You are here

The Time Of The Doctor

ShowDoctor Who / Series VII / Episode 17
First Broadcast2013/12/26 - 19:30 (Link: ABC Details)
Related LinksDoctor Who Wiki Wikipedia
Previous EpisodeThe Day Of The Doctor
Next EpisodeDeep Breath

The story is incredibly dense and I'll leave it to the related links to provide a detailed synopsis. The key questions of Matt Smith's Doctor are all resolved. We understand who the Church of the Silence are, who the Silents are, the back story to the question that must never be answered, why the TARDIS exploded and what happens at Trenzalore.

In my view, there was also an even bigger wrapping up of threads with the Doctor's regeneration. It is confirmed the Doctor has used all his regenerations. We find out what the Doctor saw in Room 11 in the God Complex. It was a crack in time and this plays a crucial role here too. We find the Time Lords and Gallifrey are on the other side of the last one and at Clara's insistence they grant the Doctor a new set of regenerations and the new Doctor can begin afresh. He knows he didn't destroy the Time Lords, he has escaped Trenzalore and can go searching for Gallifrey. The Doctor also aged considerably during this episode - potentially making Matt Smith's Doctor the one to have lived the longest (to date). So we have a much older Doctor now - both in his character's life and in the actor himself. It will be interesting to see how all this is addressed in the next series.

There's some nice little moments throughout. Clara's Christmas lunch and the cooking of the turkey (or bringing it back to life :) is clever. The cyberman's head, referred to as Handles by the Doctor, was a humorous touch, even if it did remind me a little of Wilson from Castaway. (I'm pretty sure there was a cyberman's head in the Black Archive in the previous episode too - a clever touch if this is intended to be the same one.) The Daleks being unable to kill the Doctor and it being left to him of old age is rather ironic.

Overall Matt Smith was a good Doctor. He had a very tough act to follow and took a while to grow into it, not helped by some weak stories. However, there were some great companions in Amy and Rory, River Song and Clara and some great stories too. The entire new series feels as if it's played out everything that was planned for it and we are setting out on a new journey. As always, time will tell.