So it’s the end of an era, the end of an age, the end of a Doctor. On Christmas Day Matt Smith put on his final performance in the role of our favorite Time Lord the Doctor, before hanging up his fez and handing the job over to Peter Capaldi. But what did I think of Smith’s final episode?
The Time of the Doctor was not only a chance for Matt Smith to bow out with a spectacular end but also an opportunity for the various story arcs surrounding Smith’s tenure to be wrapped up. Indeed we learnt the origins of ‘The Silence’, the truth behind ‘Madam Kovarian’ and who tried to blow up the Doctor’s TARDIS back in Series 5.
The storyline, like many of Moffat’s, was simple however pushed to the furthest limits of complexity. There’s this planet which is sending out a signal and for some reason every species in the Universe has come to see what the message is. Included in the masses are Daleks, Cybermen, Sontarans and an old friend of the Doctor’s, Tasha Lem who helps the Doctor teleport down to the planet to find out what the signal is actually saying. And then “Wahay!” its the Time Lords, broadcasting a message from one of those cracks (Series 5). What’s the message? Well it’s ‘Doctor Who?’ of course (Series 6). And if it’s answered then the Time Lords will be back, just about ready to fight all the millions of monsters parked on the doorstep. Oh dear.
Well the obvious conclusion would be for the Doctor to get the hell out of there, before he starts another time war. But Moffat doesn’t work like that does he. Moffat is perfectly content to throw away hundreds of years of the Doctor’s life for him to spend sitting in a basement, occasionally coming out to kill a wooden Cyberman or something like that. So slowly Smith gets older, with the help of the BBC’s low budget makeup department. Clara pops in now and again, always managing to hitch a lift back with the TARDIS. It’s revealed to us that Smith’s incarnation of the Doctor is going to be the last (Hurt’s War Doctor and Tennant’s Meta-Crisis both counted as regenerations) and we see the attacks on the planet (now revealed to be Trenzalore) getting more and more explosive-y.
Without going into any more detail, I didn’t like the plot. I found it a bit long-winded and confusing, aimed solely at clearing up Smith’s story arcs. However I do believe that Smiths regeneration and Moffat’s solution to the regeneration limit were very emotional and the final scenes of the episode were a good send-off for a well loved Doctor.
Peter Capaldi made a great entrance as the next incarnation of the Doctor, maybe not quite as good as Smith’s debut but the best he could do without the TARDIS falling to bits around him. What will next year bring for Doctor Who? We’ll have to wait another nine months to see!
Also, it’s nearly 2014, so Happy New Year ‘n’ all that!