Around the Water Cooler: Doctor Who – “The Time of the Doctor” (spoilers!)

Because who wouldn't want a naked Doctor for Christmas? © BBC
Because who wouldn’t want a naked Doctor for Christmas? © BBC

With Boxing Day having come to a close, it’s time to sit down and have a spoiler-filled discussion about the Christmas special episode of “Doctor Who”, now available to purchase on iTunes.

  • Are those Peter Capaldi’s eyes in one of the background images that flash during the opening sequence? Or am I just too eager to see him?
  • What kind of church is the Doctor going to in that it doesn’t require clothes?
  • “You can’t keep using the TARDIS like this. Missed birthdays, restaurant bookings and please, just learn how to use iPlayer…” Heh, I see what they did there.
  • That’s Gallifrey? Well, that was awfully quick.
  • Oh, I get it now. If you’re naked, you can barely conceal any weaponry; thus, you’re putting your trust into the Church’s hands whenever you come aboard the ship. Very clever.
  • The Silence and the Weeping Angels are back? How interesting.
  • Another of the more interesting things we’ve just learned: the TARDIS has a silent mode.
  • “I’m an English teacher from earth and I’ve run off with a man from space because I really fancy—” Oh, LORD! Can we please have another “associate” who doesn’t fancy the Doctor? Donna Noble, I miss you so much.
  • “If I give my name, they’ll know they’ve found the right place and that it’s safe to come through.” That’s pretty clever plotting, to create the idea of a Truth Filter to force the Doctor to answer the question truthfully. Here’s a world-building question: Why would a colony want to have a Truth Filter in the first place? What secrets did the people who originally founded this settlement no longer wish to hide?
  • The decision that the Doctor faces now is just as fraught as the decision the War Doctor faced not too long ago: Do I save my people or do I doom the rest of the galaxy to an endless war? We know what the Doctor—all of the Doctors, really—answered last time; why would someone expect the answer to change now?
  • “Silence will fall.” About time this phrase got some more traction. Makes sense, too.
  • I am starting to understand more and more what the Eleventh’s plan is, perhaps. He aims to outlast all of his enemies. But just as each successive invader is getting more cunning and agile in getting around him, they are also breeding new generations of fighters ready to do battle with him. And he is only just one man, in a town full of people who don’t want to enhance their technology. I’m starting to think that he is doomed, the matter of the regeneration we know about and the fact that the planet’s named “Trenzalore” non-withstanding.
  • Another thing about showing the Eleventh as a much older man is that they’re finally tapping into the “Matt Smith has an old soul” idea that’s been floating around about him ever since his first episode aired. Unpopular Opinion Time: I’ve never really seen it or agreed with it.
  • “Comfort is irrelevant.” “Is that better?” “Affirmative.” Oh, this exchange was so cute, and ultimately so sad.
  • Here’s a flaw in the Doctor’s plan as I understand it: Once he dies, what happens to the Time Lords and the inhabitants of Christmas then? This is the action of a delaying coward who is hoping that someone who is not him will come and make the right decision.
  • Number Ten once regenerated and kept the same face. I had vanity issues at the time.” OUCH.
  • Originally, I misunderstood how they scripted this section and I never understood that the Eleventh was saying that he was really the last Doctor. It made me really angry about this plan of his, because I thought that he was leaving this entire mess to be sorted out by his next regeneration. Now that I understand what he’s saying, I still think it’s a stupid plan.
  • Tasha is pretty freaking amazing. Although I wish that she’d have punched him after the kiss rather than that rather weak slap. I also wish that they’d brought her onto the series sooner.
  • This scene with the Oswald family… can we also please have an associate whose has a family member who isn’t rubbish? Okay, okay, it then begs the question of what the motivation is for people wanting to leave their ordinary lives to go traveling with the Doctor if not for a terrible family life, but still…!
  • Just had a funny thought: What if the when the Thirteenth comes along, he immediately shouts his name so that the Time Lords can come through?
  • Clara’s hand on the Eleventh’s, supporting him in pulling the cracker apart? Brilliant.
  • When the crack closed, I’ll admit that I jumped thanks to the sound effect. And then I remembered: Doesn’t anyone who comes near one of the cracks in the universe get sucked up into it? If not so, how did Rory get erased from the timestream in “Cold Blood”? (Or does that only happen when people die near the crack?) And it never occurred to him to tell the Time Lords what was going on or to ask them to help, not once in the many centuries?
  • It’s a little amazing how much he resembles William Hartnell’s Doctor in this makeup. I wonder if they did that on purpose.
  • As much as it makes sense that he regained a bit of his youthful voice during this last bit, it looks odd to hearing the younger Eleventh Doctor’s voice coming out of this older one. I think they should have kept the old man voice. It would have been a more powerful moment.
  • “I will always remember when the Doctor was me.” An interesting line considering that he was the Doctor Who Forgot in “The Day of the Doctor.”
  • Once again, Wikipedia came to the rescue and clarified that by giving him some of their regeneration energy, the Doctor can live on for twelve more lifetimes. Clever way to keep the series going. But I think that perhaps it might have been braver for them to perhaps have a different Gallifreyan become inspired by the Doctor’s adventures and mission and take on adventuring in his name, sort of like the Dread Pirate Roberts. Then, maybe, there could be a female Doctor or a Doctor of Color in our lifetime.
  • Also, do we still call him the Twelfth? Or is he the Second First now?

As an ending for Matt Smith’s Doctor, it was a very riveting and heart-rending finale piece. I am still so very eager to watch Peter Capaldi in action, though. Late fall can’t come fast enough. Your thoughts?