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.