Thursday, 26 December 2013

The Clock is Striking 12

“And now it’s time to take your bow, like all your other selves. Eleventh hour is over now, the clock is striking Twelve’s”

For almost four years Matt Smith has created a legacy as the Doctor, but now it’s time for him to pass on the torch, allowing a new Time Lord to take his place. But one final battle awaits before he hands over the reigns. The siege of Trenzalor.

A mysterious message reaches out in space and time bringing the Doctor and all of his greatest adversaries to a planet called Trenzalor. Daleks, Cybermen, Weeping Angels, The Silence and more all arrive to find out what the message means. When the Doctor finds himself in a town called Christmas, he discovers that the message is coming from the other side of a crack in time (yes that’s back too!), which appears to lead to Gallifrey.

Here the Doctor is faced with a choice as to whether or not to speak his name and summon his race, causing a never-ending war with the Daleks that would effectively throw the entire universe into a living hell. Whilst the Doctor is pondering the decision, the army of enemies in the skies above are instructed to destroy the town of Christmas to stop the Time Lords ever coming through, slaughtering the whole town in the process. And so the doctor finds himself stuck in Christmas, forever defending the town.

In comparison to some of the overcomplicated plots Moffat has thrown at us before, with a bit of concentration, this one is relatively simple to follow. It also ties up a few mysteries here and there, such as why the TARDIS exploded causing the cracks in time and space.

Whilst many viewers may have forgotten about the absence of an explanation for such events, including these moments will make longtime fans smile with realization. Whether Moffat planned this from the start or only just realized he hadn’t wrapped it up is a mystery that will never be solved.

One thing that was a little underwhelming was his regeneration. Sure it was spectacular, and it was the moment we were all waiting for , but that in itself removed any tension from the rest of the episode. A long period of time is spent talking about how he was in his final form, and that he’s used up all of his 12 regenerations, then Moffat attempts to add a twist (Spoiler alert!) – he can regenerate after all!

Of course the incredible amounts of publicity about Peter Capaldi taking over at Christmas, and even the trailer features Dalek screams of “The Doctor is regenerating!”, plus let’s not forget that little poem about the clock striking made all of the emotional build-up to what we are supposed to believe is the Doctor’s final moments, completely redundant. We know what’s going to happen!

Despite this small letdown, The Time of the Doctor is certainly one of the better episodes that Moffat has produced. Aside from being emotional, funny and tense (sometimes all at the same time), it’s one of the most explosive, action packed episodes in a long time.

Matt Smith is on top form throughout, delivering one of his best performances yet, with Jenna Coleman holding her own alongside him. A guest appearance from Karen Gillan should please the Pond fans, and Capaldi’s deliverance of the usual “everything’s different!” reaction to a regeneration was brief, yet certainly hopeful.

Holding up my hands I can say that The Day of the Doctor leftme feeling underwhelmed and dissappointed. I am glad to report that the Time of the Doctor is a superb follow up, making up for the 50th’s mistakes and more! This episode certainly packs a punch, and ensures that Matt Smith goes out with one hell of a bang. GERONIMO!

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