The Time of The Doctor

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    Craig @craig

    The 2013 Christmas Special and the final episode featuring Matt Smith.

    Orbiting a quiet backwater planet, the massed forces of the universe’s deadliest species gather, drawn to a mysterious message that echoes out to the stars.

    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord

    Evening all

    Bloody hell. That was full! Lots to digest and I’ll need a rewatch. I can’t help thinking those people who thought that The Snowmen last year was a bit difficult to follow for the average Christmas viewer would have had a complete MELTDOWN on that one!

    Great turn by Matt, nice to see Amy. Loved the fact that Matt was wearing a wig actually became part of the plot.

    “I’m wearing a wig”

    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord
    DiscoStupac @discostupac

    He wears a wig now.


    Wigs are cool.


    Even Amy was rocking one……


    Still formulating my thoughts on it, really enjoyed it, it turns out things were somewhat more straightforward than we had thought?

    Or did it….?

    Devilishrobby @devilishrobby

    Woohoo shocks and revelations. I take it the plot in general is taboo for a little while yet so our transatlantic members who are watching it later won’t have spoilers, but let’s just say some peoples theories have at least partially been vindicated.

    Anonymous @

    Definitely needs a re-watch (which will happen as soon as I’ve finished compiling and burning to DVD).

    So, The Doctor has been granted a new set of regenerations. That should keep us going for another 50 years 😀

    I started getting a bit misty eyed as soon as ‘Four Knocks’ from TEoT was reprised and was in full on ‘snotty nose’ mode by the end 🙂

    wolfweed @wolfweed

    It’s nice that the Time Lords love the Doctor. Aww.


    Magnetite @magnetite

    Well, that was rather splendid, and a great sendoff for Matt Smith, who is now definitely my favourite Doctor – although at least I still shave my head 😉

    So much answered, great cameos from the past, and they obviously held some of the budget from TDotD.

    One minor thought – was Handles channelling K9 and/or Mr Smith?

    Oh, and the ARSE has already started on the Graun…

    Cath Annabel @cathannabel

    Still a bit too emotional to analyse anything TBH but I’ll echo @magnetite‘s ‘rather splendid’.

    The Grauniad seems to assume that the Time Lords restarted the clock on the regenerations, making Capaldi no. 1 in a new sequence but was that explicit?  It makes sense, I hope that is it.  God, I’ll miss Matt though.

    Apparently,  ‘Caves of Androzani this was not’.   Good.


    Devilishrobby @devilishrobby

    Did anyone catch the bit with the Doctor about Tasha Lem and something about suppressing the psychopath within is this a hint that Tasha is something more or am I reading more into this. It gave me goosebumps thinking could this be some kind of reincarnation of River.

    And did I not say the Timelords had the ability to grant further regenerations and they didn’t even have to come out of hiding to do it ….( sorry to brag) given at times SM’s tendency to reboot a myth taking the easiest logical route I suppose given the events of the DOTD it was logical that the Timelords would have an active part in the doctor’s continuation.

    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord


    Ah..those Christmas episode G blogs always seem to draw a higher proportion of negative comments. A combination of indigestion, apres-dinner wind, and Santa not delivering a hoped for prezzie I’ve always assumed.

    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord


    Apparently, ‘Caves of Androzani this was not’. Good.

    Yes, I saw that one and agreed. As hard as I tried, I couldn’t remember a crap “Magma Monster” in this episode at all. The one in “Caves” made @chickenelly (where she!?) want to throw something at their screen. 🙂

    Tennantmarsters2013 @tennantmarsters2013

    @fatmaninabox and @everybody


    the most scary part for me well uncomfortable was Matt with no hair I was imploring him to put it back on!!


    so the silence was expected and were right

    interesting how they have changed the end part and I’m starting to think he has started anew completely zero

    If this is the wrong place to post it let me know



    deffinately gonna require a rewatch… Or several!

    Tennantmarsters2013 @tennantmarsters2013

    Oh and sorry mr tennant but as mu h as your last performance was boss matt’s was well so much more granted I would’ve loved to if Seen your take on it


    long live 11! Long live Matt Smith! And long live the doctor!

    Timeloop @timeloop

    Hi all,

    this episode did not grab me as much as the day of the Doctor did. I suppose since Doctor Who is for a wide range of people it is someone else’s turn to find it absolutely splendid. (I’m not saying it was bad at all).

    Although 11 is my Doctor I did not feel compelled to bawl my eyes out. I only teared up once.

    BUT I tried to stay on top of all the new information. The Question and the need for Trenzalor, the Silence and their core belief, the destiny trap, soaked in the blood of millions, the greatest fear… all very coherent and neatly tied up. He should have included the cracks again somewhere on the way.

    The Ponds were more of a family than Clara ever was. That stuck with me. Because Clara did not even know rule number one.

    Oh Moffat. First you keep on rambling about never forgetting and then you make up some long-term-memory-amnesia? Odd.

    I guess I don’t like it as much because right now there really is not a big mistery to solve. We just have to wait for over half a year with nothing to ponder on. A nearly clean slate.




    Magnetite @magnetite

    @discostupac – apparently Karen’s wig is made of her own hair:

    although I can’t say I was looking at it too hard.

    Perhaps YouTube will see an explosion of ‘Doctor Wig’ over the next few days…

    gctv @gctv

    It was meh! I really loved it to start with. The stuff about gallifrey and when it finally seemed to be coming back to the question that will be asked was great. The way they kept wrapping up all the loose ends was good, the Silence, the crack etc. However it very slowly started to feel like they were cramming all the answers in at last minute and in the end all that stuff was just there because this was the last chance they could fit it in. I can imagine Moffatt at the keyboard with a checklist of things he needs to resolve so was making things up to fill in the cracks like a bad pollyfiller job. Also most of the episode we had to watch Matt Smith with dodgy old man makeup shambling around, this should have been his last chance to be the crazy energetic doctor we all love and they had him sat around for most of it. And come on, the timelords gave him extra juice through the crack and somehow got them out of that situation – thats just lazy writing! So now he just has extra regenerations? Hopefully Capaldi’s confusion at the end will pay off, maybe what the timelords did has side effects?

    Anyway I need another watch because Im dwelling on what I didn’t like instead of the stuff I did which Ill cover in my video review next week. Either way it looks like im going to be eating my fez on camera as promised in my predictions video :

    chickenelly @chickenelly

    Hello everyone, not been checking in as I’ve just moved house and haven’t got the internet connected yet. Just up in Scotland for Xmas in the bosom of the chickenelly family and taking the opportunity to leech off their wifi.

    Need to watch the episode again but the first impression of the chickenelly family was that not much happened. Also was Eleven aged up so Peter Capaldi would look younger in comparison? (I’m thinking of those people who complained that he was a bit long in the tooth.)

    TiyPanda @tiypanda

    Merry Christmas everyone, I’d just like to say I loved the episode so much; it drained all my tears ;n;

    The plot was amazing as always but there’s only one thing that annoyed me a little too much… Matt Smith’s re-gen into the next doctor. He just did some kind of head flick and BOOM new doctor “do you know how to fly this?”

    I was expecting a whole 1 min re-gen with ‘re-gen juice- flying everywhere but it was just one little head flick which made me sad. Anyone else feel this way?

    Apart from that I loved it!


    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    Not many coherent thoughts yet – and the sugar high probably isn’t helping. I thoroughly enjoyed it, though I’d agree that ‘not much happened’. Sieges are like that. 🙂

    This was a script designed to give Matt Smith an acting sendoff. As such, it was brilliant.

    Is Moffat going to end up reclaiming every single species from ‘irredeemably evil’? As well as our friendly Sontaran, we’ve now got Silence who are on the Doctor’s side and a helpful Cyberman. Bring back Dalek Caan, that’s what I say!

    ardaraith @ardaraith

    There were no babies or cot in sight, but I enjoyed it anyway. I loved how Matt played the regeneration. It was exuberant, which is how his time has always felt to me. I do wonder about that Papal ‘mainframe’ – is this a River connection?

    It really is a brand spanking new start: new set of regenerations, Time Lords that would come in “peace”, and a Doctor who may not ‘remember’ all those past lines.

    The Krynoid Man @thekrynoidman

    I couldn’t make out most of what Capaldi was saying at the end, the sound mixing on that bit was awful.
    I did not like it at all, very disappointed.

    GothamCelt @gothamcelt

    I regret to say I found it very disappointing. Will need to rewatch but initial thoughts were: fell in to the trap of most Christmas specials – overblown, overstretched and most definitely overhyped. Basically, the doctor hides in the basement for hundreds of years and not a single arch enemy can find or destroy him? In all that time he couldn’t think of a solution or even to think to ask for help?  The attempts to be seasonal – a town called Christmas – an old man making toys – was  laboured; and the parody of the Catholic church – Papal Main Frame, confessional Silence – was unhelpful and unwelcome. The cameo at the end is now a predictable ploy to be both esoteric and emotional. The last fifteen minutes picked things up a bit but, in general, it was poorly judged.

    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    I think- as a fan, for a Christmas episode, it was great. I also think it was at the very least brave to do a regeneration/tying up of lose ends episode at Christmas.

    The only sort of disappointment I felt from it is the sort of disappointment I always feel when I am watching/reading something with a really interesting mystery and it gets solved. It all made a lot of sense in my opinion- which isn’t always a given with Moffart, bless him- regarding the order of the silence.

    Matt Smith was brilliant, but that always is a given. So was Clara’s grandmother (for a moment I almost wondered about those Clara is the doctors granddaughter theories). The nudity thing- I’m not sure if it really added anything- but it managed to be quite sweetly innocent, for the most part.

    I wasn’t so sure about the speaking of the name- for one thing, he could lie, but he could fail to speak. But at least we know now we will never hear the doctors name. (Which could only ever be an anti-climax) because the Doctor is his name.

    I’ve been trying to work out if Tasha Lem could, conceivably, be a regeneration of River. The ‘fighting the psychopath’ comment, who would have put River’s grave there for the Doctor to find- there are a lot of reasons why not- why would she have a different name (well, the Church probably wouldn’t have promoted River that high up…) it was in fact Tasha who lead (inadvertently) to River’s kidnap (but the Doctor didn’t remember the role of the silence, and did River ever know it was an ‘order of the silence’?

    I think the main reason I like the idea is because I am no believer in the asexual doctor, but there is a considerable amount of space between that and a doctor having it off constantly across the universe. Moffat has tended to tone that part of the Doctor down, or rather mock it as he did, a little bit, in TDOTD. Here it just seemed a little Tennant-y. Great character, though. And I had no problem with her overcoming the Dalek process- though, for Christmas viewers, I do wonder if it would have been possible that a verson of Clara survived full Dalekisation.

    Capaldi was fantastic at the end. ‘Do you know how to drive this thing?’ (Oh yes- Tasha could drive the Tardis. Just saying.) Matt Smith, bald. Clara was really good, I think she’ll be a great transitioning companion, from one Doctor to another.

    GothamCelt @gothamcelt

    Being a bit of an anorak, but did anyone else spot that Tasha Lem is an anagram of  The Lamas? Does it mean anything? A quote from a comment on A Nightmare in Silver – (reminded me a little of Tibetan Buddhism. ‘reincarnated Lamas are thought to have the memories of previous incarnations, recognising old toys etc, but are not expected to have the same personality).

    Remind you of anyone else?

    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    @GothamCelt- probably a coincidence. (Lem is also Mel spelt backwards.)

    That said I have thought about the Tibetan Buddhism thing before- because it is similar. The ‘same’ person, with memories of previous versions, but not the same personality.

    It always makes me see a regeneration as death. And Matt Smith’s sadness here- he knows the memories will continue- but ‘he’ will be gone.

    Rob @rob

    Fantast Amazing Brilliant 🙂

    Doctors Who have saved Gallifrey three times in Modern Who (I’m including sending Rassilon plans awry)

    The crack in time caused by the Timelords makes sense (Prisoner Zero the Master????)

    Hundreds of years to cook the Christmas turkey 🙂

    Ok time for family stuff

    More stuff laters

    Be good and positve people 🙂

    Anonymous @

    Well, I’ve just finished watching it and am in a puddle of tears whilst the family are watching the T-20 cricket. Not fair. I want someone to share my grief. I loved it. I loved every minute: the Doctor’s name is all it ever needs to be; the Doctor defiant, joyous and indestructible. A man who stays for once- stays some more – and never runs away. I loved the town of Christmas. A little place filled with genuine, kind people: gentle; bright; never credulous, never excitable. I loved little Amelia, flashing by, windmilling arms. The deceptive ease of a happy accident. The tall and glossy woman, Amy Pond, saying a confident, final farewell and Clara, born to save the Doctor, saving him once again. In his final speech, he said he would remember every single day; not one would he forget. Well, I am greedy and this, my Doctor is indelibly printed on my optic nerves and the magnitude of his passing is difficult to comprehend. The new Doctor, no doubt wonderful and capricious like them all,  is missing, as yet, from my own heart. So, whilst Doctor Matt has given up his time, I’m not quite ready to let him go: I would like one more day with him: my Doctor.



    Hudsey @hudsey

    That was the best Christmas episode yet, I think. Tied up the loose ends nicely and also gave us a memory loss issue to think about for the future Doc. And what happened to the crack? Did it close? I wasn’t overly impressed with CapDoc’s first words or indeed his quick regeneration though. I was hoping for more of CapDoc for us to warm to seeing as we have such a long wait.. But I really liked SmithDoc’s closing speech. I do think though that it is a clean slate from now on, no more elements of this period of the show to continue such as River or the silence. With the exception of the search for gallifrey and Clara as a companion, I think we will see a completely new set of characters and stories from now on. I could even see Moffat moving on now. Perhaps a cameo from the paternoster gang to start a new cbbc show but, I think we are in for a completely new approach in 2014… I can’t wait!

    PhileasF @phileasf

    I enjoyed this very much.

    I was moved.

    I’ve long had this idea of how the Doctor should regenerate – about what constitutes a suitably heroic end. The suitably heroic self-sacrifice, where the Doctor knowingly gives up his life to save the world or one person. The series hasn’t followed my strict requirements very often. Pretty much only in Planet of the Spiders and The Caves of Androzani. (The End of Time and Logopolis, tried hard, but to me it always felt like the Doctor ‘died’ in those because the writer said he must, and these were situations he would have escaped any other time with a quip and a wave of the sonic. The absurd machine that killed 10 seemed particularly contrived: to me, he was the Doctor who was killed by really bad design.)

    I expected Moffat to follow my strict requirements to the letter because he’s such a good writer. (Please detect a touch of self-deprecating irony here, as it’s sort of intended.) But he didn’t. He did something better, bless him, because he’s a better writer than me and a better writer than I imagined him to be. To have the Doctor age to death, doing what he and we loved best, was beautifully unexpected and right. And now it seems like the only way this Doctor could have gone. Amy and Rory aged to death, living good and fulfilling lives to the end, no doubt, and so did their raggedy Doctor. Perfect.

    Rob @rob

    I must disagree with those who are disappointed with the fast regeneration,  it wasn’t fast at all.

    The regeneration starts after Clara implores the Timelords to help the Doctor who has kept them safe for hundreds of years,  surely earning a new set of regenerations ( 12 and 24 hour clock). The process ccontinues and defeats the Daleks, gives the Doctor back a youthful appearance,  gives him a chance to see Amelia and Amy once more, say goodbye to Clara and reassure her at the same time before we get (as always at least in my memory a glimpse at the new Doctor) at the very end our new Doctor.

    Now others far smarter than wot I is, you know who you are, though if pushed I will @ you 😛 , will explore the timeline and plot thoroughly explaining it.

    Right time for my Venusian Aikido class,  after a coffee of course


    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord

    OK – some more detailed thoughts now after a rewatch.

    I got my Christmas wish in that we had a resolution to the thirteen lives thing. Nice use of the seal communicator “taken from The Master in the Death Zone”, a reference to The Five Doctors, a story in which they first offered The Master a new set themselves.

    I don’t have a real problem with a way it played out. The pleading by Clara about “loving him” (surely a “LOL” moment on the other side of the crack) was probably outweighed by the fact they were about to lose their point man in this Universe. They granted The Master a new set in the Time War, so they’re not above granting new regeneration sets for their own self-serving motivations.

    It does seem to suggest that the Time Lords (and Doctors) fears about them being frozen in that moment in an alternative Universe were unfounded. Time seems to play out at some pace on the other side.

    The main thing I’m glad they did is have the new set thrust on the Doctor, and not have him seek them out. To me, after his many lectures on the dangers to those who seek immortality, it would have been a sad thing if it had been any other way.

    So – change in the timelimes rebounds back and forth. The Doctor saves Clara from the time crack in his grave, and she’s there to change the Doctors mind in DotD, and they save Gallifrey. This, in turn, enables the Time Lords to extend the Doctors lives and prevent the end point we saw at Trenzilore. No more a grave site, but the place of renewal.

    A couple of small points aside, (I didn’t really need the contents of room 11 to be verified) I really enjoyed it. Smith was excellent. I noted some criticism of the prosthetics for aging, but I thought it worked a bit better than with Tennant in Last of the Time Lords. It’s Smith’s old eyes that sold it. The only jarring thing slightly was the voice, but we can’t do much about that. He does have a natural route to be plucked away from his 300 years on Trenzilore to appear in any future anniversary though. He could be in the 100th anniversary! Now that is forward planning. The end was more restrained than End of Time, and I’m grateful. I started to have a moment at the site of Fish fingers and custard, because somehow you knew what was to come in a glimpse of Amelia and then Amy. It just made sense.

    Rewatching the Doctor laughing in the face of “rules” (13th lives) on top of the clock tower was heartwarming. He’s the constant rulebreaker isn’t he? I can’t help feeling that way about SMs first tenure, breaking the formula of the RTD years in a variety of bold and surprising ways, playing with audience expectations and doing it his way. Even if the number of episodes this year has been short, it’s been a very good year for the Doctor.

    On to the future with renewed vigour.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    There were various little shout-outs. One I enjoyed myself was the ‘explanation’ of why post-Time-War regeneration is so very much more violent than the pre-Time-War variety. We weren’t ‘told’. We were ‘shown’; regeneration was beefed up to be a weapon. A regenerating Time Lord was capable of taking out a Dalek battleship.

    I suspect there’s lots of similar stuff in there, once rewatched. I also enjoyed the joke that the Doctor knows all about iPlayer 😀

    Anonymous @

    Hi All,

    Just finished my third re-watch before posting anything.  Overall I thought this was better than TDotD, it tied together better although the inclusion of some characters was a bit dubious.  I agree with @gtcv in part that Moffatt was trying to cram too much in, but I suppose better too much than too little. Also @gothamcelt is right, how come no enemies were able to find a way to get at him for 300 years?  The wooden cyberman was a bit lame although the explanation as to why wood was credible.

    Interesting that the gathered enemies of the Doctor eventually fought amongst themselves instead of uniting to defeat him as they had partially done in ‘The Pandorica Opens’, not sure where these events were in the timestreams but didn’t they remember past successes did they.   The final alliance formed was a surprise as well, the Doctor and the Silence/Papal Mainframe fighting back to back against the Daleks, wonders will never cease.

    Still trying to fathom out the regeneration part of the episode.  Matt started his regeneration as part of his defeat  – on this occasion –  of the Daleks, yet became his younger self again to say goodbye.  Then, the instant switch to Capaldi in the TARDIS.  Was Moffatt running out of time for a decent regeneration sequence or did he think one wasn’t needed as we’ve seen them in the past?

    I did find the ‘lesson for today’ speech very good and something any parent should write down and use in later years for their children.  I refer to the “We All Change” explanation to Clara, a really moving part of the episode.  It is on a par with the Rose Tyler speech from ‘The Parting of the Ways’ episode with Christopher Ecclestone where Rose tells Micky and her mum about the Doctor showing her how to lead a better life, a real motivator.

    I was hoping for something special at Christmas, did I get it?  Honest answer is no.  Good, but only a bronze medal.  Let’s see where the new Doctor takes us later in the year.  Any theories anyone on where we’re going?


    Anonymous @

    should read @gctv, apologies.

    Rob @rob

    Had a re watch now and I believe that River Song and Tasha Lem are spookily similar as @Devilshyrobby mentioned

    She’s a psychopath,  loves the Doctor, lives in a mainframe,  doesn’t age, defeats (eventually) her inner and outer Daleks, can fly the Tardis and knows he shouldn’t be left alone or die alone

    On the downside she also admires the new body, see every thory has a hole.

    As to loose end tieing up of, the timey wimey nature of the Who-niverse always means each shoelace has multiple eyelets and multiple aglets for each eyelet

    wolfweed @wolfweed

    The only thing wrong with this brilliant story is Matt’s unconvincing wig (post reset when presumably it wasn’t supposed to be one).


    Handles was voiced by Fonejacker (RIP Handles!)

    Funny to think that Clara has been abusing the TARDIS’s time travel capabilities for trivial matters.

    Barnable Family motto = ‘Regard the Dead’

    One last Drunk Giraffe

    A Transdimensional Barn

    The Silence Priests (very popular) – ‘Confess!’

    Clara has a wicked Step-Mother

    Tasha never mastered ‘Flying the Doctor…’



    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @rob – I’d suggest they’re similar because that’s the type of woman the Doctor fancies. Right the way back to Enemy of the World, he’s attracted to mature, confident, slightly dangerous women.

    It’s not, however, the type of girl he’ll deliberately take on board the TARDIS as a permanent travelling companion. He wants to marry (this is a family show) the ‘bad girls’, but he wants to travel with family (in the sense of ‘the kids’) and friends.

    The Krynoid Man @thekrynoidman

    I think Matt’s costume really suits Peter, maybe he should wear something similar (a bit like Hartnell and Troughton).

    Rob @rob

    Ohh and another for @wolfweed

    I reversed the polarity 😀

    One from my first remembered Doctor ….. The Third

    Question,  was there a phrase used from all previous Doctors snuk into the dialogue???

    If there was I missed them, better watch it again 😀


    I know but it’s a comforting thought that the River flows through the heart of the Tardis, well for me anyways

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    A day late, but just finished watching it on the iPad. Watery eyes from both Mrs Blenkinsop and me.

    It was lovely.

    I think a big reason why it wasn’t as appreciated by some, is that, unlike so much that had gone before with Matt’s Doctor, this was a very adult and mature reflection on aging, death and dying, and what it means to lose a loved one.

    Moffat also managed to tie up so much from the start of Matt’s tenure, and the granting of the new regenerations was done brilliantly, precisely because it was done so economically. You did not need to see the Time Lords. It was enough to know they were there.

    Loved it.

    Cath Annabel @cathannabel

    I agree with @blenkinsopthebrave.  Not for the first time in NuWho, the themes of ageing, of loss, of choices made, and chances missed were so powerful here, and very moving.  I thought (as I often do) of the best film in the world, It’s a Wonderful Life, which I have always argued is not a film that the young will really appreciate (I read a comment from a 20-something just today, who was underwhelmed by it, and I’d argue with her except that she’s a 20-something who will never be a 40-something and that’s a whole other order of godawful sadness ).  But, if  you’re old enough to have lost people, to have had to make hard choices, to have got some of them wrong, and to have missed chances that will not come round again – then you can feel for George Bailey, and you can feel for the Doctor too.  Actually there are loads of links and echoes – will go away now and write  a thesis on the influence of Frank Capra’s film on the RTD/Moffatt era Who…

    ScaryB @scaryb

    @cathannabel – Great to see you back

    Nice comments about different reactions depending on age of the viewer. I very much agree with you –

    if  you’re old enough to have lost people, to have had to make hard choices, to have got some of them wrong, and to have missed chances that will not come round again

    (and also @blenkinsopthebrave‘s similar comments)

    I would add to that making the choice to spend a chunk of your life as a carer – the Doctor does it in the role of protector, but it comes to the same thing. Admittedly (and he admits it himself) he doesn’t have a huge choice in it as the TARDIS is AWOL, but it’s a very Doctorish thing to do. But most carers also don’t know how long it will last or where it will go when they take it on.

    I’ve really enjoyed the themes of memory and loss that have run through Matt’s tenure. It’s under the surface throughout; I like how a lot of Moffat’s work seems to be “surface” on first viewing (which is what draws a lot of criticism) and yet unpacks to great depth when you chose to think about it more. (And thanks again to all the people on here who help in doing that; I love all the ideas and references that all of you come up with (even the ones I disagree with 😉 )

    ScaryB @scaryb


    I agree with you re not asking for extra regenerations. We’ve commented before about how wrong that would be.  And that in contrast to Tennant’s “I don’t want to go”, Smith’s Doctor is the one who is resigned to actually dying, never mind regenerating.

    I had a quick look on the Graun board, but couldn’t bear more than the first half page of comments! I don’t understand people saying they were underwhelmed by the regeneration – it doesn’t get much more massive than blowing up a Dalek mothership! (Which reminded me of the moment in DotD when he used the TARDIS as a battering ram (fangirl squee!)). The Eleventh came in on an explosion and left the same way. And I completely forgive the slight indulgence of giving Matt a final farewell scene when he should technically have been Capaldi by then – I was just thinking “nooooooooo – too soon, I want a goodbye!” And they did. With Amy. And Amelia

    I didn’t have the same problem some had with Matt’s makeup, although I think he could have played it equally convincingly with less.  What I loved was the silver haired look at the end – that, together with the astrakhan collar made me think “Hartnell”.  I went all mushy at that – that the Doctor at the end of his cycle looks like the first at the end of his life. Also that Eleven’s essentially dying of old age reminded me of the First regenerating because his body was “wearing a bit thin”.  Time Lords age like everything else, it just takes a bit longer.

    I’m looking forward to the next series to see where this new, lighter baggaged Doctor will go. And well done @bluesqueakpip on the resetting the clock call. I know there’s some ambiguity, and some discussion, but I think it’s clearly intended that Capaldi is the first of a new 12 regen cycle.  Now – is his memory loss just post regen scrambled-brains, or is it something else. ha! He’s just found out the the TimeLords (and Gallifrey) are definitely still around somewhere – but then forgets all about them!

    The 50th special and the Christmas special in the same year have different needs and aims from regular episodes, and I admit to judging them slightly differently, but I think they hit all the right buttons.  As a long time fan, I’ve been in Who-heaven about them, and all the minisodes and spinoffs, like the Fiveish Doctors –  I’m still catching up with some of them, LOL.

    ScaryB @scaryb

    Last thought for now…

    @bluesqueakpip – while  I agree with you that Tasha is definitely the Doctor’s “type” I also think @rob picked out a lot of similarities between her and River. (And I’m really glad they didn’t confirm our worries the other day about her looking like standard female villain). Really chilling line about having “to kill her before she’d give that up” “We did – 3 times.”

    And I loved the parallel with her and Clara in being able to overcome dalekisation.

    But… a thought… the Doctor and Clara need to have avatars to board the Papal Mainframe. Is everyone on the PF an avatar then? So is there an original Tasha still alive somewhere? Or does the original die when their avatar does? (or have I got completely the wrong end of the stick with this?)

    And presumably it was the change in DotD which zapped Gallifrey out of the known universe, but left at least some of the daleks surviving and untimelocked that meant they could build up their forces for the attack here. If the Doctor lets the TimeLords back through the crack they either get blasted out of existence by the Daleks catching them unawares… or the Time Wars start again and  everything he did in DotD is for nothing.


    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    @ScaryB- good thoughts on the carer comparison, though, at the risk of being a bit twee, like the Doctors decision to stay on the planet and protect it, it can also bring positive moments, which can make it feel very worth it, and make it feel worse in the end. I’d never even thought of that parallel before you mentioned it (the daleks are atos, right? 😉 )

    re: the regeneration- was it @bluesqueakpip (can’t find it here, might be on the Guardian) who commented that the super destructive strength of the regeneration energy was because it was from post timewar gallifray, and it had been beefed up as a weapon. This was not obvious to me till she pointed it out, but really works. That it can be used as a weapon we known from newly regenerated River, I had wondered if it was because it was a new cycle, it becomes less powerful over time- River was only on her third I think- but this is better for continuity. And before that I was a little concerned at the newness of this power. But no, the newness is what makes sense.

    I liked the snap- headshake- from Smith to Capaldi. After all that came before, it was so quick, so devastatingly swift and irreversible- so suddenly, however expectedly gone, and you- or at least Clara- want it taken back, undone. It was like a heartbeat.

    @scaryb again- imagine- a Doctor who has forgotten pretty much everything (other than that he regenerates) with a companion who has, in some form, been there through every step of his life. That might be a good way to find out how they got out of there, Clara would have to tell him what she knows and how come. It would also be a nice series re-set, because it would be a physiological- emotional re-set, and Clara would really be acting much as Susan did, attracting new companions and helping them humanise the doctor. (Hopefully with less screaming, though…)

    Anonymous @

    hooray to all this night, it was great wasn’t, it as it briefly mentioned before. I thought that the Doctor hanging about until he’d finished his job -and not running away-was marvellous and I’d totally agree with @cathannabel (hellooo) about the similarities with Frank the Capra!  Issues of memory, of longevity, of making do, and of carrying out a promise. Also, what a perfect goodbye -not too long (another “I don’t wanna go”  I did not want 🙂 ) but sad and Christmassy, nonetheless. I thought the Papal Mainframe was fab: I liked the “room with a bedAltar” and the classical portraits on the wall with the Silent in the picture was great, too. “reverse the polarity” was a funny reference-in fact, there were many amusing refs, ends tied up (some not so, which is fine). Puddle o’ tears I was, as I said up stream. Kindest,


    ScaryB @scaryb


    Agree with all your comments about carers, especially  –

    the daleks are atos, right?


    I think the extra power could come from both sources – it’s a big bolt from the TimeLords (whose motivation may still be self-serving rather than grateful), but yes, it’s also early on in the cycle –  a hint that this will be a reinvigorated Doctor, maybe. But I also like the symmetry of Eleven’s coming and going in fire.


    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    @ScaryB- yes, literally crashing in then crashing out. To me there was a particular chaos about this Doctor which fits well with this.

    ScaryB @scaryb


    <offers tissue from the now much depleted box!>

    Glad you enjoyed – me too 😥

    Like you I enjoyed the church refs – but maybe that also depends on age and upbringing. (I also thought it was quite brave in a Christmas episode, tho the Papal Mainframe ultimately turned out fairly benign (I think!))  (The Silence as the perfect confessors is quite intriguing – you forget everything you’ve just confessed to them – might be better for the “sinner” if it worked the other way round, haha)

    “reverse the polarity” – good spot, that came up in the 50th as well.


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