geekery

Doctor Who Christmas Special

time of the doctorSpoilers, dear.

This is the final episode where we see Matt Smith as the doctor.

I have been pushing this off for so long because I am very fond of Matt Smith.

Now that I have….

I am baffled. With a growing sense of frustration at Steven Moffat (the main writer for the current Doctor Who series.)

Quick explanation of Doctor Who: There have been 12 doctors since the show started. During a major physical crisis or old age, the doctor regenerates into a new body with new quirkiness (it’s how the show was able to extend itself for so long). Too see a video of all the regenerations check out this link.

So here’s how the Christmas special went:

There has been a call ringing out all throughout the universe. Bringing every enemy of the doctor to this one guarded planet, Trenzalor. The Papal Mainframe ( a sort of militant papacy) set a barrier on the planet. Once the doctor arrived, he was allowed in and found something. Something that we all thought was tied up several plots ago: a familiar tear on a wall. A tear in space.

It turns out that the rest of the time lords are on the other side. They’re waiting for the Doctor to say his true name in order to come through. Like a password, to make sure it’s the right universe. Except their calls have attracted all their enemies which are now waiting to kill them.

The Papal Mainframe is determined to prevent another destructive time war, so they force the Doctor not to say his name. So he stays behind in the town called Christmas (I…I don’t even know how to rant against that) to defend the rift. Meanwhile he sent back Clara to her own “time” to protect her as he spends the next 300 years protecting the town.

The doctor was basically waiting to die of old age. From previous episodes, he knew that he would die at Trenzalor. Many plot points were leading up to this. We were all waiting for this. I was cringing at the potential of how heartbreaking this was going to be.

Instead, my heart slowed down to it’s normal heart rate, I resignedly slurped my soda, and  braced myself for another Moffat circus.

It was a jam packed parade of every thing Moffat create during Matt’s tenure as the doctor. I mean EVERYTHING:

* the weeping angels

* the cyber men

* The God Complex

* the rip in time and space

* the repeated scenario of every single enemy of the doctor converging on the doctor.

* another lost opportunity for Daleks to attack as the doctor is fast talking (I’m not saying I want the Doctor to die but come on! For being the feared creature in the universe, they  kind of suck on taking the initiative)

* We find out who blew up the TARDIA (Shrug. It felt too tacked on for it to illicit a satisfying finger snap)

It just felt like all these plots and creatures swirling by with shiny, sparkly outfits as Matt Smith calmly stands to the side with a sad smile.

Yes I am being very maudlin about this.This was the most uncaring, insincere send off of a doctor. Eccleston had a heartbreaking grin as he regeneration. Tennant had the whole universe singing a chorus as he regenerated. Smith, his head flipped forward and it was Capaldi.

I think I may need a moment here to breathe.

The majority of Doctor Who fans were seething when Matt Smith came on to the show. He was showered with so much criticism and anger because he followed right after the brilliant David Tennant.

I fell for Matt Smith when he did his first “Geronimo!” . Let’s be clear: I fell for him. Not for the regrettably, mostly-forgettable episodes he acted in (except for a few stellar ones that left me with teary eyes). I loved how Smith was the quirky, happy, playful doctor. He was the awkward doctor. He was the forgettable one. He was the one who knew that people weren’t happy but he would still dance(ish) his way forward.  I related to the 11th Doctor because I accompany so many of these traits already. Now if I had my own nifty sonic screwdriver and TARDIS, we would be best friends.

I’m not even going into detail about the sudden introduction of Clara’s family. I….awkward.

Now. I didn’t hate ALL of the Christmas special. There were some definite tugs of the heart strings.  Namely, the unfurling of the bow tie. That hit me kind of hard. Bow ties will always be cool. His little farewell speech was sweet. The appearance of Amy Pond…should have been sweet but it reeked too much of Moffat’s Circus, so that fell flat for me.

No matter how I feel, the 11th hour has rung. Matt Smith has stepped off as the Doctor. And now we welcome Peter Capaldi. I’m looking forward to seeing this energetic man. Already he doesn’t like his kidney colors and can’t fly the TARDIS.

Merry Christmas everyone. I know it’s a late greeting but time is all wibbly wobbly for me you know?

smith capaldi

Where the hell did that cyberman head come from?!?!? Can someone explain that????

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9 thoughts on “Doctor Who Christmas Special

  1. I loved this episode. It’s wasn’t perfect, but it was lovely and Matt was incredible (he made me cry over a damn Cyberman head!). Goodnight, Eleven. We’ll always remember when the Doctor was you, too.

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  2. I agree. Was not my favorite but I had a Doctor overload as I had been catching up with exposides I had missed and was watching all day. I have it recorded to watch again just to see if I like it better the second time. Matt Smith did grow on me and moved way up on my list of favorite Doctor’s.

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  3. One of the main problems with this episode is that they combined the Christmas Special with a regeneration. The Christmas Specials are supposed to be happy and full of Christmas joy, but all this had was a town named “Christmas” which wasn’t Christmas-y in any other way. The regenerations are always teary goodbyes, so it just didn’t fit well into a Christmas special.

    I also agree with your assessment of ‘monster overload.’ More isn’t always better or scarier, and since this plot device had been used before—and recently—it came across as more ‘Old Hat’ than “Mommy, I’m hiding behind the couch now!”

    Two other points in the negative column: the plot dragged, because (let’s face it) it’s outright boring to have the Doctor die of old age. And as a 32-year Whovian, I also felt cheated when they raced ahead to the Doctor’s last regeneration. Suddenly, we went from Matt Smith as the 11th Doctor to Matt Smith the 13th! I didn’t mind the sudden insertion of a new 9th Doctor because the story was poignant and made sense in terms of the entire Doctor timeline (and I LOVE John Hurt, so who can carp about him as the Doctor?) but to suddenly write off ANOTHER incarnation—with only the Doctor’s breezy explanation that his first self regenerated out of vanity—just blew my gasket. The end of the 13th regeneration could have been played as a major element of suspense, not to mention giving fans a slot for another Doctor, but Moffat essentially wasted a full regeneration for no good reason. And that just sucks.

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  4. I also found it disappointing that so much of the plot was TOLD, not shown! I wonder if he expended everything he had on the Day of the Doctor and just hadn’t been able to regenerate his creativity in time? (I did like the Mother Superior. She had some good lines.) Going to take time to warm up to new Doc for me, too. Sigh.

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  5. Yes, I felt it was a big mess. Unfortunately, they went into an episode that already had one crutch (the need to have a Christmas connection) an added another – the final show for a Doctor. This meant loads of additional crutches, as it’s become almost traditional to have some kind of homage to the significant elements of that Doctor’s tenure. They did it for Tom Baker and Peter Davidson in a brief way when they left the show, and RTD did it by featuring all David Tennant’s companions when he left. Steve Moffat decided to feature all the ‘monsters’ that have been significant during Matt Smith’s time. This made an even bigger, unnecessary crutch. Just having a simple story to feature him would have been so much better. Matt’s farewell scene was gold. The rest of it was rubbish.

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  6. i knew this was going to be a topic hotbed!! thank you everyone for commenting and submitting your thoughts…i’m just thrilled that other sci fi romance addicts are DW fans!!!

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  7. That video you shared was Brilliant! I have yet to see this episode, but I still look forward to it as a die hard Whovian! Thank you for sharing your insights.

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