Orbiting a quiet backwater planet, the massed forces of the universe's deadliest species gather, drawn to a mysterious message that echoes out to the stars. And amongst them, the Doctor. Rescuing Clara from a family Christmas dinner, the Time Lord and his best friend must learn what this enigmatic signal means for his own fate and that of the universe.
Under-appreciated---Matt Smith's regeneration episode was incredibly well handled. It is horrible that so many people hate on it. Moffet's writing was getting extremely dark and depressing, which is how he writes, but it began to get extreme in season 7. This episode in my opinion is more balanced. It blends darkness with a good amount of comedy and action, which is a blend I didn't expect. Moffat was continually portraying Matt Smith as getting old and worn out during the season, which people complained about, but I feel that was a good twist, a weary doctor who has seen to much and it has scarred his youthful face, and it ages him mentally, and in this epic conclusion he ages physically as he is forced over years to fight his worst enemies. It is the ultimate irony, to not spend your last years with loved ones or friends, but to spend your time slowly dining of old age fighting your worst enemies. Matt Smiths Acting was brilliant and Clara showed the scared and frightened girl, showing vulnerability, all wrapping together with a dramatic regeneration scene which had people complaining, but it really allowed him to really cut deep with his death but still have time in between to say memorable, very well written, last words, instead of a brisk, you were fantastic, or, I don't want to go, this controversial way of regeneration allows his enemies to share in the drama of the regeneration, and it is actually written in a way that it is used to defeat his enemies, not done before. And the final change is interesting as 11's spontaneous and inconsistent life ends with a fast bang, just as it should be.
And now it's time for one last bow...---Simply astonishing episode. Clearly one of Matt Smith's best ones. This piece is full of emotion and we see Matt Smith being the doctor for one last time. Moffat clearly had many ideas he wanted to carry out, and the episode might be just too short for that. There would've been material for a full movie but instead it is all squeezed in one episode. However the episode itself works as a lucid ensemble and it made me laugh as much as it made me cry.Wonderful story with wonderful acting. I think Matt Smith gave his everything in this episode and this is the kind of Matt Smith I want to remember. The regeneration itself is different this time around. Without spoiling anything, let's just say, that you shouldn't expect anything too discreet. Definitely one of the best doctors is now history and it's Capaldi's turn to win people's hearts.
Disappointing? You are joking---I cannot believe so many people were disappointed with this episode. As someone who either wants to get into either writing or Critical reviews, I thought this episode was masterful. As a huge fan of Matt's seasons (except series 7 part 2) I was delighted to see all of the plot threads of series 5, 6 and 7 very well tied up. We discovered who blew up the TARDIS, who the Silence were, why everything from series 5 and 6 happened with the entire story arc also tying into Gallifrey being saved in The day of the doctor. It was also a great paradox revelation that the Silence, in attempting to stop the siege from happening, ended up causing it themselves, a very nice throwback to Day of the daleks. Matt Smith also owned the whole damn episode, giving the best performance of his entire acting career. As for plot holes in this episode, people complaining were obviously not paying enough attention. Why doesn't the doctor just evacuate all the citizens? Because Tasha was going to blow up the planet anyway, and obviously the doctor doesn't want an entire planet to be destroyed. Why doesn't the doctor just leave? Because if he leaves, they will still blow up the planet because they can't take the risk. Why were the Silence fighting alongside the doctor? Because they were priests that were still loyal to the papal mainframe. Also, it really does depress me how lots of reviewers on here are complaining about it "not being epic enough". Seriously, that's not reviewing, that's just being an idiot. As for Matt's regeneration, it was masterful. HANDS DOWN the best regeneration in the show's history. Matt's final lines were beautiful and managed to stay true to the character of the doctor. And as for his quick change into Capaldi? I loved it. I can't understand all the people who have complained about it being too fast (obviously people who have never watched classic who). One of my favourite YouTubers, Who addicts reviews, put it perfectly when they said "Can you honestly imagine Matt's face morphing into Capaldi's? Also, the quick change was brilliant it gave Capaldi's first appearance more impact". That perfectly sums up my thoughts on the regeneration. By the way, I also have to mention the death of Handles. That is a scene that makes me cry (and I almost never cry at TV) every time I watch it, thanks to a combination of brilliant writing and brilliant acting by Smith. I also found the doctor ageing to death on Trenzalore very tragic and the fact he was about to end his life facing his greatest enemies (The Daleks) was very fitting. I also thoroughly enjoyed the episode. Do I have any criticisms about the episode? Well, Tasha Lem was annoying and was a lazy re-hash of River Song and the episode was a little bit rushed. That's it. Those are the only criticisms I have. Overall, I thought this was a very fitting send-off to Smith and I thought it was even BETTER than Day of the doctor. So yes, 10/10. One of my favourite episodes.
Moffat ruined Christmas.---Once again Moffat has graced Doctor Who fans with the same regurgitated, stale refuse that he seems to think the public wants. Ever since he became the primary writer on the show great plot has been substituted for quick fixes and high-tech special effects, which has led to the borification of the show. It would seem that he is hellbent on ruining a show that has stood the test of time by making it more mainstream. It's time that they had more than one writer again, because Moffat is obviously not up to the task and if things continue as they have been then I don't see the show having much of a future left. In essence this episode ended up being a mundane mixture of Moffaty laziness wrapped in moldy, three-week old bacon.
A fitting end for a fitting Doctor.---This has become one of the most loved/hated episodes under Matt Smith. And i myself LOVED almost every minute of it (That 'lets kill the Daelks'bit as too much for me. But the way the episode started followed, the way Matt Smith carried through the craziness and that tear jerking ending made me list this as a good one. Now, as i have just mentioned, this episode gets a little bit crazy. They attempted to wrap up numerous plots in one fell swoop and it gets out of hand on numerous occasions. Yes, this feels rushed and yes it could and should have been done as two part special. But this is Doctor Who we are talking about.I, as a newer Who fan who became a fan at the start of Matt Smiths turn, was very happy with this episode. I think it may take a couple watches to get everything but it is worth the watch.
Christmas Special 2013: Forgets the small moments and is mostly an uninvolving mishmash despite some good aspects (SPOILERS)---OK so on one hand the Christmas Special of any television show is not going to be the place to come with very high standards and hopes – of course TV can be good over the holidays, but generally it is as bloated and filled with excess as our food. The audience are there but not up to much and as a result you tend not to get the best showing up on the screens – just the biggest; and not too much comes bigger than this show at the moment on the BBC. This Christmas Special is not just that though, it is also the handover from Smith to Capaldi and as such more of a big deal.The plot here tries to set that up with a very big story involving every villain you've seen and even the rift in time and a former companion showing up. The stakes are high with an aging Doctor stuck in a standoff, essentially the only thing preventing another time war, however at the same time it is Christmas so we have turkey being cooked, paper hats and so on. The two sit uncomfortably together because it feels like the plot should be bigger or the Christmas triviality should be the focus, but not both. The "bigger plot" is the one that is main one in the end and this has plenty of noise and explosions but no heart, so it sort of distracts but doesn't engage – it certainly doesn't convince as something going on for hundreds of years at great cost. The problem for me (besides not really caring) was that it is all noise and empty movement, there are very few smaller moments and those that there are seem so isolated and cutoff from everything else that one wonders if they got left in the edit by mistake. So a small moment as the Doctor loses an old friend (albeit a badly explained one) and a scene with Clara's Granny both offer nice moments but they are there in a rather exploitative way, not as part of the story – or at least this is how they feel.The regeneration we've all come from is equally overblown. I cannot say if this was always the case as I can only remember the most recent ones but I would love it to be more of a quiet affair someday. The appearance of Capaldi is encouraging as he has an older intensity but this is tempered by the episode we just watched – Capaldi may be good but ultimately he works with what he is given. Smith's exit is not a great loss – he suited the material of the last few seasons in that he can run and shout and wave his hands around and to be frank this is often the main things being asked of him. Coleman remains brighteyed and flirty; I liked her a great deal for this but I hope they can find a story soon that offers her more to work with as an actress. The supporting cast are fine but the only one that stands out (Brady) just feels like a lazy clone of River Song in terms of writing and subsequent performance.Time of the Doctor isn't awful by any means, it is just very so-so and lacking in a lot. The comedic Christmas moments are decent but feel pushed into the bigger plot because of it being shown at Christmas; meantime the bigger plot is marred by lots of noise but no substance and it doesn't really engage as a result. It is a shame for Smith, but his last episode really does stand as a potted summary of so many of his episodes – lots of running and noise to distract and provide light entertainment, but not a great deal else apart from one or two moments which are good but feel isolated in the middle of all the rest of it.
Not enough time---As others have pointed out, the main problem with The Time of the Doctor is that it is too short. Or perhaps Moffat had too much to put in it. Either way, it leads to an episode with a few frayed ends where it has been stretched too thin. The whole family Christmas dinner, for starters, is basically pointless. What should have been no more than an establishing shot, a starting point for the story, is allotted too much screen time, the loss of which is only compounded in other places. For example, Mother Superious (Tasha) being Dalekified and then un-Dalekified in the space of a minute. That's no way to put us on the edge of our seats, Moffat, you have to build up the tension, then release it, not pop the balloon while you're still blowing it up.Anyway, that can all be forgiven, which I can't say of my main objection: the Time Lords suddenly going all weak in the knees, giving the Doctor a new regeneration cycle and (apparently) just giving up the entire plan of trying to bring back Gallifrey. If that wasn't important, then why go to all the trouble? And hasn't it been established (in The End of Time) that the Time Lords are basically evil now and would rather destroy the universe than remain stuck in the Time Lock? So now we are to believe that all it took was a pretty girl saying "please" and that's that? Suddenly they all love the Doctor, and are okay with not doing the whole "getting back into the universe"-thing if it means helping him out with his bad back? Sorry, but no. I don't buy it.That is, I don't buy the motivation. I accept that it happened. I accept that the Doctor was granted a new regeneration cycle and used it to defeat the Daleks and that it set up an excellent regeneration scene. I also feel that given the number of loose ends that needed to be tied up, we can take this in our stride and just be happy that it isn't Damon Lindelof who's running the show. At least we were given some fairly decent answers and everything mostly came together. I'm sure that had this story been given half an hour more to reach it full potential, it would have done so, and so I'm just going to imagine that it did. The canon stands, and I'm happy to fill in the gaps myself. But please, BBC & Steven Moffat, next time, take your time.
Matt finish---And so Matt Smith's time as the Doctor ends, the sonic screwdriver passed on to the much older Peter Capaldi which should make for an interesting change after Smith and his immediate predecessor David Tennant put a more youthful slant on the Doc.Like the recent 50th anniversary celebratory episode "The Day of the Doctor", Steven Moffat fills this particular pie with many ingredients, perhaps too many at times, but in the end the story was still gripping, finishing up with the much anticipated, if rather sudden, regeneration where Capaldi's first appearance begins with a rather poor line ("What colour are my kidneys?") which I would hope isn't indicative of what is to follow.Again Moffat reaches back this time into the show's more recent lore which he himself has supervised, to introduce the plot elements here, principally the crack in the universe, intriguingly suggesting the return of the Time Lords. There he meets Colonel Meme and her band of intergalactic police acting as the conduit to Trenzilore where only the Doctor can gain entry and where, as a sort of space-age Wyatt Earp, sees off the would-be interlopers down the years. Eventually, inevitably, it's the Daleks who break through with an invasion force and set up one final showdown for this Doctor which will change him forever.The episode has its oddities, none more than the Doctor's literal attachment to a disembodied Cyber-head called Handles, Clara's (to me, inexplicable) encounters with The Silence, and for the first time, we see a Doctor physically ageing as his supposedly final regeneration nears its end.There's some typically cheeky Moffat humour throughout, particularly concerning hologram clothing, but it ends as it must with Smith's Doctor triumphing even as he expires, given a grand "Thank You everybody" speech and even a touching reunion with Amy Pond, but surprisingly not with Rory or River Song.I have enjoyed Matt Smith's tenure at the TARDIS, but feel that after the youthful but different eccentricities of both his and Tennent's reigns, a more mature, perhaps spikier Doctor could make for a refreshing change of pace and it will be interesting to see how Clara moves on from her clearly physical attraction for the younger Doctor to an older man. Lucky thirteen, anyone?
::SPOILERS:: Best and Worst of Times for Moffat---It was rubbish writing. Moffat broke the cardinal rule of writing with too much narrating. It wouldn't be Moffat without a big red button in the form of a big, shiny crack in the sky. Clara *remembers* seeing the Silents next time she sees them, which isn't how it works. Stolen plot line ("Handles" the Cyberman head...an asinine idea...is a direct lift of Tom Hanks and his volleyball "companion", Wilson in "Castaway"). The "Old man" makeup on Smith was awful. And Moffat had to come up with an even bigger regeneration than ever before. Took out a few thousand daleks at this go. ..And started the Time War, the whole reason he aged to prevent, yet no explanation or worries, just turns young again and piddles about the TARDIS. And now we have Tash (possibly meant to be River) the half Dalek mucking about somewhere in the TARDIS. He gave Smith as maudlin a farewell as Tennant had. (Possibly Moffat's farewell speech as show runner). Rubbish writing. And yet he had me crying several times. And waiting until August for the the next Doctor's real debut. The thing is, even Moffat's rubbish is gold for the rest of us. It's not easy to have us (as most of us, male and female, did) both laugh and weep...repeatedly...in under an hour. Being a Whovian is like having a brilliant but lazy child. It's all the more frustrating because you know what *might* have been. It seems inconceivable that the gem of "The Night of the Doctor" and this rubbish came from a mind between the same set of ears.MOFFFAATT!!!!
Maybe it was all one plan---OK so I will agree with some people that this special was cheesy and overly complicated. I can only imagine Steven moffat explaining the concepts and plots to the crew and cast and everyone looking at each other saying huh. But I've always suspected that Steven moffat wasn't making this up as he goes along. I think that going all the way back to silence in the library he had already written a general outline of the crack in the wall, the silence assassinating the doctor, river song being Amy ponds daughter, Amy and rory dying, the doctor meeting Clara, Clara being the impossible girl, the name of the doctor, and the doctor saving galifrey instead of destroying it. First of all in the episode lets kill Hitler the doctor is talking to hologram Amy and says "so I just regenerate." This however does not necessarily indicate a contradict. Hologram Amy said "regeneration has been disabled." Maybe she didn't mean that the poison disabled his regeneration but that because he is the twelfth regeneration and did not know that he couldn't regenerate again. Also in the episode in the space hotel where you find your worst fears the doctor sees what he fears most but we don't see it. Now most people assumed that it was losing Amy pond but I think that moffat always planned that the crack in the wall was his worst fear. Also when the doctor talks to Dorians head Dorian says "on the fields of trensalore where no living creature can lie a question will be asked." Everyone thought that was the episode the name of the doctor but he said the fields of trensalore not the ashes. However there are things that I was in satisfied with like he stays young from age 900- 1200 and then from 1200-unknown he starts to age, even though gallifrey is stuck in a single moment they can still send out a message meaning they aren't frozen, what the doctor "ate" I think time energy or something caused him to shoot and destroy the daleks, that when the doctor did regenerate he didn't "explode like the last times, and even though we only saw a peter calividi for a minute he showed a similar personality as Matt smith. Overall I recommend watching it twice and it's better the second time 7 stars