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Well, folks, the time has come. The eleventh hour has ended and the clock has struck 12. Check out our recap for the 2013 Doctor Who Christmas Special “The Time of the Doctor.”

The beginning of the end.
The episode starts with a woman, probably Tasha Lem, talking about a planet that was calling out a message. Every ship in the galaxy was going to the message and was afraid, except the Doctor. Of course! So the Doctor is exploring the surroundings of the planet and ends up on a Dalek ship, holding a broken Dalek weapon. He returns to the ship, and apparently he’s getting the help of a Cyberman head that has information about the planet and what’s going on.

Clara then calls him through the TARDIS and explains that she needs him to pretend to be her boyfriend; she’s accidentally made up a boyfriend to her family and said that he was going to Christmas dinner. While the Doctor is looking around and fiddling with the TARDIS he misses the last bit. He then ends up on another ship, this time a Cyberman one, and gets attacked by them, too. GOODNESS. Clara calls back insisting he come for Christmas dinner and he says he’s being attacked by Cybermen. Clara goes, “Can’t we do both?!” “Why not?” says the Doctor. Cue the intro!

Clothed, but really, actually naked.
Next scene Clara is with her family and the Doctor arrives for Christmas dinner. She boards the TARDIS and to her dismay he’s NAKED! Goodness! He then gets dressed via hologram projector that projects the clothes on his body and arrives at the Christmas dinner. And apparently no one but Clara can see his clothes, so they go into the Kitchen to get away from the awkwardness. Clara hasn’t done the Christmas turkey right and the Doctor gets her to bring the turkey on the TARDIS to cook. The Doctor explains that the Cyberman head is emptied out of all organics (aka human parts) and is basically just a computer with a bunch of data. The Cyberman head says that the planet that is calling out to the universe is identified as Gallifrey, and he doesn’t believe it. Gallifrey is gone, it’s out of this Universe so even if the planet was Gallifrey, it’s not his Gallifrey.

A church ship then arrives and it’s filled with a bunch of nuns, and Tasha Lem is the one calling the Doctor to the ship. She’s the head of the church, and she’s seen the Doctor before, but in a different body. Tasha shielded the planet from all of the ships that could risk destroying it that are orbiting around the planet, but the Doctor wants to slip by the shield. However, if he slips by then it’d allow other people to slip by as well. Dilemma!

While the Doctor is inside talking to Tasha Lem, Clara is cornered by a Silence. Except she doesn’t know what the Silence are! Oh no! Meanwhile Tasha explains that no one wants to go onto the planet because the signal it’s sending is pure fear, and neither Sontarans nor Daleks nor Cybermen want to land on the planet first. There’s a farm town on the planet, and the Doctor wants to find out why everyone is afraid, so he volunteers to go down first.

They then end up traveling to the planet, where Clara finds the arm of a Weeping Angel hidden in snow and they start getting attacked by several of the Weeping Angels. They can’t keep their eyes on all of them but the Doctor manages to get the TARDIS key and have his ship appear around them. Thank goodness! Safe for now. Almost.


Truth fields and space-time cracks.
Apparently there’s a truth field in the town, and it’s called Christmas. Anything that comes out of the Doctor and Clara’s mouth is the total truth, and the Doctor explains he’s wearing a wig because he got bored and shaved his head. Clever play, Moffat! Clever play. And then the Doctor and Clara discover that there’s a crack in the wall in one of the town buildings! The same crack from Amy’s bedroom! There’s a structural weakness in the universe and something is trying to break through to that universe. It looks like it’s the Time Lords trying to get back to the universe, and there’s a question in the crack that’s being displayed to all of time and space: “Doctor Who?” …and it sounded like Peter Capaldi?! The crack is what’s causing the truth field, because with the truth field the Doctor is more inclined to give them his name.

If the Doctor gives his name to the Time Lords they know it’s safe to come through, but the Doctor doesn’t want them to come back because if they do then all hell will let loose. At the same time, he knows that the planet will be destroyed if Tasha Lem lets down the forcefield and allows the Daleks down onto the planet.

The Doctor then sends Clara to the TARDIS because he wants to protect her from the battle that’s going to happen. Tasha Lem projects her face into the sky to talk to the Doctor and he asks what the planet is really called, and it’s Trenzalore. If the Doctor speaks his name and tells the Time Lord it’s okay to come back then the world will burn, and Tasha Lem wants to prevent that. The Time War will start anew if the Time Lords come back. Meanwhile, Clara takes the TARDIS back home on accident and when she goes outside to realize where she’s gone, the TARDIS starts to leave without her.

The 300 year war.
Tasha Lem starts a siege on Trenzalore, and refuses to let the Doctor say his name. She says that Silence will fall and the Doctor will not say his name. Tasha Lem then reassigned the mission of the church to keep the peace between the Doctor and his enemies. They don’t want war to happen and they don’t want the Daleks to come back, and they try to prevent the enemies of the Doctor from causing trouble. It’s a war that starts happening for years and years. Through-out the years several armies have broken in trying to destroy the Doctor and the town. The Doctor starts to age, somehow. He manages to get rid of the wooden Cyberman by outsmarting it, of course. The people of the town start loving him and making drawings for their protector, and the Doctor begins to forget he’s lived any other way.

Clara was stuck on the outside of the TARDIS when she tried to get back in while it was leaving, which slowed the TARDIS down trying to get back to the Doctor. It took 300 years, and now they’ve reunited on Trenzalore. He explains why he’s still in the town, and the Cyberman head he’s had for 300 years to help him with the information finally dies out. The Doctor then officially explains that he’s the last version of the Doctor, and he’s in his thirteenth body. The Doctor counts the War Doctor and 10′s second regeneration, finally: Canon! They’ve seen the future, and Trenzalore is where the Doctor’s grave is.


Daleks take over everything, all the time.
Clara wants the Doctor to change the future, so that he doesn’t die. He can do it! Tasha Lem then requests parlay, and asks to meet with the Doctor saying that his rights and safety are sanctified. He arrives on the church-ship and Tasha sits with him. She explains it was the church, not her, who’s done a numerable amount of things to keep the Doctor away from Trenzalore. They blew up his TARDIS and engineered a psychopath to kill him, whom he actually married. Tasha Lem wants to change the future, but in reality the Daleks have attacked the main frame, and it actually turns out that they’ve turned everyone on the ship into Daleks, including Tasha Lem. The Daleks come into the room to get the Doctor to tell them how to turn off the shield so the Daleks can get down onto the world and destroy it.

And then the Doctor somehow manages to save Tasha Lem from going all full-out Dalek, and she agrees to try and stop the Daleks while the Doctor runs off to save the town. Back in the TARDIS, Clara asks that he never send her away again and he says he won’t, but then he delivers the TARDIS back to her home and while she’s gone he runs away. Again. :/

Clara saves the day!
The Doctor is back in Christmas and protecting it from his enemies, the Daleks that want to destroy the planet. Eventually the other races that were fending off the Daleks died out, and it was just the Church ship, the Doctor and the Silence protecting the town. Centuries pass, again, and Clara is home at Christmas Dinner when Tasha Lem comes to get her so that the Doctor doesn’t die alone. Clara walks into the house where the Doctor lives, and he’s aged considerably.

The Daleks demand the Doctor, again, he says he has a plan even though he really doesn’t. He goes off to face the Daleks and says this is it, and Clara doesn’t want him to go, she wants him to change the future so that the Doctor’s grave isn’t really what they see on Trenzalore, but he can’t. While he goes off, Clara talks to the crack in the wall and asks the Time Lords to help the Doctor change the future. She tells them that his name is the Doctor, and that’s everything they need to know about him. If they love the Doctor then they should help him. And then the crack disappears!

Amy Pond says goodbye
When the Daleks start to try and attack the Doctor, the crack in the universe comes again this time in the sky, and regeneration sparkles flow from it to the Doctor. The Daleks say he’s used all his regenerations, but he says that the Daleks don’t tell him the rules. He then uses his regenerating cannon-hands as a weapon against the Daleks and blows up practically the entire town. But it’s okay, Clara helped bring everyone inside before they were all disintegrated.

After the gigantic explosion, Clara goes to the TARDIS to see if the Doctor is back, if he’s okay, and Eleven’s clothes are all over the floor. There’s a bowl of custard and fish fingers on the console. It’s still Eleven! The regeneration is taking a bit longer, it’s a whole new cycle, and the face Clara is seeing is just the reset. And now the real regeneration is happening, and the Doctor is saying he will always remember when the Doctor was him. He imagines seeing Amy Pond, and she says “Goodnight, Raggedy Man.” And after an emotional monologue the Doctor instantly regenerated into Capaldi!

Twelve doesn’t like the color of his kidneys, and he asks Clara if she knows how to fly the TARDIS. End credits.

What did you think of the ‘Doctor Who’ Christmas special?

  • http://tyrionical.tumblr.com/ Kyle

    Personally speaking, the whole thing felt very rushed. I love that Moffat tried to include the past 3 years of story arcs into this and tie everything up but oh my goodness it was so convoluted!

    Him seeing Amy was touching and adorable and amazing but what the HECK was the point of the first regeneration explosion thing if he kept the same face and then regenerated *again* in the TARDIS?

    And also, did he manage to get a whole new CYCLE? Like 12 brand new regenerations? I can’t wait until that is answered fully. And last question: I rewatched this like twice (fast forwarding here and there) and does it ever explain *why* the Doctor is aging? I thought the Doctor didn’t age at all, ever. I don’t know. I’m confused. I need more rum and egg nog…

    • https://twitter.com/#!/HarriSargeant Harri Sargeant

      I agree on many of your points, but the Doctor has died of old age before. The First Doctor’s body ‘expired’ and John Hurt became 9 because he was ‘wearing a bit thin’ (and remember the younger version at the end of Night of the Doctor?).

      • Doctor Panda

        problem is the Dr aged an entire life time in 300 years. Matt was apparently the doc for some where over 500 years before the xmas special… so what brought on the sudden aging?

    • Gary65

      Welcome to every aspect of my feelings about the 50th :)

    • http://spoilers.tumblr.com/ Shana

      The doctor does age, Moffat said recently that he always had the decency to age along with his companions. He can, like River, control it a bit.

    • Heather D

      It was answered fully, in fact. He said “a whole new cycle, that takes a little longer to absorb” or something like that — indeed, that’s what explains the ‘reset’ young face before the new body. First he had to absorb the new cycle, then finish the regeneration.

    • Nicole

      After watching I worked it out that he ages because he hasn’t been on the TRADES in 300 years. So the time vortex/field he travels through is not around to slow the aging process down. Just guessing.

      • Ryan Nolan

        When 300 years old you reach and that good you look, then you can talk about the aging process not being slowed down. He should look closer to Tennant in the Master episodes where he’s a crinkly old house elf than he does here if his aging isn’t slowed down.

        • Kevin

          You need to work on sentence-fluency

          • Respondent

            He’s quoting Yoda.

        • Nicole

          I see what your saying, but when The Master aged The Doctor he used a laser sonic and aged him like 1100 years. Also Clara was on the outside of the TARDIS for the 300 yrs as it tried to get back to the doctor and she had not aged (time vortex) but like I said before….just guessing.

    • http://www.hypable.com/author/lauracristiano/ LauraBC

      After Eccelston’s and Tennant’s finales this was a letdown. Much of Smith’s facial expressiveness was lost under the age make-up so the Love from Gallifrey speech was not what it could have been.

      Also Clara’s plea to the Time Lords via the crack was no Martha Jones walking the earth, Rose Tyler’s explaining Doctor and the worth of leading a better life, Donna advocating for the common man, or other great companion take a stand in a dire moment speech. It needed to rouse a race of champions. It didn’t have the weight of delivery (IMHO) it should have.

      Matt’s breath of a moment speech was wonderful through I will always remember when the Doctor was me. Alas, I wish he had more.

      As for other things, there are remaining questions about Clara. I love Capaldi’s eyes. I look to the future where I’m pretty sure he’s got 12 new regenerations coming, and some bloke that Moffat will never meet will have to puzzle it out and century from now.

    • MarieBarker

      He ages in the movie before he turns into Paul Mcgann

    • rj

      I think the whole thing should have been expanded into two parts, just to help better explain a few things. Moffat tried to cover too much content in too little time. Maybe cut off a few things, especially some non-essential scenes.

    • Garth Franklin

      It was said quite clearly it was a whole new cycle of regenerations, which is why that huge explosion – it was a hard ‘reset’ and thus a whole new bunch of energy. I doubt we’ll hear anymore about it aside from a throwaway line at best.

      It’s also why he swapped over to Capaldi so fast. He didn’t regenerate twice, they were part of the same regeneration, with practically all the energy burnt off in that explosion – as a result the only thing left really was the quick physical change.

      The Doctor has always aged, just very slowly. Docs 5, 7, 8 have both been shown in visibly older guises. It’s just that he ages a lot slower.

      • Doctor Panda

        roblem is the Dr aged an entire life time in 300 years. Matt was apparently the doc for some where over 500 years before the xmas special… so what brought on the sudden aging?

        • Sheechiibii

          I heard that it’s because of the Tardis. That it slows the ageing process a lot, and without it the Doctor would age faster.

    • http://geekychristine.com/ Christine Martino

      The Doctor explained in the episode that Time moves very quickly in Trenzalore. He makes a note of it when they first arrive, and later when Clara comes back he tells her to hurry up to the balcony so they can see Dawn — it only lasts a few minutes.

      “Hundreds of years” our time *could* be thousands of years in the accelerated Trenzalore time, making the Doctor age very rapidly.

      At least, that’s my theory.

  • Arry

    I’m not really concerning myself with the how’s and whys of the episode, just trying to mop up the amount of tears I have cried. The thing with Amy at the end? I died a little inside.

    • alice

      I completely lost it when Amy showed up.

    • K@

      Yes! I have never been so sad on Christmas!

      • Lauren

        Um. Merlin. But yes this broke my heart, you never know what you’ve got until it’s gone.

    • VMT

      Oh me too, the tears would not stop. Somehow it was even worse than 10.

  • Merina

    I’m impressed with the speed of this recap! Good job, Hypable. Unfortunately, I’m afraid I could hardly stand this episode. It felt so rushed and underwritten and disjointed; I wish we could have spent more time with the Doctor as he was, in the present, rather than doing all the time-jumps ahead three hundred years.

    Also, I found the Church of the Papal Thingiemabob to be done in poor taste. My parents are Christian and were extremely upset by this element of the episode. Does the BBC have any idea how deeply disrespectful they were to some of Christianity’s most sacred practices? The mockery of the nuns/aliens as confessional priests, the confessional as a means of travel, the altar as a bed – one of the most holy, precious, pure places in the church for any Christian? One of my deeply Christian friends was almost in tears halfway through.

    If they’d made an episode making slurs about Mohammad/mocking the gay lifestyle/defacing symbols of equal rights for people of all colour…surely this would be a cause for concern. In my opinion, the BBC went too far.

    • Phoebe

      Agreed! I’m not religious but even I felt offended by most of the”jokes” that this episode made…

    • Sophiesquirels

      I am sorry if you where offended or anyone else people religious beliefs should not be mocked, but this was not a Christian thing it was not implied or said many religions and cults have altars or altar like things and also nuns or nun like people .

      • Merina

        The alter, confessional, confessional priests, nuns, wine in a goblet, use of the words church and papal, etc. are all concepts associated with Christianity /as well/ as other religions, of course. Why did Stevan Moffat choose to use these concepts? Why did he not simply invent new ones, for this ‘new’ religious order he had created?

        An analogy; if an alien race on Who picked up a book and called it the Quran we would associate it with Islam. If they picked up a piece of paper and called it the Gay Rights Bill, we would associate it with gay rights. If they then proceeded to sexualise the Quran/mock the Gay Rights Bill…do you see my point?

    • Gary65

      This is exactly how gay people feel about the Duck Dynasty guy, except 10 times worse, cos he’s not joking.

      • humanbeing

        Except he got taken to task for his comments by most sensible people (and rightly so). That would never happen when mocking religion or faith, especially in the overwhelmingly secular U.K. and Europe. It’s standard practice there. So RTD or Moffat aren’t exactly being bold or daring in their statements, they’re just pandering to a demographic that already agrees with them. I don’t like Christians who use their faith to persecute or belittle others, but I also have a big problem with so-called “humanists” who write off the huge percentage of this world which does believe in a higher power of some shape or form as delusional morons. I absolutely don’t believe that only religious people can be moral; I see secular morality all the time. But I also refuse to believe that religious people can all be painted as bad, with such a broad brush, by those who only believe in logic, science, or their own personal definition of reason. The frustrating aspect of Doctor Who isn’t that it mocks religion, because it mocks ingrained institutions and power structures in general (the Doctor even rebels against his own people, a society which is based completely on logic and science, to the point that they’ve lost some of their empathy for lower life-forms); it’s because there is usually a counter-balance, a depiction of someone who is a politician (Harriet Jones) or a military man (the Brigadier), etc, who are portrayed in a positive and sympathetic light, who aren’t all lumped into one easily disposable category. And that doesn’t happen with religious figures on Doctor Who. I can remember watching the Avengers, and being surprised at one point that Captain America makes a reference to believing in a monotheistic God (because the writer, Joss Whedon, is a pretty adamant atheist); but in his commentary on the DVD of the movie, he explains that just because he personally doesn’t believe in a god, that doesn’t mean the characters he writes have to follow suit, and that he didn’t have to portray those who believed differently than him in a negative light; that’s an interesting writer, one who can be empathetic to someone who believes in a completely different concept than their own, whether it be politically, financial, sexual, or religious.

        • Gary65

          You would be right if Dr. Who had intended to offend religious people. If the offence had been on purpose, it would have been just as unacceptable and it probably wouldn’t have made it air, as BBC hate scandal. Also, what Dr. Who did isn’t complicit behaviour in the denial of religious people’s human rights.

          When Amy “died”, the Doctor went to stay with monks. The Doctor is not against religion. He’s shown to be in favour of it at several points.

          Also, the only people who think Europe is secular are people who’ve never been to Europe. A lot of Europe is quite religious(Italy, France & Ireland to name but a few).

      • Merina

        I am so sorry that gay people felt that way about the Duck Dynasty guy. I completely relate to their offence and do not believe that my offence is any more or less valid than theirs.

    • http://stevejones313.deviantart.com/ Steven Caulfield

      Really? I’ve seen FAR worse and obvious digs at Religion. I mean this with all due respect, but I think anyone offended is reading way too much into it.

    • Maria Wang

      Really? You’re mad at Doctor Who for misrepresenting and disrespecting Christianity? When did it ever even remotely claim to represent or mock the Christian faith. You and your friends are far too easily offended, by nothing. Are you offended by any Christmas carols that are not hymns? Cause I know people like that. And it doesn’t make any sense at all.
      Sorry that you are upset by nothing but…the BBC went too far? Please tell me that’s a bad joke.

      • Merina

        No, it’s not a bad joke. I was indeed upset and offended and I believe my position to be perfectly reasonable. I would rather not get into a big argument about this, so let’s just agree to disagree.

    • Heather D

      We’ve actually seen this Church before in Who. “Monks are soldiers?” “The Church has moved on.” On the whole, though, the show treats faith issues quite fairly, the importance of belief in something is a recurring theme. The external trappings of a Church are not the point of faith, after all. And — who said this was supposed to be Christianity, anyway?

      • Merina

        Yes, we have seen this church before in Who. However, I still found its inclusion offensive and unnecessary.

        I never said that this was /supposed/ to be Christianity. However, the alter, confessional, confessional priests, nuns, wine in a goblet, use of the words church and papal, etc. are all concepts associated with Christianity (as well as other religions). Why did Stevan Moffat choose to use these concepts? Why did he not simply invent new ones, for this ‘new’ religious order he had created?

        An analogy; if an alien race on Who picked up a book and called it the Quran we would associate it with Islam. If they picked up a piece of paper and called it the Gay Rights Bill, we would associate it with gay rights. If they then proceeded to sexualise the Quran/mock the Gay Rights Bill…do you see my point?

        • ChrisOU812

          Your concern is duly noted. Especially as you’ve basically resorted to cutting and pasting it… over and over and over.

          • Merina

            Indeed I have. Such a time-saver, cutting and pasting, don’t you think? Imagine if I had to re-type it all out again and again ;)

          • ChrisOU812

            That’s kind of the point. You don’t have to re-type it or c&p it. It’s here, and there, and everywhere at this point. Yawn.

          • http://fearlessblogger.com faryl

            The Impossible Comment has inserted itself throughout all of the comment streams.

        • Sophiesquirels

          Yes but never did he specifically say bible which in your examples you are they are not general but very specfic

    • The Red Pixels

      They’re not a christian order, though. Just because they have the christian nomenclature, doesn’t mean they are christian.
      They’re a religious order devoted to whatever the higher-ups devote them to at the time. Hence the “unscheduled faith shift” or whatever that was called.
      Incidentally, probably best not to introduce your parents to anything set in the Warhammer 40,000 universe. That heavily features warrior nuns and monks and ruthless inquisitors, all in the name of their Living God

      • Merina

        The alter, confessional, confessional priests, nuns, wine in a goblet, use of the words church and papal, etc. are all concepts associated with Christianity (as well as other religions). Why did Stevan Moffat choose to use these concepts? Why did he not simply invent new ones, for this ‘new’ religious order he had created?

        An analogy; if an alien race on Who picked up a book and called it the Quran we would associate it with Islam. If they picked up a piece of paper and called it the Gay Rights Bill, we would associate it with gay rights. If they then proceeded to sexualise the Quran/mock the Gay Rights Bill…do you see my point?

    • Betsy

      I always get annoyed with it because even though they may not be “technically” Christian, the show uses SO MANY buzzwords that together are clearly Christian – altar, priest, nun, monk, church, order of the __, faith, etc. It’s NOT just about Christianity, either. Faith is displayed as a tool for brainwashing, religious leaders are corrupt, and people who would normally be making a vow of chastity (priests, nuns, monks) are often hypersexualized. The biggest problem, though, is that there’s absolutely nothing in the show to balance out these really negative figures. Even when we got a great positive Muslim character, her faith was ultimately what got her killed. It always sends the message that faith is a weakness, science and humanism is the truly loving and right answer.

      If that’s how the writers want to write the show, that’s fine, that’s their prerogative. But you guys can’t say that religious people have no right to be offended or want better representation…just because there is “worse” discrimination out there and Christians have privileges in other areas of society. And really, for an episode that’s supposed to be about the whole family gathering around the television with people who don’t normally watch the show on a RELIGIOUS HOLY DAY, you’d think they’d be a TINY BIT more sensitive to the religious people in the audience. At least have the courtesy to tone down the lingo.

      I loved the episode, BTW. I’m just a little tired of it always taking a massive dump on religion.

      • Hrothgir Ó Dómhnaill

        “The show uses SO MANY buzzwords that together are clearly Christian – altar, priest, nun, monk, church,”
        And no other religion in the history of humaity has ever used the same words ever… Riiight… Buddhism stole the terms monk and nun, as did Taoism. Same with Altars – Buddhism, those pesky Mayans, not to mention the ancient Greeks who were using altars, and had priests for… let’s think… almost 2000 years before the founder of your faith was nailed to a tree for stealing a donkey.
        I’m afraid pretty much all the terms you use ante-date the cult of Christ by quite a distance… but please, don’t let that get in the way of feeling persecuted.

        • Betsy

          No, I said that they’re “buzzwords” that when USED TOGETHER are clearly a reference to Christianity. “PAPAL Mainframe”? That’s the kicker – Christians were the first to adopt the Greek word for father, pappas, as an official title for their leaders. It’s OBVIOUSLY a reference to some futuristic offshoot of Christianity, and this fact is stated in this and previous episodes.

          My beef isn’t just with the show’s treatment of Christianity, either. It’s the treatment of any and all faith, hence my example of Non-Christians getting the short end of the stick for believing. Want another? In the Rings of Akhaten, religious belief is portrayed as oppressive and deadly.

          Look, I don’t have a problem if the writers want to send a very secular humanist message – that’s fine! I don’t need the show to cater to me. But for a show about the importance of every person, of cleverness and diplomacy in the face of ignorance and violence, using key words associated with a major religion and turning them into something evil and profane is just a pretty ignorant and lazy thing to do. It’s turning something we think is sacred and associating it with something evil…again…and again…and again….

          All I want are some genuinely religious characters who aren’t part of some big nasty conspiracy. In this day and age, is that REALLY too much to ask?

          • Haily

            The church in this episode (and the one where they’re hunting Weeping Angels) is portrayed positively. I’m not sure what you’re upset about. They use elements of christianity and imply that in the far future the church evolves into a military organization that promotes peace. In this episode they protect the planet and the universe. Is this inline with today’s church teachings? no. But so what this is science fiction.

        • Merina

          No need to be so sarcastic and rude. Let’s keep things polite here and agree to disagree, all right?

        • Merina

          Please, don’t be rude. We can discuss this in a mature fashion, I’m sure.

          The alter, confessional, confessional priests, nuns, wine in a goblet, use of the words church and papal, etc. are all concepts associated with Christianity /as well/ as other religions. Why did Stevan Moffat choose to use these concepts? Why did he not simply invent new ones, for this ‘new’ religious order he had created?

          An analogy; if an alien race on Who picked up a book and called it the Quran we would associate it with Islam. If they picked up a piece of paper and called it the Gay Rights Bill, we would associate it with gay rights. If they then proceeded to sexualise the Quran/mock the Gay Rights Bill…do you see my point?

          • ChrisOU812

            Actually, your hypersensitivity on the subject and your determination to demonstrate that you’re bein’ repressed, or that the show deliberately set out to insult your parents or whatever, is what seems a bit rude.

          • Merina

            Tell me; when did I claim that show ‘deliberately set out to insult my parents’ or ‘repressed’ me? I don’t recall ever making those claims. Ever.

          • ChrisOU812

            I’m paraphrasing. You’re hammering the show because you and your parents were insulted by what you insist are Christian references throughout (you did write that, did you not?)… and “‘Elp, ‘elp, I’m bein’ repressed” is a nod to Monty Python.

            It’s just a ridiculous thing to make post after post after post about, especially as you’ve used the exact same wording in several posts. Some of us just get a little annoyed at hearing certain adherents of one of the largest religions on Earth whine about how they’re so grievously persecuted. Your dragging in of “the Quran” and “the Gay Rights Bill” sort of tip your ham-hand here.

      • humanbeing

        Yeah, that’s one reason I sort of stopped watching the show a number of years ago (and I don’t even define myself as a Christian, or even very religious at all; I guess I’m at best a lapsed Catholic, but I’d probably be better described as an agnostic; some days I wake up believing, many other days I don’t). But think about it…you’ve got two showrunners (RTD and Moffat) who are both hardcore atheists and really seem to want to get the message out there that religion is flawed and bad and brings nothing but pain (how do you think they got people like Richard Dawkins as guest stars; they’re basically spreading his belief system). The show, prior to RTD and Moffat, did often take occasional jabs at organized religion, but it took jabs at the “authorities” in general, mocking politicians, businessmen, military institutions, anyone who got above themselves got a little lecture from the Doctor. It just seems like when RTD and Moffat got writing for the show, it was a case of, “We MUST include a gay character in every episode, always depict them in a good light (which isn’t realistic; if you’re going to show that straight characters are both good and bad, then you’re actually doing a disservice to homosexual fans if you pander to them and simply give them nothing but heroes as representatives), and we must make sure to bash America at least every few episodes…oh, and throw in something about people who believe in a higher power as being delusional, idiotic, corrupt, or downright evil” (but it’s okay to believe in the Doctor, who RTD and Moffat basically elevated to godlike status anyway…he’s Science God). They basically went out of their way to state, “Hey, religious people? This show isn’t for you. Go away. Only room for science and logic and our definition of humanism here”. Shows like Lost were at least able to explore the good and the bad aspects of faith (and had characters represent the opposing points of logic and faith, not really defining one as right and the other wrong, but more complicated than that).

        It isn’t like I don’t have any experience with atheism; my brother, who I love dearly, is an atheist, but my parents, who I also love dearly, are devout Catholics (and I obviously fall somewhere in the vast middle ground). I don’t feel they’re hypnotized, brainwashed, deluded, etc, any more than my brother is by reading Dawkins, HItchens, all the writers who are not only atheists but anti-theists, opposed to the very concept of a God. So I have a hard time watching a show that mocks the concepts that my parents, both of whom are intelligent, loving people, believe in. I think the writing on the show is often witty, the messages are overall ones of hope, love, and charity, so I don’t understand why RTD and Moffat, no matter their personal belief systems, can’t make a little room for fans who love Doctor Who and its adventurous spirit, but also have a personal faith that isn’t based solely on logic or reason?

        • Merina

          Good points.

        • Haily

          Jack (the biggest gay character in DW) was not much of a hero. He was self-serving and the Doctor was awful to him for it, and awful to him for being “wrong” (hint hint). It was anything but a positive message about gay people.

          DW isn’t ALWAYS nice to gay people: the show used Jack’s immortality as a stand-in for sexuality (both things he can’t control which hurt no one), then mercilessly criticized and abused him for it. The doctor is never criticized for his awful treatment of Jack, who is by far the most abused companion.

          As soon as he turns immortal he’s tossed off the TARDIS in the first place they happen to be (an abandoned spaceship in some unfamiliar time, good thing his teleporter worked or he’d have died up there) with no explanation. The Doctor never apologizes, in fact next time he sees him he calls him “wrong”. The master calls him “freak”. Gee I wonder what this sounds like?

          So there’s 1 character out of the what, 10 gay character (only 3 having any significant time on the show) who isn’t all nice and isn’t treated well. And that’s the biggest gay character.

          Also, the Church in DW is not evil. In this episode they are desperate peace keepers. Their leader is, while not exactly “chaste”, still a good person who does the right thing to the bitter end. So here’s your religion being represented fairly.

      • Merina

        I completely agree. Well said.

      • Darbear

        You said this SO WELL.

    • http://www.hypable.com/author/lauracristiano/ LauraBC

      I was OK with he church concept save for two things. i think it was a bit culturally insensitive to 1) have the sexy nuns and bed altar on Christmas 2) it could have been any made up religion why use the term “papal” which is intertwined with the Catholic church. On the other side the “religion” had some really good qualities in the end. Was I super offended as a Catholic, no. Did I think it in poor taste on Christmas, yes.

      • The Other

        “Papal” is the English word for the Latin “Pontifex” (i.e. Pope) meaning Highest of High Priests.
        Believe it or not there was a PONTIFEX in Rome well before the year 1 A.D, the spiritual leader of Roman Paganism.
        The Catholic Church adopted the word because they spoke Latin, and it was the Latin word for High Priest.
        The word pre-dates the existence of Christianity.

        Do your research.

        • Betsy

          “Papal” comes from the Greek “Pappas” which means Father. Pontifex or the adjective pontifical were not the words used in the episode. Your etymology is okay, but it’s not the right word. Papal, on the other hand, first became popular as a title…among Christians. And regardless, it doesn’t matter where the word came from, what matters is that today we use the word “papal” to describe something to do with the Catholic papacy. We don’t live in the first century, we live in the 21st, so it’s reasonable to expect people to assume 21st century connotations.

          • The Other

            Does the Papal Mainframe exist in the 21st Century>

        • Merina

          Regardless of the original inception of the word Papa, in today’s day and age, it is associated with Christianity. The alter, confessional, confessional priests, nuns, wine in a goblet, use of the words church and papal, etc. are also all concepts associated with Christianity (as well as other religions). Why did Stevan Moffat choose to use these concepts? Why did he not simply invent new ones, for this ‘new’ religious order he had created?

          An analogy; if an alien race on Who picked up a book and called it the Quran we would associate it with Islam. If they picked up a piece of paper and called it the Gay Rights Bill, we would associate it with gay rights. If they then proceeded to sexualise the Quran/mock the Gay Rights Bill…do you see my point?

        • http://www.hypable.com/author/lauracristiano/ LauraBC

          Wow we are awfully cranky aren’t we. have a bad piece of Christmas goose? Please note I said “intertwined” not “originated”. Context clues my friend, context clues.

          Might I humbly suggest that rather than than tell me to do research, you might try a spat of reading comprehension 101. Also a side dosage of manners and civil discourse wouldn’t go amiss either.

          As Marina and Betsy illustrated below there is the situation of how words come to be perceived. Language, like symbols and customs, are fluid. They evolve.

      • Merina

        “Poor taste” – that’s a very good phrase and sums up my feelings perfectly.

      • Haily

        I think the “sexy nuns” makes sense. We know from Jack that in the 51st century humans are sexually very permissive and see nothing wrong with lots of casual sex.

        So it makes sense to me that in the far future the church doesn’t see anything “unholy” about sex either.

        Besides what would that altar even be used for? Praying to what? They don’t seem to have a god.

        The “church” is not really a church. They are an organization that uses some religious terminology but there’s nothing about faith in a higher power mentioned as far as I remember.

        Basically in the future the church has secularized almost entirely. There may be religion around but the church doesn’t seem to be it.

    • The Other

      Is the Church in this episode necessarily designed to “mock” the Christian Church?
      Could it be based on the Church of Scientology?
      Or perhaps it is a far-flung future of what GOES WRONG when you have a Church with no God, and is actually the descendant of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster or the Church of the Sub Genius?
      As much as I am actually an atheist myself and, I would suggest the post modernism of the Papal Mainframe Church resembles the latter two non-Christian internet cults more than mainstream Judeo-Christian religion.

      For the record, there are confessional priests and nuns in many religions. Buddhism has nuns, monks, alters and some sects have confession. Some sects of Islam have confession. Judaism has priests and altars.

      Does the Church of the Papal Mainframe ONCE claim to be Christian? Refer to Christ once?
      It is simply a military/religious order that calls itself a Church because it is an English language program and this is the most logical name to give a religious/military order.
      Again, Scientology calls itself a Church but is in no way Christian. And that is in the REAL WORLD, not some science fiction show!

      Anyhow, didn’t the Silence actually do the ultimate “Christian” thing in the end, and redeem their sins and become faithful allies of the Doctor? Didn’t Tasha Lem die three times over trying to protect the people of Trenzalore from the Daleks?

      And who says an alien cant be a priest, are you racist or something?

      • Merina

        The alter, confessional, confessional priests, nuns, wine in a goblet, use of the words church and papal, etc. are all concepts associated with Christianity /as well/ as other religions, of course. Why did Stevan Moffat choose to use these concepts? Why did he not simply invent new ones, for this ‘new’ religious order he had created?

        An analogy; if an alien race on Who picked up a book and called it the Quran we would associate it with Islam. If they picked up a piece of paper and called it the Gay Rights Bill, we would associate it with gay rights. If they then proceeded to sexualise the Quran/mock the Gay Rights Bill…do you see my point?

    • Payton

      This is a show about aliens… can we please suspend our disbelief even further than the acceptance of extra-terrestrial life forms and time travel and adopt the belief that the show is not targeting christians and their faith as its next victim? Honestly, you either need to grow some tougher skin, stop watching the show, or understand the concept of science fiction… emphasis on Fiction (as in it’s fake.)

      • Merina

        No need to be rude. And yes, I can suspend my disbelief…until the show starts using customs, phrases, and artefacts that are for Christians intrinsically linked with their faith. Then, it becomes a little hard for me to distinguish between the two, because they are so glaringly similar – yet twisted in a way that I find offensive. Just my opinion.

  • Phoebe

    I know I will probably get hate for this, but I hated Matt’s doctor (of NO FAULT of Matt, he has been given awful scripts and I have seen him in other things where he was amazing).
    For me it is Moffat’s fault. I mean, did there REALLY have to be a romantic connection between the doctor and Tasha? It didn’t add anything! The whole episode just felt rushed and unconnected.
    When the cybermen and the daleks first met the doctor during Tennant’s time it was SUCH A BIG DEAL and now it seems to happen every single f**king episode, and I know RTD and some pretty god awful monsters, but at least the stories made sense and there were complex characters that weren’t just copies of ones we had seen before (does anyone even LIKE Clara?? She seems to me like a carbon copy of Amy, unlike Rose, Martha and Donna who were all completely different to each other and had unique qualities about them).
    When Tennant regenerated it was one of the saddest things, but during this episode I almost considered turning it off part way through. Thoughts for next series: mess it up like you did with Matt and I’m out, along with a lot of people according to my entire twitter feed…

    (Also, random point, but if he was wearing a wig, WHY DID IT GO GREY?? Like, Matt’s doctor is meant to be, what, 400 years old at the beginning of this episode and looks exactly the same (in actors terms) as he did when he started, ie NO AGEING, but then add 300 and he has aged 60 odd years??? WTF dudes)

    • Sophiesquirels

      your last point his hair regrew in 300 years
      and time lords age slower and his ageing probably was reflecting the wear and tear on body no advanced medical assistant.

    • http://tyrionical.tumblr.com/ Kyle

      I disagree about Clara. She’s the one who convinced the Doctor to not destroy Gallifrey, she entered the Doctor’s timeline and split herself into a billion pieces saving each and every one of the Doctors when they needed it (and even convinced the 1st Doctor to get that specific TARDIS), and then in this special she’s the one who convinced the Time Lords to give him another regeneration cycle!

      If anything I think Clara has done some of the most important things ever in the Doctor’s life, ever. And just because Smith is gone doesn’t mean Clara’s story is over. We still have plenty to find out about her.

      • Haily

        The thing is, the fact that you have to bring up the magic “impossible” angle of her entering his timeline to say why she’s a good companion, tells me she’s an awful companion.

        Top ten things I’d say about Rose or even Amy wouldn’t be “Bad Wolf” or “Girl who waited”, it would be how Rose’s sense of adventure and human kindness gave Nine his love of life back. Amy and Rory gave Eleven a family. Donna was his brutally honest friend who reined him in.

        Clara just happens to be there to say “love the doctor, help him!” (couldn’t you see ANY companion saying that?). She magically saved his life and became “impossible”. So? It’s just a plot-device. Convincing him not to destroy Gallifrey was honestly the only meaningful thing she did for me. It’s sadly lacking.

        Clara as a person to me, is lacking. What is her personality? She’s cheeky (like Rose and Donna). She’s adventurous (like all companions). She’s a nice person who believes in him (like all companions). And?

    • Betsy

      RE: the romance between Tasha and the Doctor – I don’t like it much either, it just feels excessive, but I think there might be an answer in this story for it. There was a quick throwaway line when Clara was about to die (Wow some parts of the dialogue were so fast it was really hard to catch!) about how Clara was a “real woman.” Tasha used her cunning and sexuality as a tool to manipulate people to do what she wanted, but seemed afraid of actually standing up and fighting and making a real sacrifice (i.e. saying she couldn’t fight the dalek). Clara, on the other hand is unafraid of death and making sacrifices for the greater good (whether it’s saving a world/the Doctor/etc), and consistently encourages people to do the right thing because the thing is right, not manipulating them into doing it. Clara also found the strength inside herself to fight the Dalek, while Tasha was ready to give into it without a real fight. So I think in this case, there might be a reason for how sexualized Tasha was – she was essentially a femme fatale.

      • The Other

        Ever wonder why the Doctor seems to have a girl in every port?
        Try living for 1200 years and not sleeping around a bit ;)

  • Kathryn

    Meh. I wasn’t expecting that much, and it didn’t really deliver. So much of this didn’t make sense because it was so convoluted, like others have said, and Moffat just expects the audience to take everything at face value and not question it. There’s no emotional impact in resolving something as serious and all-encompasing as the doctor’s death with some fancy time lord magic at the last minute, especially when the doctor doesn’t really seem to care either way, beyond dancing about a bit. (And excuse me, but didn’t series 6 do exactly the same thing with the doctor’s death?) This ties everything up because he says it does. I’m glad the long-strung-out convoluted plot mess is finally over, and hopefully we can start anew next series.

    I really loved series 5, and even most of series 6, but series 7 (which feels like it’s been going on forever) just feels like one big mess. And I’m slightly bitter that the writing can be this bad and yet Moffat can still emotionally manipulate me to tears by 11′s final monologue and bringing Amy back one last time. :P (And the frustrating part is that so many people will remember the final scene and say ‘wasn’t the episode amazing? I cried!’ And everything else is forgotten/forgiven) The one thing I was happy about was that 11 accepted his regeneration in the end, quite happily. 10′s “I don’t want to go” was just seemed strange to me at the end of an episode that had appeared to be about him accepting his end. 11 also said he wouldn’t forget his life as 11, which is nice continuity/development from his being labelled as the ‘one who forgets’ in the 50th. It shows the realisation that he didn’t destroy Gallifrey’s had at least a tiny impact. Whether that’s intentional or not, I’m taking it as such – it’s all I’m likely to get. :P Otherwise, where was the continuity from the 50th? Not plot-wise – I understand the time lords were in the crack or something, but character-wise. Can the Doctor just make up his mind whether he loves the time lords or hates them?

    Ahh. Mostly I’m just kinda sad. Matt is so amazing and the latter part of his time on the show has just been let down by bad writing. :/

    • ConnorF42

      It isn’t that difficult to figure out if you take the entire run as a whole. It is a time travel show after all, it takes a little work.

    • Ande Anderson

      I agree with pretty much everything you said!

    • The Other

      The “mess” has been caused by Russel T Davis. Moffat had to bring back the Time Lords laying down a long plan, using the cracks in time and the Silence. All along he claimed to be harkening back to Classic Who and nobody knew what he meant, it was all about restoring Gallifrey. Those who loved the old series, are rejoicing that The Doctor once again LOOKS like The Doctor and once again is part of a universe where other beings (from his own race) can match him. RTD killed off too much of the Classic Who, Moffat had to turn the house upside down to bring it back without opting for a lame “reboot” scenario. All his “reset button” stuff now seems like one great big in joke. All he needs to do now is give Capaldi a scarf and put a question mark somewhere on his outfit, and balance will be restored to the Whoniverse.

      • Katter

        Please don’t speak for all fans “who loved the old series.” In terms of the Doctor not looking like the Doctor, are you referring to Matt Smith being young? Forgetting Peter Davison, are we? And while I’d love to have the Time Lords back, it didn’t come across that that’s what happened — in fact, it looked to me like they shot the deus ex machina — oh, sorry, I mean the artron energy — through the crack and then let it seal up with them still on the other side. Moffat didn’t clean up the mess here; he just shuffled things around into a new configuration of convoluted mess.

      • The Geek

        Moffet didn’t know he was bringing back the timelords. Each series had an arc and he had to figure out how to tie it all together.

        Hell when the writers introduced Clara as “the impossible girl” they didn’t know what she was actually going to be.

        Neil Gaiman commented

        “Doctor Who has its own peculiar way of being written, so I started writing it about 14 months ago. I wrote about the first ten pages and then they said they’d changed the companion from what I was expecting to something else”

        “He sent me that and said ‘This is what she sounds like’. But from that you just make her up as you go along.”

        This isn’t new, most writers tend to do this in when writing for TV shows. In Breaking Bad at the beginning of season 5 they show a flash-forward of Walter White with a machine gun in his trunk, and it wasn’t until the final episode that they figured out what to use it for.

        It’s like buying ingredients in a supermarket, then figuring out what you should make with them. In my opinion, I think he tied all the arcs up extremely well, and in a way that ensures the return of a classic element of Dr Who that will hopefully help breath some new life into this re-boot (if you can call it that).

        I personally liked the idea of him being the last of his kind, he’d been off television for a long time and a lot happened in that period. He’d lost his home-world…and his soul…and he needed to be put back together. Now he has, and like you said, it’s time things went back to the way they used to be.

      • heat15sw

        sorry the reboot is better than the old doctor who

      • Old Whovian

        There is a reason the original series stopped Russell T. breathed new life into it. I am an old fan of the series having grown up watching the old series religiously on a daily basis. (I would say I count as one who loves the old series) If what you say is true and Moffat is trying to bring back the Timelords well he is sacrificing excellent writing in an attempt to take the show backward. (Moffat has written some great episodes.) Lovers of classic Who (like me) want to keep moving forward not backward. The only thing holding the show together is the actors and as stated above Matts character was so coated in Makeup in Time of the Dr that is made it hard to relate. Thumbs down is all I can say.

        • Haily

          This. I am all for more Time Lords but there didn’t need to be this giant mess to make it happen. The Silence (who are apparently, rather than an invading species, now just bio-engineered confessional priests? what? then why’d they occupy earth for tens of thousands of years?) did not need to happen.

          Many elements of the plotline didn’t need to happen and were just there because they must have sounded cool when they were only 1 sentence long rather than a fully-fleshed idea.

          • rashmiviswanath

            Apparently it was to suggestively control humans over centuries and get them to build the Apollo Space Suit, which they would arm and stick River Song into so she would climb out of a lake randomly and kill the Doctor.

  • Sierra

    I liked it. It took me a long time to get in to the groove of Smith after Tennant left and by the time this episode came around, I definitely was sad to see Smith go. I enjoyed his sendoff a lot though and while I do agree with many here that the plot lines have become rather convoluted, I like that the canon on which Doctor is which number (11 is now 13 *technically* and so) is FINALLY cleared up. At least now we can move forward with that knowledge in hand.

    Also, I found it a bit weird to see Amy back? I don’t know, it just felt strange to me to have a special goodbye for her, but to leave out the other companions from Smith’s era.

    Goodbye Matt! I will miss you, but at the same time… HELLO PETER CAPALDI! I can’t wait for his series to start officially!

    • TheFirst

      Actually, it makes sense they brought back Amy. To be honest, it was something I expected to happen. Amy was the first person the Eleventh Doctor ever saw so I think it’s fitting she’s also the last.

  • Sophiesquirels

    well I thought it was good

  • Pete.

    God, what a mess…

  • Maria Wang

    Well, next year we really need a nice, joyful Christmas adventure. Something that really gets your heart melting, and not in a sad way.

    • The Other

      Peter Capaldi will rescue a transport ship full of puppies headed for Skaro to be exterminated.
      He will then give them to Silurian children to teach them the importance of being kind to mammals.

  • Lotte

    Not gonna lie, I had HIGH expectations, and… yeah… goodbye Matt Smith?! I love you, but I am sorry for this goodbye?!

  • The507thDoctor

    I’m still trying to make my mind up about this episode, but like others have said it felt incredibly rushed and I hated all the flirty stuff with Tasha Lem, it really bugged me, However I will say I though the regeneration was amazing and I loved his final speech. Matt you will be missed, and I will always remember you.

    • Shay

      Pretty sure that Tasha Lem was River. Lem- Mel. Just trying to figure out which version of her it was…

      • j

        tasha – asshat!

      • whaaaa

        how is that river when she’s dead?? river is a hologram stuck inside that massive library because she had no regenerations because she gave all her regeneration powers to the doctor to save him, in the lets kill hitler episode

        • larroke

          A data entry inside a giant database…. part of me makes a connection that we may get more explanation on but yet more of me hopes she’s just a poorly placed character thread we aren’t meant to get an explanation for as her flirty ways were just there as reason for her to let the Doctor in as well as protect him during the siege.

          • The Other

            Tasha is made from flesh and blood, you cant implant a Dalek eye stalk into a hologram!!

            Mind you typing that I’ve just noticed something in my own words… “Tasha is made from flesh…..” FLESH….. would Moffat do that?

      • The507thDoctor

        I’m sorry but I don’t see how Tasha could be River as we’ve seen every one of her regenerations.

  • Jane

    It was an alright episode…. I think it was over-hyped though. When we saw 11 looking all young at the end, I thought it was a hologram hiding what 12 really looked liked. But when we find that it was actually still 11, I kinda got disappointed. I think 11′s regeneration was anti-climatic. Just a flip of the head then BAM!! It’s CAPALDI!!

    • CliveRogan

      Yeah, it was a little weird how the regeneration managed to be really over the top dramatic and anti-climactic at the same time. When he started regenerating on the tower I loved the idea that he would just go and let 12 finish off the episode, but no, 11 came back to try and compete with 10 for the most melodramatic regeneration before Capraldi barely got a look in.

      • Haily

        Yes, this. He went on and on about it. I thought Ten was heartbreaking (“the old me dies, a new man walks away with my name”)… it showed that the Doctor was aware of the kind of “but is it really me?” fear that any person would have, something that I always thought was a bit frightening and sad. It was sad and depressing because Ten was sad and depressing. Nine was so great and to the point (“You were fantastic, and you know what, so was I!”). Those were memorable lines.

        Eleven had a freakin’ monologue and hallucinated and everything (but he didn’t manage to find time for his wife, just for Amy!) and in the end it was just babble and totally anti-climatic.

        I just watched it and I can’t remember what he actually said.

        Capaldi’s last sentence was a bit stupid too. Really, you forgot how to fly the TARDIS? That’s all you got for an introduction?

    • PrisonerZero

      I saw the reset coming because I knew that Moffat wouldn’t make Elevens last line “Love from Gallifrey, Baby!”

      • Sonikdemon

        Wonder if they may consider creating a extended directors cut at a later date. Would like to understand how the time lords who are time locked in a parallel universe were able to get free? Did I miss something?

  • dummypants

    This show needs a showrunner change. Shit, make it Mark Gatiss. Anyone but Moffat. I wanted this episode to move me but it was effing terrible until the last few minutes, and then it was just manipulative. Someone needs to put Moffat in check. Stop pandering you out of touch fool. RTD, for all his faults, was leagues better than Moffat as a showrunner.

    • Katter

      I vote for Nicholas Briggs, who has creative control over the Big Finish audio adventures. You want a big, complicated story that actually makes sense and delivers on its promises, go listen to The Light at the End.

    • razorqueen

      Agreed. Moffat apparently needs someone to rein him in, because from a storytelling perspective, his time as a show runner has been a hot mess. The Doctor gets a new regeneration cycle, and it’s a throwaway line? So typical of the whole Moffat arc. That idea alone would be enough for a whole episode (or two). He tries to do too much and ends up doing nothing well. I had hopes after “The Day of the Doctor,” but no. Moffat is capable of amazing writing, but as show runner, he tries to make everything grandiose. It doesn’t have to be. I would rather have one exquisite small moment than a thousand Time Wars.

  • Winkyxx

    I think it was great! Yes it was rushed, but i loved the old music that was used and I LOVED SEEING AMY AGAIN. <3 JUST AH.
    Hats off to you Moffat.

    • Fantasongs

      It WAS a great episode and to all those who feel it was rushed and convoluted, when you watch it a second time (as is the case with many episodes) it will be more organized

  • tardis0699

    Usually I like Moffat’s work, extremely creative and thought through. Now although all ends do appear to have been resolved I can’t help but feel that much of the story was underdeveloped and not really thought all the way through.

  • CliveRogan

    I generally liked the episode, it was a bit cluttered and confusing but I imagine that’ll leave a lot to see on later viewings. I loved its way of tying all of 11′s main threads together without it feeling too forced, bringing it back to where it started with the crack in the wall and managing to answer the question in a pretty satisfying way.

    My only major disapointment was the continuation of the trend to milk the Doctor’s death. It’s sad and all but I’d love it if they’d just get on with it, I’d have loved to see a few minutes of Capraldi running around rather than having to wait months to see him in action. That would have also given the episode a conclusion as the threat seemed to just go away without much resolution.

  • Fallen_Angel

    Ridiculous, ridiculous episode.

  • http://blackrapture.tumblr.com/ thegoodshipdestiel

    What a gigantic pile of suck. Please save us, Peter Capaldi.

  • http://ravenclaw1991.tumblr.com/ ravenclaw1991

    AMY!! :’) So glad she was there as he died. That really answered a lot of questions though. Down to the crack in the wall. We finally know. That regeneration though.. I was expecting it to be a little lengthy and I was waiting for the burst of gold and then it was just like BAM CAPALDI and I’m like WTF?? Whoa, that was fast.

  • Glaciusx

    When Amy walked down the steps I let out the ugliest sob ever. THAT WAS SO BEAUTIFUL. 11′s speech about change hit me so hard. This whole thing was just beautiful and sad.

  • I<3Books

    Like some others have stated, I found 11s regeneration very anticlimactic. I mean, I expected the old 11 to regenerate into Capaldi, but then he came back young and I was like “Is Matt going to stay?????” but no, he regenerated for real. In fact, the entire episode felt a little rushed, which probably was another factor in making it seem anticlimactic. Matt was my first, and I’m sad to see him gone, but I wasn’t nearly as emotional as I was when Tennant left, which disappoints me.

    And sorry for the run-on sentence earlier.

  • https://www.fanfiction.net/u/5210677/ The_Ponds_Forever

    I cried so hard when we saw Amy!!

  • Nessa Wilson

    I just finished watching this episode, and I found myself asking (numerously) throughout- “what the #$% am I watching?!” My issues with the entire thing:
    (1) It was absolutely rushed.
    (2) Clara Oswald saves the day. Again. (As if saving “that” part of the galaxy from the Twilight God with flower power wasn’t enough. *snerk*)
    (3) If Amy Pond is “The Girl Who Waited, then Clara Oswald should be “Girl who’s been ditched.” If you’ve ever watched Coupling, another one of Moffat’s brainchildren, she’d be referred to as being “Unflushable.” (Hint- Coupling, UK)
    (4) Where’s the end of the episode?! Yes, the Doctor regenerated, which is nice. The Dalek’s have been blown to who knows where, but if all of the Timelord’s enemies are knocking on Trenzalore’s door, what happened to them?!
    (5) Is anyone going to eat that turkey?!
    (6) Don’t let me get started with a “Nun” saying “flying the TARDIS is easy, flying the Doctor on the other hand.” Yeah, not the best imagery that I’d like to see. Church references in Doctor Who were neat, up until this point. Crash of the Byzantian and the Church of England- that was neat. This, on the other hand, not so much.
    (7) “OMFG I’m stuck to 12 regenerations,” nopers. It’s been shown in previous seasons that Timelords with the permission of the Council, can exceed 12 regenerations. Some Timelords, aka Romana, regenerated whenever she felt like it.

    Bottomline- It was rushed, and a let down from the FANTASTIC 50th anniversary special. It felt very hollow and predictable.

    • https://www.fanfiction.net/u/5210677/ The_Ponds_Forever

      Who do you think gave him more regen’s? The timelords granted The doctor more just like (Well kinda) With Romana

      • LJ

        And the Master!

    • Haily

      (4) Got me. So he blasts ONE ship with his magic powers (which honestly I found hard to believe), what about all the others? Is that it? Are you kidding?

      The regeneration itself was a mess. First he babbles for ages, then poof it’s Capaldi. I guess the missing regeneration (you know where he glows and stuff) is because this one is special blow-up-spaceships-edition, but the sendoff was just awful! I remember exactly what Ten and Nine’s last words were. They were both great punchlines. Eleven was something-something-Amy-something-something.

  • http://xyue-mayx.deviantart.com/ Dreamer

    This episode was too rushed and convoluted for me. I found some aspects enjoyable, but I don’t think they gave it enough time to work things out. It was a good episode, but not my favorite regeneration episode.

  • K@

    I thought it was perfect. Fantastic! even…. I loved that the cyber man head had the same voice as K9! Regenerations are such important episodes and I really thought this episode paid proper respects to Matt Smith’s doctor. All the cannon questions were answered.
    I really want to be angry at Capaldi for replacing Matt Smith. When Tennant regenerated I disliked Smith for a while based on principal. It is like when you are a child and your favorite baby sitter moves away and the new sitter is awesome but just not the same, but they grow in you… But I am sooooo excited for Capaldi’s doctor… Is it August yet?

  • alice

    Was anybody else hoping River would show up at some point? I cannot be the only one.

    • Robert Monkman

      I don’t know if anyone else got felt this but I started to started to think Tasha Lem was River Song, particularly the “you’ve been fighting the psychopath inside you line” however I can’t explain how this would work or fit.

      • Kevin

        ME TOO

      • Alice

        I thought that too for a little bit. But I already had so many thoughts going on in my head about the episode that it was honestly pushed to the back of my mind. I wouldn’t be surprised if that is mentioned or discussed once Capaldi’s season starts though.

      • http://geekychristine.com/ Christine Martino

        It didn’t go unnoticed — there are some really interesting theories on Reddit about it. The only thing I can’t factor is her asking if the Doctor was sporting a “new body.” River would recognize Eleven, so it’s weird that she would say that.

        Then there’s also the “I’m going to burn this planet to prevent the Time Lords from appearing, no matter what the cost” thing. Does not sound like River at all.

    • http://geekychristine.com/ Christine Martino

      My main reason for wanting River to show up (aside from the potentially bittersweet mirror-image of the Library scene) was to answer some questions I still had concerning her: How could Post-Library River have so much knowledge of Trenzalore in The Name of the Doctor if it wasn’t from experiencing it first-hand?

      I assume she may have learned about it from the Silence and the Academy of the Question, but that doesn’t explain how she knew about her fake gravestone…

    • The Doctor

      I wanted her to come back SOOO bad

  • Gillian

    To be honest the only thing I enjoyed about this episode was Clara’s hair and clothing.

  • Ande Anderson

    I think the only reason I was so moved by the episode was because I knew Matt would be leaving, and then Amy came back. Besides that, the episode could have been a heck of a lot better.

  • K@

    All the negative posts make me sad. Think off all the stuff Moffet was responsible for this year…. Between the 50th for Doctor Who, wrapping up all the loose ends cannon wise, the final Matt Smith episode and a new season of Sherlock. That guy has ALOT on his plate. And he did the most he could with the time he was given. Matt Smith’s swan song was sweet and full of Easter eggs, he tied up all the loose ends and introduced a new doctor with all that he had. Hats off to him! Moffet really is an international treasure!

    • Betsy

      Yeah, but Moffat’s the one who decided to put everything on his own plate. He’s an adult, he should be able to judge whether or not he can handle things.But I do have to wonder if all of Elevens’ story lines just got too big and out of hand for him. I do hope he learns from his experience as showrunner and takes this opportunity to create a really tight major plot arc for Capaldi’s first season, and give Clara some solid character development in a new and interesting direction. It’s not like we all WANT him to suck. :)

      • The Other

        The Name of the Doctor, the 50th and this episode, IMHO, have actually REDEEMED Moffat.
        Finally everything he was up to makes sense. The whole convoluted cracks in time, the exploding TARDIS and the Silence was all about one thing and one thing only: BRINGING BACK THE TIME LORDS!!!!
        Since RTD revived the show, it suffered from this “Last of the Time Lords” thing which made the Doctor a godlike entity with no equals in the known universe. The whole background of Gallifrey and it’s civilization loomed (no pun intended, NA fans) over Doctors 2 – 8.

        Also, I find Clara REFRESHING after Rose and Amy, where the companion becomes so obnoxiously deified as the arc progresses. Somehow, Clara managed to jump into the Doctor’s Time Field and battle the G.I without developing a God Complex (again, no pun intended :P)
        The WORST part of the Moffat era has been the veneration of the Goddess Amy Pond, a character I quite liked at first, but was glad to see off by the time she departed. Clara had to be a little bit “timey-wimey” to get us through the Name of the Doctor plot, but I sincerely hope that she is the last of the “supernatural” companions and we can return to Classic Who style companions like Sarah Jane or Leela (but please no Peri or Adric!)

        NuWho was cool for a while, RTD did a great job at bringing the show back and he had to do something different. But it was time for a change, time for the end of the young-faced Last of the Time Lords, and time for the Doctor to be some rambling middle aged man in a stolen time machine, a mad renegade from a stuffy civilization of near immortal Time Lords who THINK they know best but often need to be put in place by their errant son.

        Bring on Capaldi, and bring on the Gallifrey Quest!

        • Haily

          Being “the impossible girl” is not “deified”? Clara stalked his entire timeline saving his life countless times, all off-screen. To me this is the definition of being deified.

          Amy was just a girl in the end. I agree she was put on a pedestal but she was in a way normal: normal life, normal husband, normal love story that ended in a normal death. She and Rory made the TARDIS their home and the Doctor was family to them, because they were a family. That’s very human and normal.

          Rose was normal. She had a normal family, a boyfriend (with a personality), a mother, a home that she cared about. She fell in love which is the normal human thing to do. She was kind, adventurous, thoughtless, reckless and a bit dim. She had her 1 moment in the sun (as Bad Wolf) but that lasted for 1 second. Take that away and Rose is still there.

          Clara has no life of her own. The Doctor happily accepts being her “boyfriend” (where before his thing was that he couldn’t bear to settle). We see that she’s technically human (she has a family, a home, and a job) but none of it seems to matter much to her. Why should it? Unlike the other companions the Doctor reliably picks her up and drops her off without the problems that Amy and Rose faced. Clara died for the Doctor (jumping into the timeline) but she’s back so it doesn’t mean anything I guess?

          Her personality is “cheeky”. That’s it. We see her interact only with the Doctor who… loves her like Rose? Is best friends with her like Donna? Admires her like Martha? Disapproves of her like Jack? Feels at home with her like Amy/Rory?

          She’s special because she’s impossible and that’s it.

    • Old Whovian

      Yeah I agree he has a lot on his plate but it is to the detriment of Dr Who and likely Sherlock (Which I don’t watch) I think he needs to deligate more and direct the writing less. Let the other writers weave the stories together and bring together the plot lines as the only plot lines Moffat is interested in putting together are the ones in episodes he has written and he is all over the shop with it relying on short edits and straw grasping to put it together. Baby spew makes more sense.

      • K@

        I actually thought everything made sense… Do I think he had the whole thing planned out from the beginning? No. But he was successful in tying up all the loose ends and answering all the questions I had. I do agree that he sometimes pulls things out of his bum… Like how he explained why the Doctor could never see the Ponds again. And after the episode The Name of the Doctor, it is certainly hard to top it. But I still laughed, cried, wept, shook with joy… All the normal emotions I associate with a great Doctor Who episode!

  • LizzieB

    I’m not quite prepared to completely discuss the episode but I did Transcribe that final scene (minus the Capaldi stuff) so I thought I would share

    It all just disappear doesn’t it? Everything you are gone
    in a moment, like, breath on a mirror. Any moment now He’s a comin’.

    Who’s coming?

    The Doctor

    You, you are the doctor

    Yup, and I always will be. But times change, and so must I. Amelia.

    Who’s Amelia?

    The first face this face saw. We all change, when you think about it we’re all different people, all through our lives, and that’s ok. That’s good. You’ve got to keep moving. So long as you remember all the people that you used to be. I will not forget one line of this. Not one day. I swear. I will always remember when The Doctor was me.

    Raggedy Man, goodnight.

    [Takes off bow tie and drops it on the ground]

    No! no! please don’t change…

    • PrisonerZero

      Was Amy’s cameo possible a nod to Classic Who Regeneration where some of the Doctor’s most important friends would appear to him?

      • http://hunyumstan.tumblr.com/ hunyum

        river is important. i think a bit more than amy.
        she should have showed up

      • princessxkelsey

        it’s the whole “the first face this face saw” thing.

        • cocoy

          River already showed up in Name of the Doctor. This is sort of a trilogy.

  • kdarling

    My objection is that Doctor Who Christmas specials are supposed to have happy endings. I don’t like mixing in the whole regeneration thing, along with cramming in explanations for everything that has happened over the past few seasons. I’d rather all that mess was resolved in the first episode of the new Doctor.

  • Samantha

    Not sure what to think. Some pieces were incredible, like the last scene with Amy; others were disappointing. After all the hype about tying up loose ends, I found myself not caring so much. I did enjoy the subtle.connection between Barnaby and Amelia. In general this episode is another great example of how the show is better when focusing on the emotional development of the doctor rather than a over-complex plot. Either way, can’t wait for August!!!!

  • Selestina118

    Ah – so what to say about this? Even though I knew about Doctor Who and had seen clips of David prior to becoming a Whovian, Matt was my first proper Doctor. I had been preparing myself to be a big ball of tears tonight, but no tears came. I’m going to miss Matt so, so very much, but argh what was that?

    (A) Tasha I couldn’t stand one bit. She was just too much – too melodramatic and I just didn’t care about her one bit. (And not a “real woman” – I actually loved that bit). (B) It was frustrating how the Doctor dropped Clara every chance he could get after all she has done. Yes, he was trying to protect her, but he should have had a bit more faith in her that she could help him work something out (because she did in the end). The foundation for a deep and lovely bond between the two of them is there (we saw it in the 50th) – why try to abandon it? (C) Tying up everything is nice and all, but sometimes it just doesn’t need to be done (but then again I am one of those people who actually liked the ending of Lost lol). Why rehash stuff that had been explained before and giving it another explanation?

    Just overall it was a letdown. The 50th was so, so good and then we get this. Guess that’s what happens when Moffat writes during Comic-Con. =S I can’t wait to see what Capaldi does and how Clara will seemingly help him learn the ropes.

  • Rae

    That was awful. Beyond terrible. I’m supposed to cry during a regeneration episode. I wasn’t even sad. Matt Smith is such a wonderful actor, and a brilliant Doctor when
    someone intelligent is writing the script. He deserved better than this.

    It was his final episode, and the Doctor didn’t do anything! There were none of those, “I’m going to do something extremely clever and save everyone” moments that he’s so good at. Apparently he was saving Trenzalore all the time, but that
    happened during the extremely long time skips, so we didn’t see it. It’s hard
    to make me care about something I didn’t see. It was just an increasingly old
    Doctor wandering (limping) around.

    But that’s ok!Because we can solve all of our problems if we just ask the Time Lords

    And after Clara saves his life, AGAIN, the Doctor is just going to ignore her so he can imagine Amy. No offense to Amy, but I don’t understand why she was there. Clara is the current companion, they should have had a moment instead. When Ten
    regenerated, he said goodbye to EVERYONE, they all got their special moments, and he didn’t even have a regular companion at the moment.

    • Zeo

      Amy coming back really bugged me. We’d already seen her goodbye when she was touched by the Weeping Angel. This should have been Clara and the Doctor’s moment.

      • Forte

        But something similar happened a couple times in classic Who. And Rose, the first face Ten saw, was the last stop on his farewell tour.

    • Haily

      To be fair she was right there and they had a conversation. I guess the babble was supposed to be meaningful and touching.

      Ten and Nine both had extremely memorable exits. Ten “didn’t want to go” and felt that he was “dying” and the regeneration would be “walking away with his life”. Nine said everyone was fantastic and so was he (except I guess Jack wasn’t fantastic enough for him).

      Eleven had a long long chat with himself and hallucinated Amy but not River.

  • Laurelin

    I have this horrible feeling that Peter Capaldi is going to be wasted due to really bad writing. PLEASE DON’T. I’m so excited for him as 12 but they better use him better than they did Matt Smith..

    • Haily

      I know this sounds like I’m a nit-picking nut, but I didn’t like his meager 2 sentences. The thing about having kidneys is OK, but really, “do you know how to fly this thing?” Really? That’s your introduction?

      I thought he’d be Nine-style cool and competent but funny. I really really hope he’s not Eleven-style silly…

  • Brandon Khold Morales

    I think 11 should’ve just regenerated epically, at the tower , it seemed better than just instantaneous body change

    • Doctor swag

      I think I agree it would have been better but with it being a non-violent/ quick regeneration back in the tardis it make sense because he is in the first regeneration of a new cycle and it seems that regenerations get. Ore violent the more you do. (I hope that makes sense)

  • BWinc

    Not sure if I cared for the Doctor Who Christmas special. Smith’s exit
    was kind of meh. A let down really. The previous 2 Doctor’s exits were better written. And the Amy Pond thing at the end. Trying too hard force the emotional response and Clara got blown off.

    • Andy P.

      “Trying too hard to force the emotional response?” You’re kidding, right? So you enjoyed Tennant’s send off where he wandered the universe for half an hour (allegedly dying all the while) saying good bye to all his old companions so RTD could pat himself on the back? Trying to force an emotional response? Really? Amy’s appearance felt earned. Tennant’s send-off was gratuitous.

      • BWinc

        Yes, really. And I say that when I believe Amy was an awesome companion. I rate her 2nd after Sarah Jane. Why the hate on Mr. Davies? This episode isn’t Moffat’s best effort. It would worked better if he ended Smith’s run with the Day of the Doctor. Something along the lines of War Doctor returns to this timeline and regens, Then 10 goes back to his timeline and regens. Finally, 11, with the stress of changing a fixed point coupled with his new mission of finding Gallifrey, goes back to his timeline and regens.

        • The Other

          Davis excelled at episodes. He wrote great stand alone science fiction stories that happened to star the Doctor. He also began this trend of over mythologising the companions, which I find irritating, and keeping the trend is one of the things I like least about Moffat.
          Where Davis fell flat is universe building, which is what Classic Who was about, and I cannot forgive him for killing off all those Time Lords. RTD may have done what he did in the name of peace and sanity, but not in the name of…..

          Anyhow, I’m on Moffat’s side for now. He lost be a bit with the Cult of Pond, but since the “Doctor” trilogy it all makes sense, it was all an elaborate ploy to bring back Gallifrey. NOW Moffat needs to change his tact, along with the Doctor’s face. If he keeps up the same old trick next season, he will lose me. If he strikes out new ground and delivers the promised NuWho-meets-Classic that is being hinted at since the 50th, then I’ll stay with him.

          • ChrisOU812

            I feel exactly the opposite. Moffat’s one-off stories are fine. His hugest failures are his utter lack of character development — he gives us wimpy, childish men, cookie-cutter interchangeable women — and his giant ego. He wants to leave his mark on every aspect of Who. I will be doing cartwheels when Moffat runs out of regenerations. DW has suffered tremendously with him as showrunner. I can’t even see this “Christmas special” as something that can stand alone at Christmas, the way most of them can.

      • The Other

        I loved some of Tennant’s moments as the Doctor, and for me his send off has always seemed all the more irritating for how much I love the actor.

  • Andy P.

    No discussion of the very strong implications that Tasha Lem is River Song?

    • The Other

      What implications would that be?

      River Song is now a hologram, you cant kill a hologram three times over and implant it with a Dalek Stalk, for Rassilon’s-sake man!

      Also, do you think River Song would not try and nip “The Kovarian Chapter” in the bud before it tried to “break away”, kill her husband and destroy her family?

  • matthewhpg

    Yes, it wasn’t perfect, but it was great for what it was. It tied up the loose ends of the Eleventh Doctor’s era and gave him a spectacular send off. Goodnight Raggedy Man and goodnight Matt Smith.

  • sandy blue

    I was disappointed in the end. Even though I knew what was going to happen, don’t think ill like capaldi much, but ill give him a chance. Won’t be the same without Matt. I cried

  • hmmm…

    I’m still having a hard time accepting that the 11th Doctor is gone. I’m not sure just how well I’ll take to the new guy.

    • Juan Pedia

      I’ve felt that way since I started watching the show with Christopher Eccleston. For every regeneration, I’m never sure if I’ll like the next Doctor, but I always do.

  • grapes9h5

    Im really baffled by the negativity here. I couldn’t have been more pleased with it, did everything I was hoping for quite well. I find many of these posts to be no more than variations on the same old Moffat discontent. Maybe that’s why I liked it, I’m a fan of Moffat’s fast and complicated approach, and I don’t too much miss the Davies emotional and drawn out approach as much as many seemingly do. Oh well.

  • Matthew Howland

    It was perfect. Every bit of it. A lot of people are upset I’m noticing about how short the regeneration was but I think that it was totally unexpected. Just BAM! Right into it. Leaving us trying to sort through our current feelings as we try to process what’s hopping in the now. And Amy. Oh. My. Gosh. I was WAILING. Out loud. Horrible cries of sadness. It was beautiful. Loved that he died of old age instead if being killed. I found that very symbolic as he wasn’t afraid to grow old anymore. And like every doctor before. I’m not excited for Capaldi. But I know that just like David and Matt I’ll grow to love him. Great episode.

  • Carolyn V. Egan

    Ugh. So confusing. Too many loose ends to try to tie up…And why, pray tell, does Clara not remember all of this after dispersing herself along the Doctor’s entire time-line in order to save him several episodes ago? (That little nugget is conveniently forgotten.) There’s is so much that is such hard work to TRY to make sense of in this last season of Who and most especially this episode….And still doesn’t quite make good sense of any or much of it. Why are the Time Lords asking “Doctor Who?” Don’t they know his name? And what is causing the bells or coded message of fear? Was that ever sufficiently explained? Maybe I missed it, tucked in there amidst the torrent of information attempting to wrap it all up. Honestly, I lost the thread five minutes into this dreadful disappointment of a Christmas special….and what a major let-down for Capaldi’s emergence as the doc. Genius Moffatt is too ambitious for his own good at times. Smith was a great Doctor, but let’s face it – he was aided early on by Moffatt’s spectacular, unparalleled writing. Problem is that Moffatt could not keep up with himself and spun such confusing tales – with tantalizing beginnings and disappointing resolutions (I still can’t buy that Amy would be okay with her infant daughter stolen from her and raised as her psychopathic best girl-friend) that he lost my interest half-way through Smith’s final season. I barely watched it. I could go on….but my bottom line is that you cannot play too much with the concept of time. When there aren’t any rules, you rely more on monsters to create tension in the plot, than physics. Moffatt disregarded the idea of paradox – ultimately – to the show’s detriment…though I understand he wanted to dig himself out of some of the horrible plot devices of the RT Davies years….Still…..in general, too bad, too sad.

  • SofiaSham2017

    BRILIANT EPISODE!!! I rarely cry and I sobbed.

  • Zeo

    I watched it a second time through, and I have to say that I enjoyed it a lot more. It definitely didn’t feel rushed like it did the first time through. I think a lot of Doctor Who eps are just so jam-packed with fast-talking explanations that it can feel a bit rushed and go over your head. But I find that the second watch always makes me appreciate it all more.

    Still didn’t appreciate Amy’s reappearance. It actually took me out of the moment. We’ve all said goodbye to Amy, this wasn’t needed.

  • Charlie

    The writer of this ‘recap’ clearly did not understand many points in the plot. It’s unfortunate to think that many viewers may be further confused by this episode (which in my opinion was strong throughout and fairly straightforward, as Doctor Who plotlines go) due to this cursory and just plain inaccurate interpretation of the story by this blogger.

    I understand that the episode just aired, but I think that plot comprehension and proper information should come before the “First to post!!!!!” mentality.

  • Kayleigh Wilson

    Tbh I just want Matt Smith back…

  • Laura Jones

    “I will always remember when the Doctor was me”

  • ZofTheTwiHard

    To me it seems to be the same as The Day of the Doctor – great promise, great marketing, but it somehow fails to deliver. Good, but kinda ‘meh’ for me.
    Of course, I loved the Amy bit.
    But I’m always a Tennant girl.

  • spacie19

    Errr…thank Bob for this recap, because I was not understanding what was happening in this ep. I thought I was slow or something. Then I started to fall asleep on it (though that may have had more to due with all the cake I’d eaten earlier)! Somehow I found the ep was both over and underwhelming at the same time, which was especially disappointing because the 50th was so great! I’m really hoping that the new season with Capaldi gets re-tooled. And I’m about ready to let go of Clara. Sorry.

  • Laurelin



    peter capaldi doesn’t like his filter

  • spacie19

    Oh yeah- and I hated the ep but I loved this quote: “We all change, when you think about it. We’re all different people, all through our lives, and that’s okay, that’s good. You gotta keep moving… so long as you remember all the people who you used to be.”

  • Joe Tuccillo

    When the bow tie fell to the ground it was the end of an era.

  • Fantaman

    These questions might have already been asked, however why does Clara not remember the silence, I thought they were etched on every humans brain since the last series.

    One other from the 50th anniversary episode, when they are in the Tower of London and they leave the head of UNIT and the zygons not remembering who they actually are. Why is this not referred to again? We just get a climse with the enhaler being passes but that story as never been talked about? Any answers please?

    • Juan Pedia

      About the Silence: Good question, but the Doctor said in “Day of the Moon” that information about the creatures fades as time goes by. So, I guess that would be why.

      About they Zygon: The Tenth and Eleventh Doctors said they would work out a treaty that would be peaceful to both species. The inhaler would be the key to working out who was who when the negotiations were done.

  • The 12th Doctor

    Fuckity Hi there

  • Vegas_Bob

    So many questions. . .Why didn’t Clara know about the Silence, after all she went back and saved the Doctor throughout history, which would include “the Silence”? . . .Why didn’t the Doctor know that the planet was Trenzalore, since he had already been there before, surely the Tardis would have that knowledge stored in her memory?. . .Speaking of the Tardis, since the message was Gallifreyan-based, shouldn’t the Tardis have been able to translate it?. . .if the Church had been attacked and all of the people were wiped out, how did the Church, including the Silence, fight on the side of the Doctor? Are we to assume they sent reinforcements?. . .Why bring Amy back, she was the first, but Clara was much more important after all she saved “all” of the Doctors? (that moment made it less emotional to me as they ad already said goodbye).

    The limp, the cane should have been explained (what caused his injuries, etc.)..

    I was truly expecting an emotional roller coaster and it just wasn’t there, except when Clara asked the ‘crack for help”.

    And lastly. . .the almost instantaneous change from Smith to Capaldi, was anti-climatic.

    I have watched the special a couple of times now

  • Emily

    Did anyone else see the connections between Matt Smith’s Doctor and Santa Clause in this episode? He was very old, made toys, and helped the children of the town, which was called “Christmas”. Essentially, the Doctor was Father Christmas.

  • Nicky Kay

    I think “The Other” has understood this episode and its context
    within the DW cannon very accurately, so I bow to his comments with gratitude.

    On a personal note, I didn’t find the religious satire
    offensive. It seemed, to me, to be a satire on organized and/or commercialized
    religion as opposed to an attempt to devalue or mock Faith, especially the
    Christian Faith. I am sad to read that many people were genuinely offended and
    upset by those elements in the episode and that this spoiled their enjoyment; and
    I respect their feelings. However, I did not get any sense that Moffat was
    deliberately trying to offend.

    Whether or not RTD or SM have (or had) an out-and-out atheist
    agenda in DW is a moot point. I’ve never felt this; and I prefer to see the
    morality and ethics in Doctor Who as being decent and respectable. The Doctor
    can be seen as a kind of Messiah figure, but that is because he subscribes to a
    high standard of moral and ethical behaviour. However, he is not God nor Jesus.
    Yes, he saves people, but he is fallible and makes mistakes, often with disastrous
    consequences, and he has to live with those mistakes for, almost, ever! Yet
    there is always the possibility of redemption, as shown so powerfully in the 50th.

    This episode was best enjoyed without worrying about
    mockeries of religion. Instead, I watched it as entertainment. As with the 50th, I thought Moffat
    did a tremendous job of writing an impossible episode. The 50th was
    never going to please everyone, yet he managed to come up with a story that
    was, for the most part, satisfying. I was not expecting much from the Christmas
    Special, yet I was pleased enough. As has been said, here, time and again, the
    pacing was all over the place. I liked the humour in the first 20 minutes, I
    found the aging Doctor phase a bit plodding and the regeneration seemed a bit
    of a mess (especially the sudden change into Peter Capaldi). I didn’t mind the
    voice over at the start but didn’t like it later when it is explained that the
    Doctor stayed in “Christmas” for the next so many years (lazy and sounded, to
    me, like the writer saying: “Well, I can’t be bothered to show this dramatically”
    - which he then did!).

    Some of the jokes were fun – I especially liked the Doctor
    appearing before the Cybermen with the severed Cyberman head after he had
    appeared before the Daleks with a Dalek eye-stalk! I was also pleased that the
    turkey joke wasn’t forgotten nearer the end, liked the nude Doctor idea when
    Clara introduces him to her family (“He’s Swedish”!). There was a lot of fun in
    the first 20 minutes though, as people have said here, rather rushed.

    When he is at his best, Moffat can produce some great
    scripts (we probably all think back to “The Empty Child” and “Blink” for example).
    He can do emotions and he can do comedy (and, obviously, he can do action and complex
    plots). When he is at his best, his scripts are as good as anyone else’s in the
    DW cannon. However, as with the 50th and many of the episodes he has
    written during his tenure as the Creative Director of DW, he has a tendency to
    cram too much in. This is what I did not like about this episode: too much in
    too short a space of time at the start, then this long, slightly boring “the
    Doctor ages” passage. It might have been better as a double episode and I am
    surprised the BBC didn’t insist on this (two bites; one cherry).

    Then there were the sudden moments: the Doctor is about to
    die in the tower, and Clara whispers into the time crack and, next we know, the
    Doctor is destroying all enemies with the surges from his regeneration cycle
    (oh, btw, no, he’s not expending his own regeneration cycles to destroy the
    Daleks because all the Docs send that stuff out, usually inside the TARDIS) and
    he now has another 13 regenerations, so that’s okay then. Blimey! Another
    sudden moment was the transformation into Peter C which felt like being

    As I say, the pace was not well balanced for me!

    Whether or not viewers liked the conceit, I thought Moffat
    mopped up pretty well, tied up a few loose ends and so on. I was a bit worried
    near the start that all the Doctor’s enemies had returned – this seemed a bit
    too redolent of the Pandorica double episode.

    I think Moffat gave Matt Smith enough material to provide a
    fine final performance. His speech about going through life and remembering all
    the different people we have been is actually quite beautiful. We all change as
    we grow and age and, yes, it is important to know who we once were and where we
    came from because that is how we understand what we are today (if, of course,
    we can ever have such self-knowledge).

    As for the imaginary Amy…Nicely done and moving, which says
    a lot since I hated that character (she became too obnoxious and aggressive IMO).

  • Nicky Kay

    I meant canon in my piece, btw and “whom” too. Sorry, Dyslexic.

  • Jack Shaw

    Yes the Doctor ages the first & the war Doctor (John Hurt) aged. it’s never really explained fully how long a Time lord can live without regeneration (outside of books). Regeneration was an add on to them. I’m assuming that a more primitive life extension technology was used prior to that. They are supposed to be a million year old culture after all. All in all a good episode i especially liked how Capaldi Freaked her out in that first stare.

  • froggyhpmb3

    part of me has died and i can’t seem to find it so that i can bury it… that monologue at the end made me shed a single tear.

  • Just Sayin

    The moment that Amy Pond showed up, I actually got emotional. I thought that was the PERFECT send-off to Number 11.

    I can’t wait to see what Peter Capaldi does with the character.

  • just another whovian :)

    Obviously, I had high expectations for this episode. But alas, I should know better by now after the most recent Moffat stories we’ve been getting. Not including the anniversary of course. I thought that The Time of the Doctor was entirely rushed, anti-climatic and so out of character. for everyone.

    Clara doesn’t put up with crap like what the Doctor put her through! It was all “oh but he’s the Doctor so I’ll forgive him”. Clara is meant to be strong, but not entirely forgiving. She stands up for herself and doesn’t let herself get pushed around.

    But in this episode, she was used by the Doctor. Used, like she could be disposed of afterwards, which he actually did do. Twice.

    And Eleven doesn’t normally do what he did! The first time he left her, yeah, i get it. It was to protect her. but the second time? yes she would’ve died if she had stayed there with him for 300 years (of course :P) but shouldn’t it have been Clara’s decision to make?? He didn’t even say goodbye! Making Clara, yet again in this episode, look like the girl he just uses to get what he wants and he can do whatever he wants because she’ll just keep running back to him. Which is not the Clara in all her other episodes!

    Honestly, this was meant to be showing us the best moments of Eleven but it just showed us the worst. The writing, I’m sorry, was not that great, and I’m counting on Capaldi to pull us out of this mess. Maybe with a different Doctor, Moffat may be inspired to write better stories. Sorry, Moff.

    Nobody can use the “but Amy came back for the ending” excuse to justify why the rest of the episode was so horrible. All they had to do was call in Karen Gillan to say two or so lines and walk down the stairs and they totally just used this to cover up for it being an absolutely horrible episode.

    And lastly, the regeneration. Clara is there for him. As always. Impossible Clara. The one who had herself torn into a 1000 pieces to save the Doctor and got no appreciation whatsoever. The one who will always stay by his side like a loyal dog. In fact, he’ll probably just ditch her a third time when some other “impossible” or “mystery” or “someone with a puzzle” girl comes along. And I loved how Amy came back even just as a hallucination, but as I said earlier, it doesn’t excuse everything else!

    So there’s Eleven, and there’s a long speech, and I’m sitting there preparing for big bursts of golden light and then it’s just BAM here’s Capaldi. That’s what I mean by anti-climatic. Because before when he was shooting down the Dalek ships, it looked like he was going to regenerate. And then he just comes back, does a little speech, and just… goes.

    And let’s be honest here, all Matt did was put his head out of the frame, and then Capaldi came in. Six’s regeneration to Seven was better than this one, and it was just Sylvester McCoy with a blonde wig regenerating into Sylvester McCoy without one!

    No “OW EVERY SINGLE ONE OF MY CELLS IS BEING REWRITTEN” just like “HEY here i am i just changed my whole body but no biggy, you know” At least with an episode of, well, minimal quality, we would have a big regeneration, or maybe just a One regenerating into Two highly-exposed-light-fade-out, or even Capaldi wearing a wig regenerating into Capaldi not wearing a wig, or a facial-contortion Two into Three, or a cocoon-like Four regenerating into Five. But all we got a quick SNAP like he could do it any day and it wouldn’t really make a difference.

    I was so disappointed in this episode. The characters were, well, out of character even though the actors did the best they could.

    I don’t know if people agree with me or not, but what I do know is that if Doctor Who continues to be like this, I might not even be proud to call myself a Whovian anymore which is such a horrible shame as i’ve been watching it ever since i was 4 and i love it so much and I just wish it wasn’t like this now. :(

    Call me old fashioned, but I believe in a strong companion whether that be male or female, a brilliant story line with a plot twist that is resolved at the end, some good old monsters to scare you out of your wits and a fantastic man by the name of the Doctor, saving the universe.

    Sorry if I have offended anyone, I mean this as an opinion and respect all of yours :)

  • Melanie

    Is there going to be a WhoHype podcast about the Christmas Special? I miss you guys and your discussions, I’m sure there would be tons to talk about with this particular soup of all things 11. Would love to hear what you thought about his regeneration and the first glimpse we got of Capaldi’s doctor!

  • Cassandra

    Here’s a trivial question – why have they stopped shaping Clara’s eyebrows? The thick brow look isn’t as flattering. Yes, yes, this is trivial, but her face bugged me throughout the ep until I figured out what was different.

  • theaterboy1

    It’s weird, even just reading this I got goosebumps lol. I loved this Christmas special so much!!

  • Melanie

    Will there be a WhoHype podcast? I’ve asked before, but I don’t see my comment anywhere…

  • VMT

    He had already said goodbye to River, for her to appear again would be overkill and confusing. He saw Amy because she was the first face his face saw and because she was his best friend, in that incarnation. I enjoyed the episode and i am a little heartbroken over Matt Smith leaving. But then again, i felt the same when Tenant left. I’m sure Capaldi will rise to the occasion, it’s just a pity we have so long to wait…

  • JasonD

    I think it’s been established that the doctor can and does age just very slowly when compared to humans. The War doctor aged from Night of the Doctor to Day of the Doctor in the centuries of fighting the time war. And in the Doctor who movie the 7th doctor says he’s nearing the end of his 7th life, which I always assumed meant that the 7th’s body was getting up in age and eventual cause a spontaneous regeneration and not that he had some fore knowledge that he was going to get shot. And of course the first doctor died of old age.

    • Doctor swag

      I agree however assuming incarnations age at the same rate 11 lived for a few centuries as did 1, 7 and the war doctor also lived for a long time as far as I know which gives the problem of the doctors age as I think its much higher than 1200

  • Tina

    I hate that moffat keeps aging The Doctor. It’s as if he does not know what else to write. He’s aged him over 800 years, I think. I think it’s time to get a better person to write the show and not someone who ages people to make up for lack of characterization

  • Melissa

    One question. I have watched Doctor Who since it first was shown on tv in the USA. After watching this special, I would like to know why his people or he him self didn’t go back in time and wipe out the dalkes?

  • Doctor Panda

    just want to point out that although Moffat is the main writer nad has his name on the credits…. there is a group of writers that are consulted including the like of russell t davis…

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