impossible girl" "I have to save the Doctor" lines- that made me sick. Also, in the episode 'Time of the Doctor', when she looked into the crack and said "if you love him"....-hang on a moment, the time lords have put the Doctor on trial,they exiled him to Earth, they tried to destroy time itself and make them the only beings in existence.- you have Borusa, The Master, Morbius, Omega, Rassilon and Valeyard who all tried to kill The Doctor, or put him on trial, or take over the galaxies or whatever. He is not their knight in shining armour, I fact they probably hate him more than love him. I think that the writers need to look back at the classic series, so that they get lore and continuity between the classic and rebooted series' right. Hopefully, the people who are Doctor who fans, and not these 'ooh, I've been watching Doctor Who for a couple of years now, I'm a true fan' can see everything infront of them that is wrong and agree with me.


I thought Amy was pretty similar to Lynda Day, really...

But of course he would spend all that time with Tasha Lem, if you agree that she is River Song who has been (or has had herself or has had help being) 'uploaded' into that character. Many obvious clues - 'the psycho inside her', the kissing, she can fly the Tardis, Mel is Lem backwards etc etc. Poor River - always destined to try to end the doctor, even if she doesn't want to kill him! Poor Clara, always destined to save...even if she herself can't understand how or why!
But I do agree with you on several levels...

What a load of snobbish, stuck up rubbish your post is the Comic. First of all I loved the time of the doctor but the guy is entitled to his opinion. Second of all Doctor Who is a family show, not a kids show. Just because it had outlandish concepts does not mean it can't have genuine drama and emotion. Try Genesis of the Daleks, Pyramids of Mars, Inferno, Power of the Daleks, Army of Ghosts/.Doomsday, Curse of Fenric, The Daleks, Caves Of Androzani, Revelation of the Daleks, The Web of Fear, The Silurians, Frontier in Space, Brain of Morbius, An Unearthly Child, to name a few dramatic, well written, well acted stories that deal with everything from genocide to race hatred to cannibalism. Planet of the Apes is just as ridiculous as Doctor Who. I mean I like it, but if you want to pick it apart like you do Doctor Who then it doesn't make sense. Why did Taylor not figure out he was on earth earlier when all the apes spoke English? Also stop referring to shows like Game of Thrones as adult series. Just because Game of Thrones has sex and violence doesn't make it more adult than Doctor Who in fact that's unbelievably childish to assume that does make it more adult. Also The West Wing is arguably one of the most unrealistic, over the top series I have ever seen. It might as well have a Dalek its just so unrealistic. Its so unfair to use Love and Monsters was it undoubtedly the worst ever story in its 50 year history as an example of why its always silly and childish. By that logic then I can use Genesis of the Daleks as an example of how fabulous it always is. Oh and PS get back to me in 50 years lets see if GOT, The West Wing and The Soprano's will still be even talked about, but I can assure you Who will be. That silly old show will still be it will outlast us all.

Hi Joseph

Another day, another English lesson on the internet.

You state “The guy is entitled to his opinion” but then tell me for expressing one… so which is it? Is one “entitled” to an opinion or not or is one only entitled to an opinion if it coincides with your own?

Did you even bother to look at the conversation you are commenting on The OP (Original Poster) says “Yet another Hour of Moff Boredom”

My reply is that maybe he should try watching something else, and then I cite a list of widely critically acclaimed TV shows for the OP to choose from. I’m not suggesting that they are of greater value per se. In fact you reveal your own snobbishness by attaching a value judgement to the terms ‘family’, ‘children’s’ or ‘adult’ TV whereas I would simply suggest that they are different. My point is simple if the OP does not like X, maybe spare himself the bother of being disappointed every week and then watch Y instead. The OP claims to be a fan of something he admittedly does not like – that is a contradiction, much like your ‘Opinion’ comment. “What is your favourite dinner Joseph” “It is Pizza” “What do you like about Pizza?” “Nothing, it makes me sick to my stomach” can you see how transposing the ideas into a different context, from TV to food, highlights how illogical the statement is? The OP has the power to switch off and enjoy something else, instead of watching something, hating it and then moaning on the internet – Moff has been running the show for 4/5 years now, at some point the disappointment is the OPs fault for returning to the trough.

I then point out that I find his separation of Moffatt and RTD confusing, using examples from the Moffat era as I can’t see why the criticisms he levels at Moff don’t equally attack his preferred showrunner. That is not an attack on the programme it is an expression of confusion.

You cite umpteen ‘classic’ episodes, many of which are on my DVD shelf at home, to tell me how good they are. I restate that whilst being good that does not mean they are grown up telly, although I would suggest they are moreso than the current iteration. However whist I am sure those episodes may satisfy the OP, he is talking about new episodes and the current showrunner. You talk about GOTD tackling genocide, I agree, but it doesn’t tackle it like Schindler’s List, or to make it sci fi, Planet of the Apes or the brutal Battlestar Galactica reboot. GOTD handles it in a relatively sanitised way. Powerful, but sanitised and child/family friendly. Its also interesting that you have to mine examples of Who from the 1970s to defend it today, are you suggesting that Live fast Die Hard is gritty because Die Hard is, or that the violence in Casino Royale is comical, because it is in Dr No? I would suggest that Casino Royale has as much in common with Dr No as The Time of the Doctor does with Pyramids of Mars, i.e. very little.

You also state that Dr Who will be around for another 50 years, whilst I agree and hope you are right you do seem to forget that but for an hour and a half to the mainstream audience it wasn’t around for 17 years of the 50 its already had, it may be 50 years since Who started but it has not been on air for 50 years. You also state that more people will be talking about Who than GOT in 50 years, something you cant possibly know with any confidence, and again I think Who discussions outside of fandom were pretty quiet during its 17 year hiatus. I also think your point about longevity would be of little comfort to the bored and unhappy OP. I am also confused that you equate ‘talking about’ with ‘quality’, Katy Perry has more Twitter followers than Mozart, Bach, Handel & Beethoven combined are you suggesting she is the superior musician? Or alternatively that someone, much like the OP, bored and unhappy with Katie Perry, a singer they used to enjoy but now detest, should simply buy her next album because she has so many followers? Or would you, like me suggest that person simply listen to something else more to their liking?

I am broadly a science fiction fan, last year I thought Star Trek Into Darkness, Pacific Rim and Thor 2 were all poor, Rush and Captain Phillips however were excellent. That does not suggest that all star trek, all superhero or all monster movies are rubbish, just that their current or most recent incarnations were unsatisfying. As such, of the 5 films mentioned above I bought one, Rush.

My post is/was not an attack on Dr Who, its an attack on attacking Doctor Who when a more powerful response is to simply watch something else. Given you do not understand my point, to exercise the freedom to choose something else, nor do you understand arguments per se, the obvious contradictions you express. I hope you take the time to read and understand this post before you respond and/or suggest I am not entitled to an opinion.

BBC, hire this guy stat!

I need more jelly babies, enough with fish fingers already!

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