(all spoilers! don’t read till you’ve seen the episode… or unless you don’t care if it’s spoiled for you. this is a love fest only — all complaints and bitching must come from a place of love / previous: “The Day of the Doctor”)
I’ve watched this episode four times now, and it annoys me more every time.
I get it: Steven Moffat wants his Doctor Who to be mythic. He’s been desperately trying to force that to happen for years. And “Time of the Doctor” is now the best-worst example of how mythic cannot be forced. It has to arise naturally. It’s what happens when a well-told story takes on a life of its own, by its own force of awesome. That has already happened to Doctor Who, and it doesn’t need harping on. The Doctor bums around the universe saving planets and picking up pretty girls and being a generally all-around amazing guy: that’s the mythic.
And yet… Here the Doctor is “the man who stayed for Christmas,” like that’s even a thing. It’s not even a thing for us humans here on Earth huddled around the TV on Christmas Day watching Doctor Who. (If Moffat had somehow contrived the Doctor to be Elijah finally showing up for a seder, that would make mythic sense!) And this mythic state of being the man who stayed for Christmas is announced to us by the Mother Superious of the Church of the Papal Mainframe, for whom Christmas can mean nothing. And this doesn’t make any sense within the context of the story except the town is called Christmas, for no reason whatsoever. And it’s always cold and dark and snowy in this town called Christmas, which really makes no sense, because it’s allegedly a farming community, a settlement of human who came to this planet from somewhere else. Who plants a farming community in a place where the sun shines only two minutes a day? What the hell are they supposed to be growing?
This story is like an onion of ridiculousness, in which every layer peeled away reveals another layer of WTF, and every single layer makes you cry some more.
The town called Christmas needs protecting because the crack in the universe is back, and the Time Lords, recently shot into another universe, want to come back through into their home universe. The Time Lords are broadcasting a question throughout all of time and space — “Doctor who?” — and even though no one can understand this message (it’s encoded) they’re terrified of it. Why? Because Moffat needs to get all the big baddies of the universe gathered around this. (Don’t people usually stay away from something they’re afraid of?) And even when they can finally understand it, they still shouldn’t be afraid of it, because the Doctor has been erased from the universe’s memory: that was the whole stupid reason for the existence of Clara Oswin Oswald. So all the evil alien races hearing the question, which they can’t understand anyway, should just shrug and continue going about their evil business completely unperturbed.
Side note: This “Doctor who?” thing has now become the most embarrassingly self-referential thing the show has ever done. Way worse than the question marks on the lapels.
So anyway, there’s a “truth field” around the town of Christmas, erected by the Time Lords. “A question only I could answer, a truth field so they know I’m not lying,” the Doctor says. Say what? Presumably the Time Lords know his name, so it’s not like anyone else could lie and trick the Time Lords into thinking it’s safe to come through. And an ability to lie on the Doctor’s part could be a good thing here! A lie could be a code to say, “Stay away, it’s not safe.”
Anyway! If no one else knows his name and so no one else can answer the question for the Time Lords, why doesn’t the Doctor just leave? Why does there need to be a siege of Trenzalore? Why must silence fall? “They’ll burn this planet to stop the Time Lords,” we’re told. But what’s stopping them now? They’ve always wanted to kill the Doctor. (And frankly, if they can’t kill him here, without his TARDIS and with no advanced tech beyond his sonic screwdriver, they’re utterly toothless and should be retired from villainy.)
Why not relocate the town? Why not get the humans off the planet entirely and resettle them somewhere else? Did anyone even ask them if they’d like to do that? Did anyone ask them how they feel about being in the middle of a centuries-long battle between the Doctor and a collection of the the worst bad guys ever? Sure, the Doctor is stranded without the TARDIS, but why couldn’t Tasha Lem take the Doctor and the townspeople away in her big spaceship and let everyone else blow the planet to smithereens? (Or just go away, because without the Doctor, no Time Lord return.) It’s not like there was any possibility of a reasonable resolution to this standoff that would allow the Doctor to finally give his people the thumbs-up… and as we see (and as we can presume the Doctor would have at least guessed), Gallifrey could close the crack and create another one as needed.
And wait a damn minute. Why would the Time Lords listen to puny primitive Earth human Clara Oswald when she speaks into the crack to say that his name isn’t important? Are we to believe that the Doctor has been sitting in front of the crack in the universe for centuries whittling toys and hasn’t been talking into the crack pretty much nonstop? Not once in all that time did he speak into the crack and say, “Hey, guys? You’ve created kind of a mess over here. Could you maybe stop broadcasting that question, find another crack in the universe, and send a slightly less ominous way to let me know about it?”
I mean, he’s got no one to talk to except a dead Cyberman head, which Moffat needed to toss in because he got rid of the Doctor’s companions, whose narrative purpose has always been, in large part, to be there for the Doctor to talk at and explain stuff. Clara supposedly loves the Doctor so much that she gets this sad:
at her Gran’s story about a beautiful man just standing there, so why isn’t she traveling with the Doctor all the time? Why is she teaching school and cooking turkeys and inventing boyfriends like she’s 12 years old and hanging around with her awful parents? (There was no leaf-on-the-wind, I guess, for her… is that her father and stepmother?) Why are the Doctor and the TARDIS just cheap tricks for her? “Just learn how to use iPlayer,” the Doctor moans, implying she has been annoying him with endless requests to hop back in time to see TV she missed. Clara is supposed to have brilliant hacking talents — we saw that in “The Bells of Saint John” — so she should be able to figure out how to use the very simple iPlayer.
But as is so often the case with Moffat, he doesn’t care if a line doesn’t make sense as long as it’s “funny.” “You can’t go to church with your clothes on.” Okay, why not? There’s a whole episode in that! But here it’s a nothing more than a pointless throwaway joke designed to elicit some titters.
And he doesn’t care if there’s no genuine emotion backing up the sentimentality he wants to force. In order for this:
to tug at the heartstrings the way it’s clearly intended to, we have to know this kid! We have to have seen his relationship with the Doctor develop. How can we feel any connection to him, or to this moment, without that?
There’s a full season’s worth of stories crammed in here, and this could have worked given time to develop it. Given what we see here, and what we know of the Doctor, I refuse to accept that he could spend centuries in one backwater village with nothing to do but repair toys without going insane. How did he manage that? Maybe he didn’t manage it — maybe he went insane! That could be an interesting story. “Oh, by the way, the Doctor spent centuries here, and everybody loved him” is a dull, unengaging story.
The regeneration is particularly enraging. There was no reason at all to jump to the end of the Doctor’s regeneration cycle, even if we have to accept that the War Doctor was a separate regeneration (which we didn’t; it wouldn’t take a lot of technobabble to shoehorn him in without altering the regeneration count). This looks like pure fanboy greed on Moffat’s part: he didn’t just want the 50th-anniversary story, he wanted the new-regeneration-cycle thing, too. There could have been years and years before the Doctor running out of regenerations was an issue — it didn’t need to be forced now. The thing with Ten’s hand regrowing counting as a separate regeneration directly contradicts what that episode told us. If we cannot trust anything anymore because “the Doctor lies,” then why should we trust this? Why shouldn’t we think Moffat will just rewrite this again later?
(Oh, and you know how we’re supposed to be touched by the poem-instead-of-a-joke in the cracker about how “Eleven’s hour is over now, the clock is striking twelve”? That doesn’t work when it comes right after we’ve been told this Doctor hasn’t been the Eleventh at all.)
When there are no rules — not even previously established ones — and anything can happen, that’s not a story. That’s chaos.
Random thoughts on “The Time of the Doctor”:
• Wait a sec. Matt Smith was willing to appear bald here after shaving his head for another role:
and the best Moffat could come up with was a trick for hiding a key? Why not “You can’t go to church without shaving your head”? And hey, was Karen Gillan wearing a wig here, too?
(Cuz, you know, she has also shaved her head for a role.) Imagine the possibilities if both the Doctor and Amy were bald! Maybe they visited a planet where hair is a currency, or they fell into a vat of hair-eating mold (h/t bronxbee for the mold idea). There could have been an incredible-looking flashback that tied into the main story somehow…
• I hope Clara’s family did not eat that turkey:
Because I don’t care about the time winds or vortex energy or whatever: that turkey is nowhere near being properly cooked.
• The Doctor’s only companion for centuries:
• “The Church of the Papal Mainframe” is “the security hub of the known universe,” and the Doctor has never even mentioned it before?
• The Silence must be the worst priests to make a confession to. You forget what you tell them, so you never feel that you’ve unburdened yourself and you never get any relief from your guilt. So what’s the point of them again?
• “There will now be an unscheduled faith change.” Seriously? And is the next line ever someone telling Tasha Lem, “There will now be a bloody great uprising among your pissed-off devotees”?
• Got yourself into a storytelling jam?
Just have any random character fly the TARDIS to where it needs to be. Easy peasy!
• Regeneration energy as a weapon?
• Ah, Peter Capaldi:
Please be the guy who doesn’t need Moffat to make his career, and so has the balls to say, “You can type this shit, George, but you can’t say it.”
(next: “Deep Breath”)
I am with you. I did not like this episode at all. Enough already Moffat. Time to move on to run a different show.
Can’t exactly disagree with any of your points. I enjoyed Smith, Capaldi is great and I’m looking forward to a new Doctor, but I wish we were getting a change of showrunner to go with him. My vote’s still for Gatiss.
Hmm… I think your reviews are much less dispiriting when you haven’t had two weeks to sit and think about the episode. i quite liked this, despite its silliness.
Nah, all this stuff was in my head after the first viewing.
So, did anyone else think Tasha Lem was going to turn out to be River? She is absolutely identical. More likely, Moffat can only write one type of woman.
Also, the Doctor shows up naked to dinner and doesn’t realize anyone will be bothered. Can we please retire the excuse that he’s an alien and doesn’t understand human behavior? He’s interacted with humans for centuries; he knows you have to wear clothes!
She may be intended to be River — perhaps the River that was uploaded into the Library. Would explain why River’s gravestone was on the planet when we first go there. It would be surprisingly subtle for the recent shows, but plausible.
No, be fair, Moffat has two stock female characters: sexy girlfriend and sexless wife/mother.
It was not the hand regrowth that was the 11th regen, it was when 10 was shot by the dalek and almost died but regenerated and dumped the extra “transformation” energy into his severed hand (which later became human Doctor). When Clara took the turkey out of the TARDIS it wasn’t cooked anymore. And Tasha Lem might be and old girlfriend of the Doctor’s, why wouldn’t he have taught her to fly it, he was trying to teach Clara to fly it earlier this season. yes there are big silly plot holes but I still liked it.
It doesn’t change my point, though.
Totally agree, although not to the same detailed extent. I just thoguht it was a total clusterf#$k mess. Too many story lines, and characters doing things that we’re supposed to care about, but don’t.
I really don’t see how anyone could have liked it. Maybe a 7 year old who doesn’t care about a decent story making any sense.
And, YES, the whole “Doctor Who?” thing makes me cringe every single time it comes up. What the hell was he thinking with that?! UGH.
Totally agree. I hated this so much that I took back all the goodwill I gave Moffat for the anniversary episode. I’m back to hating him now.
This was an absolute mess of a story.
Oh, and what about the Angels? Now they can actually GRAB YOU BY THE ANKLE and nothing happens.
Time for the showrunner to regenerate.
(oh and yes apparently Gillan was wearing a wig.)
I should have been clearer on the Gillan thing: Her hair couldn’t possibly have grown back that much since she shaved her head, so of course she’s wearing a wig. But if it had grown back some and she wasn’t willing to shave it again, then having both the Doctor and Amy bald wouldn’t have worked. But even Amy with a buzzcut could have been worked into some amusing/intriguing baldness scenario.
Moffat is one of my favorite writers, but like most of my favorite writers, he’s very uneven. There’s the Steven Moffat who wrote the first 85 minutes of “His Last Vow”–one of the best episodes of Sherlock ever. And there’s the Steven Moffat who wrote the last five minutes, which make no sense at all.
Mary Morstan had just tried to kill Magnussen. He must have expected that Sherlock would do exactly what he did.
And the worst part is that the problem could have been fixed with two lines of dialogue:
CHARLES: I have no files here. However, one of my associates, a Mr. Jones, does have files on Mary Morstan. If anything happens to me, they’ll be the lead story in tomorrow’s paper.
SHERLOCK: Your Mr. Jones is named Eleanor Harding. MI6 arrested her ten minutes ago.
On the other hand, the last 60 seconds of the episode are probably beyond repair.
Not exactly sporting to reference an episode that most people have not had the chance to see yet — even if you do include spoiler warnings. You could have made your point just as well with earlier episodes from the same series.
For example, “A Scandal in Belgravia” also had its share of story problems — and like the River Song episodes of Moffat’s run of NuWho , it too attracted its share of complaints from feminist viewers — though you would never know it from the responses on this site…
Well, mostly I just needed to vent, but I suspect most people reading this site have seen the episode, and if they haven’t, they’re perfectly capable of reading a spoiler warning in capital letters. That’s what spoiler warnings are for. I’m not going to infantilize the readers here by assuming they can’t skip a clearly-marked paragraph.
I could have complained about “A Scandal in Belgravia.”* I could have complained about almost anything Moffat has written in the past several years. His episodes are a combination of brilliant moments and moments that make no sense whatsoever. The point I was trying to make–before I got hopelessly sidetracked–was that there are still enough brilliant moments to keep me watching.
*Although I loved “A Scandal in Belgravia” so much that I hardly noticed the plot holes.
Now that I have seen season three of Sherlock, I can see why you had such a hard time resisting the impulse to mention it. And yes, those plot details you mentioned were annoying. For a while there, I was hoping that Moffat had learned something about needless plot twists but apparently not.
It was the ageing that sent me spiralling around my lounge room in despair. So in the Imposible Astronaut The Doctor tacks on 300 or so years before he fakes his death, and doesn’t have a hair different from when he was 900. But here the same amount of time prunes him big time. At least slip in an explanation, like it’s the Tardis that slows his aging. Don’t just forget.
That occurred to me, too, but I figured I’d bitched about enough else that I wouldn’t mention it. :->
It was explained in how Clara didn’t age while clinging to the outside of the TARDIS for 300-600 years. Exposure to the Time Vortex stops aging, and since the TARDIS was nowhere near Eleven for those hundreds of years in TOTD, he aged.
Didn’t Jack die from clinging to the outside of the TARDIS, or, at least, when the TARDIS finally materialized at the end of time? Unless it “likes” her now and it REALLY hated Jack.
Unfortunately, I agree with all of this. It’s a shame but not unexpected. The real shocker was that the 50th anniversary special was not awful.
Anytime someone on this show suggests doing a voice over narration, they really need to be stopped. It’s a terribly poor storytelling tool for TV/movies and not even Morgan Freeman can save it all the time. It’s the epitome of telling and not showing.
Moffat’s writing reminds me of young children telling stories. Why can’t someone give a false answer? Because there’s a magic truth telling field.
The War Doctor *was* one of the regenerations – how could he not have been?
I was really surprised at how awesome the trilogy of Adventure In Space and Time/Night and Day of the Doctor/Five(ish) Doctors Reboot was. The 50th itself blew my expectations away, and I was really looking forward to this.
I find your review to be spot on – what a disappointment after waiting four years for answers to everything only to get this.
The irony? I actually would have preferred a whole season of this over the actual Series 7…
I have heard it argued that, because he took a magic potion right before, the 8th Doctor-to-War Doctor didn’t count.
It’s not a good argument, but it has been made.
Frankly, I was very pleased with that aspect of “Time of the Doctor”. I’m glad that the issue of the Doctor running out of regenerations has been settled for a generation at least, if not forever (I expect the show to finally come to an end long before they go through another dozen actors). I like that Moffat made the continuity* own RTD’s bait-and-switch, “Rose gets a happy ending”, meta-Doctor regeneration from “Stolen Earth/Journey’s End”. I don’t care that Davies said it didn’t count, because bullshit.
* Granted, this is Doctor Who, a show that points and laughs at continuity.
There were ways to make a few of the other regenerations not count, had Moffat wanted to go that way. For example, the second-to-third regeneration wasn’t a result of the Doctor “dying” but was a change of face forced on him by the Time Lords.
Actually, that argument is invalid when The Sisters of Karn told 8th the potions they had there before him gave him a choice of what he can change into. He chose a warrior, hence the War Doctor.
I also like what they did with the episode. Some didn’t like the fact that the MetaCrisis Doctor was a regen when 10 said it was in “Journey’s End”.
Moffat wrote that minisode with the Sisters. He didn’t *need* to make the War Doctor a separate regeneration.
Why not? Are you just mad because there was a reset of regenerations? Or is it Moffat isn’t doing what *you* want?
I think I’ve made myself perfectly clear. I’m mad because Moffat forced a narrative situation that was not even close to being an issue yet, and then he “solved” it in a quick, cheap, lazy, uninteresting way.
I think he may be thinking about the book he will inevitably write. He can now say “I was the person who solved the Regeneration Limit Problem”…
I’m reminded of the editor of a popular radio soap who casually killed off one of the best-liked characters for the 60th anniversary, because “I want to make an impact”.
There are many ways the War Doctor could have been technobabbled away as not a regeneration. I don’t think that’s a good or clever way to be writing anything, but Moffat uses rapid-fire, flimsy excuses for all sorts of nonsense all the time, and if would be preferable that he do that here than that he make such a radical change to the stories ongoing narrative to no real purpose except that it allows him to deal with the end-of-the-regeneration cycle problem, which was safely still many years away… and hence likely to be left to another showrunner,
i still don’t understand why the War Doctor couldn’t have been Doctor Number 8 grown old fighting the Time Wars. no one ever said exactly how long they went on — it could have been hundreds of years.
Even if you’re right about his intentions, he did us a favor. “If the Doctor dies this time, he dies for realz!!” would have been interesting for about 4 episodes. 6 episodes, tops. I don’t even want to think about hearing that for 2 to 5 years, only to have it fixed some (other) Galifreyan deus ex machina ten years down the road. Were you really looking forward to that?
A favor? No. Moffat took something that could have been intense and dramatic and really good storytelling, and he waved it away. That’s shitty writing.
Alternatively, Moffat could have just not created the War Doctor. Padding the count to get to 13 was the only major effect of that. There’s really no other reason why they couldn’t have just gotten Paul McGann back.
Thank you for this review! I was beginning to think I was losing my mind with the episode and the direction the show is going. It was seriously a hack job done by a horrible writer. Moffat was tying up so many loose ends that he literally lost track of the entire episode.
*Explaining the exploding TARDIS the way he did was horrid. Its like he forgot the entire plot of the first season and just decided to throw it in!
*The Doctors fear behind the room was the crack? Yeah… right…
The whole show has just been dropping down in quality. The new thing I hate the absolute most is this “Dalek puppet” idea. I am not looking forward to this next season if Moffat is still in charge.
Dalek puppets make no sense, at least visually. Daleks aren’t the armored pepper shakers, they’re squiddy things inside the armored pepper shakers. They only need the eyestalk to see OUT of the armored pepper shaker. Unless Dalek puppets have a tiny little Dalek inside their chest, controlling them like a vehicle, why would they need an eyestalk?
All you have to do is go back to June 1, 2013, when Matt Smith announced he’s leaving the show. To me, that caused the writers to change what they were going to do with the Christmas Special and turned it into the final farewell. I think if Matt had said next Christmas episode he was leaving, things would have been more flowing than jerking here and there.
As far as the regeneration problem, though, you’ve missed on that. Ten was shot by a Dalek and was regenerating. After he was healed, he concentrated the rest of his regeneration energy into the severed hand so he could keep his body and face.
As I noted in response to a similar comment above, whatever was “supposed” to have “counted” as another regeneration, my point still stands. Moffat is retconning way too much by suddenly deciding that Eleven is actually Thirteen. It didn’t need to be done at all.
Moffat didn’t do Ten’s first regen. It was Davies. Plus, there’s no retcon going on here. It’s a new set of regenerations that would have been done anyway, since the program is very popular now.
Ten’s regen “didn’t count” inasmuch as the show itself insisted that it didn’t count. Even Moffat’s own writing keep referring to Smith’s Doctor as “Eleven” throughout all of his tenure, right from the title of his very first episode to “the fall of the Eleventh” (and, as MaryAnn pointed out, this very episode.) Therefore, the audience is perfectly justified in feeling cheated out by the writing.
Yes, the newer viewers would be a little confused. All you have to do is watch ‘The Stolen Earth/Journey’s End’ to realize that was a regen. It was an unique regen where after Ten healed himself from the Dalek’s shot, he focus the rest of the energy to his severed hand. Eleven was still the proper number to call him.
TimeLords heal through regeneration. Whether you like it or not, Ten healed himself when he was exterminated by a Dalek. I blame RTD and Moffat for the farce of the regeneration number.
I agree with MaryAnn, and I think the reason Moffat squeezed it all in is that he is planning to leave the show fairly soon, and wanted to be the one to control the regeneration scenario (and many other things).
Matt Smith’s leaving and Eccleston not on board for the 50th (you could blame Moffat here)dictated the regeneration scenario being brought up in ‘Time of the Doctor’.
To me, the biggest mistake Moffat did was splitting the 7th season in two and spread them out two years basically. It would have been much better to have the Clara mystery for a full season.
That may well not have been Moffat’s choice, but dictated by BBC economics. (It’s very hard to tell.)
I’ve long suspected that a lot (maybe most) of the problems of the last two seasons have their roots in BBC economics.
Agree but Moffat’s cack-handed PR skills have hardly helped give any clarity to exactly what the issues were during seasons 6 and 7. At least all on set seemed to have been jolly, so presumably a combination of BBC gnomes screwing the production team around, poor budgeting by the producers during season 5 and changes to behind the scenes personnel over that time. I didn’t watch much of season 6 but the latter part of season 7 really felt like it was missing a tight hand to ensure continuity, improve pace and editing and give the arc a proper flow – too much rushing which is ironic given the longer time for gestation and delivery due to the earlier hiatus.
I daresay the true behind the scenes story will be told one day.
I feel more confident about dipping my toes back into the water for season 8 as it looks like the production is on track and BBC and Moffat singing from same hymn sheet again. Can’t be as dire as much of season 7 at least.
The impression one gets from occasional leaks has been that Moffat wants ALL THE PRODUCTION BUDGET, and has a confrontational way of asking for it that annoys his bosses. Given his general attitudes towards women, this is hardly surprising.
I know it’s popular to blame Steven Moffat for everything up to and including sour milk, but given that Chris Eccleston has been pretty consistent on his desire to have nothing more to do with Doctor Who since 2005, I don’t see how that’s Moffat’s fault.
Maybe then it is Eccleston’s fault!
I was referring to some reports saying it was Moffat’s fault while others said it was Eccleston’s. I thought it was fine with the three there.
The Clara mystery hardly rated half a season. The Imposible Girl was just another of those labels Moffat loves to use in lieu of actual character development. I think he got bored with it well before the end of the season finale anyway. Since then it’s been cast aside – for example how did Clara and The Docor escape the timestream, how much does Clara now know about all of The Doctor’s past history, how does this vast knowledge weigh on her everyday life, how could she use this knowledge to make her life and the lives of others better (she is presented as a kind and sensitive soul after all) etc… If the new incarnation is vague about things post -regeneration, can Clara draw on her knowledge to help him? I’m guessing we’re back to feisty, chipper cute girl with cute girl dresses once the show kicks off again.
In relation to the episode itself, it was a self-indulgent mess. Hubby who loves Moffat era fell asleep half-way for 15 mins and was happy to delete off TV set top box without bothering to see the bits he missed – said probably made as much sense as the bits he saw.
The problem is that it should have been a full season instead of a half, with the 50th anniversary episode there. It would have been good if they did a minisode or two after “Name of the Doctor” to show that.
Meh. I just watched the episode getting more and more furious at the waste of Matt Smith. Makes David Tennant’s final episode look like a towering triumph, and remember moaning about that?
Not sure I have the energy to watch any more Doctor Who until Moffat has packed his bags.
I thought the opposite: the 50th anniversary special was dull and the Christmas one was amazing. I just loved to see the Silents and the crack again and finally know why the Tardis exploded etc.
MJ, you have a tendency to overstate your case, which annoys me. But your instincts are generally pointing the right direction. As usual, you got this one right. Moffat has turned out a fairly lousy show-runner.
I liked it more than you did, but I thought it was a let down, in that it was an OK episode that a) followed two very good episodes and b) had a lot of build up. Matt Smith is possibly the best Doctor ever, and his final episode should have been spectacular.
I think a big problem is that it felt rushed. In recent years, the two-parters have felt too long, but in this case, this story should have been as long as a two-parter. Moffatt was trying to tie up a lot of lose ends (why did the TARDIS explode? who are the Silence? etc.) and instead of really explaining it, tries to do so in quick one-liners.
Thank you for this. As (nearly) always, I couldn’t agree more.
Don’t forget: the doctor doesn’t call the time lords back because he is worried about war breaking out. Then war breaks out. Why not call them back?
How did the town survive the swarm of weeping angels?
It has already been established that you can’t attack a crack in the skin in the universe, because it isn’t part of the universe. So why worry?
Why did the cyberman broadcast the translation?
How are we supposed to take any doctor enemies seriously if all of them together… Again… Can’t do anything… Again.
Poor Capaldi looks like he is being set up to be the next Peter Davison. Which is a shame since he was such a good guy — apart from that whole Children of Earth thing…
But seriously, folks…
Moffat seems to be imitating all of RTD’s worst tropes with none of the stuff that made RTD’s stories worth watching anyway. Granted, all long-running TV series tend to get conservative in their plotting and stop taking the type of risks that made them famous in the first place. (For exampe, if you hated what they did to River Song this past season, just look at what they did to Alex Kingston’s character in the American show E.R. — where they took an equally promising character and basically sabotaged her in order to make room for younger and allegedly “more interesting” — i.e. more youth-friendly — characters.)
But this episode actually made me nostalgic for even the worst episodes of the RTD era. And that doesn’t happen too often.