Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The Name of the Doctor Review

Honestly, I was hoping for something a bit longer. I like season finales the way Davies did them: big, long epic adventures. Moffat's last two finales haven't quite been up to snuff. He could have at least made it a bit longer, but with this plot line, I'm not sure how much more he could have added. I really hope next season we have more two-parters (perhaps have a season of all two-parters plus a three-part finale?).

I was never actually expecting the conference call promised in the synopsis to be over the telephone line. I knew it was going to be some sort of telepathic thing, though I was expecting some sort of weird virtual space with faces floating all around. Either that, or the subwave network (though that was destroyed in Children of Earth). I wasn't expecting a dreamspace with people sitting at a table, that's more of a conference than a conference call.

It's rather weird that the Silence didn't try to intervene in Trenzalore. I was always expecting them to try to take out whoever asked the Question. There are a number of possible reasons why we didn't see this happen. Perhaps the Silence viewed the Doctor as more of a threat than the Great Intelligence. Or maybe they found it too difficult to kill a disembodied mind. Either that, or killing the Great Intelligence was always a back-up plan and they thought they killed the Doctor, and therefore saw no reason to go after the GI.

Apparently when Moffat said that nobody figured out Clara's mystery, he was lying. Several people had theorized that she was somehow splintered in time, which turned out to be the correct explanation. I think either they failed to figure out how, or Rule 1: Moffat lies. I figured it out as soon as I heard the radio trailer last Friday and realized from the trailer the Saturday before that she was going to step into the lighty thingy. I had no idea that was the Doctor's timestream, I thought the console had just been removed and that was what's left. Moffat had been dropping hints since March that companion Clara was a perfectly ordinary girl. I think we were supposed to take from that that she was the original and something was going to happen to her. Moffat probably lied when he said nobody had figured it out, because if he did admit someone was right, the fans would stop speculating and turn inward on each other and start fighting over who was right. I think he wanted a happy discussion and speculation and knew some fans would argue about whose theory was best. That, and he would be constantly hounded to give up whose theory was right and the fans would never leave him alone.

I honestly did not see the bit with John Hurt coming. I thought we wouldn't see him until November. Well actually, to be honest I did give up and start reading spoilers the night before the episode and I did read about this. I thought it was a fake spoiler, but the screenshot should have been a dead giveaway. But if it hadn't been for that, I never would have guessed that John Hurt was in the finale, so good job to Moffat for keeping that secret. You can read my speculation about him here.

The only thing I'm left wondering is how the Doctor and Clara are going to get out of there. The timestream appears to have closed behind the Doctor and it looks suspiciously like he's trapped there. On the other hand, the area they're trapped in looks suspiciously like the graveyard, so they might just be right outside. Oh, and how did the catacombs they were in lead into the TARDIS? How do underground passages lead into another dimension?

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