Thursday, January 16, 2014

The Time of the Doctor (2013)

SPOILER WARNING!!! This post spoils Doctor Who christmas special The Time of the Doctor (2013)

I didn't expect to see this episode this early. I have my recording service recording every Doctor Who episode shown on national tv. Usually they show couple years old episodes. 50th anniversary episode was special case. Now they followed it with last year's christmas special. Actually they showed it last year, but I just found that out now. So I had to watch it and after watching it, I had to wrote about it. I will get back to Southland Tales next monday.

This episode was not what I expected. I should have expected something like this, since Matt Smith's christmas specials have been fairy tales. After The Day of The Doctor I expected something more serious. It was kind of weird that Matt Smith's run was concluded in fairy tale episode. All the build up during his run was for fairy tale episode. But somehow it works. Maybe serious episode wouldn't have worked as well. I mean, how you could show war, that made everyone afraid of The Doctor, in serious episode.

Mysterious planet with no name is calling alien races. Doctor is there too. Aliens orbit around the planet. They are not fighting each others, because they are so curious about the planet. The Church of Papal Mainframe has blocked anyone from entering the planet, but they let Doctor in. Doctor comes to town called Christmas. Everyone has to tell the truth there. Except there are couple times when Doctor can lie, but you can argue, if first time was actual lie and if second was in Christmas. In town Doctor find crack in universe. Similar he saw in Matt Smith's first episode. He founds out Time Lords are calling through the crack and asking Doctor's name.

If Doctor tells his name, Time Lords came back from pocket universe, they were sent in The Day of the Doctor. Planet is surrounded by space ships, which will open fire as soon as Time Lords come back. Doctor decides to stay and keep the crack safe. Aliens tried to enter through the blockade. Some of them manage to do that and Christmas turnes into war zone. The planet is called Trenzalore, the planet where "Silence will fall" and which is final resting place of the Doctor. "Silence will fall" means Doctor can't say his name to Time Lords. Silence is there, but this time they fight with the Doctor and I guess you could say that they fall too.

War lasts for centuries until only Daleks and the Doctor are left. Doctor is old and almost dying naturally. Before this episode fans were wondering, will next Doctor be the last Doctor. Doctor explains that he is the last Doctor, because War Doctor was one and Tennant's Doctor used two regenerations. But still no mentions of future Doctor from The Trial of the Time Lord. I think I have to buy it and watch it again to check, if I remember something wrong.

Before Daleks shoot Doctor, Doctor's companion Clara convinces Time Lords to help Doctor. Time Lords send new set of regenerations through the crack and regeneration energy destroys Daleks. That was lazy writing. There was talk before episode, that Matt Smith could be the last regeneration. I expected someone else to take Doctor's role. You could still have called show Doctor Who, it just would have been different guy being the Doctor. But no. Just throw new set of regenerations like it was nothing. That solved regeneration problem for long time.

Regeneration limit was introduces during fourth Doctor's  run and it was for another Time Lord, The Master, but Master could also cheat that. During that time they didn't think is would come back to haunt them. They didn't see Doctor Who continuing this long. In big picture, regeneration limit is not a big deal. But as limit came closer, fans made it kind of a big deal. I hoped they chose different way to solve that problem, but this was fairy tale and shown on christmas. So I think that have lowered the impact of lazy solution they came up with.

Am I only one, who wonders, if Matt Smith and Karen Gillan wore wig in this episode? Karen Gillan shaved her hair for her role in Guardians of the Galaxy(2014). Matt Smith cut his hair shorter for How to Catch a Monster(2014). I don't know how those fit in time line of shooting this episode. Matt Smith had different hairpieces, but I don't know was his "normal hair" really his hair. Audience get confused with trivial things, when you suddenly bring popular character from past to do brief cameo.

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