"Doctor Who" The Time of the Doctor (TV Episode 2013) Poster

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We Come Into This World Naked and Can Take Nothing With Us
boblipton25 December 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Here ends the saga of the Eleventh Doctor. It has been an erratic journey, with many failures in story telling, buttressed by a fine performance by Matthew Smith as the most alien of the Doctors, the old man in the young body. In fact, that may be a major cause of the trouble: so much of the past three series has been involved with the weird shtick that Matt Smith performs so engagingly that story logic has given given scant shrift.

And so we come to the Christmas Special set in a town called Christmas: the death of the sun and the quickening of the new one; a Doctor that is wounded in one leg like the Fisher King; a Doctor out of regenerations, fighting the end of his old world.

However, nothing can be born until something dies, and anyone who goes to watch this episode knows that there will be another Doctor, played by Peter Capaldi. First, though, all the forces of the old times must be faced: Daleks, the Silence, the Cybermen, Weeping Angels, the Cracks in Space and Time, the Time Lords of Gallifrey and, most terrifying of all, naked death.

The story of this special is a story told in mythic terms. There has been a lot of bafflegab and fast-talking nonsense to get through a lot of stories in the past, but this episode, by using the mythic idea of the True Name, series runner Steven Moffatt has produced an episode that will annoy most fans.

Most fans think they know how the world works, how Doctor Who works. However, the essence of mythic story telling is mystery, death and rebirth. It's directly contrary to the way most people think of Doctor Who, which is supposed to be Science Fiction. Stop looking in your physics textbooks for the answers. Don't concern yourself with what's written in astronomy texts. Look instead in Joseph Campbell's work. For starters, take a look at THE HERO WITH A THOUSAND FACES. We've seen a baker's dozen now. here are plenty of faces to go.
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Christmas Special 2013: Forgets the small moments and is mostly an uninvolving mishmash despite some good aspects (SPOILERS)
bob the moo28 December 2013
Warning: Spoilers
OK so on one hand the Christmas Special of any television show is not going to be the place to come with very high standards and hopes – of course TV can be good over the holidays, but generally it is as bloated and filled with excess as our food. The audience are there but not up to much and as a result you tend not to get the best showing up on the screens – just the biggest; and not too much comes bigger than this show at the moment on the BBC. This Christmas Special is not just that though, it is also the handover from Smith to Capaldi and as such more of a big deal.

The plot here tries to set that up with a very big story involving every villain you've seen and even the rift in time and a former companion showing up. The stakes are high with an aging Doctor stuck in a standoff, essentially the only thing preventing another time war, however at the same time it is Christmas so we have turkey being cooked, paper hats and so on. The two sit uncomfortably together because it feels like the plot should be bigger or the Christmas triviality should be the focus, but not both. The "bigger plot" is the one that is main one in the end and this has plenty of noise and explosions but no heart, so it sort of distracts but doesn't engage – it certainly doesn't convince as something going on for hundreds of years at great cost. The problem for me (besides not really caring) was that it is all noise and empty movement, there are very few smaller moments and those that there are seem so isolated and cutoff from everything else that one wonders if they got left in the edit by mistake. So a small moment as the Doctor loses an old friend (albeit a badly explained one) and a scene with Clara's Granny both offer nice moments but they are there in a rather exploitative way, not as part of the story – or at least this is how they feel.

The regeneration we've all come from is equally overblown. I cannot say if this was always the case as I can only remember the most recent ones but I would love it to be more of a quiet affair someday. The appearance of Capaldi is encouraging as he has an older intensity but this is tempered by the episode we just watched – Capaldi may be good but ultimately he works with what he is given. Smith's exit is not a great loss – he suited the material of the last few seasons in that he can run and shout and wave his hands around and to be frank this is often the main things being asked of him. Coleman remains brighteyed and flirty; I liked her a great deal for this but I hope they can find a story soon that offers her more to work with as an actress. The supporting cast are fine but the only one that stands out (Brady) just feels like a lazy clone of River Song in terms of writing and subsequent performance.

Time of the Doctor isn't awful by any means, it is just very so-so and lacking in a lot. The comedic Christmas moments are decent but feel pushed into the bigger plot because of it being shown at Christmas; meantime the bigger plot is marred by lots of noise but no substance and it doesn't really engage as a result. It is a shame for Smith, but his last episode really does stand as a potted summary of so many of his episodes – lots of running and noise to distract and provide light entertainment, but not a great deal else apart from one or two moments which are good but feel isolated in the middle of all the rest of it.
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Wohh they cram a lot into this one.
Sleepin_Dragon17 September 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Clara invites the Doctor to Christmas dinner, all goes wrong and they end up travelling to the Papal Mainframe, a massive floating Church. The Doctor tries landing on the planet underneath to find out what the strange message is that they are receiving, but the Church blocks everyone's attempts at landing there, including the Doctor's. Head of the Church Tasha Lem allows them to teleport down, where they land on the truthful town of Christmas. Once again the crack in the wall appears. Tasha Lem informs the Doctor that the planet he has landed on is Trenzalore. The Doctor protects his new home from all manner of invasions and attacks. The Daleks attack the Papal Mainframe, and it falls on the Doctor working with the Silence against the Daleks.

Now I love me some handles, Kayvan Novak, why would you have Mr Novak in a show and not get to see him though!! What a visual waste.

They try to cram it all in, the Cybermen, the Daleks, The Silence, The Weeping Angels, Sontarans, they try almost too hard to force too much into it.

I did love the wooden Cybermen. What an awesome creation.

It does tie up lots of loose ends, 'Silence will fall,' who the monsters are, why Madame Kovarian broke away etc.

Matt Smith is again spellbinding, he cannot be faulted in any way shape or form, it's a brilliant performance from him. I would have liked one more series from him. I liked that Amy made an appearance.

The episode itself, huge ideas, masses going on, yes it's very messy but I quite like it, I don't think Matt was totally given the send off that he deserved but it is still a very sweet episode, with lots of features from his time, fish fingers and custard etc. It seems a little bit like we've been here before, elements of Time of the Doctor? possibly. 7/10
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A messy but enjoyable end to Matt Smith's stint as The Doctor
Tweekums26 December 2013
Warning: Spoilers
This episode opens with everybody in the universe receiving a coded message from a remote planet; nobody knows what the message means but everybody knows it is important; this means everybody heads there including The Doctor and his old foes the Daleks, the Cybermen and the Silence to name just three. As if that isn't enough he receives a call from Clara asking him to come to Christmas lunch and pretend to be her boyfriend. One thing leads to another and Clara and The Doctor find themselves together above the mystery planet. Soon the origins of the signal are learnt: Gallifrey. The Planet isn't Gallifrey though; it is Trenzalore where The Doctor is destined to die! The signal is coming from a crack in the universe and if The Doctor says his name the Time Lords will return and the Time War will begin again. He doesn't do that though; instead he sends Clara back to Earth and stays of Trenzalore growing old. Eventually there must be a confrontation though and The Doctor must regenerate… despite his telling Clara that he has already regenerated for the last time.

I rather enjoyed this Christmas special even if it was less Christmassy than usual; the Christmas lunch and The Town called Christmas on Trenzalore seemed to be there just to enable this to be a 'Christmas Special' rather than just an episode that happened to be aired on Christmas Day. It was nice to see a variety of enemies and a cameo from an old friend but the story was a bit messy with the Doctor sending Clara away then not doing much for hundreds of years. Still I found it fun; there were some laughs to be had as well as some poignant moments in the run up to his regeneration. This episode also dealt with the problem of The Doctor's limited number of regenerations; no doubt some people will view this as a bit of a cop out but the makers had to do something if they were to keep the series going in the long term. I enjoyed Matt Smith's tenure as The Doctor but now that he has gone I can't wait to see what Peter Capaldi brings to the role.
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Ho, ho, hopeless.
BA_Harrison26 December 2013
I'm always prepared for the disappointment of Christmas: the interesting looking parcel that turns out to be a pointless novelty destined for a charity shop; the cracker jokes that are about as funny as a swift kick to the groin; the supposedly 'deep' mince pie with very little mincemeat; and the Doctor Who Christmas special that makes no sense whatsoever.

This year, Doctor Who followed immediately on from popular saccharine crap Call the Midwife, which could make almost anything seem good in comparison, and for a while I was content to see Matt Smith do his usual routine, flapping about and spinning on his heel while spouting nonsensical Who-isms. Plus, in the first few minutes they threw in Daleks, Cybermen AND Weeping Angels to keep fans happy.

Then it all went a bit Pete Tong…

The Doctor went to a twee Victorian-style town called Christmas where he stayed for 300 years, protecting the citizens from aliens while refusing to reveal his real name to the Time Lords on Gallifrey through an inter-dimensional crack in a wall. Meanwhile, Clara pulled a few confused expressions (she wasn't the only one) and I had to fight nodding off despite not having touched a drop of alcohol all day long. To make matters worse, Doctor Who eventually vanquished his enemies via an embarrassing 'deus ex machina' served up liked so much week-old turkey, but which in turn at least heralded the arrival of Peter Capaldi, who we can only hope will breathe some new life into this tired show.
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Farewell to Matt Smith and the 11th Doctor
studioAT15 January 2017
Warning: Spoilers
So here we go, farewell to you Matt Smith, bowing out as the 11th Doctor in this Christmas special.

There's a lot to like in this episode, not to mention a few nods to previous episodes/character traits.

One of the flaws of Smith's reign (and obviously it's not his fault) is that the stories have become increasingly more complex, but here we get a nice fun and simple episode.

It is one that highlights just how good Smith was in the role, and how missed he was after his departure.

For the 11th Doctor's final speech alone this is worth watching
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A Loud Uninvolving Mess Befitting Of The Smith Era
Theo Robertson25 December 2013
Warning: Spoilers
I won't bother writing a plot summary for The Time Of The Doctor if Steven Moffat hasn't taken the time and trouble of writing any sort of plot line neither shall I . The episode involves a comedy scene involving Christmas dinner because Moffat needs to remind us it's Christmas . The action then jumps to a another planet in a town called Christmas because Moffat needs to remind us it's Christmas . He then ignores it's Christmas by serving up a reheated turkey similar to all the other nonsense he's been forcing on to us since The Eleventh Hour . Hyperactive Doctor running around shouting and waving his arms around Where have I seen that before ? Comedy Sontarans Underdeveloped Cybermen that could be any generic robotic monster Daleks flying around shrieking EXTERMINATE but never actually exterminating anyone on screen

" Right that's enough of that Theo . Another complaint and you'll officially become known as Scrooge . You'd think Moffat had ruined your Christmas if not your entire life "

Bah humbug to you . I didn't have much of a Christmas to spoil so maybe it's just me but looking at many of the other online comments of the episode especially from fans in my own age group does seem to confirm my own feelings on the episode in that it's both confusing and uninvolving at the same time . The unforgivable thing is the way the danger is resolved simply by Clara pleading to the crack in time and that solves everything so once again we see a companion pull out a leftfield reset button to save the universe . Abysmal , lazy writing from Moffat but did we expect any better ?

Moffat might think he got away with it simply because this is a regeneration story and the audience will forget the preceeding rubbish rubbish if the last five minutes are compelling enough and he has probably done enough to get away with this if only down to the casting of Peter Capaldi in the role of the twelfth Doctor . From what little we've seen of the new Doctor I'm filled with hope for the show again , but let's hope while we're gaining a Scotsman as the driving force in the front of camera we're going to be losing a Scotsman who has been destructive behind the camera . In the meantime I'll be rewatching The Web Of Fear , Inferno and The Seeds Of Doom to remind me what proper DOCTOR WHO is all about
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Doctor Who - The Time of the Doctor
Scarecrow-882 January 2015
Warning: Spoilers
The final adieu to Matt Smith, the Doctor of my thirties (with Tennant and Eccleston the Doctors of my twenties), and his work on the show will be remembered and his presence missed. He had some real delights during his three year tenure as one of the most beloved characters in the annals of television science fiction. While "The Day of the Time Lord" will probably be regarded as one of the very best Smith ever participated in, his work with Jenna Coleman after the wonderful Karen Gillan has certainly be treasured by me, and their final time together in "The Time of the Doctor" is a gift that kept giving all the way until Peter Cipaldi emerges as the next Doctor to the take the reins. Doctor Who? What is the Doctor's name? If he admits it aloud in the town where you cannot lie, Christmas (appropriate for the time of year when this episode premiered), on the planet Trenzalore, the Time Lords can return. However, all of the enemies against the Time Lords await around the orbit of this planet and the Doctor will protect his people if it means he must stay put and age 300 years. Jenna Coleman has really been a treasure as Clara Oswald, a masterful casting find that has been an emotional support system needed after we lost Gillan, quite a beloved Doctor companion in her own right. Coleman's spirited, vibrant, lifeforce has been a pleasure to see mature during her time with Smith as his companion. The casting over the years for this show has been so superb, it is no wonder the show has thrived successfully. Oswald realizes that the Doctor has a great obligation and tries to encourage him to allow her to be there alongside him but he loved her too much for that. Piper really set off the new era of friendly relations with the Doctor when cast with Eccleson as the companion. But with Gillan and Coleman, the camaraderie and bond between the Doctor and companions transformed significantly into something far more substantial. No longer was the Doctor haughtily holding himself in superior fashion to his associates: they were treated respectfully, protectively, and even lovingly. Smith really changed the way we looked at the Doctor: his translation of the character was wonderfully his own. His face and eyes, his energy and pizazz, and the comedic attack Smith devoted to his character to give him an enthusiastic quality so full of life was a joy to watch week after week. Following Tennant wasn't easy considering many (including me) believe he's one of the all-time greats to play the character, but Smith's approach to the character made him so lovable and huggable. To think, all of that and his Doctor faced one of the most turbulent eras in the history of the character: to help defend Gallifrey and save it even, not to mention protect his Time Lords and the name of the Doctor, Smith wasn't just involved with "dinosaurs on a space ship" or "Cyberman attempting to mind control him during a chess game". Certainly Smith was Buster Keaton to Tennant's Charlie Chaplin, but both were brilliant and had their place in history.

Seeing an elderly Smith seemingly unable to no longer save innocents against his adversaries, his Doctor vulnerable and perhaps broken, it was refreshing to see the companion, Clara, come to the rescue. She appeals to the Time Lords to help the Doctor as the Daleks descent and potential victor appeared imminent. To be there as the Doctor was momentarily young again only to lose his face to Cipaldi was a fitting end for Oswald (as was her time with him as an old and tired man), and Gillan's brief return to greet him (in his memory) one final time was poignant. I was definitely teary-eyed. Saying goodbye to someone so fondly appreciated and enjoyed can be quite tough. Smith was able to bid us that, dwelling on how change is certain whether we want it or not. Cipaldi emerging and needing help to operate the Tardis with Clara stunned is a hoot! Protecting the planet was a "church", an order led by Tasha Lem (Orla Brady) and her military but even they cannot hold off those pesky Daleks forever. During his time on the planet, the Doctor befriended a kid in the town of Christmas which took us back to Amy Pond as a little girl. Also included is a Christmas gathering at Clara's home with her needing the Doctor's help as a "boyfriend" in front of her mom, pop, and gran.

If I had a criticism is that the special effects can be variable and sketchy, but for Smith's final episode, the bad guys are in abundance. Ultimately, the decision to provide a "pal" in the guise of a Cyberman head he nicknames "Handles" for assistance (readings and warnings) actually leads to a rather sad moment when it finally dies due to malfunctions and age. Writer Moffet's use of time has always been rather demanding and not without being perplexing, expecting us to go with it regarding what happens to the Doctor, and this episode does the same. The split in reality allows for there to be a visual crack that could lead to the Time Lords arriving through it as a gateway.
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Matt finish
Lejink27 December 2013
And so Matt Smith's time as the Doctor ends, the sonic screwdriver passed on to the much older Peter Capaldi which should make for an interesting change after Smith and his immediate predecessor David Tennant put a more youthful slant on the Doc.

Like the recent 50th anniversary celebratory episode "The Day of the Doctor", Steven Moffat fills this particular pie with many ingredients, perhaps too many at times, but in the end the story was still gripping, finishing up with the much anticipated, if rather sudden, regeneration where Capaldi's first appearance begins with a rather poor line ("What colour are my kidneys?") which I would hope isn't indicative of what is to follow.

Again Moffat reaches back this time into the show's more recent lore which he himself has supervised, to introduce the plot elements here, principally the crack in the universe, intriguingly suggesting the return of the Time Lords. There he meets Colonel Meme and her band of intergalactic police acting as the conduit to Trenzilore where only the Doctor can gain entry and where, as a sort of space-age Wyatt Earp, sees off the would-be interlopers down the years. Eventually, inevitably, it's the Daleks who break through with an invasion force and set up one final showdown for this Doctor which will change him forever.

The episode has its oddities, none more than the Doctor's literal attachment to a disembodied Cyber-head called Handles, Clara's (to me, inexplicable) encounters with The Silence, and for the first time, we see a Doctor physically ageing as his supposedly final regeneration nears its end.

There's some typically cheeky Moffat humour throughout, particularly concerning hologram clothing, but it ends as it must with Smith's Doctor triumphing even as he expires, given a grand "Thank You everybody" speech and even a touching reunion with Amy Pond, but surprisingly not with Rory or River Song.

I have enjoyed Matt Smith's tenure at the TARDIS, but feel that after the youthful but different eccentricities of both his and Tennent's reigns, a more mature, perhaps spikier Doctor could make for a refreshing change of pace and it will be interesting to see how Clara moves on from her clearly physical attraction for the younger Doctor to an older man.

Lucky thirteen, anyone?
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Style over substance again.
A_Kind_Of_CineMagic23 February 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Following The Day of the Doctor which I felt was a triumph and had hugely pleasantly surprised me that Steven Moffatt could make so many elements work and make a great episode under the pressure of huge expectations this episode is sadly yet another case of Moffatt throwing way too many ideas at a story and not making them work. Yes it is hugely entertaining if you switch your brain off and for many viewers that is what they want but I require stories to make sense in terms of logic and to be coherent. This adds to the long line of adventures that Moffatt lets get too muddled. It is not 'clever' or 'complex' to just randomly throw loads of convoluted ideas into a story, ANYONE can do that. The clever bit comes in making it work and make sense when you analyse it as well as being entertaining at the time.

This is fun and epic and has humour, great acting, strong effects etc but it is a mess in terms of plot and is too contrived in content. The whole premise does not make sense. When the TARDIS takes Clara off for 300 years before finally returning it at least makes sense that means the Doctor is 'trapped' there but he basically trapped himself which does not seem a character choice he would make. Then even when he has the TARDIS back he remains on Trenzalore for hundreds more years. For a start, when he has a time machine he cannot get trapped anywhere as he could leave and return back to the exact moment he left so he would never have to remain on Trenzalore unless there was a reason given that he could not go back and forth in time from there which there is not. Also it does not make sense how the Daleks, the Angels, the Sontarans and the Cybermen with all their might can attack the small, primitive town (with the needlessly contrived name of Christmas) without success or wiping out all the inhabitants. Yes the Doctor and his allies defend the town but this is not depicted as a believable sufficient defence as attackers frequently are seen to get into the town and attack with powerful weapons. Moffatt just decides the Doctor will be stuck there for hundreds of years so it happens without making narrative or visual sense.

The Doctor visually ages a lot in 300 years but did not age at all in 200 years during The Impossible Astronaut story and the idea he cannot regenerate does not fit with earlier stories. If he knew he could not regenerate then why was there the idea of River's poison being required to 'disable regeneration' in Let's Kill Hitler and why was the space suit shooting an apparently regenerating Doctor at Lake Silencio? If the Doctor was destined to die at Trenzalore then why did everyone also think he was destined to die at Lake Silencio? If he was not due to regenerate why did he not notice the 12th Doctor's arrival in The Day of the Doctor or question the existence of the Curator? If he knows he will eventually die and therefore eventually be unable to further defend Trenzalore/Christmas then what is the point of him staying there for hundreds of years in an ultimately hopeless task without leaving or coming up with another plan? Why does the Angel touching Clara have no effect on her? So many ideas that are not thought through and just get chucked at the screen for epic show. This is the same problem as in The Big Bang, Day of the Moon, A Good Man Goes To War, Let's Kill Hitler, The Wedding of River Song etc. Moffatt had SUCH great potential as he could write terrific dialogue, come up with great scenes and spectacle as well as thoughtful character insights but he far too often just throws all his ideas at things with absolutely no attention being paid to making it all fit into a logical narrative. He also overblows things with lack of subtlety such as including numerous enemy races and characters without really using them properly.

The acting is great, especially by Matt Smith who puts in a bravura performance which should be recognised and applauded. There are some lovely quieter scenes and some exciting moments of drama. The ideas of the Doctor being naked and the whole element of the 'Church' and their leader Tasha Lem are weak and silly with no context that integrate them sensibly.

It is only the acting, the entertaining visuals and the smart dialogue which stop this falling to a really poor level. Even giving credit for all the positives though I think I am being generous in rating this as 4.5/10 which is very bad indeed for Doctor Who.
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Time's End for the Eleventh Doctor
hellraiser719 March 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Warning do not read unless seen episode.

This I thought was a great send off for the Eleventh Doctor, he's my second favorite Doctor if you can believe that which made his departure all the more sad for me.

I like the plot line which in a way is sort of like your one or few against the world premise which is cool though in this case it's against the universe, as the Doctor is forced to defend a planet called Christmas which of course becomes Trensalore in the future from forces that want to destroy the portal that contains Galafrey and of course every nasty posse wants to destroy it for no good reason. So if the Doctor leaves the planet undefended for a mere moment then both planets are destroyed. Yeah, it's a pretty tall order for the Doctor let alone anyone.

This is a different premise because the Doctor never stayed in one place for a lifetime, let alone the fact he is literally defending two entirely planets throughout that lifetime. One of the moments that was interesting was seeing a wooden Cyberman as a way to shield of the Doctor's sonic screwdriver frequency. But of course they overlooked one crucial detail as that Cyberman can't be wood all over.

But then of course things get really emotional as we see Clara come to the Doctor's homestead. I really like how the place has letters and pictures of the Doctor all around, it pretty much represents us the fans and how long our love for him. I'll admit when I saw the Doctor really old, it really made my heart sink because it reminded me of how mortal he truly is.

The whole theme of the episode is about facing the end, seeing him old and possibly dying just shows that no one lives forever and how precious time truly is.

We then see a moment where it looks really bad for the planet as the Daliek mother ship swoops down along with an armada and are about to annihilate him and everything else. At that point I wasn't really sure what the Doctor or anyone can do. But then of course the planet Galafrey gives the Doctor regenerative energy, pretty much a whole new lease on life. I personally thought it was a spectacular moment as we see the Doctor literally have the power of a God, as he is just blasting away at the Dalieks and the Mothership, this moment also marks the Eleventh Doctor going out in a blaze of glory.

Then it of course comes down to the final moment which are the most heartbreaking of all. After the Doctor gives a final speech that was great, we then see someone from his past which is Amy Pond. That moment was really tugged at my heart string as we know Amy has passed on a long time ago, though I wish they also had Rory and River I not sure why they didn't but oh well. But all th same seeing Amy again and what she says to the Doctor showed that the Eleventh Doctor is going to be joining his family which is something he never really had much.

And of course we see him take off that bow tie and it drops to the ground. That's when I know the Eleventh Doctor is gone; that just made me break down and cry. Clara says one last thing to him, "Please don't change." that's exactly how I felt about the Eleventh Doctor and every other Doctor before him.

Farewell Matt Smith, you really brought out the best as the Doctor which is why you'll be greatly missed, but like the constellations in the sky timeless.

Rating: 4 stars
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The Time of the Doctor Warning: Spoilers
This was a great sequel of sorts to Day of the Doctor, it wasn't as good as DotD but it was very good indeed. I am very excited to see Peter Capaldi's Doctor which I have only watch through once, when it came out quite a number of years ago, and I have very fond memories of it, but I don't remember much. Matt Smith is probably my favourite Doctor and I anticipate his inevitable return in future episodes of Doctor Who.
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A poor ending for the Matt Smith era
Rob_Taylor26 December 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Now, I'll be the first to admit that I was getting tired of Mat's portrayal of the doctor. The writing has been increasingly poor of late and his manic doctor was so very tired.

But, and this is a big but, no matter who plays the doctor, there is an expectation that the final moments will be emotional and give the viewer a heart-wrenching final few moments as one doctor morphs into the next.

For whatever reason, they decided to change this. One moment we're looking at Matt and the next... BAM!... it's Peter Capaldi. Right up until that moment they had built up the tension and the emotion very nicely to lead in to the regeneration. The weight of expectation was there and then.... BAM! Instant change. Literally, instant.

It's a horrible, horrible way to do it and I hope they never repeat this in the future. All the tension and emotion they spent building up is just ripped out and thrown away by the jarring change.

The rest of the episode was no more or less than I have come to expect from Moffat in the last couple of years. And to think, we were all so happy when Russel Davies left the show! It's becoming clear to me now that Moffat's time at the helm of this franchise needs to be rethought. Everything is old and tired now, much like the doctor himself in this episode. Same hinky story lines dragged out and rehashed.

Don't believe me? Well, when was the last time you saw a new alien race in Who? It's always the Daleks, or the Cybermen etc. The plots are always predictably identical.

Please BBC, give the show to someone else to make. Moffat has had his day. It's time for the Corporation to regenerate its showrunner into someone new.
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A Davies script in Moffat clothing
Meven_Stoffat25 December 2013
Warning: Spoilers
I was truly looking forward to this episode. I was pretty much left tickled pink by Day of the Doctor and was confident that Moffat would give Smith a better send-off than Davies did to Tennant. And he did, but just barely. I'm still trying to process what I just saw, I'm stumped and lost for words. Basically, we had 80 minutes of drudge followed by an amazing ten minute finale that came out of nowhere, but there's even some problems there too. And keep in mind, I'm one of Moffat-era NuWho's biggest defenders and even though he has had some bad scripts, at least I was filled with hope that it wouldn't be another case of "Davies Syndrome". Problem is we essentially got a leftover Davies script but with Moffat "perfections" to clothe it. Essentially, this was pretty much 90 minutes of navel gazing, Moffat masturbating to his own world building and Eleven being taken way out of character.

Speaking of which, that was exactly my biggest issue with this episode. Eleven was taken WAY out of character; essentially he goes out of his way to protect this town in Trenzalore, that he has no stake in. Then he stays there for 300 years, and suddenly goes back with Clara, ditches her and goes back to Christmas just to be a dying old fart and let a town be completely ravaged by war and let everyone die? Really? Especially when in the 50th special he tries to go back and right a similar wrong he made? And when we catch that "old" glimpse of him (with some of the worst makeup I've ever seen, seriously if you thought that aging makeup in J. Edgar was bad, get a load of this), basically the gigantic convenient deus ex machina comes with that crack in the sky and the Doctor is given some regenerative energy and boom! The day is saved.

And that's pretty much all that happens in the episode. Nothing really happens of any consequence to the arc. Essentially, you could just skip to the brilliant final ten minutes, which do save it from being a complete disaster. Gotta love that Back to the Future type finale, 1.21 GIGAWATTS much? But even that aside, the final blow was pretty great. Problem is it came after sitting though tons of navel gazing and The Doctor being a boring old sod for much of the episode. And the regeneration scene with Capaldi snapping right into the action was excellent, and hey, at least eleven didn't be a whiny emo baby like ten was in his final moments. At least he faced his death with dignity, and the Amy Pond cameo made my eyes well up a bit.

Well, all I can do at this point is twiddle my thumbs and hope that Capaldi is given a great ride, and that when Trenzalore calls for him, He's given a much better exit. This isn't the worst episode of Who but considering how much hype has been built up to this exit, Matt deserved better than a Davies script with Moff's name.
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::SPOILERS:: Best and Worst of Times for Moffat
arieliondotcom27 December 2013
Warning: Spoilers
It was rubbish writing. Moffat broke the cardinal rule of writing with too much narrating. It wouldn't be Moffat without a big red button in the form of a big, shiny crack in the sky. Clara *remembers* seeing the Silents next time she sees them, which isn't how it works. Stolen plot line ("Handles" the Cyberman head...an asinine idea...is a direct lift of Tom Hanks and his volleyball "companion", Wilson in "Castaway"). The "Old man" makeup on Smith was awful. And Moffat had to come up with an even bigger regeneration than ever before. Took out a few thousand daleks at this go. ..And started the Time War, the whole reason he aged to prevent, yet no explanation or worries, just turns young again and piddles about the TARDIS. And now we have Tash (possibly meant to be River) the half Dalek mucking about somewhere in the TARDIS. He gave Smith as maudlin a farewell as Tennant had. (Possibly Moffat's farewell speech as show runner). Rubbish writing. And yet he had me crying several times. And waiting until August for the the next Doctor's real debut.

The thing is, even Moffat's rubbish is gold for the rest of us. It's not easy to have us (as most of us, male and female, did) both laugh and weep...repeatedly...in under an hour. Being a Whovian is like having a brilliant but lazy child. It's all the more frustrating because you know what *might* have been. It seems inconceivable that the gem of "The Night of the Doctor" and this rubbish came from a mind between the same set of ears.

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This episode is filled with almost every problem Doctor Who has had...
FairlyAnonymous31 August 2014
Don't get me wrong. I loved Doctor Who, however, there are some reoccurring elements that seem to be popping up much more frequently than they need to be. This episode contains virtually every Doctor Who cliché in it which might be why people like it, but to me it makes it incredibly weak.

The episode follows the Doctor for almost the entire time and he stands as the main character in this episode. In the episode the Doctor faces his "biggest threat" yet where he is stuck on the planet where he is destined to die on. On this planet he is forced to spend hundreds of years fighting off Cyber-men, Daleks, and Weeping Angels. He does all of this to save the people of a small town called "Christmas"... get it? It's ironic because Christmas is supposed to be a happy thing yet it is chaotic and has war on it.

Now, while the premise of this episode may sound good, the execution is less than that. It has way too many Doctor Who clichés in it so it feels like a retread of old territory.

The issues: 1. The "Doctor does something embarrassing that looks like he is in a sexual relationship with his companion": This is done in this episode... like in so many other episodes. It may have been funny once, but now it just seems like fan service.

2. The "Doctor makes a promise, and it seems like he breaks it, but quickly fulfills it later because the Doctor "never fails anyone in danger...": This is done at least twice in this episode.

3. The "Promise for a super huge battle that will be epic that turns out to be a battle between only a handful of enemies": This promise has been done so many times in Doctor Who, but rarely has it ever been fulfilled. This episode really takes the cake for big let downs. This episode is supposed to show a giant battle that consumes thousands/millions of lives (we see the tomb stones of this battle in previous episodes), however the scope of this battle is literally only a handful of people. Literally, it takes place in a tiny 1800s styled town, and the Doctor has "supposedly" been fighting off Daleks, Weeping Angels, and Cyber-men for HUNDREDS of years in this tiny town...

This is a slap in the face to the audience, because we also get to see some of the battles. In ALL of the scenarios, we see the Doctor "cleverly" destroying all challengers... such as a lone wooden cyber-man... or a lone Dalek... or a lone Weeping Angel... or a pair of Sontarans... see the problem here?

Literally, ALL of the Doctor's enemies apparently attack him ONE AT A TIME (due to the montage, it appears they attack him once a week or once). Did the show forget that there is a DALEK SPACESHIP THE SIZE OF A CITY FLOATING IN SPACE??? Or a Cyber-man FLEET SITTING IN THE ATMOSPHERE? Why send one wooden cyber-man? Why not send 2,000? The weeping angels don't join anyone's allegiance, so why was there only ONE weeping angel infilitrating the town instead of... I don't know, the 10-20 we saw earlier in the episode?

To make things WORSE, we do get to see the final epic battle when the Dalek ship sends down its troops, and it literally only sends down maybe 10... the episode tries really hard to pretend that this is a "giant battle" but I think it forgets that it was established that THOUSANDS of people would die in this battle yet we can clearly see the town (along with other people) holds a maximum capacity of around 200 or so... REALLY?!?!?!?

Doctor Who does this a lot. There will always be an episode floating around that will say "This is the Doctor's greatest blunder" or "This is the Doctor's Greatest Battle" or "This is the day The Doctor really screws it up" yet in none of them do we ever get the sense that it was really big in scale or in failure. This is a TV series that spans all of SPACE AND TIME so for something to be some important that people know about it hundreds of years in the past and future then it better be big enough to effect more than a tiny town.

4. The "Deus Ex Machina super ability that comes out of nowhere to wipe out a large amount of enemies... which happens in almost every finale": Once again *spoilers* the Doctor is magically granted the ability to be able to regenerate again (even though this was supposed to be his last regeneration) and yet all of the Time Lords stuck in the other dimension somehow combine all of their regeneration abilities, shift it through the time rift which magically connects with the Doctor, which gives the Doctor all of the power of the Time Lord's regeneration energy (which is quite explosive) which the Doctor uses to--you guessed it--wipe out all of the Dalek ships and Cyber-men with a giant nuclear spirit-bomb of energy... yeah... haven't heard this one before...

All in all, the premise of the Doctor going through a big failure or having to spend hundreds of years stuck in one location fighting is a great concept. However, the episode messes it up in almost every way. The scope of the enemies is fine but the scope of the battle/s is pathetically small (why couldn't we see a battle on the level of those of when Gallifrey was be attacked just an episode ago?). The episode just feels so... been there done that... it feels like the creators of the show were almost bored with the premise and were kind of like "screw it". It's a real shame that Matt Smith couldn't have left on a higher note or with a better episode, oh well.
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The most overrated Doctor Who episode?
warlordartos19 April 2021
Warning: Spoilers
Not the worst episode of Doctor who by large nor the worst send out of The Doctor either, but what it is, is stupid. If they wanted to continue Doctor who then they should have had the regeneration into the arm back in season 4 not count, I could live with that. Instead they decide the best way is to have help from the rest of the Timelords, who are the very people who despise him.

After this we get the biggest explosion yet from a regeneration (I guess to try and distract you from how lame it is). The send of afterwards was a little better but then we get Capaldi's Doctor giving a really crappy opening line.
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A fond farewell for the end of the Matt Smith era
dkiliane8 April 2019
Warning: Spoilers
"The Time of the Doctor" is the near perfect follow up to "The Day of the Doctor." In Matt Smith's final special, the Doctor finds himself drawn by a mysterious signal from an alien town called Christmas. And all his enemies are already gathered in orbit from fear. Why? The signal harkens the return of the Time Lords; the Doctor only needs speak his name. And of course, his enemies, including Daleks, Cybermen, Weeping Angels, and the Silence will have none of that.

The Doctor's conflict is clearly seen throughout this special. He desires more than anything to bring his people back, but knows in doing so, he will ignite a second (and possibly even more deadly) Time War. But by guarding the crack in time and space (remember season 5?) he guards the possibility of their return.

This stalemate provides some good tension and we are treated to some genuinely chilling scenes involving the Dalek infected Silence. There are also many touching scenes between the Doctor and Clara. My only small complaint is that it does drag a bit as the Doctor continues to age in his 900 year vigil, but the climax of the third act more than makes up for it and the rest is filled with zany sci fi action and fun that only Doctor Who could deliver while wrapping up rather nicely the plot threads of the Matt Smith era. "I will always remember when the Doctor was me" he says, and we will too. 10/10
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I'm baffled by the bad reviews this has got on IMDb.
zacpetch11 January 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Matt Smith's 11th Doctor was the first one that I came across and though I've since caught up and seen all the others 11 will always hold a special place in my appreciation of Doctor Who. So when news came out that this was to be his final regular outing in the role I was upset. Luckily the great Moffat delivered the ending to his tenure in such a way that it made you sad to see him go. What more could anybody want?

The Doctor and Clara end up on the planet Trenzalore where he is faced with an impossible task of just staying put and holding off various threats (Sontarans! Weeping Angels! Daleks! Cybermen!) in order to protect the people of Christmas and the Timelords of Gallifrey. He's there for 900 years which makes him over 2000 years old in total and makes The 11th Doctor the oldest lived incarnation of the title character. Eventually it's revealed that though he is 11th numerically he is also 13th biologically so he cannot regenerate meaning that he will soon lose his life to old age. Matt Smith and Jenna Coleman create an emotional scene when he reveals this to Clara and the two try to pull a cracker but he's too weak. The scene will be referenced in the next Christmas Special, "Last Christmas", with a role reversal of sorts.

This episode is filled to the brim with the story it's telling balanced with tonnes of monsters and a resolution to all the story arcs of Smith's tenure dating back to "The Eleventh Hour" and how it fits all that into just one hour is amazing but Moffat manages it. Sure, some of it is just done by some careful handwaving but generally the story succeeds in what it sets out to do. It gives us a satisfying end to the time of The 11th (numerically speaking) Doctor and concludes all the plot strands previously left open so as to wipe the slate clean for the first Doctor of his second regeneration set: Peter Capaldi's 12th Doctor. It stands to Capaldi's credit as an actor that he manages to steal the show despite only appearing for less than one minute. One series in at time of writing and he is already fast becoming my new favourite.

In conclusion, this episode is a good ending for an excellent Doctor. Though far from perfect, the story is told well and will satisfy the fans without alienating the casual Christmas viewer. There are several elements of the yuletidiness that are a bit forced -- The Oswalds watching Strictly and the turkey and the town being called Christmas -- but if you can overlook these flaws you'll be happy enough with what Moffat has given us here and will miss Matt Smith. I will always remember when The Doctor was him.
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Where was the drama?
ewaf5825 December 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Little Steve Moffat he sat on a Toffat scripting the Doctor his way. Along came a great writer who sat down beside her and banished his stories away.

Sorry for gender change above but I had to get it to rhyme. Oh my goodness I know it's Christmas but this was soulless. You just can't throw in every monster under the sun and hope to make it exciting. For this you need mature interaction between the characters so you can have empathy with them.

This just seemed to be full of lazy writing - half baked ideas and again too much buffoonery.

I didn't find it involving except at the very end when Peter Capaldi appeared and Jenna Coleman at last expressed some genuine emotion.

Come on now Steven time to move on so we can get some emotion and excitement back into the series.
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Could have been handled A LOT better
mjplysaght10 January 2017
Warning: Spoilers
So, where to begin? Moffat collects the table scraps from previous script meetings and scrambles them together to try to form any semblance of a feature length episode. That's about as accurate of a synopsis I can give.

Basically, a clone of River Song (yes, I know she's a different character but she's written exactly the same way) warns the Doctor about his upcoming fate on Trenzalore.

Meanwhile, Clara tries to masquerade the Doctor off as her boyfriend to her family, who are quite possibly the most pointless characters. They just sit at the dinner table looking bewildered, with no familial character development being established at all.

Basically, the Doctor spends centuries safeguarding this Christmas themed planet from alien threats. (Oh wait, 'threat' would imply that they were actually threatening!) The Doctor has reached his final regeneration in his life cycle so he essentially lives out his life repelling aliens.

As he ages thanks to the use of ridiculous looking prosthetics, the Daleks have him cornered, making him surrender.

Then a literal Deus Ex Machina happens where the Time Lords fracture the skin of the universe just to give him a new regeneration cycle. He regenerates twice for some reason because Moffat is convinced to drain as many tears from the fangirls as possible. In a supposedly heartfelt farewell speech to Clara, all of a sudden, BOOM! CAPALDI! The tonal inconsistency is terrible and there's no reason for it to be so sudden. They clearly blew their CGI budget already.

Overall, this episode was a mess. Matt Smith's tenure was in no way honoured here.
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Overall a decent farewell to 11th Doctor
Gelaos2 March 2019
Over-the-top a little bit as it in its 60 minutes doesn't wrap up the entire 11th Doctor mythology succesfully. It's a forcibly sentimental/nostalgic end of Smith's Doctor, yet it still ends with a dignity.
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A lousy way for Matt Smith to go out
heatsink9825 December 2013
Warning: Spoilers
This episode was a mess. The plot was incoherent, and at times, so contrived that it was cringe-inducing. Jenna Coleman got ejected back to Earth how many times? Then she's back, and then she's gone again. And there's Christmas dinner, because it's Christmas, and some relatives we don't get to know. The story just seemed random.

The last ten minutes were decent. The doctor said his goodbyes, and the figurative ghost of Amy Pond appeared. The time spent before that, with the doctor guarding a town named Christmas while collecting crayon drawings, didn't make much sense. It played as though it was a shoehorned idea that was out of place.

The script for the last episode sending off Matt Smith should have been epic. Instead, we have this story that came off like the product of a drunken night of screen writing with no sense of pacing and consistency.
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The only good thing is a regeneration...
watchtiger116 January 2015
Warning: Spoilers
This is Matt Smith's last episode directly as "The Doctor." For that I am glad, he was bad in his first episode and just as bad in this episode.

The only good part was the ending with the regeneration.

This episode is a jumbled mess.

From the Doctor showing up with in clothing only Clara can see at her families Christmas dinner so they see him naked, she pushes him off to the kitchen explaining The Doctor is Swedish.

When Clara finds out the turkey isn't done she asks The Doctor to use his sonic screwdriver but says it wasn't made for that. However The Doctor say someone with a time machine could........DUH........ Yet another example of bad acting and bad script writing.

So the adventure begins after that is figured out the TARDIS console can also be an oven.

The we go to a planet supposedly Gallifrey and a ship that is a church where you also have to be naked but again it is implied nudity and again we are really left guessing on many things.

Only watch the last 7 minutes to see the lame regeneration.
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As I Grow Old, Part 3.5
johcafra26 December 2013
(As a user I'd ended Part 3 with what I thought of Smith in the context of his predecessors before I saw him in character. This completes the cycle, so to speak.)

To borrow an agricultural phrase this episode is an attempt to shovel ten pounds of you-know-what into a five-pound bag. Sometimes that works in spite of itself, and in the 50th anniversary show I feel it does.

Smith grew on me, both as an actor and in the Doctor's characterization. When he was good, he was very, VERY good, but as many others observe he at times was only as good as what was handed to (or, more likely, thrown at) him. I'll pay him the same compliment I'd paid Christopher Eccleston: I'd like to see more of his work.

And perhaps more so than any other Doctor the chemistry between him and his Companions was palpable. I'm fine with making him more human if it furthers both character development and the arc, which I'll also admit appears heavily laden in Moffat's multiverse.

Finally, and said not so much as a die-hard Whovian but as someone who fortuitously has observed each and every Doctor at work and at play, I truly cannot guess what will happen next. I'm convinced that too is part of the arc, be it Moffat's or someone else's. Let's find out.
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