I certainly enjoyed this more than some I have this season. I'm not as blown away as many of you seem to be, but I did enjoy it. I think perhaps I appreciated it more on an intellectual level than an emotional one. I still think I was invested more emotionally in RTD's DW than Moffat's, but this was the best of Moffat's finales in that sense.
The Wormhole wrote:
Meh. It is rather slow-paced and talky, which isn't really the strongest way to end a season. Say what you want about RTD, his finales were never slow-paced and talky.
I actually appreciated that this was more slow-paced than "Big Bang" or "Wedding." Those were both so stuffed full of complications and side stories that they were a big narrative mess, whereas this was a lot more straightforward, leaving room in the script for the more emotional moments.
The Wormhole wrote:
As predicted, we the audience don't learn the Doctor's name, though since Clara now remembers the events from Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS she should presumably now remember it. Or at the very least she'd remember River saying it to open the TARDIS door.
There's no proof that Clara ever knew the Doctor's real name. What she said in "Journey" was "So that
's who." That could be interpreted as the name, but not necessarily. What she could be reading - especially since she was looking in a book called History of the Time War
- is the truth of what he did.
You have a point about River, though. It was specifically set up that Clara was the only one who could hear River, for whatever reason (at least until the Doctor said he could too).
Which means that three times in a row, The Silence did not take River into account, which considering that they created her is kind of stupid on their part. In "The Big Bang," they trapped the Doctor in the Pandorica to stop him from blowing up the Tardis, but they forgot that River knows how to work the Tardis too. In "Wedding" she was supposed to kill him, but they didn't count on her being in love with him. And now in "Name," the whole reason they tried to kill him "Astronaut" was to stop him speaking his name here, but they forgot that River knows his name too.
Mr Light wrote:
And, having spent a season building up the true name of the Doctor, and calling this episode "The Name of the Doctor"... I find it a bit of a cheat that we don't learn his name.
But the actual name was not really the point. What can a simple word really tell us? Any name we hear is going to be a disappointment so you can never actually say what the name is. And as I say, I don't think that's the point. The name of the Doctor is "The Doctor" because that's what he chose. And what is important is the reason he chose it, what it means to him to use that name.
You may think the title led you to believe the actual name would be revealed, but only because you allowed the title to misdirect you, which it was obviously intended to do. But what the title really means is revealed at the end - "What you did, you didn't do in the name of the Doctor."