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 - and amongst them, the Doctor. Rescuing Clara from a family Christmas dinner, the Time Lord and his best friend must learn what this enigmatic signal means for his own fate and that of the universe. Written by
Regenerations in the revived series are presented as getting bigger and stronger each time. The Ninth Doctor's regeneration into the Tenth Doctor's introduced the regeneration flames. The Tenth Doctor's regeneration into the Eleventh Doctor's used the same effect but as a result of holding it in for too long, causes damage to the TARDIS. When the Eleventh Doctor's regenerative abilities are reset for the beginning of a new cycle, the effect is big enough to destroy an entire Dalek mother ship and several fighter pods. However, when the first regeneration after the reset completes itself (the physical change from Eleventh to Twelfth), it is shown as a (relatively) simple transition. See more »
This episode makes a point that the Doctor is out of regenerations, counting the War Doctor and the Tenth Doctor's regeneration into himself towards the end of Series 4. However, in "The Impossible Astronaut", it was shown that the Doctor was killed for real since he was killed during his regeneration. Of course, it was revealed that that wasn't really the Doctor in "The Wedding of River Song", but it still suggested that he had another regeneration left. See more »
[after his regeneration, as the TARDIS loses control]
Kidneys! I've got new kidneys! I don't like the color.
Of your kidneys?
[the TARDIS shakes]
We're probably crashing. Oh!
Stay calm! Just one question: do you happen to know how to fly this thing?
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It never stood a chance of eclipsing The End Of Time and sadly the writing again let the episode down. Large parts of it felt really stretched like most of Moffat's episodes. Series Five in particular seemed a struggle just to get to forty minutes an episode. The fact that the show maintains such a high profile is simply down to the cast. For the most part the cast have had little to work with but they've always shown they're more than capable. I particularly liked Orla Brady as Tasha Lem, she brought a nice element of classy flirtatiousness to the role and like most passing allies she showed an outstanding loyalty to our Time lord.
Jenna Coleman, who was not a pleasing appointment for me, was again not really given any chance to prove me wrong and that she can be a strong companion. Despite the fact that she has been awarded such a pivotal role throughout all of Who history, it has never really been explored properly. Matt Smith again showed that he has the ability to carry the show and keep you focused when the story seems to be slipping away which is all too frequently in my opinion. He had his work cut out here as there were long periods were the story stalled and it was left to him to engage the audience single handedly.
On first viewing I felt the regeneration to be all a bit brief but I didn't take into account the need to use the first part of the sequence to annihilate his attackers so it was a productive use of the process. Thinking back to ten's regeneration he used time whilst his regeneration started to take a trip down memory lane to say goodbye to his companions. Thankfully Smith didn't do this, though it would have been nice to see Rory, maybe even River. But if we'd have had that we'd have got Craig too and we don't need any more James Corden on TV. The morph did seem a bit swift which gives ten's actual regeneration morph points over Smith's but having said that eleven's was much more pivotal and destructive than any before.
On the whole The Time of The Doctor wasn't displeasing but it wasn't great either.
The writing must improve. Capaldi is in now and I have high hopes for what is to come.
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