The Time Of The Doctor (Grading/Discussion)(SPOILERS!)

Discussion in 'Doctor Who' started by Samurai8472, Dec 25, 2013.

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Grade "The Time Of The Doctor"

Poll closed Feb 5, 2014.
  1. Geronimo!

    64 vote(s)
    30.5%
  2. Fish Fingers and Custard

    84 vote(s)
    40.0%
  3. Average

    36 vote(s)
    17.1%
  4. Not Good

    21 vote(s)
    10.0%
  5. Beans are evil. Bad bad beans! |

    5 vote(s)
    2.4%
  1. Alidar Jarok

    Alidar Jarok Everything in moderation but moderation Moderator

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    Regarding the whole kill the silents on sight thing, was that a multi-generational thing? If so, how come Amy never had the instinct to kill on sight?
     
  2. Squiggy

    Squiggy FrozenToad Admiral

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    Did anyone else cry or should I not be admitting that?
     
  3. Allyn Gibson

    Allyn Gibson Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Because from Amy and Rory's point of view, the order to kill the Silents on sight hadn't yet been given.
     
  4. tomalak301

    tomalak301 Admiral Premium Member

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    I liked it. It wasn't as depressing as I thought it was going to be, and there were several fun and good moments. The regeneration scene was funny though. I kept thinking they were dragging this out like they did with David Tennant's and then it just happened and felt really rushed. I did like seeing Amy again though and I still think Eccleston's regeneration into Tennant was my favorite. That one was simple and effective.
     
  5. Alidar Jarok

    Alidar Jarok Everything in moderation but moderation Moderator

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    But it had been, back in 1969. If cause had to come before effect, the Church of the Silence wouldn't be pursuing them at all.
     
  6. TommyR01D

    TommyR01D Commander Red Shirt

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    Threads such as this tend to expand much too fast for one to keep up, so what I say now may already have been said by someone else but so what…

    All I can really say about Moffat’s effort is “At least you tried.”

    It was nice to see him FINALLY tying up some of the loose ends left over from past seasons, but it all felt like a case of too little too late. Case in point: “So you blew up my TARDIS, then? I thought I’d left the bath running.” Very much reminded me of the bit in VOY: Think Tank where it is casually mentioned that they cured the Vidiian phage, except this was even worse. The mystery of the TARDIS blowing up had been left open at the end of The Big Bang, and everyone was waiting for the exciting conclusion in Series 6 but…it just didn’t happened. Now, 42 months later, it is hand-waved in a throwaway line long after everyone forgot or stopped caring. I’m sure some of you are now going to point out numerous other cases of this but there are too many to list. Essentially, Moffat ended up with FOUR (Gallifrey, Cracks in Time, the Silence, The Doctor’s name) major plot lines to somehow cram together in 60 minutes in addition to the mandatory “Christmas! “ rubbish. There was no way, realistically, that he could ever hope to climb out of that whole he had dug for himself while satisfying all of the fans.

    Oh, by the way, if anyone wants to say “Stop being so nit-picky, just enjoy it.”, or words to that effect, shut up: ANY kind of art, media or literature needs critical analysis, and this naturally increases as a story gets longer and/or more complicated. In any franchise there will be some instalments which are good/great/amazing and others which are disappointing/poor/utterly dreadful. Often there will be long periods where one type seems to dominate, and often it will be one particular writer who is responsible (for better or worse). The latter half of Matt Smith’s era (I see the trends beginning in Let’s Kill Hitler) has, sadly, fallen into the second category, and while there are a few outstanding pieces (Cold War, for instance), most have been bogged down with plot arc knots, and many great opportunities wasted.

    The big time jumps didn’t help: Splitting up seasons 6 and 7 meant that this whole thing took FOUR YEARS instead of the usual three, and the in-universe addition of 500 years to the Doctor’s age was not handled very well. I almost feel myself begging “Come back, Russell T Davies, all is forgiven!” Although his era seemed quite formulaic in terms of how the series was structured, it was at least nice to have the big plot arc concluded in episodes 12 and 13 – without the build-up having intruded too much on 1-11 – then having a separate Christmas special before starting something new the next spring. Here, season 5 followed the Davies structure with a little greater emphasis on the ARC, but then we were told the mystery would continue afterwards and we were hoping for a BIG climax at the end of Season 6, but then we got side-tracked with the whole “Silence” thing and the Doctor dying and the baby etc... That year started strong but never really finished. Season 7 was weird because of the Ponds’ contrived departure and the “movie every week” gimmick, followed by the rushed and ill-though-out “Impossible Girl” plot for Clara which we knew would have to be cut short before the 50th Special (I’m glad, actually, that the Golden Anniversary was largely kept apart from the rest of the show, or it would have been ruined). Every time there was a large time-jump (in-universe or out) we would fail to pick up where we left off and would lose a lot of the story.

    Everyone was excited when Moffat took over, as it would allow us to “think outside the box”, be more adventurous with the story arcs, and introduce better comedy aspects (the double-entendres between Rory and 11th were great), but eventually it became clear that he was going too far and needed to be reined in as the story arcs were multiplying rapidly with no end in sight. He was superb when he did standalone stories such as The Empty Child/Doctor Dances and Blink, and he continued to look promising as a leader up until A Good Man Goes to War, but from there on it all fell to pieces, really.

    Back to this episode – like I said, it was the best he could really have done having already reached this point, but it was still a flop overall and not enough to save the series. All of the Christmas parts were wasting time, the nudist church was a great idea but not really explained very well, and the regeneration sequence was badly handled – the kiss of life from the Time Lords was unusually subtle, but the rest overblown and badly timed.
    Still, at least we’re done now. It took four years but we’re through it. I hope Capaldi can start anew in Series 8 without having to deal with any Smith-era baggage. As for any other plot threads still hanging – forget it! I can’t be bothered to wait another twenty years for Moffat to finally get to the point, so let’s cut our losses and get out of here.

    What we need from Capaldi:
    • Honesty: Having an older actor (and an angry Scotsman) should help with that. Even in his first few seconds, 12 seems more subdued (if irritable) and less cocky, so that the Doctor is with the viewers, not against us (John Hurt did well at this, despite being set up as a “mysterious” character). Also, ditch the “Doctor Lies” excuse.
    • Grounding: We can’t be having big time jumps. If he needs to age, break it up into small chunks between each episode, not a sudden gap of 200/300 years rendering most of the story pretty pointless.
    • Maturity: The childhood themes and childlike personas were getting out of hand (again, note by Hurt), so perhaps a more “grown-up” tone is needed.

    I hope you managed to read and absorb all that, let’s wait and see if it actually happens. There’s STILL stuff on which I’d like to further elaborate but at nearly 1100 words I think I need to stop here before my keyboard disintegrates.

    Laetus solis invictus.
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2013
  7. Alidar Jarok

    Alidar Jarok Everything in moderation but moderation Moderator

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    I thought the Silence blowing up the TARDIS always was the most logicial explanation. I'm actually not sure why a bigger explanation was needed.

    To me, the founding of the Church of Silence was the more interesting moment anyway. I also liked the explanation of what the Silents were (and the fact that it was known by an older, wiser Doctor who had a long time to look into it). None of the revelations were that much of a stretch compared to what had been said before. The Silence were said to be a religious order dedicated to essentially this cause. It was known they were opposing the Doctor. The Doctor specifically said that the silence was his silence and that silence must fall when the question was asked. We didn't know why, but it all fits.
     
  8. Count Zero

    Count Zero Says who? Moderator

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    I have a question regarding a minor detail. At the beginning of the episode when Clara calls the Doctor to persuade him to play her boyfriend he mentions an android he invented as a boyfriend. Was that line a reference to something that happened in the old show? Or was it just a throwaway line?
     
  9. Emh

    Emh The Doctor Premium Member

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    I teared up when Amy appeared to bid the Raggedy Man goodnight.
     
  10. Lonemagpie

    Lonemagpie Writer Admiral

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    Most likely an oblique reference to the android Master in Scream Of The Shalka.
     
  11. Cyke101

    Cyke101 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I thought he just meant Handles as a (platonic) boyfriend -- taking the head but then just working on him until he could become useful and be his own companion/device whenever Clara's absent. He sure liked to bicker affectionately with Handles, after all.
     
  12. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    I actually enjoyed this episode for the most part. Yeah, it's a bit tropey specifically we have all the various aliens showing up just like in The Pandorica Opens. And a lot of things are predictable, like Amy's cameo at the end. Seriously, did that actually surprise anyone? Although, I like it for what it is, a simple farewell to a Doctor. It didn't try to be too emotional and melodramatic like The Angels Take Manhattan and also wasn't trying too hard to be an epic event like Day of the Doctor. It was a simple and enjoyable episode, nothing more.

    Although, I am a bit disappointed at the hand-wave explanations given as a way of wiping away issues like who tried to blow up the TARDIS and what was in the Doctor's hotel room. Granted, I never expected a satisfactory answer to the TARDIS's destruction anyway but the whole revelation that the Silence are actually good guys and that was a renegade faction we saw earlier was just a bit blah. As for the hotel room, what we see here is a hotel room with a crack on the wall. So why did we heard the Cloister Bell in The God Complex?

    The young guy we see at the end hanging out with the Doctor in the clock tower, am I right in assuming he's supposed to be the kid we see standing around the TARDIS earlier? If so, how is that possible? After all, in order for the Doctor to have aged as much as he has, shouldn't that kid have lived a full life span and be several hundred years dead?

    This truth field, shouldn't it have compelled the Doctor to speak his real name as opposed to referring to himself as "the Doctor?"

    I'm going to go ahead and nitpick the whole "naked but projecting the illusion of clothing" thing. If that is the case, then how come when they're walking we hear the sound effects of shoes? For that matter, most shoes tend to make people a bit taller than they really are, this should especially be the case for Clara who I believe was "wearing" high heels.

    It is a bit amusing that they seem to have finally done away with the New Paradigm Daleks. Although for some reason they brought back those pointless "spider Daleks" from Day of the Doctor. What is the purpose for these things anyway? Daleks can fly, so they can't be some sort of flight operations Dalek. A new variation on the Special Weapons Dalek, perhaps?

    I got to say, the re-use of music here is a bit sloppy. We here "All the Strange, Strange Creatures" again for the first time since the RTD days. It's really weird, given this tune is so closely associated with Tennant and his era and we've gone all Smith's run without hearing it to suddenly hear it in Smith's finale feels out of place. Likewise, "Four Knocks" playing in the scene where Clara meets the elderly Doctor doesn't feel right given that piece of music is so scene specific and a continuation of a musical motif played throughout The End of Time that to just insert it here just does not seem appropriate. Still, I guess I should be glad that didn't go ahead and play "Vale Decem" in the regeneration scene, which I was worried they would do. It is a bit odd that "I am the Doctor" is used very sparingly given it is the musical representation of the Matt Smith era so you would naturally think his finale would feature it, especially in the regeneration scene. But then, that tune was seriously overplayed in Day of the Doctor, so I don't really miss it that much.

    Still, a solid, episode, Christmas outing and farewell to a Doctor and one of Moffat's better efforts since he took over the show. Looking forward to the Peter Capaldi era to begin.
     
  13. Cyke101

    Cyke101 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I would think that the Silence and all the other monster factions would be able to find whatever crack the Time Lords open up and head there (maybe go there preemptively via time travel). After all, the Silence got there first and were able to erect the forcefield before even the Doctor knew what was up. Additionally, all the other enemy factions in the Pandorica Opens also detected the cracks and went after the Doctor because they determined that he (in a sense) was the source of the cracks. Thus, wherever they decide to open the crack, their enemies are still populous enough to spring a trap no matter where the crack opens.

    Also, I would imagine that pushing a whole planet through the crack would have dire consequences on Trenzalore's population in any case. The Doctor had been keeping it relatively shut by withholding his name, but they weren't sure it was truly him until Clara spoke to them -- and also convinced them that war would not be the answer -- the Daleks still had reinforcements coming on a regular basis, after all, and we know the Cybermen and the Sontarans aren't that far behind when it comes to numbers. Additionally, we don't know how time flows in the crack as well; the Time Lords are supposed to be in suspended animation, but perhaps it's relative in that hundreds of years in our universe is only a couple hours or minutes in the crack.

    However, that theme is used when references to the Time Lords come into play, which was the case here.

    I stand corrected, when I heard what I thought was the UNIT theme, it was really the Slitheen in their debut appearance. In my defense though, UNIT were the first foes that the Slitheen fought.

    Frankly, I've never seen a Doctor Who thread where the posters weren't being nit-picky, myself included. Yay! :)
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2013
  14. Seven of Five

    Seven of Five Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I voted Fish Fingers and Custard. I enjoyed it, but I agree with those that say it was rushed. It could have been 75 minutes long, or a two-parter, whatever. Anything to flesh out some of the story points. The Doctor being on his last regeneration seemed to have come out of nowhere. If it had been seeded in seasons before, it would have fit in with the Trenzalore arc better. However, The Timelords granting a new regeneration cycle was a no-brainer after The Day of The Doctor.

    The regeneration was very sudden, which I initially disliked. The way it happened was unsettling, but I wonder if that wasn't the point, being as we don't know this new Doctor yet? When Capaldi got his few lines, though, I was smiling away. Can you dye your kidneys if you don't like them?

    I loved the humour throughout the episode, particularly the awkward family dinner. I did like the callbacks all of Matt Smiths arcs, even though they were somewhat throwaway explanations. More examples, really, of the episode needing better pacing. The best one for me was linking the Timelord return with the cracks in the universe.

    Dying of old age was completely unexpected, literally the last thing I would expect the youthful looking Doctor to die from. His triumphant cries as he was regenerating that ended up killing the Daleks was great to watch.

    And of course, the sadness kicked in as Clara says she doesn't want him to change. :( We then saw little Amelia. :( :( And then bloody Amy's there hugging him. :( :( :( Lump in my throat indeed. I didn't know Karen Gillan had snuck in and filmed that, so it was a lovely surprise. I was worried this Doctor would go without seeing her again, but it had a sweet finality to it.

    I wonder if Gillan and Smith tried each other's wigs on?
     
  15. Emh

    Emh The Doctor Premium Member

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    Honestly, I would be surprised if they didn't. The question is did anyone have a video camera handy? ;)
     
  16. RoJoHen

    RoJoHen Awesome Premium Member

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    What a confusing episode.

    In Moffat's defense, however, I find most of his confusing episodes become a lot better after I watch them a second or third time. I hated "The Wedding of River Song" the first time I saw it because I was left with feelings of "What the hell did I just watch?" After re-watching it and picking up on things, I have come to enjoy it quite a bit.

    I hope that this episode is much the same. There was just so much stuff being packed into this episode that it was incredibly hard to follow.


    The one thing that I couldn't figure out, that really kind of ruined this episode for me...is why did the Doctor stay in that town at all? If the whole point was to prevent him from speaking his name, why wouldn't he just leave?
     
  17. Malformed

    Malformed Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    I loved it, I unabashedly loved it! and I'll tell you why, but first:

    Bona Fides: I've been watching Doctor Who since the 80's, the Baker, then Davison years, had a friend's mom knit a scarf (to pattern!) etc.. et.al. ad nauseum... been at this awhile.

    It was great! Was it rushed? Could more time have been used? Of course!

    But it was still great, and here's the thing the folks drinking the Hatorade seem to have missed, in Moffat's hands, Doctor Who is a fable.

    As such, it can do things that it couldn't do under RTD, Hinchcliffe, JNT, etc... for those of you who like fables, great! For those of you who prefer your Doctor more SF or action adventurey, well then not so much.

    I thought it was fantastic, and we'll see how it holds up to a second viewing.
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2013
  18. RoJoHen

    RoJoHen Awesome Premium Member

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    The fact that Moffat's Who has been more of a fairy tale is actually something that has appealed to me greatly. I loved the entirety of Moffat and Smith's era.

    This episode, however...

    I need to watch it again. It's not that I don't like it. I honestly can't figure out if I like it or not. It was so rushed that my brain couldn't process everything that was going on.
     
  19. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    I don't know if it's been mentioned yet, but perhaps the reason Clara didn't kill the silent on sight is she hadn't seen the message if the silence ordering humans to kill them on sight. After however likely the possibility remains is that Clara had never seen the Moon Landing clip.
     
  20. Professor Zoom

    Professor Zoom Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I was disappointed. Especially as a follow up to Day of The Doctor.

    1. the Doctor was a passive character in this. YES, he was defending the town for however many hundred's of years, but, he sorta gave up coming up with a permanent solution. That's the Doctor to me: he solves problems. He'll spend a 1000 years but keep trying to find a solution. He did in Day of the Doctor. But, here. This story had him resigned to his fate. But...

    2. He KNOWS that it's not his fate. At the end of the Day of the Doctor he met a future incarnation... so he KNOWS it's not the end of his story... so his behavior doesn't make sense. MAYBE he doesn't remember the events of The Day of the Doctor, like the others, but that's not the indication I got.

    3. So, he didn't die on Trenzalore. Ok. So, does The Name of the Doctor NOT happen? Then Clara wouldn't be impossible. I get it, time can be rewritten, but, then, that throws out the whole fixed point stuff... I just want a little consistency in the rules that Moffat has created for himself.

    4. A passive Doctor is saved somehow by the Time Lords... so they can send a new thing of regenerations but, not like, THEMSELVES? A Tardis? One of them? It's just bad hand waving.

    5. The story just wasn't particularly dramatic. Stuff happened... but... it felt more like a prose story... we're experiencing the stuff happening, but it's not about Will he succeed? How will he succeed? It's just watching the Doctor mope. Meh.

    6. Wrapping up story lines by a wave of exposition. By now, I didn't really care who blew up the Tardis, but, how Moffat revealed it, it seems like he didn't care either. It was a line and the revelation had like zero impact on the story, on the Doctor. In other words, the reveal just didn't matter. it was a plot hole needing to be filled... and it was filled like a pot hole in the street, just shoveled.

    7. I do think the performances were excellent though. And the effects, etc. The production of the meh script was well done.

    Pretty disappointing to me.