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Published on December 25th, 2013 | by Christian Cawley

How Was Your Time of the Doctor? [POLL]

For UK viewers, The Time of the Doctor has been and gone – if you watched it live, that is – so the time has come to leave your thoughts about one of the series’ most important episodes ever.

Yes, it’s poll time; cast your vote below and then leave a comment. We’ll be featuring comments in our reaction roundup later in the week, and the best rated opinion (use the “thumbs up” button if you like a comment) will be the winner of a 2014 Daily Dalek calendar!

Let the debate begin!


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About the Author


A long-term Doctor Who fan, Christian grew up watching the show and has early memories of the Graham Williams era. His favourite stories are Inferno, The Seeds of Doom and Human Nature (although The Empty Child, Blink and Utopia all come close). When he’s not bossing around the news team, Christian is a freelance writer specialising in mobile technology and domestic computing, and enjoys classic rock, cooking and spending time in the countryside with his wife and young children. You can find him on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.

179 Responses to How Was Your Time of the Doctor? [POLL]

  1. what a mess! worst I’ve ever seen, lets pick up all these cast-off scripts and make a xmas special! NO ONE WILL NOTICE HOW BAD IT IS

  2. avatar paolosammut says:

    Bad plotting, no proper explanations and a rushed regeneration. Leave now Steve Moffat, you have used up all your lives in my eyes, wrecked Doctor Who and ruined everything. Your era is contemptible.

  3. avatar lordhilden says:

    The most emotive 11th doctor moment i’ve seen. The regeneration was apropiate for this doctor, so impulsive and spontaneous… so perfect for him.

    • avatar Geoff says:

      Knows better than who? You? Yes he probably does really. So a current writer reinterprets something from the past for his own purposes instead of bogging himself down by paying respect so something someone else did a few years ago. Good thing to say I. If Robert Holmes had respected the existing interpretation of the Time Lords he wouldn’t have written the Deadly Assasin. I think you need to be a bit liberal about this sort if thing. My view is if something happened long enough ago the ordinary viewer (who make up the majority of the viewers, even if there’s 2m hardcore fans in the UK that still leaves 6m casual viewers/fans) has forgotten or don’t care about it then it’s game for being changed.
      The last thing I want is a show where new ideas can’t be explored because it upsets something someone said in 2007.

      • avatar Geoff says:

        Sorry, my comment was meant to be linked to Johhnybears post below!

        • avatar lordhilden says:

          You confused me XDD no problem

  4. avatar johnnybear says:

    I’ve said this for years and now it’s too late! My main beef is his ruination of The Stolen Earth finale where Tennant aborted the regeneration yet Moffat believes he knows better!

    • avatar Simon Magellan says:

      As the current Producer, he does know better – DW isn’t a religion, and the “Canon” isn’t the Ten Commandments – if he wants to change things for dramatic effect, he can and will. This is what has been done throughout the show’s history, and will continue to be done. As I mention below – in the tv movie, the Producers decided the Doctor was half human. This was something never mentioned before – and when the show came back under RTD, he, as Producer, chose to ignore it. That’s how DW has always worked, individuals changing the format to suit their agendas – if it hadn’t, it would never have made it to 50 years.

  5. avatar mysticalrose says:

    If you blinked twice, you missed Capadi’s Doctor’s entrance. :(

  6. avatar neu 75 says:

    And a Merry Xmas to all of you!
    I think what really peed you lot off was the cracker gag at the Oswald Christmas table. Hit a nerve, did it?

    • avatar paolosammut says:

      No, it was the rubbish writing. I will be complaining to the BBC tomorrow since this is a parody of Doctor Who. Moffat is wrecking everything and my voice says he must go. Lets see what others say. The cracker gag was irrelevant.

      • avatar Spider-pope says:

        Much like the complaint you plan to file tomorrow.

        • avatar Geoff says:

          Precisely. No one will read or care about your complaint I’m afraid because complaints based on a matter of personal taste don’t worry TV execs. It wasn’t my favourite episode either but it was good enough.

          • avatar BOJAY says:

            Thanks Geoff, for an example of constructive criticism and expression of opinion. You stated it wasn’t your favorite but no writers/producers had to be abused or insulted in the process. And no mention of narcoleptic wives or other family members. That’s poise and class, and there’s a few here who could learn from that.

  7. avatar Simon Magellan says:

    Wasn’t bad at all – very elegiac, as it should have been. Smith had a nice farewell speech, Capaldi a good first(ish) line. Not great perhaps, but very good. With only one exception I can think of, none of the regeneration stories have been that brilliant – this was probably the second best one! I am not a huge fan of Smith’s but even I felt sad at his departure when it was all done and dusted.

  8. avatar TonyS says:

    The way the Doctor was able to continue past number 13 isn’t a million miles away from The Curse of Fatal Death. I feel an I-told-you-so moment coming on

    • avatar BOJAY says:

      Without Joanna Lumley showing up.

      • avatar TonyS says:

        Well one cannot have everything :)

  9. avatar bonobobananas says:

    Having grizzled away on the forum because:
    *there was a town called Christmas where it snows. In a Christmas episode #sigh
    *the Silence lost all possibility of being cool baddies
    *the regaining of regenerations was unimaginative
    *the use of ‘the crack’ was irritating. It’s not a telephone!
    I’ve decided I need to rewatch. It may be that it was unsatisfying because it needed more than 60 minutes to flesh out the tying together of threads. ps I love Moff. Maybe he used up a lot of mojo on the 50th though.

    • avatar bonobobananas says:

      In reply to my own wibble, on rewatch:
      *Christmas town still grates but hey
      *still disappointed at the neutering of the silence
      There were plot holes aplenty but I actually rather enjoyed it on rewatch. Matt Smith was excellent and the last 5 minutes were terrific.

      I do hope we’ve seen the last of the crack in the universe thingy though.

    • avatar Shadow says:

      actually the method of The Doctor regaining regenerations made sense to me…but needed an ‘End of Time-like moment’ to flesh it out a bit. The Doctor, all of his incarnations, in Day of the Doctor, saved Gallifrey by zapping it into a pocket universe. The same one that was on the other side of the cracks in the universe. The Timelords felt that as much as they despised The Doctor… saving all of Gallifrey from The Daleks and ending The Time War warranted a reward… aka a new set of regenerations. The motivations of The Papal Mainframe religion to prevent The Doctor from bringing back The Timelords, made sense also. Especially after Rassilon acted a nut job in The End of Time the last time Gallifrey returned, by trying to destroy reality, much like Davros tried to do in Tennant’s era as well. My theory is that Gallifrey was NEVER destroyed… but The Doctor was made to believe it had for this very reason. For fear by the rest of The Universe that if Gallifrey returned, a) they’d be unable to restrain The Daleks from restarting The Time War, and also for fear that Rassilon would try to destroy reality again. The only resolution to this would be if The Doctor deposed Rassilon and assumed Presidentship of Gallifrey. He was named Lord President in Classic Who until a coup put Rassilon in.

  10. avatar vortexter says:

    Er…I thought it was excellent. A fitting end to Matt Smiths reign. Only a few niggles, The regeneration to Capaldi was very quick but overall, 9/10. Just would have liked the ‘Lady in the shop’ question answered.

    • avatar Spider-pope says:

      Give it a year or two, it’ll probably end up being River fething Song.

      • avatar Shadow says:

        um no… actually I think the River Song thing was done by way of Tasha Lem. Virtually every line between The Doctor and Tasha Lem was done to mirror The Doctor’s interactions with River… even going so far as to have The Doctor mentioning that Tasha Lem spent all her life trying to regulate the psychopath in her… just like River. Also: Lem=Mel, aka Melody, aka River. The only question remains… how did River get extracted from The Library and turned into a completely different physical form when she used all her regenerations to heal The Doctor in Let’s Kill Hitler?

        • avatar Simon Magellan says:

          I noticed that Lem was practically a carbon copy of Song. To me this suggests one of three things: Moffat can’t write for women, so they all sound alike. Or he wanted Song but Kingston wasn’t available. Or, having effectively given her her final exit in The Name of the Doctor, he didn’t want to backtrack and have her in it again. Take your pick – I’m not a fan of Song, or the way the character was written (all that “sweetie” business) and the Lem character was by far the weakest element of the story for me.

        • avatar TonyS says:

          Also sonically Tasha Lem and River Song are not dissimilar. A two-syllable first name followed by a monosyllabic surname.

  11. avatar francis cave says:

    I am sorry to have to say it but after my faith in Moffat was restored partly with Name of the Doctor and then fully with Day, he comes up with this mess of a story.

    I sat there struggling to work what on earth was happening most of the time, my wife fell asleep during it.

    Enough said….

    • avatar BOJAY says:

      He’s probably in a corner somewhere weeping. After being informed of your comments. He will no doubt turn in his resignation shortly. Maybe your wife was dreaming that she wasn’t married to you. And when she awoke, it was like the Monty Python bit but with you having told her in the dream, “No dear, this is the dream, in real life you’re still married to me.”

      • avatar Jeff G says:

        Stop being a douche! Personal attacks against one’s marriage is uncalled for. I totally agree with Francis Cave. You, Bojay, are in the minority.

        • avatar BOJAY says:

          I’m in the minority? You’re a delusional yesteryear fan boy, and the only “douche” involved or present is the one you’re using as mouthwash. You and Francis are in the minority, and you don’t even have the wherewithal to figure out that this is obviously not the show you want it to be, so you both should just stop watching it. Calling a writer’s work a “mess of a story” without qualifying the remark as an expression of opinion is insulting to Moffat. He is not going to bother addressing whiners like yourself and Francis. But I will. Neither of you deserve civility so you won’t get it from me. Do you have a narcoleptic wife as well?

          • avatar John Shandler says:

            Disgusting comments Bojay, truly disgusting. Francis Cave didn’t like something, you did. It should be left at that.

          • avatar francis cave says:

            Bojay you are entitled to your opinions but equally so I am I and also any remarks about my wife are totally uncalled for. I didn’t give a detailed summary of my feelings about the story because I didn’t feel like writing a 1,000 word essay. I loved the Day of the Doctor and am amazed that Time came from the same writer.

          • avatar Nath Kyle says:

            Bojay, grow up! I am 23 and my father is 58… His favorite Doctor is Matt Smith and mine is Jon Pertwee. Your shortsighted way of thinking is quite frankly the opposite of what this program and fanbase stands for! Just because someone has an opinion that differs from your own doesn’t mean that you have any right to insult them like a petulant child (said the 23 year-old) Now either do the honorable thing and say apologise for what you have said, or kindly find somewhere else to act like a dalek…

      • WTF is this comment?

        As a long-standing commenter and forum member you should know better.

        Please make amends ASAP, or I will start pruning posts and accounts.

        • avatar Bob James says:

          Is this directed at me, Christian? I made the only amends I’m going to make with my apology to Jeff G over the inappropriate comment I had inadvertently made, in my not being aware that he had lost his wife last year. I had no idea, I couldn’t possibly have, and once I became aware of his situation I apologized. I was still bemused by the “wife falling asleep” scenario suddenly having become a criteria for what constitutes good Doctor Who (made by francis cave). Nothing intended about making light of Jeff G’s personal loss. But I hope you aren’t thinking I’m going to let someone refer to me as a “douche” without responding accordingly. We’re talking about people having an imbalanced personal go at Steven Moffat over their matters of personal taste, not the equating of anyone with a feminine hygiene product. I made my sincere apologies to Jeff G regarding my unknowingly inappropriate comments, and that is all I am apologizing for.

          • avatar John Shandler says:

            You have got personal with me before calling me a ‘whiner’ as I didn’t share your views. (You were commenting on my posts, not the other way round). There is no need to be personal. Being insulting to someone’s wife and their marriage is plain out of order. How did you expect someone to react?

  12. avatar Spider-pope says:

    Preferred it to ‘The End of Time’ (much as Ten is my Doctor, the whole Master race thing was dumb) and i’m glad The Doctor actually managed to live more than a few years in his 11th regeneration, who knows how old he actually is now. I also liked the faint echoes of ‘Orbis’, with The Doctor sort of forgetting he ever did anything other than protecting Christmas.

    A fitting end to a brilliant Doctor. Now let’s see what Capaldi can do.

  13. avatar authorman94 says:

    I think Matt deserved better truthfully. Hardly the worst episode of Doctor Who there’s been, and hardly the worst regeneration story (that *honour* goes to Time and the Rani by far), and while it’s not bad, it felt very chopped together and almost like it’s gone through a dozen or so rewriters. Luckily, Matt showed off why he’s a great actor throughout, and that last speech did redeem a lot of the episode. But I didn’t think it was perfect, and truthfully, it didn’t feel that great to me,

  14. avatar TonyS says:

    Despite all the strong elements, I found “The Day of the Doctor” unsatisfying. This is nowhere near as strong a story. It doesn’t have John Hurt and it doesn’t have the interplay between three Doctors. There are plot holes through which you could drive a coach and horses… sideways. But I enjoyed this. It did feel like a fitting end to Matt Smith’s time as the Doctor. But what about the duck pond in Ledworth? What about Amy’s age in “The Beast Below”?

  15. avatar Joyce says:

    It wasn’t very good although it was nice to see Capaldi.

  16. Come on all you complainers it was better than you made it out. You just can’t please everyone. I thought it was a fitting end to Smith’s reign roll on Capaldi

  17. avatar Evert says:

    Biggest plothole for me: Doctor cannot say name because then second timewar will ensue. This implies the forces surrounding trenzalore are powerfull, yet the doctor can destroy them all by himself with nothing more than a screwdriver in a mere 300 years? Ok, If I accept that, then I must also believe that all the timelords with all their technology would be able to destroy all those “powerfull” enemies without causing another timewar!

    • That isn’t what happeked. We’re you actually watching?

      • avatar Evert says:

        Just watched it again, and frankly I don’t know how else to interpret this. Perhaps instead of making a clever remark you care to point out where I am mistaken?
        A) Why didn’t the doctor say his name (as I understand it, this will cause a second timewar because of all the forces surrounding the planet, he himself states the timelords will come in peace so it won’t be because of them)
        B) A timewar, we are led to believe, is a standoff between two opposing forces who are both so extremely powerfull that the battle is unspeakable, and yet… the doctor seems to be doing ok on his own with little or no technology and a little help from the church in holding off and eventually destroying the opposing forces. And yet we are led to believe that the doctor plus the timelords cannot?
        As such I find the “don’t speak your name” plot a bit dodgy.

  18. avatar Guy Grist says:

    Well I liked it! So there!

    • avatar Ian says:

      I enjoyed it. Loved the seal of the high council. I was shocked at the regeneration, think thats what Moffat intendedd, surpise the audience as Capaldi appeared so quick. A friend thought the cyber head was pointless. Im wondering why the Dr had it as a sort of ‘pet’. Should of had K-9.

      • avatar Spider-pope says:

        It was his “Wilson”. The Doctor was effectively marooned on Trenzalore for 300 years before the Tardis returned the first time. Handles was his companion and reminder of his pre-Christmas life. I didn’t find it pointless at all.

        • avatar Ardwen says:

          K9 dying would have been too sad. Plus k9 would be too powerful. I liked handles, he reminded me of kamelion. There are a lot of Doctor 5 to 6 parallels. 12 seemed a bit like 6 at first to me. We’ll see if he ends up choking Clara (u hope not).

          • avatar Spider-pope says:

            I’d be more worried about him inheriting Six’s fashion sense. If they want to bring anything from Six though, it should be his love for his companions (initial strangling aside). His reaction to a death in ‘The Trial of a Timelord’ was utterly heartbreaking.

  19. avatar Geoff says:

    Difficult poll this. Matt Smith at his best? No definitely not. Not that his performance was any less than his usual 100% but he wasn’t used to his full effect. Matt is so vibrant and energetic (the things we’ve loved about him over the years) so making him slow and old robbed us of one last chance to see him in his pomp.
    Standard Moffat fare? Well even standard Moffat fare his pretty good but it was above that in my view. There was a scale and ambition which he shoukd be commended for.
    The new regeneration cycle stuff was a bit vague, not too sure about that. I would have liked to see Matt go out in a full on heroic performance instead of effectively dying of old age but ho hum. Good to see a totally new and shockingly quick style of regeneration, especially after the melodramatic Tennant regeneration story which in retrospect seems a touch over blown…just as I was thinking “here we go, the yellow glow is going to start up, then the emotive music will begin….” suddenly: Pow! There was Capaldi talking about his kidneys.
    Imperfections aside this was the bookend on the Matt Smith years and I think as that bookend it stands up perfectly well.

    • avatar Spider-pope says:

      In regards to the being slow, to be fair they didnt have much choice since Matt had hurt his leg.

      • avatar Geoff says:

        I’d forgotten about that actually and it’s a fair point. Shame he couldn’t hurl himself about one last time.

        • avatar Spider-pope says:

          There’s always the 60th anniversary for that :D

  20. avatar David F says:

    It was very, very good. Very stylish, although Amy’s reappearance only served to underline what an empty cypher Clara is (in fact, I even forgot her name there for a moment while I was typing). But it all worked well together and made sense. And now that we have explanations for all those dangling threads, earlier Smith episodes might even become enjoyable to watch again.

  21. avatar Lozzer says:

    I found it a bit cringworthy, too much shmaltz and not really the episode I hoped it would be. It may just be the amount of booze I’ve drank, I hope so, but I have a feeling it really was a bit rubbish. I’ll need to view this one again sober…

    • avatar BOJAY says:

      You should never drink and watch……………

    • avatar Lozzer says:

      Well I’ve watched it again, and I was sober… I didn’t think it was rubbish this time but I’m still not convinced. It started well and had some lovely moments – did Moffat watch the Tom Hanks film ‘Castaway’ before writing this episode I wonder… the Cyberhead did remind me of the ball ‘Wilson’ to which Hanks converses with during his isolation. The story still felt muddled and I found it a little boring if I’m totally honest. Half a good idea saved by Matt Smith’s performance. Like most trilogies, the last part let it down somewhat. Looking forward to Peter Capaldi though and a new direction for the show.

  22. avatar Steve says:

    Even more empty headed, incontinent, indulgent and pathetic than imagined… This one qualifies as one of Moffat’s worst.

  23. avatar Jeff G says:

    Matt Smith did great!
    However, Moffet needs to be fired!!!!!!

    1) is Capaldi 12th, 13th or 14th ???? Did Moffat really screw up every single merchandising book, toy and collectible since 2005 with incorrect numbering? Including alot of stuff I own.

    2) He jipped us a full regeneration from 8.5 to 9 in “Day of the Doctor” and again with 11 to 12 (or is that 13 to 14?????). Instantaneous regeneration? WTH??????

    Major major messing with us Doctor Who fans of 50 years. Single handledly ruining at at least 8 years of Doctor Who history. I feel cheated and mind and heart totally messed with, lied to, then sent to the Twilight Zone.

    Bye-bye Steven Moffat!!! I hope you get a pink slip over this!

    • avatar BOJAY says:

      You know he won’t. Again, folks like you are in the minority, as Doctor Who will go on, and Moffat will depart when he chooses to. The BBC don’t give a toss what the whining minority of “fans” think who’ll never be pleased about anything anyway. You’re entitled to your point of view, but you’re delusional if you think it matters one bit in the bigger picture. Go away if your so unhappy. the only people who decide what Doctor Who is and how its made are the people who make it. You like it or you don’t.

      • avatar Jeff G says:

        Nice to see you deleted your uncalled for comments about my wife.

        And you’re right. He probably won’t go away because of the cashcow that is Sherlock. And believe me….I thought Coupling was brilliant. He knows how to do comedy.

        My biggest complaint still is the numbering of the doctors and every figure, toy, game, video, book, and collectible for the new series has the Doctor’s wrong numbering. I just bought “The Vault” with a foreward by Moffat and it’s already outdated because of the numbering. Where does it end?

        • avatar Geoff says:

          I’m not going to have a go at you for not liking it but in th scale of things I don’t think writers shoukd be afraid to do things because it will mess up the numbering on someone’s DVD collection.

        • avatar BOJAY says:

          I didn’t delete any comments. That would be up to the Christian and the Kasterborous editorial process. I take back nothing. There are people here who can’t express there opinions with civility. So, I will show no civility towards those people. All the Moffat haters and bashers are pathetic and mean spirited. This is beyond simply disliking or not caring for his writing and the direction he’s taking the show. The abuse and ridicule is nonsense. You, like a few vocal others, seem to think he should be making the show for you, and castigate him when it turns out (surprise) that he isn’t. Start with the petty insults and I’ll have back at you. You and whatever you bring to the game (sleeping wife as criteria) are fair game for me. It’ll be as personal as you make it. Have a go at Moffat, and don’t be so surprised when I have a go at you. I couldn’t care any less as to whether anyone here finds that inappropriate. And, bright one, get informed before you comment. The “numbering” as far as official canon and merchandising goes remains unchanged, Moffat himself has said so. It’s comes down to faces and incarnations not the number of regenerations. Has your wife nodded off again?

          • avatar BOJAY says:

            “Bright One”, Geoff, refers to and is addressed to Jeff G (the guy with the narcoleptic wife), and not you. Sometimes the responses get a bit misaligned here.

          • avatar Geoff says:

            Re the below: my wife pretends to nod off when I start on about Doctor Who as well!

          • avatar Spider-pope says:

            As much as i dislike how some people behave, and how personal they can get with their comments about Moffat, that is no excuse to lower yourself to the same level.

            There is absolutely no need to make personal attacks over a TV show. None at all, no matter how annoying you find other commentators. To do so makes you as bad as them.

            There are better ways to address their behavior. Aping it merely turns comment sections like these into cesspits.

    • avatar Simon Magellan says:


      This has been possibly the most successful year ever for DW – the biggest ratings of any drama in the UK this year, worldwide broadcasts, millions taken at the box office.

      More likely they’ll beg Moffat to stay on when he decides to leave!

      As to where Capaldi comes – the Doctor now has a whole new regeneration cycle – so he’s number one of this (2.1 if you wish).

    • avatar Paddy says:

      1) Capaldi is the 12th Doctor – the 12th individual regeneration of that Time Lord who calls himself the Doctor. However, the Doctor has regenerated 13 times, and this is his 14th body.
      2) Christopher Eccleston gypped you the full regeneration. There is no way to make it look convincing without a living, moving actor to regenerate into – look at the attempts to do so online and you will see what I mean.

      Can’t argue against your other two accusations (major major messing with the fans and ruining 8 years of history) because you offer no examples, evidence or anything else to back them up.

      • avatar BOJAY says:

        Perhaps we ought to offer Jeff G some slack (not!) as perhaps he is off his meds. His wife might have had to remind him to take them, but perhaps she nodded off again.

    • avatar Bazzz says:

      Interesting, Jeff. You reckon the merchandising is more important than the story? You work for BBC Corporate or something?

      • avatar BOJAY says:

        More like he imagines he works for the “special” branch in his own head.

        • avatar Nath Kyle says:

          Seriously man, think about how you talk to others! Start showing respect for the views of others even if to you they appear nonsensical.

          • avatar Bob James says:

            I show respect where respect is shown. No person’s viewpoint is necessarily nonsensical, but how that viewpoint is expressed counts for a lot. I don’t have a problem with people of opposite opinions, just with how they present them. Present your opinions respectfully and I respect them, even if/when I differ. Carry on like a psychotic maladjusted jerk, insulting showrunners, their integrity and talent, demanding they be fired, and calling their hard work crap, simply because you didn’t care for it, and I’m going to respond to you like you’re a, well, psychotic, maladjusted jerk. Those folks ought to think before they speak about how they speak, not come after me about responding to their venom and bile with the response it deserves. A pot calling the kettle black situation if there ever was one.

    • avatar Matt Walker says:

      What Moffat has done is to end the regeneration neurosis, which has gotten ridiculous in recent years. The alternative would’ve been the following, had Capaldi’s Doctor been out of regenerations:
      1) tabloids would bang on about ‘the end of Doctor Who’, and Moffat would be endlessly answering questions about what is going to happen when Capaldi leaves.
      2) Capaldi’s tenure would’ve been dogged/overshadowed by pointless talk about regeneration cycles.
      3) an alternative narrative of having the 12th Doctor on some quest to get more regenerations would be awful, and unDoctorish. I don’t want stories/seasons fussing about regeneration.

      Moffat followed the logic of this and dealt with it. Given that the regeneration limit was merely Robert Holmes trying to tell a story about the Master in The Deadly Assasin, rather than something integral to the logic of Doctor Who, Moffat has sensibly addressed the issue sooner rather than later, so we can all move on and just bloody well enjoy the Doctor’s adventures.

      • avatar TonyS says:

        “Moffat followed the logic of this and dealt with it. Given that the regeneration limit was merely Robert Holmes trying to tell a story about the Master in The Deadly Assasin, rather than something integral to the logic of Doctor Who, Moffat has sensibly addressed the issue sooner rather than later, so we can all move on and just bloody well enjoy the Doctor’s adventures.”

        Well said, Matt. The whole twelve regenerations thing got blown out of proportion in the continuity-obsessed 80s and, on reflection, had to be addressed. (I have posted on this site that we should just ignore the whole question but that was just wishful thinking.) Mr Moff grasped the nettle and addressed it. And he came as close to just ignoring it as it was possible to get. Let’s never get so bogged down in continuity again. Be consistent, yes. But don’t let mere plot devices dictate the future of the programme for years to come.

      • avatar Spider-pope says:

        Personally i’m relieved they got it out of the way. Like you said, without it being addressed now we’d have had endless stories of how Doctor Who was going to end and the focus would have been on the end of Capaldi’s tenure, rather than his actual portrayal.

        Getting it out the way now means the next twelve actors to play the role don’t face speculation about their end before they’ve even started.

        • avatar TonyS says:

          And, if the production team have the sense to refer to a regeneration cycle and not to a cycle of twelve regenerations, perhaps we need never address it again. One can but hope.

    • avatar matthewstott says:

      Moffat needs to be fired? Oh sweet holy beJesus…

      • avatar Bob James says:

        Because a relative handful of children didn’t get what they wanted for Christmas. Jesus Christ and Santa Claus have no doubt also been given notice.

    • avatar Spider-pope says:

      1) Capaldi is the 12th Doctor, but the 14th regeneration. It’s not that hard.
      2) Better that than a dodgy cgi Eccleston head. And we got the regeneration for 12, do you really need to see two actors gurning for a few minutes to get your moneys worth? We got the build up. We got the glowing hands. We got the opening line.

      And how exactly has he “messed” with us Doctor Who fans? He addressed almost all of the lingering plot points (that have been whinged about for years), he gave us a Doctor who lived for more than 3 years before regenerating and gave Matt Smith a worthy ending.

      One last thing, the viewing figures were 8 million for the UK alone, making it the second highest viewed program on Christmas Day. Hope all you want, the BBC don’t sack producers for results like that.

  24. avatar Jeff G says:

    I’ve been watching Doctor Who since 1974, every episode. In addition I’ve seen every episode at least twice since 2005. My son and I went to see Day of the Doctor in the movies as hard as it is to get tickets. We’ve been to the Doctor Who Experience flying overseas.

    So NOT a yesteryear fan boy.

    You immaturely attacked Francis personally and I called you out on it.
    Sounds to me like you are a Moffat fanboy, not a true true Whovian! Writers come and go. There will only be 1 BBC production Doctor Who.

    Richard T. Davies was 10 times a better writer. Knew how to balance drama and comedy. But has moved on to other things.

    Personally I wish
    Mark Gatiss would take over.

    My wife passed away last year….. you piece of crap, leaving me and our son alone.

    • avatar John Shandler says:

      Truly sorry for your loss Jeff G.

    • avatar Jeff G says:

      Sorry everyone. This was in response to Bojay. An older iPad doesn’t make browsing this site very easy. : (
      Everyone is entitled to their thoughts, feelings and opinions. Personal attacks should not be allowed.

      • avatar John Shandler says:

        Though I would prefer Whithouse or Chibnall to Gatiss myself. Proven solo showrunners.

    • avatar BOJAY says:

      My apologies if I hit a nerve because I didn’t know your situation, Jeff G. I am sorry for your loss. The apologies are offered only in regard to this.

  25. avatar gruff says:

    To me it felt like Moffat had already written a Christmas special when Matt Smith decided he was going to decline a final year. So rather than replot it fully he tried to chuck a bit of this and a bit of that to give a regeneration story. Sometimes it can work when you’re making a leftovers meal, when the flavours either all blend to make something better than the sum of parts, or when you get tasty little reminders of former glories. I felt that this was a leftovers meal that had both jarring flavours and bland bits. Like the selected ingredients had already gone way past the use by date.
    Where did it go wrong? The combination of different and divergent needs for the story. It needed to be a Christmas story, it wanted to reflect on a sometimes brilliant 3 series of Matt Smith’s Doctor (given up on talking about them as numbered – can’t think why) and it tried to say farewell to his incarnation and all of his new enemies. The Christmas element was obligatory but as a backdrop for regeneration it didn’t seem to serve the intended purpose to use all the creatures. Maybe if they’d chosen to stick with a Christmas story and made an extra episode for an Easter regeneration it might have worked better. Farewells can be awkward this was one to have nightmare about.
    Oh look I’ve jumped from here to there incoherently ranting about food and plots, better copyright it before it gets turned into a story by the Moff. September seems to be too far away!

  26. avatar Jeff G says:

    Well said!

  27. avatar Fletch says:

    I really didn’t like it at all. I thought it was awful. Was this written by the same man who wrote The Day of the Doctor? It is hard to believe. The 50th anniversary episode was a triumph. This special was a disaster. Flying Papal church computers? And I thought the Dalek virus-thing that turns humans into Daleks was a weak plot device the first time I saw it; it was an even worse conceit here.

    I did not think they goodbye with Clara was handled very well. If they were going to make him young again before regeneration (a “reset”? Since when has that happened before?) at least he and Clara could have had a proper goodbye. Instead he goes off into imaginary land seeing Pond. That ship has sailed and can’t be milked for any more ‘raggedy man’ emotion, sorry.

    All in all, I was disappointed.

  28. avatar Christopher Martin says:

    While it was quite clearly not a perfect episode, it tied up plot lines (however quickly – Big Finish will be able to get heaps of new audios out of ANY of these resolutions) and Smith’s doctor approached regeneration with the child like glee and excitement he has always had for anything new and unknown. I liked that, as it was just typical of his doctor.

    Bit slow at times and appeared not to be going anywhere. But, well made, visually great, entertaining tv. Ultimately, I don’t think I care about any plot holes because it entertained me and wrapped up lots of stuff.

    I will miss Matt Smith, but am looking forward to Capaldi. His and Clara’s astonished staring at each other in silence was just great.

    However, I would like to see a new showrunner with a fresh, different creative perspective on the show; it’s not just the Doctor who should regenerate every so often.

  29. avatar Fletch says:

    Oh, and before I forget – since when can the Doctor aim his regeneration energy and use it as a weapon? And energy enough to take down a huge super-sized Dalek ship? I feel like they are messing with the lore – like giving Superman new powers when circumstance dictates.

    • avatar David says:

      Well, Russell T Davis had the Doctor grow a new hand even after the regeneration was over. He grew a whole new body from one regeneration. And if the Timelords have granted him a whole new regeneration cycle, who’s not to say that the time/energy explosion that this would cause could not damage a Dalek ship. After all, the regeneration explosion was big enough to leave a scar in time.

  30. avatar DonnaM says:

    Firstly – I stopped reading fellow commenters remarks when they turned nasty, personal and utterly uncalled for. We’re here to discuss the show, folks!

    On which subject: Not a great final episode for Matt, despite his own efforts; he may not be “my” Doctor, but he never, ever does less than a bang-up acting job. I think Moff – whose work I generally admire – may have been a tad over-ambitious on this one.

    “Handles” the cyber-head was a gimmick I could’ve done without. Amy’s reappearance is a simple “oh look, the Doctor’s gone Scottish and now we know why” set-up. And I’m not keen on having a narrator tell instead of the action showing me what’s been going on.

    OK, with a centuries long war and an hour’s episode, there’s not much alternative. See what I mean about over-ambitious?

    However, Peter Capaldi’s unfortuately brief appearance left me with a massive grin on my face. A couple of minutes, tops; a few brief lines; and he just IS the Doctor!

    • avatar David says:

      I didn’t get the fact the Doctor went Scottish because he saw Amy Pond… I thought it was just a flashback like one gets just before one dies. I’m not sure that’s why he has a Scottish accent… I don’t want it explained.

      • avatar DonnaM says:

        Didn’t RTD once suggest that Tennant’s accent was the “imprint” of Rose (or something like that) at the regeneration from Eccleston? Moffat can use the same excuse (if such a thing is necessary, and let’s face it, we’re talking Doctor Who here – to some people it will be!)

        Either way – I’m quite happy to have a Scots Doctor. I simply think that in a fandom where everything has to be “canon” and “explained” by some fans, it’s a possibility. I remember quite a debate around here when it was first suggested the next Doctor might not actually sound English!

        • avatar TonyS says:

          If he sticks with the accent, no other incarnation of the Doctor is going to be calling him Dick Van Dyke

        • avatar Simon Magellan says:

          A thought occurs – could the reason Eccleston’s Dr is northern be retconned as being because Captain Grumpy met Clara?

          • avatar TonyS says:

            could be

    • avatar Paddy says:

      Oi, lay off Handles! I never thought I’d get weepy over a disembodied Cyber-head. :)

  31. avatar zer0 says:

    REALLY felt like a 75 minute episode that was butchered to fir the 60 minute slot.The middle third was a mess, but it felt more like it was cut to ribbons rather than written for the length – shots put together that didn’t quite make sense and strange pacing in the extreme. I think this was written as a longer story to be honest.

    Far from Moff’s best but not dire. Matt should have had the full hour and a quarter / hour and a half exit treatment.

    • avatar Simon Magellan says:

      I wonder if they filmed more than made the final edit?

      • avatar Ardwen says:

        BBC America posted a deleted scene.

  32. avatar neu 75 says:

    It was OK. Not a Caves or a War Games, More a Logopolis or a Planet of the Spiders. A lot of loose ends tied but that wont stop the pedants picking up on things because they have nothing better to do. Not Moffat’s finest hour but certainly not enough to send him to the salt mines as some on on here are stopping short of saying….

  33. avatar Simon Magellan says:

    Overnights are in – second highest rated show on Xmas Day, with over 8 million viewers, easily beating Corrie and with the final minutes with the Regeneration seeing it rise to over 10 million.

    Clearly a devastating failure for the BBC and Moffat should go now!

    • avatar DonnaM says:

      Bah, what do the BBC know? Ratings! Total irrelevance!

      The above is a joke, by the way!

      Good to see the momentum being maintained, now give the next series (Lord knows we have a while to wait for it!) the buildup and the scripts to keep it going!

      • avatar Bob James says:

        There’s a very interesting article in the Christmas issue of DWM that explores these scenarios. Moffat engages at some length just what perspective he and the BBC hold towards Doctor Who, in regards to ratings, viewing figures and such. The default stopped applying a long time ago. Doctor Who. MASSIVE GLOBAL success. The big picture at the moment and for the foreseeable future is quite bright.

        • avatar DonnaM says:

          That’s good news; we British based fans can be a bit parochial (and possessive) about Doctor Who sometimes, but the Beeb can look at the bigger picture. As long as it keeps the show on my screen, I’m happy!

  34. avatar Andrew G. Dick says:

    Well I liked it. Just re-watched it over breakfast, this time sober and is very entertaining. First watched it in the very early hours of the morning, so was a bit tipsy to perhaps fully appreciate, but I did sense something special. Second time watching does make more sense, and I think this will end up being a grower. More of a greatest hits of the Smith era, which is good. Lots of laughs and plenty of scares (the bits with the Silence and the Weeping Angel being the best). Could have done with an extra 10 minutes, but the answers were all there (I think), good amount of drama and the performances were top notch as always. Matt Smith gets a fitting farewell, and did save his best to last. Patchy though his era has been, Matt has been the most consistent thing about the show. The closing 5 minutes were wonderful and very moving. Blink twice however and you miss Peter Capaldi, could have given him a bit more of a scene but a makes me want to see more. I think Moffat has delivered, not quite a classic but very good none the less and probably the best regeneration story since “Caves”.

  35. avatar Stlshawn says:

    Let’s not forget,,,
    Doctor who is still the greatest show on television. Every episode of the last 8 years has been better than most movies I have seen in that time , and far superior to anything else on television.

    Having said that, we are doctor who fans with an unquenchable thirst for only the best. We have the best, but we still thirst for perfection.

    What a wonderful end to an era, and I am so excited to see where capaldi takes it.

  36. avatar anonymous says:

    I was incredibly disappointed. It had incoherent plotting and awful ideas. I don’t much like Moffet but this was his worst; a shame, Matt deserved better.

    • avatar Jeff G says:

      Careful what you say about Moffat. You’ll be personally attacked with comments about your Mum or spouse.

      • avatar Bob James says:

        And there’ s the wind, blowing in that annoying fashion yet again. You aren’t actually even worth my sense of regret. Don’t you have some dvd’s, books, games, and action figures to reorganize? You remember, that numbering nonsense you were crying about.

  37. avatar David F says:

    A really, really good episode. Brimming with good ideas and, best of all, the tightest plot Moffat’s pulled off in a long time. Extremely difficult to pick a hole in the narrative. And he’s also made sense of dangling threads, so some of the older Smith episodes might become pleasurable to watch again. There was a lovely, elegiac quality to the idea of the Doctor growing old, and the handling of the regeneration was really smart. Loved it.

    • avatar David F says:

      I just noticed that I wrote a similar post earlier today, higher up the thread. I’d completely forgotten about that. Blame the effects of Christmas for my repetition.

    • avatar Simon Magellan says:

      Reminded me in tone of Logopolis – which was also about aging and death and the inevitable end of a life. But thankfully, it wasn’t as boring as Baker’s finale! Clara, for me, gave an excellent reaction to the Doctor’s regeneration when she asks him not to change – I don’t recall any other companion ever doing that.

  38. avatar Mark Lenton says:

    Can’t quite get my head around how we see the Doctor regenerating in Impossible Astronaut now….

    • avatar Nath Kyle says:

      Hmmm, good point. Maybe the tesselecta (Morphing Justicebot) was unaware of Matt being 13 (well 11 but you know :-P) and they compensated for that?

    • avatar TonyS says:

      I had assumed that the Doctor was operating the effect in “The Impossible Astronaut” and added a regeneration effect to convince the onlookers that he was actually dead.

    • avatar Spider-pope says:

      didn’t. The Doctor didn’t even begin to regenerate in The Impossible Astronaut. It was deception by the Doctor, nothing more.

    • avatar David F says:

      Another moment that came to mind was when he’d been poisoned in Let’s Kill Hitler and suggested regenerating. The Tardis interface said the reason he couldn’t was the strength of the toxin. But maybe he only worked out the second Tennant counted after that.

      I don’t believe Moffat should let such little inconsistencies bother him if he later comes up with a better story (as he did). Doctor Who history is littered with tiny retcons. It’s the price we pay for the flexible format we love.

      • avatar TonyS says:

        A refreshing point of view, David. Too long we have been hidebound by continuity.

      • avatar Simon Magellan says:

        Indeed – many fans forget the regen limitation was itself a alteration of DW facts at that time – it had previously been understood that the Doctor could regenerate (although even that term wasn’t used then) effectively forever, if need be – the Time Lords underwent a major shift in the same story.

        And in the tv movie he’s half human – something never mentioned before or since. Notice few fans get worked up about this being ignored!

  39. avatar Nath Kyle says:

    For what it is worth, I thought it was okay, not great as Moffat tried to cram too many ideas into one episode and a lot of time was spent tying up loose ends. I can take or leave the Moff as he is fantastic sometimes and down right terrible others. (ie Blink was brilliant whereas The bells of st john was mediocre at best). Matt’s performance was great and I did enjoy the (brief) glimpse of Capalldi. My Doctor is Jon Pertwee so it will be nice to see an older actor taking on the role, however I also have very much enjoyed Matt’s time in the TARDIS. Geronimo mate!

  40. avatar Simon Magellan says:

    One thought occurs to me. The Doctor originally dies on Trenzalore, is buried there, his Tardis his tomb. The intervention of the Time Lords, giving him a new Regeneration cycle, means that he now does not die but lives on.

    So what does that do for the events of The Name of the Doctor, set around his grave, and for Clara as “The Impossible Girl”? No grave means no Great Intelligence attack so no need for Clara to sacrifice herself.

    • avatar drvwho says:

      if you remember matts doctor said when the timelords were still around they could have changed time to stop this happening perhaps with them helping they reset that time too just a thought

      • avatar Simon Magellan says:

        If you think too much about these things it can get very confusing – I understood from Day that the Time Lords were to be frozen in a moment of time (as in the paintings), but now they seem able to send messages and kickstart new regenerations – begs the question of why they need to return to our universe!

  41. avatar willdw says:

    It was a bit rushed and wishy washy but what annoyed me was another companion admitting she fancies The Doctor , but Matt Smith has never been less then brilliant and Jenna Coleman has really found her feet but a lot of the stories from the last few years feel like that they need a bit more of a script polish.

  42. avatar docwhom says:

    A few too many maudlin and mawkish speeches from Matt for my taste. And I do wish they’d avoid the man’s one weakness – he’s on a par with Sylvester when it comes to shouty acting. That’s always spoiled his “come and get me” speeched.

    That said, I liked the zippy regen.

    • avatar DonnaM says:

      I liked the snappy end to the whole regeneration sequence too – and “shouty acting” was my one real gripe with Matt and his immediate predecessor too.

      Plus, on second viewing, Clara’s reaction to the regeneration is some of the best work Jenna has done. Those few moments as she and the new Doctor stare at each other were wonderful, on both sides

  43. avatar Steve says:

    These lackluster story lines and performances that came with Moffatt I thought would improve and develop into something worthy of The Doctor, but after all this time. Performances and Story are nowhere near the depth and quality of those from
    the Russell Davies era.
    There are lots more CGI effects to the point of super overload,
    clearly at the cost of all of the above.

    At first I thought it was severe budget cuts that ruined the show, but that’s obviously not the case, as usual the problem is executive choices and leadership.

    Unfortunately it’s not the doctor needs to regenerate, rather more like executive producers and showrunner need to.

  44. Commenters:

    Mind your tone. Everyone here is a fan. Everyone has an opinion.


    Keep it cordial. If you have an opposing viewpoint, explain why, with evidence. Please, do not make remarks of a personal nature.

    Just be nice :)

    • avatar Joel Mellor says:

      Why did The Doctor try to get his body to regenerate in ‘Let’s Kill Hitler’? Did he forget he had no regenerations left? We were told that the poison had disabled his regenerative capabilities. Seems a bit make-it-up-as-you-go-Chris-Carter scripting.
      Not the best send off for the great Matt Smith. And the TARDIS crashing after a regeneration again?! Original ideas seem to be needed at this point.

    • avatar Steve says:

      Big Fan here,
      especially after RTD re-imagining, but that clearly has spoiled me. I’ve become acclimated
      to his consistent cinematic quality presentations of Dr Who that include, solid concept, good writing, acting, craft and overall depth of storytelling.

      It’s understanding there’s been a change in target audience, which is always good for any franchise, but really?

    • avatar Bob James says:

      Good luck with that one Christian. I guess everyone is at liberty to not be very nice, and be very personal, disrespectful, abusive, and full of venom in their criticism and comments towards Steven Moffat and the people who make Doctor Who. People who can’t state their subjective opinions without slagging someone off is acceptable. It’s just when someone, myself in this case, calls them out on it and treats them accordingly, that it must be kept cordial, respectful, and civil, while they carry on spewing as they like. If you want to insist on civility, insist that it be shown on both sides. The issues here are created by the lack of civility and maturity shown by these haters, not by those that are provoked to respond to them. You should be asking WTF of them.

      • “Maybe your wife was dreaming that she wasn’t married to you.” is an insult. You’re complaining you were called “douche”. Do you see it yet?

        Last warning, as you’re clearly not taking this in. Delete/amend the offending post, or I will.

        • avatar Bob James says:

          No Christian, it’s clearly you who are not “taking this in”. Delete, amend, do what you have to do Christian. And while you’re at it cancel out my account. To those whom I’ve had wonderful conversations and exchanges with, I thank you. To those rabid, spiteful, venomous, haters who masquerade as “fans”, perhaps I need to keep better company online to avoid the provocation to treat you all as you deserve. In retrospect, there should have been many more “insults” forthcoming, and they didn’t due to my restraint. You have a very unfair editorial sense, Christian. You are censoring me while allowing the real sources of disrespect to run amok. There are people who get to not merely share their opinions and points of view, but dish out insult, disrespect, and mean spirited comments towards the people who make Doctor Who on an ongoing basis. Very personal, but what, the showrunners and production teams of Doctor Who don’t count or qualify as people? But when someone responds in kind, and haters get a taste of their own medicine, you “warn” and threaten myself as to what I’m allowed to say? Clear the decks, Christian. I may visit Kasterborous for news in the future, but this asylum’s forums are obviously not something you are willing and/or able to fairly moderate. Delete everything present that I’ve said anywhere, anytime, in regards to anything. I am done with this.

          • avatar TonyS says:

            Bob, we have exchanged views over the months. Sometimes we have agreed. Sometimes we have differed. But we have, I hope, respected one another’s views. I really wish you would not leave this site. I especially wish you will not leave in these circumstances. I do feel that the comments on this particular thread have got out of hand. And, no I am not simply maligning what you have said. This particular thread has not necessarily shown people to their best advantage. Bob, Kasterborous will be poorer without your contributions and I wish you would stay.

          • Bob, you won’t be visiting.

          • Bob’s account has been blocked from here and the forum. His IP address has been banned from viewing Kasterborous.

            Insulting another poster is unacceptable; taking issue when they retort in the same manner is deranged.

            Bob speaks above about fairness, and attempts to paint himself as some sort of bastion of balance, a defender of creatives.

            He’s a liar, delusional and every single archived post in the comments and forum with his name on will remain.

            I will not tolerate assholes dragging the conversation down.

    • avatar docwhom says:

      I think that one can be cordial while still adding some vim to one’s comments. Cordial – vimto – geddit? I’ve got a million of ‘em, I tell you. But KCC is right. Bitter sarcasm and mordant irony is one thing but the “your mother is smelly” line of debate is just embarrassing.

      • avatar TonyS says:

        Isn’t vim a scouring powder?

      • avatar Geoff says:

        Indeed! I come on here to escape the. “your mum” insults, I get enough of that at work!

  45. avatar drvwho says:

    well i did think the story wondered all over the place but and this is the question DR WHO

    just kidding when matts doctor said he has reset and was just breaking him in was that a hint of a new line of regenerations becuase the timelords intervened or am i barking up the wrong timestream…..????

    • avatar Simon Magellan says:

      Er no. The Time Lords gave him a whole new regenerative cycle (he says this) – technically, while we now have the 13th Doctor, he is the first regeneration of this new life cycle (whether that’s another 12 regens is not stated). This was the whole point of the end of the story!

  46. avatar Ian says:

    Drivel. Little hope for Capaldi with Moffat still in charge, I fear.

  47. avatar Fletch says:

    Thinking about the episode again, it kind of repulsed me in a way; ruined my memory of Matt’s doctor. Having him do weird things like get naked and shave his head. For me, it just went against what I consider the character or personality of Matt’s doctor. It just wasn’t him.

    One question – the Doctor lied to Clara about sending her away again didn’t he? How did he do this in a truth field?

    • avatar Simon Magellan says:

      Didn’t he say this only after they’d left it? I thought they were on the Tardis by then? I’d have to rewatch it to be sure though.

      • avatar TonyS says:

        No you are right. They are in the TARDIS. Even in the village he is able to answer truthfully and still give a misleading answer.

  48. avatar Jamie-42 says:

    I liked it. It was a very different Christmas episode but it worked. Yes it had holes but so do all stories, after all they are just stories! Personally, I liked the Papal Mainframe and the idea that The Silence are genetically engineered confessional priests.

    I loved the regeneration, the return of Amy was wonderful. I just hope that we get an explaination of why/how the Doctor got his lives re-booted…I had to happen (and I am happy my favorite show goes on) but I do want to know it was not just another big friendly button.

    In short, any story that makes me, a 40 year old man, laugh and cry then want to watch it again to catch all I missed is successful. Well done Mr Moffat and welcome Mr Capaldi. I look forward to 2014 as I did with Mr Smith and Mr Tennant before him.

    I hope that all those spitting venom have their Dr Who scripts ready for submission to the BBC for consideration. I look forward to their scripts in the ensuing years.

    • avatar David F says:

      Very well put, Jamie. I completely agree on all but the last point. I don’t look forward to scripts written by Moffat’s critics on fan forums, because I have no doubt they’d be rubbish and destroy Doctor Who.

    • avatar Geoff says:

      And that’s the thing Jamie. I was one of the ones who didn’t love Time of the Doctor but (and I’m sorry doubters but this is a fact no matter what you may think) it was a professional production made by people who are good at their trade. I’ve seen the idea fans come up with for stories or explanation of events and it’s mostly continuity bogged sub Attack of the Cybermen rubbish.

  49. avatar DonnaM says:

    I realise this had been discussed earlier but things got a bit over-heated…. anyway my understanding of the “numbering” issue as follows….

    The Hurt incarnation was a use of regeneration energy but not “The Doctor” – ergo, Eccleston’s version, the next after McGann’s to use the name, is still the Ninth Doctor. Tennant s is10a and 10b (another use of regeneration energy, but no change in face) Matt is still the eleventh different face to use name “The Doctor” to describe himself. Peter therefore is still the Twelfth.

    The BBC website calls them Eleven and Twelve in the regeneration scene. Basically – their toybox – their rules!

  50. avatar DonnaM says:

    And as an afterthought; the episode seemed to hang together better on my second full viewing. Now I’m tea-total, so it’s not a Christmas over-indulgence thing. Maybe I saw the broad sweep on first viewing and more of the finer detail second time around.

    • avatar Simon Magellan says:

      Just watched it for the second time – when I saw it the first time I was actually ill, so needed to see it again to take it in properly. I think the final scene in the Tardis could be the best written moment of the past four years under Moffat – maybe of the whole new series even.

  51. avatar John Shandler says:

    Well done Christian. Needed to be done and you were fair.

  52. avatar docwhom says:

    Totally agree with KCC banning thingummy from Kasterborous. Anybody who can get themselves banned from somewhere as easygoing as Kasterborous can have no complaints about it. And that’s what it is – getting oneself banned. Kasterborous isn’t like certain places where the mods are actively looking for excuses to ban people. I mean look how tolerant James and Brian are of that Christian’s excesses on the podcast. They’re saints, the pair of them. You have to step way over the line on here to be in danger of a ban. And even then you’re given lots of opportunities to back off.

  53. avatar David F says:

    I sometimes thought that the distraction of Kasterborous comment threads was all that prevented Bob from taking out a contract on Christopher Eccleston. I hope Chris will be vigilant in the coming days.

    • avatar Geoff says:

      I don’t know, I hear it’s quite hard to get Chris Eccleston under contract, Mr Moffat tried for ages!:)

    • avatar bonobobananas says:

      Heh yes I’d be checking your post carefully for a little while Christian. Perhaps we should have this as a screening tool: (Although I’d fail :-) )

      • avatar TonyS says:

        I have very low psychopathy readings: unfeasibly so and I answered honestly :)

  54. avatar Geoff says:

    This whole :please calm down…no I refuse to calm down! thing has been a bit crazy hadn’t it. I mean there are plenty of battled worth fighting in life and causes worth getting angry about but in my life at least Doctor Who is part of the pleasant distraction from that whole side of my life. Part of the relaxing pleasure. A fun fantasy world to loose myself in. I think if that fun fantasy ends up creating a situation where you are furiously bashing away at your iPhone insulting someone you’ve never met then somewhere along the way you’ve lost it.

    • avatar Simon Magellan says:

      All that he achieved was to turn a forum thread about – supposedly – the show he was a fan of into a rather unpleasant place to be. This thread was about what fans thought about the exit of Matt Smith’s Doctor. Some loved it, some hated it (as you would expect) – but it devolved into just a thread about one person, one member of the forum who, I am afraid, clearly has some issues.

      Perhaps now we can get back to discussing “The Time of the Doctor”?

  55. avatar Geoff says:

    Heat hear…and on that subject I need to see it again because while it seemed a bit disjointed to me I was trying to watch with my two young children running around like maniacs (a situation which resulted in me giving up altogether on Matts second series after about 3episodes because I didn’t have home internet or catch up TV at that time…I was very poor!). Fast forward to 2013 and I have wifi and BT vision but my BT box completely died on Christmas eve and they can’t get an engineer out til 30th Dec (WTF!) so I was limited to a one off viewing on 1st transmission. Once my box is fixed I’ll give it another view. I notice a few people have liked it more the second time round. Of course a plus point of this whole dreary story is that I have nearly a whole years worth of Matts Doctor that I’ve never seen before to catch up on in the long wait til September.

    • avatar Simon Magellan says:

      My first viewing was disrupted by me not being well – I have seen it again since. Didn’t really affect my opinion – I thought it was very good anyway. But I was able to appreciate the last few minutes fully and think they are marvellous. Not so enamoured of Tasha Lem, who was a River Song clone, and didn’t think all of the solutions for the various strands worked, but as a whole story, I liked it a lot – it was about death and change – The Doctor was willing to stand and die for one little community, the most Doctorish thing he could have done.

      If you wish to consider the Christmas story it is about the birth of a child who will eventually, through his death years later, offer salvation to the world – he was tempted with the thought of turning back from his mission, but chose not to. Clearly, Moffat wanted to reflect this theme in the Christmas special.

      The Doctor could have turned and run, left the Church to defend the planet – he chose instead to give his life for people he barely knew. You can’t get much more Christmassy than that, really.

  56. avatar Howard Railton says:

    You didn’t really get the regeneration, it was done in a blink with Capaldi/Smith looking away from camera so no chance to see it, just like McGann’s was off camera and Hurt’s to Eccleston wasn’t actually seen. A unique feature of Dr Who totally thrown away. Why???

    • avatar Simon Magellan says:

      I think that it might have been a question of Moffat wanting not to repeat the same old formula. We have seen the regen now twice between main Doctors, when RTD was producing, in full effect. But Moffat has avoided the full effect three times – McGann happens off screen, Captain Grumpy’s is cut off, and now we get this – I think it’s quite refreshing to change things up a bit rather than just repeat the same think over and over (and no two regens were the same in the classic series).

    • Purely to annoy you, Howard ;)

  57. avatar Geoff says:

    At least we didn’t have Adrics head circling the Doctors prone body like a morbid wooden satellite this time!

    • avatar Geoff says:

      Looks like the boy genius fans are in da house!

  58. avatar Dan Salt says:

    I’ve read this entire thread from top-to-bottom and would like to congratulate everyone on their varied and interesting perspectives. Since the episode aired I’ve been personally struggling to decide quite *how* I feel about it. I think aspects of it ‘bothered me’, but hard to articulate. I shall attempt it now :)

    Disclaimer: Don’t interpret any of the below as an assertion that Moffat isn’t a good writer. It would be ludicrous of someone like me with zero writing ability to even try to assert that. Writing is art, and art is liked and disliked by people of all ages simultaneously. It’s what makes us humans brilliant. I articulate my views here simply as a way of saying ‘what bothered me’.

    I’ve struggled with similar episodes, so maybe it’s just not a style I’m comfortable with, or engage with. The stories I refer to are where the time taken to establish a threat or introduce a plot device seems to be imbalanced against the actual story and resolution. Stories where we spend so much time trying to say ‘This is a really bad thing about to happen’, or ‘this is something that appears irrelevant but might not be’, that we don’t really have any time left to enjoy watching the Doctor get ‘stuck in’ and figure it all out. I felt much of the ‘Astronaut’ season to be like this, River Song in general, the ‘Pandorica’ story the same, and the ‘Name of the Doctor’. Stories where the threat is simpler (last year’s ‘Snowmen’, the ‘Vincent and the Doctor’, ‘Doctor’s Wife’, ‘Girl Who Waited’, and the ‘Eleventh Hour’, for example) resonate much more with me and are far more satisfying. Does anyone else resonate with this?

    We spend much of this episode collecting every species in Who history to the planet. Villains that on any other episode would be an almost-insurmountable threat to the Doctor on their own, solo. Villains get a few minutes each in the spotlight. I concur with many that it reduced Weeping Angels (who have deprived the Doctor of Amy and Rory for life) and The Silence to almost insignificant henchmen. Yet now they’re all together against a Doctor that pretty much has nothing to defend himself. Just one shield that clearly makes a Gallifreyan ‘Sky Trench’ look like a paper bag. And I felt for much of the episode the Doctor is in the background. He’s just there, not really figuring stuff out, resigned to defending a town until he dies. We want to see him on his feet, having flashes of brilliance till his last breath. If it weren’t for the bizarrely-explained intervention by the Time Lords he’d have passed away in an armchair. Not the Doctor we want to imagine. Ironically, it’s uncannily similar to Hurt’s War Doctor before the ‘boys’ turned up. Resigned to a single path. And here we are again, despite the fact he changed his whole history just one episode ago.

    I would have preferred to see the ‘I can’t regenerate anymore’ storyline played out over a few episodes, watching how the Doctor deals with it. This story is the first we’re even told about it. Instead we see the Doctor deal with it over hundreds of years, but off-camera. So we don’t invest in it – we barely have time to digest the implication (since it only speculation up till this episode). I agree that too much has been made of the regenerations over the past few months, but there’s no escaping that it’s a fairly key device of the whole show. It deserved longer.

    The farewell speech was very touching, the Matt’s dialog was so well acted. Capaldi appeared out of nowhere, which I now smile at (it’s a refreshing change to the seemingly constant process established since the show’s return in 2005), but the audio in the TARDIS after that was so loud that on first watch I couldn’t really hear him very well. Couple that with the instant transition and it made the episode finish on a bit of a ‘huh?!’. Subsequent viewings have softened that one a bit, though, because I know to crank up the sound a bit :)

    Enough ramblings from a mad, old Fan. I await the new season as I do any other, with a clean perspective and child-like enthusiasm. I hope Capaldi nails it :)

    Thanks all.

    • avatar Simon Magellan says:

      Nice, well reasoned post – don’t agree with all of it, but nevertheless, well put!

      One thing I’d say is that throughout the episode I found the sound a bit poor – I thought it was me, and am glad others noticed it – I found several bits of dialogue on the first showing to be difficult to hear.

    • avatar Geoff says:

      I like the more straightforward stories too. I suppose Mr Moffat understandably felt the desire to be epic in Matts last outing and show his Dictor battling over hundreds of years with the shadow of absolute death hanging over him right until the end. It’s certainly a good idea but hard to do justice to in one hour whereas something more straightforward could have been equally perilous and dramatic and fitted the timeslot. But like you Dan I’m no writer and it’s easy to be a critic but much harder to actually do.

  59. avatar TonyS says:

    Hello, Dan. I am not sure whether this is your first post. But in case it is, welcome to Kasterborous. I enjoyed reading your comments very much. Thank you. I share your concerns over the story arcs where the threat swamps the story telling. The Eleventh Hour, Vincent & The Doctor and The Snowmen are among my favourite Matt Smith stories.

    Myself I would rather have just ignored the whole “I can’t regenerate anymore” issue. It panders to the geekiest side of fandom. However, fandom can be geeky so I accept that it had to be addressed. Myself, I liked the way it was handled. There was a lot wrong with “The Time of the Doctor”. But I enjoyed it.

    Matt Smith and Jenna Coleman were, however, at the top of their respective games. The regeneration was excellent. I will reserve judgment on Peter Capaldi as we only saw a few seconds of him. But I am looking forward to the future. (Which, if you think about it, is what you have to do with the future.)

  60. avatar Simon Magellan says:

    I notice the papers, for want of any other news as we end the year, are making a bit of a fuss about the fact that Capaldi will keep his natural accent. According to one bit of nonsense I read, it’s causing “divisions in fandom” (where?) – but truth is I barely noticed it – it’s not as if he sounds like Rab C Nesbitt is it? And you’d think we’d never had a Doctor with a Scottish accent before…

    (If he wears a a Paisley scarf and starts talking about Lungbarrow, I’ll be worried)

  61. avatar Peter B says:

    The plot was horrible, filled with so many problems and flaws that I can’t forgive him to be honest.

    1) If Gallifrey was saved and most of the Dalek’s were destroyed, the time war would not have been nearly the same if Gallifrey returned. The entirety of the plot was based around a false concept. The claim that time war would return was and is completely false. The last episode we saw made sure of that.

    2) The idea the doctor would only be facing enemies that sluggish and boring and could actually last as long as he did while staying in the same place was rubbish. One cyberman made of wood? That was all they sent in after him?

    3) Super regeneration powers letting him destroy the Dalek mothership on his own? Making it that damned easy is just insulting the time war.

    This episode should have been an exhilarating rush as the doctor fights his way out of a trap set by all his enemies, where the bait was Gallifrey. The doctor needed to have been taken out in a blaze of glory while rescuing his homeworld. It should have ended with the Daleks running away because in their current state they were clearly in next to no position to win against one time lord let alone Gallifrey. Otherwise, quite frankly, the time war would have ended and a new war begun as the Daleks regrouped and continued their work.

    • avatar Simon Magellan says:

      Except that the Daleks, as we have seen several times in the series, have rebuilt themselves into a Galaxy conquering force – see Asylum, and their huge Parliament. This is presumably the work of the TellyTubby Daleks, although they are now conspicuous by their absence!

  62. avatar Mugen Pharoah says:

    Well I feel like I’m part of a tiny minority here…but….I thought it was a fine exit for Matt…..his acting in the final scene, his closing speech, top notch. I’m pleased that the Doctor faced his possible death and later his impending regeneration with dignity rather than (in my opinion) something like that terrible final line for the Tenth Doctor. Only DT’s fantastic acting saved that….see the making of the End of Time part 2 – the director made him go through some godawful alternatives that would have been even worse. “I don’t want to go.” – not very heroic.

    I understand why people fell cheated though – we may have gained eleven more incarnations but we have lost 2 due to retconning…

  63. avatar rickjlundeen says:

    Hard to even vote in that poll because once again, most of the choices were negative and against Smith and the rest were about the shows length or was it Smith’s finest hour? I thought it was a good, sentimental, fitting end to the Eleventh Doctor’s reign and he went out with a WHOLE lot more dignity than Tennant.

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