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The Name of the Doctor

Started by the_antithesis, July 01, 2013, 02:03:48 PM

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So, I finally got around to watching the series finale so now I'm going to spoil it just so I can give my opinion of it on the internet.

I haven't been liking the show lately because it's kind of dur-dur. This impossible girl thing was kind of nice since it wasn't the looming threat of the universe being destroyed a-fucking-gain at least until the end.

The episode starts off with some nice fan service having the chick whose name I forget interact with each of the previous Doctors, splicing in old footage and body doubles. All except the eighth Doctor played by  Paul McGann, probably because he was unavailable and/or since that TV movie was made by another company, the BCC didn't have the rights to use it or would have to share with that company, so they just glossed it over. It's fan service of the worst kind, of course, but forgivable as the Doctor crossing his own path has been in the show since "The Three Doctors." But that's not really what's happening, either. It's not a multiple Doctor episode since the others, including the last one which we'll get to, are little more than cameos.

Which means the plot has to carry things, which is kind of a shame. Doctor Who has become a bit like a JJ Abrams production. Teasing the fuck out of you with secrets and hints and cryptic remarks which, once revealed, turn out to be not as good as the reveal you cooked up trying to figure out what they were trying to hide. They start out making a big deal out of the Doctor's name, which was revealed way back in Trial of the Time Lord, which involved the sixth Doctor played by Colon Baker in a clown suit. It's d³?x². So it's not really a mystery. But they built this up as a mystery for two seasons (or series) with the pithy line "Silence will fall when the question is answered." The Silence is an enemy that were introduced during the 11th Doctor's reign and the question it has been stated as "Doctor who?"  I find this a little too twee to turn the title for the show into a plot point like that. But, whatever. Maybe they're reconning it and his name is now Slartibartfast.

What does surprise me is how I enjoy the recurring side characters they have been employing of late. Wikipedia calls them the "Paternoster Gang."  Have I mentioned that I'm surprised I like these characters?  But I do. I don't know if they're strong enough to carry a spin-off series, but it's possible. Lots of nice character moments and whatnot. This does help the episode since it focuses on them for a decent chunk of the episode.

The enemies, called "Whisper Men" are crap, unfortunately. They are aesthetically too similar to the aforementioned Silence. They're supposed to be scary, I guess, but their threat just doesn't seem to gel here and it's the similarity to a previous villain that breed this contempt. Steven Moffat seems to have a problem with repeating himself. "The Impossible Astronaut" is very similar to "The Empty Child," for instance. Here we have two villains that are pasty white nearly faceless men in dark suits. They're so similar they may as well be the same things.

Ultimately, the episode is kind of disappointing. We do learn the deal with Clara Oswald and why she keep popping up in the Doctor's life, but that answer is undercut by the Doctor turning into Superman and saving her when a more poignant ending would have left her dead and a minor recurring character, like the semi-recurring River Song who's the Doctor's dead wife and shit or something, which was also handled stupidly. But, no. We have to have the happy ending and reset things back to status quo. I mean, they nearly killed off the Paternoster Gang, one of the members was, in fact, dead. But they brought her back and there goes all the tension the story almost had.

The one thing of note is at the end they reveal John Hurt as a future incarnation of the Doctor, who will likely be a recurring villain in the next series (or season), the Valeyard. The Valeyard was introduced in the Trial of the Time Lord as the prosecutor of the Doctor but it is reveal to be a future regeneration of the Doctor. "The Valeyard, Doctor, is your penultimate reincarnation... Somewhere between your twelfth and thirteenth regeneration." It used to be that Time Lords only had thirteen regenerations but the series may have chucked that out the window. It's not certain. This amounts to a teaser for the next series as it will be the Doctor against himself somehow. Exactly how is all cryptic and shit... again.

So, overall, I'm a bit let down by the episode. It's not horrible, I suppose, but it undermines itself to give us the happy ending. Doctor Who companions have died before, so it would be no big deal. And it would raise an interesting question as to what her existence is like, to constantly be born, meet the Doctor, and then die again. But that's all in the trash. When did they neuter this show? I don't recall it's balls being especially big, but it did have them.


I would have to differ and say that I think that was a really good episode. Although at the end when it said "continued in november"... I almost threw my electic guitar through my television. I hate waiting for Doctor Who episodes. Waiting 6 months for (what might be) the end of the story they started in the episode is retarded.