Average Girl Who Review – The Time of the Doctor (Christmas Special)

I was sad to see Matt Smith go. I really liked him. But I was ready to say goodbye.

I’ve liked all of the modern Doctors in their own time, just as I know I’ll enjoy Peter Capaldi.Confession: As much as I truly LOVE Matt Smith, I’m actually really super excited for Capaldi. I’m ready for a change and, as I just turned 40, a little more gray hair on the Doctor.

I really wanted to like this episode….NEEDED to like it….but I didn’t. It just didn’t measure up to my expectations. I still enjoyed the hell out of it. I just wished for some more meaningful time with the Doctor giving him some scenes to chew, so to speak, and instead I had to watch him grow old. Yes, I know, I just spoke of being ready for an older Doctor, but Smith in makeup didn’t work for me. The Doctor became Father Christmas in a town called Christmas. It was to serve a noble purpose. I understand. I just didn’t like it. The whole episode seemed to grind to a halt from a very enticing and fast-paced beginning. Upon halting, we watch the Doctor age over 300 years, hear the Doctor’s story in voice-over and get the occasional slo-mo enemy encounter (queue a wooden Cyberman).

This special was 100% to answer questions, tie up loose ends and set the scene for the quest for Gallifrey. Necessary true, but not fulfilling for me. I needed more drama. I wanted a doe-eyed Matt Smith to have a 15 min. long sad soliloquy and what-not. I wanted to cry. I wanted to have my gut-wrenched. I was ready to say goodbye. My only tear shed was when Amy appeared and that wasn’t due to the scene so much as just the sudden shock of seeing her for that short minute. Completely involuntary.

Poor Clara just seemed to come and go in short bursts and yet again, she orchestrates the “save the day” scenario. I hope for good chemistry between Clara and the 12th Doctor.

I know this isn’t so much a review as an airing of my post-episode grievances, so many apologies for that. Here’s to 2014, a new Doctor, new Sherlock episodes, a return to proper reviewing and return of my forgiving Whovian nature! Until then, have a Happy New Year!

Final Thoughts & Worthy Mentions:

  • Finally – the real business behind that damn pesky crack. I actually liked that bit.
  • “Handles” the Cyberman head who is the Doctor’s Wilson through being “stuck” on Trenzalore for those 300 years.
  • Thankfully we do away with the old age makeup and are allowed our final moments with the Doctor as he has always looked to us.
  • I watched this episode the day after Christmas. I wonder if I would have loved it more if I’d watched it on Christmas night…..would I have been more generous of spirit?
  • I liked the character of Tasha Lem. She was a great character to watch and a great voice to guide us through the episode.
  • I do hope we see this Doctor’s face again in the future. Maybe 75th anniversary? Is that too much to ask?
AP 22-486 by Manuel Harlan 601 x 400

Charlie Anson (Craig McDermott), Eugene McCoy (David Van Patten), Matt Smith (Patrick Bateman), Hugh Skinner (Luis Carruthers) and Jonathan Bailey (Tim Price). – Manuel Harlan

PS – Let’s all run off to London and see Matt Smith right now on stage. I can’t be the only one who thinks this is delicious!

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Average Girl Who Review – The Day of the Doctor

Happy 50th Anniversary to Doctor Who!STRICTLY EMBARGOED UNTIL 00.01 ON WEDNESDAY 11 SEPTEMBER, 2013 GMT Doctor Who – 50th Anniversary Special - The Day of the DoctorThe Day of the Doctor was the 50th anniversary episode, simulcast around the world at the exact same time, shown in movie theaters in 3D and delivering Whovians worldwide a little over an hour of game-changing adventure.

It was, in one word, fantastic.

The first thing my husband and I said to each other when the episode ended was that Moffat solved the problem of the one thing that bothered him the most – that the Doctor, the hero of the universe, destroyed his own planet and people to end a war. The Doctor has been, through the rebooted series, a regretful and damaged man. So how do you retain the weight of billions of deaths on his shoulders while simultaneously making it never have really happened? Well, my friends, that is the magic of the 50th anniversary episode!

I won’t lie and tell you I got all of the Easter eggs. I won’t begin to rundown the plot either, it’s extremely difficult to try and write out (I did try a little). What I would like to do, if you will indulge me, is talk about the things that mattered most to me as a fan.

  1. The mini-episode prequel with the amazing Paul McGann. Wonderful set-up.
  2. John Hurt. He was brilliant. He was the physical embodiment of the great weight of making the decision to kill your own people. He was, in the beginning, gritty and ugly determination. Then he was uncertainty. Finally, he was relieved.
  3. Bad Wolf. I am of the belief, as others are though there is debate, that what we saw as Rose Tyler/Bad Wolf was the real Bad Wolf. Yes it appeared as though the Moment had chosen “Rose” as an interface…but I believe 100% that was Bad Wolf and Bad Wolf alone. The Moment was a prop for her. Could a consciences weapon do the things that were done here – open time-rifts, allow 3 Doctors together in multiple time lines and enact consequences of altered choices? Bad Wolf!
  4. Ten and Eleven together. It was magic! I enjoyed the hell out seeing Ten again and he seemed to be having a ball.slide_246222_3125064_free
  5. Bad Wolf creating the pause with which to consider the decision but Clara tearfully urging her Doctor to make a different one.
  6. The Easter eggs that I caught. My appreciation for the ones I didn’t. It is my understanding that there was something for everyone, as it should be.
  7. Tom Baker. I found him delightful. I respect his run as the Doctor, even though I’ve personally only seen a few episodes. His appearance was the cherry on top!
  8. That every Doctor, including Twelve (Capaldi’s eyes OMG!) saving Gallifrey. Oh, I guess that’s all THIRTEEN actually!
  9. A happy ending. We are going to say goodbye to Matt Smith very, very soon. It was nice to have a happy ending that was still respectful of the rebooted series arch. Now maybe that Eleven goodbye won’t be so sad because our new Doctor, who I am VERY excited about, has a wonderful adventure waiting for him.

My only druther with this episode was that Christopher Eccleston was sadly missing. I saw a slight hint of Eccleston’s face when the War Doctor was regenerating and I insist I did and won’t hear another thing about it! But that’s not the same as him being there, even if just for a moment.

I found it interesting (and saw it in reading other reviews and write-ups) that all three of these Doctors die and regenerate shortly after the event in this episode. War Doctor instantly regenerates into Nine and we know Eleven is headed for his death and regeneration during the Christmas episode. We also know Ten, theoretically, will leave and regenerate in due time as he told the Ood that he’d married Queen Elizabeth at the start of his two-part final episode. Consequences indeed.

For a fan of Doctor Who, the 50th was a gift. I loved it and I hope you did too. Now, let’s get our tissues ready again for the Christmas episode and get our excitement building for a new Doctor who has a few more miles on his face and so much possibility.

3 Things Today

1. It’s my friend’s birthday and I always feel bad that her birthday is on September 11 and I hope she has a good day.

2. Speaking of September 11, I will be going to visit the memorial when I’m in New York in October. We’ve reserved our entry time but seeing the pictures of the memorial today make me reconsider going there myself. I saw the World Trade Center when I first visited New York in 1999 and have avoided that end of the city ever since. It feels strange now to WANT to go there, but I think I do. Many things to reconcile internally before that day comes.

3. This:

The Day of the DoctorNice distraction today, seeing this pop up in so many places and speculation as to what it all means.