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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.
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on December 26, 2013
What a farewell to Matt Smith! I thought it was very well done. I was a bit worried when I heard that "all the Doctor's enemies" were going to be there, but they did a very good job of not overwhelming the episode with every single monster, though I think we saw them all. I thought the ending was very well done and I'll admit I teared up just a bit. I've enjoyed Matt Smith as the Doctor, but I can't wait to see Peter Capaldi. I know he'll do a fantastic job!
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on August 16, 2014
I know that people have "their doctor", and for a lot of new fans to the show Tennant is their doctor. Matt Smith will never measure up in their eyes, and they simply hate Moffatt. But I didn't start this show with #9, and I've loved them all clear back to William Hartnell. Number 11's time does suffer somewhat from Moffatt's pacing and desire to cram so much into so little space a bit, but the pieces are there if you don't need your hand held along the way. Matt Smith's journey has been to reclaim himsef—all of his selves actually—and remember who he is.

In a way, Time of the Doctor somewhat mirrors Day of the Doctor and (if you'll pardon me mixing fandoms) its Kobayashi Maru situation. The day when it isn't possible to win and for everyone to go home alive. Oh, people die around The Doctor all the time, but he's always fighting the prevent it and if people would let him, he'd keep them all alive. But what happens when there's no avoiding it? What happens when he faces the Kobayashi Maru, if you don't mind me mixing fandoms a bit? He does what The Doctor does and finds a way. Either on his own, or with the help of others.

If I could knock the episode a quarter star, it would be for Capaldi's introduction at the end. That was … hokey. And admittedly, I felt no particular need to sit through dinner with Clara's family a second time with the silliness of the nudity and all. It was amusing once. The rest was great!

All together, this episode ties up Matt Smith's story very well. And it really gives Matt the opportunity to perform in a way that few episodes in his era have done. And if you can watch his "reset" sequence without getting caught up in it, then you're a monster.

Seriously, if you haven't seen this episode, go watch it. :)
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on December 26, 2013
The Time of the Doctor doesn't have as many special effects shots or epic scenes that the 50th anniversary had. However, it makes up for that by having the best regeneration of any Doctor (I've seen them all) and is a must see just for that alone. I was giggling gleefully while it was going on. Also, Peter Capaldi's brief bit was as madly funny as I expected.

I saw some people complaining about the plot feeling somewhat contrived. I enjoyed the small town setting, it was beautiful in the sunlight and I loved the villager's costumes. I also enjoyed the unique situation that happens between Clara and the Doctor - that's a first (not saying any more). I felt the emotional impact on the characters due to their situations in this story more than made up for any aspects of the plot that might be a bit holey.

I was also very impressed by the writing which gave really good heartfelt moments to several actors, not just Matt, and were evenly spread throughout the episode rather than saved for the end. Matt did get beautiful dialog to say pre-regeneration and he delivered it so amazingly well that I think that speech tops the one he just did at the end of the 50th special which I thought couldn't be topped.

Finally, I feel The Time of the Doctor was a beautiful, loving, brilliant send off for Matt's Doctor and I'm glad he got such a wonderful exit.
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on January 25, 2014
Christopher Eccleston had a good send off. David Tennant got a good send off. Matt Smith was robbed. I have been a Doctor Who fan FOREVER (I even watched the Peter Cushing movies). I have really enjoyed Matt Smith's tenure as the Doctor but I feel that this episode was slapped together haphazardly due to the time spent on the 50th anniversary (which I thought was excellent and watched it about 10 times so far). Clara is irritating and it seems that the Doctor just gave up and called this one in. Too many plot holes and unanswered questions.
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on December 26, 2013
It was bittersweet to know the 2013 Christmas Special would mean Matt Smith's exit from the series. But it was exciting to think about how Steven Moffat would follow the 50th anniversary special and solve the regeneration dilemma, now that we know that Matt Smith was the 12th regeneration, the maximum for time lords. Of course, The Tine of the Doctor also needed to feel grand, expansive and complete enough to stand on its own, coming on the heels of the mammoth 50th Anniversary Special: Doctor Who: The Day of The Doctor. Steven Moffat rises to the occasion yet again. Time of the Doctor is a beautiful, satisfying send-off for Matt Smith. [no spoilers here]
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on December 26, 2013
I liked it. They finally answered the question of how he was going to continue past his limit of regenerations. HIs transformation was Grand! And as we loved this actors work. He showed us he loved his time as the Doctor and didn't want to leave even when he was already gone. I will miss Matt Smith as the doctor but, I know I will enjoy the new episodes just as much. Peter Capaldi is a great actor and I feel he will walk in the doctors shoes very well. I am a fan of the doctor and I am glad to see the show continue to bring the great entertainment it has all my 47 years. I hope it will continue for a long time to come.
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on August 15, 2014
Fishfingers and custard.. We know it's that time again when the tears start rolling down our cheeks. Gosh that was sweet!
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on December 27, 2013
Keep in mind this review is for the episode itself, as viewed on television (or in my case, Amazon Instant Video), and does not address any bonus features included on the DVD.

We felt that this episode lacked a lot of the charm of many previous episodes, and was especially sub-par when compared to the other "new Doctor"/regeneration episodes that introduced Matt Smith and David Tennant. We had no emotional response during the regeneration scene, which was poorly paced and executed in an anticlimactic way. The plot of the episode was lackluster as well; disjointed, forced, and (Time Lord forgive me for saying this) boring at times. It almost felt as if the episode was done by a different producer (it wasn't), making it feel slightly "off."

On the upside, Jenna Coleman and Matt Smith were as likable as ever, and Peter Capaldi's brief performance made me think he'll do a great job.

Final verdict: If you love the series, then you're going to watch this no matter what, and I'm sure you'll enjoy it. I'm just glad I only spent a few dollars to get it on Amazon Instant, rather than shelling out the extra dough for the DVD, as this is not an episode I'll watch dozens of times.
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on December 26, 2013
This is one of the best regeneration stories in the history of the program. It's full of the Doctor's enemies. And someone you're not sure which side they're on. A lot of the loose ends of the Matt Smith era were explained. And Matt gave a great performance. Clara had a chance to be a hero again There was a lot of sadness in the story, but there was a lot of hope as well. It is a must see for Doctor Who fans.
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