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Many Questions Answered, Many More Arise
on December 26, 2013
Expectations were high. Anticipation was great. We knew a new Doctor was coming. We had new revelations about Gallifrey and just which Doctor Matt Smith was actually playing. We also had a couple of years with stories of cracks in time and space, a plot to kill the Doctor, etc. The Time of the Doctor was always where this was headed - and I do think that Steven Moffat had a pretty good idea of the general outline of things to come.
This Christmas Special, The Time Of The Doctor, managed to wrap up everything in an hour. It didn't feel rushed. It didn't feel cheap. It didn't feel like the Eleventh Doctor was being cheated. In fact, it was a beautiful and wonderful exit for him. Without spoiling, he was able to do something he never really has in the past: stop running. He stayed for Christmas - and you'll understand that when you watch the special.
New questions emerge as the old ones are answered - and I shall not ask them here. Make sure you have tissues as the show closes out because this is a tough goodbye that we all knew was coming. Yet it was wonderful and the Doctor was honored as one who had accomplished much. Just as we opened Christmas gifts, so the Doctor received his big Christmas gift at the end. It is also a gift for all of us as we continue to enjoy the adventures of the Doctor.
I'm sure some will nitpick because that's how they are. Some will complain that all of the Doctor Who universe has just collapsed. Some will complain of time being rewritten (silly, since the Doctor makes a habit of that). Yet nothing really changes. After The Day Of The Doctor, the earlier incarnations of him had no idea that Gallifrey was saved - they forgot what had happened when the time streams merged. So things do change as they always have. For the Doctor and his companions, time is not a linear progression. As we learned in the Waters of Mars, even "fixed points" can be changed in some ways.
For those who are interested in the Doctor, this isn't a good place to start. It took several series to build up to this point, but all of the rebooted series is highly recommended. For Whovians, open your mind and enjoy. Throw out your preconceived notions and what you THINK should happen. Steven Moffat is a capable showrunner and one of the best TV screenwriters out there (look at his Doctor Who catalog and what he's done on Sherlock). This special is a cathartic farewell to Matt Smith's Doctor and a vindication of him. I wish we could have more of him because he has been magnificent, but he has been given a grand sendoff with so many answers for us and him. I look forward to the next Doctor and many more adventures.
For this special, very well paced. Well acted. Funny. Plenty of action and adventure. Plenty of tears too - but not bad ones. It was better than I could have hoped. With The Name Of The Doctor, The Day Of The Doctor, and The Time Of The Doctor, we have a great trilogy that tells us so much about him and sends off Matt Smith in a fitting and big way. Five stars for all three.