It was that time of year again. Late Christmas evening, the family sit down and wait for the familiar sound of a TARDIS materialising on the TV. We’ve had Sycorax, flying Titanic replicas, flying sharks, living snowmen… this year we have… all the monsters from Matt Smith’s era!
Sound familiar? *cough* Pandorica *cough*
Except the millions of aliens flying overhead didn’t seem to be the real enemy here. Time itself did. Matt Smith aged considerably over the episode as he protected one small town called Christmas (though why the TARDIS couldn’t have gone back in time and retrieved him earlier, I don’t know).
So when Doctor Who returns with Series eight, will these monsters even scare us anymore? The weeping angels (one of two Doctor Who aliens that I actually find scary) made a small appearance to grab Clara’s ankle, and then they left for the rest of the episode with no explanation.
The Silence and Cybermen’s roles were also unimportant – the only real threat were (as always) the Daleks. After all, the Time War only had the two races – why were the other aliens even relevant? As soon as the Daleks were defeated, everything else vanished. They were there to make up the numbers and play a part in the ‘This is Your Life’ episode of Matt Smith. They had so much more potential.
Clara spoke to the crack in the wall we thought was finished with in series five, which conveniently returned for the Time Lords to talk through. She gave them a good talking to, so that they could send the Doctor some magic regeneration dust… just as the Daleks decided to attack (after hundreds of years of patiently waiting for the Doctor to just die of old age).
Matt Smith blasted the Dalek ships out of the sky with his regeneration energy. It looked like he was about to get his new face.
After the explosions, Clara returned apprehensively to the TARDIS, and we all held our breath for the first appearance of…
Matt Smith. Back to his young, cosmetic-less self. We were confused, but then surely it was just Capaldi using the hologram machine from the beginning of the episode?
But no. He hadn’t regenerated yet. It was “taking longer than usual.” There was a little more reminiscing about previous Matt Smith episodes, and then he discarded his bow tie. Thanks for the extra kick in the feels, Moffat!
But as sad as the scene was, it was ruined by the abrupt (and I mean VERY abrupt) regeneration. One minute Matt was stood there, the next it was Capaldi.
His first line was something like, “I have new kidneys!” This reminded me all too much of Tennant’s “new teeth… that’s weird,” and Smith’s “Legs! I’ve still got legs!” Was the recycling of old lines intentional or has Moffat just run out of new material?
So overall I think it’s clear I was extremely disappointed with The Time Of The Doctor. Nothing truly interesting happened; it was a way of explaining why the Doctor has more than thirteen regenerations, and to say goodbye to Matt. A few of Matt’s lines and mannerisms made me chuckle as usual, but nothing spectacular. If anything, the only good part I remember is Matt Smith being naked. But that’s just personal preference.