Doctor Who: The Time of the Doctor

Posted on Dec 25, 2013


Time of the Doctor Picture courtesy of

*Warning: contains spoilers

And so here it is, the last time the brilliant Matt Smith plays the enigmatic Timelord in the 800th episode of everyone’s favourite time traveller, Doctor Who in this, its fiftieth year.

It starts off with the Doctor getting messages from space to be somewhere and talking to a Cyberman head who advices and helps him. He meets the Daleks and Cybermen who try to kill him. Meanwhile Clara has been trying to get hold of him to help her with Christmas dinner with her parents and has invented him as her pretend boyfriend.

He then finds the message is from Gallifrey from a church leader, Tasha Lem played by Orla Brady, who he knows very well on a flying cathedral of sorts. He’s confused because even though he saved Gallifrey in the Day of the Doctor, they were hidden from time and space until they could be freed.

He is then sent to a planet below by Tasha Lem to find the source of the message where he encounters the Weeping Angels close to a town called Christmas where people seem to speak the truth whether they want to or not.

The Time of the Doctor

Picture courtesy of

Then they find a crack in the wall, the same crack that featured throughout Amy Ponds series. the message asks one simple question; Doctor Who? He then finds out that he is on the planet of his death, Trenzalore and he has to stop the Timelords from returning, ordered by Tasha Lem who brought him there to prevent all out war. They are dedicated to the Silence where the order is born there and then and he has been dragged into a war he thought was over. But old enemies return to fight against him and all he stands for in the peaceful town of Christmas. If he leaves the planet the people will be destroyed and if he stays he will be trapped.

Time passes by, three hundred years in which he protects the people of Christmas and he has aged and is slightly crippled. His Tardis returns to him after all that time with Clara in tow.

He mentions he is on his last regeneration and will die for Doctor Who lore states he can only regenerate twelve times. If he answers the message to the Timelords then they will return and the Time war could possibly start again? But this is sci-fi so anything is possible and can be rewritten. It will have to if it is to continue for another fifty years.

So to battle he goes, this time with Tasha Lem; not against her for the enemies of the Doctor have united against him and the possible return of the Timelords. Clara is brought back from earth by her to find an even older Doctor sitting by the crack in the wall.

Orla Brady playing Tasha Lem in Doctor Who

Orla Brady playing Tasha Lem in Doctor Who
Picture courtesy of

As he leaves for his death at the hands of the Daleks, Clara speaks to the crack in the wall, asking for the help of the Timelords whereby it snaps shut. She has been heard. And then the crack reopens from high up in space and sends the Doctor something inside him where he gets another regeneration from them and he uses the power to destroy his enemies.

The war is over and he has regressed to his younger self briefly before regenerating into number thirteen and a Doctor who doesn’t know how to fly the Tardis!

I think Capaldi could have had a few moments more as the Timelord, only having a fleeting few on screen. The episode was there to tie up loose ends and to say goodbye to Matt Smith’s regeneration and the actor himself. It had everything and yet lacked a little something also that I can’t put my finger on? It was full of adventure and the story and emotions were tight. It was probably because I was writing this as I was watching it so may have missed a few vital seconds of something important but I don’t think so?

This story was not as epic as the fiftieth with good reason for this was more personal.

Seeing Peter Capaldi ‘change’ very quickly into the Doctor was a shock. You never actually saw him regenerate which was a surprise. I’m glad he’s keeping his Scottish accent also. I cannot wait to see him in the new series next year.

Peter Capaldi

Picture courtesy of

Also there’s the question of his regenerations. Does he have them all back or just one or two or so? I get the impression he has them all and the producers are going for a reboot of sorts which I hope not! It needs to retain all the past history whilst thinking of the future and the writers need to not get above themselves for changing too much where it can go awry.

Personally I loved it. I suppose after the fiftieth it was going to be a hard act to follow but I’m sure that Peter Capaldi’s regeneration will change all that and bring a darker, more intense Doctor to the screen. I look forwards to seeing him in the role of the Timelord. He is going to be fantastic!