Doctor Who Christmas Special Review: ”The Time of The Doctor”

matt smith

The Doctor Who Christmas Specials are, as a rule, as much fun as the holiday they celebrate. As much as it hurts to say it, this Christmas Special wasn’t quite as lighthearted, but it’s 100% understandable because this year it was all about saying goodbye. One can’t deny that the plot was complicated at certain points and it was easy to get lost throughout certain parts of it because some things just didn’t make sense at first.

While it was a great ending to the 11th Doctor, if one would compare this Christmas Special to previous ones, it’s definitely not one of the best ones. But it’s absolutely not one of the worst ones either, it just had a few more flaws than previous ones had. While it was mentioned that there wasn’t a lot of fun in “The Time of The Doctor”, one could find some fun in it. First off, Tasha was a fantastic character to add for this Christmas Special and Orla Brady was a great casting choice.

She was a strong female character and should they ever find a way to bring her back in series eight, one wouldn’t mind that at all. Although it makes sense if she doesn’t come back after this because maybe some of the characters of the Matt Smith Era should just be left in that era. It was definitely neat to see so many of the Doctor’s villains there such as the Daleks, the Cybermen and the Weeping Angels. This was supposed to be a big event for the 11th Doctor so it made absolute sense to bring in as many of his villains back as possible.

As if “The Time of The Doctor” wasn’t already filled with huge emotions, the moment that Karen Gillan’s Amy Pond walked down those stairs to her Raggedy Man, the tears just increased and didn’t stop. It doesn’t matter that it was just a hallucination by the Doctor, it was perfect and so emotional to see her one final time.

That was perhaps a fantastic WHO gift to get in those final moments because she has been a huge part since the first moments in the first episode of series five. While one had never thought of her having to be there before this episode aired, as one era of Doctor Who was about to end, it did help a lot that she was there in the end.

It needs to be noted that Steven Moffat did a great job in addressing some of the questions that rose from the era of the 11th Doctor. He also tackled the subject of regeneration and its limitations. There has been so much speculation on if and how he would handle it. It all lead down to the Time Lords granting the Doctor another regeneration cycle, through Clara just asking them to save him. Now did that seem a bit easy perhaps if one looks at it from a bigger picture?

It sure did, but in the end, as a Whovian, it wasn’t a really problem. They needed to find a way to make it happen somehow and it was kind of beautiful in a way that the Companion got to save the Doctor once again.

Smith has definitely without doubt been one of the biggest reasons why this show has been so successful. Just like with Tennant, it was incredibly painful to see him leave because look at what he has brought to the role since series five.

But just like the Doctor said, “But times change. And so must I”, all good things has to end at some point whether one wants it or not. While everyone did a fantastic job in this special episode, Smith stood out so much more as he usually has throughout his run and this is by no means a slam on the supporting cast. But this was his final time and he went out with a bang so big that one wishes that there could be more.

It was acceptable that the regeneration happened so fast and didn’t take as long as Eccleston’s and Tennant’s did. It was definitely a shock when the 12th Doctor asked Clara if she knew how to fly the TARDIS. This was a huge cliffhanger to end on and whether series eight starts in the summer or next fall, one will definitely be excited to find out what that was all about.

While it’s a guarantee that a talent such as Peter Capaldi will bring the fans a fantastic 12th Doctor, Smith is definitely going to be missed immensely. While there were some flaws with this exit from a story perspective, it was in the end an extraordinary way to wrap up this era of the Doctor with such a talented actor like Smith performing him. His final speech was written as well as acted flawlessly. There were parts of that speech that felt like in a way that some of those words were Smith talking to the fans and one couldn’t have asked for a final scene like that.

To wrap up this review of his final performance as the Doctor, fish fingers and custard look somewhat yummy, Geronimo, bowties are and always will be cool and most important of all, Matt Smith, you will forever be missed.

[Photo via WPA Pool/Getty]

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