Some (Mostly) Failed Predictions For “The Time Of The Doctor”

"See these hands? I shall use them to slap everyone who was in any way involved in the production of this episode!"

“See these hands? I shall use them to slap everyone who was in any way involved in the production of this episode!”

Were you sad to lose Eleven or happy to see Twelve? Yeah, me too. I thought I’d make this review-thing of “The Time of the Doctor” different from my typical reviews in that it’s a list. Specifically, a list of predictions I made, with notes about what actually happened.

I am not very good at predictions.

Warning: Spoilers ahead!

Prediction: The Weeping Angels from “The Time of Angels / Flesh and Stone”  are the ones from the special – they went through a crack in time! Not everything from the cracks disappears, it seems. Amy still vaguely remembered her parents, for example. So if that didn’t operate as it should, maybe the Angels were sent through the cracks elsewhere.

Reality: This would’ve been a great way to connect various stories together, but it didn’t happen. I’m not sure why the Angels were in the special, honestly. They didn’t zap Clara back in time or even have much of a role after that minute in the snow. Every time the Angels appear, they get less and less scary.

Prediction: Vastra, Jenny, and Strax will be in the episode.

Reality: I think every story needs an adorable lesbian couple and their pet potato. Evidently Steven Moffat disagrees.

Prediction: River shows up! Maybe she’s with Eleven when he regenerates and is horrified afterwards because he’s not “her Doctor” anymore.

Reality: I think Eleven’s regeneration scene would have had a bigger impact if she’d been there. Instead, Clara was. Clara, who barely knows him. Amy Pond had a surprising cameo but I felt even that should’ve been done differently. I wanted Amelia – little Amy – there. I wanted a scene like the one in “The God Complex” where Eleven says he’s not a hero and he ran away with her because she was the first face he saw in that regeneration. It would’ve been very sweet. Also, Tasha Lem was so similar to River that my brother is convinced she’s a future regeneration. I think Moffat just sucks at writing unique characters, personally. If we’re going to see someone River-ish, just give us River! Let her be her own person and stop making all the characters the same.

Prediction: Eleven will regenerate to avoid being fully converted into a Cyberman.

Reality: Instead, he had a pet Cyberman head that got more character development in one episode than Clara has in one series. Sigh. I was certain his regeneration was hinted at in “Nightmare in Silver,” when he fought to get rid of his partial conversion. This would have been terrifying – and a lot more interesting than what we got, where it felt like nothing had high stakes.

Prediction: Eleven will die like Five, hurt early on but still struggling through to save the day.

Reality: This could’ve gone hand in hand with my Cyberman theory. Instead, I’m not totally sure why Eleven died. Old age, I guess? And speaking of old age, why did he look noticeably older? He’s lived for hundreds of years in other episodes without developing wrinkles and gray hair.

Prediction: When Eleven regenerates, we’ll hear either the best, most grandiose version of “I Am The Doctor” ever, or “The Long Song” because he’s finally at peace when he dies.

Reality: OH MY GALLIFREY THEY DID THEY ACTUALLY DID. “I Am The Doctor” was heard only once, I believe, but they played “The Long Song.” Eeeeee. Murray Gold, you are a genius. It was the perfect piece and one of only two times I got emotional. (The other was when the Doctor took off his bow tie. I thought he would stubbornly, childishly hold on to that until the end but he didn’t. Sniffle.)

As you can see, I would have written “The Time of the Doctor” quite differently. Every Christmas special I’ve seen (which is all of them except for the one in 2010) has been ridiculous, so I didn’t have huge hopes for this one. I thought it would be cheesy.

But I can deal with cheesy. This was just plain bad. I think we can all agree that even if we don’t like a certain version of the Doctor, he should get a chance for a decent last hurrah, a good regeneration episode. Maybe “The End of Time” is super-emotional, but at least it had a decent plot, good pacing, and well-written characters.

This is one of my least favorite Moffat episodes, which is a shame. Yes, he tied up all the loose ends from as far back as “The Eleventh Hour,” but I can’t say there were any particularly brilliant plot twists or even any emotional depth – I watched the Christmas special thinking, “Oh. Whatever.” He can write amazing stuff and I’m always hoping the next episode will bring back his brilliance from earlier series, but it doesn’t happen. Let’s see how he handles the Twelfth Doctor.

P.S. For more formal reviews of “The Time of the Doctor,” try Whovian Feminism, SuperWhoLock: The Comic, or The Daily Dot.

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About nevillegirl

Elizabeth, University of Iowa class of 2019. Double majoring in English & Creative Writing and Journalism. Twenty-year-old daydreamer, introvert, voracious reader, and aspiring writer. Passionate about feminism and lesbian positivity.
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14 Responses to Some (Mostly) Failed Predictions For “The Time Of The Doctor”

  1. I’m afraid that I must agree with all of this. The special was spectacularly disappointing, especially the fact that it felt like there was no climax or tension at all.

    • nevillegirl says:

      Eleven’s speech at the end was nice but other than that, it felt like nothing really happened at the end. (Maybe that was because he regenerated so quickly? I’m not saying all regens have to be like Ten’s, all long and dramatic, but this episode already had so little happening in it and having him regenerate in, like, a second didn’t help the action/drama.)

  2. magicfishy says:

    To be fair, the dying of old age thing does have precedent – see the first Doctor, who I believe was only several hundred years old? That’s no excuse for him not visibly aging despite having living for hundreds of years before this special, though.

    So yeah… Not my favourite episode. Which is a disappointment, since it was both a special and a regeneration! I find that most of my favourite Moffat episodes are from his early days, honestly – the guy did create the Weeping Angels, after all, back when they were an actual threat.

    Technically, the Weeping Angels didn’t get less creepy to me as they went on – the whole ‘image of an angel becomes itself an angel’ from Flesh And Stone freaked me out, to be honest, though that was actually the first Angels episode that I had seen. After that, though… Yeah. Either retire these guys or do /something/ to bring back the creepy, please.

    I do like the thing with Capaldi having amnesia, though. Nice callback to the old show, if it was intentional. No let’s see if (spoilers for a decades-old show?) he tries to kill his companion.

    Jenny, Vastra, and Strax can make anything better, honestly.

    They were sort of stuck with Clara there, her being the current companion and all (then again…), but little Amy would have been great, I agree.

    Actually, can YOU be the new head writer for this show? Thinking about what would have happened if your predictions had come true has convinced me that you are an evil genius. Make this happen, somehow.

    • nevillegirl says:

      Yeah, I got that. It just feels weird. It doesn’t seem like Moffat’s style – he’s usually more whizz-bang-look-at-me! than that.

      Moffat’s old stuff was GREAT. Now that he’s head writer DW should be perfect, but… I don’t know. He has great ideas and then doesn’t DO anything with them. The cracks in time and the Silence/Silents used to be eerie and now it’s just like what.

      Oh oh! I rewatched Blink the other day and noticed something… Sally gives the Doctor pictures of the Angels. Whoops.

      I’m looking forward to amnesiac!Twelve. (And yep, I know, my brother told me about it. *is a bad person and hopes Twelve will off Clara*)

      Indeed. I would rather have Strax – no, even a hundred Straxes – as companion rather than Clara. At least he / they would do something and they might look nice in Clara’s skirts, who knows? .

      I think I might dislike Clara more than Amy now, which is quite an achievement because I wanted Amy to leave by The Vampires of Venice. Of course she stayed for two more series…

      *giggles* Thanks. Can Americans write for DW? That would be cool…

      • magicfishy says:

        I’d assume that Americans can, but you might have to move to Britain first… Then again, I thought I read something about BBC Canada having done some of the production for a few years at one point…

        I noticed that too! There’s a pretty-accepted theory floating around the Internet that those photos are where the angels that trapped the Doctor and Martha came from in the first place. I love stable time loops.

    • nevillegirl says:

      Ooh. I like that idea.

      Really? That’s neat. And it makes perfect sense, too.

  3. orphu44 says:

    I only skimmed, so as to avoid any important spoilers that may or may not have been there, but what I’ve gotten from this blog post is a) lovely music b) an idea that you may have been less than impressed with the special. Fairly accurate?
    (And I would say I would vote for you to write for Doctor Who, but I’m fairly sure it’s not a voting process.)

    • nevillegirl says:

      *nods* Indeed. It was spectacularly craptastic and not a very satisfying thing to watch before the show goes on hiatus. *mutters about the eight-month wait for Peter Capaldi*

  4. I had the same reaction. I expected something brilliant, fantastic… but we’re just waiting for Eleven to regenerate. And yes, I just did go through and stalk all your DW posts. Oops. 😛

    • nevillegirl says:

      I know, right? The episode wasn’t that great.

      And that’s awesome. 😀 I like writing about Doctor Who almost as much as I enjoy watching it, and I love when people comment on my posts and then we end up fangirling.

      • I just felt it wasn’t fair for him! I mean 9 and 10 both DID something in their departing episodes. *refrains from spoilers*

        I wrote a review of one episode, but most of my followers don’t follow Doctor Who, so there’s really no point to me writing them because I don’t end up fangirling. But then I stalk other people’s DW posts. 😛

    • nevillegirl says:

      I really wish Eleven had been written by someone other than Moffat, just to see what that would be like. I mean, occasionally he was in episodes written by other people, but there was never a different head writer. And that makes me grumpy, because I really liked Eleven at the beginning of series five and by his final episode, I just didn’t care.

      Ooh, I’ll have to find that post and read it soon! (I want to right now, but I can’t because I’m on vacation with very limited computer time and I’m trying to answer comments and stuff first so… yeah.)

      • Yeah, Eleven’s first episode, I was compelled to care because he was the Doctor. In his last episode, it was like, “REGENERATE ALREADY!” For some reason, I didn’t feel sad or anything when he regenerated. I just shut off the TV and went to bed.

        Yep. It’s not that good, it’s from my earlier days of blogging, but still 😛 Ah, vacation with limited internet! I was in your position just a few days ago. You poor thing. *pats* I hope your non-Internet part of the vacation is fun, though! Once you stop worrying about the blog & twitter and all that it gets better 🙂

    • nevillegirl says:

      IKR?! I was just like, “…oh. OK. Hi, Twelve.” I didn’t actually care much about Eleven’s death…

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